Jesus myth
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25-01-2014, 07:35 PM
RE: Jesus myth
(25-01-2014 03:26 PM)Free Wrote:  The questions I asked where directly related to your comments, but if you do not want to even attempt to answer them then no point in pursuing them.
*were

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25-01-2014, 07:44 PM
RE: Jesus myth
I was waiting for that, Vosur.
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25-01-2014, 10:25 PM
RE: Jesus myth
(25-01-2014 11:54 AM)Free Wrote:  Tacitus tells us that he believes that the histories of the Caesars was falsified, and that it is his intention to get the facts straight, demonstrating his commitment to genuine history.

snip

He not once ever makes a statement that he used any non-Roman source material.

What Tacitus records in regard to Chrestus, is what would have been common knowledge in his day. I don't think he would consider it hearsay, nor am I very impressed by his claims of his own honesty and hatred of hearsay. Why would you go out of yor way to say such things?

However, if you want to speculate that his source was some other written Roman source, then you must at least admit that we have no idea of fidelity of *that* writing, since we don't even know what that source is. Tacitus is really completely irrelevant, since he is not a primary source, and tells us nothing new.

I can't see how any of this adds weight to the historical Jesus argument, as it is all completely compatible with a mythical Jesus position. I think it would be surprising if we did *not* find this sort of thing, even if Jesus is myth.

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25-01-2014, 10:28 PM
RE: Jesus myth
Quote:Is there evidence that Tacitus independently verified- by standards we would accept today as authoritative- that Jesus was in fact crucified by Pilate?

Again, since the text does not mention the name of Jesus, we then assume your meaning as being Christus. Therefore, I will answer to the question of Christus.

First of all, we need to understand what the "standards we would accept today as authoritative" actually entails, and the modern standards today utilize The Historical Method.

It is almost universally acknowledged that of all ancient historians, Tacitus stands alone as the only ancient historian who precisely used the exact same techniques that are currently employed by the modern Historical Method. The standards he employed are as follows:

1. Source Criticism.

a) Higher & Lower Criticism

The sources Tacitus used are as follows:

1. The acta senatus, which are the minutes of the session of the Senate.
2. The acta diurna populi Romani, which are a collection of the acts of the government and news of the court and capital.
3. Collections of emperors' speeches, such as Tiberius and Claudius.
4. Tacitus cites some of his sources directly, including but not limited to, Cluvius Rufus, Fabius Rusticus and Pliny the Elder.
5. Tacitus also uses collections of letters known as the epistolarium.
6. He also took information from exitus illustrium virorum, a collection of historical books written by other historians who were antithetical to the emperors.
7. Inscriptions found on statues, plaques, and other memorabilia.

Due to Tacitus’ strong motivation to consistently name his sources, he has passed all 7 qualifiers of the test of the first part of the Historical Method known as Higher & Lower Criticism.

B. Procedures for contradictory sources:

1. If the sources all agree about an event, historians can consider the event proved.
2. However, majority does not rule; even if most sources relate events in one way, that version will not prevail unless it passes the test of critical textual analysis.
3. 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.
4. When two sources disagree on a particular point, the historian will prefer the source with most "authority"—that is the source created by the expert or by the eyewitness.
5. Eyewitnesses are, in general, to be preferred especially in circumstances where the ordinary observer could have accurately reported what transpired and, more specifically, when they deal with facts known by most contemporaries.
6. If two independently created sources agree on a matter, the reliability of each is measurably enhanced.
7. 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.

Tacitus is observed as utilizing most, if not all, the procedures for contradictory sources. He explicitly states this in the very first paragraph of Annals with his statement that many of the histories of the Caesars had been falsified, and also says as such or similar in various other places.

c) Core principles for determining reliability.

The following core principles of source criticism were formulated by two Scandinavian historians, Olden-Jørgensen (1998) and Thurén (1997)

1. Human sources may be relics such as a fingerprint; or narratives such as a statement or a letter. Relics are more credible sources than narratives.
2. Since any given source may be forged or corrupted, strong indications of the originality of the source increase its reliability.
3. The closer a source is to the event which it purports to describe, the more one can trust it to give an accurate historical description of what actually happened.
4. An eyewitness is more reliable than testimony at second hand, which is more reliable than hearsay at further remove, and so on.
5. If a number of independent sources contain the same message, the credibility of the message is strongly increased.
6. The tendency of a source is its motivation for providing some kind of bias. Tendencies should be minimized or supplemented with opposite motivations.
7. If it can be demonstrated that the witness or source has no direct interest in creating bias then the credibility of the message is increased.

Tacitus is observed as utilizing 6 of the 7 core principals listed above. Where he fails is on number 6, as his bias is often evident in his works.

Since Tacitus shows such tact at using all of the above, and there is no evidence that he used hearsay to support either the Oral Tradition or Indirect Witness sections of the Historical method (which are at the low end of the method scale anyways) then there can be no doubt that Tacitus’ work easily qualifies as utilizing the modern standards of modern historians, which is the Historical Method.

Since Tacitus easily passes the test of modern scholarship, what it all comes down to after that from our modern perspective is Historical Reasoning, which entails:

Argument to the best explanation:

1. The statement, together with other statements already held to be true, must imply yet other statements describing present, observable data. (We will henceforth call the first statement 'the hypothesis', and the statements describing observable data, 'observation statements'.)
2. The hypothesis must be of greater explanatory scope than any other incompatible hypothesis about the same subject; that is, it must imply a greater variety of observation statements.
3. The hypothesis must be of greater explanatory power than any other incompatible hypothesis about the same subject; that is, it must make the observation statements it implies more probable than any other.
4. The hypothesis must be more plausible than any other incompatible hypothesis about the same subject; that is, it must be implied to some degree by a greater variety of accepted truths than any other, and be implied more strongly than any other; and its probable negation must be implied by fewer beliefs, and implied less strongly than any other.
5. The hypothesis must be less ad hoc than any other incompatible hypothesis about the same subject; that is, it must include fewer new suppositions about the past which are not already implied to some extent by existing beliefs.
6. It must be disconfirmed by fewer accepted beliefs than any other incompatible hypothesis about the same subject; that is, when conjoined with accepted truths it must imply fewer observation statements and other statements which are believed to be false.
7. It must exceed other incompatible hypotheses about the same subject by so much, in characteristics 2 to 6, that there is little chance of an incompatible hypothesis, after further investigation, soon exceeding it in these respects.

So the final reasoning is as such, with your question- with Jesus changed to Christus- preceding it:

Quote:Is there evidence that Tacitus independently verified- by standards we would accept today as authoritative- that Christus was in fact crucified by Pilate?

Q: Did Tacitus use the authoritative standards we accept today in his scholarship?

A: Undoubtedly yes, as the Source Criticism part of the Historical Method clearly demonstrates it.

Q: Is there evidence that Tacitus independently verified … that Christus was in fact crucified by Pilate?

A: Undoubtedly yes, as the Source Criticism part of the Historical Method clearly demonstrates it.

Q: What argument is to the best explanation?

A: Since the Source Criticism clearly demonstrates that Tacitus utilized the same standards in his scholarship as what is used in modern scholarship; only used Roman primary and secondary sources; shows no evidence of using hearsay; shows no evidence of using non-Roman sources, then the argument to the best explanation clearly favors that Tacitus got his information regarding the execution of Christus by Pontius Pilate as originating only from Roman sources.

Therefore, the answer is yes.

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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25-01-2014, 10:30 PM (This post was last modified: 25-01-2014 10:34 PM by TwoCultSurvivor.)
RE: Jesus myth
Bullshit. Nicely worded bullshit, but bullshit. Presumption and logical leaping disguised as scholarship.

I refer only to your application of the above to this one particular line, in which little to none of what you write applies.
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25-01-2014, 10:44 PM
RE: Jesus myth
(25-01-2014 10:30 PM)TwoCultSurvivor Wrote:  Bullshit. Nicely worded bullshit, but bullshit. Presumption and logical leaping disguised as scholarship.

I refer only to your application of the above to this one particular line, in which little to none of what you write applies.

And that is the best you can do to refute it?

Seriously?

Go away.

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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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25-01-2014, 10:56 PM
RE: Jesus myth
No, that is not the best I can do to refute it. It's the best I will do at this hour, however. You are certainly entitled to a breakdown of exactly why the argument you presented is full of crap and does not prove what you claim it does. What surprises me is that you would present this flawed argument and expect no one to see the massive holes in it. No, my dismissal is not the best I can do to refute this. I am just shocked that this is the best you can do to state your case.

Good night.
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25-01-2014, 10:58 PM
RE: Jesus myth
(25-01-2014 10:25 PM)toadaly Wrote:  I can't see how any of this adds weight to the historical Jesus argument, as it is all completely compatible with a mythical Jesus position. I think it would be surprising if we did *not* find this sort of thing, even if Jesus is myth.

Just the mere existence of the Tacitus text is a +1 as evidence to support the existence of Christ as a historical person.

Due to that, some evidence trumps no evidence 100% of the time.

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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25-01-2014, 11:00 PM
RE: Jesus myth
(25-01-2014 10:56 PM)TwoCultSurvivor Wrote:  No, that is not the best I can do to refute it. It's the best I will do at this hour, however. You are certainly entitled to a breakdown of exactly why the argument you presented is full of crap and does not prove what you claim it does. What surprises me is that you would present this flawed argument and expect no one to see the massive holes in it. No, my dismissal is not the best I can do to refute this. I am just shocked that this is the best you can do to state your case.

Good night.

Good luck refuting it.

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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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25-01-2014, 11:15 PM
RE: Jesus myth
Bad evidence does not trump no evidence. Inconclusive evidence does not trump no evidence. A single throwaway line in Tacitus is not evidence of anything more than the existence of the Christian narrative, which was never in dispute. And what's funny is, your post gives a number of alternative sources for the story, none of them primary, none of them reliable, but all of them accessible to Tacitus and better candidates as the source of information than a primary record.

And you don't even see it.

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