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Showing posts from March, 2013

But Why Is It Good Friday Instead Of Good Thursday? -- and other timing oddities (Part 1 of 3)

Fellow Cadrist Chris "Layman" Price has a fine article from a few years ago about the meaning of Good Friday which also traces the linguistic origins of the term.

This article is about historical harmonization issues with the timing of events on the first Easter weekend. There are a number of weirdities, among which is the question of whether Jesus died on a Friday or some other day!

The standard account (which I will eventually argue in favor of, by the way) is that Jesus holds what we call the Last Supper (instituting the first Lord's Supper) on Thursday night; is arrested outside Jerusalem later that night (or very early Friday morning around or after midnight); is run through an informal trial early Friday morning before sunrise; is taken to the Temple to be officially charged at first dawn Friday morning; then is crucified a little later Friday morning (after bouncing around between Herod and Pilate in close proximity while the Sanhedrin tries to get a ratification …

God, Experientiality, and the Cross

I've been having an interesting discussion with Dr. Keith Parsons, an old friend, roommate and sparring partner of a friend of mind (Dr. Victor Reppert of Dangerous Idea) over at the Secular Web channel of Patheos, specifically in the comments of Bradley Bowen's article "This Knee Won't Bow".

Because Disqus (the comment engine at Patheos) gets kind of screwy trying to keep track of the threads of a conversation, and doesn't always indicate when a comment has been properly posted (leading to inadvertent double-posts), I'm going to try to collect our side of the commentary discussion (there are several threads) here for further reference. (Although Blogger's comment system has an intrinsic wordcount limit now, so we probably won't be able to continue in our own comments below, even if Dr. P wants to.)

This isn't my Easter "sermon" this year (I never really know if I'm going to do one of those beforehand), but a much more technical …

Not A Review Of A New New Testament

Really?

There weren't any actual new goofy theories to trot out this year for disparaging Easter, so they had to settle for this?

"They", this year, are Hal Taussig (a Visiting Professor at the Union Theological Seminary and a founding member of the now defunct Jesus Seminar) and a group of liberal/sceptical scholars and "religious leaders" (some of them nominally Christian, others vaguely or just outright not, many of whom are JSem alumni), who have decided that the only way to cash in on controversy this year is to propose and release A New New Testament. Never let it be said that I haven't done my part to market them now!

I fraternally anticipate questions. Let the FAQ commence.


My Answer To Lowder on Bayes, Part 2

His part 2 answer to mine is here


....Before getting into specifics I think it's important to understand the basic difference between the orientation of a believer and a skeptic. The kind of skeptics that tend to make up most of the atheist ranks on the net are scientifically inclined people who view the world through the lens of some kind of scientific orientation. Believers tend to be more "liberal arts"oriented in that their top concerns are not scientific proof. I have observed time after time the atheist constantly a mistake in thinking that the reason to believe in God is because one needs to explain that world. That is catered to by God argument, but God arguments are attempts to reach out to others so they embody the concerns of non believers. The reason for belief in God is not to explain the world. Atheist think this so they always oriented things in those terms. This is will be important in the discussion below becuase Mr. Lowder is constantly saying things ab…

My Answer to Lowder part 1

Jeff Lowder wrote an article attacking my criticisms of the use of Bayes theorem to plot the probability of God. "Is It a Crock to Use Bayes’ Theorem to Measure Evidence about God? Part 1
March 3, 2013." The point of my original article is that you can't apply scientific probably to something as basic and metahpysal as God, the ground of being, the basis of all reality. The nature of Bayes theorum is such that it only works where new information is obtainable. The sort of new information one can have about God is not available to scientific scrutiny and thus there is no new information. That means the "prior" (the prior probability that must be obtained tom make the theorem work) wont be accurate and thus the whole project is dubious. Lowder never actually comes to terms with this argument. Most of the arguments he makes are red herrings or white rabbits.
.... Lowder summarizes what he thinks I'm saying:

I think the point that Metacrock is trying to make is…

Bayes Theorum And Probablity of God: No Dice!

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It is understandable that naturalistic thinkers are uneasy with the concept of miracles. So should we all be watchful not to believe too quickly because its easy to get caught up in private reasons and ignore reason itself. Thus has more than one intelligent person been taken by both scams and honest mistakes. By the the same token it is equally adanger that one will remain too long in the skeptical place and become overly committed to doubting everything. From that position the circular reasoning of the naturalist seems so reasonable. There’s never been any proof of miracles before so we can’t accept that there is any now. But that’s only because we keep making the same assumption and thus have always dismissed the evidence that was valid.
At this point most atheists will interject the ECREE issue (or ECREP—extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, or “proof”). That would justify the notion of remaining skeptical about miracle evidence even when its good. There are many re…