Monday, December 24, 2012

The "Witnesses-To-A-Car-Wreck" Quibble

A discussion between a Christian (TUFLY) and Farrell Till concerning the 
alleged evidences for Christianity from the Yahoo group, errancyn, from 
July 10-15, 1999:

Hi guys!
I don't claim to know much, but I do know that if ten people see an
accident in the street, you will hear ten different accounts about how it
happened. This simple fact, which you would be foolish to argue, points
to the authenticity and the fact that not only did Jesus rise from the dead,
but that the separate accounts are merely different perpectives on the
same incident. If we were to have two or more exactly matching eye-
witness accounts, that my friend, would be highly suspect.

First of all, you are committing the fallacy of false analogy by using
this worn-out example of different people who witness an automobile
accident. Witnesses to automobile accidents are not verbally inspired
by an omniscient, omnipotent deity as they write their accounts of
the incident. If they were, then we could reasonably expect agreement
in what they say. Another point of false analogy is that automobile
accidents are common occurrences and are known to happen. There are
probably few people who have never seen either an automobile accident
or the aftereffects of one.

Resurrections from the dead, however, are an entirely different matter.
There has never been a verifiable case of someone who died and
returned tolife, so there is a world of difference in testimony to an
ordinary, everyday event and testimony to an extraordinary event, the
likes of which has never been known to happen. Second, if the witnesses
to an automobile [accident] are inconsistent in various major points,
then their testimony becomes worthless as evidence of what happened.
If one witness indicated that the accident had happened at night but
another that it had happened after sunrise, if one witness indicated that
she was alone at the scene when the accident occurred but another
indicated that there were two people there and another indicated that
there were several on the scene, and if one witness said that a policeman
arrived on the scene quickly but another said that two policemen arrived
on the scene, and if one witness said that the accident happened in
Podunk but another witness said that it happened in Hicktown, and if
the police didn't even have the firsthand testimony of those who had
allegedly seen the accident but only the testimony of three or four
different people who said that so-and-so had said that she had seen
this or that, what kind of investigators or jury considering the evidence
to try to determine the facts in the case could make a reliable
determination of what had happened?

Is there anyone in this group that can offer reasonable evidence for
the resurrection without regurgitating hackneyed arguments that have
been answered hundreds of time? Is Tufly so naive that he thought we
had never before heard this witnesses-to-a-car-wreck quibble.

The bible is reasonable evidence, as a matter of fact, there are far
more ancient writings of it than anything else including authors like
Plato, etc.. Why do you believe that Plato wrote anything? Perhaps I
say he was an illiterate who had a vivid imagination and his best friend
wrote down his wonderings? Well, that would put me in your camp, and
I do not prefer to be there.

It isn't a matter of how many "ancient writings" of the Bible may exist or
whether Plato wrote anything. The issue is whether everything said in all
of those ancient writings is true. Just because Plato may have written
something, for example, would not make what he said true, even if it
had been copied a million times. The same is true of biblical writings
and any other documents. Your argument seems to be this: Ancient
biblical writings were copied several times; therefore, everything these
writings say must be historically true. Do you know what non sequitur

Now do you have any evidence to offer in support of the NT resurrection
claim besides false analogies.

IF we cannot use the ancient writings and their near perfect copies over
the millenia, then what may we of faith use?

Near perfect copies? You've been reading too much apologetic
propaganda. What may you of faith use? Just look at what you're
asking? Faith or belief is something that a person should have as a
result of having examined reasonable evidence to justify the faith.
If there is no reasonableevidence to justify the basic tenets of
Christianity--and there isn't--the intellectually honest person will
not believe those tenets.

The testemony of the Holy Spirit definately will not hold water with

Well, don't look now, but you are begging the question of whether the
"Holy Spirit" (1) exists, and (2) has given any "testimony" to anything.

Suppose I told you that you would gain an "inner" knowledge and a
vastly deeper understanding of the scriptures when you accept Jesus
Christ into your heart?

In other words, you are telling me that if I will believe first, then I will
believe the scriptures. Suppose I told you that you would gain an "inner"
knowledge and a vastly deeper understanding of the Qur'an when you
accept Allah into your heart?

I think you would laugh,

You're right, just as you would laugh (at least inwardly) if a Muslim
told you that you would gain an "inner" knowledge and a vastly deeper
understanding of the Qur'an if you would just accept Allah into your
heart. Don't you ever bother to critically examine such tripe as this
before you try to pass it off as "evidence"?

however you cannot possibly understand what the scriptures say untill
you do so.

And that's exactly what is wrong with you. You cannot possibly
understand the Qur'an until you "do so."

To the likes of you, unfortunately, the scriptures are a meaningless

To the likes of you, unfortunately, the Qur'an is a meaningless prattle.

Proverbs 14:6 reminds me of you.

Sura 4:106-109 reminds me of you.

I highly suggest you read 1Cor 1:18, and if you can manage read on
through verse 23.

No need to. I know what it says without even looking. The fact
that you think that an ancient document that glorifies stupidity should
be recommended reading speaks volumes about your own stupidity.

Now do you have any arguments that you want to post in favor of your
inerrancy beliefs? If so, post them. If not, why don't you go peddle your
question-begging nonsense somewhere else? You'll probably find a
reception for it on just about any Christian list.

Farrell Till

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