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Goodbye Jesus

Miracle Claims Of History?


Guest Valk0010

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Guest Valk0010

http://www.ex-christ...way-compatible/

 

I have been following that thread since it started, and I was surpised at the variety of different responses to that question. However, history and the supernatural was brought up. Though for various reasons, I know I will no longer get a degree in history, its still my most favorite subject, and the question about history and the supernatural has always been fascinating to me since I realized that sort of question existed. I think I adequately explained my view on it, in that previous thread. But I was curious, if we were going to have such a variety responses to this question as well.

 

Can historians or histories in general prove a a miracle? If you answer no, then why do you say no.

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Goodbye Jesus

Hmm... interesting thoughts there Valk.

 

Doesn't history provide a great challenge to our desire to understand in general? Even to mundane occurances. What I mean is... Sociology has a chance of being a science, yes? Because it can formulate reasoned hypotheses which can then be verified or falsified against the causal processes at work in a society. But history is different.

 

I don't know what I'm trying to get at here. unsure.png I'm up past my bed time. GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gif

 

I guess I'm thinking of the difference between sociology and history and how that relates to what you've asked here. Wendyshrug.gif

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Depends on what you call "history".

 

Depends on the miracle.

 

I'm sure some could be proven and some couldn't.

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http://www.ex-christ...way-compatible/

 

Can historians or histories in general prove a a miracle? If you answer no, then why do you say no.

 

I'm a semi-professional history wonk so I have some background in the subject. So far no miracle has been supported by evidence, though there has been plenty of evidence disproving various miracles. I speak now of the Shroud of Turin, the Sudarium (the Veil of Veronica), the disproven events around Christ's supposed birth, the Crucifixion's various disproven "miracles" such as the sun stopping and the zombie uprising, and the various claims of bleeding, weeping, sweating, and menstruating Christian idols that were later found to be duck's blood, bad pipes, or outright lies. We don't know the answers to every single question about the past, but there's a long road from "We don't know yet why this happened" to "so God must have done it," just like the hard sciences have discovered. Just like in science, history doesn't raise its palms heavenward and shrug in answer to unanswered questions.

 

It all reads like an episode of "Scooby Doo"-- these miracle reports look very mysterious at first, but when you investigate with your band of wacky friends, you find that the reports of ghosts were really just Old Man Weathers trying to scare everybody away from the gold mine he just found. Every single time we get evidence about something we thought was a possible miracle, it turns out to be something totally explainable and natural; it's hard to imagine that after so many hundreds of disproven supernatural events that even one might turn out to be the real deal. Might there be real miracles? Maybe, but so far the scorecard reads RATIONALISM: ELEVENTYZILLION, SUPERSTITION: 0.

 

Why is this? I suspect that in order to be a miracle an event would have to be supernatural--that is, outside of the natural, without a natural explanation. I'm not sure that's possible in a physical, natural world.

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Guest Valk0010

I don't think history can prove a miracle, because, to ask for historical proof of a miracle is too much for the field. If you claim that history can prove say, the claim that jesus rose from the dead, you have to say things like, our lady of fatima happened, or the book of mormon has accurate accounting of the supernatural. Your left with the absurd conclusion of everything said that is halfway mystical in historical texts being true. I only recently learned about the claims of Cassius Dio, for example. That makes it more or less a necessity for inquiry, to just call the claim unprovable and shelf it with other myths like that of zeus.

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Guest Valk0010

Hmm... interesting thoughts there Valk.

 

Doesn't history provide a great challenge to our desire to understand in general? Even to mundane occurances. What I mean is... Sociology has a chance of being a science, yes? Because it can formulate reasoned hypotheses which can then be verified or falsified against the causal processes at work in a society. But history is different.

 

I don't know what I'm trying to get at here. unsure.png I'm up past my bed time. GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gif

 

I guess I'm thinking of the difference between sociology and history and how that relates to what you've asked here. Wendyshrug.gif

Sociology probably has a lot to due with it, cultural mores usually define what is considered miraculous.
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I don't think history can prove a miracle, because, to ask for historical proof of a miracle is too much for the field. If you claim that history can prove say, the claim that jesus rose from the dead, you have to say things like, our lady of fatima happened, or the book of mormon has accurate accounting of the supernatural. Your left with the absurd conclusion of everything said that is halfway mystical in historical texts being true. I only recently learned about the claims of Cassius Dio, for example. That makes it more or less a necessity for inquiry, to just call the claim unprovable and shelf it with other myths like that of zeus.

 

About the best you can do is establish whether or not there's documentation around it that can align with science. History itself can only support so much. For example, despite being a lawful culture known for its obsession with records, the Romans left behind no records whatsoever of the life, trial, or execution of a Jewish prophet named Jesus. Should such records ever be found, though, they will not prove that Jesus was a god-man--only that a man by that name did face a trial and execution there. But they'd at least be a step in the right direction toward establishing the outer edge of Christianity's claims. At that point historians studying that topic will concern themselves with establishing other claims, and at least then there's a start to the uphill climb to "this is the one truth." That no such records have ever been found--and likely never will--is a quick karate-chop to the neck of the entire religion. History is awesome as a start, but has some limitations, being that it's very dependent upon the artifacts left by people.

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Guest Valk0010

I don't think history can prove a miracle, because, to ask for historical proof of a miracle is too much for the field. If you claim that history can prove say, the claim that jesus rose from the dead, you have to say things like, our lady of fatima happened, or the book of mormon has accurate accounting of the supernatural. Your left with the absurd conclusion of everything said that is halfway mystical in historical texts being true. I only recently learned about the claims of Cassius Dio, for example. That makes it more or less a necessity for inquiry, to just call the claim unprovable and shelf it with other myths like that of zeus.

 

About the best you can do is establish whether or not there's documentation around it that can align with science. History itself can only support so much. For example, despite being a lawful culture known for its obsession with records, the Romans left behind no records whatsoever of the life, trial, or execution of a Jewish prophet named Jesus. Should such records ever be found, though, they will not prove that Jesus was a god-man--only that a man by that name did face a trial and execution there. But they'd at least be a step in the right direction toward establishing the outer edge of Christianity's claims. At that point historians studying that topic will concern themselves with establishing other claims, and at least then there's a start to the uphill climb to "this is the one truth." That no such records have ever been found--and likely never will--is a quick karate-chop to the neck of the entire religion. History is awesome as a start, but has some limitations, being that it's very dependent upon the artifacts left by people.

Robert M Price, called it the principal of analogy. Ehrman described the same kind of thing, but used different terminology. You have to go with the limits of what we know and understand about the world, ie science, and whatever you could call a law of nature. All things being equal, ceaser could cross the rubicon in 2012. All things being equal, the dead don't rise from the dead. If that leaves you with a, I don't know what happened, that is better then trying to prove a absurdity. Even if there was proof of the supposed historical jesus, you can't prove the resurrection or, feeding the 5000, because you can't use soft science to prove something that wasn't natural to begin with. On the other side you can't really disprove it either, from a purely historical perspective,because our sources believed that is what happened and we can't really have all the data we need to really determine what happened to produce those kinds of beliefs. We can say sure they did, but are you going to find a naturalistic explanation for the resurrection belief. You won't. Your at your limit. That is the reason I said earlier, at best you could file it with the myths of say Zeus, and move on.

 

The first bit about science is very important. Because you got a problem, when you say a christian apologist and you correctly note that there is no real good naturalistic ways to say explain the resurrection belief(there isn't unless your a mythicist or see the gospels as totally 110 percent inaccurate pieces of toilet paper), you still have to prove a god exists and that cares enough to even to have a son and to give it. The evidence is not there, even from physics, we got no reason to say that there is a god. So how could you claim that for once ever in history, we can have verifiable proof better then ceaser crossing the rubicon, that the jesus rose from the dead or any other miracle. Its dishonest and betrays what, history, a soft science is capable of. History like biology, runs on the dictates of what we know is the natural world. As I said earlier, all things being equal ceaser could cross the rubicon in 2012, but all things being equal the dead don't rise from the dead. That can't disprove the miracle claims of Christianity, but it can't prove it either. But yes your right, the testimony of one man, paul, that is speculated to be based off the apostles, and then a group of heersay documents known as the gospels is not much to start with to establish anything much less a miracle. Even if paul is telling the truth and he did get his information from the apostles. Its no better then the book of mormon as far as valid testimony. Its also subject to the interpretation of the individual, unlike in the rubicon case, where it either happened or didn't.

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That's pretty much how I see it too. History can be maddeningly vague sometimes, but overall it does a good job of establishing what people at the time at least thought and did. It works well with other disciplines to establish the facts as best we know them, and it follows scientific principles in adjusting and changing course when needed. I'm thinking at the moment about a history book that was considered the ultimate in information about the Italian Renaissance and is still a lovely read even though some of its core theories and suppositions have been debunked as more information has been gathered and put together.

 

I love this board. I learn so much here. Thanks for a stimulating philosophy jaunt so far.

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Guest Valk0010

I think I might have made my point a little better in a different thread.

 

For some reason, I seem to be having trouble getting some stuff out of my head, and its the reason, I have been posting shit, like my thread about miracle claims of history. But this thread might be good for more then just mental masturbation, even the lurkers might find this a good thread. I dunno

 

The best explanation when all the facts are considered for the rise of the resurrection belief in the apostles is that jesus actually rose from the dead. And there is no competing purely naturalistic explanations.

 

Que, the various WLC, Mcdowell, etc, bullshit about how there is historical proof for the resurrection of jesus.

 

 

My response.

 

Its a burden of proof shift, I can and do say, I don't know and you based of your arguments your not convincing. As well its a form of special pleading, by the same reasoning you use to prove you case, you make a good case for aliens as well or catholic miracles like, The virgin of fatima. So your arguments lead to an absurd conclusion and are fallacious (Reductio ad absurdum). Also you have to prove that your god exists before even saying anything about the resurrection, and that is something that even at a simple level is impossible. So at best, any understanding of why they came to believe what they believe should be treated with scepticism and in the case of the miraculous left to the role of myth. Science (and history is a soft science) can say stuff about the natural world, and as you can see, there is a good reason for that. The supernatural as a idea is problematic for inquiry, hence the methods your trying to use, being methodologically natural. The miracles of the bible are unprovable, nor if attacked by this route, disprovable. So you more or less have to prove your case, beforehand, to use history to prove you case.

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It's hilarious how I never really thought about that stuff before I converted to fundamentalism. I wish this site had existed back then.

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Guest Valk0010

It's hilarious how I never really thought about that stuff before I converted to fundamentalism. I wish this site had existed back then.

I never thought about this stuff even as I was deconverting, but now that I know about it. I wish it was taught in high school history, ya now.

 

CLLASS, are lesson today, is the metholodogy and the philisophy of history.

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