Your Most Important Choice: Part II — Guest Post by Ianto Watt

Read Part I.

As we consider Team 2 (Christianity) in light of the five points of interest to me, it bears noting that Christianity has a built-in advantage over Team 1. Wherever Team 1 scores big, so does Team 2. This is because Team 2 has totally adopted the same things that allowed Team 1 to score big. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?

Wherever Team 1 falls short on my scale, Team 2 wisely does the opposite that caused Team 1 to fail on any particular point. Thus, Team 2 has benefited from seeing the wisdom as well as the mistakes of their forebearers. This is the right term, I believe, because Christianity claims (the only) direct descent from real Mosaic Judaism. Which is totally Torah-centric. Which is totally opposed to Talmudic Judaism.

The claim by Team 2 of being the New Israel is at the heart of the modern (Talmudic) Jewish charge of ‘anti-semitism’ directed against Christianity. Or at least, against Catholics. The real root of the anger is the Catholic claim to have superseded Judaism, in any form. But that’s what happens when you abandon your property. Squatter’s rights.

We need to note one other thing as well before we get down to work. First, a word about the term Judaizer. This is the opposite charge of anti-semitism, hurled by Team 1 at anyone who has the temerity to criticize any modern (Talmudic) Jew. The charge of ‘Judaizer’ is often hurled back from Team 2 in the direction of Team 1.

How could a Jew not be a Judaizer? It seems to be an oxymoron. But let’s look closely at the real definition of a Jew. A Jew today is someone who acts like a Jew. A Jew of the first century. That is to say, a Jew who rejects Jesus as a Jew, and as the Messiah, to boot. Think of Max Boot.

That definition would have to include a lot of people today who act Jewish, even though they labor under the illusion that they are Christian. When, in fact, they are actually Judaizers. That is, they have reverted back to ancient-modern Talmudic Jewish practices. Which, in reality, means modernity began a long time ago. It began with the Pharisees, at the time of Moses. Read She Shall Crush Thy Head, at least the part on the beginning of the Oral Tradition (OT) of the Pharisees. The counterfeit Old Testament.

When I say that the term Judaizer is the opposite charge against anti-semitism, here’s what I mean: there are a lot more Jews than anyone thinks. Based, of course, on my definition that a Jew is someone who acts like a modern Jew. That is to say, a Talmudic Jew, and not a Mosaic Jew, known today as a Karaite.

How, pray tell, does a modern Jew act? Beyond the obvious rejection of the messianic image of Jesus, there are a million smaller offenses they commit against Torah and Church. They change the Sabbath Day (Seventh Day Adventists), they change the Scriptures (Lutherans), they change the priesthood (Anglicans), they change tradition (Baptists), they change the Paschal offering (Methodists), and I could go on and on. But I won’t.

You can say that not each of these things is specific only to the groupings I named, and you’d be right. In fact, you can actually level these charges, almost all of them, against each and every Protestant grouping. There’s the point. Protestants are inherently Judaizers. They revert to ancient-yet-modern Jewish form on almost every doctrinal point when compared to the Christianity of the first century. More to the point, they revert to Modern Talmudic Judaism on almost every doctrinal point espoused by Moses. Hey, wanna attend this year’s Ecumenical Seder Meal? To celebrate Judeo-Christian fellowship? They’re serving ham steaks. Delicious!

Let me clarify it for you. Can you name a Christian sect that still says, doctrinally-speaking, those who willfully and un-repentantly fail to observe the Third Commandment (Keep holy the Lord’s Day) will go to Hell? And that to avoid this fate, they must confess this sin to the Priest? Remember, I said ‘doctrinally’. What Christian sect actually has any observable doctrine left? Let alone a priesthood. Which is to say, most Christians today (even Catholics, for God’s sake) are practicing (or would that be, non-practicing?) Jews. Again, what kind of Jew are we talking about?

Just as most modern Talmudic Jews no longer strictly observe the Third Commandment (or any of the other nine) delivered by Moses, neither do most Christian denominations. Which is to say, they are Judaizers. They have reverted to the original rejection of Moses. Yet, the true Team 2 has gained most of its advantages in her life by wholly embracing Moses and his historical document, the Torah (and the rest of the Old Testament.)

Here’s the root to understanding this oxymoronic thought. If you see the Old Testament as a document of ‘promise’, then you will, of necessity, have to look at the New Testament (and not the Talmud) as the document of fulfillment. That is, the OT is a book chock full of real people, places and events, who all have some symbolic meaning for those who would come after them. The NT is the book that, like the OT, is also brimming with more real people, places and events, but there they are the human fulfillment of those previously symbolized in the OT. Symbol prefigures substance. And substance is what ultimately counts.

Moses and Joshua and David are the fore-types of Jesus. The Eucharist is the realization of the Manna in the desert. Jesus’ mother Mary is the flesh and blood meaning of the Ark of the Covenant. The Apostles are the new Twelve Tribes. And so on and so on. In other words, the first document is worthless apart from the second, and the second is unbelievable apart from the first.

If I show you a picture of a brick of gold, and set it next to an actual brick of gold, which would you prefer? One symbolizes the other. The other gives substance to the first. Which one is the actual thing desired? If you’re having a hard time choosing, you’re obviously modern. Or even post-modern. You’d prefer Warhol’s painting of the can of Campbell’s Soup to the actual bowl of it. If you can’t understand this proposition, if you don’t see the relationship between symbol and substance, you are in a world of hurt. You’re never going to get anything worthwhile in life. Or in death.

Is not this inability to discern the difference between promise and fulfillment the same as saying that the bread and wine offered in the Catholic Mass is not transformed into bread and wine?

That’s what Protestants have said, in effect, for nearly 500 years. Just like the stiff-necked Jews wandering in the desert for 40 years who were fed daily with the magical bread from Heaven who denied its divine origin (and effects). The Pharisees were the first Talmudic Jews, even before Moses died. They were the first Protestants. Protestants are simply the Judaizing Pharisees of today. Or Sadducees. Take your pick.

I’ve said all of this in order to clarify what I will say below, as I now consider the true Team 2, especially as it relates to the fortunes and failings of Team 1. In other words, Team 1’s failings came from a failure to wholeheartedly embrace Moses and the Torah. The failings of Team 2, when they occurred, came from this very same fault, and again resulted in the cleaving of the flock. For just as Judaism was split between Torah and Talmud, Team 2 will be split between the those who embrace Moses (a.k.a. doctrine) and those who won’t (and don’t).

Team 2 At Bat

Let’s look at Team 2!

1. Got a historical document? Absolutely they do. They have everything that Team 1 has, and that is a lot. But not only do they have one historical document, they have a second one. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Not only are both brimming with historically verifiable people, places and events, they fully complement each other. They provide the hidden meaning to each other. Promise and fulfillment. Symbol and substance.

For example, just as the OT Book of Genesis gives us the genealogy of Adam to Abraham, the NT Gospel of Luke gives us the complete listing of the house of David, all the way from Adam to Jesus. Seventy-seven generations. And then, just to make the claim clearer, Luke places this in the context of seven rulers (as they relate to the birth of John the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus, who was exactly six months older than Him), whose reigns coincide, so that there can be no mistaking of the historical claims and chronology of the NT.

A factual and datable claim has been made by Team 2, in spades. The markers have been laid down. Who else has the guts to do this kind of specificity? Compare this to Carl Sagan, and his Billion-Years chronology, where we start as a blob of slime and end up with an anonymous hominid. With no witnesses, of course. Sure, Carl.

Still unconvinced by the audacity of Team 2? Then please allow me to shove this down your throat. Check out the chronology of the birth of Christ in The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ as it was related in the Roman Martyrology. It sets the date of Christmas in relation to the dating’s of Noah, Abraham, The Pharaohs, the Persians, the Greek Olympiads and the foundation date of Imperial Rome. What is it that the Weiner-Dog historians say in response? All they can ever say is No! It can’t be so!

Why can’t it be? Well, they can’t exactly say. Exactly, that is. But Team 2 has no doubts, and they tell you up front what their claims are. Now that is history. All the rest is Weiner-Dog doubts. But as I say, believe your beliefs, and doubt your doubts. And don’t confuse the two.

On top of all of this is the historical record from the time of Caesar onward, as all the secular historical records of nearly every country record the effects of their intersection with the people who brought them the story of the Galilean from Nazareth. Show me another person in history, any history, that has had such a world-wide effect on every nation. Those idiots who still claim that Jesus was not a real historical person have a lot of explaining to do. Even more so, they must explain why this supposedly mythological person has had such a worldwide effect on all of mankind such that He has become the benchmark by which all others are judged. Historically, chronologically, ethically and morally. Bottom line is that Team 2 scores. Big time. Off the charts!

2. Got any accurate predictions or prophecy, any big miracles? Only the biggest two you could imagine, both in prophesy and occurrence. First, that the infinite God could contain Himself within the confines of a single human being. A truly and fully human. Proof? He died, didn’t He? But then He could release Himself from these same human confines by rising from the dead. And promising us that He can do the same for us. And between these two events, there were a million other astounding events that miraculously occurred.

One of the biggest of these many other examples was that the Apostles continued to stick to their story. Despite the fact that it sequentially got each of them executed. You’d think that after the first three or four of them were axed the rest would repudiate their original story about this God-Man Jesus. Yet none of them did. If this was a scam, or a mass delusion, even a fool would have figured out the need to shut up. Not these guys. They kept talking. And they all died for it. What was it they died for? A delusion? Really?

Cue the howlers. Unleash the fearsome Academic Weiner-Dogs. Listen as they endlessly bark that none of these things could have occurred naturally (which is true). Unfortunately, they can’t see beyond the natural. In fact, when it comes to sodomy, they can’t even see the natural. Anyway, here’s all the proof you need for the authenticity of all these miracles. This proof lies in their audacious size, and the reaction they provoked. Feeding thousands with a few loaves, raising people from the dead (all are multiple occurrences), walking on (un-frozen) water, walking through closed doors and sealed tombs. The proof? Let me give you the simplest yet surest example.

To me, the biggest miracle in the OT, in terms of sheer size and duration, was the feeding of the Israelites in the desert for 40 years. That’s huge, as I’ve already discussed in my book. Check out the numbers. Absolutely unbelievable.

What miracle(s) correspond to this in the NT? I would say it is the multiple times that Jesus is reputed to have fed the multitudes in the countryside. He fed 5,000 men (and their families too, one would assume) in the first report, which is included in all four gospels (Mark 6, for example). Remember, here’s another example of men telling stories that would get them killed, so we have to assume that the story was true. Because if it wasn’t true, everyone would have known it, because there wouldn’t have been these 5,000-plus people telling everyone as well. In other words, this was hot news, and not because it was written down years later in the gospels. These people repeating these stories died for telling the stories now, not later, let alone much later (like a 100 years on).

No, this stuff really happened, and the hostility of the Talmudic High Priests and Pharisees is the only proof we need. All throughout the NT there is this theme (that persists to this day) that the Pharisees and the Priests were really agitated at Jesus because of His miracles. They were afraid to move in for the kill for three long years because they feared the reaction of the common people. Now tell me this, if Jesus hadn’t fed the people, why would the Pharisees care if these dozen followers of Jesus kept telling people that He had miraculously fed 5,000-plus people, multiple times? After all, there wouldn’t be anyone else among the common people backing their story up. In fact, if this is what had really happened, as the Wiener-Dogs insist, then the Pharisees (and the common folk, both) would have been howling with laughter! They would have been begging the Romans not to kill Him, because He made them both look so good by comparison, because He and His followers would have been demonstrably insane. Why kill a good show?

In the same vein, look at the miracles relating how Jesus raised the dead. These miracles were the opposite of the OT miracle of striking dead the first born of Egypt (which surely would have included millions of Egyptians). In this comparison, Jesus does the opposite by raising people from the dead. Not once or twice, but again and again and again. Lazarus, the widow’s son, the ruler’s daughter, etc. Again, we’re struck with the obvious. Why did people continue to follow Him, and with increasing crowds, if He didn’t do what the gospels report? Who would believe such a crock if there was no evidence to back it up? Who else has ever been reported to have done this, with any credibility? And to have done it time and again, right in front of everyone? Why would the authorities get worked up over these reports if they didn’t have some truth to it? Why weren’t they just howling with laughter at these obviously insane people who claimed to have seen the dead raised to life? Who else would have been saying it? C’mon, tell me. Quit barking and tell me!

It’s because the crowds believed it, and they believed it because they saw it. Let’s face it, if you had simply heard that someone was raised from the dead, would you believe it? No. But if you saw it happen, you would. Your belief in it would even embolden you to be willing to risk your own life to tell of it to others. Why? Because you would have gained the hope of being raised from the dead by this same Jesus fellow. And that, I contend, is exactly what happened, and what panicked the Pharisees, and which then led to the willing deaths of thousands of these martyr-believers early on in the Church. They believed it because they saw it. No other explanation suffices. None.

That begs an answer to the question if you can do this sort of miracle-thing half-way. Either you were dead (in the tomb three days, like Lazarus) or you weren’t. You either fully came back to life or you didn’t. No halfway stuff here. There weren’t any ICU’s and respirators back then. Remember, Jesus didn’t have the opportunity to set these things up (no advanced communications or transportation that would be needed to co-ordinate things).

Instead, people came to Him, saying ‘So-and-so is dead, can you help’? And He’d say, ‘Sure, let’s walk the ten miles to your place and have a look’. When they get there, there’s a crowd of mourners (as the person has been dead for quite a while, maybe even wrapped for burial), and Jesus says ‘Quit crying, he’s only sleeping’. He says this before seeing the dead person. The crowd heckles Him, as He’s obviously an idiot. They’ve known Lazarus has been dead for three days. Then He commands Lazarus and the others to rise, and they do. The crowd goes nuts. Word spreads. And the fame grows, and travels rapidly, even unto the ears of the authorities. Not good! At least, not as far as the Pharisees were concerned.

I could go on and on (as I have in my book) about how all of these miracles (and myriads more) can be believed simply by the reactions it triggered in the enemies of Jesus. Like I’ve said before, if these miracles had not occurred, then no one would be following Him (except to laugh at Him). The authorities would have absolutely zero reason to be concerned about Him, and His surging popularity amongst the people because He would have had no followers if these things had not occurred. There would be no Church today. Simple human nature tells us they had to be true. If the miracles weren’t true, He’d have had no friends. And without friends, He’d have had no enemies. He would have been forgotten in an instant, like all the other kooks of the past.

Score card: Again, Team 2 is off the chart. Don’t believe me? Ask Pilate. And Caiaphas.

3. Does it promise me any worthwhile reward? Any mercy? Yes, and yes. See point three for Team 1. Take that and then remove the restriction that it would only be for the Jews. No wonder the Church has grown to become the largest Operating System on earth today. Numbers aren’t everything. But mercy is. And the availability of it to everyone (versus only the Jews) means Team 2 has now taken the lead. Big time.

4. Does it have an unbroken line of kingly or priestly succession, even unto today? Undoubtedly. Just like the Jewish line of Kings and High Priests, there were tons of bad ones. But that never led Jesus to deny the authenticity and legitimacy of the thrones of Church and State, nor the current occupants of them. He submitted to both. Can we do any less? How then are we to take up our cross and follow Him, if we deny these bad leaders their power to torment us? How will we have earned any reward, in any small way, if we have endured no suffering? Score card: nobody else comes near. Because of the price, of course.

5. Does it have a believable and desirable Messiah (and destination)? Yes and Yes, again. Just look at point 5 above for Team 1 again. Ask yourself if, being a finite being, that if you are somehow able to stand in the presence of the Infinite, the Omniscient, the Omnipotent Creator, and to see His work through His eyes, without being incinerated, this offer is somehow less than acceptable? What further words can even begin to express this concept? It is simply ineffable.

The totality of it becomes beyond comprehension when you bother to remember the sinful being that you are. How can any of this have been deserved, let alone fully earned? Without being willing to suffer on His behalf, that is. Which sufferings are still infinitesimal in relationship to the offer. Then I have to ask you, brother, why are you always bitching about how terrible things are? How can any other offer and any other Messiah offer us more? What is there, apart from Godhood itself, that could be offered? That’s what Lucifer wanted, right?

From a scoring perspective, what can I say? What else could be offered? How could anything more than this be accepted? How could we mortals do it? How could we receive it? Let alone bear it? Seriously. How could it be done?

This concludes Team 2. They have gone off the charts. They have surpassed Team 1, and done it by assuming all of Team 1’s truth. And fulfilling all promises in Team 1’s Book. The bar has been raised. Raised beyond belief. Even before Jesus Team 1’s promise was beyond belief. At least for the Jews.

Well, then, is it possible that, as Team 2 has surpassed Team 1, that Team 3 can raise the bar again? Let’s see if there’s a true third act to this play. On to Team 3. Islam!

30 Thoughts

  1. More “Protestant BAD, Catholic GOOD” drivel.

    Let’s use your own standards. We have two books, the old and new Testaments.
    Catholics ignore the books in favor of doctrine evolved over two thousand years. The whole point of Protestantism is a return to the truth laid out in the books. If it isn’t in the Testaments, it isn’t doctrine. This was a natural reaction by Catholic priests (Martin Luther, et al.) to the excesses and errors of the Catholic church.

    And the new Testament supercedes the old, as the fulfillment of the promise. Dost thou trim thy hair or beard, thou sinner?

  2. McChuck

    I think you might be coming at this, partially, with what I call “Bad arguments Catholics/Protestants use against Protestants/Catholics”. Arguments that sound persuasive to one’s fellow Protestants/Catholics but don’t really have the purchase you need with Catholics/Protestants.

    Tossing the OT out entirely or even partially is wrong, Jesus Himself said if you don’t believe Moses you can’t believe Him. It’s that the old laws are split into moral, judicial, and ceremonial laws, and the case is made that Sabbath keeping is moral law, not abrogated by the New Testament any more than blasphemy, murder, theft, coveting, etc. Just saying “Hey we have the New Testament now and we can ignore the books of the OT” is not, nor to my knowledge has it ever been, Christian doctrine.

    Again, I’m not saying you meant exactly what I wrote or you’re wrong, I’m just saying that it comes across that way; and hey I may be reading you wrong.

    That being said, Protestants are at their best when they argue directly from scripture. Romans 14 seems to explicitly say that regarding a day or not regarding it is a matter of personal conscience and not to be fought over, for example. Seems pretty clear.

    OT feel free to ignore: there’s really only one argument between Protestants and Catholics and that’s “does the Roman Catholic Church have the authority it claims to have?” If it does, then even if I don’t understand it, I know that it doesn’t contradict scripture in matters of doctrine, or it’s just a matter of obedience and discipline. Jesus told His disciples to obey the scribes and Pharisees, men He had extremely strong words for repeatedly, because they sit in Moses’ seat. A man doesn’t have to be good or right to have legitimate authority.

  3. there’s really only one argument between Protestants and Catholics and that’s “does the Roman Catholic Church have the authority it claims to have?”

    Exactly. Bypass all strawmen and tangential questions and proceed directly to the heart of the matter.

    I would phrase it in terms of “who is a trustworthy witness” rather than “who has the authority,” but it is the same idea. Why does anyone believe anything he reads? Ever, in any case? Because he trusts the publisher.

  4. ‘Protestant vs Catholics’ & Watt’s “Team2 (Christianity)” —

    Watt’s argument is, at its core, ancient uncorroborated reports that have an inherent theological consistency that resulted in a homogenous doctrine—“Christianity.”

    The problem as hs been pounced I’m instantly is that’s an obvious fiction — “Christianity” is an umbrella term encompassing so many mutually-incompatible theological doctrines that credible academics observe that the doctrinal diversity within “Christianity” rivals the doctrinal diversity known to have existed among pagan religions under Constantine.

    Curious that Watt, or anyone, would cite the NT as a key reference to the earliest followers of Christ — there was no NT until much much later after some king wanted a formal record, in multiple copies. THEN a formalization came about – what was in vs out.

    As for the uniqueness of miracles and other tales told in the NT — absurd revisionist history born, it appears out of blind acceptance of evangelical-style “if the Bible says it I believe it” mindlessness.

    Consider St. JustinMarytr’s First Apology written in the first century: His defense of the story elements of the then new “Christian” faith consists of an itemized list comparing the (then) new faith’s plot elements with pagan counterparts. That to argue that the reasons on which the new faith’s adherents were being persecuted was hypocritical — because the new faith was no different than pagan religions up to that point.

    To pre-empt the rebuttal that Christians merely copied & repackaged prominent elements of pagan myths —plagiarism — St Justin claimed that devils, knowing of the truth to come invented the pagan faiths to lead people astray in advance of the real faith (the then new Christianity). The Catholic Church has not rebutted or revoked this assertion.

    The more likely reality is the new faith repackaged old pagan themes into a not-so-new story to comport with then-recognized astrological events. David Ulansey’s online discussion, The Cosmic Mysteries of Mithras, describes much of these from a different perspective. The parallels in the discussion re precession of the equinoxes ought to be obvious — the stories told re Jesus map as perfectly as one would expect to the shift in where the solstices & equinoxes, etc., were observed to occur in the zodiac due to precession. A mystery religion mnemonic in story form (common to the era). There’s also symbolic numerology in some parables that map perfectly to then “sacred” knowledge of geometry (the number of fish in the famous story perfectly relates to what was known about the square root of three — the number of the fish, still in Christian symbolism. David Fiedler summed up a fair amount regarding this.

    Studying ancient stories, seeing numerical symbolism for then secret wisdom of early geometry, told by a preacher in parables designed to convey secret wisdom to his followers but not masses (as Jesus noted many times) is wholly consistent with ancient mystery religions. And that wrapped up in plot themes copied straight out of earlier and then current pagan religions.

    Why would a supreme being, revealing his uniqueness and existence to humanity, do so by copying human mystery religion/wisdom and false/pagan religion plot themes? This deity is said to be the Supreme Creator, not Supreme plagiarizer.

  5. Ken-

    As usual, you avoid the totally obvious point. If all the pagan stories of old were the basis of what you consider Christian counterfeiting (New Testament) , please tell us why Christianity swept the world and Mithras is in the dustbin, along with all his fellow gods. Speak to the reality Ken. Tell us why everybody was willing to suffer martyrdom for this supposed knock-off of paganism. And BTW, where were all the pagan martyrs? Where are their catacombs?

  6. Ken, just to address a couple of your points.

    No the NT wasn’t just written down because some king demanded it, that’s basically made up. A lot of it was actually together and written down from early periods. The trick is not just to look at complete copies, but early fragments of and references to the books of the NT. If I find half a copy of the gospel of John from the 1st century, but don’t find a complete copy in one piece until the 4th century, I don’t say the gospel of John didn’t exist until the 4th century. It clearly existed in the 1st, I just don’t have the whole copy from that time. We have an extraordinary number of fragments, dating back to very early times.

    Next, no Christianity isn’t so shockingly diverse that it rivals pagan religions under Constantine. When you only count creedal Christian, holders of the three ecumenical creeds, you’ve easily gotten 90%+ of all Christians throughout space and time not just agreeing, but agreeing mostly on the most basic doctrines of the faith.

  7. Red Forman,
    just asking this question proves that you know precisely nothing about Christianity hence Catholicism. There is no other Christianity. Starting with simple ; Peter you are the rock and on this rock I will build my Church…….no plural here, the only one not 40000. Do you know why? For there is only one absolute truth. If there are 40000 different denominations, or to simplify it, More then one, there is no absolute truth, and that fine fella Jesus was nothing but a liar.
    Without concept of absolute truth the science could not exist, just as another very simple example. Yes, Jesus gave Peter and hence to every one of his successors, to the Catholic Church the authority. Last time I checked he did not give it to a psycho narcissist Luther as afterthought. Well, sorry guys, Mea Culpa I was truly wrong the first time around. Marty here is my true successor, forget that Peter guy. Protestant are following “religion” invented by the very twisted man who thought himself to be smarter that Jesus. Yup, that makes sense. Protestantism requires one to be feebleminded, ignorant or utterly wicked. There are no other options. It is very illogical believe 10 year old could destroy, but has this incredible attraction for Marty promised everybody that they are already saved the Satan’s servant he was. No need for all those difficult moral considerations Catholics before they embraced Protestantism or its offshoot Socialism used to follow. Hence protestants took control of the financial world, economy of the World, got quickly rich as Satan promised, and look at the world now. Total economic collapse is inevitable and no, not even Trump could do anything about it. For all the dots are connected now. Anything started, or based on the wrong Religion/Ideology/Philosophy is destined to fail no matter how good it might look today. Enjoy the ride.

  8. “This proof lies in their audacious size, and the reaction they provoked.”

    Okay, I just fed 10,000 people with a packet of chews. Must be true, because it’s even bigger than the risible ‘miracle’ of the feeding of the 5,000.

    “Let’s face it, if you had simply heard that someone was raised from the dead, would you believe it? No. But if you saw it happen, you would.”

    I haven’t seen it happen. I’ve just heard about it in a creaky old book, so by your own argument, I shouldn’t believe it.

    “Who would believe such a crock if there was no evidence to back it up?.”

    Quite. But what about all the people who believe in all the other religions, and all the people who believe in all manner of ridiculous rubbish – antivaxxers, flat Earthers, alien abductees? They have no real evidence to back up their idiotic beliefs, but they still believe them. How much evidence do you need that people simply believe in all sorts of things which ‘just aren’t so’?

  9. @Milan

    I have a guys feeling you’ve seen a documentary on Luther (possibly the recent polish one, I don’t want to assume). You’ll be shocked to learn that Martin Luther didn’t say half the things he’s reputed to have said. Beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com can help you here.

    Does that mean Luther was right? Not necessarily. Incidentally you’re confusing Luther with Calvin on a point here as well. Erik con Kuehnelt Leddihn is a man who’s Catholicism and orthodoxy is not in real doubt and has a much better picture of Luther. You’re kind of mirroring McChuck in that you’re using arguments that are persuasive to other Catholics but not against the Protestants to which they’re aimed. You may even be shocked to believe that Protestants also believe in one universal or Catholic Church. It’s right in the creed. They’re just not convinced the Roman Catholic Church compasses all of it.

    @swordfishtrombone
    Awesome dude, you have hundreds of witnesses? Any of them leave written testimony? Any of them die before recanting when threatened?

    Of course people believe in all kinds of stuff. If you can’t see the difference between the intellectual heritage of Christianity and, say, Raelianism, I don’t know what to tell you. That “dusty old book” has survived more than you or I could throw at it and has held fascination for men way smarter than you or I. You may think Aquinas or Augustine were wrong, but if you think they were stupid, or not thoughtful or rigorous, man have you got another thing coming.

  10. @ Hoyos,

    “Awesome dude, you have hundreds of witnesses? Any of them leave written testimony? Any of them die before recanting when threatened?”

    Yes, I have the 10,000 for a start. They were all threatened with death and died before recanting. They all left written testimony, but you’re not allowed to read it.

    “Of course people believe in all kinds of stuff. If you can’t see the difference between the intellectual heritage of Christianity and, say, Raelianism, I don’t know what to tell you.”

    Watt was claiming there must be evidence because who would believe it otherwise? You’re talking about “intellectual heritage”, which not only _isn’t_ evidence, but is IMHO a completely worthless waste of ink and electrons.

  11. @swordfishtrombone

    But I am allowed to read the Bible, both texts and ancient fragments, biblical archaeology (turns out the Bible gets its details right), Roman histories, etc. You just set up a giant false equivalence. Right now all I have is your word, which seems suspect since you won’t provide the equivalent and if I search for records of “swordfishtrombones martyrs” I can’t find any. You see, I can actually point you to biblical archaeology (a field of study not exclusively staffed by believers by a long shot) and other scholarship. You can google what I’m telling you. Whereas what you’re telling me is clearly just you throwing a fit. Since I’m not on the spectrum I can easily tell the difference.

    Intellectual heritage is reasoning and evidence, covering the logic, history, and testimony of events, whether you’re convinced by it or not; I’m not demanding that you necessarily should be, not all evidence is conclusive, it may have holes, etc. Just saying “no it’s not, lalala I can’t hear you” doesn’t change this. I don’t think you know what evidence means as a word. A dying declaration, for example is evidence given as an exemption to the hearsay rule, and I’ve got a lot of dying declarations. Is a dying declaration conclusive? No, but it does add to the preponderance of evidence, it’s how we neurotypicals make practical decisions in broader society.

    The intellectual heritage addresses the what and why something is believed to be true. “Waste of ink”? How do you know? Aquinas, Augustine, Dominic, Francis of Assisi, through to modern day apologists etc. are all wasting their time? Anything to back that up? “IMHO a completely worthless…” So what? I’ve got stacks of argumentation and reasoning, you’ve just got an irritable nature.

  12. @ Hoyos,

    “But I am allowed to read the Bible, …”

    I was referencing the fact that the Catholic Church wasn’t too keen on ordinary people reading it. You can read my 10,000 eyewitnesses’ testimony if you want, only you’ll have to come to the UK and it’s written in Greek. The 5,000 witnesses in the NT story are only claimed to exist, there isn’t any evidence other than the claim itself that they actually existed – that was the point of my claim that I have 10,000 witnesses.

    “biblical archaeology”

    New York is a real city but that doesn’t give any support at all to Spiderman being real. There being some real places and people in the Bible is consistent with it being made up.

    “Roman histories”

    Don’t cover any of the miraculous claims in the Bible, so are irrelevant.

    “Aquinas, Augustine, Dominic, Francis of Assisi, through to modern day apologists etc. are all wasting their time?”

    Yes, they are (or were), although what they did was probably more enjoyable than spending 12 hours a day working in fields. None of them can point to any evidence that their God exists other than the Bible, which is also the thing which is claiming that God exists. All the rest is just hot air. Modern day apologists seem to spend most of their time attacking atheism, or making obviously untrue claims like “the resurrection is the most well-established fact in ancient history!”.

    “I’ve got stacks of argumentation and reasoning, you’ve just got an irritable nature.”

    If you’re keen on reasoning, were you able to spot any illogical reasoning in Watt’s article?

  13. @swordfishtrombone

    Man you really do believe everything you read provided it’s not the Bible. The church was plenty keen on bible knowledge that’s why had so many copies and read it on Sundays, holy days etc. I’m sorry that moveable type wasn’t invented soon enough for your taste.

    If you think being a monk or in some cases a martyr was a cushy job compared to working in the fields you don’t know what you’re talking about or what peasants lives were like. Medieval peasants had more time off than you or I incidentally. You may not be British but you’ve got that whole “wut about the working claaasss” vibe down pat. Just pure Pavlovian response.

    Again, you don’t know what evidence means, typical new atheist. We don’t just have old witnesses to the supernatural we have people walking around who claim it. “BUT THATS NOT EVIDENCE!” I know your medication is wearing off, but hear this; it is in every court in the world. You just don’t know what you’re talking about.

  14. @Hoyos

    Interesting, but no I did not see the documentary on Marty. And I did study pretty much all of his writings, his very best friends, his enemies, and people who more or less did not care and still wrote about him. In all not a good picture. After all lunatic who claims to now better than Jesus …….hard to accept. And no, he was not right at all. He for sure got a right reason for being upset with the Vatican of that time, but entirely horribly wrong on application of solutions.
    We are actually in a much worse situation today than we were that time, or during Arian Heresy. The false pope Frankie, the destroyer of the church is putting the final nails into the coffin. Just in time to bring it to the Gates of Hell. Of course, Jesus had some opinion about that too.
    Mirroring? Meaning what? That we might have somewhat similar opinion? I could write you a whole theological treatise on this theme, but this is not the platform. I could not be shocked about what protestants believe in. I know it rather well. At least the major sects. I studied it for decades without any emotional baggage as atheist residing on the side of the Communist enemy. And it was the pure logical reasoning and science that affected me that much that I had to chose the Roman Catholics as the only logical solution when through the science we used to use disprove God I came to undeniable realization under the weight of facts that he truly does exist. Or as my General back in 1976 said while discussing who our enemy really is. On my suggestion that of course it is the USA with its biggest armies and general wealth. His response? Explosion of laughter! He said;

    “Americans are Protestants, give them enough time and they will self destroy. Our real enemy is the Roman Catholic Church. Destroy that and the whole West will collapse like a house of cards.”

    Very prophetic words. Well not actually. He was General for he already knew. He gave me the required literature to support his statement with facts. Just look at the USA now. Not even Trump whom I like very much will save it. It is impossible now. And Vatican? It was already destroyed through Vatican II, Novus Ordo, and JP II and finally Frankie the pretend Pope.
    I know freakish isn’t it.
    Deus Vult

  15. @ Hoyos,

    You didn’t answer my question. Typical Christian! Regarding evidence, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Witnesses claiming to have experienced the supernatural doesn’t count. I’m sure you’d agree in the case of witnesses claiming to have experienced other gods.

  16. @swordfishtrombone

    Because it was a stupid question man, you were deflecting from the point, by saying “but what about Ianto” when I was talking to you. No extraordinary claims don’t require extraordinary evidence, that’s just something atheists say. They require the same evidence as everything else. It isn’t a principle of logic, it’s something someone thought sounded cool. The same rules of evidence apply for every claim.

    Would I agree? Absolutely not, I am dead certain that some witnesses claiming to experience other gods were genuinely experiencing the supernatural. If you think for a minute, you’d remember that not every supernatural force is benevolent in Christianity. So, while it doesn’t prove Christianity is in by itself, it does prove materialist atheism is out. See? I answered that question because it was a sensible question that merited an answer.

  17. @ Hoyos,

    “Because it was a stupid question man, you were deflecting from the point, by saying “but what about Ianto” when I was talking to you.”

    There are no stupid questions, only stupid answers. I get why you didn’t want to provide a stupid answer though.

    “No extraordinary claims don’t require extraordinary evidence, that’s just something atheists say. They require the same evidence as everything else.”

    This clearly isn’t true. If I told you I went shopping this morning, you’d believe me, but when I said I’d fed 10,000 people with a packet of chews, you didn’t believe me. Miraculous claims require a lot more than ‘someone said it happened’.

    “Would I agree? Absolutely not, I am dead certain that some witnesses claiming to experience other gods were genuinely experiencing the supernatural.”

    How could you know that their interpretations of these experiences was incorrect?

    “So, while it doesn’t prove Christianity is in by itself, it does prove materialist atheism is out.”

    It doesn’t prove anything about atheism. It’s just more ‘someone said it happened’ irrelevance. Also, there’s nothing about atheism which necessitates materialism.

  18. @swordfishtrombone

    Nope. If you said you went shopping you’d be ABLE to prove it, receipts, in store video footage, bank statements if you used a card, etc. If I demanded proof other than your word it would be possible. Whether or not I believed you is beside the point it’s about how you would prove it if challenged. I would be more INTERESTED in proving an extraordinary claim, but it would be the SAME TYPE of evidence, not “extraordinary evidence”, which again isn’t a real term.

    There are no stupid questions? That’s another thing people just say, man. It’s not actually real. You weren’t asking anything, it was a rhetorical device used to deflect. Again, I can tell because I’m not on the spectrum.

    This “someone said it happened irrelevance” is also known as eyewitness testimony accepted by every court in the world as evidence. Don’t strain your back moving those goalposts.

  19. @ Hoyos,

    “If you said you went shopping you’d be ABLE to prove it, receipts, in store video footage, bank statements if you used a card, etc. …”

    Your response is completely bass-ackwards. Yes, I could provide convincing evidence that I’d gone shopping if asked, but the point is, you wouldn’t ask, because this _is_ about belief. Conversely, Christians can’t provide convincing evidence for their claims when asked, precisely because their claims are so EXTRAORDINARY.

    “You weren’t asking anything, it was a rhetorical device used to deflect.”

    I was asking a question to see if you’d be honest enough to admit that the above article is full of fallacious reasoning.

    “This “someone said it happened irrelevance” is also known as eyewitness testimony accepted by every court in the world as evidence.”

    Actually, eyewitness testimony is known from psychological research to be notoriously unreliable. People have been executed on the grounds of eyewitness testimony, then later found to be innocent. That’s why receipts, bank statements, and video footage are given higher weight.

  20. Milan said “Yes, Jesus gave Peter and hence to every one of his successors, to the Catholic Church the authority.”

    Just which passage in the NT say the authority (keys) in the early church that Jesus personally gave to Peter was to be conveyed to successors?

  21. @Gary
    About 1972 sitting with bunch of friends in University dormitories one of them looked out of window and said; “It is raining”, one of the women in the room asked; ” Outside?”. That is about the level of your question. First you would have to know where the Bible came from, so you could have at least basic understanding what it possibly means when you read the only Bible in the world, yes that is the Catholic one. The Protestant nice book is just a bastardised copy of the real one disfigured by many faulty men, which was concocted only about 1500 years after the NT not to mention another 1500 to the OT. Then you might actually see that there is many passages clearly confirming this succession of Popes detail. Ever since that psycho moron Luther everybody reads into it what he wants and trying to corner those “evil Catholics” with big GOTCHA. No, after 500 years of this insanity you are not going to suck me into it, for it is just too stupid.
    This is just to charitably help you;
    If two men would read the very same book and totally separately they would write what it means, you would end up with two different opinions on what it means, that is why you need that final arbiter. That is the Pope or Vicar of Rome, if you please. The first one was not Peter but Moses just after he took hobby of mountaineering. And every High Priest after him including Caiaphas, and then I would suggest look into the Mathew just for start and many other. Study on your own. Probably the last Pope is Benedict XVI and with that we see the end of our civilization. Destroyed by Protestants.
    I have a minute and two more so;
    There is a reason why you need to now where the Bible came form. Then you could also understand that just memorizing passages in never ending Bible studies and ignoring everything else will bring you nothing. Just a basic hell. To know what it means you need traditions, teachings and dogma, and that final arbiter. Why? For there were thousands of texts which were considered and are Holly. Explaining many details which did not make it into actual Bible. But the Bible would have to be 10000 pages long. Only 73 were selected as inspired by God. The OT is the original Moses Law, even fake present day Jews do not have it. Protestants cut themselves from all that knowledge base and so while they are actually ruling the world the world is on the life support. Absolutely inevitably. The only the real Bible in English is RSV or best Douay-Rheims. Jesus prohibited adding or substracting, for everything which needed to be was revealed. Substracting like Marty did is a sure ticket to hell. And he also said; Extra “Ecclesiam nula salus” figure out what it means. But that is already more than I intended. Now, as is the custom with your crowd; come up with another “Gotcha” and we could go for another 500 years. Luckily we do not have that time anymore.
    Deus Vult

  22. Little too sensitive? There is a very specific reason why I will not give you any more specific citation. But feel free to think that I just do not know, that I am a total moron and such. That would be just funny. It is in the Bible find it on your own if you did not get it from the previous. I am truly curious if you can. If you find it on your own, there are actually numerous passages, but non actually say it in these exact words; “Every successor of the Moses, or Peter is a Pope”, you might remember it, you’ll be better for it. Another hint; everything in NT was preceded in and by OT. OT was not superseded by NT. NT is only a Perfection of OT (did not get that hint about Moses …the High Priest?), and as such they are not separable. Not even in the wildest dream of some goofy Mr. Entertainment preacher. Jesus said so very specifically. Hence, it is impossible to understand the meaning of NT without the knowledge of OT. Of course it is difficult for protestants for they disobeyed God and removed 7 books of OT not to mention changed wording in some very important passages of NT. Blame JC for it, he truly very clearly said it.
    It again comes to questions I did mention before;
    Where the Bible came from?
    How many churches Jesus established ?
    What does it mean “the concept of the absolute truth” why it is so immensely important? The science of any kind cannot possibly exist without this ever so simple principle ….just a hint.
    I am purposely repeating here, but you will have to find that one also on your own.
    “…et lux in tenebris lucet, et Tenebrae eam non comprehenderunt”
    for your own salvation Gary, the ticket to the elevator with the green arrow “up” lighted depends on it. You know that pesky Extra eclesiam…….OK I save you going into some Latin translator on this one, for it is truly deadly important……”There is no salvation outside of my Church” Jesus Christ. (yup, that is also in the Bible)
    Now, I hope you do remember how many “churches” He established back then when he passed the Keys to one Simon Bar-Jonah, or Cephas, or Peter. A tricky question; Did He say Church or 40 000 churches which cannot agree one with other? Darn, I cannot simplify it any more. It is called Logical reasoning, it is funny how often these days it is in the diametral opposition of what we “knew” all our miserable life.
    Protestants, if they would not succeed under the guidance of Satan to utterly
    destroy the Roman Catholic Church and so our Western Civilization, they would be just a lovable illogical goofballs. Of course you do not have to believe me, just wait and see for yourself. You will live long enough to see. (just my guess) Now I gave you something to dismiss everything I said outright in the righteous indignation only North Americans are capable of.
    Deus Vult

  23. @ Milan Matusik,

    “OT was not superseded by NT. NT is only a Perfection of OT, and as such they are not separable.”

    Correct. Christianity depends on the original sin commited by Eve in the Garden of Eden. Only one problem with that: We know that Eve and Adam never existed, so the entire theology is based on a fabrication.

    “What does it mean “the concept of the absolute truth” why it is so immensely important? The science of any kind cannot possibly exist without this ever so simple principle ….just a hint.”

    Science doesn’t depend in any way on the existence of ‘absolute truth’. It is simply a process for coming up with our best guess as to how the world works.

  24. @swordfishtrombone
    well, we are leaving what was just a very funny conversation and going to the realm of ridiculous now. So, we apparently do know that A&E never existed.
    How do you know? I say that evidence, how ever imperfect, suggests opposite. Because the dynamic duo Karl and Groucho Marx, not to mention Fredrich confirmed it? Was Neil Armstrong on the moon?
    May I say that “Because” is not an answer worth of logical man. You evidently own a smart phone and that makes you smarter than any of those ancients like Tertullian or Tommy Aquinas …..Cicero ….maybe? Well, they did not have a phone at all, primitive folks they were. Soviets trained westerners like a “Circus monkeys” and that kind of reasoning just confirms it. And no, it is not an offence just a statement of the fact. Remember you were all laughing your heads of when Nikita told you that one day you will wake up and your country will be communist? You are pretty much living it now. The Clinton clan, Obama, AOC were/are direct result of it, if you recognise it or not. But then you might have been a voter for Obama. (you would then not see it this way)
    If you happen to fully accept the nonsense you wrote about the Absolute truth and science, I would just suggest it might be the number one reason why the trained monkeys accept any idiocy pretending to be a science out there, such as Man made global warming, etc.
    And to make it more complicated for you; without the concept of Absolute truth there is no Western (Roman Catholic) concept of Morality.
    You and millions of well trained others cannot comprehend this concept that Religion/Ideology/ Philosophy are one and the same. I wrote it in that order RIP for it is truly dead reality in our present deranged society. And so to extrapolate; RIP is totally inseparable, one and the same, from Politics and Economy. Dots always connect, but most cannot see any dots. While they all have eyes, so few could see.
    If you could comprehend above you would finally realise why nothing works in our society anymore, and why it is not fixable without the major pain to be experienced. INEVITABLY, now. And yes, nothing in this world is inevitable. It is us who make it so.
    But that is the end of my participation in this debate, think of me what you want. I just suggest a bit of study of that hated Roman Catholic Church (1950s and going back to the beginning). You might find it interesting, your civilization would not even exist without it, and you might experience a bit better Eternity for it…….that is a seriously long time.
    Deus Vult

  25. @ Milan matusik,

    “So, we apparently do know that A&E never existed. How do you know?”

    Genetic research shows that the human population has never fallen below 12,000 individuals.

    “Soviets trained westerners like a “Circus monkeys” and that kind of reasoning just confirms it.”

    ?

    “without the concept of Absolute truth there is no Western (Roman Catholic) concept of Morality.”

    Don’t care.

    “If you could comprehend above you would finally realise why nothing works in our society anymore”

    What are you going on about? In most ways, society is better now than it was at any point in history.

  26. Milan clearly would rather play games than teach those whom he considers less informed than himself. In no way has he been insulted, yet he doesn’t hesitate to insult those with whom he may disagree. This is evidence of self-righteousness rather than Christian charity and sadly leads an inquirer to suspect his motives.

  27. @swordfishtrombone
    @Gary
    1. that would automatically raise the question; where those 12000 came from. Those are “scientists” who refute GOD. Yet this nonsense they declared would only confirm GOD…….hence, Cambrian Explosion (example). Which one is it then? All this time we thought that Einstein’s theory of relativity including the Special and ever so Special was answer to all. Well, we do know now it was wrong right from the get go. (many knew it then but were silenced through politics of money) The so called science without the concept of Absolute truth is just a hog wash. And that is why it ended politicized. Yup, it is politicians who are writing “science” these days. They decide which TCM will get the research money and what result is desired.
    2. Yes, you might not like the wording “Trained Circus Monkeys”, but that is the very unpleasant reality. I do not like it myself. No offence meant, nobody pays me for that. And yes, I do have inside info on that subject by default of my birth. But that is a topic for a very thick book.
    3. Do not care about morality? But that is a lie only a trained CM could declare, for Morality affects everything in our life if we do like it or not every minute of it. Without that there is no Western or any other civilization, just well trained CMs.
    4. Judging from the point that we can shop for the newest I-phone?

    Sorry gentlemen, if you truly think that we are better than ever before only suggest a serious lack of proper education, or utter ignorance. You are living in advanced socialism/ communism and that proposition has a 100% failure rate in the history. It was fed to you through the generic doses of your ever so precious Democracy by the Soviets through usage of Useful Idiots. You do not even know that it is precisely the democracy which inevitably brought you to the point you fully embraced socialism (majority of the population now). Yes, even most Republican policies are nothing but pure socialism. For there is always more Stupid than Smart in every society. And Stupid has a vote, also. Now, add the numbers. That is why Obama and AOC happened. Stupid rule the World. They outvoted you.
    As for you Gary, I do not insult anybody. It is you who decides to be insulted. I am only stating the reality=truth. And yes, I do understand that is mostly very hurtful to an average North American.
    Telling the unpleasant Truth is a sign of the real Charity. Telling them lies to make them feel good about themselves never helped anybody and that would be a Sin.
    Teaching others? Others like Fishtrombone? I would like to, but it is impossible. Man who is not capable to recognise the importance of Moral Standards is too far gone. I actually do teach those who crave for the Truth no matter how unpleasant it is to them personally, the true Catholic concept of Charity. But certainly not on public domain platform. For anything different, more pleasing and deceitful you have to go to Novus Ordo Papa Frankie type of “almost catholics” and Protestants. You know the feel good church of Rock”N”Roll.
    I hope this would clarify why there is no point for me to continue in this discussion.
    Deus Vult

  28. @ Milan Matusik,

    “That would automatically raise the question; where those 12000 came from.”

    Their parents had sex.

    “All this time we thought that Einstein’s theory of relativity including the Special and ever so Special was answer to all. Well, we do know now it was wrong right from the get go.”

    Relativity isn’t wrong. Newtonian gravity isn’t wrong. Both make accurate predictions within well-defined limits.

    “The so called science without the concept of Absolute truth is just a hog wash.”

    Science has never claimed to produce Absolute Truth, but this hogwash has been hugely beneficial to humanity.

    “Do not care about morality? But that is a lie only a trained CM could declare”

    I care about morality, I just don’t care about the Catholic idea of morality. Also, you said “no offence meant” regarding your use of the term “Circus Monkeys” a few lines earlier, but now you’re repeating it?

    “Judging from the point that we can shop for the newest I-phone?”

    Yes, but also for the fact that we’ve abolished slavery, cured smallpox, invented anasthetics and painkillers, massively reduced infant mortality, increased lifespan, can fly anywhere in the world, have pensions, free healthcare (in the EU, at least), air conditioning, cars, washing machines, have given women the vote, have made homosexuality legal, etc. I could go on all day.

    “Man who is not capable to recognise the importance of Moral Standards is too far gone.”

    Cheers!

  29. Thank you for proving my points so eloquently.
    God have mercy on you, God have mercy on us all.
    Deus Vult

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