A great comment in reply to my post on Atonement and Jesus by D Rieder: Good post. It makes no sense…
As has been all over the news recently, there is an alleged scrap of the first written Gospel from the Bible, the Gospel of Mark, as found inside of a papier-mache mummy. This has the potential to be a boon for New Testament studies, but there has been significant controversy about how this discovery has been revealed and how it was done. Even the mummy mask that is the source for this scrap of papyrus looks uncomfortable with how things are going.
As mentioned in my previous posts, someone in Malawi is about to have a debate on national TV with a Christian about the Resurrection accounts and I have been asked to help provide some ideas for the debate, so here goes.
There are three aspects to the debunking of the Resurrection:
1) The Gospels are not reliable sources of information; they are poor quality evidence
2) The claims of the Resurrection are incredible claims which require very good quality evidence
3) If the Christian claims of the Resurrection are not true, then what, if anything, actually took place, and what hypothesis can better explain the data?
I was reading Kaveh Mousavi’s blog today and came across this short piece: Basically, if you’re not a historian, how…
I am having a massive debate on my facebook page at the moment with someone from the Unbelievable forum, which I have now left (tiring of the time-wasting silliness of some of the posters) about the Roman/Jewish burial practices after crucifixion with regard to Jesus’ death. Here is my latest comment on the thread:
Ok, so here is what I think. First, it is important to note that I take a sort of Bayesian approach; that being, the most plausible hypothesis should be taken to be the most likely to be true, and this involves evidence, prior probability and background knowledge.
OK, so we know that Nonstampcollector is genius. His return to for in this one is great, especially when the angels visit Jesus in the tomb at around 5 minutes or so.
I am quite often asked as to whether I am a Jesus mythicist. David Fitzgerald, in that camp, kindly wrote…
Modern day Christians hold that Jesus and God are one. The Athanasian Creed for instance holds that “…there is one Person of the Father; another of the Son; and another of the Holy Ghost.
I have spoken about Joseph of Arimathea before, in the videos linked below. Just reading a chapter by Robert M. Price in The End of Christianity, I came across this very simple aspect which shows, to me at any rate, that Matthew’s sole job seemed to be to contrive as many random prophecy fulfilments from the Old Testament as humanly possible.
Some weeks back I wrote a piece on the general incoherence of the Holy Trinity from a logical and philosophical point of view, taking into account existence properties and the like. In this post I want to return to the subject, though to look at it from a theological perspective.
Gah! I posted my Trinity piece with some alterations on John Loftus’ Debunking Christianity where I used to be a more full-time contributor. It was picked up by some Catholic chap who tried to critique it, except that he really didn’t deal with the substantive points.
A few weeks ago on the History Channel’s sister station, H2, the astronomy-based series The Universe went on a quest to solve an ancient mystery. Previous episodes in the previous few weeks had covered the construction and purpose of the pyramids (which was pretty good), Stonehenge, and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. The first two certainly have an astronomical connection, such as the solstice alignment of Stonehenge, but explaining Sodom’s ruin via astronomical body begs the very serious question: was this simply a theological story or etiological myth? Apparently that skepticism couldn’t find its way to the heart of the show.
Why is it more probable that your god exists than man made him up?
We have an exceptionally high prior probability that your god is false given that we both believe that every other god claimed to be true (before and after) is false. Thus, on prior probability, the JC God is HIGHLY unlikely to exist. How does the Christian overcome this? They have to provide high CONSEQUENT probability. ie Evidence. But this is poor. Let’s take the four Gospels, written by unknown people at unknown dates in unknown places with ex post facto agendas to evangelise, at least 40 years after the person they are writing about and whom they have never met, has died.
I’ve never written a book review before. Occasionally I’ve considered reviewing books and essays I found to be not only interesting, but enjoyable and enlightening.
So I’ve decided that once in a while, when I’ve read something I consider really well done, I would write about it here that I might convince a few of you to spend your money and time trusting that you would have a similar experience as I have.
As part of the continuing efforts to get the message out about the Star of Bethlehem and the failure to explain it with astronomy, I was interviewed on the Exposing Pseudoastronomy podcast, run by Stuart Robbins, an young planetary scientist and skeptic. In the past, the podcast has tackled lots of material from Coast to Coast AM and some of their top guests, such asRichard Hoagland, in great but comfortable detail. That should be enough reason to subscribe to this skeptical outlet.
It’s been a while since I have posted, but I have been super-busy with getting my PhD and other research-related activities. But there has been some great news when it comes to my work on The Star of Bethlehem. Over on Amazon, the reviews have been very positive, with one exception–though that person has proven to not be a charitable reader to put it nicely.
Just to topically remind people of my last authored book, on the Nativity, called The Nativity: A Critical Examination. I…
Here’s a reminder about my debate with Randal Rauser which took place last year over the historicity of the nativity accounts. Listen in and enjoy! The post from last year. My nativity book is available from the sidebar over there!
Be there, or be square. Jonathan Pearce: The Nativity Hi all, This Monday, 2nd December, local skeptic and author Jonathan Pearce will…
Here is another piece, this time on the atonement and sin, from a friend who supplies adverts and what have you to the Free Inquiry magazine amongst others. He has a special interest in the fascinating life of Robert Ingersoll.