Atwill Documentary...excellent stuff
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01-06-2014, 07:04 AM
RE: Atwill Documentary...excellent stuff
(01-06-2014 06:38 AM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  the video, if it leads you to the conclusion that Jesus never existed, is not something I would be sharing with others. it just makes you look like a gullible atheist who wants to have his demonstrably incorrect beliefs confirmed.

Who is the "you" to whom you were referring?

Nigh on half the population of the world would respond with a "so what?" if Jesus was conclusively proved never to have existed.

And they would have the same reaction if the reverse were proved.
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01-06-2014, 07:23 AM
RE: Atwill Documentary...excellent stuff
(01-06-2014 06:38 AM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  the video, if it leads you to the conclusion that Jesus never existed, is not something I would be sharing with others. it just makes you look like a gullible atheist who wants to have his demonstrably incorrect beliefs confirmed.

Are you incapable of making an argument without tacking on condescending adjectives?

Truth seeker.
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01-06-2014, 07:24 AM (This post was last modified: 01-06-2014 07:59 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Atwill Documentary...excellent stuff
(01-06-2014 06:38 AM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  the video, if it leads you to the conclusion that Jesus never existed, is not something I would be sharing with others. it just makes you look like a gullible atheist who wants to have his demonstrably incorrect beliefs confirmed.

I do realize thinking outside the box is a threat to people like you (including the founder of your *Elevation cult*) who actually know nothing about the history of the ancient Near East, and whose entire lives are based on a complete pile of stinking bullshit.

You forgot to "demonstrate" what you CLAIM are "demonstrably incorrect". (*As if* the nonsense of Christianity were somehow "demonstrably correct").
Church Lady is really wound up today.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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01-06-2014, 08:08 AM
RE: Atwill Documentary...excellent stuff
I like the message but not the presentation.

Made me feel like I was spending Sunday morning in church. Tongue

The content makes sense though.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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01-06-2014, 08:24 AM
RE: Atwill Documentary...excellent stuff
Well, it put me to sleep last night, anyway. Thumbsup

From an angle and at a distance, a window screen looks solid until you get up close and see it's full of holes. Yeah, same kinda thing.

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01-06-2014, 08:34 AM
RE: Atwill Documentary...excellent stuff
It was just awful scholarship to say the least.

How are they able to ignore St Paul? Seriously the Pauline 7 (Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Phillipians, 1 Thessalonians and Philemon) are universally authentically attributed to St Paul and all dated before 70 CE. It's convenient for their thesis to ignore them, but also very dishonest.

Ignoring everything in Christian polemic, apologetic writings from Origen, Ireneaus and Tertullian also very convenient. Let alone Roman writers of the era.

Plus the voice of the female was just annoying.

Can I get my time back? Thanks

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01-06-2014, 11:53 AM (This post was last modified: 01-06-2014 12:06 PM by Deltabravo.)
RE: Atwill Documentary...excellent stuff
Thanks for posting that, Mark.

What the film doesn't convey is the analysis which Atwill sets out in his book. The film just takes the conclusion Atwill reaches. His book shows several sets of "coincidences" in the NT and he calculates the likelihood of them occurring accidentally in works written by writers independently of each other. What are the chances of four novelists all writing stories about a man called Harry Potter, for instance, and his life story just happens to follow the same path as a real person, say, Lincoln. Went to the same places, did similar things, in the same sequence. That is what his book is about.

That is why the book is so powerful, because it doesn't go on to extrapolate and conjecture about the consequences of this. I can see why some people don't think much of it, because the film comes at it from the wrong end. Of course, it wouldn't be very interesting to watch a film based on a book which focuses on mathematical probability which is what Caesar's Messiah is.

The problem then becomes that you listen to all these people who see the consequences of Atwill's theory and are so convinced. They aren't convinced because it is a new slant on mysticism. They are convinced because the statistical approach leads one to the conclusion that the gospels are collaborative and written by the Flavians et al. Beyond that, it is a matter of opinion as to what that means.

I don't happen to agree with Atwill's analysis and I particularly don't like what DM Murdoch says. I did not realize that she is some sort of neo-pagan!

What Atwill misses is the moral philosophy of Christianity. It is very cynical to say that this religion was just invented to "control" society for the benefit of the Flavians. The film mentions how the religion became adopted as the Imperial cult and how there was a paradigm shift and how the Flavians were different from the pagan Julian caesars and contributed to the development of much that we now recognize as Roman, like the Coliseum, but it doesn't expand on that. Instead, we have Atwill going on about how this is important because it exposes the mechanism of state control and how it is used to cause great suffering. And we have Murdoch urging us to realize we are all pagans and paganism was great and we should all go back to that...

What it misses is the thing that ties us together, to put it in the words of the film. What is the underlying philosophy of the religions which the film mentions? The "great" religions, if we can call them that, all focus on some interpretation or rendition of the "golden rule", which Kant formulated as the "categorical imperative" to act so that the basis upon which one acts can be applied universally. That is, do only that which you would have others do unto you.

What Christianity delivers isn't some mind control mechanism. It's a very carefully crafted philosophy which centers on the idea of the "logos" or reason as the basis of morals, gives a number of "dictates" in the form of the beatitudes and supports them with examples and illustrations from the "life" of the Jesus character, in the form of parables.

The other problem is that one can turn Atwill on his head in the same way he turns Christianity on its head. He uses statistics to show that the work must be collaborative. That may show that the particular aspects of the story which parallel Titus' campaign are fiction. What it doesn't show is that there wasn't some person upon whose life the Jesus story is based.

Where Atwill, in my view, fails is that he, and the others for that matter, say, yes, this is actually a story about the Jewish Revolt, therefore the 30's CE Jesus never existed. But, they don't look for anyone who is similar to Jesus during the period of the Jewish Revolt. That, to me, would seem to be the next obvious step in the analysis!!!

For me, the Jesus story is that of a military capitulation. We have someone who is baptized/converted into some sect, becomes a preacher of a peaceful religion, feeds the poor, is betrayed by conventional Jews and is handed over to the Romans. This is the story of a failed rebellion or political movement. When the Romans defeated the Jews the leaders of the rebellion were crucified. Isn't it usual for wars to come to an end when the leaders are defeated? Jerusalem was besieged and people were being starved to death. Josephus wrote of a woman who sacrificed her own son and he would become the Passover lamb.

But, we have figures like that in recorded history. Queen Helena and her son were well liked, converted to the Nazarite sect, which is reason based, and fed the poor during a famine.

Then we have the NT story of Mary anointing Jesus feet and drying them with her hair, the Judas betrayal, capture, trial and crucifixion. Surely that is "parallel" to someone who has led a rebellion deciding that he has to give himself up, be recognized as the "leader" of the rebellion and "going down with the ship". He needs to be anointed and then turned over to be executed to end the war and save everyone. It's to me the most plausible explanation of the whole idea of someone dying so that others may live. Whether it happened in the way it is set out in the NT is speculation, or maybe it is invented but it is a story which ties in with the defeat of the Jews. At the trial, the Jews want Jesus crucified, because he is not one of them, ie., their house was divided and he was part of a minority sect, and he had accepted, perhaps, that he would take the blame for the defeat.

That's my take on it. I think there is a lot more to be said about it than the film shows, both in terms of the basis on which Atwill comes to his conclusions and what can be inferred from them.

The real story may be closer to the inhabitants of Jerusalem getting hold of the leaders of the revolt and throwing them over the wall, which is what the Jewish Encyclopedia says happened.
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01-06-2014, 12:23 PM
RE: Atwill Documentary...excellent stuff
(01-06-2014 11:53 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  What Atwill misses is the moral philosophy of Christianity. It is very cynical to say that this religion was just invented to "control" society for the benefit of the Flavians.

There is no unified "original" *moral philosophy* of Christianity. There were many communities of Christians who only communicated rarely, and had different leaders. When they came together in the councils they fought like cats and dogs as they cooked up their new religion. All you have to do is read the proceedings of the councils. The central feature in what it has become today is not the "golden rule", but that salvation was "achieved" by a salvific act by Jesus. Moral philosophy developed, as the cult developed. You're just slapping your own interpretation onto history.
One of the MAIN occuptions of Rabbinic Judasim at the time was to try to "simplify" the ancient complex law codes. There were many Rabbis who came up with the "golden rule" as one of those simplification systems. It was IN NO WAY unique to Christianity. The origins of that were Judaic.

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01-06-2014, 12:54 PM
RE: Atwill Documentary...excellent stuff
(01-06-2014 11:53 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  The "great" religions, if we can call them that, all focus on some interpretation or rendition of the "golden rule", which Kant formulated as the "categorical imperative" to act so that the basis upon which one acts can be applied universally.

It's nitpicking, but Kantianism doesn't really have anything to do with the gold rule. The categorical imperative is a duty obligate moral system where by what is 'right' is given preference over what is 'good'. The golden rule is "do unto others as you would want done unto yourself". In the bible:

'Mathew 7:12 Wrote:“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

The Kantian categorical imperative and the 'golden rule' are not the same thing. A classic example, and one presented to Kant during his lifetime, what if someone was hiding from a murderer in your home, and the murderer approached your door and asked you if his would-be victim was inside. A proper interpretation of the golden rule would be to lie to the murder, because you would want someone to lie to your would-be murderer where you in that situation. Kant believes you should always tell the truth regardless of the consequences.

http://www.academia.edu/2006209/Kant_and..._and_Nazis
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01-06-2014, 01:29 PM (This post was last modified: 01-06-2014 01:57 PM by Deltabravo.)
RE: Atwill Documentary...excellent stuff
(01-06-2014 12:54 PM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  
(01-06-2014 11:53 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  The "great" religions, if we can call them that, all focus on some interpretation or rendition of the "golden rule", which Kant formulated as the "categorical imperative" to act so that the basis upon which one acts can be applied universally.

It's nitpicking, but Kantianism doesn't really have anything to do with the gold rule. The categorical imperative is a duty obligate moral system where by what is 'right' is given preference over what is 'good'. The golden rule is "do unto others as you would want done unto yourself". In the bible:

'Mathew 7:12 Wrote:“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

The Kantian categorical imperative and the 'golden rule' are not the same thing. A classic example, and one presented to Kant during his lifetime, what if someone was hiding from a murderer in your home, and the murderer approached your door and asked you if his would-be victim was inside. A proper interpretation of the golden rule would be to lie to the murder, because you would want someone to lie to your would-be murderer where you in that situation. Kant believes you should always tell the truth regardless of the consequences.

http://www.academia.edu/2006209/Kant_and..._and_Nazis


The point is that Christianity is, in my opinion, a vehicle for delivering a reason based religion, as opposed to, and in order to supplant, paganism. Kant upholds the dictates of moral reason to be the core of what is required of human beings. How one formulates that rule may vary but the concept is the same.

For instance:

"Kant’s... focus is on the role sacred history can play in awakening and establishing rational faith. When using faith in the prototype as an example, Kant makes clear that one can legitimately be awakened to the prototype of reason by a purported historical manifestation of the prototype (e.g., Jesus of Nazareth). According to Kant, whether one is awakened to the prototype by reason or by history, both means of awakening can set one on the path of pure moral faith. The question is not one of the means of awakening, but of what is seen as the rational ground of faith. If the empirical manifestation is believed to be a revelation of some (dormant?) truth already embedded in reason(viz., the truth of human depravity and our need for divinely initiated moral renewal), then, for Kant, there is no rift between this faith and the faith of reason—both look to the same rational truth for hope." http://www.academia.edu/194732/Kant_on_t...n_Religion

The categorical imperative is: Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.
Which is a formal expression of the golden rule, "do unto other as you would have others do unto you". The test of whether you are acting on something which you would want to be universally applied is whether you would want it to apply to you. I can't see any difference. One commentator has described them thus: "Kant's Categorical Imperative is so strikingly similar to the “Golden Rule” that the two may even be morally equivalent." http://phiml.hubpages.com/hub/Kants-Cate...olden-Rule
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