Jesus myth
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15-01-2014, 07:07 PM
RE: Jesus myth
(15-01-2014 06:57 PM)Free Wrote:  
(15-01-2014 06:02 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  I don't know why that is so "probable?" Because later xtians wrote a story? We have writers like Philo who was happily writing exactly at the time that jesus was allegedly traipsing around the landscape yet.... not a word. We have Pliny the Elder writing about every half-assed myth he could find but again...not a word.

One needs to watch the 'special pleading' with jesus stories. They are not more 'believable' because they are about jesus.

I can understand what you are saying, but I chose to use logic and reasoning more effectively than what you are doing because your argument is meaningless because it is a bonafide argument from silence where no abductive reasoning is applied.

For an example of supplying abductive reasoning, explain why Philo or Pliny would write about Jesus?

You see, you need to qualify your argument from silence or else it is 100% meaningless. You provide no evidence, therefore trying to argue with empty hands is a big fucking waste of time.

Not at all. They wrote about a character featured in stories extant in their culture. It was a more credulous age.

It appears not everyone has left that behind. Drinking Beverage

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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15-01-2014, 07:38 PM
RE: Jesus myth
(15-01-2014 07:07 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(15-01-2014 06:57 PM)Free Wrote:  I can understand what you are saying, but I chose to use logic and reasoning more effectively than what you are doing because your argument is meaningless because it is a bonafide argument from silence where no abductive reasoning is applied.

For an example of supplying abductive reasoning, explain why Philo or Pliny would write about Jesus?

You see, you need to qualify your argument from silence or else it is 100% meaningless. You provide no evidence, therefore trying to argue with empty hands is a big fucking waste of time.

Not at all. They wrote about a character featured in stories extant in their culture. It was a more credulous age.

It appears not everyone has left that behind. Drinking Beverage

Okay, so how would a Jew who spoke Hebrew and Aramaic be culturally connected to Pliny the Elder who spoke Greek and was a Roman? Also, did Pliny live in Jerusalem at the time?

Pliny was 10 years old and living in Rome when Jesus H. Christ was crucified. There's no reason whatsoever why he would write about Jesus.

"Philo of Alexandria, also called Philo Judaeus, was a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher who lived in Alexandria, Egypt, during the Roman Empire. Philo used philosophical allegory to attempt to fuse and harmonize Greek philosophy with Jewish philosophy."

He probably never even heard of Jesus, since he didn't live anywhere near Jerusalem. By all reports, he was more interested in the Roman culture than his own Jewish culture. After all, he was a Hellenistic Jew.

Neither of these examples provide any abductive reasoning value.

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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15-01-2014, 07:42 PM
RE: Jesus myth
(15-01-2014 07:38 PM)Free Wrote:  
(15-01-2014 07:07 PM)Chas Wrote:  Not at all. They wrote about a character featured in stories extant in their culture. It was a more credulous age.

It appears not everyone has left that behind. Drinking Beverage

Okay, so how would a Jew who spoke Hebrew and Aramaic be culturally connected to Pliny the Elder who spoke Greek and was a Roman? Also, did Pliny live in Jerusalem at the time?

Pliny was 10 years old and living in Rome when Jesus H. Christ was crucified. There's no reason whatsoever why he would write about Jesus.

"Philo of Alexandria, also called Philo Judaeus, was a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher who lived in Alexandria, Egypt, during the Roman Empire. Philo used philosophical allegory to attempt to fuse and harmonize Greek philosophy with Jewish philosophy."

He probably never even heard of Jesus, since he didn't live anywhere near Jerusalem. By all reports, he was more interested in the Roman culture than his own Jewish culture. After all, he was a Hellenistic Jew.

Neither of these examples provide any abductive reasoning value.

I am not disagreeing with you. Consider

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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15-01-2014, 07:48 PM (This post was last modified: 15-01-2014 09:19 PM by Free.)
RE: Jesus myth
(15-01-2014 07:42 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(15-01-2014 07:38 PM)Free Wrote:  Okay, so how would a Jew who spoke Hebrew and Aramaic be culturally connected to Pliny the Elder who spoke Greek and was a Roman? Also, did Pliny live in Jerusalem at the time?

Pliny was 10 years old and living in Rome when Jesus H. Christ was crucified. There's no reason whatsoever why he would write about Jesus.

"Philo of Alexandria, also called Philo Judaeus, was a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher who lived in Alexandria, Egypt, during the Roman Empire. Philo used philosophical allegory to attempt to fuse and harmonize Greek philosophy with Jewish philosophy."

He probably never even heard of Jesus, since he didn't live anywhere near Jerusalem. By all reports, he was more interested in the Roman culture than his own Jewish culture. After all, he was a Hellenistic Jew.

Neither of these examples provide any abductive reasoning value.

I am not disagreeing with you. Consider

My bad. Sorry, but your response seemed like you were. I guess I am so accustomed to being opposed that i think everyone has it in for me on this subject.

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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15-01-2014, 11:24 PM
RE: Jesus myth
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ_myth...t_M._Price

American New Testament scholar Robert M. Price questions the historicity of Jesus in a series of books, including Deconstructing Jesus (2000), The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man (2003), Jesus Is Dead (2007), and The Christ-Myth Theory and Its Problems (2012), as well as in contributions to The Historical Jesus: Five Views (2009). Price is a fellow of the Jesus Seminar, a group of writers and scholars who study the historicity of Jesus, arguing that the Christian image of Christ is a theological construct into which traces of Jesus of Nazareth have been woven.[100] A former Baptist pastor, Price writes that he was originally an apologist on the historical-Jesus question but became disillusioned with the arguments. As the years went on, he found it increasingly difficult to poke holes in the position that questioned Jesus's existence entirely. Despite this, he still took part in the Eucharist every week for several years, seeing the Christ of faith as all the more important because, he argued, there was probably never any other.

Price believes that Christianity is a historicized synthesis of mainly Egyptian, Jewish, and Greek mythologies. He writes that everyone who espouses the Christ myth theory bases their arguments on three key points:

-There is no mention of a miracle-working Jesus in secular sources.

-The epistles, written earlier than the gospels, provide no evidence of a recent historical Jesus; all that can be taken from the epistles, he argues, is that a Jesus Christ, son of God, lived in a heavenly realm (much as other ancient gods, e.g. Horus), there died as a sacrifice for human sin, was raised by God and enthroned in heaven.

-The Jesus narrative is paralleled in Middle Eastern myths about dying and rising gods; Price names Baal, Osiris, Attis, Adonis, and Dumuzi/Tammuz as examples, all of which, he writes, survived into the Hellenistic and Roman periods and thereby influenced early Christianity. Price alleges that Christian apologists have tried to minimize these parallels. He argues that if critical methodology is applied with ruthless consistency, one is left in complete agnosticism regarding Jesus's historicity: "There might have been a historical Jesus, but unless someone discovers his diary or his skeleton, we'll never know."

Price argues that "the varying dates are the residue of various attempts to anchor an originally mythic or legendary Jesus in more or less recent history" citing accounts that have Jesus being crucified under Alexander Jannaeus (83 BCE) or in his 50s by Herod Agrippa I under the rule of Claudius Caesar (41–54 CE).

Price points out "(w)hat one Jesus reconstruction leaves aside, the next one takes up and makes its cornerstone. Jesus simply wears too many hats in the Gospels—exorcist, healer, king, prophet, sage, rabbi, demigod, and so on. The Jesus Christ of the New Testament is a composite figure (...) The historical Jesus (if there was one) might well have been a messianic king, or a progressive Pharisee, or a Galilean shaman, or a magus, or a Hellenistic sage. But he cannot very well have been all of them at the same time."

Later on Price states "I am not trying to say that there was a single origin of the Christian savior Jesus Christ, and that origin is pure myth; rather, I am saying that there may indeed have been such a myth, and that if so, it eventually flowed together with other Jesus images, some one of which may have been based on a historical Jesus the Nazorean."

Price acknowledges that he stands against the majority view of scholars, but cautions against attempting to settle the issue by appeal to the majority.


___________________________________________________________________



This strikes me as far more sensible than Atwill's work, because it doesn't claim a conspiracy; which by it's very nature means there would be less evidence and thus be less probable all things considered. I'm not saying that nobody associated with the Roman government didn't try to influence the formation of Christianity, I am however very skeptical of the claim that it and the Gospels were a well orchestrated form of psychological warfare; I don't think Atwill's position is tenable given the lack of evidence and simpler explanations.

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16-01-2014, 01:37 AM
RE: Jesus myth
(15-01-2014 11:24 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ_myth...t_M._Price

American New Testament scholar Robert M. Price questions the historicity of Jesus in a series of books, including Deconstructing Jesus (2000), The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man (2003), Jesus Is Dead (2007), and The Christ-Myth Theory and Its Problems (2012), as well as in contributions to The Historical Jesus: Five Views (2009). Price is a fellow of the Jesus Seminar, a group of writers and scholars who study the historicity of Jesus, arguing that the Christian image of Christ is a theological construct into which traces of Jesus of Nazareth have been woven.[100] A former Baptist pastor, Price writes that he was originally an apologist on the historical-Jesus question but became disillusioned with the arguments. As the years went on, he found it increasingly difficult to poke holes in the position that questioned Jesus's existence entirely. Despite this, he still took part in the Eucharist every week for several years, seeing the Christ of faith as all the more important because, he argued, there was probably never any other.

Price believes that Christianity is a historicized synthesis of mainly Egyptian, Jewish, and Greek mythologies. He writes that everyone who espouses the Christ myth theory bases their arguments on three key points:

-There is no mention of a miracle-working Jesus in secular sources.

-The epistles, written earlier than the gospels, provide no evidence of a recent historical Jesus; all that can be taken from the epistles, he argues, is that a Jesus Christ, son of God, lived in a heavenly realm (much as other ancient gods, e.g. Horus), there died as a sacrifice for human sin, was raised by God and enthroned in heaven.

-The Jesus narrative is paralleled in Middle Eastern myths about dying and rising gods; Price names Baal, Osiris, Attis, Adonis, and Dumuzi/Tammuz as examples, all of which, he writes, survived into the Hellenistic and Roman periods and thereby influenced early Christianity. Price alleges that Christian apologists have tried to minimize these parallels. He argues that if critical methodology is applied with ruthless consistency, one is left in complete agnosticism regarding Jesus's historicity: "There might have been a historical Jesus, but unless someone discovers his diary or his skeleton, we'll never know."

Price argues that "the varying dates are the residue of various attempts to anchor an originally mythic or legendary Jesus in more or less recent history" citing accounts that have Jesus being crucified under Alexander Jannaeus (83 BCE) or in his 50s by Herod Agrippa I under the rule of Claudius Caesar (41–54 CE).

Price points out "(w)hat one Jesus reconstruction leaves aside, the next one takes up and makes its cornerstone. Jesus simply wears too many hats in the Gospels—exorcist, healer, king, prophet, sage, rabbi, demigod, and so on. The Jesus Christ of the New Testament is a composite figure (...) The historical Jesus (if there was one) might well have been a messianic king, or a progressive Pharisee, or a Galilean shaman, or a magus, or a Hellenistic sage. But he cannot very well have been all of them at the same time."

Later on Price states "I am not trying to say that there was a single origin of the Christian savior Jesus Christ, and that origin is pure myth; rather, I am saying that there may indeed have been such a myth, and that if so, it eventually flowed together with other Jesus images, some one of which may have been based on a historical Jesus the Nazorean."

Price acknowledges that he stands against the majority view of scholars, but cautions against attempting to settle the issue by appeal to the majority.


___________________________________________________________________



This strikes me as far more sensible than Atwill's work, because it doesn't claim a conspiracy; which by it's very nature means there would be less evidence and thus be less probable all things considered. I'm not saying that nobody associated with the Roman government didn't try to influence the formation of Christianity, I am however very skeptical of the claim that it and the Gospels were a well orchestrated form of psychological warfare; I don't think Atwill's position is tenable given the lack of evidence and simpler explanations.

I actually agree with Price when he says "there may indeed have been such a myth, and that if so, it eventually flowed together with other Jesus images, some one of which may have been based on a historical Jesus the Nazorean."

I think the original myth may have been put together as Atwill suggests, and that the gospels further developed over the next few hundred years. I haven't think there're possibly is a real flesh and blood character in the Gospels too (which could of, for example have come from the gospel of the Nazarenes.)
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16-01-2014, 01:38 AM
RE: Jesus myth
(15-01-2014 07:48 PM)Free Wrote:  
(15-01-2014 07:42 PM)Chas Wrote:  I am not disagreeing with you. Consider

My bad. Sorry, but your response seemed like you were. I guess I am so accustomed to being opposed that i think everyone has it in for me on this subject.

Ha ha! I think everyone has it in for me on this subject!
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16-01-2014, 03:11 AM
RE: Jesus myth
(14-01-2014 09:10 PM)Free Wrote:  There's no mystery to this. There's no jumping through hoops to understand this. We don't need crazy fucking elaborate theories that bend logic and reasoning into an unidentifiable monstrosity all in the name of this ... this ... "Jesus Fucking Christ."

I agree. Jesus mythicism appears to me to be not much more than a puerile game of atheistic/skeptical one-upmanship played largely by subject amateurs. Not believing that Jesus was a divine person is just not sufficiently atheistic/skeptical and it has become passé on the internet. That Jesus was just some Jew that became mythologised--in the same way that we have actually observed deification in Melanesian cargo cults--just doesn't cut it, it's a naff idea. You need to distinguish yourself with a more extravagant (and hence more improbable) hypothesis.

I think Jesus mythicism is better understood as social performance rather than academic inquiry, that is why there are so many amateurs advocating it. The one-upmanship continues within Jesus mythicism such that there is a contest between increasingly ambitious mythicist hypotheses. The ante has been upped with Atwill's claim that the Flavians invented Jesus of Nazareth. Hence Atwill represents some sort of apotheosis of atheism/skepticism. The introduction of conspiracy introduces an element that is absent from Carrier and Price thus exceeding the previous ante.

In terms of performance I am unsure where Jesus mythicism can now go without looking patently nutty. The conspiracy trope can really only be followed by more conspiracy as per the natural history of most conspiracy theories.

The Standard Conspiracy Theory (SCT) evolved as follows:

Jews --> Freemasons --> Trilateral Commission --> Illuminati --> Reptilians

With each step the depth and extent of the conspiracy expanded and it became increasingly absurd (refer below). I anticipate a similar trajectory for internet/amateur Jesus mythicism.

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16-01-2014, 08:19 AM
RE: Jesus myth
The evidence for an actual Jesus is not strong as it primarily consists of uncorroborated tales in the Bible.
The evidence for his miracles and divinity is spectacularly weak.

The evidence for a conspiracy to invent Jesus is likewise spectacularly weak. It is all inference and conjecture.
There is no smoking gun.

I remain agnostic on the debate about an historical Jesus, but am entertained by the heat of the debate.

I can't take either side seriously until you come up with actual evidence. Spinning hypotheses just doesn't cut it. Drinking Beverage

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16-01-2014, 08:30 AM
RE: Jesus myth
(16-01-2014 08:19 AM)Chas Wrote:  The evidence for an actual Jesus is not strong as it primarily consists of uncorroborated tales in the Bible.
The evidence for his miracles and divinity is spectacularly weak.

The evidence for a conspiracy to invent Jesus is likewise spectacularly weak. It is all inference and conjecture.
There is no smoking gun.

I remain agnostic on the debate about an historical Jesus, but am entertained by the heat of the debate.

I can't take either side seriously until you come up with actual evidence. Spinning hypotheses just doesn't cut it. Drinking Beverage

I am of the opinion that both sides are a little right and mostly wrong. We know Paul invented most of his stuff whole cloth so even if there was a "real jesus" it had nothing to do with the majority of what is in the new testament. The Pauline and Neo-Pauline stuff is all about the corporeal spirit and had no relation to any Galilean Jew.

However the case for the Roman connection is just too much smoke and mirrors and just too implausible. It requires almost as many leaps of faith as does the christian religion. I'm not even talking about Ralph Ellis' Jesus was King Arthur and the Easter Bunny bullshit I mean the Atwill Roman conspiracy just does not hold water.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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