Jesus myth
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23-01-2014, 09:14 PM
RE: Jesus myth
Quote:Right, Carrier is wrong because you don't like how he evaluate evidence. And it doesn't matter what he says because you don't like him and he's wrong, and he's wrong because he's wrong. And when his book comes out it'll be even more wrong because... reasons...

On the contrary, I do not dislike nor like Carrier at all. My problem with the guy is that he appears to be taking the side of mythicism as a means to gain a degree of popularity. The changes he proposes to evaluate evidence are totally self-serving. He isn't trying to make a better system to evaluate "history," but rather he is trying to zero in on one thing and one thing only; dismissing all evidence that can be used to support the existence of Jesus of Nazareth.

You wait and see how he applies his theorem to Jesus of Nazareth, and then watch how I, Bart, and just about anybody else with a clue will demonstrate that by using his procedure we can effectively eliminate almost all ancient historical figures from existence.

The theorem isn't going to work for him, but rather it will turn against him all because he fails to understand that history is not just about probabilities, but also about actual tangible evidence, detailed textual analysis, cross-referencing, archaeology, collective of intelligence, as well as numerous other components that allow the collective of intelligence to arrive at an unbiased and well-supported consensus to approximate the truth on a whole, as opposed to the tunnel vision Carrier employs.

It requires limited intellect to understand Carrier, and his motives.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? I am an atheist because it is the natural state of being we are all born into.
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23-01-2014, 09:28 PM
RE: Jesus myth
(23-01-2014 09:14 PM)Free Wrote:  You wait and see how he applies his theorem to Jesus of Nazareth, and then watch how I, Bart, and just about anybody else with a clue will demonstrate that by using his procedure we can effectively eliminate almost all ancient historical figures from existence.

+1

I'm not in anyone's camp here, I just agree with this because it's true. One of the ways to effectively debate is to take someone else's standpoint or hypothesis and come up with examples where that worldview falls apart using their logic. Homer would be a good example here.

Would I want Carrier to be correct? Sure, because then the largest religion on the planet would crumble, but ultimately his conclusion would be the same for just about everyone who existed before technology.

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23-01-2014, 09:34 PM
RE: Jesus myth
(23-01-2014 09:09 PM)TwoCultSurvivor Wrote:  We're talking past each other on the information regarding the execution of Christ. There is no indication that he relied on records of the crucifixion, because if such records existed, they would have named Jesus, not Christus. You're inventing reasons to apologize for the change, something you would not allow a theist to do.

The record of Jesus's crucifixion would have identified Jesus. Had Tacitus been relying on them, he would have named Jesus. He did not, so he did not. You cannot fault that logic, nor can you permit yourself to speculate the discrepancy away. At the very LEAST, I have raised reasonable doubt as to the source of Tacitus' information.

And I think that puts it in generous terms. It's more than reasonable. It is a more logical explanation.

This only demonstrates that you have not actually studied ancient Roman history, nor do you have any experience in how actual history is determined.

You have not raised any reasonable doubt whatsoever with mere assertion. You are merely asserting what Tacitus "should have said" without understanding that what you believe he should have said is being viewed from your 21st century perspective, and that perspective is being superimposed upon an ancient culture as if that's how they should have done things.

That is called Presentism

Quote:Presentism is a mode of literary or historical analysis in which present-day ideas and perspectives are anachronistically introduced into depictions or interpretations of the past. Some modern historians seek to avoid presentism in their work because they believe it creates a distorted understanding of their subject matter. The practice of Presentism is a common fallacy in historical writings.

Like I said before, put yourself in Tacitus' shoes, and see things from the perspective of an ancient Roman.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? I am an atheist because it is the natural state of being we are all born into.
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23-01-2014, 09:44 PM
RE: Jesus myth
Again, you would not permit such rationalization from a theist. You can't explain away his failure to mention Jesus, and you can't seriously argue that said failure is more consistent with your view than with mine. Tacitus' reference to Christus is inconsistent with his reliance on a record referencing Jesus.
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23-01-2014, 10:55 PM
RE: Jesus myth
(23-01-2014 12:02 AM)Chas Wrote:  The story of young George Washington and the cherry tree is a parable.

...I'd say it's legend, not parable. There are many examples of legends building up around historical people. Really, any magical laquer falls into that same category. The purpose of such a glaze is to reinforce the godlike image of the person in it.

But back to the parable of the fig tree. Although Jesus does do something magical in that story, taken at face value, it makes him seem somewhat volatile and insane. The actual message doesn't have anything to do with a human Jesus or figs or a fig tree. The story is not designed to demonstrate how super fantastic Jesus is, the story is designed for something completely different, and Jesus plays an allegorical role in this allegorical story.

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23-01-2014, 10:58 PM
RE: Jesus myth
(23-01-2014 12:57 AM)Taqiyya Mockingbird Wrote:  Hi, T, welcome to the forum. The fellow we know as the Buddha was also featured in a multitude of parables, many of which appear in the Nikayas, especially in the Samyutta Nikaya books of tales involving devas, devattas, and other mythical figures; and also, probably more well-known, in the Jataka stories.

Thanks! I hadn't thought about that...I would say though, Buddha is another character who's historicity is often questioned.

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23-01-2014, 11:29 PM (This post was last modified: 24-01-2014 07:04 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: Jesus myth
(23-01-2014 09:14 PM)Free Wrote:  
Quote:Right, Carrier is wrong because you don't like how he evaluate evidence. And it doesn't matter what he says because you don't like him and he's wrong, and he's wrong because he's wrong. And when his book comes out it'll be even more wrong because... reasons...

On the contrary, I do not dislike nor like Carrier at all. My problem with the guy is that he appears to be taking the side of mythicism as a means to gain a degree of popularity. The changes he proposes to evaluate evidence are totally self-serving. He isn't trying to make a better system to evaluate "history," but rather he is trying to zero in on one thing and one thing only; dismissing all evidence that can be used to support the existence of Jesus of Nazareth.


I fail to see the problem. If the math is sound, then the probability generated by the theorem is sound. What's next, are you going to argue against math and logic? Is the theorem the be-all-end-all of it? No, it's just another piece of evidence. It's a meta analysis tool, one we can use to organize and critique a specific data set. It's far less nebulous and open to subjective interpretation than current methods, and I have to wonder why this seems to scare you so much?


Quote:You wait and see how he applies his theorem to Jesus of Nazareth, and then watch how I, Bart, and just about anybody else with a clue will demonstrate that by using his procedure we can effectively eliminate almost all ancient historical figures from existence.


Once again, I'd hope you're smart enough to see this Argument from Consequence for what it is. So what? Use Bayes theorem to show that Socrates likely didn't exist, that won't destroy the foundations of scholarship. There are plenty of others which I'm sure would pass muster, like Julius Caesar or Alexander the Great (seriously, the history of the Roman Empire is contingent on an actual Caesar, Christianity only requires a belief in Jesus). Why is it that when someone questions the historicity of Jesus that it causes a shit-storm among Biblical scholars? Possibly because other scholars and academics in other fields don't have their livelihood dependent upon the belief in the historical existence of George Washington, Cleopatra, or Aristotle.

If it can be used to show that our evidence for the existence of historical figures is a lot weaker than we think it is, I fail to see how this is an argument against the math or it's application.


Quote:The theorem isn't going to work for him, but rather it will turn against him all because he fails to understand that history is not just about probabilities, but also about actual tangible evidence, detailed textual analysis, cross-referencing, archaeology, collective of intelligence, as well as numerous other components that allow the collective of intelligence to arrive at an unbiased and well-supported consensus to approximate the truth on a whole, as opposed to the tunnel vision Carrier employs.

It requires limited intellect to understand Carrier, and his motives.


All of that evidence can be plugged into the theorem, I fail to see how its mere existence negates the theorem's use as a tool of analysis. Why is it that you accuse Carrier of tunnel vision, yet discount the addition of another tool of analysis? If you disagree with Carrier's conclusions, then use his framework and theorem against him if they are so wrong. You'll be able to go piece by piece through the evidence and argue on each individual point why you think Carrier has misjudged each piece of evidence. Carrier has said himself that using his theorem he has some up with a range of probabilities for Jesus' historicity, from 1-3 (he claims the most credulous he could allow) to 1-12000 (using what he feels is more accurate). I don't doubt that people will disagree with that, but I'm interested to see what specifically they disagree with and why; then have that all put back into the theorem and see what it spits out.

I'm reserving judgement until I've actually read and digested Carrier's published work (On the Historicity of Jesus), and until that work has actually been critiqued. Ehrman going 'blah, all mythologists are morons, they disagree with the consensus' is not a compelling argument.

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23-01-2014, 11:30 PM
RE: Jesus myth
(23-01-2014 10:58 PM)toadaly Wrote:  
(23-01-2014 12:57 AM)Taqiyya Mockingbird Wrote:  Hi, T, welcome to the forum. The fellow we know as the Buddha was also featured in a multitude of parables, many of which appear in the Nikayas, especially in the Samyutta Nikaya books of tales involving devas, devattas, and other mythical figures; and also, probably more well-known, in the Jataka stories.

Thanks! I hadn't thought about that...I would say though, Buddha is another character who's historicity is often questioned.

Actually, I am not so sure about that. And actually, the only folks I have ever seen who tried to dispute his existence were mahayanists trying to justify outrageous myths they wanted to stuff into his mouth. Kinda self-defeating. But at any rate, even if he were fictional, the actual teachings attributed to him in the Nikayas stand up well in their own right, regardless of their actual source.

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24-01-2014, 12:05 AM
RE: Jesus myth
It occurs to me I misspoke. The story I'm referring to is not the one called 'the parable of the fig tree', but the one known as the 'parable of the barren fig tree' in which Jesus whithers the fig tree, which although not presented as a parable, actually is one.

Matthew 21:18 Wrote:"Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.

When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked.

The actual message has nothing to do with miracles and fig trees. The fig tree represents the temple, the leaves represent the impressive show of piety that goes on there, with sacrifices and observance of law and tradition, and the nonexistent fruit is understanding (from an early xian perspective) that the temple and all it's disply of religiosoty has failed to produce...so the temple and those associated with it are rejected and later on "whither" as a result. It's the same story Jesus tells over and over in different ways, but this time, he's not telling a parable, but is instead a character in the parable, as are his disciples.

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24-01-2014, 06:13 AM
RE: Jesus myth
Brief though, more later: the only purpose served by pointing out "logical fallacies," especially presentism, in my argument is to show that my position is not airtight. Problem is, I never claimed it was. I think I am presenting perfectly valid reasons to question the basis of Tacitus' throwaway line on the execution of Christus. I am not judging him as a historian. I am merely asking one simple question: how much weight do I give a particular line, given everything we know. And given everything we know, it is just as likely, if not more likely, that Tacitus did not rely on an official record of Jesus's execution. You can try to dismiss that by claiming fallacy, but I am making fewer assumptions with my position than you are opposing it.
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