"God is self-existent"
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10-02-2015, 03:16 PM
RE: "God is self-existent"
(10-02-2015 02:55 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  First, just as there are other reasonable ways of reviewing evidence for existence, there are other evidences for God besides personal testimony--prophecy, archaeology, history, etc.

And simply put, there are numerous documents about the historical Jesus, collectively called the NT.
The NT is not a history. It is a collection of stories, exhortations, and other religious polemics. It is not supported by any external documents nor physical evidence.
Quote:I'm glad you like reading about historical persons, too, but the evidence for Jesus's historicity exceeds some of these... which is why in my encounters with academics, none of them discounted the historicity of Jesus.
Oh, that old canard. No, essentially just the collection of stuff that is the NT. Nothing else.
Quote:Your comments re: the academics on that section of the Wikipedia article belie the fact that the entire article IS about the historicity of Jesus! You certainly may take exception to the sentence that tops the article--the other 120 contributors seem fine with it. Your "not convinced" is, if you don't mind my saying so, typical of the atheists who inhabit these forums.
It is typical because it is typical that the people here practice reasonable skepticism and demand actual evidence.
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10-02-2015, 03:22 PM
RE: "God is self-existent"
(10-02-2015 03:04 PM)TheInquisition Wrote:  
(10-02-2015 02:55 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  And simply put, there are numerous documents about the historical Jesus, collectively called the NT.

Because bible says.......Facepalm

Ah, but it's not a fallacy because we are speaking of a great number of documents from different authors (unlike the Koran, Book of Mormon, Mary Baker Eddy's work, etc.) and because there are contemporary accounts outside the supernatural Bible books--Talmud, Josephus, Suetonius, etc. - you are dismissing the NT as historical because a portion of them you consider mythological. If you're consistent in that, we have to dump much of what we know about the Caesars and etc. as mere panegyric literature. Level playing field, please.

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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10-02-2015, 03:33 PM
RE: "God is self-existent"
(10-02-2015 03:22 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
(10-02-2015 03:04 PM)TheInquisition Wrote:  Because bible says.......Facepalm

Ah, but it's not a fallacy because we are speaking of a great number of documents from different authors (unlike the Koran, Book of Mormon, Mary Baker Eddy's work, etc.) and because there are contemporary accounts outside the supernatural Bible books--Talmud, Josephus, Suetonius, etc. - you are dismissing the NT as historical because a portion of them you consider mythological. If you're consistent in that, we have to dump much of what we know about the Caesars and etc. as mere panegyric literature. Level playing field, please.

A "portion" of them? I'll dismiss every word from a guy trying to convince me his BFF rose from the dead after 3 days and took off to Heaven with a jet pack.
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10-02-2015, 03:43 PM (This post was last modified: 10-02-2015 03:52 PM by TheInquisition.)
RE: "God is self-existent"
(10-02-2015 03:22 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
(10-02-2015 03:04 PM)TheInquisition Wrote:  Because bible says.......Facepalm

Ah, but it's not a fallacy because we are speaking of a great number of documents from different authors (unlike the Koran, Book of Mormon, Mary Baker Eddy's work, etc.) and because there are contemporary accounts outside the supernatural Bible books--Talmud, Josephus, Suetonius, etc. - you are dismissing the NT as historical because a portion of them you consider mythological. If you're consistent in that, we have to dump much of what we know about the Caesars and etc. as mere panegyric literature. Level playing field, please.

Completely rehashed bilge from apologetics sites, read and learn fallacy-riddled one:

Ten reasons to reject the 10/42 apologetic

Name ONE author that wrote of him WITHIN his lifetime. Here's a hint -zero.

Here's a more detailed response to this apologist bilge from goodwithoutgod from another thread:

Quote:There exists zero evidence that a jesus of nazareth ever existed, no writings, no dwelling, no works of carpentry, nothing.

No one who EVER wrote of jesus knew him. Nope, none, and i can substantiate that at great length. try me.

Matthew 27:51-53
King James Version (KJV)
51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,

53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

And...

Matthew 27:45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.

Mark 15:33 And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.

Luke 23:44-48 And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.

Unfortunately for believers, there is not one shred of evidence that this happened...zero, all of the royal scribes, historians, philosophers, and literate people who wrote down and recorded EVERYTHING of any significance, failed to note the whole earth going dark mid-day for three hours...an eclipse lasts about 7.5 min max, so it wasn’t that, and there were two renowned historians who recorded each and every eclipse, as well as any other astronomical oddity....nothing, .....zero. Never happened.


No one at the time of jesus thought these magical events that occurred according to the fable called the bible thought they were noteworthy enough to write down...nope, lets wait until years later for a group of anonymous authors to gather up stories and write them under the names of mark, matthew and luke...the definition of pseudepigrapha.

The jesus story was most likely based on romulus, lets take a peek, since I like to educate creationists on their own religion, good thing i have a degree in religious studies with specialization in christianity from saint leo university, so I have the credentials to do so. Here is lesson one...

Romulus
Mythology has always fascinated me. When you research mythology, you find the common strains, a rhythm, a philosophical skeletal system where the “hero god” is constructed, and the same system is used time and time again. It is almost as if one borrowed from another throughout time. It is impossible to ignore the implication of systematic fabrication. The jesus story, however, was not original. The entire story seems to have been plagiarized in bits and pieces, and sometimes blatantly intact, from ancient god/man mythology passed down by Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Persian cultures.

The list is long, from Horus in 3000 BCE Egypt all the way to jesus, but I will focus on just one…Romulus 771 BCE. In Plutarch’s biography of Romulus, the founder of Rome, we are told he was the son of god, born of a virgin; an attempt is made to kill him as a baby, and he is saved, and raised by a poor family, hailed as King, and killed by the conniving elite; that he rises from the dead, appears to a friend to tell the good news to his people, and ascends to heaven to rule from on high. Sound familiar? Just like Jesus.

Plutarch also tells us about annual public ceremonies that were still being formed, which celebrated the day Romulus ascended to heaven. The story goes as follows: at the end of his life, amid rumors he was murdered by conspiracy of the Senate, the sun went dark, and Romulus’s body vanished. The people wanted to search for him but the Senate told them not to, “for he had risen to join the gods”. Most went away happy, hoping for good things from their new god, but “some doubted”. Soon after, Proculus, a close friend of Romulus, reported that he met Romulus “on the road” between Rome and a nearby town and asked him, “why have you abandoned us?”, To which Romulus replied that he had been a God all along but had come down to earth and become incarnate to establish a great kingdom, and now had to return to his home in heaven. Then Romulus told his friend to tell the Romans that if they are virtuous they will have all worldly power (Carrier 56).

Folks, does any of this ring any bells for you? You do realize this story predates Jesus by 800 years right? Fabricators of religion borrow from previous religions Man/God/hero constructs and have all the way back to 3000 B.C.E.

So the fact that the jesus son of god myth story has clearly been plagiarized from older Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Persian cultures, coupled with the fact that no one who wrote of Jesus actually knew him should make a thinking person take a pause, and reflect on the basis of their faith.

In regards to my posit; paragraph three speaks about the ceremony celebrating Romulus's ascension actually going on at the time, so he is a witness, unlike the lack of witnesses in the NT of jesus. More importantly the tale of Romulus itself though was widely attested as pre-christian: in Romulus (27-28), Plutarch, though writing c. 80-120 CE, is certainly recording a long established Roman tale and custom, and his sources are unmistakenly pre-christian: Cicero, Laws 1.3, Republic 2.10; Livy, From the founding of the city 1.16.2-8 (1.3-1.16 relating the whole story of Romulus); Ovid, Fasti 2.491-512 and Metamorphoses 14.805-51; and Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities 2.63.3 (1.171-2.65 relating the whole story of Romulus); a later reference: Cassius Dio, Roman History 56.46.2. The story's antiquity was even acknowledged by christians: Tertullian, Apology 21.

So as you can see, before christianity was even beginning to be fabricated, the story of Romulus was solidly incorporated into the Roman culture. So it would be a false and disingenuous posit to suggest that the story of Romulus was fabricated after jesus, and based on jesus, when it fact it is the exact opposite. It is also false to say it was interpolations (besides the fact it is all an obvious made up fabrication) as interpolations are additions to writings to make them seem more in line with whatever view the forger wishes to support after the fact. Conjecture? No, it was actually pre-christian, and as I provided above, easy to find within respectable writers from differing times and places. If Plutarch was the only one to write of it, OR he and the other writers were all writing about some "god" named Romulus from 800 years ago, and were writing it after jesus, then you could absolutely draw a correlation to the posit that the story of Romulus was based on jesus, or that it was fabricated to throw suspicion on the jesus story, sadly the facts do not reflect that.

Works cited:

Carrier, Richard. On the historicity of Jesus: why we might have reason for doubt. Sheffield, England: Sheffield Phoenix press, 2014. Print.

The epistles were written after the mythical jesus's death;

1) paul - written about 60 C.E., of the 13, he actually wrote 8. Not a single instance in any of Paul's writings claims that he ever meets or sees an earthly Jesus, nor does Paul give any reference to Jesus' life on earth (except for a few well known interpolations). Therefore, all accounts about a Jesus could only have come from other believers or his imagination. Hearsay.

2) James - Epistle of James mentions Jesus only once as an introduction to his belief. Nowhere does the epistle reference a historical Jesus and this alone eliminates it from an historical account.

3) Peter - Many scholars question the authorship of Peter of the epistles. Even within the first epistle, it says in 5:12 that Silvanus wrote it. Most scholars consider the second epistle as unreliable or an outright forgery. The unknown authors of the epistles of Peter wrote long after the life of the traditional Peter. Moreover, Peter lived (if he ever lived at all) as an ignorant and illiterate peasant (even Acts 4:13 attests to this). In short, no one has any way of determining whether the epistles of Peter come from fraud, an author claiming himself to know what Peter said (hearsay), or from someone trying to further the aims of the Church. Encyclopedias usually describe a tradition that Saint Peter wrote them. However, whenever you see the word "tradition" it refers to a belief passed down within a society. In other words: hearsay. This the definition of Pseudepigrapha; a book written in a biblical style and ascribed to an author who did not write it...otherwise known as a FORGERY.

4) Jude - Even early Christians argued about its authenticity. It quotes an apocryphal book called Enoch as if it represented authorized Scripture. Biblical scholars do not think it possible for the alleged disciple Jude to have written it because whoever wrote it had to have written it during a period when the churches had long existed. Like the other alleged disciples, Jude would have lived as an illiterate peasant and unable to write (much less in Greek) but the author of Jude wrote in fluent high quality Greek..more forgery.


Then there are the non-christian sources as follows;

1) Josephus Flavius, the Jewish historian, lived as the earliest non-Christian who mentions a Jesus. Although many scholars think that Josephus' short accounts of Jesus (in Antiquities) came from interpolations perpetrated by a later Church father (most likely, Eusebius), Josephus' birth in 37 C.E. (well after the alleged crucifixion of Jesus), puts him out of range of an eyewitness account. Moreover, he wrote Antiquities in 93 C.E., after the first gospels got written. Therefore, even if his accounts about Jesus came from his hand, his information could only serve as hearsay.

- Flavius Josephus, (37–100 CE) (http://www.josephus.org) a prolific and comprehensive Jewish historian, who would frequently write a few pages on the execution of common Jewish thieves, has not one authentic line that mentions Yeshua. “He” does mention “Christ” on two occasions, yet both have been convincingly exposed as interpolations, (http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/josephus-etal.html)

2) Pliny the Younger (born: 62 C.E.) His letter about the Christians only shows that he got his information from Christian believers themselves. Regardless, his birth date puts him out of range as an eyewitness account.

3) Tacitus, the Roman historian's birth year at 64 C.E., puts him well after the alleged life of Jesus. He gives a brief mention of a "Christus" in his Annals (Book XV, Sec. 44), which he wrote around 109 C.E. He gives no source for his material. Although many have disputed the authenticity of Tacitus' mention of Jesus, the very fact that his birth happened after the alleged Jesus and wrote the Annals during the formation of Christianity, shows that his writing can only provide us with hearsay accounts.

4) Suetonius, a Roman historian, born in 69 C.E., mentions a "Chrestus," a common name. Apologists assume that "Chrestus" means "Christ" (a disputable claim). But even if Seutonius had meant "Christ," it still says nothing about an earthly Jesus. Just like all the others, Suetonius' birth occurred well after the purported Jesus. Again, only hearsay.

5) Talmud: Amazingly some Christians use brief portions of the Talmud, (a collection of Jewish civil a religious law, including commentaries on the Torah), as evidence for Jesus. They claim that Yeshu in the Talmud refers to Jesus. However, this Yeshu, according to scholars depicts a disciple of Jehoshua Ben-Perachia at least a century before the alleged Christian Jesus or it may refer to Yeshu ben Pandera, a teacher of the 2nd centuy CE. Regardless of how one interprets this, the Palestinian Talmud didn't come into existence until the 3rd and 5th century C.E., and the Babylonian Talmud between the 3rd and 6th century C.E., at least two centuries after the alleged crucifixion. At best it can only serve as a controversial Christian or Jewish legend; it cannot possibly serve as evidence for a historical Jesus.

6) Thallus/africanus, In the ninth century a Byzantine writer named George Syncellus quoted a third-century Christian historian named Sextus Julius Africanus, who quoted an unknown writer named Thallus on the darkness at the crucifixion: 'Thallus in the third book of his history calls this darkness an eclipse of the sun, but in my opinion he is wrong.' All of the works of Africanus are lost, so there is no way to confirm the quote or to examine its context. We have no idea who Thallus was, or when he wrote. Third century would have put him being born long after jesus's alleged death, thus hearsay.

7) Phlegon of Tralles was a Greek writer and freedman of the emperor Hadrian, who lived in the 2nd century AD. case closed, more hearsay, born after the alleged jesus's death.


Christian apologists mostly use the above sources for their "evidence" of Jesus because they believe they represent the best outside sources. All other sources (Christian and non-Christian) come from even less reliable sources, some of which include: Mara Bar-Serapion (circa 73 C.E.), Ignatius (50 - 98? C.E.), Polycarp (69 - 155 C.E.), Clement of Rome (? - circa 160 C.E.), Justin Martyr (100 - 165 C.E.), Lucian (circa 125 - 180 C.E.), Tertullian (160 - ? C.E.), Clement of Alexandria (? - 215 C.E.), Origen (185 - 232 C.E.), Hippolytus (? - 236 C.E.), and Cyprian (? - 254 C.E.). As you can see, all these people lived well after the alleged death of Jesus. Not one of them provides an eyewitness account, all of them simply spout hearsay.

As you can see, apologist Christians embarrass themselves when they unwittingly or deceptively violate the rules of historiography by using after-the-event writings as evidence for the event itself. Not one of these writers gives a source or backs up his claims with evidential material about Jesus. It doesn't matter what these people wrote about Jesus, an author who writes after the alleged happening and gives no detectable sources for his material can only give example of hearsay. All of these anachronistic writings about Jesus could easily have come from the beliefs and stories from Christian believers themselves. And as we know from myth, superstition, and faith, beliefs do not require facts or evidence for their propagation and circulation. Thus we have only beliefs about Jesus' existence, and nothing more.

getting the picture yet?


further more, lets review why noted historians that lived in the area failed to ever mention jesus.. Consider

Philo of Alexandria

The early years of the Roman Republic is one of the most historically documented times in history. One of the writers alive during the time of Jesus was Philo-Judaeus (sometimes known as Philo of Alexandria).
Philo was born before the beginning of the Christian era, and lived until long after the reputed death of Christ. He wrote an account of the Jews covering the entire time that Christ is said to have existed on earth. He was living in or near Jerusalem when Christ’s miraculous birth and the Herodian massacre occurred. He was there when Christ made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. He was there when the crucifixion happened with its attendant earthquake, supernatural darkness and resurrection of the dead took place – when Christ himself rose from the dead and in the presence of many witnesses ascended into heaven. These amazing marvelous events which must have filled the world with amazement, had they really occurred, were all unknown to him. It was Philo who developed the doctrine of the Logos, or Word, and although this Word incarnate dwelt in that very land and in the presence of multitudes revealed himself and demonstrated his divine powers, Philo saw it not.
Philo might be considered the investigative reporter of his day. He was there on location during the early first century, talking with people who should have remembered or at least heard the stories, observed, taking notes, documenting. He reported nothing about Jesus.


Justus of Tiberius
There was also a historian named Justus of Tiberius who was a native of Galilee, the homeland of Jesus. He wrote a history covering the time when Christ supposedly lived. This history is now lost, but a ninth century Christian scholar named Photius had read it and wrote: “he [Justus] makes not the least mention of the appearance of Christ, of what things happened to him, or other wonderful works that he did.”

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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10-02-2015, 08:28 PM
RE: "God is self-existent"
(10-02-2015 02:55 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  First, just as there are other reasonable ways of reviewing evidence for existence, there are other evidences for God besides personal testimony--prophecy, archaeology, history, etc.

Good...

(10-02-2015 02:55 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  And simply put, there are numerous documents about the historical Jesus, collectively called the NT. I'm glad you like reading about historical persons, too, but the evidence for Jesus's historicity exceeds some of these... which is why in my encounters with academics, none of them discounted the historicity of Jesus.

... not good. You are already familiar with the arguments against using the NT as a historical document, so no need to go further.

(10-02-2015 02:55 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Your comments re: the academics on that section of the Wikipedia article belie the fact that the entire article IS about the historicity of Jesus! You certainly may take exception to the sentence that tops the article--the other 120 contributors seem fine with it. Your "not convinced" is, if you don't mind my saying so, typical of the atheists who inhabit these forums.

I don't mind; I'll take that as a compliment. Using "typical atheist behavior" I clicked the link, read the whole article, realized I was only familiar with one of the six references, looked up the other five, read a short bio on each, then read a few dissenting arguments for flavor. After all this, I still do not jump to a conclusion and say you're wrong. I simply am not convinced by one sentence in a Wikipedia article. I took your comment seriously, read your reference, did a quick background on it, then disagreed with it. A typical theist on this forum tends to do a little less, if you don't mind me saying so.

Don't forget that you have disagreed with just about every atheist argument sent your way. Certainly you can relate to my inability to be convinced. Drinking Beverage

If Jesus died for our sins, why is there still sin? If man was created from dust, why is there still dust? If Americans came from Europe, why are there still Europeans?
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11-02-2015, 04:15 AM (This post was last modified: 11-02-2015 04:18 AM by The Polyglot Atheist.)
RE: "God is self-existent"
(05-02-2015 03:11 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  1. Yes, you agree with me with have moral accountability here. However, it is also clearly imbalanced "here". There is reconciliation and judgment to come.

That is an unsubstantiated claim.

(05-02-2015 03:11 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  2. One of the differences between radio waves and gravity is that we can't presently understand how gravity can "pull" or "push" over a distance or bend space, so we have to conjecture a force we cannot detect. My point is that miracles are the same--people can turn water into wine, Jesus can do it quickly. And that's all. You accept that gravity exists because you can see its effects and presume a cause. Of course there's a cause and I don't fault your teleology there. I can see Jesus by His effects.

In this particular discussion, there is no substantial difference between gravity and radio waves, except the only difference, the one that matters here, which is that although you can experience gravity every day on your own body (try jumping out of a 3-story building), you won't even know about radio waves unless you have some tool that is designed to receive those waves. You can't smell the radio, you can't taste them, you cannot do anything with them by yourself, yet they exist and the reason I (we) know that is that their existence is documented and proven. Countless times. Every day. But people turning water into wine is unproven, as much as anything else you said that you're trying to put next to gravity. I accept gravity because I can see its effects, period. The cause of gravity is a distinct issue. Whatever the cause, gravity exists. You cannot compare this to Jesus or God. It's not the same.

(05-02-2015 03:11 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  3. Archaeology and other sciences line up beautifully with many Bible prophecies. But the problem of scope discussed here is this--I don't believe in pink elephants either until they are proved, but if we're talking about theism we're talking about billions of people who have elephants you can't see.

Cite one example where archaeology lines up "beautifully" with Bible prophecies. One peer-reviewed, proven, documented, full with extra-biblical material, concrete example.

The fact that millions or billions of people believe in a God is irrelevant (besides, they don't all believe in your God). Personal testimony is irrelevant, personal experiences are irrelevant, all that matters in a serious discussion is what you can objectively prove.

So you demand proof of pink elephants but you don't adopt the same standard of evidence for a God, which is even a more extraordinary claim?

I'm not telling you what to think or what not to think, but question the very things you think you know. Question them and put them to the test, honestly, not for me, or for others, but for yourself.

孤独 - The Out Crowd
Life is a flash of light between two eternities of darkness.
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11-02-2015, 08:09 AM
RE: "God is self-existent"
(10-02-2015 03:22 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
(10-02-2015 03:04 PM)TheInquisition Wrote:  Because bible says.......Facepalm

Ah, but it's not a fallacy because we are speaking of a great number of documents from different authors (unlike the Koran, Book of Mormon, Mary Baker Eddy's work, etc.) and because there are contemporary accounts outside the supernatural Bible books--Talmud, Josephus, Suetonius, etc. - you are dismissing the NT as historical because a portion of them you consider mythological. If you're consistent in that, we have to dump much of what we know about the Caesars and etc. as mere panegyric literature. Level playing field, please.

Neither Josephus nor Suetonius were contemporary.
The Quran is actually from many authors, it is only attributed to Mohammed who didn't write a single word of it.
The NT is dismissed as historical because it does not measure up to the standards for historicity.
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11-02-2015, 04:01 PM
RE: "God is self-existent"
(10-02-2015 08:28 PM)guitar_nut Wrote:  
(10-02-2015 02:55 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  First, just as there are other reasonable ways of reviewing evidence for existence, there are other evidences for God besides personal testimony--prophecy, archaeology, history, etc.

Good...

(10-02-2015 02:55 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  And simply put, there are numerous documents about the historical Jesus, collectively called the NT. I'm glad you like reading about historical persons, too, but the evidence for Jesus's historicity exceeds some of these... which is why in my encounters with academics, none of them discounted the historicity of Jesus.

... not good. You are already familiar with the arguments against using the NT as a historical document, so no need to go further.

(10-02-2015 02:55 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Your comments re: the academics on that section of the Wikipedia article belie the fact that the entire article IS about the historicity of Jesus! You certainly may take exception to the sentence that tops the article--the other 120 contributors seem fine with it. Your "not convinced" is, if you don't mind my saying so, typical of the atheists who inhabit these forums.

I don't mind; I'll take that as a compliment. Using "typical atheist behavior" I clicked the link, read the whole article, realized I was only familiar with one of the six references, looked up the other five, read a short bio on each, then read a few dissenting arguments for flavor. After all this, I still do not jump to a conclusion and say you're wrong. I simply am not convinced by one sentence in a Wikipedia article. I took your comment seriously, read your reference, did a quick background on it, then disagreed with it. A typical theist on this forum tends to do a little less, if you don't mind me saying so.

Don't forget that you have disagreed with just about every atheist argument sent your way. Certainly you can relate to my inability to be convinced. Drinking Beverage

I admire your scholarship. You admire my tenacity. Neither scholarship nor zeal can achieve the ends of the Lord.

You would have also saved yourself much time in the article if you took my word for it that I've never met an academician, even the atheist professors teaching religion in secular universities, who doubt that the man Jesus of Nazareth is an historical person. He just pisses 'em off, is all. I read the whole Wikipedia article also about a year ago. It's nice to have the entire article summed in the opening sentences that scholars debate the supernatural elements while accepting some of the documents.

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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11-02-2015, 04:04 PM
RE: "God is self-existent"
(11-02-2015 04:15 AM)The Polyglot Atheist Wrote:  
(05-02-2015 03:11 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  1. Yes, you agree with me with have moral accountability here. However, it is also clearly imbalanced "here". There is reconciliation and judgment to come.

That is an unsubstantiated claim.

(05-02-2015 03:11 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  2. One of the differences between radio waves and gravity is that we can't presently understand how gravity can "pull" or "push" over a distance or bend space, so we have to conjecture a force we cannot detect. My point is that miracles are the same--people can turn water into wine, Jesus can do it quickly. And that's all. You accept that gravity exists because you can see its effects and presume a cause. Of course there's a cause and I don't fault your teleology there. I can see Jesus by His effects.

In this particular discussion, there is no substantial difference between gravity and radio waves, except the only difference, the one that matters here, which is that although you can experience gravity every day on your own body (try jumping out of a 3-story building), you won't even know about radio waves unless you have some tool that is designed to receive those waves. You can't smell the radio, you can't taste them, you cannot do anything with them by yourself, yet they exist and the reason I (we) know that is that their existence is documented and proven. Countless times. Every day. But people turning water into wine is unproven, as much as anything else you said that you're trying to put next to gravity. I accept gravity because I can see its effects, period. The cause of gravity is a distinct issue. Whatever the cause, gravity exists. You cannot compare this to Jesus or God. It's not the same.

(05-02-2015 03:11 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  3. Archaeology and other sciences line up beautifully with many Bible prophecies. But the problem of scope discussed here is this--I don't believe in pink elephants either until they are proved, but if we're talking about theism we're talking about billions of people who have elephants you can't see.

Cite one example where archaeology lines up "beautifully" with Bible prophecies. One peer-reviewed, proven, documented, full with extra-biblical material, concrete example.

The fact that millions or billions of people believe in a God is irrelevant (besides, they don't all believe in your God). Personal testimony is irrelevant, personal experiences are irrelevant, all that matters in a serious discussion is what you can objectively prove.

So you demand proof of pink elephants but you don't adopt the same standard of evidence for a God, which is even a more extraordinary claim?

I'm not telling you what to think or what not to think, but question the very things you think you know. Question them and put them to the test, honestly, not for me, or for others, but for yourself.

When you write like this, my friend, I'm tempted to come up with a new line of thought (for me since I'm usually far more rationalist in mind). God made miracles to keep atheists out. Give 'em a little something to be skeptical about.

Archaeology--Hezekiah's tunnel.

Prophecy--the nation of Israel.

Evidence--I spent a really long time before I was converted, I had a lot of questions, most of them typical atheist questions about children, prophecy, suffering, benevolence, atonement, etc. I've been researching ever since, too. I didn't stop thinking when I started praying, and the Bible advocates thinking while praying, too.

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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11-02-2015, 04:06 PM
RE: "God is self-existent"
(10-02-2015 03:43 PM)TheInquisition Wrote:  
(10-02-2015 03:22 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Ah, but it's not a fallacy because we are speaking of a great number of documents from different authors (unlike the Koran, Book of Mormon, Mary Baker Eddy's work, etc.) and because there are contemporary accounts outside the supernatural Bible books--Talmud, Josephus, Suetonius, etc. - you are dismissing the NT as historical because a portion of them you consider mythological. If you're consistent in that, we have to dump much of what we know about the Caesars and etc. as mere panegyric literature. Level playing field, please.

Completely rehashed bilge from apologetics sites, read and learn fallacy-riddled one:

Ten reasons to reject the 10/42 apologetic

Name ONE author that wrote of him WITHIN his lifetime. Here's a hint -zero.

Here's a more detailed response to this apologist bilge from goodwithoutgod from another thread:

Quote:There exists zero evidence that a jesus of nazareth ever existed, no writings, no dwelling, no works of carpentry, nothing.

No one who EVER wrote of jesus knew him. Nope, none, and i can substantiate that at great length. try me.

Matthew 27:51-53
King James Version (KJV)
51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,

53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

And...

Matthew 27:45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.

Mark 15:33 And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.

Luke 23:44-48 And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.

Unfortunately for believers, there is not one shred of evidence that this happened...zero, all of the royal scribes, historians, philosophers, and literate people who wrote down and recorded EVERYTHING of any significance, failed to note the whole earth going dark mid-day for three hours...an eclipse lasts about 7.5 min max, so it wasn’t that, and there were two renowned historians who recorded each and every eclipse, as well as any other astronomical oddity....nothing, .....zero. Never happened.


No one at the time of jesus thought these magical events that occurred according to the fable called the bible thought they were noteworthy enough to write down...nope, lets wait until years later for a group of anonymous authors to gather up stories and write them under the names of mark, matthew and luke...the definition of pseudepigrapha.

The jesus story was most likely based on romulus, lets take a peek, since I like to educate creationists on their own religion, good thing i have a degree in religious studies with specialization in christianity from saint leo university, so I have the credentials to do so. Here is lesson one...

Romulus
Mythology has always fascinated me. When you research mythology, you find the common strains, a rhythm, a philosophical skeletal system where the “hero god” is constructed, and the same system is used time and time again. It is almost as if one borrowed from another throughout time. It is impossible to ignore the implication of systematic fabrication. The jesus story, however, was not original. The entire story seems to have been plagiarized in bits and pieces, and sometimes blatantly intact, from ancient god/man mythology passed down by Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Persian cultures.

The list is long, from Horus in 3000 BCE Egypt all the way to jesus, but I will focus on just one…Romulus 771 BCE. In Plutarch’s biography of Romulus, the founder of Rome, we are told he was the son of god, born of a virgin; an attempt is made to kill him as a baby, and he is saved, and raised by a poor family, hailed as King, and killed by the conniving elite; that he rises from the dead, appears to a friend to tell the good news to his people, and ascends to heaven to rule from on high. Sound familiar? Just like Jesus.

Plutarch also tells us about annual public ceremonies that were still being formed, which celebrated the day Romulus ascended to heaven. The story goes as follows: at the end of his life, amid rumors he was murdered by conspiracy of the Senate, the sun went dark, and Romulus’s body vanished. The people wanted to search for him but the Senate told them not to, “for he had risen to join the gods”. Most went away happy, hoping for good things from their new god, but “some doubted”. Soon after, Proculus, a close friend of Romulus, reported that he met Romulus “on the road” between Rome and a nearby town and asked him, “why have you abandoned us?”, To which Romulus replied that he had been a God all along but had come down to earth and become incarnate to establish a great kingdom, and now had to return to his home in heaven. Then Romulus told his friend to tell the Romans that if they are virtuous they will have all worldly power (Carrier 56).

Folks, does any of this ring any bells for you? You do realize this story predates Jesus by 800 years right? Fabricators of religion borrow from previous religions Man/God/hero constructs and have all the way back to 3000 B.C.E.

So the fact that the jesus son of god myth story has clearly been plagiarized from older Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Persian cultures, coupled with the fact that no one who wrote of Jesus actually knew him should make a thinking person take a pause, and reflect on the basis of their faith.

In regards to my posit; paragraph three speaks about the ceremony celebrating Romulus's ascension actually going on at the time, so he is a witness, unlike the lack of witnesses in the NT of jesus. More importantly the tale of Romulus itself though was widely attested as pre-christian: in Romulus (27-28), Plutarch, though writing c. 80-120 CE, is certainly recording a long established Roman tale and custom, and his sources are unmistakenly pre-christian: Cicero, Laws 1.3, Republic 2.10; Livy, From the founding of the city 1.16.2-8 (1.3-1.16 relating the whole story of Romulus); Ovid, Fasti 2.491-512 and Metamorphoses 14.805-51; and Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities 2.63.3 (1.171-2.65 relating the whole story of Romulus); a later reference: Cassius Dio, Roman History 56.46.2. The story's antiquity was even acknowledged by christians: Tertullian, Apology 21.

So as you can see, before christianity was even beginning to be fabricated, the story of Romulus was solidly incorporated into the Roman culture. So it would be a false and disingenuous posit to suggest that the story of Romulus was fabricated after jesus, and based on jesus, when it fact it is the exact opposite. It is also false to say it was interpolations (besides the fact it is all an obvious made up fabrication) as interpolations are additions to writings to make them seem more in line with whatever view the forger wishes to support after the fact. Conjecture? No, it was actually pre-christian, and as I provided above, easy to find within respectable writers from differing times and places. If Plutarch was the only one to write of it, OR he and the other writers were all writing about some "god" named Romulus from 800 years ago, and were writing it after jesus, then you could absolutely draw a correlation to the posit that the story of Romulus was based on jesus, or that it was fabricated to throw suspicion on the jesus story, sadly the facts do not reflect that.

Works cited:

Carrier, Richard. On the historicity of Jesus: why we might have reason for doubt. Sheffield, England: Sheffield Phoenix press, 2014. Print.

The epistles were written after the mythical jesus's death;

1) paul - written about 60 C.E., of the 13, he actually wrote 8. Not a single instance in any of Paul's writings claims that he ever meets or sees an earthly Jesus, nor does Paul give any reference to Jesus' life on earth (except for a few well known interpolations). Therefore, all accounts about a Jesus could only have come from other believers or his imagination. Hearsay.

2) James - Epistle of James mentions Jesus only once as an introduction to his belief. Nowhere does the epistle reference a historical Jesus and this alone eliminates it from an historical account.

3) Peter - Many scholars question the authorship of Peter of the epistles. Even within the first epistle, it says in 5:12 that Silvanus wrote it. Most scholars consider the second epistle as unreliable or an outright forgery. The unknown authors of the epistles of Peter wrote long after the life of the traditional Peter. Moreover, Peter lived (if he ever lived at all) as an ignorant and illiterate peasant (even Acts 4:13 attests to this). In short, no one has any way of determining whether the epistles of Peter come from fraud, an author claiming himself to know what Peter said (hearsay), or from someone trying to further the aims of the Church. Encyclopedias usually describe a tradition that Saint Peter wrote them. However, whenever you see the word "tradition" it refers to a belief passed down within a society. In other words: hearsay. This the definition of Pseudepigrapha; a book written in a biblical style and ascribed to an author who did not write it...otherwise known as a FORGERY.

4) Jude - Even early Christians argued about its authenticity. It quotes an apocryphal book called Enoch as if it represented authorized Scripture. Biblical scholars do not think it possible for the alleged disciple Jude to have written it because whoever wrote it had to have written it during a period when the churches had long existed. Like the other alleged disciples, Jude would have lived as an illiterate peasant and unable to write (much less in Greek) but the author of Jude wrote in fluent high quality Greek..more forgery.


Then there are the non-christian sources as follows;

1) Josephus Flavius, the Jewish historian, lived as the earliest non-Christian who mentions a Jesus. Although many scholars think that Josephus' short accounts of Jesus (in Antiquities) came from interpolations perpetrated by a later Church father (most likely, Eusebius), Josephus' birth in 37 C.E. (well after the alleged crucifixion of Jesus), puts him out of range of an eyewitness account. Moreover, he wrote Antiquities in 93 C.E., after the first gospels got written. Therefore, even if his accounts about Jesus came from his hand, his information could only serve as hearsay.

- Flavius Josephus, (37–100 CE) (http://www.josephus.org) a prolific and comprehensive Jewish historian, who would frequently write a few pages on the execution of common Jewish thieves, has not one authentic line that mentions Yeshua. “He” does mention “Christ” on two occasions, yet both have been convincingly exposed as interpolations, (http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/josephus-etal.html)

2) Pliny the Younger (born: 62 C.E.) His letter about the Christians only shows that he got his information from Christian believers themselves. Regardless, his birth date puts him out of range as an eyewitness account.

3) Tacitus, the Roman historian's birth year at 64 C.E., puts him well after the alleged life of Jesus. He gives a brief mention of a "Christus" in his Annals (Book XV, Sec. 44), which he wrote around 109 C.E. He gives no source for his material. Although many have disputed the authenticity of Tacitus' mention of Jesus, the very fact that his birth happened after the alleged Jesus and wrote the Annals during the formation of Christianity, shows that his writing can only provide us with hearsay accounts.

4) Suetonius, a Roman historian, born in 69 C.E., mentions a "Chrestus," a common name. Apologists assume that "Chrestus" means "Christ" (a disputable claim). But even if Seutonius had meant "Christ," it still says nothing about an earthly Jesus. Just like all the others, Suetonius' birth occurred well after the purported Jesus. Again, only hearsay.

5) Talmud: Amazingly some Christians use brief portions of the Talmud, (a collection of Jewish civil a religious law, including commentaries on the Torah), as evidence for Jesus. They claim that Yeshu in the Talmud refers to Jesus. However, this Yeshu, according to scholars depicts a disciple of Jehoshua Ben-Perachia at least a century before the alleged Christian Jesus or it may refer to Yeshu ben Pandera, a teacher of the 2nd centuy CE. Regardless of how one interprets this, the Palestinian Talmud didn't come into existence until the 3rd and 5th century C.E., and the Babylonian Talmud between the 3rd and 6th century C.E., at least two centuries after the alleged crucifixion. At best it can only serve as a controversial Christian or Jewish legend; it cannot possibly serve as evidence for a historical Jesus.

6) Thallus/africanus, In the ninth century a Byzantine writer named George Syncellus quoted a third-century Christian historian named Sextus Julius Africanus, who quoted an unknown writer named Thallus on the darkness at the crucifixion: 'Thallus in the third book of his history calls this darkness an eclipse of the sun, but in my opinion he is wrong.' All of the works of Africanus are lost, so there is no way to confirm the quote or to examine its context. We have no idea who Thallus was, or when he wrote. Third century would have put him being born long after jesus's alleged death, thus hearsay.

7) Phlegon of Tralles was a Greek writer and freedman of the emperor Hadrian, who lived in the 2nd century AD. case closed, more hearsay, born after the alleged jesus's death.


Christian apologists mostly use the above sources for their "evidence" of Jesus because they believe they represent the best outside sources. All other sources (Christian and non-Christian) come from even less reliable sources, some of which include: Mara Bar-Serapion (circa 73 C.E.), Ignatius (50 - 98? C.E.), Polycarp (69 - 155 C.E.), Clement of Rome (? - circa 160 C.E.), Justin Martyr (100 - 165 C.E.), Lucian (circa 125 - 180 C.E.), Tertullian (160 - ? C.E.), Clement of Alexandria (? - 215 C.E.), Origen (185 - 232 C.E.), Hippolytus (? - 236 C.E.), and Cyprian (? - 254 C.E.). As you can see, all these people lived well after the alleged death of Jesus. Not one of them provides an eyewitness account, all of them simply spout hearsay.

As you can see, apologist Christians embarrass themselves when they unwittingly or deceptively violate the rules of historiography by using after-the-event writings as evidence for the event itself. Not one of these writers gives a source or backs up his claims with evidential material about Jesus. It doesn't matter what these people wrote about Jesus, an author who writes after the alleged happening and gives no detectable sources for his material can only give example of hearsay. All of these anachronistic writings about Jesus could easily have come from the beliefs and stories from Christian believers themselves. And as we know from myth, superstition, and faith, beliefs do not require facts or evidence for their propagation and circulation. Thus we have only beliefs about Jesus' existence, and nothing more.

getting the picture yet?


further more, lets review why noted historians that lived in the area failed to ever mention jesus.. Consider

Philo of Alexandria

The early years of the Roman Republic is one of the most historically documented times in history. One of the writers alive during the time of Jesus was Philo-Judaeus (sometimes known as Philo of Alexandria).
Philo was born before the beginning of the Christian era, and lived until long after the reputed death of Christ. He wrote an account of the Jews covering the entire time that Christ is said to have existed on earth. He was living in or near Jerusalem when Christ’s miraculous birth and the Herodian massacre occurred. He was there when Christ made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. He was there when the crucifixion happened with its attendant earthquake, supernatural darkness and resurrection of the dead took place – when Christ himself rose from the dead and in the presence of many witnesses ascended into heaven. These amazing marvelous events which must have filled the world with amazement, had they really occurred, were all unknown to him. It was Philo who developed the doctrine of the Logos, or Word, and although this Word incarnate dwelt in that very land and in the presence of multitudes revealed himself and demonstrated his divine powers, Philo saw it not.
Philo might be considered the investigative reporter of his day. He was there on location during the early first century, talking with people who should have remembered or at least heard the stories, observed, taking notes, documenting. He reported nothing about Jesus.


Justus of Tiberius
There was also a historian named Justus of Tiberius who was a native of Galilee, the homeland of Jesus. He wrote a history covering the time when Christ supposedly lived. This history is now lost, but a ninth century Christian scholar named Photius had read it and wrote: “he [Justus] makes not the least mention of the appearance of Christ, of what things happened to him, or other wonderful works that he did.”

Everyone you cited and every NT author wrote during the lifetime of Christ, who resurrected and was only dead three days. Smile It's not rehashed bilge--the bilge comes from a few fringe scholars who deny that there was a contemporary of Jesus called Paul, another called Peter, and so on, who after a few decades of work and ministry, wrote.

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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