Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
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06-07-2016, 12:21 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(06-07-2016 11:57 AM)seoq Wrote:  
(06-07-2016 08:24 AM)GoingUp Wrote:  But I also know from experience that anything I say here will be met with severe derision because I will not actually be heard, nor will anything I say ever be carefully considered.

I don't know about anyone else but I appreciate you posting here. I'm trying to figure things out for myself and diverse viewpoints are important for that.

I agree with you that diverse viewpoints are important. It's also why I employ a high degree of skepticism when it comes to things like evidence for something like this.

In his rush to call us "militant atheists", GoingUp seems to have skipped blithely over the fact that I am not a mythicist, and I consider it more probable than not that Jesus (and James) were real people. I do however feel obliged to point out weaknesses in the presumptions that are undertaken when trying to posit these evidences as proofs.

As much as I dislike quoting famous atheists in supporting my own position, I think Christopher Hitchens put it very well in this brief speech:




"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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06-07-2016, 12:37 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(06-07-2016 08:24 AM)GoingUp Wrote:  But I also know from experience that anything I say here will be met with severe derision because I will not actually be heard, nor will anything I say ever be carefully considered.

I think you have an extraordinary grasp of Rome, and those writing in Rome during the 1st Century, and at least we know you're not biased by religion.

You may be right about how I view this topic in the future, but I still think there are legitimate questions that need to be answered, (no matter whether there was an historical Jesus or not)...such as, why the gospels are constructed with a classical mythological literary structure, and why the content doesn't jive with the period the main character was supposed to have lived in, but do reflect the concerns of Rabbinic Judaism later, after the destruction of the temple.

There are also all sorts of things that defy common sense/closer inspection. We know there were all sorts of "Acts of *this or that* " texts, floating around.
http://www.tonyburke.ca/wp-content/uploa...Thecla.pdf
The "Acts of the Apostles" can't possibly be an accurate portrayal of the early Jerusalem community. It has Peter and others saying things that are simply impossible. They spout theological concepts that took decades if not centuries to develop, (supposedly) within weeks of "Pentecost". Those "events" were clearly invented, much later.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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06-07-2016, 01:25 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
I suppose I still remain Agnostic when it comes to the exsitance of Jesus. Same as I do on Shakespeare, King Arthur or Homer. Could these famous figures have been based on real people? Could they have be a work of multiple people? Maybe. Maybe not.

If all I have is hear-say It's not enough for me to come to a sound conclusion.

As interesting as it is to hear about someone say "hey I ran into so and so celebrate yesterday he was super nice." Or "I saw so and so person at so and so place." It's not enough to base who are what that person thought or did.

I've seen how people that fall into cults think. How the group mentality can keep people in. And how founders predecessor's can be just as if not more so corrupt. When they see how easily people can be manipulated and control a group of people that already are willing to do what ever you say can continue the illusion.

L. Ron Hubbard ~ David Miscavige
Jim Jones
Hikari no Wa and Aleph

Are just a few names that have created cults that have(or had) large numbers of followers that worked under a vale of peace and love. Only to having great violence, questionable act's, or even murders. The list goes on and on.

So if Yeshua or Jesus or who ever had existed SO WHAT! 2,016 (give or take) and counting. He's not coming back, get over it. You're already using your own moral code to determine if you like his ideas (or at least the ideas created) so what do you need a dead cult leaders ideas for?

Don't Live each day like it's your last. Live each day like you have 541 days after that one where every choice you make will have lasting implications to you and the world around you. ~ Tim Minchin
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06-07-2016, 01:38 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(06-07-2016 08:24 AM)GoingUp Wrote:  Because that is how militant atheism works.

If your beliefs dont match with reality, you shouldnt re-define reality (by creating a special wiki, just for people with your beliefs) but re-consider your beliefs.

Ceterum censeo, religionem delendam esse
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06-07-2016, 03:40 PM (This post was last modified: 06-07-2016 04:15 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(06-07-2016 08:24 AM)GoingUp Wrote:  
(06-07-2016 02:36 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  So why are you using terms like "militant atheist" and "mythicist" in such a negative context?

Because like anything else that requires one to hold a position, an over-indulgence can only produce extremists.

Atheism is not immune in its ability to produce people who can take the position too far. I have met hundreds of atheists in my life, and most are just normal folks like most other people. However, some take their atheism to such an extreme as to put the blinders on when it comes to such things as we are discussing here, among other things. The thing is, these extreme and improbable views held by these militant atheists do a dis-service to the atheist position, since the atheist position prides itself on the employment of rationality and reason.

In the context of this discussion here, for example, I see absolutely no rationality or reason to hold on to a position of hearsay- when no evidence of it can be supplied- in regards to Tacitus as if that is the most probable explanation, when the internal evidence strongly indicates otherwise. It is my experience that this position is only held by atheists who have a very big bone to pick with religion.

Whenever it comes to Jesus, many atheists simply lose the plot. His non-existence matters to them far more than any degree of rationality, and therefore rationality is completely disregarded when it comes to this subject.

I see people such as yourself convincing yourself of things that are so improbable and so poorly supported with actual evidence as it becomes virtually impossible to change your views, or to even consider alternatives with a rational and reasonable mind.

Let me show you what I mean.

1. In regards to Tacitus, favoring hearsay in regards to Christus when the internal evidence and the scholarly community so strongly indicates otherwise is no different than when a religionist holds on to creationism in the face of the Big Bang theory and what the scientific community regards as the best explanation.

2. In regards to Josephus- and in particular his 2nd mention of Jesus- to claim this 2nd mention is either not genuine or refers to someone else because the 1st mention of Jesus in Josephus may be an interpolation is no different than saying something to the effect of, "Richard Dawkins once told a lie, so therefore everything Richard Dawkins says is a lie." It's obviously a fallacious position. Not only that, those who claim this 2nd mention is not genuine, or refers to someone else not only disagree with the scholarly community, but agree with the exact same scholarly community who say the 1st mention is probably, at the very least, a partial interpolation.

Every single discussion with atheists on atheist forums regrading the existence of Jesus always results in their mockery of the very things they claim to hold so dear, such as reason and rationality. The only common denominator in this respect is that their distaste for the Christian religion runs so deep that they become militant against it to such as an extreme as to deny themselves the proper employment of reason and rationality.

Even Richard Dawkins, whom I hold in very high esteem, agrees with the scholarly community that Jesus of Nazareth probably existed as an ordinary man, and was crucified by Pilate, and whom became the focal point of the Christian religion, subsequently resulting in the embellishment of his life.

So you insist that I seem to care so much, yet look in the mirror Mark. I am not the one with irrational arguments, postulating improbable theories, and holding positions with no evidence to support them, or making numerous claims of interpolations because the alternative doesn't fit with your beliefs.

I am simply following the practice of rational thinking and with my own extensive education, agreeing with the conclusions of the scholarly community as well as the conclusions of such well respected and well balanced atheists as Richard Dawkins.

But I also know from experience that anything I say here will be met with severe derision because I will not actually be heard, nor will anything I say ever be carefully considered.

Because that is how militant atheism works.

"Because like anything else that requires one to hold a position, an over-indulgence can only produce extremists."

Agreed. But how ironic that you claim no one here can teach you anything because you already know it allFacepalm and then you have the audacity to write the above.

"I see people such as yourself convincing yourself of things that are so improbable and so poorly supported with actual evidence as it becomes virtually impossible to change your views, or to even consider alternatives with a rational and reasonable mind."

How ironic that you could write this about me, when you demonstrated your ignorance by claiming Jesus spawned Nazarenism and gnosticism. When this was pointed out to you, you had nothing to say. I invited you to comment on my writings about Paul, about whom you appear to know very little, and you didn't respond. It is clear YOU are the one not interested in evidence and not willing to change your views.

"Every single discussion with atheists on atheist forums regrading the existence of Jesus always results in their mockery of the very things they claim to hold so dear, such as reason and rationality."

Bullshit! What da fuck are you talking about? All I have heard from you is an endlessly repeated diatribe of poorly expressed argument about Tacitus. As has already been pointed out to you, multiple times, by different commentators, you don't know what other atheists here (myself included) think about the existence of Jesus. You are labelling all of us atheists with your own biases, and then accusing us all of being narrow minded!

"But I also know from experience that anything I say here will be met with severe derision"

There's 4 reasons for that
1. Everything you write is littered with ridiculous biases against atheists
2. Most of what you write is not particularly interesting
3. You repeat yourself almost ad nauseum
4. You are an arrogant tosser.
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06-07-2016, 04:29 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(06-07-2016 03:40 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(06-07-2016 08:24 AM)GoingUp Wrote:  Because like anything else that requires one to hold a position, an over-indulgence can only produce extremists.

Atheism is not immune in its ability to produce people who can take the position too far. I have met hundreds of atheists in my life, and most are just normal folks like most other people. However, some take their atheism to such an extreme as to put the blinders on when it comes to such things as we are discussing here, among other things. The thing is, these extreme and improbable views held by these militant atheists do a dis-service to the atheist position, since the atheist position prides itself on the employment of rationality and reason.

In the context of this discussion here, for example, I see absolutely no rationality or reason to hold on to a position of hearsay- when no evidence of it can be supplied- in regards to Tacitus as if that is the most probable explanation, when the internal evidence strongly indicates otherwise. It is my experience that this position is only held by atheists who have a very big bone to pick with religion.

Whenever it comes to Jesus, many atheists simply lose the plot. His non-existence matters to them far more than any degree of rationality, and therefore rationality is completely disregarded when it comes to this subject.

I see people such as yourself convincing yourself of things that are so improbable and so poorly supported with actual evidence as it becomes virtually impossible to change your views, or to even consider alternatives with a rational and reasonable mind.

Let me show you what I mean.

1. In regards to Tacitus, favoring hearsay in regards to Christus when the internal evidence and the scholarly community so strongly indicates otherwise is no different than when a religionist holds on to creationism in the face of the Big Bang theory and what the scientific community regards as the best explanation.

2. In regards to Josephus- and in particular his 2nd mention of Jesus- to claim this 2nd mention is either not genuine or refers to someone else because the 1st mention of Jesus in Josephus may be an interpolation is no different than saying something to the effect of, "Richard Dawkins once told a lie, so therefore everything Richard Dawkins says is a lie." It's obviously a fallacious position. Not only that, those who claim this 2nd mention is not genuine, or refers to someone else not only disagree with the scholarly community, but agree with the exact same scholarly community who say the 1st mention is probably, at the very least, a partial interpolation.

Every single discussion with atheists on atheist forums regrading the existence of Jesus always results in their mockery of the very things they claim to hold so dear, such as reason and rationality. The only common denominator in this respect is that their distaste for the Christian religion runs so deep that they become militant against it to such as an extreme as to deny themselves the proper employment of reason and rationality.

Even Richard Dawkins, whom I hold in very high esteem, agrees with the scholarly community that Jesus of Nazareth probably existed as an ordinary man, and was crucified by Pilate, and whom became the focal point of the Christian religion, subsequently resulting in the embellishment of his life.

So you insist that I seem to care so much, yet look in the mirror Mark. I am not the one with irrational arguments, postulating improbable theories, and holding positions with no evidence to support them, or making numerous claims of interpolations because the alternative doesn't fit with your beliefs.

I am simply following the practice of rational thinking and with my own extensive education, agreeing with the conclusions of the scholarly community as well as the conclusions of such well respected and well balanced atheists as Richard Dawkins.

But I also know from experience that anything I say here will be met with severe derision because I will not actually be heard, nor will anything I say ever be carefully considered.

Because that is how militant atheism works.

"Because like anything else that requires one to hold a position, an over-indulgence can only produce extremists."

Agreed. But how ironic that you claim no one here can teach you anything because you already know it allFacepalm and then you have the audacity to write the above.

"I see people such as yourself convincing yourself of things that are so improbable and so poorly supported with actual evidence as it becomes virtually impossible to change your views, or to even consider alternatives with a rational and reasonable mind."

How ironic that you could write this about me, when you demonstrated your ignorance by claiming Jesus spawned Nazarenism and gnosticism. When this was pointed out to you, you had nothing to say. I invited you to comment on my writings about Paul, about whom you appear to know very little, and you didn't respond. It is clear YOU are the one not interested in evidence and not willing to change your views.

"Every single discussion with atheists on atheist forums regrading the existence of Jesus always results in their mockery of the very things they claim to hold so dear, such as reason and rationality."

Bullshit! What da fuck are you talking about? All I have heard from you is an endlessly repeated diatribe of poorly expressed argument about Tacitus. As has already been pointed out to you, multiple times, by different commentators, you don't know what other atheists here (myself included) think about the existence of Jesus. You are labelling all of us atheists with your own biases, and then accusing us all of being narrow minded!

"But I also know from experience that anything I say here will be met with severe derision"

There's 4 reasons for that
1. Everything you write is littered with ridiculous biases against atheists
2. Most of what you write is not particularly interesting
3. You repeat yourself almost ad nauseum
4. You are an arrogant tosser.

PS. Guess what, I'm not perfect either. It would be nice to have good, intellectual discussions about the historicity of Jesus. Can we move off Tacitus, as I think he's been done to death?
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06-07-2016, 05:18 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
You seem not to know what Conservapedia is. Consider

If you did, you would understand that their definition is bullshit.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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06-07-2016, 09:40 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(06-07-2016 12:37 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(06-07-2016 08:24 AM)GoingUp Wrote:  But I also know from experience that anything I say here will be met with severe derision because I will not actually be heard, nor will anything I say ever be carefully considered.

I think you have an extraordinary grasp of Rome, and those writing in Rome during the 1st Century, and at least we know you're not biased by religion.

You may be right about how I view this topic in the future, but I still think there are legitimate questions that need to be answered, (no matter whether there was an historical Jesus or not)...such as, why the gospels are constructed with a classical mythological literary structure, and why the content doesn't jive with the period the main character was supposed to have lived in, but do reflect the concerns of Rabbinic Judaism later, after the destruction of the temple.

There are also all sorts of things that defy common sense/closer inspection. We know there were all sorts of "Acts of *this or that* " texts, floating around.
http://www.tonyburke.ca/wp-content/uploa...Thecla.pdf
The "Acts of the Apostles" can't possibly be an accurate portrayal of the early Jerusalem community. It has Peter and others saying things that are simply impossible. They spout theological concepts that took decades if not centuries to develop, (supposedly) within weeks of "Pentecost". Those "events" were clearly invented, much later.

There are heaps and heaps of questions that need to be answered, that's for a certainty. In fact, the question of whether or not Jesus actually existed may never be answered with any degree of conclusiveness.

I simply looked at all the evidence and all the arguments and concluded that the argument for historicity is a better argument than wholesale myth. I admit that the historicity argument doesn't prove that Jesus existed, and with the current evidence it never will. The best we can say is that the evidence indicates a reasonable possibility, but falls far short of a slam dunk for a certainty.

I find the arguments for a complete myth lacking any evidence at all to support them. Those who claim that Jesus was a total myth are making a positive claim that requires at least some evidence to support it, but I see a lot of god-of-the-caps problems when a claim of evidence is made. I also see far too may accusations of interpolations that simply defy reason, and are not actually evidenced, aside from supplying conjecture which is not evidence at all.

Certainly the burden of proof is also upon those who make the positive claim of existence, but that burden is not nearly so heavy for those who agree that the available evidence indicates a reasonably good possibility. At least this position has some evidence to work with, and that evidence is good enough to warrant the possibility, and a better possibility than wholesale myth.
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06-07-2016, 09:43 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(06-07-2016 05:18 PM)Chas Wrote:  You seem not to know what Conservapedia is. Consider

If you did, you would understand that their definition is bullshit.

Oh believe me I knew exactly what I was doing when I linked to Conservapedia.

Big Grin
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06-07-2016, 10:03 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(06-07-2016 03:40 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(06-07-2016 08:24 AM)GoingUp Wrote:  Because like anything else that requires one to hold a position, an over-indulgence can only produce extremists.

Atheism is not immune in its ability to produce people who can take the position too far. I have met hundreds of atheists in my life, and most are just normal folks like most other people. However, some take their atheism to such an extreme as to put the blinders on when it comes to such things as we are discussing here, among other things. The thing is, these extreme and improbable views held by these militant atheists do a dis-service to the atheist position, since the atheist position prides itself on the employment of rationality and reason.

In the context of this discussion here, for example, I see absolutely no rationality or reason to hold on to a position of hearsay- when no evidence of it can be supplied- in regards to Tacitus as if that is the most probable explanation, when the internal evidence strongly indicates otherwise. It is my experience that this position is only held by atheists who have a very big bone to pick with religion.

Whenever it comes to Jesus, many atheists simply lose the plot. His non-existence matters to them far more than any degree of rationality, and therefore rationality is completely disregarded when it comes to this subject.

I see people such as yourself convincing yourself of things that are so improbable and so poorly supported with actual evidence as it becomes virtually impossible to change your views, or to even consider alternatives with a rational and reasonable mind.

Let me show you what I mean.

1. In regards to Tacitus, favoring hearsay in regards to Christus when the internal evidence and the scholarly community so strongly indicates otherwise is no different than when a religionist holds on to creationism in the face of the Big Bang theory and what the scientific community regards as the best explanation.

2. In regards to Josephus- and in particular his 2nd mention of Jesus- to claim this 2nd mention is either not genuine or refers to someone else because the 1st mention of Jesus in Josephus may be an interpolation is no different than saying something to the effect of, "Richard Dawkins once told a lie, so therefore everything Richard Dawkins says is a lie." It's obviously a fallacious position. Not only that, those who claim this 2nd mention is not genuine, or refers to someone else not only disagree with the scholarly community, but agree with the exact same scholarly community who say the 1st mention is probably, at the very least, a partial interpolation.

Every single discussion with atheists on atheist forums regrading the existence of Jesus always results in their mockery of the very things they claim to hold so dear, such as reason and rationality. The only common denominator in this respect is that their distaste for the Christian religion runs so deep that they become militant against it to such as an extreme as to deny themselves the proper employment of reason and rationality.

Even Richard Dawkins, whom I hold in very high esteem, agrees with the scholarly community that Jesus of Nazareth probably existed as an ordinary man, and was crucified by Pilate, and whom became the focal point of the Christian religion, subsequently resulting in the embellishment of his life.

So you insist that I seem to care so much, yet look in the mirror Mark. I am not the one with irrational arguments, postulating improbable theories, and holding positions with no evidence to support them, or making numerous claims of interpolations because the alternative doesn't fit with your beliefs.

I am simply following the practice of rational thinking and with my own extensive education, agreeing with the conclusions of the scholarly community as well as the conclusions of such well respected and well balanced atheists as Richard Dawkins.

But I also know from experience that anything I say here will be met with severe derision because I will not actually be heard, nor will anything I say ever be carefully considered.

Because that is how militant atheism works.

"Because like anything else that requires one to hold a position, an over-indulgence can only produce extremists."

Agreed. But how ironic that you claim no one here can teach you anything because you already know it allFacepalm and then you have the audacity to write the above.

"I see people such as yourself convincing yourself of things that are so improbable and so poorly supported with actual evidence as it becomes virtually impossible to change your views, or to even consider alternatives with a rational and reasonable mind."

How ironic that you could write this about me, when you demonstrated your ignorance by claiming Jesus spawned Nazarenism and gnosticism. When this was pointed out to you, you had nothing to say. I invited you to comment on my writings about Paul, about whom you appear to know very little, and you didn't respond. It is clear YOU are the one not interested in evidence and not willing to change your views.

"Every single discussion with atheists on atheist forums regrading the existence of Jesus always results in their mockery of the very things they claim to hold so dear, such as reason and rationality."

Bullshit! What da fuck are you talking about? All I have heard from you is an endlessly repeated diatribe of poorly expressed argument about Tacitus. As has already been pointed out to you, multiple times, by different commentators, you don't know what other atheists here (myself included) think about the existence of Jesus. You are labelling all of us atheists with your own biases, and then accusing us all of being narrow minded!

"But I also know from experience that anything I say here will be met with severe derision"

There's 4 reasons for that
1. Everything you write is littered with ridiculous biases against atheists
2. Most of what you write is not particularly interesting
3. You repeat yourself almost ad nauseum
4. You are an arrogant tosser.

Let me just give you something to ponder.

As you probably already know, many towns are so named after the people who settled the town. For example, Fort MacMurray is named after MacMurray, and so on.

Jesus was a Nazarene, not because he came from Nazareth, but because a sect known as the Nazarenes settle there, and the town became known as Nazareth because of them, long before Jesus was ever born. Therefore, Jesus did not spawn Nazarenism, but merely propagated it.

Judging by some statements accredited to Jesus in the gospel records, if true, we can see some startling similarities between those statements and the Essene as described by Josephus. This allows us to reasonably ponder if the Nazarene were a sub-sect of the Essene.

Start with that, Mark.
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