How much force does the statement of the atheist that “there is no God” have? / Πόση ισχύ έχει η δήλωση ενός άθεου «δεν υπάρχει Θεός»;

No one knows enough to be an atheist. There is no logical ground for atheism. Atheism is logically impossible. The basis by which the atheist proclaims his faith is empty. He has no foundation, rationality, or epistemology for his denial of God.

chart

The above diagrams illustrate this truth. The first diagram represents total knowledge of reality. It includes everything there is to know, it represents one hundred percent knowledge. The logical question we must ask is, “How much of this knowledge does the atheist possess?” Very little! Einstein said he knew less than half of one percent. Let us be generous and give the atheist two percent of total knowledge. The second diagram represents the knowledge of the atheist in relation to total knowledge of reality. The next logical question: “Is it possible for God to exist outside the knowledge the atheist possesses?” The answer, logically yes! Then how can the atheist say there is no God? He cannot logically say there is no God. Is it any wonder the Bible says, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1 NIV)?

Steve Kumar, Christianity For Skeptics: An Understandable Examination of Christian Belief, σελ. 75.

 

To all the above add the following statement of Lee Smolin too:

Recent surveys reveal a universe that consists primarily of something unknown. 70% of the density of matter in the universe occurs in the form of dark energy, while 26% is dark matter. Only 4% is ordinary matter that we know. This means that less that the one twentieth (1/20) consists of material which we have observed experimentally or described by the standard model of particle physics. For the remaining 96%, besides the aforementioned properties, nothing is known.

Θεωρία χορδών. Όλα ή τίποτα; Lee Smolin, σελ. 53, 53.

Σε όλα τα παραπάνω προσθέστε και τις δηλώσεις του Lee Smolin:

Πρόσφατες έρευνες αποκαλύπτουν ένα Σύμπαν που αποτελείται κατά κύριο λόγο από κάτι άγνωστο. Το 70% της πυκνότητας ύλης του Σύμπαντος εμφανίζεται υπό μορφή σκοτεινής ενέργειας, ενώ το 26% είναι σκοτεινή ύλη. Μόλις το 4% είναι η συνηθισμένη ύλη που όλοι γνωρίζουμε. Αυτό σημαίνει ότι λιγότερο από ένα μέρος στα είκοσι αποτελείται από ύλη την οποία έχουμε παρατηρήσει πειραματικά ή έχουμε περιγράψει με το Καθιερωμένο Πρότυπο της σωματιδιακής φυσικής. Για το υπόλοιπο 96%, πέρα από τις προαναφερθείσες ιδιότητες, δεν γνωρίζουμε τίποτα.

Θεωρία χορδών. Όλα ή τίποτα; Lee Smolin, σελ. 53, 53.

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35 thoughts on “How much force does the statement of the atheist that “there is no God” have? / Πόση ισχύ έχει η δήλωση ενός άθεου «δεν υπάρχει Θεός»;

  1. I know exactly enough to be an atheist. I know that I don’t have enough evidence to believe in a God. ‘Not enough evidence’ leads to ‘no belief’. ‘No belief in a God’ is atheism.

    • First of all my friend, thank you for visiting and commenting on my blog.

      If, for you, atheism equals with “no belief in a God”, that’s fine by me. But if atheism equals with “there is no God”, I think that this belief involves a logical leap which cannot be backed up by evidence. My post explains this thoroughly.

      Is there a possibility that you are an agnostic instead of an atheist?

      • I’ve had that argument too often frequently, so I’m just going to explain my view, but if you disagree I’m not going to argue:
        Because “theism” relates to belief and gnosticism relates to knowledge the two concepts are not mutually exclusive; you can believe, but not know (and that would make you an agnostic theist). By the same token I consider myself an agnostic atheist.

        Second of all, depending on the God you describe, it may be very easy to prove that God doesn’t exist by demonstrating the God you describe to be either internally contradictory or incompatible with the world.

      • I am ok with the “agnostic atheist”. But, please, can you elaborate on the “internally contradictory” notion? I am familiar with the “incompatible with the world”.

      • Some times people offer a definition of a God which brings about a paradox because not every aspect they describe can be true.
        The omnipotence paradox is one example: can God create a boulder so heavy not even He can lift it?

        But the contradiction between justice and mercy is another one. Mercy is a deviation away from justice.

        The omniscience and freewill paradox is another one: God is confined to make all of the decisions He already knows He’s going to make.

      • I can refute your arguments one by one, but I don’t think it will do any good. I refer you to the answer to dmcmahon2019 for more details. If, of course, you want a sincere, open minded dialogue, I am happy to participate.

      • I didn’t mean to say these were the best examples of internal contradiction. I merely gave them as examples of what it means to be internally contradictory.

      • Ok, I understand that. I repeat that my position is that if you want a sincere, open minded discussion, we can have one. If we both present arguments just to present arguments, our time is spend in vain.

        So if you want to proceed in a full length discussion, take your time, present your best arguments, and I will be happy to answer.

      • I can’t go first, I have no point.
        This is a burden of proof issue, which is to say that no conversation even begins until you can tell me what you believe God is and how you came to know He exists.

      • God is the supreme being that created all there is. He himself is uncreated, eternal. The last answer to our friend dmcmahon2019 provides a lot more clues. Please refer to it.

      • I’ve not got here to run with. I have seen no evidence for God.
        That is particularly strange when one would expect the Creator of the universe (if, indeed, one exists) who wishes to have a personal relationship with us (the Abrahamic narrative) to have Himself obvious.

        So, I see no evidence anywhere I have looked. And I would expect to see evidence everywhere.

      • Evidence briefly:

        Creation. Wherever there is creation, there is a creator. Physical laws. Wherever there is law, there is a lawgiver.

        I know that you ascribe all that to chance, but chance is not possible to produce what has been produced as has been amply proved by cosmologists and other scientists, a fact that is so compelling that even great atheists like Antony Flew admitted and embraced.

        The revelation through the Bible. The Bible claims to be inspired by God. If it isn’t, how do you account for the prophesies it contains?

        The revelation through Jesus Christ. Jesus claimed that He was the Son of God. If he wasn’t, and didn’t get resurrected, how do you account for the empty tomb, a fact that is historically accessible?

      • I think you need to find a more compelling way of saying that; currently you are committing a fallacy known as an “argument from ignorance”. Cosmology does not attest to God and neither does it attest to chance. Stephen Hawking believes there are deeper layers to the working of the Universe yet to be uncovered and they might give us an understanding of a physical necessity for our physical laws; Lawrence Krauss expects that there are many Universes because the Universe is born out of something more elemental, like a quantum field or something else (although, you may be interested to know that this has to exist independent of spatial and time dimensions and has to have no mass or energy); String Theory predicts many other Universes, each with its physical principles being defined by the way the dimensions fold up.
        You are also asserting that the Universe is a creation (and therefore causal). That is not something you have evidence for. I also expect that you are talking about an Abrahamic God, which leads us to the problem I mentioned in the earlier comment: where is all the convincing evidence?
        You are simply asserting that all laws have law givers. There are legal laws, and they are given by man. But the physical laws, although they share a word, are patently different and so you can’t extend the understanding that far without more reasons.
        Name a prophecy in the Bible that came true extra-Biblically. What I mean is give me a prophecy given in the Bible but realised out side of the Bible. To my experience, there are none.
        I sent links to two of my posts (they may have been spammed, could you check?) explaining why I am uncertain about the existence of Jesus and very cynical about the “resurrection”. But in brief, the gospels can’t be trusted and the historical method, by definition, cannot conclude that the resurrection happened.

      • I did not say that cosmology attests to God. Nothing scientific can prove God’s existence or lack of existence. This subjects falls outside the boundaries of science. I said that cosmology attests to the impossibility of the genesis of the universe by chance. Whatever set in motion the genesis of the universe was either caused or not caused, that is, happened by sheer chance. Even if the starting point was some “deeper layers to the working of the universe”, or a “quantum field or something else” or “the way the dimensions fold up”, they were caused by something even deeper or they just starting taking effect by sheer chance. There is no escaping from this fundamental fact.

        I want to emphasize once again, that I don’t say that these arguments prove God’s existence. We can have absolute proofs only in the context of mathematics. I say that these questions have to be answered either by supposing a creator or by supposing that everything we see came to be out of nothing by sheer chance. All these arguments, therefore, according to my logic, point towards a Creator. The Creator is the best explanation of the two, according to my logic. And I continue.

        You say that “I am asserting that the Universe is a creation (and therefore causal). That is not something you have evidence for”. The human experience and the natural laws (2nd thermodynamic law) show us that if information (creative power) is not inserted into a system, that systems moves towards disorder. That is evidence to me that something cannot come out of nothing, and yet, here we are with an immense universe with tons of mass and energy within it. How can chance produce something that contradicts the laws that the same chance put into motion?

        You say that “I am asserting that all laws have law givers”. I am not asserting that. That can be verified by human experience. You are asserting that what human experience proves, does not apply to the natural laws, which are far more stable and remarkable that human laws, and the reason is that they are “patently different”. Can you explain what you mean by that?

        As for the prophesies, it is logical to see that most of the prophesies are confined within the Bible. The scope of the Bible is confined to the revelation of God to a specific nation, originally, and then to all the nation through the Christian church. That’s why, as I said, approximately 300 prophesies refer just to Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, there are scores of prophesies that refer to extra-biblical boundaries. For example: The complete destruction of Babylon and the fact that it will never be occupied. The fulfillment stands right there. You only have to go there and see the ruins of ancient Babylon. The destruction of Nineveh. Nahum (1:1; 2:8–3:19) and Zephaniah (2:13-15) foretold the destruction of that city. Their prophecies were fulfilled when the combined forces of Nabopolassar the king of Babylon and of Cyaxares the Mede besieged and captured Nineveh. The city was evidently subjected to burning, for many Assyrian reliefs show damage or stain from fire and accompanying smoke. With reference to Nineveh, a Babylonian chronicle reports: “They carried off the vast booty of the city and the temple (and) [turned] the city into a ruin heap.” To this day Nineveh is a desolate waste. Tyre provides another example of the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Ezekiel (26:7-12) foretold its destruction. Nebuchadnezzar II besieged the city for 13 years and destroyed it. The same happened with Zecharias (9:3, 4) prediction about the island city of Tyre. Alexander the Great besieged and destroyed the city. Another multiple prophesy is the succession of world powers as depicted in the book of Daniel. Especially amazing for me, since I am Greek, is the prediction about the division of Alexander’s the Great empire. These are a few of the prophesies you asked.

        You say “I am uncertain about the existence of Jesus”. As I have already written, Jesus historical existence is a fact that every serious scientist, historian or not, admits to.

        You say “the gospels can’t be trusted”. There are intellectual giants like Simon Greenleaf, William Ramsay, F. F. Bruce, Frank Morison and others, who prove beyond any reasonable doubt the reliability of the gospels. Their books are easily accessible if you haven’t read them. Note that some of them, like William Ramsay and Frank Morison, begun their study of the Gospels with the aim of disproving them…

        As for the resurrection, of course we don’t have solid proof. We have indirect evidence. That is, first of all the testimony of scores of eye witnesses (contained in the New Testament). The amazing transformation of the first Christians after the death of their leader, and the last but most difficult of all, the empty tomb… None has managed to provide a satisfying explanation for this, for 2000 years now.

      • Do you know the total mass and energy of the universe? I do. It’s ~0. No matter what the unit, it’s ~0. And the universe is increasing in entropy (i.e. becoming more disordered); the heat death of the Universe is, it seems, inevitable.

        It is possible that a single, fundamental, law exists and from that fundamental law things like the time dimension are borne. This kind of existence has to be possible for you to assert a God, so now that this space has been created, you have to justify filling it with God instead of more nature.

        The difference between a natural law and the laws that we know are given to us are plentiful: we can violate the legal laws and there is a body that enforces punishment, but it is impossible to violate natural laws; legal laws reflect human ideas, natural laws are limitation in the universe; legal laws are something that can be changed, natural laws cannot; legal laws are culture- and person-specific, natural laws are universal. They are not the same thing. They are not even the same concept.

        There are plenty of New Testament Scholars that doubt the reliability of the gospels. One of the most accessible is Bart Ehrman. But, as I said, I’ve already sent you two links explaining why they can’t be trusted.

        As for the resurrection, there are plenty of explanations that fall within the natural realm. A sympathiser of Jesus could have carried the body to a more dignified tomb; a traditionalist could have taken his body to a common grave (as was tradition become the Roman’s invaded); the bitter wine he drank before he was crucified could have been a poison that made him look dead (to the experts of the day) so he was actually put in the tomb alive. All of that is only if you accept that he even existed. But for such a remarkable person, it is weird that he is not mentioned in any extra-Biblical documents.

        Uncaused, by the way, does not mean “by sheer chance”. Quantum mechanics follows very strict rules, but is acausal.

        To have something predicted in one part of a book and then come true in another part of the book is called “foreshadowing”. And, for the record, the Jews aren’t convinced either. Tyre is currently a functioning city that was not destroyed by the person the Bible predicted it would be destroyed by (that’s the first one I looked at, and it doesn’t really count as a prophecy). Besides, there are only a handful of cities around today that existed then. Cities do expire. If the prophecies were of the only cities that fell, or instead they were prophecies of the ~1000 cities that have survived the last 3000 then it would be a different matter.

      • How to do you know the total mass and energy when physicists tell us that we only know 4% of the universe and the rest 70% is dark energy, and the remaining 26% is dark matter? That means that they don’t know what exactly it is?

        It is possible that a single, fundamental, law exists and from that fundamental law things like the time dimension are borne. But what founded, made or whatever other verb you want, that law? Did it come into existence by chance, or it is eternal? If it is eternal, then you postulate a natural law (or limitation, as you named it) as the ultimate cause of all things. I, on the other hand postulate a person as the ultimate cause of all things.

        I agree as for the differences of human law vs natural law. The superiority of the natural law points, for me, to a superior mind.

        About Bart Ehrman. Many people doubt many things. The important thing is to weight the evidence for and against, and for me, the evidence for the credibility of the gospel narratives by far surpasses the arguments against.

        As for the arguments against the resurrection, they have been amply refuted, let alone that some of the ones you mention sound childish. As for Jesus existence, I repeat that it has been established. No serious scholar argues against that.

        The Big Bang doesn’t follow quantum mechanics rules, so either it was caused by something or it just happened.

        If the prophesy of Tyre didn’t satisfy you, how about ancient Babylon and Daniel’s prophesies about the future world powers?

      • For dark matter all we know about it is that it has mass (which is how we know it exists: its mass has a gravitational pull that we can detect). For dark energy all we know is that it is a well supported explanation of the expansion of the universe (and thus its energy value). That information is pretty easily discovered on Wikipedia. The zero-energy of the universe is not so easily researched (so I understand that you haven’t done that yourself) but here is a link for you to consider (http://www.astrosociety.org/pubs/mercury/31_02/nothing.html).

        Nothing had to found, generate, create or otherwise induce the law. If effecting the law is a necessary process, then I’d love to hear why it is necessary but a similar level of explanation is not necessary for God. I’m not a theoretical physicist, so I can’t comment with any confidence on String Theory or M-theory or the (potential) underlying mechanisms of the Universe. But what I can say is that Brian Greene, Stephen Hawking and Lawrence Krauss make a compelling empirical-based argument in their respective books.

        My comments about the resurrection of Jesus may sound childish, but as the discipline of History has the task of establishing what -most likely- happened I think we have to consider the fact that all of my alternatives are more likely than a supernatural resurrection of the son of God from death.

        There are plenty of reasons to believe Jesus didn’t exist, not least the simple that that there were a lot ‘gnostic’ teachers at the time and Jesus may be nothing more than a compilation of stories based on many different people. Also, there’s not extra-Biblical evidence. When you consider what obsessive note-takers the Romans were, this is very odd indeed. (Also, Bethlehem doesn’t show up on any maps or records of surveyed land until after Jesus’ death…)

        The Big Bang does follow quantum rules, to an extent. It started off as a singularity (which most definitely is quantum). Also, depending on your interpretation, all things behave according to quantum rules, and relativity and Newtonian physics are nothing more than the statistical outcome of quantum rules. Not that it matters, I only meant to point out that “uncaused” does not mean “sheer chance”.

        If you are talking about the prophecy in Daniel 8: 1-14 (which I hope you’re not, but it seems to be the one I get back on Google) then I implore you to read it. Nothing in it has come true, or even makes sense.

      • I agree about the dark energy and matter. The zero-energy of the universe is, as the same article says, an admittedly speculative hypothesis, as is the String theory and the M-theory. But even if it is true, why is it an argument? I can’t understand it.

        A law cannot “effect” itself. A person, like God, can put something into effect, can act. But forget about it. Let my ask you this. Is your logic content with an ultimate law as the 1st cause? If that satisfies you, I am not trying to impose a God onto you. For me, something without the capacity of reason is not satisfying as the ultimate cause of everything and of life. One of us is wrong. Time will tell.

        All your alternatives are more likely because the resurrection is something that happened only a handfull of times. But statistics are not the criterion of truth of factuality.

        Gnosticism is as far apart from Jesus and His teaching as is the light from darkness. If you study Gnosticism you will discover that what you just asserted, that Jesus may be nothing more than a compilation of stories based on many different people, is utterly wrong. The personality and teaching of Jesus is so unique, noble, exalted and in opposition with the prevalent spirit of Judaism and Heathenism, that only a person of the stature of Jesus would be able to invent… Jesus.

        As for the extra-Biblical references to Jesus, you are again utterly wrong. Some non Christian writers referring to Him or His disciples are: Gaius Plinius, Josephus, Tacitus, Plinius Secundus, Trajan, Hadrianus, Suetonius, Antoninus Pius, Lucius Apuleius, Marcus Aurelius, Lucian of Samosata, Celsus, Aelius Spartianus, Aelius Lampridius, Gallienus, Gentilianus, Aurelian, Flavius Vopiscus, Diocletian, Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maximianus, Porphyry, Galerius Valerius Maximianus, Galerius Valerius Maximinus and others.

        The prophesy of Daniel I am referring to is indeed in the 8th chapter. I have studied it, not just read it, and all of it has come true. Alexander the Great indeed conquered the Medians and Persians, and after his death, his kingdom was divided to his 4 generals.

      • Yeah, effect is also a verb. Sorry, I should probably attempt to use more accessible English (as most English people don’t know the meaning of the verb “effect”; they know “affect” the verb and “effect” the noun).

        Define “content”. I am not asking for the world to make me content. The universe does not owe me satisfaction.

        When it comes to my comment about the likelihood of many different explanations to account to the empty tomb, what I am trying to say is that the historians that agree that the resurrection happened are stepping outside of the disciple of history. History accepts the most likely claims, and a resurrection isn’t the most likely.

        I’m not even saying that it didn’t happen. I am saying that one the evidence we have it is not a reasonable conclusion.

      • With “content” I mean if your logic is satisfied with that as the ultimate answer. If your logic is satisfied, not if you draw satisfaction from the universe. So, I repeat, is your logic content with an ultimate law as the 1st cause? If that satisfies you, I am not trying to impose a God onto you. For me, something without the capacity of reason is not satisfying as the ultimate cause of everything and of life.

        You have it mixed up. No historian attests or can attest to the reality of the resurrection. They attest to the historicity of Jesus. The reality of the resurrection is drawn from other kind of evidence. I repeat the evidence (as you notice, I am very careful with the words I use. I am talking about evidence, not proof): the testimony of scores of eye witnesses (contained in the New Testament). The amazing transformation of the first Christians after the death of their leader, and the last but most difficult of all, the empty tomb…

        Your last paragraph is a little obscure, but if you are referring to Daniel’s prophesy, the fact that it happened is not a reasonable conclusion? You admit to the fulfillment of a prophesy of such a magnitude and you say that it is not a reasonable conclusion? You seem to do away very easily with many things… And what about the prophesy of the complete and eternal desolation of Babylon? In this case the proof of the fulfillment of the prophesy lies right there for everybody to see…

        To me, all these arguments, all these pieces of evidence (not to mention others that we didn’t even touch, as the emergence of life or the information of the DNA), point to a Supreme Being as the ultimate cause. In others words, I believe that a Supreme Being is the most logical of all possible explanations.

      • This has been an interesting conversation. I think we have both said our piece. Thank you very much. But I don’t think it is going to go further than this…

  2. I’m sorry to have to make this observation: It is safe to assume that you have never been taught discourse in logic, for you have no logical structure for the statements you make.

    Furthermore, my counterclaim to your argument that Atheism ‘makes no logical sense’ is this:

    Your statement aims to say that an atheist is proclaiming knowledge outside of the spectrum of possible knowledge known by a human being. However, the burden of knowledge or truth is not with the Atheist in the denial of a god. This is because an atheist is not making an assertion of existence of the being; an atheist is commenting on the lack of existence said being.

    It is not logically sound to presuppose the existence of a God because there is not way to affirm the premises that lead to the conclusion that God exists (because there are no premises in such a presupposition).

    Therefore, the burden of knowledge or truth lies with the person that proclaims the existence of a god, not one that denies it. However, because there is no evidence, proof, or knowledge that any such being exists, your argument is null.

    I hope that helps you, Castellio.

    • Hello to you too my friend and thank you for your comment.

      I will not get into extensive argumentation (unless you want me to). I am sure you know most of the arguments, you have read about them, as I have read “atheistic” arguments.

      This dispute cannot be settled with arguments. During Jesus Christ’s life, His contemporaries witnessed the best arguments they could witness. They saw Him performing multiple miracles. They saw Him feeding the hungry, healing the sick, raising the dead. They also “saw” Him being raised from the dead. Yet, only a handful of them believed… If those people didn’t believe Jesus Christ Himself, who am I to convince you through arguments?

      The “key” to this whole dispute is the “condition of the heart”. Bible informs us that only those with the right condition of the heart believed (Acts 2:37, 46; 13:48). So, this is the point I’m making here. If God wanted to manifest Himself scientifically, empirically, or any other way which would be impossible to refute, He would have done it. Instead, He chose to act in the way He did, so that everybody’s “heart” towards Him would be manifest.

  3. Castellio,
    Your first point in your response to my comment is that you ‘could’ refute my points if you wanted to, but argumentation is not with no purpose when an Atheist speaks to a believer. How then do you respond to the observation that the whole reason you are discussing the rational of argumentation is based on my response to the arguments you made about knowledge in your blog post?

    To your response about Jesus’s miracles: No Greek, Roman, Jewish, or any other native from the area at that time wrote a single word about Jesus Christ, the followers of the character Jesus Christ, or ‘miracles’ preformed by Jesus Christ. However, we do have historical record of people like Aristotle, the Buddha, numerous Egyptian Pharaohs, and many other ‘famous’ people that lived before or around the time that Jesus was said to have lived. Why this discrepancy? Jesus probably did not exist, and if a man similar to Jesus did live, he certainly did not do the things that the Bible refers to.

    Finally, you pull a quote from the Bible and say that it tells us how we should live our life. Sure, there are good quotes in the Bible that can be taken and used to support an idea of ‘moral goodness,’ but then you must also concede the harm that Biblical lettering also does:

    20 “But if this charge is true, that the girl was not found a virgin, 21 then they shall bring out the girl to the doorway of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death because she has committed an act of folly” Deut. 20-21

    I hope your future wife is a virgin when you marry her…
    How about this moral quote:

    Lev 11:7-8 “And the pig, because it parts the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. You shall not eat any of their flesh, and you shall not touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you.”

    I hope you have never eaten a ham sandwich…

    Your defense of the Bible and Jesus shaky and merit-less, it is imperative that you attempt to educate yourself as to the true nature of our majestic life, world, universe, etc. Don’t allow yourself to reduce the brilliance of everything by giving credit to something that is not there, has never made any point to show that it is there, and has done such a poor job when it comes to the perfection of its creation.

    • (Excuse me if I make any mistakes. English is not my native language.)

      1) If your position is to examine sincerely all the evidence available to decide about this issue, the existence or non existence of God, of course, argumentation is a must, and I am willing to go into that if you want. I reached my “theistic” position after extensive study of all the arguments for and against the existence of God. In my opinion, the best explanation of life and all there is, is God. So, if you want argumentation, argumentation you will have.

      2) Mathew, Mark, Luke and John wrote about Jesus. Paul wrote about Jesus. Non Jewish writers that refer to Jesus or his followers are: Gaius Plinius, Josephus, Tacitus, Plinius Secundus, Trajan, Hadrianus, Suetonius, Antoninus Pius, Lucius Apuleius, Marcus Aurelius, Lucian of Samosata, Celsus, Aelius Spartianus, Aelius Lampridius, Gallienus, Gentilianus, Aurelian, Flavius Vopiscus, Diocletian, Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maximianus, Porphyry, Galerius Valerius Maximianus, Galerius Valerius Maximinus and others, but I am to lazy to continue writing.

      You say that “Jesus probably did not exist”. That is utterly wrong. There is no serious scientist, historian or other, who refuses the existence of Jesus. Even Richard Dawkins admitted his existence (see for example Dawkins vs Lennox debate, Has science buried God?).

      You say “he certainly did not do the things that the Bible refers to”. Can you please supply any historical evidence for this assertion of yours, because whatever source we have have (that is, the Bible) tells us just the opposite.

      3) I did not pull a quote to say “how we should live our life”. I pulled a quote to show that believing in God demands a receptive heart.

      4) You say, “has never made any point to show that it is there”. The Bible reveals God. Predictive prophesy contained in the Bible points to a supreme being (there are around 300 prophesies referring only to Jesus). Jesus Christ revealed God. Creation reveals God. You probably ascribe creation to chance or matter. It doesn’t matter. You deify chance or matter when you ascribe all there is to it (when I say “you” I mean every atheist. Don’t take it personally).

      You say, “has done such a poor job when it comes to the perfection of its creation”. This world is not what God intended according to His revelation. This is a fallen world which will be restored in due time. God’s plan is to restore paradise and provide His beloved children with everlasting life with no pain, old age or death.

      • 1) You speak as though you do not wish to have a meaningful discussion about the existence of God and yet you spend an entire blog post explaining why you think that Atheists do not have any logical grounds to stand on. Please, forgive me if your blog post said that you did not want to hear an opposing viewpoint.

        2) You speak of the books Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John as they were real people. You will not find a single theologian that would substantiate that claim. Nobody knows for sure who wrote those four books to the bible. The working idea is that they are simply written manifestations of mythological beliefs circulating the Mediterranean around that time.

        Paul did not live or start writing about Jesus until 40-50 years after Jesus’s ‘death.’ He did not write anything about the life of Jesus, miracles, or even that he was a man that walked the Earth. Paul wrote only about the crucifixion and resurrection. Paul never acknowledged the actual existence of a man named Jesus Christ living on Earth, for the stories of the crucifixion and resurrection were metaphoric in the eyes of Paul.
        In reference to the list of men after Paul: All of these men (with the exception of Gaius Plinius) did not even live until after the ‘death’ of Jesus. None of these men had first-hand accounts of the actions of Jesus Christ. Also, none of the writings of any of those men refer to a man named “Jesus Christ.” In fact, it is very well known by Theologians that the only substantiated accounts of Jesus Christ from 1-100 C.E. are the writings of Paul. Please, read the translations of these men before making presumptions. (Whether Richard Dawkins believes that a man named Jesus Christ actually existed or not is irrelevant.)
        3) In response to your question about sources for the quote of mine that you mentioned: There are no sources that show that Jesus Christ ever lived unless you believe that the Bible can be accepted as a historical document. However, you cannot take the Bible as a historical document because it has been decided by Historians that the events in the Bible are not records of actual historical events. They know this fact because the Bible holds the only record of any of the events mentioned, and objective historians did not write about almost any of those events (including the existence of Jesus Christ)
        If you want to use the Bible as a historical source, you must also concede that the Vedas from Hinduism, the Koran, and the Book of Mormon are all also truthful records of history.
        4) I will not respond to your point about prophecy, because it is childish and has no rational understanding behind it. You have done nothing to convince me to accept any “prophecy” that you connect between the Bible and modern events.
        5) With your last point, you get into questions about God’s essence. I am assuming that your God is Omnipotent and Omnibenevolent? If not, then you are not in line with the rest of Christianity. However, it is a logical paradox to say that a God is both Omnipotent and Omnibenevolent because a God with unlimited power, but also unlimited goodness would be unable to create that which is not good (the creatures you see that are capable of evil). Because God is thought of as omnipotent and omnibenevolent, but there is evil in the world, you need to examine the nature of your God before trying to profess that you understand what your God “wants”.

        While I’m on the subject, the idea of God’s “will” or God “wanting” something is also a paradox if you consider your God to be a ‘Perfect’ being. To want, to will, or to need, is the absence of something, but because a perfect being would be lacking of nothing, your God is either not perfect, or does not will for anything.

        I do not wish to continue a discussion with you, because it is clear that you do not have an adequate understand of the subject from wither a theological, historical, or philosophical backing. However, I will continue to respond to your nonsensical arguments if you continue presenting them.

      • 1) I always wish for a meaningful discussion about the existence of God. That is clear. And I always want to hear the opposing viewpoint and receive criticism.

        2) Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were real people. I know scores of theologians that substantiate that claim, plus scores of historians and scholars. Many know for sure who wrote those four books of the Bible. All they did to find that out is study. Many scientist and scholars spent their whole lives studying these books and whether they are historical and authentic. The “working idea” isn’t always the “right idea”. I already have posted about it and many posts will follow.

        3) Paul did not start writing 40-50 years after Jesus’ death. Paul himself died in 67 A.D. If you subtract the year Jesus died (30 A.D. I use the earliest chronology. I do it on purpose. It is to your advantage) from the year 67 when Paul died, you come up with the number 37. I “have never been taught discourse in logic”, as you said in your first comment, but this simple math shows me that there is a very serious technical problem for Paul to start writing 40 or 50 years after Jesus’ death. He was dead himself… Paul wrote extensively about Jesus. So extensively that some other atheists claim that Christ and Christianity are his invention. The crucifixion and resurrection were not metaphoric in the eyes of Paul. A casual reading of his epistles will substantiate this. To save you time, I suggest you read the 1 Corinthians, 15 chapter, and check out this post of mine: https://peribiblicum.wordpress.com/2013/02/23/%CF%80%CF%8C%CF%83%CE%BF-%CE%B8%CE%B5%CE%BC%CE%B5%CE%BB%CE%B9%CF%8E%CE%B4%CE%B5%CF%82-%CE%AE%CF%84%CE%B1%CE%BD-%CF%84%CE%BF-%CE%B4%CF%8C%CE%B3%CE%BC%CE%B1-%CF%84%CE%B7%CF%82-%CE%B1%CE%BD%CE%AC%CF%83/.

        4) As you very well said, Gaius Plinius was a contemporary of Jesus. Josephus, who also writes about Jesus, was a contemporary, too. Tacitus is the next closest to the events, since he lived from 56 AD to 117 AD (others say 50-120). Not counting the writers of the gospels. All these men refer either to Christ or Christians. (Why read the translation and not read the original?). Whether Richard Dawkins believes that a man named Jesus Christ actually existed or not is not irrelevant, since He is a leading atheist at this very moment, and he shapes the opinion of many people with his books and his general activity.

        5) About the sources that verify Jesus’ historicity, I have already answered you. You insist to deny them instead of studying them. Bible is not a historical document per se, but it contains a lot of history. It’s events are tight with history (see for example Luke 3:1. Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness), and they can be easily verified or falsified. In fact some writers like Luke, are considered to be historians of the first rank. Sir William Ramsay wrote that “Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy… [he] should be placed along with the very greatest of historians.” Whether the Vedas from Hinduism, the Koran, and the Book of Mormon are all also truthful records of history, depends on whether they claim to be such a thing, and on whether the are found to be such after careful examination (the Book of Mormon contains historical mistakes and anachronisms).

        6) As for the prophesies, suit yourself.

        7) God did not create that which is not good. He created beings with their own free will. Some of them chose evil instead of good.

        8) There is no paradox with want and perfection. Instead, because God is perfect and His love surpasses any degree we can think of, we “wanted” to give from Himself, to give Love (God is Love according to the Bible) to fellow beings. So instead of lacking and wanting, He “wants” to give from His abundance. As a writer put it, He shrunk Himself and gave space to fellow beings…

        9) I may not “have an adequate understand of the subject from wither a theological, historical, or philosophical backing” (sic), but I am willing to learn. So, if you change your mind, I will be happy to talk to you again. All your comments will be presented and they are welcome.

  4. […] Bart Ehrman is a renown New Testament scholar. Many people quote his books in order to back their statements up, that the Gospel narratives, and the New Testament in general, is nothing more than human stories full of mistakes, contradictions and inconsistencies. Some of my blog readers too, have “informed” me that he is a scholar that doubts the reliability of the gospels (see e.g. the comments under my post entitled “How much force does the statement of the atheist that “there is no God” have?”). […]

  5. […] scholar that doubts the reliability of the gospels (see e.g. the comments under my post entitled “How much force does the statement of the atheist that “there is no God” have?”).So, the time has come for a critical evaluation of Bart Erhman’s scholarship. How valid are […]

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