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Response to Old Fart Rants & his brown teeth

I’ve detected another kook folks, a senile old man named OldFartRants. I had a very one-sided exchange with him on this video (he claims to have responded here, but it was just a rehashing of our previous debate, he autistically-recites the same empiricist tripe, but we were forced to listen to an old man whine, as well as gazing upon his darkened-teeth), where the senile old man goes off on your typical talking points rant on the Bible & turns it into a polemic where he uses some opinions from an obscure man named Charles Worley.

How is Charles Worley’s opinion (I certainly don’t favor putting pervert homosexuals in any sort of concentration camp) “proof” that the Bible is false? This would be akin to me uploading a polemic against atheism & then turning it into a discussion of Clay Duke, the avowed humanist who was apparently a big fan of Media Matters & other Progressive websites. I will note, however, that all homosexuals & everyone else will still stand before Christ & be judged accordingly. So, I’m not sure what the Senile Old Fart (hereafter SOF) is trying to accomplish. Let’s get down to brass tacks.

All the relevant screenshots will be in an upcoming video & at first I urged SOF to run some of his “contradictions” past my friend J.P. Holding. Almost immediately, SOF directed me to this video (and he didn’t realize this was just a challenge to disprove empiricism, which has been critiqued here—I’m also not sure he even knew the definition of empiricism) where I could endeavor to win his bogus $10,000 challenge.

His challenge rests upon the “truth” of empiricism—if I can’t validate it via the 5 physical senses then it must be bogus. How would one endeavor to validate the 5 physical senses? Would he validate them by the 5 physical senses themselves? Thus, engaging in circular-reasoning. I attempted to extract some information from SOF to find out how he comes to such conclusions (e.g. Jesus never existed because nobody outside the Bible attests to his existence—which is demonstrably false. See the relevant sections here & here; there are plenty of sources & all of those are cited), but he wasn’t very forthcoming.

I asked him several times why/why not he accepts/rejects the existence of Pharoah Amenemhet. He tried avoiding an answer (although he did aver that he believes most ancient literature was “probably” redacted, even forgetting that there are varying degrees of “redaction”) by saying “nobody worships the Pharaohs anymore.” Not good enough old man, I thought about inserting myself temporarily as a Pharaoh-worshipper but he blocked me & I surmise he wouldn’t have allowed it anyways.

As you can see, he’s very generalized (although claims to be an avid bible-studier, which we’ll get to shortly) on purpose. As I noted in footnote #4 here (see section #3 on the JEDP documentary hypothesis):

Amenemhet is credited with starting the 12th Dynasty, but he was called "son of someone," also indicating that he was not of royal blood. He also began the practice of coregency, letting his son Senusert rule with him for the last ten years of his reign. This was probably done to avoid the haggling and possible conflict that would crop up at the death of the current Pharaoh. A text relating the death of Amenemhet (and posthumously attributed to him) tells the story as if he had written it himself! (See Alfred J. Hoerth, Archaeology and the Old Testament, p. 138-139) This might make the passage in Deuteronomy 34 that reflects Moses’ death seem not so far -etched. I am not saying that Moses wrote his own death narrative, what I am suggesting is that it is not uncommon for this to be done at the conclusion of a revered man’s life.

Obviously, SOF rejects Moses’ existence and the chapter in question in Deuteronomy would be more proof of that, but writings chronicling the death of an Egyptian Pharaoh are done the exact same way. I was attempting to see if he used the same parameters when examining non-biblical writings, but he wouldn’t even entertain the idea because it would require an elongated debate (he wants short debates where answers have to be limited to a few lines & everyone knows scholarly books on complex subjects are rather short) & it would undermine his knee-jerk “I require extra-biblical attestation for every biblical event.” Here’s another example (and I was going to get to this, but the old man blocked me & refused to budge from his position because it would allow me to undermine his philosophy):

"A good illustration of the way many biblical scholars and theologians are simply unfamiliar with how ancient history-writing worked has been exposed by University of Ottawa historian Paul Merkley. Many people have cited Julius Caesar’s crossing of the Rubicon River as he returned from Gaul to Italy in 49 B.C. as a model of incontrovertible historical fact from the ancient world that also has historical significance: with that deed Caesar committed himself to civil war, and the course of the Roman empire was forever altered. What is often overlooked is that we are not absolutely sure of the date of the crossing or the location of the Rubicon. And, as with the Gospels, we have four accounts of the event from later historians—Velleius Paterculus, Plutarch, Suetonius, and Appian. Only the first of these was even born before the mid-first century after Christ. All apparently relied on one eyewitness source, that of Asinius Pollio, which has disappeared without a trace. Yet the four accounts vary at least as much as the Gospels do when reporting the same event… Suetonius attributes Caesar’s decision to cross the Rubicon to seeing ‘an apparition of superhuman size and beauty,’ who was ‘sitting on the river bank, playing a reed pipe.’ When this kind of meticulous detail appears in a Gospel account, the entire story is usually rejected as mythical. Here is appears in an account of an event that is regularly cited as one of the most well-established historical facts of antiquity!" (Wilkins & Moreland, Jesus Under Fire, p. 37

Does he require the same for Egyptian literature? Why/why not does he believe Homer’s Iliad was or wasn’t seriously redacted, even though the earliest copies we have of it are 4 centuries after it was composed? Why does he reject the abundant evidence in the Synoptics & Acts that they were composed prior to the destruction of Jerusalem, thus putting them within 40 years of Christ’s death & resurrection?

The old guy mentioned Josephus (I mentioned him first, just to see if he would stick to his “Josephus wasn’t alive while Jesus was on Earth, therefore he can’t be used as a source) & yes, I think he can be used as an extra-biblical source (again, he hasn’t explained why he requires extra-biblical sources, other than his rabid empiricism & built-in bias he wouldn’t require of other ancient works) for Jesus’ existence. I’ll post the relevant section from my Evidences II article’s sections on Josephus:

Josephus’ clearest (for the sake of argument only) reference to Jesus occurs in Antiquities of the Jews, 20.9.1 (as cited in Whiston, The Complete Works of Josephus, p. 423, emphasis added) where he writes:

"[The high priest] Ananus was of this disposition, he thought he had now a proper opportunity [to exercise his authority.]… [Ananus] assembled the Sanhedrin of the judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or some of his companions;] and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned."

This event occurred in A.D. 62, Jesus’ brother James being murdered at the hands of the Sanhedrin. The important thing to remember is that here Josephus calls Jesus the one "who was called Christ." This seems to be a pretty obvious denial of Jesus’ status by Josephus; he does not believe that Christ is who He said He was. The plain mention of James’ death at the hands of the Sanhedrin, along with no mention whatsoever of either party’s role in the Christian movement seems to argue strongly for the authenticity of this passage. It is doubtful that a Christian interpolator would call Jesus "ho legomenos christos" (the so-called Christ). This passage is a concrete allusion to a historical Christ by a renowned ancient historian. The second reference to Jesus is a hotly disputed passage. It reads thus:

"Now, there was bout this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day." (Quoted in Ibid, p. 379, emphasis added; Antiquities of the Jews, 18.3.3.)

The former citation from Josephus makes it clear that he viewed Jesus as the "so-called Messiah" or "so-called Christ" and not the Messiah. There are 3 ways that a person can deal with this passage. 1) For those who are incapable of critical thinking—throw it all out because some of it has been altered. These are the same dough heads that find a scribal error amongst Hebrew numerals in the OT and conclude that God doesn’t exist. The bath water is dirty, so we’ll throw the baby out with it (grin). 2) The passage is entirely authentic and came originally from the pen of Josephus. This is pretty doubtful, for reasons we will delve into shortly. 3) The majority of the passage is authentic and contains a Josephan allusion to Christ and His demise, even though it has been subsequently "dressed up" by a later interpolator.

I take the third position and the evidence clearly demonstrates that this is the most logical position to take, anything else is a grounding of one’s feet firmly in mid-air. The passage minus the italicized words is typically Josephan. The italicized phrases are typical of a believer, but certainly not an Orthodox Jew like Josephus.

Josephus certainly did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah, because elsewhere he says Vespasian fulfilled the OT promise of a world ruler! (See Wars of the Jews, 6.5.4) In addition, Jerome (De Viris Illustribus 13) alters the text, amending it as, "he was believed to be Christ." It seems that later Christians also found this to be much too rich for even Josephus! Lastly, the description of Christ as a "wise man" sounds Josephan, to a Christian, Jesus is more than just a wise man—the description of Christians as a "tribe" is absent from early Christian literature, whereas Josephus uses it to describe the Jewish "race" as well other national and communal groups (See R.T. France, The Evidence for Jesus, p. 28-29 (Hodder & Stoughton: London 1999 edition). This affirms the belief that Josephus made an actual allusion to Christ and the passage was subsequently "dressed up" at a later date. However, there are those who still argue against this passage, despite the facts—So much worse for the facts, right?

G.A. Wells, a strong advocate of the "Jesus never existed" theory believes (naturally) that this entire passage should be discarded as a Christian insertion (See Wells, Did Jesus Exist, p. 10 (Pemberton: London 1975); for the rest of his "arguments" see, Wells, The Historical Evidence for Jesus, (Prometheus: NY 1982). He argues that this passage about Christ interrupts the "proper sequence" of this section of Antiquities of the Jews. R.T. France makes short work of Wells’ "argument":

"In Book XVIII of the Antiquities Josephus relates some of the provocative actions of Pontius Pilatus. Two such anecdotes take up sections 55-62, and Josephus eventually returns to the theme in sections 85-89, where he relates Pilatus’ ultimate dismissal. In between these accounts of Pilatus is… the Testimonium Flavianum (63-64), one about a scandal in Rome involving the priests of Isis (65-80), and one about a Jewish ‘con trick’ in Rome which led Tiberius to expel the Jews from the city (81-84). These last two events, which Josephus deliberately brackets together, happened about A.D. 19, well before the governorship of Pilatus in Judea, so that it seems this whole section of Book XVIII is not a very carefully compiled collection of miscellaneous events relating to the theme of bad relations between the Jews and Rome… Both the brief account of Jesus and the longer pair of stories about scandals in Rome are introduced by a vague connecting phrase, ‘And about this time.’ All this makes one wonder how Wells can argue that if the passage about Jesus is removed ‘the argument runs on in proper sequence.’ To achieve such a ‘proper sequence’ one would surely need to excise sections 65-84, so that the Pilatus stories could stand together. Yet these sections relate to events which are independently attested to both by Tacitus and by Suetonius." (France, The Evidence for Jesus, p. 27-28)

In 1971, an Israeli scholar, S. Pines published a monograph on an Arabic version of Josephus done by Agapius, the tenth-century bishop of Hierapolis. The Greek text and the Arabic text were compared and the differences were telling. The Arabic version assumes that Jesus is human, the text refers more to Jesus’ righteousness rather than his miraculous deeds, and the resurrection appearance is called "a report," and "perhaps" is inserted before the phrase "he was the Messiah." What we have here is evidence that points to an authentic Josephan allusion to Christ and His crucifixion under Pilate—minus the interpolations. Pines believed that this verse was indeed the closest to the original text of this passage. (See Jesus Under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents the Historical Jesus, (eds.) Moreland & Wilkins, p. 213 (Zondervan: 1995).

See here, here & here for commentary on Tacitus' references to Jesus.

Again, he wouldn’t allow this information to be known, he wanted to continue his knee-jerk “challenge” which is just a challenge to disprove empiricism. Let’s go a bit further now.

I asked him why he accepts the “magic” of cleaning symbiosis & the existence of objective morality (I urge everyone to watch his videos, he makes a lot of objectively-moral claims, accusing Republicans & Christians of being evil & hating the poor), so he’s not a relativist. If he claims he isn’t, then he needs to adjust his rhetoric & say “I think Christians are immoral” not “Christians are immoral.”

Where does SOF derive his objective morals from (see here, “Objective Moral Values”)? Are morals decided by man, much like we decided the “rules” to hockey, which can be changed on a whim? If so, that’s not objective morality, that’s subjective morality & one could even argue that the 1938 German Supreme Court ruling that decreed Jews as not being people was ok.

If there are objective, concrete moral values, from where do they come from SOF? Objective morality is not tangible, it cannot be weighed or measured, yet it exists. Perhaps SOF will object & attempt to hide behind pragmatic proposals such as: “War should be avoided because it destabilizes society, slavery should be avoided because it also destabilizes society.”

A noble statement indeed, but it’s only a pragmatic solution, it leaves the door open to slavery and all sorts of (evil?) things later. The question, as I’ve said before, isn’t whether one needs to believe in God to be a “moral” person. That is not the question—the question is, if God doesn’t exist & there’s a non-natural origin to everything, from where does SOF get his objective morality that is so apparent in his video presentations where he whines about Republicans “trying” to cut this ineffective welfare safety-net.

In other words, why be moral tomorrow? If SOF thinks governments or collectives determine morality then he has a major problem because what’s “moral” for one government might not be “moral” for another. His whiny objections about how Christians & Republicans lack “empathy” would ring hollow. I haven’t seen SOF or anyone else be able to come up with a non-natural origin for objective morality.

One could also argue that a massive welfare safety-net (aside from all the arguments against it economically) is immoral because it decrees that I owe someone who had a slew of kids out-of-wedlock. The Good Samaritan is good not because the government forces him to be good, but because he wants to be good. In addition, that would run counter to his beliefs that natural selection is responsible for our existence & natural selection has no empathy. One could argue that prolonging the lives & existence of those who are deemed “weaker” by natural selection is contrary to the laws of biological evolution. There’s no “ought” or “fair” when it concerns natural selection.

His “response” to me concerning cleaning symbiosis was even weaker. Why does he accept the “magic” of cleaning symbiosis & not the “magic” of the Bible? Cleaning symbiosis requires a predator to suspend its normal habit of eating all fish or animal that comes into its mouth & at the same time the “cleaner” suspends its normal habit of fleeing. This had to happen simultaneously, what sort of “magical” mutation (assuming his “magic” canard is even an acceptable argument) via natural selection would’ve caused that? I’ll wager that natural selection, as rigid as it is, would eliminate any “cleaner” that spontaneously attempted to give a predator a dental cleaning—something SOF desperately needs.

He asked me another question during our one-sided affair, he asked me if I “believed in unicorns” which was not long after he made the outlandish claim that he had studied the Bible for a half-century. One would think if he had studies as long as he had claimed, he would know the OT (Old Testament) was composed in Hebrew & Aramaic (if you count the LXX, we can add Greek to the list), not English.

I asked him what the Hebrew word was translated “unicorn” on several occasions & was blocked shortly thereafter. It’s reym or rem (Strong’s # 7214) and means, “A wild bull (from is conspicuousness).” It’s used 9 times in the OT (Num. 23:22, 24:8; Deut. 33:17; Job 39:9-10; Psalm 22:21, 29:6, 92:10 & Isaiah 34:7) & apparently this troglodyte has no idea the OT was not penned in English. A startling realization for a man who claims to have studied the Bible 12 years longer than I’ve been alive. Either he’s lying (as he was when he claimed to have $10,000 or claimed to own a swimming pool, which seems selfish for an avowed collectivist) or he’s the dumbest man on the planet. I’ll let my readers sort that out for themselves. When SOF sees the word translated “unicorn” (and apparently he doesn’t think it’s a translation, he thinks it was written in English) he thinks of this.

However, that’s now what the biblical authors had in mind. This animal is described as being very strong, likened to God brining the Jews out of Egypt. In Job rhetorical questions are asked concerning whether the “unicorn” (reym) will serve you. Will it plow your fields for you? Apparently, this is a purely-wild animal, it can’t be domesticated.

This wild animal, whatever it is ultimately, is differentiated from the “bulls”, “rams”, “lambs” & “goats” in Isaiah 34:6-7. This moron utterly humiliated himself & I’ll wager it’s because he usually has a throng of sycophants patting him on the back with spring-loaded elbows, telling him how smart & articulate he is. He’s gotten used to having a lot of “yes women” in his camp, he never gets called-out on his ignorance & now he’s paying the price. Next…

Saying Christianity isn’t the truth because there are so many other religions out there isn’t any more true than saying because there are different schools of economic thought out there (supply-side, Austrian) that means Keynesianism is a failure. Ridiculous reasoning old man! Note: Some would argue fundamentally, supply-side & Keynesianism have the same objective, but they attain it in very different ways. Next…

This old guy may have been arguing (he didn’t explicitly mention it, but he made a comment that nobody argues that the earth is flat today, because it isn’t) that the Bible teaches a flat earth, that has been debunked here, here & here. Again, looking at the Hebrew would help, but he thinks it was written in English! I’ll wager SOF has never stopped himself from using the phrase, “Let’s go watch the sunset Delbert.”

SOF also played the ad populum appeal card, bragging about his video views (he spends lots of time on YT making short, generalized, “entertaining” videos so his ADHD crowd doesn’t get too bored), but I never knew popularity proves truth. I guess that means (using his reasoning), Reagan was a far better President than Clinton because he got reelected with over 58% of the vote, Clinton never hit the 50% mark. That also means Reagan is better than Obama. So much for that one.

And lastly, in this video SOF makes it clear that he wants you forced (and remember, he’s no authoritarian, he’s a freedom-lover) to pay property taxes to fund a public school, even if your kids never attended one or you have no kids. Hilarious! In that video (and I’m not going to comment on his evolution tripe at this time) he becomes everything he hates; even throwing FDR under the bus for suggesting that education is an issue totally left to the states (and that would include an entirely public school system, or a mix or charter/private & public schools w/vouchers or a tax credit similar to the program in AZ).

He’s so angry that someone might be taught something he disagrees with an tacitly admits he can’t win in the arena of ideas. My debate with him is proof he can’t, he thinks the Bible was written in English & has no clue how cleaning symbiosis came about. He made a snarky comment about LA, this private school teachin’ that there stuff he doesn’t agree with isn’t a surprise.

Over the last 30 years, both parties have had success winning gubernatorial races in LA & until Jindal came along, most of the time 2 of the 3 statewide elected seats (2 U.S. Senators & Governor), and sometimes all 3 were in Democrat hands. With Vitter & Jindal, Landrieu remains the lone Dumocrat in LA elected on a statewide basis.

Maybe this tool doesn’t know, until the 2010 midterm elections, the LA state legislature had been under the control of Democrats every single year since Reconstruction. What an idiot! In addition, LA & CA both do poorly when it comes to education, but a higher % of children in CA are below basic in reading. That’s despite all that money CA is pouring into education. In both states, almost half-of-blacks are “below basic” when it comes to reading comprehension. If I may paraphrase the Bible old man, “remove the telephone pole out of your own eye before you take the toothpick out of LA’s.”

Let’s take a look at the District of Columbia’s education system shall we? This federal enclave spends over $29,000 per pupil and has seen spending continually increase over the past few decades (the same as the national trend). Yet, over half-of-blacks in the DC public school district are “below basic” in reading & their high school graduation rate was a paltry 43% in 2008.

I have another video (see this one too, much the same info) going over much the same national data (see the link underneath it, as the vid focused on several issues): During the Bush Administration, federal spending on education hit inflation-adjusted highs, class sizes now are much smaller than in 1950 & the costs of a K-12 education have been way ahead of the rate of inflation as well. Also see here, this “college education for everyone” mindset has become very counterproductive (another federal relic, Head Start has been a big bust). In closing, SOF has done no research into this area, he’s just spouting forth some talking points that his ADHD-addled sycophants will lap-up like a dog returning to its vomit.

I will certainly add more at a later date. Have a nice day! I should also add this. In his video response to me, SOF said someone ought to give me a lobotomy. Well old man, if you’d like to volunteer for that (although I surmise that common sense, as well as better judgment & an urge to spend what few years you have left walking upright, you won’t take me up on this), you can come on down anytime, we’ll see what happens. Unless you’re just another knuckle-dragging neo-Marxist talking big while sitting behind a monitor? Notice, this is all contingent upon you visiting me to give me that lobotomy. If you do, better pack your lunch old guy (try and brush those teeth too, thanks!).