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  1. #41
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    Why? That is, how does the fact that Jesus didn't write about himself necessitate the logical dilemma?
    Firstly, because pointing out his supposed literacy and then saying he was 'too busy' is a contradiction. Secondly, in not being definitive, Jesus opens up multiple and unreliable accounts of his teachings - which is evidenced by the multiple claims of the myriad denominations of Christianity.




    Why is "Jesus did not exist" the antithesis of "Jesus wrote about himself"?
    It is the best explanation that fits. That he didn't exist and other people, who did exist and were literate and also wanted to preserve their thoughts in a manner that was reliable, ended up writing their own accounts of a character they thought would be interesting. Hence we have fictional accounts of miracles to boost readership and credibility; none of which are separately documented elsewhere.

    The best conclusion then is that Jesus was a fiction.

  2. #42
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Then you must be conceding that the Jesus Christ doesn't exist in history books. Right? That's what you are now saying?
    Not at all, and a strange conclusion to jump too.
    He is indeed noted by history as pointed out before. Your assertion that it is an incomplete noting is a concession to his existence.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Since the actual history books make no mention of your deity in the level detail in keeping with the religious claims then we can only conclude that the man in the Bible doesn't exist.
    I see no reason to accept this claim as true.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Whatever claims you at attempting to associate between the Biblical Jesus and whatever man the history books are talking about are false and unwarranted. Therefore, Jesus doesn't exist.
    Your opinion is noted.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Seems like you are.
    I only argue that Jesus existed.
    You seem to be making an arbitrary ruling on his existence by ignoring the common held understanding (by historians) that Jesus did exist.
    Of course no one has been given any reason they should accept your assertion.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Ditto, so you admit that his miracles are not historical fact?
    There is no sense in beginning to address the events of his life, when you deny his existence at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Thus your complaint boils down to saying that more information and less bias is a bad thing!
    How backwards thinking of you. To think the future will hold more facts about the present than the present itself.
    The truth is that facts are LOST by the passage of time, especially long distances. What was common knowledge 10,000 years ago is completely forgotten.
    Yet you would forward that we have more facts of that time now? .. strange thinking indeed.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    That you allude to atheism for this point proves that you have no objective facts at all - you clearly only believe Jesus exists because you are a Christian to begin with. That you doubt seals the fact that you have no objective historical reason to believe what you do and that you only do so because you have been told.
    On historical matters we only ever know what we are told.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    I think you have to agree with me that Jesus, in his fullest incarnation as a deity, only exists in the Bible. right?
    What does that mean? "fullest incarnation as deity"? You mean a direct repeat of what the bible says?
    Other than that
    Well, I'm not really the person qualified to answer that question, and I'm pretty sure neither are you.
    To serve man.

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  4. #43
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    Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Not at all, and a strange conclusion to jump too.
    He is indeed noted by history as pointed out before. Your assertion that it is an incomplete noting is a concession to his existence.
    Incomplete is an understatement given the claims on Jesus. So you admit that the history books make no mention of the miracles claimed in the Bible? Yet at the same time you say they are one and the same man. Correct?

    I see no reason to accept this claim as true.
    The reason is simple - whatever evidence you believe you have in whatever history books you claim for objective truth of Jesus' existence should at the very least note his miracles since they were no secret. That they didn't means they didn't happen and therefore Jesus did not exist.


    Your opinion is noted.
    It is factual you have presented zero evidence to link the man in the history books and the deity of your Bible. Until you do so, you cannot continue to make that claim.



    I only argue that Jesus existed.
    You seem to be making an arbitrary ruling on his existence by ignoring the common held understanding (by historians) that Jesus did exist.
    Of course no one has been given any reason they should accept your assertion.
    Of course he existed - as a fictional character in order to promote a religion! You are merely using historical notes in order to bring credibility to your own religious claims. And with zero evidence, mind.

    At this juncture you need to provide proof of what you're saying or drop the point.


    There is no sense in beginning to address the events of his life, when you deny his existence at all.
    Of course it makes sense! It is claimed he fed thousands of people who came to hear him speak and it is claimed he died and was resurrected. It is further claimed other dead people also rose from the dead! Those are hardly minor events akin to visiting an Aunt.

    These are events that with many, many witnesses; yet at the same time have not been corroborated outside of the religion. One can only conclude the events didn't happen and neither could the perpetrator of said miracles actually exist.

    How backwards thinking of you. To think the future will hold more facts about the present than the present itself.
    Not just any future and all futures. I am saying that we have available to us information unknown to those in the past. New information that needs to be incorporated into our understanding. That should be obvious.

    The truth is that facts are LOST by the passage of time, especially long distances. What was common knowledge 10,000 years ago is completely forgotten.
    Facts are indeed lost but you are trying to smuggle enormous events such as thousands being fed, a man in his prime performing amazing miracles, publicly executed yet coming back to life. These are events if they had happened that would be recorded many times over.

    Look at Jesus paraphrasing Buddha - that seemed to be preserved well enough. So why not the miracles?

    Yet you would forward that we have more facts of that time now? .. strange thinking indeed.
    We not only have more facts, we have all the old facts put into a more detailed historical perspective. We are free from the shackles of religious beliefs and crimes that may have prevented certain avenues of investigation.

    It is not strange at all that it is a modern phenomena to question the existence of Jesus. There is no cost legally, religiously, culturally nor socially in doing so.

    On historical matters we only ever know what we are told.
    Agreed and in addition, not told. Large events that have no historical record likely didn't happen; especially if there are contemporaneous records of other events that are more mundane.

    What does that mean? "fullest incarnation as deity"? You mean a direct repeat of what the bible says?
    Other than that
    Well, I'm not really the person qualified to answer that question, and I'm pretty sure neither are you.
    Simply the virgin birth, the miracles and Jesus' reincarnation. If there is no independent mention of such events then one has to conclude they never happened.

    Why else would you try and separate actual history and the claims of the Bible. You haven't even been able to honestly say you believe the Bible to be historically true nor that the events actually happened.

    That tells me everything I need to know about your particular expertise. It is wholly religious dogma and doctrine attempting to co-opt history, with nothing to link the two, in order to add credibility to your own religious claims.

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  6. #44
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Firstly, because pointing out his supposed literacy and then saying he was 'too busy' is a contradiction.
    How so? A literate person can choose not to write about themselves. If they don't, it doesn't imply that they don't exist. I don't see a logical connection.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Secondly, in not being definitive, Jesus opens up multiple and unreliable accounts of his teachings - which is evidenced by the multiple claims of the myriad denominations of Christianity.
    How does this create the logical dilemma?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    It is the best explanation that fits.
    Why? In explaining why Jesus didn't write about himself, what makes "Jesus didn't exist" the best explanation as opposed to, say, "He chose not to"?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    That he didn't exist and other people, who did exist and were literate and also wanted to preserve their thoughts in a manner that was reliable, ended up writing their own accounts of a character they thought would be interesting. Hence we have fictional accounts of miracles to boost readership and credibility; none of which are separately documented elsewhere.

    The best conclusion then is that Jesus was a fiction.
    Why? There are conflicting accounts of Spider-Man, but that doesn't mean he doesn't exi...

    ...wait...

    But seriously, the Bible describes all sorts of characters that never wrote about themselves (for example, Caesar Augustus is mentioned in the Bible, but his existence in not in serious doubt by any reputable scholar), but that they didn't write about themselves doesn't necessitate the conclusion "therefore, they did not exist". In fact, that he did not write about himself "therefore, he did not exist" a viable candidate for explaining the phenomenon.

  7. #45
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    How so? A literate person can choose not to write about themselves. If they don't, it doesn't imply that they don't exist. I don't see a logical connection.
    A literate person with a message to change the world would likely use whatever tools at hand to disseminate and preserve his ideas. That he didn't is most odd.

    How does this create the logical dilemma?
    His failure to use the most reliable method of information dissemination and his supposed deity credentials are at odds with each other.

    Hence, either he didn't exist, wasn't a deity, or wasn't literate. Either solution questions the historical validity of the Bible.



    Why? In explaining why Jesus didn't write about himself, what makes "Jesus didn't exist" the best explanation as opposed to, say, "He chose not to"?
    Because he would be choosing an option that is contrary to his goals.


    Why? There are conflicting accounts of Spider-Man, but that doesn't mean he doesn't exi...
    I don't dispute Jesus' existence as a fictional character!


    ...wait...

    But seriously, the Bible describes all sorts of characters that never wrote about themselves (for example, Caesar Augustus is mentioned in the Bible, but his existence in not in serious doubt by any reputable scholar), but that they didn't write about themselves doesn't necessitate the conclusion "therefore, they did not exist". In fact, that he did not write about himself "therefore, he did not exist" a viable candidate for explaining the phenomenon.
    True enough but neither did Caesar raise people from the dead. And I assume there are many, many corroborating pieces of evidence that otherwise prove his existence.

    Whereas, the Biblical claims of Jesus, the deity cum human cum deity, are only available in said Bible. And only after a bunch of filtering and editing.

    The only conclusion has to be that the Biblical Jesus, the one we are all discussing, didn't really exist. Cherry picking history that only peripherally line up with the Bible pretty much proves it.

  8. #46
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    A literate person with a message to change the world would likely use whatever tools at hand to disseminate and preserve his ideas. That he didn't is most odd.
    Sure, it's odd, but it doesn't create any dilemma as far as I can see.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    His failure to use the most reliable method of information dissemination and his supposed deity credentials are at odds with each other.
    Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Hence, either he didn't exist, wasn't a deity, or wasn't literate. Either solution questions the historical validity of the Bible.
    Why? That it is odd doesn't relegate the explanations to these and only these, as far as I can tell.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Because he would be choosing an option that is contrary to his goals.
    How do you know that?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    I don't dispute Jesus' existence as a fictional character!


    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    True enough but neither did Caesar raise people from the dead. And I assume there are many, many corroborating pieces of evidence that otherwise prove his existence.

    Whereas, the Biblical claims of Jesus, the deity cum human cum deity, are only available in said Bible. And only after a bunch of filtering and editing.

    The only conclusion has to be that the Biblical Jesus, the one we are all discussing, didn't really exist. Cherry picking history that only peripherally line up with the Bible pretty much proves it.
    Why does the fact that he didn't write about himself force the conclusion that he didn't exist?

    (BTW, I don't think that rock-star Jesus existed either, but it damn sure isn't because he didn't write about himself. I don't even see how that matters AT ALL. It's sort of like the "virgin" birth claim; even if you granted the virgin birth, it doesn't prove or even suggest anything like divinity and so on.)

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  10. #47
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    Sure, it's odd, but it doesn't create any dilemma as far as I can see.
    By odd, I mean it makes no sense.

    Why?
    Why what?

    Why? That it is odd doesn't relegate the explanations to these and only these, as far as I can tell.
    Those are the most plausible - you'll note that as we go down the rabbit hole of explaining why remarkable religious claims are only mentioned in the religious books of the religion in question, the possibilities become more and more implausible. Yes, it is entirely possible that a deity, with full knowledge of how communication works, in his human form, who is literate, chooses not to use his skills to communicate and preserve his message (the only reason why this supposed human exists, mind). Instead, he is at the same time 'too busy' and 'chooses not to' (which is a description of what happened, not why) to use the best technology at hand to achieve his sole mission!

    How do you know that?
    From what the Bible itself claims: to bring a new message to the world. The result? A cacophony of competing Christian cults who can't agree on some of the most important points of their own shared religion!

    Further, if you read between the lines of MT's responses neither does he!

    Why does the fact that he didn't write about himself force the conclusion that he didn't exist?
    It's that he didn't write at all as opposed to specifically not writing about himself.

    (BTW, I don't think that rock-star Jesus existed either, but it damn sure isn't because he didn't write about himself. I don't even see how that matters AT ALL. It's sort of like the "virgin" birth claim; even if you granted the virgin birth, it doesn't prove or even suggest anything like divinity and so on.)
    Ah, and therein lies why debating religion pretty much boils down to individual belief. It is only those that are making a claim that their Bible is 'historical' or linking their fictional Jesus with some character that happens to coincide with some of the Biblical descriptions, with no proof, that we get into get into a debate. And once religious people admit that their beliefs are not really based on facts or reality outside of their own religious bubble then they will understand why other people don't share them.

    However, your point here misses the fact that ALL of the claims made of Jesus in the Bible (virgin birth, miracles, all the things he said and did, his resurrection) need to be true. Not just a couple of bits and pieces that may coincide with other contemporaneous writings. That's why we know the claims are false: it is extremely unlikely, if not impossible, that a preacher distinguishes himself for mention but the miracles around him not.

  11. #48
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    By odd, I mean it makes no sense.
    Why? What exactly is nonsensical about a literate person not writing about themselves?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Why what?
    As above.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Those are the most plausible - you'll note that as we go down the rabbit hole of explaining why remarkable religious claims are only mentioned in the religious books of the religion in question, the possibilities become more and more implausible.
    But the Bible doesn't claim that Jesus didn't write; the claim that he didn't exist is the only remarkable claim being made that I can see.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Yes, it is entirely possible that a deity, with full knowledge of how communication works, in his human form, who is literate, chooses not to use his skills to communicate and preserve his message (the only reason why this supposed human exists, mind). Instead, he is at the same time 'too busy' and 'chooses not to' (which is a description of what happened, not why) to use the best technology at hand to achieve his sole mission!
    Well, first, it's not MY claim that he was 'too busy'. And I agree that "he chose to" is descriptive and not explanatory. But not knowing why he didn't write is not the same as evidence that he did not exist. If it were, than any literate person who doesn't write has, by inaction, evidence against their own existence.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    From what the Bible itself claims: to bring a new message to the world. The result? A cacophony of competing Christian cults who can't agree on some of the most important points of their own shared religion!
    Well, to be fair, the Bible doesn't claim how successful you can expect to be in bringing the new message to the world. In fact, in Romans 15:21 it talks about people who won't hear the message. So I'm not sure how the Bible claiming that there is a message to bring to the world means that we expect a phenomenal success rate. In fact, do we have enough information about the world itself to say that 1/3 of the world population being Christians isn't the best possible outcome of all possible worlds? How do we know that Jesus would have been more successful?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    It's that he didn't write at all as opposed to specifically not writing about himself.
    Agreed, I've adjusted my comments accordingly.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Ah, and therein lies why debating religion pretty much boils down to individual belief. It is only those that are making a claim that their Bible is 'historical' or linking their fictional Jesus with some character that happens to coincide with some of the Biblical descriptions, with no proof, that we get into get into a debate. And once religious people admit that their beliefs are not really based on facts or reality outside of their own religious bubble then they will understand why other people don't share them.
    Well, I'm still not sure how this makes is so that a literate person not writing means they didn't exist.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    However, your point here misses the fact that ALL of the claims made of Jesus in the Bible (virgin birth, miracles, all the things he said and did, his resurrection) need to be true. Not just a couple of bits and pieces that may coincide with other contemporaneous writings. That's why we know the claims are false: it is extremely unlikely, if not impossible, that a preacher distinguishes himself for mention but the miracles around him not.
    What? It's impossible "that a preacher distinguishes himself for mention but the miracles around him not"? What does that mean?

  12. #49
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    Why? What exactly is nonsensical about a literate person not writing about themselves?

    As above.
    Because in order to achieve his one mission, the only reason why he, Jesus, is supposed to exist, he chooses the most unreliable method of information dissemination and preservation in order to do so. It is made even more nonsensical because there is a deity behind it all (though given the number of times the Abrahamic God makes mistakes, maybe that's not entirely a surprise).

    But the Bible doesn't claim that Jesus didn't write;
    Right, reality, the world we live in shows that Jesus didn't write. Contrary to his skills and mission.

    the claim that he didn't exist is the only remarkable claim being made that I can see.
    I don't see anything remarkable about questioning the existence of deities - or human/deity hybrids - it's what atheists do! Unless, you're falling into the same trap that Mind Trap has in believing that there is a 'historical Jesus', you have no reason to be surprised about questioning the existence of a virgin-born human who happens to be a deity, who performed numerous miracles in front of thousands of eye witnesses, all of whom made no written record of them, AND who was executed AND came back to life!

    Well, first, it's not MY claim that he was 'too busy'. And I agree that "he chose to" is descriptive and not explanatory. But not knowing why he didn't write is not the same as evidence that he did not exist. If it were, than any literate person who doesn't write has, by inaction, evidence against their own existence.
    That is only if you don't take in the context of Jesus' actual existence: as an avatar of God to disseminate a new message. It would be as if Jesus didn't speak at all and just signed his sermons - in not communicating he is failing in his life's mission. So in not utilizing his literary skills that the Bible claims he has, he is literally not doing his one single job!

    Why is there no direct written words by Jesus? 'Too busy' as claimed by Squatch is contrary to his stated mission. 'He chose not to', as we both agree says nothing. That he doesn't exist is clearly the stronger argument: not only do we have no evidence he wrote nothing, we are experiencing the exact reason why not doing so is a poor idea. Why is Islam so well preserved and still in the Middle Ages? because Mohammed in his wisdom actually wrote down God's words. Why do Mormons ignore the fact that Smith was a charlatan? Because he was able to write the God's words. Now we have God incarnated as a human, with skills to read and write, and he doesn't do so.

    Is it more likely that none of the Bibles claims are true or that they are true but a deity is so incompetent?


    Well, to be fair, the Bible doesn't claim how successful you can expect to be in bringing the new message to the world. In fact, in Romans 15:21 it talks about people who won't hear the message. So I'm not sure how the Bible claiming that there is a message to bring to the world means that we expect a phenomenal success rate. In fact, do we have enough information about the world itself to say that 1/3 of the world population being Christians isn't the best possible outcome of all possible worlds? How do we know that Jesus would have been more successful?
    Firstly, we know he would be more successful if we look at the sister religion Islam, which remains unchanged. Instead we don't really have one Christianity, we have thousands, some of which don't even believe in Jesus' divinity! And even if the Bible makes the claim that people that won't hear the message, that is an entirely different claim as to those that wouldn't have heard it: the former is really talking about people rejecting the message. However, I am talking about the message even getting to everyone and clearly, if a deity in human form wrote things down, it would be more successful.

    What? It's impossible "that a preacher distinguishes himself for mention but the miracles around him not"? What does that mean?
    I mean that there are Christians who claim that the history books make mention of Jesus. However, the fact that they don't discuss the religions is very unlikely since the two would come hand in hand. A preacher that brought together thousands and fed them fish and loaves, a preacher that died and came back to life, a preacher that was born of a virgin? How could that not have been noted, whereas, the existence of Jesus, the preacher, did? I will tell you how: the person in the history books is NOT the same human/deity in the Bible.

  13. #50
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Because in order to achieve his one mission, the only reason why he, Jesus, is supposed to exist, he chooses the most unreliable method of information dissemination and preservation in order to do so. It is made even more nonsensical because there is a deity behind it all (though given the number of times the Abrahamic God makes mistakes, maybe that's not entirely a surprise).
    But how do you know it is the most unreliable method?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Right, reality, the world we live in shows that Jesus didn't write. Contrary to his skills and mission.
    Ok, we were talking about the claim 'The fact that Jesus did not write means he did not exist'. Our exchange was as follows:

    You: "Hence, either he didn't exist, wasn't a deity, or wasn't literate. Either solution questions the historical validity of the Bible."

    Me: "Why? That it is odd doesn't relegate the explanations to these and only these, as far as I can tell."

    You said "Those are the most plausible - you'll note that as we go down the rabbit hole of explaining why remarkable religious claims are only mentioned in the religious books of the religion in question, the possibilities become more and more implausible."

    Me: "But the Bible doesn't claim that Jesus didn't write;" (this is because you seemed to suggest above that the claim we've been discussing is a religious one.)

    From there, you said that you "don't see anything remarkable about questioning the existence of deities". So it seems like we started talking past one another because we seemed to have lost track of the claim we were discussing. It's probably because I parsed a statement of yours from earlier a little too much. My bad.

    But, having said that, I still can't see how the fact that he didn't write necessitates that he didn't exist.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    That is only if you don't take in the context of Jesus' actual existence: as an avatar of God to disseminate a new message. It would be as if Jesus didn't speak at all and just signed his sermons - in not communicating he is failing in his life's mission. So in not utilizing his literary skills that the Bible claims he has, he is literally not doing his one single job!
    Where does the Bible say that Jesus was supposed to write down his message?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Why is there no direct written words by Jesus? 'Too busy' as claimed by Squatch is contrary to his stated mission. 'He chose not to', as we both agree says nothing. That he doesn't exist is clearly the stronger argument:
    Why? If it is in fact the case that he chose not to (which is entirely possible), the fact that we don't know why he chose not to doesn't automatically thrust "he didn't exist" into the first-place position of explanations.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    ...not only do we have no evidence he wrote nothing...
    Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    ...we are experiencing the exact reason why not doing so is a poor idea. Why is Islam so well preserved and still in the Middle Ages? because Mohammed in his wisdom actually wrote down God's words. Why do Mormons ignore the fact that Smith was a charlatan? Because he was able to write the God's words. Now we have God incarnated as a human, with skills to read and write, and he doesn't do so.
    Why does that put "he didn't exist" in the position of best explanation?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Is it more likely that none of the Bibles claims are true or that they are true but a deity is so incompetent?
    How is a literate person choosing not to write indicative of incompetence?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Firstly, we know he would be more successful if we look at the sister religion Islam, which remains unchanged.
    Does it? Isn't it in fact the case that progressive Islam is at odds with fundamentalist Islam, where the former chooses to ignore the more violent aspects of the faith where the latter chooses to embrace it?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Instead we don't really have one Christianity, we have thousands, some of which don't even believe in Jesus' divinity! And even if the Bible makes the claim that people that won't hear the message, that is an entirely different claim as to those that wouldn't have heard it: the former is really talking about people rejecting the message. However, I am talking about the message even getting to everyone and clearly, if a deity in human form wrote things down, it would be more successful.
    How do you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    I mean that there are Christians who claim that the history books make mention of Jesus. However, the fact that they don't discuss the religions is very unlikely since the two would come hand in hand. A preacher that brought together thousands and fed them fish and loaves, a preacher that died and came back to life, a preacher that was born of a virgin? How could that not have been noted, whereas, the existence of Jesus, the preacher, did? I will tell you how: the person in the history books is NOT the same human/deity in the Bible.
    But that's a very different claim. I mean, I'm with you on the rock-star Jesus. But "Jesus never existed" is a very different claim than "Jesus as described in the Bible did not exist". And in either case, I don't see how him not writing necessitates that either of them didn't exist.

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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    But how do you know it is the most unreliable method?
    Ever heard of Chinese whispers? If you compare Christianity and its thousands of cults and Islam, its relatively few. The former spread through word of mouth, and the latter via the written word.

    Ok, we were talking about the claim 'The fact that Jesus did not write means he did not exist'. Our exchange was as follows:
    You: "Hence, either he didn't exist, wasn't a deity, or wasn't literate. Either solution questions the historical validity of the Bible."

    Me: "Why? That it is odd doesn't relegate the explanations to these and only these, as far as I can tell."

    You said "Those are the most plausible - you'll note that as we go down the rabbit hole of explaining why remarkable religious claims are only mentioned in the religious books of the religion in question, the possibilities become more and more implausible."

    Me: "But the Bible doesn't claim that Jesus didn't write;" (this is because you seemed to suggest above that the claim we've been discussing is a religious one.)

    From there, you said that you "don't see anything remarkable about questioning the existence of deities". So it seems like we started talking past one another because we seemed to have lost track of the claim we were discussing. It's probably because I parsed a statement of yours from earlier a little too much. My bad.

    But, having said that, I still can't see how the fact that he didn't write necessitates that he didn't exist.
    Let's not get too far with that claim - it isn't the ONLY reason why I think he doesn't exist. It is just ONE particular reason that he doesn't exist. And the reasoning is that he chose a poor way to communicate and establish his legacy.

    Where does the Bible say that Jesus was supposed to write down his message?
    It doesn't. I am saying the Bible says he is literate.

    Why? If it is in fact the case that he chose not to (which is entirely possible), the fact that we don't know why he chose not to doesn't automatically thrust "he didn't exist" into the first-place position of explanations.
    I'm assuming that the arguments given are the best the Christians here have been able to come up with. The paucity of reasons from people well versed with their own religion and no-doubted debated here pretty much means that they really don't know and are making things up. Making things up is exactly what one can do with someone that doesn't exist. A literate man who wants to change the world doesn't use one of the best tools available in order to do so: sounds like a non-existent man to me.

    Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
    True, but given that other people could have copied down his words or otherwise preserved them in a manner that could be attributed directly to him should not be a stretch. Could they ALL have been destroyed and not otherwise survived in a form that could be attributed directly to Jesus talking to us directly? Why is everything we know told second hand and so inconsistently? Is that not evidence of an unreliable source or a fabrication on top of another fabrication, told unreliably second or third or fourth hand?

    Why does that put "he didn't exist" in the position of best explanation?
    Because the ones we know about behave entirely differently.

    How is a literate person choosing not to write indicative of incompetence?
    Because his mission is to communicate.

    Does it? Isn't it in fact the case that progressive Islam is at odds with fundamentalist Islam, where the former chooses to ignore the more violent aspects of the faith where the latter chooses to embrace it?
    We're talking about how well a religion is preserved not whether its precepts are good or not.

    How do you know?
    By comparing with Islam, that has preserved the words of God more successfully.

    But that's a very different claim. I mean, I'm with you on the rock-star Jesus. But "Jesus never existed" is a very different claim than "Jesus as described in the Bible did not exist". And in either case, I don't see how him not writing necessitates that either of them didn't exist.
    There is no difference between 'Jesus' and 'Jesus as described in the Bible'! Why do you distinguish between the two? We don't discuss other facts in the Bible as 'the Bible version of X'! There is no "Biblical Rome", there is only Rome. So why make such an odd distinction with Jesus?

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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Ever heard of Chinese whispers? If you compare Christianity and its thousands of cults and Islam, its relatively few. The former spread through word of mouth, and the latter via the written word.
    So?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Let's not get too far with that claim - it isn't the ONLY reason why I think he doesn't exist.
    As far as this thread is concerned, that as far as I'm going, period. That IS the central claim of this thread, after all. If you want to add other reasons, that's fine, but I'm not interested in discussing them (I only say that as a courtesy to save you some time if you want to make a larger case for someone who IS interested).

    Either the claim "If Jesus was real, then he would have written" is true, or it isn't. And for it to be true, it has to stand on its own merits. The ONLY merit offered in the OP is that Jesus story "deserves" to be told. So I don't see how, based on the argument offered in the OP, the claim "If Jesus was real, he would have written" is in any way a valid argument.

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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    So?

    As far as this thread is concerned, that as far as I'm going, period. That IS the central claim of this thread, after all. If you want to add other reasons, that's fine, but I'm not interested in discussing them (I only say that as a courtesy to save you some time if you want to make a larger case for someone who IS interested).

    Either the claim "If Jesus was real, then he would have written" is true, or it isn't. And for it to be true, it has to stand on its own merits. The ONLY merit offered in the OP is that Jesus story "deserves" to be told. So I don't see how, based on the argument offered in the OP, the claim "If Jesus was real, he would have written" is in any way a valid argument.
    Fair enough, I am really arguing that point with MT anyway. So to recap:

    1. Writing is the best way to preserve knowledge - as evidenced by Islam.
    2. Word of mouth is the poorest way - as evidenced by the thousands of separate branches of Christianity.
    3. Jesus fails in his mission by not using all the tools at his disposal - writing being one of them.
    4. That he didn't want to fails as an argument because it is descriptive.
    5. That he is too busy fails as an argument because it largely makes no sense.
    6. Jesus is also supposed to be a deity so he should know that writing is the best course of action.
    7. There is no historical evidence of any of his writings, therefore, since he would have if he existed, because it is the best way to communicate and preserve information, he doesn't exist.

    However, if you continue to make the argument that there is a 'historical Jesus' separate and distinct from the 'Biblical Jesus', my previous arguments will be brought into play. I am working on the premise that there is no distinction and that there is only one Jesus, the one in the Bible.

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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by sonofnietzsche View Post
    For now, the simple assertion is that Jesus should have written down his thoughts. In fact, he should have kept a sort of life's journal.
    First, it seems that most great leaders throughout history, spiritual or other wise didn’t usually write about themselves while they were paving a new road or changing an established paradigm. Such people are generally too busy living their message and being the example, instead of writing about it – probably because action speaks louder than words. When the dust has settled from the storm they might have set in motion, those who are left standing who have assimilated the message usually write about it.

    Second, Jesus may have written down some teachings and spiritual principles (John 21:25). Just because they are not in the Bible does not mean he did not write anything. Again—studying his life shows us he didn’t incarnate with a mission to be a writer. He incarnated to be, live and teach his message by example which in itself was somewhat controversial at that time because it challenged established norms. That was pretty much a full time job.

    As far as who would write the story, that’s one reason Jesus chose his disciples and groomed them. They would be the authors of the story they observed, lived but most of all assimilated.

    It should be told by the hero, by the man who bled and shed sweat and tears to climb up out of the abyss and rise with the light.
    It's not that unusual. Gautama Buddha is a great enlightened spiritual hero to millions of people in the East and also performed some miraculous feats during his life. He didn’t do much writing about his thoughts either. He just lived his message.

    A true hero and mover and shaker is generally too focused on being and living their message and dealing with the fallout of challenging established norms. Once the new example has been established and taken root—which can certainly take a lifetime or decades then the writing can begin.
    "The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual.” --"The Mental Universe” | Nature
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Fair enough, I am really arguing that point with MT anyway. So to recap:

    1. Writing is the best way to preserve knowledge - as evidenced by Islam.
    2. Word of mouth is the poorest way - as evidenced by the thousands of separate branches of Christianity.
    3. Jesus fails in his mission by not using all the tools at his disposal - writing being one of them.
    4. That he didn't want to fails as an argument because it is descriptive.
    5. That he is too busy fails as an argument because it largely makes no sense.
    6. Jesus is also supposed to be a deity so he should know that writing is the best course of action.
    7. There is no historical evidence of any of his writings, therefore, since he would have if he existed, because it is the best way to communicate and preserve information, he doesn't exist.

    However, if you continue to make the argument that there is a 'historical Jesus' separate and distinct from the 'Biblical Jesus', my previous arguments will be brought into play. I am working on the premise that there is no distinction and that there is only one Jesus, the one in the Bible.
    that's all well and good, but it doesn't really bear on the questions I'm asking about the content of the OP. It seems we might be dealing with a classic case of "Well, I wasn't talking to you" haha

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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    The "some reason he simply chose" excuse can easily be explained better that he didn't exist or couldn't write!
    It can also be explained that God doesn't do things the way we would.

    A literate person with a message to change the world would likely use whatever tools at hand to disseminate and preserve his ideas.
    Jesus did use the tools he had to spread his message, but he had a tool that others don't have; he was able to send the Holy Spirit to guide his followers in what they said and wrote.

    I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
    (John 16:12-14 ESV)
    The brutal, soul-shaking truth is that we are so earthly minded we are of no heavenly use.
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by theophilus View Post
    It can also be explained that God doesn't do things the way we would.
    Sure, but that's not explanation either - it's a description of what has happened.

    Jesus did use the tools he had to spread his message, but he had a tool that others don't have; he was able to send the Holy Spirit to guide his followers in what they said and wrote.
    And in doing so unleashed a set of non-definitive writings that aren't entirely consistent with each other. I think it is easier to continue to believe he never existed other than as a character that people wanted to exist. Same effect.

    I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
    (John 16:12-14 ESV)
    Likewise:

    What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof. – Christopher Hitchens

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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Oh, man.

    I love this. I hadn't logged in since I posted this, and when I did this morning... I expected perhaps just a couple of replies.

    Not 57. And they all look good. MT, glad you're in here. Squatch... haha. Good to have you, man.

    I've only glanced through the first few pages, but I can already tell that I like Jimbo Jones' style.

    Let me help you out with Squatch for a quick second...

    "Wouldn't the same criticism be true of Socrates or Aristotle?"

    Lol. Oh, man.

    Hahaha...

    Dude, seriously. You know as well as I do that it doesn't really matter whether or not Aristotle or Socrates the men existed. Right?

    But before I delve into that, let's take it to an area where you and me can more intimately relate: Warfare.

    I am willing to bet you a trip to China that you not only know Sun-Tzu, but you know his tenants. Not only should you know his concepts, but I imagine that you are familiar with some of the more obvious examples in history in which armies, generals and nations either ignored or followed and applied Sun-Tzu's Art of War philosophy. There is a reason The Master's work is taught at War Colleges, and why war scholars consistently refer to him in the History Channel's documentary on The Man Himself.

    But that's not the point of this thread. I'm just searching for some common ground with you. I presume that you can agree that The Art of War is a philosophy that, when followed, yields victory and when ignored ensues defeat (one caveat, of course, being that there are some wars that should not be fought, some battles that cannot be won).

    So, the point of all this is that, in the History Channel's Documentary on the Art of War, the scholars demonstrate that Sun-Tzu's wisdom "predicted" and "prophesied" (hmmm... do those words sound familiar?... heh-heh-heh...) the results of certain wars. WWII and Vietnam are two particularly striking examples.

    However, at the end of this entire documentary praising The Great Sun-Tzu's wisdom, the spokesman at the end of the documentary notes that scholars aren't sure whether or not Sun-Tzu was even a person. Rather, the concepts woven together like an unbreakable chord in Ping-Fa, are actually the amalgamation of many Chinese scholars and philosophers that existed in history.

    However, at the end of the day, this is inconsequential to how this affects a man in reality, whether he is a general facing an army, a corporate executive planning a campaign... or a lover in the bedroom. All is fair in love and war, and Sun-Tzu's philosophy is what the Japanese call Masakatsu: Winning by any means necessary. And for the general, that is all that matters: Victory, and the actions necessary to produce it. At the end of the day, the actual author(s) of the Art of War make for interesting chit chat, but do not matter when it comes to getting real results on the battlefield.

    Same thing with Aristotle and Socrates. Their work still has tremendous value, whether their names were Aristotle and Socrates, or Amber and Sonia. Sure, it makes the story of Aristotle's actual existence more interesting when you throw in the fact that he taught King Alexander himself the Laws of Logic. But, again, at the end of the day, the fact of the matter is that logic works, regardless of who fathered it.

    CHRISTIANITY AND JESUS CHRIST IS MUCH DIFFERENT!!!

    Just wanted to make sure I was making my point.

    Why different, you ask?

    Because while it doesn't matter whether or not Sun-Tzu, Aristotle and Socrates existed, it matters a whole helluva lot whether or not Jesus Christ existed. The entire religion depends on his existence. The entire thing.

    And now, here we are, in the center of the chess board. That's what Christ is. The center of the Chess Board. This is why he should have written down his words...

    Because scholars tell us that most of the words that are attributed to Christ in the New Testament were not actually uttered by him. That's... crazy. One of the famous stories in John was just completely and entirely made up. Just stuffed into the text several centuries after the original copies first popped into existence (they don't have the story). Especially when you throw in the fact that these are books that we know were tampered with... interpolations, fraudulent insertions into the text, not to mention all of the thousands of accidental mistakes in the text.

    And we don't even have the original copies.

    And scholars speculate about a mysterious "Q" document, which, apparently is the true source of the real story... and we don't have that obviously...

    Am I the only one sensing a big, massive, gaping, POTENTIALLY FATAL wound in the story here?

    So, let me great this straight, Squatch. I open with the post that Jesus Christ should have written down the actual details of his history, especially his story is the most important in history? Maybe that's why they call it his...story... get it? Lolz. Anyway, don't Christians tell us that we're going to hell if we don't believe the Jesus story is true? Right? We get eternal punishment for it? Grinding of teeth, right? Sobbing and weeping! Forever! Read revelation. Be scared! Be petrified! APOCALYPSE!!! (EVIL LAUGHTER. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    Our very souls are on the line, the Christians say. I'm just saying', if I take ya'll at your word, and that's actually true, then it seems to me that the details in this story you're telling me are pretty important.

    And when I look up what scholars say, and I see that they're literally saying that the "story of Christ is a complex blend of fact and fiction", and that "much of what is attributed to Christ in the New Testament, he did not actually say" well... that makes me press my mental ALERT button and my BS radar starts blaring loud enough to wake 100 Trillion Demons in Hell from a ~2,000 year long slumber.

    So, since our very souls depend on it, and the facts of the Jesus Glory Story matter so much...

    Why didn't he just tell the story himself? Why put it in the hands of infallible, literate humans?

    I promise you... I'm wearing my confused face right now.

    ---------- Post added at 05:19 AM ---------- Previous post was at 05:12 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    But how do you know it is the most unreliable method?
    I have an idea.

    For your next post, instead of posting it yourself, give the message to someone you know. Or, if you really want to make it interesting, go to your nearest public library, and leave the draft of your post open on a computer. I reckon, at some point, someone will come up, and - just to be hilarious - messed around with your post a little bit. Added some parts. Deleted some others. Perhaps changed the entire context and position of your post...

    ****... but maybe that person doesn't show up. Huh. And then... maybe your post never shows up. Maybe your message never gets delivered in the first place.

    ---------- Post added at 05:57 AM ---------- Previous post was at 05:19 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    First, it seems that most great leaders throughout history, spiritual or other wise didn’t usually write about themselves while they were paving a new road or changing an established paradigm.
    This argument invokes the mental image of a red herring spooning with a straw man. According to the christians, no "great leader" throughout history even comes close to matching Christ. We're talking about the fate of our souls, here.

    Such people are generally too busy living their message and being the example, instead of writing about it – probably because action speaks louder than words. When the dust has settled from the storm they might have set in motion, those who are left standing who have assimilated the message usually write about it.
    Which people? Steve Jobs? Martin Luther King? Rosa Parks? Their actions speak loudly because I can read about them. I can watch videos about their actions. Jesus, in his allegedly infinite wisdom, decided to have himself killed during the pre-youtube, pre-newpaper, pre-internet, pre-television, pre-radio, pre-light bulb, pre-historical-method time in history. Bronze Age Palestine, an era in which 10% of the population was literate.

    No wonder Christians preach the need for faith. With beLIEfs like this, who needs lies?

    Second, Jesus may have written down some teachings and spiritual principles (John 21:25). Just because they are not in the Bible does not mean he did not write anything. Again—studying his life shows us he didn’t incarnate with a mission to be a writer. He incarnated to be, live and teach his message by example which in itself was somewhat controversial at that time because it challenged established norms. That was pretty much a full time job.

    As far as who would write the story, that’s one reason Jesus chose his disciples and groomed them. They would be the authors of the story they observed, lived but most of all assimilated.


    It's not that unusual. Gautama Buddha is a great enlightened spiritual hero to millions of people in the East and also performed some miraculous feats during his life. He didn’t do much writing about his thoughts either. He just lived his message.

    A true hero and mover and shaker is generally too focused on being and living their message and dealing with the fallout of challenging established norms. Once the new example has been established and taken root—which can certainly take a lifetime or decades then the writing can begin.

    ***Just for the record, I'm not here to change anyone's mind. I am pretty convinced that most of the Christians on this site - despite the obvious problems with the story of their religion - will continue to reply to this thread with red-stained teeth (symptom of constant Kool-Aid guzzling). I don't mean that to be insulting, and I'm not trying to get another infraction. I'm just honestly speaking the truth here. I think every mod and former mod on this site would agree with me that most of the Christians are just gonna keep on believing what they want to believe, irrespective what The Truth is.

    What I am here to do is to focus attention not the Christian BeLIEfs, so that all of the guests and readers of this page who come here reading with an open mind (not so open that your brain falls out and lands at a Billy Grahm revival) will be exposed to what I consider to be the hardest-hitting knock-out blow against the Christian religion.

    It exposes everything. So, if you're here wanting to see some interesting facts - like DonAthos back in the day - then sit back and enjoy this. You'll begin to see that all of the Christian responses are typically the same, and they all boil down to the same weak arguments, premises, concepts and ideas. And so, considering that Nietzsche said if it is shaky, knock it down..., I feel obliged to kick in the metaphorical Gates of Heaven, and expose the so-called Son of God as a fake and phony fraud.

    ---------- Post added at 06:29 AM ---------- Previous post was at 05:57 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by theophilus View Post
    And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read.
    (Luke 4:16 ESV)


    This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground.
    (John 8:6-8 ESV)


    Jesus was literate and certainly could have written down his teachings if he had chosen to do so. For some reason he simply chose not to do so.
    Wow.

    On numerous occasions, I've posted a particular quote from a New Testament scholar by the name of Robert Miller. In that quote, Miller points out that most Americans are ignorant of simple facts about the Bible that they love to quote so much. I honestly think of there were some sort of education parameters in place for Christians to get their facts straight, it would help... at least from a marketing perspective: You can't intelligently communicate a message and use shoddy information and use myths as if they were facts.

    This post is, without a doubt, like a Christmas present for the purposes of the OP.

    My assertion is that Jesus should have written things down, because the fact that he did not meant that infallible humans disseminated the message. We don't have the original copies of John and the other three books. We don't even have the original source copy, the material they allegedly drew from.

    And so what happened?

    Humans being humans, they messed up the story. And in some cases, they tampered with it.

    Perhaps the most (in)famous example of fraud, fakery and nonsense in the Bible is very story that Theophilus quoted. Considering that Squatch, Evensaul and MT all "liked" his post, I think it's safe to bet that perhaps irony of perhaps the most deeply ironic post of ODN's history was lost on them.



    There is really no excuse for this level of ignorance from the Christian community. I sincerely hope that this criticism is not taken as harshly as it sounds, as MT, at the very least, considers me a friend. The feeling is mutual.

    However, THE FACT is THAT THE STORY THEOPHILOS QUOTED IS A WELL-KNOWN BOGUS, FAKE, BS STORY.

    Period.

    Watch the above video from 32:00 - 37:00. It is a speech given by Bart Ehrman at Stanford University. @Dionysus: You're going to love this.

    This speech was given years ago. Here, we have a real, no-joke New Testament scholar telling us that "scholars have known for years that this story does not belong in the English version of the Bible."

    If you're paying attention, you should see by now that you can't really trust a Christian to give you reliable information. They simply don't have it. Notice the extraordinarily supercilious method in which the verses themselves are simply quoted, as if their veracity is so undeniably, irrefutably and unquestionably demonstrable and palpable that simply quoting them somehow means the verses speak for themselves. In reality, the opposite is true. At the very least, intellectual honesty requires that the reader is informed about the disagreement of scholarship on this issue.

    @theophilus:

    You've proven my point spectacularly.

    At this point, I honestly feel as though this could truly be my last post on ODN, that these sentences could be the last I ever type. Why not go out on top like, Jordan?

    Perhaps the best way to do this moment justice - on Christmas morning no less - is to pay homage to the self-proclaimed anti-Christian: Christopher Hitchens. And since Christopher's name so ironically means "he with Christ inside," I say there is none better to quote than Hitch, as I attempt to let this gloriously ironic moment ring forever in ODN history.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=We7DyKWw61I

    In the clip from 1:25 - 1:37, Christopher Hitchens does not merely summarize Sean Hannity's contribution to the conversation. Even in death, he so clearly and simply tells it how it is... even now.

    Theophilus, you... you give me the awful impression - hate to have to say it - of someone hasn't read any of the arguments your position. Ever.

    ---------- Post added at 06:40 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:29 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    Okay, let us know when your autobiography gets published. I mean, that's what this thread is really about, right?
    Question for the mods: Is this considered trolling?

    ---------- Post added at 07:04 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:40 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    I don't think Jesus was literate but even ignoring that...
    Oh. I thought he was omnipotent and omniscient.

    how would he be able to put his thoughts down if he died on the cross?
    I'm told he rose from the dead. That would've been a great time to write down something. Perhaps a how-to guide?

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  24. #59
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by sonofnietzsche View Post
    I have an idea.
    Hey, so do I! :D

    In the opening post, you said Jesus "should have written down his thoughts" and "he should have kept a sort of life's journal", "because such a story of glory deserves to be told accurately".

    So, before you and I start going back and forth in a discussion I was having with someone else, I think it would be good to understand what, exactly, you mean by "should have" and "because".

    If by "Jesus should have written" you mean "it is necessarily the case that Jesus WOULD have written" and by "because" you mean "due to "X" causal effect", then I need you to demonstrate how "Due to the deserving nature of Jesus' story, it is necessarily the case that Jesus would have written" is a necessarily true claim. Likewise, I need you to demonstrate how "Jesus did not exist" is necessarily the antithesis to that claim.

    But if you just mean that it's fishy that he didn't, then I agree. But a fishy observation does not a case make.

    In either case, the information contained in the opening post doesn't make a strong argument.

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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    @son - thanks for the Hitchen's video - that's as good a Christmas present as the recent Time article was (http://www.newsweek.com/2015/01/02/t...ys-294018.html) - where they question Jesus' birth story as well as pointing out that today was originally the Roman Sun God's day.

    If you look at the arguments presented here the Christ story relies on little bits of verifiable fact whilst the big stuff (miracles) has zero facts to back it. The 'just because' or 'too busy' or 'miracles are minor events, easily not recorded' or 'look how other special have no evidence either' are scraping the bottom of the barrel as far as conclusive arguments go.

    What remains once these arguments have been dismissed is largely faith that it is all true - part wishful thinking tempered by doubt and reinforced by hope. When will someone here admit that?

 

 
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