The fallacy of testimony!

89 posts / 0 new
Last post
mykcob4's picture
The fallacy of testimony!

It should probably be said that every atheist should wear a T-shirt that reads "Prove It". That is atheism in a nutshell so to speak.
Now "proving it" is quite difficult yet christians take on this task at times thinking that they will indeed "prove it". Their proof comes in many varied forms, from "look around, the universe seems organized" to testimony.
Now if you follow logic, you'd know that testimony means absolutely nothing without proper corroboration.
Christians like to use biblical testimony as proof and their corroboration is...wait for it...other biblical testimonies. Of course, that isn't corroboration nor is it valid evidence or proof. Another christian proof tactic is the personal testimony. The "I witnessed a miracle" or "god spoke directly to me" crap. The problem is that there is no way to prove that this testimony was not made up and or fabricated.
I know it is frustrating for christians that sane people just don't accept these testimonies as proof, but that is beside the point. In a court of law, a testimony is never accepted as proof alone. Eyewitnesses are notoriously inaccurate, and a testimony could be made up for any number of reasons.
Trump once said that when the Twin Towers were attacked, he saw a bunch of muslims celebrating.
Let's just examine this example.
1) It seems strange and impossible that Trump actually saw anyone from Trump Tower on that day given the dust and debris.
2) Even if he did, he couldn't have seen the people in such detail to actually see if they were or what they were celebrating?
3) How could he tell they were muslim?
There are many other reasons to nullify this testimony.
I used this example to illustrate just how unreliable testimony really is.
So christians, if you think that you can prove a god be advised, testimony is not proof of anything on its own.

Subscription Note: 

Choosing to subscribe to this topic will automatically register you for email notifications for comments and updates on this thread.

Email notifications will be sent out daily by default unless specified otherwise on your account which you can edit by going to your userpage here and clicking on the subscriptions tab.

mickron88's picture
spot on myk, who believes

spot on myk, who believes in tramp?...i mean thrump??

bigbill's picture
I take issue with your post,

I take issue with your post, for one in the case of the bible and the Christian testament there were several eyewitnesses not one or two And they are the oldest in ancient history that we have; The manuscripts are reliable the plain fact is that Jesus Christ is who he claimed to be .just go ahead and show me more then 20,000 manuscripts that we have by any other source in ancient history written so close to the happenings. You don`t have that and you no darn well. N o friend the new testament is as real as the air that we breathe.

mykcob4's picture
You may take issue AG but you

You may take issue AG but you are dead wrong. None of the bible is corroborated by any reliable source. And 20,000 pages of unsubstantiated propaganda is just that...worthless! As far as the bible or any of it being "ancient history", that isn't true either. Just because something is old doesn't make it actual history. And the bible, any bible (and there are MANY of them) does not prove jesus was anything that anyone claims him to be to include a real person.
There are well over 1 million Greek and Roman books and manuscripts most of which predate the 1st century. The British Museum Library is just one repository of such manuscripts.
The new testament is a political rag contrived and produced by Emporer Constantine in the 3rd century and resembles no fact or truth whatsoever.
Oh and BTW AG, you proved my point that christians try and use unsubstantiated witness accounts from the bible to prove the same bible and therefore not reliable nor accurate.
Oh we are not friends, will never be friends, and your statement (which is childish and incorrectly punctuated) is nothing but a condescending insult.

bigbill's picture
THe boks that you mention don

THe boks that you mention don`t account for one person like jesus they are an array of many different subjects . what I`m saying for one person we don`t have anywhere near the ancient manuscripts. say for Cesar and Alexander NO where close. And you didn`t address what I stated about the witnesses who Saw our Lord Jesus resurrected .more then 500; The new testament goes back to the 50`s with the apostle Paul and his letters If you look into reading first Corinthians 15 verse 3 and following according to Gary Habermas takes us back to the crucifixion of Jesus. Nothing that you could list comes as close as that. Peace in Jesus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

algebe's picture
@Agnostic Believer: "say for

@Agnostic Believer: "say for Cesar and Alexander NO where close."

Do you mean Julius Caesar? There's a huge volume of writing about him. One notable example is the criticism of him by Cicero, who thought he was running an illegal war in Gaul. Legends are two are penny, but people don't tend to write long, scathing criticisms about people who don't exist. But here's the clincher: Julius Caesar was also a prolific writer himself. He recorded his military campaigns in great detail. Jesus apparently didn't write a single word.

bigbill's picture
So when was it written and

So when was it written and what manuscripts do we have of Julius Caesar not any thing like the closeness of Jesus the Christ. like I said according to resurrection expert and apologist gary habermas first Corinthians chapter 15 verse 3 and following according to his analysis and Richard Balkman scholar say that this takes us back to the crucifixion of Jesus. There is absolutely nothing more concrete or closer then that .ffor anybody in ancient history.

Nyarlathotep's picture
agnostic believer - according

agnostic believer - according to resurrection expert...first Corinthians chapter 15 verse 3...this takes us back to the crucifixion of Jesus

1st Corinthians was written by Paul, who never met Jesus.

algebe's picture
@Agnostic Believer: "that

@Agnostic Believer: "that this takes us back to the crucifixion of Jesus."

Everything written about Jesus was written by members of his cult. There is nothing written by Jesus himself, and nothing by contemporary critics. For Julius Caesar we have material written by the man himself and copied in manuscript form until the invention of printing. His work is still used to teach Latin today. We also have copious commentaries by historians, and by both friends and enemies among Caesar's contemporaries. Caesar's murder was well documented. It triggered a civil war that culminated in the emergence of Octavian (August) as the first emperor.

Jesus was executed. Maybe. Nothing else happened apart from legendary miracles described by cult followers years, decades, and even centuries later.

My money's on Caesar.

Sky Pilot's picture
agnostic believer,

agnostic believer,

Do you know why the character Yeshua was written as a sacrifice for your sins?

In ancient times (like with crazy Abraham) the custom was to sacrifice the first born. People got tired of that so then they started the practice of circumcision. It was still bloody and painful but the rug rats got to live. They even threw in a lot of animal sacrifices as a bonus. So time passes and then someone (Paul) became an animal lover. He used to kill them in the arenas as sport. So after starting the first PETA chapter (Yeshua turning over the money changing tables in the synagogue) he said that by killing Yeshua it was no longer necessary to sacrifice lovely animals or to whack off foreskins because Yeshua's death and resurrection was the ultimate sacrifice for all of the sinners in the world from that time onward.

So now believers don't have to buy and kill animals or get circumcised (muslims still do).

But the next time you go to church and see a woman with her head uncovered you should grab her and shave her head bald. 13 pictures

Aposteriori unum's picture
Did one of those 500 write

Did one of those 500 write anything? No they didn't. Not one. The fact that there were 500, is itself a baseless assertion. Based on what? Oh the same book in question... How absurd can you get? Let's see...

mykcob4's picture

1) There were not 500 witnesses. Just think about it. 500 people could not fit in a tomb.
2) The resurrection in the bible didn't exist until after 300 ADE. It was added not original.
3) There are not 20,000 individual manuscripts of jesus. There may be thousands of copies but not separate accounts.
Do you mean "books" because you posted "boks"? I don't know what "boks" is!

bigbill's picture
Of course there wasn`t 500

Of course there wasn`t 500 people in the tomb but these people saw jesus after his crucifixion The resurrection was reported right after jesus death and was passed on first by the apostles then to others.Even though what we had as the books of the bible wasn`t comprised until the 300`s we had these eyewitness accounts going way back to when JESus lived and died. things like the miracles the exorcisms power over the elements of nature and so on .Yes I meant books, isn`t that what where discussing here?

mykcob4's picture
No that is NOT what we are

No that is NOT what we are discussing here. We are discussing how that ISN'T valid proof, that it is inaccurate. The fact is there is no proof that jesus lived, that jesus performed any miracles, that jesus was crucified, that he died, that he came back to life. The bible accounts are not valid, they are not corroborated.
As far as the resurrection goes. The people that discovered that jesus was not in the tomb were 3 cleaning women. There is no evidence that jesus ever appeared to anyone. The story of the angel in the tomb came more than 300 years later. In other words, the resurrection story is bullshit.

Sky Pilot's picture
agnostic believer,

agnostic believer,

There were no real books in the 300s. They were just scrolls.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
I have been through this with

I have been through this with you AG several times already.
You are making unsubstantiated claims again.

Do you have a short term memory problem?
In any case you just proved Mykcob's assertion that Christians and Moslems try to prove the proof of their book by the passages within their books. Piffle. Posh . Tosh.

Sheldon's picture
" in the case of the bible

" in the case of the bible and the Christian testament there were several eyewitnesses "

No there weren't, Hitchens's razor applied.

Besides eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable anyway.

" N o friend the new testament is as real as the air that we breathe."

No it isn't, Hitchens's razor applied.

Aposteriori unum's picture
Wow. You must be joking. The

Wow. You must be joking. The new testament is utter plagiarized mythological nonsense. How do you say it in modern language... Bullshit. You don't know who wrote any of it... It was written after the fact, the gospels aren't consistent. This is all information available with a quick Google search...

No you're not serious. You can't be that ignorant.

And even if it was full of eyewitness testimony, which it's not, it wouldn't be reliable at all... That's the point of what mykcob4 said. What were you reading? Not what he wrote apparently.

I feel like I'm wasting my time.

This is all I should have said: bugger off with you.

Grinseed's picture
Paul's testimony about having

Paul's testimony about having been appointed by his god to be an 'Apostle' is made without witnesses or any corroboration, varies in detail with every telling and is first written down over 20 years after the event. Events detailed in Acts do not match Paul's accounts. These issues have been raised and argued for over 300 years ...and still the bible and the NT are still held up as true historical documents....ok.

mickron88's picture
please fill up the disagree

please fill up the disagree box please?? is it just me or its Ag has all the "all time record of disagrees" here..hahah.. do you agree?
agree to disagree

like what i said, rational arguments don't usually work with religious people, otherwise there wouldn't be no religious people!

Thinker's picture
"Paul" was a raving lunatic

"Paul" was a raving lunatic that never met, Jesus if he did exist. he would be an ancient "Pat Roberts" or that money grubbing Joel Osteen" I suppose in a couple thousand years there will be a Book of Roberts and a Book of Osteen in the next bible that comes out, maybe even a book of Graham, and a book of Jim and Tammy Fay Baker, then folks can quote them as proof since they will be old then too, makes no sense whatsoever.

bigbill's picture
Saul his Hebrew name and paul

Saul his Hebrew name and paul his roman citizenship name was the great apostle to the gentiles he started many churches wrote over 13 new testament letters and one if not the most influential person to ever where the title of Christian which he named the followers of Christ called originally the way in Antioch. He went on more then 3 missionary journeys. he suffered greatly for the gospel and he died a martyr`s death by being beheaded. His legacy lives on every time We pickup a copy of the new testament His book of romans is a masterpiece of insight .A theological gem.

mykcob4's picture
It's bullshit and BTW the

It's bullshit and BTW the story of PAUL is OFF TOPIC. The TOPIC is the fallacy of testimony, NOT Paul!

Aposteriori unum's picture
Do you know what else it is?

Do you know what else it is? Fiction.

Sheldon's picture
He was also barking mad, and

He was also barking mad, and never met Jesus. In fact not one single word was written about Jesus during his entire life, so the idea he was the most important human who ever lived, let alone a superhuman deity made flesh, is absurd. The NT is a mish-mash of cobbled together fables, and the authors names to most of the gospels were made up and assigned later. The disciples job was to spread the word of Jesus teachings yet the accounts in the NT contradict each other one many basic facts, including the lineage assigned to Jesus, oddly using Joseph as the starting point even though he wasn't a blood relative. To claim it is factually correct is pure fantasy, to claim the supernatural claims are true is delusional.

Tin-Man's picture


Hey, AB! Here is my testimony. It was written in a book, and there was also a movie made about it. Therefore, it must be true. On a side note, however, I have to say that the guy who portrayed me in the movie did an okay job, but I'm really not that tall. (Just a little trivia for the day.)

The Gospel of Tin-man

And, lo, I was surrounded by the forests and my joints frozen with rust. And she came to me and anointed my joints with the oil and bade me follow her on her mission. She called herself Dorothy of Kansas. With her was a canine of minute stature and a simpleton made of straw, and they became known to me as Toto and Scarecrow. Upon her feet were slippers of the finest ruby that were granted to her by a good angel from a northern land. Dorothy did proclaim she was seeking the mighty Wizard who did rule the lands from the great and holy City of Green Gems. The Wizard was all-powerful and all-knowing, and he would save her and return her to her rightful home of Kansas to be reunited with her family.

And in a moment of revelation, brother Scarecrow did declare to being absent of a brain, and that he sought the Wizard so that his ailment might be alleviated. And I inquired unto Dorothy if the mighty and wonderful Wizard might grant me a heart, as verily I did so longeth to feel the tingle of emotions in my loins. And Dorothy did say unto me, “Taketh up with us on our pilgrimage on the yellow path of stone so that ye may go before the mighty wonderful Wizard and ask of him a heart with thy own mouth, for he is a loving and caring Wizard and would surly grant your request.”

And so she led us upon the path of yellow stone for a time until we came upon a falsely ferocious feline of an overly-timid nature. And he did sayeth to us, “I am a lion who is afraid, yet I long to be a king. And whatsoever could a king be who is but a coward as I?” Therefore, Lion did join us on our journey, so that he might inquire of the Wizard to instill upon him the courage and bravery to pursue his destiny of being king.

And it came to pass as we continued our quest that an evil and wicked crone of green, shrill of voice and cackling, descended from the heavens upon a magical flying broom. And verily we were afraid! And a legion of winged primates of demonic nature did follow with her causing much wailing and turmoil, and fled we did onward from the fray with our souls and spirits badly shaken! Until at last, we did see on yon horizon the spires of the holy City of Green Gems. And – lo! – we did rejoice in our good fortune, for the journey had been long and fraught with hazards and evils.

Upon encountering the Keeper of the Gates, entry we were denied. But, lo, the Keeper of the Gate then did gaze upon the slippers of red adorning the feet of Dorothy and did proclaim in a voice of glee, “Your ruby footwear I have seen as a sign of prophecy and good omen! As that is an equus ferus of a varied hue, you and your companions honor our holy city with your presence!” And so he did open the gates with much celebration and joy, and we were welcomed with great warmth by the faithful citizens of the holy city, who did feed and comfort us and replenish our spirits in grand fashion.

And verily I say we went before the mighty and wonderful Wizard, and each of us he granted with our respective desires. And upon fulfilling our needs, the Wizard did ascend high into the heavens before the multitude who had gathered to hear his Word.


ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
But then if I were to ask you

But then if I were to ask you to prove that God doesn't exist, then suddenly the burden of proof isn't on you, and you're not suppose to prove a negative, or something like that.

Maybe the t-shirt should read "Prove it... because I don't want to do the work."

Tin-Man's picture
Hey, John, please prove to

Hey, John, please prove to everybody the Fairy Godmother from Cinderella does not exist. Or maybe you just don't want to do the work?

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Right, I don't want to do the

Right, I don't want to do the work. But I'm not pretending to have the higher ground while not doing it. Nor would I reasonably criticize someone that does believe she exists, knowing my own position is just as unverifiable.

That said, if I did feel like doing the work, I might take a simple approach: Find a confession of fabrication. The author of Cinderella, as far as I'm aware, wasn't claiming the events were real in the first place. Had that been the case, as is the case with many religious and spiritual writings, then the task becomes more complicated.

mykcob4's picture
And there is the catch Breezy

And there is the catch Breezy. Believers CLAIM that their myth is real. It is up to them, you to prove it! It isn't about atheists "doing the hard work". There is no hard work to do on the part of the people that just don't believe the myth. Believers make a claim that there is a god, make the claim that their myth is real, and subjugate everyone else to not only believe their myth but also to obey their myth.
The point of this whole thread is testimony on its own isn't valid proof.

mykcob4's picture
You KNOW better than that

You KNOW better than that Breezy. We didn't make up god so it isn't our burden to disprove a god.
I could say a pink invisible unicorn created and runs everything. You'd say prove it. According to you, all I'd have to do was say is prove that there isn't a pink unicorn that created and runs everything.


Donating = Loving

Heart Icon

Bringing you atheist articles and building active godless communities takes hundreds of hours and resources each month. If you find any joy or stimulation at Atheist Republic, please consider becoming a Supporting Member with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner.

Or make a one-time donation in any amount.