Where is FrG?

January 17th, 2016 at 11:43:59 PM permalink
TheCesspit
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 23
Posts: 1929
Quote: FrGamble
What I actually meant is that I am surprised so many atheists really want to read the Bible literally like a fundamentalist. I get that it might give them some low hanging fruit but it really seems disingenuous. Instead of actually dealing with what the vast majority of Jews and Christians believe and have believed for thousands of years lets nit pick about how many Jews escaped from Egypt. While we are at it lets talk about how many angels can fit on the head of a pin.

I don't mean to demean the necessary and important discussion of the historicity of the Exodus. While some people argue that the absence of evidence is positive proof that the entire story is false (an argument that if made by a theist would be roundly mocked). My concern is if we are not losing the forest to look at the trees. Here is a good video if you have a little more than an hour to spare about this issue. It is very fair and the most detailed archaeological discussion I think you can find on the internet. I guarantee if you hang in there you will learn something. Archaeology of Egypt as it relates to the Exodus

If we want to talk about the religious significance of the events then that is a good thread and could be a study of the Book of Exodus.


My point is, if you say a book is full of the truth, but is shown to have sections that are not a literal truth, but allegory, or in fact, not historically true, why should we believe the accuracy of the rest? Why should we consider the route to salvation in the Bible as being a literal, correct truth? If you tell me the book should be studied as it's the word of God, but it gets things wrong... well, it's not a good start. Like when the special effects in a movie suck. Or they start eating potatoes in a film set in the 12th century.
It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die.... it's called Life
January 18th, 2016 at 6:31:57 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 319
Posts: 10859
Quote: FrGamble
While some people argue that the absence of evidence is positive proof that the entire story is false


Why is this so hard to understand?

The complete lack of supporting evidence means there's no reason to take the story as true. There's no need to disprove it.

Take the Iliad. Can you find proof positive that the whole story is false? For centuries people didn't even know the city of Troy was real. How's that for absence of evidence? According to you, complete lack of evidence cannot prove a story is definitively false, then the Iliad must be entirely true.

If I were you, I'd start sacrificing animals to Zeus.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
January 18th, 2016 at 8:19:44 AM permalink
Dalex64
Member since: Mar 8, 2014
Threads: 2
Posts: 1766
"absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" is of course a famous example used to expose logical fallacies.

"evidence of absence" though is a real thing. It is used when you can not find something that you expect to find, with some amount of certainty that you would have found it if it were there.

example: "There is an elephant on the street in front of my house"

you can look out on the street in front of your house and you don't see an elephant, there is an absence of evidence, and it is evidence of absence.

instead "There is a flea on the street in front of my house"

you look outside the door, and don't see a flea on the street in front of your house. This is an absence of evidence, but it is not evidence of absence because you shouldn't expect to be able to see a flea on the street in front of your house from your door.

So, an absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but evidence of absence is a real thing that can be found not from an absence of evidence by itself, but by the inability to find something that you should be able to find if it were there.
"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts." Daniel Patrick Moynihan
January 18th, 2016 at 12:01:32 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 319
Posts: 10859
What if the elephant hides behind the flea? ;)
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
January 18th, 2016 at 12:05:49 PM permalink
Evenbob
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 107
Posts: 11127
We run our lives on absence of evidence.
Your doctor will not operate on you unless
he see's evidence to do so. I won't replace
my furnace with no evidence that I need to.
I won't turn the wheel of my car to swerve
around something unless I see evidence
that I need to swerve.

This could go on and on with examples. Absence
of evidence is a very real thing and it's fine
to base you religious opinion on it. I see zero
evidence that a god exists, so I won't believe
in one. Doesn't get any easier than that.
If you take a risk, you may lose. If you never take a risk, you will always lose.
January 18th, 2016 at 6:34:51 PM permalink
FrGamble
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 44
Posts: 5062
Quote: TheCesspit

My point is, if you say a book is full of the truth, but is shown to have sections that are not a literal truth, but allegory, or in fact, not historically true, why should we believe the accuracy of the rest? Why should we consider the route to salvation in the Bible as being a literal, correct truth?


We have to remember that the Bible is not a book, but a collection of books. The word Bible is really translated as a Library. There is poetry, historical narratives, allegories, letters, apocalyptic writing, fables, etc. The many books represent many genres and in the books themselves there are different genres. You wouldn't read the entire newspaper as history, nor should you read the Bible as such, it is not meant to be. Part of Biblical studies and hermeneutics is to determine what is the context, genre, author, audience, and purpose of the passages so that you don't get confused in taking things literally when they are not meant to be or taking this figuratively when they are not meant to be. You also have to remember that we are dealing with very ancient writings, granted the most attested writings in the ancient world by leaps and bounds, but you will probably get into trouble when you try to apply our definition of historical writings to a very different age.
January 18th, 2016 at 6:36:37 PM permalink
FrGamble
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 44
Posts: 5062
Quote: Nareed

The complete lack of supporting evidence means there's no reason to take the story as true. There's no need to disprove it.


There is supporting evidence.

Quote:
Take the Iliad. Can you find proof positive that the whole story is false? For centuries people didn't even know the city of Troy was real. How's that for absence of evidence? According to you, complete lack of evidence cannot prove a story is definitively false, then the Iliad must be entirely true.


I'll just let you sit with your logic here and try again.
January 18th, 2016 at 6:45:11 PM permalink
FrGamble
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 44
Posts: 5062
Quote: Dalex64
"absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" is of course a famous example used to expose logical fallacies.


This is true and something atheists should pay close attention to.

Quote:
"evidence of absence" though is a real thing. It is used when you can not find something that you expect to find, with some amount of certainty that you would have found it if it were there.

example: "There is an elephant on the street in front of my house"

you can look out on the street in front of your house and you don't see an elephant, there is an absence of evidence, and it is evidence of absence.


True and a good distinction and point. If the example is: "There was an elephant on the street in front of my house." Then the absence of evidence is not nearly as easy to make the conclusion that there is evidence of absence. If for example there were people form Cannan living in Egypt you would hope to find evidence. Thank God there is evidence in many examples of the Cannanite gods being present in Egyptian artifacts and decorations, etc. However, even if there were not I think you would be hard pressed to claim that the absence of evidence is evidence of absence when you are dealing with things so far distant in the past. To use even a perceived absence of evidence to claim that the whole thing is false is just silly.


Quote:
So, an absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but evidence of absence is a real thing that can be found not from an absence of evidence by itself, but by the inability to find something that you should be able to find if it were there.


I agree and this is well put.
January 18th, 2016 at 6:50:21 PM permalink
FrGamble
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 44
Posts: 5062
Quote: Evenbob
We run our lives on absence of evidence.


I don't know if this was a Freudian slip but it is very true. There is an absence of evidence that the man I met today is who he says he is but I still believe him. We see a glimpse of something on the road and we swerve or react to it without really having evidence that it is there. We don't have hard evidence that the food served to me at the restaurant is safe to eat, but we eat it anyway. We don't have evidence that the person we want to marry will be faithful and kind to us our whole life, but we marry them anyway.
January 18th, 2016 at 7:02:49 PM permalink
Evenbob
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 107
Posts: 11127
Quote: FrGamble
To use even a perceived absence of evidence to claim that the whole thing is false is just silly.


You think you can trick people into
believing a god exists by using smoke
and mirrors.

'The Catholic Church practices a linguistic trick called ‘mental reservation’ by which “there may be circumstances in which you can use an ambiguous expression realising that the person who you are talking to will accept an untrue version of whatever it may be.” Misleading people is perfectly OK if you’re a Catholic priest, apparently.'
If you take a risk, you may lose. If you never take a risk, you will always lose.