Sunday, September 3, 2017

Mind is the best organizing principle we know. Only mind can plan, deal with complexities, and choose the best way to deal with a problem. I've dealt with self organizing systems in chapter one. “Self” organizing is a misnomer, and it is relative to the perspective of the thinker as to whether or not there is organizing or disorganizing. All of the phenomena we've been discussing are mind dependent. Deciding what is universal and what only looks like it is, is mind dependent. We can't consider the universe and not be aware that all our labeling and understanding is our attempts at forging constructs to organize our experience of the universe. Why should we think that complex organization can be free of mind? This applies to our own perceptions. It doesn't prove that mind is what makes the phenomena organized, but phenomena as we understand it is dependent upon our minds to organize the patterns in such a way as to put together a complex understanding. Such understanding usually entails a complex organization in nature. Skeptics will invariably charge that we are just imposing our own patterns upon nature. Are we imposing them or discovering them?

Science requires that we find patterns. If the patterns we find really explain, or if they give us a plausible answer, we are on the right track. This is especially true if we can navigate in the world by the patterns we seem to find. We can't get outside our perceptions to prove reality. We cannot extricate ourselves from either the web of pattern-imposing or the “prison house of language”[1] in order to judge objectively weather or not the patterns are really there. We do not find this state of affairs debilitating, however, because, as Thomas Reid intimated, we go by our perceptions as long as they work and we stop following what does not work. But it is not merely because we perceive certain patterns that we accept those patters as real. It is because we perceive it in a particular sort of way. We accept certain patterns as real because we perceive them in a regular and consistent way. This has been stated above by Reid. The common man goes on with his lot never giving a second thought to the fact that he can no more prove the veracity of the things around him than he can the existence of God or anything else in philosophy. Yet we accept it, as does the skeptic demanding his data, while we live out our lives making these assumptions all the time.

If every time we woke up in the morning it was in a different house, with a different family, but one which made the assumption that we did nevertheless belong there and always had, and if the route to work changed every morning, if we never went to the same job twice, if our names and our looks were always different each day, we might think less of direct observation. But because these things are always the same from moment to moment and they never differ, we learn to trust them and we trust them implicitly as a matter of course. We do not try to prove to our selves each day when we get up "I am the same person today that I was yesterday," precisely because we learn very early that we always are the same person. We observe early on that we cannot penetrate physical objects without leaving holes and so we do not try to walk though walls; we know that doesn't work because it never works. As I pointed out above, Hume observed that when we see two billiard balls we do not really see the cause of one making the other one move. What we really observe is one stopping and the other one starting. But, in practical terms, we do not observe the causality of a car running over the pedestrian as causing the pedestrian to fly across the road, but we know from experience that these two factors usually go hand in hand and so we don't play in the street. In other words that our perceptions work to enable us to navigate in the world is good enough reason to think we got it right. Our understanding of cause is based up frequency of correlation. Thus a tight correlation is usually indicative of a cause.

In making this argument on the internet many skeptics have argued "I see that the world is real with my own eyes." That's the point, why trust your eyes? You cannot prove they are seeing things properly. Everything could be an illusion everything we observe could be wrong. We cannot prove the existence of the external world, we assume it because it is always there. Some try to claim this direct observation as empirical proof. But they are confusing the notion of scientific empiricism with epistemological empiricism. Before we make the assumption that scientific data is valid we first make the epistemological assumption that perception is valid. Otherwise there would be no point in assuming the data. So epistemological empiricism is prior to scientific methods. In fact we have to simply make this assumption a priori with no proof and no way around the problem in order to be able to make the assumptions necessary to accept scientific data. We do usually make these assumptions, but they are assumptions none the less. Still others try to contend that empirical scientific evidence proves the reality of the external world. But of course if the world were an illusion than any scientific evidence we gather would be part of the illusion as well. So there is no other way to demonstrate the truth of the external world, the existence of other minds, or the reality of our own existence except through the consistency and regularity of our sense data.

We can add to consistency and regularity the concept of inter-subjective testimony. In other words do others claim, as far as we can tell, similar observations of the same phenomena? This is encapsulated in the colloquial expression, “do you see what I see?” The idea that others see it too is an important aspect of epistemic criteria. Science would have no meaning without this assumption. That's the whole point of repeating experiments. “Inter-subjective” is a better term than “shared experience” because we don't share the same experiences. All perception is subjective. This does not mean, however, that corroborative testimony is not part of the epistemic criteria for justification. We get around the subjectivity problem by not seeking absolute proof but confirmation by the coroboration of like-experiences. So our epistemic criteria, which we impose without knowing or thinking about it, we use it habitually or instinctivley consists of: regular, consistent, inter-subjective and navigational. When perceptions meet this criteria we tend to trust them.

The upshot of it all, in terms of epistemic criteria, is an understanding of what works. We can navigate in the world by our perceptions, we don't run into the wall when we walk through the door, we know our perceptions are working. If we can confirm the patterns with experiments connecting them to to nature we know we have the right patterns. If our explanations enable us to confirm our understanding we know we must be finding true patterns. Without that there would be no point to science. It is our minds discerning the pattern. We make assumptions about natural law to explain complex organization in nature. Why assume no mind is involved in laying down those “laws,” (whatever we call “laws” that produces regularity in the workings of the physical world). The epistemic criteria is very mind dependent. Those are two separate reasons to think that mind is the best organizing principal: (1) All understanding of phenomena is mind dependent (even pointing out that we are picking out patterns is mind dependent), (2) Our epistemic criteria (product of mind) enables us to understand which patterns work for navigating or explaining the world. If mind is necessary to understanding the workings of the world why should we think its not involved in whatever it is that produces the law-like regularity? There are two more reasons for understanding mind as the best organizing principle: (1) The hierarchical nature of complexity, (2) the phenomena some construe as consciousness in nature (pan-psychism).
I pointed out above that the grand unified theory posits a single simple idea at the top of the metaphysical hierarchy. As Wineglass put it “...the theory of everything will unite all aspects of physical reality in a single elegant explanation .” That is a transcendental signifier, that's its job description. The thing is having one simple and elegant idea to explain the immense complexity of the universe is very much a hierarchy. It's no simple two stage affair either, the more complex data and explanations become, the more stages or layers are needed. Going up the structure we would go from vast to simple to one final idea at the top. That idea would have to be aware, thus include mind. First in order to account for mind as part of the brick-a-brack of the universe it would have to have the same understanding that mind gives us, or it could not comprehend the idea of mind. Secondly its one thing to look at causes and posit a reduction in complexity going back to the first thing, so just in terms of causes it might make sense, like Hawking's idea of gravity to see a progression from simple to complex (excluding the weaknesses in Hawking's theory I will discuss, latter), its is quite another to take one simple idea and claim an explanation of all things. How could a simple mindless idea choose from immense complexity? It would have to make choices or the odds would vastly favor not producing life. Thirdly, the idea about gravity as final cause assumes that consciousness can be reduced to brain function alone. I have shown this to be wrong.[2] Thus if mind is more than just a product of complex brain function then its hard to see how it could come to be from non mind. The obvious answer the skeptic will give is consciousness is emergent. That assumes the reduction I just spoke of, and has not been proved. As the noted geneticist Sewell Wright said, “Pancycism and Science” 82, “Emergence of mind from no mind at all is sheer magic.”[3]

Mind and emergent properties

An emergent property is one that stems from factors lower down in the evolutionary process that do not nvolve the emergent property. The emergent properties emerge from amid a set of properties none of which herald the emergent one. It just springs forth, life from non-life, consciousness from non-conscious, por soir from en soir.

...[E]mergent entities (properties or substances) ‘arise’ out of more fundamental entities and yet are ‘novel’ or ‘irreducible’ with respect to them. (For example, it is sometimes said that consciousness is an emergent property of the brain.) Each of the quoted terms is slippery in its own right, and their specifications yield the varied notions of emergence that we discuss below. There has been renewed interest in emergence within discussions of the behavior of complex systems and debates over the reconcilability of mental causation, intentionality, or consciousness with physicalism.[4]


According to O'connor and Wang emergent properties can't be reduced to the properties from which they spring. If true that means that if consciousness is emergent it's not reducible to brain function. Yet every reductionist I've ever argued with uses emergence to explain the rise of consciousness, which they take to be reducible to brain chemistry. Emergence is also divided into strong and weak. Strong emergence is when the phenomenon is high level and emerges from a low level domain. Strong emergence was evoked by the British emergentists in the 1920s and is featured in most philosophical discussions about emergence. Weak emergence is in respect to low level domain when high level phenomenon emerges from low level domain but truths concerning that phenomenon are unexpected given the principles governing that domain.[5] The more radical consequences stem from strong emergence. As David Chalmers says, if the property could be deduced principle from the properties it emerges from there's no need to evoke new laws. The radical consequences result from the evoking of new laws, resulting from the emergence of properties not deducible in principle.
I am avoiding discussions of artificial intelligence or the Chinese room argument (Searl)[6] as they would divert from the argument. I will, however, bring up Searl's argument about AI in order to make a larger point. Searl argues that consciousness is a biological product and computers can't be emergently conscious because they can't produce a biological basis. In answering Searl Paul Almond says:

While it is reasonable to regard consciousness as an emergent property of a physical system there is no profound sense in which it can be said that different people's brains work according to the same kinds of processes and an appropriately programmed computer and a human brain would work according to different processes. Any difference between these situations is just a matter of degree and any argument that we should presume other people conscious because their brains work in basically the same sort of way could also be used to justify presuming an appropriately programmed computer conscious.[7]


This may be a fine idea in philosophy, but how would it work in real life? A doctor in a hospital says “I can't deliver this baby because I have no proof that all human reproductive processes are the same.” You could not practice medicine on that basis. Almond also seems to be contradicting himself because he says on the one hand that we can't assume human thought processes work the same, but somehow we can assume that our minds work the same as computers (which would contradict the ideas that they don't all work the same). Why should we assume it's only a matter of degree? It's pretty self evident that there is a qualitative difference. Searl's argument doesn't help us in deciding about consciousness in humans as emergent but Almond's response tells us something about fallacies in human reason. We must assume that there is a likeness in human consciousness or we can't even do medicine and there's no point in doing science. Thus we can draw analogy between human consciousness and order in the cosmos, metaphysical hierarchy. This will become apparent in unfolding of the argument. But emergent properties per se do not destroy the TS argument.
The notion of emergent properties is firmly ensconced in the repertoire of modern scientific acumen. It's an article of faith all who failed to pledge their allegiance to it are to be ridiculed. Actually there's no reason why emergent properties per se can't be embraced along with belief in God. There is no way to establish that God didn't set it up that way, it probably makes more sense to assume he did. Given the law-like regularity of the universe and modern notions of cause and effect, assuming spontaneous emergence with no prior arrangement of mind is just a contradiction to these aspects of nature (regularity and the necessity of causes). So emergent properties without God (the TS or some other prior agent) violate the criteria of best explanation laid down in chapter three; the logical consistency criterion. The emergence of mind is one of the most difficult questions. With simple “self organizing” such as snow flakes there's no problem. When reductionists start insisting that consciousness is emergent and reducible to brain chemistry (actually a contradiction, emergence belongs to holism and is the enemy of reductionism, but one finds at popular level these technicalities escape notice) we must take issue. The need for mind in creation is reflected in the hard problem and in the non-reduceability of consciousness.

Reductionists, (especially readers of Dawkins) are convinced that brain chemistry explains consciousness but that view has been proved inadequate. The reductionists are doing a bait and switch, switching brain function for consciousness. Those who claim to evoke mystical experience by brain stimulating use no reliable means of measuring religious experience.[8] One of the major arguments, against the reductionist view, is known as “the hard problem.” The hard problem says that there's a texture to consciousness that can't be communicated, much less reduced to physical origins, but is with us all and thus its existence is self evident. That argument is illustrated by Thomas Negal in his famous article “What is it Like to Be a Bat?”[9] We can have all the facts science can provide about bats but that wont tell us what its like to be a bat. Consciousness has an irreducible dimension that is fundamental to understanding it and yet scientific reductionism can't tell us about it. In fact some can't admit it exists, even though we all know it does. Sean Carroll dismisses the idea saying, “Nagel actually doesn’t spend too much time providing support for this stance, as he wants to take it as understood and move on.”[10] As though we don't know about the personal dimension to consciousness because we are all conscious (or most of us).

Nagel wrote a book way back in 2012, Mind and Cosmos, for which he was raked over the coals by all manner of scientifically inclined critics. Nagel's basic argument, as seen in chapter 1 (fn55) is that because there is this dimension of mind (the hard problem—we can't know what it's like to experience consciousness by reducing the concept to empirical data)-- the subtitle of the book says it-- “...the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False.” He did not argue that evolution is wrong but that the reductionist understanding will never unlock the hard problem because they can't admit there's an aspect of the world their methods can't grasp. He says it's not just about brain and mind but that “it invades our understanding of the entire cosmos and its history...a true appreciation of the difficulty of the problem must eventually change our conception of the place of the physical sciences in describing the natural order.”[11] He points to the hubris in modern scientific reductionism in thinking we can understand and explain all things, he argues that we don't understand much of the universe at all. He is arguing about what can and cannot in principle be understood by existing methods.[12] He argues that the failure of psychophysical reductionism to produce a theory of everything marks the inability of reductionism to penetrate the mind-body problem. He argues for a mind-like process in nature but he is not arguing for God. He's an atheist. He introduces teleology back into science.

Negal also argues that the connections between the physical and the mental that emergentists think are responsible for consciousness are all higher order. They concern only complex organisms and don't require any fundamental change in the physical conception of the elements that make up those organisms. "An emergent account of the mental is compatible with a physically reductionist account of the biological system in which mind emerges."[13] So emergence doesn't require any change in the 'ground up' conception of what makes up the universe. To be a true explanation, emergence can't just be a set of correspondences between the physical and mental. It must also be systematic, providing principles or laws linking the two. It must tell us why, or at least how, the physical emerges into the mental.

But even with a systematic theory, emergence seems like an unsatisfactory explanation of the mental. That purely physical elements, when arranged in a certain way, and even if systematically accounted for, should result in consciousness seems like magic. That physical things should exhibit, at the macro level, properties and relations not constituted out of the properties and relations of the physical parts making it up seems like magic. In other cases of emergence, we can understand how the micro properties of the parts give rise to the macro properties of the whole. Liquidity emerging from H2O molecules is an example.

Because emergence of the mental remains mysterious, we should seriously consider an explanation of the more fundamental constituents of the universe. This kind of explanation would draw on a general monism which posits that the basic building blocks contain properties that explain not only physical but also mental properties at the macro level. So there's a deeper more comprehensive reality of which the physical is only one expression. This deeper framework would explain physical and mental as two aspects of this more fundamental reality. The physical would be an explanation of phenomena from the outside, and the mental would explain things from the inside. "Consciousness in this case is not an effect of the brain processes that are its physical conditions: rather, those brain processes are in themselves more than physical, and the incompleteness of the physical description of the world is exemplified by the incompleteness of their (brain processes) purely physical description."[14] Monism or dualism really depends upon how the terms are used, I don't intend to go into that here. I don't necessarily agree with him on monism but I do about the mental as a basic property of nature.

Carroll reviews Mind and Cosmos, he justifies the sorry treatment it was given by the followers of new atheism, who paned it without giving it a chance. They basically treated Nagel like he is a young earth creationist (I believe he's an atheist). Carroll's justification:

Back in the dark ages a person with heretical theological beliefs would occasionally be burned at the stake, Nowadays, when a more scientific worldview has triumphed and everyone knows that God doesn’t exist (emphasis mine), the tables have turned, and any slight deviation from scientific/naturalist/atheist/Darwinian doctrine will have you literally tied to a pole and set on fire. Fair is fair. Or, at least, people will write book reviews and blog posts that disagree with you. But I think we all agree that’s just as bad, right?[15]

Translation: “this is not about facts, truth , logic, or reason. Obey the priesthood of knowledge and don't think. But hey we are imposing this ideology so the world will be safe for free thought, just remember to stick with the right ideas.” He says everyone knows God doesn't exist, 90% of the population is excluded from “everyone.” His answer to the hard problem is basically that it's an old idea and David Chalmers likes it. He accuses Negal of using bad reasoning but his only example is a general allusion to “common sense” which he takes for bad logic, and does not bother to document (although I stipulate that he does appeal to that standard several times).. Appeal to common sense is not the best. Philosophers tend to hate it and its easy prey for people who themselves do not understand argument. For example Carroll belabors Nagel's admission that he's not an expert, not part of the priesthood of knowledge. He misses Nagel's rhetorical strategy in emphasizing consciousness, judgment and intuition in an argument about consciousness. We are all experts in being conscious. He also includes principle of sufficient reason, which is an immanently reasonable standard and one many great philosophers accept. Carroll's rejection of that principle is no doubt based upon the fact that he does not have a sufficient reason for ignoring the need for prior cause, necessity, and can't answer the questions raised by those who want real answers. His major reason for his beliefs is that they free him from belief.

In attacking Nagel's position that we need an explanation for physical law. Carroll says “They [people such as Negal] cannot simply be (as others among us are happy to accept). And the only way he can see that happening is if 'mind' and its appearance in the universe are taken as fundamental features of reality, not simply by products of physical evolution.”[16] Believers are actually tortured with all of that unnecessary thinking? And I thought we were benighted. Apparently it's the skeptics who are happy not to ask questions. There's less to being a “free thinker” than I thought. Carroll then contemplates the terrible consequences for human reason if we accepted that consciousness is not purely physical, (as though the mental dimension just isn't there even though we all experience it all the time); “Imagine what it would entail to truly believe that consciousness is not accounted for by physics. It would entail, among other things, that the behavior of ordinary matter would occasionally deviate from that expected on the basis of physics alone.”[17] There's an expectation that it wont deviate? If it's not prescriptive, if there is nothing to make the regularity stick then we should expect deviation however rare. But of course that's one of those things free thinkers should be happy not to question.
What would it entail to truly believe that consciousness is not accounted for by physics? Belief in God? Nowhere does Nagel go near that conclusion, and in calling himself a monist he could be veering away from that conclusion. Nor does he actually say that physics can't account for consciousness, only that it hasn't, and wont as long as it refuses to consider a mental dimension. Apparently even one step in the direction of God is too close. Carroll then says, “Several billion years ago there weren’t conscious creatures here on Earth. It was just atoms and particles, bumping into each other in accordance with the rules of physics and chemistry. Except, if mind is not physical, at some point they swerved away from those laws, since remaining in accordance with them would never have created consciousness.”[18] Come again? There are laws that determine things? They can't be deviated from? If the regularity of nature is only a description of “tendencies” why shouldn't there be deviation? More of that double minded assumption, laws are not prescriptive except when they help us pretend there's no God. “So, at what point does this deviation from purely physical behavior kick in, exactly? It’s the immortal soul vs. the Dirac equation problem.”[19] Nagel never says we have an immortal soul. Where does that come from? It's like he's arguing with someone other than Nagerl. By that statement he means that if the process of our brains “isn't simply following the laws of physics” (another implication of mandated physical law) then “you have the duty to explain in exactly what way the electrons in our atoms fail to obey their equations of motion. Is energy conserved in your universe? Is momentum? Is quantum evolution unitary, information-preserving, reversible?” [20] First of all, Negal doesn't say anything about the consciousness dimension being opposed to the laws of physics. Neither do I. Who says there is not a conscious dimension to the laws of physics that we don't know about? But then would be like admitting the priesthood of knowledge doesn't know all things. Secondly, the smokescreen of Nagel's inability to answer specific questions is, as smokescreens usually are, a red herring. If it's a dimension we don't know, then of course we don't know. He has no argument to disprove the hard problem, and no means of demonstrating that Negal's surmises about it are not sound. Carroll's basic argument is “this can't be true because of it was it would mean the priesthood of knowledge is not all knowing and there might be a God.” Therefore it can't be true. In Carroll's world those reasons are as sound and valid as the equations to which he alludes.

The veracity of this charge is summed up in his final paragraph in the phrase: "He [Nagel] advocates overthrowing things that are precisely defined, extremely robust, and impressively well-tested (the known laws of physics, natural selection) on the basis of ideas that are rather vague and much less well-supported (a conviction that consciousness can’t be explained physically, a demand for intelligibility, moral realism).”[21] 

Nagel doesn't advocate overthrowing anything, nor does he suggest departing from physics or the methods of scientific exploration. He even says that dualism is a wrong choice. All he is really saying is that there's a dimension that we don't know much about and until we start including it in our explanations, our explanations lack something in explanatory power. Carroll's answer to that seems to be “don't question the faith!” If there is a dimension we don't understand and admitting that is of “enormous consequence” then if true the explanation offered by materialism, physicalism, science itself is not the best. That explanation doesn't account for all the data, one of the criterion for best explanation. The TS argument assumes that dimension and since it doesn't overturn the laws of physics, but assumes them, then it is a better explanation.

The irreducibility of mind to brain serves two purposes in the argument: (1) it means there is a dimension that physicalism has ignored thus it cannot be the best explanation, (2) it sets up Negal's answer that there must be some mind-like process in the universe for which physicalism cannot take account. When I say “physicalism” in this context I mean all the camps such as: materialism, physicalism proper, reductionism, functionalism, scientism. In presenting evidence for irreducibility of mind to brain I am setting up the argument for mind as the best organizing principle. There is actual positive scientific data that mind does not reduce to brain.


Summary

Merely refusing to describe natural law as law or prescriptive does not change the fact that there is a law-like element in nature, and there is an organic relation between mind and organizing. Whatever we name the replacement for “law” weather description or something else the organizing principle par excellence is mind and the relation between mind and organizing is too organic to ignore. The discussion of mind as organizing principle will be taken ip again in chapter 7, “Transcendent Mind.”

Sources

[1]Frederic Jameson, The Prison-House of Langauge: a Critiocal Accountof Structuralism and Russian formalism, Princeton: Princeton University press, 1975, 3.

[2]Joseph Hinman, God, Science, and Ideology (unpublished)

[3] Sewell Write, “Panpsychism and Science,” In Mind in Nature.Lanham Maryland:University press of America, ed. Cobb and Griffin 1977, 82.

Sewell Wright (1889-19880)American geneticist known who was known for his work on evolutionary theory. He discovered the inbreeding coefficient in hybred animals. He taughtvat university of Chicago and Wisconsin. His Doctorate was from Harvard. He won many notable awards including National medal of science (1966).

[4] Timothy O'Connor and Hong Yu Wong, "Emergent Properties", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2015 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = . Accessed 9/13/15
[5]David Chalmers, “Strong and Weak emergence,” Research School of Social Sciences, Austrailian National University, online resource, PDF URL: http://consc.net/papers/emergence.pdf accessed 9/13/15.

[6] David Cole, "The Chinese Room Argument", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2015 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), forthcoming URL = .

[7]Paul Almond, “Searl's Argument Against AI and emergent Properties—part 1,” MLU: Machines Like Us, (December 29, 2008) online resource, URL: http://www.machineslikeus.com/news/sear ... ies-part-1accessed 9/13/15.

[8]Joseph Hinman, The Trace of God: A Rational Warrant for Belief. Colorado Springs: Grand Viaduct Publishing, 2014,

[9]Nagel, Thomas. "What is it like to be a bat?", Mortal Questions, Cambridge University Press, 1979, p. 166. pdf: http://organizations.utep.edu/portals/1 ... el_bat.pdf accessed 9/14/15. originally from The Philosophical Review LXXXIII, 4 (October 1974): 435-50

Nagel is philosophy professer atv NYU. Ph.D Harvaed 1963, awards: 1996 for Other Minds (1995PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay

[10]Sean Carroll, review “Mind and Cosmos,” Sean Carroll (blog)(posted August 22, 2013) URL:
http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blo ... nd-cosmos/ accessedd 9/14/15.

[11]Thomas Nagel, Mind and Cosmos:...op. Cit., 3. (see chapter 1).
[12]Ibid., 4.
[13]Ibid., 55.
[14]Ibid., 57.
[15]Carroll, “Mind…”op. Cit.
[16]Ibid,
[17]Ibid.
[18]Ibid.

[19]Ibid.

[20]Ibid.

[21] Ibid







Monday, July 17, 2017

Check out these articles by me

On Metacorck;'s blog my argumet against Ryan M answering his argumet against my argument the Bowen debate on existence of God.

http://metacrock.blogspot.com/2017/07/my-defense-of-contingent-nature-of.html

On CADRE blog my argument 2 in the same debate

http://christiancadre.blogspot.com/2017/07/bowen-hinman-debate-existence-of-god-my.html

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Debate: Hinman v Atheist Bradley Bowen

topic: existence of God On metacorcks blog I issue my first defense against his first attack on my arguments,

http://metacrock.blogspot.com/2017/07/first-defense-of-god-argument-1.html

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Another Acrimonious dialogue with atheist


http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2017/05/15/repost-25-questions-theists/#disqus_thread



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Joe Hinman  Jim Jones • a day ago
This is about general theism not Christian theism. you are taking us off topic, why do you have to derail every discussion with this pathetic anti-intellectual propaganda? Obsessed with that topic.

my answer to the questions

http://metacrock.blogspot.c...
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 • a day ago

 Question:
Given that the universe has a finite age, why did the universe begin with time rather than in time?
This is actually an interesting physics question. Asking a theist to answer it is beyond their "magisteria", as Stephen Jay Gould would say.
Kevin K
How do souls interact with physical matter? Do you have any answer that is not tantamount to “I don’t know?”
In particular, how would you draw the appropriate Feynman diagram that demonstrates the soul's interactions with matter? It's actually this question that should, in an honest observer, lead to the conclusion that souls do not and cannot exist. If souls existed, then by definition they must interact with normal matter (ie, humans). If they do interact with humans, then they would not only be detectable, they would already have been detected given our current level of knowledge of physics. There's just no way around this. The existence of "supernatural" stuff is a non-sequitur here -- if it interacts with matter, it's detectable by our current methods. Saying "physics is incomplete" is also not the correct answer (or dodge) -- it's more-than complete enough to answer this question.
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Joe Hinman to  Kevin K • a day ago
It is cosmologists question but a theist can ea cosmologist, I know what you mean. not an answer a theist would give qua theist.
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Kevin K  speaking to Joe Hinman • a day ago
If there is a difference in the answer a cosmologist/theist would give compared with a cosmologist/non-theist, that might make for an interesting discussion.

As far as I'm aware, Laplace kicked god out of the cosmos, and no scientist has successfully reinserted him back in. Hoyle tried and failed. Polkinghorne, as far as I know, has only made assertions as a theist, not as a physicist. In other words, words but no math or empirical data to back him up.
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Joe Hinman  Kevin K • 16 hours ago
Historians weather Laplace even uttered his famous S :I have no need." Your version of angry little wet hen atheism is anti intellectual, reactionary, and boring.

You have hit upon the fallacy (by default) of Lowder;s questions, You can talk about the physical workings of the empirical end of the universe forever and not mention God because it's created to run on it's own. Then of course you can play the games of reductionist designed to keep God hidden.

That doesn't mean you can leave God out if you want to go beyond the surface. Science doesn't go beyond the surface (not it's job) so of course science appears not to need God. The universe is made to look neutral.


Halbe  to Joe Hinman • 11 hours ago
Yes, you keep saying that: "God is the foundation of reality", "God cannot be subject to falsification", "God is the basis of all truth, and therefore, cannot be the object of questioning about truth" etc. etc.

So, what you are basically saying is: The null hypothesis is that God is the foundation of reality and this hypothesis is by definition not falsifiable, so, checkmate atheists!

Let me say this gently: we atheists are not all that impressed with that line of reasoning. To me it is no more than a cop out: you just have to believe ("a priori religious"), and once you believe it all becomes clear. Well, duh!
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Joe Hinman  Halbe • 7 hours ago
wrong. you have to use other means than direct empirical evidence. although we use empirical evidence but it;snot direct evidence it;s evidence of The  co determinate,

so we place the bar at the level of warrant rather than proof, We can warrant belief through a variety of means but not direct empirical, Like for example logic,

Atheists use the same ideas when it suites them,string theory, multiverse,alternate universe, are no more empirical than God, nor are they falsifiable,



Halbe  Joe Hinman • 6 hours ago
Religious belief is not warranted at all; it is a 'pre-existing condition' ("a priori religious"), almost always instilled through indoctrination at a young age. Your "warranting" is just post-hoc reasoning to prop up an unsubstantiated belief.

Atheists do not use the same ideas. String theory, multiverse etc. are accepted as interesting theoretical frameworks for explaining certain aspects of reality that science cannot explain yet. Scientists (atheist or not) do not "believe" these frameworks; they are very busy to derive testable and falsifiable hypotheses from these frameworks in order to be able to either falsify them or elevate them to the status of scientific theory. I.e. directly the opposite of what theists do with their beliefs (including you; you just declare it true but unfalsifiable by definition).



Joe Hinman  Halbe • 5 hours ago
Religious belief is not warranted at all; it is a 'pre-existing condition' ("a priori religious"), almost always instilled through indoctrination at a young age. Your "warranting" is just post-hoc reasoning to prop up an unsubstantiated belief.

that is just BS stereotype you have no data to back it up you not one study that quantities how many conversions are just indoctrination, But that has nothing to do with warrant anyway,

"Atheists do not use the same ideas. String theory, multiverse etc. are accepted as interesting theoretical frameworks for explaining certain aspects of reality that science cannot explain yet."

that does not make them empirically demonstrate,I can say the very something about my God arguments,

Scientist (atheist or not) do not "believe" these frameworks; they are very busy to derive testable and falsifiable hypotheses from these frameworks in order to be able to either falsify them or elevate them to the status of scientific theory. I.e. directly the opposite of what theists do with their beliefs (including you; you just declare it true but

I think it;s pretty obvious most atheists actually do believe them and whirl scientists don't; worship the theories as believers do 'God that has nothing to do with the argumnet,they still accept the Logic it is the same logic




Avatar
Halbe  Joe Hinman • 5 hours ago
You are now going very deep into the rabbit hole of irrational apologetics; so far that I am starting to question your honesty. Do you really want to dispute the fact that religion is primarily propagated through childhood indoctrination? Really!? Do you really want to equate the scientific work on new theoretical frameworks with your apologetics? Really!? If your answers to these questions is yes, then you're either stupid or dishonest.



Joe Hinman  Halbe • 5 hours ago

You are now going very deep into the rabbit hole of irrational apologetics;

so either you are not interested in a serious discussion or you don't know a good answer from a stpudoneeitherY ido

so far that I am starting to question your honesty.

I doubt your honesty it;s pretty clear you want a bully rush from mocking religious people, you dom't care about truth and you not willing to listen,


Do you really want to dispute the fact that religion is primarily propagated through childhood indoctrination?
of course I do you moron 

you do not want answers,you are wasting my time,


busterggi  Joe Hinman • 4 hours ago
We all know the difference between a good answer and a stupid one, we just can't get a good one from you.

You're just a low-grade apologist who like to pull his opinions from his ass and pretend they are facts.

200 studies from peer reviewed academe journals that;s just from my ass, but his little bigoted studiedly fact, "your just alow rade apologiost" that;s reallyvajoverture todiscussion


Joe Hinman  busterggi • a few seconds ago
bull shit, you mean good answer = support your view bad answer goatskin your view/

you below your brains out about empirical proof. I have 200 studies you have none yet you still think your bigoted hatred of God is fact and my studies are my opi





Wednesday, May 17, 2017

More on the "Philo Fallacy:" Paulkovich Christ Fable

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John Rylands Fragment



Michael B. Paulkovich is another example [1]of the same fallacy I dealt with last time but he illustrates even more ridiculous fallacies than the others (see my previous post). I call it the "Philo fallacy" because Philo is probably the est example. the fallacy says here are x number of famous writers who lived contemporary with Jesus but they don't talk about him. Jesus worked big miracles so if he really existed they would have heard of him and the would want to talk about him. This is about their only major argumet in addition to no documents or official papers like birth certificate. This is still an argument from silence and they still have a burden of proof (which they do not even attempt to meet) to show  that any of their guys should have heard of Jesus or want to write about him.

I have always been a staunch Bible skeptic but not a Christ-mythicist. I maintained that Jesus probably existed but had fantastic stories foisted upon the memory of his earthly yet iconoclastic life.After exhaustive research for my first book, I began to perceive both the light and darkness from history. I discovered that many prominent Christian fathers believed with all pious sincerity that their savior never came to Earth or that if he did, he was a Star-Trekian character who beamed down pre-haloed and full-grown, sans transvaginal egress. And I discovered other startling bombshells.[2]


He doesn't believe in miracles? The church fathers knew about Star Trek over a thousand years before tv he doesn't see what a miracle that is? For this augment he draws upon John Remsburg author of The Christ (1909).[3] Remsberg made the fallacious Philo argumet with 41 or so candidates. He's really just another unremarkable Jesus myth crack post whose ideas were disproved a long time ago.
Paulkovich, in emulation comes up with 126.He does not bother to prove that there is any reason why any of them would have mentioned Jesus.

Paulkovich Makes his major counter figure Apollonius of Tyanna."Perhaps none of these writers is more fascinating than Apollonius Tyanus, saintly first-century adventurer and noble paladin. Apollonius was a magic-man of divine birth who cured the sick and blind, cleansed entire cities of plague, foretold the future, and fed the masses. He was worshiped as a god and as a son of a god."[4] 
He feels pained to point out that Apollonius was nevertheless a real man. But by Jesus myth standards why doesn't his wonder working mark him as myth? They seem to insist that Jesus could not have been a real man due to his wonder working. more importantly this might also provide a motive for Apollonius not to mention Jesus. He would be validating a rival. Moreover, he lived in Anatolia, east coast of Turkey,so not in Palestine and thus not necessarily up on all the events near Jerusalem or the Galilee. 

Here he makes another major fallacious assumption, that Jesus must have been well known all over the known wold at the time of his miracle working and that miracles would make him famous.
"Because Jesus ostensibly performed miracles of global expanse (such as in Matthew 27), his words going “unto the ends of the whole world” (Rom. 10), one would expect virtually every literate person to have recorded those events. A Jesus contemporary such as Apollonius would have done so, as well as those who wrote of Apollonius." [5] The reference to the ends of the earth is a midrash where Paul quotes Pslam 19:4. The words are from the psalm.That is nothing like proof that Jesus would have been known through out the world in his day. The Gospel was taken to the ends of the earth even in Paul's day, Thomas went India and Bartholomew to Armenia. That is not poof that Jesus would have been known in his life time in far away places. Paul died imn 64 and Jesus in 33. At least 20 more years for the message to taken to fa away places. Since everyone believed in miracles and miracle workers were allover the place (as we just saw with Apollonius) why would they have taken note of another wonder worker in a far away place?

At this point Paulkovich starts on this strange argument that somehow figures from the third century don;'t talk about Jesus:

Such is not the case. In Philostratus’s third-century chronicle Vita Apollonii, there is no hint of Jesus. Nor does Jesus appear in the works of other Apollonius epistolarians and scriveners: Emperor Titus, Cassius Dio, Maximus, Moeragenes, Lucian, Soterichus Oasites, Euphrates, Marcus Aurelius, or Damis of Hierapolis. It seems that none of these first- to third-century writers ever heard of Jesus, his miracles and alleged worldwide fame be damned.[6]


This is a puzzlement because obviously third century figures would have no first hand connection  as historical knowledge of first century people. They would only be discussing Jesus as a remote figure 300 years in the past, But Christianity was a going concern by third century so he can't possibly be tying to imply that Jesus wasn't known to anyone by that time? This is so obvious I should not have to document it. All the apostolic fathers wrote from 90s AD to middle of second century: Clement of Rome, Papias, Ignatius, Polycarp,Justin martyr, they all talk about Jesus, Clement of Alexamdria, Origin, and more. Visit the index to any church history Textbook [7] There is a huge pile of apocryphal literature beginning with late first century that talks about Jesus and absolutely none of it fails to assume he was a flesh and blood man in history. I am not arguing that this body of literature proves Jesus existed.  But what it does prove is that people knew of Jesus as a flesh and blood historical man as far back as first century and certainly well before the third. Here is just a fraction of the list:


The Infancy Gospel of Thomas [Greek Text A]
The Infancy Gospel of Thomas [Greek Text B]
The Infancy Gospel of Thomas [Latin Text]
A 5th Century Compilation of the Thomas Texts
An Arabic Infancy Gospel
The Gospel of James
The Gospel of the Nativity of Mary
The Gospel of Mary [Magdalene]
The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew 
The Gospel of Nicodemus [Acts of Pilate]
The Gospel of Bartholomew 
The Gospel of Peter
The Gospel of Thomas
The Gospel of Philip
The Gospel of the Lord [by Marcion]
The Secret Gospel of Mark Return to Top


The Acts of the New TestamentThe Acts of Andrew
The Acts and Martyrdom of Andrew 
The Acts of Andrew and Matthew
The Acts of Barnabas
Martyrdom of Bartholomew 
The Acts of John 
The Mystery of the Cross-Excerpt from the Acts of John 
The Acts of John the Theologian 
The History of Joseph the Carpenter
The Book of John Concerning the Death of Mary
The Passing of Mary 
The Acts and Martyrdom of Matthew
The Martyrdom of Matthew
The Acts of Paul
The Acts of Paul and Thecla 
The Acts of Peter
The Acts of Peter and Andrew
The Acts of Peter and Paul
The Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles
The Acts of Philip
The Report of Pontius Pilate to Tiberius
The Giving Up of Pontius Pilate
The Death of Pilate
The Acts of Thaddaeus
The Acts of Thomas
The Book of Thomas the Contender
The Consummation of Thomas Return to Top 


Apocryphal ApocalypseThe Apocalypse of Adam
The Revelation of Esdras
The First Apocalypse of James 
The Second Apocalypse of James 
The Revelation of John the Theologian 
The Revelation of Moses 
The Apocalypse of Paul
Fragments-The Apocalypse of Paul The Revelation of Paul
The Apocalypse of Peter
The Vision of Paul
The Revelation of Peter
Fragments-The Apocalypse of Peter 
The Apocalypse of Sedrach 
The Revelation of Stephen
The Apocalypse of Thomas
The Apocalypse of the Virgin Return to Top


Other WritingsThe Teachings of Addeus the Apostle
The Epistle of the Apostles 
Community Rule
The Apocryphon of James
The Correspondence of Jesus and Abgar
The Sophia of Jesus Christ
John the Evangelist
The Apocryphon of John 
The Narrative of Joseph of Arimathaea
The Epistle to the Laodiceans The Correspondence of Paul and Seneca The Prayer of the Apostle Paul
The Letter of Peter to Philip
The Letter of Pontius Pilate to the Roman Emperor
The Report of Pilate to Caesar
The Report of Pilate to Tiberius
Excerpts from Pistis Sophia
The Avenging of the Saviour 

The Book of Thomas the Contender [8]


Paulkovioch is actually dense enough to try and claim Josephus didn't mention Jesus. He relies upon his own Josephus arguments to assert the total fabrication of both passages, even though most scholars don't even doubt the brother passage, See my debate With Bradley Bowen in which I defend the brother passage,. [9] See also the rest of my work on Josephus.[10] He does all the Jesus' mythyers greatest hit with selective reading,Assuming Paul says nothing about Jesus as a flesh and blood man but totally ignoring the passage in Romans (1:3) where he alludes to Jesus' flesh and bool linage. He just dismisses the reference to the 500 witnesses to the resurrection in Acts as a forgery with no evidence at all.

He thinks that because Qumran is only 12 miles from Bethlehem the sect should have mentioned Jesus in the dead sea scrolls. That is a fallacious assertion,First because Jesus was not a member of the sect no reason to talk about him. The connection with Bethlehem would not become important until after Jesus death most of the scrolls date to an earlier period. He's also making a huge assumption about knowledge we don't possess. We don't really know who lived in the buildings taken to be the home of a sect and we don't really know if the people who lived there wrote the documents hidden in the morticians. Since the discovery it has been theorized that the settlement was  family villa, a perfume factory, pottery factory, a fort all disconnected from the scrolls, "Despite decades of excavations and careful analysis there is no consensus about who lived there--and consequently no consensus about who actually wrote the dead sea scrolls."[11] 

Paulkovich relies upon a lot of extrusions arguments to strengthen his case. Without them the Philo fallacy is merely a weak argument  from silence. Those arguments can be disproved so the article really does nothing to enhance the case for Jesus mytherism.



[1] Michael B. Paulkovich, "The Fable of Christ,"  Secular Humanism, A program of the Center for Inquiry  no date, On line URL:
https://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php/articles/5656
(accessed 5/11/17)


[2] Ibid

[3]John Remsburg, The Christ, Amherst NY: Prometheus books, 1994, original publication New York: Truth seeker company, 1909. no page indicated.

[4] Paulkovich, op cit.

[5] Ibid

[6] Ibid

[7]  Henry Bettenson, Documented the Christian Church, Oxford: Oxford University Press; 4th edition  2011, 1-37.

[8] JosephHinman,"No Alternate Versinos, Doxa: Christian Thought in the 21st Century, web site URL: http://www.doxa.ws/Jesus_pages/versions.html  (acess 5/14/17)

I compiled the list myself from sources listed on the net, They are all authentic ancient sources form first three centuries AD.

[9] Joseph Hinman, "Josephus (brother passage)," The Bowen -Hinman debate, Religious a prori (Jesus and Bible) online, website, URL:
http://religiousapriori.blogspot.com/2016/08/bowen-hinman-debate-josephus.html
(access 5/12/17)

Debate originally held online (Jan 2016) between Secular outpost  (Bowen;s posts) and CADRE comments blog,where my posts were made.

[10] my other Josephus stuff defense of teh TF:

On Doxa: Joseph Hinman "Secular and Jewish Historians A. Josephus,: Doxa: Christian 
Thought in the 21 Century, 
http://www.doxa.ws/Jesus_pages/HistJesus3.html
(access 5/12/17)

see also Joseph Hinman, "Peter Kirby;s Straw man Argument: Jopsehus" Religiious a priori
one line URL: http://religiousapriorijesus-bible.blogspot.com/2016/05/peter-kirbys-straw-man-arguments-joephus.html  (access 5/12/17)

[11] Andrew Lawlwer, "Who Wrote The Dead Sea Scrolls," Smithsonian Magazine (January 2010) onlimne versionURL:
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/who-wrote-the-dead-sea-scrolls-11781900/

(accessed 5/11/17)

Monday, May 15, 2017

Contra Jesus mytherism: answering the Philo Argument

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Excavations at Nazareth





All arguments the Jesus mythers use are arguments from silence. The idea that there is no proof for Jesus historicity, therefore we can't believe in  it, that is argument from silence (AFS). The opposite is the case, Jesus' historical existence is accepted by historians as a fact, therefore, the myther has the burden to prove he did not, History says he did. The mythers have a few arguments that appearance the surface like positive evidence, they assert that they are. It's very important to quash them.

One such argument says that a long string of major writers of Jesus' days who do not mention him, I am going to look at the way two different mythers use this argument. These guys are not famous but I have seen both used quoted agaisnt me in argument a coupe of times.The first one is on the atheist echo chamber "read it" by a guy called Jim Jones who I trade insults with regularly on Secular Out Post, He is a typical mocker, and a Dawkamentalkst.[1].

The argument presents a long string of writers who don't mention Jesus:

The following is a list of writers who lived and wrote during the time, or within a century after the time, that Christ is said to have lived and performed his wonderful works:Josephus, Philo-Judaeus, Seneca, Pliny the Elder, Suetonius, Juvenal, Martial, Persius, Plutarch, Justus of Tiberius, Apollonius, Pliny the Younger, Tacitus, Quintilian, Lucanus, Epictetus, Silius Italicus, Statius, Ptolemy, Hermogones, Valerius Maximus, Arrian, Petronius, Dion Pruseus, Paterculus, Appian, Theon of Smyrna, Phlegon, Pompon Mela, Quintius Curtius, Lucian, Pausanias, Valerius Flaccus, Florus Lucius, Favorinus, Phaedrus, Damis, Aulus Gellius, Columella, Dio Chrysostom, Lysias, Appion of Alexandria.(Ibid)

That looks so very impressive, Just a couple of thing before I begin showing how utterly useless this argument is. (1) This argument is clearly  is AFS. Not that this is a fallacy per se, but it doesn't prove anything, This is the especially so when one can show why the silence is there, We can show why these guys would not mention Jesus even if everything in the NT is true. (2) Atheists assume that if Jesus really worked miracles he would be made world famous, in his own day that is a fallacious assumption. Let's look at the way two mythers use this argument, First, nearly everyone beveled in the possibility of miracles in that day, Not that they would not have been amazed to see one but they were not as skeptical. That does not mean they would automatically assume any claim of a miracle but it does mean with a host of other wonder workers being talked about guys in far away Rome would not take notice of a wonder worker in Palestine.

On Tekton apologetic J.P. Holding (our fellow cadrist) discusses why Jesus would not be mentioned by Roman writers. Notice most of the writers on Jone's list are Roman:

As far as the historians of the day were concerned, he was just a "blip" on the screen. Jesus was not considered to be historically significant by historians of his time. He did not address the Roman Senate, or write extensive Greek philosophical treatises; He never travelled outside of the regions of Palestine, and was not a member of any known political party. It is only because Christians later made Jesus a "celebrity" that He became known.
Sanders, comparing Jesus to Alexander, notes that the latter "so greatly altered the political situation in a large part of the world that the main outline of his public life is very well known indeed. Jesus did not change the social, political and economic circumstances in Palestine (Note: It was left for His followers to do that!) ..the superiority of evidence for Jesus is seen when we ask what he thought." [Sand.HistF, 3]Harris adds that "Roman writers could hardly be expected to have foreseen the subsequent influence of Christianity on the Roman Empire and therefore to have carefully documented" Christian origins. How were they to know that this minor Nazarene prophet would cause such a fuss?
Jesus was executed as a criminal, providing him with the ultimate marginality. This was one reason why historians would have ignored Jesus. He suffered the ultimate humiliation, both in the eyes of Jews (Deut. 21:23 - Anyone hung on a tree is cursed!) and the Romans (He died the death of slaves and rebels.).
On the other hand, Jesus was a minimal threat compared to other proclaimed "Messiahs" of the time. Rome had to call out troops to quell the disturbances caused by the unnamed Egyptian referenced in the Book of Acts [Sand.HistF, 51] . In contrast, no troops were required to suppress Jesus' followers.To the Romans, the primary gatekeepers of written history at the time, Jesus during His own life would have been no different than thousands of other everyday criminals that were crucified.
Jesus marginalized himself by being occupied as an itinerant preacher. Of course, there was no Palestine News Network, and even if there had been one, there were no televisions to broadcast it. Jesus never used the established "news organs" of the day to spread His message. He travelled about the countryside, avoiding for the most part (and with the exception of Jerusalem) the major urban centers of the day. How would we regard someone who preached only in sites like, say, Hahira, Georgia?
Jesus' teachings did not always jibe with, and were sometimes offensive to, the established religious order of the day. It has been said that if Jesus appeared on the news today, it would be as a troublemaker. He certainly did not make many friends as a preacher.Jesus lived an offensive lifestyle and alienated many people. He associated with the despised and rejected: Tax collectors, prostitutes, and the band of fishermen He had as disciples.esus was a poor, rural person in a land run by wealthy urbanites. Yes, class discrimination was alive and well in the first century also![2]

Jones says of his list: "Enough of the writings of the authors named in the foregoing list remains to form a library. Yet in this mass of Jewish and Pagan literature, aside from two forged passages in the works of a Jewish author, and two disputed passages in the works of Roman writers, there is to be found no mention of Jesus Christ. " [3] Notice he lumps in both Josephus passages as "forgery." This is ludicrous when the less quoted "bother passage" is not even accused of being a forgery. In his debate with me on Josephus's brother passage Bradely Bowen (one of the best thinners at SOP and far better than Jones) could not quote a single scholar who said so, nor did he present any argumnet about forgery,[4] 

Not to mention the fact that the assertion of complete forgery for the TF. Josephus' major passage about Jesus is rejected by the consensus in the field of real historical scholarship and the arguments exist to blow the mythers away on it. [5]

Apart from Josephus the major guy in the list is Philo, He was a Jew in the time of Christ.The Romans had no reason to care about Jesus but Philo may have, Yet, there are good reasons why he did not deal with him. Jones asserts that Philo lived in Jerusalem when Jesus was there. "He was living in or near Jerusalem when Christ's miraculous birth and the Herodian massacre occurred. He was there when Christ made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem." [6] He is wrong in assuming that Philo was living in Jerusalem and that he was there strait through Jesus whole life. Philo lived in Alexandria and he spent a good deal of his time in Rome.Hevonly visited Jeruslame one  time. Moreover he did not live long after the time of Jesus, he died in 40 in AD. [7] 

As for the argument on slaughter of the innocents, this event would not have been any more compelling or earth shattering than any of the other slaughters and moral outrages perpetrated by Herod. First of all the number of children killed would have been quite small, on the order of a dozen or two dozen, as recounted by famous historian Paul Maier[8] Maier gives a long list of Hreod's atrocities  and daughters, The last was the same year of Jesus' birth 4 BC where he had thousands of Jewish leaders slaughtered. [9] There is no real reason why the incinerate in Bethlehem should standout in anyone's mind. As for the Triumphal entry there is no way to prove that Philo was in Jerusalem for that.


Kenneth Humphreys also makes the Philo didn't mention Jesus argument, [10] This is the same genius who founded the Paul myther movement, which I tor apart om this blog a year or more ago,.He says:
As it happens, we have an excellent witness to events in Judaea and the Jewish diaspora in the first half of the first century AD: Philo of Alexandria (c25 BC-47 AD).
Philo was an old man when he led an embassy from the Jews to the court of Emperor Gaius Caligula. The year was 39-40 AD. Philo clearly, then, lived at precisely the timethat "Jesus of Nazareth" supposedly entered the world to a chorus of angels, enthralled the multitudes by performing miracles, and got himself crucified.Philo was also in the right place to give testimony of a messianic contender. A Jewish aristocrat and leader of the large Jewish community of Alexandria, we know that Philo spent time in Jerusalem (On Providence) where he had intimate connections with the royal house of Judaea. His brother, Alexander the "alabarch" (chief tax official), was one of the richest men in the east, in charge of collecting levies on imports into Roman Egypt. Alexander's great wealth financed the silver and gold sheathing which adorned the doors of the Temple (Josephus, War 5.205). Alexander also loaned a fortune to Herod Agrippa I (Antiquities 18). (Ibid)
We know from the Hiller article (op cot) that He did not live in Jerusalem and he only went there once, (EN7)(There is a reason why he;s called"of Alexandria.). He may have heard of Jesus was since he clearly craved the company of Roman elites he may have found Jesus embarrassing, There's no way they can prove Jesus was in Jerusalem during times of High Jesus viability such as the triumphal entry. It is their burden of proof barbecue they seek to eliminate the established fact of history. So the argument from silence about Philo is of no consequence, Now he says Philo had contact with the Royal House of Judea, That is Herod that means he murdered Jesus' cousin and tried to murder Jesus as an infant. Thus discussion of the Nazerath boys would probably be a black card topic at table with  Herod, Especially True since Maier  says the pattern for Herod was fear of opposite murder of opponent followed by more depression and more fear more murder,,(op cit EN8). Might not be a real good idea to remind him of killing the and John Jesus' cousin. I can just hear the Judea brothers discussion dinner at Herod's "Now bother don't make the homicidal dictator mad." Might be a good reason to leave that scruphy preacher guy Jesus out of the next book.

What Humphreys says about Alexander, Philo's brother,  and his wealth as chef tax collector. Not only would he be hated by the people but also would have reason to fear Jesus since he was popular among the rebel, was himself poor, and seemed to say things encouraging to the poor such as that they  are blessed,Thus he carried an overtone of class conflict. At least it's a reason why Philo would find him uninteresting. Jesus railed against money changers  said a rich man can';t enter heaven any more easily than a camel can traverse the eye of a needle, so there was a lot lot of motivation for Philo to either just not take an interest est or avoid discussion of him,

At best the philo argumemt is am argument from silence and proves nothing, In the context of the Jesus mytherism issue the Philo argumemt fails to qualify as positive evidence against the existence of Jesus. Jesus' historicity dreaminess established historical fact,





Sources


all on line sources accessed 5/6/17


[1] Jim Jones, "The Silence of Comteproary Wrioters,"  Read it  (21 Dec 2014) (archive)
URL:
https://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/comments/2pyjqe/jesus_never_existed_the_silence_of_contemporary/  (accessed 5/4/17).


[2] J.P. Holding, "General Thoughts on Jesus  Not Existing," Tekton Apologetic, website on line
 http://www.tektonics.org/jesusexist/jexfound.php
(accessed 5/4/17)

Meier's Marginal Jew and Harris' Three Crucial Questions About Jesus.

[3]  Jones op cit]

[4] Bowen/Hinman Debate: Josephus (the brother passage), on Religious a priori: Jesus and Bible
Debate between Joseph Hinman and Bradley Bowen
http://religiousapriori.blogspot.com/2016/08/bowen-hinman-debate-josephus.html

Index for the full debate: Hinman/Bowen Debate om Jesus historicity
http://religiousapriorijesus-bible.blogspot.com/2016/08/hinmanbowen-debate-on-historicity-of.html


[5] Joseph Hinman, "Josephus. Secular and Jewish Historians," Religious a priori  website URL:
http://religiousapriorijesus-bible.blogspot.com/2010/05/secular-and-jewish-historians-josephus.html


[6] Jones op cit

[7] Marian Hillar, "Philo of Alexandria. 20BCE-40CE" Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (peer reviewed) website URL
http://www.iep.utm.edu/philo/

Hillar is with the Center for Philosophy and Socinian Studies

[8] Paul Maier, quoted in "Did Herod Really Kill Baby Boys?" Ask Pastor John Interview with 
Senior writer, desiringGod.org
"Paul Maier, a widely respected historian, in what will be a little longer of an episode than usual. Until his retirement, Maier served as the Russell H. Seibert Professor of Ancient History at Western Michigan University. And he is the author of many fictional books and many non-fiction books including In the Fullness of Time: A Historian Looks at Christmas, Easter, and the Early Church, as well as several books for children, including, The Very"



[9] Ibid.

[10] Kenneth Humphreys, "Witness to Jesus? Philo of Alexandria." Jesus Never Existed 2006 websiote URL: http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/philo.html