Debating the historical Jesus
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10-03-2015, 01:53 PM
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
(10-03-2015 12:46 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Citing what Scholars or Historians believe is an appeal to authority.

Actually, when it's a collective of intelligence which presents a consensus, it's not a fallacious appeal to authority.

Here is the position:

"Argument from authority, also authoritative argument and appeal to authority, is a common form of argument which leads to a logical fallacy when misused.[1]

An argument from authority (also appeal to authority, argumentum ad verecundiam and argumentum ab auctoritate), when correctly applied, can be a valid and sometimes essential part of an argument that requests judgement or input from a qualified or expert source. The operation of the common law would be impossible without it, for example.

Frequently, however, it is a logical fallacy consisting of an appeal to authority, but on a topic outside of the authority's expertise or on a topic on which the authority is not disinterested (aka. the authority is biased). Almost any subject has an authority on every side of the argument, even where there is generally agreed to be no argument.
"

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Argument_from_authority

Basically, appeal to authority is fallacious whenever anybody uses the credentials of someone who is:

1. Not an authority in the field.
2. Can be proven to be biased; ie a church bishop who is also a historian, or a historian who openly supports Jesus Mythicism such as Richard Carrier.

The best legitimate argument from authority that can be applied is known as a collective of intelligence whereas it is a consensus of authorities in a particular field.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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10-03-2015, 01:58 PM
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
I finally got a very intellectual response: "you didn't answer any of my questions. If 39 world scholars out of 50 to believe Josephus speaks of Jesus what's the problem here? Are we to believe atheist play on the Internet or leading scholars in the world. What would be the better position to take. Can you answer that question for me?"
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10-03-2015, 02:03 PM
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
(10-03-2015 01:53 PM)Free Wrote:  2. Can be proven to be biased; ... or a historian who openly supports Jesus Mythicism such as Richard Carrier.

Are you saying that a historian who takes a position is necessarily biased? Are historians who openly support historicity also biased?

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10-03-2015, 02:10 PM (This post was last modified: 10-03-2015 02:19 PM by Free.)
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
(10-03-2015 02:03 PM)unfogged Wrote:  
(10-03-2015 01:53 PM)Free Wrote:  2. Can be proven to be biased; ... or a historian who openly supports Jesus Mythicism such as Richard Carrier.

Are you saying that a historian who takes a position is necessarily biased? Are historians who openly support historicity also biased?

No, the bias I am speaking about is, for example, a Christian scholar who would say something to the effect of, "The section of Jesus being crucified as written in Josephus has not be altered, interpolated, or forged. It is wholly original."

When you see that kind of statement, bias is evident because for one he is a devoted Christian, and also the collective of intelligence does not share that view.

Also, for example, if Mythicist advocate Richard Carrier were to say, "The entirety of Josephus on the crucifixion of Jesus is interpolated and forged," then you have the very same reason to apply bias since he is an advocate for Mythicism, and also the collective of intelligence does not share his view either.

Always side with the consensus, especially when bias can occur either way with either a Christian Scholar, or Mythicist scholar.

It happens.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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10-03-2015, 02:20 PM
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
Here's another response. Do any of you know who polycarp is? I've never heard of him.

We have a five volume encyclopedia written by irenaeus A convert and a personal witness of Polycarp and the apostle John. He says he saw John and Polycarp together. He learn gods word from those men. Polycarp also says he saw John and was a convert of John. Papias another convert of John the apostle says he wrote back gospel in Asia minor. Says Matthew wrote the gospel originally in Hebrew. And calls him an elder. John is called the an elder in first John. The evidence is overwhelming.
Jesus is easy to prove. If you study the life of of Polycarp a convert of John we can discovered that this man was an eyewitness to the apostle and confirms the apostle witness the resurrection and the life of Jesus. if you struggle with Polycarp and what he had to say about being a witness to the apostle John it's corroborated by his own convert Irenaeus . A pastor who wrote five volumes called the church against heresy. preserves for us is the testimony of Polycarp and how he died and how ireaneus saw the both of them when he was just a young man. If you struggle with that you study the life of Papius another early companion of John and friend of Polycarp. He tells us that he was a hearer of the apostle John and calls him an elder. He places that statement in the present tense for a reason. He saw him personally. John is called an elder in the Bible and that pastor Papius says he wrote that gospel in Asia. He was A friend of Polycarp who was the pastor of Smyrna , One of the churches mentioned in revelations chapter 2. Throw in all the Roman and the Jewish historians hostile towards Christianity and it's over. We can believe the bible and the gospels.
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10-03-2015, 02:37 PM
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
(10-03-2015 02:20 PM)Ocean theRAPIST Wrote:  Here's another response. Do any of you know who polycarp is? I've never heard of him.

We have a five volume encyclopedia written by irenaeus A convert and a personal witness of Polycarp and the apostle John.
He says he saw John and Polycarp together. He learn gods word from those men. Polycarp also says he saw John and was a convert of John.

False.

John supposedly died around Ad 100, and Irenaeus wasn't even born.

Quote:Papias another convert of John the apostle says he wrote back gospel in Asia minor.

Maybe, but unknown.


Quote: Says Matthew wrote the gospel originally in Hebrew.

Theoretical. No consensus.

Quote:Jesus is easy to prove. If you study the life of of Polycarp a convert of John we can discovered that this man was an eyewitness to the apostle and confirms the apostle witness the resurrection and the life of Jesus.

Hearsay at best.


Quote: if you struggle with Polycarp and what he had to say about being a witness to the apostle John it's corroborated by his own convert Irenaeus .

Demonstrates nothing.


Quote: A pastor who wrote five volumes called the church against heresy. preserves for us is the testimony of Polycarp and how he died and how ireaneus saw the both of them when he was just a young man.

Again, John died long before Ireaneus.

Quote: If you struggle with that you study the life of Papius another early companion of John and friend of Polycarp. He tells us that he was a hearer of the apostle John and calls him an elder. He places that statement in the present tense for a reason. He saw him personally. John is called an elder in the Bible and that pastor Papius says he wrote that gospel in Asia. He was A friend of Polycarp who was the pastor of Smyrna , One of the churches mentioned in revelations chapter 2. Throw in all the Roman and the Jewish historians hostile towards Christianity and it's over. We can believe the bible and the gospels.

Too much wishful thinking here.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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10-03-2015, 03:09 PM
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
(10-03-2015 01:53 PM)Free Wrote:  
(10-03-2015 12:46 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Citing what Scholars or Historians believe is an appeal to authority.

Actually, when it's a collective of intelligence which presents a consensus, it's not a fallacious appeal to authority.
Thanks for providing that information.
The scientific community don't say, well Stephen Hawkins is the authority on Black Holes and he says X and X directly relates to Black holes therefore X must be true.
They don't even say all scientists agree that X is true therefore X must be true.
That is just utter BS.
They present their evidence/facts, they show how it is consistent with the theory, they show how the theory is falsifiable, they show how the evidence could have gone the other way to disprove the theory but didn't.

For laymen like ourselves it is fine to accept that the "experts" consider X to be true, but that doesn't mean we can't remain skeptical and ask for them to present their case. The case isn't "Well the experts say that X is true". That is not a case. The case must be supported by the evidence rather than the opinions of an "authority".

With regards to science vs religious historians. Science implements the scientific method. It includes objective facts and objective results, it includes non political critique and challenges. The beliefs of the individual scientists are irrelevant. The method has processes to avoid the bias of the individual scientists, risk of small result sets deriving results from small "unlikely" deviations which fall within the margins of statistical error/probability. When genuine scientists come to conclusions they document the pitfalls of their conclusions, the assumptions made, the areas where doubt and hence further assessment may be warranted.
Religious historians deal with a much lower standard. They do this because historically we were much more lax. We didn't keep meticulous birth and death records, we didn't register our citizens, we didn't have photo id's, dental records, tax and financial statements. There are no birth certificates for Jesus or Mary, there is no medical record of Mary being examined for being a virgin, there is no eyewitness statements, no corroborating evidence or signed affidavit.
We have no artifacts from Jesus, no signed, written documents, no signed pieces of art. Noone that ever met Jesus or witnessed his miracles ever wrote a document about him or these events. Any written stories that we do have regarding Jesus are from people who never met him. These people were either a generation or several generations removed from Jesus. For those that might have been of the same generation i.e. "Paul" if he did interview anyone that had known Jesus, he did not get them to sign anything with regards to corroborating Paul's statements. Paul did not record his interviews with these witnesses. Paul's written documents came decades after Jesus died. How good was Paul's memory? What was he basing his memory off (he never made any claim to know Jesus)?
So what is it that these Scholars and Historians are experts in? What qualifies them to make an authoritative claim to a statement about the historical Jesus? What evidence is it that they are going off? Is it that they are offering their own incredulity ("I find it hard to believe that Christianity would have grown so quickly if Jesus weren't real", "I find it hard to believe that his followers would have died to protect a lie"...) could this be based on preconceived beliefs?
It would be like saying that over the past two hundred years the consensus has been from authors of vampire stories that vampires are repelled by garlic. Therefore we must take it from their authority that this is true and logically we must conclude that vampires exist or have existed in the past.
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10-03-2015, 04:31 PM
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
(10-03-2015 02:10 PM)Free Wrote:  
(10-03-2015 02:03 PM)unfogged Wrote:  Are you saying that a historian who takes a position is necessarily biased? Are historians who openly support historicity also biased?

No, the bias I am speaking about is, for example, a Christian scholar who would say something to the effect of, "The section of Jesus being crucified as written in Josephus has not be altered, interpolated, or forged. It is wholly original."

When you see that kind of statement, bias is evident because for one he is a devoted Christian, and also the collective of intelligence does not share that view.

Also, for example, if Mythicist advocate Richard Carrier were to say, "The entirety of Josephus on the crucifixion of Jesus is interpolated and forged," then you have the very same reason to apply bias since he is an advocate for Mythicism, and also the collective of intelligence does not share his view either.

Always side with the consensus, especially when bias can occur either way with either a Christian Scholar, or Mythicist scholar.

It happens.

Fair enough. For the record, I also think that Carrier is biased and many of his arguments don't "feel" right to me. As a pure layman in the area I don't attempt to rebut him and I'm waiting for his claims to have time to be reviewed and digested by the experts. Being biased doesn't automatically mean being wrong and a lot of his arguments do make a lot of sense to me -- again, I'm waiting for peer review to have time to see if the consensus begins to change on this issue.

I do think you may be reading more into Carrier's style than is meant. He does usually make the point that he is presenting his opinion before making blunt statements like that. It sounds worse than I think it is intended and I don't think he is a very clear writer.

The only point i wanted to make is that openly supporting a position may indicate bias but it may also indicate somebody who has actually considered both sides and made an honest evaluation.

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10-03-2015, 04:41 PM
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
It doesn't matter the number of scholars, UNLESS one knows where they work. If they are occupationally obligated to tow the line, they have an inherent conflict of interest, and cannot be trusted to be objective.

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10-03-2015, 04:52 PM
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
(10-03-2015 03:09 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(10-03-2015 01:53 PM)Free Wrote:  Actually, when it's a collective of intelligence which presents a consensus, it's not a fallacious appeal to authority.
Thanks for providing that information.
The scientific community don't say, well Stephen Hawkins is the authority on Black Holes and he says X and X directly relates to Black holes therefore X must be true.
They don't even say all scientists agree that X is true therefore X must be true.
That is just utter BS.
They present their evidence/facts, they show how it is consistent with the theory, they show how the theory is falsifiable, they show how the evidence could have gone the other way to disprove the theory but didn't.

For laymen like ourselves it is fine to accept that the "experts" consider X to be true, but that doesn't mean we can't remain skeptical and ask for them to present their case. The case isn't "Well the experts say that X is true". That is not a case. The case must be supported by the evidence rather than the opinions of an "authority".

Agreed, but understand that when it comes to ancient history, nothing is conclusive. It's considerably different than how science in real-time produces evidence. In reality, when it comes to ancient history it always comes down to the best argument to explain the evidence.

Quote:With regards to science vs religious historians. Science implements the scientific method. It includes objective facts and objective results, it includes non political critique and challenges. The beliefs of the individual scientists are irrelevant. The method has processes to avoid the bias of the individual scientists, risk of small result sets deriving results from small "unlikely" deviations which fall within the margins of statistical error/probability. When genuine scientists come to conclusions they document the pitfalls of their conclusions, the assumptions made, the areas where doubt and hence further assessment may be warranted.
Religious historians deal with a much lower standard. They do this because historically we were much more lax. We didn't keep meticulous birth and death records, we didn't register our citizens, we didn't have photo id's, dental records, tax and financial statements. There are no birth certificates for Jesus or Mary, there is no medical record of Mary being examined for being a virgin, there is no eyewitness statements, no corroborating evidence or signed affidavit.
We have no artifacts from Jesus, no signed, written documents, no signed pieces of art. Noone that ever met Jesus or witnessed his miracles ever wrote a document about him or these events. Any written stories that we do have regarding Jesus are from people who never met him. These people were either a generation or several generations removed from Jesus. For those that might have been of the same generation i.e. "Paul" if he did interview anyone that had known Jesus, he did not get them to sign anything with regards to corroborating Paul's statements. Paul did not record his interviews with these witnesses. Paul's written documents came decades after Jesus died. How good was Paul's memory? What was he basing his memory off (he never made any claim to know Jesus)?
So what is it that these Scholars and Historians are experts in? What qualifies them to make an authoritative claim to a statement about the historical Jesus? What evidence is it that they are going off? Is it that they are offering their own incredulity ("I find it hard to believe that Christianity would have grown so quickly if Jesus weren't real", "I find it hard to believe that his followers would have died to protect a lie"...) could this be based on preconceived beliefs?
It would be like saying that over the past two hundred years the consensus has been from authors of vampire stories that vampires are repelled by garlic. Therefore we must take it from their authority that this is true and logically we must conclude that vampires exist or have existed in the past.

History used the Historical Method.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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