|  New Posts
 
 
 


Reply
 
Author Comment
 
jbiemans
Reply with quote  #91 
Really ?  If you think I took something out of context, please show me where.  I could not see anywhere in his paper where he actually says that the serum showed to be less then 15 minutes old.  Could you show me where in the paper it says that ?  Also the paper clearly states that the blood has dried and coagulated; it is now hard.  (which is hardly indicative of a 15 minute old sample)

As for his claim about it being unlikely to be cut out; do you honestly think that they did not have sharp knives back then ?  He said the cut would have taken a skilled hand, but that is about it.

It honestly amazes me how you take everything you read from a source that supports your opinion at face value.

I also swear that you are not listening to a single thing I am actually saying and simply reading into what ever I say.  I have explicitly explained more then 3 times now that I am not simply abandoning the account of the miracle based on its age, and still you write this:

Quote:
Your willingness to abandon a first hand account of the miracle on the basis of its' age, while not considering that would also require you to abandon the whole of human history,

This is what I wrote 2 messages ago

Quote:
So I will repeat it again "The Age of a claim is not what is relevant in determining the truth of a claim"  The age of a claim does however determine if we are able to gather evidence that could confirm it or not.

Please stop !  Again later down you are twisting my words again in regards to Lincon

Quote:
Originally Posted by you
In fact we can apply this burden of proof to literally almost anything. Abraham Lincoln may not have existed. We have no proof that the photos and drawings we have of him are truly of an actual american president, and not another man. We also have no proof that it was Abraham Lincoln himself who spoke the Gettysburg Address. All we have is a page full of words which people have claimed is the Gettysburg Address, and some history books that claim it was Lincoln who spoke it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by me
 Again about Lincoln, sure I suppose you are correct, we do not have enough evidence to demonstrate that those things were actually him.  And again, I fail to see the problem ??

Quote:
You've shown in previous posts that you're willing to state that Abraham Lincoln may not have existed before accepting Gospels accounts,

You clearly did not understand what I was saying in response to what you wrote, so I will spell it out very clearly.  We have evidence of the man we call Lincoln and pictures of this man, etc.  We know that based on the evidence that we do have, this man was the president, etc.  What we cannot know, like you said, is if this man was the actual Lincoln or an imposter.  Given the limited quantity of evidence we have, its impossible to conclude one way or another on that matter.  You cannot tell me with any amount of certainty that it was actually Lincoln there.  It is very likely that it was, but I cannot say that I know that it was.  For all I know since it was during the war, the president had a body double stand in during the speech in case there was an assassination attempt.

The fact of the matter is that neither you nor I can really know what actually happened given the limited evidence we have at hand with which to asses the claims.  Historians can conclude what is most likely the case, but they cannot ever conclude what actually happened.


Again, I have spent all my time rebutting the claims you are making against me, rather then about the actual issue.

Let me restate this clearly AGAIN:

1) The AGE of a claim does not affect if we can say its true or not, its the evidence supporting it. 
2) The study of history can only tell us what was likely the case based on the evidence that is left to support it.  If there is insufficient evidence, it is impossible to conclude what happened.

You have never answered the question that I have asked you 3 times now:

If you have 3 options in your pool of live options, and the epistemic probabilities are:

a) 30%
b) 20%
c) 10%

Do you say that a is what actually happened since it is the most likely, or do you say that you do not know what actually happened but a is the most likely ?

Here are the reasons why I am not accepting the miracle claim that the host and wine turned into flesh and blood.(This is not irrational)

1) We have no evidence that the host actually changed into flesh.  All we have are accounts that it did.  Personal testimony alone is insufficient to establish the truth of anything objective, only subjective things.  There is no possible way to establish if this actually did or did not happen to any reasonable degree.  If my standard were so low as to accept this, then I would be forced to accept any personal testimony, which includes things like alien abductions, and conspiracy theories, etc.

The next miracle claim is that the artifacts have been miraculously preserved.  The reasons that I do not believe these claims are:

1) The blood is dried out and clotted
2) The flesh is dried out and it has aged.

Quote:
Describe the macroscopic aspects of Flesh and Blood of the Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano (eighth century). Histological studies were performed from which it was found that the meat is made of a fabric mesodermale recognizable as the heart, myocardium and endocardium.The various studies performed on blood, and in particular the thin layer chromatography, allowed to be truly recognized in Blood. The human nature of the ancient Blood and ancient meat Lanciano has been demonstrated immunologically by means of a precipitation reaction of zonal Uhlenhuth. The blood group sought the liquid elution of the ancient blood and ancient meat was equal in both tissues (group AB). The electrophoretic pattern of serum proteins has presented aspects of the ancient blood almost identical to those provided by a fresh serum. In the ancient blood were significantly reduced sodium, potassium, chloride, total inorganic phosphorus and magnesium, while calcium was increased. 

This passage shows exactly what the paper demonstrated:

- The fluid was human blood
- The meat was a piece of a human heart.
- The proteins in the serum were almost identical to those provided by a fresh serum. (this is the one you keep touting as proof it has not aged, but I cannot find anywhere that tells me that proteins are suppose to degrade over time in serum samples. In fact, in the same paper, I get the following [which I already cited] )

Quote:
The proteins and antigens present in the ancient dell'emogruppo AB Meat and ancient blood of Lancaster after 1200 years, consistent with the finding of protein in Egyptian mummies dating from 4000 years (Hansemann) - [6], and 5000 years (MEYER) - [11], although it is recognized that objective is very different situation of a mummified body with the known processes and repaired at the most by contact with the external environment and that of a strip of infarction and blood clots left natural state over the centuries and more exposed to the action of physical agents atmospheric, environmental and parasitic

That, to me sounds like the proteins found are what is to be expected to be found within human blood, so there is nothing miraculous there.

The only thing that I can see is that last paragraph, which says that its in very good shape considering its age, which, while possibly unexpected is hardly miraclous.

If you want to assert otherwise, please show your sources


Edit:  Please show me where you are getting this 15 min number that you keep quoting, and please stop calling it a heart, it is clear from the paper that it is not actually a heart.
Lawlessone777
Reply with quote  #92 
Alright I'll have to break this down into a few posts in order to respond to each of them. Let me start with number 1:

Quote:
Really ?  If you think I took something out of context, please show me where.  I could not see anywhere in his paper where he actually says that the serum showed to be less then 15 minutes old.  Could you show me where in the paper it says that ?  Also the paper clearly states that the blood has dried and coagulated; it is now hard.  (which is hardly indicative of a 15 minute old sample)

I can't, because I don't speak Italian. I'm relying on the translations of those observations by English writers. It's made abundantly clear by every person who quotes this miracle that the serum sample is indicative of a fresh sample. I know, from my previous schooling, that this means less than 15 minutes. You're talking about mummies down below and so I'll get to that once we get there.

Quote:
You clearly did not understand what I was saying in response to what you wrote, so I will spell it out very clearly.  We have evidence of the man we call Lincoln and pictures of this man, etc.  We know that based on the evidence that we do have, this man was the president, etc.  What we cannot know, like you said, is if this man was the actual Lincoln or an imposter.  Given the limited quantity of evidence we have, its impossible to conclude one way or another on that matter.  You cannot tell me with any amount of certainty that it was actually Lincoln there.  It is very likely that it was, but I cannot say that I know that it was.  For all I know since it was during the war, the president had a body double stand in during the speech in case there was an assassination attempt.

The fact of the matter is that neither you nor I can really know what actually happened given the limited evidence we have at hand with which to asses the claims.  Historians can conclude what is most likely the case, but they cannot ever conclude what actually happened.

This was exactly what I was talking about, you're just demanding it to be pushed into this ultra-literal interpretation. What you're presenting is the stance that one should be agnostic about pretty much everything except for those things which you openly and directly witnessed, or participated in. I'm saying that this is an untenable position to hold because it basically requires you to never come to a conclusion about anything. As I've pointed out before I can cast reasonable doubt on everything from ancient history, to your own conscious existence, and you've even supported the claim that you need to be openly agnostic about anything that you don't know for 100% certain.

So you're appealing to Bayes Theorum when it comes to spiritual situations and claiming that you need a great deal of evidence due to the fact that you have zero prior experiences with the supernatural. And yet you're applying this ultra-literally to every single supernatural explanation which you encounter. Seeing as you're using your own low probabilistic interpretation via Bayes Therum on every single one of these miracles and supernatural events, this means that logically you will never come to the conclusion that a supernatural event has taken place.

And I do mean never. Because of this methodology, and the burden of evidence you require to dismount the probability problem you created yourself, what you've done is make it so that even if you witness a supernatural event in person you would be required to abandon it as a hallucination by your own methodology. Jesus himself could approach you openly with wounds in hands and tell you that he was Lord and you should come be with him in heaven, and by your probabilistic interpretation of supernatural events you would deem it to be a hallucination as your prior experiences with hallucinations as natural events are higher than your prior experiences with supernatural apparitions.

So you see, you will never believe in God if you maintain your methodology. There's simply no point in arguing it, I just have to dust my sandals off.

As for your epistemic probabilities I'm going to skip that because, again, I'm not going to get into a hashed out debate about probabilities and Bayes Therum. I've already told you that your application is so stringent that you've basically made it impossible to ever believe in anything supernatural.

Quote:
Here are the reasons why I am not accepting the miracle claim that the host and wine turned into flesh and blood.(This is not irrational)

1) We have no evidence that the host actually changed into flesh.  All we have are accounts that it did.  Personal testimony alone is insufficient to establish the truth of anything objective, only subjective things.  There is no possible way to establish if this actually did or did not happen to any reasonable degree.  If my standard were so low as to accept this, then I would be forced to accept any personal testimony, which includes things like alien abductions, and conspiracy theories, etc.

This is where the problems with your methodology come out. There are no objective reasons for you to abandon something based upon personal testimony, and you're taking this personal testimony separately from the rest of the event as it stands. You're separating the host turning into a heart, with the miraculous nature of the heart itself. And like I said above, if personal testimony means that you're going to be openly agnostic about something, you have to be openly agnostic about pretty well the whole of human history, and frankly every single thing that exists that you haven't personally witnessed. 

I assume you've never been to Egypt personally? You then don't have 100% certainty that it exists either, and so must be agnostic as to whether it is even real. For all you know the maps that have been drawn in America may include a country that doesn't actually exist. Your belief that Egypt is actually real comes exclusively from testimony of people that have either been there, or written about it. Even when Egypt is on the news you're taking it on personal testimony that those events are actually transpiring, and that they're transpiring in Egypt. This is why I think your methodology is flawed and untenable, I can basically use it to disprove anything.

Quote:
The next miracle claim is that the artifacts have been miraculously preserved.  The reasons that I do not believe these claims are:

1) The blood is dried out and clotted
2) The flesh is dried out and it has aged.

You're presuming "preserved" meant that it was shiny and new. It has gotten older in the 1300 years it has existed. What you're not grasping is that if it is an honest to goodness heart it shouldn't exist at all. Meat rots completely into a grey mush which is eventually eaten by flies and turned to dust in less than 2 months. And that's being liberal. That blood and flesh shouldn't have lasted 3 months let alone 1300 years. Right now they should be powder.

Quote:
This passage shows exactly what the paper demonstrated:

- The fluid was human blood
- The meat was a piece of a human heart.
- The proteins in the serum were almost identical to those provided by a fresh serum. (this is the one you keep touting as proof it has not aged, but I cannot find anywhere that tells me that proteins are suppose to degrade over time in serum samples. In fact, in the same paper, I get the following [which I already cited] )

That, to me sounds like the proteins found are what is to be expected to be found within human blood, so there is nothing miraculous there.

The only thing that I can see is that last paragraph, which says that its in very good shape considering its age, which, while possibly unexpected is hardly miraclous.

If you want to assert otherwise, please show your sources

This is why I got into mistranslations and the fact that you're using google translator in order to make Italian into English. That quote you posted from the actual article is garbled and nearly unreadable. Now I quoted to you earlier in the discussion that the serum levels are indicative of fresh blood, however the minerals and proteins are indicative of old blood and flesh. You are, in fact, misunderstanding what he's talking about.

When blood is left to open air it loses serum, minerals, and proteins as it sits, as does flesh and muscle. However the serum in the blood was indicative of fresh blood, while the flesh of the heart was indicative of an old heart, but without any preservatives or embalming. Go back what I was saying in my earlier posts. I kept repeating that the blood and heart are both old and young at the same time. What you quoted from the article confirmed that he was stating it was young blood, and the garbled article you quoted which referenced mummies was talking about the protein levels of the muscle tissue in the heart of a completely different situation. Read it again:

Quote:
The proteins and antigens present in the ancient dell'emogruppo AB Meat and ancient blood of Lancaster after 1200 years, consistent with the finding of protein in Egyptian mummies dating from 4000 years (Hansemann) - [6], and 5000 years (MEYER) - [11], although it is recognized that objective is very different situation of a mummified body with the known processes and repaired at the most by contact with the external environment and that of a strip of infarction and blood clots left natural state over the centuries and more exposed to the action of physical agents atmospheric, environmental and parasitic

It doesn't even sound like he's talking about the miracle at all. He's talking about something dell'emogruppo AB Meat and ancient blood of Lancaster. This translation is garbled and unreadable, and you're again missing what I was saying in my earlier posts with regards to the difference between the proteins and minerals, and the serum levels. Again I said repeatedly that the blood and flesh are both old and new.

Quote:
Edit:  Please show me where you are getting this 15 min number that you keep quoting, and please stop calling it a heart, it is clear from the paper that it is not actually a heart.

I told you repeatedly in my last posts that the 15 minute number came from my own schooling in blood spatter analysis.

And finally your complaint that it's not a heart is another attempt at trying to apply an ultra-literal complaint towards something in order to falsify it. It is part of a heart, and he clearly notes that it is part of a heart. Asking me to denote it as such when we both know exactly what it is is simply to question something uselessly.

Honestly JB there's two conclusions I can clearly come to by viewing how you're dealing with this miracle. One is that you're actively attempting to falsify evidence and seek reasons why you don't believe, no matter how thinly veiled those reasons are. Grasping at straws would be a very liberal interpretation of what you're doing. Second is that what you've done is create for yourself a mindset in order to judge religion and spirituality. You've even given it probabilistic quantities, used Bayed Therum, etc. However what you've crafted is a methodology that ensures that you will never in your life ever believe in miracles or the supernatural unless you abandon it.

I must repeat what I've said in previous threads: If your methodology requires you to be agnostic about the existence of literally everything in history in order for you to maintain your unbelief in God, your methodology is flawed.
jbiemans
Reply with quote  #93 
Quote:
and you've even supported the claim that you need to be openly agnostic about anything that you don't know for 100% certain.

This is not true.

Quote:
in the ancient dell'emogruppo AB Meat and ancient blood of Lancaster after 1200

I will concede here that I got "ancient meat Lanciano" mixed up with ancient meat Lancaster".  
*** Extra edit:  I don't take that back.  The word used in the Italian was Luciano, but it was mistranslated into Lancaster.  I thought it was odd that I overlooked something like that, but it is referring the same same miracle samples.

Quote:
You're presuming "preserved" meant that it was shiny and new. It has gotten older in the 1300 years it has existed. What you're not grasping is that if it is an honest to goodness heart it shouldn't exist at all. Meat rots completely into a grey mush which is eventually eaten by flies and turned to dust in less than 2 months. And that's being liberal. That blood and flesh shouldn't have lasted 3 months let alone 1300 years. Right now they should be powder.

Due to your use of the words "fresh" and "15 min old" I did think that you were using the term "preserved" in a different way then you are now saying here.  If by preserved you simply mean it has not rotted away, then that is different.  I will again give that a little more thought and get back to you.

Quote:
When blood is left to open air it loses serum, minerals, and proteins as it sits, as does flesh and muscle. 

This is something that I cannot find information on.  Since I do not know much about biology, I would like to find a source to confirm this statement.


What I am doing is asking for things to be explained and demonstrated, you are simply accepting them as facts without explanation.  You do not see a problem with that ?
jbiemans
Reply with quote  #94 
You said you won't answer my question about epistemic probabilities, but it is an important question, and I would ask that you please reconsider and answer. You keep complaining about my methodology, but you will not tell me yours ( which I believe is flawed in the opposite way you accuse mine of being). I think you are forcing yourself to accept the most probable answer in the live pool of options but you are forgetting that "I don't know" is always an option in the live pool.
jbiemans
Reply with quote  #95 
Quote:
 the miracle fabric has acted a long series of intervening centuries, which led to loss of body parts in order to present the single cavity. Furthermore, it is evident that the fabric is not protected by any casing, has lost all the water of which each fabric is equipped, mummification, and then decreasing in size, which in fact are much lower than the normal heart. The surface is smooth, never raised irregularly, chapped or engraved. It note a widespread dissemination of small white formations sometimes tiny, sometimes a grain of millet, often confluent, soft consistency, detachable, not part of the fabric weave, bad stemperabili in saline. Finally, in the marginal zone of the circular plate of the fabric you see small holes, clear sign, in ancient times, the passage of nails. The consistency of the fabric is uniformly hard-wood, rigidness a strong pressure to remove the blade with two very small fragments for the subsequent investigation

The Blood of the Eucharistic miracle is contained within an ancient chalice glass, closed with a cover glass also, and appears in the form of fragments weighing a total of 5 g. 15.85, yellow-brown in color, with some whitish marks. The shape of the fragments is quite irregular, the surface is rough, variously raised; the consistency is uniformly hard, so that only with strong pressure of the cutting edge it is possible to detach difficulty with some small part. In the bottom of the cup is this modest amount of powder of coloring equally dark brown. 

This study, which was held between November 18, 1970 and March 4, 1971, is straightforward: a) to determine the histological structure of the tissue hardness of wood, passed as meatb) to define the substance hardened stone-Cretaceous handed down as the blood meets the requirements of thisc) to determine which biological species belong to the flesh and blood; d) to clarify the two tissues as blood; e) to investigate the protein and mineral components of blood.

This is the introduction to the paper.  It makes it sound like both the flesh and blood have solidified and are no longer the flesh and blood they once were.  It appears that they have been preserved by some manor, although according to the study, not by known methods at the time for mummification.
Lawlessone777
Reply with quote  #96 
Alright I'll have to break apart from the discussion of the miracle because opening up, translating, and discussing your interpretation of the miracle is going to take a very, very long time with pages of rebuttals. So here I'm going to make one simple point, JB. Your interpretation of the paper that was published is, in fact, opposing Odoardo Linoli's interpretation, the man who actually published the paper himself. Not only was his publication put next to the miracle itself, but you can find it on the Wiki, the main page for it, as well he also confirmed this in 2005 during his interview with Zenit. What you're trying to rebuke is your interpretation of how I described the miracle, and not based upon the conclusions of the histology report. You're actually arguing against the actual doctor who published the paper.

Quote:
You said you won't answer my question about epistemic probabilities, but it is an important question, and I would ask that you please reconsider and answer. You keep complaining about my methodology, but you will not tell me yours ( which I believe is flawed in the opposite way you accuse mine of being). I think you are forcing yourself to accept the most probable answer in the live pool of options but you are forgetting that "I don't know" is always an option in the live pool.

Alright let me cover in specificity the problem with your view on epistemic probabilities. As I've covered in the past your view on Bayes Theorum and how you're applying it to your judgement of how an epistemic probability should be determined is so radically literal, and so demonstrably high that you are forcing yourself to be an agnostic about every single subject you have not born personal witness to. In your previous post you complained that this was not true when I charged you with it before, even though I've laid out my contentions, but now I want to focus more stringently on the exact methods you use to determine likelihood, the main of which I've bolded above.

You apply Bayes Theorum when viewing the ontological reality of something via your views on epistemic probabilities. As you've pointed out before, your prior relation to anything miraculous is zero, and as such you've placed the epistemic probability of a supernatural explanation at the very bottom of your list in the pool of live options. Where you're going wrong is when you've placed the term "I don't know" above a supernatural explanation in the pool of live options by claiming that due to your prior zero experience with the supernatural you can assert it as having the lowest epistemic probability.

Here's where your problem is in full force. Considering you've determined that all supernatural events have the highest possible burden of proof due to you viewing them as having the lowest epistemic probability, the possibility of you ever having a prior experience with supernatural events is zero, because you will always apply your ridiculously high burden of proof to every single supernatural event you encounter, you'll consider a supernatural explanation to have the lowest epistemic probability, and since you allow agnosticism (I don't know) to have a higher epistemic probability you will always choose that over a supernatural explanation, thus ensuring your prior experience with the supernatural will always remain at zero, thus ensuring you will never come to a supernatural conclusion.

Or to put it in a much more specific way, what you're arguing is that there are no supernatural events because no supernatural event has ever happened. Your application of epistemic probabilities is so ridiculously rigid, and your methodology so stringent, that like I said in my previous posts I could use your methodology to disprove the existence of literally everything. It's a flawed system, and obviously bias masqueraded as good investigative technique.

I apply basic deduction to determining whether or not something is supernatural in nature, and I do not automatically declare supernaturalism to have the lowest possible epistemic probability. Why don't I do this? Because if I did so I would be forced to automatically preclude any supernatural event from ever taking place, which would invalidate my investigation from the get go. And there is no honest objective reasoning for increasing the burden of proof. Should I say that something is, by nature, more improbable simply because it's supernatural? Why? By saying something is improbable simply because it's supernatural is to justify this bias by simply defining the subject matter. Much in the same way I could say that we should always preclude murder as a possible motive because murder would involve the victim being murdered. It honestly makes zero sense.

Like I said in my previous post, JB, I see this happen all the time with new guys. Cheating spouses are one of the most common cases we get, and I see young guys get involved and develop a personal opinion on the matter. Once they get it into their head that, for example, the wife would never cheat on her husband cuz look at how innocent she is, they begin to increase the burden of proof on any evidence which supports the claim that she is guilty. "Sure she went to the movies with this other guy, but that doesn't prove anything, I go to movies with my friends and sometimes they're of the opposite sex." "Sure she went into this hotel with this other guy, but that doesn't prove she had sex with him. Maybe they were old friends and wanted to talk." "Sure I found a receipt for a box of condoms in the trash outside their room with her name on it, but how do you know she wasn't buying them for use with her husband later?"

This is the same trap you're falling into. It's bias, only now you're trying to create an actual methodology to go with it, and this methodology is so flawed that, as I've said above, I can use it to prove that anything and everything doesn't exist.
jbiemans
Reply with quote  #97 
I partially agree with what you are saying, and in another way, I fail to see the problem ?  Yes my methodology is setup in such a way as to virtually preclude miracles (but not exclude them completely), but your methodology is setup in exactly the same way when it comes to aliens, or any other fantasy creature.  Do you believe that unicorns are real?  

In relation to the previous options:

1) 30 %
2) 20%
3) 10%

There is always ( 0 ) which is "I don't know", and the way that I assign the value to that is to take 100% - the highest live option (30%), so in this scenario:

0) 70%

Given that, 0 or "I don't know" is the most likely answer, not 1, even though it has 30% support.  Things do get more interesting though, since I do not use 50/50 as a rule, I would go based on more of a 80/20 (like the marks required to graduate some classes are not actually 50, but higher).

You do say that this level would result in me having to say "I don't know", to a vast majority of history, and to that I would respond, sure.  I do not see the problem with that.  Please keep in mind that this has only to do with knowledge and not belief.  I have enough evidence to say that I can be pretty confident that Jesus actually existed, but I cannot say that I know it to be true.

To relate this to your example, you were going the other way as you accused the rookies.  You said that they form the belief too early that the wife could not be cheating and it biases their investigation.  But I also think that its problematic to say that you know something when you simply believe it to be true. 

If you believed the wife was cheating, but did not have enough evidence you would begin to bias your investigation as well.  You would be saying that all of the things you listed (movies, hotel, condoms, etc).  Were in support of your belief, and you may not see them objectively enough to actually look at the evidence.  Whenever you have a belief prior to looking at all the evidence, it will bias your results.  You must look at all the evidence and then draw a conclusion from it, not the other way round.

I can look at earthquake data and see that every 220 days (I cannot remember the number) there is a major quake.  This piece of evidence alone would seem to support the idea that there should be a major quake every 220 days.  If I look at the whole data set however.  I see a different picture.  I see that earthquakes happen frequently and with a fairly random statistical dispersion.  We both had the same information, but if you go in with a preconception, you will see the data wrong.
Lawlessone777
Reply with quote  #98 
It's not that your methodology precludes the existence of miracles, but allows for a small margin of possibility that may leave you the option to adopt a supernatural explanation over a natural one, it's that your methodology when observed objectively completely precludes supernatural explanations and when applied logically will never allow for them. This is not a good methodology. A good methodology is one that you can apply to anything and it works just fine. Detectives have long since had this kind of methodology, it's called Deductive Reasoning.

Like I said before, your assignment of "I don't know" to a higher epistemic probability than "Supernaturalism" due to your prior experience with supernaturalism being zero means that you will always choose "I don't know" over "Supernaturalism" which means your prior experience with supernaturalism will forever be zero. It's bias which uses itself to justify itself.

The problem comes when you assign "no explanation" to a higher bracket than "supernatural explanation". Once you get to this realm what you're going to see is the exact behaviour expressed by people like Richard Dawkins. Dawkins himself has said, "I don't know what created the universe, but I know it wasn't God." And when he was asked why he responded with, "Because that idea is silly." It's blatant, open, and obvious bias. You asked me, "So what?" because you don't see a problem with this.

The problem with this is that not only do you need to be agnostic about things you really have no reason to be agnostic about such as history, there is no evidence that will ever convince you that God exist. Basically your methodology means that there's no reason why you should talk on these forums, or why you should ask for proof in this thread. It's honestly pointless, your methodology will forever preclude the existence of the supernatural.

Which means, and I believe this is the part you're ignoring, if God does exist and if the supernatural does exist because you've crafted for yourself this methodology that will ensure you will never believe in him, you will never believe in him. You've already determined the outcome of every debate you participate in, and you have already determined the outcome of your afterlife.

And like I said, much the same with the young detectives, if it turns out that the wife did cheat on her husband and you "screwed the pooch" by letting your bias affect your methodology it's going to be your head on the chopping block when the whole case goes to court.

So the reason why I'm encouraging you to abandon this methodology is because it will never allow for you to ever study this subject with any true sense of objectivity or impartiality. What you're always going to do is preclude the supernatural without any objective reason. And so I'm encouraging you to adopt true, honest, deductive reasoning which does not automatically preclude the supernatural from the pool of live options, or assign it the lowest possible epistemic probability. You'll find that when you remove that bias, and actually study the subject with an open mind, the reality of God and the supernatural will become far more obvious.
jbiemans
Reply with quote  #99 
I will have to give this some thought and get back to you tonight, but I do disagree in some parts of what you said and agree with others.  

I do want to make one point though, Deductive reasoning is actually a stricter methodology then the one that I am employing here.  The reason that I say this is that in order for deductive reasoning to work, the premises must be "true", not probably true, or possibly true, but true true.  If you attempt to use probably true premises in a deductive argument, you will eventually come to false conclusions.  This is because sometimes the truth is improbable. 

I am sure that you can agree that sometimes the right answer is one with an incredibly low probability of actually happening, but if the evidence is strong enough for it, it can overcome that low probability and be shown to be what actually happened.

As I have said many times, if the evidence in support of a miracle or the supernatural were strong enough to warrant belief, then I would believe it.  To date however I have not seen strong enough evidence.

To stress the point I have been asking you that you refuse to answer, over and over.  If the highest option in a live pool of options only has 30% epistemic probability of being true, should it be accepted as true by virtue of the fact that it is the most likely answer ?  NO!  If you believe that it should, please explain why......
jbiemans
Reply with quote  #100 
One other thing that you may not have realized is that "I don't know" only has a higher initial prior probability then supernaturalism, it does not necessary always have a higher probability.  It also should be noted that "I don't know" also has an initial higher probability then naturalism as well.

The only real difference is that I do not jump to an unknown supernatural cause simply due to the fact that I cannot find a natural one.  Deep down I suspect you do the same in most cases.

If all the evidence you had pointed to a murder, but you could see no possible way that murder could have actually been committed, would you conclude that it was a supernatural murder?   Or would you think that the method the murder used is currently unknown and further investigation is required ?
Lawlessone777
Reply with quote  #101 
Well let me tackle your question about the percentiles that you've been presenting repeatedly. You should know the reason why I'm not answering this is because the actual application of percentiles to a probabilistic scenario, especially one as broad as supernaturalism, is pretty well impossible. You're asking whether I'd take 30% above 20, or 10, and I'd of course say no. However you're putting the cart before the horse and applying probabilistic quantities before you enter into investigation instead of after. You see I don't apply any prior probabilistic quantities to anything before entering into an investigation. To me, everything is equally possible until the evidence has been weighed. It is only when two or more theories are equal in their evidence that you apply prior experience with epistemic probability.

You see you're starting with probability instead of ending with it, and this is where bias comes in. In fact, from the technical application of investigative technique, bias is quite literally applying a higher burden of proof, or lower epistemic probability to a single theory prior to entering into the investigation. You're setting up the show before even getting on stage, and so you've already invalidated your conclusion by inserting bias. Because, you see, unless something has an objective reason for being deemed "unlikely" you cannot automatically determine it to be such.

Honestly, think about this. Why are supernatural events more unlikely, even though others have experienced them and reported them? Because you've never encountered a supernatural event? This logic doesn't work. I'm assuming you've never been to space, would the epistemic probability of an astronauts claim to have gone into space thus lower because you've never been there yourself?  There is no true, honest, objective reason why you should abandon supernaturalism. Then you always say, "But then I'd be forced to believe in unicorns, fairies, and UFO's." And to that I'd say, of course you wouldn't. That's simply silly, and shows you're lumping things into two categories "believable" and "unbelievable". I don't believe in unicorns, because there has never been a single reported sighting of one, nor do we have any in captivity. You see unicorns are animals, they need to eat, breed, and live in a spacial area. I don't believe in fairies because they are also physical creatures. They need food, spaces to live, to breed, and we've never encountered them physically. So there are good reasons for us to not believe in fairies, unicorns, Santa Claus, or UFO's. There is positive evidence against those things. 

Now stepping into the investigation without pre-determining what conclusions are acceptable, and what are unacceptable, you'll find that God is in fact the best explanation for a wide range of various events and problems. He is the best explanation for the origin of the universe, for the origin of life, for the resurrection of Jesus, and for this Lanciano miracle. And this explanation is not ad hoc because even before we found these problems people were saying that God is the cause of the universe, life, resurrection of Jesus, and miracles. There also exists no plausible naturalistic explanation for any of these problems.

So when you find that God makes sense of these problems, that the "God theory" was not created specifically to answer these problems, and that there is no other plausible explanation; without jacking up the burden of proof by claiming low epistemic probability the existence of God is quite logical. And so you see atheists claim low epistemic probability without any objective reason because of this very problem. Let me quote you Richard Dawkins once again when someone asked how the universe was created, "I don't know, but I know it wasn't God." and when asked why he responded. "Because that's silly." So before investigating what caused the universe Dawkins had already decided that God both did not exist, and that he was not an acceptable explanation to the origin of the universe.

What led me to Christ was not my willingness to embrace miracles, but rather my unwillingness to dismiss them before investigating the problem. What you're trying to do with your application of "epistemic probability" is rationalize your bias by trying to give a reasonable method to your off handed dismissal of God.
jbiemans
Reply with quote  #102 
But I am not applying the probabilities before I begin the investigation, I am applying them to the evidence I gathered during my investigation.  I am looking at the evidence and then seeing where it goes, and then I am giving you epistemic probabilities based on that the potential options that the evidence leads to.

Do you remember our discussion about suspect F? (adding a suspect with no good reason to?).  That is how I see supernatural claims, as extra suspects that don't even really fit into the live pool of options.  Just like you never include aliens in your live pool of options until you are given sufficient reason to.  You are misunderstanding what my methodology is.

As for the unicorn thing, I do not believe then either for the reasons that you listed, but I do find it curious that unicorns are talked about in the bible..... (but that's just a side). 

As for Dawkins, I recognize that he is good at biology, but that he is limited in philosophy, and many other areas.  I do not simply accept whatever anyone says, even if they people that I generally agree with, I question everything and see how it fits with everything else that I already know.

Whenever you are asserting the supernatural, to me, you are creating an extra option for no reason, other then the fact that you cannot explain it naturally, or do not find the natural explanation compelling.


Imagine if you had a client come to you and say that he suspected his wife of cheating, and then you asked him "What evidence do you have for this ?".  Then he says; "Well she is pregnant and we have never had sex, so she must be a virgin.  When I told her that's impossible, she said that she was impregnated by a spirit from another plane of existence."

Whats the more likely scenario ? 

In my opinion, its much more likely that she was cheating, then that she was inpregnanted by a spirit.  Although I will not automatically rule out the spirit as an option, I will not give it much credit unless I had more evidence for it to be the case.  As a good detective, I cannot imagine you would either.


Lawlessone777
Reply with quote  #103 
And in your first statement that is where you are falling flat. You are applying epistemic probabilities to the evidence based upon your prior experience. Since your prior experience is zero, then you're placing a ridiculously high epistemic probability on supernatural evidence, thus ensuring that you will never come to a supernatural conclusion.

As I've pointed out before, your methodology also requires you to abandon certainty about pretty much everything else, which you seem comfortable with adopting a belief that has such a high intellectual price tag. And you're open about this too. Let me quote your post:

Quote:
Do you remember our discussion about suspect F? (adding a suspect with no good reason to?).  That is how I see supernatural claims, as extra suspects that don't even really fit into the live pool of options.  

You've obviously already come to a conclusion before discussing the evidence, so there's really no point in you studying this subject. As I've already discussed with your methodology, you're simply biased and will never accept a supernatural explanation. You've crafted what you consider to be a logical methodology that is designed to preclude the existence of God, but in consequence also precludes the existence of everything in history as well. This is not rational. If you're willing to abandon massive swaths of human knowledge for the sole purpose of denying the existence of God, you're intellectually crippling yourself. And if you're comfortable with this bias I should note, again, that if you're wrong and you stand in front of God he won't take your "logical methods" as a good excuse, especially when even a fallible and sinful human such as myself can so obviously see the problem with it.

Quote:
As for the unicorn thing, I do not believe then either for the reasons that you listed, but I do find it curious that unicorns are talked about in the bible..... (but that's just a side).

In the Book of Job which is not a historical document, it's a poem.

Quote:
Imagine if you had a client come to you and say that he suspected his wife of cheating, and then you asked him "What evidence do you have for this ?".  Then he says; "Well she is pregnant and we have never had sex, so she must be a virgin.  When I told her that's impossible, she said that she was impregnated by a spirit from another plane of existence."

Whats the more likely scenario ? 

In my opinion, its much more likely that she was cheating, then that she was inpregnanted by a spirit.  Although I will not automatically rule out the spirit as an option, I will not give it much credit unless I had more evidence for it to be the case.  As a good detective, I cannot imagine you would either.

I would assume she was cheating as well, as would any reasonable person. In fact, Joseph himself assumed she was cheating and was going to go ballistic on her. He didn't take the, "It was God" excuse seriously either. It wasn't until a heavenly angel came down and sat Joseph down explaining that it was in fact God that he started to believe.

You're once again showing your obvious bias by assuming that believers insert supernatural explanations into anything without cause. You'd be amazed that if on stage while a debate was taking place a pencil spontaneously materialized out of thin air, the theist would not automatically fall onto the ground and declare it to be a miracle from God. He would likely have the exact same response as the atheist, "Huh, that was weird." But if an angel of the Lord were to come down into that meeting with flaming wings and sword, shouting loudly, "Bow down and worship the Lord thy God," I'm fairly certain every Christian in the room would get down on their knees. Why? Because it's obviously a Christian miracle.

You're lumping things into two categories: Believable and Unbelievable. If by your opinion something is in the unbelievable category you automatically assign it a ridiculously high epistemic probability thus ensuring you will never believe it. This is not a rational method of investigation.
jbiemans
Reply with quote  #104 

    Quote:
  1. Numbers 23:22
    God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.
    Numbers 23:21-23 (in Context) Numbers 23 (Whole Chapter)
  2. Numbers 24:8
    God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows.
    Numbers 24:7-9 (in Context) Numbers 24 (Whole Chapter)
  3. Deuteronomy 33:17
    His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.
    Deuteronomy 33:16-18 (in Context) Deuteronomy 33 (Whole Chapter)
  4. Isaiah 34:7
    And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.
    Isaiah 34:6-8 (in Context) Isaiah 34 (Whole Chapter)

Not just in Job.....

Also, you accuse me of having a bias without even seeing your own bias.

Quote:
Why? Because it's obviously a Christian miracle.

And this says it right here.  You are more then willing to accept miracle claims if they support the Christianity you already believe in, but if the miracle was not directly related to, or in contradiction to your Christianity you would reject it.  Imagine if the angel came down and said "Praise be to allah and his prophet Mohammad".  Would you instantly convert to Islam ???  No, you would reject that as a true miracle.  I am simply taking this one step farther then you, and not allowing for a bias from any religion.  

I am saying; if its true, then demonstrate it to be true.  Its not too complicated really.  I am also showing consistency in admitting that I must also not say that I cannot know with any degree of certainty, the truth of many historic facts.  You think that I must discard large amounts of knowledge because of this, but I disagree.  I can know many things that are observable by evidence today.  You are right though, in that, if the evidence for something has been lost over time, I cannot really say that I know it, but the truth is that neither can you.  Again, you only accept historical things if they fit within your bias of Christianity.

If I showed you a miracle claim from another religion that had the same level of support as the flesh and blood one that you brought up, I doubt that you would believe it.  If instead of flesh and blood (which confirms the ideas of transubstantiation) it had been a plant growing from a seed to a tree in seconds, you probably would not believe it.  I could go on.

The fact of the matter is that you keep accusing me of bias when I am attempting to remove the bias as best as I can from my methodology, while it seems apparent that you are not.  If I am wrong about this though, please correct me.
Lawlessone777
Reply with quote  #105 

Quote:
Not just in Job.....

Also, you accuse me of having a bias without even seeing your own bias.


You're not considering the fact that the term "unicorn" was a translation from the Septuigint in Greek and not in the original language. Let me quote you on the wiki for this one:

Quote:

An animal called the re’em (Hebrewרְאֵם‎) is mentioned in several places in the Hebrew Bible, often as a metaphor representing strength. "The allusions to the re'em as a wild, un-tamable animal of great strength and agility, with mighty horn or horns (Job xxxix. 9–12; Ps. xxii. 21, xxix. 6; Num. xxiii. 22, xxiv. 8; Deut. xxxiii. 17; comp. Ps. xcii. 11), best fit the aurochs (Bos primigenius). This view is supported by the Assyrian rimu, which is often used as a metaphor of strength, and is depicted as a powerful, fierce, wild mountain bull with large horns."[13] This animal was often depicted in ancient Mesopotamian art in profile, with only one horn visible.

The translators of the Authorized King James Version of the Bible (1611) followed the GreekSeptuagint (monokeros) and the Latin Vulgate (unicornis)[14] and employed unicorn to translatere'em, providing a recognizable animal that was proverbial for its un-tamable nature. The American Standard Version translates this term "wild ox" in each case.


The classical Jewish understanding of bible did not identify the Re'em animal as the unicorn. Instead, the Tahash animal (Exodus 25, 26, 35, 36 and 39; Numbers 4; and Ezekiel 16:10) was thought to be a kosher unicorn with a coat of many colors that only existed in biblical times.


There's no bias, I just read the history.

With regards to your claim of my own bias, you're simply deflecting my accusation that you're applying a pre-existing bias to the investigation of the evidence. When I say that it was obviously a Christian miracle, I say that because he miracle itself, in regards to its nature, form, and obvious message are clearly depicting, and drawing from a Christian worldview. The host turning into flesh and the blood turning into wine is very clearly and obviously a representation of the last supper and Jesus' charge for his followers to do communion, a ritual done by Christians the world over.

The line you quoted out of context from my last post was with regards to the angel coming down with flaming wing and sword declaring, "Bow down before the Lord thy God." I said that that was obviously a Christian miracle because that was obviously the Archangel Michael in how he is described. I suppose you could argue that it could be Mormon, Jewish, Islamic, or Christian because they all talk about Michael, at which point I could just have he angel say, "Jesus is Lord." and it would pretty much seal the deal.

Quote:
If I showed you a miracle claim from another religion that had the same level of support as the flesh and blood one that you brought up, I doubt that you would believe it.  If instead of flesh and blood (which confirms the ideas of transubstantiation) it had been a plant growing from a seed to a tree in seconds, you probably would not believe it.  I could go on.

Like I said, miracles are an area of expertise for me. I've studied multiple different religions and their claims for miracles and there isn't a single one that has the same depth that these Christian miracles do. There is the drinking statues of the Hindu faith, there's a tree that's shaped like a bowing monk for the Islamic religion, and there have been claims that Yogi's have performed miracles. Almost all of these have been scientifically falsified, and I encourage you to go and look for any miracle supporting another religion that has been put under as much scrutiny as the ones' supporting Christianity. Honestly read up on the Shroud of Turn, the Lanciano Miracle, or the Sun Miracle of Fatima. I have been unable to find any other religion which holds to such meticulously documented and studied phenomenon.

But let me cover your last point:
Quote:
The fact of the matter is that you keep accusing me of bias when I am attempting to remove the bias as best as I can from my methodology, while it seems apparent that you are not.  If I am wrong about this though, please correct me.

My methodology as it stands now has an obvious Christian bias because I already studied the subject and concluded that Christianity was the most logical choice. My methodology when investigating a claim, however, is significantly different. You're applying epistemic probability to something because you feel that it ought to have a higher burden of proof due to your lack of prior experience with it. This is an absolutely wrong headed methodology and should be abandoned. If I investigated a murder, and had never encountered murder before, would I apply an arbitrarily low epistemic probability to murder as a posibility because of this? Of course not, that would be absurd. It would mean that I would rule that scene as not being a murder, and since it would ensure that my prior experience with murder was always zero because I ruled every potential murder as "unknown" I would never rule anything a murder.

It is bias, plain and simple, you should not apply any prior epistemic probability to anything in an investigation. This is simply a fancy way of saying you shouldn't decide what's acceptable before investigating. Proper investigative technique, as it's applied on the field by detectives, is proper deductive reasoning. If you want to determine the admisability of evidence then you apply the exact same criterion that William Lane Craig applies; the plausibility of it being true must be higher than it's negation. Craig is not crafting some sort of on the spot methodology to support his claims, that is actually proper deductive investigative technique.

If I adopted your methodology in my job, the one which requires you to be skeptical of pretty much everything, then I would never be able to solve a case ever. I would also be fired within a week of adopting that methodology. The claim, "We have to know for sure and if we don't, we shouldn't adopt it as a belief," is what would get you fired as a detective. I can lodge an infinite amount of complaints against any amount of evidence I examine in my job and "discredit" them in the same manner that unbelievers think is acceptable when it comes to religion. If I did that, I would be forced to throw my hands up and never come to a conclusion about anything. It is a poorly constructed methodology adopted specifically with the implicit intent to justify un-belief.
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:



Important: The Reasonable Faith forums have moved to: www.reasonablefaith.org/forums/






Powered by Website Toolbox - Create a Website Forum Hosting, Guestbook Hosting, or Website Chat Room for your website.