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Was Jesus as described in the bible a jerk?

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Re: Jesus the fictional character

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Quote:Since the VAST majority of historians, all historians, not just American ones, think there is evidence I'll take their word for it for the time being.Since there is so much evidence of Jesus being a historical figure what is this evidence? Please be specific.
MaesterAuron151

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Quote:Impossible because there would have been no one to write the hokey stuff.Anyway it's not the writer that's important it's the content and both the content of the Jesus story and scientology have no evidence to support them.Theres a difference between no evidence and no evidence in existing documents. And as I've mentioned there aren't nearly as many documents as you claim.Quote:Yes they were, but they still could not catch all of the Christians, it might have something to do with the problem of the time it takes to extract the information.Once done the people you have been led to have long since left the area. They could still extract all the major information and refute it. They may not eraticat the existing Christians but they can educate the rest of Rome to stop its spread.There were a great many people who openly wrote against Christianity. Not one denied that Jesus existed. You claim they wouldn't have the abililty to look at old documents. Well how then did Roman historians get their information? Are you telling me they didn't go back to old documents?Quote:I am not going to look for stuff that historians can't even find. Are you claiming there are no recorded court cases from this time period? Quote:But they cannot show any evidence as to why they believe. if they had a good reason wouldn't you expect it to be documented? Well there is no documented material evidence to show a historical Jesus. Well its tough to find that evidence if you don't bother to look. There are several that mention Jewish and Roman documents (albeit written afterwards) that comply with the story.You've demonstrated repeatedly a complete ignornace of the opposing arguments.Quote:Speak for yourself; I have been studying Roman history for longer than you have been alive probably nearly twice as long. I have not met a history teacher in at least a decade that knows as much about Rome as I do.Ok. I'll take your word for it for now. But that doesn't get you off the hook. Remember to me your still just some guy on the internet. So status means nothing here.As a side note I have a question thats been bothering me for some time. What exactly happened to Hannibul's elephants? I've heard all but one died in the alps from one source. I've heard all but three died in the alps from another source. Then a third source didn't mention any dieing and said that all but one were killed in a later battle.So far the one surviving the alps seems the most universal but I'd like to verify.Quote:There is no way to know how complete any era of history has been documented because we do not know how much original material there was to start with. We do know that we have more material from this timeframe than almost any other in the ancient world. you can get a pretty good idea by how mundane some of the writings are.And having more doesn't equate having enough that you can verify a given execution.Quote:You can choose to believe whatever you want but your reasoning is one of the weakest I have ever heard. You won't even look at the material; Ill bet you don't even know the actual number of ancient Mediterranean historians that actually believe that Jesus was a historical person. You say that as though you know. Still the whole VAST MAJORITY think makes me skeptical of your position.Quote:There are two very big problems with your statement.One the 911 theorist has to rely on assumptions and faith to counter the vast amounts of evidence that conflict with what they say.This is exactly what the historians that say there is a historical Jesus must do. They make guesses as to where the evidence might have gone, they have excuses as to why thousands upon thousands of people just happened to forget to record a Jesus, they come up with scenarios which seem to conflict with the mythical Jesus possibility. Just as you have done. But it doesn't change the fact that there is no evidence.The second major flaw with your comparison is that there are plenty of experts that agree with me and many of them are the heads of their profession, this group even consists of religious scholars. So while you might think that I am a layman on the subject I have at least done my homework and not just blindly followed a nameless faceless group of "Historians" most of which have never even been faced with the question we are discussing.See that is just what the 911 theorists say. They simply discredit the majority of expert as flops and assume the four on the truth movemnt list are just the best ones.There's no strech in assuming the first century first hand documents about Jesus were lost. I gave you a complete list of the first century works. It was quite small. And you claimed there were thousands perhaps hundreds of thousands of documents.Quote:See excuses and stretching. All this does is attempt to justify the lack of evidence, it does not support a historical Jesus at all. No it completely destroys your assumption that we should have jesus' court records, and execution reports. We shouldn't. The best we can do is look at the testimony of Roman historians who may have had access to these documents when they existed. And so far they're all pretty agreed.I'm sure you'll claim they were just listening to the Christians. Well before you move on back that up. Give some examples of Roman historical method. How accurate were they. Did they rely mainly on hersay or did they study documents and records?Quote:Besides that still does not explain why Philo Judaeus ( a historian) someone who did have good reason to record events of that nature, still did not ever mention a Jesus even as hearsay.Probably had something to do with the other much more violent Jewish uprisings at the time. Jesus would have been an extremely minor revolutionary.The problem here is the only thing you consider to be evidence is a period first hand account. You wont get that so you wont be convinced.There's also some hinting that there's nothing that would convince me my position is incorrect. That is also incorrect. If you could find a Roman historian who denys the existance of Jesus based on much more complete first century records (and you'd need to establish that part) I'd be pretty much convinced. Also you may think this is a proving a negative situation. To me it seems we have two positives here. Either Jesus existed, or Gospel writers made him up. I need to find evidence that Jesus existed, you need to find evidence that he was a fabrication. If first century records were as intact as you initially claimed this argument would be over, you'd have won. Edited by: MaesterAuron151 at: 1/26/07 3:04 pm
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Re: Jesus the fictional character

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Quote:MeasterAuronThey could still extract all the major information and refute it. They may not eradicate the existing Christians but they can educate the rest of Rome to stop its spread.And why would the slaves and poor people believe their oppressors? Quote:MeasterAuronThere were a great many people who openly wrote against Christianity. Not one denied that Jesus existed. You claim they wouldn't have the ability to look at old documents. Well how then did Roman historians get their information? Are you telling me they didn't go back to old documents?Most did not, dependant on their ability to travel and their status, they wrote about the happenings in their areas and used personal testimony (hearsay) as their sources. Quote:MeasterAuron Are you claiming there are no recorded court cases from this time period? I am claiming that there is not evidence for Jesus from the time he allegedly lived... period. Quote:MeasterAuron Well it's tough to find that evidence if you don't bother to look. There are several that mention Jewish and Roman documents (albeit written afterwards) that comply with the story.Again you say it yourself (written afterwards) who could these people have gotten their information from? Only one possible source, believers. Quote:MeasterAuron You've demonstrated repeatedly a complete ignorance of the opposing arguments.Every shred of what you call evidence is hearsay at best. Not one independent source was born early enough to have met Jesus. (Assuming he existed at all)So their word is what we call hearsay and not admissible as evidence. Let me try to explain how crazy it sounds... It's like looking up Abraham Lincoln and not finding a single thing about him until the 20th century. Historical people leave us with contemporary evidence, but for Jesus we have nothing. Quote:MeasterAuron See that is just what the 911 theorists say. They simply discredit the majority of expert as flops and assume the four on the truth movement list are just the best ones.These are not my assumptions; I am sighting professors of Ivy League schools, religious scholars, and archeologists, all of which are very respected in their field of study.Quote:MeasterAuron There's no stretch in assuming the first century first hand documents about Jesus were lost. But this is not evidence to the positive. I never claimed that evidence could not have been lost; I claimed that we have none. And that nothing about Jesus in the bible can be confirmed. Quote:MeasterAuron I gave you a complete list of the first century works. That is not a complete list it is a very localized list, but it still confirms what I have told you. Quote:MeasterAuron No it completely destroys your assumption that we should have Jesus' court records, and execution reports. I said we should have some evidence, nothing specific, but it is lacking in all forms, from drawings made by Jesus' followers to carpentry works and official records.Quote:MeasterAuron We shouldn't. The best we can do is look at the testimony of Roman historians who may have had access to these documents when they existed. And so far they're all pretty agreed.No the best we can do is to look at the whole picture and see what we can find to confirm the biblical account, there is nothing! Quote:Inventing histories out of whole cloth or embellished from a seed of an actual historical event appears common throughout the chronicle of human thought. Robert Price observes, "Alexander the Great, Caesar Augustus, Cyrus, King Arthur, and others have nearly suffered this fate. What keeps historians from dismissing them as mere myths, like Paul Bunyan, is that there is some residue. We know at least a bit of mundane information about them, perhaps quite a bit, that does not form part of any legend cycle." [Price, p. 260-261]Quote:Interestingly, almost all important historical people have descriptions of what they looked like. We have the image of Augustus Caesar cast on denarius coins, busts of Greek and Roman aristocrats, artwork of Napoleon, etc. We have descriptions of facial qualities, height, weight, hair length & color, age and even portraits of most important historical figures. But for Jesus, we have nothing. Nowhere in the Bible do we have a description of the human shape of Jesus. How can we rely on the Gospels as the word of Jesus when no one even describes what he looked like? How odd that none of the disciple characters record what he looked like, yet believers attribute them to know exactly what he said. Indeed, this gives us a clue that Jesus came to the gospel writers and indirect and through myth. Not until hundreds of years after the alleged Jesus did pictures emerge as to what he looked like from cult Christians, and these widely differed from a blond clean shaven, curly haired Apollonian youth (found in the Roman catacombs) to a long-bearded Italian as depicted to this day. This mimics the pattern of Greek mythological figures as their believers constructed various images of what their gods looked like according to their own cultural image.[NoBeliefs.com]Not one roman (or any other) historian had heard about Jesus during his lifetime and considering the methods used at the time that is very odd. I will elaborate on this below for it is a significant part of your next question. Edited by: Frank 013 at: 1/30/07 4:13 pm
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Quote:MeasterAuron I'm sure you'll claim they were just listening to the Christians.Any discovered historical account had to have been, just look at the birth dates of the writers, none were born early enough to have had first hand knowledge of Jesus. Quote:MeasterAuron Well before you move on back that up. Give some examples of Roman historical method. How accurate were they. Did they rely mainly on hearsay or did they study documents and records?Historians of that day used whatever was available to them at the time; hearsay was a valid source as well as older records, but as mentioned above their status and ability to travel limited their access to such material. There was no standard for evidence at the time and no sources were generally mentioned. This however does not help the Jesus claim; it hurts it because that means that the name Jesus never reached the ears of any historian during his alleged lifetime and some time afterwards. Quote:MeasterAuron Probably had something to do with the other much more violent Jewish uprisings at the time. Jesus would have been an extremely minor revolutionary. Maybe, but this is purely speculation, if Jesus had done anything even close to what the bible says he did than it would have been noteworthy enough to write down, even with other, seemingly more important stuff happening at the time. The lack of mention means one of two things, the biblical account is grossly exaggerated or it was made up from nothing. Quote:MeasterAuron The problem here is the only thing you consider to be evidence is a period first hand account. You won't get that so you won't be convinced.So you are admitting two things here 1. There is no evidence to support a historical Jesus during his lifetime. 2. You must accept looser standards to accept a historical Jesus.This is not a "problem" when considering the evidence for anything else, only when allowing for religious ideas. Quote:MeasterAuron There's also some hinting that there's nothing that would convince me my position is incorrect. That is also incorrect. If you could find a Roman historian who denies the existence of Jesus based on much more complete first century records (and you'd need to establish that part) I'd be pretty much convinced.You are looking for something that probably would never have existed because hearsay was considered as valid as any record and in their minds would negate the research necessary to determine weather Jesus actually left behind a recorded history. Quote:MeasterAuron Also you may think this is a proving a negative situation. To me it seems we have two positives here. Either Jesus existed, or Gospel writers made him up.I never stated with certainty that Jesus was made up, but it is a valid possibility and supported by much of the evidence. Quote:MeasterAuron I need to find evidence that Jesus existed, Which you have not.Quote:MeasterAuron You need to find evidence that he was a fabrication. If first century records were as intact as you initially claimed this argument would be over, you'd have won. You are focusing on the records but there is nothing in any realm of evidence to support a Jesus during the time it was said he lived.
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Re: Jesus the fictional character

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But if you want evidence to support a fabrication than here it is.Consider this...Osiris, Hercules, Mithra, Hermes, Prometheus, Perseus and others compare to the Christian myth. According to Patrick Campbell of The Mythical Jesus, all served as pre-Christian sun gods, yet all allegedly had gods for fathers, virgins for mothers; had their births announced by stars; got born on the solstice around December 25th; had tyrants who tried to kill them in their infancy; met violent deaths; rose from the dead; and nearly all got worshiped by "wise men" and had allegedly fasted for forty days. [McKinsey, Chapter 5]This is hardly a complete list look at the similarities between Horus and Jesus for example. The Egyptian mythical Horus, god of light and goodness has many parallels to Jesus. [Leedom, Massey] For some examples:Horus and the Father as one Horus, the Father seen in the Son Horus, light of the world, represented by the symbolical eye, the sign of salvation. Horus served the way, the truth, the life by name and in person Horus baptized with water by Anup (Jesus baptized with water by John) Horus the Good Shepherd Horus as the Lamb (Jesus as the Lamb) Horus as the Lion (Jesus as the Lion) Horus identified with the Tat Cross (Jesus with the cross) The trinity of Atum the Father, Horus the Son, Ra the Holy Spirit Horus the avenger (Jesus who brings the sword) Horus the afflicted one Horus as life eternal Twelve followers of Horus as Har-Khutti (Jesus' 12 disciples) Did you know that the name Jesus Christ seems to be a recombination of religious words? "Jes" is Egyptian meaning "of the sun" Jesus is "Jes" with "us" added to the end which was common practice at the time. And "Christ" seems to be derived from "Chrst" which in Latin means anointed.The pre-Christian cult of Mithra had a deity of light and truth, son of the Most High, fought against evil, presented the idea of the Logos. Pagan Mithraism mysteries had the burial in a rock tomb, resurrection, sacrament of bread & water (Eucharist), the marking on the forehead with a mystic mark, the symbol of the Rock, the Seven Spirits and seven stars, all before the advent of Christianity.[NoBeliefs.com]There is much, much more it is your lack of the whole view that keeps you from understanding that the true likelihood of a historical Jesus is slight at best.Later
MaesterAuron151

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Quote:I never stated with certainty that Jesus was made up, but it is a valid possibility and supported by much of the evidenceI never stated with certainty that he was real. I'm just reluctant to go along with what you say when the vast majority of the historical community contradicts you.Keep in mind the next time I hear someone insist Jesus was historical I will be sure to mention that there are some credible historians who think otherwise.Quote:So you are admitting two things here1. There is no evidence to support a historical Jesus during his lifetime.I have no doubt that there's a great many other first century historical figures that aren't mentioned in that bookshelf worth of documents I listed.Quote:2. You must accept looser standards to accept a historical Jesus.I don't know anything about the standards.Quote:This is not a "problem" when considering the evidence for anything else, only when allowing for religious You've played the religeon card on me like five times durring this debate. I don't know how much more clearly I can say it, I'M NOT RELIGEOUS. I couldn't give half a shit if Jesus was fake or not.The point is we have a near consensus among historians, agnostics, and atheists included.You expect me to believe you when you say "nope they're all just makeing a leap of faith" Or "nope they're all afraid of religeous people". Or "they're crummy historians"Who are you that I should just believe that the entire historical community is a bunch of hacks?Quote:There is much, much more it is your lack of the whole view that keeps you from understanding that the true likelihood of a historical Jesus is slight at best.Well yes if its your whole view it would be pretty impossible to disagree with any opinion of yours. You post one side of the argument with years of history study to back it up. I don't have that kind of experiance I'm not a suitable opponent to the claim. What would help is a third person with indepth knowledge of the other side of the debate.You seem to deny that another side of the debate even exists so opposing arguments are not readily available.Now to give you an example of how little faith that gives me in your experiance with this debate let me give you a comparison.I've been arguing about the Iraq war for maybe four years. Let me make a list of some opposing arguments I've heard.-the existance or nonexistance of wmds isn't necessarily as confirmed as some sources claim- invading Iraq to steal their oil is not a logical course of action because their oil production isn't nearly as much as other countries which could be made as scapegoats.-there is evidence of a dormand chemical weapons program designed to be activated once foreign pressure disapearedThere three counter arguments. All refutable of course but I know of them and when introducing a newcomer to the debate would mention them.Here's some examples of arguments I've heard for the 911 conspiracy theory. I'll stick to more reasonable ones that could go with a physically possible scenario.-None of the planes were intercepted, the jets scrambled were ordered to fly at slower speeds-Washington DC is heavily defended especially the pentagon, yet even after the second plane hit the third 747 was able to attack the pentagon-Five of the 19 hijackers have turned out to still be alive- passports from the hijackers were found at ground zero somehow surviving the plane crash.There five opposing viewpoints, and I've only been countering 911 conspiracy theorists since the summer.The counter arguments you've mentioned amount to nothing. You simply claim those who disagree with you accept looser standards or are making leaps of faith.If thats truely all there is that would make this one of the most one sided debates I've ever participated in.And I've debated against people who think its possible to covertely wire an occupied skyscrapper, with demolitions that give off no seismic signature and can survive hours of extreme heat.The conditions here don't make for a good balanced learning experiance (thats why I have these debates). At any rate I answered my only real question some time ago.If asked if I believe Jesus existed, my answer will be "I'm not sure but most historians think so, so probably," Edited by: MaesterAuron151 at: 1/30/07 9:45 pm
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Re: Jesus the fictional character

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Quote:MeasterAuronI never stated with certainty that he was real. I'm just reluctant to go along with what you say when the vast majority of the historical community contradicts you.Two things about this point...One... Just as in most other professions historians are mostly religious people with a prejudice for belief.Two... most historians do not study biblical or ancient history but many of the ones who do and most of the top researchers say that there is no credible evidence to support a historical Jesus. Even religious scholars when pressed have admitted as much.Quote:MeasterAuronKeep in mind the next time I hear someone insist Jesus was historical I will be sure to mention that there are some credible historians who think otherwise.Very good for you, at least you are being honest about the matter.Quote:MeasterAuronI have no doubt that there's a great many other first century historical figures that aren't mentioned in that bookshelf worth of documents I listed.Correct, but we know of many people of note anyway because they left other evidence behind during their lifetimes.Quote:MeasterAuronI don't know anything about the standards.They are the same standards of evidence that most people insist on when any extraordinary claim is made.Hearsay is mostly what is accepted as evidence by people defending the historical Jesus, hearsay cannot be verified especially when the source is not mentioned or when the writer cannot be determined. This is a looser standard than is acceptable in historical research. For example Josephus writes about Jesus but is born too late to have met Jesus so his information had to be hearsay; another thing that most people don't know about Josephus is that he also mentions Hercules in the same manner.This shows the level of his research ability, and the inaccuracy of his sources, and he is considered one of the most complete and trustworthy historians of his time. Without some other convincing evidence to support their works ancient historian's work must be heavily scrutinized. Quote:MeasterAuronYou've played the religion card on me like five times during this debate. I don't know how much more clearly I can say it, I'M NOT RELIGEOUS. I couldn't give half a shit if Jesus was fake or not.It was not my intent to point my finger at you, but to show you that only when dealing with a religious idea are the standards that we normally insist on flexible.Quote:MeasterAuronThe point is we have a near consensus among historians, agnostics, and atheists included.The vast majority of these people have never researched the topic. Take for instance Chris the owner of this fabulous website. He is an atheist but accepted Jesus as a possible person before he saw the whole of the evidence. Quote:MeasterAuronYou expect me to believe you when you say "nope they're all just making a leap of faith" Or "nope they're all afraid of religious people". Or "they're crummy historians"I never said that they were crummy historians; I said that most areas of historic study never see this evidence; it is outside their area of study.Quote:MeasterAuronWho are you that I should just believe that the entire historical community is a bunch of hacks? Again I never said anything of the kind, and to try and use the numbers in this way is dishonest, to yourself and to me, you are not sighting the specific area of study. Quote:MeasterAuron Well yes if it's your whole view it would be pretty impossible to disagree with any opinion of yours. Why, do some research if the information is there you should be able to find it correct?Quote:MeasterAuron You post one side of the argument with years of history study to back it up. I don't have that kind of experience I'm not a suitable opponent to the claim. What would help is a third person with in depth knowledge of the other side of the debate.Why not study the material yourself? How do you think I learned this stuff? I looked at both sides of the debate; one side made sense the other used justifications, accepted hearsay as fact and used leaps of logic to explain the lack of supporting material.Quote:MeasterAuron You seem to deny that another side of the debate even exists so opposing arguments are not readily available.There are opposing arguments but they are ALL easily defeated. Some people simply refuse to accept the truth. Even the Catholic Church cannot offer any material to support the claim. Quote:MeasterAuron The counter arguments you've mentioned amount to nothing. You simply claim those who disagree with you accept looser standards or are making leaps of faith. Well if the truth hurts...Quote:MeasterAuron If that's truly all there is that would make this one of the most one sided debates I've ever participated in.That really is all there is to it, please if you find anything of value to the contrary let me know; I have been looking for years and have not found one argument that did not fall into the aforementioned categories. Quote:MeasterAuron The conditions here don't make for a good balanced learning experience (that's why I have these debates).Well if you don't want to research a topic or learn the truth about a subject than this would be a bad thread to be participating in.Later
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Quote:Two things about this point...One... Just as in most other professions historians are mostly religious people with a prejudice for belief.You back this up with what?Quote:Two... most historians do not study biblical or ancient history but many of the ones who do and most of the top researchers say that there is no credible evidence to support a historical Jesus. Even religious scholars when pressed have admitted as much.Ok this is just wikipedia, but on the Jesus entry they said a very small group of historians denys entirely the historicity of Jesus. I don't think it was including people who study contemoporary American history. If you think it was then you'll have to back it up further.Quote:They are the same standards of evidence that most people insist on when any extraordinary claim is made.Then that discounts extrordinary claims. There are also many ordinary ones that go along with Jesus. What are the standards when dealing with a claim that there was some guy who went around preaching and challenging authority?Quote:Hearsay is mostly what is accepted as evidence by people defending the historical Jesus, hearsay cannot be verified especially when the source is not mentioned or when the writer cannot be determined.This is a looser standard than is acceptable in historical research.For example Josephus writes about Jesus but is born too late to have met Jesus so his information had to be hearsay; another thing that most people don't know about Josephus is that he also mentions Hercules in the same manner.This shows the level of his research ability, and the inaccuracy of his sources, and he is considered one of the most complete and trustworthy historians of his time.Without some other convincing evidence to support their works ancient historian's work must be heavily scrutinized. Ok what method is used to scruitnize their work?Surely Josephus also mentioned ordinary people he learned of second hand whom we also have no other record of. Do we have to assume these are fabrications because he mentioned Hercules.How about a comparison in which two people are assessed one being determined as fictional and one as real. That would be helpful and educational.And still I find it questionable that historians who openly wrote against Christianity never once tried to claim there never was a Jesus. Surely there were some living in Judea, or with ample access to transportation.You've claimed that the standards for evidence weren't the same. Well I'm asking then what purpose did the records serve? Why did they take down records if they couldn't be used to verify anything?Quote:Why, Because the whole view you were reffering to is your perspective on the world.Quote:do some research if the information is there you should be able to find it correct?I have but I have no background with which to judge what I'm reading. The only useful thing I found was the list of existing first century documents.Quote:Why not study the material yourself? How do you think I learned this stuff? I looked at both sides of the debate; one side made sense the other used justifications, accepted hearsay as fact and used leaps of logic to explain the lack of supporting material.Because it takes years to study the material. With two skilled debaters I can learn the information in a fraction of the time.Quote:There are opposing arguments but they are ALL easily defeated. Some people simply refuse to accept the truth.Even the Catholic Church cannot offer any material to support the claimLike I've mentioned. No offense but I've heard the exact same thing from conspiracy theorists. People always seem to think that their opinion is the only reasonable answer to a question. I disagree with this, I think the questions we debate over simply have no answer.There was a time when I thought anyone who argued in favor of the Iraq war was just some red neck moron who didn't understand the situation and believed a bunch of lies. Then I got into an argument with a very skilled debater. The person I argued with was a bit rude but her arguments were valid and I developed a much more moderate view of the debate. I learned that there was no right or wrong answer just different points of view. Edited by: MaesterAuron151 at: 1/31/07 10:29 am
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Quote:MeasterAuronYou back this up with what?2 undeniable facts One, 95% of humanity believes in some sort of godTwo, Belief (true or false) harbors prejudice when making decisions.Quote:MeasterAuron Ok this is just wikipedia, but on the Jesus entry they said a very small group of historians denies entirely the historicity of Jesus. I don't think it was including people who study contemporary American history. If you think it was then you'll have to back it up further.You're the one making the positive claim here, so that's your job, I have never even heard of a study on the topic so good luck in finding the data.Quote:MeasterAuron Then that discounts extraordinary claims. There are also many ordinary ones that go along with Jesus. Where do these claims come from? Not from scripture and that is the only source of information regarding Jesus. Jesus as an ordinary man is an escape hatch for the people who want to believe he existed but understand that there is no evidence to support the myth. It is also commonly used by people who do not want to offend Christians but do not believe that Jesus was divine.Quote:MeasterAuron What are the standards when dealing with a claim that there was some guy who went around preaching and challenging authority?Any mention of a person and their roll in history that makes no extraordinary claims. Often archeologists still look for other evidence of the person's life, and first hand reports and artifacts are the most trusted.Unfortunately none of this exists for Jesus. All we have is the biblical record and hearsay accounts that all mention him as the son of god and none of that material can be trusted. Quote:MeasterAuron Ok what method is used to scrutinize their work?They always attempt to verify these claims through other sources, for example Alexander the great, there were multiple copies of records recorded by the people who rode with him in his army, but many accounts differed and some of the claims were outlandish. Historians looked deeper and found treaties between Alexander and other nations, a swath of cities named after him, the causeway to the isle of Teir mentioned in the writings still exists to this day, and finally his fathers tomb was uncovered. Now it is certain that some of the claims made about Alexander are at least exaggerated but we accept with 99% certainty that he existed. Quote:MeasterAuron Surely Josephus also mentioned ordinary people he learned of second hand whom we also have no other record of. Do we have to assume these are fabrications because he mentioned Hercules?They would not be that harshly scrutinized because there is no reason to question Luscious the farmer's existence. But other independent sources would still be searched for. Without other information on the subject all we can say about the subject is that there was probably a farmer named Luscious who lived in that area.Quote:MeasterAuron How about a comparison in which two people are assessed one being determined as fictional and one as real. That would be helpful and educational.I think I gave a good example of a real person above with Alexander Here is an example of mythical; I'll go with Hercules again. Hercules was written about in ancient Greek stories but some of the original authors remain unknown, Hercules was also written about by Homer and Plato but they could never have met Hercules (they were born way to late) so we cannot trust these accounts as confirmation of a person's existence. Add to this that the only accounts of Hercules were a fables with extraordinary claims none of which can be confirmed from outside sources, so we end up with myth.Now this (just as with Jesus) does not automatically dismiss the possible existence of a normal man named Hercules, but if there was such a person he has been lost to history and is most likely irretrievable. Quote:MeasterAuron And still I find it questionable that historians who openly wrote against Christianity never once tried to claim there never was a Jesus. Surely there were some living in Judea, or with ample access to transportation.Maybe they did, you seem to think that people will suddenly see the light when the evidence is presented, well a study of human behavior shows that that is defiantly not true. Take for example your 911 conspiracy theorists, they see the truth but deny it, even in today's age where reason is far more prevalent.Another example is prayer every study shows prayer is not real, but most people still believe it works despite the contradictions it raises. And then we have this thread, you are resistant to the idea of a mythical Jesus simply because an unknown number of Historians disagree with that idea. And you have better access to untainted evidence than any person from that time. You must know that what a person wants to believe often has a profound effect on what they end up believing. And some roman scribe traveling the countryside denouncing Jesus as fable would not have changed most people's minds then, just as it doesn't now.Quote:MeasterAuron You've claimed that the standards for evidence weren't the same. Well I'm asking then what purpose did the records serve? Why did they take down records if they couldn't be used to verify anything? I think you have a different idea of what an ancient historian did oppose to what the actuality was. Ancient historians did not study their history to any great extent they mostly recorded happenings of their time so it would be available for future use. Most of the past occurrences were reported by hearsay. Records were mostly used for law, distribution of resources, and dating of historical events but were hard to recover once stored and in many cases got lost completely in the shuffle. Remember it was all hard copy and in most cases wax tablet books, this was all very cumbersome and easy to confuse and misplace.Quote:MeasterAuron Because the whole view you were referring to is your perspective on the world.I find it strange that you think that my conclusion on a single topic like religion sums up my world view. What would you say my world view is?Quote:MeasterAuron I have but I have no background with which to judge what I'm reading. The only useful thing I found was the list of existing first century documents.Simply google "Jesus historical evidence" that should give you a good starting point, but don't be disappointed when there is not much to help you there.Quote:MeasterAuron Because it takes years to study the material. With two skilled debaters I can learn the information in a fraction of the time. I have never come up against anyone who has any real evidence to support the opposing stance; you have done as well as any before you. Quote:MeasterAuron Like I've mentioned. No offense but I've heard the exact same thing from conspiracy theorists. But the difference here is that I am telling you a verifiable truth, simply go to the catholic churche's web site and view their "historical" support. It is all either biblical in nature or fails the test for acceptable evidence.And the Catholic Church certainly has motivation to show a historical Jesus since they claim it as fact.Of course they claim a lot of things as fact that they can't back up.Quote:MeasterAuron People always seem to think that their opinion is the only reasonable answer to a question. I disagree with this; I think the questions we debate over simply have no answer. See here is the difference, my view is not the only reasonable answer, but when using the whole of the available data it is the most reasonable answer. I do not blame people for making decisions from ignorance, because most people never see this material, but I do have to question someone's reasoning ability when they do see this stuff and cannot even consider the possibility. You at least have considered it, which is a reasonable position and I applaud you for it.I also accept that tomorrow new evidence might be uncovered that could completely change the nature of my position, it simply has not happened yet.Later Edited by: Frank 013 at: 2/1/07 12:42 pm
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Re: Jesus the fictional character

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This thread covered everything from Jesus' behavioral issues as written in the bible (deplorable) to his alleged historical existence. It was determined that Jesus acted like a jerk at least some of the time (as written) and there is no credible historical evidence of his existence. (No evidence at all exists from the time he was said to have lived)But some of the new comers seem to be less than familiar with these arguments.I recommend a read through of this thread. Later
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