Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Positive Claims Require Positive Evidence

Hey all,

After a recent discussion with my sister I felt it necessary to make this post. She and I were discussing  history, primarily ancient Egypt, and as you know this is something that has been an interest of mine for 19 years. I made the statement that there is no evidence that the Jews were enslaved in ancient Egypt because we have records of the labor taxes that the Egyptians paid (instead of paying taxes monetarily the Egyptians worked on building things like the temples and the pyramids), the workers village of the people who worked on the valley of the kings has been located and the artifacts unearthed there indicate that they were well provided for, and the workers village for the pyramids was also located and showed the same thing. All of this suggests there were not slaves in Egypt to the scale that Exodus claims that there were.

My sister, playing Devil's advocate stated that since we do not know everything about ancient Egypt and that the entire valley has not been excavated that there is no way to definitively state that the Jews were never in Egypt, and that since the Library of Alexandra was burnt down, several times, if there were records of the Jews in Egypt it is likely that is where they were, and since no one is still alive from that time there is no way to know for sure.

This is a fair argument, but there would have also been material artifacts left by the Jews, not only in Egypt but in the desert after their 40 year migration. Which there is none.

Let's use an analogy for this argument shall we? We know that New York exists, I'm sure I'm not shocking anyone by this, does that mean that Spiderman exists? We have a lot of written material about Spiderman, we know his real name, we know who he married, what his job is, where he went to university and who his teachers are, and people have been writing about him for decades. My sister has been to New York many times, but has never seen Spiderman, but what are the odds of seeing one person in a city of millions?

If I believe that Spiderman exists, and we have written information about him, even if that information does not come from sources other than Marvel comics (I know there were quite a few crossovers with other companies), does this mean that he exists? No, it doesn't, but if you were to try to prove with 100% certainty that he doesn't exist you will have the same problems of trying to prove the Jews were never in Egypt. All you can do is say no until evidence is presented that Spiderman does exist, and this is the same thing that we are doing with the Jews in Egypt. We only have once source that says they were there, and this could have been a story told and retold, much like a comic, but we have nothing else. So since there is no physical evidence all we can do is say that the Jews were not in Egypt until someone can prove with something other than a book that they were.

That's all for now,

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