A SERIES OF LETTERS FROM A PLAGIARIST
Writer's First Comments Appear in Bold
My First Comments Appear In Bold
Writer's Second Comments Appear In Black
My Second Comments Appear In Blue
[Note: The following is the first two rounds of discussion on this topic before the writer abandoned the issue and switched subjects.]
I find your book on biblical nonsense to be so full of holes as to be almost comical.
Let us see if it is for good reason.
I would prefer that we discuss these matters privately, via email, as some of it may prove to be embarrassing to either or both of us.
Identities from all emails are removed, and links to letters are posted from the main page so there are no surprises. I will remove any letter written by someone who sends a specific request to do so. I'm not afraid of being embarrassed at all by anything written here, especially considering the lack of substance such disapproval letters usually contain. I like being corrected when I'm wrong. My position is not dogmatic, or else it would be a religion. If my position is as inaccurate as you claim, perhaps you would like the readers to see how you can demonstrate this.
BUT - If you are going to post my replies and answers on the internet, then I truly hope that you will be honest and courageous enough to post everything as I write them, even if they tend to put you in an unfavorable light. Are we in agreement here?
Again, if I'm proven wrong, I'm proven wrong. I don't mind.
Your first mistake is in assuming that the Bible was written for all humanity when in truth and fact it was not. The laws and regulations in what you call the "old testament" was strictly for the Jewish people, the ones who entered into a covenant with their God, up to the time of Christ. The rest is for only those who are willing to accept it.
No, Jesus specifically said he came to uphold the law and not change it in Matthew 5.
Big mistake! Hole # 1. I said nothing about changing the Law and Jesus never said that either.
Where did I say that you said the law was going to be changed? Nowhere. Right off the bat, we have a straw man. I was pointing out what Jesus said, with the hopes that you would gain what was of particular interest: he came to uphold the law. Thus, nothing Jesus does (unless "everything is accomplished" or "all things take place") is going to invalidate the law because Jesus specifically said that the law was going to be upheld. Your assertion that the OT was strictly for the Jews before Christ goes unsupported.
You can’t fool me - didn’t you think I would be familiar with this?
First of all, I'm not going to respond further if I'm going to be accused of trying to fool people with my responses. Second, I'm well aware that this argument has been used before and that you might have heard it. I likewise know forthcoming apologetic responses, and I know why the ones I've heard before aren't valid.
If you are going to refer to the Bible for justification of your conclusion regarding the enduring nature of the Law Covenant, then I will appeal to that same source to prove that you are misquoting and mistaken.
What do you mean "if we're going to refer to the Bible"? What else could we refer to when discussing what the Bible itself says? We will see if I misquote or if I am mistaken.
I JUST HAVE TO WONDER WHY YOU WOULD MISQUOTE LIKE THAT!
Here we go.
After their delivery from
All of which has nothing to do with whether or not the Old Testament becomes invalid. I'll suspend comment on people being the property of a God since it's not on topic.
The law code itself even provided for an eventual dynasty of kings that would represent Jehovah in civil matters. These kings, however, ….sat on “Jehovah’s throne” as his representatives, subject to his directives and discipline.— They were instructed to take time from the everyday affairs of life to give serious and prayerful consideration to the recorded Word of God. “And it must occur that when he takes his seat on the throne of his kingdom, he must write in a book for himself a copy of this law from that which is in the charge of the priests, the Levites. . And it must continue with him, and he must read in it all the days of his life, in order that he may learn to fear Jehovah his God so as to keep all the words of this law and these regulations by doing them; that his heart may not exalt itself above his brothers and that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right or to the left, in order that he may lengthen his days upon his kingdom, he and his sons in the midst of Israel. (De 17:14-20; 1Ch 29:23; 2Ch 26:16-21.
All of which has nothing to do with whether or not the Old Testament becomes invalid.
WHEN THEY OBEYED, THEY ENJOYED PEACE , as in the reigns of Solomon and Josiah - but frequent rebellions led to their being attacked and defeated before their enemies. Because of their covenant, Jehovah ALWAYS came to their rescue, granting them victories against tremendous odds. NO OTHER NATION WAS INVOLVED IN THIS RULERSHIP BY GOD, NOR WERE THEY SUBJECT TO THESE LAWS.
Aside from begging the question of God's involvement, all of this has nothing to do with whether or not the Old Testament becomes invalid.
BUT THEY WENT TOO FAR AND HE ALLOWED THEM TO BE DESTROYED BY NEBUCHADNEZZAR, ushering in the “Gentile Times” under which they lost their independence and suffered oppression by successive world powers, and under which condition the Messiah Christ was born. They expected him to restore them to their former glory and when he refused, they turned on him.
All of which has nothing to do with whether or not the Old Testament becomes invalid.
JESUS’ ACTUAL WORDS ABOUT THE LAW:- “Do not think I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I came, not to destroy, but to fulfill; for truly I say to YOU that sooner would heaven and earth pass away than for one smallest letter or one particle of a letter to pass away from the Law by any means and not all things take place…..” (Matthew 5:17-18)
Note that Jesus did NOT say that the Law would never pass away or would always be binding, but that it would not pass away until it was all fulfilled.
With his death and with the fulfillment of its prophetic patterns or shadows, it DID come to an end.
No, sorry. Jesus said nothing about his death accomplishing everything or being the event that means all things have taken place. He only speaks on the subject that he is to die and resurrect according to the prophets. Not only is Jesus wrong by saying that the prophets spoke of him, which they did not, but even if he dies, all things have not taken place. Jesus clarifies in verse 19, spoken after verse 18, which puts this "ending" in context, by stating that the many commandments are not to be broken. Furthermore, all of the prophecy of the Old Testament is not fulfilled, and you stumble greatly by admitting so below.
The Law, with its ritualistic practices and regulations including animal sacrifices in the appointed temple sanctuary and with its anointed priesthood, was pointing forward to the one-time sacrifice of Jesus.
Wrong again. The animal sacrifices are to be continued forever – not up until Jesus dies, obviously, since there is no mention of Jesus in the Old Testament. I suggest reading Numbers 18:19. Assertions like this will not go unnoticed.
Following the destruction of
There were stipulations in the Old Testament for those too distant to perform sacrifices at the temple. One would reasonably assume that such exceptions should also be made for those who have no temple to perform the sacrifices. Instead of saying that they should be an everlasting covenant, God could have said that his followers should do them for as long as the temple stands. Being omniscient, he knew this day would arise. He also knew a day would arise when someone would claim that Jesus ended all of this. Even so, he inspired the authors to say that it was everlasting or forever.
That is still the case. And so we read regarding the Law of Moses, that God has taken it out of the way ”by nailing it to a torture stake.” (Col. 2:14) It therefore follows, that Jesus’ subsequent words of censure to those breaking the law and teaching others to do the same would apply only while that Law was in force.
Except that we now have a contradiction among several sources. The Pentateuch says that it should be done forever, Colossians says that the sacrifices were removed by the crucifixion, and Jesus says the laws won't be abolished before everything is finished. If Jesus' words only applied until a certain point declared by a New Testament author, he could have very easily said so. He did not. He said that not one stroke of the pen would disappear from the law until the law and prophets were fulfilled. Many prophecies are unfulfilled, as you have admitted yourself, and many prophecies are incorrect. Further, Jesus gives specific instruction to obey the commandments handed down, after he says that the law and prophets can be invalidated once until "everything is accomplished" or "all things have taken place."
The New Testament does not render the Old Testament obsolete.
Those are YOUR words, not mine.
You stated that the laws and regulations of the Old Testament do not apply to followers of Jesus, yet I have shown that they do.
Jesus says that anyone who breaks the least of the commandments will be the least in heaven. If we are to assume that he is only speaking to his audience, when do we begin to assume he speaks to everyone?
Hole # 2! Here, you can only make an assumption and it would be incorrect. God has never spoken his laws to everyone. . “The sacred secret of God according to the good news which he declared to his own slaves the prophets is indeed brought to a finish.”—(Rev. 10:7)
Except that you do not show where my assumption is incorrect. The problem with your off-topic line of reasoning here is that people are forced to follow God or spend eternity in agony. It is irrelevant whether or not God speaks his laws to everyone because no one can claim exemption from them.
SPOKE TO EVERYONE! Jesus spent his entire ministry in the region of
It is agreed that Jesus never spoke to everyone. The problem is that you cannot say for certain what applies to the Jews, his audience, or humanity in general. Whichever you declare, many Christians are going to disagree with you. If you cannot settle among yourselves which one it is, why should non-Christians be expected to accept such an answer?
It was 3 years AFTER his death, and after the Jews had proved beyond a doubt that they totally and unequivocally rejected his message, his messengers and his messiahship, that Peter used the first of the “keys of the Kingdom” by preaching to Cornelius the centurion, thus opening up the way for Gentiles to have a part in his Kingdom arrangement. Read the account for yourself in Acts 10: 1-48 with particular emphasis on verses 34, 35, 44 and 45.The apostle Paul was later sent to take the message to people of the nations.
It is agreed that the teaching of Jesus were to be withheld from the Gentiles until after this death.
You must admit - he did a tremendous job.
He did a tremendous job at spreading the word indeed.
I therefore maintain that the Bible was not intended for observance by unbelievers. Its regulations are only for those who wish to accept it.
Sorry, no matter how large and bold your words are [referring to the text of the original email], it does not make them more true. The Bible was definitely intended for observance by unbelievers. The whole point is to spread the word among all the nations, most of which are unbelievers. One does not gain immunity from God and his punishments simply because one wants to be exempt.
The imposing of Biblical rules on the rest of the world is not of God’s doing so your unrelenting raving against him and his book is unwarranted.
His imposing of Biblical rules is only a small part of the deity's immorality. Even if your line of reasoning discredited what I stated, the book cannot be deemed unwarranted since it addresses much more than the imposition of rules. Furthermore, I have stated repeatedly that one cannot gain exception from God's rules simply because he wants exception.
THIS POINT ALONE RENDERS MUCH OF YOUR BOOK ELIGIBLE FOR THE RUBBISH HEAP.
I have demonstrated otherwise, so let the reader decide for himself.
I could provide several more examples of why the writer's reasoning fails, but since the remainder of this letter is full of assertions without much substance, I hope this will be sufficient.
You’re not even close! Now I would like you to provide those examples of “why the writer’s reasoning fails.”
Despite your objections to the contrary, I have demonstrated to my satisfaction that the single example I provided is sufficient. When this point has been proven insufficient, I will elaborate. As of now, I will not belabor on a point that I have already defended appropriately.
If an individual finds the Bible acceptable, who in the world is truly authorized to tell him that it is not?
If an individual finds that murder is acceptable, who in the world is truly authorized to tell him that it is not?
I FIND YOUR “ANSWER” WOEFULLY INADEQUATE AND IRRELEVANT!
An answer? I'm trying to show you how illogical it is to say something of that nature by giving an applicable analogy. If one can be answered, so can the other.
But I will deal with it:- Millions of people already do! The simple answer is: - The law of the land: and they can do much more than just tell him. That is why governments have a judiciary and enforcement capabilities.
You agreed, and in doing so, invalidated your line of reasoning without even realizing it. The law of the land is based on a system of morality designed to enforce justice. If murder, per my example, is immoral, those who are in charge of enforcing morality and justice are authorized to tell him that it is. One well versed in the law, morality, ethics and justice is "authorized" or qualified to explain to the murderer why the act is not permitted. As I have demonstrated by analogy, the same can be said for the Bible. One well versed in law, morality, ethics, and justice is "authorized" or qualified to explain why the Bible is morally bankrupt. If an idea is harmful, such as murder or a certain book, one with a great understanding of morality can speak on the subject. One does not have the ethical right to a practice based solely on the fact that he finds it "acceptable." Do you now understand where you went wrong by asking the question?
Logic like this just does not fly.
Well, SOMETHING has taken wings.
Since this is irrelevant, I'll move on.
If a book promotes moral bankruptcy, anyone with superior morals is "authorized" to educate those who believe otherwise.
I can see clearly what is NOT “flying.“ Two things here:- 1. There are thousands of books that do just that! Which of those do you condemn or even attempt to censor? Who, of their authors, have you tried to censure?
I condone no book that attempts to enforce such regulations as the Bible, and this irrelevant red herring has no bearing on whether I am justified for condemning the Bible. The thousands of books that promote moral bankruptcy are irrelevant to whether or not the Bible does the same. I do not have the time and resources to condemn all the books that do so, nor would I be inclined to do so if I had such resources. I have chosen the Bible because it has the biggest impact on my society.
2. Who do you know that is “morally superior?”
I know of a great number of people who realize that there are no absolute rights and wrongs. They know that something is not right or wrong just because a god or someone else has said so. Having advanced moral codes, realizing for instance that what is for the greater good is most likely the right thing to do, usually clues me in that someone is morally superior to someone who believes it's okay to do something because it's written in a book. I could go on forever regarding this issue, but I feel I've sufficiently made my point.
You consistently condemn the judgmental attitude of the God of the Bible by soundly judging and condemning Him. Are you truly competent enough to do that?
Yes, I am more than competent enough to evaluate the morality of a number of gods in mythology.
That was not my question and I won’t let it pass.
That more than answers your question. I am more than competent enough to evaluate the morality of a number of gods in mythology. I will expand further and say that I am also more than competent enough to judge the god of the Bible. Whether that is a clarification or a redundancy, I will leave for the reader to decide.
I said nothing about the morality of mythological gods, which would be nothing more that the morality of the ones inventing them.
It's amazing how dead on Christians can be with their understanding, yet commit special pleading for an exception of their god of choice. You're exactly right in that the morality of mythological gods is nothing more than the morality of the ones inventing them.
Take another look at my question and then try to come up a better answer than that.
I have done so above.
BTW - Who do you know is morally superior? Hmmmmm….something comes to mind here: You seem to presume to know what is morally right for society.
I do not claim to be an authority on morality, but I would say I have a better appreciation than the vast majority of our society.
Now I want you to tell me which of the following is morally and socially unacceptable:-
This is way off topic and tries to place dichotomies on important issues, but I'll answer briefly.
abortion, adultery, academic fraud, arms sales, arson, cheating, conscientious objection, deceit, drug abuse, exotic dancing, ethnic cleansing, fornication, gangbanging, greed, haughtiness, human organ selling, lying, lobbying, litigiousness, child molestation, nuclear proliferation, selling of blood, obscene language, physical fighting, pollution, premarital sex, racial pride, stem cell research, pornography, scientific fraud, smoking, rioting, tax evasion, deceit, union organizing, unfaithfulness, weapons manufacturing, military service, plagiarism, domestic violence, child abuse, insurance fraud, gambling, welfare fraud.
As stated before, I do not place issues as being right or wrong. They are decided on a case by case basis, of which many of the facts are unknown. For instance, adultery is usually okay if the partner does not care, but it is usually immoral if the partners agreed on abstaining from it. Even acts like arson, which are almost always immoral in real world purposes, might be morally okay if the building is used for purposes that are far more immoral than the arson itself, considering that there is no suitable alternative. There is no black and white on these issues. If I were to adequately address my opinions on each subject, I would have to dedicate more time than I’m currently willing.
A god that promotes murder, rape, slavery, and cruelty to women does not behave morally.
Gods of that type are mentioned in the Bible, but they are soundly condemned by the God OF the Bible. Draw your own logical conclusion.
I have demonstrated otherwise in the book. I feel no need to elaborate here.
The writer will probably agree with this as long as I don't judge his god of choice, but he apparently wants special exception for his own.
An assertion unworthy of comment.
Except that you've already commented. You believe that the god of the Bible is the one that is not mythological, and you believe that the god of the Bible does not behave immorally.
In what way are you offering something better?
Why does it seem that every other letter I receive demand that I provide something better? What does this have to do with evaluating the Bible?
The answer to that is quite simple: The Bible builds up. You tear down without any plan or form of restoration. You’ll soon be left with a shambles. If you keep making withdrawals from a bank account, it will all be gone. Isn’t that logical?
This is a false analogy for more reason than I care to elaborate on. Whether or not I have a framework of morality is irrelevant to whether or not the Bible has a framework of morality. I do not mind you repeating this question because it will show critically thinking readers that you do no grasp the concept. I am not required to show that "B" must be a satisfactory answer before disproving "A". Whether or not society is left in shambles is irrelevant to whether or not the Bible is incorrect. This is a clear attempt to shift the burden of proof onto the disbeliever. If one wants society to accept certain rules as moral, one must demonstrate their morality. Christianity does not gain exemption simply because it was here before it was first criticized. This is terrible reasoning.
I believe I can do that.
Let us see.
The Bible is incredibly accurate in so many ways that time and space limit my response at this juncture. BUT - I AM IN A POSITION TO DROWN YOU WITH FACTS.
To this point, I see nothing. I have demonstrated that it is woefully inaccurate, yet I only see assertions that it is accurate. I do not doubt that the Bible is accurate on a number of issues. The problem is trying to attach it to a perfect being when it is inaccurate for reasons I have covered in the book.
I believe I can establish such a link.
Let us see.
We will get to that.
Okay, I'm standing by.
IS IT POSSIBLE THAT YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE?
That is good enough for me!
But it really shouldn't be. If you had asked me how likely it was that I misunderstand the Bible, I would say that it was equally likely that I don't understand simple logic. I leave open the possibility because I am fallible. One should always consider the possibility, no matter how remote, that one is wrong.
Will the writer admit that it is possible the Bible is false? No.
Thanks - but I can answer for myself. NOT A CHANCE!!!
Thanks for being honest. It's quite pointless to speak to someone who admits that he is not going to change his mind no matter what evidence is presented, but I do so for the benefit of my readers. Otherwise, I wouldn't waste my time. Your statement here really speaks volumes. It is perfect evidence for my stance that people are conditioned to accept what society tells them is critically important. How many Hindus, Jews, Muslims, and Mormons would offer the same exact reply had I asked them if they were willing to admit that it is possible that their holy books are wrong? A great number. Religion strives with such stubborn behavior implemented by years of conditioning. It's not the perceived quality of evidence offered against the Bible that makes you say this, because after all, you will not change your mind under any circumstance. One could offer perfect evidence if it existed, yet you wouldn't believe it because your mind is made up.
Is it possible that the writer does not understand the Qur'an, Vedas, or Book of Mormon?
No! I have looked into them. But then, I am not trying to tear them down. Even though I could!
Again, this speaks volumes. I was using the analogy of other books to show that you would not understand why they might be right and the Bible might be wrong. You have your mind made up, as I stated before and as you have demonstrated here. You admit that you have not looked into them, yet you could tear them down if you tried. This is a tremendous example of the conditioning I explain in the book. You know nothing of other evidences that could bring the Bible into question, yet you are certain that they are invalid because you use the notion that the Bible is correct as a premise instead of a conclusion. If it were not for other readers who might benefit from this exchange, I would not waste any more time here.
This line of questioning is hardly worthy of comment,
You’re right! I did not establish a LINE of questioning - You did!
Would it make you feel better if I replaced "This line of questioning" with "This method of questioning"? Will that make you feel as though you've won an argument? If so, I'll happily agree that I should have used a more appropriate word.
but the writer acts as though someone who has studied the issue for years dispassionately has no clue what apologists assert.
I don’t know what apologists assert so how can I respond to that?
You repeatedly speak as though I have no comprehension of the Bible and persist to give explanations that I've heard many times before.
I will maintain that you have no clue as to what the Bible is all about, since you treat it like mythological literature.
I don't know how many more talking donkeys, talking snakes, global floods, heavenly towers, 6000 year old creations, bets between deities, etc. one would need before they are comfortable calling it mythological literature. You do not see it as mythology because you begin with the premise that it is not. Give up your premise and read critically. While that is the best advice I can offer, I know it will not be heeded.
And - judging from your bio, I am sure I have more years behind MY studies of the Scriptures than you have - only it wasn’t dispassionate. It was awe-inspiring and enlightening.
I'm not going to get into the issues of how people come into the study of Christianity as Christians. The issue of bias and how it affects judgment on issues in which individuals have made emotional investments is well covered in previous letters.
What is clear thus far from the writer's statement about the Old Testament is that I'm not the one with a lack of understanding.
I am , by no means, suggesting that the Hebrew Scriptures should be discarded. The principles contained therein are of immense value to Christians today.
Then perhaps you should do everyone a favor and explain how you know what should be discarded as no longer applicable and what should be kept as being of immense value to Christianity today. No one can agree on what is applicable and what is not, so I would be most interested in hearing this.
There are many prophecies there yet to be fulfilled.
I will now refer readers back to the discussion of Matthew 5 above.
I am in total agreement with Paul’s assessment that “ALL Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17) The key word here is “righteousness.”
I'm not interested in opinions – only what can be demonstrated as it is relevant to the discussion.
What Gentile nation was ever interested in that aspect?
nations were interested in aspects like righteousness during the period, Gentile
What I would like you to show me is what part of the Hebrew Scriptures was ever directed to or even possessed by people of the nations or Gentiles. ALL of them were steeped in idolatry. They had no idea of what the motivating force behind the successes of the Israelites was except that they served an invisible God. HANDWRITTEN COPIES OF THE SCROLLS WERE ALWAYS IN THE POSSESSION OF THE HEBREW PEOPLE UP UNTIL THE TIME OF CHRIST.
I agree with you here for the most part, but it does not have any bearing on whether or not Jesus said the commandments should be kept and whom this statement should apply to. The objections you raise (and to which you declare a sweeping victory over unrelated issues) is whether or not the Old Testament applies to Gentiles and unbelievers.
You will find out that you, Sir, know absolutely nothing about the Bible, yet you find it feasible to condemn as nonsense a book that you so obviously do not understand.
Yet another assertion unworthy of comment.
Or a demonstration of failure, or lack, of an adequate response. It is quite easy for me to find out how well you understand the Bible.
Yet another assertion unworthy of comment.
Rules set by science and reason? Are those the sole basis for your rejection of the Bible?
Well, since reason encompasses intelligence, rational thought, analysis, sound judgment, and logic, I'd say that pretty much sums it up.
Not true! Science falls flat on its face, violating its own rules, when it comes to the subject of human evolution. And, on the same subject, reason is also discarded in the light of prevailing scientific facts.
Wow. This statement is so inaccurate that I really don't even know where to begin here. We shouldn't trust science because you think it "[violates] its own rules"? Isn't it amazing how Christians will support any type of science, such as medicine, especially when it supports the Bible, up until it starts contradicting the Bible? Please elaborate how science "falls flat on its face…when it comes to the subject of human evolution." After that, please explain how a method of empirical study that is willing to change when disproven should not be applied to further study. After that, please explain how your study of the Bible (aside from your presupposition) by gathering information and forming explanations on the material is not the scientific method itself.
Reasons shows me the absurdity, contradictory nature, evil, incompetence, moral bankruptcy, and historical inaccuracy of the Bible.
An imperfect mind can see absurdity, contradictory nature, evil, incompetence, moral bankruptcy, and historical inaccuracy when there is none.
Agreed. Also, an imperfect mind can miss absurdity, contradictory nature, evil, incompetence, moral bankruptcy, and historical inaccuracy when there is some. What does this statement prove? Nothing. Any statement that can be turned to demonstrate the exact opposite is of little value. This is not the first time you've offered such a statement.
On reason:- Kids who shoot up their schools have their reasons. Dahmer had “reasons” for eating certain his victims. Personal reasons for accepting certain concepts are clearly not enough, especially when they can be logically and Scripturally dismantled.
"Reasons" is a typo in my sentence. It should have said "reason." Reason is different than reasons, as I hope you should know. I also do not declare that one who reaches a conclusion on the basis of reasoning is justified for the actions carried out on that reason. Your example appeals to emotion have little to do with how I arrived at my conclusion. Reason, like humanity, is imperfect. One can use reason, as they perceive it, to arrive at any conclusion. If a reason can be logically dismantled, so be it. This does not invalidate the process of reasoning. Your statement that a reason is not enough if it can be scripturally dismantled is a wonderful example of question begging. One must first demonstrate that orders in a book are a better tool than human reasoning before we can say that reason is inferior to scripture. You simply assume what you should first prove, and the readers are going to see this.
You MUST realize that both are too seriously flawed to serve as an ample foundation for a stable society.
This is a huge non sequitur. What does a foundation of a society have to do with whether or not a book is true?
It’s a pity that
you can’t see it. In today’s society, books form the lines on the roadmap
through life. Teaching children erroneous information from those books can
endanger the future of any nation. There is a lot of truth in “The Terrorists’
Cookbook.“ If you look at the
No, the pity is that you can't see it's a gross non sequitur. Whether or not the Bible is true is irrelevant to whether or not science and reason can be foundations for a society. The two issues could not be any more distinct. You're arguing that erroneous information can endanger a nation, which is a fine argument, but it is irrelevant to the issue at hand. Let us assume that science and reason are not able to uphold a society. Now, how does that demonstrate that a certain book should take their place? It does not do so, thus the non sequitur. You're trying to derail science and reason on the basis that they can't serve as ample foundations for a society (without expanding beyond the assertion, mind you), which is a patently absurd way of doing so.
How are science and reason flawed?
I already dealt with reason. Now let’s deal with science.
Let us see.
How can we not trust knowledge gained through observation?
Because of the huge propensity for error!
So, we shouldn't use science because the conclusions might be wrong? A field that encourages correction of errors shouldn't be used because errors might be made in the conclusions of study? I feel no need to elaborate here since this topic has been covered in many previous letters and pretty much speaks for itself.
Mortal man has a history of misusing things that can be beneficial.
It seems to me that you have problems with disingenuous conclusions made by study, and not the process of science itself.
Knowledge gained through observation led to the splitting of the atom and the subsequent nuclear threat to all life on earth.
An often used appeal to emotion. Knowledge gained through observation led to the curing of a great number of diseases, which improves life on earth. Remember what I said about statements that can be turned? In addition, your dislike of science because it can lead to discoveries with the potential for harm shows a great inability to think critically.
Science does not have all the answers.
Again, this is another absurd justification for choosing other methods of acquiring knowledge that has been used so many times before that we've all lost count. Science is the pursuit of answers – not a dogma of predefined ones. I may as well just invent a religion myself, have it explain all possible answers by inserting an all-powerful entity into the mix, and declare it superior to the process of gathering data since all the answers are already explained by my religion. This is so absurd that I'm not going to elaborate further.
There are essential truths beyond the reach of science.
This is an assertion you need to back up. What "truths" can we not reach through study, observation, and experimentation? How do we know these "truths" are "truths" without study, observation, and experimentation? I'm predicting nothing but question begging coming in the future.
What Chargaff is saying is that science is the study of the natural and does not extend into the supernatural. Science does not disprove the existence of God in the supernatural realm, but it demonstrates scientific errors in a book that is supposed to be inspired by and representative of a certain god. We may as well just say that natural science is not an instrument to investigate Supergod, the entity that is more powerful than God. If you are going to presume entities in the supernatural realm that cannot be falsified by science (and thus declare science as unfit), I should be allowed to presume the existence of one as well. Do you see how hiding behind the cloud of the supernatural does nothing to help your case? Science only explains things in the natural realm, some of which are biblical claims.
This is a mistake you have obviously made.
No, I do not claim science disproves the existence of the supernatural. Science does not extend into the supernatural. One can imagine infinite aspects of the supernatural and claim that each one is superior to science because science can't touch it. One should have a reason for believing in an aspect of the supernatural. The god of the Bible leaves the supernatural realm and enters into the natural one when he does stuff like flooding the world. Science demonstrates that no such thing happened. If one wishes to appeal to supernatural explanations, I should be allowed to say that Supergod killed God and made the flood herself. This is quite absurd to say the least.
Science cannot foresee the future.
This is irrelevant to whether or not science is a legitimate tool. Quantum physics cannot explain how to build a ship, but this doesn't mean the field has no applicability in gathering data. Despite your claim, science can help predict certain aspects of the future with reasonable certainty. The study of weather patterns will predict that more hurricanes will arrive in the summer than winter, for example.
It cannot even foresee the results of its own
discoveries. Barely ten years after the Wrights’ first flight, soldiers were
dropping deadly missiles from the skies. When DDT was developed, for example,
it was hoped that this new weapon would forever solve the problem of insect
pests. It would provide protection for plants and keep in check those insects
that spread diseases such as malaria. However, the German newspaper Frankfurter
Allgemeine Zeitung said
that this “blessing for mankind . . . an undreamed-of achievement for
chemistry” later became “a rather questionable blessing. . . . DDT’s victory
Remember thalidomide? Narcotics, meant for relieving pain, has become a nightmare! Gunpowder has become the basis for unprecedented violence. The internal combustion engine and air pollution.
Remember, too, Alfred Nobel, after whom the Nobel peace prize is named. He was a man of peace, yet he invented dynamite. Why? He wrote to a friend: “I should like to invent a substance or machine with such terrible power of mass destruction that war would thereby be made impossible for ever.” Two world wars and hundreds of smaller territorial wars and insurrections since Nobel’s death have proved that his invention failed to have the effect he hoped for. I could go on to relate the history of failure written in misery and blood.
Again, these are just appeals to emotion that I could easily turn and show the benefit that scientific discovery has given mankind. I really expected more than fallacious logic like this considering the length of your reply and the choice to actually answer point by point, unlike many other writers.
How can we not trust knowledge gained through observation?
For the stated reasons above. There are many others, the details of which I am in possession.
I've already dealt with your reasons and have demonstrated them as erroneous for the reasons I've discussed above.
Why can we not apply this knowledge when making decisions?
Men have tried. The
problem is the decision-making process. Seeing some advantage,
Again, more appeals to emotion that I have previously demonstrated are erroneous. I could easily turn them by saying thing like FDR "DECIDED" to help stop Hitler, but I demonstrate nothing. No one is saying that decision-making is perfect. As stated before, one cannot simply say that one is justified because he has reasoned. We must let those with the greatest understanding of morality decide what is for the greater good.
Practical wisdom from the Bible, had it been implemented, could have prevented ALL this tragedy and waste by the very simple advice:-YOU MUST LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF. Men just have to keep knocking their heads against a wall and never fully realizing their own inadequacy.
Practical wisdom from the Bible? This must be a joke. Not only did Confucius point this out long before Jesus, but this one quote is very selective of biblical material. How about "kill everyone who worships a different God?" I could provide several more examples, but I hope this will be sufficient. It seems to me that one must not simply heed advice given in the Bible, but instead, decide on what is the more appropriate course of action through inductive reasoning. Just because something is in the Bible does not self-demonstrate that it should be followed.
if FDR decided to love Hitler as he loved himself? What if FDR decided that he should turn the
other cheek once Hitler conquered most of
This statement is patently absurd.
That’s only because nobody has brought it to your attention before.
Not quite. I've demonstrated the absurdity to my satisfaction, aside from whether or not it was brought to my attention before.
What happened to reason during the last two world wars? What agency has supplied mankind with the means to destroy all life on earth, a phenomenon unseen in all of human history?
What happened to faith when finding a cure for Polio?
You are being evasive. WHY?
I'm not being evasive. I'm demonstrating through analogy that a question capable of being turned to show the opposite aspect is not a valid method of argumentation. Reasoning has caused harm, and reasoning has created good. Just because you can point out the harm does not demonstrate that we should abandon reason.
AND - on faith - I wouldn’t advise you to go there. YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT FAITH IS. Your question makes that clear.
Sigh. Faith is the belief in a principle despite a presence of evidence or evidence to the contrary. However you want to elaborate on the definition of faith, that is a definition with which society will agree.
What agency has supplied humankind with the means to double the human lifespan, a phenomenon unseen in all of human history? These questions are absurd and demonstrate nothing.
Look! I asked 2 questions - YOU added the rest and then frustrates yourself.
What? That doesn't even make sense. For what must be the tenth time by now, I turned the question to demonstrate how it cannot be submitted as a valid method of argumentation. If you will not take my word for it, perhaps you should seek Christian assistance. Most apologists will be more than willing to explain to you how this line of discussion is bankrupt.
The questions, far from being absurd, demonstrate that men are incapable of governing themselves correctly,
This is your opinion. You show that self-government has resulted in many negative ideas. I can show that self-government has resulted in many positive ideas. You can show that biblical law has resulted in many positive ideas. I can show that biblical law has resulted in many negative ideas. This all demonstrates nothing, especially as it pertains to whether or not the Bible is an authentic divine work.
proved by the rivers of blood resulting from their efforts. Did I have to point that out to you?
I'll allow this to speak for itself. I'm not going to go into what man has done in the name of the Bible.
BTW, the human lifespan has not been doubled, regardless of what you think. I have the facts to prove that.
Sorry, I'm not impressed with assertions. "I have the facts that disprove the Bible, regardless of what you think. I have the facts to prove that." What good did that statement do? None.
I'm not even going to get into the issue of the impact that religion and faith have had on human history. When the writer displays elaborate reasoned arguments, so will I.
There is nothing that you can say to me on those subjects that I don’t already know.
This sounds more and more like simple "My mind is already made up, so you can't teach me anything" talk. I'm not going to belabor the matter further.
I truly believe that I can supply you with more information on those than you can supply me.
But you are talking about religion PROVEN to be false and, from your standpoint, an unknown entity called “faith.”
No, I am talking about overwhelming evidence against the Bible and the impracticableness of applying natural methods to the supernatural.
You want elaborate? That I can supply. Present your case.
I feel no need to demonstrate that religion has caused harm beyond what I've already discussed in the book. If I heard at least one well reasoned argument from you, I might be inclined to change my mind.
The Bible was written by 40 different individuals over a period of 1500 years, persons so widely separted by time and distance that there was no possibility of collusion. Yet, the Bible contains a singular theme from beginning to end. How do you explain that, and just what could that theme be?
This argument, popularized by Josh McDowell, is a favorite among apologists. Since it's the first time to pop up in these letters, I'll take some time to address it adequately. The Bible does not contain a singular theme, as there is much disagreement among authors, particularly the prophets. Jeremiah 23 is often cited as one example. Another thing we have to consider is that we don't know exactly how many works were eligible for inclusion in the Old Testament. We often hear names of such books, but they are nowhere to be found. History often shows that minority opinion gets suppressed. Furthermore, of the books that were eligible for inclusion in the Bible, only a select few were canonized by the vote of a committee in 325CE. Ironically, the very reason for the committee was to eliminate all the books that were deemed inconsistent with what they already believed. Submitting this argument is a little like opening a box of crayons, carefully selecting a handful, and bragging about how harmonious the colors are.
First off, I never heard of Josh Mcdowell.
Then this speaks volumes of your experience in apologetics.
Second - a theme: If there is a particular subject, important and unavoidable, mentioned by ALL the writers of the 66 “books” of the Bible, sans collusion, then that is its theme. I can prove that such a theme exists, regardless of what you may see as “disagreements.”
I'm not denying the existence of a theme, but let me get this straight. We should consider a series of books credible if the authors carry the same theme, and all of these books are combined into one volume on the basis that they have the same theme? If so, this is quite possibly the dumbest idea I've ever heard. I could collect a series of books with the same theme, especially where latter authors had access to works of the previous ones, and claim that it is more important? Millions of medical textbooks have been written for thousands of years all with the "theme" of improving patient health, yet why do I not try to claim that something is special about this?
Hence, your references to canonical history of the Bible, although incorrect, is irrelevant.
It is not incorrect or irrelevant. Here's a suggestion – stop asserting. If it is incorrect, demonstrate why. I can easily relay the history of the canon, but this is something that is not in doubt among scholars on either side. I took the time to elaborate on the selection process above, yet you disappoint me by not addressing it point by point. It is also not irrelevant because you were the one who raised the issue of a singular theme and how this somehow lends credibility to the veracity of the Bible. I pointed out that the whole point of forming an authoritative collection of writings was to keep the singular theme. Why you cannot comprehend this, I'll never know.
Your comments on this topic tells me that you have never searched for a theme, but I have, and I found it (with some help, of course).
Again, I do not doubt that there is a theme. What I want you to do is demonstrate how this collection of books assembled due to their similarities should be considered more veracious due to their similarities.
Since I've already stated that I began with an objective analysis, I'm not going to belabor this point. Whether or not I was looking for complications is irrelevant to whether or not the complications are there. The attempted explanations to these apparent complications should be the focus of conversation.
Listen! One’s objective in reading and studying the Bible is important to what one perceives it to be saying.
I could not agree more. If one studies the Bible determined for it to be true, one will come away believing it is true. If one studies the Bible determined for it to be false, one will come away believing it is false. This goes for any book, any field, any belief, any discipline. It's human nature. One should study issues without bias to reach unbiased conclusions. Since you don't believe in the legitimacy of study and observation, I'm not going to delve into the issue of persuasive psychology here and how such observations demonstrate the inability for religious people to be objective about their religion.
Let’s just say that I find no “apparent complications.” I have, like you, searched the internet, noted the perceived disharmony, and proceeded to research and dismantle them. So, take your swing. I stand ready.
I'm not foolish enough to think that you can't find a "resolution" to any problem I mention. It's been done a million times before. The issue is the likelihood of the explanation, and how unbiased a person is when delivering the explanation. You've already mentioned that nothing is going to change your mind, so what's the point? I point out an error, you begin with the premise that it's not an error, and you use apologetics to defend what you already believe is the truth. Again, I've spent too much time already to delve into a lecture on persuasive psychology.
One thing is certain - one cannot intellectualize the Bible. It is not any ordinary book, one that can be the subject of a literary critique that is based on some self-appointed standards of logic.
This is a variation of the special pleading fallacy. Why can the Bible not be intellectualized, yet the same practice tells us that other works of ancient mythology are bunk? Otherwise, we can just say that one cannot intellectualize any other religious book for the same reason. I'll let the writer's statement on "self-appointed standards of logic" speak for itself.
Pleading? Boy - are you off!! I, too, have gone through the listed “fallacies” on the Internet and have junked them - many of them being written by a 20-year-old boy anyway.
This is hilarious. Explanations of fallacious logic are junk, because we can't trust logic itself! How do you expect people to take your positions seriously when you make such statements? I have books on logic that I doubt are written by 20-year-old boys. Try Copi and Cohen for instance.
Why can the Bible not be intellectualized? 1. Because of its source.
Yet, you beg the question that God is the source. If you are going to beg the question that it came from God, why not just beg the question that it's right and be done with it? Wait, I forgot. Logical fallacies are okay with you because they're junk written by a 20-year-old boy.
and 2. Because most of it is far beyond the unaided comprehension of mere humans. “For YOU know this first, that no prophecy of Scripture springs from any private interpretation. For prophecy was at no time brought by man’s will, but men spoke from God as they were borne along by holy spirit.” (2 Peter 1:20-21) You wouldn’t happen to know what that is - would you?
I know what more question begging is, which is what I see here.
As a human you have to admit that nobody's perfect. Have you ever wondered why? HOW DID WE ARRIVE AT THIS STATE?
This is a pure attempt to introduce irrelevant material into a discussion in order to increase the perceived reliability of an argument. What does the writer want us to believe? That our understanding must be wrong because we're fallible? Therefore, we just have to believe in a book because it claims to be written by a higher authority? He must be right because humans aren't perfect? To answer the irrelevant questions, I would say that we're not perfect because we're complex beings that evolved to our present state.
Nobody asks nor forces you to believe anything. The conclusions you have drawn have not yet been adequately challenged and subsequently debunked. I am prepared to do that.
From what I've seen, you believe logic, science, and reason are bankrupt. This sounds like presuppositionalist nonsense to me. I'm not going to indulge your response further. I will let the reader decide for himself.
Fallibility brings liabilities and dangers.
Agreed that it can, and not necessarily will.
The truly wise student leaves room for the possibility of error in his own comprehension unless backed up by reliable sources and accurate knowledge.
No, the truly wise student leaves room for the possibility of error in his own comprehension (period). If he is backed up by reliable sources and accurate knowledge, then he is more likely to be correct. If he simply states that it is not possible he is wrong because he is backed up by authority, which is what you essentially state when I asked if you would consider that the Bible might be false, the student makes a fool of himself. Since you've demonstrated your unwillingness to accept concepts like logic and reason, I don't see much point in discussing this further.
Evolution is unscientific, unproved and unprovable. Challenging this statement would be your biggest mistake. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Why the petty intimidation? Your statement is wrong, partially wrong, and wrong. I will deal with each one at a time.
Evolution is scientific, by definition, because it is a field that makes hypotheses, gathers data through observation and experimentation, forms tentative explanations on the data, and suggestions conclusions that can be falsified by further testing. Besides, why do you care that it is unscientific if science itself is flawed? You're being greatly hypocritical here.
Evolution is not proved in the sense that it is a final explanation of our origins. Evolution is, however, demonstrated to being an ongoing process that has taken place much longer than the period offered by the Bible. Furthermore, if evolution is disproved, creation does not win by default. I would expect you to realize that this is a false dichotomy, but since you think logical fallacies are junk, I don't know how to convince you.
Evolution is not unprovable. It is not logically impossible, so one cannot say that it is impossible. If one cannot say that it is impossible, one can not say that it is impossible to prove. Again, this is deductive reasoning, which I know you do not believe in, but I don't know any other way to explain it.
Only the Bible explains adequately.
This is yet another assertion that I imagine the writer does not have a chance in the world to back up.
That would only be the case if you pack up and run.
Here's another suggestion. Stop asserting if you want me to respond again. If the next letter contains assertions, you will not receive a response.
How in the world can you be sure that certain incidents did not happen, based just on the fact that you do not believe them?
This is a malicious straw man to say the least.
Back to your list of fallacies, I see.
Sorry, I did not realize that, in addition to science and reason, you considered logic bankrupt as well. It's my understanding that one must address the argument raised to defeat that argument. It's also my understanding that if one defeats an argument that wasn't raised, one doesn't defeat the argument actually raised. Some logicians somewhere along the line agreed with me and called it a straw man.
Where do I claim that certain incidents did not happen solely that I don't "believe" in them? I apologize for being blunt, but this letter is simply pathetic. What we see here is the writer completely inventing statements in order to accuse me of making arguments from silence. I don't claim to be sure about any incident not happening, but I can be reasonably certain that a particular incident did not take place based on a lack of evidence that would be expected to remain.
Well! What have we here? Righteous indignation? You should be much more care about what you write.
I feel no need to comment on this line and will let the reader decide for himself what to make of the previous statements.
This is where insight comes in. There is much more in your own statements than you intended. What you said about evolution tells me that you do not believe Genesis chapter 1 happened;
No, evidence to the contrary leads me to think that Genesis 1 did not happen as described.
that animals and plants produce only their own kind;
Your statement assumes that there has always been this distinction between plants and animals and that they do not have a common ancestor. Attempting to shift the burden of proof (another logical fallacy, sorry) will get you nowhere. One need not demonstrate the veracity of evolution to demonstrate the lack of veracity in the Bible. My belief on evolution is irrelevant to the veracity of the Bible.
that Genesis chapter 2 happened; that sin does exist and that we die because of it.
Evidence to the contrary leads me to think otherwise.
Sir, I am going to pose some questions to you that will force you to admit that you do not know the answers –
I can only imagine. Whether or not I know the answers to these questions (and whether or not they are actually relevant) has no basis on the veracity of the Bible. Why am I becoming suspicious that the writer is going to start creeping in on the god of the gaps fallacy?
You are becoming more predictable by the minute. Why don’t you wait and find out?
This is not worthy of comment.
questions that are satisfactorily answered by the Bible itself.
This is yet another assertion that I imagine the writer does not have a chance in the world to back up.
Like I said - not unless you skip out.
This is not worthy of comment.
Your rejection of the Bible logically means that you reject the story of our origin
No, it means that I reject the story of our origin according to the Bible.
That is obvious.
But it's not what you said, and I have no idea where a person who won't reject fallacious logic is going. Your statement presupposes that the Bible is the story of our origin. Exercise more care with your wording. This is fallacious.
and, I assume, you have a satisfactory alternative.
I should encourage people to read previous letters so that they don't repeat these embarrassing statements.
I don’t care about the others. Like my drill sergeant used to say:- “Don’t anticipate!“
It should be clear that I'm not discussing the matter for your benefit or mine. Again, whether or not I have an alternative is irrelevant because I will not allow you to make this into a false dichotomy (logical fallacy again, I'm sorry, but some readers respect the rules of logic).
You have not yet met anyone like me and I
prefer to stand on my own merits. I have discovered that most defenders of the
Bible usually ask the wrong questions.
Someone is going to be embarrassed but it will not be me.
I will let this speak for itself.
One need not have the answer a question in order to begin eliminating possibilities. It is not a false dichotomy of Christian Theism versus one's opinion.
I don’t know what you view as “Christian Theism” - I do not dabble in the folly of Christendom, am not a fundamentalist nor a crusader of any sort. I can only advise you to wait and see.
Sorry, I'm not impressed. Present your case or you won't receive a response.
I will severely question and examine that alternative, whatever it is, in the light of certain undeniable physiological observations.
Physiological observations? The writer is going to examine the origin of humankind by studying the functions of the human body? After this, is he going to award the Bible a title of veracity under false dichotomy?
Well, just when I bragged on you for responding point by point, you did this again. Are you or are you not going to examine the origin of humankind by studying the functions of the human body? I can't image how you will, but in doing so, is this not the utilization of science? Now you're going to use science to back up your claims? Science falls flat on its face, remember? I'll just assert that your science is unreliable and that evolution must be true because the experts say so. See how absurd your argument has become?
Remember this: THE BIBLE WAS NOT WRITTEN FOR UNBELIEVERS. The writers did not expect everyone to live by its standards, which is something that you obviously assume.
Quite the contrary. Matthew 13 is quite clear that Jesus taught only for believers.
For believers? I think you made a mistake here, but I will not capitalize on it. I WILL GIVE YOU A CHANCE TO EXPLAIN. Besides, the Bible is far more than just the teachings of Jesus.
I would encourage you to capitalize on any mistake I make. I was merely offering supporting evidence for the notion that some messages of the Bible were not written for the sake of unbelievers. The message in the parable is that the word wouldn't be understood by many. I'm not attempting to prove anything here; I'm just showing that what you assume about my position is incorrect since I don't subscribe to the opinion that you placed upon me.
Since any book can make the claim that it is immune from skeptical analysis as the Bible does,
Maybe you would like to tell me where the Bible makes such a claim. I could leave it there but I will add this:- “…you should remember the sayings previously spoken by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles. For you know this first, that in the last days there will come ridiculers with their ridicule, proceeding according to their own desires…(2 Peter 3:2, 3)
How about Proverbs 3:5 for starters? "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not into thine own understanding." How about 1 Corinthians 2:2-5 and Colossians 2:8? It seems obvious that the authors are saying to put faith above reason, yet do not explain why we know where one should place faith without the utilization of reason in making that decision.
perhaps the writer would like to elaborate on how one particular book should be regarded as from a higher authority than another book.
Just look at the names of the authors. A book by SJ Gould is definitely of more serious content than one by Rodney Dangerfield.
Except that the vast majority of the Bible, like other ancient religious/mythological texts, are anonymous. Do we then just base their veracity of the authority in which they purport to gain their inspiration? Remember, I have a book inspired by Supergod.
Why should one make a decision to just believe in book A and not book B once he has abandoned reason?
Its an individual choice. Don’t be daft.
It is not up to individual choice as to whether something is true or false. Something is true or false independent of whether or not an individual believes it. An individual does not change whether or not the Bible is true when he decides whether or not it is true. If one cannot trust reason, how can we expect one to make what you perceive to be the reasonable choice?
Once a person has abandoned reason he is rendered unreasonable and thus incapable of making decisions worth anything. He should avoid such books.
This is exactly my point, but you said earlier that reason cannot be trusted so we must submit to a particular divine authority without explaining why, outside of your question begging and special pleading.
“As regards anything besides these, my son, take a warning: To the making of many books there is no end, and much devotion [to them] is wearisome to the flesh.” (Ecclesiastes 12:12)
Wow, you mean the Bible has some good sayings in it, like speak not into the ears of a fool? I didn't know.
Over to you.
I'm going to be straight with you and let you know that you're probably not going to receive a response if you decide to write back. I will, however, post your response and note that I did not answer it, letting my previous responses speak for themselves. To me, it is clearly a waste of time to form responses that point out repeatedly fallacious logic when you admit that you don't trust science, reason, and logic in some instances, but invoke them in your defense in others. Your mind won't be changed about the Bible.
[Note: The following is his response to the rebuttal above. Note that even though I take the time to address his objections point-by-point, he ignores 95% of them and starts on a new topic.]
HERE IS ANOTHER OF YOUR MISTAKES:-
Again, this speaks volumes. I was using the analogy of other books to show that you would not understand why they might be right and the Bible might be wrong. You have your mind made up, as I stated before, and you have demonstrated here. You admit that you have not looked into them, yet you could tear them down if you tried.
That is not at all what I said. Take another good look.
Yes, I mistakenly read that he had not read into them, which was a footnote of the actual argument.
This is a tremendous example of the conditioning I explain in the book. You know nothing of other evidences that could bring the Bible into question, yet you are certain that they are invalid because you use the notion that the Bible is correct as a premise instead of a conclusion. If it were not for other readers who might benefit from this exchange, I would not waste any more time here.
This unwarranted barrage is based on your misunderstanding of my answer. You are wrong! I have examined and researched the claims made by men like Dan Barker, Dennis McKinsey, Johnny Skeptic and a host of others, even engaging in lively discussions with them. Barker was the one most angry with me when, after I was able to prove that there are no contradictions in the Bible, asked what my "formula" was. I told him that I had none and he blew up.
I stand by statement that anyone unwilling to change his mind based upon new evidence does not truly consider other evidence.
Thanks for being honest. It's quite pointless to speak to someone who admits that he is not going to change his mind no matter what evidence is presented, but I do so for the benefit of my readers.
You are making the mistake of believing that an argument is evidence - not a shred of "evidence" proving the Bible to be false has so far been presented by you.
As stated before, I do not place issues as being right or wrong.
This statement is so absurd that it doesn't warrant further comment.
You are being evasive again. I did not state nor question whether these activities are right or wrong. I would like you to tell me which of them are morally and socially unacceptable.
They are decided on a case by case basis, of which many of the facts are unknown. For instance, adultery is usually okay if the partner does not care, but it is usually immoral if the partners agreed on abstaining from it.
You just proved that you are far more morally bankrupt than the book you condemn. You have nothing good to offer anyone. Following the Bible's moral code has kept me out of trouble all my life.
Assertions, anecdotes, and a straw man, which deserve no further comment.
Even acts like arson, which are almost always immoral in real world purposes, might be morally okay if the building is used for purposes that are far more immoral than the arson itself, considering that there is no suitable alternative. There is no black and white on these issues. If I were to adequately address my opinions on each subject, I would have to dedicate more time than I’m currently willing.
Following advice like this can lead to nothing but trouble. You are blazing a trail to anarchy. Seeing as how I don't believe there is a place called hell, I can only say that you will never know real peace.
Over to you.
More of the same.
[Note: Here is his next letter, which again fails to respond point-by-point and fails to address my statements.]
Your observation on adultery reflects the thinking of persons who blindly follow the trends of laxity on morals in modern times. Yet you claim to be a person of superior morality who is qualified to judge the God of the Bible.
Here’s what you wrote on the subject:-
“For instance, adultery is usually okay if the partner does not care, but it is usually immoral if the partners agreed on abstaining from it.”
The writer's accusation that I blindly follow a certain trend speaks for itself. I will not address it.
To have sexual connection with anyone other that your marriage mate is known worldwide as adultery. If one partner knows of, or even consensually witnesses, sexual connection with a third party, does that mean that the act was not immoral and adultery was not committed, thereby making it "okay"?
I have already answered this. In some situations, yes, it does not necessarily make the act immoral. As to whether or not it is considered adultery depends on a strict or loose interpretation of the definition.
Do you know of any situation where pupils and teachers have ever agreed that cheating on exams is "okay?" Can a cheating pupil ever claim that he did not cheat - really?
This is probably the worst false analogy offered to this point, which is indicative of the lack of comprehension displayed by this individual who cannot step outside of a singular line of thought. Couples who mutually agree to have extramarital affairs are not cheating. If there is no external harm, or the benefit outweighs the harm, it is for the greater good. Pupils and teachers must abide by a set of regulations set by a governing body who acts in the best interest of those involved. The body does not leave it up to the pupils and teachers to decide if they should arbitrarily cheat. Still, I will not say that cheating is an absolute wrong. It is wrong in the vast majority of cases (as are the vast majority of adultery cases), hence the need to enforce a sweeping rule with the opportunity for the cheaters to appeal to a governing body in order to see if the act can be justified. This does not make it an absolute wrong. One should also consider the unfairness to other students who might be competing against a cheating student for a position in college and how there is no correlative to this in the example of a couple who mutually agree to have outside sexual relations. If cheating on one test in high school makes a student pass a class so that he can get into college and later go on to cure cancer, then cheating was for the greater good. When one cannot know such outcomes, one is best to serve what appears to be the immediate good by not cheating. There are no absolutes in morality. I tire of explaining this. The writers simply sees a commonality in the word "cheating" and thinks he is making a good argument.
WHAT IS WRONG CANNOT BE RIGHT IN ANY WAY.
Again, this is an absurd assertion of absolute morality that deserves no further comment.
A WRONG ACT, DELIBERATELY CARRIED OUT, IS STILL A WRONG ACT.
Agreed, but one must first demonstrate that it is a wrong act.
Is the breaking of a vow morally "okay?" And how about an active conscience when it comes to the betrayal of vows?
If both parties agree that it's okay for a vow to be broken, and the breaking of this vow will bring no harm, then, it is okay. It's absurd that I keep having to repeat myself on this matter. Asking the same questions does not demonstrate a point.
What about the effect on children and the rest of the family and friends?
It is clear that the writer still does not grasp the concept that one must weight the benefit against the harm.
WHAT IS WRONG WITH ADULTERY?
“I’ve left,” said the voice on the telephone—likely the most devastating words Pat’s husband had ever said to her. “I just couldn’t believe the betrayal,” she says. “What I’d always feared most—that my husband would leave me for someone else—became an awful reality.”
Yes, of all things, the writer offers a pages-long anecdote that demonstrates what harm adultery can bring. If the writer considered logic important, I would point out the fallacy of offering anecdotes as arguments. No one is arguing that adultery is okay in every instance.
The reactions of people who have been betrayed cannot be anticipated. Some have resorted to violence and sometimes murder.
Sigh. No one is arguing that adultery is okay in every instance, much less that it's okay to do in secret.
Is this the kind of situation you desire or even expect in your very glib endorsement of adultery? In your attitude of “superior morality” you have not demonstrated that you have even the slightest idea of the devastation that can be, and has been, caused by your type of “advice.”
Sigh. No one is arguing that adultery is okay in every instance, much less that it's okay to do in secret.
I know your point is not about innocent partners, but the act is still wrong because vows were broken and therefore reprehensible before those witnessing them, proving that neither partner can be trusted. What is morally acceptable about a lack of trust, and what do you have when trust is absent?
The writer should have just as well said that he abandons his entire "it can bring harm" argument because he apparently realizes now that harm doesn't apply to all agreeing partners. This is a great step forward. However, the writer still believes that it is wrong for two people to mutually dissolve an agreement that they no longer wish to abide by. I will let this speak for itself.
Not even mentioning the possible transmission of STDs.
Not even mentioning the possible non-transmission of STDs. The writer has no concept of true justice, only the notion that what is written in a book should be considered justice without thinking critically on the issue. He may as well just say, "If something bad might happen due to an action, the action is wrong and should be avoided."
[Note: The following is the first of two letters from a discussion regarding Noah's Flood, in which the plagiarism really begins, but I have yet to call him on it. He has abandoned the previous topic. Italicized quotes have been taken from the book.]
Let’s begin by looking at this highly questionable account from a common sense point of view. Within the story, we have a god who has to modify virtually all of his creations for the solely expressed reason of the people having become wicked and evil (Genesis 6:5), yet wicked and evil people continue to exist throughout the Bible.
Talk about a failure to comprehend!!
Very well. Let us see…
Apart from the man Noah and his immediate family, ALL of humanity had become corrupted by the influences of evil.
I will allow begging the question of the Bible's authenticity for the sake of argument for the time being, but it is worth reminding the reader that infants and children can hardly be considered corrupted by the influence of evil. God, being omnipotent, had a choice of rescuing them from evil or murdering them. He chose murder. No matter how one twists the text, this fact remains.
That righteous family’s chances for survival in that wicked world was practically nil. God saw the need to rescue that family from complete assimilation or annihilation. Hence the flood.
This is pure speculation, and it does nothing to address the ethical ramifications mentioned in the book.
It was not for the purpose of removing evil or the possibility of evil from the earth, but for the purpose of preserving the progenitors of the Messiah who was to come and rescue mankind from the curse of sin and death as a result of the first man’s rebellion.
This is ad-hoc reasoning, but if you recall from the expanded version of the previous letter, the writer believes fallacious logic is okay because the list of logical fallacies was "written by a 20-year-old boy." The idea that the flood was carried out to protect Jesus is absurd since that claim is not made in the Bible, the idea of Jesus was not known to the Old Testament authors, and it is directly contradictory to what the Bible plainly says. It is simply a way of explaining one thing in one era by the occurrence of new information that cannot apply to the thinking of an old era. God drowned the world because he saw man was evil. The Bible tells us so. We don't need to look for reasons to fit predetermined beliefs when the reasons are already given.
you follow the genealogical records of the man Jesus, the one called Christ,
you will find that every one of them were persons of faith in the God of
Heaven. Since the issue of universal sovereignty or rulership
by God was raised in
And this somehow supports the irrelevant point how?
"Right off the bat, the foundation for the story fails to make sense."
Sure it does - to you.
Since this does not warrant comment, I'll move on.
Why would an omniscient god have to destroy all of his work for a specific quality that he knew would continue to exist even unto this very day? The flood was for naught, yet God carried out his horrific genocide anyway. I find this to be the most disturbing and perhaps the most ridiculous premise ever conjured by the human mind.
This is a redundancy.
There are lots of thgings relating to the flood that you have not even considered and which I can deal with individually. But, instead of dealing with every one of your objections to the flood story, the matter can be neatly summed up this way:-
Was There an Earthwide Flood?
THE Bible book of Genesis says that God used an earthwide flood to destroy the wicked people in Noah’s day.
At this point, the author simply relays an article that doesn't address the ethical issues raised, much less actually offer a point by point rebuttal to the arguments I raise, despite the fact that he says "every one of [my] objections to the flood story…can be neatly summed up [by the article]." It argues that the flood must be global (to which I agree), offers the incredible vapor canopy how-it-could-have-been-scenario, references opinions of Christian scientists from as far back as the 1940s, and explains the water amount by offering the Noachian explanation for decreased mountain ranges in the past. Since there are infinitely better defenses of the flood than this article, I have to wonder why it was offered. I will not repost it due to probable copyright issues and due to the fact that anyone can just copy and paste a volume of material that doesn't apply. If the writer wants the reader to view it, he should provide a link, which I will post. However, the conclusion of the article is worth repeating in its entirety.
"But the Christian’s reason for believing that the Flood occurred does not depend upon geological or scientific evidence. He accepts it because this account is part of the inspired Word of God, and because Jesus Christ and his disciples cited it as a warning example for us.—2 Tim. ; Luke ."
I will let this statement speak for itself.
Appallingly, God drowned unborn children in the flood. This indisputably necessary consequence of his actions should ironically put a huge kink in the pro-life arguments from the church. God aborts countless unborn children for the questionable sins of their parents, yet the church expects society not to do the same? Infants and young children who do not possess the intellectual capacity to tell right from wrong were also casualties of the flood!
Let me just say that there was nothing in the world to prevent the children of wicked people, born and unborn, from becoming just like their parents.
Let me just say that there was nothing in the world to prevent the children of wicked people, born and unborn, from not becoming just like their parents. The writers offers his suggestion as an argument, yet the exact opposite can be said, and he still considers it part of a valid reason for a god to murder children. Astounding.
one has ever found the enormous ark even though we know its final resting place
is among the mountains of Ararat located around present-day
To an unbeliever, NOTHING would suffice.
No. To a person unwilling to believe, nothing would suffice. Just as to a person unwilling to disbelieve, nothing would suffice. To a person who believes or disbelieves but is willing to entertain the idea that he might be mistaken, sufficient arguments exist. Purported "evidences" of finding Noah's ark are so absurd that most apologists know better than to vouch for them. They do not suffice because they are unreliable.
Millions of people SAW Rodney King being brutalized, yet the law said that he wasn't, and lawless men were legally set free.
Horribly false analogy with an obvious appeal to emotion. Sufficient evidence is all one needs if asked to subscribe to a certain school of thought. The evidence of Noah's ark miserably fails objective scientific analysis. The brutalization of Rodney King requires subjective interpretation by a jury. Apples and oranges.
The words of Jesus is quite appropriate here when he said:- " ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets (Scriptures), neither will they be persuaded if someone rises from the dead.’ ” (Luke 16:31)
Jesus' statement here is absurd. He should have just as well said, "If they do not listen to hearsay without evidence written centuries before the age of critical analysis, neither will they be persuaded by witnessing an objective display open to critical scrutiny."
Genesis, the only known source of Noah’s story, has several hundred additional problems in need of answers before we can consider it a reliable historical source. No known individuals recorded this particular version of the global flood myth until nearly 2000 years after the floodwaters vanished. Since oral accounts of an event can obviously undergo drastic changes even over a few generations, there’s really no telling how much alteration the story incorporated before existing in its present form. In short, as we have seen and will continue to see, the book of Genesis is not a reliable source of historical information by any stretch of the imagination.
And yet, Jesus Christ believed every word of it, quoting from it frequently in his teachings. Check out this quote:-
"For just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be. For as they were in those days before the flood, eating and drinking, men marrying and women being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark; and they took no note until the flood came and swept them all away, so the presence of the Son of man will be." (Matthew 24:37-39)
This is by far the most common Christian combo of appealing to authority and begging the question. "Jesus said it happened, so it happened." If Jesus is merely assumed to be right about everything, then there is no point in discussing the matter further because it happened. No further comment is warranted here.
the extremely similar Epic of Gilgamesh in the Sumerian legend predates Noah’s story by at least one thousand years in the written form and at least five hundred years for the setting.
However your dating of the epic is incorrect.
Okay, let us see…
The only writings regarding a flood found in the ruins of Ashurbanipal’s palace were those of the Babylonian flood account, containing much mythology.
This demonstrates that scholarly dating of the epic is incorrect how? The mythology of the Babylonian flood account differs from the mythology of the Noachian flood account how? The fact that a Sumerian version of the flood wasn't found in a tomb demonstrates that it didn't exist how?
Whether any genuine accounts or writings actually from before the global Flood were possessed by the pagan Assyrians cannot be determined now.(Light From the Ancient Past, by J. Finegan, pp. 216, 217
The fact that the Sumerian Gilgamesh Epic (estimated at 2750 BCE) was already written during the third Ur dynasty of approximately 2119-1940 BCE is not in dispute because other texts from the era specifically mention characters in the tale. Since Noah did not even have children until 2448 BCE, the fact that the biblical flood myth takes place well after Gilgamesh is not in dispute. The fact that the Gilgamesh epic was widely known in 2000 BCE, five hundred years before the traditional dating of the Pentateuch and one thousand years before the scholarly dating of the Pentateuch, is not in dispute. Whether or not Assyrians possessed texts about the flood is irrelevant to whether the story already existed.
Going back in history possibly some 4,000 years, we encounter the famous Akkadian myth called the Epic of Gilgamesh.
Which is irrelevant since the Sumerian version predates the Akkadian one.
Our knowledge of this is
based mainly on a cuneiform text that came from the library of Ashurbanipal, who reigned 668-627 B.C.E., in ancient
Arguing about the oldest complete surviving extant copy would be a red herring. The source of our primary knowledge and the age of extant copies are irrelevant to how far back we can definitively say the story was known.
This very old legend is somewhat similar to the Biblical account of the Flood.
Very much agreed.
However, it lacks the graphic details and simplicity of the Bible account,
Just as the Bible lacks the vague details and complexity of the Sumerian account. What does this prove? Nothing. How does the inclusion of what one person arbitrarily considers graphic details and simplicity make one story true over another? The writer simply declares the biblical story true and attempts to discredit other stories based on how they differ from the one that he arbitrarily declares to be the winner. Why does the writer not want to address the issue that the Bible has no less than five major parallels (provided dimensions, family and animals boarding, landing on a mountain, release dove and raven, and offering sacrifice) with an older story? If the biblical flood is true, how is it that the Sumerians knew exact details of the future centuries before it happened? Why does the writer not want to address written records from other civilizations straight through the flood era? Why does the writer not want to address logistical problems with the voyage?
and it does not give reasonable dimensions for the ark
It is absurd that the writer would bring this point up, as if I were trying to claim that the Sumerian Epic is true. The Bible also fails to provide reasonable dimensions for the ark, at least according to every expert in shipbuilding. This issue has already been addressed in the chapter. If the writer can demonstrate how a seaworthy craft 450 feet long can be built without metal, let him present it to the reader.
nor supply the time period indicated in the Scriptures.
Perfect example. "The epic disagrees with the Bible, so the epic is wrong." Not only do we see the continuing absurdity of holding the Bible as a standard to which the epic must be compared, the writer admits that the time period differs between the two.
For instance, the Epic of Gilgamesh said that the storm lasted six days and six nights, whereas the Bible says that “the downpour upon the earth went on for forty days and forty nights”—a continuing heavy rain that finally covered the entire globe with water.—Genesis 7:12.
Again, we see further absurdity in trying to discredit the existence of Noachian elements in pre-existing myths by showing differences in the two tales.
OVER TO YOU.
[Note: The following is a two-round
continuation of the Noah's
You let your imagination run amok by thinking in terms of modern shipbuilding techniques. The ark was not intended as a seaworthy vessel. No sophisticated mechanisms were necessary.
What do sophisticated mechanisms have to do with the seaworthiness of a craft? Nothing.
If you weren’t so quick to jump on percieved inaccuracies, you’d realize that reference to "sophisticated mechanisms" has to do with proper utilization, or wise use of, limited SPACE.
How can I be the least bit guilty of "[jumping] on [perceived] inaccuracies" when I review the letter and discover that no elaboration is given on the relationship between sophisticated mechanisms and the preservation of space? Your statements are a perfectly natural progression of a single idea: the ark was not intended as a seaworthy vessel, thus no sophisticated mechanisms were necessary. Your entire line of upcoming argument is based on some notion that my arguments are false because I think in terms of "ships" and "boats" instead of "boxes," which can only lead me to believe it has to do with the steering, not the shape, since I already know that the ark was basically an empty box. I would say that it appears as though you wanted to change what you wanted to say when it became clear to you that I was not going to argue in favor of sophisticated mechanisms as they relate to the ark's ability to survive at sea, but given your demonstrated tendency to jump from one idea to the next when asked to back up your assertions, I find it equally like that you are correct for telling me that I should not assume your progressive statements will epistemologically follow as a cohesive topic. Even so, this is an irrelevant quibble, and I will waste no further time on it.
The ark must be seaworthy because it is out at sea. A simple look at a dictionary for the definition of seaworthy would have prevented this blunder. The ark must be capable of surviving at sea, nothing more and nothing less.
Sorry - the blunder is yours! It is quite clear that YOU did not check one!
Let us see.
says: "Fitted for a voyage." Webster/
I imagine that you still do not see where you erred with this quibble. It helps if you consider how the definition relates to the issue at hand. The ark must only be seaworthy, in other words, worthy of the sea. Voyaging is a necessary quality for a ship (and if you point out that the ark is not a ship, you miss the whole discussion here, which I will explain in a minute). One cannot separate the very utility of an object from its description. If a ship cannot ship, it cannot be a ship. In the same manner, one can safely argue that a "desertworthy" pack mule need only be capable of surviving in the desert because it should be understand that the voyage is a necessary component of being a pack mule. A pack mule that cannot voyage not only fails to be "desertworthy," it fails to be a pack mule. A ship must be able to make a voyage in order to be seaworthy because it must be able to make a voyage before it can be considered a ship, much less a seaworthy ship. Likewise, the ark must be seaworthy, to the necessity of what is required of a floating box at sea. Those definitions you provide are for voyaging crafts. Looking up the definition in a dictionary and determining how this relates to the point of discussion (the latter of which I mistakenly omitted because I thought it was understood) will show exactly what I wanted to convey. Perhaps I should not have confused you by suggesting that you look it up in a dictionary. Break the word down into its basic components if you don't believe me.
Even worse, the ark must indeed be able to
make a voyage (despite your objection that it was not "intended" to
be a seaworthy vessel), which is clearly understood from the text and
consequently not belabored in my point.
The question is not whether the ark could survive and stay afloat; it is
whether the story of Noah's ark happened as depicted in Genesis. Either the ark made it from
You continue to insist on the ark being "seaworthy" implying travel by sea. Since the Bible, when referring to the sea or travel by sea, is quite specific in naming the bodies of water involved, (see Ex 10:21; Deut 3:17; 11:24; 1 Kings 5:9; Jonah 1:3,4,9; Mark 1:16; John 6:1 etc, etc, etc.) perhaps you can tell me which "sea" it was that was traversed by the Ark.
You must be joking. What does the name of the sea have to do with
anything other than to create a straw man?
What do you want me to call the sea?
Since you lay such great store by your "seaworthy" argument, this is an important point.
My argument is that the craft could not remain afloat. The "travel" component, although necessary for the story, is therefore irrelevant since the latter is a component of the former and I deny that the former is possible all together. Would it make you feel better if I said the ark wasn't "floatworthy"? Would you respond to my arguments instead of quibbling over definitions? I will readily admit that the ark did not need to go in any specific direction, and it was never my intention to make anyone think it was my claim. I fear that you have read too much into what I said (or wanted to say).
The writer plagiarizes the balance of this letter presumably from Insight to the Scriptures, but since the references are short, I will address them.
The material submitted contains certain facts that needs to be addressed by you.
The material submitted contains an entire argument copied and pasted, uncritically mind you, from what someone else wrote without proper credit. This is fraud. It is dishonest, unethical, and unacceptable in the academic community, especially since you knew ahead of time that these exchanges were going to be posted publicly, per your own request. It takes very little time to attribute proper credit when "borrowing" someone else's argument. Instead, the reasonable conclusion is that you attempted to pass it off as your own work. There is no excuse for this, especially since this is the second time I've found you committing such practices. I think it's clear that you don't even understand the arguments you are offering, otherwise you would do the minimally honest thing and summarize the article in your own words. I think this speaks volumes about your honesty, academic integrity, and intellectual laziness. I would go as far as to say that I personally believe that you don't really even understand the arguments. After all, it's easier to just plagiarize and pretend you do.
Instead of griping about the source of the material,
Where do I gripe about the source of the material? I am critical of your decision to plagiarize someone else's work. I would love to see you hand in a plagiarized paper to a college professor, get busted for it, and tell him that he needs to grade the paper instead of griping about the source of the material. Public exchanges about scientific arguments are part of the academic community, which is exactly what English classes prepare students for. I realize that a lot of religious people don't put much creed in science and rules of academics, but I don't tolerate plagiarism in emails I read. The least you can do in the future is cite the article before making your appeals to authority.
why don’t you proceed to refute it if you think it is in error?
I refute arguments that need refuting, but I force the writer to support assertions when assertions are made. I don't refute assertions because assertions don't need refuting. This is an attempt to shift the burden of proof onto the listener. One does not just write, I mean plagiarize, assertions for a position and claim that the position is equally attainable since the assertions go undefeated. He who asserts must prove. There's a good reason why I don't just refer you to Mark Issak's "Problems with a Global Flood" and tell you that you need to read it in order to understand how ridiculous your position is. How would you feel if I just responded to your plagiarism with my own plagiarized argument and said, "Instead of griping about the source of the material, why don't you proceed to refute it if you think it is in error"? From now on, that's going to be my method of responding to plagarisms. You desperately need to learn the difference between assertions and arguments.
The ark (Heb., te·vah´; Gr., ki·bo·tos´) was a rectangular chestlike vessel presumably having square corners and a flat bottom. It needed no rounded bottom or sharp bow to cut rapidly through the water; it required no steering; its only functions were to be watertight and to stay afloat. A vessel so shaped is very stable, cannot be easily capsized, and contains about one third more storage space than ships of conventional design. There was a door provided in the side of the ark for loading and unloading the cargo.
No one is arguing that the craft must be steered, so why is the objection raised?
There you go again - what "objection," Sir? I don’t see one at all!
It is either an objection or a fallacious introduction of irrelevant material. I was giving you the benefit of the doubt. The ark having square corners, a flat bottom, more storage space, a door on the side, and no steering, as well as being more stable than a typically-shaped boat, is not in dispute. There is no reason to say that it required no steering because it was not assumed, asserted, or argued to have steering. You uncritically copied, pasted, and plagiarized material that is not relevant to the discussion. The next time you elect to plagiarize material, the least you can do is remove the bits and pieces that are not relevant to the argument.
What it would take to capsize a non-metal craft like this that "cannot be easily capsized?" How about a forty-day storm that drops sixty times more rain than a category five hurricane? If such a force is unable to capsize the ship, would we still just say that it "cannot be easily capsized?" The increase in stability due to the box shape is not going to solve the issue at hand. This much is obvious.
Why do you continue to refer to the chestlike ark as a "ship?" The flood account in the Bible contains no "ship!"
Now your argument is reduced to quibbling over diction. You can call it what you like: ship, boat, box, ark, vessel, flurblex, etc. It makes no difference to the argument offered. The question was (and I realize that this is not your argument, but one your plagiarized) why say "cannot be easily capsized" if a rainfall sixty times more powerful than a category five hurricane doesn't capsize it? One should just as well say that it is unsinkable.
Besides, how do you know that the prevailing conditions during the flood included wind and tidal forces that matched any hurricane?
I don't know what took place in a fictional story, but I must assume that it was like any other weather pattern capable of enormous output. Are you going to argue that rainfall sixty times the amount of a category five hurricane had negligible winds? Is that because I cannot defeat the unsupported assertion that this was a special type of storm? Sixty times more rainfall than a category five hurricane, yet void of appreciable winds? This is a fallback to a miraculous claim. Why not just assert the presence of miracles as the reason for keeping the ark afloat and be done with it? I will go so far as to say that you cannot produce a working model of how a weather system can become this powerful without relying on a miraculous claim.
Furthermore, why do you assume that wind is the only problem created by the storm? Why do you not deal with the undulation, hydroforces, and debris that the ark would face? Why do you not deal with the boiling seas caused by surface tension? (Or the countless other reasons to which you offer no objection?) It is not simply a matter of wind. I cannot belabor enough how silly it is for me to discuss the ramifications of a rainfall of this magnitude. You want it to be true, so you're going to continue to offer, or plagiarize, how-it-could-have-been scenarios that maintain it.
This is all arrogant assumption on your part. You really have nothing to compare Noah’s flood with.
How is it "arrogant" to assume that a rainfall of this magnitude had accompanying winds at least 2% of that exponentially comparable to the only known system capable of such an output? Of course I have nothing scientific to compare Noah's flood with because it is not scientifically plausible. I could compare it to other pre-existing flood legends from which the story was copied, but that is beside the point. The exercise is to offer reasonable explanations and hypotheses of what occurred and to derive conclusions from those occurrences. Otherwise, you can just assert that it's a miracle and be done with it.
In size the ark was 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high. Conservatively calculating the cubit as 44.5 cm (17.5 in.) (some think the ancient cubit was nearer 56 or 61 cm), the ark measured 133.5 m by 22.3 m by 13.4 m (437 ft 6 in. × 72 ft 11 in. × 43 ft 9 in.), less than half the length of the ocean liner Queen Elizabeth 2.
And what does the size of a steel cruise liner have to do with the seaworthiness of Noah's ark? Nothing.
Since I’ve already dispatched your "seaworthy" argument, no comment is neccessary here.
No, my point has nothing to do with seaworthy, floatworthy, or anything else you want to call it. You offered, or plagiarized, material that has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not the ark can float. Would it appease you if I said "What does the size of a steel cruise liner have to do with the floatworthiness of Noah's ark?" You know that was the intent, but you cannot answer such a question because you hopefully now know that the size of a steel cruise liner is irrelevant to the stability of a wooden vessel. No one is arguing that a vessel can't be built the size of the ark. The argument is that a wooden vessel can't be built, especially one without metal bracings, and be expected to survive at sea. The size of a steel cruise liner is irrelevant, but you copied and pasted it anyway. Either you copied and pasted uncritically, or you demonstrated how weak your position is when you tried to trump up the reliability of your claims by offering evidence that an uncritical reader would find impressive. So, I ask again, how is the size of a steel cruise liner relevant to how large of a wooden vessel can survive at sea? Answer the question, or admit you uncritically plagiarized irrelevant material.
The writer commits the irrelevant material fallacy by merely offering, or plagiarizing rather, irrelevant information in an attempt to make his argument seem more valid. No one is arguing that a ship can't be built as long as the ark. The discussion is whether such a stable ship can be built without the use of metal.
Ship? what ship? And is that what the discussion is about? How is it that I was not aware of that? Talk about irrelevant! Please refer me to the section that introduced that topic.
I'm not surprised you choose to quibble over the word used. Call it a vessel, box, or whatever you like. No one is arguing that ships or boxes can't be built the size of the ark. The argument is that a wooden vessel can't be built, especially one without metal bracings, and be expected to survive at sea. There is a three hundred foot limit that any naval architect with knowledge on the matter will attest to. Do you need a reference for this basic principle of shipbuilding? Do you want to argue that the physical limitations of ship lengths somehow don't apply if you square the bottom? If you have evidence to support this, present it. A steel cruise liner is not evidence. It is irrelevant material that you plagiarized uncritically.
This proportion of length to width (6 to 1) is used by modern naval architects.
Modern naval architects build ships to sail, not float. The writer just got through saying how the ark was not meant for sailing, but when a tidbit of information is offered to show it is a good match for a sailing vessel, it is somehow supposed to strengthen the case.
Again, you’re too quick to jump! That remark has nothing to do with being a good match for modern vessels, just to comparable size - that’s all!
No, it's not. The point is clearly offered (by the original author, not by you, obviously, since you plagiarized it) as evidence for the reliability of the story. The argument is that there must be some credibility to the size of the ark since those are the very same dimensions shipbuilders use today. Otherwise, why even say so? I explained how the point was moot since shipbuilders build ships to sail, not just to float. The optimal dimensions for a floating box are 1:1. If the ark were 1:1, then that would support the notion that the ark was designed by someone with shipbuilding knowledge. It was not, so the argument that the ship being 6:1 hurts, if anything, not helps, the credibility of the story. Even worse, anyone with a small amount of geometrical knowledge would have realized that a 1:1 ratio not only maximizes stability, it maximizes area as well. We have no reason to believe that the Hebrews had such relatively advanced mathematical understanding, therefore their imaginary deity failed to provide them with it. Do I need to geometrically demonstrate that I could use less material than Noah, yet provide a more spacious and more stable vessel? If not, do you mind explaining how I'm able to give plans for a better ark than the omnipotent creator of the universe? Since there were all these space constraints you purport, why not do the job better with what you have? Your story reeks of human fallibility.
The writer obviously does not understand the argument, or he did not read it before he copied and pasted it. Let the writer demonstrate how a 6:1 rectangular box, or any rectangular box for that matter, is a better floater than a cubic box.
You have here clearly demonstrated who it is that does not understand the argument! I mentioned no cubic box. Who said which one is the better floater? Certainly not me! So, there is not need for me to demonstrate anything in an argument proffered by you.
I understand the argument perfectly well and am demonstrating this much to the readers. I know you do not mention a cubic box. The person offering the typical irrelevant tidbit (not you, obviously, since you plagiarized it) is using the commonality of the ark's dimensions with a modern ship's dimensions to strengthen the argument that there was appreciable intelligence in the ship's design. He is not just spouting random facts as you would like us to believe, otherwise he would just say that the proportion of length to width is 6:1 and not attempt to compare it to modern ships. We already know the dimensions of the ark are 6:1 because they are previously provided as 300 cubits to 50 cubits. Will you at least agree that the 6:1 proportion is not supporting evidence for the ark staying afloat? If so, why is the argument offered since a 1:1 dimension is what is instead required for increasing the story's veracity? The person you plagiarized did not understand the ramifications of the dimensions. The next time you plagiarize something, I would suggest thinking critically before copying and pasting.
This gave the ark approximately 40,000 cu m (1,400,000 cu ft) in gross volume. It is estimated that such a vessel would have a displacement nearly equal to that of the mighty 269-m (883 ft) Titanic of this 20th century.
More irrelevant copy and paste material.
No! You just don’t get it. This, again, is just comparing sizes.
No, you just don't get the idea that copying and pasting material that is irrelevant to the discussion is a waste of space and time. I will not comment on irrelevant material other than to say that it is irrelevant. Again, the next time you elect to plagiarize someone else's work, the least you can do is remove bits and pieces that do nothing to support your position. I care nothing about the displacement of the ark since it is not in dispute.
No cargo vessel of ancient times even slightly resembled the ark in its colossal size.
Is the writer attempting to help or hurt his case? Why would there be no ancient vessel of ancient times that even slightly resembled the ark in its colossal size? Is it possibly due to the fact that none would survive at sea?
You just continue to demonstrate your lack of comprehension.
I hardly doubt that unbiased readers are going to agree with this summation.
Once again, it is a reference to size.
I know perfectly well that the plagiarized statement is referring to size. I was pointing out the irony of the writer's statement (not your statement, obviously, since you plagiarized it). There's a lot to be said about the statement that no ancient vessel even slightly resembled the ark in its colossal size.
You have not made any connection to show how size would affect survivability, so how can that be deemed a "fact?"
What? Do you doubt that it is a statistical certainty that a wooden ship/box 450 feet long is less likely to float on the sea than an otherwise identical 150-foot long wooden ship/box? Not only is this a long established rule of shipbuilding, it's common sense. Due to increasing weakness at the joints, wooden vessels over three hundred feet long need metal bracings and advanced pump systems (which we have no reason to believe were on the ark) to keep from sinking. Do you really need me to offer you references of such common shipbuilding knowledge? If so, would you think critically about them? I will take the time to locate them if you will think critically.
Internally strengthened by adding two floors,
Internally strengthened enough? Let the writer demonstrate how the addition of two decks in the monstrous boat is going have to any significant impact on stability?
Boat? what boat? I never mentioned any boat! Nor to "stability" for that matter! So I do not have to demonstrate anything! Your inserted remarks only serve to demonstrate your pitiful attempts at sidetracking.
Boat, box, ark, ship, vessel, call it what you want, the point I wish to convey is clear. Since you chose to plagiarize the paragraph, please demonstrate how two internal floors will significantly stabilize or "internally strengthen" the ark. Otherwise, admit it is irrelevant and move on. Don't quibble over diction.
"You will make a tso´har [roof; or, window] for the ark," Noah was told. (Ge 6:16) Just what this was or how it was constructed is not altogether clear. Some scholars think tso´har is related to light and so they translate it "window" (KJ, Mo), "light" (AS, JP), "a place for light" (Ro). Others, however, associate tso´har with a later Arabic root meaning "back (of the hand)," "back (of a beast)," "deck (of a ship)," that is, the part away from the ground or water, and for this reason translate it "roof." (AT, RS, JB) This tso´har, Noah was told, was to be completed "to the extent of a cubit upward."—Ge 6:16.
This does not address the issue.
You do not seem to know what the "issue" really is!
I will let the readers decide for themselves. It is clear that you do not understand the concept that you should not use, much less plagiarize, irrelevant material. My suspicion is that you just wanted to appear to have some in depth understanding of Hebrew when, in fact, you plagiarized someone else's work. I do not doubt that the text is rendered appropriately, nor did I raise any such objection. There is no point for you to have offered, or plagiarized, this paragraph.
On the other hand, while still allowing an ample opening for ventilation under the roof or elsewhere, the roof could have had slightly angled sides.
This still does not provide adequate ventilation to the lower decks.
How would you know? You can say that quite easily without bothering to demonstrate it.
I need to demonstrate very little since Genesis 6:14-16 clearly states that the ark had separately divided rooms and decks. Do you honestly need me to demonstrate how an isolated room containing countless organisms is catastrophic to the survival of those organisms? Do you also need me to demonstrate that animals need oxygen to survive? We have no reason to believe that the Hebrews had an appreciation of decreased oxygen levels in recycled air, thus the problem exists with the story.
How can hundreds of thousands of organisms stored in shut-off compartments survive with a lone opening around the top of the ship? Let the writer present a naval architectural expert who would agree with him. I can cite plenty who do not.
Where did you get your figures? This you cannot prove! The word "organisms" is too large a blanket. "Lone opening?" Try to be more specific.
This is quite ironic. You question where I "get [my] figures," yet you plagiarize yours. I get my figures from the unanimous conclusion of geneticists who state that mutations do not happen fast enough to create the diversity of species we see today. The "kinds" argument will explain the space problem, but it does not address this issue. Unless people who back this story can offer a plausible, non-miraculous suggestion for how our present number of species can derive from the number of organisms that could fit on the ark (no more than 25,000 in luggage fashion according to Woodmorappe), there are necessarily two for each known land-dwelling species (far more than 100,000) to keep the story plausible. The lone opening is the one cubit tall opening on the side of the ship or going completely around the ship.
Regarding this possibility James F. Armstrong wrote in Vetus Testamentum (Leiden, 1960, p. 333): "‘Unto a cubit upward you shall finish it’ is difficult to understand when sohar is translated either ‘light (= window)’ or even ‘(flat) roof’. If, however, a gable-type roof be postulated, the ‘one cubit upward’ can refer to the elevation of the crease of the roof above the level of the tops of the walls. In modern architectural terms, the ‘one cubit’ would be the height of the kingposts between which the ridgepiece is laid.
This does not address the issue.
Again, you do not seem to know what is the issue is! What do you think it is?
The issue is whether the ark could survive the flood. The paragraph above is irrelevant plagiarized material that does not address the issue. The size of the hole is not in dispute. I will allow the readers to decide for themselves who does not understand and attempts to avoid the issue.
According to the argument that has been presented, the roof of Noah’s ark was conceived as having a four per-cent pitch (1 cubit elevation — 25 cubits from wall to ridge), quite adequate to permit the water of the rains to flow off."
No one is arguing that the ship would sink due to water getting in the window, even though water would have definitely been taken on in such a storm since the ark would hardly sit flat. Pumps are needed to remove water that gets in through the presumably wooden building material (and one would assume the pitch as well in such a storm). Let the writer present a naval architectural expert who would claim otherwise. I can cite plenty who would not.
What storm? Claim what? This is all strictly conjecture on your part. Here, your argument is very weak.
Your evasion is obvious. You can call it a storm, rainfall, deluge, downpour, blurfulrex, etc. It does not matter what you want to call it because the intent of my argument is clear. Demonstrate how a wooden vessel 450 feet long would be impervious to water while at sea, especially consider the rainfall is sixty times that of a category five hurricane. Don't quibble over diction.
Of what this huge ark was to be built was made plain by Jehovah: "Make for yourself an ark out of wood of a resinous tree [literally, trees of gopher]." (Ge 6:14)
Since the topic of building material is a major discussion among apologists, I highly doubt it was "made plain by Jehovah." This is irrelevant, however, so I'll move on.
This resinous wood here prescribed is thought by some to be cypress or a similar tree.
What a minute. "Of what this huge ark was to be built was made plain by Jehovah," yet it is "thought by some to be a cypress or a similar tree?" Did the writer bother to read what he was cutting in pasting, or can he not see the problem here?
You are trying to create a problem where one does not exist. This is all for the sake of comparison.
The problem is that you (well not you, but the person you plagiarized) contradicted yourself when you said that it was plain yet we don't know what it was. The question I proposed to you is how you are able to support such a positive assertion that it was "made plain by Jehovah" when we do not even know for certain what it is? You can't. You can only assert. The reader will see your mistake no matter how you try to brush it off.
In that part of the world what today is called cypress was in abundant supply; it was particularly favored for shipbuilding by the Phoenicians and by Alexander the Great, as it is even down to the present time;
For the sake of argument, I'll assume it was cypress.
and it is especially resistant to water and decay.
Resistant? The writer wants to use resistant wood as an explanation for not needing a pump system in a storm with sixty times more rainfall than a category five hurricane?
You continue to prance around in your imaginary storm.
If you want to continue the discussion, please show some maturity. The burden of proof is on you to demonstrate how such a rainfall can occur with less than 2% of the wind we would expect from a system capable of this amount of rainfall. The burden of proof is on you to demonstrate how a ship can be waterproofed using pitch and resistant wood. He who asserts must prove. Call it a storm, deluge, downpour, or rainfall. It does not matter. If you want to use a miraculous explanation for the rainfall, just use a miraculous explanation for the ark remaining afloat so we can end the discussion how it always ends.
Doors and posts made of cypress are reported to have lasted 1,100 years. In addition, Noah was told not merely to caulk the seams but to "cover [the ark] inside and outside with tar."
Let the writer demonstrate what type of pitch is impervious to water from a storm with sixty times more rainfall than a category five hurricane. Let the writer also demonstrate how the text should be rendered as covering the entire ship rather than pitching the seams, as it is universally done.
Demonstrate? How does one "demonstrate" pitch? And since when does the amount of water neutralize the waterproofing ability of tar? Your silly argumentation demonstrates a certain desperation.
Another quibble over diction. Why does this not surprise me? You "demonstrate" that a pitch is impervious to water by showing reports or evidence that it can withstand such conditions. We have no reason to believe so. I realize science isn't your strong point, based on previous exchanges, but this is the scientific method. The one who asserts that something extraordinary happened must explain how it happened. I will also point out to the readers that you have yet to explain why we should render the text in such an unprecedented fashion, that is to say that everything should be pitched when such a method was not practiced to our knowledge. Ignoring this request to support your assertion will not deter me from pointing it out to the readers. To answer your question, pitch does not neutralize water when it is boiling hot from the various necessities of the flood (e.g. surface impacts, limestone formation).
As you can plainly see, there was no need for metal.
This assertion hardly deserves comment, particularly since the writer offers a metal ship to help make his point.
What? Are you admitting that you did not make your case (or the author's case)?
The "kinds" of animals selected had reference to the clear-cut and unalterable boundaries or limits set by the Creator, within which boundaries creatures are capable of breeding "according to their kinds." It has been estimated by some that the hundreds of thousands of species of animals today could be reduced to a comparatively few family "kinds"—the horse kind and the cow kind, to mention but two. The breeding boundaries according to "kind" established by Jehovah were not and could not be crossed. With this in mind some investigators have said that, had there been as few as 43 "kinds" of mammals, 74 "kinds" of birds, and 10 "kinds" of reptiles in the ark, they could have produced the variety of species known today. Others have been more liberal in estimating that 72 "kinds" of quadrupeds and less than 200 bird "kinds" were all that were required.
This assertion is ridiculous.
What assertion? There is no "assertion" here! Just because you don’t believe it does not mean that it is not so.
What do you mean "what assertion?" Whether or not I believe it to be true does not mean it is or isn't an assertion. The assertion, which you plagiarized and thus have the duty to support, is that we can derive our present species from these numbers of "kinds." That is an assertion that is overwhelmingly rejected by geneticists. How do "some investigators" know that this is possible despite the conclusion of the scientific community? Who are these "investigators," and what are their qualifications?
You have no monopoly on truth.
Nor do I need a monopoly on truth. Only the truth has a monopoly on truth. Assertions do not make truths. Arguments with evidence tend to point toward the truth. Wild assertions, even with lacking refutations, do not invalidate what can be empirically demonstrated.
There are breeding "boundaries according to "kind" established by Jehovah were not and could not be crossed." If you know of any animals that breed with and produces anything other than its own kind, then, by all means, let me, or the world, know what they are.
This is a typical non-answer that is an attempt to derail the argument into a debate on the plausibility of evolution. What does the supposed establishment of "kinds" have to do with the feasibility of these "kinds" developing into the required number of present-day species? The burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that two of each present species can fit onto the ark or that the number actually capable of fitting on the ark can become our present number of species.
Besides, it is clear from your challenge that you, like the vast majority of other creationists, literally do not understand the first thing about evolution. Genetic mutation is responsible for the transformation and subsequent adaptation of species. Once enough mutations take place and pass through an indefinite number of generations, organisms that can be traced back to the same line are no longer capable of breeding. Thus, they are different species. This process began with simple organisms and continued through billions of mutations and generations until large numbers of species separated from one another. This very separation has been observed in nature more times than I care to recall. I will suggest some reading material if you care to learn. Your challenge to name something that produces something other than its own "kind" is utterly ridiculous since there is no such objective scientific designation as a "kind." Creationists have never been able to decide what constitutes a discrete "kind" and how the immediate outliers are objectively disqualified from belonging to the kind. The boundaries are always arbitrary. Furthermore, this is not how evolution works. One need not demonstrate that two different species can create something. One need only demonstrate that two different species are the product of a common ancestor, separated by genetic mutation some point in the past.
Let the writer demonstrate how these "kinds" could have become 1.3 million species in a few thousand years.
I’ll do my best, but this statement indicates that you are making the mistake of thinking that "kinds" and "species" are one and the same thing. One does "become" the other.
Please back up your statement that I'm confusing "kinds" with "species." Based on my past display of understanding, I suspect you now know that quite the opposite is true.
There are no transitional forms among living things and that is simply because they are not in transition!
What are you arguing here? That there are no transitional species between other species? That there are no transitional fossils between primitive and modern species? That species are in discrete species groups with no apparent continuity among other species? Any of these three arguments has long been debunked and subsequently abandoned even by most apologists, so clarify what you mean if you need me to needlessly rehash the same tired explanation.
They are not changing from one kind to another kind, but remain within their kinds, although many species exist within some "kinds."
Please back up this statement be defining what constitutes one "kind" and how such a designation can be objectively made.
This can be illustrated by the human "kind." Among humans we see a vast variety of sizes, shapes, colors and abilities. Hardly any two persons look the same. Why, of the 6.3 billion people on earth now, few, if any, even have the same set of fingerprints! Yet, no matter how different they are, people everywhere are easily recognized as being of the human family. All people can intermarry and produce children regardless of the variations that exist. But humans cannot mate with any animal and produce offspring. They can only reproduce if they stay within their kind, humankind. If they try to step outside that boundary, outside their kind, they cannot reproduce with any other living thing. There is no exception to this rule.xxxWhile there is much variety, or changing, going on within each kind, the various kinds are kept separate. And they are kept that way by a barrier that no scientist has ever been able to overcome. What is that? The barrier of sterility between basic kinds.
I could not hope for a better paragraph that would demonstrate your inability to understand evolution. Name one component of evolution that requires the possibility that two different species can breed with one another. Believing that species should be able to produce other species is a straw man of the worst kind. After that, please explain how this is in any way relevant to how "kinds" become species so quickly. Humans can only mate with other humans, so we designate ourselves as one species. Here, your arbitrary "kind," is no different than the scientific designation of species. Your example is utterly foolish.
Basically, there are "43 "kinds" of mammals, 74 "kinds" of birds, and 10 "kinds" of reptiles in the ark, that could have produced the variety of species known today."
In breeding experiments scientists have tried to keep changing various animals and plants indefinitely. They wanted to see if in time they could develop new forms of life. With what result? The English medical publication On Call reports:"In breeding procedures, breeders usually find that after a few generations, an optimum is reached beyond which further improvement is impossible, and there has been no new species formed which is infertile with its ancestral form, and fertile with other individuals of the same species. Breeding procedures, therefore, would seem to refute, rather than support Evolution."
In his own extensive research on this matter, lawyer Norman Macbeth reached that same conclusion. He said: "Although the subject is seldom discussed [by evolutionists], my view is shared by reputable scientists. Thus [Loren] Eiseley says: ‘It would appear that careful domestic breeding, whatever it may do to improve the quality of race horses or cabbages, is not actually in itself the road to the endless biological deviation which is evolution. There is great irony in this situation, for more than almost any other single factor, domestic breeding has been used as an argument for the reality of evolution’ . . .
"Professor [Edward] Deevey supplies terse phrases such as ‘the species barrier’ . . . then confesses bankruptcy: ‘Some remarkable things have been done by crossbreeding and selection inside the species barrier, or within a larger circle of closely related species, such as the wheats. But wheat is still wheat, and not, for instance, grapefruit; and we can no more grow wings on pigs than hens can make cylindrical eggs.’
Thus, basic kinds of living things are found to be remarkably stable. The most intensive breeding experiments cannot push them beyond a certain point. When they go too far, they reach the boundary of sterility. An example of this is the mule, produced by mating a donkey and a horse. But the mule has evidently reached the outer limit of the horse kind, for the mule is ordinarily sterile.
So while experiments, and observations of what goes on in the natural state, show great variety and adaptability within basic kinds, plants or animals never change so much that they begin transforming into something else.
All of that just to use the same old "an orange will always be an orange" argument? The quotes about wheat and mules could not be better examples of a complete lack of understanding of evolution. Tell me, were those studies carried out over enough generations to accurately reflect how long the evolutionary process requires to make the expected changes? I thought not. Besides, there are plenty of examples where new species have arisen from a pre-existing species in natural, unprovoked, real world situations. You can find such documentation under section CB910 at the talk.origins creationist index claim. I feel no need to elaborate on what is collected there. Please read them and try to understand them. As a matter of fact, you can find answers to most of your objections there as well. Since forcing an organism to undergo changes to make it in incompatible with organisms higher up the hierarchy is not how evolution works, this example is pointless.
That is not what you would expect if evolution were true. However, it is precisely what you would expect if the Bible is true, if living things were created and reproduce only "according to their kinds."
Again, you only demonstrate your ignorance of evolution by trying to make it necessary for different species to interbreed or for organisms to leave these arbitrary "kinds." I feel no need to elaborate on your foolishness.
That the great variety of animal life known today could have come from inbreeding within so few "kinds" following the Flood is proved by the endless variety of humankind—short, tall, fat, thin, with countless variations in the color of hair, eyes, and skin—all of whom sprang from the one family of Noah.
This is a tremendous example of question begging. The writer wants to assume that the part about Noah is true to show that the "kinds" theory is feasible.
I don’t want to assume anything! I’ve already proved that one part of the Genesis account is true, the part about creatures producing only according to their kind. You have given no evidence to the contrary.
If you cannot see how the argument above is a form of question begging, you are too logically handicapped to even begin a debate. "We know that the animals could do it because Noah's family did it" begs the question that Noah's family did it. It is clear that you do not understand logical arguments. If it were not for readers who could gain insight from your statements, I would end our exchange this very moment.
I don't care if you "don't want to assume anything" because your statement (your plagiarized statement, that is) makes that very assumption. It assumes the story of Noah's survival is true in order to support the position that kinds can give rise to species. Look up the definition of question begging, then go back and read the statement you plagiarized.
You have proved absolutely nothing to your benefit by this point but instead offer the straw man that I need to demonstrate some quasi-version of evolution to make my point. Please tell me how you have proved one part of Noah's story is true by claiming that organisms produce only according to their own "kind."
This also renders the passenger list of the ark quite feasible.
At what point did you demonstrate that two of each species could fit on the ark or that this arbitrary number of "kinds" can become our present number of species in only a few thousand years? Nowhere that I saw, and certainly nowhere that the readers saw. You only assert that "kinds" produce only within their "kinds" and that this somehow demonstrates that a few "kinds" on the ark could expand and become our present number of species. I'm sorry to be blunt, but that is absolutely pathethic.
This, of course, is logically fallacious. Noah and his family had no better genetic chance of surviving post-flood civilization than any other animal species.
Exactly what do you mean by "post-flood civilization?"
Um, the world as it existed after the flood?
And just how do you estimate Noah’s chances of survival? What do you imagine he would have to face in order to survive? He was not an ape-man you know!
By considering the lack of vegetation, lack of nutrition, lack of genetic deviation, catastrophic consequences of a single disease, etc. You did read the book, right? You can't just throw organisms into an environment that doesn't have adequate resources and expect them to survive.
How logically nightmarish is it to conclude that all kinds could survive based on the assumption that a single one could survive, even in the face of overwhelming scientific dispute?
You are falling back on your evolutionary theory of survival of the fittest. That, my friend, is the real fallacy.
This argument has nothing – absolutely nothing – to do with survival of the fittest. That is utterly absurd and clearly shows your inability to grasp logical concepts. The statement only points out again the question begging in saying that the animals could survive because Noah survived. You may as well just have started talking about football and nuclear fission instead of survival of the fittest since that would be just as congruent to the topic at hand.
One opponent of evolution wrote that:-"
Wrote what? Did you forget to plagiarize something? It appears so.
If we're just going to assume that the story is true and that Noah's family survived, why not just assume that the Bible as a whole is perfect and be done with the matter?
I can only tell you what I have found out.
What a perfect non-answer! Your previous statements (by which I mean your plagiarized statements) beg the question of Noah's survival to support the animals' survival. The question put to you is why not just assume that the Bible is perfect if you are going to use arguments that assume a certain part is true. Each act would be equally fallacious, so why not just take the easier route. Do you understand the fallacy of question begging (or in your instance, plagiarizing a statement that is guilty of question begging)? "What [you] found out" is irrelevant to explaining how your statement doesn't beg the question of Noah's survival.
All men come from the same source. The threefold division of the human family into the Japhetic, Hamitic, and Semitic races, all descending from Adam through Noah, cannot be successfully disputed. (Ge 9:18, 19; Ac 17:26)
Back to your plagiarism, I see. An assertion, but no evidence or arguments. I offer plenty of historical and scientific evidence contrary to your assertion.
Wherever it is possible to test Moses’ writings as to their historicalness and geographical accuracy, they stand up to the closest scrutiny.
Back to your plagiarism, I see. An assertion, but no evidence or arguments. I offer plenty of historical evidence to the contrary.
The Genesis account points to the plains of
Back to your plagiarism, I see. An assertion, but no evidence or arguments. I offer plenty of historical evidence to the contrary.
On this point archaeologist Sir Henry Rawlinson remarked: "If we were to be guided by the
mere intersection of linguistic paths, and independently of all reference to
the Scriptural record, we should still be led to fix on the plains of
An appeal to authority, but no evidence or arguments. Why should we believe Rawlinson and not other experts who would disagree?
In Statement on Race, Ashley Montague says:"Scientists have reached general agreement in recognizing that mankind is one: that all men belong to the same species, . . . It is further generally agreed among scientists that all men are probably derived from the same common stock. . . .
This does nothing to support your claims since it can be applied to creation or evolution. Think before you copy and paste.
Then why can you plagiarize it but not demonstrate it to be factual?
estimates may seem too restrictive to some, especially since such sources as
This assertion is ridiculous. Let the writer draw a feasible plan where all of these animals (not luggage) could fit safely in the ark given the specifications provided in the Bible.
Not so ridiculous! You still fail to realize that this information is talking about species not kinds. Species are many - kinds are few. The basic plan for the transportation of the few basic "kinds" appears above.
I don't know how many times I have to explain what you must prove. Even worse, you seem to be contradicting yourself by saying that either scenario is possible. You state (well, your plagiarized statement states) that "even if estimates are based on these expanded figures, the ark could easily have accommodated a pair of all these animals." Well, which is it? Earlier, you seem 100% opposed to the requirement of fitting two of each species on the ark, stating that one only need the "kinds," but now you are saying that it is possible to fit the species. Well, which is it? Could all the species fit, as you are stating here? If so, why bother with the previous "kinds" solution since it isn't needed? If all these species could fit, as you assert above, why even mention (copy and paste, rather) the "kinds" argument? The "kinds" argument is irrelevant if the species can all fit. Did you not read before you copied and pasted? I'm sorry to be so blunt again, but you really need help with logic and argumentation. You might also want to try deriving your own arguments sometime. I know it takes effort, integrity, and dedication, but you'll grasp a concept much better in the end.
This information takes care of your much-vaunted objections regarding the size, carrying capacity, passenger list and "seaworthiness" of the ark.
I will let the readers decide for themselves.
Yes - do that.
[Note: The writer has now abandoned the discussion on Noah's ark and instead plagiarizes an article (or a series of articles) on evolutionary gulfs. While he includes the references embedded in the article(s), he does not give credit to the person(s) who actually read, researched, and assembled the sources to write the article(s).]
“Fossils give tangible evidence of the varieties of life that existed long before man’s arrival. But they have not produced the expected backing for the evolutionary view of how life began or how new kinds got started thereafter. Commenting on the lack of transitional fossils to bridge the biological gaps, Francis Hitching observes: “The curious thing is that there is a consistency about the fossil gaps: the fossils go missing in all the important places.” (The Neck of the Giraffe, by Francis Hitching, p. 19.)
The important places he refers to are the gaps between the major divisions of animal life. An example of this is that fish are thought to have evolved from the invertebrates, creatures without a backbone. “Fish jump into the fossil record,” Hitching says, “seemingly from nowhere: mysteriously, suddenly, full formed.” (The Neck of the Giraffe, by Francis Hitching, p. 20.) Zoologist N. J. Berrill comments on his own evolutionary explanation of how the fish arrived, by saying: “In a sense this account is science fiction.” (The Origin of Vertebrates, by N. J. Berrill, p. 10.)
I responded to
your last plagiarism, but I'm not going to waste my time on this one since you
clearly dismissed and do not understand science. You do not respond point
by point, and you ignore parts of the argument that you cannot address.
Anyone can just copy and paste stuff, add summations to make it seem like a
personal letter, and cheer when the opposition does not address it. How
would you feel if I copied and pasted 41k back? It would take five
minutes. I take hours to ensure that I have properly addressed the issue,
which is no longer worth my time now. Our conversation is through.
I'll simply refer you to a page that addresses your plagiarized argument.
[Note: The writer has now ignored my response and instead emails a new article, this time with proper attribution, even though I have told him I am through with our discussion.]
KINGDOM OF THE
PLANTS: DEFYING EVOLUTION
by Alexander Williams
One of the fundamental problems facing life scientists is the extraordinary variety and complexity of life on Earth—there is just too much to comprehend. Most biologists solve this problem by specializing, spending a whole career studying just one or a few areas. Occasionally someone will attempt a grand synthesis or overview to try to encompass the whole.
[Since anyone can copy and paste, what is this attempting to prove?]
[Note: The writer
now goes back to an earlier topic after I have informed him that I no longer
wish to discuss the issue with him after repeated warnings for plagiarism and
Predictably, the letter once again contains plagiarized material.]
In this you are very much mistaken. From its inception, the loss instituted by Adam in Eden, the right to eternal life in a paradise under God's rulership, and its reinstitution was the overriding point of the Bible writers. However, that was not the theme of their writings. The theme of the entire Bible is rulership by God by means of his Kingdom arrangement, or his Universal sovereignty. Does God have the right to rule this earth? This was challenged in
…The first-century Jewish historian Josephus shows the recognition given only to those few books (of the Hebrew canon) viewed as sacred, stating: “We do not possess myriads of inconsistent books, conflicting with each other. Our books, those which are justly accredited, are but two and twenty [the equivalent of the 39 books of the Hebrew Scriptures according to modern division], and contain the record of all time.” He thereafter clearly shows an awareness of the existence of Apocryphal books and their exclusion from the Hebrew canon by adding: “From Artaxerxes to our own time the complete history has been written, but has not been deemed worthy of equal credit with the earlier records, because of the failure of the exact succession of the prophets.”—Against Apion, I, 38, 41 (8).
Even though I am extremely tempted to post and respond to yet another one of your ill-fated letters, I have already informed you that our conversation is through. When you stop plagiarizing (which you have done yet again even after being repeatedly caught [either from Brenda Martin of about.com or a tertiary source this time], apologize to me and the authors of your copy-and-paste method of argumentation, start responding point-by-point to the responses that I take much time to craft, stop ignoring relevant parts of my arguments, go back to the beginning and respond point-by-point to the six or seven letters of yours I've addressed point-by-point (the ones you lift 5% from, if you even choose to respond), stop providing irrelevant links (which you have done again), stop the utilization of logical fallacies, and start staying on topic, I'll consider addressing more material from you. If you choose to contact me again without adhering to these guidelines, I will be attributing your email address to your work so that everyone will know that you are a plagiarizer. I will also consider forwarding your emails to those whose work you have lifted. I will accept that you do not acknowledge science and reason, but I do not tolerate plagiarism, and there will be no more anonymity for your practices on my website.
[Note: The writer has been given fair warning that I will reveal him for plagiarizing him if he continues the discussion. His denial of plagiarism in this next letter is astounding.]
Even though I am extremely tempted to post and respond to yet another one of your ill-fated letters, I have already informed you that our conversation is through. When you stop plagiarizing (which you have done yet again even after being repeatedly caught [either from Brenda Martin of about.com or a tertiary source this time],
Come off it, Doc! You are obviously disturbed by the specific refutation of your misinformation and are now hiding behind a feined sense of indignation. You just can't face the truth because the truth is not in you.
No comment here.
My last response on the matter of mutations was entirely my own or properly accredited, but you hide because you cannot successfully refute the conclusions presented there.
The writer obviously has no clue how a phrase search on a search engine works. It's the easiest way to catch people who steal others' work. The reader here can easily verify that the writer has plagiarized articles by doing phrase searches on the following:
first-century Jewish historian Josephus shows the recognition given only to those few books
places he refers to are the gaps between the major divisions of animal life
The Genesis account points to the plains of Shinar
Although I could pull phrases from his letters all day, these three examples will have to suffice. Note that they are lifted from articles in which proper credit is given, but instead of referencing the article he is copying, he simply pastes the entire article in an email as though it were his own article complete with references.
apologize to me and the authors of your copy-and-paste method of argumentation,
Argumentation? I was not aware that I was in an argument with you.
Perhaps he should have looked up argumentation.
You are the one presenting arguments against the Bible. I presented you with information drawn from my research, showing you that an argument is not proof by any means.
By "research," he means websites that he has browsed through in order to find articles to cut-and-paste in order to pass off as his own.
You seem to think that you are in an American court of law where all you have to do is create "reasonable doubt" in order to negate Biblical truth. It does not work that way and you cannot dictate how I should present the information. I present it, you read it and refute it - if you can.
He is now back to attempting to shift the burden of proof. Reasonable doubt has nothing to do with the discussion. Christians assert that the Bible is God's word. It is not the job of those who deny such a proposition to prove a negative. I could never make him understand this.
The trouble with you know-it-alls is that, when you find someone that can stand up to you, you cut and run so as to continue unchallenged, your opposition to what is true and right. As I pointed out to you repeatedly, the Bible was not intended to be observed by unbelievers.
No comment here either.
Unlike you, I am not trying to make a name for myself,
This attitude is predictable. I'm hardly trying to make a name for myself. I wrote the book for the reasons given in the introduction, none of which have anything to do with making a name for myself.
not looking to get published, not trying to make profit in any way nor seeking notoriety of any sort;
My book is non-profit. All revenue goes back to advertising and web hosting. He continues to make assertions that he knows nothing about.
so why should I adopt your attitude about plagiarism?
Because it's unethical? Because anyone can copy-and-paste enough material to overwhelm an opponent?
No benefit at all comes to me.
No comment here either.
I make no apologies because I published nothing belonging to anyone else.
Which is a lie that I have demonstrated to my satisfaction.
YOU DID! I sent you private emails, YOU published them, putting them on the internet, and against my specific request.
Let's see what the writer said previously:
"I would prefer that we discuss these matters privately, via email, as some of it may prove to be embarrassing to either or both of us. BUT - If you are going to post my replies and answers on the internet, then I truly hope that you will be honest and courageous enough to post everything as I write them, even if they tend to put you in an unfavorable light. Are we in agreement here?"
So, does it appear that I published them against his specific request? Hardly.
God forces no one to adhere to His regulations. Because of what I presented to you, you now know that your position on the Flood, Noah's ark, the passenger list of the ark, mutations, etc is not as you would like to have us believe.
No comment here either.
responding point-by-point to the responses that I take much time to craft, stop
ignoring relevant parts of my arguments, go back to the beginning and respond
point-by-point to the six or seven letters of yours I've addressed
point-by-point (the ones you lift 5% from, if you even choose to respond), stop
providing irrelevant links (which you have done again), stop the utilization of
logical fallacies, and start
staying on topic, I'll consider addressing more material from you.
You just don't get it, Doc - you can't dictate to me in any way shape or form.
No comment here either.
If you choose to contact me again without adhering to these guidelines, I will be attributing your email address to your work so that everyone will know that you are a plagiarizer. I will also consider forwarding your emails to those whose work you have lifted. I will accept that you do not acknowledge science and reason, but I do not tolerate plagiarism, and there will be no more anonymity for your practices on my website.
Stuff your dictatorial attitude! I do not care what you do with the material I sent you. The email addresses you see here are not my own because my computer has been on the blink for a while, is now under repair and I am allowed to use this one and others. Don't worry - it will soon be repaired and I can use it at my convenience. No one will come after me because I did not put the information "out there." If anybody comes after anybody, it should be you, the one who published it. I am not in the least bit interested in being on your website. I could not care less about your website. I made that clear in my first response. I have no interest in seeking any psychological "victory" over you in the face of any real or imagined "readership." I am also not interested in debating you nor in your rules of debate. I do not care what you think about my source of information or about my use of it. I am only interested in getting that information to you so that maybe you could get a much more balanced view of the book you so clearly do not understand. I hope you clearly understand me on these points.
No comment here either.
I never heard of Brenda Martin but, since you mentioned it, I looked her up and discovered that material from her is useless. If you think not, then read her disclaimer.
If the material from her is useless, I have to wonder why he lifted it.
My reason for writing to you is to let you know that there is information that proves that your view of the Bible is incorrect, and that I have such information available to me. Neither you nor your book can undo all the good that has been accomplished because of that Book. People's failure to live by the book is what has been responsible for the state of affairs today.
No comment here either.
Now here's how I deal with your section entitled:
Believe it or not, the writer continues to engage in discussion. Don't expect to here anything further from email@example.com a.k.a. firstname.lastname@example.org because future letters are going straight into the trash.