Discourse to the RRS regarding Tacitus

FathomFFI
TheistTroll
Posts: 90
Joined: 2008-05-15
User is offlineOffline
Discourse to the RRS regarding Tacitus

The quote from Tacitus in question will be found below:

Tacitus wrote:
"But neither the aid of man, nor the liberality of the prince, nor the propitiations of the gods succeeded in destroying the belief that the fire had been purposely lit. In order to put an end to this rumor, therefore, Nero laid the blame on and visited with severe punishment those men, hateful for their crimes, whom the people called Christians. He from whom the name was derived, Christus, was put to death by the procurator Pontius Pilate in the reign of Tiberius. But the pernicious superstition, checked for a moment, broke out again, not only in Judea, the native land of the monstrosity, but also in Rome, to which all conceivable horrors and abominations flow from every side, and find supporters. First, therefore, those were arrested who openly confessed; then, on their information, a great number, who were not so much convicted of the fire as of hatred of the human race. Ridicule was passed on them as they died; so that, clothed in skins of beasts, they were torn to pieces by dogs, or crucified, or committed to the flames, and when the sun had gone down they were burned to light up the night. Nero had lent his garden for this spectacle, and gave games in the Circus, mixing with the people in the dress of a charioteer or standing in the chariot. Hence there was a strong sympathy for them, though they might have been guilty enough to deserve the severest punishment, on the ground that they were sacrificed, not to the general good, but to the cruelty of one man." (Annals XV, 44)

The following is the first claim by the RRS against Tacitus:


RRS wrote:
(1) It is extremely improbable that a special report found by Tacitus had been sent earlier to Rome and incorporated into the records of the Senate, in regard to the death of a Jewish provincial, Jesus. The execution of a Nazareth carpenter would have been one of the most insignificant events conceivable among the movements of Roman history in those decades; it would have completely disappeared beneath the innumerable executions inflicted by Roman provincial authorities. For it to have been kept in any report would have been a most remarkable instance of chance.

It should be noted that the quote above is complete assertion, and provides no evidence for support. It should also be noted that the assertion above screams an argument from silence, which is a logical fallacy, since the argument basis itself upon the absence of the purported Roman records which, like most ancient Roman records, could have been lost and/or destroyed by the ravages of time. That being said, I will list the 3 RRS claims in the assertion above:

1. "It is extremely improbable that a special report found by Tacitus had been sent earlier to Rome and incorporated into the records of the Senate, in regard to the death of a Jewish provincial, Jesus."

2. "The execution of a Nazareth carpenter would have been one of the most insignificant events conceivable among the movements of Roman history in those decades; it would have completely disappeared beneath the innumerable executions inflicted by Roman provincial authorities."

3. "For it to have been kept in any report would have been a most remarkable instance of chance."

Although there are 3 listed above, I will deal with # 2 for now.

The RRS asserts that "the execution of a Nazareth carpenter would have been one of the most insignificant events... ." This statement completely contradicts the RRS' position that Jesus never existed, otherwise how could Jesus be a "Nazareth carpenter?"  If he never existed, he could hardly be a carpenter. Therefore, to claim this as a reason as to why the Roman authorities would not have any record of the execution of Jesus is ludicrous and completely self-defeating. Since we know that the only record of Jesus being a carpenter comes from the Holy Bible, and the RRS claims the Gospel record as a fabrication and Jesus did not exist, then to claim that the reason the Tacitus would not have read a previous record of the execution of Jesus is because he was an insignificant carpenter not worthy of note is very surprising and considerably amusing.

In order for the statement to be valid, the RRS must admit to the existence of Jesus. If not, then I will await their explanation as to why the RRS would use what they claim as a fabrication in the Gospel of Jesus being a carpenter to support their reasoning. The logical reasoning is completely invalidated, for you cannot use a a self-proclaimed fabrication to assert a possibility, truth, or a fact. If the Gospel record of Jesus being a carpenter is a fabrication as the RRS claims, then they cannot use a fabrication to quantify their reasoning as to why no Roman records existed for Tacitus to refer to. It is completely illogical. The following is an illustration of the faulty logic:

ASSERTIONS:

1. Jesus did not exist.
2. Jesus was a lowly Nazareth carpenter.
3. The Romans would not have kept a record of Jesus' execution because Jesus was a lowly Nazareth carpenter.

Question: If Jesus did not exist, how then could he be a Nazareth carpenter?

The logic simply falls apart under examination. If Jesus did not exist, he therefore could not be a Nazareth carpenter, and the RRS reasoning as to why no Roman records existed for Tacitus was because Jesus was a lowly Nazareth carpenter is logically invalidated. The only way to validate this argument is to admit that the lowly Nazareth carpenter existed, which subsequently would mean that Jesus must have existed.

If the RRS argues that "Assuming Jesus existed," then 'the execution of a Nazareth carpenter would have been one of the most insignificant events conceivable... ,'" then that assumption must come with evidence to support it. This means that in order to support the assumption, you must provide evidence to support the existence of Jesus.

Interesting twist, I must say. Either way you look at it, the argument is logically invalidated, and/or the assumption contradicts the RRS position of the non-existence of a historical Jesus.

In conclusion, according to the information available in # 1, the argument in its entirety is logically invalidated. The 3 claims I listed from the RRS in # 1 all depend on Jesus existing to be validated. Since the position of the RRS is that Jesus did not exist historically, then their argument in # 1 is logically and ideologically contradictory to their claims.

I now ask the RRS to respond to this argument before I continue through the rest of their claims against Tacitus.

Permanently banned


FathomFFI
TheistTroll
Posts: 90
Joined: 2008-05-15
User is offlineOffline
jcgadfly wrote:FathomFFI

jcgadfly wrote:
FathomFFI wrote:

But I did not say that dying for his beliefs were what made him unusual.

What made his historical life unusual (outside of people embellishing his life with fanciful events)?

Again, it really depends on what you accept as to what approximates the truth in regards to Jesus.

For example, I side with many scholars in regards to a document as having once existed known as the "Q Document."

The Q document derives it's name from the German word of "Quelle," which means "Source."

It is from this Q document where the Gospel writers began to embellish the life of Jesus, but the Q document itself was but a collection of the sayings and teachings of Jesus.

A half decent example of what a Q document may look like would be the Gospel of Thomas, which many scholars suggest to actually be older than the canon gospels.

But what I am saying is that the teachings of Jesus are what made him unusual. His teachings appear to be derived partly from the Essene school of thought, as well as his own interpretations of the Torah.

His teachings contradicted many of the teachings of the Pharisee and Sadducee school of thought, with the end result of Jesus being killed for his teachings because his teachings were getting quite popular.

 

 

Permanently banned


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
FathomFFI wrote:jcgadfly

FathomFFI wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:
FathomFFI wrote:

But I did not say that dying for his beliefs were what made him unusual.

What made his historical life unusual (outside of people embellishing his life with fanciful events)?

Again, it really depends on what you accept as to what approximates the truth in regards to Jesus.

For example, I side with many scholars in regards to a document as having once existed known as the "Q Document."

The Q document derives it's name from the German word of "Quelle," which means "Source."

It is from this Q document where the Gospel writers began to embellish the life of Jesus, but the Q document itself was but a collection of the sayings and teachings of Jesus.

A half decent example of what a Q document may look like would be the Gospel of Thomas, which many scholars suggest to actually be older than the canon gospels.

But what I am saying is that the teachings of Jesus are what made him unusual. His teachings appear to be derived partly from the Essene school of thought, as well as his own interpretations of the Torah.

His teachings contradicted many of the teachings of the Pharisee and Sadducee school of thought, with the end result of Jesus being killed for his teachings because his teachings were getting quite popular.

 

 

You say that as though Jesus was the only Essene. That he espoused and publicly taught the teachings of the Essenes made him unusual enough to build a religion around him?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


FathomFFI
TheistTroll
Posts: 90
Joined: 2008-05-15
User is offlineOffline
jcgadfly wrote:FathomFFI

jcgadfly wrote:
FathomFFI wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:
FathomFFI wrote:

But I did not say that dying for his beliefs were what made him unusual.

What made his historical life unusual (outside of people embellishing his life with fanciful events)?

Again, it really depends on what you accept as to what approximates the truth in regards to Jesus.

For example, I side with many scholars in regards to a document as having once existed known as the "Q Document."

The Q document derives it's name from the German word of "Quelle," which means "Source."

It is from this Q document where the Gospel writers began to embellish the life of Jesus, but the Q document itself was but a collection of the sayings and teachings of Jesus.

A half decent example of what a Q document may look like would be the Gospel of Thomas, which many scholars suggest to actually be older than the canon gospels.

But what I am saying is that the teachings of Jesus are what made him unusual. His teachings appear to be derived partly from the Essene school of thought, as well as his own interpretations of the Torah.

His teachings contradicted many of the teachings of the Pharisee and Sadducee school of thought, with the end result of Jesus being killed for his teachings because his teachings were getting quite popular.

 

 

You say that as though Jesus was the only Essene. That he espoused and publicly taught the teachings of the Essenes made him unusual enough to build a religion around him?

No no, that's not what I am saying. I said that the teachings of Jesus were "derived partly from the Essene school of thought, as well as his own interpretations of the Torah.

What he was essentially doing was creating a new school of thought by incorporating some of the teachings of the Essene with his own interpretations.
 

Permanently banned


Jerud1711
Theist
Posts: 44
Joined: 2008-05-24
User is offlineOffline
F.F. Bruce said Tacitus

F.F. Bruce said Tacitus probably received his report from an emperial record. For a full and scholarly treatment of the Tacitus passage, read The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ, by Gary Habermas.

He has a whole section of Tacitus.

Also, ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANICA  [1990] under the section "Jesus," says that Tacitus provides independent corroberation to Jesus' historicity. The encyclopedias are on Jesus' side. Check any encyclopedia.


FathomFFI
TheistTroll
Posts: 90
Joined: 2008-05-15
User is offlineOffline
Jerud1711 wrote:F.F. Bruce

Jerud1711 wrote:

F.F. Bruce said Tacitus probably received his report from an emperial record. For a full and scholarly treatment of the Tacitus passage, read The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ, by Gary Habermas.

He has a whole section of Tacitus.

Also, ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANICA  [1990] under the section "Jesus," says that Tacitus provides independent corroberation to Jesus' historicity. The encyclopedias are on Jesus' side. Check any encyclopedia.

I have read his argument and although I respect his work, his argument is rather weak. He doesn't detail much aside from making a couple of assertions, and offers little abductive reasoning to support them.

 

Permanently banned


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
Rook, comeback, this is

Rook, comeback, this is getting interesting again for us head scratchers. 

Reading some of the gnostic books, like Thomas, reinforced my feeling that an underlying style of a person, we call Jesus did exist. I feel a personal style ....?  ?

But the over riding Jesus of the bible NT cannon is so varied, barrowed, re-invented, that we are closer to the truth by saying this cannon Jesus never existed as "summarized".  So in other words yes and no. After all isn't all religion evolution and connected to persons.

I also wonder about the eastern and Buddha philosophies having an effect on the ancient Jewish. There are basic similarities, but is that just the innate ways of humanity? Historical Buddha  ???   

Does 2+2 = 4 ?  Yes, and NO, not exactly says math !  

AM I GOD? ,  what is ininity ?

Help us simple farmers ?

   


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
Rook_Hawkins wrote:Why are

Rook_Hawkins wrote:

Why are we all taking this guy seriously again?

I think he's at the "chew toy" stage, so "seriously" might be an exaggeration.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


FathomFFI
TheistTroll
Posts: 90
Joined: 2008-05-15
User is offlineOffline
HisWillness

HisWillness wrote:

Rook_Hawkins wrote:

Why are we all taking this guy seriously again?

I think he's at the "chew toy" stage, so "seriously" might be an exaggeration.

While at FFI, I received a message regarding a thread at the Richard Dawkins website concerning this particular thread. Apparently, those who are there have provided an unbiased evaluation of Rook's and my arguments.

You and others may wish to see this unbiased evaluation at the following link:

http://richarddawkins.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=38435&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&start=250

 

 

Permanently banned


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
Nothing will be proved by

Nothing will be proved by arguing .....


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
FathomFFI wrote:HisWillness

FathomFFI wrote:

HisWillness wrote:

Rook_Hawkins wrote:

Why are we all taking this guy seriously again?

I think he's at the "chew toy" stage, so "seriously" might be an exaggeration.

While at FFI, I received a message regarding a thread at the Richard Dawkins website concerning this particular thread. Apparently, those who are there have provided an unbiased evaluation of Rook's and my arguments.

You and others may wish to see this unbiased evaluation at the following link:

http://richarddawkins.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=38435&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&start=250

 

 

Evaluation, maybe, but hardly unbiased.
The good folks at RD don't like the RRS (Dawkins himself has no problem with them). It appears the RRS is too confrontational to the theists. They (RRS) should just go along to get along, I guess - try not to make to many waves.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


FathomFFI
TheistTroll
Posts: 90
Joined: 2008-05-15
User is offlineOffline
jcgadfly wrote:FathomFFI

jcgadfly wrote:
FathomFFI wrote:

HisWillness wrote:

Rook_Hawkins wrote:

Why are we all taking this guy seriously again?

I think he's at the "chew toy" stage, so "seriously" might be an exaggeration.

While at FFI, I received a message regarding a thread at the Richard Dawkins website concerning this particular thread. Apparently, those who are there have provided an unbiased evaluation of Rook's and my arguments.

You and others may wish to see this unbiased evaluation at the following link:

http://richarddawkins.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=38435&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&start=250

 

 

Evaluation, maybe, but hardly unbiased. The good folks at RD don't like the RRS (Dawkins himself has no problem with them). It appears the RRS is too confrontational to the theists. They (RRS) should just go along to get along, I guess - try not to make to many waves.

Well, it is without doubt that from what I have seen and clearly demonstrated here so far, the RRS cannot be taken seriously with their views. I have nothing personal against anyone here, but it is very apparent that the RRS is exceptionally incapable of defending their arguments without resorting to methods in which they begin to troll their adversary. The lack of maturity I have seen from the RRS is very surprising indeed.

This website and its views are a massive disappointment for scholarship. Since the arguments so far posted by Rook have been exposed as strawman arguments, as well as a total travesty in scholarship, I will personally launch a vendetta against the views of this website which will be so far widespread across the net that you will not be able to go to any relative site without seeing scathing remarks against this one.

This website needs to be exposed for what it is, and what it is is a complete insult to intelligence. Incapable of rational response, the RRS certainly does not live up to its name, but instead insults such a name by making a complete mockery of it.

To prove my point, I hereby challenge all 3 members of the RRS staff to a debate of 3 vrs 1 (You vrs me) on the neutral forum at Faith Freedom International.  I give you a 3 vrs 1 advantage in an Exclusive Room at FFI to defend your position regarding whether or not Jesus is historically evidenced.

Let's see if the RRS has the intestinal fortitude to back up their claims while under the gun of fair moderation.

How do I know the RRS will avoid this challenge with more childish trolling techniques? That evidence is readily available in this thread.

Either face me there, or see me every where. And I will be every where.

 

 

 

 

 

Permanently banned


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
Why do you make this

Why do you make this challenge to me? Or are you just putting this out there in my reply?

All I said was that many of those on the RD forums are hardly unbiased towards the RRS (wanting them to be removed from existence, etc). Do you really hold that as an objective view?

Why do you want to have a discussion about a position you say is speculation on both sides of the coin? Are you holding out on me?

 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


FathomFFI
TheistTroll
Posts: 90
Joined: 2008-05-15
User is offlineOffline
jcgadfly wrote:Why do you

jcgadfly wrote:

Why do you want to have a discussion about a position you say is speculation on both sides of the coin? Are you holding out on me?

 

The point is not about any speculation of mine, but of exposing the arguments of the RRS for what they are; worthless.

 

In short, their arguments are strawman fallacies, and total inaccuracies, and I intend to expose them for precisely that.

Just as I have already done in this forum already.

Permanently banned


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
FathomFFI wrote:jcgadfly

FathomFFI wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Why do you want to have a discussion about a position you say is speculation on both sides of the coin? Are you holding out on me?

 

The point is not about any speculation of mine, but of exposing the arguments of the RRS for what they are; worthless.

 

In short, their arguments are strawman fallacies, and total inaccuracies, and I intend to expose them for precisely that.

Just as I have already done in this forum already.

So...

Your arguments are speculation (by your admission)

"My position is that there is no conclusive evidence about where Tacitus got his information from, but the argument that he got it from Roman records is a far better argument than what you've presented."

and Rook's arguments are speculation.

But your speculation holds value and his is worthless?

Why? I'm genuinely confused.

I also freely admit that I don't understand where your basing the call of strawman fallacy here.

Help?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
F...FFI -  Well, thanks for

F...FFI -  Well, thanks for your passion. All mentioning of RRS, or any atheist site, is helpful to crushing superstition. The more atheists the better, whether militant, mild, dumb, or smart. Good cops / bad cops slaying religion.   

Most everything thing I've read regarding ancient bible history, and especially Jesus,  is mostly a hypothesis, no matter how loud or dramatic it is presented. For me personally whether Jesus or Buddha historically existed makes no difference as to my simple message of "Oneness".  This takes zero knowledge of "history" scholarship.

 

 


FathomFFI
TheistTroll
Posts: 90
Joined: 2008-05-15
User is offlineOffline
jcgadfly wrote:FathomFFI

jcgadfly wrote:

FathomFFI wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Why do you want to have a discussion about a position you say is speculation on both sides of the coin? Are you holding out on me?

 

The point is not about any speculation of mine, but of exposing the arguments of the RRS for what they are; worthless.

 

In short, their arguments are strawman fallacies, and total inaccuracies, and I intend to expose them for precisely that.

Just as I have already done in this forum already.

So...

Your arguments are speculation (by your admission)

"My position is that there is no conclusive evidence about where Tacitus got his information from, but the argument that he got it from Roman records is a far better argument than what you've presented."

and Rook's arguments are speculation.

But your speculation holds value and his is worthless?

Why? I'm genuinely confused.

I also freely admit that I don't understand where your basing the call of strawman fallacy here.

Help?

I don't blame you for being confused, after all, you are a financial supporter of this website, and therefore one who subscribes to their views, which in turn disables you in demonstrating clarity in understanding an argument.

Your response above proves my point, not only to me, but to anyone who reads this. And be assured, this thread is being read, and will continue to increase in readership, by hundreds of people, if not thousands.

Therefore, more power to you if you choose to present yourself in such manner. It only works splendidly for me in furthering my point.

 

 

 

Permanently banned


FathomFFI
TheistTroll
Posts: 90
Joined: 2008-05-15
User is offlineOffline
Rook_Hawkins wrote:ARE THERE

Rook_Hawkins wrote:
ARE THERE PEOPLE WHO DISAGREE WITH THE MYTHICIST POSITION?

Yes.

WOULD YOU DEBATE THEM?

Anytime

Let's see it Rook.

Let's see your stellar arguments.

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/rook_hawkins/the_jesus_mythicist_campaign/2888

Permanently banned


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
FathomFFI wrote:jcgadfly

FathomFFI wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

FathomFFI wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Why do you want to have a discussion about a position you say is speculation on both sides of the coin? Are you holding out on me?

 

The point is not about any speculation of mine, but of exposing the arguments of the RRS for what they are; worthless.

 

In short, their arguments are strawman fallacies, and total inaccuracies, and I intend to expose them for precisely that.

Just as I have already done in this forum already.

So...

Your arguments are speculation (by your admission)

"My position is that there is no conclusive evidence about where Tacitus got his information from, but the argument that he got it from Roman records is a far better argument than what you've presented."

and Rook's arguments are speculation.

But your speculation holds value and his is worthless?

Why? I'm genuinely confused.

I also freely admit that I don't understand where your basing the call of strawman fallacy here.

Help?

I don't blame you for being confused, after all, you are a financial supporter of this website, and therefore one who subscribes to their views, which in turn disables you in demonstrating clarity in understanding an argument.

Your response above proves my point, not only to me, but to anyone who reads this. And be assured, this thread is being read, and will continue to increase in readership, by hundreds of people, if not thousands.

Therefore, more power to you if you choose to present yourself in such manner. It only works splendidly for me in furthering my point.

 

 

 

 

I haven't been a supporter for a while - for some reason they haven't taken off the bronze tag. I agree with some of what they say but not all of it. Hell, I agree with some of what you say (I'm not a mythicist - there probably was a Jesus. This Jesus was not the son of Yahweh put forth in the Bible). See, that's the beauty of being an atheist human - I don't have to agree with everything except that there is no evidence for a god.

All I said was that I haven't seen an argument from you - just speculation.You admit that much yourself. You admitted that you won't post an argument because you figure Rook would just ignore it.

Is there any particular reason you decided to attack me instead of taking on my questions? Or did you just want to be an asshole to Rook at my expense?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


FathomFFI
TheistTroll
Posts: 90
Joined: 2008-05-15
User is offlineOffline
jcgadfly wrote:Is there any

jcgadfly wrote:

Is there any particular reason you decided to attack me instead of taking on my questions? Or did you just want to be an asshole to Rook at my expense?

Your questions ignored previous answers as if I hadn't even stated them. This behavior is typical of what has been demonstrated by Rook and others here at RRS, and therefore you placed yourself in their camp by doing the very same thing.

For example, you stated the following ....

Quote:

Your arguments are speculation (by your admission)

"My position is that there is no conclusive evidence about where Tacitus got his information from, but the argument that he got it from Roman records is a far better argument than what you've presented."

and Rook's arguments are speculation.

But your speculation holds value and his is worthless?

... while ignoring my previous statement of ...

Quote:
The point is not about any speculation of mine, but of exposing the arguments of the RRS for what they are; worthless.

You have also demonstrated either an unwillingness or lack of ability in understanding my clear statements, evidenced by the following quotes:

FathomFFI wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:
FathomFFI wrote:

But what I am doing is totally removing any religion at all, and showing a historical account of an unusual man who died for what he believed in.  

Dying for one's beliefs doesn't make one unusual. People have done it for thousands of years.

But I did not say that dying for his beliefs were what made him unusual.

 

The type of behavior above places you in suspicion of your motives, and therefore justifies my comments regarding you.

If you are going to behave like that, then you will be viewed in the same manner as Rook and the others.

 

 

 

 

Permanently banned


FathomFFI
TheistTroll
Posts: 90
Joined: 2008-05-15
User is offlineOffline
And so the exposure of RRS

Permanently banned


Rook_Hawkins
RRS CO-FOUNDER
Rook_Hawkins's picture
Posts: 1322
Joined: 2006-02-11
User is offlineOffline
FathomFFI wrote:Rook_Hawkins

FathomFFI wrote:

Rook_Hawkins wrote:
ARE THERE PEOPLE WHO DISAGREE WITH THE MYTHICIST POSITION?

Yes.

WOULD YOU DEBATE THEM?

Anytime

Let's see it Rook.

Let's see your stellar arguments.

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/rook_hawkins/the_jesus_mythicist_campaign/2888

You haven't presented anything to debate yet.  All you have proved is your ability to talk endless about nothing, that you have no point, and that you can only attack me personally without discussing any other issues.  So if you have some sort of argument to present that would show that Tacitus is a trustworthy source of information, that you can show that he used Roman documents when discussing Jesus, then present them.  Otherwise, you are not presenting an argument at all, save an argument from ignorance.  And worse yet, as I've shown countless times in this thread, you're shifting goal posts.

But I've already exposed you on that.  Not to mention, I've exposed you as a liar and you've exposed yourself as nothing but a child who has intentions of making the RRS seem worthless.  You've outed yourself as an unbias source.  You'll have this embarrassment on your head.  I will not be phased by this, and the people who will care about it are not going to be important enough for me to sweat over.

 

Regards.

Atheist Books, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server, which houses Celebrity Atheists. Books by Rook Hawkins (Thomas Verenna)


FathomFFI
TheistTroll
Posts: 90
Joined: 2008-05-15
User is offlineOffline
Rook_Hawkins wrote:FathomFFI

Rook_Hawkins wrote:

FathomFFI wrote:

Rook_Hawkins wrote:
ARE THERE PEOPLE WHO DISAGREE WITH THE MYTHICIST POSITION?

Yes.

WOULD YOU DEBATE THEM?

Anytime

Let's see it Rook.

Let's see your stellar arguments.

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/rook_hawkins/the_jesus_mythicist_campaign/2888

You haven't presented anything to debate yet.  All you have proved is your ability to talk endless about nothing, that you have no point, and that you can only attack me personally without discussing any other issues.  So if you have some sort of argument to present that would show that Tacitus is a trustworthy source of information, that you can show that he used Roman documents when discussing Jesus, then present them.  Otherwise, you are not presenting an argument at all, save an argument from ignorance.  And worse yet, as I've shown countless times in this thread, you're shifting goal posts.

But I've already exposed you on that.  Not to mention, I've exposed you as a liar and you've exposed yourself as nothing but a child who has intentions of making the RRS seem worthless.  You've outed yourself as an unbias source.  You'll have this embarrassment on your head.  I will not be phased by this, and the people who will care about it are not going to be important enough for me to sweat over.

 

Regards.

You statement above has conclusively been proven as untrue by the very contents of this topic.

Your arguments have been completely wrecked in this topic so far, and you have been exposed as avoiding my points by using the cheap tactic of attempting to claim that I said nothing at all.

You position on Tacitus has not only been thoroughly refuted, but rendered as being nothing short of ridiculous. Your claim about Tacitus receiving his information from Pliny has been turned completely around on you, and supported with facts verses your assertions. Your claim that the word "superstition" somehow validates your claim that Tacitus received his info from Pliny has been demonstrated as absolutely false when faced with factual evidence in opposition.

All of the above has been verified in this very thread, therefore, your claim that I haven't presented anything to debate yet is proven to be a false claim indeed.

Therefore, your pretense is glaringly obvious, as your position has been exposed as one which lacks any true scholarship, or any sign of serious historical investigation.

In short, you've handedly lost this debate and are doing everything in your power to discredit it. But the thread speaks for itself, and the verdict from the Richard Dawkin's website is in.

You've lost, and in fine fashion.

So go ahead and deny the things written in this thread as if they don't exist. You will only insult yourself even more, while the readers of this thread will judge you for what had been proven about you.

You are not a scholar, nor are you any expert historian whatsoever. And all the books you could write will never change that fact. This has been conclusively proven in this thread, as you were incapable of defending your position with any degree of education and rational thought whatsoever.

 

Regards.

 

PS: The media has been alerted. Let's see what happens now.

 

 

 

 

 

Permanently banned


Watcher
atheist
Posts: 2326
Joined: 2007-07-10
User is offlineOffline
FathomFFI wrote:You and

FathomFFI wrote:

You and others may wish to see this unbiased evaluation at the following link:

http://richarddawkins.net... 

Unbiased?  That is rather amusing.  I was banned from RD.net for asking someone if they were displaying their "normal distasteful personality" after my initial post of defending the RRS.  No warning.  No explaination.  I was then mischaracterized by the RD.net mod Richard Prins as continuing to "attack/insult" people even though that was the worst thing I said about anyone.

You won't find that kind of hair trigger, irrational behavior here.  If our roles were reversed, Fathom, and I was playing the opposite stance on RD.net I would have been banned 49 posts earlier than your current post count. 

Yet here you sit. 

Not being censored. 

Still allowed to post your viewpoints and your opinions. 

But on the RD forums you will not be allowed that kind of dissent.

I feel ashamed that such a good man is represented by such a pisspoor forum.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


FathomFFI
TheistTroll
Posts: 90
Joined: 2008-05-15
User is offlineOffline
Watcher wrote:FathomFFI

Watcher wrote:

FathomFFI wrote:

You and others may wish to see this unbiased evaluation at the following link:

http://richarddawkins.net... 

Unbiased?  That is rather amusing.  I was banned from RD.net for asking someone if they were displaying their "normal distasteful personality" after my initial post of defending the RRS.  No warning.  No explaination.  I was then mischaracterized by the RD.net mod Richard Prins as continuing to "attack/insult" people even though that was the worst thing I said about anyone.

You won't find that kind of hair trigger, irrational behavior here.  If our roles were reversed, Fathom, and I was playing the opposite stance on RD.net I would have been banned 49 posts earlier than your current post count. 

Yet here you sit. 

Not being censored. 

Still allowed to post your viewpoints and your opinions. 

But on the RD forums you will not be allowed that kind of dissent.

I feel ashamed that such a good man is represented by such a pisspoor forum.

You certainly have the right to voice your opinion, but I am not actually a member of that forum. Yet, your experience with the moderators there does not negate the comments of the posters regarding this debate. It does not change the fact that their comments have nothing to do with your claim of biasness due to your treatment by the moderators at the RD.net website.

The moderators and the posters there are two different entities, and many of the posters there expressed that they had nothing against Rook personally, and then expressed their views on his arguments.

I am sorry you had a bad experience at RD.net, but that has nothing to do with your claim that the posters there were biased, when evidence from that thread shows the opposite.

 

 

 

 

 

Permanently banned


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
RRS is not the founders is

RRS is not the founders is the point , I AM RRS too ..... therefore you insulted me F FFI

    I love you more ! Me RRS


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
I know this was directed at

I know this was directed at Rook, but I honestly think you've gone off the deep end at this point.

FathomFFI wrote:
You are not a scholar, nor are you any expert historian whatsoever. And all the books you could write will never change that fact. This has been conclusively proven in this thread, as you were incapable of defending your position with any degree of education and rational thought whatsoever.

Can we sum up? You don't think Rook's a scholar or an "expert historian" (whatever that is). Rook agrees. He'd have to be doing graduate work at a university to be considered a "scholar". Not that it matters much, to be honest, since his argument is interesting. The most common ad hominem attack against Rook is that he's not a scholar. Of course, it never seems to be levelled at him by professors or people familiar with the material he's studying.

We all agree that Tacitus is not only a dubious source, but also did not (or could not) cite his sources. From the historical perspective, that damages the credibility of what he says. Certainly you have evidence that there was a Cult of Christus. What you do not have evidence for is the man. There could have been an actual Mithras as well, but it's unlikely. Those statements aren't wacky or out-there to real scholars. I know a few who specialize in Latin texts, and basically, you have to take them with a grain of salt. That's all there is to it. There's no earth-shattering concept in any of that.

FathomFFI wrote:
PS: The media has been alerted. Let's see what happens now.

I really can't imagine what you're talking about. Which media have you alerted?

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


Watcher
atheist
Posts: 2326
Joined: 2007-07-10
User is offlineOffline
FathomFFI wrote:You

FathomFFI wrote:

You certainly have the right to voice your opinion, but I am not actually a member of that forum. Yet, your experience with the moderators there does not negate the comments of the posters regarding this debate. It does not change the fact that their comments have nothing to do with your claim of biasness due to your treatment by the moderators at the RD.net website.

The moderators and the posters there are two different entities, and many of the posters there expressed that they had nothing against Rook personally, and then expressed their views on his arguments.

I am sorry you had a bad experience at RD.net, but that has nothing to do with your claim that the posters there were biased, when evidence from that thread shows the opposite.

RD.net forums cannot be trusted to contain  an unbiased debate of this manner.  Anyone that sides on an RRS members side will have their posts deleted and will be banned.  If you want to read one side of the debate, then by all means, go there.  However, you cannot say that you can get an unbiased reflection of debate there.  The thread will most likely have been "sanitized" of dissenting opinions.

I have no opinion on the core topic of this discussion on whether the biblical stories were based on a real individual or on simply nothing more than fiction.

However RD.net is not a place that I would trust to read a good "back and forth" discussion on it.  Especially when one side is represented by a core RRS member.  Please give us a third link to neither the RRS or RD.net forums for people discussing the matter.  RD.net forum has proven that it is heavily biased and not to be trusted for any serious debate.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


FathomFFI
TheistTroll
Posts: 90
Joined: 2008-05-15
User is offlineOffline
Watcher wrote:FathomFFI

Watcher wrote:

FathomFFI wrote:

You certainly have the right to voice your opinion, but I am not actually a member of that forum. Yet, your experience with the moderators there does not negate the comments of the posters regarding this debate. It does not change the fact that their comments have nothing to do with your claim of biasness due to your treatment by the moderators at the RD.net website.

The moderators and the posters there are two different entities, and many of the posters there expressed that they had nothing against Rook personally, and then expressed their views on his arguments.

I am sorry you had a bad experience at RD.net, but that has nothing to do with your claim that the posters there were biased, when evidence from that thread shows the opposite.

RD.net forums cannot be trusted to contain  an unbiased debate of this manner.  Anyone that sides on an RRS members side will have their posts deleted and will be banned.  If you want to read one side of the debate, then by all means, go there.  However, you cannot say that you can get an unbiased reflection of debate there.  The thread will most likely have been "sanitized" of dissenting opinions.

I have no opinion on the core topic of this discussion on whether biblical the stories were based on a real individual or on simply nothing more than fiction.

However RD.net is not a place that I would trust to read a good "back and forth" discussion on it.  Especially when one side is represented by a core RRS member.  Please give us a third link to neither the RRS or RD.net forums for people discussing the matter.  RD.net forum has proven that it is heavily biased and not to be trusted for any serious debate.

 

I find no evidence on the RD.net website to support your claim. In fact, I find evidence there to dispute your claim.

 

Quote:
I actually thought Rook showed maturity and good sense. He admitted he had been wrong, and said his position had since been modified, and was actually rather calm and collected in the face of Fantom who was indeed correct. I have challenged Rook to a debate on the Christ Myth hypothesis on this forum, and rather look forward to the day when it occurs (we have agreed to it, we simply need for him to have time in his schedule) but as I have said before I think Rook learns and openly repudiates and accepts his errors when he makes them. I hope I can do the same graciously, and that we all can.

http://richarddawkins.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=920397#p920397

 

Quote:
I agree, Rook did indeed show some integrity about it, yet for some reason he has not edited the post where he was mistaken at the AN and corrected his mistake. He really should, since it keeps him in the wrong any time anyone reads it.

http://richarddawkins.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=920400#p920400

Quote:
I like the RRS. I post on their message board regularly. I don't think people should be worried about how they "represent" atheism, since atheism has no representatives. In fact, they are quick to point this out themselves whenever it's brought up in interviews.

They actually have some great articles on their site, particularly those written by these users:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/compi ... deludedgod

http://www.rationalresponders.com/compi ... m_todangst

http://richarddawkins.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=919715#p919715

 

Those are from just a quick glance at a thread created to discredit the RRS. As you can see, the posters defended both Rook and the RRS, and those posters are not banned at all. There are dozens more there, so I cannot accept you statement that if anyone defends Rook or the RRS will be banned, as the evidence contradicts you.

 

Permanently banned


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
Geeezz , what's the point ?

Geeezz , what's the point ? Can I cuss now ?  So Watcher is a lier ?  Is everyone FUCKING NUTS ?   ..... YUP, just admit it !     


aiia
Superfan
aiia's picture
Posts: 1923
Joined: 2006-09-12
User is offlineOffline
FathomFFI wrote:Perhaps you

FathomFFI wrote:

Perhaps you have mistaken me for a Christian. I do not accept the resurrection story, or anything else that is too fantastic to believe. I am not religious at all.

 

Then what are you?

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


Kevin R Brown
Superfan
Kevin R Brown's picture
Posts: 3142
Joined: 2007-06-24
User is offlineOffline
Fathom,Do you have, like, an

Fathom,

Do you have, like, an actual point? Or is this just an extended session of mental masturbation?

'At some point in time, maybe there was a guy named Jesus, and maybe he was cucified.'

 

Oh. Woah.

Talk about overturning Jesus mysticism. Even if your assertion were proved correct, and Tacitus really was recounting an actual excution, it would be totally irrelevent. Essentially, according to you, we should then feel free to 'wiggle around' the story of Jesus until it can fit into our world.

Couldn't have been born of a virgin?

Wasn't terribly likely to have been pointed-out by angels?

Unlikely that he walked on water or raised the dead?

'Well, that stuff's all just made-up. But I'm pretty sure there was still a dude named Jesus!'

This is, at best, a nitpicky academic pissing match. Whether or not there was a jew named Jesus who was executed on the cross (the the evidence largely views Tacitus's account as fuzzy at best), we know that:

 - The Biblical accounts are ficticious

 - He wasn't the son of God, because

 - God doesn't exist

 - He couldn't perform magic tricks, and wasn't particularly special or popular

 

You're asserting that Tacitus's account was factual and accurate, and that Jesus Christ, son of Mary and Joseph, existed. What evidence do you base those claims on? And what relevence do you propose that holds in terms of practical application outside of pure academia?

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


FathomFFI
TheistTroll
Posts: 90
Joined: 2008-05-15
User is offlineOffline
I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:Geeezz

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

Geeezz , what's the point ? Can I cuss now ?  So Watcher is a lier ?  Is everyone FUCKING NUTS ?   ..... YUP, just admit it !     

No, he's not a liar, just inaccurate. I happen to be the type of person who thoroughly investigates claims, and have been doing it for many years. The point is to correct an inaccuracy, not to make anyone a liar.

Permanently banned


FathomFFI
TheistTroll
Posts: 90
Joined: 2008-05-15
User is offlineOffline
Kevin R Brown

Kevin R Brown wrote:

Fathom,

Do you have, like, an actual point? Or is this just an extended session of mental masturbation?

'At some point in time, maybe there was a guy named Jesus, and maybe he was cucified.'

 

Oh. Woah.

Talk about overturning Jesus mysticism. Even if your assertion were proved correct, and Tacitus really was recounting an actual excution, it would be totally irrelevent. Essentially, according to you, we should then feel free to 'wiggle around' the story of Jesus until it can fit into our world.

Couldn't have been born of a virgin?

Wasn't terribly likely to have been pointed-out by angels?

Unlikely that he walked on water or raised the dead?

'Well, that stuff's all just made-up. But I'm pretty sure there was still a dude named Jesus!'

This is, at best, a nitpicky academic pissing match. Whether or not there was a jew named Jesus who was executed on the cross (the the evidence largely views Tacitus's account as fuzzy at best), we know that:

 - The Biblical accounts are ficticious

 - He wasn't the son of God, because

 - God doesn't exist

 - He couldn't perform magic tricks, and wasn't particularly special or popular

 

You're asserting that Tacitus's account was factual and accurate, and that Jesus Christ, son of Mary and Joseph, existed. What evidence do you base those claims on? And what relevence do you propose that holds in terms of practical application outside of pure academia?

You failed to address the point of this topic, which was Rook's assertions on the Tacitus text, and my refutation of his argument.

That's the focus here.

 

 

Permanently banned


FathomFFI
TheistTroll
Posts: 90
Joined: 2008-05-15
User is offlineOffline
aiia wrote:FathomFFI

aiia wrote:

FathomFFI wrote:

Perhaps you have mistaken me for a Christian. I do not accept the resurrection story, or anything else that is too fantastic to believe. I am not religious at all.

 

Then what are you?

Agnostic, along the same lines as Dawkins.

 

Permanently banned


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
Cool, Let's keep the focus

Cool, Let's keep the focus on "saving" the religious .... as meaning defeating superstition, Jesus or not ???  .....  is an exorcise in interpreting history. I wouldn't let it get under your skin .... Let's party !    


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
FathomFFI wrote:You [Kevin]

FathomFFI wrote:

You [Kevin] failed to address the point of this topic, which was Rook's assertions on the Tacitus text, and my refutation of his argument.

That's the focus here. 

But both you and Rook agree that Tacitus did not cite a source, and that what he records is suspect. I'm having a hard time seeing that as a refutation of Rook's argument.

Look, I'm not saying that Tacitus isn't taken seriously, it's just that he's taken seriously because he has so few peers! If there were multiple accounts of that period of time, all referring the famous rabbi Jesus, none of us would have a problem saying that there was probably such a person. But there aren't multiple accounts, and a fair amount of material in Latin survives from that period. (Not a lot, mind you, but enough so that you might have a couple of people mentioning a man who performed miracles.)

I still can't understand why Rook's argument is so radical in your view.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


Kevin R Brown
Superfan
Kevin R Brown's picture
Posts: 3142
Joined: 2007-06-24
User is offlineOffline
FathomFFI wrote:Kevin R

FathomFFI wrote:

Kevin R Brown wrote:

Fathom,

Do you have, like, an actual point? Or is this just an extended session of mental masturbation?

'At some point in time, maybe there was a guy named Jesus, and maybe he was cucified.'

 

Oh. Woah.

Talk about overturning Jesus mysticism. Even if your assertion were proved correct, and Tacitus really was recounting an actual excution, it would be totally irrelevent. Essentially, according to you, we should then feel free to 'wiggle around' the story of Jesus until it can fit into our world.

Couldn't have been born of a virgin?

Wasn't terribly likely to have been pointed-out by angels?

Unlikely that he walked on water or raised the dead?

'Well, that stuff's all just made-up. But I'm pretty sure there was still a dude named Jesus!'

This is, at best, a nitpicky academic pissing match. Whether or not there was a jew named Jesus who was executed on the cross (the the evidence largely views Tacitus's account as fuzzy at best), we know that:

 - The Biblical accounts are ficticious

 - He wasn't the son of God, because

 - God doesn't exist

 - He couldn't perform magic tricks, and wasn't particularly special or popular

 

You're asserting that Tacitus's account was factual and accurate, and that Jesus Christ, son of Mary and Joseph, existed. What evidence do you base those claims on? And what relevence do you propose that holds in terms of practical application outside of pure academia?

You failed to address the point of this topic, which was Rook's assertions on the Tacitus text, and my refutation of his argument.

That's the focus here.

 

 

And you failed to answer my questions, douche.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


Watcher
atheist
Posts: 2326
Joined: 2007-07-10
User is offlineOffline
FathomFFI wrote:Those are

FathomFFI wrote:

Those are from just a quick glance at a thread created to discredit the RRS. As you can see, the posters defended both Rook and the RRS, and those posters are not banned at all. There are dozens more there, so I cannot accept you statement that if anyone defends Rook or the RRS will be banned, as the evidence contradicts you.

Well speaking as someone that has had knockdown dragout fights with both Rook and Sapient and not been penalized in the slightest but still accepted as one of the gang, but has also been perma banned for simply voicing disagreement on RD.net I cannot accept your statement that RD.net is unbiased.

Maybe my arguments for the defense of RRS were just a tad too sharp for Richard Prins to handle.  Or maybe he was having a bad week.  But he squished my dissenting voice very efficently.  And had to manufacture reasons for why I was banned.  So maybe my views of RD.net forum is soured by that one invidividual.  However, either Prins gets around or I'm a normal case.  Because I'm not an unusual story with my experiences on the RD forums.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


FathomFFI
TheistTroll
Posts: 90
Joined: 2008-05-15
User is offlineOffline
I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:Cool,

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

Cool, Let's keep the focus on "saving" the religious .... as meaning defeating superstition, Jesus or not ???  .....  is an exorcise in interpreting history. I wouldn't let it get under your skin .... Let's party !    

Now that is the proper attitude.

My entire point here initially was not to attack Rook or the RRS, but to take Rook's arguments apart and show him what was wrong with them. I did not come here with a "Jesus existed, and that's that" attitude, but with the intent of helping Rook to be more accurate in his work.

Instead, Rook immediately took offense to my arguments against his assertions, and refused to address the evidence I supplied which, without any doubt, refuted his assertions of the Tacitus text.

Would you people rather see Rook's book go into print with those arguments he has, and watch how he gets totally ridiculed? If all it takes is an anonymous person like myself to wreck his argument on Tacitus, what do you think will happen to him if his book goes mainstream and under the scrutiny of those more knowledgeable than myself?

If any of you really care about Rook, you will talk some sense to him. He needs to have that chip knocked off his shoulder and brought down to earth NOW, rather than have it done later by people far more advanced in knowledge than himself or myself.

Do not defend him just because he's "Rook_Hawkins," for the best defense you can give him is encouraging him to deal with criticism maturely, and to recognize his error for the sake of correction.

If you do nothing, then that shows how little you cared about him, doesn't it?

 

 

 

Permanently banned


FathomFFI
TheistTroll
Posts: 90
Joined: 2008-05-15
User is offlineOffline
Kevin R Brown wrote: And

Kevin R Brown wrote:

And you failed to answer my questions, douche.

How am I obligated to answer questions which are non sequitur to the topic? Since you can't even stay on topic, what could convince me that you could provide any kind of coherent dialog?

Permanently banned


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
FathomFFI wrote:Instead,

FathomFFI wrote:

Instead, Rook immediately took offense to my arguments against his assertions, and refused to address the evidence I supplied which, without any doubt, refuted his assertions of the Tacitus text.

This is getting ridiculous now. Your arguments against his assertions were nothing but cutesy logical dancing. To recap, the statement you find so abusive to scholarly sensibilities:

Rook wrote:
(1) It is extremely improbable that a special report found by Tacitus had been sent earlier to Rome and incorporated into the records of the Senate, in regard to the death of a Jewish provincial, Jesus. The execution of a Nazareth carpenter would have been one of the most insignificant events conceivable among the movements of Roman history in those decades; it would have completely disappeared beneath the innumerable executions inflicted by Roman provincial authorities. For it to have been kept in any report would have been a most remarkable instance of chance.

It's a completely reasonable statement to say that should Jesus have existed, it would have been very unusual that he show up in Roman records. That's all that's being said here, and you've turned it into a circus. Notice how many times the phrase "would have" appears in the paragraph to give you an idea that Rook's implying a hypothetical situation.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
FathomFFI wrote:I AM GOD AS

FathomFFI wrote:

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

Cool, Let's keep the focus on "saving" the religious .... as meaning defeating superstition, Jesus or not ???  .....  is an exorcise in interpreting history. I wouldn't let it get under your skin .... Let's party !    

Not that is the proper attitude.

My entire point here initially was not to attack Rook or the RRS, but to take Rook's arguments apart and show him what was wrong with them. I did not come here with a "Jesus existed, and that's that" attitude, but with the intent of helping Rook to be more accurate in his work.

Instead, Rook immediately took offense to my arguments against his assertions, and refused to address the evidence I supplied which, without any doubt, refuted his assertions of the Tacitus text.

Would you people rather see Rook's book go into print with those arguments he has, and watch how he gets totally ridiculed? If all it takes is an anonymous person like myself to wreck his argument on Tacitus, what do you think will happen to him if his book goes mainstream and under the scrutiny of those more knowledgeable than myself?

If any of you really care about Rook, you will talk some sense to him. He needs to have that chip knocked off his shoulder and brought down to earth NOW, rather than have it done later by people far more advanced in knowledge than himself or myself.

Do not defend him just because he's "Rook_Hawkins," for the best defense you can give him is encouraging him to deal with criticism maturely, and to recognize his error for the sake of correction.

If you do nothing, then that shows how little you cared about him, doesn't it?

 

 

 

 I call all of this history in the making , and welcome all of the passion. That bible saying "I have not come to bring peace , but a SWORD ! yeah, and so I thank you FFI and Rook !  (((( We are ONE ! 


FathomFFI
TheistTroll
Posts: 90
Joined: 2008-05-15
User is offlineOffline
HisWillness wrote:FathomFFI

HisWillness wrote:

FathomFFI wrote:

Instead, Rook immediately took offense to my arguments against his assertions, and refused to address the evidence I supplied which, without any doubt, refuted his assertions of the Tacitus text.

This is getting ridiculous now. Your arguments against his assertions were nothing but cutesy logical dancing. To recap, the statement you find so abusive to scholarly sensibilities:

Rook wrote:
(1) It is extremely improbable that a special report found by Tacitus had been sent earlier to Rome and incorporated into the records of the Senate, in regard to the death of a Jewish provincial, Jesus. The execution of a Nazareth carpenter would have been one of the most insignificant events conceivable among the movements of Roman history in those decades; it would have completely disappeared beneath the innumerable executions inflicted by Roman provincial authorities. For it to have been kept in any report would have been a most remarkable instance of chance.

It's a completely reasonable statement to say that should Jesus have existed, it would have been very unusual that he show up in Roman records. That's all that's being said here, and you've turned it into a circus. Notice how many times the phrase "would have" appears in the paragraph to give you an idea that Rook's implying a hypothetical situation.

When investigating claims, questions must be asked, and answers given.

For example:

Q: Why would it be unusual that a record of the crucifixion show up in Roman records? What evidence do you present to support this assertion?

As you can see, by merely asking a question the person who made the assertion above has assumed a burden of proof, for now he must show just cause as to why it would be unusual for the Roman's to have received a record of the crucifixion of Jesus. Until he can show evidence to support his assertion, then his assertion is worthless.

He is asserting that it is unlikely that the Romans would have received a report regarding the crucifixion of Jesus, but offering no documented evidence as to why not.

Therefore, his assertion is meaningless, and without support. Because of this, it is not evidence against the claim of the Tacitus text being valid, and is therefore dismissed.

 

 

Permanently banned


aiia
Superfan
aiia's picture
Posts: 1923
Joined: 2006-09-12
User is offlineOffline
FathomFFI wrote:aiia

FathomFFI wrote:

aiia wrote:

FathomFFI wrote:

Perhaps you have mistaken me for a Christian. I do not accept the resurrection story, or anything else that is too fantastic to believe. I am not religious at all.

 

Then what are you?

Agnostic, along the same lines as Dawkins.

 

Yes I believe you are agnostic. In other words you're admitting you don't know anything, right?

But what is your religion? Agnostic WHAT?

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


Rook_Hawkins
RRS CO-FOUNDER
Rook_Hawkins's picture
Posts: 1322
Joined: 2006-02-11
User is offlineOffline
HisWillness wrote:FathomFFI

HisWillness wrote:

FathomFFI wrote:

You [Kevin] failed to address the point of this topic, which was Rook's assertions on the Tacitus text, and my refutation of his argument.

That's the focus here. 

But both you and Rook agree that Tacitus did not cite a source, and that what he records is suspect. I'm having a hard time seeing that as a refutation of Rook's argument.

Look, I'm not saying that Tacitus isn't taken seriously, it's just that he's taken seriously because he has so few peers! If there were multiple accounts of that period of time, all referring the famous rabbi Jesus, none of us would have a problem saying that there was probably such a person. But there aren't multiple accounts, and a fair amount of material in Latin survives from that period. (Not a lot, mind you, but enough so that you might have a couple of people mentioning a man who performed miracles.)

I still can't understand why Rook's argument is so radical in your view.

Will, as always you sum up the discussion expertly, as if you had somehow been a mediator in over a hundred divorce cases.  I appreciate your understanding of where I am coming from in this matter.

It isn't even that we have Tacitus, it's the fact that in every instance we have a source discuss Jesus, it is different, in a new way, never the same at any time.  The fact that Jesus is thrown into history in three places--(1) during the reign of Alexander Jennaeus, (2) Herod Antipas (in one instance he is killed under Herod, and in Matthew and Luke he is born during different periods around Herod, oddly in the case of Luke, Herod is already dead at this point if we consider that Luke is attempting to suggest a census was happening at this point which would have been around 6 CE not 4 BCE - a difference of almost a decade), (3) Pontius Pilate--several of these references are Talmudic, one is in Epiphanaeus, two are in the Gospels, one of which is earlier than Tacitus.  The problem is that this is exactly the sort of thing you see when somebody takes a fictional, literary event, like the Trojan War or some provisional Roman prefect named Aurthur, and attempts to place it into history. 

What it comes down to is relevance.  The question is, why are we taking for granted the historicity of Jesus, assuming his historical existence, when it is so clearly evident just from studying the genre of the gospels (they are not, as Talbert proposed, biographies; rather the gospels are the genre of Hellenistic Jewish fiction) that Jesus is a literary archetype.  Even his death serves a purpose in the narrative.  The Jesus of the Gospels, the only Jesus the Christians in Tacitus' discussion knew of (and no other, and no evidence can be presented otherwise), is the new David. 

(I must apologize right now if these allusions come off haphazard, as I am pressed for time, and all of these allusions will be applied to criteria in my book at great length; consider this the abridged "forum" version)

Just as David has sinned, so had Jesus here and there throughout the Gospel of Mark; and not only these incidents, also at his death, itself a sin according to Deuteronomist traditions.  Mark was writing after the fall of the temple, where hundreds of Jews were being crucified outside the city of Jerusalem during the siege (if Josephus can be believed or if he is just exaggerating the numbers), and Mark, a brother of Christ, would have been more then aware of the sin, that being hung on a tree (literally, the manner in which Luke uses to describe the crucifixion of Jesus) was an abomination to the Lord.  But Paul's theology of the resurrection and forgiveness of sins countered temple law, and Mark used this theme to incorporate Jesus as David for his generation.  David had sinned against the Lord, and the Lord sent a plague, which killed 70,000.  David was so upset at this he said, "Behold, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly. But these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand be against me and against my father’s house." (2 Sam. 24:17)  Jesus' death, for Mark, is the representation of the hope of the resurrection which Mark understands from Pauline theology and the theology of the early Christians (whoever they were), and from whence Paul converted into.  Opposite of the Lord staying his hand in Samuel, sparing David and Jerusalem from the plague, no such event occurred in 70 CE.  The Roman attack was vicious and devastating.  However, to Mark, Jesus had already taken care of it all.  As discussed in Paul (see my related blog article; On Paul and Identity - the whole thing please)  the heavenly rulers (archons) killed Jesus, and when he resurrected, so were all those who had been awakened to the knowledge Jesus imparted.  There was a literal and metaphorical death, as well as birth, and for Mark, those who had perished in Jerusalem were reborn - this was the ultimate plan of God. 

Like I said this is the short, abridged version.  It is truly more elaborate, more evidenced.  This just explains the perspective I'm getting across.  The second we start assuming the Tacitus account is acceptable evidence is the second we start falling into the failures of the historical Jesus quests.  Instead of separating the kerygma of Jesus from the "historical" aspects of the gospels--whatever they are--we are circularly following them.  The Jesus in Tacitus is the kerygmatic Jesus of Luke, of Tertullian, of Eusebius.  He is not separated from the Gospels.  He is one and the same. 

In any event, my regards.

 

*edit* This is from an endnote of an old article I wrote.  This should have some bearing on my kerygma argument.

------------

It is interesting that the quest admits to the existence of mythmaking and kerygma but fails to realize that the same kerygma—or perhaps other strands or types of kerygmatic thought—exists in various Christian communities, in which that same kerygma would have influenced Tacitus’ understanding of the Jesus legend as it was recounted to him by others.  Or to put it simpler, Tacitus was recounting the kerygma the quest is trying to remove.  By falling back on Tacitus as a source to prove a historical event, (1) the historical Jesus scholar allows much more time for this kerygma to develop and (2) are using kerygma to prove kerygma instead of history.  Again, the logic becomes circular.  A similarity could be drawn in the case of Pompeius Trogus (or perhaps Justinian) who draws on earlier legendary embellishment of the Moses stories produced probably from a gentile community which suggested the Jews were infected with disease and were kicked out of Egypt—hopefully no historian of any credible merit would take this account to be anything more than hearsay and fabrication repeated.  Tacitus should be looked at no differently, especially in light of the admitted Christology and kerymatic thought of the period!

Atheist Books, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server, which houses Celebrity Atheists. Books by Rook Hawkins (Thomas Verenna)


FathomFFI
TheistTroll
Posts: 90
Joined: 2008-05-15
User is offlineOffline
HisWillness wrote:FathomFFI

HisWillness wrote:

FathomFFI wrote:

You [Kevin] failed to address the point of this topic, which was Rook's assertions on the Tacitus text, and my refutation of his argument.

That's the focus here. 

But both you and Rook agree that Tacitus did not cite a source, and that what he records is suspect. I'm having a hard time seeing that as a refutation of Rook's argument.

Incorrect.

Just because you believe Tacitus does not cite his source does not place his record in suspicion. As a respected historian, Tacitus is recording history in the same manner history has been recorded by thousands of individuals. Even today when we open our history books we see historical depictions of people and events, yet the history book does not always reveal a source for the information.

The one fact about Tacitus is that his Annals was a record of Roman history, not a record of the history of Christianity or Christ. He was reporting on events which occurred in the history of the Roman empire, with the passage regarding Christ being merely incidental to his description of Nero's punishment towards the Christians.

But, do you really believe Tacitus did not cite his source?

At the beginning of Annals, we read this note from Tacitus:

Tacitus wrote:

But the several revolutions in the ancient free state of Rome and all her happy or disastrous events, are already recorded by writers of signal renown. Nor even in the reign of Augustus were there wanting authors of distinction and genius to have composed his story; till by the prevailing spirit of fear, flattery, and abasement they were checked.

As to the succeeding Princes, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero; the dread of their tyranny, whilst they yet reigned, falsified their history; and after their fall, the fresh detestation of their cruelties inflamed their Historians.

Hence my own design of recounting briefly certain incidents in the reign of Augustus, chiefly towards his latter end, and of entering afterwards more fully into that of Tiberius and the other three; unbiassed as I am in this undertaking by any resentment, or any affection; all the influences of these personal passions being far from me.

As clearly evidenced by Tacitus above, he was concerned with correcting the inaccuracies former Roman historians made due to being under the dread of tyranny which forced them to falsify Roman historical records.

What this tells us is that Tacitus had access to Roman historical records for his Annals, and therefore, since he is correcting the historical Roman records from his examination of previous historical Roman records, then the entry regarding Christ is now qualified as having its source from historical Roman records.

Therefore, my good people, you have asked for evidence of where Tacitus got his information regarding Christ from.

I have delivered it. He received his information from previous Roman historical records, as is dramatically evidenced above.

Regards.

 

 

Permanently banned


Kevin R Brown
Superfan
Kevin R Brown's picture
Posts: 3142
Joined: 2007-06-24
User is offlineOffline
FathomFFI wrote:HisWillness

FathomFFI wrote:

HisWillness wrote:

FathomFFI wrote:

You [Kevin] failed to address the point of this topic, which was Rook's assertions on the Tacitus text, and my refutation of his argument.

That's the focus here. 

But both you and Rook agree that Tacitus did not cite a source, and that what he records is suspect. I'm having a hard time seeing that as a refutation of Rook's argument.

Incorrect.

Just because you believe Tacitus does not cite his source does not place his record in suspicion. As a respected historian, Tacitus is recording history in the same manner history has been recorded by thousands of individuals. Even today when we open our history books we see historical depictions of people and events, yet the history book does not always reveal a source for the information.

The one fact about Tacitus is that his Annals was a record of Roman history, not a record of the history of Christianity or Christ. He was reporting on events which occurred in the history of the Roman empire, with the passage regarding Christ being merely incidental to his description of Nero's punishment towards the Christians.

But, do you really believe Tacitus did not cite his source?

At the beginning of Annals, we read this note from Tacitus:

Tacitus wrote:

But the several revolutions in the ancient free state of Rome and all her happy or disastrous events, are already recorded by writers of signal renown. Nor even in the reign of Augustus were there wanting authors of distinction and genius to have composed his story; till by the prevailing spirit of fear, flattery, and abasement they were checked.

As to the succeeding Princes, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero; the dread of their tyranny, whilst they yet reigned, falsified their history; and after their fall, the fresh detestation of their cruelties inflamed their Historians.

Hence my own design of recounting briefly certain incidents in the reign of Augustus, chiefly towards his latter end, and of entering afterwards more fully into that of Tiberius and the other three; unbiassed as I am in this undertaking by any resentment, or any affection; all the influences of these personal passions being far from me.

As clearly evidenced by Tacitus above, he was concerned with correcting the inaccuracies former Roman historians made due to being under the dread of tyranny which forced them to falsify Roman historical records.

What this tells us is that Tacitus had access to Roman historical records for his Annals, and therefore, since he is correcting the historical Roman records from his examination of previous historical Roman records, then the entry regarding Christ is now qualified as having its source from historical Roman records.

Therefore, my good people, you have asked for evidence of where Tacitus got his information regarding Christ from.

I have delivered it. He received his information from previous Roman historical records, as is dramatically evidenced above.

Regards.

 

 

Okay, guys - I have to tell you this:

Everything that anyone in the government has told you about aliens is a lie. And they've paid-off NASA and just about every other scientific organization to propagate this lie!

Luckily for you, I know the truth, and I'm unbiased. So here it is:

The greys are among us, and they're reading your brains. The only defense against them are tinfoil hats.

 

Question: What does the above statement have in common with Tacitus's statement, as far as it's criteria for being a piece of evidence is concerned?

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
FathomFFI

FathomFFI wrote:

Incorrect.

Just because you believe Tacitus does not cite his source does not place his record in suspicion. As a respected historian, Tacitus is recording history in the same manner history has been recorded by thousands of individuals.

To argue that classical history can be regarded as having the same rigour as modern history is hands down ridiculous. Tacitus is a hint at what happened. Just a hint. Our respect for Tacitus is that he gave it the old college try, not that we believe he records history with an unflinching and unfailing eye. Yes, it's wonderful that we have Tacitus and the rest of the classical historians, but their work is always in question by scholars of classics. Always. To regard what they write as fact is a huge stretch.

FathomFFI wrote:
Even today when we open our history books we see historical depictions of people and events, yet the history book does not always reveal a source for the information.

If you're in grade 7, sure. Anything after that cites sources. With classical history you get "Sallust tells us ..." or "Tacitus describes ..." because we can't know how accurate that material is. There simply isn't enough of it to be sure. 

FathomFFI wrote:
What this tells us is that Tacitus had access to Roman historical records for his Annals, and therefore, since he is correcting the historical Roman records from his examination of previous historical Roman records, then the entry regarding Christ is now qualified as having its source from historical Roman records.

Do you see how confusing this is? His source may have been Roman records that he, himself, finds often inaccurate. It's simply the nature of material from the classical period that it is not that reliable. I'm a student of classics, and I love the material we have available, but I can't pretend that it's reliable to the point of considering it fact.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
FathomFFI wrote:Q: Why would

FathomFFI wrote:
Q: Why would it be unusual that a record of the crucifixion show up in Roman records? What evidence do you present to support this assertion?

If your contention is that such records are only alluded to in other sources, and thus their nature is up for debate, then you're absolutely right. We have no physical Roman records of that kind. They could have recorded every footstep that Jesus took. They also could have ignored the whole process. What's more likely? Well, he wasn't in Rome, or any significant city. What's likely is that it got ignored, and wasn't significant to the Roman elite at the time. That' just speculation about what's likely, and that's all that Rook is doing. His use of "unlikely" and "improbable" in the paragraph are an indication of his speculation, not of a statement of fact. If you're going to attack his speculation, then go ahead. But anyone who can read could figure out that it's speculation, and would never be treated as fact. 

FathomFFI wrote:
As you can see, by merely asking a question the person who made the assertion above has assumed a burden of proof, for now he must show just cause as to why it would be unusual for the Romans to have received a record of the crucifixion of Jesus. Until he can show evidence to support his assertion, then his assertion is worthless.

Not at all! Speculation and discussion aren't worthless, they're grounds for further research. Rook isn't making an assertion for which a burden of proof would be necessary, he's making a comment on the likelyhood that the affairs of a backwater state in the Roman empire would catch much interest. There could have well been records of the time that had Jesus' name written all over them, but they haven't survived, so all we can do is speculate. If you take speculation as fact, then I don't know how to help you.

FathomFFI wrote:
He is asserting that it is unlikely that the Romans would have received a report regarding the crucifixion of Jesus, but offering no documented evidence as to why not.

Tacitus is the only historian of the period who even mentions the followers of Christus. Once. That's evidence that it wasn't very important to anybody. Since no other records exist, that may be a misrepresentation of how everyone felt. Documents may have existed that recorded the death of Christus as being significant, but they're lost. So here we are pitting speculation against speculation. There are no facts here, and that's why it's reasonable to say that Jesus' actual existence is "doubtful". Note that I am not claiming for a fact that Jesus did not exist! It merely seems probable that he did not exist.

FathomFFI wrote:
Therefore, his assertion is meaningless, and without support. Because of this, it is not evidence against the claim of the Tacitus text being valid, and is therefore dismissed.

But the main idea of Rook's real assertion (that Jesus was a literary figure) is, in fact, compelling. In that light, we can interpret Tacitus as describing followers of Christus who claim that Pontius Pilate executed their religious leader. Whether they meant that metaphorically or not is up for debate.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


FathomFFI
TheistTroll
Posts: 90
Joined: 2008-05-15
User is offlineOffline
HisWillness wrote:FathomFFI

HisWillness wrote:

FathomFFI wrote:
What this tells us is that Tacitus had access to Roman historical records for his Annals, and therefore, since he is correcting the historical Roman records from his examination of previous historical Roman records, then the entry regarding Christ is now qualified as having its source from historical Roman records.

Do you see how confusing this is? His source may have been Roman records that he, himself, finds often inaccurate. It's simply the nature of material from the classical period that it is not that reliable. I'm a student of classics, and I love the material we have available, but I can't pretend that it's reliable to the point of considering it fact.

Let's make something clear here.

Yet, with intellectual honesty, you cannot deny that I have indeed supplied credible evidence to support the argument that Tacitus got his information from previous historical Roman records.

To do so, in light of the direct statements of Tacitus, would be very dishonest.

You should be proud. You are the one to ask the question, and the first one to get the answer to a question that has never been answered.

Accept the answer, and welcome yourself to history.

 

Permanently banned