By: Tyler A. Wunder To: Chris Vetter Re: belief In a msg of +lt;Monday May 16 1994+gt;, De
By: Tyler A. Wunder
To: Chris Vetter
In a msg of , Derek Clayton writes to Chris Vetter:
->>> You produce the least little scrap of evidence that dead men get upa
->>> away and I'll believe. Until then, it's just a ghost story.
CV>> Why not look into it yourself, other than the Bible the ressurection
CV>> of Christ is one of the most documented incidents in the history
CV>> of mankind.
Your statement is a little unclear. By "other than the bible, the
ressurection [sic]...is one of the most documented incidents in the history of
mankind", are you saying that the bible is one of the most documented incidents
of mankind's history, seconded by the resurrection?
Or were you saying that other than the biblical sources, the resurrection
of Jesus is one of the most documented incidents of mankind's history?
Incidentally, Chris, could you please play a small game with me and render
an opinion on the following scenario? Thanks.
There is a general claim that Bill Svenfield, back in 1805, using the
powers of his own mind, caused several people in the town he lived in to burst
into flames, all simultaneously. After this, Bill disappeared and was never
heard of again. The earliest records of this event are six separate accounts
that have been dated at approximately 1835-1870, and were supposedly written by
a number of Bill's closest friends, who believed all along in what Bill claimed
he was able to do (i.e. use his mind to burn people). There are also a few
accounts of this event from actual historians, but none of these date earlier
than 1870, and seem to refer only to the accounts written by Bill's close
friends, and not to the events themselves.
Now, a lot of people are skeptical of the truth of what Bill is claimed to
have done. For starters, the six accounts diverge greatly on a lot of details,
and relate contradictory details of the story (e.g. who burst into flames, when
it happened, what events led up to it). As well, Bill's close friends were
highly motivated to corroborate what Bill had done, as they had been supporters
of his supposed pyrokinetic abilities all along. What's more, it's entirely
likely that these accounts, given the dates they were written and the ages of
Bill's friends, were not actually written by Bill's friends. At best, it seems
they were passed along by word of mouth and written down at a later date, under
the pseudonames of Bill's friends, by people who had later come to believe
quite strongly in Bill's supposed powers, but had not actually witnessed the
It is also claimed that Bill foretold what he was going to do, and this is
recorded in the writings of each of the six accounts (remember that none of
them date earlier than 1835, some thirty years after the event supposedly
Now, my question for you is, quite simply, does this story sound
plausible, given the quality of the supporting evidence? Does the evidence
supporting this claim sound sufficient to establish a reasonable belief in the
pryokinetic abilities of Bill Svenfield? If not, why not?
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