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Thread: Logically rationalize God

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Nye View Post
    Some non-religious documents from Historians during the time of "our Jesus"

    -Jew antiquities by Flavious Josephus
    -Annals of Imperial Rome by Cornelius Tacitus
    -Pliny the Younger
    -Suetonius
    -Etc

    Although modern historians disagree here and there when it comes to what parts of his life were real, it’s safe to say there was a Jesus, who was associated with John the Baptist, and was executed by the Romans.

    If angry atheists that hate Christians are crossing their arms demanding more "concrete evidence," sorry but there's no explanation for why we should expect more evidence than we do have. There's a limited and selective body of evidence for EVERYTHING in ancient history.



    There are three strands of mythicism, including:

    1. The view that there may have been a historical Jesus, who lived in a dimly remembered past, and was fused with the mythological Christ of Paul.
    2. There was never a historical Jesus, only a mythological character, later historicized in the Gospels.
    3. No conclusion can be made about a historical Jesus, and if there was one, nothing can be known about him.

    What do current day historians think about this?

    Current day historians (wikipedia):

    In modern scholarship, the Christ myth theory is a fringe theory, which finds virtually no support from scholars, to the point of being irrelevant and almost completely ignored:











    @Subteigh What would you tell these professors?
    None of the historians you mentioned were contemporary with Jesus' supposed lifespan. Also, there are many accounts before and after the time of "Jesus" (the Christian one) of other Jesuses/Joshuas and other messiahs. I do not doubt that a person named Joshua may have existed who may have inspired the later Christian religion - my view is just that there is no reason to think he absolutely did exist. I suggest you read the page here, as that makes a better case than I could about whether or not Jesus existed:
    https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Eviden...f_Jesus_Christ

    Also, I suggest you read this pdf file written by Richard Carrier:
    www.richardcarrier.info/Historicity_of_Jesus.pdf

    Which talks about the "celestial Jesus" that existed in myth before and after the time of the Christian Jesus, and about how many other religions have and have had earnest followers who swear that their divinities have actually come to Earth at some point. This is a distinct matter from whether the "historical Jesus" actually existed, but the "celestial Jesus" myths and associated prophecies prior to the time of the "historical Jesus" only gives me doubt that the "historical Jesus" figure is also a myth inspired by the "celestial Jesus". Of course, if you believe both aspect are true, you would say that each feature increases the number of known facts about Jesus. But I doubt that most of those who believe that the "historical Jesus" existed would be able to believe the "celestial Jesus" myths without feeling there were many inconsistencies.

    My view is thus that nothing can be meaningfully be determined to be most likely true about the Christian Jesus as a historical figure.

    Sure, you can say that is true of most figures in antiquity - but I have absolutely no problem with saying that there is for example nothing that can be said to be certain about a figure like Pythagoras. I'm not one who has a lot invested in Jesus absolutely having to exist or not exist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hatchback176 View Post
    Life:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert...gist)#Research
    Consciousness:
    https://journals.plos.org/ploscompbi...l.pcbi.1003588
    Intelligence [generalized]:
    http://hology.org/

    A self-processing and self-configuring language [SCSPL, Intelligence] substantiated by a minimally-irreducible conceptual system [MICS, Consciousness] that metabolizes, repairs, and replicates [M,R-Diagrams, Life].
    Ultimately, determining what qualifies is a philosophical question, not a scientific one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Subteigh View Post
    Ultimately, determining what qualifies is a philosophical question, not a scientific one.
    Ultimately what determines a philosopher is a scientific question

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    @Subteigh, I've heard many Christians emphatically assert something to the effect that most historians and archaeologists are certain "Jesus" did exist. I've never looked into this claim, but I suspect that, if this is true, this is a miscommunication: as you said, I find it plausible that historians might be 100% convinced some figure with a name like "Yeshua" might have inspired Christianity, but I'm doubtful he had a great deal in common with the figure portrayed in the Gospels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hatchback176 View Post
    @End
    1) IEI's and SLE's have psychopathic tendencies and fall into Situational Ethics very easily. "If no one saw it then I don't feel guilty for it." Once the light turns off and there is no Natural Law to judge all behavior then there is nothing to produce conviction for the words they speak.
    Neurologically, if ‘God’ exists, then he sees everything which is done by everyone—this puts all persons on the same level, with no Temporal Lobe content-based 'special cases', and this mental approach will automatically trigger analysis by the Superior Parietal. This suggests that the neural structures involved in spatial processing are the basic building blocks for belief-neutral [Natural Law] logical reasoning.


    2) Technically, a person seeking Maturity will reprogram their mind using a vow of silence. This is an orientation towards ‘non-violent resistance’ when confronted with evil. In its essence, this is a peaceful but active non-cooperation with what is non-beneficial. It watches, listens, learns Cause-and-Effect, and implements with HAND MOVEMENTS a path that is beneficial. One must put up with people who are being extremely stupid, and who are acting in very dumb ways. It all fosters an attitude of ‘meekness.’ Internally, this very attitude begins to integrate Thinking (voluntary motor intentions) with Feeling (emotional valence). This recognizes, in meekness, that ‘good’ and ‘evil’ interweave through every person; killing enemies thus destroys good along with evil, and is non-optimal.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/From_D...p_to_Democracy


    3) Separation into units of people [in this case belief groups] only reinforces the content-based Situational Ethics of IEI and SLE, giving them Situational audiences to play politician with. Recall that the Superior Parietal area takes over from the Superior Temporal whenever actual examples are replaced by abstract variables such as A, B, or C. I'm suggesting here that Circuits of Thought in a Universal Mind subject to Mental Cause-and-Effect is the proper spatial context for moral reasoning over human beings. This can be treated as another interpretation of the Categorical Imperative or Golden Rule.
    https://biblescripture.net/James.html
    Lol, why don’t you replace it with SEE and ILI? Or more like just you and End, because you guys are the only ones trying to do this and convince others or yourselves right now, hypocritically. See the bolded. Also lol at the mixing up of non-neuroscience with your delusional bs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by End View Post
    Praise Jesus for the graces of conversion! See? That wasn't all that hard was it? Still, it is shocking how few people can actually manage to do what you just did. Perhaps you are not as lost as others might think or actually are .
    You’re an embarrassment to your religion and to humanity.

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    @sbbds, since the Bible is somewhat related to this thread, take a look at Proverbs 26:4.

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    Nothing like fake laughs from a couple of pussies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aylen View Post
    End, I am not going to cater to your kinky fantasy here.
    I will admit that I often find myself hating how I worded a concept or argument after I've done so hours or days later. Point was that if you're giving what you think of as an opponent a big opening and they don't take it eagerly and with gusto then the gears get to turning. Let's just say that what direction those gears ought to turn depends greatly upon the situation you're in/people you're dealing with. I thank you for your well wishes however. I too wish you the best and will pray that you return to the light of Christ .

    Quote Originally Posted by Aylen View Post
    That is not how conversion works.
    A light ribbing from my end, nothing truly serious. I was honestly happy that someone responded the way they did. For once, I was a bit too cynical. Always a good problem to have.

    Quote Originally Posted by ashlesha View Post
    @End or anybody knowledge about such things, if somebody says they believe in God and find the jesus myth helpful in the development of their relationship with God, but they kinda pick and choose from the bible don't take things literally.. are they the same as an atheist? Maybe worse, because it's half assed? Or I guess Progressive churches are seen as christianity but a weak and light version, they still get heaven,etc?
    That's kinda where I'm at/am going, and approval isn't needed and I dunno about the whole afterlife thing anyway, but I'm curious.
    @Bill Nye posted a rebuttal in this very thread. Jesus ain't a "myth", he was a real person. Anything after that assertion is up for debate but that "Jesus" existed is essentially beyond reproach. And the weak/light "Christian" churches? Yeah, their attendance is declining sharply. In contrast, if you look at what orders newly ordained priests are gravitating towards and the numbers relating to the "Tridentine Mass" in regards to interest and attendance are, well, implications. Implications I'm confident you can grasp .

    Quote Originally Posted by Aylen View Post
    Same can be said of SEE and ILI. You must have missed the memo.
    Yeah, we're the sociopathic quadra. So say all the other inferior quadras .

    As for @hatchback176 and their points. Do you know what Shame vs. Guilt morality systems are. "If no one saw it then I don't feel guilty for it." is pure distilled shame morality. It's an inferior moral system to one based on guilt (which Christianity is likewise a pure distilled form of) for painfully obvious reasons. If I ever encountered a person, gamma or otherwise, who truly felt that way I'd get an itchy trigger finger for damned good reason. Sociopaths are sociopaths, best to respond to them properly in the only language they ultimately understand. Brute force and harsh negative consequences.

    Killing enemies is not always a "sub-optimal" option either. For instance, say I gave a kiddie diddler a "second chance" because I'm an idiot and he diddles another kid despite my damn near saintly display of mercy. How is not pulping his/her/etc. skull with a rusty crowbar a "bad/evil/sub-optimal" thing after that display pray tell?

    I will agree with the Golden Rule being a "gold standard" in regards to morality with one caveat that was hinted at above. Once past a certain point, black and white morality applies. Cross the line, the "moral event horizon" as some people put it, and your death is not only justified, but a thing to be celebrated by most any and all truly moral people.

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    What if in a contrived scenario, taking place after a Maturation process I haven't engaged in, I'm faced with a decision I would never make, where the consequences of my actions arbitrarily stop, and there is no psychological impact from taking another person's life, and no possibility for reflection changing my judgement, but also sometimes I obsess for hours over word usage, and isn't this contingency a counterfactual summarizing peak moral development?


    Child abuse and trafficking is a way bigger problem than 1 "heroic act".

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    Quote Originally Posted by hatchback176 View Post
    Nothing like fake laughs from a couple of pussies.
    That’s called a queef. I’m not surprised you didn’t know though.

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    Why the universe is so fukin wide and broad and Earth is just like one grain of sand out of the oceans in the world

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    And considering that if we lost Oxygen or any element on earth, there's going to be destruction. We're going to die. But somehow, an external invisible force is balancing all the universe and elements

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    I think the God I'm trying to develop a relationship with, in his compassion, will understand that I can't buy into the trinity or the importance of jesus because a large handful of people have shaken their fingers and stressed it's importance, for the same reason I can't join a political organization just because it's supporters look at me disapprovingly or buy something from an infomercial because the host says I need it. Maybe with enough time, openness and prayer, and exposure, I'll get to that point.

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    When the universe had a start at zero time point - anything was united. This state had anything to appear what will exist then, it's the source and the reason of anything, the Creator of anything. The link with this state can be felt as the unification with God.

    This is possible if to assume inter-time links, in both time directions. The same as through the space.
    Types examples: video bloggers, actors

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    You can't rationalize the Joker. That's what makes him so great.
    previously Megadoodoo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Subteigh View Post
    None of the historians you mentioned were contemporary with Jesus' supposed lifespan.
    Are you being serious right now?

    Here's an illustration of its importance:

    The scholarly consensus is that Tacitus' reference to the execution of Jesus by Pontius Pilate is both authentic, and of historical value as an independent Roman source. Paul Eddy and Gregory Boyd argue that it is "firmly established" that Tacitus provides a non-Christian confirmation of the crucifixion of Jesus. Scholars view it as establishing three separate facts about Rome around AD 60: (i) that there were a sizable number of Christians in Rome at the time, (ii) that it was possible to distinguish between Christians and Jews in Rome, and (iii) that at the time pagans made a connection between Christianity in Rome and its origin in Roman Judea.
    They are authentic and academically sound among expert historians.

    Are you implying they're not reliable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Subteigh View Post
    ... my view is just that there is no reason to think he absolutely did exist. I suggest you read the page here, as that makes a better case than I could about whether or not Jesus existed:
    https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Eviden...f_Jesus_Christ
    Lol, wtf?

    There’s a lot of evidence but very little depth/analysis. The bias on this site is also VERY evident, I noticed it as soon as I clicked the link.

    Two immediate issues strike me about this page:

    Firstly, attempting to do history under the framework of science. History isn’t science and it’s not a science. I find this issue prevalent among people who think that all knowledge is scientific and knowledge that isn’t scientific isn’t knowledge. Philosophically this is untenable, since the scientific method is not itself provable by the scientific method and is a form of presupposition. Methodologically this is untenable since history is not a discipline subject to experimentation. You cannot run repeatable experiments with the data of historical investigation.

    Secondly, as mentioned earlier, the page quotes Jesus-mythicist writers without any serious critique, I mean people like Carrier, Price, etc.. Within historical circles these writers are viewed as cranks. Are all their ideas or writings irretrievably bad? No, of course not. But a lack of critical historical engagement with these writers, who tend in the conspiracy-theory direction of reasoning, suggests a form of bias that misunderstands historical scholarship and fundamentally misunderstands history as a discipline.

    I find it interesting that several times they refer to “peer reviewed scholarly published On the Historicity of Jesus”. Why? Yes, it was a peer-reviewed book, published by a scholarly imprint associated with a very minimalist school. The reinforcement of its peer-reviewed status is a kind of appeal to authority probably because Carrier is known for producing a lot of non-peer-reviewed material that isn’t taken seriously. Certainly Carrier can do historical research and has produced some peer-reviewed material, but a lot of it isn’t.

    And as you read on you can tell they rely heavily on Carrier...

    Quote Originally Posted by Subteigh View Post
    My view is thus that nothing can be meaningfully be determined to be most likely true about the Christian Jesus as a historical figure.

    Sure, you can say that is true of most figures in antiquity - but I have absolutely no problem with saying that there is for example nothing that can be said to be certain about a figure like Pythagoras. I'm not one who has a lot invested in Jesus absolutely having to exist or not exist
    You're in denial.

    The overwhelming body of scholars, in New Testament, Christian Origins, Ancient History, Ancient Judaism, Roman-era Religion, Archaeology/History of Roman Judea, and a good many related fields as well, hold that there was:

    --A first-century Jewish man known as Jesus of Nazareth
    --That he engaged in an itinerant preaching/prophetic activity in Galilee
    --That he drew to himself a band of close followers, and
    --That he was executed by the Roman governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate.

    These same scholars typically recognize also that very quickly after Jesus’ execution there arose among Jesus’ followers:

    --The strong conviction that God (the Jewish deity) had raised Jesus from death (based on claims that some of them had seen the risen Jesus).
    --These followers also claimed that God had exalted Jesus to heavenly glory as the validated Messiah, the unique “Son of God,” and “Lord” to whom all creation was now to give obeisance.

    Whatever they make of these claims, scholars tend to grant that they were made, and were the basis for pretty much all else that followed in the origins of what became Christianity.

    The “mythical Jesus” view doesn’t have any traction among the overwhelming number of scholars working in these fields, whether they be declared Christians, Jewish, atheists, or undeclared as to their personal stance. Advocates of the “mythical Jesus” may dismiss this statement, but it ought to count for something if, after some 250 years of critical investigation of the historical figure of Jesus and of Christian Origins, and the due consideration of “mythical Jesus” claims over the last century or more, this spectrum of scholars have judged them unpersuasive (to put it mildly).

    Quote Originally Posted by Subteigh View Post
    Also, there are many accounts before and after the time of "Jesus" (the Christian one) of other Jesuses/Joshuas and other messiahs.I do not doubt that a person named Joshua may have existed who may have inspired the later Christian religion..


    So there was some bootleg version of Jesus running around, creating an explosion of followers willing to be martyrs and fed to the lions for him?

    Quote Originally Posted by Subteigh View Post
    Which talks about the "celestial Jesus" that existed in myth before and after the time of the Christian Jesus, and about how many other religions have and have had earnest followers who swear that their divinities have actually come to Earth at some point. This is a distinct matter from whether the "historical Jesus" actually existed, but the "celestial Jesus" myths and associated prophecies prior to the time of the "historical Jesus" only gives me doubt that the "historical Jesus" figure is also a myth inspired by the "celestial Jesus". Of course, if you believe both aspect are true, you would say that each feature increases the number of known facts about Jesus. But I doubt that most of those who believe that the "historical Jesus" existed would be able to believe the "celestial Jesus" myths without feeling there were many inconsistencies.
    Quote Originally Posted by Subteigh View Post
    Also, I suggest you read this pdf file written by Richard Carrier:
    www.richardcarrier.info/Historicity_of_Jesus.pdf

    Heh. I have an even BETTER idea,

    How about I address your boy Richard Carrier's three main points (A, B, C), and take them down one by one?


    A. "The original Christian Jesus (in the Epistles of Paul) sounds exactly like the Jewish archangel Jesus, who certainly did not exist. So when it comes to a historical Jesus, maybe we no longer need that hypothesis"

    There is NO evidence whatsoever of a “Jewish archangel Jesus” in any of the second-temple Jewish evidence.

    What do we have, then?

    --We have references to archangels, to be sure, and with various names such as Michael, Raphael, Yahoel, and Ouriel.
    --We have references to other heavenly beings too, such as the mysterious Melchizedek in the Qumran texts.

    Indeed, in second-temple Jewish texts and (later) rabbinic texts there is a whole galaxy of named angels and angel ranks.But, I repeat, there is no such being named “Jesus.” Instead, all second-temple instances of the name are for historical figures.

    So, the supposed “background” figure for Carrier’s “mythical” Jesus is a chimaera, an illusion in Carrier’s mind based on a lack of first-hand familiarity with the ancient Jewish evidence

    B. “All similar savior cults from the period” feature “a cosmic savior, later historicized.”

    LOL!!!!

    All? That’s quite a claim! So, for example...

    --Isis? She began as a local Egyptian deity and her cult grew in popularity and distribution across the Roman world in the first century or so AD, but she never came to be treated as a historical woman. How about her Egyptian consort,
    --Osiris? Again, a deity who remained . . . a deity, and didn’t get “historicized” as a man of a given date.
    --Mithras? Ditto.
    --Cybele? Ditto.
    --Artemis? Ditto.

    We could go on, but it would get tedious to do so.

    Carrier’s cavalier claim is so blatantly fallacious as to astonish anyone acquainted with ancient Roman-era religion.

    There is in fact no instance known to me (or to other experts in Roman-era religion) in “all the savior cults of the period” of a deity that across time got transformed into a mortal figure of a specific time and place, such as is alleged happened in the case of Jesus.

    @Subteigh, did you even bother to read and look into Carrier's claims yourself? It doesn't seem like it.

    C. A supposed shift from Jesus as “a celestial being” (with no earthly/human existence) in Paul’s letters to “a historical ministry in the Gospels decades later.”

    This claim from Carrier reflects a curiously distorted (and simplistic) reading of both bodies of texts.

    Let’s first look at the New Testament Gospels.

    Gospel of John

    It’s commonly accepted that the Gospel of John is the latest of them (with differences of scholarly opinion on the literary relationship of GJohn to the others), and that perhaps as much as a decade or more separates the earliest (usually thought to be GMark) from GJohn. So, on Carrier’s claim, we might expect a progressively greater “historicization” of Jesus, and less emphasis on him as “a celestial being,” in GJohn. Which is precisely not the case—actually, the opposite. Most readers of GJohn readily note that, in comparison with the “Synopic” Gospels, the text makes much more explicit and emphatic Jesus’ heavenly origins, his share in divine glory, etc., right from the opening chapter onward with its reference to the “Logos” as agent of creation and who “became flesh” and “dwelt among us” (1:1-5, 14).

    Gospel of Mark

    In contrast, GMark simply narrates an account of Jesus’ itinerant ministry of teaching, performing exorcisms and healings, conflicts with critics, and then a lengthy account of his fateful final trip to Jerusalem. There are allusions or hints in GMark that Jesus’ larger identity and significance surpass what the other characters in the account realize, as, e.g., in the cries of recognition by the various demoniacs. But Jesus has a mother, brothers and sisters (3:31-32; 6:3), is portrayed as known local boy in his hometown (6:1-6), and to all the other human characters in the narrative Jesus is variously a prophet, teacher, blasphemer, Messiah, or criminal. Most indicative that the Jesus of GMark is a genuine mortal is the account of his crucifixion, his death, and burial of his “corpse” (Mark’s clinically precise term, 15:45). Whatever his higher significance or transcendent identity, in GMark Jesus is at least quite evidently a real mortal man. Now, to be sure, GMark (as all the NT Gospels) presupposes that intended readers also regard Jesus as the exalted “Lord”. But the story the Gospels tell emphasizes his historic activity.

    Gospel of Matthew

    As far as the other “Synoptic” Gospels are concerned (GMatthew and GLuke), it’s commonly accepted that they took GMark as inspiration, pattern and key source, each of them, however, producing a distinctive “rendition” (to use a musical term) of the basic narrative. GMatthew, for example, emphasizes Jesus’ Jewishness, adds a birth narrative with lots of allusions/connections to OT texts, and gathers up traditions of Jesus’ teachings into five large discourse blocks.

    Gospel of Luke

    GLuke, writing, it appears, more for a Gentile readership and with more of a nod to generic features of Greek history and biography of the time, inserts dates (3:1-2), and has his own birth narrative and genealogy that links Jesus more to world history.

    But the overall point here is that,

    Across the years in which the Gospels were composed, there isn’t a trajectory from a “celestial being” with no earthly existence to a “historicized” man.

    If anything, the emphasis goes in the OPPOSITE direction. Certainly, it appears to most scholars that the Gospels reflect the growth of legendary material about Jesus, the birth narratives being a prime example. But legendary embellishment is what happens to high-impact historical figures, and doesn’t signal that the figures are “mythical”.

    And of course, Paul's letters:

    1. Paul never refers to Jesus as an angel or archangel. Indeed, a text such as Romans 8:38-39 seems to make a sharp distinction between angelic powers and the exalted Kyrios Jesus. Moreover, although Paul shares the early Christian notion that the historical figure, Jesus had a heavenly back-story or divine “pre-existence” (e.g., Philippians 2:6-8), this in no way worked against Paul’s view of Jesus as also a real, historical human being.

    2. There is abundant confirmation that for Paul Jesus real historical existence was even crucial. Perhaps the most obvious text to cite is 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, where Paul recites a tradition handed to him and then handed by him to the Corinthians, that recounts Jesus’ death (v. 3), his burial (v. 4), and then also his resurrection and appearances to several named people and a host of unnamed people. Now, whenever one makes of the references to Jesus’ resurrection and post-resurrection appearances, it’s clear that a death and burial requires a mortal person. It would be simply special pleading to try to convert the reference to Jesus’ death and burial into some sort of event in the heavens or such.

    3. Indeed, Paul repeatedly refers, not simply to Jesus’ death, but specifically to his crucifixion, which in Paul’s time was a particular form of execution conducted by Roman authorities against particular types of individuals found guilty of particular crimes. Crucifixion requires a historical figure, executed by historical authorities. Jesus’ historical death by crucifixion was crucial and central to Paul’s religious life and thought. To cite one text from many, “We preach Christ crucified” (1 Cor. 1:23).

    4. Consider Paul’s explicit reference to Jesus as “born of a woman, born under the Law” (Galatians 4:4). Paul here clearly declares Jesus to have been born, as mortals are, from a mother, and, further, born of a Jewish mother “under the Law.” Birth from a mother, and death and burial—surely the two clearest indicators of mortal existence! Moreover, Paul considered Jesus to be specifically of Davidic descent (Romans 1:3), and likewise knew that Jesus’ activities were directed to his own Jewish people (Romans 15:8).

    5. Paul refers to Jesus’ physical brothers (1 Corinthians 9:5) and to Jesus’ brother James in particular (Galatians 1:19). Contrary to mythicist advocates, the expression “brothers of the Lord” is never used for Jesus-followers in general, but in each case rather clearly designates a specific subset of individuals identified by their family relationship to Jesus. Note particularly that in Paul’s uses, the expression “brothers of the Lord” distinguishes these individuals from other apostles and leading figures. The mythicist claim about the expression is a rather desperate stratagem.

    6. Paul knows of a body of teachings ascribed to Jesus, and uses them on several occasions, as in 1 Corinthians 7:10-11, where he both invokes a specific teaching discouraging divorce, and also acknowledges that he has no saying of Jesus at other points and so has to give his own advice (e.g., 7:12). Rather clearly, the source of the sayings of Jesus was not some ready-to-hand revelation that could be generated, but instead a body of tradition that Paul had inherited. Certainly, Paul refers to his many visions and revelations (2 Corinthians 12:1), and even recounts one at length (vv. 2-10). But he also refers to a finite body of teachings of “the Lord” that derived from the earthly Jesus and were passed to him.

    etc etc etc........ could go on and on and on

    It would be tedious to prolong the matter.

    Again, in Paul’s undisputed letters, written decades earlier than the Gospels we have clear evidence that the “Jesus” referred to is a historical figure who:

    1,. Lived among fellow Jews in Roman Judea/Palestine, and was
    2. Crucified by the Roman authority.


    And to summarize,

    There is no shift from a purely “celestial being” in Paul’s letters to a fictionalized historical figure in the Gospels. For both Paul and the Gospels, Jesus is both a historical figure and (now) the “celestial” figure exalted to God’s “right hand” in heaven. Whatever you make of him, the Jesus in all these texts is never less than a historical mortal (although in the light of the experiences of the risen Jesus he became much more).
    Last edited by onfireee; 10-30-2019 at 09:54 PM.
    He always finds a way

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    Quote Originally Posted by ashlesha View Post
    I think the God I'm trying to develop a relationship with, in his compassion, will understand that I can't buy into the trinity or the importance of jesus because a large handful of people have shaken their fingers and stressed it's importance, for the same reason I can't join a political organization just because it's supporters look at me disapprovingly or buy something from an infomercial because the host says I need it. Maybe with enough time, openness and prayer, and exposure, I'll get to that point.
    It's great that you're thinking about it and asking questions
    He always finds a way

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    Quote Originally Posted by mclane View Post
    The image you posted is very good, but your writing is a bit nonsensical.
    Some people with no opinion seem to be implicit theists, though I think the "babies are atheists" people don't think this is natural. I don't think babies have beliefs in order to lack beliefs. You might as well say plants are atheists (unless you're the rare person who thinks plants have beliefs.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Nye View Post
    It's great that you're thinking about it and asking questions
    It's ironic that you're using a living and very public atheist as your persona pushing very traditionally religious theism.

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    On a related note: Whatever physical, spiritual, or metaphorical place Hell is, there's a special place in it for people who aggressively and insincerely argue about religion on a regular basis.

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    There’s personal evidence of God in my life and that’s the only logic I need
    -
    Dual type (as per tcaudilllg)
    Enneagram 2w1sw(1w9) helps others to live up to their own standards of what a good person is and is very behind the scenes in the process.
    Tritype 1-2-6 stacking sp/sx


    I'm constantly looking to align the real with the ideal.I've been more oriented toward being overly idealistic by expecting the real to match the ideal. My thinking side is dominent. The result is that sometimes I can be overly impersonal or self-centered in my approach, not being understanding of others in the process and simply thinking "you should do this" or "everyone should follor this rule"..."regardless of how they feel or where they're coming from"which just isn't a good attitude to have. It is a way, though, to give oneself an artificial sense of self-justification. LSE

    Best description of functions:
    http://socionicsstudy.blogspot.com/2...functions.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beautiful sky View Post
    There’s personal evidence of God in my life and that’s the only logic I need
    While I'm not agreeing with this statement since I'm a fan of logic personally rather than postulating God (or no God, or gods, or any other religious or philosophical stances on deities) as an axiom from experience and calling it a day, I just personally like that this seems sincere after all the insincerity. I have respect for you, between this statement and calling out the other person for bitching way back when. I apologize for when I called you SEE to troll you, though I have no stake in psychological typology of any kind right now.

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    Why use logic to assess the likelihood that God exists? Why not use poetry or horoscopes or the works of Beethoven to do it? Do you know what logic is? It's a form of rhetoric--nothing more, nothing less. Oh, it's a convincing form of rhetoric, to be sure, more so to some people than to others. But a form of rhetoric it is. The proof of that lies in the fact that no amount of logic is by itself sufficient to demonstrate to me or anyone else that something is true. I can quite easily deny the most logically sound argument the privilege of altering my opinion, and I can believe something that positively clashes with every bit of reason in the world. What does it mean if something doesn't impress you as being true? It means it isn't true. That impression you have of a position's truthhood or lack thereof is the final and surest arbiter of whether a given position is in fact correct. Those who would use logic to persuade you to alter your opinion are engaging in intellectual bullying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by coeruleum View Post
    It's ironic that you're using a living and very public atheist as your persona pushing very traditionally religious theism.
    I'm pretty badass, I know
    He always finds a way

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    Quote Originally Posted by coeruleum View Post
    While I'm not agreeing with this statement since I'm a fan of logic personally rather than postulating God (or no God, or gods, or any other religious or philosophical stances on deities) as an axiom from experience and calling it a day, I just personally like that this seems sincere after all the insincerity. I have respect for you, between this statement and calling out the other person for bitching way back when. I apologize for when I called you SEE to troll you, though I have no stake in psychological typology of any kind right now.
    Who was being insincere?
    -
    Dual type (as per tcaudilllg)
    Enneagram 2w1sw(1w9) helps others to live up to their own standards of what a good person is and is very behind the scenes in the process.
    Tritype 1-2-6 stacking sp/sx


    I'm constantly looking to align the real with the ideal.I've been more oriented toward being overly idealistic by expecting the real to match the ideal. My thinking side is dominent. The result is that sometimes I can be overly impersonal or self-centered in my approach, not being understanding of others in the process and simply thinking "you should do this" or "everyone should follor this rule"..."regardless of how they feel or where they're coming from"which just isn't a good attitude to have. It is a way, though, to give oneself an artificial sense of self-justification. LSE

    Best description of functions:
    http://socionicsstudy.blogspot.com/2...functions.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Nye View Post
    Are you being serious right now?

    Here's an illustration of its importance:



    They are authentic and academically sound among expert historians.

    Are you implying they're not reliable?
    The account in Tacitus could merely be the account based on the testimony of Christians. We just do not know the source of his information. The rationalwiki article on Tacitus makes the point that Josephus and Pliny the Elder were actually alive in Rome during the fire of 64 AD that was supposedly blamed on Christians by Nero - but in their histories, never mentioned this. Tactius' history dates to 109 AD.

    It also makes the point that a pagan historian is unlikely to have referred to Jesus as Christ, being a title of praise. Thus it is likely that the passage is a forgery (as the famous passage in Josephus is) or merely Tactitus relaying what he was told by followers of Jesus.

    https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Tacitus

    An excerpt from a 1908 work by Even Remsburg quoted on that page which makes further good points that show that passage said to be by Tactitus to be dubious:

    This passage, accepted as authentic by many, must be declared doubtful, if not spurious, for the following reasons:

    It is not quoted by the Christian fathers.
    Tertullian was familiar with the writings of Tacitus, and his arguments demanded the citation of this evidence had it existed.
    Clement of Alexandria, at the beginning of the third century, made a compilation of all the recognitions of Christ and Christianity that had been made by Pagan writers up to his time. The writings of Tacitus furnished no recognition of them.
    Origen, in his controversy with Celsus, would undoubtedly have used it had it existed.
    The ecclesiastical historian Eusebius, in the fourth century, cites all the evidences of Christianity obtainable from Jewish and Pagan sources, but makes no mention of Tacitus.
    It is not quoted by any Christian writer prior to the fifteenth century.
    At this time but one copy of the Annals existed and this copy, it is claimed, was made in the eighth century -- 600 years after the time of Tacitus.
    As this single copy was in the possession of a Christian the insertion of a forgery was easy.
    Its severe criticisms of Christianity do not necessarily disprove its Christian origin. No ancient witness was more desirable than Tacitus, but his introduction at so late a period would make rejection certain unless Christian forgery could be made to appear improbable.
    It is admitted by Christian writers that the works of Tacitus have not been preserved with any considerable degree of fidelity. In the writings ascribed to him are believed to be some of the writings of Quintilian.
    The blood-curdling story about the frightful orgies of Nero reads like some Christian romance of the dark ages, and not like Tacitus.
    In fact, this story, in nearly the same words, omitting the reference to Christ, is to be found in the writings of Sulpicius Severus, a Christian of the fifth century.
    Suetonius, while mercilessly condemning the reign of Nero, says that in his public entertainments he took particular care that no human lives should be sacrificed, "not even those of condemned criminals."
    At the time that the conflagration occurred, Tacitus himself declares that Nero was not in Rome, but at Antium.

    Many who accept the authenticity of this section of the "Annals" believe that the sentence which declares that Christ was punished in the reign of Pontius Pilate, and which I have italicized, is an interpolation.
    I do not know what you mean by "expert historians", but I know full well from critical analysis of the early Christian texts by people like Carrier that the vast majority of those who have an opinion on the historicity of Jesus professionally tend to be theologians and/or paid by Christian colleges.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Nye View Post
    You're in denial.

    The overwhelming body of scholars, in New Testament, Christian Origins, Ancient History, Ancient Judaism, Roman-era Religion, Archaeology/History of Roman Judea, and a good many related fields as well, hold that there was:

    --A first-century Jewish man known as Jesus of Nazareth
    --That he engaged in an itinerant preaching/prophetic activity in Galilee
    --That he drew to himself a band of close followers, and
    --That he was executed by the Roman governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate.

    These same scholars typically recognize also that very quickly after Jesus’ execution there arose among Jesus’ followers:

    --The strong conviction that God (the Jewish deity) had raised Jesus from death (based on claims that some of them had seen the risen Jesus).
    --These followers also claimed that God had exalted Jesus to heavenly glory as the validated Messiah, the unique “Son of God,” and “Lord” to whom all creation was now to give obeisance.

    Whatever they make of these claims, scholars tend to grant that they were made, and were the basis for pretty much all else that followed in the origins of what became Christianity.

    The “mythical Jesus” view doesn’t have any traction among the overwhelming number of scholars working in these fields, whether they be declared Christians, Jewish, atheists, or undeclared as to their personal stance. Advocates of the “mythical Jesus” may dismiss this statement, but it ought to count for something if, after some 250 years of critical investigation of the historical figure of Jesus and of Christian Origins, and the due consideration of “mythical Jesus” claims over the last century or more, this spectrum of scholars have judged them unpersuasive (to put it mildly).
    Two of the most important events in the life of Jesus according to theologians was his birth and death.

    Can you tell me with any level of confidence which years these events occurred?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Nye View Post
    --Isis? She began as a local Egyptian deity and her cult grew in popularity and distribution across the Roman world in the first century or so AD, but she never came to be treated as a historical woman. How about her Egyptian consort,
    --Osiris? Again, a deity who remained . . . a deity, and didn’t get “historicized” as a man of a given date.
    --Mithras? Ditto.
    --Cybele? Ditto.
    --Artemis? Ditto.

    We could go on, but it would get tedious to do so.
    You show a post-enlightenment Christian bias in your post. At the time of Jesus, it was very much still the age when Egyptian pharaohs and Roman emperors were the living embodiment of gods. In India still, millions believe that Rama appears in many different avatars throughout the millenia. In Buddhism, it is believed that living forms live many lives one after the other until they reach enlightenment. Millions believe in the continual reincarnations of the Dalai Lama. There are also many mythological figures in history who may or may not have existed, for example Rama, Abraham, Zoroaster, Solomon, Laozi, Buddha, Boudica, Saint George, Hengist, King Arthur, Robin Hood, and William Shakespeare.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Nye View Post
    And of course, Paul's letters:

    1. Paul never refers to Jesus as an angel or archangel. Indeed, a text such as Romans 8:38-39 seems to make a sharp distinction between angelic powers and the exalted Kyrios Jesus. Moreover, although Paul shares the early Christian notion that the historical figure, Jesus had a heavenly back-story or divine “pre-existence” (e.g., Philippians 2:6-8), this in no way worked against Paul’s view of Jesus as also a real, historical human being.

    2. There is abundant confirmation that for Paul Jesus real historical existence was even crucial. Perhaps the most obvious text to cite is 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, where Paul recites a tradition handed to him and then handed by him to the Corinthians, that recounts Jesus’ death (v. 3), his burial (v. 4), and then also his resurrection and appearances to several named people and a host of unnamed people. Now, whenever one makes of the references to Jesus’ resurrection and post-resurrection appearances, it’s clear that a death and burial requires a mortal person. It would be simply special pleading to try to convert the reference to Jesus’ death and burial into some sort of event in the heavens or such.

    3. Indeed, Paul repeatedly refers, not simply to Jesus’ death, but specifically to his crucifixion, which in Paul’s time was a particular form of execution conducted by Roman authorities against particular types of individuals found guilty of particular crimes. Crucifixion requires a historical figure, executed by historical authorities. Jesus’ historical death by crucifixion was crucial and central to Paul’s religious life and thought. To cite one text from many, “We preach Christ crucified” (1 Cor. 1:23).

    4. Consider Paul’s explicit reference to Jesus as “born of a woman, born under the Law” (Galatians 4:4). Paul here clearly declares Jesus to have been born, as mortals are, from a mother, and, further, born of a Jewish mother “under the Law.” Birth from a mother, and death and burial—surely the two clearest indicators of mortal existence! Moreover, Paul considered Jesus to be specifically of Davidic descent (Romans 1:3), and likewise knew that Jesus’ activities were directed to his own Jewish people (Romans 15:8).

    5. Paul refers to Jesus’ physical brothers (1 Corinthians 9:5) and to Jesus’ brother James in particular (Galatians 1:19). Contrary to mythicist advocates, the expression “brothers of the Lord” is never used for Jesus-followers in general, but in each case rather clearly designates a specific subset of individuals identified by their family relationship to Jesus. Note particularly that in Paul’s uses, the expression “brothers of the Lord” distinguishes these individuals from other apostles and leading figures. The mythicist claim about the expression is a rather desperate stratagem.

    6. Paul knows of a body of teachings ascribed to Jesus, and uses them on several occasions, as in 1 Corinthians 7:10-11, where he both invokes a specific teaching discouraging divorce, and also acknowledges that he has no saying of Jesus at other points and so has to give his own advice (e.g., 7:12). Rather clearly, the source of the sayings of Jesus was not some ready-to-hand revelation that could be generated, but instead a body of tradition that Paul had inherited. Certainly, Paul refers to his many visions and revelations (2 Corinthians 12:1), and even recounts one at length (vv. 2-10). But he also refers to a finite body of teachings of “the Lord” that derived from the earthly Jesus and were passed to him.

    etc etc etc........ could go on and on and on

    It would be tedious to prolong the matter.

    Again, in Paul’s undisputed letters, written decades earlier than the Gospels we have clear evidence that the “Jesus” referred to is a historical figure who:

    1,. Lived among fellow Jews in Roman Judea/Palestine, and was
    2. Crucified by the Roman authority.


    And to summarize,

    There is no shift from a purely “celestial being” in Paul’s letters to a fictionalized historical figure in the Gospels. For both Paul and the Gospels, Jesus is both a historical figure and (now) the “celestial” figure exalted to God’s “right hand” in heaven. Whatever you make of him, the Jesus in all these texts is never less than a historical mortal (although in the light of the experiences of the risen Jesus he became much more).
    There is no law which says that fiction cannot have historically relevant details. Indeed, if a historical fiction did not do so, it would be regarded as terrible. As it is, the gospels are said by many Christians to be fact but have details in that can only be fiction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Nye View Post
    And of course, Paul's letters:

    1. Paul never refers to Jesus as an angel or archangel. Indeed, a text such as Romans 8:38-39 seems to make a sharp distinction between angelic powers and the exalted Kyrios Jesus. Moreover, although Paul shares the early Christian notion that the historical figure, Jesus had a heavenly back-story or divine “pre-existence” (e.g., Philippians 2:6-8), this in no way worked against Paul’s view of Jesus as also a real, historical human being.

    2. There is abundant confirmation that for Paul Jesus real historical existence was even crucial. Perhaps the most obvious text to cite is 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, where Paul recites a tradition handed to him and then handed by him to the Corinthians, that recounts Jesus’ death (v. 3), his burial (v. 4), and then also his resurrection and appearances to several named people and a host of unnamed people. Now, whenever one makes of the references to Jesus’ resurrection and post-resurrection appearances, it’s clear that a death and burial requires a mortal person. It would be simply special pleading to try to convert the reference to Jesus’ death and burial into some sort of event in the heavens or such.

    3. Indeed, Paul repeatedly refers, not simply to Jesus’ death, but specifically to his crucifixion, which in Paul’s time was a particular form of execution conducted by Roman authorities against particular types of individuals found guilty of particular crimes. Crucifixion requires a historical figure, executed by historical authorities. Jesus’ historical death by crucifixion was crucial and central to Paul’s religious life and thought. To cite one text from many, “We preach Christ crucified” (1 Cor. 1:23).

    4. Consider Paul’s explicit reference to Jesus as “born of a woman, born under the Law” (Galatians 4:4). Paul here clearly declares Jesus to have been born, as mortals are, from a mother, and, further, born of a Jewish mother “under the Law.” Birth from a mother, and death and burial—surely the two clearest indicators of mortal existence! Moreover, Paul considered Jesus to be specifically of Davidic descent (Romans 1:3), and likewise knew that Jesus’ activities were directed to his own Jewish people (Romans 15:8).

    5. Paul refers to Jesus’ physical brothers (1 Corinthians 9:5) and to Jesus’ brother James in particular (Galatians 1:19). Contrary to mythicist advocates, the expression “brothers of the Lord” is never used for Jesus-followers in general, but in each case rather clearly designates a specific subset of individuals identified by their family relationship to Jesus. Note particularly that in Paul’s uses, the expression “brothers of the Lord” distinguishes these individuals from other apostles and leading figures. The mythicist claim about the expression is a rather desperate stratagem.

    6. Paul knows of a body of teachings ascribed to Jesus, and uses them on several occasions, as in 1 Corinthians 7:10-11, where he both invokes a specific teaching discouraging divorce, and also acknowledges that he has no saying of Jesus at other points and so has to give his own advice (e.g., 7:12). Rather clearly, the source of the sayings of Jesus was not some ready-to-hand revelation that could be generated, but instead a body of tradition that Paul had inherited. Certainly, Paul refers to his many visions and revelations (2 Corinthians 12:1), and even recounts one at length (vv. 2-10). But he also refers to a finite body of teachings of “the Lord” that derived from the earthly Jesus and were passed to him.

    etc etc etc........ could go on and on and on

    It would be tedious to prolong the matter.

    Again, in Paul’s undisputed letters, written decades earlier than the Gospels we have clear evidence that the “Jesus” referred to is a historical figure who:

    1,. Lived among fellow Jews in Roman Judea/Palestine, and was
    2. Crucified by the Roman authority.


    And to summarize,

    There is no shift from a purely “celestial being” in Paul’s letters to a fictionalized historical figure in the Gospels. For both Paul and the Gospels, Jesus is both a historical figure and (now) the “celestial” figure exalted to God’s “right hand” in heaven. Whatever you make of him, the Jesus in all these texts is never less than a historical mortal (although in the light of the experiences of the risen Jesus he became much more).
    In 1 Corinthians 11:23, the author makes it clear that their account of Jesus' life and sayings was received to him from Jesus, including events where Jesus was the only witness: even though the author had supposedly not heard of Jesus until after his death. It can hardly be considered a reliable account of a supposedly historical figure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Subteigh View Post
    The account in Tacitus could merely be the account based on the testimony of Christians. We just do not know the source of his information. The rationalwiki article on Tacitus makes the point that Josephus and Pliny the Elder were actually alive in Rome during the fire of 64 AD that was supposedly blamed on Christians by Nero - but in their histories, never mentioned this. Tactius' history dates to 109 AD.

    It also makes the point that a pagan historian is unlikely to have referred to Jesus as Christ, being a title of praise. Thus it is likely that the passage is a forgery (as the famous passage in Josephus is) or merely Tactitus relaying what he was told by followers of Jesus.
    LOL
    @Subteigh

    No offense, but I can't take this debate seriously anymore

    You're being intellectually dishonest and turning this into a "OH YEAH??? BUT WHAT ABOUT THIS" game
    He always finds a way

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Nye View Post
    LOL
    @Subteigh

    No offense, but I can't take this debate seriously anymore

    You're being intellectually dishonest and turning this into a "OH YEAH??? BUT WHAT ABOUT THIS" game
    If you can't stand the game then don't enter it.
    "The society that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools." ―Thucydides



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    Quote Originally Posted by Remiel View Post
    If you can't stand the game then don't enter it.
    Like those rigged carnival games?

    If I'm citing one of the greatest Roman historians, and you're denying that and citing bums like John Remsburg in response,

    Like ya,

    Fuck that shit I'm done lol, I just can't continue, this is a joke

    Might as well quote Lord Voldemort or Dr. Evil from Austin Powers
    Last edited by onfireee; 11-01-2019 at 09:56 PM.
    He always finds a way

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Nye View Post
    Fuck that shit I'm done lol
    Bill, bye.
    "The society that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools." ―Thucydides



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    Quote Originally Posted by Subteigh View Post
    You show a post-enlightenment Christian bias in your post. At the time of Jesus, it was very much still the age when Egyptian pharaohs and Roman emperors were the living embodiment of gods. In India still, millions believe that Rama appears in many different avatars throughout the millenia. In Buddhism, it is believed that living forms live many lives one after the other until they reach enlightenment. Millions believe in the continual reincarnations of the Dalai Lama. There are also many mythological figures in history who may or may not have existed, for example Rama, Abraham, Zoroaster, Solomon, Laozi, Buddha, Boudica, Saint George, Hengist, King Arthur, Robin Hood, and William Shakespeare.
    I thought we already knew Buddha, Boudica, and William Shakespeare existed, while King Arthur and Robin Hood are definitely fictional. The rest of this is sensible.

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    Landlord of the Dog and Duck Subteigh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Nye View Post
    LOL
    @Subteigh

    No offense, but I can't take this debate seriously anymore

    You're being intellectually dishonest and turning this into a "OH YEAH??? BUT WHAT ABOUT THIS" game
    Again, I don't doubt that a Jesus who came to be followed by Christians could have existed. I only doubt the strength of the evidence. I'm not aware of any contemporary historical references to Jesus, and the New Testament is a hagiography that was written long after the time Jesus was said to have lived. The Tacitus account is likely a forgery, for the reasons I quoted above. The early Christians feeling need to place forgeries into the works of Tacitus and Josephus is highly indicative that the earliest histories had nothing to say about the life of "Jesus".

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    If something is widely agreed upon, has consequences, and has no reason to be put in dispute, it's probably true. The world is a globe, for example. Shakespeare existed and while there's a tiny chance he didn't write all his plays, the worst possible is someone else used him as a front to pitch their plays, which in light of his sonnets being recited by him in court seems impossible. Boudica is documented by Roman historians and her grave has been found. Are you really casting established history into doubt, Subteigh? Historical Jesus is much more contentious but he too was documented and seems to have said over half of what's attributed to him, though of course the many Christian sects have to mostly be wrong about him by default, and the Bible seems to be the work of Constantine.

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    Atheists believe that the the Universe exists because it exists and pass off this circular reasoning as being rational/logical while I as a Theist ( I can’t speak for all Theist or for deists) think it is foolishness and that they believe they are gambling with their life to not personally figure search out if they is a God.

    I think instead of cherry picking history of a particular belief when both sides have no way of proving anything to one another, we should be tackling paradoxes that atheists think would arise if there was a God. I think this is a more productive conversation to have.
    Last edited by Investigator; 11-01-2019 at 10:48 PM.

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    The earliest reference to the idea and phrase of the Bible is half a century after Constantine's conversion, which itself was about three centuries after his death. Jesus just seems like another mystic with very valuable things to say but not who churches usually say he was.

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