From: Brian Holtz [email@example.com]
October 08, 2003 9:41 AM
To: 'Kris Key'
Subject: RE: I am an
Here is a copy of the lancet Medical Report on the NDE. [..]
http://profezie3m.altervista.org/archivio/TheLancet_NDE.htm [..] These authors
were good enough for a peer reviewed article in the prestigious, secular
medical journal lancet. Would you please explain to me if they are good enough
to be used in this Journal, why various books on studies they have conducted(
which were sighted) is not good enough for Brian Holtz or that it should be
classified as no different then "Goblins" or "Elves"You of course
cannot quote me saying NDE is no different than goblins or elves. You are
confused between the phenomenon of NDE and the supernatural explanations for the
most of the peer review sited researchers think the afterlife
hypothesis is the best one.It's odd that you didn't send me one of
those papers instead of this one, then.
This is near the end of the lancet article. Read it and weap.
"Another theory holds that NDE might be a changing state of consciousness
(transcendence), in which identity, cognition, and emotion function
independently from the unconscious body, but retain the possibility of
non-sensory perception.7,8,22,28,31""Another theory holds that" is
a perfectly true statement. This paper does not, however, claim that the
transcendence theory is true. No weeping required.
The only theory that fits it is the theory consciousness survives
death. And for that, one needs theism :)Your smiley presumably
means you realize that this is a non sequitur.
If you fail to answer this one with anything better then "most
scientist do not believe it" I will simply conclude you are not interested in
a serious discussion.Again: Before I invest any time discussing
fringe science with you, you'd have to indicate your standards of skepticism by
Since you won't answer
these questions, I can't take you seriously as a rational investigator of the
- which other paranormal phenomena on my list cannot be provisionally ruled
out as nonsense, and
- why you think NDE (and ghosts and any other paranormality you believe in)
isn't taken seriously by mainstream science.
either this is an acceptable method of doing history or not. From
my experience as a history major about to graduate in december, it is
flawed.I never said it's a "method of doing history". It is rather
a way of establishing our positions and identifying the differences between
them. I've stated my position. Either your position is "Yahweh 100%, Other
possibilities 0%", or it's not. If it is, you're clearly dogmatic.
If it's not, then you're apparently too embarrassed by your position to actually
state and defend it.
Also I have never, ever seen anything like it
before.And therefore you consider yourself exempt from having to
consider it. How very rational and open-minded of you.
Dr Linda Mann [..] said it was an invalid historical method I remain skeptical of your ability
to accurately represent my position in this matter. If you can get a historian
to actually read my analysis and critique it in writing, let me know. But I'm
not really interested if instead you merely want to vouch to me that some casual
conversation somehow constitutes a justification for you not defending your
indefensible position (which remains: Yahweh 100%, Other possibilities 0%).
Christopher Jesperson [..] stated this was an inappropriate historical method.
Dr Jennifer Smith [laughed]
Brian, You do NOT DO HISTORY THIS WAY. Case closed.I
never said I was "doing history". I'm elucidating my position. Yours is "Yahweh
100%, Other possibilities 0%". It's understandable that you don't want to defend
this position or even admit it's yours.
do you still consider the NDE to be no different then "elves" and
"goblins""Still"? I never said this in the first place.
Since you cannot accurately comprehend something you've read in just the last
few days, I'm not very interested in your evaluation of the NDE literature.
I am also asking if the scientist I used to reach my decision on
the NDE are still "cranks"I haven't used the word you quote in our
conversation about NDE. Perhaps you should ask your professors how quotation
marks are to be used in discussions about scholarship.
So you can say all you want about my conversion but it was a
sincere thought out process from examining the evidence from both
sides.I take it then that you're unable or unwilling to give me two
or three sentences on how each of these thirteen
factors did or didn't apply to your conversion.
PS all you have to do to deconvert me is the following two
things.I'm not interested in deconverting you. Read my paper
again if you're confused about what my interest in this matter is.
Given 1) the diminishing returns in me asking you about your deconversion, 2)
your inability to rebut my statements, and 3) my lack of interest in NDE, this
discussion has outlived its usefulness. I'll close with a sampler of the
statements of mine that you've declined to answer. Have a nice life.
There are (at least) three theses on the table:
It's fallacious to argue
that the unlikelihood of (1) makes (3) more likely than (2).
- The martyred Peter knew the empty tomb had been faked.
- The martyred Peter was duped by the empty tomb, never witnessed a physical
resurrection appearance, but had ecstatic experiences that he interpreted as a
spiritual resurrection vindicating Jesus' ministry.
- The martyred Peter witnessed a risen dead man's wounds being skeptically
examined, and other unmistakable miracles.
Paul's conversion is nowhere near Christianity's best evidence. The best
evidence is the vividness of the resurrection accounts and Paul's alleged
endorsement of them within two decades of the events. Random ecstatic
conversions over the subsequent two millennia are pretty weak evidence.
Anything you believe, and any motivating principle you hold, is from some school
of philosophy, whether you know it or not. Meanwhile, note that all the prayer
in the world can't budge a single atom from the path that physics sets for
Hallucinations are a scientifically documented phenomenon. Miracles aren't. If
the NT evidence can be explained with a few hallucinations instead of the
systematic positing of miracles, then it's obvious which hypothesis is motivated
by parsimony and which by faith.
Quote me one secular historian saying in a peer-reviewed forum that the basic
historic plausibility of the Gospel narratives implies that their supernatural
claims should be assumed reliable until proven otherwise.
The scientific community gives out Nobel prizes for the discovery of
reproducible phenomena that can't be explained with known physics. If NDE is a
verifiable supernatural phenomenon, then somebody should have a Nobel prize for
discovering it. Please tell me the name of this Nobel prize winner and the year
the prize was awarded.
The vast majority of paranormal-phenomenon-X researchers believe in X.
Does that make X real?
If that were true, every physics textbook would mention NDEs as the only known
phenomenon in the physical universe that defies explanation under our current
laws of physics.
you admit that it is rational for historians to be more skeptical of the
supernatural claims of the gospel narratives than the normal claims.
Since you do not identify a single NT supernatural claim that might be errant, I
conclude that you are an inerrantist.
You cannot quote a single point of Jordan's which I did not adequately
answer. By contrast, when he quit the debate Jordan left unanswered
roughly 25 points in my last response alone.
Quote Bertrand Russell saying that the NT supernatural claims can "be just
ignored" without any justification for doing so.
we have enough data to overthrow the laws of physics and decide that they could
be violated at will by a carpenter from Nazareth?
So the way I summarize this atheistic explanation for the gospel evidence is new
to you? If so, this undermines your claim to have been well-versed in
atheism before your conversion to Christianity.
Quote me a psychology text saying that there are observable and verifiable human
behaviors called "demonic possession" that completely defy explanation by
naturalistic psychology. You of course cannot, and it's obvious how you've
misinterpreted the comment by your psychology professor.
The available evidence about alleged paranormality is sufficiently explainable
that no peer-reviewed journal or standard textbook bothers to assert
supernatural explanations for it.
The way to rigorously analyze the possible explanations for an event with a
distinct cause (i.e. that must be only one of several mutually exclusive causes)
is called fault tree analysis. For almost any important historical episode, the
candidate causes are a mixture of influences, and the debate is merely over the
relative importance of the influences. Historians don't practice rigorous fault
tree analysis, because important historical events almost never have such
numerous and mutually exclusive possible causes.
No serious maritime architect would have dared assert that any such ship was
unsinkable. I defy you to cite any such "calculation" published by a maritime
You clearly are confused by the distinction between prior possibility and
Are you saying that history in general, or the life of Jesus in particular, is
exempt from the laws of probability?
How do you "know you have figured in every factor necessary" to decide that your
Yahweh explanation has 100% probability?
quote me one secular historian saying in a mainstream secular peer-reviewed
journal that the basic historic plausibility of the Gospel narratives implies
that their supernatural claims should be assumed reliable until proven