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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22-05-2014, 08:26 AM
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
I complete and utter myth, but I suppose I can settle for 2 or 4.

A wise person makes their own decisions; an ignorant one follows public opinion.
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22-05-2014, 08:54 AM
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
(22-05-2014 08:08 AM)TrainWreck Wrote:  ...if atheists could ...

There's your problem. When you understand that, you will have made significant progress.

If not, you will continue to sound like Ego®.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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22-05-2014, 08:54 AM
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
The Jesus story in the NT is plainly fiction because there is simply no record of this person in history at that time doing the things he is supposed to have done. And, he didn't walk on water or perform miracles so, on the face of it, it is just not a true story.

The question remains, however, whether there is a historical figure underlying the story. I am more inclined to disregard the placing of the story in the time of Herrod and to look for a figure at any time in the first century who corresponds in some way to Jesus. The alternative is to hunt around for a preacher in 30 AD and there isn't anyone at all who is close to this figure. There are a lot of people a bit like him but no one of that name who was crucified.

If you look at what was happening around the time of the Jewish revolt, you find a person who was a leader, was crucified and you find Nazarites like Queen Helena and Izates converting to Judaism and feeding the poor, opening schools.

If the Romans were intent of defeating the Jewish revolt and it ended in massacres like Massada, one way of looking at the story of Jesus is that he was a revolutionary and that there came a point when he realized the battle was over and he would lose, so he gave up and instructed someone to turn him in to the Romans. By doing so, it would save the others. That, to me, seems to be a fairly benign explanation of the betrayal and crucifixion which doesn't involve deifying this person or looking for someone in the historical record who just isn't there at the time.

If it is obvious that the resurrection, virgin birth, miracles are invented, I have a hard time understanding why people still cling on to the idea that the setting of the story at the time of Pilate has to be true. Seems to me one has to question that as well. We get historians saying things like "well, the one thing we can rely on is that it was in 33 AD because there was a Pilate". That is just an assumption for which there is no justification. It's grasping at straws in the face of a complete lack of evidence and a book full of plainly fictitious tales. Seems to me if the majority of a book is fiction, then any part of it may be so the time it is set in also has to be questioned.
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22-05-2014, 09:04 AM
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
(22-05-2014 08:08 AM)TrainWreck Wrote:  
(20-05-2014 12:21 PM)Impulse Wrote:  You're not accounting for the differences between the times. Back then, it was much harder to travel and much harder to communicate over distances.

It would be refreshing if atheists could apply this reasoning to all matters concerning social organization, and recognize that we are still encapsulated in mismatched information that perpetuates the "shadows on the cave" theory.

And the solution is standardizing knowledge classification - making sure everyone agrees what words mean what, and that everything is systematically described in the approach to perfection.


The problem is that the "cave" problem is still with us. Maybe it is part of the human makeup and it will always be the same. Is it realistic to think that this can be changed? Is it possible that our ancestors realized the futility of this and used it to their advantage, at least those of them who were intelligent enough to see this. I am not sure what you mean by standardized knowledge classification or how we are approaching perfection. I think we are moving towards a better understanding of all things through science and a lot of this sort of thing will fall by the wayside.

The problem with atheists on this forum and some others is that they don't understand that a morality can be and must be based on reason. Most people have been brought up to understand that they "should" or should not do something because they will be rewarded or punished by someone, ie., a parent, police etc and god is the ultimate policeman. When they get rid of god, they mistakenly think they have got rid of morality and then they feel that anything goes, which is why there is so much abuse on this forum from people who don't have anything to say about morality and don't behave in a moral way.

It's very discouraging.
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22-05-2014, 09:34 AM
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
(22-05-2014 09:04 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  The problem with atheists on this forum ...

And you're doing it, too.
Generalizations like that are ignorant and presumptuous - they make you look like a fool.


It's very discouraging.

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22-05-2014, 11:07 AM (This post was last modified: 22-05-2014 11:15 AM by Deltabravo.)
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
(30-04-2014 03:39 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(30-04-2014 06:32 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  I think I now understand what Christianity is.

When they say Jesus died to save mankind, what is meant is that in the face of the Roman's being victorious, it was better to betray the leader of the Jewish revolt so that everyone else would be spared.

The religion is Essene. The NT is a fictionalization of the events leading up to the crucifixion of the leader of the revolt, who was a Nazarite Essene, probably called Jesus of Gamala. The characters in the NT are fictional versions of real people at the time, ie., 67-70 AD.

Josephus was a secret Essene and he converted Vespasian so they decided to construct the NT to take forward the Essene ideology with Vespasian as the beneficiary of it. It was entirely political but it recognized the strength of the Essene version of Judaism.

Whether Jesus of Gamala is the same person as Izates Manu Monobasus, I don't know. I don't think that is a necessary argument. In writing the NT, the idea was to sell the religion so it is less important that the main character is an accurate reflection of the real person or a combination of two of them.

I have to say, this has been an interesting experience, coming here because I now feel I understand Christianity and believe that Jesus was a real person who was crucified. Hmmm....

I also think that the message which is actually in the NT is a very powerful one and very important and I believe that the Essenes, who were behind it, had a very different idea of who "god" was. I think they had a Gnostic view of god as a "logic" behind life, not as an anthropomorphized cosmic being.

I think that is all I can say.

"When they say Jesus died to save mankind, what is meant is that in the face of the Roman's being victorious, it was better to betray the leader of the Jewish revolt so that everyone else would be spared."

I can buy that.

"The religion is Essene."

No. Not really. It has some similarities with Essenism (which I think is what you mean)

"The NT is a fictionalization of the events leading up to the crucifixion of the leader of the revolt, who was a Nazarite Essene,"

Agreed.

"Josephus was a secret Essene"

Maybe....but what's the evidence?

"and he converted Vespasian"

Extremely unlikely and no evidence.

"so they decided to construct the NT"

Maybe.

"to take forward the Essene ideology"

No. You can't say that. Christianity was something quite different to traditional (including Essenian) Judaism.

So, we seem to have reached a bit of an understanding.

I say that about Vespasian because Vespasian adopted him into his family so must have respected his ideas. Vespasian seems, from what I have read about him and the Flavians, to have adopted this religion as the imperial religion. He also seems from my reading of Suetonius to have had "Christian" ideas, as did Titus. I am not that familiar with Essene teachings. Eleazar b. Azariah preached what I assume was close to an Essene philosophy. What one calls it is, in my view, not important. The interesting point is that there is a "reason" based morality in his teachings and in Christianity. If one gets ones head around that one can then see that it isn't important what one calls these sects or what their differences were or, for that matter, who Jesus was.

I read, but can't remember where, that Josephus joined different religious groupings and then became a Nazarite. He was, I think, the commander at Gamala and Gamala was pro Roman, at least its leadership was. Gamala is in Galilee.

I think Jesus was from Gamala and he was a potential threat in that he had some hereditary claim to be a king and ruler. He lost and he is a bit like Che Guevara in that his legend lived on. Perhaps he was very charismatic. This would, in my view, explain the myths and legends about St. George and King Arthur because the tales were told in a way which did not involve the writer in heresy.

I know people think Ellis is wrong about the King Arthur connection. Ponder this. This story is supposed to be about the Knights of the Round Table in "Old England". Arthur is not supposed to be a Roman, and he predates the Normans.

But, big problem. When the Romans came to Britain, there were no Knights in armour. When the Normans invaded England in 1066 the English under King Harold had no, yes that's right, zero, Knights on horses. Enlish warriors fought in the nude and painted themselves blue and Harold had only foot soldiers and "Housecarls" who were also on foot. The Knights on horses were Normans who some say are descended from the Phoenicians who originate in places like Sidon in Lebanon, which is a short distance from Gamala. So, it is more likely that the Arthurian tales relate to Knights of the Near East, not of England, of Gamala (Camalot), rather than Tintagel.
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22-05-2014, 11:32 AM
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
I am currently at work and hence pressed for 'free' time.

Might I suggest the above poster investigate the Role Playing Game 'Pendragon' and the board game 'Brittania'(sp).

The first has been created by a fellow who has done much research on the history/mythology etc of Arthur. The second is an admiral job of condensing the complicated, myriad paths of migration/invasion of that patch of the world.

Much cheers to all.
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22-05-2014, 11:48 AM
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
(22-05-2014 09:04 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  The problem is that the "cave" problem is still with us. Maybe it is part of the human makeup and it will always be the same. Is it realistic to think that this can be changed? Is it possible that our ancestors realized the futility of this and used it to their advantage, at least those of them who were intelligent enough to see this. I am not sure what you mean by standardized knowledge classification or how we are approaching perfection. I think we are moving towards a better understanding of all things through science and a lot of this sort of thing will fall by the wayside.
Knowledge classification is the organization the information that we want to distribute (education). It is supposedly something that the ancients contemplated and organized the branches of philosophy, ontology, and epistimology in reflexion of their thoughts. The major problem being they did not have the computer aids, and dictionaries, that we can use now.

What it is is a taxonmy diagram of semantics. The closest such thing are the Dewey Decimal and Library of Congress classification systems; but they are not based on anything that could be considered scientific. The Dewey starts out like a curiculm for a Christian primary school, but atheists don't care about that. The Library of Congress system is supposed to be for legislators, and that seems acceptable, because Law is in the middle of it; but I think it has some refletions of a set-up for a library for historians.

Neither acheives the goal that I want, because they are not reliable for understanding the subjects of organized knowledge. The example question would be what are the subjects of sociology, law, philosophy, and physics?

There is no standard system that you can refer me to.

A standard system would be very helpful to education. A standard system is going to go so far as to organize everything known and described - every word should have a logical placement in a reliable system. Yes, some words will be repeated - if a dictionary can handle several different definitions for a word, so can this technology.

(22-05-2014 09:04 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  The problem with atheists on this forum and some others is that they don't understand that a morality can be and must be based on reason. Most people have been brought up to understand that they "should" or should not do something because they will be rewarded or punished by someone, ie., a parent, police etc and god is the ultimate policeman. When they get rid of god, they mistakenly think they have got rid of morality and then they feel that anything goes, which is why there is so much abuse on this forum from people who don't have anything to say about morality and don't behave in a moral way.

It's very discouraging.

They do not know how to organize reason - how about you?

They are waiting for the Pope, and Christians, to do it for them. Facepalm

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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22-05-2014, 11:49 AM (This post was last modified: 22-05-2014 12:02 PM by rampant.a.i..)
What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
(22-05-2014 09:04 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  The problem with atheists on this forum and some others is that they don't understand that a morality can be and must be based on reason. Most people have been brought up to understand that they "should" or should not do something because they will be rewarded or punished by someone, ie., a parent, police etc and god is the ultimate policeman. When they get rid of god, they mistakenly think they have got rid of morality and then they feel that anything goes, which is why there is so much abuse on this forum from people who don't have anything to say about morality and don't behave in a moral way.

It's very discouraging.

This is the worst attempt at a strawman I have ever read. Most theists on this forum reject the notion of morality being based on reason.

Every atheist has contended that morality is based on reason, evolutional psychology, or both.

What other source would an atheist appeal to? The God they don't believe in?

Being brought up to "behave morally" because of constant surveillance of a parental figure is not morality based on reason.

Just because you cannot imagine behaving morally without a parental figure does not mean other people do not.

Apparently you're not reading the majority of posts on this forum, otherwise you would not be able to make such a gross mischaracterization of what's expressed here.

The reason you are a target of "abuse" is because you refuse to participate in discussions, and continue straw manning positions you haven't even read, and assess the "morality" of the entire forum based on their text-based responses to your poor behavior on an Internet forum, and your habitual accusatory, self superior and condescending tone.

You're grouping all the individuals who disagree with you under the heading "atheist," and projecting your biased views of what that actually means on to every single individual, and assuming you know more about their character than they do.

β€œIt is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”
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22-05-2014, 11:59 AM
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
(22-05-2014 09:34 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(22-05-2014 09:04 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  The problem with atheists on this forum ...
And you're doing it, too.
Generalizations like that are ignorant and presumptuous - they make you look like a fool.It's very discouraging.

I am not reading any reports suggesting that forums are making any progress in social issues. Don't you think atheists exercise of reason would generate something more useful then guarding the old god arguments???

Why can't atheist generate policy that would be useful to all people. There are several revolutions going on, and they need constitutions to organize their governments, and you know the people want a better society than Christian America, and you know that is the best that the politicians can offer - right?

Why can't the highly reasonable atheists generate one to offer???

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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