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What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
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23-05-2014, 11:54 AM
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
(23-05-2014 03:27 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  I don't agree with you that atheists don't care about who Jesus was. Richard Dawkins publicized Atwill's recent symposium in London and Ralph Ellis is an atheist. I think if we could figure out who was the most likely candidate as being the Jesus figure we would dispel a lot of nonsense about him being divine. He wasn't considered divine in Arian Christianity, just an ordinary man.
What Mark was saying (and I agree with) is that atheists care about Jesus only in so far as it's useful for disproving Christian claims. If Christian's would keep their faiths to themselves and stop trying to influence everyone else with their delusions, atheists would cease to care about Jesus in any sense.

@DonaldTrump, Patriotism is not honoring your flag no matter what your country/leader does. It's doing whatever it takes to make your country the best it can be as long as its not violent.
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23-05-2014, 06:08 PM
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
(23-05-2014 09:30 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  The point about 2000 years ago is that Romans were sick of people like Julius Caesar and Nero. Titus was well liked because he adopted practices which one could say were "reasonable". He stopped purges which terrorized Rome, saying that he didn't care what people said about him because he did no wrong and he didn't care about false allegation. He said that if dead Emperors were actually gods then they could take their own revenge. What he said suggests he was more of a humanist than a deist and his policies were "reason" based. He outlawed trial on multiple charges for the same offence and was well liked by Romans.

The philosophy preached by Eleazar b. Azariah was one which was reason based and Queen Helena adopted it and became well liked in Judea because of her beneficence and that of her son Izates. Coincidentally Eleazaar came from Galilee, Joseph came from Galilee, Jesus is supposed to have come from Galilee, Joseph becomes a Flavian, The first of the Synoptics Gospels appear in about 66 AD. Rome converts to Christianity...

I appreciate that a lot of Christians are just mindless in their acceptance of the creed and think it is all about going to heaven as a reward for belief. But, what would the alternative have been in a pagan Roman world. Why did the Romans eventually see how significant this religion was? I see that it appeals to people on a very simplistic level as well as a philosophical/moral level but what choice is there in a brutal pagan world?

I hated Christianity and all the TV evangelists like Ted Bakker. Kids in my day went to summer bible camps and there were Christian sing songs in the gym at lunch. I try to forget about it.

Actually, isn't Christianity anti the Jewish concept of God and also anti the Roman view of god, so in it's day it was like a form of atheism which had "in the beginning" the "logos" rather than a god? My thesis is that if someone believed this, then they were free thinkers so they were more likely, rather than less likely, to believe the Horus/resurrection myth and only used it to get people to buy into the religion who needed to have an incentive or just couldn't be pushed to reject their previous belief systems. That is part of why much of Catholic rituals are adopted from pre-Christian pagan rituals, eg., drink of my blood,eat of my flesh, first communion...

"Romans were sick of people like Julius Caesar" Please explain

"The first of the Synoptics Gospels appear in about 66 AD." Evidence?

"Rome converts to Christianity..." Yes...in the fourth century...

"Why did the Romans eventually see how significant this religion was?"

What made Constantine embrace Christianity? His mother was a Christian. The church was springing up strongly. It was wide reaching and well organized, as it had modelled its hierarchy on Roman (not Jewish!) principles. It had a clerical class, and a chain of command that was competent at controlling conflicts. The bishops had a level of legal autonomy allowing them to interpret law. The Christians accepted people from all parts of the empire and respected Roman rule. All this was attractive to Constantine because he wanted stability. In the preceding decades civil wars and external enemies had challenged the Pax Romana. He was overseeing a massive, disparate empire, so the social cohesion made possible by a universal monotheism was appealing. He knew the people were easier to control if they all shared the same religion.

The Christian hierarchy received economic favors from the govern- ment. The money that had previously gone to pagan priests now went to Christian bishops. Later in the fourth century all other pagan cults were suppressed or destroyed, although many of their tradi- tions were absorbed into Christianity. Those foolhardy enough to hold onto their old beliefs were persecuted.
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24-05-2014, 01:55 PM (This post was last modified: 24-05-2014 02:26 PM by Deltabravo.)
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
(23-05-2014 06:08 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(23-05-2014 09:30 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  The point about 2000 years ago is that Romans were sick of people like Julius Caesar and Nero. Titus was well liked because he adopted practices which one could say were "reasonable". He stopped purges which terrorized Rome, saying that he didn't care what people said about him because he did no wrong and he didn't care about false allegation. He said that if dead Emperors were actually gods then they could take their own revenge. What he said suggests he was more of a humanist than a deist and his policies were "reason" based. He outlawed trial on multiple charges for the same offence and was well liked by Romans.

The philosophy preached by Eleazar b. Azariah was one which was reason based and Queen Helena adopted it and became well liked in Judea because of her beneficence and that of her son Izates. Coincidentally Eleazaar came from Galilee, Joseph came from Galilee, Jesus is supposed to have come from Galilee, Joseph becomes a Flavian, The first of the Synoptics Gospels appear in about 66 AD. Rome converts to Christianity...

I appreciate that a lot of Christians are just mindless in their acceptance of the creed and think it is all about going to heaven as a reward for belief. But, what would the alternative have been in a pagan Roman world. Why did the Romans eventually see how significant this religion was? I see that it appeals to people on a very simplistic level as well as a philosophical/moral level but what choice is there in a brutal pagan world?

I hated Christianity and all the TV evangelists like Ted Bakker. Kids in my day went to summer bible camps and there were Christian sing songs in the gym at lunch. I try to forget about it.

Actually, isn't Christianity anti the Jewish concept of God and also anti the Roman view of god, so in it's day it was like a form of atheism which had "in the beginning" the "logos" rather than a god? My thesis is that if someone believed this, then they were free thinkers so they were more likely, rather than less likely, to believe the Horus/resurrection myth and only used it to get people to buy into the religion who needed to have an incentive or just couldn't be pushed to reject their previous belief systems. That is part of why much of Catholic rituals are adopted from pre-Christian pagan rituals, eg., drink of my blood,eat of my flesh, first communion...

"Romans were sick of people like Julius Caesar" Please explain

"The first of the Synoptics Gospels appear in about 66 AD." Evidence?

"Rome converts to Christianity..." Yes...in the fourth century...

"Why did the Romans eventually see how significant this religion was?"

What made Constantine embrace Christianity? His mother was a Christian. The church was springing up strongly. It was wide reaching and well organized, as it had modelled its hierarchy on Roman (not Jewish!) principles. It had a clerical class, and a chain of command that was competent at controlling conflicts. The bishops had a level of legal autonomy allowing them to interpret law. The Christians accepted people from all parts of the empire and respected Roman rule. All this was attractive to Constantine because he wanted stability. In the preceding decades civil wars and external enemies had challenged the Pax Romana. He was overseeing a massive, disparate empire, so the social cohesion made possible by a universal monotheism was appealing. He knew the people were easier to control if they all shared the same religion.

The Christian hierarchy received economic favors from the govern- ment. The money that had previously gone to pagan priests now went to Christian bishops. Later in the fourth century all other pagan cults were suppressed or destroyed, although many of their tradi- tions were absorbed into Christianity. Those foolhardy enough to hold onto their old beliefs were persecuted.

Mark, read Suetonius' The Twelve Caesars and make up your own mind about what people thought of Julius Caesar. Shortly before he was murdered, he made comments that suggested he knew it was about to happen and that he was reconciled to the idea. He was constantly scheming to avoid being overthrown and he knew he was disliked. He was an out and out crook who slept with so many women, including wives of his friends, with whom he had threesomes, in which he was the filling, that he had a law passed to make all his children legitimate.

Christianity became the state cult under Titus. Constantine was a Mithraist. The story of his conversion isn't true, it's just propaganda.

I suggest that if you haven't already, that you read up on what exactly people did worship before Christianity, that the religious practices of pagans and Jews, were based on astrology and were deeply phallic in origin, right across the known world. These people had brutal customs and rituals including child sacrifice, genital mutilation, execution for just about anything, slavery, sex slavery...need I go on.

On the other hand, intelligent Roman writers like Cicero believed that happiness could come from leading a philosophical life. Greek writers like Polybius set out the form of government which was best designed to ensure peace and happiness, ie., republicanism. Caesar admire Cicero but had him killed. Read up on Cicero. Roman history has much deeper themes than Constantine, who was only a soldier, converting to Christianity after having a "vision". I think it is very naïve to think many intelligent Romans weren't acutely aware of the problems their beliefs caused.

I don't intend to cite "sources". I'm not trying to get published in a learned journal.

My own view is that Roman Catholic Christianity is a product of Roman clerics and philosophers who wanted to supplant paganism, in which none of them actually believed, with a religion which would be based on the "logos", which is what Christianity is. The fact that they employed a device of a messianic figure and loaded it with pre-Christian mythology and pagan rituals has more to do with their view that paganism had to be done away with by any means including using its own terminology, and not because they were believers in pagan mythology. That is, in my view, the most realistic and reasonable explanation of why this religion has this dual aspect to it, that it says plainly that the paramount norm or principle of the religion, which is "before" god and the same thing as god, is the "logos". This does not reflect people who would want followers to focus on miracles and resurrection stories, other than to convince people to follow the ethical teaching. The two concepts are antithetical. That is the most obvious explanation of why the resurrection story is internally inconsistent if you read, as Atwill clearly shows how, the four versions of the resurrection.

I don't actually agree with Atwill when he says that the NT was intended to enslave western Europe. I think that is a cynical view. Europe was largely enslaved by Rome anyway. It is, again, paradoxical that an empire which was paganistic would adopt a religion of peace and embrace an early rendition of the categorical imperative for the purposes of destroying the "happiness" of the subjects of that empire. There is an element of adopting Christianity which could be interpreted as self serving, but, equally, one could say that there was a recognition among Roman intellectuals and politicians that paganism was fundamentally, well, just effing awful for everyone, and if it meant persuading people like Jeremy Walker by giving them a mystical, supernatural narrative, then, so be it, they gave them one.

I'm not sure why you keep asking me to expand on my points. I think my position is straightforward. I don't suggest to you that you expand on points. I understand what you are saying and if I agree with them I say so. If I don't, I say so. What's with "explain"?

I really do think a lot of the discussion on this forum is misguided. A lot of people don't seem to have any idea of what the moral underpinnings of Christianity are and they don't seem to care either. But I haven't seen many of them put forward any ideas of their own. (Trainwreck seems to have some idea of the need for a new social contract and has an understanding of Plato and his idea that most people only see the shadows of what things really are). The funny thing is, though, that without seeming to understand it, they are rejecting a mythical narrative because it is plainly nonsense, but probably are raised to "realize" at some level, that the fundamental moral principles of Christianity are quite solid and actually consistent with secularism and reason. So, you get this odd situation of people saying they have lost their religion , ie., Christianity, but are still moral, but if you analysed their morality, it would be Christian. And, it would be "Christian" in the sense I am using it and their de-conversion would have resulted, most likely, from their having realized the patent mythicism and inconsistency of the Jesus story...which, of course, they seem to think that the writers of the NT didn't see. It's sort of like saying JK Rowling "must" believe in the "reality" of Harry Potter. No one can say that. They may very well have seen it purely as a fairly transparent fiction. Yes? Isn't that possible, in fact, likely?
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24-05-2014, 04:14 PM (This post was last modified: 25-05-2014 02:44 AM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
(24-05-2014 01:55 PM)Deltabravo Wrote:  
(23-05-2014 06:08 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  "Romans were sick of people like Julius Caesar" Please explain

"The first of the Synoptics Gospels appear in about 66 AD." Evidence?

"Rome converts to Christianity..." Yes...in the fourth century...

"Why did the Romans eventually see how significant this religion was?"

What made Constantine embrace Christianity? His mother was a Christian. The church was springing up strongly. It was wide reaching and well organized, as it had modelled its hierarchy on Roman (not Jewish!) principles. It had a clerical class, and a chain of command that was competent at controlling conflicts. The bishops had a level of legal autonomy allowing them to interpret law. The Christians accepted people from all parts of the empire and respected Roman rule. All this was attractive to Constantine because he wanted stability. In the preceding decades civil wars and external enemies had challenged the Pax Romana. He was overseeing a massive, disparate empire, so the social cohesion made possible by a universal monotheism was appealing. He knew the people were easier to control if they all shared the same religion.

The Christian hierarchy received economic favors from the govern- ment. The money that had previously gone to pagan priests now went to Christian bishops. Later in the fourth century all other pagan cults were suppressed or destroyed, although many of their tradi- tions were absorbed into Christianity. Those foolhardy enough to hold onto their old beliefs were persecuted.

Mark, read Suetonius' The Twelve Caesars and make up your own mind about what people thought of Julius Caesar. Shortly before he was murdered, he made comments that suggested he knew it was about to happen and that he was reconciled to the idea. He was constantly scheming to avoid being overthrown and he knew he was disliked. He was an out and out crook who slept with so many women, including wives of his friends, with whom he had threesomes, in which he was the filling, that he had a law passed to make all his children legitimate.

Christianity became the state cult under Titus. Constantine was a Mithraist. The story of his conversion isn't true, it's just propaganda.

I suggest that if you haven't already, that you read up on what exactly people did worship before Christianity, that the religious practices of pagans and Jews, were based on astrology and were deeply phallic in origin, right across the known world. These people had brutal customs and rituals including child sacrifice, genital mutilation, execution for just about anything, slavery, sex slavery...need I go on.

On the other hand, intelligent Roman writers like Cicero believed that happiness could come from leading a philosophical life. Greek writers like Polybius set out the form of government which was best designed to ensure peace and happiness, ie., republicanism. Caesar admire Cicero but had him killed. Read up on Cicero. Roman history has much deeper themes than Constantine, who was only a soldier, converting to Christianity after having a "vision". I think it is very naïve to think many intelligent Romans weren't acutely aware of the problems their beliefs caused.

I don't intend to cite "sources". I'm not trying to get published in a learned journal.

My own view is that Roman Catholic Christianity is a product of Roman clerics and philosophers who wanted to supplant paganism, in which none of them actually believed, with a religion which would be based on the "logos", which is what Christianity is. The fact that they employed a device of a messianic figure and loaded it with pre-Christian mythology and pagan rituals has more to do with their view that paganism had to be done away with by any means including using its own terminology, and not because they were believers in pagan mythology. That is, in my view, the most realistic and reasonable explanation of why this religion has this dual aspect to it, that it says plainly that the paramount norm or principle of the religion, which is "before" god and the same thing as god, is the "logos". This does not reflect people who would want followers to focus on miracles and resurrection stories, other than to convince people to follow the ethical teaching. The two concepts are antithetical. That is the most obvious explanation of why the resurrection story is internally inconsistent if you read, as Atwill clearly shows how, the four versions of the resurrection.

I don't actually agree with Atwill when he says that the NT was intended to enslave western Europe. I think that is a cynical view. Europe was largely enslaved by Rome anyway. It is, again, paradoxical that an empire which was paganistic would adopt a religion of peace and embrace an early rendition of the categorical imperative for the purposes of destroying the "happiness" of the subjects of that empire. There is an element of adopting Christianity which could be interpreted as self serving, but, equally, one could say that there was a recognition among Roman intellectuals and politicians that paganism was fundamentally, well, just effing awful for everyone, and if it meant persuading people like Jeremy Walker by giving them a mystical, supernatural narrative, then, so be it, they gave them one.

I'm not sure why you keep asking me to expand on my points. I think my position is straightforward. I don't suggest to you that you expand on points. I understand what you are saying and if I agree with them I say so. If I don't, I say so. What's with "explain"?

I really do think a lot of the discussion on this forum is misguided. A lot of people don't seem to have any idea of what the moral underpinnings of Christianity are and they don't seem to care either. But I haven't seen many of them put forward any ideas of their own. (Trainwreck seems to have some idea of the need for a new social contract and has an understanding of Plato and his idea that most people only see the shadows of what things really are). The funny thing is, though, that without seeming to understand it, they are rejecting a mythical narrative because it is plainly nonsense, but probably are raised to "realize" at some level, that the fundamental moral principles of Christianity are quite solid and actually consistent with secularism and reason. So, you get this odd situation of people saying they have lost their religion , ie., Christianity, but are still moral, but if you analysed their morality, it would be Christian. And, it would be "Christian" in the sense I am using it and their de-conversion would have resulted, most likely, from their having realized the patent mythicism and inconsistency of the Jesus story...which, of course, they seem to think that the writers of the NT didn't see. It's sort of like saying JK Rowling "must" believe in the "reality" of Harry Potter. No one can say that. They may very well have seen it purely as a fairly transparent fiction. Yes? Isn't that possible, in fact, likely?

Thanks for posting all this. I agree with some of it.

I'm not sure what you mean by "Christianity became the state cult under Titus." There were multiple "Christianities" in the first century. None of them were ever the official state religion.

Re "What's with "explain"?"

Well...if you make a statement like "Romans were sick of people like Julius Caesar" it could mean anything. I asked you to explain what you meant, which you have now done.

You state that the gospels appeared "about 66 A.D." I would like to know the evidence for that. Why? Because the first Jewish War hadn't finished yet, in fact it had barely started in 66 A.D. and I happen to think that the gospels could well be a satire of that war. They couldn't be if they were written in 66 A.D.

Re
"A lot of people don't seem to have any idea of what the moral underpinnings of Christianity are and they don't seem to care either."

I think you fail to appreciate that most people on this forum consider the "underpinnings of Christianity" to be fundamentally immoral, and they are very aware of the fact. You seem to have the impression, for some reason, that Christianity has an inherent goodness to it, because of your interpretation of "logos." You state "the fundamental moral principles of Christianity are quite solid and actually consistent with secularism and reason" Huh? You're ignoring all of the flaws of Christianity.... for example the
-misogyny
-violence
-tribalism
-intolerance
-disregard and suppression of science and rational thought
-homophobia
-reliance on prayer
-guilt
-threats
-thought control
-suppression of sexuality
-other suppressed feelings
-time wasting
-greed
-lying
that are integral parts of the Christian machine.
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24-05-2014, 04:33 PM (This post was last modified: 25-05-2014 02:48 AM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
(24-05-2014 01:55 PM)Deltabravo Wrote:  
(23-05-2014 06:08 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  "Romans were sick of people like Julius Caesar" Please explain

"The first of the Synoptics Gospels appear in about 66 AD." Evidence?

"Rome converts to Christianity..." Yes...in the fourth century...

"Why did the Romans eventually see how significant this religion was?"

What made Constantine embrace Christianity? His mother was a Christian. The church was springing up strongly. It was wide reaching and well organized, as it had modelled its hierarchy on Roman (not Jewish!) principles. It had a clerical class, and a chain of command that was competent at controlling conflicts. The bishops had a level of legal autonomy allowing them to interpret law. The Christians accepted people from all parts of the empire and respected Roman rule. All this was attractive to Constantine because he wanted stability. In the preceding decades civil wars and external enemies had challenged the Pax Romana. He was overseeing a massive, disparate empire, so the social cohesion made possible by a universal monotheism was appealing. He knew the people were easier to control if they all shared the same religion.

The Christian hierarchy received economic favors from the govern- ment. The money that had previously gone to pagan priests now went to Christian bishops. Later in the fourth century all other pagan cults were suppressed or destroyed, although many of their tradi- tions were absorbed into Christianity. Those foolhardy enough to hold onto their old beliefs were persecuted.

Mark, read Suetonius' The Twelve Caesars and make up your own mind about what people thought of Julius Caesar. Shortly before he was murdered, he made comments that suggested he knew it was about to happen and that he was reconciled to the idea. He was constantly scheming to avoid being overthrown and he knew he was disliked. He was an out and out crook who slept with so many women, including wives of his friends, with whom he had threesomes, in which he was the filling, that he had a law passed to make all his children legitimate.

Christianity became the state cult under Titus. Constantine was a Mithraist. The story of his conversion isn't true, it's just propaganda.

I suggest that if you haven't already, that you read up on what exactly people did worship before Christianity, that the religious practices of pagans and Jews, were based on astrology and were deeply phallic in origin, right across the known world. These people had brutal customs and rituals including child sacrifice, genital mutilation, execution for just about anything, slavery, sex slavery...need I go on.

On the other hand, intelligent Roman writers like Cicero believed that happiness could come from leading a philosophical life. Greek writers like Polybius set out the form of government which was best designed to ensure peace and happiness, ie., republicanism. Caesar admire Cicero but had him killed. Read up on Cicero. Roman history has much deeper themes than Constantine, who was only a soldier, converting to Christianity after having a "vision". I think it is very naïve to think many intelligent Romans weren't acutely aware of the problems their beliefs caused.

I don't intend to cite "sources". I'm not trying to get published in a learned journal.

My own view is that Roman Catholic Christianity is a product of Roman clerics and philosophers who wanted to supplant paganism, in which none of them actually believed, with a religion which would be based on the "logos", which is what Christianity is. The fact that they employed a device of a messianic figure and loaded it with pre-Christian mythology and pagan rituals has more to do with their view that paganism had to be done away with by any means including using its own terminology, and not because they were believers in pagan mythology. That is, in my view, the most realistic and reasonable explanation of why this religion has this dual aspect to it, that it says plainly that the paramount norm or principle of the religion, which is "before" god and the same thing as god, is the "logos". This does not reflect people who would want followers to focus on miracles and resurrection stories, other than to convince people to follow the ethical teaching. The two concepts are antithetical. That is the most obvious explanation of why the resurrection story is internally inconsistent if you read, as Atwill clearly shows how, the four versions of the resurrection.

I don't actually agree with Atwill when he says that the NT was intended to enslave western Europe. I think that is a cynical view. Europe was largely enslaved by Rome anyway. It is, again, paradoxical that an empire which was paganistic would adopt a religion of peace and embrace an early rendition of the categorical imperative for the purposes of destroying the "happiness" of the subjects of that empire. There is an element of adopting Christianity which could be interpreted as self serving, but, equally, one could say that there was a recognition among Roman intellectuals and politicians that paganism was fundamentally, well, just effing awful for everyone, and if it meant persuading people like Jeremy Walker by giving them a mystical, supernatural narrative, then, so be it, they gave them one.

I'm not sure why you keep asking me to expand on my points. I think my position is straightforward. I don't suggest to you that you expand on points. I understand what you are saying and if I agree with them I say so. If I don't, I say so. What's with "explain"?

I really do think a lot of the discussion on this forum is misguided. A lot of people don't seem to have any idea of what the moral underpinnings of Christianity are and they don't seem to care either. But I haven't seen many of them put forward any ideas of their own. (Trainwreck seems to have some idea of the need for a new social contract and has an understanding of Plato and his idea that most people only see the shadows of what things really are). The funny thing is, though, that without seeming to understand it, they are rejecting a mythical narrative because it is plainly nonsense, but probably are raised to "realize" at some level, that the fundamental moral principles of Christianity are quite solid and actually consistent with secularism and reason. So, you get this odd situation of people saying they have lost their religion , ie., Christianity, but are still moral, but if you analysed their morality, it would be Christian. And, it would be "Christian" in the sense I am using it and their de-conversion would have resulted, most likely, from their having realized the patent mythicism and inconsistency of the Jesus story...which, of course, they seem to think that the writers of the NT didn't see. It's sort of like saying JK Rowling "must" believe in the "reality" of Harry Potter. No one can say that. They may very well have seen it purely as a fairly transparent fiction. Yes? Isn't that possible, in fact, likely?

"from their having realized the patent mythicism and inconsistency of the Jesus story...which, of course, they seem to think that the writers of the NT didn't see."

If I understand you correctly, you're saying that "a lot of people on this forum" think that the authors of the new Testament actually believed what they wrote was fact. Well, I most definitely don't, and I doubt many others here believe that either. The authors of the new Testament were propagandists into crowd control. They quite obviously knew that what they wrote was nonsense. The only possible exception might be some of the things that Paul wrote, as he was so obsessive he possibly started to believe some of his own spiel.

"So, you get this odd situation of people saying they have lost their religion , ie., Christianity, but are still moral..."

Huh? You're correct in that there are many ex-Christians here. As best I can tell all of them are good people. I suggest to you that most of them would believe that they are now better (more "moral") people because they are no longer Christians.

"But I haven't seen many of them put forward any ideas of their own."
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24-05-2014, 05:11 PM (This post was last modified: 25-05-2014 02:52 AM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
(24-05-2014 01:55 PM)Deltabravo Wrote:  
(23-05-2014 06:08 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  "Romans were sick of people like Julius Caesar" Please explain

"The first of the Synoptics Gospels appear in about 66 AD." Evidence?

"Rome converts to Christianity..." Yes...in the fourth century...

"Why did the Romans eventually see how significant this religion was?"

What made Constantine embrace Christianity? His mother was a Christian. The church was springing up strongly. It was wide reaching and well organized, as it had modelled its hierarchy on Roman (not Jewish!) principles. It had a clerical class, and a chain of command that was competent at controlling conflicts. The bishops had a level of legal autonomy allowing them to interpret law. The Christians accepted people from all parts of the empire and respected Roman rule. All this was attractive to Constantine because he wanted stability. In the preceding decades civil wars and external enemies had challenged the Pax Romana. He was overseeing a massive, disparate empire, so the social cohesion made possible by a universal monotheism was appealing. He knew the people were easier to control if they all shared the same religion.

The Christian hierarchy received economic favors from the govern- ment. The money that had previously gone to pagan priests now went to Christian bishops. Later in the fourth century all other pagan cults were suppressed or destroyed, although many of their tradi- tions were absorbed into Christianity. Those foolhardy enough to hold onto their old beliefs were persecuted.

Mark, read Suetonius' The Twelve Caesars and make up your own mind about what people thought of Julius Caesar. Shortly before he was murdered, he made comments that suggested he knew it was about to happen and that he was reconciled to the idea. He was constantly scheming to avoid being overthrown and he knew he was disliked. He was an out and out crook who slept with so many women, including wives of his friends, with whom he had threesomes, in which he was the filling, that he had a law passed to make all his children legitimate.

Christianity became the state cult under Titus. Constantine was a Mithraist. The story of his conversion isn't true, it's just propaganda.

I suggest that if you haven't already, that you read up on what exactly people did worship before Christianity, that the religious practices of pagans and Jews, were based on astrology and were deeply phallic in origin, right across the known world. These people had brutal customs and rituals including child sacrifice, genital mutilation, execution for just about anything, slavery, sex slavery...need I go on.

On the other hand, intelligent Roman writers like Cicero believed that happiness could come from leading a philosophical life. Greek writers like Polybius set out the form of government which was best designed to ensure peace and happiness, ie., republicanism. Caesar admire Cicero but had him killed. Read up on Cicero. Roman history has much deeper themes than Constantine, who was only a soldier, converting to Christianity after having a "vision". I think it is very naïve to think many intelligent Romans weren't acutely aware of the problems their beliefs caused.

I don't intend to cite "sources". I'm not trying to get published in a learned journal.

My own view is that Roman Catholic Christianity is a product of Roman clerics and philosophers who wanted to supplant paganism, in which none of them actually believed, with a religion which would be based on the "logos", which is what Christianity is. The fact that they employed a device of a messianic figure and loaded it with pre-Christian mythology and pagan rituals has more to do with their view that paganism had to be done away with by any means including using its own terminology, and not because they were believers in pagan mythology. That is, in my view, the most realistic and reasonable explanation of why this religion has this dual aspect to it, that it says plainly that the paramount norm or principle of the religion, which is "before" god and the same thing as god, is the "logos". This does not reflect people who would want followers to focus on miracles and resurrection stories, other than to convince people to follow the ethical teaching. The two concepts are antithetical. That is the most obvious explanation of why the resurrection story is internally inconsistent if you read, as Atwill clearly shows how, the four versions of the resurrection.

I don't actually agree with Atwill when he says that the NT was intended to enslave western Europe. I think that is a cynical view. Europe was largely enslaved by Rome anyway. It is, again, paradoxical that an empire which was paganistic would adopt a religion of peace and embrace an early rendition of the categorical imperative for the purposes of destroying the "happiness" of the subjects of that empire. There is an element of adopting Christianity which could be interpreted as self serving, but, equally, one could say that there was a recognition among Roman intellectuals and politicians that paganism was fundamentally, well, just effing awful for everyone, and if it meant persuading people like Jeremy Walker by giving them a mystical, supernatural narrative, then, so be it, they gave them one.

I'm not sure why you keep asking me to expand on my points. I think my position is straightforward. I don't suggest to you that you expand on points. I understand what you are saying and if I agree with them I say so. If I don't, I say so. What's with "explain"?

I really do think a lot of the discussion on this forum is misguided. A lot of people don't seem to have any idea of what the moral underpinnings of Christianity are and they don't seem to care either. But I haven't seen many of them put forward any ideas of their own. (Trainwreck seems to have some idea of the need for a new social contract and has an understanding of Plato and his idea that most people only see the shadows of what things really are). The funny thing is, though, that without seeming to understand it, they are rejecting a mythical narrative because it is plainly nonsense, but probably are raised to "realize" at some level, that the fundamental moral principles of Christianity are quite solid and actually consistent with secularism and reason. So, you get this odd situation of people saying they have lost their religion , ie., Christianity, but are still moral, but if you analysed their morality, it would be Christian. And, it would be "Christian" in the sense I am using it and their de-conversion would have resulted, most likely, from their having realized the patent mythicism and inconsistency of the Jesus story...which, of course, they seem to think that the writers of the NT didn't see. It's sort of like saying JK Rowling "must" believe in the "reality" of Harry Potter. No one can say that. They may very well have seen it purely as a fairly transparent fiction. Yes? Isn't that possible, in fact, likely?

Re
"but, equally, one could say that there was a recognition among Roman intellectuals and politicians that paganism was fundamentally, well, just effing awful for everyone,"

By "paganism" I assume you mean any religion that wasn't Jewish?

From where do you get the idea that the Romans thought paganism was so awful? What's so bad about Buddha? Or Mithras? Rome actually embraced
nearly all religions in the first century. (Judaism was a notable exception... and even it was tolerated.)

In the first four centuries CE, there was a huge trade network from Europe all the way to China. Goods were not the only commodities traded; philosophies, traditions and manuscripts were shared amongst the world’s people. Rome absorbed the gods of the provinces it conquered. By the end of the first century, there were so many foreign gods that almost every day of the year celebrated some divinity. Roman citizens were encouraged to give offerings to these gods to maintain the “Pax Deorum” (the peace of the gods.) These cults, including Christianity, vied with their contemporaries for supremacy, and borrowed ideas from each other. Gods who became men, sons of gods, births to virgin mothers on or near the 25th of December, baptisms, miracles, healings, deaths due to hanging on trees or crucifixion, risings from the dead, and belief being the basis for salvation, were all traditional themes. (http://freetruth.50webs. org/B1a.htm).
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24-05-2014, 06:23 PM (This post was last modified: 24-05-2014 06:27 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
(24-05-2014 01:55 PM)Deltabravo Wrote:  
(23-05-2014 06:08 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  "Romans were sick of people like Julius Caesar" Please explain

"The first of the Synoptics Gospels appear in about 66 AD." Evidence?

"Rome converts to Christianity..." Yes...in the fourth century...

"Why did the Romans eventually see how significant this religion was?"

What made Constantine embrace Christianity? His mother was a Christian. The church was springing up strongly. It was wide reaching and well organized, as it had modelled its hierarchy on Roman (not Jewish!) principles. It had a clerical class, and a chain of command that was competent at controlling conflicts. The bishops had a level of legal autonomy allowing them to interpret law. The Christians accepted people from all parts of the empire and respected Roman rule. All this was attractive to Constantine because he wanted stability. In the preceding decades civil wars and external enemies had challenged the Pax Romana. He was overseeing a massive, disparate empire, so the social cohesion made possible by a universal monotheism was appealing. He knew the people were easier to control if they all shared the same religion.

The Christian hierarchy received economic favors from the govern- ment. The money that had previously gone to pagan priests now went to Christian bishops. Later in the fourth century all other pagan cults were suppressed or destroyed, although many of their tradi- tions were absorbed into Christianity. Those foolhardy enough to hold onto their old beliefs were persecuted.

Mark, read Suetonius' The Twelve Caesars and make up your own mind about what people thought of Julius Caesar. Shortly before he was murdered, he made comments that suggested he knew it was about to happen and that he was reconciled to the idea. He was constantly scheming to avoid being overthrown and he knew he was disliked. He was an out and out crook who slept with so many women, including wives of his friends, with whom he had threesomes, in which he was the filling, that he had a law passed to make all his children legitimate.

Christianity became the state cult under Titus. Constantine was a Mithraist. The story of his conversion isn't true, it's just propaganda.

I suggest that if you haven't already, that you read up on what exactly people did worship before Christianity, that the religious practices of pagans and Jews, were based on astrology and were deeply phallic in origin, right across the known world. These people had brutal customs and rituals including child sacrifice, genital mutilation, execution for just about anything, slavery, sex slavery...need I go on.

On the other hand, intelligent Roman writers like Cicero believed that happiness could come from leading a philosophical life. Greek writers like Polybius set out the form of government which was best designed to ensure peace and happiness, ie., republicanism. Caesar admire Cicero but had him killed. Read up on Cicero. Roman history has much deeper themes than Constantine, who was only a soldier, converting to Christianity after having a "vision". I think it is very naïve to think many intelligent Romans weren't acutely aware of the problems their beliefs caused.

I don't intend to cite "sources". I'm not trying to get published in a learned journal.

My own view is that Roman Catholic Christianity is a product of Roman clerics and philosophers who wanted to supplant paganism, in which none of them actually believed, with a religion which would be based on the "logos", which is what Christianity is. The fact that they employed a device of a messianic figure and loaded it with pre-Christian mythology and pagan rituals has more to do with their view that paganism had to be done away with by any means including using its own terminology, and not because they were believers in pagan mythology. That is, in my view, the most realistic and reasonable explanation of why this religion has this dual aspect to it, that it says plainly that the paramount norm or principle of the religion, which is "before" god and the same thing as god, is the "logos". This does not reflect people who would want followers to focus on miracles and resurrection stories, other than to convince people to follow the ethical teaching. The two concepts are antithetical. That is the most obvious explanation of why the resurrection story is internally inconsistent if you read, as Atwill clearly shows how, the four versions of the resurrection.

I don't actually agree with Atwill when he says that the NT was intended to enslave western Europe. I think that is a cynical view. Europe was largely enslaved by Rome anyway. It is, again, paradoxical that an empire which was paganistic would adopt a religion of peace and embrace an early rendition of the categorical imperative for the purposes of destroying the "happiness" of the subjects of that empire. There is an element of adopting Christianity which could be interpreted as self serving, but, equally, one could say that there was a recognition among Roman intellectuals and politicians that paganism was fundamentally, well, just effing awful for everyone, and if it meant persuading people like Jeremy Walker by giving them a mystical, supernatural narrative, then, so be it, they gave them one.

I'm not sure why you keep asking me to expand on my points. I think my position is straightforward. I don't suggest to you that you expand on points. I understand what you are saying and if I agree with them I say so. If I don't, I say so. What's with "explain"?

I really do think a lot of the discussion on this forum is misguided. A lot of people don't seem to have any idea of what the moral underpinnings of Christianity are and they don't seem to care either. But I haven't seen many of them put forward any ideas of their own. (Trainwreck seems to have some idea of the need for a new social contract and has an understanding of Plato and his idea that most people only see the shadows of what things really are). The funny thing is, though, that without seeming to understand it, they are rejecting a mythical narrative because it is plainly nonsense, but probably are raised to "realize" at some level, that the fundamental moral principles of Christianity are quite solid and actually consistent with secularism and reason. So, you get this odd situation of people saying they have lost their religion , ie., Christianity, but are still moral, but if you analysed their morality, it would be Christian. And, it would be "Christian" in the sense I am using it and their de-conversion would have resulted, most likely, from their having realized the patent mythicism and inconsistency of the Jesus story...which, of course, they seem to think that the writers of the NT didn't see. It's sort of like saying JK Rowling "must" believe in the "reality" of Harry Potter. No one can say that. They may very well have seen it purely as a fairly transparent fiction. Yes? Isn't that possible, in fact, likely?

Re "I suggest that if you haven't already, that you read up on what exactly people did worship before Christianity, that the religious practices of pagans and Jews, were based on astrology and were deeply phallic in origin, right across the known world. These people had brutal customs and rituals including child sacrifice, genital mutilation, execution for just about anything, slavery, sex slavery...need I go on."

There were barbaric practices in some cults. Yet you're painting then all with a broad brush. There was no violence (against humans) in Zoroastrianism or Buddhism as far as I am aware. Nor in the cults of Krishna, Horus, Dionysis or Osiris.

What's more, the most violent cult of them all was, undoubtably… Christianity. That may not have been the overt intention of the creators of Christianity but it most definitely was how things turned out.
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31-05-2014, 11:48 PM (This post was last modified: 01-06-2014 02:23 AM by Deltabravo.)
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
(24-05-2014 06:23 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(24-05-2014 01:55 PM)Deltabravo Wrote:  Mark, read Suetonius' The Twelve Caesars and make up your own mind about what people thought of Julius Caesar. Shortly before he was murdered, he made comments that suggested he knew it was about to happen and that he was reconciled to the idea. He was constantly scheming to avoid being overthrown and he knew he was disliked. He was an out and out crook who slept with so many women, including wives of his friends, with whom he had threesomes, in which he was the filling, that he had a law passed to make all his children legitimate.

Christianity became the state cult under Titus. Constantine was a Mithraist. The story of his conversion isn't true, it's just propaganda.

I suggest that if you haven't already, that you read up on what exactly people did worship before Christianity, that the religious practices of pagans and Jews, were based on astrology and were deeply phallic in origin, right across the known world. These people had brutal customs and rituals including child sacrifice, genital mutilation, execution for just about anything, slavery, sex slavery...need I go on.

On the other hand, intelligent Roman writers like Cicero believed that happiness could come from leading a philosophical life. Greek writers like Polybius set out the form of government which was best designed to ensure peace and happiness, ie., republicanism. Caesar admire Cicero but had him killed. Read up on Cicero. Roman history has much deeper themes than Constantine, who was only a soldier, converting to Christianity after having a "vision". I think it is very naïve to think many intelligent Romans weren't acutely aware of the problems their beliefs caused.

I don't intend to cite "sources". I'm not trying to get published in a learned journal.

My own view is that Roman Catholic Christianity is a product of Roman clerics and philosophers who wanted to supplant paganism, in which none of them actually believed, with a religion which would be based on the "logos", which is what Christianity is. The fact that they employed a device of a messianic figure and loaded it with pre-Christian mythology and pagan rituals has more to do with their view that paganism had to be done away with by any means including using its own terminology, and not because they were believers in pagan mythology. That is, in my view, the most realistic and reasonable explanation of why this religion has this dual aspect to it, that it says plainly that the paramount norm or principle of the religion, which is "before" god and the same thing as god, is the "logos". This does not reflect people who would want followers to focus on miracles and resurrection stories, other than to convince people to follow the ethical teaching. The two concepts are antithetical. That is the most obvious explanation of why the resurrection story is internally inconsistent if you read, as Atwill clearly shows how, the four versions of the resurrection.

I don't actually agree with Atwill when he says that the NT was intended to enslave western Europe. I think that is a cynical view. Europe was largely enslaved by Rome anyway. It is, again, paradoxical that an empire which was paganistic would adopt a religion of peace and embrace an early rendition of the categorical imperative for the purposes of destroying the "happiness" of the subjects of that empire. There is an element of adopting Christianity which could be interpreted as self serving, but, equally, one could say that there was a recognition among Roman intellectuals and politicians that paganism was fundamentally, well, just effing awful for everyone, and if it meant persuading people like Jeremy Walker by giving them a mystical, supernatural narrative, then, so be it, they gave them one.

I'm not sure why you keep asking me to expand on my points. I think my position is straightforward. I don't suggest to you that you expand on points. I understand what you are saying and if I agree with them I say so. If I don't, I say so. What's with "explain"?

I really do think a lot of the discussion on this forum is misguided. A lot of people don't seem to have any idea of what the moral underpinnings of Christianity are and they don't seem to care either. But I haven't seen many of them put forward any ideas of their own. (Trainwreck seems to have some idea of the need for a new social contract and has an understanding of Plato and his idea that most people only see the shadows of what things really are). The funny thing is, though, that without seeming to understand it, they are rejecting a mythical narrative because it is plainly nonsense, but probably are raised to "realize" at some level, that the fundamental moral principles of Christianity are quite solid and actually consistent with secularism and reason. So, you get this odd situation of people saying they have lost their religion , ie., Christianity, but are still moral, but if you analysed their morality, it would be Christian. And, it would be "Christian" in the sense I am using it and their de-conversion would have resulted, most likely, from their having realized the patent mythicism and inconsistency of the Jesus story...which, of course, they seem to think that the writers of the NT didn't see. It's sort of like saying JK Rowling "must" believe in the "reality" of Harry Potter. No one can say that. They may very well have seen it purely as a fairly transparent fiction. Yes? Isn't that possible, in fact, likely?

Re "I suggest that if you haven't already, that you read up on what exactly people did worship before Christianity, that the religious practices of pagans and Jews, were based on astrology and were deeply phallic in origin, right across the known world. These people had brutal customs and rituals including child sacrifice, genital mutilation, execution for just about anything, slavery, sex slavery...need I go on."

There were barbaric practices in some cults. Yet you're painting then all with a broad brush. There was no violence (against humans) in Zoroastrianism or Buddhism as far as I am aware. Nor in the cults of Krishna, Horus, Dionysis or Osiris.

What's more, the most violent cult of them all was, undoubtably… Christianity. That may not have been the overt intention of the creators of Christianity but it most definitely was how things turned out.

I have to agree with Achyra that "Christianity" predates Jesus. He was just a candidate for being the "anointed Christ". So, yes, Christianity as practiced before Jesus was violent. I have been watching some programs about bodies found in peat bogs in England and Ireland. They suggest that there was ritual human sacrifice for thousands of years. The suggestion from the similarity of these bodies is that a senior member of society would be hacked to death and decapitate to appease god.

You mention Osiris worship. The Egyptians were incredibly brutal. I think it is at Karnak,there are depictions of thousands of severed penises. If they won a battle that is what they did to the captives. Buddhism is an interesting religion. Another example of a warlord, Ashoka, who was a psychopathic murderer realizing he would be better to adopt a peaceful approach and then dispatching Buddhist preachers to all parts of his empire to teach the new religion. I am not sure we are talking about the same thing when we use the term "pagan". I don't consider Buddhism to be "pagan". Paganism is essentially the worship of the sun god and it generally involved the idea of life emanating from the sun or the sky, usually involved phallic worship, the struggle between life and death, light and darkness, astrology, human sacrifice, dancing around a pole, sex, genital mutilation...all the fun things.

Many of the Roman Catholic rites harken back to pagan practices such as sacrifice, ie., drink of Jesus blood, eat of his flesh, the sprinkling of water from a bowl over the congregation with a long stick with a knob at the end. Judaism was ultimately pagan. I wouldn't have said Zoroastrianism is pagan.

I am going to re read the NT, or read it, since I never actually have read the whole thing. I think we just assume that a lot of what we consider to be Christian thought is contained in the NT but when you read it, it isn't there at all or not with the certainty one might expect. Take this idea of Jesus being the son of God. So, in Matthew, the first Gospel it says that "Joseph begat Jesus". How could it be any clearer than that? No mention of an event when Mary is impregnated by a god. I expect if one reads the NT, most of these so called divine or miraculous stories aren't actually there or they are in only one gospel and not supported by others. I have, thanks to Atwill, now come to the conclusion that this is deliberate. It is intended to confuse or maybe to appeal to the gullible or everyone. There's a bit in it for everyeone, no matter what their belief. Get everyone on board by making it vague, and all things to all people. Make them adopt the religion because it resembles their preconceptions and then feed them with a Nazarite philosophy which preaches/teaches something resembling the "categorical imperative". ie., the golden rule.

I think if I was contemplating, as Vespasian did, taking the role of emperor, for reasons entirely of self preservation, I would want to adopt a cult which would make people like me and avoid me getting killed.
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01-06-2014, 02:40 AM
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
(24-05-2014 05:11 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(24-05-2014 01:55 PM)Deltabravo Wrote:  Mark, read Suetonius' The Twelve Caesars and make up your own mind about what people thought of Julius Caesar. Shortly before he was murdered, he made comments that suggested he knew it was about to happen and that he was reconciled to the idea. He was constantly scheming to avoid being overthrown and he knew he was disliked. He was an out and out crook who slept with so many women, including wives of his friends, with whom he had threesomes, in which he was the filling, that he had a law passed to make all his children legitimate.

Christianity became the state cult under Titus. Constantine was a Mithraist. The story of his conversion isn't true, it's just propaganda.

I suggest that if you haven't already, that you read up on what exactly people did worship before Christianity, that the religious practices of pagans and Jews, were based on astrology and were deeply phallic in origin, right across the known world. These people had brutal customs and rituals including child sacrifice, genital mutilation, execution for just about anything, slavery, sex slavery...need I go on.

On the other hand, intelligent Roman writers like Cicero believed that happiness could come from leading a philosophical life. Greek writers like Polybius set out the form of government which was best designed to ensure peace and happiness, ie., republicanism. Caesar admire Cicero but had him killed. Read up on Cicero. Roman history has much deeper themes than Constantine, who was only a soldier, converting to Christianity after having a "vision". I think it is very naïve to think many intelligent Romans weren't acutely aware of the problems their beliefs caused.

I don't intend to cite "sources". I'm not trying to get published in a learned journal.

My own view is that Roman Catholic Christianity is a product of Roman clerics and philosophers who wanted to supplant paganism, in which none of them actually believed, with a religion which would be based on the "logos", which is what Christianity is. The fact that they employed a device of a messianic figure and loaded it with pre-Christian mythology and pagan rituals has more to do with their view that paganism had to be done away with by any means including using its own terminology, and not because they were believers in pagan mythology. That is, in my view, the most realistic and reasonable explanation of why this religion has this dual aspect to it, that it says plainly that the paramount norm or principle of the religion, which is "before" god and the same thing as god, is the "logos". This does not reflect people who would want followers to focus on miracles and resurrection stories, other than to convince people to follow the ethical teaching. The two concepts are antithetical. That is the most obvious explanation of why the resurrection story is internally inconsistent if you read, as Atwill clearly shows how, the four versions of the resurrection.

I don't actually agree with Atwill when he says that the NT was intended to enslave western Europe. I think that is a cynical view. Europe was largely enslaved by Rome anyway. It is, again, paradoxical that an empire which was paganistic would adopt a religion of peace and embrace an early rendition of the categorical imperative for the purposes of destroying the "happiness" of the subjects of that empire. There is an element of adopting Christianity which could be interpreted as self serving, but, equally, one could say that there was a recognition among Roman intellectuals and politicians that paganism was fundamentally, well, just effing awful for everyone, and if it meant persuading people like Jeremy Walker by giving them a mystical, supernatural narrative, then, so be it, they gave them one.

I'm not sure why you keep asking me to expand on my points. I think my position is straightforward. I don't suggest to you that you expand on points. I understand what you are saying and if I agree with them I say so. If I don't, I say so. What's with "explain"?

I really do think a lot of the discussion on this forum is misguided. A lot of people don't seem to have any idea of what the moral underpinnings of Christianity are and they don't seem to care either. But I haven't seen many of them put forward any ideas of their own. (Trainwreck seems to have some idea of the need for a new social contract and has an understanding of Plato and his idea that most people only see the shadows of what things really are). The funny thing is, though, that without seeming to understand it, they are rejecting a mythical narrative because it is plainly nonsense, but probably are raised to "realize" at some level, that the fundamental moral principles of Christianity are quite solid and actually consistent with secularism and reason. So, you get this odd situation of people saying they have lost their religion , ie., Christianity, but are still moral, but if you analysed their morality, it would be Christian. And, it would be "Christian" in the sense I am using it and their de-conversion would have resulted, most likely, from their having realized the patent mythicism and inconsistency of the Jesus story...which, of course, they seem to think that the writers of the NT didn't see. It's sort of like saying JK Rowling "must" believe in the "reality" of Harry Potter. No one can say that. They may very well have seen it purely as a fairly transparent fiction. Yes? Isn't that possible, in fact, likely?

Re
"but, equally, one could say that there was a recognition among Roman intellectuals and politicians that paganism was fundamentally, well, just effing awful for everyone,"

By "paganism" I assume you mean any religion that wasn't Jewish?

From where do you get the idea that the Romans thought paganism was so awful? What's so bad about Buddha? Or Mithras? Rome actually embraced
nearly all religions in the first century. (Judaism was a notable exception... and even it was tolerated.)

In the first four centuries CE, there was a huge trade network from Europe all the way to China. Goods were not the only commodities traded; philosophies, traditions and manuscripts were shared amongst the world’s people. Rome absorbed the gods of the provinces it conquered. By the end of the first century, there were so many foreign gods that almost every day of the year celebrated some divinity. Roman citizens were encouraged to give offerings to these gods to maintain the “Pax Deorum” (the peace of the gods.) These cults, including Christianity, vied with their contemporaries for supremacy, and borrowed ideas from each other. Gods who became men, sons of gods, births to virgin mothers on or near the 25th of December, baptisms, miracles, healings, deaths due to hanging on trees or crucifixion, risings from the dead, and belief being the basis for salvation, were all traditional themes. (http://freetruth.50webs. org/B1a.htm).


By "paganism" I assume you mean any religion that wasn't Jewish?

~~~No. I mean sun worship and worship of the "inseminating" force, as opposed to a religion based on reason, which is what I think NT Christianity is, despite the apparent (but tongue in cheek) mystical elements. It is a question of a moral philosophy based on "self" or procreation versus a religion based on thinking of others. Paganism emphasized the power of nature and procreation which produces a moral code based on selfishness which is what typified the rule of most of the Roman emperors. Julius Caesar thought he had the right to commit crime in his own interests, sleep with whoever's wife he fancied...etc. and he wasn't much liked.

From where do you get the idea that the Romans thought paganism was so awful? What's so bad about Buddha? Or Mithras? Rome actually embraced
nearly all religions in the first century. (Judaism was a notable exception... and even it was tolerated.)

~~~I'm not saying "the people" didn't embrace these religions, nor am I saying the religions you mention are paganistic. If you read about pagan rituals in Roman writings, intellectuals heaped scorn on processions of phallic images through Rome. It's not about what "people" did. It's about why some intellectuals, clerics and leaders in Rome embraced a religion which promoted a philosophy which is akin to Kant's categorical imperative. I am suggesting it was out of "prudence" and "wisdom" and with insight into how people behaved. ie., it was more likely that the rulers, emperor, senators etc. would end up dead, raped or their wife's raped by some psycho who followed the edicts of brutal pagan "gods" and decided it wasn't "right" and something better was, well, "better". The insight comes in when considering how to "sell" such a concept and that is where Atwill comes in. He sees it as a spoof of the prevailing beliefs and as intended to make people pro-Roman by preaching peace. And it was intended to be preached to Romans, who were pagans, and it was. So, someone must have disliked the prevailing paganism.
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01-06-2014, 12:19 PM
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
I just posted on the thread about Atwill's film.

This is where I find the mythicists fall apart. Atwill makes a good case for the Jesus story to have originated at the time of the Jewish revolt. So, the Mythicists all say, yes, great, and that is why there is no evidence of him being around in the 30's. none at all.

But they stop there, like their brains have frozen.

I want to get a stick and poke them and say, "come on, you can do it, think...how about looking, like you say, in the 60's?" Then one of them says we have to look at it completely afresh. So...is there a figure like Jesus from the time of the Jewish revolt??? Huh, is there, huh? Anyone have an answer. huh, huh?
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