Debating the historical Jesus
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10-03-2015, 05:08 PM
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
(10-03-2015 12:45 PM)Ocean theRAPIST Wrote:  So technically I'm conversing with 3 dopes. One of them asked me if I believed muhammad was real and then said "Mohamed believed jesus existed too. You gonna tell 1 bil Muslims they're wrong?" And this is coming from a christian.
I asked him if he believes Muslims about Jesus why doesn't he believe everything else they say. But he dodged that question. I think he's just a troll or just really fuckin' stupid.

Tell him to read Robert Spencer's "Did Mohammed Exist" and then get back to you.

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10-03-2015, 05:09 PM
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
(10-03-2015 04:31 PM)unfogged Wrote:  
(10-03-2015 02:10 PM)Free Wrote:  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.

Agreed, bias doesn't automatically make someone wrong, it only decreases their credibility factor.

Carrier's use of Bayes Theorem was reviewed by an actual mathematician, who actually enjoys Carrier's position on Jesus. His conclusion is this:

"I had many other problems with the mathematics presented in the book, I felt there were severe errors with his arguments a fortiori (i.e. a kind of reasoning from inequalities — the probability is no greater than X); and his set-theoretic treatment of reference classes was likewise muddled (though in the latter case it coincidentally did not seem to result in incorrect conclusions). But in the interest of space, the above discussion gives a flavour of the issues I found throughout.

Outside the chapters on the mathematics, I enjoyed the book, and found it entertaining to consider some of the historical content in mathematical terms. I strongly support mathematical literacy in the arts. History and biblical criticism would be better if historians had a better understanding of probability (among other topics: I do not think the lack of such knowledge is an important weakness in the field).

But ultimately I think the book is disingenuous. It doesn’t read as a mathematical treatment of the subject, and I can’t help but think that Carrier is using Bayes’s Theorem in much the same way that apologists such as William Lane Craig use it: to give their arguments a veneer of scientific rigour that they hope cannot be challenged by their generally more math-phobic peers. To enter an argument against the overwhelming scholarly consensus with “but I have math on my side, math that has been proven, proven!” seems transparent to me, more so when the quality of the math provided in no way matches the bombast.

I suspect this book was always designed to preach to the choir, and will not make much impact in scholarly circles. I hope it doesn’t become a blueprint for other similar scholarship, despite agreeing with many of its conclusions
."

https://irrco.wordpress.com/2012/09/08/a...d-carrier/

Quote: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.


He comes off to me like a loose canon. You may not be aware of this but I have spoken to other historians and the "feel" I get from them is that they seem to be a little embarrassed by Carrier's "gung-ho" style.

Historians are used to the mundane, and Carrier makes a loud noise.

Big Grin

Quote: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.

Agreed.

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10-03-2015, 05:53 PM
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
From reading about the "Historical method" it would be very tempting to entertain a critique of the bible against that method as I am sure the bible would fail miserably. For example
- Eyewitness evidence (4) Do his statements seem inherently improbable: e.g., contrary to human nature, or in conflict with what we know?
Accounts of talking bushes, virgin births, angels, demons, tree of knowledge, resurrection etc all fail the "contradictory to human nature", "in conflict with what we know" criteria.
- Eyewitness evidence 3.2 When did he report in relation to his observation? Soon? Much later? Fifty years is much later as most eyewitnesses are dead and those who remain may have forgotten relevant material.
As we know biblical stories have been presented decades after Jesus alleged death thus less reliable and have been presented by people that are not eyewitnesses thus less reliable.
- Core principle of determining reliability - An eyewitness is more reliable than testimony at second hand, which is more reliable than hearsay at further remove, and so on.
It seems that there are no eye witness accounts in the bible, not even second hand accounts, mostly just made up anecdotes.

- Indirect witnesses - "In cases where he uses secondary witnesses, however, he does not rely upon them fully. On the contrary, he asks: (1) On whose primary testimony does the secondary witness base his statements? (2) Did the secondary witness accurately report the primary testimony as a whole? (3) If not, in what details did he accurately report the primary testimony?
There are no statements of having based biblical accounts on a testimony of an eye witness, so yet again the bible is less reliable.

Are there any documents written for the histocracy of Jesus which systematically goes through the "Historical method" and shows how the Bible comes out as being reliable with regards to the existence of Jesus?

However, regarding the "Historical method" and its ability to distinguish truth from fiction.
There are many dodgy aspects of the method.
- If the sources all agree about an event, historians can consider the event proved.
This is rubbish as now we are saying that it is a fact that Vampires are deterred by garlic.
- The source whose account can be confirmed by reference to outside authorities in some of its parts can be trusted in its entirety if it is impossible similarly to confirm the entire text.
Really? If some part of it is true then it must all be true! If Bethlehem exists then Jesus must have been born there to a virgin mother?! LOL
- When two sources disagree and there is no other means of evaluation, then historians take the source which seems to accord best with common sense.
It seems that the historian can't discount both sources, they must pick one? The least bad of a bad bunch!

It seems to me that the historical method is an unreliable method with regards to distinguishing fact from fiction.
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10-03-2015, 06:05 PM
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
(10-03-2015 05:53 PM)Stevil Wrote:  From reading about the "Historical method" it would be very tempting to entertain a critique of the bible against that method as I am sure the bible would fail miserably. For example
- Eyewitness evidence (4) Do his statements seem inherently improbable: e.g., contrary to human nature, or in conflict with what we know?
Accounts of talking bushes, virgin births, angels, demons, tree of knowledge, resurrection etc all fail the "contradictory to human nature", "in conflict with what we know" criteria.

The bible doesn't need the Historical Method to discredit it. The bible incriminates itself with no help from anything else.

But there are more ways of ascertaining history than what meets the eye. For example, we all know that the stories in the bible- for the vast majority- are not, and cannot be true.

So what kind of historicity can be excavated from the biblical text? Aside from just a few possible historical things in the NT, the OT & NT only demonstrate a history of ancient Judaic belief systems, and not much at all regarding historical fact.

So really, historically, the bible is really only good for the study of religious origins and beliefs.

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10-03-2015, 09:17 PM
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
(10-03-2015 06:05 PM)Free Wrote:  The bible doesn't need the Historical Method to discredit it. The bible incriminates itself with no help from anything else.

But there are more ways of ascertaining history than what meets the eye. For example, we all know that the stories in the bible- for the vast majority- are not, and cannot be true.

So what kind of historicity can be excavated from the biblical text? Aside from just a few possible historical things in the NT, the OT & NT only demonstrate a history of ancient Judaic belief systems, and not much at all regarding historical fact.

So really, historically, the bible is really only good for the study of religious origins and beliefs.
Yeah but....

Why do the majority of historical scholars consider that Jesus was a real historical person?
It seems they can't be using the Historical Method as their guide if they come to that conclusion.
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10-03-2015, 09:26 PM (This post was last modified: 10-03-2015 10:38 PM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
(10-03-2015 09:17 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Yeah but....

Why do the majority of historical scholars consider that Jesus was a real historical person?
It seems they can't be using the Historical Method as their guide if they come to that conclusion.


1 - New Testament scholars are themselves overwhelmingly Christian.

2 - Most of their funding comes from fellow Christians and Christian organizations.

So I can very well imagine the amount of academic inertia, and the push-back against those who rock the boat by questioning the historicity of Jesus. It's already happened once before, just look back at what happened when people first started questioning the historicity of the Jewish Patriarchs (Abraham, Noah, Solomon, David, etc.) back in the 60's and 70's. Early adopters were ridiculed and practically blacklisted; now it's the mainstream consensus.

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11-03-2015, 07:18 AM
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
(10-03-2015 09:17 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(10-03-2015 06:05 PM)Free Wrote:  The bible doesn't need the Historical Method to discredit it. The bible incriminates itself with no help from anything else.

But there are more ways of ascertaining history than what meets the eye. For example, we all know that the stories in the bible- for the vast majority- are not, and cannot be true.

So what kind of historicity can be excavated from the biblical text? Aside from just a few possible historical things in the NT, the OT & NT only demonstrate a history of ancient Judaic belief systems, and not much at all regarding historical fact.

So really, historically, the bible is really only good for the study of religious origins and beliefs.
Yeah but....

Why do the majority of historical scholars consider that Jesus was a real historical person?
It seems they can't be using the Historical Method as their guide if they come to that conclusion.

What some people don't seem to realize is that there appears to be a large amount of evidence for the existence of Jesus as a historical person, for the simple reason that the most consistent element to support his existence is that he was crucified by the Romans.

1. All four Gospels have him crucified.
2. Tacitus has him crucified.
3. Since the majority of scholars think that Josephus was altered and not completely interpolated, it shows him crucified.
4. The letters in the NT show him being killed.
5. Many non canonical texts show him being killed.

All the arguments against this evidence are actually extremely poor. The reason they are poor is that there is not one argument based upon fact in existence.

All arguments are opinion based, and actually bring no tangible evidence.

For me, it wouldn't matter if he didn't exist, but I accept he did exist because of the evidence. I have no problem accepting that the Christians are worshiping a failed Messiah who got his ass handed to him by the Romans.

I think it's hilarious. They worship a Messiah who got strung up on a couple of sticks naked and who was humiliated to death by the very people he was expected to defeat.

How fucked up is that?

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11-03-2015, 07:23 AM
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
(10-03-2015 09:17 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Why do the majority of historical scholars consider that Jesus was a real historical person?




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11-03-2015, 07:53 AM
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
(11-03-2015 07:18 AM)Free Wrote:  1. All four Gospels have him crucified.

And if the later are indeed Gospels built upon the earlier ones? If you take one witness testimony and make 100 copies of it with a copy machine, do you have 100 witnesses or 100 copies of one witness? Rolleyes


(11-03-2015 07:18 AM)Free Wrote:  2. Tacitus has him crucified.

And considering when it was written (20 years after Josephus), his sources were Christians, and their sources were the Gospels; and once again, the Gospels are not reliable as they are decades (if not centuries) after the supposed events and not written by eye witnesses. It is not corroborative evidence.


(11-03-2015 07:18 AM)Free Wrote:  3. Since the majority of scholars think that Josephus was altered and not completely interpolated, it shows him crucified.

Even if you take the interpolation at 100% face value, it's still not an eye-witness account. It too would come from other Christians, who's tale would come from the Gospels, and the Gospels are not reliable sources.


(11-03-2015 07:18 AM)Free Wrote:  4. The letters in the NT show him being killed.

The gospels are not reliable sources. Everything is hearsay, and even that is rating it too highly.


(11-03-2015 07:18 AM)Free Wrote:  5. Many non canonical texts show him being killed.

See all above.


(11-03-2015 07:18 AM)Free Wrote:  All the arguments against this evidence are actually extremely poor.

The evidence itself is poor to nonexistent, and everyone would be in agreement about this, if it was anyone other than Jesus... Dodgy


(11-03-2015 07:18 AM)Free Wrote:  The reason they are poor is that there is not one argument based upon fact in existence.

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(11-03-2015 07:18 AM)Free Wrote:  All arguments are opinion based, and actually bring no tangible evidence.

How about math?

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(11-03-2015 07:18 AM)Free Wrote:  For me, it wouldn't matter if he didn't exist, but I accept he did exist because of the evidence.

What evidence?


(11-03-2015 07:18 AM)Free Wrote:  I have no problem accepting that the Christians are worshiping a failed Messiah who got his ass handed to him by the Romans.

I think it's hilarious. They worship a Messiah who got strung up on a couple of sticks naked and who was humiliated to death by the very people he was expected to defeat.

How fucked up is that?

On this, we agree.

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11-03-2015, 08:07 AM
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
(10-03-2015 05:08 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  
(10-03-2015 12:45 PM)Ocean theRAPIST Wrote:  So technically I'm conversing with 3 dopes. One of them asked me if I believed muhammad was real and then said "Mohamed believed jesus existed too. You gonna tell 1 bil Muslims they're wrong?" And this is coming from a christian.
I asked him if he believes Muslims about Jesus why doesn't he believe everything else they say. But he dodged that question. I think he's just a troll or just really fuckin' stupid.

Tell him to read Robert Spencer's "Did Mohammed Exist" and then get back to you.

I find it stupid when you debate any of the three, they all say they got the one true one, but will try to incorporate the others to avoid making that case. Some do rightfully claim that it is the same God of Abraham, so why do they ignore that? If it is the same god as they say, then they should not care which religion they belong to.

Even outside thees three, the more liberal theists try to claim all religions are simply the same god speaking in different languages. Same bad logic. Ok, if that is the case then you could pick any religion and it should not make a difference. It really is an insidious dodge to avoid making a case for the religion you picked.

It is all cherry picking and moving the goal posts.

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