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To the extent that historical evidence supports their existence. If the evidence is weak, so is the positive argument.
the Zodiac Killer
No clue because I don't want to do research:
James, son of Alphaeus
Jack the Ripper
Many are probably a distorted view of one or more actual people from history.
The thing with some of the people I listed that we know existed (such as Confucius) is that many of their sayings etc. were written after their death.
I don't doubt that Jesus could have existed as a human being, but to accept that comes with the baggage that people will assume I believe in their version of Jesus, whether the bare bones Jesus, or a Jesus with more flesh, or the Jesus with divine attributes (which in itself has countless versions).
I have very little confidence that anything can truly be agreed upon about the historical Jesus, even amongst those who have made an honest attempt to establish any facts. It is perfectly possible that any detail of Jesus' life as relayed to us by the early Christians is pure fiction.
Very well put. I find the OP odd in that Breezy seems uninterested in evidencing the main claim of Jesus alleged supernatural divinity, and wants to see evidence Jesus didn't exist. It's silly to focus on what is largely a redundant claim, and ignore the claim that matters.
If Jesus existed by all means demonstrate some objective evidence for the claim. This however tells us nothing about the veracity of the supernatural claims asserted about Jesus. So I don't really care if he was a real person, as it tells us nothing, and doesn't evidence the existence of a deity in any way.
We have far more evidence that Mohammed was real than Jesus, it doesn't lend any validity to the supernatural claims about him and Islam.
History is a muddy place in my opinion. Which is why I tend not to argue with people about it. When someone denies the holocaust for example, the best I can do is bandwagon with the side that calls them conspiracy theories. History is not like science where if there is any doubt we can just reproduce the experiments. History is fragments, and those fragments can be interpreted a thousand ways.
But my interest in the OP is slightly different. It's undeniable that Christianity began at some point, and that almost a third of the world's population is Christian. So how did that happen, if the traditional view of Jesus finding disciples, which found more disciples, and spread the gospel throughout the world is wrong?
The most likely significant for this state of affairs is Christianity being adopted as the state religion of the Roman Empire. This is comparable to Chinese folk religion, and Hinduism in the Indian subcontinent. The growth rate of Christianity throughout history is not itself especially significant.
The Roman Catholic Church likes to think itself as representing a continuation from the time of Christ to the present day, while believing itself to be the one true form of Christianity. Jesus said "call no man father", and yet that is precisely what Catholics do with their Popes and priests. It is wholly unreasonable to believe that the hagiographical accounts by the early Christians are reliable, or that the comparative success of Christianity represents historical and metaphysical truth.
My favorite argument for a historical Jesus comes from Hitchens. About halfway through this vid:
I used to adhere to this idea from Hitchens, but then I like the general idea that at the centre of any myth is a kernel of truth. So the existence of some poor bugger on to whom the whole Jesus/Christ/Messiah mythology is loaded is still not a problem for me.
But Mathew and Luke are trying to fit two prophecies here ; the messiah born in Daivid's city Jerusalem and Matthew's reference of a spoken tradition of the messiah being a Nazarene, a shitty lil city emphasising the messiah's lowly birth to accentuate his elevation to the highest of the high. So it seems they are not* trying to accomodate a real person as much as accomodate two predictions.
*edited to add "not"
Grinseed: I think the jesus myth is an attempt to amalgamate more than one person and various myths into one fictional character.
I couldnt agree more Chimp. Was just enlarging on Hitchen's view.
So by and large you think the Christian narrative of it's origin and spread are correct, only that they exagerate and accommodate?
I was saying that Hitchens argument for a historical Jesus was one of the best I have ever heard. I personally do not believe in a historical Jesus. Maybe a composite of first century characters and bronze age myths. But, I am not a historian or biblical scholar. Just that my default leans towards doubt, not superstition.
Right, I was responding to Grinseed.
But to you I would ask, who would have made the composition? Works of fiction are abundant in literature, but they seldom produce a religion on their own. Whoever created the story of Jesus, must have at least been the face of the religion. Or if it was written by someone else, someone must have found the story and began to spread it.
Much like Joseph Smith was the principle salesman of his book, or L. Ron Hubbard and his books and religion.
You say works of fiction seldom produce religions and then reference two of the most recent examples.
I said they don't produce religions on their own The implication being that they need a "Moses" figure to popularize them.
What do "salesmen" have to do with the quality of their product?
Well marketing is everything. Products don't generally sell themselves, not even religious ones. So if someone fabricated the Jesus story, someone has to have popularized that fabrication, irrespective of the quality. If Jesus and the apostles, which are traditionally viewed as the popularizers of Christianity, did not exist; then who fabricated it, who popularized it, and how did they manage to remain anonymous throughout their work?
You are a salesman for christianity. Why should I expect the first salesmen to have have any more credibility than you?
...and you've lost me.
Reference my previous post about the perpetuation of religion.
I can not say if the origin or spread of the christian narrative a expressed by most of the established religions is correct or not. As you say history gets pretty muddy. Its next to impossible to pin down the certainty of a historical jesus. Its even difficult to do the same for Paul but even then I hold Paul to be either be a charlatan or a very sick religious fanatic. I hsve reasons to believe the narrative was exagerated and accomodated and its evident that went on until the midle ages at least, in churches and monasteries, by innocence error and by outright deception. The Joahhine (?) Comma being one such fraud.
Fucking ridiculous! Breezy isn't interested in anything but causing a disruption of KNOWN facts with unsubstantiated speculation. There is no argument here. There is no "revisionist history" except by the people that make the claim that there was a jesus and he was the son of god, a god that has never been proven I might add. There is no proof that there was a bible before 325ADE. There is no proof that the "gospels" were written before that time. Yet Breezy would have us believe that even questioning any facts that christianity brings forth is "revisionist history."
There are references to a "jesus" outside of the bible, but they are only offhanded comments about christianity in general. there is no direct evidence of a jesus except for after the fact statements from people that could not have known a jesus and bibles that were written well after the fact. Oldman posted well-referenced proof of that fact.
"There is no "revisionist history" except by the people that make the claim that there was a jesus and he was the son of god..."
Great, then if such is the case and Christians are the ones who altered history to fit their narrative, then you should be able to address the OP and explain what the true history of Christianity is.
Although for you in particular, since you love to throw the word evidence around so much, I would expect that whatever you claim the true history of Christianity is, you have more evidence for that, than what we have for Jesus. Which is basically the bare minimum from what you're saying.
Rejecting a claim as erroneous or improperly evidenced, does not require an alternative explanation to the claim be made.
Who cares about what's required? I'm asking those who are interested in answering, to answer. If you don't have an answer, great, don't interrupt those that do.
I have an answer, and I gave it. Logic and rationality don't require that people rejecting your unevidenced superstition provide an alternative to it, hence my pointing out that your question was fallacious, and I'll interrupt as and when I feel like it wheezy, so get over yourself.
My question isn't fallacious since I haven't argued that an alternative is required before you reject a claim.
John 6IX Breezy "I haven't argued that an alternative is required before you reject a claim."
Sun, 03/18/2018 - 08:32
John 6IX Breezy
"when the traditional and biblical origins of Christianity are considered fabrications, it leaves me wondering what the alternative is."
John 6IX Breezy "if we are going to assume that miracle never occurred, then how were the same results reached?"
John 6IX Breezy "Jesus is such a central pillar to the formation of Christianity, what are you replacing him with, if he's as nonexistent as the Angel Moroni?"
John 6IX Breezy "almost a third of the world's population is Christian. So how did that happen, if the traditional view of Jesus finding disciples, which found more disciples, and spread the gospel throughout the world is wrong?"
John 6IX Breezy "popularizers of Christianity, did not exist; then who fabricated it, who popularized it, and how did they manage to remain anonymous throughout their work?"
In every post either directly or indirectly you assert an alternative explanation be presented if the religions claims are rejected.
This is logically fallacious.