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  1. #1
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    DISCUSSION: Clive versus Zhav on the Resurrection

    I am currently embroiled in a debate with Zhavric about the resurrection. In order to avoid further dispute, I'll try to accurately characterize what's happened so far:

    Zhavric: The resurrection didn't happen because it's impossible.

    Me: Please support your argument.

    Zhavric: You're a Christian, so you believe the resurrection did happen. Stop evading the question and support it.

    Me: You've made the claim in this thread, it's your obligation to support it.

    Zhavric: Either you believe the rez happened, or you don't. You do, so support it.
    Now, I find his claim that I'm somehow evading the question faulty. He started the thread off with a claim, and it seems to me that the OP's argument should be addressed before positions that I hold to but have not argued for thus far.

    Can I get some moderation on the topic? Or at least a second opinion?
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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  2. #2
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    Re: DISCUSSION: Clive versus Zhav on the Resurrection

    The stated claim has to be supported.

    If the OP says it didn't happen, the onus is on Zhav to prove it.

    It doesn't matter what a member's theological beliefs are. What's SAID in the thread is what's up for debate.
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

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    Re: DISCUSSION: Clive versus Zhav on the Resurrection

    If it is true that if he has made the initial claim, that it requires support. It can be something as simple as "There is no observable evidence for miracles, let alone the specific historical miracle of Christ's resurrection".

    Regardless, if a claim is made and not supported, then the opposition is within rights to challenge the unsubstantiated claim. It is 100% irrelevant what one believes or does not believe (which Zhav appears to be using as a "tactic")...what matters is what is argued and/or claimed...nothing more.

    Clive, have Zhav read this thread.
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  4. #4
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    Re: DISCUSSION: Clive versus Zhav on the Resurrection

    If Zhav's position is truly represented above, then his claim is that it's impossible.

    Logically, is there any way to prove something is impossible, without showing it to be possible?

    In this case, simply bartering "support your claim" seems to be circular. Only the opposition can be explored in an meaningful way. I would suggest that if you are interested in debating the topic, you go ahead and get to the meat of it. Otherwise, Zhav's claim is supported. In a trivial way, but still supported based on the lack of a counter-claim. Zhav actually has a careful position here, but its so careful as to be uninteresting until someone else makes the first move.
    Its turtles, all the way down.

  5. #5
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    Re: DISCUSSION: Clive versus Zhav on the Resurrection

    Logically, is there any way to prove something is impossible, without showing it to be possible?
    How else would we know that square circles are impossible?


    _________________________________ Post Merged _________________________________


    Otherwise, Zhav's claim is supported.
    Lack of proof that x is possible =/= proof that x is possible.
    Last edited by CliveStaples; October 18th, 2007 at 05:52 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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  6. #6
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    Re: DISCUSSION: Clive versus Zhav on the Resurrection

    Having reviewed the thread, here's the exchange as I see it:
    Zhav: The Resurrection is impossible because a person's brain turns to mush after he dies.

    Clive: Yes, that does happen. But where's your proof that resuscitation of dead brain tissue is impossible?
    On appearance, it seems like Zhav does bear the burden of proof there. But really, do you seriously need Zhav to provide evidence that dead and decomposed cells cannot come back to life? This is an uncontroversial claim IMO, and can be easily supported by citing basic facts of biology and chemistry about the structure and function of human cells.

    If we had to support even such basic, self-evident claims, we would have conversations like this:
    Tom: It is impossible for Elvis to visit you last night. Elvis is dead!

    Jerry: Please prove that it is impossible for Elvis to come back to life and come visit me.

    Tom: Well, for starters, decomposition sets in immediately after death, and the bacteria inside the human body start consuming its cell tissue...

    Jerry: Prove that it is impossible for decomposed cell tissue to reconstitute themselves.
    As you can see, such frivolous demands for opponents to prove the most basic of claims tend to drag down the standard of debate, and appear nothing more than a stall tactic. That dead cells do not come back to life on their own is an uncontroversial claim that has the full support of biology and forensic science, and the onus should lie on those who claim the opposite to prove it.

    Thus, while Zhav is wrong when he says that Clive needs to prove the claims of his religion (Clive doesn't; he only needs to prove claims he explicitly makes, not justify his personal beliefs to everyone who asks), it is also the case that Clive bears the burden of proof to show that dead cells can come back to life.
    Last edited by Trendem; October 19th, 2007 at 06:26 AM.
    Trendem

  7. #7
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    Re: DISCUSSION: Clive versus Zhav on the Resurrection

    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem View Post
    Having reviewed the thread, here's the exchange as I see it:
    Zhav: The Resurrection is impossible because a person's brain turns to mush after he dies.

    Clive: Yes, that does happen. But where's your proof that resuscitation of dead brain tissue is impossible?
    On appearance, it seems like Zhav does bear the burden of proof there. But really, do you seriously need Zhav to provide evidence that dead and decomposed cells cannot come back to life? This is an uncontroversial claim IMO, and can be easily supported by citing basic facts of biology and chemistry about the structure and function of human cells.

    If we had to support even such basic, self-evident claims, we would have conversations like this:
    Tom: It is impossible for Elvis to visit you last night. Elvis is dead!

    Jerry: Please prove that it is impossible for Elvis to come back to life and come visit me.

    Tom: Well, for starters, decomposition sets in immediately after death, and the bacteria inside the human body start consuming its cell tissue...

    Jerry: Prove that it is impossible for decomposed cell tissue to reconstitute themselves.
    As you can see, such frivolous demands for opponents to prove the most basic of claims tend to drag down the standard of debate, and appear nothing more than a stall tactic. That dead cells do not come back to life on their own is an uncontroversial claim that has the full support of biology and forensic science, and the onus should lie on those who claim the opposite to prove it.

    Thus, while Zhav is wrong when he says that Clive needs to prove the claims of his religion (Clive doesn't; he only needs to prove claims he explicitly makes, not justify his personal beliefs to everyone who asks), it is also the case that Clive bears the burden of proof to show that dead cells can come back to life.
    You left out the re-occuring burden shifting.


    _________________________________ Post Merged _________________________________


    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    If it is true that if he has made the initial claim, that it requires support. It can be something as simple as "There is no observable evidence for miracles, let alone the specific historical miracle of Christ's resurrection".

    Regardless, if a claim is made and not supported, then the opposition is within rights to challenge the unsubstantiated claim. It is 100% irrelevant what one believes or does not believe (which Zhav appears to be using as a "tactic")...what matters is what is argued and/or claimed...nothing more.

    Clive, have Zhav read this thread.
    The op is based around this statement: "Jesus Christ rose from the dead as described in the gospels" is a false statement because we do not have sufficient evidence to conclude it happened and strong evidence suggesting it never happened.

    Clive and I went back and forth on several points, but it ultimately came down to this summary:

    1) "Jesus Christ rose from the dead as described in the gospels" is a scientific hypothesis (lacking support).
    2) "Jesus' brain was functional after suffering death." is another hypothesis necessary to the first point. Upon this, Clive and I both agreed.
    3) "The brain liquifies shortly after death and no longer functions." is a scientific fact. It's supported and was agreed upon by Clive in another thread.

    At this point, the resurrection is false. A necessary part of the res was proven to be false. To continue the argument, Clive needed to offer an explanation of how Jesus brain became functional after death. He offered no such explanation even after several requests.

    Thus, he lost the debate. I have demonstrated where the resurrection is impossible and Clive has offered no counter to this demonstration.
    Last edited by Zhavric; October 19th, 2007 at 06:49 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  8. #8
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    Re: DISCUSSION: Clive versus Zhav on the Resurrection

    I disagree with Trendem and Zhavric, and I'm a bit disappointed to see it break down by viewpoint.

    Here's why I disagree:

    Resurrection is allegedly a process that occurs after death. Proving that death causes organs to stop functioning is a long way off from proving that death is irreversible.

    To make an analogy--which I hate to do--proving that running out of gas makes your car stop running doesn't prove that refilling the tank is impossible. I use this analogy not to argue that the resurrection must have happened, but rather that proving "X causes Y" doesn't prove Z cannot undo Y. There must be further support--either that death is somehow irreversible (which Zhavric claimed but never supported), or that the resurrection method in the Bible is illogical.


    Quote Originally Posted by Z
    You left out the re-occuring burden shifting.
    Zhavric, you offered an argument. I wanted to critique your argument before offering a counter-argument. You never provided any support for your claim that resurrection is impossible--other than proving that death occurs--so I really didn't have anything to counter. I never had the burden of proof, because you never supported your argument.
    Thus, while Zhav is wrong when he says that Clive needs to prove the claims of his religion (Clive doesn't; he only needs to prove claims he explicitly makes, not justify his personal beliefs to everyone who asks), it is also the case that Clive bears the burden of proof to show that dead cells can come back to life.
    So Zhavric can make the claim "Dead cells cannot return to life", and not have to offer support...but I cannot make the claim "Dead cells can return to life" without doing so?

    Your "uncontroversial" test is lacking--simply because a claim is not controversial does not mean it can go unsupported when challenged. And if the claim is so easily proven by biology and chemistry, I invite Zhavric to offer that simple, easy support. But he refused to.

    As you can see, such frivolous demands for opponents to prove the most basic of claims tend to drag down the standard of debate, and appear nothing more than a stall tactic. That dead cells do not come back to life on their own is an uncontroversial claim that has the full support of biology and forensic science, and the onus should lie on those who claim the opposite to prove it.
    And if Zhavric had said "dead cells don't come back to life on their own", I wouldn't have challenged him. He didn't. He said "resurrection is impossible". Simply because cells cannot resurrect themselves doesn't mean that any kind of resurrection is impossible.

    Characterizing this as a stall tactic is inaccurate. I simply want to see my opponents actually back up their unsupported, far-reaching scientific claims.

    Imagine if I started a thread claiming that resurrection is possible. You challenge me to support it; I say "It's an uncontroversial claim backed up by biology and chemistry. You need to support your truth-claims!"

    If we had to support even such basic, self-evident claims, we would have conversations like this:
    How does death imply the impossibility of resurrection? Resurrection requires death to occur--resurrection could not happen under any other circumstance. Proving that death occurs is therefore insufficient to show that resurrection is impossible.

    But, hey, as long as Trendem and Zhavric say "Science is on our side", I guess it'll have to do =/
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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  9. #9
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    Re: DISCUSSION: Clive versus Zhav on the Resurrection

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Here's why I disagree:

    Resurrection is allegedly a process that occurs after death. Proving that death causes organs to stop functioning is a long way off from proving that death is irreversible.

    To make an analogy--which I hate to do--proving that running out of gas makes your car stop running doesn't prove that refilling the tank is impossible. I use this analogy not to argue that the resurrection must have happened, but rather that proving "X causes Y" doesn't prove Z cannot undo Y. There must be further support--either that death is somehow irreversible (which Zhavric claimed but never supported), or that the resurrection method in the Bible is illogical.
    I agreed with you, actually, that Zhav didn't support his claim sufficiently. I may even agree that you have the right to ask for support for his claim. What I disagree with - because I think it bogs down the debate, rather than because of any logical rule - is asking for support for even the most basic of claims - that decomposed cells cannot reconstitute themselves.

    Yes, I suppose Zhav could have posted links to sites demonstrating how cells require oxygen to function, how brain cells can last only for a few minutes without, how dead cells irrevocably disintegrate under the voracious gnawing of millions of microbes, etc. But is that really necessary? IMO, it only bogs down the debate if people have to prove such self-evident, well-established facts.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Your "uncontroversial" test is lacking--simply because a claim is not controversial does not mean it can go unsupported when challenged. And if the claim is so easily proven by biology and chemistry, I invite Zhavric to offer that simple, easy support. But he refused to.
    So, would you have moved on if Zhav provided the abovementioned support?

    If so, then perhaps Zhav can do so, and the debate can continue.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    And if Zhavric had said "dead cells don't come back to life on their own", I wouldn't have challenged him. He didn't. He said "resurrection is impossible". Simply because cells cannot resurrect themselves doesn't mean that any kind of resurrection is impossible.
    The record of the debate disagrees with what you said here. You agreed with Zhav that brain cells turn to mush after death. You further agreed that for the resurrection to be possible, brain activity has to be present. So, unless you are arguing that brain activity can occur in a dead brain, you are, in fact, conceding that if cells cannot resurrect themselves, the resurrection is impossible.
    Trendem

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    Re: DISCUSSION: Clive versus Zhav on the Resurrection

    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem View Post
    I agreed with you, actually, that Zhav didn't support his claim sufficiently. I may even agree that you have the right to ask for support for his claim. What I disagree with - because I think it bogs down the debate, rather than because of any logical rule - is asking for support for even the most basic of claims - that decomposed cells cannot reconstitute themselves.
    Except that wasn't the claim, Trendem. The claim is that decomposed cells cannot be reconstituted, not simply that they must be the cause of the reconstitution.

    Yes, I suppose Zhav could have posted links to sites demonstrating how cells require oxygen to function, how brain cells can last only for a few minutes without, how dead cells irrevocably disintegrate under the voracious gnawing of millions of microbes, etc. But is that really necessary? IMO, it only bogs down the debate if people have to prove such self-evident, well-established facts
    Which prove one thing: Death occurs, and organs cease functioning. Which doesn't prove that those organs cannot be made to function again--which was Zhavric's claim.

    So, would you have moved on if Zhav provided the abovementioned support?
    Only if his argument was "Death occurs" rather than "Resurrection is impossible".

    The record of the debate disagrees with what you said here. You agreed with Zhav that brain cells turn to mush after death. You further agreed that for the resurrection to be possible, brain activity has to be present. So, unless you are arguing that brain activity can occur in a dead brain, you are, in fact, conceding that if cells cannot resurrect themselves, the resurrection is impossible.

    No, I am conceding that if cells cannot be resurrected, the resurrection is impossible.

    I am arguing nothing, so far. Zhavric's argument has a huge hole in it: He hasn't proved that resurrection is impossible. He's proven that death occurs--which I of course never challenged--but as I said, that's a long way off from proving that resurrection cannot occur.
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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    Re: DISCUSSION: Clive versus Zhav on the Resurrection

    Quote Originally Posted by Clive
    Which prove one thing: Death occurs, and organs cease functioning. Which doesn't prove that those organs cannot be made to function again--which was Zhavric's claim.
    Please answer the following question honestly:

    Do you deny that, in another thread, you admitted that the brain liquifies after death? Yes or no?

  12. #12
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    Re: DISCUSSION: Clive versus Zhav on the Resurrection

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Except that wasn't the claim, Trendem. The claim is that decomposed cells cannot be reconstituted, not simply that they must be the cause of the reconstitution.
    Fine, so you also want Zhav to provide support that during Jesus' time, no technology existed that enabled the revival of dead brain cells after three days, and even if it did, that Jesus was in a sealed tomb and did not receive any external medical intervention.

    It should be basic knowledge - a shared premise, if you will - that even in 2007 AD, brain cells dead for three days and decomposed by bacteria cannot be reconstituted, let alone in 30 AD. Furthermore, it should also be a shared premise that Jesus was sealed in his tomb and did not receive outside medical intervention - thus any "reconstituting" could only be done by the cells themselves.

    The fact that you want meticulous support for all these facts strikes me as stalling for time. You have the right to ask for support, of course, but it seems to be better debate form to attack his arguments head on and suggest reasons why it may be possible for Jesus' cells to be reconstituted, thus demonstrating that it is by no means impossible.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Which prove one thing: Death occurs, and organs cease functioning. Which doesn't prove that those organs cannot be made to function again--which was Zhavric's claim.
    I wrote "...dead cells irrevocably disintegrate under the voracious gnawing of millions of microbes". Does irrevocably not suggest the impossibility of regaining function?

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    I am arguing nothing, so far. Zhavric's argument has a huge hole in it: He hasn't proved that resurrection is impossible. He's proven that death occurs--which I of course never challenged--but as I said, that's a long way off from proving that resurrection cannot occur.
    It's not that long a way off if you consider what happens to the body after death and how the decomposition process - especially after three days in a dank tomb - makes it impossible for the body to come back to life.
    Trendem

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    Re: DISCUSSION: Clive versus Zhav on the Resurrection

    The entire debate stems from the way in which we define the word "impossible". If the word is used to refer to ideas which contradict logic, it results in a paradigm of knowledge by which we cannot really call anything impossible. Only statements contradicting known logical truths can be defined as such - which results in our use of the word lacking any substantive meaning. Nothing is impossible. Everything is possible. If this is the definition in use, Clive would be correct.

    However, if the word is used in its more common way, to refer to the scientifically impossible, then the word regains a great deal of its meaning. Flying monkeys are impossible. Creating matter is impossible. If this is the definition in use, Clive would still be correct (in that Zhav should substantiate it), but it would be a far less onerous request.

    Either way, Zhav must substantiate his claim, but the distinction is important with regards to the amount of proof that he must provide. If it is the former definition - and only the logically contradictory is impossible - then Zhav has an incredible, incredible burden of proof upon him. How can he prove that something like resurrection contravenes logical tenets like A=A? However, if we are using the second, Zhav does not have much of a burden of proof at all. By using inductive reasoning and scientific observations, he can easily conclude that the dead do not come back to life - with the same certainty that when we drop something it will fall to the ground. We have never seen a decomposed brain come back to life, and we have never seen a dropped apple shoot up to the sky - based on our experimental observations, we've drawn scientific conclusions that guide our views on what is impossible and what is not. Zhav could provide the required evidence and the debate, as Trendem said, could continue.

    Neither definition can be called ultimately "correct", per sé, for definitions are subjective - but the outcomes of each are important to consider. I would obviously favour the latter. After all, I am perfectly willing to call a flying monkey "impossible". Do we really want to use a definition of the word by which virtually nothing is impossible?
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    Re: DISCUSSION: Clive versus Zhav on the Resurrection

    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem View Post
    Fine, so you also want Zhav to provide support that during Jesus' time, no technology existed that enabled the revival of dead brain cells after three days, and even if it did, that Jesus was in a sealed tomb and did not receive any external medical intervention.
    According to the rules (and pragmatically), Zhavric should only support claims that others challenge him to support.

    It should be basic knowledge - a shared premise, if you will - that even in 2007 AD, brain cells dead for three days and decomposed by bacteria cannot be reconstituted, let alone in 30 AD. Furthermore, it should also be a shared premise that Jesus was sealed in his tomb and did not receive outside medical intervention - thus any "reconstituting" could only be done by the cells themselves.
    Ah, so by claiming that my arguments are "common knowledge", I no longer have the burden of proof?

    The fact that you want meticulous support for all these facts strikes me as stalling for time. You have the right to ask for support, of course, but it seems to be better debate form to attack his arguments head on and suggest reasons why it may be possible for Jesus' cells to be reconstituted, thus demonstrating that it is by no means impossible.
    I am attacking his argument--I'm saying it's unsupported and can therefore be rejected as so much speculation.

    I wrote "...dead cells irrevocably disintegrate under the voracious gnawing of millions of microbes". Does irrevocably not suggest the impossibility of regaining function?
    Ah, I hadn't seen that you'd stipulated the correctness of your argument.

    It's not that long a way off if you consider what happens to the body after death and how the decomposition process - especially after three days in a dank tomb - makes it impossible for the body to come back to life.

    How does decomposition prevent recomposition? It's an illogical step, in my view--proving "decomposition of tissue ends function" doesn't prove "reconstitution of decomposed tissue is impossible."

    Of course, your position is "common knowledge", so it must be assumed to be true, instead of actually having to provide support...


    _________________________________ Post Merged _________________________________


    Do you deny that, in another thread, you admitted that the brain liquifies after death? Yes or no?
    No, I do not deny that, in another thread, I admitted that the brain liquifies after death.


    _________________________________ Post Merged _________________________________


    Only statements contradicting known logical truths can be defined as such - which results in our use of the word lacking any substantive meaning.
    Ah, so "impossible" no longer means "not possible", but perhaps "extremely unlikely"?

    Something is "scientifically impossible" if it contradicts known scientific truth, and not otherwise.

    Additionally, the notion that defining "impossible" as phenomena that cannot possibly occur is hardly relegates the term to meaninglessness. Or are we to refer to possible events as "impossible" because Starcreator prefers it that way?
    Last edited by CliveStaples; October 19th, 2007 at 11:48 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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    Re: DISCUSSION: Clive versus Zhav on the Resurrection

    Clive, I've already stated my stand and foresee that replying to your post would just mean a rehash of my previous points, so I'll pass. Here's a summary though:

    1) Strictly speaking, Zhav does bear the burden of proof to support his claims. You do not need to support your religion's claims unless you explicitly made those claims.

    2) However, I feel that the claims you want Zhav to support are well-established ones that shouldn't be made the bone of contention. IMO, it just bogs down the debate - and it clearly has, judging from what the debate has become - and if you want a productive debate, you should instead actively engage with and refute Zhav's claims with reason and arguments of your own instead of sitting back and saying "support please" for every minute claim he makes (which appears to be what you mostly have been doing in that thread).

    3) You are, however, entitled to making whatever you want out of the debate, and I would suggest to Zhav that he post scientific evidence demonstrating the impossibility of Jesus' brain cells being reconstituted three days after death.
    Trendem

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    Re: DISCUSSION: Clive versus Zhav on the Resurrection

    To summarize the summary:

    Zhavric should have supported his arguments when called upon to do so.


    The rest was you taking potshots at me--"I wouldn't take that approach," "you're just stalling for time," etc.



    So that's 4/4 Mods in favor of Zhavric supporting his arguments. Batting 1.000 today.
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    Re: DISCUSSION: Clive versus Zhav on the Resurrection

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Ah, so "impossible" no longer means "not possible", but perhaps "extremely unlikely"?
    Precisely. It refers to a contradiction with scientific law of our time. A machine that creates matter, for instance, is impossible.

    Additionally, the notion that defining "impossible" as phenomena that cannot possibly occur is hardly relegates the term to meaninglessness. Or are we to refer to possible events as "impossible" because Starcreator prefers it that way?
    Heh - it's as if you picture me sitting upon some sort of throne, mounted on the foundations of my own ego, reading my opinions off as if they were divine commandments. Either that, or you have a tendency to take my conflicting opinions as a personal slight. What part of my post conveyed to you that I thought my definition was supreme, Clive? Was it the part when I stated that all definitions were subjective? Or was it the part when I said that no definition was ultimately correct? I presented the dilemma, I expressed my opinion and I posted it. But obviously that must mean I think I'm God, 'cause it isn't as if this is a debate site or anything.

    If you define the term "impossible" as only phenomena that contradict logic, then nothing is impossible other than definitional conflicts like square circles. Other than indicating to people that nothing is impossible, I have trouble thinking of another context where one would actually use the word. The definition is watered down such that one cannot identify proposed phenomena like a person breathing solid gold or dogs passing through walls as impossible. Such a definition is useless in my opinion, but believe what you will.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clive
    The rest was you taking potshots at me--"I wouldn't take that approach," "you're just stalling for time," etc.
    Identifying as fact the claim that cells aren't able to come back to life after three days - in the same sense that the law of gravity is fact - is hardly a potshot. Everyone thought - when their opinions were solicited, by the way - that such a claim didn't really require a lot of supplementary evidence.
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    Re: DISCUSSION: Clive versus Zhav on the Resurrection

    Quote Originally Posted by starcreator View Post
    Precisely. It refers to a contradiction with scientific law of our time. A machine that creates matter, for instance, is impossible.
    According to this definition, it would be impossible for the Earth to revolve around the sun before heliocentrism became the scientific law of the time.

    I can understand qualified impossibility--given technology [x], [y] is impossible, etc. But in order to say [y] is impossible, you have to not only prove that [x] could not cause it, but that it could not be caused by anything.

    Heh - it's as if you picture me sitting upon some sort of throne, mounted on the foundations of my own ego, reading my opinions off as if they were divine commandments. Either that, or you have a tendency to take my conflicting opinions as a personal slight. What part of my post conveyed to you that I thought my definition was supreme, Clive? Was it the part when I stated that all definitions were subjective? Or was it the part when I said that no definition was ultimately correct? I presented the dilemma, I expressed my opinion and I posted it. But obviously that must mean I think I'm God, 'cause it isn't as if this is a debate site or anything.
    Perhaps the part where you said that my definition makes "impossible" a meaningless word?

    If you define the term "impossible" as only phenomena that contradict logic, then nothing is impossible other than definitional conflicts like square circles. Other than indicating to people that nothing is impossible, I have trouble thinking of another context where one would actually use the word. The definition is watered down such that one cannot identify proposed phenomena like a person breathing solid gold or dogs passing through walls as impossible. Such a definition is useless in my opinion, but believe what you will.
    Allow me to explain a concept that has apparently eluded you about my position:

    It is illogical to say "dogs can go through walls", because they cannot slip between the atoms. It contradicts known fact. It is an impossible event.

    To imagine that category mistakes (such as square circles) are relegated to simply mathematical constructs is ludicrous; "dogs can walk through walls" is a category mistake as well.

    Identifying as fact the claim that cells aren't able to come back to life after three days - in the same sense that the law of gravity is fact - is hardly a potshot. Everyone thought - when their opinions were solicited, by the way - that such a claim didn't really require a lot of supplementary evidence.
    Who solicited it? I wanted to know who had the burden of proof. I could care less what you think about my tack.

    It is a potshot because this thread isn't about debating the resurrection. It's about the debate itself. Inserting arguments regarding my points in the thread under discussion is an irrelevant red-herring.


    EDIT: Additionally, you would expect more proof to be offered for gravity, heliocentrism, or magnetism in a thread devoted to those topics, would you not?
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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    Re: DISCUSSION: Clive versus Zhav on the Resurrection

    The resurrection would be like watching hundreds of broken pottery shards spontaneously rise from the ground and reassemble themselves flawlessly into a vase. Such a miracle would eliminate any need for Faith, like God hitting us on the head and saying, "Hey, dummy, worship me".

    In my opinion, a literal interpretation of the Bible (and specifically the resurrection) lessens the meaning and significance of Jesus. It's the "kid's version", like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. Instead of dying on the cross, Jesus just took a "time-out" for us? And then after going up to Heaven, he has the poor judgment to come back here for the rest of his days? WTF? God would have to be retarded to do that.

    However, if you interpret the bible metaphorically, you can actually get something out of it that is inspiring and makes sense:

    "Jesus transcended death because the way Jesus died was exactly like the way he lived. He gave his life to others and for others. He loved wastefully and selflessly. In that living and dying, the disciples concluded that Jesus revealed the meaning of God....God is the meaning that is present in the face of fate, tragedy, and undeserved pain. God cannot be seen in Jesus' escape from death at Easter until God is first seen in the crucified one who gives life as he dies, who offers forgiveness as he is victimized, who shows love as he is hated"

    (Quoted from Derek Miller's review of: "Resurrection, Myth or Reality? A Bishops Search for the Origins of Christianity" by Bishop John Shelby Spong)

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    Re: DISCUSSION: Clive versus Zhav on the Resurrection

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    According to this definition, it would be impossible for the Earth to revolve around the sun before heliocentrism became the scientific law of the time.

    I can understand qualified impossibility--given technology [x], [y] is impossible, etc. But in order to say [y] is impossible, you have to not only prove that [x] could not cause it, but that it could not be caused by anything.
    Believe it or not, Trend and I have had semantic debates about the meaning of the word impossible before (in a similar context, regarding the question of whether God is impossible). Consequently, I can relate to the sentiment that teleportation is not impossible, but merely contradictory with our current scientific law. I've come around to the latter definition, if only for the reason that most people would describe phenomena contradicting science as impossible - things like, as I mentioned earlier and you referenced below, dogs passing through walls.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clive
    Perhaps the part where you said that my definition makes "impossible" a meaningless word?
    Well, really, what did you expect me to say? That I believed my definition was right, but that I really didn't have any reason to do so and that the other definition was equally a solid choice? That was my reasoning, Clive - that under the definition of impossible that holds only logic as a standard of possibility, the word doesn't serve much of a function anymore.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clive
    Allow me to explain a concept that has apparently eluded you about my position:

    It is illogical to say "dogs can go through walls", because they cannot slip between the atoms. It contradicts known fact. It is an impossible event.

    To imagine that category mistakes (such as square circles) are relegated to simply mathematical constructs is ludicrous; "dogs can walk through walls" is a category mistake as well.
    It is impossible only on the basis of scientific law, for it is science that tells you that whole dogs cannot pass in between the atoms. This isn't a category mistake or logical contradiction unless you incorporate scientific conclusions into your definitions. What tenet of logic does it violate? How do dogs passing through walls entail a logical contradiction?

    If you do not accept scientific law as a standard of possibility - as you do not - then it is just as possible as any other logically consistent phenomenon.
    [CENTER]-=] Starcreator [=-

 

 
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