Poll: What's Jesus about?
Son of God, etc
Lowly preacher bigged up
Total myth, never existed
Based on real people and events to create a religion
King Arthur
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What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
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17-05-2014, 07:13 AM
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
Mark. I reviewed your website - wall to wall Christian bashing. You think you're going to make a difference - doctor???

The solution to the problem has to do with the social contract theory - we need a scientific social contract to organize the world.

Humanism - ontological doctrine that posits that humans define reality
Theism - ontological doctrine that posits a supernatural entity creates and defines reality
Atheism - political doctrine opposed to theist doctrine in public policy
I am right, and you are wrong - I hope you die peacefullyCool
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17-05-2014, 08:10 PM
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
(17-05-2014 07:13 AM)TrainWreck Wrote:  Mark. I reviewed your website - wall to wall Christian bashing. You think you're going to make a difference - doctor???

The solution to the problem has to do with the social contract theory - we need a scientific social contract to organize the world.

"Mark. I reviewed your website - wall to wall Christian bashing."

Yes, it's great, don't you think? Did you learn anything?

"You think you're going to make a difference - doctor???"

Yes, I do. A number of people who have already read my book tell me it has changed their lives for the better, and it hasn't even been published yet.

"The solution to the problem has to do with the social contract theory"

I have no idea what you're talking about, and I'm not particular interested either, because your reputation as an idiot is well deserved.
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19-05-2014, 01:44 PM
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
(17-05-2014 08:10 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(17-05-2014 07:13 AM)TrainWreck Wrote:  Mark. I reviewed your website - wall to wall Christian bashing. You think you're going to make a difference - doctor???

The solution to the problem has to do with the social contract theory - we need a scientific social contract to organize the world.

"Mark. I reviewed your website - wall to wall Christian bashing."

Yes, it's great, don't you think? Did you learn anything?

"You think you're going to make a difference - doctor???"

Yes, I do. A number of people who have already read my book tell me it has changed their lives for the better, and it hasn't even been published yet.

"The solution to the problem has to do with the social contract theory"

I have no idea what you're talking about, and I'm not particular interested either, because your reputation as an idiot is well deserved.

Mark, I will have a look at your website which I assume is under that name.

I happen to agree with TW but I also see within the central tenets of Christianity, a social contract which most people don't... mainly because I studied a bit of JJ Rousseau. I will explain more later.

I was going to post something anyway to TW.

I think it is really cool to be able to communicate this way from somewhere near Tarsus, as I am, with someone in New York. I'm just sitting here on my sofa with my wife and kid and I just think it is really incredible that we can have these exchanges and I find myself in agreement with someone I don't even know who is sitting in an apartment somewhere in New York and who has just come back from a baseball game. I went camel riding today...

Crazy er what?
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19-05-2014, 03:37 PM
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
(19-05-2014 01:44 PM)Deltabravo Wrote:  
(17-05-2014 08:10 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  "Mark. I reviewed your website - wall to wall Christian bashing."

Yes, it's great, don't you think? Did you learn anything?

"You think you're going to make a difference - doctor???"

Yes, I do. A number of people who have already read my book tell me it has changed their lives for the better, and it hasn't even been published yet.

"The solution to the problem has to do with the social contract theory"

I have no idea what you're talking about, and I'm not particular interested either, because your reputation as an idiot is well deserved.

Mark, I will have a look at your website which I assume is under that name.

I happen to agree with TW but I also see within the central tenets of Christianity, a social contract which most people don't... mainly because I studied a bit of JJ Rousseau. I will explain more later.

I was going to post something anyway to TW.

I think it is really cool to be able to communicate this way from somewhere near Tarsus, as I am, with someone in New York. I'm just sitting here on my sofa with my wife and kid and I just think it is really incredible that we can have these exchanges and I find myself in agreement with someone I don't even know who is sitting in an apartment somewhere in New York and who has just come back from a baseball game. I went camel riding today...

Crazy er what?

At the bottom left of this reply you'll see a little section called "website" Some of us who post here have our own websites.

TW has said that my website is "wall-to-wall Christian bashing." That's probably an emotional response because he doesn't like what he reads. When one has an emotional investment in a topic, like he apparently does, it's hard to be rational. If he'd actually bothered to read some of my posts he would learn something... even if he didn't agree with it.

What exactly do you agree with TW about? I've got no idea what he thinks about anything because I don't think he's articulate enough to present his thoughts coherently.
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20-05-2014, 08:54 AM
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
(19-05-2014 03:37 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(19-05-2014 01:44 PM)Deltabravo Wrote:  Mark, I will have a look at your website which I assume is under that name.

I happen to agree with TW but I also see within the central tenets of Christianity, a social contract which most people don't... mainly because I studied a bit of JJ Rousseau. I will explain more later.

I was going to post something anyway to TW.

I think it is really cool to be able to communicate this way from somewhere near Tarsus, as I am, with someone in New York. I'm just sitting here on my sofa with my wife and kid and I just think it is really incredible that we can have these exchanges and I find myself in agreement with someone I don't even know who is sitting in an apartment somewhere in New York and who has just come back from a baseball game. I went camel riding today...

Crazy er what?

At the bottom left of this reply you'll see a little section called "website" Some of us who post here have our own websites.

TW has said that my website is "wall-to-wall Christian bashing." That's probably an emotional response because he doesn't like what he reads. When one has an emotional investment in a topic, like he apparently does, it's hard to be rational. If he'd actually bothered to read some of my posts he would learn something... even if he didn't agree with it.

What exactly do you agree with TW about? I've got no idea what he thinks about anything because I don't think he's articulate enough to present his thoughts coherently.

I would have to re read his posts. I agree with him that we need a new social contract.

I'm in the middle of packing my boy for a school trip and a family crisis so I may take a while. PM me if you feel I am doing you an injustice or haven't understood anything. I am open to new views. My considered opinion, now, however, is that Jesus of the NT is a fictional character if you read the story about him as it is. There may have been preachers, he may be based on Izates of Jesus of Gamala just as Harry Potter may be based on features of someone JK Rowling knows. I think that going on too long about it or concentrating on it too much ignores the question of what the religion is about, ie., its moral philosophy and also ignores the history of the Jewish Revolt and the characters involved. We can only go round and round in circle for so long pondering the imponderable. The best way to look at it, in my opinion is to say it is a book, a fiction, told by a person/people, who obviously had to make up a story because they weren't there observing it so it isn't "true". If it isn't "true" ie., a factual record of what happened, then one has to take a different approach and just abandon the use of it as a historical document and look at what was going on at the time and what factors were at work in Rome and Judea at the time.

My opinion remains, even though I haven't read Ellis, that he is probably the closest to getting to the bottom of it.
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20-05-2014, 09:08 AM
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
I have copied this from Wiki on Immanual Kant and it pretty much sums up my views on the core values of Christianity which I think are also reflected in the Didache and the teachings of Rabbi Eleazar Ben Azariah:

"Kant stated the practical necessity for a belief in God in his Critique of Practical Reason. As an idea of pure reason, "we do not have the slightest ground to assume in an absolute manner ... the object of this idea",[62] but adds that the idea of God cannot be separated from the relation of happiness with morality as the "ideal of the supreme good". The foundation of this connection is an intelligible moral world, and "is necessary from the practical point of view";[63] compare Voltaire: "If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him."[64] In the Jäsche Logic (1800) he wrote "One cannot provide objective reality for any theoretical idea, or prove it, except for the idea of freedom, because this is the condition of the moral law, whose reality is an axiom. The reality of the idea of God can only be proved by means of this idea, and hence only with a practical purpose, i.e., to act as though (als ob) there is a God, and hence only for this purpose" (9:93, trans. J. Michael Young, Lectures on Logic, p. 590–91).

Along with this 'idea' on reason and God, Kant places thought over religion and nature[citation needed], i.e. the idea of religion being natural or naturalistic. Kant saw reason as natural, and as some part of Christianity is based on reason and morality, as Kant points out this is major in the scriptures, it is inevitable that Christianity is 'natural'. However, it is not 'naturalistic' in the sense that the religion does include supernatural or transcendent belief. Aside from this, a key point is that Kant saw that the Bible should be seen as a source of natural morality no matter whether there is/was any truth behind the supernatural factor, meaning that it is not necessary to know whether the supernatural part of Christianity has any truth to abide by and use the core Christian moral code.

Kant articulates in Book Four some of his strongest criticisms of the organization and practices of religious organizations that encourage what he sees as a religion of counterfeit service to God. Among the major targets of his criticism are external ritual, superstition and a hierarchical church order. He sees all of these as efforts to make oneself pleasing to God in ways other than conscientious adherence to the principle of moral rightness in the choice of one's actions. The severity of Kant's criticisms on these matters, along with his rejection of the possibility of theoretical proofs for the existence of God and his philosophical re-interpretation of some basic Christian doctrines, have provided the basis for interpretations that see Kant as thoroughly hostile to religion in general and Christianity in particular (e.g., Walsh 1967). Nevertheless, other interpreters consider that Kant was trying to mark off a defensible rational core of Christian belief.[65] "

I think we are missing the boat in discussing who Harry Jesus was both in terms of looking at the core philosophy and whether someone, Jospehus?, Eleazar?, whoever? had developed a moral philosophy which Kant later developed and is referred to in this way:

Influence on modern thinkers[edit]





West German postage stamp, 1974, commemorating the 250th anniversary of Kant's birth
With his Perpetual Peace, Kant is considered to have foreshadowed many of the ideas that have come to form the democratic peace theory, one of the main controversies in political science.[105]

Prominent recent Kantians include the British philosopher P. F. Strawson,[106] the American philosophers Wilfrid Sellars[107] and Christine Korsgaard.[108] Due to the influence of Strawson and Sellars, among others, there has been a renewed interest in Kant's view of the mind. Central to many debates in philosophy of psychology and cognitive science is Kant's conception of the unity of consciousness.[109]

Jürgen Habermas and John Rawls are two significant political and moral philosophers whose work is strongly influenced by Kant's moral philosophy.[110] They have each argued against relativism,[111] supporting the Kantian view that universality is essential to any viable moral philosophy. Rawls's intellectual relationship with Kant is explored in A Theory of Justice: The Musical!, which premièred in Oxford in 2013 and which portrays Kant as Rawls's "utilitarian fairy Gottmutter".[112]

Kant's influence also has extended to the social, behavioral, and physical sciences, as in the sociology of Max Weber, the psychology of Jean Piaget, and the linguistics of Noam Chomsky. Kant's work on mathematics and synthetic a priori knowledge is also cited by theoretical physicist Albert Einstein as an early influence on his intellectual development.[113] Because of the thoroughness of the Kantian paradigm shift, his influence extends to thinkers who neither specifically refer to his work nor use his terminology.

Scholars have shown that Kant's critical ethos has also inspired nonwestern political thinkers, including the Muslim political reformer Tariq Ramadan.[114] wiki
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20-05-2014, 09:10 AM
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
(20-05-2014 08:54 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  My opinion remains, even though I haven't read Ellis, that he is probably the closest to getting to the bottom of it.

I nominate this for most idiotic post of the week.

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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20-05-2014, 09:14 AM
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
(20-05-2014 09:10 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(20-05-2014 08:54 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  My opinion remains, even though I haven't read Ellis, that he is probably the closest to getting to the bottom of it.

I nominate this for most idiotic post of the week.

I was wondering if I was the only one that found that both disturbingly foolish, and intellectually dishonest.
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20-05-2014, 10:54 AM
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
I have copied this from Wiki on Immanual Kant and it pretty much sums up my views on the core values of Christianity which I think are also reflected in the Didache and the teachings of Rabbi Eleazar Ben Azariah:

"Kant stated the practical necessity for a belief in God in his Critique of Practical Reason. As an idea of pure reason, "we do not have the slightest ground to assume in an absolute manner ... the object of this idea",[62] but adds that the idea of God cannot be separated from the relation of happiness with morality as the "ideal of the supreme good". The foundation of this connection is an intelligible moral world, and "is necessary from the practical point of view";[63] compare Voltaire: "If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him."[64] In the Jäsche Logic (1800) he wrote "One cannot provide objective reality for any theoretical idea, or prove it, except for the idea of freedom, because this is the condition of the moral law, whose reality is an axiom. The reality of the idea of God can only be proved by means of this idea, and hence only with a practical purpose, i.e., to act as though (als ob) there is a God, and hence only for this purpose" (9:93, trans. J. Michael Young, Lectures on Logic, p. 590–91).

Along with this 'idea' on reason and God, Kant places thought over religion and nature[citation needed], i.e. the idea of religion being natural or naturalistic. Kant saw reason as natural, and as some part of Christianity is based on reason and morality, as Kant points out this is major in the scriptures, it is inevitable that Christianity is 'natural'. However, it is not 'naturalistic' in the sense that the religion does include supernatural or transcendent belief. Aside from this, a key point is that Kant saw that the Bible should be seen as a source of natural morality no matter whether there is/was any truth behind the supernatural factor, meaning that it is not necessary to know whether the supernatural part of Christianity has any truth to abide by and use the core Christian moral code.

Kant articulates in Book Four some of his strongest criticisms of the organization and practices of religious organizations that encourage what he sees as a religion of counterfeit service to God. Among the major targets of his criticism are external ritual, superstition and a hierarchical church order. He sees all of these as efforts to make oneself pleasing to God in ways other than conscientious adherence to the principle of moral rightness in the choice of one's actions. The severity of Kant's criticisms on these matters, along with his rejection of the possibility of theoretical proofs for the existence of God and his philosophical re-interpretation of some basic Christian doctrines, have provided the basis for interpretations that see Kant as thoroughly hostile to religion in general and Christianity in particular (e.g., Walsh 1967). Nevertheless, other interpreters consider that Kant was trying to mark off a defensible rational core of Christian belief.[65] "

I think we are missing the boat in discussing who Harry Jesus was both in terms of looking at the core philosophy and whether someone, Jospehus?, Eleazar?, whoever? had developed a moral philosophy which Kant later developed and is referred to in this way:

Influence on modern thinkers
With his Perpetual Peace, Kant is considered to have foreshadowed many of the ideas that have come to form the democratic peace theory, one of the main controversies in political science.[105]

Prominent recent Kantians include the British philosopher P. F. Strawson,[106] the American philosophers Wilfrid Sellars[107] and Christine Korsgaard.[108] Due to the influence of Strawson and Sellars, among others, there has been a renewed interest in Kant's view of the mind. Central to many debates in philosophy of psychology and cognitive science is Kant's conception of the unity of consciousness.[109]

Jürgen Habermas and John Rawls are two significant political and moral philosophers whose work is strongly influenced by Kant's moral philosophy.[110] They have each argued against relativism,[111] supporting the Kantian view that universality is essential to any viable moral philosophy. Rawls's intellectual relationship with Kant is explored in A Theory of Justice: The Musical!, which premièred in Oxford in 2013 and which portrays Kant as Rawls's "utilitarian fairy Gottmutter".[112]

Kant's influence also has extended to the social, behavioral, and physical sciences, as in the sociology of Max Weber, the psychology of Jean Piaget, and the linguistics of Noam Chomsky. Kant's work on mathematics and synthetic a priori knowledge is also cited by theoretical physicist Albert Einstein as an early influence on his intellectual development.[113] Because of the thoroughness of the Kantian paradigm shift, his influence extends to thinkers who neither specifically refer to his work nor use his terminology.

Scholars have shown that Kant's critical ethos has also inspired nonwestern political thinkers, including the Muslim political reformer Tariq Ramadan.[114] wiki
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20-05-2014, 11:25 AM
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
There is a certain (large) amount of incredulity about the beliefs and theories of some people about "Jesus".

Here we have the seat of Emperor of the largest empire the world had ever seen, empty. So, Vespasian and Titus go and flatten Jerusalem and oddly, at the same time, 66 to 70 AD there emerge some Gospels about "Jesus" in which he prophesizes that the Son of Man, no less, will destroy Jerusalem. Vespasian then becomes Emperor. A few hundred years later a few thousand "Christian" clerics turn up at Niciea and the majority of them say that this "Jesus" wasn't divine, wasn't born of a virgin, wasn't resurrected at all, but the said Gospels are forced on them and all but two agree to abide by it on pain of severe repercussions if they don't.

I can see it now. They were all convinced that this ordinary mortal person was a real person. But, hey, they were wrong. He was just a made up character who never existed. That makes sense?

It is sort of like the Republican party deciding to adopt as its philosophy the teachings of Elmer Fud. And, no one noticing that he didn't ever exist. Then, two thousand years later, people arguing over whether he was this guy or that guy or no one or maybe a lot of different people all rolled up together in to one guy. Of course, on an internet forum were incredulity reigns, it is par for the course to assume that a long time ago, people were all just stupid and couldn't recognize a fairy tale for what it was and didn't know if there was a real person behind a name.

I suppose if one were running for president of the USA, one would want to have Elmer Fud on one's side. One would troll through all the cartoons with him in it and pick the Symotpic Gospels of Elmer Fud. Oh, or one could take a different tack and find some writings which were based on the thoughts of some minor preacher who bore no resemblance to what was in the writings. I know, maybe the teachings of Leonard Cohen, but we'll call him Joe and he is immortal and has a mum called Veronica and is crucified. Yeah, that's the guy, it must be about Leonard Cohen.

Or, maybe if you were wanting to be Roman Emperor you would say that a very influential preacher called Jesus, who everyone knew and respected, supported you, like US Presidential candidates have sought the support of people like Billy Graham and Jesse Jackson, rather than, say, Elmer Fud.
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