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fullywired

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The default position one should take regarding any claim is that of skepticism until sufficient evidence for the veracity of the claim is presented. That is not an agenda, it is a position. If there is any agenda at work here, it is that of adherents of the religion seeking to promote as truth that which cannot be verified to be so.

Certainly that is true, but do you really believe that energy put into trying to discredit the existence of a historical Jesus is not agenda driven? As I have mentioned either in this thread or another one academic standards are designed to KNOW FOR SURE or at least with a decent amount of certainty that something is true, just because something dosnt fall within those standards dosnt make it not true. In fact a great many truths are true without meeting academic standards. It seems to me that the historical story ( not the supernatural part) is innocuous enough not to really care that much unless your agenda is to disrupt Christianity. So why do we have books written about his very existence that are obviously severely bias toward the negative? If they are truely applying academic standards then the best they can possibly say is that they can't tell if there was a historical Jesus or not. I honestly havnt looked into the subject that much but it seems that most scholars think he probably existed, that coupled with the context of that era, the innocuousness of the historical story, I see no reason to lean toward the negative. The evidence ( not just accepted academic evidence) seems to lean toward a real man as it is with most new spiritual movements that play out to this day.

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Posted (edited)

Certainly that is true, but do you really believe that energy put into trying to discredit the existence of a historical Jesus is not agenda driven?

The arguments have not been about discrediting the existence of a historical Jesus, but discrediting the arguments of those who argue unreasonably for that existence. Skepticism means exposing the weakness in those arguments, to ensure that the claim of Jesus' existence is not being invalidly supported.

You can't prove a negative, so it can't be proved Jesus did not exist, but you can disprove an unreasoned (or poorly reasoned) positive. So disproving those arguments which unreasonably claim the existence of Jesus is valid to maintaining the skeptical position, and is not based on any specific agenda.

Truth is built upon properly researched positive evidence, and it is the duty of any who search for that truth to ensure any evidence claimed is properly researched.

Edited by Leonardo
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Certainly that is true, but do you really believe that energy put into trying to discredit the existence of a historical Jesus is not agenda driven? As I have mentioned either in this thread or another one academic standards are designed to KNOW FOR SURE or at least with a decent amount of certainty that something is true, just because something dosnt fall within those standards dosnt make it not true. In fact a great many truths are true without meeting academic standards. It seems to me that the historical story ( not the supernatural part) is innocuous enough not to really care that much unless your agenda is to disrupt Christianity. So why do we have books written about his very existence that are obviously severely bias toward the negative? If they are truely applying academic standards then the best they can possibly say is that they can't tell if there was a historical Jesus or not. I honestly havnt looked into the subject that much but it seems that most scholars think he probably existed, that coupled with the context of that era, the innocuousness of the historical story, I see no reason to lean toward the negative. The evidence ( not just accepted academic evidence) seems to lean toward a real man as it is with most new spiritual movements that play out to this day.

I personally find the Bible's own story more interesting than the stories it tells. Who wrote Genesis and when? Where did he get his information? How did that information come down through time - was it verbal? Was it written? In what language? What is the real history behind The Flood? I'm convinced something really happened there, but what was it?

Who was Paul? Was he actually Apollonius of Tyana? If so, how did Apollonius' letters get into the Bible? Nero blamed the Christians for the Great Fire. Is that in the Bible? Seti I fought a major war in Canaan, but the Bible doesn't mention it - why?

And the NT. Who wrote each of its books? When? How did early church history influence them? How did they influence early church history? I think I've identified two "families" of gospels that each share a single source. There are probably more - I'm just getting into this. Maybe what's important is not when a given book was written, but when its family was started? Does it really matter if Luke was written in 160 if it was based on a document written in 140? And what if that document was written a lot earlier?

Some have mistakenly assumed that because I have a much-different time-frame for the gospels than theirs, that I am trying to discredit Jesus' existence. As you say, that can never be done. Even if my late-dating of the gospels is absolutely correct, Jesus' existence has still not been discredited. Personally, I think there was a "historical Jesus" and I even think I know who he was. But I'm not going to be posting that on here until I get a whole lot more searching completed. Some of us are going to be old and gray before that happens - oh, wait - I'm already gray.

Anyway, I like your post. Keep up the good work.

Doug

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The arguments have not been about discrediting the existence of a historical Jesus, but discrediting the arguments of those who argue unreasonably for that existence. Skepticism means exposing the weakness in those arguments, to ensure that the claim of Jesus' existence is not being invalidly supported.

You can't prove a negative, so it can't be proved Jesus did not exist, but you can disprove an unreasoned (or poorly reasoned) positive. So disproving those arguments which unreasonably claim the existence of Jesus is valid to maintaining the skeptical position, and is not based on any specific agenda.

Truth is built upon properly researched positive evidence, and it is the duty of any who search for that truth to ensure any evidence claimed is properly researched.

I disagree truth is truth regardless of what rules for what constitutes evidence in any particular methodology.

Maintaining a skeptical position is itself an agenda. It may be a wise one in many circumstances, but one must choose their criteria for evidence. Some things like paranormal claims need to most stringent, while mundane things dont. some guy that was a bit if a radical Jew rabbi p***ed of the establishment and got executed for it is not that extrodinary. If extraordinary claimes require extraordinary evidence how come ordinary claims don't require ordinary evidence? Like I mentioned the historical Jesus story is innocuous, it's only under questioned because of the movement it spawned. There are probably more than a few real dramas that played out in history that are nearly identicle. There simply is no reason in common sense to assume he wasn't a real man. Certainly academia needs to stick to their guns and methodology, but their methodology absolutely does not determin truth, and they will tell you as much, it only attempts to put together a varifiable story in an attempt to eliminate errors.

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Posted (edited)

I disagree truth is truth regardless of what rules for what constitutes evidence in any particular methodology.

How does the truism you just stated conflict with what I stated previously?

Maintaining a skeptical position is itself an agenda.

Not, it's not. Maintaining a position of skepticism is exactly that - maintaining a position of skepticism based on the lack of sound evidence for reinforcing a claim. It has no agenda. An agenda would be refusing to acknowledge sound evidence - but that would then constitute cynicism, not skepticism.

Sorry, WCF, but you've reached your King Cnut moment with this particular line of argument.

Edited by Leonardo

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Simon cowell.

Let me know about the crucifixion, I'd like to be there.

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I personally find the Bible's own story more interesting than the stories it tells. Who wrote Genesis and when? Where did he get his information? How did that information come down through time - was it verbal? Was it written? In what language? What is the real history behind The Flood? I'm convinced something really happened there, but what was it?

Who was Paul? Was he actually Apollonius of Tyana? If so, how did Apollonius' letters get into the Bible? Nero blamed the Christians for the Great Fire. Is that in the Bible? Seti I fought a major war in Canaan, but the Bible doesn't mention it - why?

And the NT. Who wrote each of its books? When? How did early church history influence them? How did they influence early church history? I think I've identified two "families" of gospels that each share a single source. There are probably more - I'm just getting into this. Maybe what's important is not when a given book was written, but when its family was started? Does it really matter if Luke was written in 160 if it was based on a document written in 140? And what if that document was written a lot earlier?

Some have mistakenly assumed that because I have a much-different time-frame for the gospels than theirs, that I am trying to discredit Jesus' existence. As you say, that can never be done. Even if my late-dating of the gospels is absolutely correct, Jesus' existence has still not been discredited. Personally, I think there was a "historical Jesus" and I even think I know who he was. But I'm not going to be posting that on here until I get a whole lot more searching completed. Some of us are going to be old and gray before that happens - oh, wait - I'm already gray.

Anyway, I like your post. Keep up the good work.

Doug

Genesis and the OT reads very much like an oral tradition. I'm under the impression the stories were told around camp fires long before they were written down.

Oral traditions can be amazingly accurate in context even if fluid in content.

In remote islands around Malaysia after the tsunamis hit and hundreds of thousands of people died, anthropologists were worried that these small remote island cultures might have been nearly wiped out. It turns out that virtually no one died because every member was indoctrinated into detailed oral mythology that told them exactly what to do down to the rock.

The same thing exists with Australian aboriginals and their oral maps. Something I find extremely extraordinary. Native Americans have some amazing oral traditions as well.

Humans can be awesome.

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How does the truism you just stated conflict with what I stated previously?

Not, it's not. Maintaining a position of skepticism is exactly that - maintaining a position of skepticism based on the lack of sound evidence for reinforcing a claim. It has no agenda. An agenda would be refusing to acknowledge sound evidence - but that would then constitute cynicism, not skepticism.

Sorry, WCF, but you've reached your King Cnut moment with this particular line of argument.

Hahahahaha well I'm much more of nut than you may realize. ( assuming by "Cnut" you meant nut :()

Being a skeptic for the sake of being a skeptic seems like an agenda to me. If I tell you my friend bob from LA p***ed off a local gang and died for it over drugs, and you say prove it. I'm just going to walk away and shake my head.... It happens all the time. I understand skepticism about the extraordinary, I understand the need for historians to stick with cross referenced materials and facts. But the historical Jesus is mundane.

You have about four choices.

1) there is a man behind the story that went through some events similar to the story and is the founder of Christianity or maybe the inspiration for it would be a latter.

Its Not really that unbelievable

2) some elaborate or group of elaborate conspirators painstakingly wrote down thousands of lines on expensive papyrus ( or whatever) detailing a story for the sake of manipulation and control of others using a fictional Jesus character as a literary device to manipulate and control others and society or just for fun or artistic expression while delving into other ancient myths to flesh out his paranormal position.

3. A mixture of both. The man existed, taught, was crucified, legendary ( or even cult like) super natural status grew up around his memory. Then the story was adapted and re written in Rome connecting to other traditions in order to bring about a greater unification.

4. The true believers are right and we are all doomed to eternal death or worse.

Whatever the the evidence actually is, the bulk of the evidence, circumstance, context, knowledge of how humans behave even now fits three. I don't need empiricism when I have common sense and no particular set of colored goggles on. Of course the agnostic in me says that I cannot know exactly what happend. But I base my opinions on all sorts of knowledge and deduction not simply empiricism.

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Posted (edited)

Hahahahaha well I'm much more of nut than you may realize. ( assuming by "Cnut" you meant nut :()

LOL!

Cnut was the ancient British monarch who (falsely) was thought to have commanded the tide not to come in. The reality of the story is quite different, but this folly is what King Cnut is misremembered for.

The name is sometimes spelt Canute or Knut, but I believe Cnut was the old English original variant.

Edited by Leonardo

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Certainly that is true, but do you really believe that energy put into trying to discredit the existence of a historical Jesus is not agenda driven?

The way you are using 'agenda' here seems to apply to everything, every exertion of energy can be accused of being 'agenda-driven' in some way.

As I have mentioned either in this thread or another one academic standards are designed to KNOW FOR SURE or at least with a decent amount of certainty that something is true, just because something dosnt fall within those standards dosnt make it not true. In fact a great many truths are true without meeting academic standards.

Undoubtedly, but how do we know which ones without 'standards'? I guess I read this as, 'a great many unknown truths are true without meeting academic standards', which I definitely don't dispute, but I've never heard anyone say otherwise. Unless we have an example of a truth that doesn't meet whatever is meant buy 'academic standards'.

It seems to me that the historical story ( not the supernatural part) is innocuous enough not to really care that much unless your agenda is to disrupt Christianity.

You're not the first by any means to make this point, WCF, but I don't get it. The historical story of the sinking of the Titanic is innocuous enough not to really care, but there are a shipload of books written about it anyway. A lot of people like to seek out the truth, even if its innocuous or trivial to them; it's natural, it's curiosity, SIWOTI syndrome, etc, lots of other explanations other than agenda-driven disruption.

So why do we have books written about his very existence that are obviously severely bias toward the negative? If they are truely applying academic standards then the best they can possibly say is that they can't tell if there was a historical Jesus or not. I honestly havnt looked into the subject that much but it seems that most scholars think he probably existed, that coupled with the context of that era, the innocuousness of the historical story, I see no reason to lean toward the negative. The evidence ( not just accepted academic evidence) seems to lean toward a real man as it is with most new spiritual movements that play out to this day.

But that's the rub, if you haven't looked into the subject, as I can't say I have either, on what grounds are you then saying that there are books 'biased towards the negative'? How do you know? What is the difference between 'evidence' and 'academic evidence'? It seems like what you might mean by 'evidence' is 'not great evidence'.

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Wow...the responses on here to some of the things I mentioned...has been nothing short of awesome. Doug, PA, Leonardo, Liquid Gardens...just to name a FEW...you guys rock. This is an EXCELLENT conversation going on here.

I apologize if it seems sometimes like I'm darting in and out of threads; it's just that I've been rather busy lately. I know some of you replied to me directly and you guys certainly deserve my best in kind. I should have some free time to write back on Sunday, so I will respond then. Be on the lookout lol

I just wanted to write this brief message so you know I'm not ignoring everyone. I look forward to replying to these wonderful talking points. Have a good weekend all...

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Not unless I am looking to buy a car.

So you never actively seek to learn anything about anything until it may personally affect you?

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The problem here is that if the Hillel school was there, but Jesus wasn't, we'd still have the teachings and sayings. Thus, the existence of the teachings and sayings doesn't tell us anything about whether Jesus existed.

UNLESS: there is some nuance that is found only in the Bible. As there were at least two, and probably many, different gospels floating around in the late 1st and early 2nd centuries, it is going to be very difficult to trace sources.

Could you tell me where I can obtain more information on the ben Hillel school and its teachings?

Also, there was the Akiva ben Joseph school which just happened to be located in a town where a man named Jesus was crucified at about the time the biblical Jesus was crucified. The plot thickens....

Doug

I only looked through the internet to find my sources on the ben hillel school.

No the fact hat christ's teachings are the same as those taught by the Hillel's down to some of the same words and parables doesn't prove christ's existence, but it contextually reinforces his position in his time and place, because the words attributed to him within 80 years or so from his death are those of this school and his story says that he was taught in a rabbinical school but that he was in conflict with the rabbinical school in power during this period. We also know that MANY of the ben hillel school were killed by their opponents The plot summary of christ's arrest and execution fits very closely to what was occurring between the two schools of thought.

In the immediate, the ben hillel's lost out and were reduced in numbers and authority, but eventually won recognition, and modern Judaism is based primarily on their teachings.

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Who cares wether Socrates was real or not?

People should be made aware that the evidence for Jesus's historicity is not what it's perpetuated to be.Socrates never makes people act like this guy.

We are at a critical point in our evolution that we meed more and more of people's minds out of ancient fairy tales.

There is no connection between the question of christ's physical existence, and how people chose to interpret the nature of his existence. The latter is a completely different issue

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One of the personal proofs I have for christ's existence is that his teachings are verifiable. ie Act as he says, and the consequences he predicts come true. His knowledge and understanding of the nature of humanity, its failings and potential strengths, is precisely accurate, and again clearly demonstrable. For me, this is a far greater proof of his existence than his preachings on an after life or even of a place called heaven

For example by living as Christ teaches, we CAN demonstrably create a "kingdom of heaven on earth" for ourselves and for the planet

By thinking and living as he suggests, we can not only come to know god as a real being and personal confidant/protector and friend, but gain access to the power of god in our daily lives on earth Because THESE things are real, I can know that the person who first taught them was also real, and lived as a man among humans, knowing, understanding, healing and changing lives.

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Posted (edited)

Leonardo "Truth is built upon properly researched positive evidence, and it is the duty of any who search for that truth to ensure any evidence claimed is properly researched."

WCF "I disagree. Truth is truth regardless of what rules for what constitutes evidence in any particular methodology. "

Leonardo "How does the truism you just stated conflict with what I stated previously?"

The conflict exists in this way.....

Truth is not built upon anything, it just exists.

Human discovery and acceptance of a truth is built upon researched evidence, but the truth is not.

So, what ever human research and evidence discovers, the nature and existence of truth has nothing to do with that research and discovery.

Truth inherently requires no evidence for its existence. It exists without proofs and evidences.

The world is an oblate spheroid, and was, long before humans found evidence that it was so.

Evidence and research do not, and cannot, shape truths. The truth must inform/shape the evidence and research.

It waits, "out there", to be discovered and known.

If god exists, he requires no research or discovery to be true.. If one human mind can read another human mind, then this is a truth, whether or not it is discovered, researched or proven. If faith alone can physically heal the human mind and body, then again, that is true, whether or not it is discovered, researched or proven.

Edited by Mr Walker

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I'm getting a little lost here PA. Is Jesus being questioned, as opposed to other 'historical' figures, out of bias on the part of those who oppose Christianity, or because it's popular? Those are two different justifications.

You and Leo I think are both correct. The popularity of Christianity in our countries is a large reason the discussion is even relevant to us, but I think that Leo is correct in that the reason the argument may be 'fervent' is partly because of proselytization. But I'm definitely not seeing the 'bias' you are talking about. If Jesus is being challenged because of his popularity and/or the amount of proselytization people are subject to, that isn't really 'bias', or is at least not biased in the way we typically use the term, as an unfair prejudice. You've provided a rational and unbiased reason, popularity, why Jesus is questioned and not Krishna.

I also agree with those that say that comparisons to people like Socrates and possibly Buddha are not really apt. The ideas and statements that Socrates purportedly made do not rely at all on Socrates existing for their relevance and correctness; that is the opposite of that of Jesus, where his existence and his being who he said he was is pretty much the sole 'evidence' or justification for at the very least the more mystical parts of the religion. If Jesus never existed, the 'truth' of the core of Christianity is up in the air; if Socrates didn't, it's an interesting piece of historical trivia but doesn't change the veracity of most of the thoughts attributed to him, his actual existence is irrelevant to that.

I'd say that popularity breeds bias towards said system.

And while on this matter, I'm not saying that proselytising plays no part, I've said several times that it is a factor. But it's not THE factor. That is a smokescreen to hide behind the real factor, which I argue is the sheer size of Christianity and Islam (of which Jesus is a major part of both systems, and encompass more than half the human race). Claiming it's Christianity's fault is attempting to place blame on Christians for what is happening, a "justification" for what they are doing in arguing against the historical Jesus. But that is of only secondary importance to the size of Christianity, and on that I've already laid out my argument so I need not go over it again.

Hope that clarifies my point :)

~ Regards, PA

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Posted (edited)

It might be petty to mention, but I feel rather insulted by the insinuation that the debate about the existence of Jesus is partly due to the popularity of the figure, or religion - because it implies the reason for questioning that existence is based in jealousy, which is simply not true.

It's more that people in secular nations, such as the UK, are rather fed up/irritated by the influence major religion has in our legal and social rules/regulations - which could be described as a form of indirect proselytisation - forcing people to conform to that religion's tenet/mores via influencing secular policy. That feeling is quite evident also in the many debates in the UK surrounding the influence Islam has developed with a growing Muslim population in our society. So Christianity is not alone in being 'questioned'.

So, it is not 'popularity', but demographics which causes Christianity to be questioned more in societies where Christianity is the (or a) dominant religion - and this reason of demographics is, as Marcus pointed out, trivial because it is entirely specific to a certain 'type' of society and so different religions cannot be compared except within that specific society.

Taking the case of the UK, and considering the two major religions of Christianity and Islam, I do not see much, if any, difference in the level of debate either provoke in society-at-large. If anything, there is more debate regarding Islam than Christianity - even though Islam is rather insignificant in number of adherents when compared to Christianity in this country.

What is relevant, is how vocal the proponents of the religion are in attempting to either convert people - direct proselytisation - or influence policy - indirect proselytisation. In this, Islam is probably a bit more strident than Christianity - although not by much.

It isn't about jealousy, and I never implied that it was. That's your own insertion. What I'm getting at is that in the field of (for lack of a better term) atheist proselytising, to promote "reason" and "logic" and all those buzz words that show how much better atheism to faith in God/gods/random deities disproving the existence of Jesus is far more profitable that disproving the existence of the Buddha (or any other figure that has been brought up in earlier discussions).

The default position one should take regarding any claim is that of skepticism until sufficient evidence for the veracity of the claim is presented. That is not an agenda, it is a position. If there is any agenda at work here, it is that of adherents of the religion seeking to promote as truth that which cannot be verified to be so.

So the many times I've shared my stories of past experiences, let's say the time I witnessed three friends drown at a beach, you don't believe me (or are at the least sceptical of the events). Even though I've never shared a single link to prove it! It was front page news in Australia many years ago now, it wouldn't be hard for me to link old news reports, but I've never once shared a link because my full name (first name, and a relatively unique surname could easily point someone to find out personal details about me) is mentioned in many of those links. You automatically are "sceptical" about what I've shared? And don't try and turn this into an "extraordinary claims/extraordinary evidence" thing, with Jesus' existence we're not asking automatic acceptance of the supernatural attributions, but merely that a Jesus-figure did exist and that he began what eventually became the movement we know of today as "Christianity". That's not something that automatically deserves to be treated with scepticism.

Why is my story about three friends drowning at a beach more credible than the events of a non-name preacher who, after his death, became popular in many groups around the Ancient Near East? I'm assuming you aren't sceptical of my story here and that you do believe that I did see three friends drown, though if you were truly "sceptical" you wouldn't believe me.

The arguments have not been about discrediting the existence of a historical Jesus, but discrediting the arguments of those who argue unreasonably for that existence. Skepticism means exposing the weakness in those arguments, to ensure that the claim of Jesus' existence is not being invalidly supported.

You can't prove a negative, so it can't be proved Jesus did not exist, but you can disprove an unreasoned (or poorly reasoned) positive. So disproving those arguments which unreasonably claim the existence of Jesus is valid to maintaining the skeptical position, and is not based on any specific agenda.

Truth is built upon properly researched positive evidence, and it is the duty of any who search for that truth to ensure any evidence claimed is properly researched.

Those who have studied the evidence (the experts, historians, etc) have come to the conclusion that the evidence reasonably asserts the existence of a historical Jesus. The agnostic Dr Bart Ehrman went as far as arguing in his book "Did Jesus Exist" that whatever else we can argue about him, Jesus "certainly did exist", though naturally he doesn't believe the supernatural stuff. Edited by Paranoid Android

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There is no connection between the question of christ's physical existence, and how people chose to interpret the nature of his existence. The latter is a completely different issue

^That's the Pot calling the Kettle black.

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And the reverse applies, too: if I held the extreme position, I'd be arguing that Paul's letters were fakes and the NT was written entirely in the second century. But: I think Paul's letters and Judith are first-century writings. Are Paul's letters forgeries (written by somebody else)? I guess that depends on who you think Paul was.

I have my own list of experts who date most of NT to the second century. This is not supposed to be dual between "experts." And truth is not a popularity contest determined by who can line up the most votes. One person with good sources and reasoning can be right while everybody else is wrong. Galileo, Copernicus, Brahe, Hutchens, Darwin and many others had to contend with oppression from the majority while single-handedly defending a position that ultimately turned out to be right.

I'd like to think that in the 21st Century we're beyond this kind of thing. It's been hundreds of years since fellow scientists crucified Galileo on the altar of personal ambition via Papal authority, are historians in 21st Century Western Society of the same type? I certainly hope not, and act accordingly.
So you don't like it when people turn your own tactics against you. Why does that not surprise me?

But it's on UM because you put it there. You know more about operating this system than I do, so go find it.

I'll see if I can relocate it. In the meantime, get some rest, PA. You're sounding grumpy.

Not grumpy, though perhaps a tad thrift in my words at the time. I really don't know a single time when I linked an article that I have not first read.

It was a comment I overheard in a discussion. Channel Four broadcast something similar a couple years ago; maybe they still have the tape. My daughter is more up-to-date on atheists than I am. I'll ask her.

You need to reference the article you are referring to, not the entire library. If you can't find a link, list the author, date, title and if you have it, publisher, location and ID numbers, if applicable. Include page numbers if the article is in a book or periodical. The idea is to help your reader find your source, not to pretend that you know something you don't, or try to make the other guy look ignorant - that backfires every time.

I always try to reference the specific article as I described above. Linking to a front page is not a reference. Only link to the articles you are talking about, or if you must link to the front page, explain how to find the specific article.

The other reason for references is to allow the reader to confirm your interpretation of what the original author said. People misread things - happens in science journals, too. Or there are nuances that weren't discussed that affect the conclusions. Lots of reasons to learn more about the topic. That's what you're doing with references: helping the other guy learn more about what you're saying. If you're right, that should be no problem. In professional writing, references are provided as a matter of coarse, whether they are asked for or not. But UM is a few shades below professional. So here, we wait until the other guy asks. And by then, we can't always remember where we found the item.

Such is the case with our current discussion.

And like I said: truth is not up for a vote.

Doug

Only in the broadest sense have I ever linked to only the front page of that earlychristianwritings.com site. And that is in context of simply saying "this is a relatively academic site that lays out the historicity of the various writings of early Christianity". When referring to specific texts I'll link to the specific article. And in those situations I've read the articles before linking them. If this is the extent of our disagreement on reading a website, then I'll concede, since I haven't read every page on that site or in detail explored every text. But when referring to a text (eg, your recent suggestion that no evidence for 1 Corinthians exists prior to 118 AD) I'll link to the specific article/s.

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Posted (edited)

Leonardo "Truth is built upon properly researched positive evidence, and it is the duty of any who search for that truth to ensure any evidence claimed is properly researched."

WCF "I disagree. Truth is truth regardless of what rules for what constitutes evidence in any particular methodology. "

Leonardo "How does the truism you just stated conflict with what I stated previously?"

The conflict exists in this way.....

Truth is not built upon anything, it just exists.

"Truth" is a human concept based upon the discovery of what is. "Truth" does not exist, it is discovered.

"Truth" does not exist in the sense you imply. "Things" exist, "truth" is a thing, but it is not all "things". It only exists as that concept we have invented to point out what we know about those "things".

PA,

It isn't about jealousy, and I never implied that it was. That's your own insertion. What I'm getting at is that in the field of (for lack of a better term) atheist proselytising, to promote "reason" and "logic" and all those buzz words that show how much better atheism to faith in God/gods/random deities disproving the existence of Jesus is far more profitable that disproving the existence of the Buddha (or any other figure that has been brought up in earlier discussions).

So, it's not about jealously but about egoism? That not really any better.

Or, if you are meaning to suggest it is the influence a religion has within a society because of it's prominence that causes the size of the backlash against it's claims, then that is precisely what I, and others, have been arguing - that in our society the influence Christianity has in direct and indirect ways is why it is more debated. The prominence of the religion is being used to impose it's tenet/morality on those who do not believe - which is a form of proselytisation.

Edited by Leonardo

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There is no difference. :innocent: I applied wisdom, logic and knowledge, which are gifts from god. .

Which he seems to have bestowed generously on you

fullywired :whistle: :whistle:

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Posted (edited)

So, it's not about jealously but about egoism? That not really any better.

Or, if you are meaning to suggest it is the influence a religion has within a society because of it's prominence that causes the size of the backlash against it's claims, then that is precisely what I, and others, have been arguing - that in our society the influence Christianity has in direct and indirect ways is why it is more debated. The prominence of the religion is being used to impose it's tenet/morality on those who do not believe - which is a form of proselytisation.

I'm saying that what is happening is a form of proselytising, not because you were proselytised first, but because by targeting the biggest fish in the pond the biggest victory can be earned. Blaming those proselytise to you is a cover for the idea that atheism wants to proselytise its own view on religion (aka, it's a load of dingo's kidneys). Arguing against Jesus is the fastest way to do this, since that covers most humans on the planet. Far more than arguing Lao-tsu, for example.

As an aside, I find it interesting that you ignore what I noted about experience and scepticism. Have you changed your mind, or were you just trying to avoid the matter altogether?

Edited by Paranoid Android

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Posted (edited)

I'm saying that what is happening is a form of proselytising, not because you were proselytised first, but because by targeting the biggest fish in the pond the biggest victory can be earned. Blaming those proselytise to you is a cover for the idea that atheism wants to proselytise its own view on religion (aka, it's a load of dingo's kidneys). Arguing against Jesus is the fastest way to do this, since that covers most humans on the planet. Far more than arguing Lao-tsu, for example.

How is that not a suggestion that egoism is the motivating factor?

And there is no 'atheist agenda' in my skepticism. I am not arguing against the existence of any deity, but against the claims of veracity of some ancient writings.

Whatever arguments exist between atheists and theists as to the subject of the existence of deity is not relevant to this discussion - which is about whether the biblical figure Jesus historically existed. This topic is about the accuracy of a specific set of writings, not about whether there exists some 'higher power' influencing the universe with conscious intent.

As an aside, I find it interesting that you ignore what I noted about experience and scepticism. Have you changed your mind, or were you just trying to avoid the matter altogether?

I didn't address it because, similar to the "atheist argument" you provided above it is irrelevant to the topic of debate. What skepticism is, is a completely separate debate and I didn't want to side-track the debate that was ongoing.

Edited by Leonardo

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The way you are using 'agenda' here seems to apply to everything, every exertion of energy can be accused of being 'agenda-driven' in some way.

Undoubtedly, but how do we know which ones without 'standards'? I guess I read this as, 'a great many unknown truths are true without meeting academic standards', which I definitely don't dispute, but I've never heard anyone say otherwise. Unless we have an example of a truth that doesn't meet whatever is meant buy 'academic standards'.

You're not the first by any means to make this point, WCF, but I don't get it. The historical story of the sinking of the Titanic is innocuous enough not to really care, but there are a shipload of books written about it anyway. A lot of people like to seek out the truth, even if its innocuous or trivial to them; it's natural, it's curiosity, SIWOTI syndrome, etc, lots of other explanations other than agenda-driven disruption.

But that's the rub, if you haven't looked into the subject, as I can't say I have either, on what grounds are you then saying that there are books 'biased towards the negative'? How do you know? What is the difference between 'evidence' and 'academic evidence'? It seems like what you might mean by 'evidence' is 'not great evidence'.

I suppose you are right that its perfectly natural for people to look into the history of the subject out of simple human curiosity and knowledge seeking.

Well I have had people suggest certain books to me during some of these discussions. Davaros even gave a short summary of one recently. I'm glad he did so I could see how rediculouse the premis for the book is. Saved me some time actually. I have done some reading a while back when I was more interested ( during the da Vinci code era :) ) so i could differentiate between fact from fiction. I remember there being quite a bit of books claiming Jesus never existed. Though I was more interested in the history of Jesus at that time not wether there even is a history. The historians writing about it did not seem to think that Jesus was a literary device. It's been a while though. Like I said it didnt concern me that much any more than the reality of the Buddhas existence. Most scholars seem to agree that he existed so ill run with that one rather than waste my time with atheist rhetoric.

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