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Old 02-19-2001, 01:22 PM   #21
Bede
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Oh do grow up, SingleDad. If you are going to take everything as a personal attack on your integrity then I really can't be bothered.

Anyway, you said "It is entirely possible that the gospel writers considered, (as do some modern advocates) that the truth of their faith justified some (shall we say) "interpretation" of the facts. It's also possible that they were intentionally outright frauds." which as far as I'm concerned is making the point that they were liars. Yes, you say 'could have' or 'might have' but you are, I believe, indulging in a bit of well poisoning yourself. Suggesting they were outright frauds without a shred of evidence is saying you think they are liars.

If a lawyer says "Might I suggest that you are lying and you did in fact murder your husband and hide the evidence" he means "You killed him, didn't you, and then tried to cover it up." I interpreted your lying point the same way.

Yours not really interested in speaking to you until you start to behave like a grown up.

Bede

Bede's Library - faith and reason
 
Old 02-19-2001, 02:11 PM   #22
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Bede:

Anyway, you said "It is entirely possible that the gospel writers considered, (as do some modern advocates) that the truth of their faith justified some (shall we say) "interpretation" of the facts. It's also possible that they were intentionally outright frauds." which as far as I'm concerned is making the point that they were liars. {snipped} Suggesting they were outright frauds without a shred of evidence is saying you think they are liars.

Bede


MacDonald has pretty much demonstrated that Mark's stories are fictional, which means that since Mt, Lk and Jn borrowed them, it means that they are all fictional. As in deliberately made up, like Frodo, Kosh, or Styphon. The smoking gun is in MacDonald's book. So quit asking for "evidence," unless by the request you mean you want us to buy you the book. Get it off the Interlibrary loan and read.

As for lies and forgery in Christianity, a list of that would fill a whole book, like, say, _Forgery in Christianity_ by Wheless. And it goes on today. Isn't "god" in Genesis 1:1 plural in the Hebrew original?

Michael
 
Old 02-19-2001, 03:00 PM   #23
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As to fictional stuff, consider the numerous bogus relics of saints. And the lives of some of the saints. Here are two of the more spectacular cases: the life of a certain St. Catherine looks like a ripoff of the life of Hypatia (!), and the life of a certain St. Josaphat is a clear ripoff of the life of the Buddha as told by his followers.

Both Hypatia and St. Catherine were learned and scholarly women who had died rather horrible deaths.

Both the Buddha and St. Josaphat were prophesied to become religious teachers, and both of them had fathers who tried to keep that from happening by pampering them.

If Sts. Catherine and Josaphat are pure plagiarism, then why can't the Gospels be at least partially fictional?

As to Bede and Nomad getting indignant about the story of JC being considered fictional, I wonder if they are willing to consider all the other religious stories they consider fictional. I doubt that they are worshippers of the deities of Mt. Olympus or the deities of Valhalla, and I doubt that they believe that the Koran has existed eternally in Heaven.

And turtonm is right about "God" being plural in Genesis 1:1; the word is "elohim". This name for God is used in the entire 6-day creation story, but the Adam-and-Eve story revers to "YHWH Elohim", usually translated "The Lord God". This is evidence that the earliest books in the Bible had been stitched together from some other documents, with the textual seams still being apparent.
 
Old 02-19-2001, 03:31 PM   #24
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Anyway, you said "It is entirely possible that the gospel writers considered, (as do some modern advocates) that the truth of their faith justified some (shall we say) "interpretation" of the facts. It's also possible that they were intentionally outright frauds." which as far as I'm concerned is making the point that they were liars. </font>
This is what I'm talking about: Anything questioning your conconclusions is construed as an attack. I'm just refuting yours and Nomad's argument that without absolute proof to the contrary, the gospels should be considered accurate. I'm saying there's no justification for that presumption, the possibility exists that they did lie.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">If a lawyer says "Might I suggest that you are lying and you did in fact murder your husband and hide the evidence" he means "You killed him, didn't you, and then tried to cover it up." I interpreted your lying point the same way.</font>
This is a fallacy of the uncharitable interpretation.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Yours not really interested in speaking to you until you start to behave like a grown up.</font>
Whatever
 
Old 02-19-2001, 03:52 PM   #25
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by lpetrich:
And turtonm is right about "God" being plural in Genesis 1:1; the word is "elohim". This name for God is used in the entire 6-day creation story, but the Adam-and-Eve story revers to "YHWH Elohim", usually translated "The Lord God". This is evidence that the earliest books in the Bible had been stitched together from some other documents, with the textual seams still being apparent.</font>
You beat me there! I didn't even *think* of that interpretation! All I meant was that it is invariably and knowingly translated as "god" instead of "gods" in all the major bible translations. In other words, it is a knowing, and known falsehood, but it still goes on.

M

 
Old 02-19-2001, 09:18 PM   #26
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by turtonm:

MacDonald has pretty much demonstrated that Mark's stories are fictional,</font>
Good lord man, where do you get this stuff?

Relax a bit and let us discuss your claims before you make such sweeping claims Michael. And before you get too excited about MacDonald "proving" anything, perhaps you would like to consult with your fellow sceptics.

From Richard Carrier's review of MacDonald's book:

"Although MacDonald's book could be used to contribute to a
mythicist's case, everything this book proves about Mark is still
compatible with there having been a real man, a teacher, even a real
'miracle worker' in a subjective sense, or a real event that inspired
belief in some kind of resurrection, and so on, which was then
suitably dressed up in allegory and symbol."


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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> which means that since Mt, Lk and Jn borrowed them,</font>
Hold on please. John BORROWED from Mark???

Demonstrate this for me please.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">it means that they are all fictional. As in deliberately made up, like Frodo, Kosh, or Styphon. The smoking gun is in MacDonald's book.</font>
I can see the thread on MacDonald is going to be a hoot. Your mind is made up,t he case is closed, we can all go home.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> So quit asking for "evidence," unless by the request you mean you want us to buy you the book. Get it off the Interlibrary loan and read.</font>
Just hold onto your horses Michael. We will talk about MacDonald, but if this is any indication of what passes for open mindedness from you, it ought to be fun.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">As for lies and forgery in Christianity, a list of that would fill a whole book, like, say, _Forgery in Christianity_ by Wheless. And it goes on today. Isn't "god" in Genesis 1:1 plural in the Hebrew original?</font>
Take that to the discussion boards at www.jewsforjudaism.com and they will hand you your head on a platter. Ask John the Atheist about that from The Big Question.

Nomad

P.S. And as for SD, well, I think it is time to let him relax and gather his wits again. Something is eating at him bigtime, and I can't for the life of me figure it out.

It's only a discussion board SingleDad. Relax a little. No sense wrecking your health over this.


[This message has been edited by Nomad (edited February 19, 2001).]
 
Old 02-19-2001, 10:05 PM   #27
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Nomad:

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">And as for SD, well, I think it is time to let him relax and gather his wits again. Something is eating at him bigtime, and I can't for the life of me figure it out.</font>
Figures... you can't refute my points so you have to attack me personally. Maybe what's "eating me" is that every time I talk to you you misrepresent my statements and attack me personally, and then you act smug and superior when I'm outraged at your ill treatment. I really don't think you have any sort of self-awareness of your arrogance, self-righteousness and smug condescension of everyone who dares to disagree with you.

I've had my say. I don't want this to turn into an endless exchange of insults, so if you want to have the last word, you can say what you will without further reply from me.

[This message has been edited by SingleDad (edited February 19, 2001).]
 
Old 02-19-2001, 11:32 PM   #28
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by SingleDad:

Figures... you can't refute my points so you have to attack me personally. Maybe what's "eating me" is that every time I talk to you you misrepresent my statements and attack me personally, and then you act smug and superior when I'm outraged at your ill treatment. I really don't think you have any sort of self-awareness of your arrogance, self-righteousness and smug condescension of everyone who dares to disagree with you.

I've had my say. I don't want this to turn into an endless exchange of insults, so if you want to have the last word, you can say what you will without further reply from me.
</font>
You know, I was trying to give you the benefit of the doubt SD, but I am left to wonder about you. Is this how you actually see those of us who disagree with you? Your arguments are astonishingly vacuous, and I would have expected you to see this by now. Since you don't, and once again do not wish to address these issues seriously, I will go through them one more time, and show you why your behaviour is so outrageous. Perhaps this time you will actually get it.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by SingleDad:

Bede and Nomad, welcome to the "any woman who doesn't sleep with me is a lesbian" school of argument.</font>
This is not an ad hominem right?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Bede and Nomad prove that their best refutation is an unsupported fallacy of uncharitable interpretation to make an ad hominem attack. Truly they display the extent of their intellectual integrity.</font>
And this?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Bede: I was disappointed that you feel proof of Jesus' existence is difficult. A trained historian should not think this unless they caught the post structuralist bug real bad.

SingleDad: Lots of things are difficult. That's not a post-structuralist position. Yet another example of poisoning the well.</font>
Umm... and this is a reply to Bede's point how exactly?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Bede: As for Singledad's point that the evangelists were all lying to spread their faith, if they had to lie they didn't have a faith.

SingleDad: Bede, you're a liar. Show me where I said that.</font>
You said exactly this SingleDad, and all you have to do is read your own posts. Don't play the martyr here, and I would have thought you would be more careful in your accusations of lying after your last experience.

From your post of Feb. 16, 8:27PM:

This is Layman's central fallacy. The time between the alleged event and the actual writing of the event is correlated only to the number of unintentional errors. The time difference is completely irrelevant for intentional exaggeration, mythologizing, wishful thinking, and bald-faced lying.


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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Bede: As a sceptic, he should realise that the whole Jesus movement appearing out of nothing all over the Empire with a fully formed mythology within fifty years is far less likely than there being a real Jesus who inspired people by his teaching and deeds to go out and spread the word.

Out of nothing?</font>
An argument here?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Bullshit.</font>
I guess not.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Fully formed?</font>
Another argument?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Bullshit.</font>
Nope again.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Real Jesus who inspired people by his teaching? Entirely plausible, big deal.</font>
Huh? Even if it is plausible you reject it out of hand?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> We're not talking about the possible existence of some smart guy who said worthwhile things. We're talking about Jesus Christ, one aspect of the God of all Creation, who could perform miracles.</font>
Wrong SingleDad. We are talking about the existence of Jesus of Nazareth. If you cannot see that, and keep wanting to move the discussion to Jesus Christ, that is your problem. The question is DID JESUS OF NAZARETH EXIST AS A HUMAN BEING C. 30AD?

Very simple really. Now stop being so dense, and also stop with the baseless attacks.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Nomad:

In response to anyone that says they will not believe that Jesus existed because of theological or legendary claims made about him, all I can say is that you have probably removed the possibility of demonstrating to your satisfaction that virtually any person of historical note ever existed at all.[/b]

False analogy.</font>
No, I was addressing the point made by P_Brian_Bateman from his post of Feb. 15, 7:47PM in which he said:

"I think you were trying to get at the fact that there is a lot uncertainty in many historical figures (if not all), and yet we still believe in them. Well, I have stated this many times before: if I was told that I HAD to believe in a certain historical figure (say George Washington) or else I was going to hell, then you bet your ass that I would be more likely to explain my agnosticism towards a belief if he really DID exist. Why? Because when you start telling people that you HAVE to believe with absolute certainity that someone REALLY did exist, then many of us who realize the falliblitiy of historical evidence will automatically turn to our skepticism. As it is right now, no one is telling me that I HAVE to believe with absolute certainity taht George Washington existed and THAT is the reason why i am not on this board right now trying to show why the historical evidence for George Washington is fallible. This is an important point, nomad, and I hope you can understand what it is that im trying to get across."

This kind of reasoning is simply daft. I am not asking anyone to believe anything about Jesus except that he existed as a human being. Theological claims about him make no difference whatsoever to this point. If he existed, then why not just admit it?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> We are not asked to believe the theological or legendary claims of most historical personages. That Tutannkamen was considered a god doesn't mean he didn't exist, but his existence doesn't mean he's really a god. </font>
Which proves my point exactly. If you can believe in Tutannkamen, then why not Jesus of Nazareth? Be consistent, and stop being such a smartass.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Nomad: Hmm... back to the theory that the Gospel writers and Apostles were all liars, eh?

Liar. I did not say that the authors of the bible were fraudulent, I say it's a possibility they exaggerated, were deluded, writing fiction, or simply mendacious.</font>
Refer to your quote again above. You said that they could be frauds. Period. The word mendacious never came up, although I do recall you saying the word liars.

Perhaps you just need to get a firmer grip on yourself before you start hurling baseless assertions about the truthfulness of others. That would certainly spare you a lot of backtracking and embarrassment later on.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Those possibilities apply to any writing.</font>
Then be consistent, and say so. Tell us you don't believe any of history you cannot personally verify with near certainty. You have said yourself that you do not care about historical questions. Yet you through around the evidence like it is irrelevant to the discussion.

We are examining the historicity of one man, Jesus of Nazareth. Put up or shut up SingleDad.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">My point is that the time difference between the actual writing and the alleged event is irrelevant to these very real possibilities. If I write a fictional story about an event that occurred yesterday, it's still entirely fictitious.</font>
And if you wrote a true story, it is still a true story. Stop with the non-sequitors as well please.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Nomad: The case you would have to make here is for one of the grandest, most well co-ordinated, and successful hoaxes of all times. And while paranoid conspiracy theories can be fun, they usually end up in a great deal of trouble very quickly. They also have a tendency to make their advocates look like total loons.

SingleDad: That's total bullshit and completely intellectually dishonest.</font>
My, how you do know how to present your case SingleDad. What do you have to back it up?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> You act like there's mountains of primary physical and testimonial evidence to support your position, and only willful ignorance and bizarre hypotheses can find the smallest grain of doubt.</font>
Translation, NADA and non-sequitors.

The historical claims of the Gospel accounts even natural events, places and people are open to scrutiny. What evidence do you have that they made it all up? If you have nothing, then just say so, and then shut up. It will save you a lot of embarrassment.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">All you have is four contradictory gospels of unknown origin, a few ambiguous references from a subsequent century and your own arrogant credulity.</font>
LOL! Can you back any of this up?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Christianity is a very poorly coordinated hoax, depending entirely on the credulity of the masses and the intellectual dishonesty of the priesthood.</font>
Good thing we have people as smart as you around to point that out eh SD? You are pathetic. Tell me that you actually believe every single Christian that has ever lived, as well as the priests themselves, are guilty of what you have just charged us with here. Then prove it.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">To assert that a work appears to be a fictional fantasy is not a "charge". You have presented me with what seems to be a work of fiction. The burden of proof is upon you, especially when you allow that factual accuracy was not an important motivation in its authorship.</font>
You have called the authors of the Gospels and Epistles liars. Prove your charge.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Nomad: Faith is not built on known lies. You should know better than this SD.

SingleDad: There is a wide range of variability between absolute truth and known lies. You should know better than this, Nomad.</font>
Answer my questions and address my points, and we can skip your evasions.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Nomad: Gotta love those big words. Makes it sound important. On the other hand, maybe what you just said is a bunch of crap.

SingleDad: Since you started it...</font>
Go back through the posts SD, I think you will see who started it. And as for an appropriate response...

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Maybe you're just a contemptuous, arrogant, credulous mentally deficient asshole who wouldn't know a fairy story from a textbook and who can't understand, much less refute, an argument using a polysyllabic vocabulary. </font>
I'd say your arrogance, crudeness and rudeness is pretty telling. Not that you would notice mind you.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Nomad: Look, truth and legends can be mixed into a document. Even bold faced lies could be included. But disproving one part of a story does not invalidate the entire claim.

SingleDad: This is what I'm saying. And the converse is true as well: Proving a part of a document does not constitute a proof of the whole.</font>
If this is not what you are saying, what ARE you saying?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Nomad: We must evaluate each claim and the evidence supporting it on its own merits. Multiple attestation, coupled with early witnesses as sources makes the story more likely to be true. Yelling "LIAR" at the source doesn't really do much to help the investigation however, unless you can actually prove that the person is actually lying.

SingleDad: You don't have multiple attestation or early witnesses.</font>
Of course we do SD. That is why we assign different authors to the various books of the New Testament. If you believe it was all done by one person, show us your evidence.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> You have a document that claims multiple attestation and early witnesses. Produce the witnesses.</font>
Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Peter, James, Jude, Mary, Mary Magdalene, Jairus, Simon of Cyrene, Andrew, Philip, ect.

Of course, they are all dead, but if you only believe living witnesses, then toss out your belief in any historical figure that has been dead more than a hundred years.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> The only way you can presume that 500 people saw X is if those 500 people tell you themselves.</font>
Really? Is this how you treat all historical claims? Or only those in the Bible?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Otherwise you have to conclude that they really did see something -- You have to rule out the alternatives. All I'm arguing against is your presumption of accuracy. </font>
I have made no presumptions. I have argued that the witnesses offer a more reasonable explanation that Jesus really lived than that he is a fictional creation. You have offered us squat thus far, and I don't even know what your real complaint is yet.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">You cannot simply assert the factual accuracy of your meager sources and demand that I offer conclusive disproof.</font>
You have offered nothing thus far SD, and your method of argumentation is getting very tiresome. Perhaps it impresses the natives, but I somehow doubt that.

As for what I have asserted, I have not said that the claims of the Gospels are necessarily facts, although the crucifixion and burial of Jesus are as close to historically certain as we can get. I have offered proof of that on the Was Jesus worth burying thread. I have not seen you refute that argument yet. Care to try?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">You've conceded that even ordinary standards of presumed historical accuracy do not apply to the gospels, since they're not motivated by the desire to capture historical accuracy.</font>
Don't distort my words SD. You are being disengenous here, and I can only think that you are doing so on purpose.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> But your claim that we should thus relax our standards of proof is ludicrous; rather, we should tighten them.</font>
I have made no such requests. But I do think that hyperscepticism about the existence of Jesus is bizarre. Thus far I have not even seen you argue against the historicity of Jesus, so what is your problem exactly?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">(Originally posted by SingleDad to give context here)
SingleDad: It's really no big deal in my life if Jesus (a.k.a. Joshua, Yeshua, Joseph), Hannibal or Alexander the Great turns out to be a myth. I don't have a strong interest in history. However, empirical philosophy, skepticism, burden of proof, and examination of evidence are of strong interest to me; it is on this basis I participate.

Nomad: In the case of Jesus, you mean you don't care only so long as the claims made about him, and by him are not true I assume.

SingleDad: Standard theist bullshit. If I disagree with you, I must be biased.</font>
Reread what you said SD. You said It's really no big deal in my life if Jesus (a.k.a. Joshua, Yeshua, Joseph), Hannibal or Alexander the Great turns out to be a myth.

I noted that your cavalier attitude about the historicity of Jesus is reasonable only if the claims about him are false. This is a truism of course. And you missed it. Go figure.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Nomad: True. At the same time, the agnostic (or other sceptics) cannot reject evidence simply because they do not like what it says or tells them about a critical issue (like the existence of miracles, the supernatural and God for example).

SingleDad: Show me the evidence! I'm not rejecting anything except your bizarre and ludicrous assertion that I must accept the absolute accuracy of any piece of a document until it has been absolutely refuted.</font>
You missed it again SD. The ONLY thing I am asking you to accept is that Jesus of Nazareth lived and died on a cross. That's it. Can you do that much?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Bede: But this still leaves any reasonable historian compelled to admit the existance of a crucified Galilean preacher called Jesus.

Nomad: I did not ask about the miracles. I asked about Josephus' referal to Jesus the brother of James. Now, could you please answer my question without asking another question?

SingleDad: Fine.</font>
Then WHAT is your problem SD? Sheesh?

If your response here is serious, you certainly have gotten your nose out of joint over a whole lot of nothing. Give it a rest already, and cut back on the "LIAR" accusations. You are looking increasingly shrill and ridiculous.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> The historical existence of an ordinary (albeit wise) human being is a question best approached by professional historians. I have neither the expertise nor the interest to participate in such an investigation.</font>
And since all of them, almost to a man and woman accept that Jesus did exist, the case is closed on this question so far as you are concerned?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> I'm interested only in examining claims of the supernatural or miraculous. It irritates me, though, that theists disingeneously try to move directly from the existence of an ordinary person (Jesus/Joshua/Yeshua, whatever) to his divinity -- "If the gospels are correct about his existence, they must be correct about his divinity!"</font>
Cut the crap here SingleDad. None of us have made any such "move" on this thread. The question is simple and oft repeated. Did Jesus exist? If the answer is yes, or probably yes from your point of view, then that is all we care about. Period.

Nomad

[This message has been edited by Nomad (edited February 20, 2001).]
 
 

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