settling an argument

Chrome
atheist
Posts: 8
Joined: 2009-09-26
User is offlineOffline
settling an argument

Hey guys, I'm somewhat new to this forum but I've read alot. I don't like to think of myself as an agnostic or atheist, but if I HAD to choose it would be the latter.

I really actually like to think of myself as an Idon'tknowist, makes more sense to me at least since I hate using big/confusing words.

 

But recently I've been argueing with a theologist professor from a close by college about the proof that Jesus even existed.

Now keep in mind I've been schooling him pretty bad about all aspects of Christianity since I was raised in it and read the bible half a dozen times front to back and found many many many things to make him stutter. He had one phrase that even made me flat out laugh at him uncontrollably, even though I know it's disrespectful but I couldn't help it so I HAVE to share it with all of you so you can join in in my joy over it. This is the phrase, and i'm seriously laughing as I type because I can't say it or type it without giggling uncontrollably, "You must have alot of faith to not believe in god and Jesus".

BUT, my research is kind of limited since I am currently enrolled full-time in Carpentry tradeschool and just don't have the time. And truthfully I have a pretty short attention span.....oh look a piano....anyway this guy keeps referencing back to a "Josephus" as proof of Jesus existence as well as some sort of "letters" from somewhere. I really forget what the letters were called by him because by that time through his rebuttel i was watching a cat run up a tree outside, but i'm pretty sure he was referencing some kind of letters.

 

Could someone enlighten me on this "Josephus" and how it's "proof" of Jesus' existence, please the summary dumbed down version, easy enough for me to remember. And if possible if anyone could find out what sort of letters that Christians are basing the proof of Jesus' existence off of, since I really can't find any, that would be friggin awesome beyond a thousand links of monkeys tails tied together with rattlesnakes. (don't ask, people say i'm weird, dunno why)

"Living without religion is a luxury"


Vastet
atheistBloggerHigh Level ModeratorSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 10143
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
Welcome! I'm personally

Welcome!

I'm personally not the right guy to shred that argument. If I recall correctly, Josephus wasn't even around when jesus was, so he doesn't qualify as a credible source. But as I in no way see ancient history to be relevant to the question of a god, I never bothered to become a scholar of christianity. However, there are people here who do qualify, and I'm sure they'll be along shortly to provide you with what you need. Smiling

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


Sapient
High Level DonorRRS CO-FOUNDERRRS Core MemberWebsite Admin
Sapient's picture
Posts: 7522
Joined: 2006-04-18
User is offlineOffline
Chrome wrote:"You must have

Chrome wrote:

"You must have alot of faith to not believe in god and Jesus".

I love that one... they attempt to insult you by telling you that you embrace the same principles they embrace.  Yes I know I use a ton of faith, and you refuse to... but haaa you loser... you must have so much faith to believe X.  What an idiot you are... with your faith!  Sticking out tongue

 

As for any evidence that you're faithful professor would present, this link will help answer just about any proof he'd provide: http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/2889

 

Quote:
Could someone enlighten me on this "Josephus" and how it's "proof" of Jesus' existence

Flavius Josephus (AD 37?-101?) 

"At this time there was a wise man called Jesus, and his conduct was good, and he was known to be virtuous. Many people among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified, and to die. But those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion, and that he was alive. Accordingly, he was perhaps the Messiah, concerning whom the prophets have reported wonders. And the tribe of the Christians, so named after him, has not disappeared to this day" (Antiquities 20:200) 

  • Many problems abound here. Firstly, this is the Arabic translation of the text. Many consider this a more accurate translation, it does not in anyway change the fact that it is an interpolation. I'm using it to show that even if we ignore that faulty greek translation which is not as accurately translated, this passage STILL does not appear until 300 years later when Eusebius, in the 4th century, cited all the "evidences" of Christianity obtained from Jewish and pagan sources. Eusebius, who admitted to forging multiple works, as well as lying for the sake of his beliefs, as Gibbon recounts: "I have repeated whatever may rebound to the glory, and suppressed all that could tend to the disgrace of our religion" 

    The text Gibbon speaks of is as follows:
      "But even if the case were not such as our argument has now proved it to be, if a lawgiver, who is to be of ever so little use, could have ventured to tell any falsehood at all to the young 
      for their good, is there any falsehood that he could have told more beneficial than this, and better able to make them all do everything that is just, not by compulsion but willingly? 

      'Truth, O Stranger, is a noble and an enduring thing; it seems, however, not easy to persuade men of it.' - d PLATO 

      Now you may find in the Hebrew Scriptures also 
      thousands of such passages concerning God as though He were jealous, or sleeping, or angry, or subject to any other human passions, which passages are adopted for the benefit of those who need this mode of instruction."
    (Chp. 31, Book 12 of Prae Paratio Evangelica). 
  • Which is also verified by Robert Ingersoll, "The great religious historian, Eusebius, ingenuously remarks that in his history he carefully omitted whatever tended to discredit the church, and that he piously magnified all that conduced to her glory." Ibid., Vol. 1, p. 293" 
  • Apparently Eusebius was the first to use this passage because it didn't exist during the 2nd and 3rd centuries. The passage is not found in the early copies of Josephus. Are we to assume it magically appeared there? Please. If it had been authentic you would have heard more about the passage during the centuries prior when the early chruch fathers were struggling to gather any pagan articles on such a person as Jesus. Instead their silence is deadly to this argument. 
  • The early Christian fathers such as Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, and Origen were acquainted with Josephus' works they would have quoted this passage had it existed. Chrysostom often referred to Josephus and it's highly unlikely he would have omitted the paragraph had it been extant. Photius did not quote the text though he had three articles concerning Josephus and even expressly stated that Josephus, being a Jew, had not taken the least notice of Christ. 
  • Neither Justin in his dialogue with Trypho, the Jew, nor Origen against Celsus ever mentioned this passage. Neither Tertullian nor Cyprian ever quoted Josephus as a witness in their controversies with Jews and pagans and Origen expressly stated that Josephus, who had mentioned John the Baptist, did not recognize Jesus as the messiah (Contra Celsum, I, 47). In Origen's own words, Contra Celsus, BOOK I., Chap XLVII : 

    I would like to say to Celsus, who represents the Jew as accepting somehow John as a Baptist, who baptized Jesus, that the existence of John the Baptist, baptizing for the remission of sins, is related by one who lived no great length of time after John and Jesus. For in the 18th book of his Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus bears witness to John as having been a Baptist, and as promising purification to those who underwent the rite. Now this writer, although not believing in Jesus as the Christ, in seeking after the cause of the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple, whereas he ought to have said that the conspiracy against Jesus was the cause of these calamities befalling the people[...] 
  • The passage also interrupts the narrative. Immediately before it Josephus tells of a rising of the Jews due to bitter feeling at the conduct of Pilate, and its bloody suppression by the ruling power. The words immediately following the passage are: "Also about this time another misfortune befell the Jews" and we are told of the expulsion of the Jews from Rome by Tiberius on account of the conduct of some of their compatriots. What is the connection between the reference to Jesus and these two narratives? That there must be some connection if Josephus wrote the passage about Jesus goes without saying in view of the character of the writer. Josephus was always careful to have a logical connection between his statements and from a rational standpoint there is no occasion whatever to put the passage about Jesus in the connection in which we find it. 
  • It's so obvious, even the Catholic Encyclopedia states it as a forgery!

 

Quote:
please the summary dumbed down version, easy enough for me to remember.

In case you missed it, I underlined and bolded the last fact which is the easiest to remember, that would be considered the dumbed down version.

 

 

Quote:
And if possible if anyone could find out what sort of letters that Christians are basing the proof of Jesus' existence off of, since I really can't find any, that would be friggin awesome beyond a thousand links of monkeys tails tied together with rattlesnakes. (don't ask, people say i'm weird, dunno why)

Was it Pliny the Younger?  Or would it ring more of a bell if I said cat up a tree?  If it's Pliny... check that post out.

 

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.


Sapient
High Level DonorRRS CO-FOUNDERRRS Core MemberWebsite Admin
Sapient's picture
Posts: 7522
Joined: 2006-04-18
User is offlineOffline
Here's more to squash

Here's more to squash Josephus.

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.


Chrome
atheist
Posts: 8
Joined: 2009-09-26
User is offlineOffline
Wow damn you guys are fast,

Wow damn you guys are fast, i barely had time to potty like it was 1999 before you all swarmed in haha. Thanks for the info, ill post his response when I email him tomorow, and just saying cat going up a tree is just gunna make me think about how retarded the guy was at the time haha.

"Living without religion is a luxury"


Chrome
atheist
Posts: 8
Joined: 2009-09-26
User is offlineOffline
hey Sapient, my dad is also

hey Sapient, my dad is also a devout christian and is trying to squash my realist position on some matters.

his questions are, what are your qualifications and why should I believe anything you say about Josephus, what is Rook_Hawkins qualifications, how do we know the proof of the non existence of jesus is actual proof, where are your resources from.

 

I really know that it doesn't matter the answers because Christians are brainwashed into blind believing and throwing out realist findings, but for the sake of humoring him I would like something to respond with since he pretty much throws everything I say out because I can't remember the exact places/resources of the proof/forgeries and because i'm just a lowly carpenter (ironic i know) and not an all out expert and i'm trying to squash a college professor.

But even with my low amount of knowledge I managed to do very well haha.

 

edit*put dawkins instead of hawkins, my bad

"Living without religion is a luxury"


Atheistextremist
atheistSilver Member
Atheistextremist's picture
Posts: 5066
Joined: 2009-09-17
User is offlineOffline
Chrome - your old man can do his own research

 

On the forgeries in Josephus. You don't need a degree to read books by the experts and as Sapient has rightly pointed out, even the catholic church denounces the Josephus forgery.

Eusebius even wrote to a friend in the process of a big stoush he was having with pagan scholars of the day (believers in mithras, I think) and said he would need to contrive more evidence: "For our purposes let us turn to Josephus the Jew", he wrote.

Your Dad is free to read all this, too. And it's not up to you to de-convert him. The onus is on your father or anyone else who believes, to product some compelling evidence of their invisible friend. It's my bet their evidence will tend towards the far reaches of

probability and go along the lines of: Where did we come from then? The human 'mind' is proof of a soul or 'every effect must have a cause', etc.

They might even come up with the groaning statement that: "It's in the bible..." When they rail against evolution they'll whine on about the absence of intermediate forms, obviously expecting to see winged crocodiles fluttering about.

My dad was an evangelical minister and one of his big reasons for believing was this statement: "If there is no god we are just lost in the cosmos with no choice but to haul ourselves up by our own bootstraps..."

Now, I'm not sure where he came up with this bucket of horseshit but it left him moist-eyed in the pulpit every time. I personally love the idea earth is star trek capsule, alone in the cosmos.

The point is you can't convince your dad. People have their own weird reasons for believing in invisible things whether they are brave enough to own up to them or not. You should focus on finding your own truth.

Perhaps you might ask your father what his qualifications for a belief in a god who exists outside of the universe in some sort of quantum reality.

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Atheistextremist
atheistSilver Member
Atheistextremist's picture
Posts: 5066
Joined: 2009-09-17
User is offlineOffline
And another thing

 

You don't have to come up with all the answers overnight. Take your time. Have a look at the links Sapient plugged in here and hang around on the forum a bit.

It's an obvious thing but the truth is bigger than an argument you can win against some one whose whole life is invested in christianity.

There are unknowns out there and some people are not brave enough to face these unknowns without inventing an anthropomorphic unknown to control things for them.

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Sapient
High Level DonorRRS CO-FOUNDERRRS Core MemberWebsite Admin
Sapient's picture
Posts: 7522
Joined: 2006-04-18
User is offlineOffline
Chrome wrote:hey Sapient, my

Chrome wrote:

hey Sapient, my dad is also a devout christian and is trying to squash my realist position on some matters.

his questions are, what are your qualifications and why should I believe anything you say about Josephus, what is Rook_Hawkins qualifications, how do we know the proof of the non existence of jesus is actual proof, where are your resources from.

He's asking questions about why he should believe anything I say?  Why start now?  Clearly he's eaten up everything from the pulpit.  Tell him my qualifications are that I wear a skirt on Sunday, can convert a piece of bread into the body of a dead man who never lived and I like to drink wine from a crunk cup.  That's enough to have him eating out of my hands, right?  Oh wait... he only believes those people if they already agree with his twisted preconceived notions of reality.

I mean seriously.... shit.  Now... here's the truth:  I don't want him to believe anything I say about Josephus just because I said it.  In the same way he should have never believed what the Church said just because a Priest said it.  He needs to cross reference everything.  Look it up for himself.  If he finds one piece of information, search for conflicting information, and keep searching for conflicting information, until he's tired, and then do it again.

If he's not willing to research it, tell him to drop the retarded rebuttal, and go back to throwing 10% of his income away to the most violent and repressive regime the world has ever known.  And what are his qualifications?  Has he even read the entire bible?

 

 

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.


Atheistextremist
atheistSilver Member
Atheistextremist's picture
Posts: 5066
Joined: 2009-09-17
User is offlineOffline
Vastet wrote:Welcome! I'm

Vastet wrote:
Welcome! I'm personally not the right guy to shred that argument. If I recall correctly, Josephus wasn't even around when jesus was, so he doesn't qualify as a credible source. But as I in no way see ancient history to be relevant to the question of a god, I never bothered to become a scholar of christianity. However, there are people here who do qualify, and I'm sure they'll be along shortly to provide you with what you need. Smiling

 

Vastet god of gaming is quite right. Jesus was dead when Josephus born - that's if there was a Jesus. Outside of the New Testament there is virtually no proof Jesus existed beyond some oblique references in one or 2 places - this despite the fact there were

more than 50 historians writing at the time and about the most mundane of matters. Much less thrilling extremists of the day are written up in detail but nothing about Jesus. Why?

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Chrome
atheist
Posts: 8
Joined: 2009-09-26
User is offlineOffline
Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

Vastet god of gaming is quite right. Jesus was dead when Josephus born - that's if there was a Jesus. Outside of the New Testament there is virtually no proof Jesus existed beyond some oblique references in one or 2 places - this despite the fact there were

more than 50 historians writing at the time and about the most mundane of matters. Much less thrilling extremists of the day are written up in detail but nothing about Jesus. Why?

Yea, this has been one of my main points inthe ongoing debate, the over 50 historians/scribes/philosophers not including the "biggest happening at that time" in anything. You would think that out of the thousands of people that supposedly followed him, at least a couple would have written at least something down somewhere, after all don't we have writings from religions before christ. But yeah thanks all on filling my gun with ammo haha i'll come back if i ever get a jam in the barrel.

"Living without religion is a luxury"


Vastet
atheistBloggerHigh Level ModeratorSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 10143
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
Since he's the kind of guy

Since he's the kind of guy that demands you provide sources and qualifications to everything, I recommend that you start printing stuff out for him. The single greatest advantage theists have in the debate is that they only need one book to remember and source, while we have to try and deal with millions of different sources and studies. They ask one question and you end up with 30 answers to provide. You will have a very hard time defeating him without something to give him to read.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.