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Ch. 2: The Hypothesis of Historicity (On the Historicity of Jesus by Richard Carrier) 
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Post Re: Ch. 2: The Hypothesis of Historicity (On the Historicity of Jesus by Richard Carrier)
the joker wrote:
Hail, my Lord, who dost hasten through eternity, whose existence is for ever, Lord of Lords, King of Kings, Sovereign, King of the gods, who live in their shrine.


speaking of old Lazza bags :-D

The Ritual text (Ch. 170) calls to the glorified soul: "Hail, Osiris, thou art born twice!" Again: "Stand up living forever. Thy son Horus reconstituted thee. Arise on thy bed and come forth! Come! Come forth!" They call him to come forth "like a god" "from the mysterious cave."

now what does that call to mind :hmm:

bible wrote:
43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”

:lol: nothing egyptian here, move along please :lol:


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Robert Tulip, Vishnu
Fri Feb 19, 2016 2:43 am
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Post Re: Ch. 2: The Hypothesis of Historicity (On the Historicity of Jesus by Richard Carrier)
DWill wrote:
mythicism in this modern form had never occurred to these authorities.
Your comment involves some circular presuppositions. If Jesus in fact did not exist, then of course the idea that Jesus did not exist must at some point have occurred to ancient authorities. That is a simple and obvious logical point.

Even if first century knowledge that Christ was invented was rapidly lost by church authorities, as early writers such as Ignatius of Antioch make plain, it makes no sense to say that mythicism never occurred to the authors of the gospels. You are the one begging the question here, assuming your conclusion that Jesus actually existed, which is precisely the point about which Carrier’s book explains why we may have reasons for doubt, in his magnificently understated subtitle.
DWill wrote:
Perhaps you are thinking of Docetism as denying that Jesus ever existed, but it stated that he was not the same as other mortals in terms of physical reality. He was still present, though.

Docetism is traditionally interpreted as a derivative heretical Gnostic claim that Jesus of Nazareth only seemed to be human because as fully God he could not be imagined as also fully human. But this orthodox definition of Docetism again begs the question, assuming that Jesus was a person who lived in Nazareth, albeit one of unique miraculous divine nature.

My reading is that this definition of Docetism is just a classic case of history as written by the victors, and is a distorted misunderstanding of a real original mythicism. If Mark and Paul wrote at two levels, a secret mythicist level for initiates and a parabolic literalist level for the public, then we are wrong to try to interpret the secret level by assuming literal claims are actually true. The problem here is that the original mythicist meaning of faith was suppressed, forgotten, ignored and denied, and then continued only in the distorted fragmentary memory of Docetism as a caricature.
DWill wrote:
if you are saying that because after Constantine suppression greatly increased, we can then generalize about the period following as one where Church oppression was more or less constant, that isn't a valid assumption. You have to dig into the specifics of any period to the extent that the information is available. For anti-Catholics, it can be challenging to remain objective.
Suppression of Gnostic ideas began long before Constantine, and is explicitly present in the New Testament Letters of John, and then a major theme of second century heresiologists such as Irenaeus of Lyon. It was only after the institution of Christendom by Constantine in the early fourth century that heresy became criminalized by the state, as the former prejudices of curial law acquired the full force of the backing of the sword.
DWill wrote:

if night follows day?

I don't need to feel certain about those facts, or to generate the mental process of certainty about them.
Well I do. For my philosophy, certainty about simple scientific observations of the nature of reality in the universe is at the foundation of systematic logic. We should agree on certainty that night follows day, since without such basic points of agreement we are lost in a hopeless relativistic miasma.

I do not claim to be certain about dubious ideas, but there is a continuous spectrum from the certain to the doubtful. Knowledge is by analytical definition certain, since if you have any uncertainty about a belief you cannot class it as knowledge. This pertains to basic logical ideas of sanity and insanity, since to doubt certain claims such as that night follows day is insane. This point is about the foundations of logic.
DWill wrote:

The feeling of being certain is really an important and necessary thing in our social lives. Back when I first joined up here, we read a book by the neurologist Robert Burton, On Being Certain. He talked about that dimension of our minds whereby we defend some propositions as true.
You are mixing up feelings and logic. The feeling of certainty is irrelevant to certainty unless it is backed by rigorous factual demonstration. Just because some morons wrongly feel certain that miracles break the laws of physics at the whim of an intentional God does not mean I am wrong to be certain that night follows day. Such radical doubt about basic empirical facts is nihilistic and wrong.
DWill wrote:
But these are not like the facts you mention, which have little to do with how we relate to others and so can be kept in the background as what you call knowledge. Individuals differ widely in experiencing feelings of certitude about those matters subject to opinion.
The fact that night follows day has everything to do with how we relate to each other, since the structure of terrestrial time provides the entire basis for our common shared sense of order and meaning. People who aren’t sure that night follows day are crazy. Agreement on the foundations enables sensible discussion about more dubious questions.
DWill wrote:

Robert Tulip wrote:
To say that emotional sentiments can be classed as certain is an abuse of language and epistemology

No, the feeling is like a propellant but has nothing essential to do with how true the proposition is. Often the most certain one in a group will be able to carry the day, though.
You are expressing the false postmodern relativist dogma that we can only be certain of our own uncertainty. This false theory has grown up as a political stratagem to counter ideological claims of certainty, but is utterly incoherent in logical terms. Your claim that feelings of certainty bear no relation to truth implies we have no basis to compare the certainty of claims from distinguished scholars against those of charlatans. We do have a basis, evidence and logic. That means that when claims from distinguished scholars are questioned, as in the case of the existence of Jesus Christ, the terrain for this discussion should be evidence and logic, not the sentimental comfort of emotional feelings.
DWill wrote:

feelings are not related to truth. The feeling simply relates to how strongly we present our beliefs.
Again you are jumping between contradictory and incompatible theories of certainty, as a property of feelings or as a property of fact. My point was that in historical discussion we should confine claims of certainty to claims that are beyond doubt. Ehrman argues that the historical existence of Jesus of Nazareth has this sort of rock solid certainty as absolute knowledge. But Carrier disputes this on the basis of evidence and logic. Bringing feelings into the discussion is a complete distraction from the core debate about evidence and logic, and enables apologists to say that because they feel in their hearts that Jesus Christ is the greatest man in history he must exist. Without evidence such feelings are worthless as historical arguments.
DWill wrote:

If in the effort of "detailed systematic analysis" we bury or bypass the primary intellectual and emotional impact that literature exerts on our minds, we've missed the boat. From that higher level of meaning, we get much evidence, too.
But if we make emotional impact primary, then we bury detailed systematic analysis. This is actually a core problem in discussion about religion, which due to its mythical structure rests more on emotion than on evidence. The question of whether Jesus existed is not answered by feelings, even though those sentiments carry what you call a ‘higher level of meaning’. Belief that Jesus connects us to God may be essential to the believers sense of identity, but that sense of identity may be based on untrue assumptions. The point of philosophy and historical analysis is to test all assumptions against evidence and logic, even while we may recognize that dubious assumptions serve a useful social purpose at times.
DWill wrote:

Robert Tulip wrote:
DWill wrote:
These charges of piety and faith do become rather grating, I must say.
Well yes, when you are defending piety and faith by claiming there is historical evidence for Jesus Christ when in fact there is not, it is unsurprising that you would shy away from such observations. I have nothing against piety and faith in principle, except when people use them in a deceptive way to assert that claims based on faith must be true when modern standards of evidence and reason indicate they are false.

You really don't see that what you are doing here is begging the question?

No, I am not assuming my conclusion, which is a phrase I prefer since your phrase begging the question is so widely misused due to its failure to mean what it says. I have not assumed any conclusions in discussion here, but have invited analysis of the historical evidence for Jesus Christ. Carrier provides a compelling detailed argument that the data we have is entirely compatible with invention of Jesus and not with his existence. The burden of proof for the existence of any entity rests on those claiming that the entity exists. No one should believe any claim that is unsupported by evidence, since to do otherwise is a path to ideological delusion, as amply demonstrated in the history of Christianity.


Last edited by Robert Tulip on Sat Feb 20, 2016 9:48 am, edited 2 times in total.

Sat Feb 20, 2016 9:15 am
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