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Atheists and historical illiteracy 
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Post Atheists and historical illiteracy
Yes..

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markshea/2 ... story.html


Quote:
One of the main reasons for studying history is to get a better understanding of why things today are as they are by grasping what has gone before. But it only works with a good grasp of how we can know about the past, the methods of analysis used, and the relevant material our understanding should be based on. It also only works if we strive to put aside what we may like to be true along with any preconceptions (since they are often wrong) and look at the material objectively. Atheists who attempt to use history in their arguments who don’t do these things can not only end up getting things badly wrong, but can also wind up looking as misinformed or even as dogmatic as fundamentalists. And that’s not a good look.


Quote:
The enormous popularity among atheists of the massively historically illiterate thesis that Jesus never existed is such a gigantic howler that any atheist who asserts it instantly renders himself absurd to me, like a high school sophomore who sneeringly announces, “If evolution is true and clams are older than dinosaurs then how come there are still clams but no dinosaurs? Huh? Huh? How come? See! You can’t even answer me!” It’s so ignorant of so many elementary things and so cocksure that you don’t even know where to start. O’Neill is a better man than I am in treating this stuff patiently.


The Galileo Affair is another event that atheists howl incessantly about in an entirely oversimplified and foolish manner.

And of course, there's the gigantic and abusrd non sequitur that is the Jesus Myth Club that's in fashion. The jesus never existed thesis is historically illiterate because it is pushed by un-credentialed layman who have no expertise in historical scholarship. But of course certain atheist zombies feast on anything that fuels their dogma.
And let's not forget the conspiracy theory that proves scholars who think the jesus myth has zero credibility are all in on it together!

Anything to charcoal those Christians, huh!! :up:
:-D



Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:19 am
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Post Re: Atheists and historical illiteracy
"The Galileo Affair is another event that atheists howl incessantly about in an entirely oversimplified and foolish manner. "

They howl incessantly, do they? And in an oversimplified and foolish manner too? Hmm.


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Last edited by geo on Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:29 am, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:24 am
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Post Re: Atheists and historical illiteracy
Quote:
The enormous popularity among atheists of the massively historically illiterate thesis that Jesus never existed is such a gigantic howler


As an historian, you should explain to me why the evidence is so compelling that Jesus existed. Really, the quote above is just an argument from incredulity. The actual evidence has been gone over and over so many times that there's nothing left to argue about. It comes down to pre-existing beliefs. I personally don't think there's good enough evidence to justify saying we "know" Jesus existed. It simply isn't there. This one is a dead horse, but thanks for the polemics.


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Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:27 am
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Post Re: Atheists and historical illiteracy
Strange. The title says "Atheists" but the opening post rants about the "Myth Club."

=/=


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A satirically written source guide for primary source evidence & modern scholarship which affirm the presence of major motifs from the dying-rising hero archetype within the mythos of the Egyptian god Osiris and various other gods of the ancient Mediterranean world who were identified with him. 982 pages excluding the bibliography and table of contents, 2477 footnotes, over 817 works cited, 484 illustrations, etc.


Last edited by Dhyin on Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:44 pm, edited 3 times in total.



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Post Re: Atheists and historical illiteracy
@Interbane

You and I would agree that the evidence is not complelling

You and I would more than likely agree that a non sequitur is in play as argued by the mythicists

You and I could research the formal criteria used to establish the probabilty of the existence of an ancient historical figure. This has been outlined on BT before.

Based on that criteria, if you and I would conclude it was highly unlikely Jesus did not exists (the historical jesus, mind you) by that same reasoning, we could rule out many other figures from antiquity.
We would start with Socrates.

Remeber the doozey Robert laid on us when. i asked him if Socrates existed and why?
He said yes, because people attested to his existence.

Nice, huh!



Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:54 pm
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Post Re: Atheists and historical illiteracy
I was thinking about John the Baptist and Pontius Pilate, who even Earl Doherty says really existed (Pilate certainly, the Baptist probably). So the Gospels don't need to be doubted in that regard. We have someone named Jesus of Nazareth interacting with both of them, which Doherty likens to the skill shown by a novelist in giving his characters a plausible context that readers will accept. But that seems just very strained. In that case why was this novelistic creation repeated 3 or 4 times? The plausible reason appears to be that the writers were reporting on someone understood as historical.



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Post Re: Atheists and historical illiteracy
There's also the sources that mention the existence of a historical Jesus that simply would have no special interests or benefit from fabricate.
If theories of Christian conspiracies are introduced they must be accompanied by evidence from actual historical sources and not speculation

The prominent differences in the myths that mythicists introduce for comparison
are NEVER broached for discussion. They are simply dismissed.
It does not follow that because there are similarities then Jesus must also be mythical.
That conclusion runs contrary to sound reasoning



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Post Re: Atheists and historical illiteracy
ant wrote:
It does not follow that because there are similarities then Jesus must also be mythical.


which "Jesus" are you talking about

the virgin born god-man who rises out from among the dead and walks on water

or

a different as yet unspecified "Jesus"

or

something else

DWill wrote:
We have someone named Jesus of Nazareth interacting with both of them


it looks doubtful that Nazareth was even sufficiently there at the time

Quote:
However when we look for historical confirmation of this hometown of a god – surprise, surprise! – no other source confirms that the place even existed in the 1st century AD.

• Nazareth is not mentioned even once in the entire Old Testament. The Book of Joshua (19.10,16) – in what it claims is the process of settlement by the tribe of Zebulon in the area – records twelve towns and six villages and yet omits any 'Nazareth' from its list.

• The Talmud, although it names 63 Galilean towns, knows nothing of Nazareth, nor does early rabbinic literature.

• St Paul knows nothing of 'Nazareth'. Rabbi Solly's epistles (real and fake) mention Jesus 221 times, Nazareth not at all.

• No ancient historian or geographer mentions Nazareth. It is first noted at the beginning of the 4th century.

- See more at: http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/nazare ... dgebo.dpuf


Quote:
The Myth of Nazareth meticulously reviews the archaeology of the Nazareth basin from the Stone Age to the present, and shows that the settlement of Nazareth came into existence in the early second century C.E., well after the time of Christ. In this study René Salm reviews all the structural and movable evidence from the first excavations in the late 19th century to the most recent reports. This review also encompasses the extensive secondary literature, found in books and reference articles in dictionaries and encyclopedias. Salm shows that traditional conclusions found in all these works regarding the settlement of Nazareth are radically inconsistent with the itemized evidence in the ground.


http://www.nazarethmyth.info/



Tue Apr 22, 2014 1:20 am
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Post Re: Atheists and historical illiteracy
Quote:
the massively historically illiterate thesis that Jesus never existed


well there seem to be 19 and then some of 'em here

Quote:
Josephus, the first century Jewish historian mentions no fewer than nineteen different Yeshuas/Jesii, about half of them contemporaries of the supposed Christ! In his Antiquities, of the twenty-eight high priests who held office from the reign of Herod the Great to the fall of the Temple, no fewer than four bore the name Jesus: Jesus ben Phiabi, Jesus ben Sec, Jesus ben Damneus and Jesus ben Gamaliel.


http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/surfeit.htm

but which one, if any, are we nominating as virgin born son of god who walks on water (amongst many other typically mythological things)

should we check out a different jesus in case he was the guy, seems no need, all the elements of his story are found in other mythologies well known at the time and long before.

if you read the gospels and conclude that you just read history then you should read it again, you missed something.

why should everyone elses wild god-man stories be regarded as mythology but the christians wild god-man story be regarded as anything different?



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Post Re: Atheists and historical illiteracy
[Link]


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Last edited by Dhyin on Mon Dec 08, 2014 2:39 pm, edited 9 times in total.



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Post Re: Atheists and historical illiteracy
DWill wrote:
But that seems just very strained. In that case why was this novelistic creation repeated 3 or 4 times? The plausible reason appears to be that the writers were reporting on someone understood as historical.


Are you talking about a comparison between gospel authors? I simply do not trust them. I think of the many books within the bible as a single book, even though much of each of the gospels has mannerisms of specific authors. Each and every word is suspect as being original, unless we have an original to compare it to. It's amazing what simple edits can do, and the men in that time had a century to harmonize.

Quote:
Based on that criteria, if you and I would conclude it was highly unlikely Jesus did not exists (the historical jesus, mind you) by that same reasoning, we could rule out many other figures from antiquity.
We would start with Socrates.


Exactly. I'm not sure if Socrates existed either. There was an intelligent person who did excellent philosophy in that time. People attribute it to a man Socrates, and unlike the Jesus affair, there isn't even a hint of motive to hide anything. It raises no suspicion within me. I will not investigate if further, and will trust historians that the words I read as Socrates come from a man named Socrates. Make sure you understand my position before you respond. You said I'd conclude it's highly likely Jesus didn't exist, but that wasn't what I said.

I would go through and question each figure of antiquity, if I cared enough. Sorry if I'm untrusting. The ones I'd start with are those who at some point had supposed super powers, or did mythical things. I believe those supposed persons are creations. Yes, it's true that there could have been an historical person for each of them. But if the historical person doesn't match up to our records of that person, I don't see them as the same thing.

There could easily have been a man that represented the seed of myth for the author Saul of Tarsus. It could have been one man, or many men. It could have partially the wisdom of his father, partially the wisdom of some vagabond named Jesus, and partially the wisdom of his theology professor. The test is against the man as presented, in the bible. I'm confident such a character doesn't exist, regardless of what seeded him. I have no such reservation against the character of Socrates as presented. See the difference?


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Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:44 am
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Post Re: Atheists and historical illiteracy
I could not resist posting a quick response to this.
Although I don't normally respond to trolls, the below is a perfect example of something that is known to be a norm from the mythicist campers:
Mythicists using other mythicists as sources of information and citation. It's a very common practice.
Yorky, who i'm guessing was heavily influenced by R.T. is a mythicist in training.


Yorky wrote:

Quote:
it looks doubtful that Nazareth was even sufficiently there at the time


Where does yorky get his information from?? From jesusneverexisted.com, a website authored by a man named Kenneth Humphreys, who calls himself an academic (he taught English and history, what grade is unclear) but has spent half of his 30 year career as an I.T. guy! Jesus is "his day job"!

http://www.gnostics.com/interviewkh.html

Let's all just forget about archaeological discoveries by archaeologists (imagine that?!) who have the necessary expertise to perform their scientific work:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor ... =121724812

Of course this finding must be suspect because there's a conspiracy in place to prove the existence of Nazareth!!

Here is Yorky's second gem;

Quote:
The Myth of Nazareth meticulously reviews the archaeology of the Nazareth basin from the Stone Age to the present, and shows that the settlement of Nazareth came into existence in the early second century C.E., well after the time of Christ. In this study René Salm reviews all the structural and movable evidence from the first excavations in the late 19th century to the most recent reports. This review also encompasses the extensive secondary literature, found in books and reference articles in dictionaries and encyclopedias. Salm shows that traditional conclusions found in all these works regarding the settlement of Nazareth are radically inconsistent with the itemized evidence in the ground


Yes! Rene Salm, who's expertise is as..,

an independent religious researcher, René Salm has also worked for a number of years as a composer/musician and as a mental health technician

This self proclaimed scholar refers to himself as a "spiritual atheist" :lol:
Rene is going to review for us the latest archaeological findings!

http://www.amazon.com/Ren%C3%A9-Salm/e/B001JS0VEC


Again, this is the norm from mythicists:

They refer to each other as a "source" but none have scholarly expertise. Every mythicists "scholar" seems to have quit their day job to disprove the existence of a historical figure. Zero expertise translations of ancient languages. Zero expertise in ancient history. Zero expertise in archaeological science. Zero experience in Hermeneutics. And no advanced degree of any kind on their resume.


What a joke. :appl:



Last edited by ant on Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:18 am, edited 3 times in total.



Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:58 am
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Post Re: Atheists and historical illiteracy
The more I look into the mythicist angle, the more I think it's plausible that Jesus never existed. But the early myth makers seemed to regard him as a real person, and certainly most modern historians do as well. Fortunately, there's no reason to take a strong stance either way. It seems reasonable to take an agnostic position on this particular subject.

Interbane identifies one of the problems with Jesus compared to other historical figures. It's difficult to place much confidence in sources that regard Jesus as the son of God, a performer of miracles, born unto a virgin, etc. When you see that most of these mythical qualities of Jesus are motifs that have been used in many other cultures, you get a sense of the man as myth. As you strip away these mythical qualities, there's not much left of the original man (if there actually was one).

Whereas, with Socrates, we readily acknowledge that we don't know much about the man, and we recognize the fragmentary nature of his history. There's enough to suppose he was a real man, but we don't need to take an ideological position on it. More importantly, we don't need to strip away layers and layers of supernatural myth to get to the real man because he was never deified in the first place. The man's philosophy stands on its own. We can revere the man and like his philosophy without turning him into a deity. That's not the case with Jesus, especially for the Gospel writers who were actively involved in making a myth.

Without firm evidence either way, it probably doesn't make a lot of sense to dig in an entrenched position as the writer of this piece seems to be doing. His stance is to ridicule anyone who even questions the notion. But as far as I know, not many mythicists make the claim that Jesus absolutely did not exist as a historical figure. Most are merely saying that the evidence doesn’t support the position that Jesus absolutely did exist as a historical person.

For example, in the conclusion of WHO WAS JESUS?, author D.M. Murdock says this:

“. . . when all the scientific evidence is weighed, it would seem irresponsible and unscientific merely to assume the gospel tale as historical, either in part or as a whole. If we are to treat with disdain the myths of other cultures that possess a variety of similar themes and motifs as Christianity, are we not being hypocritical and arrogant, as well as culturally biased, to hold up the patent myths of the Judeo-Christian culture as “real and “true?”


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Last edited by geo on Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: Atheists and historical illiteracy
Quote:
nterbane identifies one of the problems with Jesus compared to other historical figures. It's difficult to place much confidence in sources that regard Jesus as the son of God, a performer of miracles, born unto a virgin, etc.


I have said many times on BT that the existence of Jesus of Nazareth is based on the evidence when considered in the manner scholars determine the likelihood of ANY individual's existence from antiquity. I think Interbane and DWill are the only two people here that have been able to process that point.

There are specific criteria used to determined the existence of a historical figure. I don't know if you've considered that criteria sufficient or if you object and claim that it's insufficient. If you have, I'd like you to share with us your reasoning for nullifying that criteria. It's been outlined here on BT before.

It is not uncommon for elements of myth to begin to shroud figures from antiquity, as oral traditions are past on and finally documented for posterity. Even Alexander the Great began to have mythical elements form around his legendary exploits.
This is not unheard of.

Your problem is with the divinity of Christ. And that is essentially what is bottled up tight in the gut of the mythicist.
They object to the divinity of Christ, so they've begun what's really an anti-christian crusade to slay the Nazarene again, and again, and again. One poster here has opined that it's similarities that allow us to compare and conclude that one organism is the same as the next. That is utterly ridiculous, both in nature and in the study of the complexities of history, particularly ancient history.

The attestation to miracles is an entirely different matter when arguing for the existence of the historical Jesus.



Last edited by ant on Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:49 am
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Post Re: Atheists and historical illiteracy
By the way, I can't help saying that "spiritual atheist" is an oxymoron.


Here's the definition of spiritual:

of, relating to, or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.
"I'm responsible for his spiritual welfare"
synonyms: nonmaterial, incorporeal, intangible; More
antonyms: physical
(of a person) not concerned with material values or pursuits.
2.
of or relating to religion or religious belief.
"the tribe's spiritual leader"
synonyms: religious, sacred, divine, holy, nonsecular, church, ecclesiastical, faith-based, devotional



Is an atheist spiritual because he enjoys spiritual highs that are rooted in the activation of receptors in the brain that have a very corporeal, tangible explanation but just for fun are imagined to be intangible?

Let's be honest and not call it spiritual. There is nothing beyond the physical. everything reduces to matter, anything else is bogus.

I have actually read pieces by atheists who shun the idea of creating "atheist churches" or using words like "spirituality"
I greatly respect their honesty. Are they not true non believers?



Last edited by ant on Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.



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