Peanut Gallery: Jesus history/contemporary proofs contest

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Peanut Gallery: Jesus history/contemporary proofs contest

This thread is for comments and for split off posts from this thread.

The contest to prove people existed without contemporary evidence was ended when Richard Carrier showed us it was possible. Richard joined us to record 7 shows, and we talked about it in the Jesus mythicism show. Richard agrees that Jesus likely never existed, however lacking contemporary evidence alone isn't enough to make the case. There's much more to it.

As you'll see below the beggining of the split off comments start with a line of discussion looking for oother historical figures that we accept as real but that don't have contemporrary evidence for them, like in the case of Jesus. Richard showed me how there are quite a few people who we accept as true that didn't have contemporary evidence for them. He admits it's extremely hard to find someone that lacks evidence for 40 years after their death like in the case of Jesus, but nevertheless I agreed to put my foot in my mouth if I was shown other historical figures have similar lacking evidence.

The myth of Jesus is not best found through the argument for silence, I never proposed it was, you'll hear the arguments that show how Jesus never existed on our October 6th show. Enjoy!

The contest to find contemporary evidence for Jesus is still on, as the contest has it's own merits, even though there are much better arguments against his existence.

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RichardB8633 wrote:"I am

RichardB8633 wrote:
"I am more sure that Yahweh doesn't exist, than I am of the fact that I do exist." - me

How can you be sure of something more than that you exist?

I don't have endless contradictions that define me, Yahweh does.

Quote:
Decartes said "I think therefor I am" and proved that he existed, or at least that thought or mind or something was going on...

I guess that makes me awfully fucking sure that Yahweh doesn't exist then, doesn't it.

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darth_josh wrote: 'seems,

darth_josh wrote:

'seems, argue, probably, believe'
Do you see the problem with those words? None of those words have 100% fact which is the definition of absolute proof.

I am only positive that there might or might not be a god, and that monkeys might fly out my ass. Go figure.

Quote:

It's great that's enough for you to believe in jesus. Why can't you accept that more is needed for others? Why must you persist in this delusion and bring others with you through 'faith'? I will need to know your motivations for continuing this argumentative approach to the thread topic.

I believe in Jesus almost as much as I believe in Ghengis Khan. I hope the descrepency between what the two of us view I believe isn't too great. My motivations-- to entertain some notions? To unfold truth? Make the world a better place?

Quote:

If you could clarify 'day one'? The hypothesis that it was a hoax fabricated prior to 'day one' is fast approaching theory status.

More of a figure of speech. Saying Jesus didn't exist implies a sort of conspiracy regarding the fabrication of the whole Jesus story as opposed to it simply getting embellished during the course of many many retellings of it.

Quote:

Prove your hypotheses, don't have faith in your opinions. That's my opinion.

The claim that he didn't exist is a speculation just as the claim that he did exist is a speculation. So you see we're back to where we started.

But the fact that one would be writing about Jesus implies a bias for doing it to start with. Let the man whom is without sin cast the first stone.

Don't take that too literally, but anyhow "objectivity" is an illusion in either of our cases since it is inseperable from "subjectivity." Both are illusory, the same non-duality. We see what we are.

My advise is to at least go easy on the absolutes there. Eye-wink


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Sapient wrote:RichardB8633

Sapient wrote:
RichardB8633 wrote:
Decartes said "I think therefore I am" and proved that he existed, or at least that thought or mind or something was going on...

I guess that makes me awfully fucking sure that Yahweh doesn't exist then, doesn't it.

No, it seems the most certain thing to know is that something is going on or that some mind is at work. We could say you very well exist according to that, right? There is sensation about...

Certainly.

But everything else is less certain... for instance you could be getting tricked right now. You could be getting tricked into thinking there is or there isn't a god, and it's possible; in case you haven't checked, religiousity varies demographically.

So with all that in mind, it seems more certain that you exist than whether god exists or doesn't exist as a man with a white beard on a throne in the clouds that throws light'nin bolts.

Anthropomorphically speaking of course...

Get it?


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Quote:So with all that in

Quote:
So with all that in mind, it seems more certain that you exist than whether god exists or doesn't exist as a man with a white beard on a throne in the clouds that throws light'nin bolts.

Umm could you fix that statement so that it makes sense??
"More certain" that "God exists", or that "God exists as a man with a white beard on a throne in the clouds that throws light'nin bolts", or that "God doesn't exist". Which one?

Logically we can be absolutely certain that at least one of those statements is true, therefore we can confidentlly state that we must be less certain that a particular person exists than "whether" one of those statements "or" the other is true, since A or not A is always true, whereas there must always be a tiny possibility that some actual observation of a natural entity may be in error.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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RichardB8633 wrote:todangst

RichardB8633 wrote:
todangst wrote:

Are you serious? There's no such thing as a burden of disproof.

No but there is burden in your claim-- that he didn't exist at least as a man.

Sorry, but there's no such thing as a burden of disproof. There's no need for me to disprove your claim... in fact, your claim really doesn't make sense. Let me explain:

Quote:

It's the most unextraordinary claim that he probably did exist as a sort of ordinary man.

If 'jesus' is 'just a man' then he's not 'jesus' in the first place, because the concept of 'jesus' involves a miracle working, son of god. To say 'jesus existed', but he wasn't anything at all like the gospel accounts, is like saying "Paul Bunyan existed, but he was 5 foot 4, rather sickly, never owned a bull, and he never actually cut down a tree."

Now, you can claim that its possible that a human inspired the legend, but this human wouldn't be 'jesus'. If "jesus were just a 'human' who inspired the legend, then the reality is that there would be no actual jesus at all in the sense of the jesus found in christianity. So to say 'jesus existed, but as a man' is really an equivocation fallacy......

Quote:

I'm as concerned about what the gospels say as I am with what Aesop's Fabels or old Saved by the Bell episodes have to say.

But the jesus of the gospels if what christians mean when they make jesus claims. So if you find 'another jesus' you're not talking about the 'jesus' christians talk about. To hold this 'human jesus' as 'jesus' is just an equivocation fallacy.

Quote:

Logic is inherently fragmentary? From a nondual perspective?

You're misusing quantum theory - your statement makes no sense.

Quote:

Here's the great postmodern discovery that led to quantum physics and relativity,

Great postmodern discovery?!

Heisenburg was NOT a post modernist. His discovery was not a postmodern discovery. It was a modernist discovery. It was modernists who also uncovered the ramifications of his work.

Postmodernists only exist to overstate and misapply the findings!

Postmodernists, as a group, have as yet to make one actual positive achievement in any field of science. The sum total of their work can be seen as little more than criticism of modernism, which is merely copied from pre-existent criticisms made by positivists!

Wilber and his ilk love to pretend that it was they that uncovered the flaws of 19th century positivism... they also love to pretend that they have an actual counter position that works.... but in the end, all Wilber can do for the 'cause' is pose like some bald headed Romance novel cover model on his ridiculous books.

And yet, I still like the guy.

Quote:

also known as the Heisenburg Uncertainty Principle, as Ken Wilber describes it:

Please don't take Ken WIlber seriously on matters of science. When it comes to biology, physics, cosmology, Wilber makes a good neo-buddhist. He's even endorsed irreducible complexity, and claimed that most people endorse it too which just demonstrates how uttery unprepared he is to discuss matters of science.

As for discussing logic - you haven't even touched on it yet.... So, just to cut you off at the pass, quantum uncertainty has no relation, whatsoever, to classic logic. The basic axioms of that logic are not in any way challenged by quantum research.

Logic is a priori, it's not an inductive process that we need to observe. Classic logic is based on axioms defended through retortion, they are necessary truths, gleaned in pure thought, unaffected by 'observation'.

Quote:

By 1900, science was convinced that it had nearly reached the end of the Quest for Reality.

(snipped)

.......... he goes on some more interesting turns, then...

Yeah, yeah, yeah... Wilber is all about railing against the 'bloody monological gaze' of positivism....

About all he ever does is overstate the already recognized problems of 19th century positivism. Problems already observed before he was born, and already written on by far better writers.

(And I like Wilber... imagine if I didn't....)

I'm still waiting for Wilber to offer up some sort of positive alternative, other than a complaint, or a suggestion for us to meditate.

Quote:

Exactly here was the problem. To measure anything requires some sort of tool or instrument, yet the electron weighs so little that any conceivable device, even one as "light" as a photon, would cause the electron to change position in the very act of trying to measure it!

Quantum indetermency has nothing to do with an a priori system like logic.

Quote:

Something unknown is doing we don't know what--that is what our theory amounts to. It does not sound a particularly illuminating theory. I have read something like it elsewhere--

The slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe.

AND THUS YOU HAVE THE CONCLUSIONS OF THE CLASSICAL AND PURELY DUALISTIC APPROACHES

Read the Spectrum of Consciousness by Ken Wilber for more of that stuff..

Already read it.

Quote:

Do you see what I mean about "objective" logic?

Logic isn't objective, it's an a priori system.

Quantum indetermency has nothing to do with logic.

You're misapplying quantum theory.

You haven't demonstrated your claim about logic being 'fragmentary', it makes no sense.

PS Attempting to unseat 'logic' only means that your own claims must be illogical.... so you might want to just back off from this line of thought...

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RichardB8633 wrote:Sapient

RichardB8633 wrote:
Sapient wrote:
RichardB8633 wrote:
todangst wrote:

Are you serious? There's no such thing as a burden of disproof.

No but there is burden in your claim-- that he didn't exist at least as a man.

Oy vay. Until he's proven to exist, the default position is he didn't.

I disagree, seems that the default position is that he did exist, though all the mythology he inspired probably didn't.

Seems you don't know what a default position is. No wonder you want to unseat logic, it stands in the way of your arguments.

1) No positive claim can ever be the fallback. You can't just assume something is true, until disproven. If you did, then it would necessarily follow that every claim is automatically true, until disproven. To be logically consistent, you yourself would have to accept any assertion, made by anyone, concerning anything.

2) If 'jesus existed' but doesn't actually match the myth, then saying that 'jesus existed' is as irrational as saying Batman existed, because there was once a guy who wore a cape called 'Bruce'.

For "jesus' to have 'existed' a person resembling key elements of Mark's gospel's description of 'him' needs to have existed. But any such person would necessarily be a miracle worker... someone who would we could never call historically insignifiacant.

(although there's no need for a resurrection, seeing as Mark never wrote about one)

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RichardB8633 wrote:How can

RichardB8633 wrote:
How can the precise status of the god abstraction be known more certain than that THOUGHT is occuring?

Actually, the real problem is that the 'god abstraction' is a broken concept. Anything you imagine cannot be 'god' by definition:

What then, brethren, shall we say of God? For if thou hast been able to understand what thou wouldest say, it is not God. If thou hast been able to comprehend it, thou hast comprehended something else instead of God. If thou hast been able to comprehend him as thou thinkest, by so thinking thou hast deceived thyself. This then is not God, if thou hast comprehended it; but if this be God, thou has not comprehended it.

- Saint Augustine

So the real issue is non cognitivism... not a 'disproof' of 'god', but merely a reminder that all 'god' claims are necessarily incoherent, rendering the entire discussion moot.

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todangst wrote: 1) No

todangst wrote:

1) No positive claim can ever be the fallback. You can't just assume something is true, until disproven. If you did, then it would necessarily follow that every claim is automatically true, until disproven. To be logically consistent, you yourself would have to accept any assertion, made by anyone, concerning anything.

No positive claim can ever be the fallback? Then I guess your shit out of luck with your positive claim that "Jesus didn't exist."

And all this time I've been talking about the likely existence of Jesus, not this Jesus Christ fellow you guys keep going on about.


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RichardB8633 wrote: No

RichardB8633 wrote:

No positive claim can ever be the fallback? Then I guess your shit out of luck with your positive claim that "Jesus didn't exist."

And you're shit out of luck having any fucking clue how to grasp this concept.

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My point way up there is

My point way up there is that any logical statement takes much for granted that is inconsistant. Look at the curvatures of space and all that you've possibly read from Wilber.

You say you're "sitting on a solid chair" but when you get down to it the chair doesn't look like a solid but more like a sea of molecules on a molecular level. Not only does the thing flow in waves, but the molecules never touch. Some of these truths really baffle the imagination when you kick the thing.

You can say that the chair is a solid in one instance, but at the same time in another sense it's not a solid chair at all. Any claim you can make on what the chair is is fragmentary in the the reality of the total chair. Something is overlooked to say anything about it. Here's your negative space, your nonduality, and how postmodernism could tie into the whole logic game.

Not that I'm necessarily a postmodernist...


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Sapient wrote:RichardB8633

Sapient wrote:
RichardB8633 wrote:

No positive claim can ever be the fallback? Then I guess your shit out of luck with your positive claim that "Jesus didn't exist."

And you're shit out of luck having any fucking clue how to grasp this concept.

Ohh, the heart ache...

Wait a minute, that's from something I ate.


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The word for today is

The word for today is clueless. Shocked


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RichardB8633 wrote:My point

RichardB8633 wrote:
My point way up there is that any logical statement takes much for granted that is inconsistant. Look at the curvatures of space and all that you've possibly read from Wilber.

You say you're "sitting on a solid chair" but when you get down to it the chair doesn't look like a solid but more like a sea of molecules on a molecular level. Not only does the thing flow in waves, but the molecules never touch. Some of these truths really baffle the imagination when you kick the thing.

You can say that the chair is a solid in one instance, but at the same time in another sense it's not a solid chair at all. Any claim you can make on what the chair is is fragmentary in the the reality of the total chair. Something is overlooked to say anything about it. Here's your negative space, your nonduality, and how postmodernism could tie into the whole logic game.

Not that I'm necessarily a postmodernist...


Fragmentary is not an appropriate description. "Solid" is quite a well understood term when describing objects at the scale of ordinary un-aided perception.

Similarly for the concept of curved space-time.

WTF is negative space??

There are two issues here.

One is levels of description.

You can look at the Universe as a sea of sub-atomic particles and photons inter-acting and combining and breaking up, and this an accurate description at that level. In principle one could derive a description of macro-level events in terms of these particles, but it would be impossibly complex, and therefore of limited usefullness to us in understanding what's going on.

You can then describe things at the atomic level, ie inter-acting structures of particles, and get much further. This shades into chemistry, where we talk about aggregates of atoms, ie molecules, and now we are into chemical interactions, and so on. Way up this scale we are talking about large complex combinations of molecules called living organisms.

A book is both a record of a set of ideas, and a pattern of ink molecules on processed wood-pulp. Both descriptions are accurate, but not exhaustively complete.

The other major error is the application of elementary logic to say anything non-trivial about things like quantum theory or curved space-time. That's why we developed mathematics and inductive reasoning, both elaborated on a basis of logic, but to a level to match the complexity of the real world phenomena.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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RichardB8633 wrote:todangst

RichardB8633 wrote:
todangst wrote:

1) No positive claim can ever be the fallback. You can't just assume something is true, until disproven. If you did, then it would necessarily follow that every claim is automatically true, until disproven. To be logically consistent, you yourself would have to accept any assertion, made by anyone, concerning anything.

No positive claim can ever be the fallback? Then I guess your shit out of luck with your positive claim that "Jesus didn't exist."

You've reworded the statement of non belief - the fallback position, in an unnecessarily strong fashion, no doubt because the actual wording would refute you. No one needs to say "he didn't exist". All one has to do is hold that there's no rational grounds to believe 'jesus' existed, ergo non belief is the rational course of action.

This is the fallback, not a positive claim. Unless you can provide strong evidence otherwise, it is rational to hold to the fallback position of non belief.

If you disagree with the concept of non belief as the fallback, then for the sake of logical consistency, you're forced to accept any claim as true until disproven. Which means that any assertion I make you have to accept as true.

Now, do you really want to hold to that?

Quote:

And all this time I've been talking about the likely existence of Jesus, not this Jesus Christ fellow you guys keep going on about.

And all this time, I've been pointing out the problem in your claim. "Jesus' refers to jesus of the gospels. To refer to a 'jesus' that has nothing to do with jesus christ of the gospels, as if it were still "Jesus" is an equivocation fallacy.

One might argue that a real person helped inspire the legend, but this would just prove that there was no actual jesus. The term 'jesus' refers to the concept of jesus in the gospels, any 'other jesus' wouldn't be jesus at all....

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Sapient wrote:RichardB8633

Sapient wrote:
RichardB8633 wrote:

No positive claim can ever be the fallback? Then I guess your shit out of luck with your positive claim that "Jesus didn't exist."

And you're shit out of luck having any fucking clue how to grasp this concept.

Precisely.

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RichardB8633 wrote:My point

RichardB8633 wrote:
My point way up there is that any logical statement takes much for granted that is inconsistant.

Deductive statements are a priori statements. They do not rely on observation. They are tautologous and are therefore necessary truths.

So your claim here is demonstratably false.

Quote:

Look at the curvatures of space and all that you've possibly read from Wilber.

I don't think you've mastered the material you're citing. It seems that you're just citing a bunch of things that seem to unseat induction, and confusing this for having some role in deductive logic.

A deductive argument leads to a tautology. Tautologies are necessarily true. If you actually were able to point to problems in observation of quantum events as a means to overturn tautologies, then you'd necessarily obliterate the axiom of identity. Which would mean that you couldn't argue your point in the first place. It would mean that you yourself can't argue any point, becauase you've eradicated the very ability to make any truth declaration. So oddly enough, if your 'argument' were true, it would also be false (!), because you've eradicated the very principles upon which we make truth claims.

In short, you're using logic to unseat logic, which is a self refutation.

Quote:

You say you're "sitting on a solid chair" but when you get down to it the chair doesn't look like a solid but more like a sea of molecules on a molecular level.

You're referring to matters of induction again.

Yet you claimed that all logic is unseated by inconsistencey. Yet, matters of induction have no bearing on deduction, which is also a type of logic.Ergo your claim that 'the problem of induction' unseats all logic due to inconsistency, is false.

Quote:

You can say that the chair is a solid in one instance, but at the same time in another sense it's not a solid chair at all.

But there's no contradiction here, merely analyses working on two different levels. On the macro level, it's 'solid', on the micro level, it ... still actually is solid, but here we can see that what really supports us is a energy field, produced by sub-molecular particles...
Quote:

Any claim you can make on what the chair is is fragmentary in the the reality of the total chair.

There's nothing "fragmentary' here, merely a confusion of macro level and micro level. Provided one specifies which level of observation one is relying on, there's no contradiction.

And again, none of this has any role, whatsoever, in deductive logic.

Quote:

Something is overlooked to say anything about it.

Nothing needs to be 'overlooked', one is merely specifying a specific level of observation... only a Wilber would call this 'overlooking' things....

There's no need to make an microscopic observation of chair in order to sit on it!

Wilber's basic blunder is that he imagines that positivists can't use both reductionism and holism as tools, deciding upon which one to use, based on current needs. This is a strawman of positivism.. in fact, a good rule of thumb for Wilber is this: whenever he speaks about modernism or positivism, he's giving you a strawman. The guy even accepts irreducible complexity, and argues that evolution is telological!

Quote:

Here's your negative space,

Oy vey.

Quote:

your nonduality, and how postmodernism could tie into the whole logic game.

Nonduality is a meaningless term - unless you equate it with nothing. Which even Wilber is forced to do, right?

Look, I've read WIlber AND I know about logic. It's clear to me that you're just misapplying a bunch of concepts that you only half understand from Wilber. (You've confused induction for deduction.)

Don't feel bad, because that's not an insult: Wilber himself only half understands it.... if he really understood half the horseshit that pours out of his mouth, he'd be able to see what a complete load he is when he speaks outside of the realm of psychology.

He's a 'transpersonal psychologist' - he ought to stick to his field. We psychologists all suffer from what I call "physics envy', which is why you see people like Wilber embarrassing himself..... we just can't help it... must be something about being called 'Doctor' that makes you think you're able to explain the world.....

PS For others reading this, who really want to get an idea of what a load Wilber can be, one of Wilber's books is called "A Brief History of Everything"

Such humility.

In the same book, he endorses irreducible complexity, meaning that when it comes to biology, he knows less than a freshman bio student. Yet he's writing about 'everything', for you...... He even says his role is to read diverse subjects and present a brief overview for you.... I advise saying 'no thank you' and reading for yourself.

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BobSpence1 wrote:Fragmentary

BobSpence1 wrote:
Fragmentary is not an appropriate description. "Solid" is quite a well understood term when describing objects at the scale of ordinary un-aided perception.

Ah, yes, we have made the same point.

On the macro scale, a 'solid' object is quite 'solid' in terms of other macro level objects. For those who doubt this, I ask them to perform this experiment: ram their head through a wall to perform a 'solidity check'

On the micro level, a solid object is not 'so solid' anymore.... but to confuse this micro-scale phenonema with having any bearing on the relationship between macro level objects is a category error.

Quote:
Similarly for the concept of curved space-time.

WTF is negative space??


A fancy term meant to appear to mean something, so as to confuse you into thinking he's proven his point on 'logic'

Which would be self refuting anyway, because it would involve his using logic to unseat logic!

Quote:

There are two issues here.

One is levels of description.

You can look at the Universe as a sea of sub-atomic particles and photons inter-acting and combining and breaking up, and this an accurate description at that level. In principle one could derive a description of macro-level events in terms of these particles, but it would be impossibly complex, and therefore of limited usefullness to us in understanding what's going on.

You can then describe things at the atomic level, ie inter-acting structures of particles, and get much further. This shades into chemistry, where we talk about aggregates of atoms, ie molecules, and now we are into chemical interactions, and so on. Way up this scale we are talking about large complex combinations of molecules called living organisms.

A book is both a record of a set of ideas, and a pattern of ink molecules on processed wood-pulp. Both descriptions are accurate, but not exhaustively complete.

The other major error is the application of elementary logic to say anything non-trivial about things like quantum theory or curved space-time. That's why we developed mathematics and inductive reasoning, both elaborated on a basis of logic, but to a level to match the complexity of the real world phenomena.

Thanks for this explanation.

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BobSpence1 wrote: WTF is

BobSpence1 wrote:

WTF is negative space??

Negative space is a sort of implication. It's the outline of a bust, the white area in a scetch. The white in a black and white photo implies where the black is... a negative if you imagine.

In quantum physics the space implies where the matter is... as space is a relative absence of matter... and time is simply the relative arrangement of matter...

Nihilism is most certainly an assertion and belief in itself, for it is an assertion or leap of faith in the belief or relative absence of some spiritual presence or deity existence.

Nothing is something in itself, for it is the relative absence of another thing which implies the other. A blank is a negative space, a space. It is a silence that can be loud.

Hense by a grain of sand you can tell the whole origin of the universe, and where it is going.

This is the fruit of postmodernity.


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RichardB8633

RichardB8633 wrote:
BobSpence1 wrote:

WTF is negative space??

Negative space is a sort of implication. It's the outline of a bust, the white area in a scetch. The white in a black and white photo implies where the black is... a negative if you imagine.


There's nothing actually 'negative' about 'negative space'. This is merely the space around an object that your currently looking at.... i.e. something other than the object itself. If the object of your attention became this 'negative space' then the object you were previously looking at itself would become 'negative space'

There's absolutely nothing intriguing about the concept, and it has no bearing, at all, on logic.

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In quantum physics the space implies where the matter is... as space is a relative absence of matter... and time is simply the relative arrangement of matter...

How does this relate to your argument about logic?!

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Nihilism is most certainly an assertion and belief in itself, for it is an assertion or leap of faith in the belief or relative absence of some spiritual presence or deity existence.

This is not nihilism. Whether or not nihilism involves an assertion has no bearing on the second part of your statement here.

Non belief in spirit is the fallback position. The concept of 'spirit' violates everything we actually know of the world. No faith is required not to believe something for which there is no evidence.

The fact that you have to accuse others of having faith is a testament to your view of faith as something loathsome.

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Hense by a grain of sand you can tell the whole origin of the universe, and where it is going.

I'll be sure to alert the world's cosmologists that they merely need to hit the beach. They'll like that.

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This is the fruit of postmodernity.

Um, even postmodernists might cringe at that....

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todangst wrote: All one has

todangst wrote:

All one has to do is hold that there's no rational grounds to believe 'jesus' existed, ergo non belief is the rational course of action.

I could very well hold that there's no rational grounds to believe that Jesus didn't exist, ergo belief is the rational course of action.

You say po-TA-to, I say po-TA-TOE. I like butter PEEcan ice cream, you prefer butter PUHcan.

But I do think it's a slightly stronger claim when you argue that Jesus existed as a man behind the Jesus Christ legend as opposed to demanding that Jesus and/or Jesus Christ have NEVER existed by ANY stretch, and in fact the whole story has been a COMPLETE hoax from the very start. This is much more extraordinary than the mere embellishment I am suggesting.

I could just as well say you are the irrational one, since rationality exists from a particular standpoint of seeming relativity when you look a bit deeper.

This could VERY well be the case in my eyes, since I have done quite a bit of credible studying in comming to the conclusion that a man named Jesus probably did exist behind the legend, inspiring the gospels in a way short of the supernatural, but extraordinary nonetheless.

It's quite a strong possibility that this was a teacher of some sort living roughly two thousand years ago, born some time other than Christmas whom embraced some sort of passive resistance in the face of this Goliath oppressor-- a dominator whom systematically crushed any opposition, especially the other more violent and bloody uprisings. Perhaps it's a profound instance in history when a man like this in a place like this pulled the rug out from under the oppressor/oppressed relationship leaving mere people holding holding on to props questioning all of it. This is very transcendental lesson, and worth a good story.

I'm sure his friends missed him a lot and never stopped telling stories about the whole affair.

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And all this time, I've been pointing out the problem in your claim. "Jesus' refers to jesus of the gospels. To refer to a 'jesus' that has nothing to do with jesus christ of the gospels, as if it were still "Jesus" is an equivocation fallacy.

One might argue that a real person helped inspire the legend, but this would just prove that there was no actual jesus. The term 'jesus' refers to the concept of jesus in the gospels, any 'other jesus' wouldn't be jesus at all....

"Jesus" refers to the concept of a guy that was crusified. "Jesus Christ" refers to the man of the gospels. Maybe it would be better for you to modify your definition of terms here, it seems mine work better.


todangst
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RichardB8633 wrote:todangst

RichardB8633 wrote:
todangst wrote:

All one has to do is hold that there's no rational grounds to believe 'jesus' existed, ergo non belief is the rational course of action.

I could very well hold that there's no rational grounds to believe that Jesus didn't exist, ergo belief is the rational course of action.

No, you can't and I've already pointed out why. You're commiting the fallacy of naked assertion, a fallacy of arguing from ignorance and the fallacy of shifting the burden of proof.

I already told you why this is a fallacy, and even explained the logical ramifications of your error. If you hold to the idea that you can hold to a positive claim without justification, then for the sake of logical consistency, you have to accept any claim as true, until disproven.

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You say po-TA-to, I say po-TA-TOE.

No. I say rationality, you say logical fallacy.

And I've already pointed out why, several times.

The burden of proof is always on the person asserting something.
Shifting the burden of proof, a special case of Argumentum ad Ignorantiam, - arguing from ignorance. Shifting the burden of proof is the fallacy of putting the burden of proof on the person who denies or questions the assertion. The source of the fallacy is the assumption that something is true unless proven otherwise. This is not the case. You can't assume the truth of a proposition without some justification. If we could assume truth until disproven, we would be stuck with the ridiculous conclusion that anything we said to be true, must be true, and would only become false when proven false.

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But I do think it's a slightly stronger claim when you argue that Jesus existed as a man behind the Jesus Christ legend as opposed to demanding that Jesus and/or Jesus Christ have NEVER existed by ANY stretch,

It's not a demand. Non belief is the fallback when there is no evidence otherwise.

You simply are unable to state the position accurately, because if you did, you'd realize your error.

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and in fact the whole story has been a COMPLETE hoax from the very start.

The mythological position does not consider the jesus myth a hoax - or a purposeful fraud.

Please read Gdon's description of the mythicist position.

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This is much more extraordinary than the mere embellishment I am suggesting.

No, there's nothing extraordinary about the creation of a myth. It happened all the time years ago. And it does not require a fraud or a hoax or even a lie.

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I could just as well say you are the irrational one,

Of course you could - in the sense that a child could say "No, you are!" and stick his tongue out at me.

But seeing as you have no actual reason to hold to that claim, then, you're actually just being irrational yourself.

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since rationality exists from a particular standpoint

This is self refuting. If rationality is merely a point of view, then why are you here arguing with me? What's the point of arguing at all?

See the problem?

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This could VERY well be the case in my eyes, since I have done quite a bit of credible studying

as opposed to incredible studying? Like reading a book while tight rope walking and juggling lit fire crackers?

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in comming to the conclusion that a man named Jesus probably did exist behind the legend, inspiring the gospels in a way short of the supernatural, but extraordinary nonetheless.

If you did study it at all, you'd know that there are no contemporary reports of any "jesus'

Ask Gdon.

If you actually have an argument, give it.

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It's quite a strong possibility that this was a teacher of some sort living roughly two thousand years ago, born some time other than Christmas whom embraced some sort of passive resistance in the face of this Goliath oppressor-- a dominator whom systematically crushed any opposition

Such a person wouldn't be jesus, as I've already explained. Just as a real life inspiration of Paul Bunyan wouldn't be Paul Bunyan.
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And all this time, I've been pointing out the problem in your claim. "Jesus' refers to jesus of the gospels. To refer to a 'jesus' that has nothing to do with jesus christ of the gospels, as if it were still "Jesus" is an equivocation fallacy.

One might argue that a real person helped inspire the legend, but this would just prove that there was no actual jesus. The term 'jesus' refers to the concept of jesus in the gospels, any 'other
jesus' wouldn't be jesus at all....


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"Jesus" refers to the concept of a guy that was crusified.

No. It refers to a miracle godman who was crucified and resurrected. A 'jesus' who was just some poor sap who was crucified isn't jesus... he's just something that inspired the story.

And there's no reason to believe even that.

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"Jesus Christ" refers to the man of the gospels. Maybe it would be better for you to modify your definition of terms here,

No, because as I've already expalined, any 'jesus' who doesn't fit the key elements of the gospel accounts isn't 'jesus' at all... using the terms 'jesus' and "jesus christ' make no sense... either the 'being' is something akin to the gospels, or he isn't. If he isn't, then there's no need to refer to him as a 'jesus' in any sense. A mere man who inspired the legend isn't 'jesus' at all.

Seeing as you clearly don't even read my posts, I'll just reprint the above:

"Jesus' refers to jesus of the gospels. To refer to a 'jesus' that has nothing to do with jesus christ of the gospels, as if it were still "Jesus" is an equivocation fallacy.

One might argue that a real person helped inspire the legend, but this would just prove that there was no actual jesus. The term 'jesus' refers to the concept of jesus in the gospels, any 'other
jesus' wouldn't be jesus at all....

Christians who argue for a 'purely human jesus' are just playing a shell game with you anyway....

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http://www.ucgstp.org/lit/gn/

http://www.ucgstp.org/lit/gn/gn044/proof.html

But the whole concept of "contemporary" evidence is a loaded question to allow the denial of any kind of historical evidence by other history records from those days...

Who is more irrational?A man who believes in a God he doesn't see, or a man who is offended by a God he doesn't believe in?-Brad Stine
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http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/

http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/science/06/18/jesus.box/index.html

Or obvious bullshit. THREE AND A HALF YEARS AGO this was refuted.

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todangst wrote: The burden

todangst wrote:

The burden of proof is always on the person asserting something.

Right, therefor the burden is yours since you assert that Jesus didn't exist. I came upon your assertion first, I grabbed the skeptic hat first.

Oh, and to cut back on confusion just assume that when I say "Jesus" I'm refering to a poor sap that was crusified, and when I say "Jesus Christ" I'm talking about a mythical figure.

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Please read Gdon's description of the mythicist position.

If I wanted more of the mythical position I'd go to some church, or read more Joseph Campbell.

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No, there's nothing extraordinary about the creation of a myth. It happened all the time years ago. And it does not require a fraud or a hoax or even a lie.

Right! It happens nowadays too, mind you.

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This is self refuting. If rationality is merely a point of view, then why are you here arguing with me? What's the point of arguing at all?

Because "rationality" seems to be more of a qualitative criteria for quantitative arguement or empirical data... but it isn't everything.

For instance, rationalize the number of thoughts that are in this sentence, or better yet rationalize what I am thinking from a CAT scan. What is the precise quantity of love a person must get before they're happy, after the age of 25.

See the problem?

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as opposed to incredible studying? Like reading a book while tight rope walking and juggling lit fire crackers?

Well, it was pretty incredible I got any studying done with my dog licking peanut butter off my balls.

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Such a person wouldn't be jesus, as I've already explained. Just as a real life inspiration of Paul Bunyan wouldn't be Paul Bunyan.

Oh come on, you probably think there was a poor sap named Jesus crusified around year 33 or so.

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There's no reason to believe even that.

Sure there is. The people who first wrote about Jesus lived only one or two generations away from his personal time line, and probably had some more "matter of fact" style reportings of the whole Jesus incident. Roman records at the least.

If you agree that there was a non-extraordinary myth creation process at work here, then given the small time frame along with the precise historical personages refered to in this story you'd likely agree that there is some factual presence.

It all just seems too uncharacteristic of a complete tall tale such as that of "Johnney Appleseed" or "Paul Bunyon" with all the everlasting neverending hinting indefinites you find in those. You see, the Jesus story works from a very worldly and mundane level.

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No, because as I've already expalined, any 'jesus' who doesn't fit the key elements of the gospel accounts isn't 'jesus' at all... using the terms 'jesus' and "jesus christ' make no sense... either the 'being' is something akin to the gospels, or he isn't. If he isn't, then there's no need to refer to him as a 'jesus' in any sense. A mere man who inspired the legend isn't 'jesus' at all.

It's a bit arbitrary how you draw the distinctions, imagine using mine if you haven't already.

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Seeing as you clearly don't even read my posts, I'll just reprint the above:

No thanks, and I have been reading them. Don't get me wrong, I do see where you're comming from.

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Christians who argue for a 'purely human jesus' are just playing a shell game with you anyway....

Usually it's disheartening to them that I've taken so much interest and care in examining their gospels.

Remember, the sin of the Jews in the eyes of the post-Constantinian Christian is that they were the closest witnesses to Jesus Christ, yet the firmest doubters. They still carry the negative baggage to this day. Once the Romans went Chrisitian, they proselytized everyone in the empire "unchristian" save the Jews--- the Jews were to be made an example of. They were to be evidence for how wretched doubters of the faith are.

Later on they couldn't own property (money lending is about all a Jew could do to make good money), popes made them wear yellow stars in public, and they had to live in ghettos. The Christians figured that the more it sucked to be a Jew, the greater incentive it would be for one to become a Christian.

There's still something "in our water" that just makes us crazy like this, even secular figures such as Karl Marx and Voltaire have been prone to this phenomenon.

Something just makes gentiles want to blame Jews.


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Quote:Remember, the sin of

Quote:
Remember, the sin of the Jews in the eyes of the post-Constantinian Christian is that they were the closest witnesses to Jesus Christ, yet the firmest doubters.

Obviously strong evidence that he really existed Smiling .

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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RichardB8633 wrote:todangst

RichardB8633 wrote:
todangst wrote:

The burden of proof is always on the person asserting something.

Right, therefore the burden is yours since you assert that Jesus didn't exist.

No. Funny how you must continually go back to that strawman - that I'm saying he 'definately didn't exist" when that's an unnecesary standard for non belief.

1) I don't need to affirm that he 'didn't exist' and the fact that you find it necessary to word it that way ought to arouse your own suspicions. A complete historical silence on the matter of jesus, the christ, is rational justification for rejecting claims for the existence of jesus the christ. This is the same position of rational non belief you take, when you lack belief in Santa Claus. You hold to such claims based on the evidence, and you hold to non belief when the evidence is lacking. You don't need to actively disprove the existence of Santa Claus, but that's basically what you're asking of me here.

2) Non belief is the fallback. You can't just assume 'jesus' existed, but your agument does precisely that. There's no such thing as a burden of disproof.

I expect that you'll just go right back to asserting the same strawman - that I'm 'definately rullng out jesus the christ, a priori' when in fact I am holding to the fallback - non belief. So when you do, can you just cut and paste this response to your response? You don't even need to post here, you can do it at home. Consider the 'home version' of rational responders.

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Please read Gdon's description of the mythicist position.

Quote:

If I wanted more of the mythical position I'd go to some church, or read more Joseph Campbell.

I refered you to his description to help clarify my position.
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No, there's nothing extraordinary about the creation of a myth. It happened all the time years ago. And it does not require a fraud or a hoax or even a lie.

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Right! It happens nowadays too, mind you.

Indeed. So you admit that there's no need for a lie. So you've refuted your own claims here.

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This is self refuting. If rationality is merely a point of view, then why are you here arguing with me? What's the point of arguing at all?

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Because "rationality" seems to be more of a qualitative criteria for quantitative argument or empirical data... but it isn't everything.

You didn't answer the question. If rationality is merely a point of view, then there's no need for discourse at all. So why are you here?

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Such a person wouldn't be jesus, as I've already explained. Just as a real life inspiration of Paul Bunyan wouldn't be Paul Bunyan.

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Oh come on, you probably think there was a poor sap named Jesus crusified around year 33 or so.

I really don't know why I must repeat myself to you. "Jesus' is a reference to the jesus of the gospels. I don't see any reason at all to believe that such a godman existed.

If some poor sap got hung from a cross, and died, then he's not 'jesus'.

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There's no reason to believe even that.

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Sure there is. The people who first wrote about Jesus lived only one or two generations away from his personal time line,

You're begging the question here.

They might have believed that this was true, but if they were 'two generations away' then they'd being going on hearsay, myth. They'd have no way of verifying if the myth actually had a real origin.

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and probably had some more "matter of fact" style reportings

If he did, where are they? You're not justified in simply assuming.

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If you agree that there was a non-extraordinary myth creation process at work here, then given the small time frame along with the precise historical personages refered to in this story you'd likely agree that there is some factual presence.

On the contrary, a real person might get in the way of a fine myth.
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It all just seems too uncharacteristic of a complete tall tale such as that of "Johnney Appleseed" or "Paul Bunyon"

I hear assertions like this all the time, but you've not given me a justification for your analysis. It just sounds to me that you're speaking from personal incredulity.

Quote:

No, because as I've already expalined, any 'jesus' who doesn't fit the key elements of the gospel accounts isn't 'jesus' at all... using the terms 'jesus' and "jesus christ' make no sense... either the 'being' is something akin to the gospels, or he isn't. If he isn't, then there's no need to refer to him as a 'jesus' in any sense. A mere man who inspired the legend isn't 'jesus' at all.

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It's a bit arbitrary how you draw the distinctions,

It's the exact opposite. The jesus of christianity is jesus the christ. Dies, reborn. Miracle worker. Very cut and dry.

Quote:

Seeing as you clearly don't even read my posts, I'll just reprint the above:

Quote:

No thanks, and I have been reading them.

If so, then I find it strange all I need to do to respond to your posts is repeat what I've already said.

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BobSpence1

BobSpence1 wrote:
Quote:
Remember, the sin of the Jews in the eyes of the post-Constantinian Christian is that they were the closest witnesses to Jesus Christ, yet the firmest doubters.

Obviously strong evidence that he really existed Smiling .

LOL

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It's an interesting stretch

I certainly don't believe in hocus pocus but I believe it's a real possibility that a man named Jesus existed. This is certainly flimsy evidence at best but the theory of Jesus having a brother really irks the catholics so I thought to submit it anyways. No, I don't really expect the money. Enjoy:

http://www.bib-arch.org/bswbOOossuaryarchive.asp?PubID=BSBA&Volume=28&Issue=6&ArticleID=1


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Retepsemaj wrote:I certainly

Retepsemaj wrote:
I certainly don't believe in hocus pocus but I believe it's a real possibility that a man named Jesus existed. This is certainly flimsy evidence at best but the theory of Jesus having a brother really irks the catholics so I thought to submit it anyways. No, I don't really expect the money. Enjoy:

http://www.bib-arch.org/bswbOOossuaryarchive.asp?PubID=BSBA&Volume=28&Issue=6&ArticleID=1

The inscription on the box is well known to be fake:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/story/2003/06/18/ossuary030618.html

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Wouldn't he have technically

In reference to someone submitting the fake James (brother of Jesus) ossuary as evidence:

Wouldn't he have technically only been Jesus's half-brother anyway?

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Does this have a point?

From what I have myself heard, Jesus of Nazareth was in fact a revolutionary leader against the Romans. In fact, he was one of many of these leaders. He certainly was not a Christian, however. This a central point. I believe that we aren't seeing the forest for the trees here. Whether he existed or not, Christianity is still an incredibly backward force and god does not exist. It is the same problem that those who theorize about how Kennedy died have - namely that it does not matter. Some say that one man pulled the trigger, some say two, some three. It is even said that it might have been the driver. But that does not really matter. Those are just logistics. What DOES matter is that it was a wide reaching conspiracy and that both Oswald and Oswald's killer died under mysterious circumstances. It is the same in the case of Jesus. Yes, he may have lived, but that does not have anything to do with the religion that bears his name. We should stick to science and philosophy, and stay away from conspiracy. God is a myth, and that is that.
PS - even if Jesus did not exist, that would not really be an argument against religion, seeing as a Christian would simply point out that regardless of his existence, his teachings would still be relevant.

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phoniel wrote:From what I

phoniel wrote:
From what I have myself heard, Jesus of Nazareth was in fact a revolutionary leader against the Romans.

You heard wrong.

Quote:
In fact,

When discussing hearsay, never use this line. It is far from fact.

Quote:
he was one of many of these leaders. He certainly was not a Christian, however. This a central point.

The point here is how non-chalantly you can claim without evidence. Where are your sources? What is your evidence? You claim alot and prove nothing. Typical of people trying to satisfy their need for something to exist.

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I believe that we aren't seeing the forest for the trees here.

We are, and if you took the time to read the rest of the boards you see just how much we see the big picture. This contest is to prove a point. It isn't our entire outlook.

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Whether he existed or not, Christianity is still an incredibly backward force and god does not exist.

But it would definitely really suck to show Christians just how backwards their beliefs are...believing in a myth - and finding out that you believe in a myth - is more devastating to said belief then saying "Your beliefs are backwards."

Quote:
It is the same problem that those who theorize about how Kennedy died have - namely that it does not matter. Some say that one man pulled the trigger, some say two, some three. It is even said that it might have been the driver. But that does not really matter. Those are just logistics.

Comparing an assassination of a president we know lived to a mythical being 2/3 of the world population believed to have existed is a HUGE difference. They aren't even in the same ballpark. Not even the same game.

Quote:
What DOES matter is that it was a wide reaching conspiracy and that both Oswald and Oswald's killer died under mysterious circumstances. It is the same in the case of Jesus. Yes, he may have lived, but that does not have anything to do with the religion that bears his name.

What are you talking about? It has almost everything to do with it.

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We should stick to science and philosophy, and stay away from conspiracy.

This isn't conspiracy. This is the truth. The man behind the curtain.

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God is a myth, and that is that.

And so is Jesus. And that is more then powerful then that.

Quote:
PS - even if Jesus did not exist, that would not really be an argument against religion, seeing as a Christian would simply point out that regardless of his existence, his teachings would still be relevant.

Not really, because "his" teachings would no longer be "his" but somebody elses. Get it? They are no longer divine moral statements, and become mans poor subjective opinions. And when one see's that, everything else falls into place.

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Moses

To add to my previous point, I will say that current experts are beginning to come to the conclusion that Moses did in fact exist. However, they are saying that he was in fact the Pharoh Ramses II. I believe this is what is being said, at least, but someone should fact check for me. The point is that he existed, but that fact is irrelevant, seeing as his character and teachings have probably been horribly skewed by time.

Science is a man's search for truth, Religion is the fool's search for comfort.


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Reply to Rook_Hawkins

Quote:
You heard wrong.

There are a few references to Jesus in 1st-century Roman and Jewish sources. Documents indicate that within a few years of Jesus' death, Romans were aware that someone named Chrestus (a slight misspelling of Christus) had been responsible for disturbances in the Jewish community in Rome (Suetonius, The Life of the Deified Claudius 25.4). Twenty years later, according to Tacitus, Christians in Rome were prominent enough to be persecuted by Nero, and it was known that they were devoted to Christus, whom Pilate had executed (Annals 15.44).
- Encyclopaedia Britannica

This article goes on to say that this is meager evidence, however the point is still there. Times were turbulent, and there were many emerging sects of Judaism. There was extensive mingling between religions also, adding to the emergence of new sects.

I regret saying, "In fact, he was one of many of these leaders. He certainly was not a Christian, however. This a central point."
I should have said, "In fact, he was probably one of many of these leaders."

Quote:
The point here is how non-chalantly you can claim without evidence. Where are your sources? What is your evidence? You claim alot and prove nothing. Typical of people trying to satisfy their need for something to exist.

First of all, I resent your charicterization of me. I am an atheist as much as you are. Of course Jesus was not a christian, because christianity did not exist. Christianity was not created until the gospels were written, years after Jesus' death. My sources? The publication date on the New Testament. This is obvious, so as anyone actually versed in the actual rules for source citation would know, I do not need to cite my sources in a matter of common knowledge. And yes, it is certainly public knowledge, as it is mentioned in many encyclopedias. Look it up.

Quote:
We are, and if you took the time to read the rest of the boards you see just how much we see the big picture. This contest is to prove a point. It isn't our entire outlook.

You are completely misrepresenting my point. Religion is a social and scientific construct, and should be debunked as such. Yes, history is useful, in fact devestatingly useful, however this is only because it describes the social conditions that gave rise (and even now give rise) to religion.

Quote:
But it would definitely really suck to show Christians just how backwards their beliefs are...believing in a myth - and finding out that you believe in a myth - is more devastating to said belief then saying "Your beliefs are backwards."

No, here you are dead wrong. Christianity has had to back up its positions over time to deal with science. Now, almost all of Christians I argue with admit that much of the bible is myth. "However," they say, "It still has good morals and without religion society would have no humanity." Therefor, proving that their beliefs are backwards and immoral is an even more devestating attack than attempting to disprove the existence of Jesus.

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Comparing an assassination of a president we know lived to a mythical being 2/3 of the world population believed to have existed is a HUGE difference. They aren't even in the same ballpark. Not even the same game.

This is a vast misrepresentation of my analogy. I am not comparing the existence of the president with the existence of Jesus, but the existence of a conspiracy to kill the president to the existence of Jesus. We do not know if Jesus existed, but that does not matter, for the religion exists without a doubt. We do not know who shot kennedy, but that does not matter, for we know that there was some sort of conspiracy.

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:

What DOES matter is that it was a wide reaching conspiracy and that both Oswald and Oswald's killer died under mysterious circumstances. It is the same in the case of Jesus. Yes, he may have lived, but that does not have anything to do with the religion that bears his name..

What are you talking about? It has almost everything to do with it.

No. The religion of christianity does not draw power from the existence of Jesus. It draws power from the ideals that Jesus spoke of. Those ideals are completely separate from Jesus' existence.

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This isn't conspiracy. This is the truth. The man behind the curtain.

It most certainly is conspiracy! No conspiracy states, "BEWARE! THIS IS A CONSPIRACY ZONE!" No. They always say that they are fact. But, they almost all share something in common. They are all irrelevant. Whether or not Jesus lived has nothing to do with the christian religion, much as whether or not Jefferson had slaves has nothing to do with the ideals of American democracy.

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And so is Jesus. And that is more then powerful then that.

Jesus is simply a teacher, whereas God was what he preached. Jesus was the SON of god, and was used to spread God's word.
Therefor, the idea of God is in fact more powerful than the idea of Jesus.

Quote:
Not really, because "his" teachings would no longer be "his" but somebody elses. Get it? They are no longer divine moral statements, and become mans poor subjective opinions. And when one see's that, everything else falls into place.

"His" teachings would still exist, however, and they would still have power. Of course they are subjective. that is the entire point of god. Religion replaces cold hard science with human subjectivity.

I hope I have blown all your puny little minds, but not really.
Sincerely,
I'm relatively sure I'm right.

PS - Bowing will not be necessary. Respond soon so that I may destroy you again.
PPS - I hope this doesn't sound egotistical (And yes, I am of course joking. I hope no one takes offence)

Science is a man's search for truth, Religion is the fool's search for comfort.


MattShizzle
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I disagree. If it could be

I disagree. If it could be proven without a doubt to Christians that not only was he not the son of god, but he didn't even exist, that would pretty much destroy their whole world view. Who's going to pray to something they know doesn't exist? By the way, some of the Jesus characters teachings were pretty bad.

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phoniel
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Reply to MattShizzle

Look at the steps that the Catholic church has taken. They have slowly rolled back their views to science. First the world was flat and the center of the universe and everything was made in seven day. Then the world was round. Then it revolved in a circular orbit around the sun. Then that orbit was elliptical and no matter how heavy things were, they would both fall wih uniform acceleration. Now the church is in the process of rolling back its views on birth control, AND, most importantly for my argument, they have decided to "interpret" the bible. So now, evolution by the hand of God is being trumpeted by clergy everywhere. The point is that their views can change, but the religion stays because they only have to interpret the bible. If it was conclusively proved that Jesus did not exist, they would simply point out that he influenced the earth in spirit. Religion rises from social conditions, poverty, desperation, ignorance. For religion to be destroyed, those social conditions must also be destroyed. Religion flourishes in poverty, among the hopeless and uneducated. You will never destroy religion by science alone. Here is an example. The United States is in Iraq at the moment. I will not go into politics here because I don't feel like ranting. I can present my views on another forum (HINT! they're not liberatarian, conservative, or democrat - or green, I suppose. The point is, the United States has been hit by a terrorist attack, so they use this provocation to invade. Even though the greatest military might the world has ever seen has just been unleashed, we can't seem to stop the insurgents. Why? Because they will keep on popping up, no matter how many we kill or convert. This is of course because the conditions make people want to kill Americans. If there was no poverty in Afghanistan, Osama would never have had support. Do you see what I mean? To eliminate Religion, society itself must change. There must be no poverty or ignorance. Therefor, the solution is political in nature. Anyone who has argued with a Christian knows that no matter how much evidence you present, they will not renounce their god. I know how I would destroy poverty and ignorance. I'll see if you come to my solution.

Science is a man's search for truth, Religion is the fool's search for comfort.


Rook_Hawkins
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phoniel wrote:Quote:You

phoniel wrote:
Quote:
You heard wrong.

There are a few references to Jesus in 1st-century Roman and Jewish sources.

None are contemporary. None are verifiably accurate (i.e. Josephus is a forgery, Paul was a Gnostic who taught esoterically, same with the book of Hebrews and Clement). You need to do your homework before claiming you "destroyed me." Joking or not.

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Documents indicate that within a few years of Jesus' death, Romans were aware that someone named Chrestus (a slight misspelling of Christus) had been responsible for disturbances in the Jewish community in Rome (Suetonius, The Life of the Deified Claudius 25.4).

False, false. First of all, had you bothered to read this thread you'd have known I already covered all of your supposed "sources" or Jesus' existence. Let's start again, so you can see how little you actually know. I'll even make this as thorough as possible for you.

  • Problems with suggesting that Suetonius talks about Jesus

    Suetonius: "Since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he (the emperor, Claudius) expelled them from Rome" (The Life of Claudius, Sec. 25.4).

    1. (1) Suetonius wrote in the year 115 CE, so this is FAR from a contemporary account. He doesn't cite or list sources and Christianity would have been decently established by this time.
    2. (2) Surely no one will contend that Christ was inciting riots at Rome 15 years after he was supposedly crucified at Jerusalem. And why would Jews be led by Jesus to begin with? But by citing this you are assuming this is the case.
    3. (3) This passage contains no evidence for the historicity of Jesus, even if we substitute "Christus" for "Chrestus." Christus is merely the Greek-Latin translation of "anointed" and the phrase "at the instigation of Christus" could refer to a group of people just as much as it could have meant one person. This is reminiscent of the name Theophilus mentioned in the beginning of Acts and Luke, (whom the narrator/author of the books are addressing the prose too) which simply means "lover/friend of God." Which can apply to many people instead of one singular person (maybe even a congregation of people).
    4. (4) "Chrestus" was not only a familiar personal name, it was also a name of the Egyptian Serapis or Osiris, who had a large following at Rome, especially among the common people. Hence "Christians" may be either the followers of a man named Chrestus, or of Serapis. Historians know what evil repute the Egyptian people, which consisted mainly of Alexandrian elements, had at Rome. While other foreign cults that had been introduced into Rome enjoyed the utmost toleration, the cult of Serapis and Isis was exposed repeatedly to persecution. The lax morality associated with their worship of the Egyptian gods and the fanaticism of their worshippers repelled the Romans, and excited the suspicion that their cults might be directed against the State.
    5. (5) Vopiscus said, "Those who worship Serapis and the Chrestians,.... They are a turbulent, inflated, lawless body of men." Is it not possible that the reference to Chrestus and the Chrestians has been too hastily applied to Christos and Christians? The "Chrestians," who were detested by the people for their crimes,..., are not Christians at all, but followers of Chrestus, the scum of Egypt, the apaches of Rome, a people on whom Nero could very easily cast the suspicion of having set fire to Rome.
    6. (6)The name in the text is not "Christus" but "Chrestus," which by no means is the usual designation of Jesus. It was a common name, especially among Roman freedman. (Cicero, Epistulae ad Familiares, book 2, letter 8, section 1; "What! Do you suppose that I meant you to send me an account of gladiatorial matches, of postponements of trials, of robberies by Chrestus, and such things as, when I am at Rome, nobody ventures to retail to me?") Hence, the whole passage may have nothing whatever to do with Christianity.
    7. (7)As one source mentioned it, "Thus much we seem to learn from both passages: but the most enlightened men of that age were singularly ill-informed on the stupendous events which had recently occurred in Judea, and we find Suetonius, although he lived at the commencement of the first century of the Christian aera, when the memory of these occurrences was still fresh, and it might be supposed, by that time, widely diffused, transplanting Christ from Jerusalem to Rome, and placing him in the time of Claudius, although the crucifixion took place during the reign of Tiberius." (Suetonius: The Lives of the Twelve Caesars; An English Translation, Alexander Thomson. Philadelphia. Gebbie & Co. 1889.) What is interesting to note here is that if these events had recently just happened (in the Gospels or anything similar) you'd think those who wrote about it would have written about these events and got them down as they remembered them. Apparently this isn't the case.
    8. (8 ) From Suetonius, "He suppressed all foreign religions, and the Egyptian and Jewish rites, obliging those who practised that kind of superstition, to burn their vestments, and all their sacred utensils. He distributed the Jewish youths, under the pretence of military service, among the provinces noted for an unhealthy climate; and dismissed from the city all the rest of that nation as well as those who were proselytes to that religion, under pain of slavery for life, unless they complied. He also expelled the astrologers; but upon their suing for pardon, and promising to renounce their profession, he revoked his decree." (Lives of the Caesars; Tiberius, 36) What is important to note here is that Tiberius (not just Claudius) also revoked the Jews religious rites and expelled them from Rome. (This is also mentioend in Acts) As this is the case, and upon reading Cicero, it could have easily been in Seutonius' interest to apply the name "Chrestus" to the instigator of the Jewish expulsion. (Read also Josephus, Ant.18:5.)

    Quote:
    Twenty years later, according to Tacitus, Christians in Rome were prominent enough to be persecuted by Nero, and it was known that they were devoted to Christus, whom Pilate had executed (Annals 15.44).
    - Encyclopaedia Britannica

    Nobody is disputing the existence of Christians. We are disputing the existence of Christ. Do the followers of Zoroaster prove that he existed? No.

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    This article goes on to say that this is meager evidence, however the point is still there.

    You're right. The point is this is meager evidence that is not suitable to even be refered to as "evidence."

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    Times were turbulent, and there were many emerging sects of Judaism.

    There were three. Not many more. Just three. Read up on your Josephus, Hippolytus and Pliny the Elder to name a few. Philo is also excellent.

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    There was extensive mingling between religions also, adding to the emergence of new sects.

    Not disputing that there were hellenistic cults arrising. But none of them needed a particular human leader. If you even knew a thing about Orphic hellenistic culture, you'd realize that most were dependant on a spiritual deity that existed on a very seperate Gnostic plain then our world. Although the spiritual world was generally considered to be that of the same as ours in literature. (i.e. the stories were allegorical)

    Quote:
    I regret saying, "In fact, he was one of many of these leaders. He certainly was not a Christian, however. This a central point."
    I should have said, "In fact, he was probably one of many of these leaders."

    You should have said, "I think he was one of these leaders, but I didn't study enough, or I was too lazy to cross reference my hear say." That would have been more accurate.

    Quote:
    Quote:
    The point here is how non-chalantly you can claim without evidence. Where are your sources? What is your evidence? You claim alot and prove nothing. Typical of people trying to satisfy their need for something to exist.

    First of all, I resent your charicterization of me.

    I'm calling a spade a spade. You have continued to prove my point here in this thread with your second post.

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    I am an atheist as much as you are.

    Then stop acting like a theist.

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    Of course Jesus was not a christian, because christianity did not exist.

    And neither did he.

    Quote:
    Christianity was not created until the gospels were written, years after Jesus' death.My sources? The publication date on the New Testament.

    Christianity was known as Christianity before the New testament was published. You have no sources, you're making this up as you go along.

    Quote:
    This is obvious, so as anyone actually versed in the actual rules for source citation would know, I do not need to cite my sources in a matter of common knowledge.

    But this obviously isn't common knowledge. There is no evidence for it. That is entirely what we are disputing here.

    Quote:
    And yes, it is certainly public knowledge, as it is mentioned in many encyclopedias. Look it up.

    Yet in one flick of a wrist I destroyed those encyclopedia references. You did no independant research and you look like a bloody fool. Don't step into the ring when you don't have a damn clue what you are talking about.

    Quote:
    Quote:
    Comparing an assassination of a president we know lived to a mythical being 2/3 of the world population believed to have existed is a HUGE difference. They aren't even in the same ballpark. Not even the same game.

    This is a vast misrepresentation of my analogy. I am not comparing the existence of the president with the existence of Jesus, but the existence of a conspiracy to kill the president to the existence of Jesus. We do not know if Jesus existed, but that does not matter,

    Let's look at that again:

    Earlier you wrote:
    And yes, it is certainly public knowledge, as it is mentioned in many encyclopedias. Look it up.

    Now you wrote:
    We do not know if Jesus existed...

    When your whole point is to say that Jesus' existence is a well known fact, then state that it's not a well known fact, you not only contradict yourself but also just told yourself that the evidence is wanting.

    Way to go proving my point and making yourself look stupid again.

    Quote:
    for the religion exists without a doubt.

    But the reason why it exists in the STATE it does today is due to the misrepresentation, hiding of, or destruction of evidence in spite of it. Do you not get that? Is the wool still over your eyes so much that this whole point goes amiss on you?

    Quote:
    We do not know who shot kennedy, but that does not matter, for we know that there was some sort of conspiracy.

    You do? How?

    Quote:
    Quote:
    Quote:
    What DOES matter is that it was a wide reaching conspiracy and that both Oswald and Oswald's killer died under mysterious circumstances. It is the same in the case of Jesus. Yes, he may have lived, but that does not have anything to do with the religion that bears his name..

    What are you talking about? It has almost everything to do with it.

    No. The religion of christianity does not draw power from the existence of Jesus. It draws power from the ideals that Jesus spoke of.

    You are so far from reality now it is scary that you think you're being rational. For starters, if Christians only believed in the ideals Jesus taught, then the canon of the New Testament would include DROVES of books with quotes attributed to him, some predating the synoptic gospels by generations!

    Second, the very FACT that Christians don't read the Bible and for the most part know nor the contents within (Ask a random Christian to explain the Transfiguration and what it signified, and what verse it's in in any Gospel...they can't do it) proves that they again know diddly about his ideals.

    Christians only know what they are told to believe. Most never read, nor do they understand the Jesus of the Bible. They are ONLY comforted by the illusion of Jesus, which is that he lived and proformed miracles and existed AS THE SON OF GOD. This is what makes a Christian...a CHRISTIAN?! Good heavens, man. If you take away Christ...there IS NO CHRISTIANITY!

    Quote:
    Those ideals are completely separate from Jesus' existence.

    False, false, false, false and false. Learn to contemplate rationally, would you? You are boring me with having to constantly correct your ignorance.

    Quote:
    Quote:
    This isn't conspiracy. This is the truth. The man behind the curtain.

    It most certainly is conspiracy! No conspiracy states, "BEWARE! THIS IS A CONSPIRACY ZONE!" No. They always say that they are fact. But, they almost all share something in common. They are all irrelevant.

    Yet here, once again, you contradict yourself:

    You earlier again wrote:
    We do not know who shot kennedy, but that does not matter, for we know that there was some sort of conspiracy.

    So what is it? The conspiracy or the event leading to the conspiracy that is the issue here?! Which one is relevant?! Or are you just pulling this from your ass too?

    Quote:
    Whether or not Jesus lived has nothing to do with the christian religion, much as whether or not Jefferson had slaves has nothing to do with the ideals of American democracy.

    Riiiight. Raised Brow

    Quote:
    Quote:
    And so is Jesus. And that is more then powerful then that.

    Jesus is simply a teacher, whereas God was what he preached.

    There you go stating claims as if they were fact again. You are horrible at this.

    Quote:
    Jesus was the SON of god, and was used to spread God's word.

    And you wonder why I think you're a theist?

    Quote:
    Therefor, the idea of God is in fact more powerful than the idea of Jesus.

    According to who?

    Quote:
    Quote:
    Not really, because "his" teachings would no longer be "his" but somebody elses. Get it? They are no longer divine moral statements, and become mans poor subjective opinions. And when one see's that, everything else falls into place.

    "His" teachings would still exist, however, and they would still have power.

    No they wouldn't.

    Quote:
    Of course they are subjective. that is the entire point of god. Religion replaces cold hard science with human subjectivity.

    Way to completely miss the point, Sherlock.

    Quote:
    I hope I have blown all your puny little minds, but not really.
    Sincerely,
    I'm relatively sure I'm right.

    You're a fool and a fraud.

    And I'm dead serious. You need to go back and read until you are somewhere near my level. Until that day, don't even think for a moment you are on par with me. And that isn't egotism, that's fact.

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


    phoniel
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    sorry for the lateness

    I'm going to start writing in a second.


    todangst
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    phoniel wrote: PS - even if

    phoniel wrote:

    PS - even if Jesus did not exist, that would not really be an argument against religion, .

    It would be a complete, absolute and total refutation of christianity.

    Christianity involves accepting jesus as the christ.

    Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

    Books on atheism.


    Rook_Hawkins
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    I'm not trying to sound like

    I'm not trying to sound like an arrogant prick, but, dude....this is turning into a five-hour second....

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    Deathmunkee
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    Kind of odd...

    http://www.skepticwiki.org/wiki/index.php/Existence_Of_Jesus

    To find somebody arguing for the existence of jesus on a skeptical wiki suprised me...I guess this just shows that is isn't a widely help position, but I am interested in your reply (debunking) to it, especially the part about ad hoc explanations...


    Rook_Hawkins
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    It isn't widely held because

    It isn't widely held because most people aren't informed enough to see the problem with accepting historicity. This isn't their fault. I'll get to the debunking sometime soon.

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


    phoniel
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    DEFEAT!

    Well, after not posting here for eternity, I must confess myself generally kicked in the ass by you, Rook Hawkins. I consent defeat, and applaud you for your argument. Sorry for the long posting time - I was pretty lazy. If I hear any more arguments for Jesus, I'll post them here. Again, good job.

    Phoniel. 

    Science is a man's search for truth, Religion is the fool's search for comfort.


    American Atheist
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    Victory!

    Victory!