събота, 15 юни 2019 г.

Bible Arguments 4

By DeYtH Banger

"Randal’s intention here is to argue for the existence of God from the supposed existence of objective aesthetic beauty.

    For me, this is simple. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It has to be. There is no beauty in the world at all, just as there isn’t anything ugly either. There is no color or sound or taste or smell or pain in the world. All that exists is raw, uninterpreted stuff. There are objects having certain shapes, objects that are made up of certain particles reflected in the periodic table of elements, and objects that are made of molecules and atoms. There are also wavelengths originating from moving objects or particles emitting from them. So seeing is dependent on a beholder. Hearing is dependent on a hearer."

- John W. Loftus

"What we find beautiful is largely based on our biology and thus explained by evolution. Just consider what the various animals in the world may think is beautiful. Take dogs for instance. Their olfactory senses are extremely sensitive. I saw a program in which a bloodhound was given the scent of a particular man and subsequently found the seat where that man had sat among thousands of seats in a huge stadium. But guess what smells wonderful to these dogs? Butts. Smelly, stinky butts. They stick their noses in them—especially butts of other dogs. It must smell really good to them, beautiful that is, even though with their sense of smell it must be extremely bombshell-busting strong."

- John W. Loftus

"The Bible speaks often as if God doesn’t know the future (Gen. 22:12; Deut. 13:3; Jer. 3:7, 19–20; 26:3; 32:35; Ezek. 12:3; and Jon. 3:10). Why then should we think there is any reason he can…"

- John W. Loftus

"There are a few easily seen failed prophecies. Isaiah predicted the river Nile would dry up (Isa. 19:5–7). Isaiah predicted Damascus would cease to be a city (Isa. 17:1–2). Ezekiel predicted Nebuchadnezzar would destroy the city of Tyre (Ezek. 26:7–14) but later admitted this didn’t happen (Ezek. 29:17–20). Revising his original prediction, Ezekiel predicted instead that Egypt would become desolate and that Nebuchadnezzar would conquer it (Ezek. 29:8–12, 19–20). But that too never happened. Jeremiah predicted Jehoiakim, the king of Judah, would have no successor (Jer. 36:30) even though he was succeeded by Jehoiachin, his son (2 Kings 24:6). The prophets Haggai and Zechariah both predicted in their day that Zerubbabel was the long-awaited messiah (Hag. 2:20–23; Zech. 4:6:9–13; compare Zech. 6:9–15…"

- John W. Loftus

"Almost every scientific study done on prayer has shown that prayers are not statistically answered any better than luck.[72] Research has shown us that people are prone to misjudge the true probabilities for any given event—we’re often wrong. Take a deep breath right now. Mathematician John Allen Paulos asks us to consider the odds of whether we have just inhaled a molecule that came out of Caesar’s mouth when he said, “You too Brutus?” You’ll probably doubt this, but he shows that the odds of this happening stand at about 99 percent.[73]

    The fact is that incredible coincidences are common, even virtually certain, given enough opportunities for them to occur in the lives of millions of believers. The most we can say about them is that their causes are unknown. So once again Randal is arguing from the gaps—a…"

- John W. Loftus

"When it comes to miracles due to prayer, it gets worse. Believing in them demands a nearly impossible double burden of proof. What believers must show is that a miracle could not have happened within the natural world because it was nearly impossible (or else it’s not considered miraculous). Then they must turn right around and claim such an impossible event probably took place anyway. The probability that a miracle actually took place is inversely proportional to the probability that such an event could take place (i.e., the less probable it is that a miracle could take place, then the more probable it is that it didn’t take place), so the improbability of a miracle claim defeats any attempt to show it probably happened. That’s why extraordinary claims of miracles demand a greater amount of solid evidence for them (e.g., if a person tells us he levitated, we need more than just his testimony to believe him)…"

- John W. Loftus

"Believers have built in biases to accept miracles because they have a need to believe them. It basically shows us that people are still agency detectors—something we inherited from our animal ancestors. Since we know this about ourselves, it should cause us to be skeptical that there are agents behind unexplained events.

    That there are some unexplained events I’ll admit, just as there are some good things said in the Bible concerning women and animals. But the bad things must be explained and not just explained away.

    This raises the problem of suffering (or evil). There is no excuse for a good God not to do miracles for the millions of believers who suffer intensely around the world. For every personal claim of a miracle healing, there are perhaps hundreds of thousands of people who receive no such thing."

- John W. Loftus

"We do indeed have a design filter preprogrammed into us from our animal ancestors to see agents behind improbable events given the proper circumstances. We are also not good at predicting the actual probabilities of an improbable event. So we should not trust personal anecdotal evidence but instead trust the scientific studies on prayer."

- John W. Loftus

"We suffer from allergies, colds, migraines, Alzheimer’s disease, anemia, asthma, bronchitis, colitis, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, gallstones, gastritis, glaucoma, gout, abnormal blood
pressure, kidney stones, chicken pox, small pox, polio, Parkinson’s disease, psoriasis, strokes, sudden infant death syndrome, thrombosis, tumors, typhoid fever, ulcers, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Lyme disease, malaria, rabies, rickets, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tuberculosis, diphtheria, leprosy, measles, meningitis, mumps, pneumonia, rubella, syphilis, shingles, scoliosis, whooping cough, Down syndrome, hemophilia, Huntington’s disease, muscular dystrophy, sickle cell anemia, Tay-Sachs disease, AIDS, infertility, and so on. Major epidemics have decimated us, like the ones occurring in the years AD 542, 1331, 1556, and 1918. There are birth defects that include people born with two heads, with deformed limbs, blind, deaf, mute; and people born with mental deficiencies including dementia, bipolar disorder, and paranoid schizophrenia.

    There is much more I could add, but thinking people get the point. There isn’t an intelligent designer. Even if Randal still believes there is one anyway, this supernatural force (or being) is not a benevolent one, much less an omnibenevolent one. To argue that this is all Eve’s fault in Eden is scapegoating."

- John W. Loftus

"Randal is taking an irrational leap over the probabilities. A good, intelligent creator should show he cares for each individual on this planet. If he does not, we can reasonably conclude he either does not care or he does not exist at all.

    He’s punting to God’s omniscience as an answer—something other theists do to save their own omniscient God from refutation, making faith unfalsifiable. This proves once again that believers must be convinced their faith is nearly impossible before they will consider it improbable, which is an unreasonable standard. Even if God is omniscient and has higher ways than us, we still must know enough of his ways to know that he exists and that he cares for us—and if omniscient, he should know this about us."

- John W. Loftus

"First look at J. L. Schellenberg’s persuasive argument from divine hiddenness:

    1.  If there is a God, he is perfectly

    2.  If a perfectly loving God exists, reasonable nonbelief does not occur.

      3. Reasonable nonbelief occurs.

     4. No perfectly loving God exists (from 2 and 3).

    5.  Hence, there is no God (from 1 and 4).[83]

    If I have shown anything in this book, then I have a reasonable nonbelief. Therefore, unless someone can still maintain against the evidence that I don’t have a reasonable nonbelief, Schellenberg’s argument has been shown correct.

    Now consider Theodore Drange’s persuasive argument from unbelief for the existence of an evangelical God.

   1.   God wants all humans to believe before they die.

2. God can bring about that all, or almost all, humans believe before they die.

      3. God always acts in accordance with what he most wants.

    4.   If God exists, all or almost all humans would believe before they die (from 1).

     5.  But not all humans believe before they die.

      6. Therefore, God does not exist (from 2 and 3)"

- John W. Loftus

"The reason we sometimes act like brutes is because we evolved from them. There is therefore no need for atonement. It’s who we are, and it’s something that we alone can fix as morality evolves. The only reason Randal believes our rage (or sins) need atoning is because he was raised in a Western, Christianized culture. The vast majority of people in the world do not think someone like Jesus needs to be punished to death for the rest of us to be forgiven by a god."

- John W. Loftus

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