Thursday, October 13, 2016

What ever happened to the Bible? Go on any message board where atheists congregate and start a discussion of any kind that invovles using the Bible as an authority and they will immediately say things that sound as though the Bible doesn't even exist. They regard it as such a pile of crap they wont even tolerate the possibility that it might be defended. One time on a message board (CARM) someone said that I have no way of distinguishing which passages are mythology and which are not. This is an atheist who knows me and knows I'm somewhat liberal. This guy was saying I can't distinguish true passages from ad ons but I just choose what I like. I listed a criteria for understanding mythology, it was a criteria based upon historical critical methods. This is what this other atheist responded. We also discussed the validation of the Bible as a historical artifact. I said the Gospels were historical artifacts that testify to the beliefs of the people who wrote them. That seems like a fairly a priori sort of statement--true by definition--but people are so bad at understanding logic they think that a priori must be a violation of logic instead a kind of logic, becuase they have been led to accept the phrase that teaches them to confuse true by definition with circular reasoning. So the second major issue for the day was historical life of Jesus and the inability of the Gospels to furnish any sort of historical documentation for the same. I listed three ways that we can validate the Gospels historically and this was one response: 

I had said that by historical critical methods we can corroborate the Gospels as historical evidence of Jesus' existence. I also laid out an extensive criteria for determining what is mythology and what is not. I didn't claim the Bible corroborates itself. There is obviously a method or no book could ever be corroborated. That method is called "historical critical method." This is so basic and these guys act like I made it up. They are practically saying there's no such thing as historical criticism. This more than more than anything else shows the Orwellian nature of atheism. Anything that they can't out argue by reason or historical fact they merely claim doesn't exist and make to go away because they don't like it. They just brain wash their mentions into thinking "there can't be such a thing as historical critical methods." 

7 levels of verification or Gospels

(1) The original pre Mark redaction
(2)the Pauline corups: Witnesses relying info to Paul and creedal formulae
(3) Paul's saying source
(4) extra canonical Gospels such as Peter and Thomas
(5) Oral tradition
(6)The Gospels themselves in the form in which we know them
(7) writers who write about their relationships with those who were there.

These "levels" represent source from which we get the Gospel story. Obviously some of them overlap such as pre Mark redaction and sources that use that redaction. But the same material comes up though different trajectories that is verification it shows that material was circulating and was available though more than one source. The empty tomb is part of pre Mark redactiomn it comes up in canonical gospels and non canonical gospels,

1) The original pre Mark redaction 

Sources of proof include Koester's book Ancient Christian Gospels, Jurgen denker, 
John D. Crosson, 
Ray Brown, 
Philipp Vielhauer, Geschichte, 646 
Peter kirby says its consensus in the field. 

(2)the Pauline corups 
....(a) what he got form people who were there 
Quoting Paul himself: quotes James, the Jerusalem church's creedal formula and hymns. 

(3) his saying source. 
Koester documents 
synoptic saying source 

........(c) the chruch tradition he learned in Jerusalem 

(4) extra canonical Gospels such as Peter and Thomas 
Koester documents 
Hennecke-Schneemelcher-Wilson, NT Apocrypha 1.96 

Charles Hendrick and Paul Mirecki 

Ron Cameron, ed., The Other Gospels: Non-Canonical Gospel Texts (Philadelphia, PA: The Westminster Press 1982), pp. 23-37.) 

Peter KIrby's site "Gosepel of Thoams" 

Stephen J. Patterson, Gospel of Thomas and Jesus 

Stevan L. Davies, The Gospel of Thomas: Annotated and Explained (Skylight Paths Pub 2002) 

(5) Oral tradition 
Papias (from Eusebius) 
Robert C. Cully,Oral Tradition and Biblical Studies 

(6)The Gospels themselves which reflect the community as a whole, a whole community full of people who were there. 

(7) writers who write about their relationships with those who were there. 
1 Clement (the source) 
Richardson and Fairweather, et al. Early Christian Fathers, New York: MacMillian, 1970 p.45-46). 
F.F. Bruce, NT documents 
Irenaeus, Agaisnt heresies and missing fragment supplied by Calvin 

Eusebius Ecclesiastic histories 
Papias, fragments (Peter Kirby, Early Christian Writings, site: 
Schoedel 1967: 91-92; 
Kortner 1983: 89-94, 167-72, 225-26). 
Documents of the Christian Church, edited by Henry Bettonson, Oxford University press 1963, 27). 

Ante-Nicene Fathers vol 1 
Calvin College 

Iranaeus describes works of Papis 

Seteven Carlson's site: 

these face statements like "the Gospels have no backing" and telling me I haven't done anything to prove anything, this is not good enough see? It's' an untruth. 

Here are three pages on religious A priori that apply the above outline and flesh it out with the actual  quotations.

Monday, October 10, 2016

ecision Guide,. Hillary vs Trump

The latest fact-checking video from CNN’s Jake Tapper focuses on three claims that Donald Trump made in his June 22 speech attacking Hillary Clinton’s character. Trump claimed that U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens “was left helpless to die as Hillary Clinton soundly slept in her bed.” That’s f...

Let me aid the decision making process. Most republicans I know will acknowledge Trump is course and ill manured imn a kind of "boys will be boys" good time scolding of a prankster. but they see Hillary as true evil.;
What realistically is the worst thing about each? I( can't get republicans to give an answer on what Hillary has actually done wrong, most of the things they say just about her just amount to baseless baggage from the past and the idea that conservatives hate her so she must be bad. Republicans admitted that their house committee was put together to destroy her Presidential bid, They are just saying we hate her because she is hated.

The worst thing I can find that she may have done is delay in getting aid to US diplomats in Benghazi, Please read fact check .org [1] This article show step by step how the republican propaganda machine created the destroy and the congressional investigation to destroy Hillary's campaign,.

I admit she may be blameworthy in acting too slowly. 

compare that to three facts about Trump:
(1) Trump indicates that he thinks we can win a nuclear war, he says we would be safer if japan had nucs.[2] That implies he either doesn't k 500 warheads is all it would take to destroy all life,[3] The fact that he think we can win a nuclear war makes it more likley he wold start one, Plus he said he feels safer i Japan had nucs that means he's pro proliferation, That increases the chances of nuclear war.
(2) he thinks global warming is a hoax, It is a fact that the polar ice cap is half the size it was at the begging of the last century, watch Inconvenient Truth to see the hell we are headed for in terms of climate change,.Trump is so backward he wont even accept that a problem exists,[4]
(3) He actually called upon a foreign dictator to influence our elections, there is strong evidence that he is an agent of that dictator., That dictator (Putin) is a former KGB agent who hates us for wining the cold war, There was Putin money for Trump's campaign manager. [5]

Even if Hillary was Jack the Ripper it would not outweigh all of that.

[1] Fact Check .org a list of artiocles om the Benghazi story (10/8/16)
[2] Zack Beauchamp"Trumps Comments on Japanese Nucks are Worrisome" Vox ()March 31 2016)  accessed 10/8/16
[3] Nuclear Winter

this article says 100 firestorms equal to Hiroshima would start it, the assumption is U,W. and SUUR going at it, that was the assumption in the model, But I assume a nuclear conflict between Japan and N,Korea would drag US and Russia into it, this article  says nuclear winter would not happen now with today decrease megatunage, But ev en so I think all the radiation would really destroy all life on earth, Nuclear War Survival Skills, a websote, argues that nuclear war is survivable. but it also sways:

An all-out nuclear war between Russia and the United States would be the worst catastrophe in history, a tragedy so huge it is difficult to comprehend. Even so, it would be far from the end of human life on earth. The dangers from nuclear weapons have been distorted and exaggerated, for varied reasons. These exaggerations have become demoralizing myths, believed by millions of Americans.
Global zero:
A 2014 report published in the journal Earth's Future found that even a regional war of 100 nuclear detonations would produce 5 teragrams of black soot (that's 5,000,000,000 kg!) that would rise up to Earth's stratosphere and block sunlight. This would produce a sudden drop in global temperatures that could last longer than 25 years and temporarily destroy much of the Earth's protective ozone layer. This could also cause as much as an 80% increase in UV radiation on Earth's surface and destroy both land and sea-based ecosystems, potentially leading to global nuclear famine.Michael Mills, an atmospheric scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado and the study's lead author, summarized it best
ok so it would be worth it to have one to keep Hillary out of office.?

[4] Erica Goode, "What are Donald Trump's Views on Climate Change? Some clues Emerge," New York Times, (MAY 20, 2016)
He has called global warming a “hoax,” for example, and claimed that the Chinese fabricated climate change (just a joke, he later said). And inan interview this week with Reuters, he said that he was “not a big fan” of the Paris climate accord, and that “at a minimum I will be renegotiating those agreements.”
But more clues about Mr. Trump’s views on environmental issues emerged this week from a four-page briefing on energy policy prepared for the presumptive Republican nominee by Representative Kevin Cramer, Republican of North Dakota and an early supporter of Mr. Trump.
Mr. Cramer, who defines himself as a climate change skeptic, discussed in his briefing paper a variety of government regulations that Mr. Trump might do away with if he were president.

Longer term, if emissions continue to rise unchecked, the risks are profound. Scientists fear climate effects so severe that they might destabilize governments, produce waves of refugees, precipitate the sixth mass extinction of plants and animals in Earth’s history, and melt the polar ice caps, causing the seas to rise high enough to flood most of the world’s coastal cities.
this is a website put up by NASA everyone should read this aritlce weather you all about it or nothing,

Scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal.

- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is very likely human-induced and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented in the past 1,300 years.1Earth-orbiting satellites and other technological advances have enabled scientists to see the big picture, collecting many different types of information about our planet and its climate on a global scale. This body of data, collected over many years, reveals the signals of a changing climate.
The heat-trapping nature of carbon dioxide and other gases was demonstrated in the mid-19th century.2 Their ability to affect the transfer of infrared energy through the atmosphere is the scientific basis of many instruments flown by NASA. There is no question that increased levels of greenhouse gases must cause the Earth to warm in response.
Ice cores drawn from Greenland, Antarctica, and tropical mountain glaciers show that the Earth’s climate responds to changes in greenhouse gas levels. They also show that in the past, large changes in climate have happened very quickly, geologically-speaking: in tens of years, not in millions or even thousands.3
[5] Andrew Kramer , et al.,"Secret Ledger in Ukraine Lists Cash for Trump's Campaign Chief." New York Times (August 14, 2016)

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Trumpers stop and think, you are selling your souls,you know whist he is, Those of you who saw what he was this summer he has not changed, he is satan, don[t sell your soul don't give away democracy, please think!
He will not make you rich, you might feel good to pay back some resentment against those evil old races you don't like (at last you can say so openly) but that will soon give way to the reality that you have given away your freedom.
We can protect the country without giving democracy. don't sell your soul.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Is America Going to hell in a hand basket?

I will get back to atheist watching after the election, In the mean time:

 photo prez_jobs_june2015_zps8n6wk4ez.png

Trump still trying to play champion of the common man wshinimng about how we are going to hel in a hand basket, it's a are the latest figure bureau of labor stats



Consumer Price Index

September 16, 2016
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers increased 0.2 percent in August after being unchanged in July. The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.3 percent in August after increasing 0.1 percent in July. Full text: (HTML) (PDF)

Employment Cost Index

August 04, 2016
Compensation costs increased 0.6 percent for civilian workers, seasonally adjusted, from March 2016 to June 2016. Over the year, compensation rose 2.3 percent, wages and salaries are up 2.5 percent, and benefits rose 2.0 percent. Full text: (HTML) (PDF)

Employment Situation

September 02, 2016
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 151,000 in August, and the unemployment rate remained at 4.9 percent. Employment continued to trend up in several service-providing industries. Full text: (HTML) (PDF)

Producer Price Index

September 15, 2016
The Producer Price Index for final demand was unchanged in August. Final demand prices declined 0.4 percent in July and rose 0.5 percent in June. In August, a 0.1-percent advance in the index for final demand services offset a 0.4-percent decrease in prices for final demand goods. Full text: (HTML) (PDF)

Productivity and Costs

September 01, 2016
Productivity decreased 0.6 percent in the nonfarm business sector in the second quarter of 2016; unit labor costs increased 4.3 percent (seasonally adjusted annual rates). In manufacturing, productivity decreased 0.4 percent and unit labor costs increased 6.7 percent. Full text: (HTML) (PDF)

Real Earnings

September 16, 2016
Real average hourly earnings decreased 0.1 percent in August, seasonally adjusted. Average hourly earnings increased 0.1 percent and the CPI-U increased 0.2 percent. Real average weekly earnings decreased 0.4 percent over the month. Full text: (HTML) (PDF)

U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes

September 14, 2016
U.S. import prices declined 0.2 percent in August, after ticking up 0.1 percent in July. The August downturn was driven by lower fuel prices. Prices for U.S. exports decreased 0.8 percent in August following a 0.2-percent increase in July. Full text: (HTML) (PDF)
Subscribe to the BLS News Service to receive the above news releases by e-mail.





Data in archived news releases may have been revised in subsequent releases. The latest data, including any revisions, may be obtained from the databases accessible on the program homepages.



  • Employment Situation (HTML) (PDF)
  • Commissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation (HTML) (PDF)
  • Job Openings and Labor Turnover (HTML) (PDF)
  • Mass Layoffs (HTML) (PDF)
  • Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment (HTML) (PDF)
  • Real Earnings (HTML) (PDF)
  • Regional and State Employment and Unemployment (HTML) (PDF)
Below is an old post fro, Feb but it was not bad even then.

from Daily Kos Site [1]

Trump has made the statement "The country is going to hell in a hand basket." Let's look at the figures? See those little red stumps on the upper graph? That's Bush's Job growth. One is negative. Obama's much better. It's not as good as Clinton's or even Reagan's (see the graph, Clinton blue) but Obama had a much worse economic crisis that he inherited.

From Fact 


Since President Barack Obama first took office:
  • The economy has added nearly 8.4 million jobs — more than six times the number gained under George W. Bush.
  • The number of job openings doubled, to a record 5.7 million.
  • Nearly 15 million fewer people lack health insurance coverage.
  • Corporate profits are at record levels; stock prices have more than doubled.
  • However, median household income was down 3 percent as of 2014, and the official poverty rate was 1.6 percentage points higher.
  • The rate of home ownership has dropped to the lowest point in nearly half a century.
  • The federal debt owed to the public has more than doubled — up 107 percent.[2]
The site lists unemployment ratevatv5.1%,  Job openings up 180%,  Business start ups +19%, business failimgs downm 27%

Even a conservative publication such as the Economist says that "the president's record is a lot better than the woes of America's economy suggests." The article points out that Obama faced the most grim economic conditions since 1933, After detailing failure in comic growth and housing market for most of Obama's two terms only picking up late in second term the articles finds all economic recoveries are slow. This a far cry from hell in a hand basket. Since the article is not lauding him as stupendous or berating him for causing every sill since the great depression, it's probably a fairly objective appraisal. [3]


all sources accessed 2/26/16
[1] Jon Perr, "Obama Has Created Six Times As Many Jobs As Bush," Daily Kos Blog, July 6, 2015,

[2] , "Obama's Numbers (October, 2015)," Fact check .org, Posted on October 6, 2015 , blog URL
Trump's statement was that same month.

[3]  Editor, "End of Term Report,"  The Economist, Sep 2012, online URL:

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Religious Belief is Warranted: Answering Stephen Law


Stephen law makes a very long argument about the principal of material causation as a means of arguing against irrationality of belief in God. the argument is way too long to include in full here.,I will try to summarize it briefly.

Summary:  Humans generate a lot of appealing ideas about reality, most of these ideas can't be proved empirically but they are beveled based upon personal experiences (x-claims). A high rate of these x-claims--ideas are based upon unseen agents with mysterious powers. The hit rate for disproof of x claims is high, That is to say claims have poor rate of being corroborated. The rates for claims to be proven false is high, on this basis he concludes that belief in God is not warranted. In answering a particular argument he summarizes the argument this way:

My claim is that we are highly prone to false positive X-claim beliefs when they are grounded in just ... [experience or testimony] and this provides us with a rationality defeater for such beliefs. Note, first, that the claim that such beliefs can be explained naturalistically plays no role in my argument. It's not the likely correctness of some naturalistic explanation for our proneness to false positive X-claim beliefs that provides the rationality defeater, but that proneness itself, which various naturalistic mechanisms have been invoked to explain. Indeed, even if it turned out our proneness to false positive X-claim beliefs had some non-natural cause (it turned out, say, that some mischievous demon is causing us mistakenly to suppose our dead ancestors, gods, etc. are revealing themselves), that wouldn't undermine the X-claim argument. Secondly, while diversity of X-claim belief plays some role in supporting the claim that we're systematically prone to error when it comes to X-claim beliefs, it is not - as it is in the argument from religious diversity - diversity alone that is supposed to generate a defeater, but that diversity in combination with considerable evidence for a proneness to false positive beliefsIt's that further evidence that gives the X-claim argument two significant advantages over arguments from diversity: it avoids both the 'proves too much' objection and the problem of self-defeat.

The diversity argument says  that diversity is weakness in belief. All the religions of the world claim to be validated by experience they all offer different solutions and different ideas. I will be dealing with that separately, another time. His defeater philosophy is crucial to the augment, The notion that new information undermines the basis upon which the belief came to be made in the first place negates or undermines the epistemic claims of the belief. Of course the examples he gives are tailored to show his argument is right. They have nothing to do with religion,  In choosing examples like this he may think the principles are shown as valid apart from the subject matter but it also biases the issue. One example is that of a factory worker who thinks they are producing red objects, Then he learns there's a red light that makes objects appear red. The new information negates the workers ability to hold the belief based upon personal observation. But this would matter exactly what the subject matter was,. As will be shown not all negations of testimony are equal.

I have tree objections:

(1) Anomalies can be absorbed into the paradigm:

If one merely examines the overall rate of false claims in a given religious tradition, or in thew of a given believer, it appears there many false claims. Yet belief is not based upon the net result of all of these claims, Most false claims pertain to minutia, they are unimportant. It's only the key ideas upon which faith rests. If we consider Thomas Kuhn's model of paradigm shits, which I think is indicative of how humans learn, it doesn't matter how many anomalies are found in a given paradigm as long as they can be absorbed into the model, then they are dismissedv asmere anaomolies. 
(2) Key beliefs can be substantiated

The epitome of the kind of claim Law called "x-claims" would be mystical experience. This is a particular kind of religious experience based upon feelings about God's presence and the sense of undifferentiated unity, It's not about visions or voices. Visions and voices might always be wrong but that not effect mystical experience. Because it is a personal experience mystical experience should be taken to be the most subjective and thus the epitome of the x-claim, Yet It is empirically validated with 200 studies peer reviewed psychology journals. This is the subject of my book, The Trace of God by Joseph Hinman, These experiences have long term positive effects and have been validated over and over, Their study is empirical and scientific, I wrote a book about it.  [2] See my article [3]

(3) Religion does what it is supposed to do, it works.

Religion is not about spirits and ghosts and unseen forces. It was, but humans have evolved in our understanding  beyond that point, It's about understanding the human problematic, the clusters of problems at the heart of being human that produce the human condition, That is what mystical experience is about, All religions mediate between the human problematic and ultimate transformative experience that resolves the problematic, The studies on mystical experience show that this process works quite well.


[1] Stephen Law, "the X-claim argument against religious belief (pre publication drat),"Stephen Law July 25, 2016, blog URL:  (access 8/12/16)

[2] Joseph Hinman, The trace of God: Rational Warrant for belief. Colorado Sprimgs: Rand Viaduct. 2014 availavle on Amazon: URL

[3] ____________. "Mystical Experi9ence: Empirical Knowledge of The Supernatural," Metacrock's blog July 17,2016 URL: (accessed 8/17/16)