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Historical Jesus, Biblical Jesus

Historical Jesus, Biblical Jesus
Exactly your problem.

You somehow convince yourself that the lies of early church writers are true.  The only reason seems to be "because they say so."
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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Historical Jesus, Biblical Jesus
(09-23-2020, 03:23 AM)Minimalist Wrote: Exactly your problem.

You somehow convince yourself that the lies of early church writers are true.  The only reason seems to be "because they say so."

Look at your statement and the assumptions you state as fact.

"the lies of early church writers."

That's the premise you begin with. That's what you base your entire position upon. You don't merely "believe" they lied, but state it as if it's an indisputable fact.

I don't see things through the lens of truth and lies. To me, the best definition of a lie is quite simply an intentional act to deceive. Therefore, when I read these old letters I am not looking for lies or the truth, but rather only what they believed to be true.

Perhaps the difference between you and me is that I don't really care if Jesus existed or not, but you do. My position is just based upon the decades of study on this subject just out of an honest interest in religious belief systems, and why people hold them dear.

Over my many years involved with this subject, I have gained many Christian friends including pastors. A couple of those pastors are no longer pastors, and many of those Christians are no longer Christians. I am not saying they are all atheists now, but rather agnostics.

I have always done very well by convincing these people that Jesus was done a great injustice by the Christian religion. By using the available evidence, it was very easy to convince them that the human Jesus was real according to the available evidence, while at the same time demonstrating the impossibility of the Jesus Christianity taught them about.

I could always greatly support my claims and position, but as you already know the Christians cannot support their position. It simply fails on the face of reason.

As atheists, we are all different. We all have some kind of an agenda. If you think you have better success of leading the Christians out of their cult with your method, I beg to differ. I have seen firsthand how well my system works, and all I have ever seen from the system you use (which is used by innumerable others online) is the Christians simply block you, or get blocked by you.

So did Jesus exist? Fucked if I know, and I really don't care. But what I do know is that my argument is better than yours any day of the week, particularly when the objective is to bring these abused victims of religion to reason.

As atheists, I think it's our duty to use the best tools and methods available to accomplish the goal of reducing the effects of religion one person at a time.

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Historical Jesus, Biblical Jesus
Quote:You don't merely "believe" they lied, but state it as if it's an indisputable fact.

So now you grant their pious blathering about jc's magic tricks?  And heaven?  And hell?  And angels?  And demons? And sins, etc., etc, as something other than utter horseshit?

These people did not write about some shitkicker named jesus cleaning up on the caravan trails you know, waiting for legends to grow up about their boy.

Yes.  I regard everything they wrote as a lie because they have no facts to support any of it.


And neither do you.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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Historical Jesus, Biblical Jesus
(09-23-2020, 04:51 AM)Minimalist Wrote:
Quote:You don't merely "believe" they lied, but state it as if it's an indisputable fact.

So now you grant their pious blathering about jc's magic tricks?  And heaven?  And hell?  And angels?  And demons? And sins, etc., etc, as something other than utter horseshit?

These people did not write about some shitkicker named jesus cleaning up on the caravan trails you know, waiting for legends to grow up about their boy.

Yes.  I regard everything they wrote as a lie because they have no facts to support any of it.


And neither do you.

As mentioned, it's not about lies or the truth. It's about understanding these ancient religious cultures in that what those writers were saying was from an elevated state of belief to such an extent as there was simply no doubt about it, and for the vast majority of of them what you perceive as lies was not a conscious effort to deceive, but rather statements of what they believed to be fact.

Even though we understand that the tales they wrote about were simply not true and couldn't be true, it doesn't mean they lied in some conscious decision to intentionally deceive people. As far as they were concerned what they were saying was the indisputable truth.

It simply goes without saying that the tall tales they wrote about were not true, but that doesn't mean that the more mundane things they wrote about were not true also. It's not as black and white as what you understand it to be. It's far more complex.
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Historical Jesus, Biblical Jesus
So, in short, fanatics can never lie because they believe their own bullshit?

Sorry, Free.  No sale.  That is pure sophistry.

Quote:'Tiberius, in whose time the Christian name first made its appearance in the world, laid before the Senate tidings from Syria Palestina which had revealed to him the truth of the divinity there manifested, and supported the motion by his own vote to begin with. The Senate rejected it because it had not itself given its approval. Caesar held to his own opinion and threatened danger to the accusers of the Christians."

So when Tertullian writes a pile of utter bullshit like this reference to the Acta Pilati you give him a pass on lying?  Funny, there were other Acts of Pilate addressed to Claudius.  I guess these fuckers that you think are so holy and honest hadn't gotten their story straight.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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Historical Jesus, Biblical Jesus
(09-23-2020, 03:55 PM)Minimalist Wrote: So, in short, fanatics can never lie because they believe their own bullshit?

Sorry, Free.  No sale.  That is pure sophistry.

But it's not.

Any historian worth his salt knows exactly what I'm talking about. As per the old adage of "when in Rome, do as the Romans do," when we read these old texts we become immersed in not just the works written, but the entire culture. For example, I am in Rome, wearing a toga, walking down the street and looking at the buildings, the numerous gods they display on virtually every corner. I hear the laughter, the arguments etc. I see the public baths, and I see the differences between citizens and slaves.

I live as a Roman, or as a Jew, or as a Christian.

This gives you an insight you can't possibly get from just rifling through old texts looking for something to substantiate what you believe. That's no way to understand anything about these ancient cultures. If you have an agenda hell-bent on disproving something, then anything you use for that agenda may be very poorly interpreted, because it's not just the words that matter. It's the whole enchilada. 

It's easy for people like you to do what you do. Anyone can do that. But what I am asking you to consider is that there is much more here beneath the surface. And the reason I have a problem with Carrier is because I, along with others, have judged that the only real reason he became a historian was to dispute the existence of Jesus, among other Christian beliefs, on behalf of atheism. He had an agenda with one thing in mind. Oh he's written on other subjects, and he's pretty good with that. But it all comes back to his agenda regarding this Jesus fellow.
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Historical Jesus, Biblical Jesus
Personally I've never had an agenda against Jesus. I was in fact predisposed to believe he was a historical character.

Ironically, I was thusly predisposed because I was immersed in the fundagelical culture, just as you speak of immersing yourself in the culture of the times in which the scriptures and various things said about Christians were penned.

My bias toward believing Jesus was real, much less the son of god, has switched from pro to con, based on the preponderance of evidence and the growing conviction that it's all bullshit, ALL the way down.

But the ancient Romans and Christians, etc. also had biases. I take those biases into account when evaluating what little survives of their asserted truths, too.

Personally I don't give a fig whether Bible Jesus has any basis in a real person in history, in large part because as you and I agree, Bible Jesus never existed, so even if in some small sense Bible Jesus was "inspired by true events", it does not make Bible Jesus more possible or believable or compelling. However, I also have much reason to think he has no such historical basis, and little reason to think that he does. I admit to not being particularly persuadable by technical arguments alone, and being more attuned to my own bullshit detectors and personal experiences. Maybe if I had devoted enough years to the study of ancient historical methods I'd feel a little different.

But we are on page 100 of this discussion (at least in my browser) and so for better or worse, I know more about the topic than 99% of the people in this world by simply having read it. And I remain unpersuaded. Whether this says more about the "arguments" or about me, the reader can decide; I don't really have any skin in the game.
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Historical Jesus, Biblical Jesus
(09-24-2020, 05:57 PM)mordant Wrote: Personally I've never had an agenda against Jesus. I was in fact predisposed to believe he was a historical character.

Ironically, I was thusly predisposed because I was immersed in the fundagelical culture, just as you speak of immersing yourself in the culture of the times in which the scriptures and various things said about Christians were penned.

My bias toward believing Jesus was real, much less the son of god, has switched from pro to con, based on the preponderance of evidence and the growing conviction that it's all bullshit, ALL the way down.

But the ancient Romans and Christians, etc. also had biases. I take those biases into account when evaluating what little survives of their asserted truths, too.

Personally I don't give a fig whether Bible Jesus has any basis in a real person in history, in large part because as you and I agree, Bible Jesus never existed, so even if in some small sense Bible Jesus was "inspired by true events", it does not make Bible Jesus more possible or believable or compelling. However, I also have much reason to think he has no such historical basis, and little reason to think that he does. I admit to not being particularly persuadable by technical arguments alone, and being more attuned to my own bullshit detectors and personal experiences. Maybe if I had devoted enough years to the study of ancient historical methods I'd feel a little different.

But we are on page 100 of this discussion (at least in my browser) and so for better or worse, I know more about the topic than 99% of the people in this world by simply having read it. And I remain unpersuaded. Whether this says more about the "arguments" or about me, the reader can decide; I don't really have any skin in the game.

You probably do know more about "the topic" than 99% of the people in the world.  I dare say we all do here.  But do you know more than 99.99%?

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Theists disbelieve in all deities but one.  I just disbelieve in one less.
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Historical Jesus, Biblical Jesus
(09-24-2020, 05:57 PM)mordant Wrote: Personally I've never had an agenda against Jesus. I was in fact predisposed to believe he was a historical character.

Ironically, I was thusly predisposed because I was immersed in the fundagelical culture, just as you speak of immersing yourself in the culture of the times in which the scriptures and various things said about Christians were penned.

My bias toward believing Jesus was real, much less the son of god, has switched from pro to con, based on the preponderance of evidence and the growing conviction that it's all bullshit, ALL the way down.

But the ancient Romans and Christians, etc. also had biases. I take those biases into account when evaluating what little survives of their asserted truths, too.

Personally I don't give a fig whether Bible Jesus has any basis in a real person in history, in large part because as you and I agree, Bible Jesus never existed, so even if in some small sense Bible Jesus was "inspired by true events", it does not make Bible Jesus more possible or believable or compelling. However, I also have much reason to think he has no such historical basis, and little reason to think that he does. I admit to not being particularly persuadable by technical arguments alone, and being more attuned to my own bullshit detectors and personal experiences. Maybe if I had devoted enough years to the study of ancient historical methods I'd feel a little different.

But we are on page 100 of this discussion (at least in my browser) and so for better or worse, I know more about the topic than 99% of the people in this world by simply having read it. And I remain unpersuaded. Whether this says more about the "arguments" or about me, the reader can decide; I don't really have any skin in the game.

See? I have absolutely no problem with this opinion at all, and the reason for that is Mordant isn't making any positive claims either way. He's simply not persuaded to accept historicity as factual.

And frankly neither am I. The only thing I am persuaded by here is that the argument for historicity is a better argument than the one for complete mythology, and even then nothing is proven and never will be.
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Historical Jesus, Biblical Jesus
(09-24-2020, 08:16 PM)Free Wrote:
(09-24-2020, 05:57 PM)mordant Wrote: Personally I've never had an agenda against Jesus. I was in fact predisposed to believe he was a historical character.

Ironically, I was thusly predisposed because I was immersed in the fundagelical culture, just as you speak of immersing yourself in the culture of the times in which the scriptures and various things said about Christians were penned.

My bias toward believing Jesus was real, much less the son of god, has switched from pro to con, based on the preponderance of evidence and the growing conviction that it's all bullshit, ALL the way down.

But the ancient Romans and Christians, etc. also had biases. I take those biases into account when evaluating what little survives of their asserted truths, too.

Personally I don't give a fig whether Bible Jesus has any basis in a real person in history, in large part because as you and I agree, Bible Jesus never existed, so even if in some small sense Bible Jesus was "inspired by true events", it does not make Bible Jesus more possible or believable or compelling. However, I also have much reason to think he has no such historical basis, and little reason to think that he does. I admit to not being particularly persuadable by technical arguments alone, and being more attuned to my own bullshit detectors and personal experiences. Maybe if I had devoted enough years to the study of ancient historical methods I'd feel a little different.

But we are on page 100 of this discussion (at least in my browser) and so for better or worse, I know more about the topic than 99% of the people in this world by simply having read it. And I remain unpersuaded. Whether this says more about the "arguments" or about me, the reader can decide; I don't really have any skin in the game.

See? I have absolutely no problem with this opinion at all, and the reason for that is Mordant isn't making any positive claims either way. He's simply not persuaded to accept historicity as factual.

And frankly neither am I. The only thing I am persuaded by here is that the argument for historicity is a better argument than the one for complete mythology, and even then nothing is proven and never will be.

Dodgy Well, what do you think about events that certainly occurred but lack historicity but that had to have occurred by later evidence?  Like invention of stone tools or the first word-oriented speech?
Theists disbelieve in all deities but one.  I just disbelieve in one less.
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Historical Jesus, Biblical Jesus
(09-24-2020, 08:23 PM)Cavebear Wrote:
(09-24-2020, 08:16 PM)Free Wrote:
(09-24-2020, 05:57 PM)mordant Wrote: Personally I've never had an agenda against Jesus. I was in fact predisposed to believe he was a historical character.

Ironically, I was thusly predisposed because I was immersed in the fundagelical culture, just as you speak of immersing yourself in the culture of the times in which the scriptures and various things said about Christians were penned.

My bias toward believing Jesus was real, much less the son of god, has switched from pro to con, based on the preponderance of evidence and the growing conviction that it's all bullshit, ALL the way down.

But the ancient Romans and Christians, etc. also had biases. I take those biases into account when evaluating what little survives of their asserted truths, too.

Personally I don't give a fig whether Bible Jesus has any basis in a real person in history, in large part because as you and I agree, Bible Jesus never existed, so even if in some small sense Bible Jesus was "inspired by true events", it does not make Bible Jesus more possible or believable or compelling. However, I also have much reason to think he has no such historical basis, and little reason to think that he does. I admit to not being particularly persuadable by technical arguments alone, and being more attuned to my own bullshit detectors and personal experiences. Maybe if I had devoted enough years to the study of ancient historical methods I'd feel a little different.

But we are on page 100 of this discussion (at least in my browser) and so for better or worse, I know more about the topic than 99% of the people in this world by simply having read it. And I remain unpersuaded. Whether this says more about the "arguments" or about me, the reader can decide; I don't really have any skin in the game.

See? I have absolutely no problem with this opinion at all, and the reason for that is Mordant isn't making any positive claims either way. He's simply not persuaded to accept historicity as factual.

And frankly neither am I. The only thing I am persuaded by here is that the argument for historicity is a better argument than the one for complete mythology, and even then nothing is proven and never will be.

Dodgy Well, what do you think about events that certainly occurred but lack historicity but that had to have occurred by later evidence?  Like invention of stone tools or the first word-oriented speech?

Can you really compare something that is supported by evolution and archeology with some words written in old text books?
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Historical Jesus, Biblical Jesus
(09-24-2020, 03:19 PM)Free Wrote:
(09-23-2020, 03:55 PM)Minimalist Wrote: So, in short, fanatics can never lie because they believe their own bullshit?

Sorry, Free.  No sale.  That is pure sophistry.

But it's not.

Any historian worth his salt knows exactly what I'm talking about. As per the old adage of "when in Rome, do as the Romans do," when we read these old texts we become immersed in not just the works written, but the entire culture. For example, I am in Rome, wearing a toga, walking down the street and looking at the buildings, the numerous gods they display on virtually every corner. I hear the laughter, the arguments etc. I see the public baths, and I see the differences between citizens and slaves.

I live as a Roman, or as a Jew, or as a Christian.

This gives you an insight you can't possibly get from just rifling through old texts looking for something to substantiate what you believe. That's no way to understand anything about these ancient cultures. If you have an agenda hell-bent on disproving something, then anything you use for that agenda may be very poorly interpreted, because it's not just the words that matter. It's the whole enchilada. 

It's easy for people like you to do what you do. Anyone can do that. But what I am asking you to consider is that there is much more here beneath the surface. And the reason I have a problem with Carrier is because I, along with others, have judged that the only real reason he became a historian was to dispute the existence of Jesus, among other Christian beliefs, on behalf of atheism. He had an agenda with one thing in mind. Oh he's written on other subjects, and he's pretty good with that. But it all comes back to his agenda regarding this Jesus fellow.

I never mentioned Carrier...and frankly I don't think you are in his class but again, I did not mention him.  Instead I said that your making excuses for fanatics who make shit up was sophistry.

To hear you tell it we should accept Q-Anon as a legitimate news source because they really, really, really think their horseshit is true.

Evidence, man.  I want evidence.  And the assholes you are defending make no pretense about having any.
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Historical Jesus, Biblical Jesus
I just posted the relevant passage from the Doctrina Jacobi in the muhammad thread.

It is, frankly, little more than hearsay.  One guy told another guy a story which was written down by another guy a couple of years later.Muslims avoid it like the plague because it contradicts their claim that muhammad died in 632 CE but even worse portrays him as a xtian prophet proclaiming the coming of christ.

What it does do is provide incidental evidence to the religious underpinings of the conflict between the Byzantines and the Saracens.  Authors like Christoph Luxenbourg and Robert Spencer have suggested that heretical xtian groups were evicted from the Byzantine Empire and came flying back in the aftermath of the bloody wars which devastated both the Byzantine and Persian empires.

So I don't see much of value to the basic muslim fairy tale but it is only 2 years after the supposed death of this muhammad guy.  We have nothing remotely like it for "jesus." 

One securely dated document to c 40 CE which made reference to even an idiotic belief that some crucified man came back to life would at least establish that someone at the time thought such nonsense was possible.  Alas, we have nothing along those lines.
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