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chadn737
May 15th, 2008, 08:54 PM
There are only three references to Socrates. Plato, Xenophon, and the playwright Aristophanes who casts Socrates in a play.

Plato was a student and follower of Socrates, therefore we must dismiss any claims regarding Socrates period, because it is obvious from debates about the existence of Christ that anyone who claimed to be a follower of the person in question is not acceptable evidence.

The same can basically be said of Xenophon as well, for he too was a follower of Socrates. Furthermore his writings contradict Plato's in several areas and contain elements that seem quite obviously fictional, such when Socrates participates in an imaginary party in Xenophon's book Symposion. Therefore we cannot accept anything Xenophon says regarding Socrates.

Aristophanes reference is in his plays and contain many elements of Socrates character that historians do not think are realistic or accurate, thus we must discard any reference made by Aristophanes. This way we can be consistent in our methods, applying the same principles to ancient references that we apply to references of Christ.

Therefore, since the only three references of the period to Socrates are all untrustworthy the only logical conclusion is that the man named Socrates never existed.

Notice that I apply the same dismissal of any mention of Socrates that are used by those who do not believe Christ existed even as a historical figure.

So for those individuals who deny the historical Christ, I expect you to be consistent and deny the historical existence of Socrates.

KevinBrowning
May 15th, 2008, 09:03 PM
But wait, Socrates was an intellectual hero who doesn't cast a shadow of religious oppression over our modern society. That's why he was real.

jimmycarter83
May 15th, 2008, 10:46 PM
Ok so I will admit he never existed, however by your own approach you must deny your Christ. So game on.

Vandaler
May 16th, 2008, 04:26 AM
Ok so I will admit he never existed, however by your own approach you must deny your Christ. So game on.

You can deny it and be wrong. Your approach is sloppy.
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But wait, Socrates was an intellectual hero who doesn't cast a shadow of religious oppression over our modern society. That's why he was real.

Is that an argument ?

If it is, I don't even need to tell you how poor it is.

Zhavric
May 16th, 2008, 04:31 AM
1) In spite of your best efforts to evade this fact, no one attributes supernatural claims to Socrates. He didn't rise from the dead. He didn't walk on water. There aren't throngs of intellectually dishonest brainwashees sure that Socrates fathered himself and the universe... nor is anyone looking to try to create an "historical socrates" versus a "magic socrates". That makes the claim of Socrates' existence far less dubious than Jesus'.

2) Socrates wasn't used to start a religion that institutionalized itself. There isn't a church of Socrates with a doctrinal axe to grind that needs Socrates to have been a real person.

3) So, if it turns out the writings of Socrates came from someone who wasn't Socrates... big deal. Who cares? They have their own merit in spite of their authorship.

4) Lastly, I'm willing to honestly debate the existence of Socrates without using any special pleadings, invoking fallacies, or falling back on "faith". Most Christians are completely incapable of doing the same for Jesus. The best they can muster is a queerly intellectually dishonest argument for the "historical Jesus" who's supposed to miraculously prove the "gospel Jesus".

I could go on, but this is ultimately silly. You can't treat Jesus as an historical figure and claim that he did the things in the bible. You can't pretend to ignore the fact that the church has a doctrinal axe to grind and was willing to rewrite history (as we see in Josephus). You show me where any of that comes into play with Socrates and you'll have a debate. Until then...

Vandaler
May 16th, 2008, 04:40 AM
4) Lastly, I'm willing to honestly debate the existence of Socrates without using any special pleadings, invoking fallacies, or falling back on "faith". Most Christians are completely incapable of doing the same for Jesus. The best they can muster is a queerly intellectually dishonest argument for the "historical Jesus" who's supposed to miraculously prove the "gospel Jesus".

I do hope this does not apply to me. If it does, you will need to answer to it in the appropriate thread. Also, I have not even hinted at the fact that "historical Jesus" proves "Gospel Jesus".

They are separate points.

jimmycarter83
May 16th, 2008, 05:07 AM
You can deny it and be wrong. Your approach is sloppy.


Explain how my agreeing to his terms is sloppy?

Or are you going to individually interpret the rules of the debate? :grin::grin:

Vandaler
May 16th, 2008, 05:26 AM
Explain how my agreeing to his terms is sloppy?

Or are you going to individually interpret the rules of the debate? :grin::grin:

Hi Jimmy,

Well, I interpret the intent of the debate is to outline the difficulties inherent with proving the historicity of certain person having existed. I don't think the intent is to actually demonstrate that Socrates did not exist.

By agreeing to the terms, you are taking the challenge in it's first degree and actually, are bypassing the intent of the challenge. Furthermore, perhaps, and I say perhaps you see this and say, hey, he's right, this does sound complicated and I am not willing to put that much effort to show that Socrates existed. And since I'm not willing to put that effort in for Socrate, others should not put the same effort for Jesus either.

I'm sorry about the use of the word sloppy. The above explains why I did.

Zhavric
May 16th, 2008, 06:22 AM
I do hope this does not apply to me. If it does, you will need to answer to it in the appropriate thread. Also, I have not even hinted at the fact that "historical Jesus" proves "Gospel Jesus".

They are separate points.

You're new here and you're a theist. I'll just give you a few posts. I'm sure you'll prove me right.
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Hi Jimmy,

Well, I interpret the intent of the debate is to outline the difficulties inherent with proving the historicity of certain person having existed. I don't think the intent is to actually demonstrate that Socrates did not exist.

No. The purpose of this debate is to mischaracterize the question of Jesus' existence by pretending that Jesus is an historical figure and ignoring the supernatural claims inherent in the Jesus myth. Forget Socrates. A better comparison would be between Jesus and Hercules or any other heroic figure that has supernatural claims mixed in. Then there's the issue of the early church re-writing history for their own gain. There's a lot Chad is ignoring not for any logical reason, but because it's just too distasteful for him as a Christian to address. No one wants to think that their religion was the first century's version of Scientology...

Vandaler
May 16th, 2008, 06:36 AM
No. The purpose of this debate is to mischaracterize the question of Jesus' existence by pretending that Jesus is an historical figure and ignoring the supernatural claims inherent in the Jesus myth.

It's your unjustified insistence that historicity of Jesus and all the claims made about Him are linked. They are not, and no one is arguing that they are. You are locking yourself up in a position that this debate and it's spin offs does not call for.

Zhavric
May 16th, 2008, 08:12 AM
It's your unjustified insistence that historicity of Jesus and all the claims made about Him are linked.

While I appreciate that you're new here and haven't made that argument yet, I'm still calling ********. I've debated Christians for far too long


They are not,

Right on. I'll just save this little gem for later. Why don't you tell me what you do believe?

Vandaler
May 16th, 2008, 08:15 AM
While I appreciate that you're new here and haven't made that argument yet, I'm still calling ********. I've debated Christians for far too long

:grin:

I appreciate that you hold me to high standards. I think that is a good thing.

chadn737
May 16th, 2008, 09:24 AM
1) In spite of your best efforts to evade this fact, no one attributes supernatural claims to Socrates. He didn't rise from the dead. He didn't walk on water. There aren't throngs of intellectually dishonest brainwashees sure that Socrates fathered himself and the universe... nor is anyone looking to try to create an "historical socrates" versus a "magic socrates". That makes the claim of Socrates' existence far less dubious than Jesus'.

It doesn't matter whether or not supernatural claims were made or not. Claims of supernatural feats does not disqualify that a person existed. Since I'm not interested in debating the truth of the supernatural feats in this thread, lets assume for convenience that they really are impossible.

Having said as much, lets look at a few different cases:

Houdini was a man who performed amazing feats. Lets say that Houdini performed his feats and it was never exposed how he did any of them. Eyewitnesses and friends record the events of Houdini's life and mention the feats he performed. 2000 years later you read these accounts and say "Impossible."

Are we then to assume that a man named Houdini never existed or is it not far more logical to assume that Houdini existed and the people were fooled in some way or that perhaps the tales have been exaggerated?

In the case of Socrates, several of the references made to him portray him in unlikely ways, in scenarios that we think are ficitonal, and in ways that contradict other records of him.

In the case of Socrates, the issue is the same as the issue with Christ. We are trying to know whether a man named Socrates actually existed, but our attempts are made difficult with events that seem unlikely to be true. The only difference is that Christ is attributed with supernatural feats, but as in the scenario of Houdini that I presented, one cannot conclude based on that fact alone that Christ never existed. To do so would be horrible scholarship.


2) Socrates wasn't used to start a religion that institutionalized itself. There isn't a church of Socrates with a doctrinal axe to grind that needs Socrates to have been a real person.


So in other words the only reason why you deny Christ existed historically is because you have an axe to grind with Christians.

Not only is #2 horrible logic, but it ignores the fact that Socrates was a philosopher and political leader. A man who had students who learned from him and adopted his philosophies. Those same students then passed Socrates teachings down to their students. Socrates was later condemned to death by the government for subverting the minds of Athenian youths.

In other words, Socrates teachings were controversial and his students and followers wanted to spread his ideas and gain new followers. They did have a doctrinal axe to grind and so they would have every reason for holding up Socrates as an actual historical figure.


3) So, if it turns out the writings of Socrates came from someone who wasn't Socrates... big deal. Who cares? They have their own merit in spite of their authorship.

BIG DEAL!!?!?

You've got to be kidding me. Do not tell me that you just made such an open confession of Special Pleading.

This is a criticism which you use against Christ all the time.

So it is obvious that you apply different standards to Christ than you do other historical figures.

In other words you are guilty of SPECIAL PLEADING.


4) Lastly, I'm willing to honestly debate the existence of Socrates without using any special pleadings, invoking fallacies, or falling back on "faith". Most Christians are completely incapable of doing the same for Jesus. The best they can muster is a queerly intellectually dishonest argument for the "historical Jesus" who's supposed to miraculously prove the "gospel Jesus".

Please, your first three points contradict this.


I could go on, but this is ultimately silly. You can't treat Jesus as an historical figure and claim that he did the things in the bible. You can't pretend to ignore the fact that the church has a doctrinal axe to grind and was willing to rewrite history (as we see in Josephus). You show me where any of that comes into play with Socrates and you'll have a debate. Until then...

This is not about whether Jesus actually performed Supernatural feats.

You deny that Jesus existed even as a historical figure. Something which is considered ridiculous by the vast majority of historians.

You have basically demonstrated in your post that you use special pleading in arguing against the existence of the historical Jesus and that you have an axe to grind with Christians that has biased your ability to apply the same standards to everyone.

Squatch347
May 16th, 2008, 09:28 AM
1) In spite of your best efforts to evade this fact, no one attributes supernatural claims to Socrates. He didn't rise from the dead. He didn't walk on water. There aren't throngs of intellectually dishonest brainwashees sure that Socrates fathered himself and the universe... nor is anyone looking to try to create an "historical socrates" versus a "magic socrates". That makes the claim of Socrates' existence far less dubious than Jesus'. So because a religion (well a long standing one anyway) didn't spring up around socrates that makes the evidence more valid?

chadn737
May 16th, 2008, 09:31 AM
So because a religion (well a long standing one anyway) didn't spring up around socrates that makes the evidence more valid?

That pretty much seems to be the issue.

I'm curious as to whether he thinks this should apply to any situation where a established following springs up, or just religion. Does the fact that a longstanding following has sprung up around Marx make the evidence for his existence less credible?

TheSparrow
May 16th, 2008, 09:48 AM
Ok, Lets say Socrates never existed.

So........

What follows from that?

What change do we need to make in our thinking, our actions etc.
Please outline why it matters that Socrates never existed.

Vandaler
May 16th, 2008, 09:54 AM
Ok, Lets say Socrates never existed.

So........

What follows from that?

What change do we need to make in our thinking, our actions etc.
Please outline why it matters that Socrates never existed.

Nothing,

This is just a thought experiment to identify any double standards. Socrates existence is not in doubt and the evidences of it is obviously not the same as Jesus and need to be evaluated on it's own merits.

TheSparrow
May 16th, 2008, 10:07 AM
Nothing,

This is just a thought experiment to identify any double standards. Socrates existence is not in doubt and the evidences of it is obviously not the same as Jesus and need to be evaluated on it's own merits.

I realize that, but the comparison is silly.
Socrates ideas don't require the existence of the specific individual known as Socrates.
Jesus's ideas DO require the existence of Jesus.

The EXISTANCE of Socrates is not required to 'prove' or add weight to any of his ideas.

The EXISTANCE of Jesus IS required to 'prove' or add weight to any of his ideas.

As a result, and debate around the ideas of Christianity require the existence of Jesus to be a fact, therefore, the existence of Jesus needs to be carefully examined.
As has been said many times, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

I will gladly concede the non-existence of Socrates. So what.

chadn737
May 16th, 2008, 10:18 AM
I realize that, but the comparison is silly.
Socrates ideas don't require the existence of the specific individual known as Socrates.
Jesus's ideas DO require the existence of Jesus.

This is a debate on whether these two individuals actually existed as historical figure or not.

In this respect, the comparison is valid and it doesn't make a difference what their ideas were.


The EXISTANCE of Socrates is not required to 'prove' or add weight to any of his ideas.

The EXISTANCE of Jesus IS required to 'prove' or add weight to any of his ideas.

So what?

That is irrelevant, this is not a debate about whether their ideas are true or not, but on whether or not these men actually existed.


As a result, and debate around the ideas of Christianity require the existence of Jesus to be a fact, therefore, the existence of Jesus needs to be carefully examined.
As has been said many times, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

I will gladly concede the non-existence of Socrates. So what.

Since you have conceded that Socrates does not exist, then there isn't much purpose in debating you further as this is only for those who insist Jesus did not exist, but Socrates did. Although I think its rather silly to deny that either one existed as historical figures.

Vandaler
May 16th, 2008, 10:28 AM
I will gladly concede the non-existence of Socrates. So what.

Is there many more falsehoods* you would hold for true just for the sake of argument ?
The documentation for Socrates existence is solid.

snackboy
May 16th, 2008, 10:29 AM
Plato was a student and follower of Socrates, therefore we must dismiss any claims regarding Socrates period, because it is obvious from debates about the existence of Christ that anyone who claimed to be a follower of the person in question is not acceptable evidence.
I believe that this is the weakest point of your argument. Plato provides a first hand account of Socrates existence during the Trial of Socrates in the Apology. We know (unless you care to dispute as well) that Plato existed. Yet, where is the first hand account of Jesus?

Vandaler
May 16th, 2008, 10:33 AM
As has been said many times, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

OMG, there is no end.

Yes, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
Claiming Jesus merely existed is an ordinary claim and require ordinary evidence.

chadn737
May 16th, 2008, 10:35 AM
I believe that this is the weakest point of your argument. Plato provides a first hand account of Socrates existence during the Trial of Socrates in the Apology. We know (unless you care to dispute as well) that Plato existed. Yet, where is the first hand account of Jesus?

The Gospel of John.

TheSparrow
May 16th, 2008, 10:51 AM
OMG, there is no end.

Yes, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
Claiming Jesus merely existed is an ordinary claim and require ordinary evidence.

Which Jesus?
Jesus a normal human, or Jesus the son of God as described in the Gospels?

Vandaler
May 16th, 2008, 10:57 AM
Which Jesus?
Jesus a normal human, or Jesus the son of God as described in the Gospels?

I apologize, as you may have not followed another thread from which this is a spin off.

This discussion addresses a person named Jesus that gathered a following. It does not address the extra-ordinary claims made on His account.

snackboy
May 16th, 2008, 10:58 AM
The Gospel of John.
Hmm...
The supposition that the author was one and the same with the beloved disciple is often advanced as a means of insuring that the evangelist did witness Jesus' ministry. Two other passages are advanced as evidence of the same - 19:35 and 21:24. But both falter under close scrutiny. 19:35 does not claim that the author was the one who witnessed the scene but only that the scene is related on the sound basis of eyewitness. 21:24 is part of the appendix of the gospel and should not be assumed to have come from the same hand as that responsible for the body of the gospel. Neither of these passages, therefore, persuades many Johannine scholars that the author claims eyewitness status. ...from Early Christian Writings. (http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/john.html) (kudos to eliotitus from providing the link in the other thread).

Do you dispute Robert Kysar's findings?

chadn737
May 16th, 2008, 11:30 AM
Do you dispute Robert Kysar's findings?

Yes I do. The authorship of John was attributed to the apostle John by Irenaeus, Clement, Tertullian, and Origen. The writing style and content of the Gospel of John is also the same as the letters of John, of which there is no dispute as to the authorship.

Fact is that you can always find somebody with a PhD (or expert) who will voice a dissenting opinion. I can find PhD's galore who dispute whether or not evolution happens. At some point it becomes rather absurd and you have to just realize that people do overanalyze stuff. In an attempt to make their name known they will find a way to dispute anything, no matter how tenuous.

TheSparrow
May 16th, 2008, 11:33 AM
I apologize, as you may have not followed another thread from which this is a spin off.

This discussion addresses a person named Jesus that gathered a following. It does not address the extra-ordinary claims made on His account.

Fine and dandy. IF as that is all that is being considered, then I may be inclined to agree with the post.

However, I've seen similar tactics before where this is but the thin edge of the wedge. ;)

chadn737
May 16th, 2008, 11:40 AM
However, I've seen similar tactics before where this is but the thin edge of the wedge.

Even if it were, what of it? Will you deny the historical Socrates and Jesus simply so you can deny claims of the supernatural Jesus.

Thats the equivalent of what creationists do. They deny things like Carbon Dating so that they don't have to deal with the other issues.

That sort of strategy is intellectually bankrupt.

snackboy
May 16th, 2008, 12:23 PM
Yes I do. The authorship of John was attributed to the apostle John by Irenaeus, Clement, Tertullian, and Origen. The writing style and content of the Gospel of John is also the same as the letters of John, of which there is no dispute as to the authorship.

Fact is that you can always find somebody with a PhD (or expert) who will voice a dissenting opinion.No Chad, its not just this one person, its a very large scholarly community (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_John#Authorship):
[edit] Authorship
John the Evangelist, by Carlo Crivelli, c. 1475.The authorship has been disputed since at least the second century, with mainstream Christianity traditionally holding that the author was John the Apostle, son of Zebedee. Several other authors have historically been suggested, including Papias, John the Presbyter and Cerinthus, though many apologetic Christian scholars still hold to the conservative view that ascribes authorship to John the Apostle. Most modern experts conclude the author to be an unknown non-eyewitness.[11]

The text itself is unclear about the issue. John 21:20Ė25 contains information that could be construed as autobiographical. Conservative scholars generally assume that first person "I" in verse 25, the disciple in verse 24 and the disciple whom Jesus loved (also known as the Beloved Disciple) in verse 20 are the same person;[12][13] they further identify all three descriptors with the Apostle John through a combination of external and internal evidence.[14] Critics point out that the abrupt shift from third person to first person in vss. 24Ė25 indicates that the author of the epilogue, who is supposed a third-party editor, claims the preceding narrative is based on the Beloved Disciple's testimony, while he himself is not the Beloved Disciple.[15][16]

Ancient testimony is similarly conflicted. Attestation of Johannine authorship can be found as early as Irenaeus.[14] Eusebius wrote that Irenaeus received his information from Polycarp, who is said to have received it from the Apostles directly.[14] Charles E. Hill argues that there is a solid early orthodox tradition of authorship: the tradition that an apostle of Jesus wrote the Gospel and can be attested to as early as the first two decades of the second century, and there are many Church Fathers in the remainder of the second century that ascribe the text to John the Apostle.[17] Martin Hengel and Jorge Frey similarly argue for John the Presbyter as the author of the text.[citation needed] Hill goes on to propose that Ignatius, Polycarp, Papiasí elders, and Hierapolis' Exegesis of the Lordís Oracles possibly all quote from the Gospel of John.

Epiphanius, however, takes note of an Early Christian sect, the Alogi, who believed the Gospel was actually written by one Cerinthus, a second-century Gnostic.[18] Corroborating this evidence is a quotation by Eusebius of Caesarea (History of the Church 7.25.2) in which Dionysius of Alexandria (mid-third century) claims that the Apocalypse of John (known commonly as the Book of Revelation), but not the Gospel of John, was believed by some before him (7.25.1) to also have been written by Cerinthus. This discussion of the Alogi represents the only instance in which both the Book of Revelation and the Gospel of John were specifically attributed to Cerinthus.[18] Hill asserts that, at that time, the Gospel of John was never attributed to Cerinthus by the established orthodoxy; that Eusebius was only stating a theory that he had heard; and that Eusebius himself believed the Gospel to have been written by the Apostle John.[19]

Starting in the 19th century, critical scholarship has further questioned the apostle John's authorship, arguing that the work was written decades after the events it describes. The critical scholarship argues that there are differences in the composition of the Greek within the Gospel, such as breaks and inconsistencies in sequence, repetitions in the discourse, as well as passages that clearly do not belong to their context, and these suggest redaction.[20]

Raymond E. Brown, a biblical scholar who specialized in studying the Johannine community, summarizes a prevalent theory regarding the development of this gospel.[21] He identifies three layers of text in the Fourth Gospel (a situation that is paralleled by the synoptic gospels): 1) an initial version Brown considers based on personal experience of Jesus; 2) a structured literary creation by the evangelist which draws upon additional sources; and 3) the edited version that readers know today (Brown 1979).

Among scholars, Ephesus in Asia Minor is a popular suggestion for the gospel's origin.[2]


The authorship has been disputed since the second century? A mere 80 years after it was written. If they couldn't figure it out back then, what makes you think you are accurate now? However, there is no dispute that Plato wrote about Socrates. There is no dispute that Plato even existed. I find interesting the record of Plato and Socrates in significantly older than the Biblical text, yet the Biblical text is less definitive in its origin. Where is your definitive proof that the author of Gospel of John is actually John? Otherwise, you have no first hand account of Jesus, unlike the first hand account of Socrates.

TheSparrow
May 16th, 2008, 12:27 PM
...Will you deny the historical Socrates and Jesus simply so you can deny claims of the supernatural Jesus.


Sigh....

If you are claiming some man called Jesus existed. Then I would hold that to the same level of scrutiny as the claim that Socrates existed.

If you are claiming Jesus the son of God existed, then my criteria is that he existed and was the son of God, otherwise Jesus could exist and be just a man.

They are (for me) 2 different claims.
Frankly if you say Jesus existed as a man, I say, ok fine, who cares.
If you say Jesus existed as the son of God, then the claim must be backed up not only by record of his presence, but also that he was not JUST a man.

I would turn this back on you and ask:
If Jesus the man existed, does that have ANY bearing on whether the Christianity is true?

This is a yes or no answer. ;)

Apokalupsis
May 16th, 2008, 11:41 PM
1) In spite of your best efforts to evade this fact, no one attributes supernatural claims to Socrates. He didn't rise from the dead. He didn't walk on water. There aren't throngs of intellectually dishonest brainwashees sure that Socrates fathered himself and the universe... nor is anyone looking to try to create an "historical socrates" versus a "magic socrates". That makes the claim of Socrates' existence far less dubious than Jesus'.

2) Socrates wasn't used to start a religion that institutionalized itself. There isn't a church of Socrates with a doctrinal axe to grind that needs Socrates to have been a real person.

3) So, if it turns out the writings of Socrates came from someone who wasn't Socrates... big deal. Who cares? They have their own merit in spite of their authorship.

4) Lastly, I'm willing to honestly debate the existence of Socrates without using any special pleadings, invoking fallacies, or falling back on "faith". Most Christians are completely incapable of doing the same for Jesus. The best they can muster is a queerly intellectually dishonest argument for the "historical Jesus" who's supposed to miraculously prove the "gospel Jesus".

I could go on, but this is ultimately silly. You can't treat Jesus as an historical figure and claim that he did the things in the bible. You can't pretend to ignore the fact that the church has a doctrinal axe to grind and was willing to rewrite history (as we see in Josephus). You show me where any of that comes into play with Socrates and you'll have a debate. Until then...
Despite the applause from the anti-theist corner, you threw out one giant red herring here Zhav.

The issue is not that Jesus is God, did all these supernatural things, has divine characteristics attributed to him...but rather, he existed.

Anti-theists do not dismiss Jesus' existence because the Bible attributes divine acts and qualities to Him, but instead, like the op says, these sources cannot be trusted (despite them being more trustworthy than any other source in ancient history).

There are 3 options:

1) Jesus did not exist.
2) Jesus existed, but the Bible exaggerates who he is and what he did.
3) Jesus existed, and the Bible accurately describes Jesus.

It'd be one thing for you and other anti-theists to hold position #2...but instead, you take the radical (and unfounded and illogical) position #1.

You cannot have your cake and eat it too. You must remain consistent with your standard here. Either you believe through the reasoning you have offered in other arguments that Jesus does not exist, therefore Socrates does not exist, or you hold the position that both did in fact exist.

Admission of Jesus existence as a man, is not an admission of Jesus as God (which for some reason, you didn't realize, nor did your "corner").
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No. The purpose of this debate is to mischaracterize the question of Jesus' existence by pretending that Jesus is an historical figure and ignoring the supernatural claims inherent in the Jesus myth. Forget Socrates. A better comparison would be between Jesus and Hercules or any other heroic figure that has supernatural claims mixed in.
Not true at all. Exaggeration is certainly possible. By your logic, we must deny the existence of Caesar and many other ancient leaders/kings (including Mayan, Aztec, etc... ) who were said to be Gods themselves, descendants of Gods, some immortal, have many attributed "god qualities/characteristics", etc...

Exaggeration is not a qualifier for existence or non-existence.

Also...let's throw out Joan of Arc who had supernatural qualities and abilities claimed about her. She couldn't have existed. Let's do away with Muhammad, the founder of Islam, after all he had the supernatual quality of prophecy. Let's throw out the founders of Mormonism and Jehovah's Witnesses who allegedly had supernatural powers.

With your logic, anyone who is said to be supernatural (or at least, have supernatural powers or qualities), cannot have existed as a real person, by virtue of someone claiming that this individual had supernatural powers.

It's absurd and obviously flawed reasoning.

Vandaler
May 17th, 2008, 07:09 AM
Right on. I'll just save this little gem for later. Why don't you tell me what you do believe?

So, is giving me a reputation point while speculating on my lack of integrity your awkward way of conceding on the Josephus discussion ?

Slipnish
May 17th, 2008, 01:08 PM
1) In spite of your best efforts to evade this fact, no one attributes supernatural claims to Socrates. He didn't rise from the dead. He didn't walk on water. There aren't throngs of intellectually dishonest brainwashees sure that Socrates fathered himself and the universe... nor is anyone looking to try to create an "historical socrates" versus a "magic socrates". That makes the claim of Socrates' existence far less dubious than Jesus'.

How so? People attributing magical attributes to an individual would tend to lend credit to their existence, would it not? You have to have something on which to hang a name, after all.


2) Socrates wasn't used to start a religion that institutionalized itself. There isn't a church of Socrates with a doctrinal axe to grind that needs Socrates to have been a real person.

I don't remember Jesus having a doctrinal axe to grind, per se. The only time I do remember it was casting the money changers out of the temple. As far as that goes, Jesus didn't really leave a lot of written works behind. He had a LOT of things written about him...

He was very low key about his doctrine, if I recall.


3) So, if it turns out the writings of Socrates came from someone who wasn't Socrates... big deal. Who cares? They have their own merit in spite of their authorship.

And if Jesus turned out not to be the Son of God, his words should still carry weight, yes?

I can't include the whole, who cares thing, because obviously people would be having fits, but otherwise...

Sometimes I have difficulty separating your logic from your past history of anti-religion-aggression.


4) Lastly, I'm willing to honestly debate the existence of Socrates without using any special pleadings, invoking fallacies, or falling back on "faith". Most Christians are completely incapable of doing the same for Jesus. The best they can muster is a queerly intellectually dishonest argument for the "historical Jesus" who's supposed to miraculously prove the "gospel Jesus".

Historically, most debaters fail to stay on this site for any length of time. Can we draw any conclusions from this? "Most Christians" as most people, would be hard pressed to step in here and defend that without doing the above.

I think the failing is more with a lack of education in the populace in the art of debate and in intellect in general, than in just Christians in particular.


I could go on, but this is ultimately silly. You can't treat Jesus as an historical figure and claim that he did the things in the bible.

Uhm...why not? Ultimately the Bible does have some historical accuracies in it. They have been confirmed by various scientists and sciences. Why can't we have an account of a historical man?

As to the things claimed about him...well, those are something else. Doesn't preclude Jesus from being real.

After all, David Copperfield has done some outlandish stuff, and had it written about... And we don't doubt his existence.


You can't pretend to ignore the fact that the church has a doctrinal axe to grind and was willing to rewrite history (as we see in Josephus).

Which church, Zhav? There are LOTs of places in there for wiggle room. The bible has a long tradition. Proving that Paul or some of the other authors had reason or actually did rewrite history is something else.

We know that things took place at some points, yes. But that ultimately doesn't disprove the whole doctrine or text. It just calls some bits into question.


You show me where any of that comes into play with Socrates and you'll have a debate. Until then...

Erm... Does he have any cool holidays?

jimmycarter83
May 17th, 2008, 01:44 PM
So for those individuals who deny the historical Christ, I expect you to be consistent and deny the historical existence of Socrates.

I will deny that Socrates existed. Thereby allowing that Jesus Christ never did as well.

By doing so according to your own debate guidelines I have established my correctness right?

I only repeat this because I would like the author of this thread to respond.

CliveStaples
May 17th, 2008, 11:01 PM
1) In spite of your best efforts to evade this fact, no one attributes supernatural claims to Socrates. He didn't rise from the dead. He didn't walk on water. There aren't throngs of intellectually dishonest brainwashees sure that Socrates fathered himself and the universe... nor is anyone looking to try to create an "historical socrates" versus a "magic socrates". That makes the claim of Socrates' existence far less dubious than Jesus'.

So if there were a few more writings unearthed about Socrates that attribute him with supernatural powers, would he cease to exist?


2) Socrates wasn't used to start a religion that institutionalized itself. There isn't a church of Socrates with a doctrinal axe to grind that needs Socrates to have been a real person.

There certainly are plenty of philosophical movements that have relied on Socrates.


3) So, if it turns out the writings of Socrates came from someone who wasn't Socrates... big deal. Who cares? They have their own merit in spite of their authorship.

The question is whether Socrates exists. If you think the question is irrelevant, then you don't have to contribute to the thread.


4) Lastly, I'm willing to honestly debate the existence of Socrates without using any special pleadings, invoking fallacies, or falling back on "faith". Most Christians are completely incapable of doing the same for Jesus. The best they can muster is a queerly intellectually dishonest argument for the "historical Jesus" who's supposed to miraculously prove the "gospel Jesus".

I could go on, but this is ultimately silly. You can't treat Jesus as an historical figure and claim that he did the things in the bible. You can't pretend to ignore the fact that the church has a doctrinal axe to grind and was willing to rewrite history (as we see in Josephus). You show me where any of that comes into play with Socrates and you'll have a debate. Until then...

What history did Josephus re-write?

I am perfectly willing to take bias and unreliable authors into account, but I think it's quite silly to simply tell your opponents that they can't claim that Jesus exists and affirm the Bible's claims about him. I can simply say that unbelievers can't deny the Bible's claims about him; where are we left then?

Vandaler
May 18th, 2008, 05:23 AM
I only repeat this because I would like the author of this thread to respond.

The author of this thread already reacted to this very exact reasoning on post #17 by agreeing to my response. You seem more intent on discussing form rather then substance, which can become annoying quickly.

jimmycarter83
May 18th, 2008, 01:54 PM
The author of this thread already reacted to this very exact reasoning on post #17 by agreeing to my response. You seem more intent on discussing form rather then substance, which can become annoying quickly.

Actually your response rephrased the entire question posed originally.
So what you are saying is that the rules of proper debate have changed to suit the christians here?

Interesting. I will stand back and watch as you make an even bigger mess of this thread.
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Nothing,

This is just a thought experiment to identify any double standards. Socrates existence is not in doubt and the evidences of it is obviously not the same as Jesus and need to be evaluated on it's own merits.

Actually it is a challenge. If one refuses to meet said challenge and takes the offered alternative.

This is a debate on whether these two individuals actually existed as historical figure or not.
And accepts that neither figure existed than said debate is no longer needed.



So for those individuals who deny the historical Christ, I expect you to be consistent and deny the historical existence of Socrates.

I.E. Vandaler -Again as seen in the original challenge I took this option which is correct.

Your "sloppy" reading of said challenge is what has created your inability to respond correctly.


As for the form comment, when it is apparent that the form is detracting from the substance and the argument is meant as a jab (I.E. towards other atheists who feel christ could not have existed based on biblical writings that are inaccurate) than obviously form takes first position over substance.

chadn737
May 18th, 2008, 04:18 PM
Actually your response rephrased the entire question posed originally.

No it didn't. This thread and its challenged was addressed to certain individuals who claim that Jesus did not even exist historically. You are not engaged in the debates where such claims have been made, so its not surprising that you do not understand the situation that led to the creation of this thread or the context. If you have any doubt that this was not the real intention of the thread then read the initial replies of your atheist brethren, particularly Zhavric. They all grasped the intent and reason behind this thread.

In fact let me give you a few hints from the OP.


Notice that I apply the same dismissal of any mention of Socrates that are used by those who do not believe Christ existed even as a historical figure.

So for those individuals who deny the historical Christ, I expect you to be consistent and deny the historical existence of Socrates.

Notice that I state my argument using the same reasoning applied by those who deny Christ existed even as a historical man and then directly challenge those individuals to either deny Socrates existed (and hence be consistent in their reasoning) or defend why they believe Socrates existed but Christ didn't (hence revealing double standards in how they treat sources).


So what you are saying is that the rules of proper debate have changed to suit the christians here?

Interesting. I will stand back and watch as you make an even bigger mess of this thread.

Nope, what he is saying is that you have not understood the reason or intent of the OP and the argument.


Actually it is a challenge. If one refuses to meet said challenge and takes the offered alternative.


And accepts that neither figure existed than said debate is no longer needed.

If you take the alternative and deny Socrates, then I have nothing else to say than you are at least consistent, no matter how ridiculous it is to deny that either Jesus or Socrates existed as actual historical men who walked upon the Earth. The evidence for both is more than sufficient to prove both as historical people (far better than other individuals of history) and to deny either existed simply to refuse Christians even that small victory shows that you are not above denying evidence and proof as it suits you.


I.E. Vandaler -Again as seen in the original challenge I took this option which is correct.

Your "sloppy" reading of said challenge is what has created your inability to respond correctly.

In what way was his response incorrect. Post 17 does a good job of summarizing the entire purpose and intent of this thread and he is correct that if you claim Socrates never existed, then I have already made my response clear, I have nothing to debate with you (unless you want to debate why it is that you go so far to deny evidence simply because it suits you?).


As for the form comment, when it is apparent that the form is detracting from the substance and the argument is meant as a jab (I.E. towards other atheists who feel christ could not have existed based on biblical writings that are inaccurate) than obviously form takes first position over substance.

It is not a jab, it is a challenge for them to be consistent in their application of denial to all historical figures rather than the usual case where they deny only Christ, but accept other figures with equivalent or less evidence for their existence.

Vandaler
May 18th, 2008, 04:46 PM
Actually it is a challenge. If one refuses to meet said challenge and takes the offered alternative.

And accepts that neither figure existed than said debate is no longer needed.

And neither will it serve any purpose. Congratulations.

As I said to others, declining the challenge (for the sole purpose of denying Jesus) only makes you foolishly wrong, as Socrates did indeed exist beyond any reasonable doubt.

jimmycarter83
May 18th, 2008, 05:59 PM
And neither will it serve any purpose. Congratulations.

As I said to others, declining the challenge (for the sole purpose of denying Jesus) only makes you foolishly wrong, as Socrates did indeed exist beyond any reasonable doubt.

However admitting that a man based out of a book of fairy tales and notoriously incorrect fables did exist is right?
My deepest sympathies in this regards.

I do not consider the bible to be anything other than a hodgepodge of semi-accurate histories with no really significant meaning.
Jesus Christ as the bible portrays him did not exist anywhere except in this book of miscellaneous stories (that for the record is not even complete)

Vandaler
May 18th, 2008, 07:51 PM
However admitting that a man based out of a book of fairy tales and notoriously incorrect fables did exist is right?
My deepest sympathies in this regards.

Well, You side on the vast minority on both issues where it comes to well read historical opinions. Against the existence Socarate for your own intellectually whorish purposes of making a point, and against Jesus as if it would be somehow be conceding grounds to Christians, while in fact, it's entirely unrelated.

But I guess where off to a wrong foot, welcome to ODN.

Zhavric
May 19th, 2008, 04:47 AM
It doesn't matter whether or not supernatural claims were made or not.

Of course supernatural claims matter. Hercules and other Greek heroes who did impossible things did many of them in the backdrop of real places. Athens, Sparta, and all the other bits of the Greek landscape show up in tales we know didn't happen. You can't ignore the supernatural claims inherent in the Jesus myth and claim that they "don't matter". That would be like saying, "Nevermind all the talking to gods, supernatural trials, and mythical creatures. Hercules was a real person because the supernatural claims don't matter."




So in other words the only reason why you deny Christ existed historically is because you have an axe to grind with Christians.

What a disingenuous line of reasoning? I'm not trying to perpetuate a religion. I don't get paid if people own the truth or not. Where's your brain, Chad? By your "reasoning" the only reason you deny Xenu existed historically is because you have an axe to grind with Scientology.

We know now that modern orthodoxy is just one of many competing versions of Christianity that emerged by, quite litterly, killing off the "heretical" branches of the faith. To ignore this (which you're attempting) is disingenuous.


BIG DEAL!!?!?

Yeah. Big deal.

I haven't based my worldview on the idea that a self-fathering cosmic jewish zombie showed up 2000 years ago. I don't need for him to be real. Likewise, I haven't based my entire worldview on the idea that Socrates is a real person who did supernatural things. If it turns out old So-crates isn't who we thought he was, what does it matter to me? I'll happily go where the evidence leads me. Why can't you do the same for Jesus?


Please, your first three points contradict this.

Don't be dense, Chad. Projecting the fallacies of your own worldview/argument onto me is no way for you to debate. You're far too bright to be that disingenuous.




You deny that Jesus existed even as a historical figure. Something which is considered ridiculous by the vast majority of historians.

That's a bit of a mix of appeal to authority and appeal to popular opinion. It's an appeal to authoruity fallacy becasue modern historians are A) becoming more and more specialized, knowing less about everything and more about very specific periods and B) historians are all too aware of the sort of scorn, abuse, and douchebaggery Christians are ready to heap on anyone who even sugggests their godman wasn't the real McCoy.

And to be clear, Christ wasn't based on one historical figure. He was invented from the tales of several actual figures, Jewish stories, and pagan mythology.
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There are 3 options:

1) Jesus did not exist.
2) Jesus existed, but the Bible exaggerates who he is and what he did.
3) Jesus existed, and the Bible accurately describes Jesus.

There's another option. Or perhaps an offshoot of "Jesus didn't exist". You're forgetting, "Jesus didn't exist, but is a composite of pagan myth, Jewish prophecy, and a handful of individuals who actually existed like Yeshua ben Pandira.


It'd be one thing for you and other anti-theists to hold position #2...but instead, you take the radical (and unfounded and illogical) position #1.

Stop right there.

It's very easy to believe that was actually a guy named Jesus who mostly did what was attributed to the Christ in the bible... only without the supernatural mumbo-jumbo. The problem is that person isn't evidenced anywhere. Absolutely nowhere. We don't see anyone writing about him at the time. We don't see any legitimate scholarship about him after the fact. We do, however, see a very desperate people eager to believe in a messiah. More on that later. Point being, we don't assume there was an historical figure behind every myth. Hercules doesn't evidence a really strong guy who ran around Greece doing cool stuff. Furthermore, could you imagine what you'd say to someone who said, "I can prove this really strong guy existed and I can prove that these other people really strongly believed / were willing to die for the idea that this really strong guy was the son of Zeus. So you should believe Hercules was real and really was the son of Zeus." You'd tear them a new one and you know it.


Admission of Jesus existence as a man, is not an admission of Jesus as God.

No. What you and other apologists aren't grasping is that it's disingenuous for you, as a Christian, to try to argue for an historical Christ and at the same time claim that normal historical figure did supernatural things.


Not true at all. Exaggeration is certainly possible. By your logic, we must deny the existence of Caesar and many other ancient leaders/kings (including Mayan, Aztec, etc... ) who were said to be Gods themselves, descendants of Gods, some immortal, have many attributed "god qualities/characteristics", etc...

I'm perfectly willing to completely toss out the idea that Ceasar and the Mayan kings were descended from gods. Are you willing to do that for Jesus? If not, then you're being disingenuous. If so (and you're still a Christian) then you're being disingenuous again. Effectively you're saying, "I believe in all the supernatural claims and I believe we can throw out all the supernatural claims." As a wise man once said, you can't have it both ways :afro:

snackboy
May 19th, 2008, 04:57 AM
Notice that I state my argument using the same reasoning applied by those who deny Christ existed even as a historical man and then directly challenge those individuals to either deny Socrates existed (and hence be consistent in their reasoning) or defend why they believe Socrates existed but Christ didn't (hence revealing double standards in how they treat sources).
There is no double standard here Chad. Plato provides a first hand account of Socrates. There is no scholarly debate about this (as far as I know). However, your first hand account of Jesus relies upon the Gospel of John. The "evidence" you provided is more of a rationaliziation than actual evidence. There is much scholarly debate, even among the Christian community, concerning the authorship of the Gospel of John. One website merely presented the information they had gather and told the reader to make a decision - hardly concrete.

Personally, I won't deny a historical Jesus as I don't think there is enough evidence to prove it either way. I actually believe there was a historical Jesus. But I can't prove it, just like I can't prove the origin of the universe, or smallest particle. Unfortunately, believing something doesn't necessarily make it a fact. However, there is no dispute concerning the existence of Plato and his account of being mentored by Socrates.

The mistake that Christians make, in my opinion, is that they rationalize. They hold a belief and they use evidence to support the belief while ignoring evidence or other rationalizations that do not support the claim. It's like Christians have to legitimize their beliefs so that they don't appear irrational. It's irrational to believe in King Kong, Zeus, Hercules, Xena the Princess Warrior, Adama, Master Yoda - obviously all creations of man's imagination, yet probably rooted in reality to some extent. There was a period in human history where people would give their lives for Zeus because they absolutely believed Zeus and the other gods existed. People rationalized them to be true with no concrete evidence. It's unlikely (though not impossible) that someone would go through great effort to document a man with no significant contribution to history other than how wise he was - no special powers, no claim of divinity, no miracles.

Vandaler
May 19th, 2008, 05:03 AM
That's a bit of a mix of appeal to authority and appeal to popular opinion. It's an appeal to authoruity fallacy becasue modern historians are A) becoming more and more specialized, knowing less about everything and more about very specific periods...

The historian Michael Grant states that, "To sum up, modern critical methods fail to support the Christ myth theory. It has 'again and again been answered and annihilated by first rank scholars.' In recent years, 'no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non historicity of Jesus' or at any rate very few, and they have not succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary." - Michael Grant, Jesus: An Historian's Review of the Gospels (Scribner, 1995).

"There are those who argue that Jesus is a figment of the Church’s imagination, that there never was a Jesus at all. I have to say that I do not know any respectable critical scholar who says that any more.” Burridge, R & Gould, G, Jesus Now and Then, Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2004, p.34.

Michael James McClymond, Familiar Stranger: An Introduction to Jesus of Nazareth, Eerdrmans (2004), page 24: most scholars regard the argument for Jesus' non-existence as unworthy of any response".

"Van Voorst is quite right in saying that “mainstream scholarship today finds it unimportant” [p.6, n.9]. Most of their comment (such as those quoted by Michael Grant) are limited to expressions of contempt." - Earl Doherty, "Responses to Critiques of the Mythicist Case: Four: Alleged Scholarly Refutations of Jesus Mythicism", available http://home.ca.inter.net/~oblio/CritiquesRefut3.htm, accessed 05 January 2008.


I'll count this as my second challenge to back up your assessment - The first one quite specific to a quote from Josephus and now more generally - It's more then time for you to backup your claims on where scholars stands as a majority on those 2 issues.

Zhavric
May 19th, 2008, 05:48 AM
[LIST]
The historian Michael Grant states that, "To sum up, modern critical methods fail to support the Christ myth theory. It has 'again and again been answered and annihilated by first rank scholars.' In recent years, 'no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non historicity of Jesus' or at any rate very few, and they have not succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary." - Michael Grant, Jesus: An Historian's Review of the Gospels (Scribner, 1995).

A more telling quote from Grant is the one from his 1977 book Jesus: An Historian's Review of the Gospels:


"This sceptical way of thinking reached its culmination in the argument that Jesus as a human being never existed at all and is a myth.... But above all, if we apply to the New Testament, as we should, the same sort of criteria as we should apply to other ancient writings containing historical material, we can no more reject Jesus' existence than we can reject the existence of a mass of pagan personages whose reality as historical figures is never questioned."

The assumption here is the same one that many Christians make: that the gospels were authored by honest people around the time that the alleged events actually took place. To be sure, that wasn't the case, nor do the gospels deserve any free pass from scrutiny.


"There are those who argue that Jesus is a figment of the Churchís imagination, that there never was a Jesus at all. I have to say that I do not know any respectable critical scholar who says that any more.Ē Burridge, R & Gould, G, Jesus Now and Then, Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2004, p.34.

This is yet another appeal to popular opinion spiced with an appeal to authority. What I see you're failing to grasp here... what you're delibaretly evading, is the part of my post where I pointed out that scholars are becoming more specialized and that modern historians are all too aware of what Christians are capable of intellectually when it comes to challenging their ridiculous a priori supernatural assumptions. Furthermore, my argument isn't specifically that Jesus wasn't a real person, but that he was based on a composite of people. There was no one person who did the things in the gospels, but without the supernatural sillyness thrown in. History offers zero evidence of that individuals. What we do see are figures like Yeshua ben Pandira who prophesized the end-of-days, made trouble for himself for preaching what he thought to be the word of god, and was killed on the eve of passover during the rule of Alexander Jannaeus in the early first century bce.

Very simply put, you cannot use historical scholarship to evaluate the Jesus myth because it ignores the fact the church had a doctrinal axe to grind and ignores supernatural claims. If we take your method of scholarship and apply it to Scientology then you should have no problem agreeing that Xenu existed.

Vandaler
May 19th, 2008, 10:14 AM
This is yet another appeal to popular opinion spiced with an appeal to authority. What I see you're failing to grasp here... what you're delibaretly evading, is the part of my post where I pointed out that scholars are becoming more specialized and that modern historians are all too aware of what Christians are capable of intellectually when it comes to challenging their ridiculous a priori supernatural assumptions.

I am not avoiding the point, in fact, I preempted it a while back by defining a valid appeal to authority.


I believe that the requirement elements to make an adequate appeal to authority are present.

1. It's a legitimate area of knowledge of study.
2. There is a majority of scholar who agree on the matter.
3. Thus, those experts, when speaking in their area of expertise are credible.

You mention that scholarship is more and more specialized. I agree. However, it only means that the base of those truly knowledgeable is narrower then simply being an historian. It does not change that scholars, when speaking of this subject, and if it's within their area of expertise, they are credible and constitute a valid appeal to authority. Your added precision changes nothing, but only narrows the base. Something I have already done last week in the bolded text above. Nice attempt to muddy the waters though.

As to how damaging it can be for a scholar to adopt dangerous positions, well, all I can say its that it should not stop important ideas to makes its way to the top when it's supported by solid data. Evolution comes to mind.



Furthermore, my argument isn't specifically that Jesus wasn't a real person, but that he was based on a composite of people.

You can run your own theory if you like. I won't flat out say your wrong like you do for me. I do however have my doubts. This seems to be derived from what you hold as common sense rather then being based on solid credentials and data.

Zhavric
May 19th, 2008, 12:30 PM
I am not avoiding the point, in fact, I preempted it a while back by defining a valid appeal to authority.

Yes. You've cunningly avoided my point by not addressing my point. Great plan. :idiot2:


As to how damaging it can be for a scholar to adopt dangerous positions, well, all I can say its that it never stopped important ideas to makes its way to the top when it's supported by solid data. Evolution comes to mind.

Yes. Evolution. Excellent example. A scientific theory that's 100% proven is still not accepted by many Christians, still has tons of bogus websites spreading trash about them, and it only challenges a part of the OLD testament that most Christians think of as figurative. And your attitude towards something that challenges the core Christian belief is... well, it's simply unacceptable. The truth has come out. Like the fundies that simply don't want to believe in evolution, you want to keep believing in the christ myth.


I do however have my doubts.

Not nearly enough.

Vandaler
May 19th, 2008, 12:47 PM
Yes. You've cunningly avoided my point by not addressing my point. Great plan. :idiot2:

More precisely Zhavric, your point was already addressed prior to you raising it. Icons depicting me as an idiot won't change that your attempt at invalidating any appeal to authorities on the grounds that sciences require more specialization then they used to fail horribly.


Yes. Evolution. Excellent example.

Thank you, Maybe someday we will both be arguing on the same team on that particular subject.

Zhavric
May 19th, 2008, 02:13 PM
More precisely Zhavric, your point was already addressed prior to you raising it.

WHERE?

This is the sort of trash debate I deal with on Volcon and I won't stand for it here. I want to see a quote in your next post or don't bother making one.

Vandaler
May 20th, 2008, 06:31 AM
WHERE?This is the sort of trash debate I deal with on Volcon and I won't stand for it here. I want to see a quote in your next post or don't bother making one.

:shocked:

For the second time.


3. Thus, those experts, when speaking in their area of expertise are credible.

Addresses directly the fact that an historian does not qualify solely by the fact of being an historian, but also is required to be an historian speaking in his area of expertise to be appealed on his authority.

Hence I addressed already your challenge that my appeal was invalid based on the fact that scholars have become quite specialized.

I had written this in very similar circumstances post 94 below.
http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/showthread.php?t=14630&page=5


If I say, the majority of historians agree with me, you have grounds to call for a fallacious appeal.

If I appeal to the majority of imminent history scholars that study the subject that agree with me, and this is not a particularly contentious area for them, then it's a valid appeal.


The quotes (4 I provided) aimed at illustrating the above in keeping with those said rules.
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Furthermore,

I have addressed, I think every questions you asked me and provided some evidence for every challenges. You have done very little.

I also expect high standards of debate from this site. You have failed me miserably in providing any attempts of rebuttal or concession. Most notably post 99. here (http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/showthread.php?t=14630&page=5)

Your in no position to cry foul.
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The truth has come out. Like the fundies that simply don't want to believe in evolution, you want to keep believing in the christ myth.

Zhavric, honestly.

We just got done agreeing that it's the case because the "truth as come out" as you say and the science of the Genesis book does not add up in many ways.
What "truth came out" on the historicity of Jesus that I need to be aware of for this to be comparable ?

Get serious.

Zhavric
May 20th, 2008, 07:03 AM
So, let me get this straight.


Saying nothing about the fact that the church has a doctrinal axe to grind and has deliberately rewritten history over the years (as was the case with Josephus) is an example of you "addressing all my points".

Taking a quote (out of context) from someone who assumed the gospels are correct and completely ignoring the politcal climate constitutes an "expert testimony".

People should speak out about the lack of an historical Jesus in spite of the fact that you and other Christians are going to be intellectually (or even physically) hostile towards them. The fact that this intimidation is a very real thing should in no way mitigate the idea that the christ myth hasn't already been widely dispelled.

Even though Jesus does things as impossible as Hercules and other fictional characters, we should blithely ignore them and treat Jesus like a real person.

Could you PM me when you're ready to debate honestly, please?

Vandaler
May 20th, 2008, 11:11 AM
Saying nothing about the fact that the church has a doctrinal axe to grind and has deliberately rewritten history over the years (as was the case with Josephus) is an example of you "addressing all my points".

Saying nothing ?

I conceded immediately and wrote how better I should have handled here (http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/showpost.php?p=302982&postcount=92).

I then isolated the tainted part (the Testimonium) and concentrated on the second quote. You never acknowledged that you where wrong in spite of evidence to the contrary that "the Testimonium" is not both quotes. I did that in the post above and here (http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/showpost.php?p=303512&postcount=94) again.

I isolated the tainted text from my argument. It's been addressed. If you have any other information on the subject, it's not to late to supply it. I've been waiting for about a week but will take it now.



Taking a quote (out of context) from someone who assumed the gospels are correct and completely ignoring the political climate constitutes an "expert testimony".

I purposefully quoted a Jewish (non believer of the Gospels) scholar and an expert of the political climate of the days. I'm 10 paces ahead of you Zhavric. Also, if I quoted out of context, please correct me and set the proper context, and argue how that new context changes what I intended to outline.

In case you missed it, These are the books and articles Louis H. Feldman wrote.


1. Scholarship on Philo and Josephus (1937-1962) (New York: Yeshiva University Press, 1963) 62 pp.

2. Critical edition of text, translation into English, and commentary on Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, Books 18-20 (Loeb Classical Library; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1965) 813 pp. (reissued in two volumes, 1981).

3. Prolegomenon to re-issue of M. R. James, The Biblical Antiquities of Philo (New York: Ktav, 1971) 169 pp.

4. Josephus and Modern Scholarship (1937-1980) (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1984) 1055 pp.

5. Co-editor, Josephan Studies (Japanese), 4 vols. (Tokyo: Yamamoto Shoten, 1985-86) 490, 544, 572, 574 pp.

6. Josephus: A Supplementary Bibliography (New York: Garland, 1986) 696 pp.

7. Co-editor, Josephus, Judaism and Christianity (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1987) 448 pp.

8. Co-editor, Josephus, the Bible and History (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1989) 473 pp.

9. Jew and Gentile in the Ancient World: Attitudes and Interactions from Alexander to Justinian (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993; paperback, 1996) 679 pp.

10. Studies in Hellenistic Judaism (Leiden: Brill, 1996) 677 pp.

11. Co-author, Jewish Life and Thought among Greeks and Romans: Primary Readings (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1996) 436 pp.

12. Co-editor, Josephus' Contra Apionem: Studies in Its Character and Context with a Latin Concordance to the Portion Missing in Greek (Leiden: Brill, 1996) 517 pp.

13. Studies in Josephus' Rewritten Bible (Leiden: Brill, 1998) 663 pp.

14. Josephus's Interpretation of the Bible (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998) 837 pp.

15. Flavius Josephus, Judean Antiquities 1-4: Translation and Commentary (Leiden: Brill, 2000) 582 pp.

Author of 138 articles: major articles include:

1. "The Orthodoxy of the Jews in Hellenistic Egypt," Jewish Social Studies 22 (1960) 212-37.

2. "Abraham the Greek Philosopher in Josephus," Transactions of the American Philological Association 99 (1968) 143-56.

3. "Hellenizations in Josephus' Version of Esther," Transactions of the American Philological Association 101 (1970) 143-70.

4. "Hengel's Judaism and Hellenism in Retrospect," Journal of Biblical Literature 96 (1977) 371-82.

5. "Pro-Jewish Intimations in Anti-Jewish Remarks Cited in Josephus' Against Apion," Jewish Quarterly Review 78 (1987-88) 187-251.

6. "A Selective Critical Bibliography of Josephus," in Louis H. Feldman and Gohei Hata, eds., Josephus, the Bible and History (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1989) 330-448.

7. "Proselytes and `Sympathizers' in the Light of the New Inscriptions from Aphrodisias," Revue des Etudes juives 148 (1989) 265-305.

8. "Josephus' Portrait of Joshua," Harvard Theological Review 82 (1989) 351-76.

9. "Prophets and Prophecy in Josephus," Journal of Theological Studies 41 (1990) 386-422.

10. "Origen's Contra Celsumand Josephus' Contra Apionem: The Issue of Jewish Origins," Vigiliae Christianae 44 (1990) 105-35.

11. "Josephus' Portrait of Moses," Jewish Quarterly Review 82 (1991-92) 285-328; 83 (1992-93) 7-50, 301-30.

12. "Josephus' Portrait of Nehemiah," Journal of Jewish Studies 43 (1992) 187-202.

13. "Some Observations on Rabbinic Reaction to Roman Rule in Third Century Palestine," Hebrew Union College Annual 63 (1992) 39-81.

14. "Josephus' Portrait of Joseph," Revue Biblique 99 (1992) 379-417, 504-28.

15. "Proselytism by Jews in the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Centuries," Journal for the Study of Judaism 24 (1993) 1-58.

16. "Josephus' Portrait of Solomon," Hebrew Union College Annual 66 (1995) 103-67.

17. "Torah and Greek Culture in Josephus," The Torah U-Madda Journal 7 (1997) 41-87.

18. "Josephus (CE 37-c.100)," in William Harbury et al., ed., The Cambridge History of Judaism 3 (1999) 901-21, 1189-97.

19. "Josephus' Biblical Paraphrase as a Commentary on Contemporary Issues," in Craig A. Evans et al., eds., The Interpretation of Scripture in Early Judaism and Christianity: Studies in Language and Tradition (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2000) 124-201.

You have a better grasp of the political climate of the Jews of those days then this author ?
This list was provided to you allready via direct link from this post (http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/showpost.php?p=303568&postcount=99)


People should speak out about the lack of an historical Jesus in spite of the fact that you and other Christians are going to be intellectually (or even physically) hostile towards them. The fact that this intimidation is a very real thing should in no way mitigate the idea that the christ myth hasn't already been widely dispelled.

You produce nothing. I am to agree with you and that there is a secret out there held out of fear of getting roughed up ? Show me the data that demonstrate how Jesus never existed, and I'll look how it was peer reviewed for you. I'll do the hard work and contrary to what you think, I am quite even handed. But short of presenting nothing... and saying that your clan is scared shitless is pathetic.


Even though Jesus does things as impossible as Hercules and other fictional characters, we should blithely ignore them and treat Jesus like a real person.

You already agreed that historicity and amazing tales are unrelated in this post (http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/showthread.php?p=303780#post303780). Why re-hash it ?

And no, I will not PM you. You treated me with disrespect, you will get to concede or offer an honest rebuttal where you feel it finally needs to be done. I realize you also have the choice of stopping to make the claim. I'll accept that also of course.
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It just occurred to me you may have been meaning another quote I submitted. If thats the case, please advise, if there is any reason to indeed believe that the scholarship is tainted negatively by Christian belief, I will simply remove the quote from my argument.
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A more telling quote from Grant is the one from his 1977 book Jesus: An Historian's Review of the Gospels:


"This sceptical way of thinking reached its culmination in the argument that Jesus as a human being never existed at all and is a myth.... But above all, if we apply to the New Testament, as we should, the same sort of criteria as we should apply to other ancient writings containing historical material, we can no more reject Jesus' existence than we can reject the existence of a mass of pagan personages whose reality as historical figures is never questioned."

Yes, I agree, it's even more telling when you don't cut off the passage which reads in it's entirety.


This sceptical way of thinking reached its culmination in the argument that Jesus as a human being never existed at all and is a myth....But above all, if we apply to the New Testament, as we should, the same sort of criteria as we should apply to other ancient writings containing historical material, we can no more reject Jesus' existence than we can reject the existence of a mass of pagan personages whose reality as historical figures is never questioned. Certainly, there are all those discrepancies between one Gospel and another. But we do not deny that an event ever took place just because some pagan historians such as, for example, Livy and Polybius, happen to have described it in differing terms.... To sum up, modern critical methods fail to support the Christ myth theory. It has 'again and again been answered and annihilated by first rank scholars.' In recent years, 'no serous scholar has ventured to postulate the non historicity of Jesus' or at any rate very few, and they have not succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary.

Both quotes are from the same paragraphs and need to be read together, and not in opposition, or contradiction. In fact, the quote that support my position is the conclusion or summary of a wider text in which your quote is part of. (the last part underlined being the exact quote I submitted to you earlier.)

:tdown:

http://www.bede.org.uk/price1.htm

Zhavric
May 20th, 2008, 11:24 AM
I then isolated the tainted part (the Testimonium)

Right. And like every other theist I've ever debated on this subject you've blithley attempted to sweep the fact that the church doctored historic documents for it's own gain under the rug. "Oh yeah. That part was fake, but that doesn't matter / isn't worth addressing / next issue." I'm sorry, but that is an issue and not one that you can ignore as you have. There is no untainted part of Josephus because the fact that the church doctored it taints the entire thing. The fact that you're just sort of okay with this taints the rest of your argument. How about you deal with that as I asked you to at least once before and then I'll move on to destroying the rest of your silly argument?

Vandaler
May 20th, 2008, 11:40 AM
Right. And like every other theist I've ever debated on this subject you've blithley attempted to sweep the fact that the church doctored historic documents for it's own gain under the rug.

I did so for the sake of simplicity and not to divert from the main subject. I conceded quite fast, but am fully willing to discuss... edited.


I'm sorry, but that is an issue and not one that you can ignore as you have. There is no untainted part of Josephus because the fact that the church doctored it taints the entire thing.

You seem to have no support for this, by now, clearly it's obvious to me you would have produced it allready.


The fact that you're just sort of okay with this taints the rest of your argument. How about you deal with that as I asked you to at least once before and then I'll move on to destroying the rest of your silly argument?

Ok, I'll start a new thread on the Testimonium specifically. So that you can finally address the second quote properly. I don't treat it as ok, in fact it pains me. But I'll look into it, probably in greater details then you even care.

Zhavric
May 20th, 2008, 12:08 PM
Ok, I'll start a new thread on the Testimonium specifically.

It's not about the Testimonium. It's about the fact that your church or someone associated with your church rewrote a little piece of history to gain legitimacy. We're talking about a deliberate lie for the gain of an institution. You let me know when you've created a thread on that.

CliveStaples
May 20th, 2008, 12:32 PM
It's not about the Testimonium. It's about the fact that your church or someone associated with your church rewrote a little piece of history to gain legitimacy. We're talking about a deliberate lie for the gain of an institution. You let me know when you've created a thread on that.

Perhaps I missed that part of the debate. What deliberate lie did the church insert into Josephus's writings?

chadn737
May 20th, 2008, 01:25 PM
No Chad, its not just this one person, its a very large scholarly community:

Actually no, not when we actually look at what your source says and the support it uses.


The authorship has been disputed since at least the second century, with mainstream Christianity traditionally holding that the author was John the Apostle, son of Zebedee. Several other authors have historically been suggested, including Papias, John the Presbyter and Cerinthus, though many apologetic Christian scholars still hold to the conservative view that ascribes authorship to John the Apostle. Most modern experts conclude the author to be an unknown non-eyewitness.[11]

First off the language being used by wiki is rather biased and the assertions do not follow from the amount of support and arguments wiki uses.

It says the authorship has been disputed since the second century. Hardly. All early references to the authorship assert that it is John the Apostle. The only conflicting sources are from two authors who supported the John as the writer and who only mention rumors of a gnostic sect who attributes it to an individual who could not have written the Gospel of John.

Furthermore, I'd like to point out the source that Wiki uses to assert that "Most modern experts conclude the author to be an unknown non-eyewitness."

I checked that source and it does not support the broad assertion made by whoever wrote this wiki article.

And I quote:

"The work of the evangelist (at this point the authors of the source wiki quotes are referring to the various thoughts of authorship). By "evangelist" we mean the person who composed the main part of the Fourth Gospel, taking over previous traditions. We found no need in this book to make a decision on the identity of of the evangelist, although in fact none of us identify him as John, son of Zebedee."

Page 180 of Mary in The New Testement by Brown, Raymond Edward and Paul J Achtemeier

That is the book that Wiki uses to assert this claim.

1) Its not even a book about Gospel, but about Mary.

2) The authors don't even see it worthwhile to assert who they believe the author to believe, only that they dont think its the Apostle John

3) That book has only two authors.

There is no frickin way anybody can assert that "most scholars" support anything on a book that doesn't even bother to dig any further into the subject other than to say that the two authors disagree that it was the Apostle.

In other words the sources used by Wiki to make this assertion are bunk.

Since you rely on Wiki to make this assertion that means your assertion is also unsupported.




Ancient testimony is similarly conflicted. Attestation of Johannine authorship can be found as early as Irenaeus.[14] Eusebius wrote that Irenaeus received his information from Polycarp, who is said to have received it from the Apostles directly.[14] Charles E. Hill argues that there is a solid early orthodox tradition of authorship: the tradition that an apostle of Jesus wrote the Gospel and can be attested to as early as the first two decades of the second century, and there are many Church Fathers in the remainder of the second century that ascribe the text to John the Apostle.[17] Martin Hengel and Jorge Frey similarly argue for John the Presbyter as the author of the text.[citation needed] Hill goes on to propose that Ignatius, Polycarp, Papias’ elders, and Hierapolis' Exegesis of the Lord’s Oracles possibly all quote from the Gospel of John.

That red portion....see it above.....yeah, well thats rather an exaggeration. Because the fact is that the early Church Fathers all agreed that John was the writer of the Gospel and it says as much in the above paragraph.

The one contention on from the early Church Father's is the following:



Epiphanius, however, takes note of an Early Christian sect, the Alogi, who believed the Gospel was actually written by one Cerinthus, a second-century Gnostic.[18] Corroborating this evidence is a quotation by Eusebius of Caesarea (History of the Church 7.25.2) in which Dionysius of Alexandria (mid-third century) claims that the Apocalypse of John (known commonly as the Book of Revelation), but not the Gospel of John, was believed by some before him (7.25.1) to also have been written by Cerinthus. This discussion of the Alogi represents the only instance in which both the Book of Revelation and the Gospel of John were specifically attributed to Cerinthus.[18] Hill asserts that, at that time, the Gospel of John was never attributed to Cerinthus by the established orthodoxy; that Eusebius was only stating a theory that he had heard; and that Eusebius himself believed the Gospel to have been written by the Apostle John.[19]

So that theory is supported by a rumor mentioned by Eusebius, a man who disagreed with the rumor. Same is also true for Epiphanius.

So the only contention is a rumor mentioned by two men who also say that the rumor is wrong.

That doesn't seem to be a great deal of conflict from ancient sources, especially not as Wikipedia makes it out to be.

Furthermore this theory is refuted by the simple fact that the Apostle John was strongly opposed to the teachings of Cerinthus and it is believed that John actually wrote the Gospel in opposition of Cerinthus. In fact the the Gospel of John stands in stark contrast to the Cerinthus who denied the divinity of Christ, denied Christs bodily resurrection, denied that it was God who actually created the world, and furthermore taught that salvation was dependent upon obeying the Jewish Law.

If you have ever read the Gospel of John you would instantly realize that there is no way that a person who held the beliefs that Cerinthus did would write a book that portrayed Christ the way the Gospel of John does.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerinthus#cite_note-1


Starting in the 19th century, critical scholarship has further questioned the apostle John's authorship, arguing that the work was written decades after the events it describes. The critical scholarship argues that there are differences in the composition of the Greek within the Gospel, such as breaks and inconsistencies in sequence, repetitions in the discourse, as well as passages that clearly do not belong to their context, and these suggest redaction.[20]

I of course disagree, but that would take is into a lengthy debate which is really unnecessary for the purpose of this thread. Even if we accept that redaction has occurred that still means there still had to be an original text to be edited. In other words, if John the Apostle had not written the original Gospel of John, then there would be no source material for later editing to be done on.

Furthermore, there is no possible way for a prior unedited Gospel of John that did not refer to Jesus on a constant basis. Read the Gospel of John, its all about Jesus.

So we must conclude that an original Gospel of John, written by the apostle John existed.


Raymond E. Brown, a biblical scholar who specialized in studying the Johannine community, summarizes a prevalent theory regarding the development of this gospel.[21] He identifies three layers of text in the Fourth Gospel (a situation that is paralleled by the synoptic gospels): 1) an initial version Brown considers based on personal experience of Jesus; 2) a structured literary creation by the evangelist which draws upon additional sources; and 3) the edited version that readers know today (Brown 1979).

Whether or not editing did occur is not necessary to debate. Rather what is important is whether or not such a first hand account from the Apostle existed. And Raymond Brown asserts that it is the work of an eyewitness.



Among scholars, Ephesus in Asia Minor is a popular suggestion for the gospel's origin.[2]

Surprise, surprise.

Did you know that John the Apostle lived his final days in Ephesus and that his burial place is believed to be in the vicinity.

If we find that the Gospel of John is originating in Ephesus, and that John the Apostle lived his final days and died in Ephesus, and that all the Early Church Fathers asserted that He was indeed the author......doesn't follow that John the Apostle is the the best candidate for the authorship of the Gospel of John?

I think so.


The authorship has been disputed since the second century? A mere 80 years after it was written. If they couldn't figure it out back then, what makes you think you are accurate now?

Hardly. The argument that it has been disputed is an greatly exaggerated as I have clearly shown.


However, there is no dispute that Plato wrote about Socrates. There is no dispute that Plato even existed. I find interesting the record of Plato and Socrates in significantly older than the Biblical text, yet the Biblical text is less definitive in its origin.

Support?


Where is your definitive proof that the author of Gospel of John is actually John? Otherwise, you have no first hand account of Jesus, unlike the first hand account of Socrates.

The fact that all the writings that refer to the Gospel of John claim that the Apostle was the author.

The fact that the book originated in Ephesus and the fact that the Apostle both lived and died in Ephesus.

Vandaler
May 20th, 2008, 01:36 PM
Perhaps I missed that part of the debate. What deliberate lie did the church insert into Josephus's writings?

http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/showthread.php?t=14754

chadn737
May 20th, 2008, 06:19 PM
Sigh....

If you are claiming some man called Jesus existed. Then I would hold that to the same level of scrutiny as the claim that Socrates existed.

If you are claiming Jesus the son of God existed, then my criteria is that he existed and was the son of God, otherwise Jesus could exist and be just a man.

They are (for me) 2 different claims.
Frankly if you say Jesus existed as a man, I say, ok fine, who cares.
If you say Jesus existed as the son of God, then the claim must be backed up not only by record of his presence, but also that he was not JUST a man.

I would turn this back on you and ask:
If Jesus the man existed, does that have ANY bearing on whether the Christianity is true?

This is a yes or no answer.

Spotty, don't even bother. In this thread the context is whether or not Jesus existed as a historical man. I couldn't have made that any more clear to you in the OP. I made it more than obvious to you in later posts.

If you say that you don't care then why are you still pressing the issue? If such a thing doesn't matter then simply stop debating it and trying to make this thread about something its not.

In case you haven't noticed, Zhav does claim that Jesus not only didn't exist as the Son of God, but also didn't exist as a historical man.

Thats why this thread exists, to address claims like his.

And yes it does matter whether or not he existed in a historical sense. Saying something that naive is like saying whether or not it mattered that MLK, JFK, Lincoln, Washington, Stalin, Hitler, etc, etc ever existed as real men. Look around you, there are well over a billion Christians in this world. And that matters. The fact that all this can be traced back to one individual means that His existence matters.

To say that it doesn't matter is the same as you saying that the events that happened before us dont matter, that in other words History doesn't matter.

Yes such a claim does have bearing on Christianity, but not only on Christianity, no it has relevancy to the whole world.

snackboy
May 21st, 2008, 10:16 AM
Chad -

Ok, since wiki wasn't good enough for you, lets try some people that have written about the Gospel of John:


...Those who follow the ancient tradition recognize the apostle John in this disciple without any problem, but those who reject Johannine authorship - the large majority of modern interpreters - have, of course, greater difficulty with this identification. In the course of more recent scholarship a series of other candidates have been successively proposed to fill the vacancy, though none have found general acceptance. ...


The Fourth Gospel, like the three Synoptic Gospels, is anonymous: it does not bear its author's name. The title 'According to John' is a label attached to it when the four Gospels were gathered together and begain to circulate as one collection, in order to distinguish it from its three companions. ...


Current scholarship distinguishes between a "writer" of this Gospel and an "author." A writer may only take dictation, whereas the author imagines the project, organizes the materials, and established the editorial point of view. Despite the best labors of Johannine scholarship, we are still uncertain who the author is or where and when the document was written and revised. ...

Given the above, how is it possible you can conclusively say that John was the actual author?

Zhavric
May 21st, 2008, 12:13 PM
Now that we've established in the other thread that Christians are blithely unconcerned with the fact Josephus was doctored, we can get back to the issue at hand: We don't automatically assume that stories involving supernatural claims refer to real people. The main reasons Christians think that Jesus should be treated like a person and not a myth are:

1) They've been indoctrinated to do so. Really, this is the heart of the matter. A majority of Christians have been trained since toddlerhood to adopt a different set of logical rules for claims relating to Christianity. Bad assumptions lead to bad logic. This is why Christians can believe that Jesus existed, but dismiss Xenu; for Xenu, they argue honestly. For Jesus, they don't.

2) They believe the gospels. This bit of circular reasoning holds no water. There are plenty of books that claim to have supernatural happenings and are written in a "realistic" style. Honestly, if you boil down the apologist argument on the subject it really does come to, "The gospels say it's true and they're written with the intention of sounding true, so even though they contain events that are glaringly impossible, we should believe them." This leads us to the disciples.

3) The disciples. Most Christians who start to doubt the blatantly false claims of the gospels are guilted back into believing by the tales of the disciples. They wouldn't have died for a lie, right? Well, dying is only something that applies to the living. The disciples are every bit as fictitious as their mythological leader. We don't hear about them until CENTURIES after the fact and each of them is attibuted tales too wild to take seriously. Peter, for example is allegedly bishop of Rome, beheaded by Nero before he could become bishop of Rome, and crucified upside down. Riiiight. Even if we assume that the disciples existed (they didn't), pointing to them as evidence of the gospels' truth is an appeal to belief fallacy. People are willing to die for all sorts of things. Look at Muslims.

4) The extra biblical sources. Christians don't care that Josephus was doctored. They should. It evidences that people (i.e. the church) wanted to invent a godman that didn't actually exist. Tacitus is likewise useless to us as he's simply the first in a long line of people to observe Christians and assume there was a Christ. Christians have created a special pleading that somehow allows for this to be evidence of Jesus.

Finally, most Christians are also unconcerned with the fact the gospels weren't written until circa 70 ce after the fall of the Jewish temple. They don't care that people were desperate then. They don't care that Jewish history/mythology is full of tales of prophets and heroes coming to save the day. Christians don't care that there were many rabble rousing rabbis and Jews who were composited together to invent their godman... jews like Yeshua ben Pandira who some early Christians believed to be the christ. Christians don't care that the Romans had conquered the Jews and were taxing them to rebuild Rome after the fire.

They don't want to think that someone came up with a catchy story at a desperate time that caught on. "You're looking for a hero? Well rejoice! The MESSIAH was just here. You just missed him, but he'll be back any day to show those Romans".

No Christian wants to think their religion was the first century equivalent of Scientology or Mormonism.

So they make double standards and try to treat the Jesus myth like it was a piece of history. Most of the replies to this won't directly address the issues I raised, either. Most of them will be full of fallacies and failed attempts at being clever. That's the power of "gettin' 'em while they're young". Indoctrination clouds logic and allows intelligent grown adults to actually believe that a world WITHOUT a cosmic self-fathering Jewish zombie is ridiculous.

And that's terrible.

Vandaler
May 21st, 2008, 12:50 PM
Now that we've established in the other thread that Christians are blithely unconcerned with the fact Josephus was doctored...

:lol:

Do you actually believe yourself ?

That little quote above is proof that your standards for establishing facts are FAR lower then mine. Or perhaps this is your own little version of a leap of faith.

Edited (Toned down)

Zhavric
May 21st, 2008, 12:54 PM
:lol:

Do you actually believe yourself ?

Let me tell you something little bald avatar. That little quote above is proof that your standards for establishing facts are FAR lower then mine. Or perhaps this is your own little leap of faith.


Most of the replies to this won't directly address the issues I raised, either.

Thank you for proving me right in this thread and elsewhere.

Vandaler
May 21st, 2008, 01:03 PM
Thank you for proving me right in this thread and elsewhere.

Sure Zhavric...

It would be more compelling if it would be someone on your team saying the same. But your stangely alone in this debate. Perhaps your delusional ?

Anyhow, this latest salve is outside the scope of my debate with you for the most part and I may or may not respond to the specifics of your claims.

snackboy
May 21st, 2008, 04:56 PM
Sure Zhavric...

It would be more compelling if it would be someone on your team saying the same. But your stangely alone in this debate. Perhaps your delusional ?

Anyhow, this latest salve is outside the scope of my debate with you for the most part and I may or may not respond to the specifics of your claims.Zhavric is most certainly not alone. While I might not agree with his delivery, his message is very clear. Christianity (or most other religions for that matter) doesn't really seem to be constrained by logic or reason. Religions, for the most part are rationalized. Zhav is merely pointing that out. I guarantee you right now in China, there are people that genuinely believe with the heart, body and soul, that God was responsible for the earthquake. But you and I know that's not the case, right?

chadn737
May 21st, 2008, 05:19 PM
Zhavric is most certainly not alone. While I might not agree with his delivery, his message is very clear. Christianity (or most other religions for that matter) doesn't really seem to be constrained by logic or reason. Religions, for the most part are rationalized. Zhav is merely pointing that out. I guarantee you right now in China, there are people that genuinely believe with the heart, body and soul, that God was responsible for the earthquake. But you and I know that's not the case, right?

Except that is not the topic of debate despite Zhav's wishes that it actually were.

snackboy
May 21st, 2008, 06:45 PM
Except that is not the topic of debate despite Zhav's wishes that it actually were.Can't fault the guy for his enthusiasm for the subject.

Vandaler
May 21st, 2008, 06:45 PM
Zhavric is most certainly not alone. While I might not agree with his delivery, his message is very clear. Christianity (or most other religions for that matter) doesn't really seem to be constrained by logic or reason.

Sure, he is not alone. Atheist are very well represented here. I love you all equally.

The problem is, this thread deals with history, not religion. And while you speak of constraints on logic, how do you feel about someone who feels the has established that Christians are blithely unconcerned with the fact Josephus was doctored by the device of an Internet thread opened for little less then half a day, in which really, one person participated seriously and did express concern and disgust.

It was this, I was referring as delusional - or at the very least, it was this I had in mind - . If you want to join rank with him on this, your more then welcome.

snackboy
May 21st, 2008, 07:08 PM
Chad,

Any answer to #61?
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Sure, he is not alone. Atheist are very well represented here. I love you all equally.Shhhh....don't tell Zhavric, but my beliefs lie closer to agnostic from a universal perspective, not from a humanistic one.



The problem is, this thread deals with history, not religion. And while you speak of constraints on logic, how do you feel about someone who feels the has established that Christians are blithely unconcerned with the fact Josephus was doctored by the device of an Internet Thread opened for little less then half a day, in which really, one person participated and did express concern and disgust.

It was that, that I was referring as delusional. Quite rightly also. But if you want to join rank with him, that is fine. You will be two delusional.So if this is a thread about the historical Jesus, would you be willing not to use the Biblical account of Jesus as a source for evidence of His existence? Because in doing so, you are implicitly asserting the Bible is true, and hence asserting that the miracles of Jesus are true as well.

I won't pretend to be a scholar on Christianity (or on anything for that matter), but if Jesus is indeed a historical figure then to support the claim you should be to present concrete scholarly evidence from multiple people / institutions who have studied the subject. Using the religious institutions documents solely as evidence is biased at best, and at its worst, corrupted. If evidence cannot be provided, then at best the claim is unknown. Zhav defaults unknown claims to false; I, on the other hand, realize that claims can be proven true, false, or can't be proven either way.

Vandaler
May 21st, 2008, 07:24 PM
So if this is a thread about the historical Jesus, would you be willing not to use the Biblical account of Jesus as a source for evidence of His existence?

The New testament is a treasure trove of historical information that can be matched and validated with outside sources. In that regards, yes. Further then that, there is a self-referencing nature that I would not feel comfortable arguing for.


I won't pretend to be a scholar on Christianity (or on anything for that matter), but if Jesus is indeed a historical figure then to support the claim you should be to present concrete scholarly evidence from multiple people / institutions who have studied the subject.

Agreed completely. I only approached one very narrow angle, because I to am no expert and a very narrow angle is all I can mustard on short notice. I approached this mostly through the lens of Jewish Scholarship.



Zhav defaults unknown claims to false; I, on the other hand, realize that claims can be proven true, false, or can't be proven either way.

Which I believe is his own mistake and this is why I'm not giving him a break. He wants to prove this negative, which is nearly impossible.

snackboy
May 21st, 2008, 07:33 PM
Agreed completely. I only approached one very narrow angle, because I to am no expert and a very narrow angle is all I can mustard on short notice. I approached this mostly through the lens of Jewish Scholarship.Ok...so what is your historical evidence for Jesus? If you already presented it, then just point me to the posts or feel free to re-present it.

Vandaler
May 21st, 2008, 07:46 PM
Sure , see below this copy paste

Here are the assumptions that I hold for true.

* Flavius Josephus credibility while not perfect, still rank him as a foremost subject of study to anyone interested in the history of the Jews during the first century AD.
* There are two instances where in his writings, Jesus his mentioned.
* The first is what is known today as the Testimonium.
* The second is an indirect mention that concentrate on the trial and execution of James.
* The first... the Testimonium is contested, and may have been doctored after the fact to embellish an already mention of Jesus. Some go as far as to say that it was fabricated. For the sake of argument, I will concede this point. I concede with the caveat that it's thought this way not because of Flavius Josephus, but rather because of clues that point to the fact that it was doctored. Flavius Josepehus is not in cause.
* The second... is recognized as authentic by a majority of scholars. It's recognized as such since the clues pointing toward doctoring are present in the first quote but not in the second.


Argument

Since the importance of Flavius Josephus is not in doubt, and that the first quote in no way affects his credibility, I conclude by an appeal to authority that the second quote is authentic in demonstrating the historicity of Jesus.



"And now Caesar, upon hearing the death of Festus, sent Albinus into Judea, as procurator. But the king deprived Joseph of the high priesthood, and bestowed the succession to that dignity on the son of Ananus, who was also himself called Ananus. Now the report goes that this eldest Ananus proved a most fortunate man; for he had five sons who had all performed the office of a high priest to God, and who had himself enjoyed that dignity a long time formerly, which had never happened to any other of our high priests. But this younger Ananus, who, as we have told you already, took the high priesthood, was a bold man in his temper, and very insolent; he was also of the sect of the Sadducees, who are very rigid in judging offenders, above all the rest of the Jews, as we have already observed; when, therefore, Ananus was of this disposition, he thought he had now a proper opportunity. Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned: but as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done; they also sent to the king, desiring him to send to Ananus that he should act so no more, for that what he had already done was not to be justified; nay, some of them went also to meet Albinus, as he was upon his journey from Alexandria, and informed him that it was not lawful for Ananus to assemble a sanhedrin without his consent. Whereupon Albinus complied with what they said, and wrote in anger to Ananus, and threatened that he would bring him to punishment for what he had done; on which king Agrippa took the high priesthood from him, when he had ruled but three months, and made Jesus, the son of Damneus, high priest."

I believe that the requirement elements to make an adequate appeal to authority are present.

1. It's a legitimate area of knowledge of study.
2. There is a majority of scholar who agree on the matter.
3. Thus, those experts, when speaking in their area of expertise are credible.

The appeal to authority was fleshed out in those 2 posts also.

http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/showpost.php?p=303568&postcount=99
http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/showpost.php?p=304164&postcount=45

chadn737
May 21st, 2008, 08:59 PM
Chad,

Any answer to #61?

Eventually, be patient. I have multiple threads of which I am engaged in plus real-life.

To address that post I will have to go back to my sources and type out quotes. Constructing posts like that along with the necessary arguments that go should go along with quoting sources usually takes me anywhere from an hour to two hours. Thats time I cant spare at the moment so as soon as I can spare such a vast amount of time I will do so.

Zhavric
May 22nd, 2008, 03:55 AM
Except that is not the topic of debate despite Zhav's wishes that it actually were.

So now both Vandelar AND Chad have proved my point for me. Apparently, it's okay for Chad to address the issue of Jesus' alleged existence by talking about Socrates, it's okay for him to ignore Socrates and focus on Jesus, but when we get to the heart of the matter... when we get down to the truth... now I'm suddenly "off topic". How telling?

Vandaler
May 22nd, 2008, 04:30 AM
So now both Vandelar AND Chad have proved my point for me. Apparently, it's okay for Chad to address the issue of Jesus' alleged existence by talking about Socrates, it's okay for him to ignore Socrates and focus on Jesus, but when we get to the heart of the matter... when we get down to the truth... now I'm suddenly "off topic". How telling?

It's Vandaler, not Vandelar. I guess it's 1-1 now on that front.

I'm not sure what your talking about in including me in the off-topic rubric. I challenged you to find one point that I did not offer a concession, answer or rebuttal. This also fell into the void that is your responsiveness. So, in kind, since my home work is done, I can, if I wish add some off topic fluff.

You however have not met any of my serious challenges. Since your not addressing them, almost everything you post is off-topic diversions... in keeping with proper debate conduct.

Zhavric
May 22nd, 2008, 04:48 AM
Now that we've established in the other thread that Christians are blithely unconcerned with the fact Josephus was doctored, we can get back to the issue at hand: We don't automatically assume that stories involving supernatural claims refer to real people. The main reasons Christians think that Jesus should be treated like a person and not a myth are:

1) They've been indoctrinated to do so. Really, this is the heart of the matter. A majority of Christians have been trained since toddlerhood to adopt a different set of logical rules for claims relating to Christianity. Bad assumptions lead to bad logic. This is why Christians can believe that Jesus existed, but dismiss Xenu; for Xenu, they argue honestly. For Jesus, they don't.

2) They believe the gospels. This bit of circular reasoning holds no water. There are plenty of books that claim to have supernatural happenings and are written in a "realistic" style. Honestly, if you boil down the apologist argument on the subject it really does come to, "The gospels say it's true and they're written with the intention of sounding true, so even though they contain events that are glaringly impossible, we should believe them." This leads us to the disciples.

3) The disciples. Most Christians who start to doubt the blatantly false claims of the gospels are guilted back into believing by the tales of the disciples. They wouldn't have died for a lie, right? Well, dying is only something that applies to the living. The disciples are every bit as fictitious as their mythological leader. We don't hear about them until CENTURIES after the fact and each of them is attibuted tales too wild to take seriously. Peter, for example is allegedly bishop of Rome, beheaded by Nero before he could become bishop of Rome, and crucified upside down. Riiiight. Even if we assume that the disciples existed (they didn't), pointing to them as evidence of the gospels' truth is an appeal to belief fallacy. People are willing to die for all sorts of things. Look at Muslims.

4) The extra biblical sources. Christians don't care that Josephus was doctored. They should. It evidences that people (i.e. the church) wanted to invent a godman that didn't actually exist. Tacitus is likewise useless to us as he's simply the first in a long line of people to observe Christians and assume there was a Christ. Christians have created a special pleading that somehow allows for this to be evidence of Jesus.

Finally, most Christians are also unconcerned with the fact the gospels weren't written until circa 70 ce after the fall of the Jewish temple. They don't care that people were desperate then. They don't care that Jewish history/mythology is full of tales of prophets and heroes coming to save the day. Christians don't care that there were many rabble rousing rabbis and Jews who were composited together to invent their godman... jews like Yeshua ben Pandira who some early Christians believed to be the christ. Christians don't care that the Romans had conquered the Jews and were taxing them to rebuild Rome after the fire.

They don't want to think that someone came up with a catchy story at a desperate time that caught on. "You're looking for a hero? Well rejoice! The MESSIAH was just here. You just missed him, but he'll be back any day to show those Romans".

No Christian wants to think their religion was the first century equivalent of Scientology or Mormonism.

So they make double standards and try to treat the Jesus myth like it was a piece of history. Most of the replies to this won't directly address the issues I raised, either. Most of them will be full of fallacies and failed attempts at being clever. That's the power of "gettin' 'em while they're young". Indoctrination clouds logic and allows intelligent grown adults to actually believe that a world WITHOUT a cosmic self-fathering Jewish zombie is ridiculous.

And that's terrible.

Yup. Just keep pretending like that post isn't there. Just keep pretending I didn't say "We don't automatically assume that stories involving supernatural claims refer to real people." Maybe if you ignore the truth enough, it won't haunt you.

Vandaler
May 22nd, 2008, 05:18 AM
Yup. Just keep pretending like that post isn't there. Just keep pretending I didn't say "We don't automatically assume that stories involving supernatural claims refer to real people." Maybe if you ignore the truth enough, it won't haunt you.

This post above does not really address my debate with you. Ok, if you want my response on it, I will provide. But don't think for even one minute that this will be the distraction you hope it will be.

Zhavric
May 22nd, 2008, 06:31 AM
But don't think for even one minute that this will be the distraction you hope it will be.

Ah, the Vandaler school of debate... where being on-topic for the thread is a "distraction".

Vandaler
May 22nd, 2008, 06:50 AM
All quotes by Zhavric


"We don't automatically assume that stories involving supernatural claims refer to real people."

Agreed. and not contested.


1) They've been indoctrinated to do so. Really, this is the heart of the matter. A majority of Christians have been trained since toddlerhood to adopt a different set of logical rules for claims relating to Christianity. Bad assumptions lead to bad logic. This is why Christians can believe that Jesus existed, but dismiss Xenu; for Xenu, they argue honestly. For Jesus, they don't.


Adhom... your basically saying all Christians can't think straight.

The support against the above point is that the historicity of Jesus in not only supported by Christians, but also secular scholarship.... My particular argument is supported by Jewish scholarship.

I do agree that biases are difficult to fight against and many of them come from our upbringing. However, this is not a condition unique to Christians. I submit for consideration that you are not unbiased either.



2) They believe the gospels. This bit of circular reasoning holds no water. There are plenty of books that claim to have supernatural happenings and are written in a "realistic" style. Honestly, if you boil down the apologist argument on the subject it really does come to, "The gospels say it's true and they're written with the intention of sounding true, so even though they contain events that are glaringly impossible, we should believe them." This leads us to the disciples.

Irrelevant, my argument does not have the Gospels as an assumption.


3) The disciples.... blablabla

Irrelevant, my argument does not have the Disciples as an assumption.


4) The extra biblical sources. Christians don't care that Josephus was doctored. They should. It evidences that people (i.e. the church) wanted to invent a godman that didn't actually exist. Tacitus is likewise useless to us as he's simply the first in a long line of people to observe Christians and assume there was a Christ. Christians have created a special pleading that somehow allows for this to be evidence of Jesus.

You have no data supporting that Christians don't care. They should, and also be aware most especially if they are to proceed to argue the historicity of Jesus through the Testimonium.



It evidences that people (i.e. the church) wanted to invent a godman that didn't actually exist.

Non-Sequitur The conclusion does not follow from the premise. Doctoring or fabrication is evidence of wrong doing, and motivated dishonesty. But it's not support for Jesus not having existed historically.


Finally, most Christians are also unconcerned with the fact the gospels weren't written until circa 70 ce after the fall of the Jewish temple. They don't care that people were desperate then. They don't care that Jewish history/mythology is full of tales of prophets and heroes coming to save the day. Christians don't care that there were many rabble rousing rabbis and Jews who were composited together to invent their godman... jews like Yeshua ben Pandira who some early Christians believed to be the christ. Christians don't care that the Romans had conquered the Jews and were taxing them to rebuild Rome after the fire.

Are you going to argue by interpolation of facts, or by concerns Christians either hold or not. You need to make a valid appeal to authority if you want the above to stick. Demonstrate that expert, non-Christian scholarship agree with the above interpolation of facts in an overwhelming majority, that those points taken together invalidates the historicity of Jesus, and that this is not an area of contention amongst them.


They don't want to think that someone came up with a catchy story at a desperate time that caught on. "You're looking for a hero? Well rejoice! The MESSIAH was just here. You just missed him, but he'll be back any day to show those Romans".

No Christian wants to think their religion was the first century equivalent of Scientology or Mormonism.

Both true statements, but irrelevant to my argument.


So they make double standards and try to treat the Jesus myth like it was a piece of history. Most of the replies to this won't directly address the issues I raised, either. Most of them will be full of fallacies and failed attempts at being clever. That's the power of "gettin' 'em while they're young". Indoctrination clouds logic and allows intelligent grown adults to actually believe that a world WITHOUT a cosmic self-fathering Jewish zombie is ridiculous.

Now, please list the fallacies above, or offer your rebuttal.

After you are done responding to this, please go back and finally answer my argument which you have been ignoring.
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Ah, the Vandaler school of debate... where being on-topic for the thread is a "distraction".

No, where the very existence of the thread is a temporary hiding place. Of course, in saying that, I mean the very narrow of focus I have with you and the Oprah style sitting couch and box of Klennex you setup in another thread. What you write is tainted by your avoidance yes. How can it be different ?

Zhavric
May 22nd, 2008, 06:57 AM
Agreed. and not contested.

Let's see how fast you contradict yourself.




Adhom... your basically saying all Christians can't think straight without providing support.

I've claimed nothing of the sort. I've honestly pointed out that most Christians are trained from an early age to adopt a different set of logical rules. This isn't anywhere near an ad hom attack and the idea that you'd accuse me of such causes me to question your grasp of logic and fallacies. To be sure, if you think that cosmic zombies are impossible unless they happen to be cosmic Jewish zombies then you're not being intellectually honest.


The support against the above point is that the historicity of Jesus in not only supported by Christians, but also secular scholarship.... My particular argument operates from Jewish Scholarship.

Ah yes. The old, "I can ignore all the supernatural claims and just focus on the 'historical Jesus'" argument. We've already soundly dispeled this, but since you missed it, this line of reasoning is completely invalidated by the fact that you're a Christian who believes in all the supernatural aspects of the bible. Right? So your argument is like saying, "I can ignore all the supernatural claims around Hercules and just focus on the secular non-supernatural claims about him made by people who wrote about him... even though I believe he's actually the son of Zeus in a very literal sense." Again, you're being dishonest.


I do agree however that biases are difficult to fight against and many of them come from our upbringing. However, this is not a condition unique to Christians. I submit for consideration that you are not unbiased either.

Sorry, but intellectual honesty isn't a bias. Refusing to believe that "1+1=3" isn't a bias. Refusing to adopt the same set of bogus logical rules you have is (you guessed it) absolutely not bias.



Irrelevant, my argument does not have the Gospels as an assumption.

Of course it does. Vandaler, you and other apologists seem to think that your Christian faith is something you can just "switch off" when it suits you. You can't. Either you're a Christian who believes that Jesus literally did impossible things or you don't. Even if we look at this from a secular standpoint and allow for your queer religious off switch, you can't pick and choose on the subject of the gospels. Either you believe they're written by the disciples and support the existence of Jesus or you don't. Which is it?


Irrelevant, my argument does not have the Disciples as an assumption.

Same as above. We'll call this the "off switch" fallacy wherein the speaker makes or implies specific claims and then attempts to ignore or contradict them to better an argument.



You have no data supporting that Christians don't care.

Of course I do. I had to practically twist your arm for you to tell me that you were "troubled" by the idea that Josephus was doctored and then spent PAGES herding you back on topic. If you cared, you'd have discussed it. And you're the exception. In all my years of talking to Christians, you're actually the FIRST who's even admitted that he's troubled by the issue. Look at Chad and Apok: they didn't even address the thread. Once again, you're ignoring your own stance to try to prove a point. Very dishonest.


Non-Sequitur The conclusion does not follow from the premise. Doctoring or fabrication is evidence of wrong doing, and motivated dishonesty. But it's not support for Jesus not having existed historically.

I'm sorry, did you just try to toss out motivation? Are you completely dismissing it to evade the point? Is that really your argument? Really? I just want to make sure.




Are you going to argue by facts,

Yes. I am. Care to address any of the facts I raised? Care to comment on the situation in Judea around 70ce?


Both true statement, but irrelevant to my argument.

They're relevant because they provide the basis for your evasions.



Now, please list the fallacies above, or offer our rebuttal.

Well, there was the straw man about the ad hom. There was the fallacy we just named for you called the "off switch" fallacy where you try to ignore your stance as a Christian. There were the several evasions you made. There was the baseless tossing out of the motivation for Josephus.

All in all, a terrible rebuttal. Try again. Honestly this time.

chadn737
May 22nd, 2008, 07:04 AM
So now both Vandelar AND Chad have proved my point for me. Apparently, it's okay for Chad to address the issue of Jesus' alleged existence by talking about Socrates, it's okay for him to ignore Socrates and focus on Jesus, but when we get to the heart of the matter... when we get down to the truth... now I'm suddenly "off topic". How telling?

Zhav, this thread is about the historicity of Socrates and Jesus and the standards which we use to judge that. I made that more than obvious in the OP.

Both you and Spotty, however, are trying to argue about Christians and belief.

That is what is off-topic.

Zhavric
May 22nd, 2008, 07:14 AM
Zhav, this thread is about the historicity of Socrates and Jesus and the standards which we use to judge that. I made that more than obvious in the OP.

Right. And you can now try to save face by explaining, specifically, how "We don't automatically assume that stories involving supernatural claims refer to real people" is off-topic given what you just stated. Good luck.

Vandaler
May 23rd, 2008, 01:35 AM
I've claimed nothing of the sort. I've honestly pointed out that most Christians are trained from an early age to adopt a different set of logical rules. This isn't anywhere near an ad hom attack and the idea that you'd accuse me of such causes me to question your grasp of logic and fallacies. To be sure, if you think that cosmic zombies are impossible unless they happen to be cosmic Jewish zombies then you're not being intellectually honest.

Fine if true, then retrieved.

Edited Oups, of course, not calling out foul does not mean I agree, but my other points are sufficiant rebuttal without fighting this issue.



Ah yes. The old, "I can ignore all the supernatural claims and just focus on the 'historical Jesus'" argument. We've already soundly dispeled this, but since you missed it, this line of reasoning is completely invalidated by the fact that you're a Christian who believes in all the supernatural aspects of the bible. Right? So your argument is like saying, "I can ignore all the supernatural claims around Hercules and just focus on the secular non-supernatural claims about him made by people who wrote about him... even though I believe he's actually the son of Zeus in a very literal sense." Again, you're being dishonest.

Excuse me ?

This is your rebuttal to my evidence that the historicity of Jesus is not only supported by Christians but by secular scholarship and also Jewish scholarship... By restating how you view Christians thinking patterns ? You've got to be kidding. This should be framed. And not only that, you conclude this gem by telling me I'm dishonest. Stunning.




Sorry, but intellectual honesty isn't a bias. Refusing to believe that "1+1=3" isn't a bias. Refusing to adopt the same set of bogus logical rules you have is (you guessed it) absolutely not bias.

I was just submitting a suggestion. :grin:





Of course it does. Vandaler, you and other apologists seem to think that your Christian faith is something you can just "switch off" when it suits you. You can't. Either you're a Christian who believes that Jesus literally did impossible things or you don't. Even if we look at this from a secular standpoint and allow for your queer religious off switch, you can't pick and choose on the subject of the gospels. Either you believe they're written by the disciples and support the existence of Jesus or you don't. Which is it?

I can do what ever I please Sir. My argument is either valid or not, regardless of who makes it. If my argument is invalid, demonstrate it.


Same as above. We'll call this the "off switch" fallacy wherein the speaker makes or implies specific claims and then attempts to ignore or contradict them to better an argument.

Yep, same as above.



Of course I do. I had to practically twist your arm for you to tell me that you were "troubled" by the idea that Josephus was doctored and then spent PAGES herding you back on topic. If you cared, you'd have discussed it. And you're the exception. In all my years of talking to Christians, you're actually the FIRST who's even admitted that he's troubled by the issue. Look at Chad and Apok: they didn't even address the thread. Once again, you're ignoring your own stance to try to prove a point. Very dishonest.

I'm not contesting that this is your impression based on certain experiences. But it's comical to pass this as a fact. My own 2 cents is that the vast majority of Christians don't have the slightest clue of what we are talking about.




I'm sorry, did you just try to toss out motivation? Are you completely dismissing it to evade the point? Is that really your argument? Really? I just want to make sure.

Nope, but I confess, I use these discussions to better my English skills which is my second language and I sometimes add precision to my posts after the fact and try to remove errors I identify. My post clearly states now (and before I read you) that it's motivated dishonesty. Someone else then you could very well make the very same failed argument that doctoring is evidence that forger wanted to portray Josephus as an believer, rather then non-believer. The actual intent can not be deduced from the evidence but my possibility strikes me as more plausible then yours based on Origen.... but I cant prove it.


Yes. I am. Care to address any of the facts I raised? Care to comment on the situation in Judea around 70ce?

I don't have the competence to address those adequately. I could again delve in books and bone up on it, but honestly, the way you treated my past argument does not provide much motivation to do so, since you'll just ignore what I write. Show some good will and I might look into those with you.


They're relevant because they provide the basis for your evasions.

If we cannot, based on or different beliefs, agree on certain sets of assumptions, one need to argue from the set of assumptions that are in common. I have done that.

Are you trying to say that: if the very same argument I make was made by someone else it might be valid, but coming from me, because of this switch off fallacy business, it's invalid ? Please explain.
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Right. And you can now try to save face by explaining, specifically, how "We don't automatically assume that stories involving supernatural claims refer to real people" is off-topic given what you just stated. Good luck.

No need for luck,

You agreed to those terms in the past below.

http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/showpost.php?p=303780&postcount=11
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"off switch" fallacy wherein the speaker makes or implies specific claims and then attempts to ignore or contradict them to better an argument.

Please direct me to the post where I imply specific claims and then attempt to ignore

What claim am I implying ?
And where further I have attempted to ignore it.
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Zhavric, please correct me if I'm wrong. Are you making the case that my argument fails, based on a future contradiction I might/will commit ?

Is that your new line of defense ?
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It all boils down to 3 questions to you Zhavric.


If Christians are to biased to reason correctly on the historicity of Jesus, how does non-Christian scholarship arrive to the same conclusions ?

You already acknowledged, many times that I did not, ever, intimate, that the historicity of Jesus is linked to his amazing feats - in fact, you are holding your breath for me to do so -. So then, how does the "off switch fallacy" apply to me, since it's mechanism are, as you described: "wherein the speaker makes or implies specific claims and then attempts to ignore or contradict them to better an argument." ?

Finally, please explain the logical foundation behind the idea that an argument cannot be made by someone who holds additional assumptions, unrelated to his argument.


Failure to provide a very precise answer to these questions, render your criticism of me easily dismissable and your argument presented extremely weak, if viewed as a rebuttal to mine. I'm not sure, under those conditions that even one point you've made would still be relevant if those questions aren't answered.

Zhavric
May 23rd, 2008, 10:16 AM
Zhav, this thread is about the historicity of Socrates and Jesus and the standards which we use to judge that.

Right. And as you've CONTINUALLY avoided, you're using historical metrics for a story with supernatural claims and ignoring the fact that the early church (and modern church) has a doctrinal axe to grind. Do you really think Scientologists are willing to give people the whole truth about Xenu? Do you think that Mormons give a 100% accurate explanation of the civilization that allegedly existed in the Americas? Do you think that Hercules should be considered a real person? You should. He's mentioned by Josephus and Tacitus.

So, if you're not willing to address my counter argument then the debate is over for you as you've conceded that you're unable to offer a cogent counter argument. Is that your stance? If so, then better luck next time. If not, then address my argument.

Sapphire Moon
May 23rd, 2008, 02:47 PM
Donít you feel the love in this thread?? :grin:

Anyway, this is my question to people who donít believe Jesus, period.

If you believe that Jesus didnít exist than do you also believe that the people who were associated with Jesus didnít exist as well?

If you think that they did exist except just not Jesus than did Herod send troops to kill over 10,000 children for a baby that was never born? Were the 12 disciples and Mary Magdalene some deranged idiots who were following their imaginary friend that they named Jesus?

I understand that if you are from an atheist point of view or really just from a rational standpoint that it is really difficult to believe that Jesus did all that he did. And Iíll admit that many of the events in the Bible are a far stretch for the logical mind. But even so, I find it more reasonable to say that Jesus was a great man of influence that helped many people during his lifetime. He helped so many and had such a positive influence on people that they started to say that he was a messenger of God maybe even God himself. With that adoration, comes stories of all the deeds that he has done and I think everyone knows how a story can grow and get off base.

snackboy
May 23rd, 2008, 08:19 PM
So for those individuals who deny the historical Christ, I expect you to be consistent and deny the historical existence of Socrates.

After reading the evidence provided for the existence of Jesus, it seems to pale in comparison to the evidence for Socrates. Plato substantially records, first hand, various accounts of Socrates life, especially Socrates' trial. Josephus, at best, merely mentions Jesus. There was no first hand account. Both Antiquities and Testimonium are likely to have been altered to include the terms Christ and Messiah. There is scholarly contraversy over this - there is no such contraversy for Plato's account of Socrates.

In addition to Josephus, the Gospel of John has been presented as evidence as a first hand account of Jesus. However, there is much scholarly debate that the Gospel of John was not written by John. This is suggested even by theists.

On the surface, it looks like apples and apples are being compared. Two "historical" figures supported by evidence of witnesses and documents. But the reality is that witness and documents for the historicity of Jesus is mired in scholarly contraversy. No such debate exists for Socrates. It would seem to me that the [OP] argument changes the threshhold for accepting Socrates vs. Jesus. In otherwords, based on the evidence provided for the acceptance of Jesus, we would need just a mere mention in an old book / papyrus somewhere of Socrates, and poof, we could just accept him. But the threshhold that the evidence for Socrates provides is much much higher that the evidence that has been presented for Jesus, thus the OP fails.

Vandaler
May 24th, 2008, 05:36 AM
Hi Snackboy,

The argument for the existence of Jesus is actually much wider then what I provided and proceeds from the historical method (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_method) and scholars in the field include a critical reading of the Gospels, non-biblical documents to reconstruct the context of that region in the first century, archeology and whatever other method available to asses the probability for his existence.. I have already explained that I purposefully kept a narrow focus so that I don't have to quit my day time job to study the subject. I know your a cool customer, and your not implying otherwise, but I'm taking a stand on this point and not conceeding an inch unless I'm given a reasonable reason to do so.

The sum of all this, is that most scholar and experts in the field agreed that Jesus existed and was a teacher, and that also he was regarded as a healer. Something not at all remarkable in those days... so much unremarkable, that Zhavrick makes the argument - without fleshing it out - , that Jesus was in fact a composite of many of such personalities.

Now, how he can make the logical leap from "it's many of those guys" to, "it's impossible for it to be just one" is a mystery that he only can explain.

As for what you are addressing, and in line with the OP, I agree that the path to establish Socrate as an historical figure is easier then that of Jesus. This mostly through the fact that Socrate was an important figure during is living days, while Jesus was an underground phenomena.

snackboy
May 24th, 2008, 06:07 AM
Hi Snackboy,

The argument for the existence of Jesus is actually much wider then what I provided and proceeds from the historical method (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_method) and scholars in the field include a critical reading of the Gospels, non-biblical documents to reconstruct the context of that region in the first century, archeology and whatever other method available to asses the probability for his existence.. I have already explained that I purposefully kept a narrow focus so that I don't have to quit my day time job to study the subject. I know your a cool customer, and your not implying otherwise, but I'm taking a stand on this point and not conceeding an inch unless I'm given a reasonable reason to do so.

The sum of all this, is that most scholar and experts in the field agreed that Jesus existed and was a teacher, and that also he was regarded as a healer. Something not at all remarkable in those days... so much unremarkable, that Zhavrick makes the argument - without fleshing it out - , that Jesus was in fact a composite of many of such personalities.

Now, how he can make the logical leap from "it's many of those guys" to, "it's impossible for it to be just one" is a mystery that he only can explain.If the case for Jesus is so wide, the please present additional documents. What I am saying is that the evidence provided thus far pales in comparison to the evidence for Socrates, which no one has debated in this thread. All of the contraversy is on the side of supporting Jesus. If there is evidence for historical Jesus that is better than a merely [doctored] mention in Testimonium, I can't understand why theists would be so quick to point to that as evidence.

I am not sure what "stand" you are taking. You must either provide additional evidence or concede the point. And to be clear, you would not be conceding the existence of Jesus, but you would be conceding that the evidence for Socrates maintains a much higher threshhold, that quite frankly, the evidence for Jesus (as present here) doesn't attain. Therefore the OP fails.

Also, I am not sure what you mean by "most scholars in the field". If you mean history, I think you have some support that needs provided. If you mean theology - well, of course, otherwise they would be out of a job.

Socrates - first hand account from a student; additional second hands accounts from non-students;

Jesus - no first hand accounts (that are not mired in contraversy); doctored mentions in passing.

Vandaler
May 24th, 2008, 06:21 AM
If the case for Jesus is so wide, the please present additional documents.

I have provided in my last post the method used by modern scholarship, and that through that method, scholars arrive at a probability for his existence. I have allready provided quotes supporting the results of this process. The evidence does not come in the form of a readable quote from a fortunately sourced document, but rather is taken as a whole, assesing all the data laid out.


I am not sure what "stand" you are taking.

The stand I make, is unrelated to this thread and it's that I disagree that there is no evidence for an historical Jesus. This thread spun off from a discussion I have with Zhavric, and my stand lies there. I concede this thread which is just a thought experiment. Socrates is much easier to establish as a historical figure then Jesus.


Also, I am not sure what you mean by "most scholars in the field". If you mean history, I think you have some support that needs provided.

I mean history, and the support was already provided to you personally at your request. (http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/showpost.php?p=304660&postcount=73)

I will reproduce again for your convenience.

http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/showpost.php?p=304164&postcount=45


* The historian Michael Grant states that, "To sum up, modern critical methods fail to support the Christ myth theory. It has 'again and again been answered and annihilated by first rank scholars.' In recent years, 'no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non historicity of Jesus' or at any rate very few, and they have not succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary." - Michael Grant, Jesus: An Historian's Review of the Gospels (Scribner, 1995).
* "There are those who argue that Jesus is a figment of the Church’s imagination, that there never was a Jesus at all. I have to say that I do not know any respectable critical scholar who says that any more.” Burridge, R & Gould, G, Jesus Now and Then, Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2004, p.34.
* Michael James McClymond, Familiar Stranger: An Introduction to Jesus of Nazareth, Eerdrmans (2004), page 24: most scholars regard the argument for Jesus' non-existence as unworthy of any response".
* "Van Voorst is quite right in saying that “mainstream scholarship today finds it unimportant” [p.6, n.9]. Most of their comment (such as those quoted by Michael Grant) are limited to expressions of contempt." - Earl Doherty, "Responses to Critiques of the Mythicist Case: Four: Alleged Scholarly Refutations of Jesus Mythicism", available http://home.ca.inter.net/~oblio/CritiquesRefut3.htm, accessed 05 January 2008.

snackboy
May 24th, 2008, 07:23 AM
I have provided in my last post the method used by modern scholarship, and that through that method, scholars arrive at a probability for his existence. I have allready provided quotes supporting the results of this process. The evidence does not come in the form of a readable quote from a fortunately sourced document, but rather is taken as a whole, assesing at all the data laid out.

The stand I make, is unrelated to this thread and it's that I disagree that there is no evidence for an historical Jesus. This thread spun off from a discussion I have with Zhavirc, and my stand lies there. I concede this thread which is just a thought experiment. Socrates is much easier to establish as a historical figure then Jesus.

I mean history, and the support was already provided to you personally at your request. (http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/showpost.php?p=304660&postcount=73)

I will reproduce again for your convenience.

http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/showpost.php?p=304164&postcount=45Thank you for the courtesy. In a quick gogglelatory review, there is some weight to the references. However, it appears that those sources do rely on the Gospels as a source. I will have to do some research on my own and take a look at these books and see indeed what they rely upon as evidence.

I accept your concession that Socrates is easier to establish. To that end, I would also expect you to concede, as the evidence provides, that denying historical Jesus would not require one to deny Socrates based on the respective evidence in each case.

Vandaler
May 24th, 2008, 07:40 AM
I accept your concession that Socrates is easier to establish. To that end, I would also expect you to concede, as the evidence provides, that denying historical Jesus would not require one to deny Socrates based on the respective evidence in each case.

I don't know that I need to concede this, as I never really thought that this was the intent of the thread. ie: I did not read the intent of the thread in it's first degree. My involvement in this thread did not aim to support what I am now conceding.

But I surely can offer my gracious concession to that second point, if it provides you with some fuzzy feelings of satisfaction and unfortunately, concessions are such a rare commodity, that I don't mind at all to lead by example.
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However, it appears that those sources do rely on the Gospels as a source.

Sure it does, how can you assess the existence of a persona while ignoring totally the Gospels, or biographies both approved (4 Gospels in the New Testament) and not (all the other Gospels that float around and not included in the cannon for various reasons).

That being said, and I already underlined above, the historical method makes a critical read of the Gospels, without any religious axioms, and considers it as data to process.

Vandaler
May 26th, 2008, 06:49 AM
Before I proceed to turn the table, and go on the offencive on Zhavric's position, I want to afford him the benefit of the doubt in that he may not have seen these questions. (http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/showpost.php?p=304736&postcount=84)


It all boils down to 3 questions to you Zhavric.

1. If Christians are to biased to reason correctly on the historicity of Jesus, how does non-Christian scholarship arrive to the same conclusions ?
2. You already acknowledged, many times that I did not, ever, intimate, that the historicity of Jesus is linked to his amazing feats - in fact, you are holding your breath for me to do so -. So then, how does the "off switch fallacy" apply to me, since it's mechanism are, as you described: "wherein the speaker makes or implies specific claims and then attempts to ignore or contradict them to better an argument." ?
3. Finally, please explain the logical foundation behind the idea that an argument cannot be made by someone who holds additional assumptions, unrelated to his argument.
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I will have to do some research on my own and take a look at these books and see indeed what they rely upon as evidence.

Sure... Note that "Jesus Now and Then" (http://books.google.ca/books?id=AB3ciLwoWkQC&dq=jesus+now+and+then&pg=PP1&ots=lg9_da6SFS&sig=VmSXcZAyaYcXsuJl5JnEPJIoDhA&hl=fr&prev=http://www.google.ca/search%3Fq%3DJesus%2BNow%2Band%2BThen%26ie%3Dutf-8%26oe%3Dutf-8%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:fr:official%26client%3Dfiref ox-a&sa=X&oi=print&ct=title&cad=one-book-with-thumbnail) can be read online from cover to cover. Edited (actually, it's not cover to cover, but the relevant information you would be looking for such has criteria etc... are included)

TheSparrow
May 26th, 2008, 07:16 AM
Both you and Spotty, however, are trying to argue about Christians and belief.

Wrong. I wanted to clarify EXACTLY what you mean when you say 'Jesus'.
Jesus man or Jesus God.
Once you made it clear I dropped out because I'm not motivated over whether or not Jesus 'man' existed.

Zhavric
May 26th, 2008, 11:51 AM
Donít you feel the love in this thread?? :grin:

Anyway, this is my question to people who donít believe Jesus, period.

If you believe that Jesus didnít exist than do you also believe that the people who were associated with Jesus didnít exist as well?

Yup. The disciples are every bit as fictional as their leader. Already talked about Peter who died twice and was "bishop of Rome" after having died.


If you think that they did exist except just not Jesus than did Herod send troops to kill over 10,000 children for a baby that was never born? Were the 12 disciples and Mary Magdalene some deranged idiots who were following their imaginary friend that they named Jesus?

This is a little like asking, "If Superman's not real, then who saved Lois Lane all those times? Who was Lex Luthor fighting against?"


I understand that if you are from an atheist point of view or really just from a rational standpoint that it is really difficult to believe that Jesus did all that he did. And Iíll admit that many of the events in the Bible are a far stretch for the logical mind. But even so, I find it more reasonable to say that Jesus was a great man of influence that helped many people during his lifetime.

I'm sorry, but there's absolutely nothing reasonable about the Jesus myth. People don't walk on water. Men being mobbed like a rock star don't fail to be noticed in one of the most literate places on the planet.


He helped so many and had such a positive influence on people that they started to say that he was a messenger of God maybe even God himself.

Appeal to emotion. Given the context of this debate, one could say the same thing about Superman.


With that adoration, comes stories of all the deeds that he has done and I think everyone knows how a story can grow and get off base.

You're assuming there was an individual who existed who did the things that Jesus allegedly did (maybe without the supernatural aspects). History provides no such evidence of that person. The gospel Jesus was based on a composite of Jews, pagan mythology, and Jewish prophecy.

Vandaler
May 27th, 2008, 02:42 AM
There is no untainted part of Josephus because the fact that the church doctored it taints the entire thing.

Unsupported. Back it up with credible scholarship.


The fact that you're just sort of okay with this taints the rest of your argument.

Ridicule and an insult to intelligence. My argument does not proceed through my opinion but rather through Modern and Jewish Scholarship. But still, I did acknowledge it bothers me genuinely.


How about you deal with that as I asked you to at least once before and then I'll move on to destroying the rest of your silly argument?

We've been full circle and you've painted yourself in a corner in your red herring threads where you don't answer to my questions anymore. It's also obvious that you never had the intent to come back here to destroy the rest of my argument.

I've spent, and probably lost about 10 years of my life studying chess in a competitive manner, and so for some reason, chess analogies comes to my mind often and this debate is at the point where it reminds me how it feels playing a won end game. In those situations, there are many ways to play. Some play lazy, some keep it simple to avoid mistakes, some just grind the opponent hoping he will abandon. I for one, was the one type of player seeking for an aesthetically pleasing end.

I personally see some beauty in breaking the back of your argument by using the metrics you most commonly discredited me without success (As attested by your silence in responding to 3 very simple questions (http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/showpost.php?p=305249&postcount=93) at the heart of your critic of me). Logic and honesty.

I already laid out (http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/showpost.php?p=303757&postcount=104) the difficulties you face in this debate in that you are arguing an absolute position, in that there is NO evidence for an historical Christ while I have been making the case for some evidence, and not proving my point without a doubt and with certainty.

The problem with this sort of asymmetrical objective, is that, you are to be measured through the lens of deductive logic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deductive_reasoning), which seeks to demonstrate absolutely that your argument totally support your conclusion while I can be measured by inductive logic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inductive_reasoning) which measures that my conclusion is supported by my argument, but not in an absolute way.

So Zhavric, where the rubber hits the road, all of your arguments are of the inductive type. While all the time, you dishonestly claim you are arguing an absolute. Your very own argument does not match with your conclusion. There is enough logic power at ODN to attest this to be true.

So here are your options.


Rework your argument so that it supports your conclusion in a conlusive way. In other words, argue with non falsified premisses and in a deductive manner that there is NO support for an historical Jesus.

Concede that your argument proceeds through inductive reasoning and by the same token, that you can not provide conclusive and complete support to your claim. (Essentially conceding the discussion. At this point, and based on your past behavior, I will accept silence as a being this option)

Or you can continue to be dishonest, and pretend through force of language that your argument is doing just what you've been claiming it does all along. If you choose this last options, demonstrate this to be a fact, and then please answer everything you've been ignoring (I can provide you the list on request), and then proceed to break my argument as you promised.

Have a nice day.

snackboy
May 27th, 2008, 05:26 AM
Sure it does, how can you assess the existence of a persona while ignoring totally the Gospels, or biographies both approved (4 Gospels in the New Testament) and not (all the other Gospels that float around and not included in the cannon for various reasons).In my opinion, particularly in this instance, you must ignore the Gospels to evidence Jesus. I certainly am not trying to diminish your beliefs, but I have a much stronger requirement for evidence. Using the Gospels as evidence is like using A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court to rationalize the mystic version of King Arthur and Merlin. The fact that the Church decided which canons / gospels would appear as the institution document really, really doesn't sit well with me at all. You must admit that there were many books within the development of early Christianity. However, the Church decided which books to include to create a consistent story.



That being said, and I already underlined above, the historical method makes a critical read of the Gospels, without any religious axioms, and considers it as data to process.Yes, and what is being found is that historical / archeological references within the Bible are not standing up to scruntiny. I don't have sources on that (read somewhere online). Perhaps a topic for another thread.

Vandaler
May 27th, 2008, 05:51 AM
In my opinion, particularly in this instance, you must ignore the Gospels to evidence Jesus. I certainly am not trying to diminish your beliefs, but I have a much stronger requirement for evidence. Using the Gospels as evidence is like using A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court to rationalize the mystic version of King Arthur and Merlin. The fact that the Church decided which canons / gospels would appear as the institution document really, really doesn't sit well with me at all. You must admit that there were many books within the development of early Christianity. However, the Church decided which books to include to create a consistent story.


Hi,

I accept and understand what you mean.

However, I hope you understand the limit of what I say. In assessing the probability for Jesus to have existed, you need to refer to the Gospels even if it's only to verify if the one person (Zhavric would argue many persons) that started the whole fuss jives with what the Gospels writes. It has to come from somewhere right ?

Scholars use the Gospels in the Bible but would also look outside those and look at the Gospel of Thomas, or Jewish Gospels such as those of Nazarenes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_the_Nazoraeans), Ebionites (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_the_Ebionites), and other writings that are even more speculative in nature. It's all data that needs to be scrubbed for their be a conclusion to be reached.

I am not trying to say that the modern scholars are validating that the Gospel Jesus existed, but they do arrive at an Historical Jesus with a serious degree of certainty.


Yes, and what is being found is that historical / archeological references within the Bible are not standing up to scruntiny. I don't have sources on that (read somewhere online). Perhaps a topic for another thread.

Sure, why not, I welcome such discussions.

czahar
June 16th, 2008, 06:09 AM
Well, this is my first post on this site, so everyone try to go easy on me. :grin:

I'm skeptical, though not necessarily unconvinced that Socrates was not a real historical figure. First of all, why exactly are Xenophon and Plato immediately disqualified from being sources of his existence simply because they were followers of him? Second, the expert evidence seems to be against this. I'm currently doing my Master's in Classical/Medieval History and in the three secondary sources I have read concerning Socrates ("Ancient Greece" by Thomas R. Martin, "Egypt, Greece, and Rome" by Charles Freeman, and "The Greeks" by H.D.F. Kitto), none of them seem to hint that Socrates was an imaginary person. Could you please point out specific references in, say, Plato's "The Republic" that might justify this theory.

chadn737
June 16th, 2008, 06:15 AM
First of all, why exactly are Xenophon and Plato immediately disqualified from being sources of his existence simply because they were followers of him?

The purpose of this thread was not to actually prove that Socrates never existed, rather it was to expose the logic used by individuals like Zhavric in making the claim that Jesus never existed (even as a historical man).

Zhavric dismisses any source referencing Jesus as unreliable or made up and for similar reasons that I used to dismiss the existence of Socrates. I was merely showing that if we are consistent in our application of the standards used by people who deny Jesus existed as a real historical figure then that would lead us to deny that other historical figures like Socrates (who has equivalent amounts of evidence for existence) ever existed.

Zhavric
June 16th, 2008, 06:20 AM
This thread again? I gave up on it when I realized that none of the theists made it past this post:


1) In spite of your best efforts to evade this fact, no one attributes supernatural claims to Socrates. He didn't rise from the dead. He didn't walk on water. There aren't throngs of intellectually dishonest brainwashees sure that Socrates fathered himself and the universe... nor is anyone looking to try to create an "historical socrates" versus a "magic socrates". That makes the claim of Socrates' existence far less dubious than Jesus'.

2) Socrates wasn't used to start a religion that institutionalized itself. There isn't a church of Socrates with a doctrinal axe to grind that needs Socrates to have been a real person.

3) So, if it turns out the writings of Socrates came from someone who wasn't Socrates... big deal. Who cares? They have their own merit in spite of their authorship.

4) Lastly, I'm willing to honestly debate the existence of Socrates without using any special pleadings, invoking fallacies, or falling back on "faith". Most Christians are completely incapable of doing the same for Jesus. The best they can muster is a queerly intellectually dishonest argument for the "historical Jesus" who's supposed to miraculously prove the "gospel Jesus".

I could go on, but this is ultimately silly. You can't treat Jesus as an historical figure and claim that he did the things in the bible. You can't pretend to ignore the fact that the church has a doctrinal axe to grind and was willing to rewrite history (as we see in Josephus). You show me where any of that comes into play with Socrates and you'll have a debate. Until then...

Seriously, the entire theist argument is based on ignoring specific key facts. I got tired of them trying to pound their square peg into the round hole.

czahar
June 16th, 2008, 06:22 AM
The purpose of this thread was not to actually prove that Socrates never existed, rather it was to expose the logic used by individuals like Zhavric in making the claim that Jesus never existed (even as a historical man).

Zhavric dismisses any source referencing Jesus as unreliable or made up and for similar reasons that I used to dismiss the existence of Socrates. I was merely showing that if we are consistent in our application of the standards used by people who deny Jesus existed as a real historical figure then that would lead us to deny that other historical figures like Socrates (who has equivalent amounts of evidence for existence) ever existed.

Ah, I understand completely. Sorry about the misunderstanding. I'll catch up on the rest of the debate first before I continue with this one. Thanks.

Zhavric
June 16th, 2008, 11:24 AM
Hold on Czahar, let me translate Chad's post into the language of intellectual honesty:


The purpose of this thread was not to actually prove that Socrates never existed, rather it was to expose the logic used by individuals like Zhavric in making the claim that Jesus never existed (even as a historical man).

Translation: "I wanted to try to present a round-about argument suggesting that we should treat Jesus like a regular historical figure even though he's clearly not."


Zhavric dismisses any source referencing Jesus as unreliable or made up and for similar reasons that I used to dismiss the existence of Socrates.

Translation: "Zhavric applies the same standards of skepticism to the Jesus myth that he does to every other tale that has supernatural claims without evidence. "


I was merely showing that if we are consistent in our application of the standards used by people who deny Jesus existed as a real historical figure then that would lead us to deny that other historical figures like Socrates (who has equivalent amounts of evidence for existence) ever existed.

Translation: "I'm unwilling or unable to address the supernatural claims made in the gospel and want to apply an innapropriate set of standards to Jesus' alleged existence. If I applied my Christian standards uniformly, then I'd be forced to concede that Hercules was a real historical person... and we know he wasn't."