FRDB Archives

Freethought & Rationalism Archive

The archives are read only.

Go Back   FRDB Archives > Archives > Biblical Criticism - 2001
Welcome, Peter Kirby.
You last visited: Today at 05:55 AM

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 06-13-2001, 03:03 PM   #81
Posts: n/a

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

If i'm so ignorant than why is it that you had no konlwede of the Two excavations that linked t he CHS with the 4th century site upon Which Constaintine built his chruch over the tomb of Christ?

your definition of being ignorant is merely to disagree with you. you can't even apologize honestly without making it a disgussed insult. You turely have no honor.
One definition of a person with "no honor" might be someone who can't (or hasn't yet) apologized at all for their own transgressions and yet chastizes someone else for supposedly making a "poor" apology.

I suspect Richard's apology is for his overreaction in response to others. I don't suspect he is apologizing for his opinion regarding the scholarship or reasoning abilities of certain people.

Old 06-13-2001, 03:05 PM   #82
Posts: n/a

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by madmax2976:
One definition of a person with "no honor" might be someone who can't (or hasn't yet) apologized at all for their own transgressions and yet chastizes someone else for supposedly making a "poor" apology.

I suspect Richard's apology is for his overreaction in response to others. I don't suspect he is apologizing for his opinion regarding the scholarship or reasoning abilities of certain people.
How about the taunting of "certain people" because of their disability?
Old 06-13-2001, 03:14 PM   #83
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Pacific Northwest (US)
Posts: 527

Meta, your chutzpah is astounding! Just because Richard did not mention Corbo's archaeological survey in 1968 that does not mean he was unfamiliar with it. You just assume as such. The truth is probably that he can only address so many things and that wasn't one of them. As I understand it, (and please *politely* correct me if I'm wrong) the facts are that prior to Constantine the location of the empty tomb was preserved only by oral tradition. That tradtion may be reliable or it may not be but Richard's point is that you place way too much faith in the authority of that oral tradition. I think you want to say that archaeological studies have shed new light on the matter. Rather than continue the cycle of hurling insults why don't you briefly share with us the archaeological evidence? It would be far more constructive to do that than drag this thing through the mud even more.
James Still is offline  
Old 06-13-2001, 05:41 PM   #84
Regular Member
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: California, USA
Posts: 338

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Metacrock:
Richard, is this really inteneded to be an apology to me? for what exactly?</font>
You are responding to my words:

" not an idiot and it was wrong of me to call him one. I apologize sincerely for that behavior."

Now, which word didn't you understand?
Richard Carrier is offline  
Old 06-13-2001, 10:36 PM   #85
Posts: n/a

SWL: Actually I think I'll share it with you. It was solely a humorous jab at your extreme confidence in the correctness of your position.

Well this is good then. I like humorous stuff. As far as my confidence is concerned, I think confidence in a worldview is a good thing to have, if you have that worldview. Otherwise, why have that worldview at all?

In any case, you should realize that no matter how confident I am, I am able to modify my position as the evidence warrants. So far I haven't seen any reason to do so and I've been conversing with theists of one stripe or another for a while now. Maybe some day.

…That's great and all, but there's nothing "out of context" about me humorously observing that you ALREADY are acting like the facts and reasoning are on your side (implicitly referring to all of the bold/confident declarations in your post that they are). This is the very point of my statement - as if to say - "Despite your suggestions on how to act like X is true, YOU'RE ALREADY ACTING as if X is true." If I notice that you are acting as if you believe a certain thing, I can point to any behavior on your part that is indicative of that belief (especially when telling a joke). Are you going to tell me that IN that very post you are NOT acting as if the facts and reasoning and logic are on your side madmax?

I'm sitting here reading and re-reading this diatribe and wondering how anyone could possibly have so thoroughly warped the meaning of my post and done it innocently to boot.

I'll explain it one more time. By "acting like it" in the CONTEXT of what I was saying, this MEANS to NOT resort to name calling, mockery, or other insults. This was unequivocably the thrust of my post. Now if you take exception to my confidence that the facts and reasoning are on my side, EVEN THOUGH that was not the thrust of the post, then feel free to present any facts or reasoning for me to change my position. You do realize that I am an atheist don't you? You do agree that, as an atheist, it is reasonable to at least believe the reasoning and facts are on my side?

However if its just positive facts you want for why I'm an atheist and not a Christian, here are some: (Though this was NOT in any way the main thrust of my post)

- No deity has ever been proven to exist
- The Christian deity has never been proven to exist
- Jesus of Nazareth has not been proven to be the son of any deity
- The bible has not been prove to be the word of any deity

Of course any discussion of these things will be quite outside the scope of this thread and will take a very large amount of time - but oh well. You did ask.

SWL: And acting like it in the way I NOTICED - unsubstantiated confident assertions.

Oh dear me. How dare I not support my little post, where I encourage my fellow atheists to be calm and collected, with a number of volumunious essays on why I am an atheist. What was I thinking of?

madmax: Your "challenge" is totally out of context.

SWL: You are completely out of your mind if you think that. You claimed that facts and reasoning are on your side. Now I ask you to demonstrate that.There's nothing out of context about me challenging you to support your claims.

May I ask you if you feel the facts and reasoning are on your side for reasons that are too personal? You must don't care to share them with us in a new thread? You'd rather quibble all day about why I shouldn't be asking you to support your assertions?

&lt;sigh&gt; Think context SWL,, think context. But just to make you happy, and even though it diverts away from the point of my post, I've cited 4 major facts that support the atheist position. Sheesh, if your so interested in converting us misguided atheists into believing your deity exists I'd think you'd be camping out in the "Existence of Gods" forum. Just think of all the converts you could win.

madmax: It doesn't take a very careful reading to see this.
SWL: No, it doesn't at all. madmax writes:

the logic and the facts support our case much better than it does theirs.


The facts and the reasoning is on our side gentlemen

Now, DO YOU or DO YOU NOT believe that these above statements are true madmax? And if you DO, are you willing to, or able, demonstrate their truth or is there some personal reason why you wish to refrain from doing so?

What I wish is that people would learn to read more carefully before spouting off. What I wish is that some people wouldn't get all huffy just because someone states what they believe. I've had plenty of theists make statements of personal belief to me far stronger than what I posted. Give me a break.

Its quite simple. You made some claims. I'm asking you to support them. Can you or can't you?

Uh-huh. A complete diversion from the point of my post, but hey, you've been give 4 facts. Yeehah.

SWL: Well, I'm sure you're a great guy, madmax. But I'm mainly interested in your assertions, not your demeanor. If you feel that having a calm demeanor demonstrates the truth of your assertions, than I'll have to inform you that, at least in that assertion, the "reasoning" is not on your side.

Well isn't it amazing that we disagree. You're a theist and I'm not. Surprise.

……Which is a problem when it comes to historical claims. What am I to believe and how much am I to believe it?

SWL: That'll ultimately be something you have to decide for yourself.

Well cool. Based on what I've learned so far, my "decision" is a good one. But hey, who knows, after a few decades of study and research in what spare time I have, I might change my view on some things.

max: And likewise I have no need to be concerned with any claims you might make that I do not have sufficient knowledge with which to properly critique them.

SWL: Now, when you read a paper by Richard "the dyslexic-hater" Carrier, do you say to yourself "That's interesting, but I have no need to be concerned with any claims that he has made because I do not have sufficient knowledge with which to properly critique them."

Since I'm already an atheist that would be a rather strange thing to do. I'm also probably a lot more pessimistic towards what we can know of history than Mr. Carrier is. There's just too much subjectivity and tentativeness in the whole field for my taste.

max: I have listed the alternatives (see my post to Meta) and the only practical alternative for me is to remain agnostic towards many theistic claims. My reasoning is sound and thus my position is secure.

SWL: That doesn't entail that the facts and reasoning support atheism.

Oh but it certainly is a factor. At least as far as Christian theism is concerned, since it seems to rest a good deal of its support on what it thinks it can prove from history. In my opinion its kind of cheesy to rest so much on such a low standard of truth finding.

SWL: I'm referring to your case for 'atheism'. The one you were implying that you shared with the other
atheists in your post - the one that the facts support - NOT your personal "I ain't listenin' to no darn theists cuz I ain't yet ready to wrastle with arguments that challenge my worldview" stance.

Ah well, now ya done got mah ar'gmints dat s'port mah po'sishun. Just dem little 'ol things alla ya Chrischen's a been try'in to git evr'un in da wurld ta buhleeve fer nigh on 2000 yeers.

Would you say that its possible that your tendency to disregard the arguments of theists is a buffer-zone for your atheism? Do you think, in your journey as an atheist, that you'll tend more towards aheistic/skeptical literature that supports your own beliefs or theistic/conservative literature that challenges them? Just curious...

Well if I had such a "tendancy", anythings possible I suppose. As for my journey and what I read, I do the best I can with the limited time I have. I have a number of Christian/Theist books (Geisler, McDowell, Howe, Witherington, Glyn, Davies, Schroeder, Baxter) in my library having been a Christian for a while. For sure the vast majority of the newer stuff I do is surfing the web. I do frequent Glen Miller's site, cause he's a nice kinda Christian. We've even exchanged a couple writings. I also check in on J.P Holding from time to time. He's a total ass, but I visit his site anyway as my own version of a Klingon pain stick ritual.

SWL: First, Josephus refers to Jesus as a miracle worker. Secondly, where would we expect to find reports of Jesus' miracles? Amongst those traditions that were collected concerning his life. Where else would we expect to see Jesus' miracles reported and why?

Which miracles of Jesus does Josephus corroborate? Any specifics or just generalties from stories he'd heard? Why do you accept Josephus' word on anything? Certainly he wasn't a witness was he? Why do you even believe he actually said any such thing when you are aware of the scholarship that puts considerable doubt on the veracity of that passage? Do you consider this one, highly contested passage sufficient to overcome the dearth I spoke of?

As for where else we would "expect" to see Jesus' miracles reported - there may be many places. There may be only a few. &lt;shrug&gt; The extremely meager extra-biblical corroboration isn't my problem to explain. You can hand wave it away if you wish.

a detectable pattern of "legend-growing" as the writings of Paul, then Mark, then Mathew and Luke and then John are examined. (You may disagree with the dating implied here of course.)

SWL: Ok, there's one. Let's see support for this claim.

Its seems like most scholars agree with Markan priority. It seems most agree that Mathew and Luke used Mark as a source. Mark's gospel has much less of the legendary speech that appears in Matthew with earthquakes, world-wide darknessess and dead people rising from their graves. John is dated late in the first century at best. John has Jesus explicitly as God in the flesh having existed from eternity. Pauls writings, those dated the earliest, contain hardly any mention of the Gospel miracles or events. The physical resurrection is questionable, no virgin birth, no earthquakes or empty tomb's, etc..

Of course, as far as I am concerned the Gospels' could have all been writen down a week after Jesus supposedly died. It wouldn't matter much to me. Legends can grow fast, particulary with creative people who have a tendancy to believe in spirits and deities and such. Its not like they had CNN or James Randi snooping around reading their little parchments and trying to debunk them.
SWL: Let's see support for the "fact" of the anonymity of the writers. Of course, pointing out that their names are only MENTIONED later does not in the LEAST make this a fact. And why exactly is this relevant? It certainly doesn't make them less likely to be authentic accounts of what Jesus did/said.

Er… You want negative support for anonymity? Yeah I'm sure you'd like to have it that way. Sorta like I'd have to prove your God doesn't exist in order for it not to. Funny. Show me evidence for some signed manuscripts if you have any. Show me clear evidence for the identity of any of the Gospel writers. You can wave your hand at the fact that we have no mention of the names until later if you want.

SWL: It is not a "fact" that there is no evidence for a deity, in any neutral sense - its just your opinion. What is and isn't evidence can also be a very subjective notion. As regards miracles in ancient times, all we could expect, since the camcorder wasn't invented yet, would be written reports.

If all it takes is "written reports" for you to believe in fantastic things - more power to you I guess. It'd be sheer gullibility to me. Hell, I wouldn't even believe it WITH the camcorder, since I am well aware just how convincing the charlatans and tricksters of the world can be. David Blane does some very incredible things, but I don't for a moment believe he's really doing magic. The same with John Grey who allegedly talks with dead people.

- the lack of common sense. Given a deity that supposedly has some desire for all mankind to be "saved", the rationality of this purported plan (as given by the bible) is highly dubius.

SWL: This is a "fact"? LOL, "madmax dunt think that the Bahble God makes much sense, therefore its a fact that He dunt. Fact aganst Kirschens!"

Er.. no SWL this isn't a "fact". This is what they call common sense reasoning. One would tend to think all-powerful, all-knowing, deities wouldn't have imbecilic plans. But perhaps I give potential deities more credit than they deserve, so maybe you have a point.

SWL: Nah, just saw you making some bold claims. I wanted to make sure you couldn't support them. After all, if you could, I'd be in trouble, wouldn't I?

Well if you or other theists had ever proven your major claims, then we wouldn't still be arguing about all this stuff. Wouldn't even be any use for the Sec Web at all. As for "being in trouble", why would this be so? Is your faith so weak that it can't overcome a lack of evidence? Shame on you.

SWL: Nah dude, that's not the way I see it. You could've just made a plea for calmness and avoided all the "we've got reason and logic and facts on our side, fellas...Relax and enjoy yourselves...Rah Rah!"

Yes, shame on any atheist who actually thinks being an atheist makes sense. We should just admit we're deluding ourselves and be done with it eh?

SWL: Well, let's start by seeing if you can support some of the claims you made. That'll be a good indicator to me as to whether or not you're a worthy discussion partner.

No deity has been proven to exist. The Christian God has not been proven to exist. Jesus has not been proven to be the son of any deity. The bible (or any other supposed holy book) has not been proven to be the word of any deity.

These facts all support my position. But of course both of us will probably get carple tunnel sydrone or die of old age before we go run down all the various paths these arguments could take us. This board and others like it are a testimony to that.

Old 06-20-2001, 06:46 AM   #86
Regular Member
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: California, USA
Posts: 338

It is my responsibility to clear up one misstatement I made:

M: There is some decent reason to think we know the tomb today. There is certainly reason to believe that the tomb was marked since the first century.

R: First, it is universally agreed that the present venerated tomb is in the wrong place (the site “found” by Helen was actually moved by crusaders almost a thousand years later). Second, its emptiness even in Helen’s day (4th century) is moot.

M: That's not true. It is most certainly not universal. Cornfeld argued that it was traced to at the least the fourth century and probably the first. The Corbo expidition confirmed the site in 1968.The site was defiled by the Romans and that helped to mark it. But I'm not sure we are talking about the same site, there are three of them. I mean the Chruch of the Holy Seplecure.

I will admit I was wrong to use the word "universal" in such a way -- I confused two facts there. What is now called the tomb of Jesus was built in the 11th century, on top of masonry that in fact buried the actual tomb (this was discovered by Corbo). So 'technically' that is in the same 'place', it's just not the actual tomb being venerated. But elsewhere in the same building is "The Tomb of Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea" that is believed by many scholars to have been the original tomb. That is why it gets such a name: Jesus was, after all, supposed to have been buried in Joseph's tomb--that is the one in the stories that is 'empty'. There is also that other prospect, "The Garden Tomb," which is the "third" tomb you speak of, but I wasn't thinking of that one (that is indeed speculative and mostly rejected).

Of course, none of this has anything to do with markings or any other information confirming it as 'the' tomb. The supposed 'defilement' was merely the fact that a temple to Venus was built over it--a fact you would know if you actually read anything by or about the Corbo report--yet pagan temples were built all over the city so there is nothing remarkable about this. There is no indication that the Romans knew anything special about it, and as the Corbo expedition found, the tomb could not have been marked because it was literally buried by the Romans under a building, along with numerous other tombs indiscriminately. Moreover, in the stories we have, Helen only 'identifies' it, not because of any markings, but solely because it was where people said a graveyard had been, and was right next to where she found 'the' three crosses all next to each other (amazingly preserved through two wars, countless other crucifixions, and three hundred years of time--if you buy that I have some land in Florida I'd like to sell you...). In contrast, Venus, as the patron goddess of the Caesars, is an ideal place to 'claim' Christ's tomb to be, since it suits Constantine's new religious propaganda perfectly: the holiest site of Christ now replacing the Imperial pantheon.

But, of course, knowing the site is useless anyway, as I said, since Jesus could not have been in that tomb even if he was never raised, an argument you ignored entirely. And it is this sort of willful ignoring of what I say is precisely why I stopped debating you. Likewise, you didn't actually read anything by or about the Corbo expedition, for if you did you would know the following (I am quoting Dan Bahat, "Does the Holy Sepulchre Church Mark the Burial of Jesus?" Biblical Archaeology Review May/Jun 1986).

"On the site of the former 7th century B.C. quarry and the first century B.C. orchard-garden and cemetery, where the Holy Sepulchre Church was to be built, Hadrian constructed a gigantic raised platform--that is, a nearly rectangular retaining wall filled with earth. On top of the platform, he built a smaller raised podium, and on top of the podium, he built a which stood statues of Venus, Minerva, and Jupiter....The phenomenon of a holy site from one religion being maintained as holy by subsequent religions was a common one throughout the ancient world"

[these are the three patron gods of the Republic were Minerva (goddess of justice), Jupiter (Optimus Maximus, god of the legions), and Quirinus (i.e. Romulus); with the imperial house, Venus being the patron goddess of Julius Caesar she became the patron goddess of the whole house and she replaced the Republican Quirinus; Venus is indisputable, and is also mentioned in the Helen tales, but some scholars challenge Corbo on identifying the other two, and I side with them; scholars also challenge Corbo's assertions about the structure of the Hadrianic temple, though that becomes a he-said she-said, and no one disagrees with the earth-filled platform element--Corbo's report is highly criticised as very poor and unscientific all around, but I haven't studied these claims myself]

"Today the tomb ['of Jesus'] is completely covered with later masonry"

[if you look at the maps of the Corbo report you will see that although the Joseph tomb is about 40 ft. away from the Roman temple, the 'Jesus' tomb is almost but not exactly directly beneath where the statue of Venus would have stood, a placement that one can tell is coincidence because it is inexact, and the tomb lies beneath two platforms and mounds of earth; yet the juxtaposition would be perfect for Constantine's propaganda machine]

So even if Christians chose a tomb after the sack of 70 to represent 'the' tomb, or amazingly somehow re-found the correct one after the war (assuming it was ever known), the exact location was lost forever under Hadrian's mound for two hundred years. This is what I said you should have known, especially after claiming to have consulted the very sources that report this fact.

Richard Carrier is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:37 PM.


This custom BB emulates vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.