Hello from Australia!
I have just joined this great Forum and look forward to some interesting discussions.
I found this place by accident, or should I say 'chance? I was investigating the historical Jesus question and came to a link about Josephus written by a member of this Forum (Josephus - What's the Deal? by Rook_Hawkins). I read it and was impressed by the article. I thought: well, if this is the quality of discussion on this Forum it will be worth while hanging around.
Just a brief bio: I am an ex-pat Canadian living in Australia in a small rural town. Many eons ago, I graduated from university with a degree in Philosophy and English Literature. I am semi-retired now and am working the rust off my brain cells. Lately, I have been disturbed by a trend in argumentation now that puts enormous emphasis on truth by authority - if you don't have a relevant degree in the subject or haven't a peer-reviewed paper out there, your opinion is (of course) meaningless and worthless. I'm afraid I am old-school: an argument stands on its own merit no matter who presented it. Add to that the "a thousand experts say it is true, so it must be true" canard and just about any speculation is easily sown up neat.
My latest curiosity is the similarity between two hotly debated positions: the historical Jesus proposal and the Theory of Evolution. It strikes me that both arguments rely on rather similar argument styles and yet a rationalist-leaning mind in one case will argue the evidence doesn't exist, so the proposal fails, and yet, in the other case will argue that despite the lack of evidence, the proposal still holds. It is really a fascinating phenomenon for me!
Anyway, I will wander around and sample some threads just to make sure I don't repeat what is already there.
Hope to meet some of you down the road!
(Yeh... Socrates is my hero...)