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A Notice to Christians Visiting the Lions Den


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Hello and welcome to the Lion’s Den. 

 

This message is designed to help visitors with how this part of the forum functions and it covers some issues that frequently crop up here.  These are the Burden of Proof, the test of Relevance and the test of Reliability.  Visiting Christians and people of other faiths can expect to encounter these issues in the Den, so please read on and learn about them.  Thank you.

 

Burden of Proof

 

In the Den we generally adhere to the principle outlined on this Wikipedia page.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burden_of_proof_(philosophy)

 

This means that we reserve the right to challenge the claims made by Christians.  Such a challenge is exactly that – a challenge.  Nothing more.  It is not an attack, not an exercise in persecution and not a denial of anything.   We would simply like the person making the claim to substantiate their claim with evidence.  We do not consider this to be an unreasonable request to make and we try to hold to this standard ourselves.  We believe that if anyone makes a claim, they should be prepared to back it up with relevant and reliable evidence.

 

Relevance

 

In the Den Christians are often requested to provide evidence to support their claims. However, if they submit only personal and private thoughts, feelings and experiences, then this kind of evidence is considered to be irrelevant.

 

Why?  Because nobody else is party to these things and nobody else can independently test, check or examine these things. A person’s private thoughts and feelings are exclusively their own.  A person’s individual experiences are their own and nobody else’s.  Therefore, private thoughts, feelings and experiences are relevant only to the person describing them.  Not to anyone else.

 

This kind of private and intimate personal evidence is irrelevant to anyone else.  Nobody else can feel what others have felt, think their thoughts or share in what has been experienced by another individual. If this kind of evidence is submitted as an answer to a challenge, it will be considered to have failed the test of relevancy.  

 

Even if Christians truthfully describe what they have thought, felt and experienced it is impossible for others to test the reliability of such testimony.  Everyone is fallible and even people of good conscience who genuinely believe they are telling the truth are still capable of error or of unwitting bias.  There needs to be an independent test of the reliability of their testimony. 

 

Reliability

 

https://legaldictionary.net/indicia/

 

Indicia is the legal term for items of evidence that indicate reliability. The listing given consists of things that can be seen, tested, checked and examined. These items serve as independent indicators of reliability for the testimony of an evidence-giver. What is absent from this list is anything private, personal and intimate to the person giving the evidence; like thoughts, feelings and individual experiences.

 

Because private thoughts, feelings and personal experiences cannot be independently seen, tested, checked or examined by anyone else they do not qualify as 'independent indicators of reliability' of that person’s testimony.  Even if a Christian gives a completely truthful and honest report of what they have felt, thought and experienced; their testimony is not independent of themselves.  It is the opposite.  Their testimony is totally dependent upon themselves.

 

Therefore, if they submit only personal and intimate evidence, that evidence fails the test of independent reliability.

 

Thank you for your attention.

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Good luck.

 

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So if I ask the congregation of a megachurch , after the service, if they experienced God and they say they did,  then that passes the relevance test. They were all there, they all experienced God. They can and will share that experience amongst themselves. :) 

 

..........

 

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth (and the atheists cheered!!!) ..... so help you God? (Aww, shit!) :)

 

Isn't an expert witness kind of in his own personal bubble regarding reliability? He has to be trusted even though nobody else may share in his particular knowledge of a subject to know if he is telling the truth. 

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9 hours ago, midniterider said:

So if I ask the congregation of a megachurch , after the service, if they experienced God and they say they did,  then that passes the relevance test. They were all there, they all experienced God. They can and will share that experience amongst themselves. :) 

 

..........

 

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth (and the atheists cheered!!!) ..... so help you God? (Aww, shit!) :)

 

Isn't an expert witness kind of in his own personal bubble regarding reliability? He has to be trusted even though nobody else may share in his particular knowledge of a subject to know if he is telling the truth. 

 

So if I ask the congregation of a megachurch , after the service, if they experienced God and they say they did,  then that passes the relevance test.

 

Then the congregation are reporting something to you that you did not share with them, midniterider.  That fails the relevance test because what other people experience is not relevant to you.  

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Admissible_evidence

 

Admissible evidence, in a court of law, is any testimonial, documentary, or tangible evidence that may be introduced to a factfinder—usually a judge or jury—to establish or to bolster a point put forth by a party to the proceeding.

 

In this instance midniterider, you are the factfinder, speaking to the congregation after the service.  So, how can their experiences be relevant to you?  You were not present and you can't travel back in time to be present when they were (allegedly) experiencing god.  Their experiences were relevant only to themselves.  What remains and the only thing you can obtain is their reportage of it. 

 

In a very similar way, the Bible is reportage of people (allegedly) experiencing God. But nobody living today, Christian or otherwise, can share in what the apostles experienced.  

 

What would give greater weight to the testimony of the megachurch congregation would be an independent indicator of reliability.  That is, something that was independent of the emotions, prejudices and biases of the congregation itself.  

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

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Isn't an expert witness kind of in his own personal bubble regarding reliability? He has to be trusted even though nobody else may share in his particular knowledge of a subject to know if he is telling the truth. 

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------

 

Not exactly, midniterider.

 

In a court of law the defence or the prosecution can challenge the validity of anything an expert witness says.  Their word is not taken as gospel.  (Pun intended. ;) )

 

I also think that you've created a somewhat unrealistic scenario by stipulating that there is only one person in the world who has expertise in a given field. 

 

The only example I can think of that is anything like this is in the field of mathematics.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abc_conjecture

 

This is incredibly esoteric stuff, but even here, when Shinichi Mochizuki claimed a solution to this conjecture, there were others who could check and test the validity of his claim.

 

I find it really difficult to imagine any field of expertise where only one person knows things that nobody else can grasp.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

 

 

 

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The main take away here as I see it, is that if claims are made, the claims are then and therefore subject to scrutiny. People want to make claims then back slide or get mad that other people are asking for evidence for said claims. It just is what it is. 

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Sorry, I didnt notice this was pinned. Just delete my comments.

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3 hours ago, midniterider said:

Sorry, I didnt notice this was pinned. Just delete my comments.

If we do that, then Walt's comments won't make any sense, so we'll have to delete his as well.  Then we'll have to delete this comment because it won't make sense without the context of y'all's comments.  Where will it end?!?

 

Besides, I think Walt gave pretty good rebuttals that might help clarify things further for the prospective apologist. 

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1 hour ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

If we do that, then Walt's comments won't make any sense, so we'll have to delete his as well.  Then we'll have to delete this comment because it won't make sense without the context of y'all's comments.  Where will it end?!?

 

Besides, I think Walt gave pretty good rebuttals that might help clarify things further for the prospective apologist. 

 

So I WAS helpful , after all! lol Woot. 

 

 

 

  

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1 minute ago, midniterider said:

 

So I WAS helpful , after all! lol Woot. 

 

 

 

  

Don't let it get you some head.  

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2 minutes ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

Don't let it get you some head.  

 

I'll take that comment at face value. 

 

(ba-dump tshhhhh)

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I'm not really into the fierce debating that goes on here at times.  What I would like to tell them when they come here is to;

 first, pray to their God that they will be able to discern the truth about religion.  Second, read the whole bible.  Third, do an in depth study of how we came to have the Bible. Forth, do an in depth study of the history of all gods and religions.  Fifth, study about the moral evolution of human beings.  Sixth, if they still want to debate, come back and do so.

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So as christians appear doing and saying the same ole, same ole, we can drop an FYI link back to this thread. 

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The very standard that each of you hold so dearly is incomplete and limited.  Then you place your opinion on that standard that says: we know this to be incomplete and limited. 

Does anyone......ANYONE, for the love of baby Jesus have an answer for this logic other than spouting the limits of acceptance?  Good golly Molly. 

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9 minutes ago, Edgarcito said:

The very standard that each of you hold so dearly is incomplete and limited.  Then you place your opinion on that standard that says: we know this to be incomplete and limited. 

Does anyone......ANYONE, for the love of baby Jesus have an answer for this logic other than spouting the limits of acceptance?  Good golly Molly. 

Umm.... logic by its very definition is a limitation of standards.  

 

By the way, congrats to you and Ms. Molly on having a baby jesus.

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2 minutes ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

Umm.... logic by its very definition is a limitation of standards.  

 

By the way, congrats to you and Ms. Molly on having a baby jesus.

It's kinda like having the Crayola box of 64 colors and it only has 52 inside.  Some of the colors are yet to be known and some never will....our own discoveries have proven this.  The question in my mind is how may we conclude through "lack of evidence" that there is not a God there?  I'm not discounting the attitude of "I don't see any evidence" but that's typically not what I see on this forum.  Some of you do very well, some not.  The truth is we can't define the truth....you know.....we only see in part.   

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19 minutes ago, Edgarcito said:

The question in my mind is how may we conclude through "lack of evidence" that there is not a God there? 

 

Exactly the same way we conclude there are no fairies, unicorns, flying cows or wizards due to the lack of evidence. "Oh, but it's GOD we're talking about! Different rules must apply!!!" Lack of evidence is lack of evidence. Assertions that a thing actually exists, especially a quite improbable and fantastic invisible thing, cannot be seriously entertained without accompanying evidence. To not believe something because of lack of evidence is not the same thing as asserting positively it does not exist; there's just not a reason to believe it does.

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1 hour ago, Edgarcito said:

The question in my mind is how may we conclude through "lack of evidence" that there is not a God there?

I know that you are hopelessly devoted to your god-of-the-gaps; but every time science closes a gap, your god gets smaller.  How small can your god get and still be considered omnipresent?  How small can your god be, while still retaining omnipotence?  How small a god is still a god? 

 

We've been over this before, End3.  Your inability to answer these questions does not nullify them; but it had ought to tell you something about your beliefs.  

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57 minutes ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

I know that you are hopelessly devoted to your god-of-the-gaps; but every time science closes a gap, your god gets smaller.  How small can your god get and still be considered omnipresent?  How small can your god be, while still retaining omnipotence?  How small a god is still a god? 

 

We've been over this before, End3.  Your inability to answer these questions does not nullify them; but it had ought to tell you something about your beliefs.  

Dictionary.com

noun

the beginning and the end. Rev. 1:8.
the basic or essential element or elements: the alpha and omega of political reform.
 
We've talked about this before as you mention....but is no less meaningful at this point...the Alpha and the Omega statements in the Bible somewhat match our scientific dilemmas.  We can't understand the essential beginnings nor the end, the very large.  Just is what it is.  However, God DOES offer us a Representation we may understand interestingly enough.  But, that is all manipulation....
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3 minutes ago, Edgarcito said:

the Alpha and the Omega statements in the Bible somewhat match our scientific dilemmas. 

However, God DOES offer us a Representation we may understand interestingly enough.  But, that is all manipulation....

I think one of the underlying implications of this thread is that the bible doesn't qualify as evidence.  Mere assertions don't either.

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The very standard that each of you hold so dearly is incomplete and limited.  Then you place your opinion on that standard that says: we know this to be incomplete and limited. 

Does anyone......ANYONE, for the love of baby Jesus have an answer for this logic other than spouting the limits of acceptance?  Good golly Molly. 

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Edgarcito,

 

If you recall, in this thread... https://www.ex-christian.net/topic/83131-god-without-religion/page/10/ ...I was able to clearly demonstrate that admissible evidence in law is not a matter of personal choice. I then asked you to tell us why that standard (personal choice) is unworkable in science.  You declined.

 

This notice is based upon the work I put in on that thread.  I've taken principles used in law and adapted them for use in this forum.  Its a matter of historical record that these principles DO work in law.  Therefore, I see no valid reason why we shouldn't use them here.  (Unless you wish to argue that they don't work in law?)

 

In the God-without-religion thread I also wrote that personal choice was unworkable in science, in reasoned argument and in logic.  My plan is quite simple.  Take what is known to work from each of these spheres and adapt it to work in this forum.  That's all.

 

Nobody is claiming completeness.  All that's happening is that standards that are known to work are being adopted and adapted for use in this forum.

 

But if you want to continue to argue that a personal choice of evidence is workable in law, science, reasoned argument and logic, then please return to the God-without-religion thread and we can pick it up from there.  As I told you, I'm ready to do so.  Are you?

 

Walter.

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3 hours ago, Edgarcito said:

It's kinda like having the Crayola box of 64 colors and it only has 52 inside.  Some of the colors are yet to be known and some never will....our own discoveries have proven this.  The question in my mind is how may we conclude through "lack of evidence" that there is not a God there?  I'm not discounting the attitude of "I don't see any evidence" but that's typically not what I see on this forum.  Some of you do very well, some not.  The truth is we can't define the truth....you know.....we only see in part.   

 

Exactly.  We only see in part.

 

And I'm taking principles that are known to work in the parts of reality that we do see, adapting them for use in Ex-C.  

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

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44 minutes ago, Edgarcito said:

Dictionary.com

noun

the beginning and the end. Rev. 1:8.
the basic or essential element or elements: the alpha and omega of political reform.
 
We've talked about this before as you mention....but is no less meaningful at this point...the Alpha and the Omega statements in the Bible somewhat match our scientific dilemmas.  We can't understand the essential beginnings nor the end, the very large.  Just is what it is.  However, God DOES offer us a Representation we may understand interestingly enough.  But, that is all manipulation....

 

We don't need to understand everything to understand some things.

 

And by understanding some things... law, science, reasoned argument and logic work well enough.

 

Well enough for us to adopt their standards for use in this forum.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

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2 hours ago, WalterP said:

The very standard that each of you hold so dearly is incomplete and limited.  Then you place your opinion on that standard that says: we know this to be incomplete and limited. 

Does anyone......ANYONE, for the love of baby Jesus have an answer for this logic other than spouting the limits of acceptance?  Good golly Molly. 

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Edgarcito,

 

If you recall, in this thread... https://www.ex-christian.net/topic/83131-god-without-religion/page/10/ ...I was able to clearly demonstrate that admissible evidence in law is not a matter of personal choice. I then asked you to tell us why that standard (personal choice) is unworkable in science.  You declined.

 

This notice is based upon the work I put in on that thread.  I've taken principles used in law and adapted them for use in this forum.  Its a matter of historical record that these principles DO work in law.  Therefore, I see no valid reason why we shouldn't use them here.  (Unless you wish to argue that they don't work in law?)

 

In the God-without-religion thread I also wrote that personal choice was unworkable in science, in reasoned argument and in logic.  My plan is quite simple.  Take what is known to work from each of these spheres and adapt it to work in this forum.  That's all.

 

Nobody is claiming completeness.  All that's happening is that standards that are known to work are being adopted and adapted for use in this forum.

 

But if you want to continue to argue that a personal choice of evidence is workable in law, science, reasoned argument and logic, then please return to the God-without-religion thread and we can pick it up from there.  As I told you, I'm ready to do so.  Are you?

 

Walter.

But we are talking about people.....knowing people, understanding people.  If we employ limited methods of understanding, we will have limited knowledge.  I don't want to do that with people.  One of the larger complaints here back in the day was, "they don't know our story, nor take the time to understand".  Betting this forum was set up TO know, TO understand.  So by all means Walter, let's limit it to chemistry and physics.....if we can tell the difference.  And to add....the Bible most definitely addresses knowing others.   

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4 minutes ago, Edgarcito said:

But we are talking about people.....knowing people, understanding people.  If we employ limited methods of understanding, we will have limited knowledge.  I don't want to do that with people.

 

Understanding people's behavior is not at all like understanding scientific facts. I can understand that some people truly believe weird things and sometimes I can even figure out why they do. The fact that someone believes in Allah and the fact that they believe they have good reasons has no bearing whatsoever on the literal existence of Allah.

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