View Full Version : Occam's Razor and the Shroud of Turin
08-18-99, 02:32 AM
It is apparent by the responses to my previous post, "Bad News for the Christ-Haters" that most of those who attacked the post are definitely not up-to-date concerning the most current research on the Shroud. This worst nightmare of those who would deny the existence of God and the truth of the claim of Jesus Christ to be divine once again has frustrated the hopes of those who would like to see it dismissed, exposed by their god "Science" as a fake.
They had thought this matter settled to their satisfaction a few years back when a previous study concluded that the Shroud was medieval in origin and thus could not be the burial cloth of Jesus (though even at that there were many aspects of the Shroud...including clear evidence of a knowledge of physiology far beyond what was known in medieval times...that they were not able to explain, as well as how the image on the shroud was produced in the first place)
Now new studies of the Shroud have pretty much discredited the carbon dating done on the Shroud in the 1980's and established that it dates back to at least the 8th century and quite likely, due to very stong circumstantial evidence linking it to the Sudarion (facecloth) of Oviedo, all the way back to the 1st Century.
Real scientists, who search for the truth as it is found and with no preconceptions and prejudices, will not be dismayed by this. Only clank worshippers of the false god "Science" will be made uncomfortable, because in their hubris they wouldlove to dismiss the reality of God. So they will ignore all the evidence pointing to the authenticity of the Shroud and the wonder of it's very existence and will discard Occam's Razor, seeking to find alternate explanations for the Shroud that require twistings of the evidence and logic even more fantastic and unlikely than accepting the unique and clearly divine/supernatural origin and nature of this object.
Giove it up guys. You are clearly in denial in your rage against God who would put limits on your overweening pride.
I am not against science. Science properly is a study of nature with no pejudices for or against the existence of a creator. But there are some...including some in this forum...who perversely see it as a weapon to use in a a hubristic war against God.
Amen to that, brother!
God loves you and so do I!
08-18-99, 10:00 PM
Interesting that none of the self-styled intellectual heavyweights among the nonbelievers have chosen to reply to this post. Hmmmm...does that suggest that they either would like to ignore the facts are are just plain afraid of the implications of this matter, with it's evident potential to demolish the assumptions that underlie their smug atheism/agnosticism?
Odysseus, just because one does not agree with you on all facets of your beliefs, does not make them "Christ haters".
I am curious though and perhaps you can answer this for me.
Since you find peace and comfort in the teachings of Christ and these teachings are a
source of personal confidence and enjoyment to you, then why is it so important that others agree with what you believe.
If it is good enough for you, then that is all that should be needed. Why is another's agreement or compliance so important to you and your beliefs?
The shroud, at the very least, is truly an archeological treasure and for you as a Christian, it is a wonderful form of confirmation of your path in life and of the life of Jesus. With this said, why not take the shroud as a soure of personal reinforcement and comfort and enough said.
If others don't find it so, that is their choice. Religion and science have raged on for decades with little to no resolve of the issues. Adding to this fire will not bring about any resolution.
The resolution has to be within one's heart.
If it is not there first and foremost, then outside "evidence" is nothing more than banner waving.
Perhaps, consider enjoying the shroud and other such items as you percieve them and if others don't, oh well.
Odysseus, how dare you accuse anyone of using weapons in an hubristic war against God.
To choose to be a Christian is to accept two millennia worth of crimes against humanity.
So let's apply Occam's Razor and cut away. Okay, so there's no proof that the Shroud wasn't Jesus'. Of course, there's no proof that God exists, either. And, in the grand tradition of Anselm, that's proof enough.
So what would it mean if the Shroud of Turin wrapped Jesus' body? Absolutely nothing. In a museum at Cairo I can show you several sarcophagi containing the remains of other people believed to be God.
I think even the "clank" worshippers of the "false god" wouldn't be "gloving up" (what the hell does all that mean?) too much to acknowledge that a man named Jesus, born approximately around the time faith indicates, probably walked the earth somewhere near Galilee or Jerusalem. And from there, you're back to proving things by faith.
Faith, faith . . . so, uh, what were the "new studies" of the shroud? I can save you the typing effort if you just cite them. I can read the data for myself.
Who cares about the Shroud, anyway? It's only relevant if you believe that Christ was real and that the best thing you can do in his name is behave badly regarding your own standard.
"Science is a study of nature with no prejudices for or against the existance of a creator." (Ody, 8/17) First, this is wrong, inherently, by the inclusion of your Creator clause. Your own perspective and need has clouded your scientific objectivity. Science is merely a process by which we observe an event, record the data, compare it to other data, and assert what it means based on consistency; an experiment is not valid if it cannot be reproduced many times (Cold Fusion?). Second: look, if the creation clause of your science definition is obeyed, then this entire topic should be left for dead.
You pull a trigger, a lever releases a spring which drives a hammer into a primer which causes heat which ignites powder which burns and converts to gas and expels a bullet at high velocity which flies through the air according to Newtonian Physics and strikes a human being in the chest, smashing the ribs, tearing tissue, puncturing a lung and killing the heart. That would be a scientific event. Murder, the actual word, is subjective. Science stops when we ask what the result means. Our perception of the result is both limited and endowed by our own individual experiences.
Lisa Simpson said, "It's not that I don't have a spiritual side . . . ." And so it is with most people. And so it is with me. But the mere word "God" implies something that exceeds the boundaries and limits of our scientific universe. What we learn about nature we learn about ourselves, and thus God evolves by our needs and according to our power to accommodate God. On the one hand, I might admit that yes, if God loves His people, then this is a good thing. But another notion of God, a broader sense of God, means that while there is no loving God, there is also no condemning God. Certain parts of the Bible hold a timeless wisdom. But others are irrelevant outside the immediate experience. An interpersonal, domineering, demanding notion of God results in a conformist sense of God; and that is an outright horrible way to learn God.
I would ask that you consider what possible benefit excoriation will have when trying to win converts or demonstrate the legitimacy of the Christian occult.
And remember that anyone who subscribes to such a dubious heritage as Christianity has achieved ought not to bandy about phrases like: "perversely see it as a weapon to use in a hubristic war against God."
I should, on that note, thank the Catholic cheeses for their apology, maybe two years ago, for the small inquisition they held against physicists and astronomers a few centuries back.
"Let us not launch the boat until the ground is wet." (Khaavren of Castlerock)
I think we can all go home now!
08-21-99, 06:56 PM
tiassa, you ought to know what you're talking about before you run off at the mouth. I'm extremely weary of people ignorant of what actually happened in the Galilleo incident using it as an example of "persecution by the church." If you look into it, you will find that an arrogant Galilleo was a victim MUCH more of his own boorishness, nastiness, and arrogance than of any church repression. In fact, initially a very liberal and progressive Pope and church hierarchy embraced Galilleo’s studies and observations until he metaphorically stabbed his patron, the Pope, in the back by gratuitously ridiculing him in a publication. Many other scientists of the time were advancing similar theories and observations, and he church was not at odds with them. GET THE FACTS. Until then, speaking as you are from willful ignorance, you contribute nothing worthy of consideration to any discussion.
I stand by my statement. REAL scientists study things with no preconceptions and do not make theosophical pronouncements, because they realize they are not qualified to make them.
Your own system of belief is no more grounded in "fact" than mine. It is no more rational to believe that the cosmos sprang into being and order from nothingness and chaos than it is to believe in a creating God. You yourself make some very basic and inherently unprovable assumptions as the basis for your weltanschaaung---yes, like those foolish, cursed superstitious religious folk, you make them on FAITH. The most obvious of these is that your senses and their extensions, instruments of various type, can really provide "truths" about reality, what is there outside your own consciousness. You make assumptions like that and others to support the empirical method. Another is that the little local ordinances we observe in nature hold generally true throughout a vast cosmos. Science and mathematics themselves tell us that is not true: beyond the event horizon of a spinning black hole, assuming for the moment Einstein, Hawking, and others know what they are talking about none of the physical laws of spacetime as we know them apply or have any validity.
Also, it is apparent you have read nothing, and certainly nothing current, about the Shroud. Real scientists can explain a few of the hows and whys but either will not or can not presume to comment further. And since you evidently are either too lazy or intellectually dishonest to visit any of the many sites about the Shroud---which admittedly vary in quality and outlook, but there are quite a few that examine it with genuine scientific rigor---I will refer you to Yahoo News reporting of an article from AP published on 8-2 of this year, entitled “Shroud of Turin Said Pre-8th Century.” That might get you started, if you are REALLY interested in an open-minded assessment of the Shroud you might start there.
Scientists make much of probability. The probability that this object is a manufactured fake or a hoax and, based on accounts from the Gospels, that the image is of anyone but Jesus is increasingly revealed as vanishingly low, as scientific studies are verifying. If it IS a fake, then we need to find out how it was produced so many centuries ago, because the person or persons able to produce it were geniuses in possession of knowledge far ahead of their time, at least on a par with modern technology, if not even more advanced. If genuinely the burial cloth of Jesus, as many believe it to be, it represents one of the most intriguing and baffling mysteries of all time, and has far-reaching implications for a scientific community unable to account for how it was produced and which may have to swallow hard at proof of may well be a an artifact of genuinely supernatural event.
As for you---I don’t know you, of course, but I think I know the type. Your post drips with anger and rebellion at the very thought of the existence of a Supreme Being. In your arrogance and hubris, you have concluded from you few ounces of grey matter and limited knowledge that the thoughts of men like Aquinas and Augustine and the whole intellectual legacy of Christianity can be dismissed out of hand, even though Christianity has a vigorous a tradition of intellectual pursuit second to none (a mediocre Jesuit would reduce you to a quivering mass of jelly in seconds if you ever had the courage to debate one.) You don’t believe in God not because you have no proof of His existence---that’s a handy smoke screen. You don’t WANT to believe in God. A God would mean your being under His legitimate authority, and like all overaged juveniles (and society is full of them today) you despise any kind of authority and rage against it.
If there is a God…and absolutes of right and wrong that you may happen not to like observing…that kind of cramps your style, doesn’t it?
08-22-99, 04:55 AM
" the concept of a single god, therefore I can understand that with this
one god comes one religion and it is christianity "? / "to be a christian is tp accept 2 millenia worth of crimes against humanity" ...
the crimes against humanity are true yet they are crimes of men under the 'presumption' of their (perceived) god. it stems from the ignorance of self expectation - as in the desire of their interpretation of christianity. this is akin to the US's democracy looking more and more like facism. many have stumbled over their own actions and wondered why.. they have not fully understood the implications of their ignorance. as Christ said on the cross "forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do" . Christhood is a state of 'mind' rather than a doctrine to mimic. this is the difference between 'historical' christianity and the teachings of Jesus and his followers. this is also the signifier of the 'other' religion. fundamentally, the teachings of Christ are wholly humanitarian, the one god being 'humanity' and campassion/brotherly love being the 'soul' of the communion. it is the doctrine that has become an icon for abuses of men. from this a conviction was abhored out of arrogance, and then an action to 'dignify' the stance - this out of innocence or greed.
the one god, in essence, is the one born of compassion and love for others. without these principals, mankind will not understand and these abuses will continue.
Gratuitous ridicule of the pope is reason for persecution? True, in its day, this was a crime of some sort, but if we look at the absurdity of censorship, what does it matter if the ridicule was gratuitous? Should I raise other examples of religion and faith as weapons? Or are the slaughter at Accre, the entire period of Inquisitions, encomienda theory, ad nauseum merely smear campaigns? Besides, there is nothing in my shelf of history books which surprises me when I read Galileo or any other suppression action by the Church.
As to standing by your statement: I prefer the way you phrased it in your most recent (8/21) response. "...scientists study things with no preconceptions and do not make theosophical pronouncements..." That's a little less specific than your 8/17 declarations.
I read the Reuters articles online. There's still no surprises. Now we can conclude that, according to pollen, the Shroud is twelve hundred years old at least, instead of only six hundred at least. That's a conclusion I can accept. What more do you want?
Interestingly, the United States is issuing a one dollar coin bearing the face of Sacajawea. Strange, indeed, since there are no extant images made of her during her lifetime. I bring this up because you wrote, on 8/21, that the probability "that the image is of anyone but Jesus is increasingly revealed as vanishingly low, as scientific studies are verifying." Okay, I'm admitting a slight deficiency in my knowledge here, but where does there exist a definitively true image of Jesus? How can we "scientifically verify" something as presently subjective as who the image is of? Do we have a vial of Jesus' blood somewhere? Can we DNA-match? Can we do anything but classify this as an archaeological and historical artifact?
Even if I can allow that the Shroud is truly what the faithful believe, the conclusions still beg answers. All we will have proven is that a man named Jesus lived. That he was the son of God? I don't think we can prove that with the shroud. Not unless his blood has super-DNA or something.
I should also correct a few of your mistaken notions: You don't know the type. I only say that because you proceeded from your smug declaration to immediately miss on all counts.
Of dismissing the Christian intellectual legacy: I appreciate what I can of the Christian intellectual legacy, but much of it utterly fails to make any sense (Saint Anselm?)
Secondly, don't ever threaten me with Jesuits. I'm well aware of Jesuits and their argumentative methods, and they're just not as scary as you think.
Which brings me to my third point: Overaged juveniles? That makes you ... an underaged corpse? Puh-leeze: A) Of all Freud's questionable conclusions, I agree with his assertion that adolescence extends well into the Western male's forties; B) I'm right proud of being an overaged juvenile; and C)if I despise any kind of authority and rage against it, so be it--at least I don't invent an "ideal" authority and enforce it as God.
And while we're discussing "types", I thought I might mention a couple of things about your "type": The advantage of being a Christian in these kinds of exchanges is that one is supposed to be comfortable in their faith. Yet they constantly lash out, as if a person of another ideology somehow threatens the stability of their own personal faith. It's between you and God, not between you, me, the stones by the river, and God.
Hence you would describe my type as not wanting God because God's authority is limiting. That's a simplistic, quasi-mythical interpretation that assumes too much about God's existence. However, it would be more correct as saying that I don't see God as an interactive force. The word God represents an authority the way gravity represents authority. But I don't see God as an interpersonal entity whose conscience cannot reconcile the expressed philosophy (Bible, Koran, ad nauseum) with the actions of the philosophy's representatives. And because of that you would say I "rage" against Godly authority?
If I put two stones down, and add two more, I have four stones. This I can see. I can pick up the stones and put them in my pocket and count them out again and make the equation work. I can drop balls off the Space Needle, and demonstrate several things about Newton, Galilleo, and others. I can heat water to one-hundred centigrade and make it boil. These ideas are the basis for my weltanschauung. I suppose if I let go of a rock and it falls to the ground, it's faith because I can't show you gravity in a jar. At that point, yes, I'm working on faith. But my last Christian communion still tasted like cheap wine and Post Hosties. If I make no assumptions at all, I can say that the numerical odds of any one thing you find belonging to a specific person are astronomically slim. I can also say that, since I cannot rule out a given period of the Shroud's existence, that slim number fattens up considerably. But it's still a massive figure, these odds. Show me the device, the process, or otherwise, by which we can close the probability gap. In a truly objective light, I can no more say that this is definitely not Jesus' burial shroud than you could say it is.
If there is a God of absolutes ... sure, it would cramp my style, but would that matter? That God of absolutes, which alleges compassion, would, upon proof of its existence, have to either answer a whole lot of questions or wipe out the human race. God let the human race go batty; we have him over the barrell. Even the pope is changing his mind about Hell. I wonder if that's foresight on his part?
Akin to your last point, I am comforted that, when you die, if your final realization is that blank nothingness is all there is, you won't be alive to regret your allegiance to such a constricting philosophy.
"Let us not launch the boat until the ground is wet." (Khaavren of Castlerock)
[This message has been edited by tiassa (edited August 22, 1999).]
[This message has been edited by tiassa (edited August 22, 1999).]
08-23-99, 01:41 AM
tiassa, the hypocrisy I detest is so many unbelievers who post here is that they are not intellectually honest....they tend to ignore or dismiss out of hand anything that tends to challenge their preconceptions. The Shroud does that. I would request/ask/challenge you (any way you want to phrase it) to learn as much about the Shroud as you can from reputable scientific sources. If you do that, and are not VERY intrigued by the implications, I would be very surprised. I turn, I will research any subject you in request of me. A lot of skepticism about the Shroud comes, in my opinion, from not knowing a lot about it. I was skeptical too...seriously, I mean that, I can honestly say that---the very idea seemed absurd to me. But the more you find out about it, the more remarkable it becomes...a whole series of elements are found in it that, in toto, lead I think to a pretty strong case that 1. the Shroud was the burial cloth of Christ, and 2. the nature of the object encompasses so many "coincidences" and elements not easily explainable by science to strongly suggest it is supewrnatural...yes, I will use that dreaded word...in origin.
Do you accept?
By the way...want a Honey Brown Ale?
Also, I get the impression you may be a lady (and a very very bright and feisty one at that)...right or wrong?
Ummm yea. This conclusive proof you speak of must be provided in some article/study that I have not yet read. I am curious from which articles you have derived this conclusive proof from. Could you please provide refrences.
I assume you refer to the study performed by the doctors at the University of Texas. The "study" was headed by the peditrician, Dr. Leoncio Garza-Valdes and with help from the microbiologist Stephen Mattingly.
They believed that the samples from the respected independent labs were tainted with by a layer of biomass which might alter the ratio of decayed carbon 14. Their findings claimed that their may be sufficient bacterial "buildup" to produce an inaccuracy of around 1300 years. Unfortunately(or is that convieniently), no other scientists were allowed to view this bacteria and no papers describing their findings and scientific process were ever submitted for peer review.
To add insult to injury, Mattingly later broke off the partnership because "Garza-Valdes has speculated that some of the bacteria isolated from the shroud could be remnants from the vinegar Jesus was force-fed while on the Cross. " and he was aparently becomming obsessed with the holy grail and locating wine from the last supper...(sounds like a scene from somthing Harrison Ford would play in, no??)
Finally, before the conclusion of the testing the head of Center for Advanced DNA Technologies at the University of Texas was asked to help identify what possible organisms could have been present in the original samples (from the 1988 tests). He (Victor Tryon) used a process to replicate the DNA so that there would be sufficient qty to identify its source. His conclusion was that "All I can tell you is that DNA contamination is present and that the DNA belonged either to a human or another higher primate. I have no idea who or where the DNA signal came from, nor how long it's been there. Everyone who has ever touched the shroud or cried over the shroud has left a potential DNA signal there". However, he also went on to say about the "study" that "I saw it as a multidisciplinary project involving archaeology, physiology and other fields. But I came to believe there was another agenda present too. It was my first encounter with zealotry in science."
So there you have it, a picture of credibility if I do say so myself. So basically, your telling us that your evidence, in total, (that is meant to refute the simotaneous and similar results from carbon-dating study done by multiple highly respected, independant labs)consists of work done without ANY satisfactory documentation, by individuals who's motivations are at the very least HIGHLY SUSPECT?
All of that aside, you then say that further "evidence"(whatever that means comming from you) pinpoints the new date easily to 800AD, which then can be "circumstancially"(your word) linked back to 1AD. Supposing all of that is somehow miraculously (grin) is true, you then have proven you have a textile from about the time of Jesus..... which then means it might have been used as a burial shroud..... which in turn could mean it might have been used as a burial shroud for Jesus.... that is if you can explain how the chemical analysis of the pigment on the cloth in no chemical way resembles blood.
Since you are truly outraged by all these "christ-haters" (as if a stupid piece of cloth from Jesus would make for any proof whatsoever that he is or is not the son of God or any other such claims the scientifically absent-minded group of you believe in) that ignore any evidence in support of your cause, I would expect information from you introducing new evidence (please spare us the 1500's fire theory by the Russian guy serving time for forgery, ok) or an appology to those that were un-convinced by this extremely "shaky" evidence.
Finally, I am not stating that there is no possiblity that the cloth didn't come from Jesus. I would like to see further studies addressing this claimed "build up" and its effect on the dating process. What I am saying is that given the current evidence I find it highly unlikely.
08-24-99, 02:26 AM
I suspect, Blower, that were Christ himself to stand in front of you descending from heaven in a cloud of angels you would find some way to dismiss it and conclude that you were given a tab of LSD in your coffee or some such.
I think, since you are making the accusations, it would be proper for you to cite YOUR sources. I have seen nothing that alleges that the persons who did the study and concluded that the Shroud dated at least to the 8th century were anything but reputable scientists in their respective fields. You say something like that there is "nothing chemically resembling blood" on the Shroud. Interesting...all but one of the former researchers you depend on so heavily concluded otherwise---one said it was paint, but I believe that conclusion has pretty well been discredited. The current study has even gone so far as to publically identify the blood type--AB. An unnecessary risk, I would think, for people trying to perpetrate some kind of hoax. Also, there is the matter of the pollen on the shroad, pollen from plants unique to the Jerusalem area. and faint images of plants around the figure of the man, plants also unique in combination to the Jerusalem area and which, according to the botanical expert in the research group, flower only in March and April. Then there is the matter of the image on the Shroud, reliably authenticated even by the previous study to the 15th Century, being anotomically and physiologically correct in every detail in representing the pathologies associated with death by crucifixion, knowledge far beyond any known to exist in medieval times. The photographic negativity of the image on the Shroud, while startling, can be (very) roughly reproduced. Arthur Clark showed on his TV series how it can be done. But the three-dimensional nature of the image when analyzed by modern image analysis, as was done, I believe, using equipment from JPL, cannot. Many of the obscure details found on the Shroud---such as the images of what apparently are coins on the eyes revealed by that same analysis---could only be revealed by technology unimaginable in the the 15th century, let alone earlier. Pretty damn good and wonderfully visionary hoaxer, to foresee such technologies 600 years after his or her time and include detail in the Shroud that could only be revealed by such means.
Actually, the circumstantial evidence tying the Shroud to the Sudarion of Oviedo (the facecloth to the Shroud's Sindon) is pretty strong. Same weave and type of cloth. Same blood type. And the Sudarion can be historically verified as existing as far back as the 1st century.
Can anyone come forth and state absolutely that the Shroud was the burial cloth of Christ and the image upon it is Him? Of couse not. But that's why I entitled my posting "Occam's Razor and the Shroud of Turin." One or even a couple of these findings you might dismiss as coincidence, an oddity, an abberation. But when you pile them one on another on another on another it becomes more illogical in terms of Occam's Razor to deny that the weight of the evidence favors the SIMPLEST conclusion--that there is very strong circumstantial evidence that this was the burial shroud of the historical personage known as Yeshua Bar Yosef---Jesus of Nazareth---and that many of the elements it reveals upon careful study might well be desribed as miraculous in nature, or at least surpass the ability of current science to anywhere near adequately explain.
You make the common error of arrogance of your kind, assuming that all faithful are doctrinaire idiots. I don't know what you do, and I am admittedly an amateur, but I was reading high school texts on Astronomy. Paleontology, Archeaology, etc. when I was in grade school and college texts on those subjects and others in Junior High. I cut my fictional teeth on Asimov, Van Vogt, Heinlein, Clark, and Simak. Not that I put inordinate faith in such things, but I have a measured IQ in the 160+ range. I subscribe to---and read at a rate of of 900 words per minute with very high comprehension---Archaeology, Astronomy, Sky and Telescope, Scientific American, Smithsonian, and a number of other such journals. You may prove me deluded in the long run, but you will not likely prove me to be some gullible idiot.
Having had 50-some years to consider the nature of things, I concluded a couple of decades ago that there is nothing more inherently logical in the thesis put forward by that insufferably pompous ass Carl Sagan---that the universe came into existence out of nothing, from chaos to order, the result of blind forces without meaning---than it is to believe in a extra-cosmic Creator. The universe is indeed seems logical, but when you get down to the quark level it defies mere logic at almost every turn. Mathematics reveals to us enormities of illogic almost beyond human comprehension. Even the regularities we observe and deem to be "laws" are meaningless when spacetime is warped, as by a black hole. One popular science writer, discussing what lies beyond the event horizon of a rotating black hole (if it makes any sense at all to talk of "beyond") postulated a state of perfect chaos where none of the laws of the universe have any meaning. He aptly named that portion of his book "C'thulhu Exists."
While scientists do some useful things with gadgets they contrive, in many of them there seems to be a lack of a moral dimension. I don't lionize scientists because I think I understand what moivates them. It is a type of LUST. A type, different, to be sure, than the lust of a pedophile for a pretty child, but in many cases it's results have proven to be no more laudable. Consider the legacy of Einstein, Teller, and Fermi. Scientists, in many cases, spew their mind-seed with no more regard for consequences than any common cocksman determined to seek his pleasure with as many different women as possible. If they become pregnant, he's long gone---not his problem. Scientists are like that in at least a number of ways. They help create some device---like the bomb--- then they hypocritically moan and affect great dismay as to how their discoveries get "misused." They have satisfied their particular lust. If it costs others misery, they can always blame the government, or the military, or anybody as responsible except, of course, THEMSELVES.
Am I saying science is inherently evil? Of course not. But neither is in any way morally uplifting. People like you always make much of the misuse of religion in producing suffering and repression. Only fair, it seems to me, to give your guys their due in that respect!
And, as I have undoubtedly done with science, you choose to disregard enormous record of good that has been done by people of faith, and not just Christians. The sick cared for and healed age after age. The opressed given sanctuary and refuge. Injustices in myriad cases righted. Hope given to millions. The poor bastard squatting in his dirty thatched hut infested with vermin, trying to eak out a pitiful starveling existence from a few miserable hectares---when the weather cooperates and the lords don't come along and steal everything, or trample his crop while hunting, or decide his daughter is pretty enough for a night's diversion---the only hope this poor wretch had, the only vision he ever had of something higher and better---he found in the Church. Was the church venal? Often. Was it opressive itself? Surely at some times in history. But in the main it did what it has always done---cared for the sick and comforted the dying, fed the hungry, offered what protection it could to the powerless, kept alive the flame of learning, offered some ideal of redemption, love, and serenity, unattainable though it might have been. WHERE WERE YOUR BELOVED EFFING MEN OF SCIENCE WHEN ALL THIS WAS GOING ON? COZYING UP TO THE ASSHOLES WITH POWER WHO COULD INDULGE THEIR PECULIAR LUST, JUST AS THEY HAVE DONE THROUGHOUT HISTORY, THAT'S WHERE THEY EFFING WERE. WILLING WHORES FOR THE WARLORDS, AS LONG AS THEY WERE PROVIDED BY THEM WITH THE WHEREWITHALL TO SCRATCH THEIR OWN ITCH. So don't presume to preach about the higher morality and selfless search for truth in the scientific community. There's as much blood on their hands---more---than any Crusader.
There's a breed of people who take positive delight in pissing on the cherished values and beliefs of others, smugly and hypocritically professing just an allegiance to the truth as their high and pure motive. Bullcrap. Their motive is to "score points" and inflate already bloated egos with a sense of their own superiority. They are the nasty types who delight in telling some wide-eyed 4-year-old there is no Santa Claus, denying them one of the innocent pleasures of childhhod. As C. S. Lewis pointed out, "Truth is not the highest thing."
That might be bearable---in regard to belief in God, at least---if their position were any more "logical" than that of the faithful. But it isn't. As I have pointed out and explained in other posts, their assumptions are no less based in leaps of faith than those of the Christian. They justify that faith by citing observations about the whats and the little whys, but that in no way deal adequately with the BIG why, so some of them in their hubris choose to scorn anyone who does. The REAL scientists among them are wiser than that. The don't presume to offer answers to questions beyond their competence, whatever their personal beliefs may be.
Which group do you belong to? The empirical evidence in your post leads me to a very sad conclusion
Let me start by saying:
>I think, since you are making the accusations...
>>It is apparent by the responses to my previous post, "Bad News for the Christ-Haters" that most of those who attacked the post are definitely not up-to-date concerning the most current research on the Shroud.
I believe that was your accusation(in the opening post) that peple are way off base by not buying into your point of view and that current evidence clearly shows that your point of view is correct.
Never mind about your sources I found the website that you retrieved your information from. My quotes were from a article in Time April 98. My other information was from several other websites, including the one you used.
As for the rest of the "evidence" well, honestly, it speaks for itself. Let me just say, if you put enough monkeys at enough typewriters eventually you may get a word. We could argue all day long about the processes, assumptions, and what each one proves or does not prove, but the simple fact remains that not one of these tie(or even remotely claim to tie) this piece of cloth to Jesus of Nazareth. If all these "tests"(funny how there is such a lack of published papers on the various studies and scientific processes) were 100% on the mark perhaps it may narrow down the piece of cloth comming from a region near where it is believed Jesus was killed. Or that it came from about the same time as we have read that Jesus was killed, or even that it came from someone crucified in the same manner that we believe Jesus may have been(Weren't there some 20(or whatever) other people nailed to crosses on the same day right next to jesus?)
How exactly does one go jump from half-baked conclusion to assumption to guess to possibly this or possibly that into some staunch "fact" that is now supposedly nearly scientifically un-refutable. How does one twist and contort this flimsly evidence into a treatise on how arrogant scientists are?? Occam's Razor??? "Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate", talk about hypocrisy...
Good 'ole Bill, and Aristotle, for that matter would be turning in their graves if they heard their work being so poorly abused. So let us get this straight. You are trying to tell us that this cloth, came from Jesus of Narareth, out of a tomb that a mysterious force moved a large stone away from whilst being guarded by soildiers, then some photoelecrtic-static electrical process infused the image of Jesus, flowers, ect. within 3 days. This cloth was then subsequently, removed by one of many followers, mysteriously and completely vanishes for 1000 years with no trace in a world completely enthralled by religion, then, as if by miracle is located, later to be determined by several indpendant labs as having come from a different time period, not accepted yet even by the church as being the true shroud and being discounted by several credible scientist as being authentic, is somehow the simplist explanation you can come up with??? How about, grave robber sometime between 1000AD and 1AD finds something he believes he can pawn to a religious person for a few bucks. Huckster then sells item to gullable priest or believer for a few bucks and the rest is history. Which would be a more suitable scenario for Occam's Razor??
Now on to addressing the "doctrine of madness" as my friend referred to it. To begin with your first paragraph expounding on your vast array of achievement and self-proclaimed mental prowess, I will have to wonder about truly how critical one can be of another's ego, when that same person cannot stand to keep their's in check. This is quite obvious in just about every argument I have read from you. It is almost humorous to watch you "spout off" on every tangent under the sun from a simple response on the shroud of Turin.
While I must admit that you do appear to have a significant IQ I have huge questions regarding your cognitive skills, as I have yet to see any as poor and/or selective as you have exhibited. You are obviously so intense in your bias that you cannot read and respond to a direct, simple argument witout discussing your enitre theological belief structure.
Perhaps you mistake my arguments being straight-forward, and to the point without the fire and brimstone rhetoric, and armchair psychiatry as somehow being a sign of not taking your argument or intellegence seriously. I personally look at it as a sign of sanity, than as a sign of not respecting your intellegence. Of course, with such a large ego it appears that it may be hard to have a discussion contrary to your view that does not to tread upon it, so I will appologize in advance.
>>WHERE WERE YOUR BELOVED EFFING MEN OF SCIENCE WHEN ALL THIS WAS GOING ON? Well if they weren't exiled, or beheaded for forming an opinion of thier own I suppose they were busy discovering the vaccines in your body that have allowed you to surpass the age of 30, the medium you use to communicate and educate yourself, the farming methods you use in order to feed yourself, water treatment methods so that 1/3 of our population is not dying from the black death and perhaps a few other trivial items.
AND "EFFING" PLEASE, WHO THE FUCK WAS COZING UP TO THE POWER??? YOU are either incredibly ignorant or BLIND BEYOND ALL RECOGNITION if you can sit there and accuse scientists above religion in its quest for power. Where the Fuck was Einstein's ARMY?????, We certainly have no problem in the past or present finding "GODS" many armies. Are you even from this planet??!!?!! Have you seen a history book in your lifetime or are you just completely blind from faith as were so many in "Gods" armies???? I could not begin to touch upon the volumes of evidence about the church/religion and its quest for power.
Yes, there are many good priciples and ideas contained within the Bible and in most religions in general. Yes, may devout religious people have done good and so have many scientists, so what? Aside from your apparently random assignment of my full personal beliefs system I have yet to post any ideals other than I think your browbeating of those who do not happen to agree with your assessment the Shroud of Turin(remember the supposed subject of this thread) is horse shit (my opinion is that the argument still stands). I didn't think I posted in the "prove your an illogical, on the verge of insanity, religious fanatic without any shread of rationality thread", but I appear to have been mistaken.
There are a few things we are missing in this debate. Though they have been mentioned in passing, I believe they need to be restated as clear points of argument. Odysseus: focus man, this ought to be fairly plain.
1) As many of the places, people and events in the Bible are historical record, it would make sense that a central figure in the bible really did exist. However, a verification of this one fact in the bible (which is there among the very few believable) <u>does not</u> automatically lend validity to every other claim made there. In particular, it does not lend validity to any claims concerning God, divinity, supernatural realms or events, or cosmology.
2) The finds 'for' the Shroud's biblical origin consistently belong to people who <u>want to arrive</u> at just such a conclusion. I believe the last test reported in the media was performed in Israel (correct me if I'm wrong). So can you think of any other way the appropriate pollen could have gotten on the piece they actually had there? The only way to settle this is to let the skeptics scientifically go at it, all over the world, including devout atheists.
Odysseus: why does it not bother you that the 'scientific' tests confirming the shroud's claimed origin are so piecemeal, so exquisitely controlled by the church, and so devoid of peer review and hostile replication?
As another minor issue: Who says there are imprints of plants on the shroud??? I examined the photos myself, and I must admit to really having to stretch my imagination to see plant images there. Please remember that scientists used to see canals and faces on Mars. The big lesson here is that sometimes we see what we want to see instead of what is really before us.
But, Odysseus, before you go and pick some minor claim from my post and try to divert the discussion away from the main points, as you have so skillfully done with 'tiassa' -- <u>I challenge you to address the issue # 1) above.</u>
I am; therefore I think.
Odysseus, I can probably find the time to do some shroud-reading. I can't promise you it will come in the next couple of weeks, though. However, I've decided that, while I'm at it, I'll look into the Virgin image on a road sign outside Yakima, Washington; also I could check into the Madonna and child in the woodgrain on a church door in somewhere, southern California.
At what point do you recognize your leap of faith, that decision which sets your perspective apart from anyone else's in the world? I can tell you now that the general questions I have when I approach any such mystery surround when I have to leave the scientifically beaten track and take that leap. That there is life in the universe? Sure. That there are little grey men? Probably. That they're here . . . ? Well, I have to see one for myself. But if you ask me about microbal life in the universe, there's no doubt for me. That's where I make a massive leap of faith.
I can read all of the statistical data in the world on the Shroud, but if there is no essential link it's hard to believe that this shroud is what people claim it is. I'm wondering what the anchor is on the other end of the equation? If we use science to date it and history to track it, we're working with an approximate age and a dubious record, as is all history.
Where is your leap of faith? Or which study holds that crucial key that shows beyond a doubt? Sure I have questions about the legends, but I also have questions about the Lincoln-Kennedy coincidence.
The hard thing about arguing about modern Christianity is that it is a modern interpretation, and our perspective on the history of the faith is a contemporary one removed from the specific concerns of the era in question. Would the evidence of a God cramp my style? We covered that, but I'm left to wonder what would happen when you didn't recognize the god that came back?
"Let us not launch the boat until the ground is wet." (Khaavren of Castlerock)
[This message has been edited by tiassa (edited August 27, 1999).]