Jesus never existed (video)
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12-12-2015, 03:45 PM
RE: Jesus never existed (video)
(12-12-2015 10:59 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(12-12-2015 06:43 AM)Vosur Wrote:  That sounds nice in theory, but the reality is something else entirely. History is absolutely ripe *** with examples of scientists whose theories became mainstream science only after years of being ostracized and shunned by the scientific community. That and there are a bunch of special interest groups who regularly invest a lot of money into science to benefit their agenda (Big Tobacco, Big Oil, Big Pharma, etc.). It's naive to pretend like the scientific community is so noble as to be above the sort of behavior that you criticize the community of biblical scholars for. That doesn't mean that I disagree with your point, it just means that research can never be free of biases because someone is always providing the funding for research. An argument could be made that few people, in general, would dare bite the hand that feeds them.

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12-12-2015, 03:47 PM
RE: Jesus never existed (video)
(12-12-2015 11:17 AM)Minimalist Wrote:  
(11-12-2015 10:08 PM)Vosur Wrote:  Well, similar arguments have been advanced by some Creationists, e.g. that most scientists support the theory of evolution because they would be fired or have their funding cut if they publicly came out against it or because it supports their atheistic world views. I don't think I need to point out why baseless conjecture like that is absurd.

And if creationists had any evidence that life began 6,000 years ago in the middle east they would have to be taken seriously.

The Historical Jesus crowd ( which cannot even agree among themselves what a "historical jesus" means has only their bible nonsense which, in case Ehrman forgot, he has spent 20 years trashing as heavily edited, error-ridden, crap. Still, having spent a career pissing in the pond he now wants to say "it's okay, I found a clean spot you can drink from." Thanks, Bart....but no sale.

We have nothing but the pious blather of early believers for their boy. Not a single Greco-Roman writer heard of any "jesus" until Celsus in the late 2d century.

You can ignore these facts if you wish - as obviously you do - but they remain.
That the only contemporary(?) writings about Jesus originate from believers doesn't indicate that he was made up from scratch, it only indicates that they are exaggerated and inaccurate (which they are).

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12-12-2015, 04:56 PM
RE: Jesus never existed (video)
(12-12-2015 08:05 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(11-12-2015 10:04 PM)Vosur Wrote:  Now you're just being silly. A consensus is the sum of all published scholarly works and papers in a given field, not the result of an opinion poll. Do you think you'd be able to provide, say, Luminon with a single poll which attested to the fact that the majority of physicists don't believe in the existence of Ether? Of course not. The reason we know that is because that's what the vast majority of the scientific literature on the subject points towards.

Come on, Bucky. Even Bart Ehrman, one of the world's most prominent irreligious scholars, said the following in his book Did Jesus Exist? The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth: "He [Jesus] certainly existed, as virtually every competent scholar of antiquity, Christian or non-Christian, agrees, based on clear and certain evidence."

Are you going to tell me that he's biased as well?

He and Carrier had a huge fight. In the end, Ehrman backed off, and stopped responding to Carrier's points and questions. Ehrman used to be an Evangelical Fundamentalist. His views are and will be, forever, colored by his past. Yes he is biased. Carrier and price ARE competent scholars. The historicity argument is about the history, and the evidence. All the evidence has holes in it. It's not about who holds what views. You yourself have admitted you are too much of a "layman" to actually be in the debate itself.

"Concensus" is a claim made by many. It needs evidential support. Statements by believers are not unbiased evidence. If on examination, the supposed "consensus" is 99% comprised of believers who never really even considered non-existence a real possibility, then it can be questioned and dismissed as not serious.

For those that never even thought about his "non-existence" it seems preposterous. In fact Carrier makes some good arguments, (the structure of the gospels is that of mythology), and to me (not one of Carrier's arguments) it seems mighty strange that the theology and content of the writings (Acts and the gospels) are FAR more *developed and complex* than one would expect a nascient cult to have, and reflects a LATER period, (the gospels reflect the concerns of Rabbinic Judaism post diaspora, and post temple destruction, NOT early First Century), and the theological content developed later ... so something is very very screwy. Maybe he did exist. There were lots of Jesuses. There were lots of dying and rising sons of god. They were a dime a dozen. So what. The gospels were totally invented and do not reflect in any way, "history". So the Jesus of the gospels was a myth. Whether there happened to be a Jesus or not, is then, rather irrelevant. The point is, (as Atwill attempts to do), is to examine what was the intent of the writings, and determine what purpose they served, not to determine whether a character in them was real or not. We know most of what was said about him, if not all, was made up or assembled and re-assembled, to serve whatever purposes that (those) were.

Ehrman once made a comment that he dismissed (a) "political" motivation behind the early development of Christianity as "cynical". But we know for a fact that religion used as a tool, for exactly that, as a politically unifying force, again and again in the ancient world (Judaism, Rome, the Greek empire and the Islamic/Arabic expansion). I see no reason to exempt Christianity from at least the possibility of having been cooked up for that reason.
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12-12-2015, 11:47 PM
RE: Jesus never existed (video)
(12-12-2015 03:47 PM)Vosur Wrote:  
(12-12-2015 11:17 AM)Minimalist Wrote:  And if creationists had any evidence that life began 6,000 years ago in the middle east they would have to be taken seriously.

The Historical Jesus crowd ( which cannot even agree among themselves what a "historical jesus" means has only their bible nonsense which, in case Ehrman forgot, he has spent 20 years trashing as heavily edited, error-ridden, crap. Still, having spent a career pissing in the pond he now wants to say "it's okay, I found a clean spot you can drink from." Thanks, Bart....but no sale.

We have nothing but the pious blather of early believers for their boy. Not a single Greco-Roman writer heard of any "jesus" until Celsus in the late 2d century.

You can ignore these facts if you wish - as obviously you do - but they remain.
That the only contemporary(?) writings about Jesus originate from believers doesn't indicate that he was made up from scratch, it only indicates that they are exaggerated and inaccurate (which they are).

Hmm... does that apply to Zeus, Osiris, Ishtar, Odin, and Vishnu? Or is that kind of special pleading reserved only for your boy?

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13-12-2015, 12:11 AM
RE: Jesus never existed (video)
(12-12-2015 07:05 AM)Vosur Wrote:  
(12-12-2015 06:48 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Agreed, but in the end, the evidence wins out. All of the fallacious bullshit was shown to be fallacious by other scientists.

Science is a self correcting process, history is not.
Good point, but it's also one of the reasons why I think that the idea of mythicism doesn't hold a lot of merit. The manuscripts that are used as evidence for and against the historicity of Christ are the same ones that have been studied by countless historians for the past millennium. As far as I can tell, mythicists aren't skeptical of the historicity of Jesus based on a new discovery in the field of history, but based on a general distrust of the accounts about Jesus' life, the Gospels in particular. I'm too much of a layman to have an educated opinion on the subject, though the views of those who doubt the validity of the Gospels as eyewitness testimony do tend to make more sense to me.


But as Minimalist already pointed out, why assume historicity? At the very least we should all be agnostic here, as you cannot say for certain that Jesus did or did not exist. If the evidence is good enough to claim that Jesus definitely existed, then what about other mythical figures with similar amounts of evidence, such as Heracles, Romulus, and other dying-and-rising deities?


I'm of the opinion that if we apply the standards of evidence evenly, Jesus comes out no better than other figures historians have long deemed mythical; and even assuming Jesus is a historical figure, the evidence for his existence falls far short of figures we can be more than reasonably certain did exist, such as Caesar.


To stand by the argument that Jesus definitely existed, in light of how poor the evidence for that claim is, especially when highlighted against similar bodies of evidence for other figures in history, belies a hypocrisy and double standard that most probably comes from systemic bias in the field.


Apply the same standards to Augustus Caesar, Romulus and Remus, and Jesus of Nazareth; and Jesus ends up far close to Romulus and Remus than he does to Augustus Caesar. In light of this maintaining the opinion that Jesus definitely existed is, in my opinion, an unjustifiable double standard.

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13-12-2015, 05:38 AM
RE: Jesus never existed (video)
(12-12-2015 11:47 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  
(12-12-2015 03:47 PM)Vosur Wrote:  That the only contemporary(?) writings about Jesus originate from believers doesn't indicate that he was made up from scratch, it only indicates that they are exaggerated and inaccurate (which they are).

Hmm... does that apply to Zeus, Osiris, Ishtar, Odin, and Vishnu? Or is that kind of special pleading reserved only for your boy?
"My boy"? You do realize that I'm an atheist, right? I won't even give you the time of day to respond to such a breathtakingly inane post. Facepalm

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13-12-2015, 06:11 AM
RE: Jesus never existed (video)
(13-12-2015 12:11 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(12-12-2015 07:05 AM)Vosur Wrote:  Good point, but it's also one of the reasons why I think that the idea of mythicism doesn't hold a lot of merit. The manuscripts that are used as evidence for and against the historicity of Christ are the same ones that have been studied by countless historians for the past millennium. As far as I can tell, mythicists aren't skeptical of the historicity of Jesus based on a new discovery in the field of history, but based on a general distrust of the accounts about Jesus' life, the Gospels in particular. I'm too much of a layman to have an educated opinion on the subject, though the views of those who doubt the validity of the Gospels as eyewitness testimony do tend to make more sense to me.


But as Minimalist already pointed out, why assume historicity? At the very least we should all be agnostic here, as you cannot say for certain that Jesus did or did not exist. If the evidence is good enough to claim that Jesus definitely existed, then what about other mythical figures with similar amounts of evidence, such as Heracles, Romulus, and other dying-and-rising deities?


I'm of the opinion that if we apply the standards of evidence evenly, Jesus comes out no better than other figures historians have long deemed mythical; and even assuming Jesus is a historical figure, the evidence for his existence falls far short of figures we can be more than reasonably certain did exist, such as Caesar.


To stand by the argument that Jesus definitely existed, in light of how poor the evidence for that claim is, especially when highlighted against similar bodies of evidence for other figures in history, belies a hypocrisy and double standard that most probably comes from systemic bias in the field.


Apply the same standards to Augustus Caesar, Romulus and Remus, and Jesus of Nazareth; and Jesus ends up far close to Romulus and Remus than he does to Augustus Caesar. In light of this maintaining the opinion that Jesus definitely existed is, in my opinion, an unjustifiable double standard.
To be honest, I think it's both disingenuous and intellectually lazy for a complete layman to handwave away the work of dozens, if not hundreds of accredited historians on the basis of conjecture like "They are all biased to the point of being unreliable because they are religious" and, in the case of Bucky Ball, "They're biased even if they're atheists if they were religious at any point in their life". I'm not even taking a stance on this topic because I don't have any training as a historian whatsoever, I'm only deferring to the consensus that the experts (yes, they are expert historians whether you like it or not) in the field have reached after decades, if not centuries of scholarship. If you are genuinely interested in finding out why the people who study this stuff for a living don't share your concerns about the lack of evidence, you should be talking to actual historians instead of atheist peers who don't have the first clue about scholarship. It's no different than Luminon coming here, of all places, to debate various scientific topics when only a handful of us actually are trained scientists.

I would suggest that you ask your questions in a place like /r/AskHistorians (famous for its sourced, high quality answers) or Historum (historian forum that ghostexorcist is a member of) and report back to us what they say.

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14-12-2015, 06:49 AM
RE: Jesus never existed (video)
(13-12-2015 06:11 AM)Vosur Wrote:  
(13-12-2015 12:11 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  But as Minimalist already pointed out, why assume historicity? At the very least we should all be agnostic here, as you cannot say for certain that Jesus did or did not exist. If the evidence is good enough to claim that Jesus definitely existed, then what about other mythical figures with similar amounts of evidence, such as Heracles, Romulus, and other dying-and-rising deities?


I'm of the opinion that if we apply the standards of evidence evenly, Jesus comes out no better than other figures historians have long deemed mythical; and even assuming Jesus is a historical figure, the evidence for his existence falls far short of figures we can be more than reasonably certain did exist, such as Caesar.


To stand by the argument that Jesus definitely existed, in light of how poor the evidence for that claim is, especially when highlighted against similar bodies of evidence for other figures in history, belies a hypocrisy and double standard that most probably comes from systemic bias in the field.


Apply the same standards to Augustus Caesar, Romulus and Remus, and Jesus of Nazareth; and Jesus ends up far close to Romulus and Remus than he does to Augustus Caesar. In light of this maintaining the opinion that Jesus definitely existed is, in my opinion, an unjustifiable double standard.
To be honest, I think it's both disingenuous and intellectually lazy for a complete layman to handwave away the work of dozens, if not hundreds of accredited historians on the basis of conjecture like "They are all biased to the point of being unreliable because they are religious" and, in the case of Bucky Ball, "They're biased even if they're atheists if they were religious at any point in their life". I'm not even taking a stance on this topic because I don't have any training as a historian whatsoever, I'm only deferring to the consensus that the experts (yes, they are expert historians whether you like it or not) in the field have reached after decades, if not centuries of scholarship. If you are genuinely interested in finding out why the people who study this stuff for a living don't share your concerns about the lack of evidence, you should be talking to actual historians instead of atheist peers who don't have the first clue about scholarship. It's no different than Luminon coming here, of all places, to debate various scientific topics when only a handful of us actually are trained scientists.

I would suggest that you ask your questions in a place like /r/AskHistorians (famous for its sourced, high quality answers) or Historum (historian forum that ghostexorcist is a member of) and report back to us what they say.

Likewise, that doesn't make them right either.

It's reasonable to trust the expert consensus, unless you find reason to doubt the basis of the consensus. So hundreds of scholars with years upon years of combined experience can still be undermined if they're built upon assumptions that are later questioned and shown to be either unfounded or incorrect, as indeed they should be.

The potential biases of the field is nothing more than a possible piece of a puzzle to help explain things like academic inertia, especially in light of how this fight already played out once before vis-a-vis the mythicism of the Jewish patriarchs. Hell, even Einstein never bought into quantum mechanics, but that didn't make quantum mechanics a less valid explanatory tool. Granted, Einstein not accepting quantum mechanics wasn't evidence in favor of it either, it is merely an example of how even the best and brightest can fight paradigm shift; even one responsible for a major shift himself.

I do not, and indeed should not, give a flying fuck if you find my doubt of the consensus to be in poor taste; provided I have justifiably reasons for my doubt. I've read Ehrman and Carrier and Price, and I think the mythicists have the better arguments.

Plus, I don't appreciate you waving around the 'credentials' stick, as if Carrier and Price are not also trained and accredited experts, or that a degree is a necessary prerequisite to having a seat at the debate table. So I can't read Greek, should I therefore not hold an opinion on the works of others who's work is based off of translated Greek, since I'm unable to read the original myself? If so, might as well shut down this forum, because none of us would be qualified to have an opinion on the Bible.

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14-12-2015, 07:12 AM
RE: Jesus never existed (video)
(13-12-2015 06:11 AM)Vosur Wrote:  I would suggest that you ask your questions in a place like /r/AskHistorians (famous for its sourced, high quality answers) or Historum (historian forum that ghostexorcist is a member of) and report back to us what they say.

I would suggest that discussing the authenticity of an historical religious figure on an atheist website is a perfectly legitimate exercise.

I was not aware that a background in research, teaching, academia or credentials of any sort were required to participate or comment in such discussions.

From what I have read on these forums, there are many other posters like myself, who come from a religious background, where the existence of Christ was 150% guaranteed fact.

In reality, we have no way of knowing whether or not Jesus ever existed.
That fact alone merits discussion.

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14-12-2015, 07:28 AM (This post was last modified: 14-12-2015 07:32 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Jesus never existed (video)
(13-12-2015 06:11 AM)Vosur Wrote:  Bucky Ball, "They're biased even if they're atheists if they were religious at any point in their life".

Please point me to where I said that.
I never said that.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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