10/14/08

BOBA Digest, part 3: Atheism’s Chihuahua

While this is not exactly a BOBA, as it does not necessarily deal with an argument per se, it did seem to qualify for entry into the BOBA Digest nonetheless.

Last night, on the Charlie Rose show, as Bill Maher and Larry Charles pontificated about their own brilliance in the face of those people—you know, the religious folk—I could not help but think that on the opening weekend of their atheism movie “Religulous” they came in far behind the number one movie “Beverly Hills Chihuahua.”

To read/Or not to read


Yes, that little pint-sized puppy scrapped with the big dog and showed him that a little nice beats a whole career built on expressing personal prejudice.

On its opening weekend the atheism movie Religulous’ box office rank was ten with Beverly Hills Chihuahua coming in at number one the “Christian movie” Fireproof came in at number 8 and a comedy that utterly demolishes the far left liberal movement, particularly Michael Moore, entitled An American Carole came in at number 9.



I would think, I would imagine, I would hope that both atheists and Christians are more than read to abscond from Bill Maher’s style of arguments from outrage and make attempts to engage in civil discourse.


from An American Carole

A more apt title for the atheism movie I could not imagine as the term “Religulous” so succinctly capture’s Bill Maher’s modis operandi and is a great appeal to the particular New Atheist sect of atheism which espouses belligerence over substance.



Bill Maher stated that he is getting email from people telling him that at the end of his atheism movie people actually clapped and he asked when the last time people clapped at the end of a movie. Well, let’s see…what day is it? Just last week when I went to see An American Carole people clapped when the movie was over. And yet, in both cases there sympathetic audiences—so what of it?

If you are interested in Bill Maher’s very many fallacious assertions please see the following essays:
Bill Maher’s Cinematic Endeavor

Bill Maher’s Errata

Bill Maher’s Sad Anniversary

Richard Dawkins and Bill Maher: The Dynamic Duo of Demonstrably Deleterious Delusion, Part 2


37 comments:

  1. "Religulous" opening:
    $3.41M in 568 theaters

    "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" opening:
    $2.97M in 1,052 theaters

    I can only imagine what your rhetoric would have been had Religulous opened at No. 1. Gracious respect, no doubt.

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  2. It's funny how I can tell the author here at Atheism is Dead even whithout reading the name. This is classic Mariano. Expelled, haven't heard much of that one latetly. That's one of Mariano's favorites.

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  3. scary jesus "This is classic Mariano...That's one of Mariano's favorites."
    You should hear him talk about Steel Magnolias or Freaky Friday!

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  4. Why would I support a movie made by that nutty anti-vaccine nut?

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  5.      Ahem, how well a movie does at the box office is normally indicative only of its entertainment value. For religious films, of course, the data are skewed becuase churches pressure their congregations into watching a movie they would otherwise ignore.

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  6. Maybe instead of Religulous, Bill Maher could have focused his energy on making Pizza Man 2...I mean, people are still talking about the first one.

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  7. Everyone should realize by now that if movies like this are being released that all that Harris and Dawkins have started is beginning to fizzle away.

    What have they changed? Basically nothing, but increase the unity among Atheists on the internet (and trolling along with it) and given a couple million angst-filled teenagers an avenue by which to piss society off.

    This "movement" is dead. No one really cares what they have to say anymore because they always say it unintelligently and with a lack of respect of people in general, not just what they believe in.

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  8. M:

         There is no organized "movement." If one your criterion to some of the tripe that christianity has put out, one would have expected it to die off a long time ago. The fact is that christianity has lost its stranglehold. It can no longer crush all outsiders.

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  9. Pvblivs,

    Check your assumptions. M converted to Islam.

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  10. The Passion of the Christ = 25 million per day in its first five days.

    Besides, for atheist films, of course, the data are skewed because atheist groups pressure their adherents into watching a movie they would otherwise ignore.

    Expelled? I just heard about it this very day in an ad since the DVD is coming out, why?

    If Christianity “can no longer crush all outsiders” I say thank God!!!!!!!!!

    aDios,
    Mariano

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  11. "Besides, for atheist films, of course, the data are skewed because atheist groups pressure their adherents into watching a movie they would otherwise ignore."

    Mariano, I'm beginning to worry about you. Not that you ever had any semblance of objectivity, but lately you are projecting forward so much bile and ignorance it is becoming disturbing. Do you think it's a good thing that what Christians want to see the most is something so excruciatingly gruesome as the "Passion," filled with blood and torture? Do you want to talk about it?

    Just which atheist groups pressured their adherents into seeing "Religulous"? For your info, I have not seen it yet, nor was I aware of any pressure to do so.

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  12. Unbeguiled:

         Interestingly, my statement stands even under those conditions. If M's criterion were true, christianity should have died off. But it hasn't. M's criterion must therefore be false.

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  13. Mariano "The Passion of the Christ = 25 million per day in its first five days."
    ...3 million or so people x 5 days. 15 million fans of snuff. I hear He comes out okay in the end, though. Sorry if I spoiled it for you.

    "Besides, for atheist films, of course, the data are skewed because atheist groups pressure their adherents into watching a movie they would otherwise ignore."
    Yup. My local chapter of Darwinism pushed it hard. I eventually had to tell them to stop coming to my door. The Religulous promoters should've ran a competition like the Expelled people did.

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  14. "given a couple million angst-filled teenagers an avenue by which to piss society off"

    They used to fight the man but now they fight the Man.

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  15. "Maybe instead of Religulous, Bill Maher could have focused his energy on making Pizza Man 2...I mean, people are still talking about the first one."

    Either that, or a sequel to Cannibal Women of the Avocado Jungle of Death, which was yet another cinematic masterpiece thanks to a stellar performance from Maher.

    "given a couple million angst-filled teenagers an avenue by which to piss society off."

    Hey, why not? Bashing on the government, minorities, homosexuals, and any other religion besides Christianity just isn't "cool" anymore...so what else are the Hot Topic-styled, canned rebellion buying masses supposed to blame for all the ill's of the world? They just HAVE to feel unique in the way they think...just so long as plenty of other people are supposedly thinking the same way.

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  16. Hey I saw Expelled today, I downloaded the Divx from usenet. This really is a horrible movie. Not for evolutionists but for Id'ers. It hurts there case so incredibly it was a plesure for me to watch.

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  17. Adonais and Modusoperandi;

    You have fulfilled the Bible’s statement that the cross of Christ is foolishness and an offence to some people. I do not expect you to understand nor empathize. The Passion of the Christ was actually mild because it is a mere reflectance of the reality which took place.

    But I do have a request, please comments again and besmirch anyone who has made a movie about the Holocaust for making a gruesome movie.

    I am sure that everyone is aware that movies are promoted actors promote them, studios promote them, Christians promote them and atheists promote them—this is not news.

    Here is one such example:
    “The American Humanist Association, in partnership with Lions Gate Entertainment, is getting the word out about the forthcoming release of Bill Maher's provocative comedy documentary, Religulous. We are organizing group viewings and hosting discussions after advance screenings to talk about the compelling issues raised by the film and to let people know that if they like Religulous they should take the next step and explore humanism
    We want to encourage a current American trend toward greater questioning of dogmas and superstitions in the face of those who want to close the lid on rational inquiry. So we encourage you to not only see the film but be willing to counter those in your area who might promote censorship. You may also want to organize group activities around the film, perhaps in connection with a local chapter or affiliate of the American Humanist Association…
    Your activities could include any of the following:
    1. Attend a viewing as a group.
    2. Build a local meeting around discussing the film.
    3. If there is a picket against the film, launch a pro-free speech counter picket.
    Please share information about the film with your friends, allies, local group members, and others so that more people become interested and perhaps involved. Also, as part of this partnership with Lions Gate Entertainment, many local AHA groups are receiving free tickets to distribute to their members to generate interest and word-of-mouth promotion. We encourage you to contact your local chapter or AHA affiliate for more information on how you can get involved in neighborhood efforts.” [bold added, italics in original]

    aDios,
    Mariano

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  18. "You have fulfilled the Bible’s statement that the cross of Christ is foolishness"
    Really? Hurrah!

    "and an offence to some people."
    I'm rarely offended by fiction. People, on the other hand...

    "I do not expect you to understand nor empathize."
    Oh, I understand. Someone named God impregnated a virgin with His Holy Spirit, Himself, creating His child, Jesus, who was also Him. After she gave birth to Him, He wandered around telling people about how His father, who was also Him, sent Himself to Earth to show the people thereon that He was the one and only path to Himself. This ensured that He would be martyred, which was just what He had planned to happen to His son, who was also Him. He then resurrected Himself and returned home to sit beside Himself at His own right hand. This sacrifice was necessary because, in an earlier episode, He made a flora-centric rule that Adam broke after his sister and identical twin, Eve, told him that a talking snake said that the voice in Adam's head, played by God, was lying about the consequences of disobeying this rule. Later in that earlier story, Adam married his sister and together they settled down to raise a family. The story fails to give details on just how good their children were at playing the banjo.
    That doesn't sound unfictional at all.

    "The Passion of the Christ was actually mild because it is a mere reflectance of the reality which took place."
    One guy had one really bad day, took the rest of the weekend off, then wasn't dead anymore. I fail to see how that's any more terrible than the people that go through worse for weeks, months or years of their lives only to come out the far more common, permanent kind of dead. Take a walk through the cancer or burn wards, sometime. Then take a walk through those same wards of the children's hospital. If Jesus suffered for our sins, whose sins are they suffering for?

    "But I do have a request, please comments again and besmirch anyone who has made a movie about the Holocaust for making a gruesome movie."
    If someone makes that as a snuff film that leers at man's inhumanity to man (like Natural Born Killers or, worse, the many sequels to Saw...but with Nazis), then hell yeah I'll belittle it.

    "I am sure that everyone is aware that movies are promoted actors promote them, studios promote them, Christians promote them and atheists promote them—this is not news."
    Did Jesus promote the Passion? Why not? Was he ashamed of it? You'd figure that He'd have "fallen in love with the script". He did write it, after all. He didn't write it down, of course, but no one did for a while, which fits perfectly the thesis that He (and his followers) really thought that the world was coming to an end in the kind of soon that so soon that nothing else matters. When's that supposed to be happening, anyway? Are we still in the End Times?

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  19. Modusoperandi;
    As sad as it is to behold—your discredit yourself by building a tel of inaccuracies.


    Scary Jesus;
    Did you notice that in “Expelled,” whenever the evolutionists are given the floor they sound so erudite and self-assured—proclaiming this, expounding that until…
    Until, that is, such time as a little question is posed to them, “How do you know?” at which time the façade falls away and they are exposed for what they are: authoritarian activists, worldview adherence back by nothing.
    Even Mr. [pseudo]skeptic himself, Michael Shermer makes such proclamations and is stopped dead in his tracks by that bothersome Socratic gadfly of a question, “How do you know?”

    They do not know—but they sure sound good saying

    aDios,
    Mariano

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  20. Mariano "Modusoperandi; As sad as it is to behold—your discredit yourself by building a tel of inaccuracies."
    And you, sir, do yourself no favours by not correcting these sad inaccuracies. I knew that I had some inaccuracies, but I was stunned to be told that I had a tel of them. Stunned! Truly, your vague finger pointing has humbled me.

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  21. Modusoperandi; As sad as it is to behold—your discredit yourself by building a tel of inaccuracies."
    And you, sir, do yourself no favours by not correcting these sad inaccuracies. I knew that I had some inaccuracies, but I was stunned to be told that I had a tel of them. Stunned! Truly, your vague finger pointing has humbled me.


    He was probably pointing to the pseudo christian cultic view of the incarnation of the son or the misrepresentation of the Garden or your misunderstanding of the Trinity or your ignorance about the life and ministry of the Messiah
    I agree it is a tel

    In Him
    Servant

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  22. Mariano "Modusoperandi; As sad as it is to behold—your discredit yourself by building a tel of inaccuracies."
    And you, sir, do yourself no favours by not correcting these sad inaccuracies. I knew that I had some inaccuracies, but I was stunned to be told that I had a tel of them. Stunned! Truly, your vague finger pointing has humbled me.

    He was more than likely pointing to the fact that you are ignorant of the Trinity, the incarnation, the life and ministry of Jesus, and the context of scripture itself I would guess based on your post

    but if you really insist I will disassemble your tel just let me know when your ready

    Servant

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  23. Servant2Him "He was probably pointing to the pseudo christian cultic view of the incarnation of the son or the misrepresentation of the Garden or your misunderstanding of the Trinity or your ignorance about the life and ministry of the Messiah I agree it is a tel" & "He was more than likely pointing to the fact that you are ignorant of the Trinity, the incarnation, the life and ministry of Jesus, and the context of scripture itself I would guess based on your post but if you really insist I will disassemble your tel just let me know when your ready."
    Do you have the version that, in attempting to explain why an interventionalist god doesn't, why when he does intervene it's almost inevitably anecdotal and why those anecdotal interventions he often credits to the wrong god or gods? Why are the best arguments for god the ones based on the bits we don't know, and why are the strongest of those arguments for deism? If there's time left after dissembling around those, why do do the Gospels make more sense if read as though the guy who was God was actually a guy who really thought that the world was going to end, and soon?
    Or am I just adding to my tel here? Keep in mind, Christians have had a couple thousand years to figure out why these things (and more, like the Problem of Suffering) are what they are, and yet their answers still pull the corks that plug some holes to fill other holes.

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  24. modusoperandi said...Do you have the version that, in attempting to explain why an interventionalist god doesn't, why when he does intervene it's almost inevitably anecdotal and why those anecdotal interventions he often credits to the wrong god or gods? Why are the best arguments for god the ones based on the bits we don't know, and why are the strongest of those arguments for deism? If there's time left after dissembling around those, why do do the Gospels make more sense if read as though the guy who was God was actually a guy who really thought that the world was going to end, and soon?
    Or am I just adding to my tel here? Keep in mind, Christians have had a couple thousand years to figure out why these things (and more, like the Problem of Suffering) are what they are, and yet their answers still pull the corks that plug some holes to fill other holes.

    I love it when people start grasping at straws. It tells me there desperate. I will not take the time to answer non sense if you have a question about a specific passage let er fly, I would love to help you with it. As for your broad paint stroke I don't play bait and trap ask a direct question from a direct source
    Thanks
    servant

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  25. Servant2Him "I love it when people start grasping at straws."
    Odd, the atheistic view of the universe as it is matches the real world far better than one that posits an interventionalist god who, nonetheless, doesn't.

    "I will not take the time to answer non sense if you have a question about a specific passage let er fly, I would love to help you with it."
    Okay. Why did He make whales before bugs, while the reality-based evidence indicates that it was the other way around?
    Why is the bible-centric Ussher chronology so far off from reality-centric non-Ussher chronolgy? Did Ussher forget a bunch of begets, or did the history of homo sapiens sapiens (or, indeed, the universe) accidentally add a bunch of zeroes?

    "As for your broad paint stroke I don't play bait and trap ask a direct question from a direct source"
    Oh, you. If you can't see that my vaguely coherently phrased questions earlier were in fact actual questions of the inquisitive type, you don't know me at all.

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  26. Mariano- you say:

    Did you notice that in “Expelled,” whenever the evolutionists are given the floor they sound so erudite and self-assured—proclaiming this, expounding that until…
    Until, that is, such time as a little question is posed to them, “How do you know?” at which time the façade falls away and they are exposed for what they are: authoritarian activists, worldview adherence back by nothing.


    As has been pointed out here many times, science claims no absolute answers. Thus, at some point, the question "How do you know?" must be answered: "I don't know". Yes, at some point the scientific worldview runs out of answers, and is "backed by nothing", because we simply don't know.

    But all this means is that science, done properly, is honest, and does not rely on authority for answers where we have none. It is rather the typical religious worldview that claims certainty, based not on evidence, but on authority.

    Servant2Him- What MO said. In addition, you might want to check out my comment here, for an example of how to honestly (but bizarrely) reconcile the apparent age of the Earth with Scripture.

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  27. Funny, in the end it all comes back to faith. As an atheist you have faith in your theory, as a Christian I have faith in the supremacy of the Bible and the Triune God presented in it's pages.

    I have prophecy, history, archeology, the fossil record, and Israel to prove my position you have theory, I sure hope your right.

    servant

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  28. Servant2Him: I only have "faith" in my theories in the same way that both of us have "faith" that the Sun will rise tomorrow: a prediction which seems very likely to come true, based on past experience and knowledge of the world. Unlike you, I don't claim to have absolute knowledge about anything. Yet surprisingly, my non-absolute knowledge gets me through the day.

    You say:

    I have prophecy, history, archeology, the fossil record, and Israel to prove my position you have theory, I sure hope your right.

    Prophecy? You mean, like the OT prophecies that "come true" in the NT? This is like saying that Sibyl Trewlawny must be a true prophet, because Harry Potter did end up beating Voldemort.

    History? What history? Sure, there's some true history in the Bible, but there's some true history in the Odyssey as well. So what?

    The fossil record? I can hardly wait for your example of a fossil that supports the Bible- perhaps those Paluxy River footprints of Fred Flintstone walking next to Barney?

    And Israel: what does Israel prove, other than the drive of a people to fulfill prophecy, for better and worse?

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  29. We all understand that science can only provide the best guess that we have thus far.
    Yet, I was not merely referring to scientific statements but to Shermer’s pseudo skepticism and other atheist assertions.
    aDios,
    Mariano

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  30. Mariano, you say:

    We all understand that science can only provide the best guess that we have thus far.
    Yet, I was not merely referring to scientific statements but to Shermer’s pseudo skepticism and other atheist assertions.


    Sorry, I don't understand you. Could you quote me some of Shermer's "pseudo skepticism" and "other atheist assertions" that are "stopped dead in their tracks" by the question "how do you know?" I can stop you dead in your tracks too, by just repeating "how do you know?" to anything you say. Not a very informative technique, once you've gotten past everything that we believe we know.

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  31. Well, I do not have a manuscript of Expelled before me but I recall Michael Shermer stating that the people in question were not fired due to ID related issues.
    There you have it, he knows this to be a fact to the point for declaring that he knows that this was not the case.
    Stein, “How do you know?”
    Shermer, “I don’t know”

    I also recall Richard Dawkins stating that there is a 99% chance that there is not God. He was then asked why not 97%, why not 46 or 50%. Well, he was certain that 50% is improbable.
    Stein, “Well how do you know?”
    Dawkins, “I don’t know.”

    Meanwhile the science magazine Populärwissenschaftliche Magazin placed the probably of God’s existence at 62%.

    aDios,
    Mariano

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  32. Mariano "I also recall Richard Dawkins stating that there is a 99% chance that there is not God. He was then asked why not 97%, why not 46 or 50%. Well, he was certain that 50% is improbable."
    Dear Mariano:
    You're such a kidder. You act like this Dawkins fellow is so sure about such things, qualifying it with your own "I recall...", but a cursive googling comes up with this (which you might recognize), which appears to contain the interview in question from Expelled:
    Ben Stein (BS) : “So you’re a science guy. Can you quantify your assertion that there is no god? I mean, how sure are you?”
    Richard Dawkins (RD) : “I really don’t feel comfortable putting a number on it.”
    BS, “Ninety-nine percent?”
    RD, “Yes, I guess 99 percent.”
    etc

    While that is him stating a percentage, that's not him stating a percentage, if you catch my gist.
    ...
    How would you make an objective calculation on something supernatural whose "evidence" is distinctly natural (and commonly has a naturalistic explanation) or anecdotal (and is, therefore, anecdotal. Do you know what anecdotes prove? Everything), anyway? Do you go, "Well, there's one me, and one over everything in the universe is clearly miraculous, so that's a tick..."?

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  33. Well, Mariano, as I don't have a transcript of Expelled either, and I'm not likely to see the movie any time in the near future, I guess there's not much point in further discussion of exactly what Shermer and Dawkins said. However, I can speculate.

    While I don't "know" either exactly why the IDers featured in the film were fired, since I wasn't there, the site ExpelledExposed plausibly argues that the firings had little or nothing to do with ID. But perhaps Shermer, who is a very fair skeptic, was admitting exactly what I have just said: he believes, based on the evidence that he has seen, that the firings were not based on support for ID, but he doesn't know for sure. But that's just guesswork on my part.

    And as far as giving a percentage for the likelihood of God's existence, that's just silly. God's existence is a one-off thing: either He exists 100% or does not exist 100% (ignoring complications such as polytheism, demigods, etc). I suppose you can put a rough number on your certainty that God exists (or doesn't), but it seems a misuse of statistics to precisely quantify it- and thus Dawkins answer was justified, imho.

    And as far as the German popular science magazine's 62% figure for the probability of God's existence, all I can say is Blödsinn- die können das nicht wissen.

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  34. www.tallelhammam.com/Home_Page.html

    You say:
    Prophecy? You mean, like the OT prophecies that "come true" in the NT? This is like saying that Sibyl Trewlawny must be a true prophet, because Harry Potter did end up beating Voldemort.

    First let me take a moment to apologize for my slow response I've been a little busy

    Prophecy from The OT to the NT is nothing like the fictitious ramblings of a individual who doesn't know if she is a witch an atheist or a druid. but that is a subject for another times is it not. By your statement I'm going to make the assumption that you are saying it is circular reasoning to use the Nt to support the prophecy of the OT, it is not. If the Bible were on book that would be true but as you are well aware the Bible is a compilation of 66 separate book written by 40 different authors over a nearly 1500 year span of history on 3 different continents. for that reason it doesn't apply to your absurd argumentation. It is just as honest as using your biology book to support your book on oceanography. The good thing is I wasn't talking about the prophecies pertaining to the Son of God although the mathematic probability of those things happening are magnificent I was talking about Alexander rising to power being conquered and his kingdom splitting in two just as Daniel wrote hundreds of years before. Or Israel returning to their land in the 40's just as the Bible said it would or the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D. and the fire melting the Gold into the cracks causing the stones to be turned over and the temple to be utterly destroyed just as Jesus said it would. Also the history I was referring to is the proven history of scripture supported by archeology such as the five cities of Sadam being discovered just where the Bible said they were or the stone walkways in ephesus etc. I know you will no doubt equate my statements to junk archeology so I attached a link at the top of this page.

    Now as far as the fossil record I don't have to prove it supports me I can argue from silence since it has no transitional species to mention the overwhelming majority of fossil species are just there.
    sorry for the grammar I'm really busy
    servant

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  35. Servant2Him, you say:

    By your statement I'm going to make the assumption that you are saying it is circular reasoning to use the Nt to support the prophecy of the OT, it is not. If the Bible were on book that would be true but as you are well aware the Bible is a compilation of 66 separate book written by 40 different authors over a nearly 1500 year span of history on 3 different continents. for that reason it doesn't apply to your absurd argumentation.

    The key word here is compilation: by the time the New Testament was written, all of these books of the Old Testament were compiled: not bound together in one book, but considered a single corpus of God-given knowledge (with some disagreement about exactly which parts to include, to be sure). Correct or not? So the authors of the NT had all (or many) of the books of the OT at their disposal, and could freely compose fulfillment of its prophecies. In any case, it's also obvious that the many authors of the Old Testament knew of each other's work: for your argument to have any force, they would have to have been writing independently of one another, with no knowledge of what the others had written, which is obviously not the case.

    And the supposed prophecies that came true outside the Bible are either so vague that you can squeeze just about any story you like to fit them, or they are examples of self-fulfilling prophecy: one of the main reasons Israel became a nation is because Zionists wanted to fulfill the prophecies in the OT. No God necessary- belief in God is sufficient to explain it.

    Now as far as the fossil record I don't have to prove it supports me I can argue from silence since it has no transitional species to mention the overwhelming majority of fossil species are just there.

    What do you mean, "just there"? There are plenty of transitional species: strictly speaking, all species are "transitional", since all species are evolving all the time. I suspect what you mean is that we don't have unbroken fossil sequences showing perfectly smooth gradations from one form to another. In the first place, there are some impressively complete sequences: the development of the horse and of mammals from reptiles are very well documented, and not plausibly explainable except by means of evolution.

    Keep in mind that the fossil record is like a series of snapshots taken at wide intervals: we simply don't have an unbroken record of the past. But the evidence we do have is very strong. Evolution on a small scale can be and has been demonstrated in the lab and in the field, and large scale evolution is just more of the same: there are no barriers. Imagine that I show you snapshots of my daughter taken when she was two, six, and sixteen years old. Would you claim that she was "just there" in each of these pictures, and since we don't have a record of all her ages in between, these must be photos of three different creations? Taken to extremes, this is the argument of many creationists, and it doesn't matter how many photos, or fossils, we discover, because there are always more gaps to point to.

    cheers from cool Vienna, zilch

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