Atheists: you cannot disprove the existence of GOd

#138

Then just read the second one. Personally, I don’t put much stock in so-called “proofs” for the existence of God (except for the Argument from Aesthetics, #17 in the first link ;)). However, the second link offers a much stronger series of dilemmas with an emphasis on merely being reasonable, rather than fallacious syllogisms.

#139

Yeah, but they don’t have to. It’s normally impossible to prove a negative. The party making an affirmative proposition is the one bearing the burden of proof. “There is a God” is an affirmative proposition. “There is no god” is not an affirmative proposition. I think we who believe in God can meet our burden, but I don’t think we can shift the initial burden to the atheists.

But if an atheist makes a related affirmative proposition such as “religion is all a mass hallucination” then he bears the burden of proof because now he’s the one making the affirmative proposition.

#140

Or we could simply all try to discover the truth, whatever that may be, without the fetters of “sides.” Just a thought.

#141

Catholics should really dump Peter Kreeft back in whatever intellectually wasteland they dug him up from.

The first article would take days to refute (It is twenty arguments after all.) But I’ll tackle part of the second “proof”. My comments are in blue.

(1) Jesus could not have survived crucifixion. Roman procedures were very careful to eliminate that possibility… It was never done.*

This is a fabrication. The historian Josephus writes of finding three of his friends who had been crucified. He applied to have them taken down. One of the three lived, so saying,“It was never done,” is just not true. In fact, in Mark 15: 44, we read that Pilate wondered if Jesus was already dead. Why would it surprise him if it was what was to be expected?
*

  1. The fact that the Roman soldier did not break Jesus’ legs, as he did to the other two crucified criminals (Jn 19:31-33), means that the soldier was sure Jesus was dead.(v. 31).*

A Roman soldier thought he was dead, or he was paid not to break the legs. So what? The opinion of a random, unnamed person is hardly proof of anything, especially one who could have been bribed.

*(3) John, an eyewitness, certified that he saw blood and water come from Jesus’ pierced heart (Jn 19:34-35). *

John has a very artistic and symbolic style throughout the gospel. The blood and water are not only an allusion the the passover meal, but symbolize that Jesus was the sourse of life and purity. It would be a stretch to take them as a medical diagnosis.

(4) The body was totally encased in winding sheets and entombed (Jn 19:38-42).
*

Jesus couldn’t escape from a linen sheet? Seriously, he wasn’t bound with his hands behind his back. Lazarus undid his own funerary garb. The tomb was such that it could be entered and exited. A single person was able to role away the stone. Joseph of Arimathea wasn’t trying to trap him.

(5) It is psychologically impossible for the disciples to have been so transformed and confident if Jesus had merely struggled out of a swoon, badly in need of a doctor. *

“Psychologically impossible”? Glad to see he isn’t being sensationalistic. If you think that someone is dead, and they appear before you, that is going to have a profound impact no matter what condition they are in. At least, it would have a profound impact on me. If it would affect me, then it is not “psychologically impossible”, is it?

(6) How were the Roman guards at the tomb overpowered by a swooning corpse? Or by unarmed disciples?

Who said they were unarmed? The gospel specifically said they were armed in Mt 26:51. Mathew is the only gospel that mentions the guards (Mt 27:62 ). The guards arrive on the dayafter Jesus was put in the tomb. Plenty of time for Jesus/the body to disappear.
*
(7) How could a swooning half-dead man have moved the great stone at the door of the tomb? Who moved the stone if not an angel?*

Does Peter Kreeft normally attribute divine intervention to the opening of doors? I see doors open all the time without angels. But about that particular door, what about Joseph of Arimathea? Or Mary Magdalene and the other Mary? How heavy could this stone be if Joseph was the one who put it in front of the door to begin with.

the Roman guards would be killed if they let the body "escape."
Would they? Well, the body did escape, and no one records that they were killed for it.

Actually, what is recorded is that they were paid a large sum of money to report that the apostles stole the body when they slept. Mt 28:11. That doesn’t seem like a death sentence to me.

*(8) If Jesus awoke from a swoon, where did he go? *

People manage to disappear even today when we have video, fingerprints and I.D. Explain why this is a problem.

*Why did it disappear? *

Indeed why would a wanted criminal want to escape?

There is absolutely no data, not even any false, fantastic, imagined data, about Jesus’ life after his crucifixion, in any sources, friend or foe, at any time, early or late.

Again, Kreeft hasn’t done his research. Stories actually abound of this holy man who escaped his ungrateful people. Whether they are reliable can be questioned, but they definitely exist.

  • A man like that, with a past like that, would have left traces.*

Or… he chose not to. Does Peter Kreeft really think it is impossible to disappear in the ancient world? The lost tribes of Isreal managed to disappear, how hard could it be for a single man to do the same?

Peter Kreeft Gets Crucified
#142

So you say, and why should I believe you? Your saying you had no thought of God COULD be simply more egomaniacal atheistic posturing. We shall never know, but you certainly DO know, and I’ll leave you to deal with what you do in fact know is the truth.

Quote:
Once “out from under death’s threat” it’s back to “egomania time” for many MANY people, which is MUCH more likely to occur with “back from the death threatened” so-called atheists than “normal” people.

So you can read peoples minds? You ‘know’ what they are thinking? That’s pretty presumptious.

That’s right. The human mind is really quite predictable, especially the so-called atheistic mind.

Quote:
The reason? Because they have to show “personal consistency/integrity” to their fellows (and their enemies), and to their “wounded” egos for having “fallen” (into religion), if only internally and not-outwardly-observably.

See above.

Quote:
What, in your opinion, does a so-called atheist “give himself up to” at death? The answer to that is why nearly all so-called atheists are only atheists so-called.

Unlike you, I am honest and say I don’t know. But the fact that I have seen not one shred of evidence to show that I will continue to exist after I die I suspect the answer is nothing.

You’re right in that you don’t know what it is you’ll be “giving yourself up to” at death. The tragedy is that that is not a situation forced on you, but a situation you choose. You COULD know to whom you “give yourself up to” if you wanted. The question is why you don’t want to know?

The reason you don’t want to know is because oblivion from this “(potential) horror show of a life” is preferable to finding out that persons exist eternally having either close proximity or near infinitely distant remoteness from absolute joy.

#143

You also don’t need to. Kant already refuted all possible proofs for the existence of God.

(1) Jesus could not have survived crucifixion. Roman procedures were very careful to eliminate that possibility… It was never done.

This is a fabrication. The historian Josephus writes of finding three of his friends who had been crucified. He applied to have them taken down. One of the three lived, so saying,“It was never done,” is just not true. In fact, in Mark 15: 44, we read that Pilate wondered if Jesus was already dead. Why would it surprise him if it was what was to be expected?

That isn’t what Kreeft said. Clearly, if a human can survive being nailed to a cross, they can survive crucifixion if the people crucifying them try to cancel it quickly enough. His point here is that if the Romans crucified you to death, you died.

2) The fact that the Roman soldier did not break Jesus’ legs, as he did to the other two crucified criminals (Jn 19:31-33), means that the soldier was sure Jesus was dead.(v. 31).

A Roman soldier thought he was dead, or he was paid not to break the legs. So what? The opinion of a random, unnamed person is hardly proof of anything, especially one who could have been bribed.

The same can be said of anyone’s opinion, but the point is, an eyewitness who we don’t really have any reason to doubt thought he was dead. Could he have been bribed? Possible, but unlikely. After all, does it seem at all wise to wrap yourself up with someone so contentious for money? And he couldn’t have been the only person there to vouch for Jesus’ death. Are we to assume they were all bribed? Perhaps the soldiers who were gaurding his tomb were bribed as well? Maybe Pontius Pilate was bribed to make Jesus’ Crucifixion look fake. Perhaps everyone was bribed so as to convince the Jews. They probably drew on Jesus’ savings from carpentering.

But really, I keep coming back to the number of people who must have been around to check for this sort of thing. Which really was Kreeft’s point: the Romans were good at this sort of thing, so they probably knew how to tell when it had worked or not.

**(3) John, an eyewitness, certified that he saw blood and water come from Jesus’ pierced heart (Jn 19:34-35). **

John has a very artistic and symbolic style throughout the gospel. The blood and water are not only an allusion the the passover meal, but symbolize that Jesus was the sourse of life and purity. It would be a stretch to take them as a medical diagnosis.

But not, perhaps, as an eyewitness detail which can be used to help infer.

(4) The body was totally encased in winding sheets and entombed (Jn 19:38-42).

Jesus couldn’t escape from a linen sheet? Seriously, he wasn’t bound with his hands behind his back. Lazarus undid his own funerary garb. The tomb was such that it could be entered and exited. A single person was able to role away the stone. Joseph of Arimathea wasn’t trying to trap him.

Why would a single person have been able to move it? It’s a tomb. Presumeably, you’d only need to close it once, or at the very most not more than once every few years. And building it such that a single person could open or close it sounds like a minor feat of engineering to me.

**(5) It is psychologically impossible for the disciples to have been so transformed and confident if Jesus had merely struggled out of a swoon, badly in need of a doctor. **

“Psychologically impossible”? Glad to see he isn’t being sensationalistic. If you think that someone is dead, and they appear before you, that is going to have a profound impact no matter what condition they are in. At least, it would have a profound impact on me. If it would affect me, then it is not “psychologically impossible”, is it?

Sensationalisticaly put, but not necessarily wrong. His point isn’t that they wouldn’t be affected, but that they wouldn’t have been affected like they were. The disciples went from huddled and afraid to confident, courageous, and joyful. Had Jesus stumbled in barely alive and reeling, their reaction would have been something like, “You survived! Quick, we need to hide you!” rather than, “You are back from the dead! We need to tell the world!” It at least strains credibility to claim they had the latter reaction to a man who was scourged and crucified, and then left to lie in a tomb for three days, presumably without food or water.

(6) How were the Roman guards at the tomb overpowered by a swooning corpse? Or by unarmed disciples?

Who said they were unarmed? The gospel specifically said they were armed in Mt 26:51. Mathew is the only gospel that mentions the guards (Mt 27:62 ). The guards arrive on the dayafter Jesus was put in the tomb. Plenty of time for Jesus/the body to disappear.

(7) How could a swooning half-dead man have moved the great stone at the door of the tomb? Who moved the stone if not an angel?

Does Peter Kreeft normally attribute divine intervention to the opening of doors? I see doors open all the time without angels. But about that particular door, what about Joseph of Arimathea? Or Mary Magdalene and the other Mary? How heavy could this stone be if Joseph was the one who put it in front of the door to begin with.

It was not a door. It was a big stone that could be pushed to cover the entrance of the tomb.

the Roman guards would be killed if they let the body "escape."
Would they? Well, the body did escape, and no one records that they were killed for it.

The point is they wouldn’t have been easy to bribe, since generally one wishes to stay alive long enough to spend one’s bribery money.

Actually, what is recorded is that they were paid a large sum of money to report that the apostles stole the body when they slept. Mt 28:11. That doesn’t seem like a death sentence to me.

I doubt they were told this ahead of time. “By the way, if he escapes, we’ll bribe you a large sum of money to lie about it.” Although, I can see how that might give them incentive to keep a stern watch.

**(8) If Jesus awoke from a swoon, where did he go? **

People manage to disappear even today when we have video, fingerprints and I.D. Explain why this is a problem.

People who are heads of dissident groups and remain in the same geographical area in which they were previously active after making a seemingly-miraculous return from the dead tend to get noticed and found. I mean, one would think.

Peter Kreeft Gets Crucified
Peter Kreeft Gets Crucified
#144

This thread is straying from the OP’s intentions. Please take side discussions to new or existing threads or I will have to close this one. Thank you all.

#145

Actually I would say that the person making the claim, positive or negative has the burden of proof, not the person saying ‘oh really, care to prove that’. IOW you can’t be logical if you make a statement saying “George Bush is a space alien”, and when pushed about evidence say “Well you prove that he isn’t!!”. As the person making the claim, you have the burden of proof. If I go through the tort system and claim that Bill Gates owes me 20 billion dollars, I have the burden of proof to show that my claim is true.

#146

And that is, pray tell?

That’s right. The human mind is really quite predictable, especially the so-called atheistic mind.

So sure are you? I bet if I said that I know what you think, and that you really doubt the existence of god, but just can not stand the idea of non-existance and fear it so much that you have to convince yourself that you will continue afterward, I bet you would be disagreeing with that statement with the same amount of energy I disagree with yours.

You’re right in that you don’t know what it is you’ll be “giving yourself up to” at death.

Technically neither do you, you believe that you give your self up to something.

The tragedy is that that is not a situation forced on you, but a situation you choose. You COULD know to whom you “give yourself up to” if you wanted. The question is why you don’t want to know?

Again it is Believe, not Know. I would love to believe, but not without proof. I can not just make myself believe in something I don’t, can you? If god really knows what I think, he will know I really don’t believe, and that I can not, without proof.

The reason you don’t want to know is because oblivion from this “(potential) horror show of a life” is preferable to finding out that persons exist eternally having either close proximity or near infinitely distant remoteness from absolute joy.

Actually I don’t believe life is a horror show, as you put it. And if I start to believe in things sans evidence, how do I tell the truth of claims you make from claims made by other religions, such as Isalm. Buddism,etc…

#147

The so-called atheist SAYS he won’t accept the existence of that for which he has no proof exists. That is perfectly correct.

But the so-called atheist can’t make a claim that God DOESN’T exist, as that calls for evidence of a negative, which is “against the rules” of science [verb], which a great part of the religion of the so-called atheist (aka “scientistic materialism”).

Now, this leaves unresolved the question of God’s existence.

It would be ABSOLUTELY TRUE that if we both had no evidence of God’s existence that my “anxiety due to my not knowing that God exists (which really means that my eternal life is not certain)” would be precisely balanced with your “anxiety due to your not knowing that God exists”.

But while you admit that you have no “negative evidence” of God’s existence, I “admit” that I do in fact have evidence of God’s existence. My anxiety is (specified above) now “transfigured” into the anxiety of being able to obey God properly, while you are (still) left with the simple “existential” anxiety of God’s existence (that anxiety of not really knowing which “rules” to follow and how to live).

We both have an anxiety related to God, and God-stuff, but mine is one of performance while yours is an anxiety of “properness of goal PLUS performance toward your (possibly ill-chosen) choices of goals.”

Quote:
You’re right in that you don’t know what it is you’ll be “giving yourself up to” at death.

Technically neither do you, you believe that you give your self up to something.

Technically, because you arrogate the authority to define what one COULD “give oneself up to”, which you axiomatically define as “a nonexistent nothing called ‘God’ by some”, you are perfectly correct in believing that I don’t (in fact CAN’T) know of “God”.

The problem is that your belief is simply wrong, based on evidence provided to me that God does in fact exist, because your axiom that “God doesn’t exist” is wrong.

Quote:
The tragedy is that that is not a situation forced on you, but a situation you choose. You COULD know to whom you “give yourself up to” if you wanted. The question is why you don’t want to know?

Again it is Believe, not Know. I would love to believe, but not without proof. I can not just make myself believe in something I don’t, can you? If god really knows what I think, he will know I really don’t believe, and that I can not, without proof.

I do know that God exists, as my beliefs [nouns] are confirmed by my faith [verb] in my hopes [nouns] as informed by (hinted at) those who’ve been given proof in God’s existence after THEIR “experimenting” with doing Catholic faith [verb] informed by divine public revelation from the Church.

You THINK that one can only “believe” [verb], meaning to you to “hypothesize without any (hope of) confirming evidence ever being given”, in God-stuff.

That is where you’re wrong.

#148

It’s funny to me, because it is illogical, that atheism would be referred to as an axiom–how can it be possible, that the non-existence of God, could be self-evident: axiomatic?

I enjoyed the expose of so-and-so’s line of reasoning. It seems easier for atheists, agnostics, and the remainder of us, to follow through with the assumption, that God does exist, rather than, God does not exist, but should it happen to follow from the assumption, that God does exist, then there will be a line of reasoning to follow, from the assumption–God does exist, but it may be this already has been done, for example: the trip into space by the then “Soviet Union”. God was not found, but many objects are lost to be found among other peoples belongings–even without this example; Christianity has flourished in Russia, and former republics of the Soviet Union.

#149

That’s pretty good.

An atheist could also say “I don’t know what you mean by god. Tell me what this is and why you think it’s real.” It’s possible to demonstrate that Bill Gates doesn’t owe you 20 bils because Bill gates is real, and so is 20 bil.

But a person making a positive claim about gods being real has to provide something more than a statement. We can’t disprove that invisible aliens aren’t all around us either. So what? Gods become as real as all these alleged invisible aliens. What are these invisible aliens made of, etc?

#150

ya your right that would be like me saying im on level 1,000,000 deep within the matrix and the internet is just one more level to make it 1,000,001 so for me to prove it id have to transmit threw the phone to humans outside of the internet over 1,000,000 times only to be stuck with one last level of the matrix and not provide the athiest with the only proof ive recieved thats to say if there was a direct transmission eighther way id be stuck in the matrix with lost of all hope living in a delusioal world on the internet in a world of energiser bunnies all wanting proof from me how human it is below

#151

How does the following influence this discussion:

The commonly seen image of a Roman cross is not at all in accordance with the historical reality.

First of all, it was not a cross. It was T-shaped—one crossbeam nailed onto the top of a vertical beam. This makes sense when you think of the structural integrity of the execution instrument, and the ease of producing it. Let’s keep in mind that crosses often needed to be produced in large quantities. To make something like the cross of the Christian Church was far more time consuming and less sturdy.

Second, the idea that crosses were tall structures (from pictures you often get the idea that they were easily ten or twelve feet tall at least) is not the case. Crucifixion was meant to humiliate and debase a political adversary of Rome, as crucifixion was a punishment reserved for political prisoners. Crosses were therefore low to the ground, to give the lovely populace ample opportunity to mock and defile the convict.

In other words, Jesus was not on top of a high pedestal, he was right there at ground level.

It seems to me that this would make escape easier, but also that it would be more difficult to fake death.

(I am also prepared to be found in error on this. I have read some material on this but do not believe it necessarily to be definitive.)

Comments?

#152

to continue aloow all idols and some from pyramids to be exceptable in american homes or in the garbage continue your ungodly questions

#153

It doesn’t sound like it influences the discussion much at all, I gotta say. As for the “T” vs “t” shape, perhaps they used “t” with Jesus to accommodate the sign Pontious Pilate had them put on his cross? shrug

#154

No. There was plenty of room for a sign at the top, as the convict would hang below the intersection of the beams.

#155

What about miracles? Some are well-documented and scientifically studied. Are all of those falsities? There are som many of them. (“miracles” includes not only Christian miracles, but miracles of all faiths.)

Also, the line between “extraterrestial” and “supernatural” seems thin. Some peoples’ “aliens” are another peoples’ “supernatural beings” and some peoples’ “UFO’s” are other peoples’ “angelic chariots”. :shrug:

#156

You must mean miracle stories. There are plenty of those around for sure. And yes, they are all just stories. Miracles don’t happen, but miracle stories do.

These stories probably serve a biological purpose or else they wouldn’t be around. My take is that they stimulate the brain, exercising it, literally making it stronger and a better observer. Anything that stimulates the thinking, be it legit science or fascinating stories, probably confers a survival advantage by making our brains healthier.

I personally put miracle claims in the same category as alien abductions.

#157

Needless is a judgement. We don’t know that it is needless.
It NEEDS to be that evil comes, but woe by whom it comes.
The atheist needs to show that evil and suffering are needless.
The Judaeo-Christian needs to show that evil and suffering are necessary.

Certainly if the former than the latter. And?

.
#1 The judgement that God would to something bout all the needless evil and suffering is not denied. #2 He couldn’t help but try to stop it, is not denied either.

The Devil’s advocate needs to try harder. :slight_smile:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.