Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
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22-10-2015, 12:58 PM
RE: Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
(22-10-2015 12:49 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  No, I don't. That's a straw man of what I have said.

I equate your assertions that you call "evidence" as opinion.

Keep trying to spin your bullshit, the web you've woven seems to have you trapped.

So on what basis can a person reasonably conclude that Harry Potter and Spiderman are fictional characters, if you presume this conclusion can't be because based on evidence?

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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22-10-2015, 01:31 PM
RE: Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
(22-10-2015 12:58 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(22-10-2015 12:49 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  No, I don't. That's a straw man of what I have said.

I equate your assertions that you call "evidence" as opinion.

Keep trying to spin your bullshit, the web you've woven seems to have you trapped.

So on what basis can a person reasonably conclude that Harry Potter and Spiderman are fictional characters, if you presume this conclusion can't be because based on evidence?

You are the one claiming to have evidence of fictionality/nonexistence. I called you on it and told you to deliver, and you delivered an opinion, a copyright page (a written claim), and circumstantial evidence.

You still don't seem to understand the point of this whole endeavor. Here, let me spell it out for you, real fucking simple.

Claims for existence require proof positive evidence to demonstrate they are plausible, possible, and consistent with reality.

So, if someone claims a person exists, they need to provide actual evidence to corroborate that claim, and stories about a person (be they copyrighted fictions, or stories that originate decades after a person died) are not evidence of the person, nor are they evidence that the stories are valid.

For instance, the "George Washington chopped down a cherry tree" story is based on a historical person, but that doesn't give it any validity, because it originated after George Washington lived. We could continue to do this with other historical figures (like Christopher Columbus for instance) and find a myriad of stories that aren't corroborated by contemporaneous accounts of the person's life. But the contemporaneous accounts of these people's lives (unambiguously directly associated with the mythical stories also attributed to them), demonstrate that they were at least real people.

Your Yeshua claims are not the above scenario. Why? Because there are no unambiguous contemporaneous accounts that link the Yeshua within historical records, to the stories attributed to him decades later. Your Jesus then, is (at best) based on a name or a characiture. Your Jesus is more like Harry Potter or Molly Pitcher or any other character for which stories are attributed as if they were real people.

The best example might just be Johnny Appleseed. He isn't a real person, but some have postulated that people created consistent stories about him that then spread as if he were real. And people seemed to go along with these because it appears as if historical observations of travelers wandering around the countryside could serve as a loose basis for ol' Johnny. But that doesn't actually link them (the actual living and breathing people) to Johnny Appleseed, nor does it validate the Johnny Appleseed stories. Nor does it validate the stories of Johnny Appleseed that people actually believed he was real and continued to share stories about him, textually and orally.

^This is your Jesus. There existed Jews who preached in the early first century, and undoubtedly one named Yeshua. There are probably even historical records of a person named Yeshua who was crucified. But there exist no contemporaneous accounts of the lives of these people that connect them to the stories written about a person named "Jesus" decades later. There are no contemporaneous accounts of the events surrounding the historical Yeshua that connect to the NT stories either (like the saints rising from their tombs to wander the streets of Jerusalem or a single person coming back to life or a guy healing lepers or feeding people with a single loaf of bread and a single fish or turning water into wine etc). Just like in any of the other mythical stories (be they the Johnny Appleseed variety or the Christopher Columbus variety), there are real places and real people interspersed within them, but these too don't corroborate the stories as real nor the other characters within them as real. So, just like Johnny Appleseed supposedly meeting Jim Bowie (who was real), Pontius Pilate being a real person doesn't make Jesus a real person.

Why did I ask you to deliver the "abundant and compelling evidence" of Harry Potter being a fiction? Because you said it existed, and you are flat out wrong. There is no evidence that demonstrates that Johnny Appleseed isn't real, nor is their evidence that Loki isn't or Odin or Ra or any other fictional character. There are only stories assigned to them with a paucity of evidence of them being real people. This leads to a very logical conclusion of them not being real (a rejection of the claim that they are real) because they have no evidence they are, and circumstantial evidence suggests they are not real, but does not prove it (the lack of actual records they are real. Links between those records and the stories, etc). And circumstantial evidence doesn't corroborate them as real, because those are the claims of their realness if you will.


So, the books about Harry Potter's life can be treated as claims of existence of him and the other characters and occurrence of events therein. The copyright page can be taken as circumstantial evidence that they are fictitious, but does not generate proof positive evidence that is the case. Instead, we simply test the claims within the stories. Magic? No evidence it is real. Dragons? No evidence. Diagon alley? Nope. Birth records? Nope. Contemporaneous accounts of these people from other sources? Nope. Etc Etc Etc.

The only logical conclusion then is that there exists no evidence to corroborate the claims of existence. Thereby leading to a rejection of those claims that is corroborated by the circumstantial evidence of the copyright page.



Now, read all of that very slowly. Read it more than once. Have someone help you with the big words.

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22-10-2015, 02:29 PM
RE: Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
(22-10-2015 01:31 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  You are the one claiming to have evidence of fictionality/nonexistence. I called you on it and told you to deliver, and you delivered an opinion, a copyright page (a written claim), and circumstantial evidence.
No silly one, it’s evidence. You think by continuously repeating that it’s not evidence, it’s miraculously makes this claim of yours true. IT’S EVIDENCE. Whether you like it or not.

So here’s our conversation:

TBD: It’s not evidence, it’s an opinion.

TOM: No, it’s evidence.

TBD: It’s not evidence, it’s an opinion.

TOM: No, it’s evidence.

TBD: It’s not evidence, it’s an opinion.

TOM: No, it’s evidence.

etc…

Quote:Claims for existence require proof positive evidence to demonstrate they are plausible, possible, and consistent with reality.

WTF is “proof positive evidence” as opposed to “evidence”? You’re making shit up as you go along. Creating you own set of rules, and getting frustrated someone points out that they’re nonsense. Not even folks who argue for a mythicist account of Yeshua peddle your bullshit.

If explanations of historicity are more reasonable, offer a great explanatory capacity than explanations that presuppose a mythicist Yeshua, or entirely fictional Yeshua, then that’s all that matters. When you can produce a more likely explanation than historicity, you let me know. If you think that historicist conclusions like Bart Ehram are unreasonable, irrational, let me know. Because if you don't think that, then what the hell are you even arguing about?

But your silly attempt to redefine and dictate terms, is just a fail, whether you like it or not. Other folks here at least are able to suggest alternative conclusions, you on the other hand think that you’re contributing something meaningful with your word games.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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22-10-2015, 02:34 PM
RE: Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
(22-10-2015 02:29 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(22-10-2015 01:31 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  You are the one claiming to have evidence of fictionality/nonexistence. I called you on it and told you to deliver, and you delivered an opinion, a copyright page (a written claim), and circumstantial evidence.
No silly one, it’s evidence. You think by continuously repeating that it’s not evidence, it’s miraculously makes this claim of yours true. IT’S EVIDENCE. Whether you like it or not.

So here’s our conversation:

TBD: It’s not evidence, it’s an opinion.

TOM: No, it’s evidence.

TBD: It’s not evidence, it’s an opinion.

TOM: No, it’s evidence.

TBD: It’s not evidence, it’s an opinion.

TOM: No, it’s evidence.

etc…

Quote:Claims for existence require proof positive evidence to demonstrate they are plausible, possible, and consistent with reality.

WTF is “proof positive evidence” as opposed to “evidence”? You’re making shit up as you go along. Creating you own set of rules, and getting frustrated someone points out that they’re nonsense. Not even folks who argue for a mythicist account of Yeshua peddle your bullshit.

If explanations of historicity are more reasonable, offer a great explanatory capacity than explanations that presuppose a mythicist Yeshua, or entirely fictional Yeshua, then that’s all that matters. When you can produce a more likely explanation than historicity, you let me know. If you think that historicist conclusions like Bart Ehram are unreasonable, irrational, let me know. Because if you don't think that, then what the hell are you even arguing about?

But your silly attempt to redefine and dictate terms, is just a fail, whether you like it or not. Other folks here at least are able suggest alternative conclusions, you on the other other hand think that you’re contributing something meaningful with your word games.

Facepalm I don't know why I waste time on you. You claim to want honest discussion, then you post dishonest drivel like this. Drinking Beverage

I explained myself as clear as possible. You clearly don't understand words, and I don't have time to teach you english and grammar.

Educate yourself. Stop lying about being here for honest discussion. Shove your preaching up your ass.

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22-10-2015, 05:37 PM (This post was last modified: 22-10-2015 05:41 PM by Stevil.)
RE: Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
(22-10-2015 02:29 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  WTF is “proof positive evidence” as opposed to “evidence”?
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/defini...e-evidence
Quote:Evidence for a theory provided by the non-occurrence or absence of something.

Positive evidence would be something that exists i.e. a Birth Certificate. If a person exists we would expect to have a Birth Certificate for this person. When we find that Birth certificate then we present that as positive evidence. We can verify the birth certificate, it states where the baby was born, who its parents are. We can go to that hospital and ask for their records. If they have a record of the birth then that is postive evidence in support of the person and corroberating evidence that gives a stronger confidence in the Birth Certificate being valid.

However if we don't find a Birth Certificate this represents negative evidence. We looked but we didn't find.
The problem with negative evidence is that perhaps we didn't look in the right place. Perhaps there was an error and hence the birth certificate didn't match our search criteria, so it didn't come up in the search results.

Many religious folk use negative evidence in support of their god beliefs.
- we don't know how life started therefore god did it.
- we don't know how the DNA code came to get started therefore god did it.
- we don't know how the bacteria flagellum gained a motor propeller in a step-wise fashion therefore god did it.
- we don't know why most people think stealling is bad therefore god must have imprinted this on us.
- we don't know why the moon rotates at exactly the right speed such that as it travels around the Earth it shows only the same side towards Earth. The odds are against it so god must have done it by design.

But then science gets involved and discovers positive evidence in support of an alternate and more plausible natural explaination.

Negative evidence is a much weaker form of evidence than positive evidence.

Negatve evidence comes in two flavours:
"evidence of abscence"
"absence of evidence"
"Evidence of absence" is where you expect to find evidence but you don't. e.g. For the long jump they put plasticine at the end of the jump board. Once the jump is made they look at the plastacine to see if the jumper over stepped the board. If the plastacine is perfect (without a foot impression which we know would have occured if the foot touched the plastacine) then the evidence is in favour of the conclusion that the jumper did not overstep the boad. The flaw with this evidence is that perhaps the foot overstepped the plastacine as well. So this negative evidence isn't as strong as positive evidence.
For "absence of evidence" there is no appeal to evidence that should be there. Instead it is merely highlighting that there is no evidence to the contrary therefore the insisted explaination must be true. This happens in the case where a theist claims that god exists because the atheist can't provide evidence for god's non existence.
So in the absence of evidence it is assumed that god does exist.
But obviously this works both ways.
A person can claim that in the absence of evidence for the existence of a god then therefore the god doesn't exist.
So here in the absence of evidence it is assumed that god does not exist.
So we are faced with violating the law of non contradiction. In the absence of evidence we conclude that god both exists and does not exist.
So how we break this standoff?
We insist that both claimants must provide evidence other than "absence of evidence".
The "god exists" claimant would need to provide positive evidence, such as introduce us to god, have god speak to us and/or perform miracles for us.
The "god does not exist" claimant doesn't have the opportunity to provide positive evidence as there is no positive evidence for the non existence of somthing. They instead need to provide "evidence of absence" and the only way to do that is for the claim for a god to include falsifiable criteria that the "god does not exist" claimant can verify. This is negative evidence but shows that the expected evidence "if god does exist" isn't to be found when and where expected. The conclusion must be, in absence of the expected evidence, that god does not exist.
So it is unreasonable for us to insist the "god does not exist" claimant to provide positive evidence. Can we insist that they provide negative "evidence of absence" evidence? Well, only if the "god exists" claim includes falsifiable criteria. If it doesn't then we must first insist that the "god exists" claimant provides falsifiable criteria before we go back to the "god does not exist" claimant and insist they give evidence that falsifies god's existence (a.k.a. evidence of absence).


What is the falsifiable criteria of the existence of "Jesus"?
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22-10-2015, 05:49 PM
RE: Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
(19-10-2015 06:55 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(19-10-2015 04:33 PM)Chas Wrote:  Many here don't think that either side has a convincing argument; the only honest position is 'I don't know'.

Yes, I know. Like the sort of individuals, who can't conclude that Harry Potter is a fictional character, without an explicit disclaimer stating so by JK Rowling. And individuals who have trouble holding a belief in anything. Some of them are just honestly confused, other's are not so honest at all. They're not produced by their college years, and seems to be produced primarily by belonging to some community which favors believing in nothing over something.

They make for an interesting case study.

Oh, just fuck off. You do not understand knowledge, truth, honesty, or rationality.

You are an ass.

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22-10-2015, 06:04 PM
RE: Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
(20-10-2015 09:21 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(19-10-2015 07:35 PM)Stevil Wrote:  This is douchery.

Tomasia, given that you are here at an atheist site, it would be a great opportunity for you to try and learn about us. Overcome some of your silly preconceived ideas about us.

What does "believing in nothing" even mean?
It's a meme that we would expect to hear from drive by tolls. Not something to hear from a person engaged in real conversation with people on this forum.

I should say I wasn’t making a blanket statement about all atheists, and it’s particularly reserved for a particular type of atheist, and it’s not a question of their characters, but descriptive of a line of thought, and argument. People who I’d say fit that script here, is someone like yourself, Chas, TBD, and perhaps one or two others as well. People who don’t, is someone like Rocketsurgeon. There’s a noticeable distinction in the way one group thinks through question, than others do. It drives a curiosity in, in regards to how to account for it.

There you go, yet again, making silly, ignorant assumptions. Do you actually think I haven't thought this through?
You jump to conclusions, you assume you know what others believe, you rush to judgement. You are dishonest.

Quote:What I mean by nothing here, is that a typical argument tends to involve two people arguing in favor of two competing conclusions. An argument over historicity, is typically one between someone who subscribes to some version of historicity and another who subscribes to some form of mythicist. It would be like a Carrier vs Ehrman argument.

And neither side has sufficient evidence nor a convincing argument.
Given that, an honest person can withhold judgement.

Quote:But for folks, like yourself and Chas, you don’t actually have a competing conclusion. You’re arguing in fact for nothing. It’s an argument for agnosticism, and it’s not even the sort of agnosticism associated with a 6 on the Dawkins scale, but a 4.

See above. You seemingly can't conceive of withholding judgement.
You are like a five-year-old.

Quote:Where as someone else would start with a question, such as if there was a historical Yeshua, and what sort of sources and materials would we expect to find in that period, and whether what we have is consistent with those expectations. Or if we were to consider the question in terms of non-existing, mythicist Jesus, what sort of sources and materials would we expect to find in this case, what would a mythicist Jesus say of Jewish messianic expectations at time, if they allowed for a non-historical messiah, etc.. Questions about when did a mythicist Jesus start to take the form of a historical one. Was this likely to have been unintentional, of part of a concentrated effort, etc…. This thought process involves a comparison of different conclusions, a question of which conclusions are more reasonable than the other, are less prone to violating Occam’s Razor, make better sense of what occurred in that period than the other, offers a greater explanatory capacity. It involves actually thinking through a variety of questions.

If I were to offer a descriptive account of your thought process, it doesn’t start with considering conclusions. It starts with the question of the term “evidence”. You have some predefined criteria for what constitutes as evidence and not.

You are too credulous and do not understand how to weigh evidence.

Quote:You look at the variety of sources being used for consideration here, and decide whether it in fact fits into the category of “evidence” or “not evidence” (much of the problem here is a result of the inability of individuals such as yourself to translate the meaning of “evidence” across multiple disciplines”. disciples that don’t use historical sources, and ones that do.) If you can squeeze all the material and sources into Stevil/Chas’s category of “no evidence”, then you declare that no conclusions can be drawn, we must all declare our level 4 agnosticism. Not only can we not know one way or the other, we cannot reasonably believe one way or the other. According to this reasoning.

You miss the not very subtle distinction of the quality of evidence. Neither you nor anyone else has provided strong or convincing evidence.

Making up a more or less reasonable tale is not evidence.
The tale is either supported by evidence, not well supported by evidence, or contradicted by evidence.

Quote:What interesting is this process, doesn’t require much thinking, it’s primarily a means of avoiding thinking through questions all together. It’s a mean of avoiding having to consider questions, a means to deflecting questions from being considered. It’s a way to claim than no question can be asked, no conclusions can be drawn.

Who, precisely, has claimed that no questions can be asked? Facepalm

Quote:Your case is one that argues that we have to set all this material and sources aside, since they fall into Stevil’s category of “no evidence”, and declares that no inferences can be drawn from them in regards to historicity or mythicism. It’s a very odd thought process, one that you likely won’t find advocated by a particular philosopher or school of philosophy, or taught in some course one took on philosophy, or critical thinking. It’s a thought process that appears popularly in communities like this, and it appears that it’s these communities that frame it, encourage, and perpetuate it.

That is certainly not my position, and I'd bet it's not Stevil's either.

Quote:I’m not sure if this is an insulting description, but it is my attempt to describe in more detail what I was suggesting in the previous post. If you don’t agree with the description of your thought process, here, than you can clarify as need be.

Yes, it is insulting because you make insulting assumptions about others.

You need to stop doing that.

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22-10-2015, 06:05 PM
Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
Oh look, even more people calling you on your dishonest bullshit, Tomasia. Drinking Beverage

Surprise of the century

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22-10-2015, 06:11 PM
RE: Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
(22-10-2015 06:04 PM)Chas Wrote:  
Quote:Your case is one that argues that we have to set all this material and sources aside, since they fall into Stevil’s category of “no evidence”, and declares that no inferences can be drawn from them in regards to historicity or mythicism. It’s a very odd thought process, one that you likely won’t find advocated by a particular philosopher or school of philosophy, or taught in some course one took on philosophy, or critical thinking. It’s a thought process that appears popularly in communities like this, and it appears that it’s these communities that frame it, encourage, and perpetuate it.

That is certainly not my position, and I'd bet it's not Stevil's either.

But, Chas, if he can't just make up shit and pretend people believe it, he'd actually have to engage with what people are saying to him. And where would the smarmy dishonesty fun be then?

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22-10-2015, 06:12 PM
Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
(22-10-2015 06:11 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(22-10-2015 06:04 PM)Chas Wrote:  That is certainly not my position, and I'd bet it's not Stevil's either.

But, Chas, if he can't just make up shit and pretend people believe it, he'd actually have to engage with what people are saying to him. And where would the smarmy dishonesty fun be then?

The same place as his head Drinking Beverage

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