Jesus and Oswald: How History Can Fail Us

Weston Bortner
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Jesus and Oswald: How History Can Fail Us

I'm sure that (thinking upon it now) that this might have been brought up somewhere at some point. But, if it hasn't, allow me to introduce it.

 

Shortly before really getting involved with the Atheist vs Theist battles of America, I had already been a non-believer, but didn't know the true depth of all the arguments flying around. I had never heard the arguments of apologists and I didn't know there was a whole wing of religious education that was designed to combat non-belief and train their students how to fight any doubt of their faith. One of the arguments that struck me as the most fascinating was that the time between the gospels and the death of Jesus was not enough to allow legends to build up about the man named Jesus Christ. Another argument was that we could trust the New Testament and everything that it said about Jesus. Now, personally, I believe that Jesus did exist, but I would say something along the lines of what Dr. Robert Price would say, which is that the historical Jesus Christ has been lost to the ages. 

But, anyway, before I really got involved with the arguments, I had been very interested in the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. I had read works by John McAdams, debated a conspiracy believer, watched some documentaries for and against conspiracy, etc. After I had come to the conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald was the man who killed Kennedy, I, as I say, got involved with the religious arguments. I was sort of surprised that some of the arguments that I heard for the reliability of the New Testament and for Jesus' existence were actually close to what I had heard of Conspiracy theorists say about Oswald being innocent.

Dealey Plaza becomes Palestine, the arguments against the Single Bullet Theory become arguments for the Resurrection. Was there more than one Oswald? Was there more than one Jesus? Were people killed to cover up the conspiracy? Did the disciples die for their beliefs? Are the stories about Jesus of Nazereth historical? Are the stories about Lee Harvey Oswald true? From the very moment after Kennedy was announced dead, conspiracy beliefs started. Stories began to circulate about the nature of the assassination and pieces of information were wrongly interpreted to pronounce that Oswald had not done it. People began to point to random pieces of evidence, such as the picture of Billy Lovelady in the doorway of the book depository which everyone mistook for Oswald, the man holding an umbrella near the motor brigade, and the fact the limo slowed down a bit during the shooting.

The stories of Lee Harvey Oswald have grown since then been created. Did Oswald share an office with Guy Banister? Was he in league with David Ferrie? Many claimed that they saw Oswald in places that the Warren Commission said he wasn't. Was Oswald denied counsel? Did Oswald have Ferrie's library card? Did Oswald work for the CIA/FBI or maybe the Mafia along with Ruby? Was Oswald completely innocent? Did he have some guilt?

Jesus Christ; Liar, Lunatic, or the Christ. Lee Harvey Oswald; Patsy, Conspirator, or Lone Nut.

We know that Lee Harvey Oswald was a historical person. You'd have to be incredibly stupid to think otherwise. Yet look, even with more eyewitnesses, cameras, and all other stuff from the twentieth century, at what has happened to the historical Lee Harvey Oswald. He has been incredibly smeared with legend and falsehoods and misunderstanding of evidence and claims of evidence where there is not. The Warren Commission said there was no conspiracy. The Jesus Seminar said that a lot of things said about Jesus were false. Both are challenged. There were buttons passed around that said, "Do you trust the Warren Commission?" They were obviously trying to ignore the evidence against them. The Jesus Seminar were radicals trying to distort evidence.

What about the Gospels? Are they biographies of Jesus and are the stories they narrate true? What about the witnesses of the conspiracy? Did they actually see someone on the Grassy Knoll? What about Judyth Van Baker, the alleged girlfriend of Oswald? Was she telling the truth about Oswald and this supposed conspiracy? Or is she incredibly deluded? After all, why would she lie? Why would the disciples lie? Do the Gospels match up with history? Does Judyth's story match up with history? Are the stories of the Gospels consistent? Are Judyth's stories consistent?

http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/science_fair.htm __ Judyth Vs History

http://www.jfk-online.com/judyth-story.html ___ Inconsistencies in Judyth's Story

You guys probably already know about the Gospels.

I could continue, but my point, I believe, has been made. History got muddled with Lee Harvey Oswald in the twentieth century. I can only imagine how mudled it got in First Century Palenstine...

Our job on this Earth, is to take care of each other. Something that we have ultimately failed at doing, hence why we are so miserable.


Brian37
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The JFK conspiracies happen

The JFK conspiracies happen for the same reason god belief does. Although I never heard the "Oswald was innocent" one, that is new to me.

But they all happen for the same reason. Reality is often far to mundane and ordinary for people to accept that they have to sex it up.

Oswald did it, And he acted alone. There was no third man on the grassy knoll, Cuba didn't do it, the mob didn't do it, the Russians didn't do it. The conspiracy nuts who want to believe that simply do not want to accept that their "hero" was a mere human, who was unfortunately murdered by another human.

Jesus did not exist, although it is reasonable to accept that a man or group of people inspired the creation of the myth.

Our species has not evolved to get over our fantasies. It is easier to make shit up as a placebo to use as a coping mechanism than it is to do the work to actually test what we observe.

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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I also wasn't aware that

I also wasn't aware that this was an apologetic proposition.  You have to take into consideration the appeal to authority fallacy, available resources and media and what would it take for a myth to be created? 

Considering the contemporary media is quite vast, we are still learning that something proposed by an authority figure is not necessarily correct.  We, I'm referring to the society norm and not the exceptional tinfoil hat wearers, have to consider multiple sources of information, which are readily available due to the said media, before we accept something as fact.  This is in direct contrast to what society's IQ was at the beginning of the Christian calendar.  It would take no more than 10 authority figures (or apostles) to preach for one week in order for a myth to be created.

I hardly see this as an argument. 

 

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


Weston Bortner
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Yes, sadly, this is an

Yes, sadly, this is an argument that Christians use (or have used) to defend the Gospels. I think William Lane Craig once used it.

I find their argument of "Not long enough" quite absurd when you consider the myths that constantly float around today.

Edit: Also, I believe that my comparison with Kennedy Assassination shows how some people will try to join history in the making by claiming they saw things or lying about what they saw or making shit up as they go. Perhaps the Gospels did this. As Robert Price would say, "We don't know how these documents got to us".

 

Our job on this Earth, is to take care of each other. Something that we have ultimately failed at doing, hence why we are so miserable.


Brian37
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Weston Bortner wrote:Yes,

Weston Bortner wrote:

Yes, sadly, this is an argument that Christians use (or have used) to defend the Gospels. I think William Lane Craig once used it.

I find their argument of "Not long enough" quite absurd when you consider the myths that constantly float around today.

Edit: Also, I believe that my comparison with Kennedy Assassination shows how some people will try to join history in the making by claiming they saw things or lying about what they saw or making shit up as they go. Perhaps the Gospels did this. As Robert Price would say, "We don't know how these documents got to us".

 

The Price is right. Pun intended.

We may not always have a link of how information gets from one person to another, much less one generation to another. But we don't, nor should we, let our brains fall out when the claims are so fantastic we cling to them like children clinging to Santa.

George Washington was a real person, but the Cherry tree story was myth. People buy into the Jesus myth because it fits the stereotypical story of the underdog defeating the establishment.

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37