Horus vs. Jesus

This thread is now replaced by a new thread A More Rigorous Take on the Jesus Myth. Please use this thread for all new discussion on this topic.

ALERT ALERT ALERT!!! THIS POST IS FALSE!!! I apologize for spreading incorrect information. I believed it to be true when I posted it. Zarove below has proven me incorrect. I apologize for being taken in by an article that actually came up from google scholar. Looking at the footnotes of my “peer reviewed” article should have clued me in. I did not read that carefully. I will not further spread this myth.

Understand that I still do not believe either the Horus myth or the Jesus myth. However, I now also know that it is a myth that the two myths are the same.

Thank you Zarove for setting me straight.

Here for posterity is my original post:

In the spirit of the Bush-McCain Challenge, which shows that most people cannot tell the difference between Bush and McCain, I ask weather you can tell the difference between Horus and Jesus. So, guess which one was:

  1. Born of a virgin?
  2. Baptized at age 30?
  3. Had 12 disciples?
  4. Was crucified?
  5. Was resurrected 3 days later
  6. Was associated with the astrological sign Pisces, the fish?
  7. Was known as The Lamb of God?


Did you guess either one or the other for any of these? If so, you are incorrect. The correct answer to all of the questions above is both!

Check this comparison of the Lives of Horus and Jesus for many more identical or highly similar traits.

Now watch this great video showing the ways in which the Judeo-Christian religion (deliberately singular) is really just a resurrection of Egyptian astrology.

Oops. I almost forgot to clarify why I classified this not only as religion but also in the category humor. This may confuse some people. I’m sorry for that. The reason is quite simply that I find it amusing that a couple of billion people believe this crap. In fact, most people that do would wince at the suggestion that they believe in astrology. And yet, it is so.

Is this just my sick sense of humor? (probably)

206 Responses to Horus vs. Jesus

  1. Here’s a peer reviewed paper that supports the bulk of the claims of this video. I confess that I have not read it in its entirety as it is rather lengthy. Even someone with only a passing interest in the subject should probably skim this paper though. It makes some very interesting points.

    The Origins of Christianity and the Quest for the Historical Jesus Christ

    Among the more interesting, just from a quick skim are:

    It is very telling that the earliest Christian documents, the Epistles attributed to “Paul,” never discuss a historical background of Jesus but deal exclusively with a spiritual being who was known to all gnostic sects for hundreds to thousands of years.

    The Jesus story incorporated elements from the tales of other deities recorded in this widespread area, such as many of the following world saviors and “sons of God,” most or all of whom predate the Christian myth, and a number of whom were crucified or executed.

    ● Adad of Assyria
    ● Adonis, Apollo, Heracles (“Hercules”) and Zeus of Greece
    ● Alcides of Thebes
    ● Attis of Phrygia
    ● Baal of Phoenicia
    ● Bali of Afghanistan
    ● Beddru of Japan
    ● Buddha of India
    ● Crite of Chaldea
    ● Deva Tat of Siam
    ● Hesus of the Druids
    ● Horus, Osiris, and Serapis of Egypt, whose long-haired, bearded appearance was adopted for the Christ character
    ● Indra of Tibet/India
    ● Jao of Nepal
    ● Krishna of India
    ● Mikado of the Sintoos
    ● Mithra of Persia
    ● Odin of the Scandinavians
    ● Prometheus of Caucasus/Greece
    ● Quetzalcoatl of Mexico
    ● Salivahana of Bermuda
    ● Tammuz of Syria (who was, in a typical mythmaking move, later turned into the disciple
    Thomas35)
    ● Thor of the Gauls
    ● Universal Monarch of the Sibyls
    ● Wittoba of the Bilingonese
    ● Xamolxis of Thrace
    ● Zarathustra/Zoroaster of Persia
    ● Zoar of the Bonzes

    Horus of Egypt
    The stories of Jesus and Horus are very similar, with Horus even contributing the name of Jesus Christ.
    Horus and his once-and-future Father, Osiris, are frequently interchangeable in the mythos (“I and my
    Father are one”). The legends of Horus go back thousands of years, and he shares the following in
    common with Jesus:
    ● Horus was born of the virgin Isis-Meri on December 25th in a cave/manger, with his birth
    being announced by a star in the East and attended by three wise men.
    ● He was a child teacher in the Temple and was baptized when he was 30 years old.
    ● Horus was also baptized by “Anup the Baptizer,” who becomes “John the Baptist.”
    ● He had 12 disciples.
    ● He performed miracles and raised one man, El-Azar-us, from the dead.
    ● He walked on water.
    ● Horus was transfigured on the Mount.
    ● He was crucified, buried in a tomb and resurrected.
    ● He was also the “Way, the Truth, the Light, the Messiah, God’s Anointed Son, the Son of Man,
    the Good Shepherd, the Lamb of God, the Word” etc.
    ● He was “the Fisher,” and was associated with the Lamb, Lion and Fish (“Ichthys”).
    ● Horus’s personal epithet was “Iusa,” the “ever-becoming son” of “Ptah,” the “Father.”
    ● Horus was called “the KRST,” or “Anointed One,” long before the Christians duplicated the
    story.

    In fact, in the catacombs at Rome are pictures of the baby Horus being held by the virgin mother Isis – the original “Madonna and Child”48 – and the Vatican itself is built upon the papacy of Mithra49, who shares many qualities with Jesus and who existed as a deity long before the Jesus character was
    formalized. The Christian hierarchy is nearly identical to the Mithraic version it replaced50. Virtually all
    of the elements of the Catholic ritual, from miter to wafer to water to altar to doxology, are directly
    taken from earlier pagan mystery religions.

  2. Zarove says:

    That “Peer reviewed” paper was never actually peer reviewed, and he Author, Acharya S, is not really an expert on the worlds religions.

    The Essay is also on her “Truth Be Known”Website,a nd she wrote it and oublised it thee, before releasign her book, “The Christ Conspiracy”.

    Incidentlaly, the similarities between Jesus and Horus on her site and in her books, as well as on othe rplaces ont he internet, share the same source, and thats not Ancient Egypt. Generlaly the Similarities are from either Kersey Graves’s “The Worlds 16 Crucified Saviours”, or Gerald Masseys work. Neithe rman was a traiend Egyptologit, and both have been discredite dlong ago.

    If you dont ebelvie me, then try this. Try findign a book that actually recounts the Myth of Horus, and read up on it. A book thats not about exposing the turth of Christianity.

    You’ll find that the actual myth of Horus has nothign in common with Jesus.

  3. Zarove,

    I think rather than vaguely suggesting that I search for a book, you would do better by providing a link to one. Or, with the wealth of information on the internet, perhaps a link to an article you consider authoritative on the subject.

    You may be entirely correct in your post. However, I see no reason to take your word for it. Nor do I see reason to do your job in researching your side of the debate.

    This is not how it works.

    Feel free to contradict my statements. Just back up what you say with other credible sources. Thus far, you have merely contributed more books and articles supporting the claim that Jesus is Horus. Would you like to try posting some sources that support your side of the debate?

    Feel free.

  4. Zarove says:

    this is weird. I try to post and keep gettign s message that says “Discarded”…

  5. Zarove says:

    Note: I cut this post in two to see if it works now.

    Just google up the myth of Horus, its not relaly hat hard to do.

    I dotn mean “Jesus horus” or “HJesus parrallels horus”. I mean, just Horus.

    If you insist on links, here are a few. The last oen will be ot Primary spruces.

    http://www.egyptianmyths.net/horus.htm

    this may say “Magiclaly concienved” but dont jump to the conclusion that htis is a Virgin Birth. Its not. She had sex with her husbands partially revived corpse.

    Now try this.

    http://www.pantheon.org/articles/h/horus.html

    Here is another.

    http://www.egyptartsite.com/hormyth.html

    Try Encarta.

    http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761562755/Horus.html

    The link includes a link to Religiosu tolerance which repeats the parrallesl claims, but thats due to it beign generated by comuter generated search engunes.

    Religiosu Tolerance lists its soruces as Acharya S and Geralnd Massey.

  6. Zarove says:

    No independant source that simply recounts the myth of Horus actually notes the similarities. IE, you wont find any soruce that says he was Born of a VIrign, or Crucified. In fact, Crucafiction didnt even exist at ghe itme the worship of Horus reached its Zenith.

    Here is a site I know you’ll reject out of hand. its a CHristian site, which debunks not only Horus’s parrallels to Jeuss, but many others. Becaus its Christain I bet you’ll just asusme it ignroes evidnece or is hidign the truth. Thats what I usually get. STill, I’ll presetn it. I know, I knw, its Biased… but dont you htink adhering to the idea that Jeus sis a Plagersied Pagan myth is itself the result fo Bias agaisnt CHristainity? Or at the very least a Bias can exist that woudl cause peopel to beelive it.

    http://www.kingdavid8.com/Copycat/JesusHorus.html

    Now for the Coup De Gracie, the actual ancient Egyptian texts.

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/egy/index.htm

    You won’t find mention of Horus’s Virgin Birth, his teachign at the temple at age 123, his gathering of 12 disiples, his beign Baptised by Anup the Bpiser, or his tmeptatin int he wilderness.

    As to his Passion, Crucafition to atone for the worlds sins, and ressurection promising new life, it is also abscent form the original sources.

    Is this sufficient?

  7. bobbo says:

    Zargove–well done. I googled (horus) and got the wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horus and YOU ARE RIGHT. While evidently there are severeal different “horus’s” that could be a source of divergence, wiki says Horus had a father and mother. Your statement that crucifiction was a later developed technique of killing people also rings true to me.

    Its so much more “fun” to belittle religion to just think of them as all the same. Should I ignore the facts and just believe it anyway because I want to?

  8. Zarove, as you can see above, I have now noted that the information that I was spreading was false. Thank you for correcting me. Though I liked thinking that Horus and Jesus were one because it amused me, I would rather be correct than amused.

    One minor point that I would like to make to you, however, is that the latest version of the firefox browser has built in spell checking. I would recommend using it. It will make it easier for you to make your points, especially when they are good, such as this, if you have fewer typos in your replies.

    http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/

    Happy posting and thanks for stopping by.

  9. Zarove says:

    I thank you for the correction. And I happen to be Dyslexic, so, the spellign is just part of that.

  10. Zarove says:

    One last thing. I don’t mean to outlast my welcome, but you said in an earliest post that you find is unlikely Jesus ever existed at all, and in this post, you now still refer to it as the Jesus Myth.

    I’ll explain why if you’d like.

  11. bobbo says:

    Zargove–if you can link to sources disproving Jesus as Myth as effectively as you disposed of Jesus is Horus, I certainly and other readers of this blog would greatly appreciate it.

    It also amuses “me” to see Scott’s worship of “peer reviewed sources” taken down a notch. You see, I’m just a small miserable person (smile!)==or more to the point, its good to be reminded that “labels” do not guaranty quality or accuracy. I’ve seen the roots of christianity in earlier myths subject so often, I was taken in too. Now, I’ll have to pay more attention. I’m sure there are “some” roots, but is not all wholesale copying?

    I think being dyslexic would be MORE REASON to use spell checker, not less. Still, I would rather have your transposed expertise than no comments at all. Can you confirm in a dyslexic secure manner that it is god you believe in and not dog? ((smile==joke!!)) I’ll look for your comments on other threads as well.

  12. Zarove says:

    Actually there are no pagan roots to Christianity. The idea originated with the History of Religions school which has been long since abandoned by Schoalrhsip since the ealry 20th Century.

    Christianity began as a sect in Judaism, and all ofthe material in Christianity develped from Jewish thinking and the Life of Jesus of Nazareth.

    Pagans don’t enter into it. The Jews where highly Xenophobic and didn’t really merge with the surrounding culture,a nd in Palistine thy made up the majority. You just didn’t find that many Pagan Influences in the region.

    Remember, these are the same Jews who where willign o die for heir beleifs, and eventually whop rose up agaist the Roman Empire, and lost, in 70 AD.

    They’d have rather died than bow a knee to Zeus.

    Yet we’re expected to beelvie the Early Christains did? Even though the early Christaisn whre Jews themselves? Dispite the fact that, until the Purge of Jews in 70 AD, the vast majority of Christaisn where Jewish? (It didn’t become a Gentile-Dominant Religin ethniclaly until after this.)

    COme now, thats just absurd.

    I’ll explain more tomorrow if you’d like, and if its OK withhte site administrator. I’m not poign this to brign anyoen down a peg, I just relaly hate how bad the schlarhsip has gotten these days surrouding Jesus. The idea that he’s a Myth has gained a certin level of Credibility on the Internet, but I am glad to seeits fading. It was big back about 4 years ago.

    Still, it crops up, as d the claims that CHristainity emerged form Paganism, or that it has storng Pagan infleices that mingled with Judaism.

    Noen fo that is true.

    Even from a purley seular perspective in which I asusme Miralces can’t happen and in which I deny things like the Virgin Birth and Ressurection as actual events, I’d be forced to conclude thzt Jeuss himself existed as a man in History, and that the Religion he founed came out of Judaism.

    But Im tired right now so Ill explain later if thats OK?

  13. I’ve certainly never stated that Christianity emerged from Paganism. Both are equally invalid to me, though definitely different. Christianity did incorporate elements of pagan holidays into their own. Easter is a pagan ritual to the fertility goddess, hence the eggs and bunny. But, the myth of the resurrection is far from paganism.

    As for the existence of Christ as a living human, please read this first since you have a strong interest in the subject and then feel free to debate.

    http://www.rationalrevolution.net/articles/jesus_myth_history.htm

    As you can see, I don’t mind being proven wrong. I just need proof.

    I will cut you some slack on spelling due to your dyslexia. However, I really would recommend a spell checker. At a certain point, the number of typos becomes very hard to actually read and I need to try to figure out what you are saying, sometimes with questionable success.

    In the article, I think the really strong points are:

    1) Jesus is never mentioned by historians of the time, either Jewish or Roman. Nor is there any mention of a particularly controversial rabbi making the rounds and stirring up trouble.

    2) The time between the supposed time of Jesus until the writings about him makes just a single author available who may have remembered him in person. All of the other writings were by people who were born long after Jesus’ death.

    3) The San Hedrin meeting on the eve of a Passover seder to make an important decision is as likely as the SCOTUS meeting on Christmas eve. It was strongly against their religion and the rules of their court to do so.

    4) There is no mention in any historical writing of a controversial crucifixion around the time of Jesus.

    There were other good points in that article as well. I haven’t read it recently. These are just from memory from reading it about a year or two ago.

    If you can dispute these four points adequately, I may recant a bit on the Jesus myth as well. I will still consider it a myth, just as I would most other biblical characters in the absence of corroboration.

    Understand that if you convince me he existed, it will just make him an interesting philosopher among many for me. It will not raise him to the level of a deity.

    BTW, since you also commented on my Republican health care post, I think you might enjoy commenting on a post I wrote claiming, essentially, that Jesus was a flaming liberal and that voting like Jesus would be voting for probably the most liberal candidate available at any time. But, let’s keep that conversation on another thread.

    Thanks again for stopping by. Don’t worry about wearing out your welcome.

    Here’s the other thread for incorporating Jesus-like behavior into one’s voting.

    How Would Jesus Vote?

    Oh, and remember, I am an antitheist. So, convincing me of anything about Jesus is unlikely to change my behavior in any way.

  14. bobbo says:

    “Actually there are no pagan roots to Christianity.” – - hah, hah. “Everything has roots.” I guess you think that Christianity having its roots in the Jewish Religion means that it has no roots in paganism? What then are the “roots” of Judaism?

    I will guess further, until you respond with links rather than arguments and worse bald conclusions, that later holiday selections of the established church we see today are “not from pagan roots?” Besides Easter, I recall that of those experts who speculate, Jesus was probably born in the summer months, but given the lack of documentation, the Christians moved it to Winter for greater appeal?

    But the DEFINITION of what is a ROOT vs a non-root is key. THE ONLY WAY you can say that Christianity has no pagan roots is that you accept many many key ideas as “the only way it could be.” But those only ways are in fact human perceptions born of culture which is what a root is.

    A quick initiation to this by example is:

    http://protestantism.suite101.com/article.cfm/is_christianity_based_on_paganism

    A fun read.

  15. bobbo,

    From wikipedia:

    Paganism (from Latin paganus, meaning “country dweller, rustic”)[1] is the blanket term given to describe religions and spiritual practices of pre-Christian Europe, and by extension a term for polytheistic traditions or folk religion worldwide seen from a Western or Christian viewpoint. The term has various different meanings, though, from a Western perspective, it has modern connotations of a faith that has polytheistic,[2] spiritualist, animistic or shamanic practices, such as a folk religion, historical polytheistic or neopagan religion.

    I had thought paganism included only pre-Christian Europe. If we include all polytheistic religions, then yes, there is paganism in the Judeo-Christian-Islamic religion. So, I guess it just depends on how you define pagan. I would have used the more narrow definition, which I think is also the one Zarove was using. This would be where the Father Frost (Santa Clause) and Easter fertility rituals would have come in much later.

    Technically though, the santa clause and easter bunny crap is more tradition than religion, though that might be splitting hares, so to speak.

  16. Zarove says:

    I’ll be back later on Jesus existing. I’m a bit busy now, but will say this.

    I’ve read the Rational Revolution aritlce, and several others on why Jeuss was a myth before. However, Im also actulaly studying this mateiral in COllege. I have a dual major in Psycology and THeology.

    I’ve studied the major world religions and their traditions, as well as their origins. I am also studying at a Secular University, or was until this semester. Since I’ll be traveling, I am doign summer coruses with Liberty University, which is a Christian University. Hwoever, noen of the courses I have for this summer are direclty tied to my major, I’m just cleairng off soem of the “You need them but their useless” portions, and the online programmes offered at Liberty ar emore extensive than most other schools.

    Otherwise, I study at the University of Tennessee, and have been accepted in Cambrisdge in England, but for reasons apart form acadmeics coudl not attend.

    I may get bakc into Queens University in Belfast, Northern Irleand in 2010, but no promises.

    So, this is where My position tends to come from.

    So Im not relaly arguign apologetics here. All im arguiing at the moment is that Jeuss existed as a man. In fact, in Jeuss Myth debates I adhere to a policy of Secular argumentation, because its just easier, and prevents peopel form shouting Bias. I happen to be a Christain, but this doenst mean Im biased. I can udnerstand other poitns of view besides my own, and can even argue agaisnt what I beleive. Im skilled ind ebate, after all, and successfully debated agasint Jesus’s divinity, even though I beleive in it. ( I also can counter my own argument, but the person chosen to defend it just wans’t up tot he same level. Not to brag.)

    Anyway, the problems you listed are actually exagerated and oftenignroe actual historical proccess.

    When dealign with Ancient History, we shoudln’t expect to find a plethra of records, least of all about someone that is only a minor figure. Many times we have only one or two vauge references to someones existance. Phythagerus, for example, is virtually unknown to us outsid of two or three peices of fragmentary evidence. Disoite his fame in formulating certain mathematical principles, virtually nothign is known of his life. Socratese is another famosu example, who, like Jesus,w a sonly written about after he died, by only one man, his student plato. WHy not assume Socratese was a myth?

    Besides, the Composition of he NEw Testament isn’t as simple as the Myther pages make it out ot be. Pauls writtings where from ten eyars after-the-fact, and dispite the myther claim that he never mentions an Earthly Jesus, he actulaly does say Jesus as Born fo the Seed of David, and mentions Pilate, and other useful features of Jeuss’s Earthly existance. I’ll elaborate mroe later.

    Then there are the other EPistles, such as those of John and James. CLealry those where written by witnesses to his ministry, as no one really challenges them. Johns Gospel is written by the same author as the three epistles. (Revelation may not have been, but thats another matter and doesnt matter considering it doenst contain Historical informaiton, but allegorical imagry.)

    Also, its a bit silly to Critisse the Gospels for when they where written. I knos it sounds amazing to our modenr ears ot elarn that they where written soem 40 years after the fact, and its easy to fall into the thinking that this casts doubt, but hats just not relaly a good line of reasoning.

    In our mdoern era, where writting is easy, most peopel are literate, and we have the printing press, and for that matter the internet, used here, we often forget that the Ancient World lacked all of this. Most peopel where illiterate, there was no printing press, and everythign had tobe laboriously written by hand. Paper and Ink where dreadfully expensive, and typically not accessable to the general public.

    Most events that took place in Antiquity wheren’t written about the same day, or even in the same month they occured. Hannibals invasion of ROme, for example, was written abut only a century after the events occured.

    Alexanders conqueasts face the same prblem, in which no one seemed to bother to writ about him in his own lifetime, and it took decades for us to see anythgin on him at all.

    The same is true of the Sack of Carthage by the Romans, or the Conquest of the Sabines.

    Noen of these events are considered mythical, and yet neone where written about until a century or mroe had passed.

    In relative terms, the 40 year Gap between the GOspels and Jeuss’s actual life is a virtual newsflash. Its recorded much sooner than we’d exepect in the Ancient world. Sooner than Alexanders conquest of the world was, sooner than Romes Sack of Carthage, sooner than the Latin Conqwuest of Italy, sooner than the subjugation of ROmania, sooner than Hannibal…

    Yet I somehow doubt you find those mythic.

    Why shoudl we Jeus then?

    Thats just how the Ancient world worked,a nd t makes sense if you understand it.

    As I said, most peopel where illiterate, and htose who could read wodul still have to know how to write, and those who could write woudl still need access to paper, ink , and a pen. (Pens where easy to come by. A Feather and your Done.)

    They just didn’t keep logs and diaries like today.

    The culturse was by and large an Oral one, which values living witnesses over written text anyway. And before soemone mentions CHiense whispers, unlike our modern culture, the Ancients Emphaisses memory and accurate retelling of events. Oral Cultures that exist today in places like the Moutnain of Tibet, or in Central America, are capable of transmistting laerge bodies of informaiton withotu writtign anythign down with an amazing degree of accuracy. Its at elats as accurate as written documents if they are by hand.

    COnsiderign this, and hte fact htat the CHristain COmmunity was of signifigant size (Some 5000 or so likely) the oral transmission can easily be relied upon, until the text is written.

    After all, if someone mke sa mistake the community can correct him.

    That said, even if noen fo the Four GOspels where written by witnesses to Jeus’s Ministry we can be assured they at leats cme from the Oral Record, and where compiled mainly int he itnerest of preserving the story as thr original witnesses died off.

    Which is the usual route for these events. WHent he original witnesses began to die, they’d write down the story. The Livng witnesses in the past where more valued than a peice of parchment was, for hey saw it with their own eyes an coudl be questioend.

    Only when the original Generation began to age and die off woudl anyone think to write it all down.

    So we’d expect it to be written of much later.

    Also, Other than Lukes Gospel, which traditionally doens’t even purport to be by an eyewitness but rather by soemone who compiled the sources he coudl find, including private interviews, to write his own Biograohy, the three GOspels we have where liekly written by those in the Christian COmmunity from early on. If not direct witnesses, then companions t those who where.

    The Christan Community was sizable enugh to make sure transmission of the story was sound, but 5000 isnt a lot of people when we have them spread accross all of Palistine.

    SO what your complaining abiut in that regard is just not sound argumentation. If you try to check any Ancient event, you’llsee that often the Earliest record of events iwas written eyars after the fact.

    If we reject Jeuss as lilly myhtic because of this,a nd use the fact that he was only writtne of years later as evidence, we’d be compelled to do the sme with all other events in Hisotry, and htus 95% of Ancient Hisotry woudl have to be rejected as Spurious, or at leats treated as thoguh it liekly was not acurate, since thats how all of them are, and most of the events took longer to write about han the life of Jesus.

    Als, regardign the last point, about there beign no record of Jeuss’s death (Made here and in the Rational Revolution artilce), its really a nonpoint.

    We dont have any ROman Records at all. Even though thousands of peopel whee Crucified, we have no records of anyoen beign Crucified, other than referencestothe practice by observers.Noofficial court papers, and no regestries, have ever been found.

    In fact, we have no Roman Records of any kind. After the Fall of the Western Empire in 410 AD, no one copied them. The only things we have rpeserved as the Great works of Literature. THey wher epreserved, Ironiclaly, by Monks. THis is Ironic since they will be accused laer of desotyring all of the works ofliterture they coudl find. (Its a Historicla myth but ah well.)

    Peopel thoguth that dedicatign their lives tot he rpeservation of the Bible, Church Fathers, and Philosphers liek Plato was a worthwhile pursuit. THey even preserved the Iliad and Oddessey, and many other Greek classics, because they thought the stories had merit even if they did not follow the religions. But who woudl want ot spend their lives copyign Beurocratic paperwork?

    Besides, unliek toda they didnt have adequate storage. By the time CHristainity became promenant in abotu 315 AD, 300 years or so after Jeuss, the Records kept by the ROmans in Palistine woudl surley have perished either by the Sack of Jerusalem in 70 AD by fire, or by simple neglect. (THe ROman didnt dedicate their life to rpeserigng old records either.)

    We have no Roman Tax Sheets, though we know thei existed, only six or so Roman pay slips for the military, even though millions had been made, a handful of official letters, and thats it. No actual records. The Rolls of the Senate, the Court Records, and the Militar documentation all vanished to disuse or fire.

    Knowign this, I have to ask just how strange it is that w don’t have a Tial Record for Jeuss, or references to a Controversial Crucafiction?

    And just how COntroversial wa sit to Crucify a Rebel Rousing Rabbi? THat was routne in the time period.

    As to the final point about hte San Hedron, well guess what? Peoel break the rules all the itme. Look at the United States. We hold the Constitution to such a great regard we bind our whole soiety by it, yet both Democrats and Republicans routinely ignore it.

    THe Patirot Act is one exampel of this, but not th eonly example. Obamas attempt to set up regulatory baords for the Auto Industry and now for Broadcasters is another example.

    Just because osmehing is ilelgal doens’t mean Govenrments dont do it.

    Its even mentioned in th Binle that this wa san unusual and unjust trial, so your relaly not provong anythign here.

    Anyway, Ill be back to present wy Jeuss existed. It wont have the errors in speling. I get this question a lot so Ill just do a formal aritlce in Works, save it to my PC, and present that.

    You’ll be th firts to get it.

  17. Zarove,

    I do not assert that Jesus was a myth. I merely state that I don’t know and find it the more probable of the alternatives. I’d say I think the odds are about 60-40 favoring Jesus as myth. I’ll be curious why you think otherwise as you have clearly given it a lot more thought than I.

    I would also state that I do not assert that Pythagoras or Socrates are not myths. However, their stories are well within the stories of normal human life. There are no claims of them working miracles. There are no claims that they are deities. So, I see less reason for doubt.

    Ordinary claims require ordinary evidence. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Scientific claims require scientific evidence.

    If you claim that Jesus was a normal (albeit, perhaps brilliant and charismatic) human being, I will require only ordinary evidence.

    Those who claim that Jesus worked miracles should be prepared to provide extraordinary evidence.

    Those who claim that Intelligent Design is a valid scientific theory should be prepared to provide scientific evidence.

    So, if you are to make the case that Jesus existed as a flesh and blood human being, I will require mere ordinary evidence. It seems likely that you will succeed in at least tipping the scales to the balance point of 50-50, if not farther since you have studied the subject a lot more. I have no personal attachment or deep seeded belief that Jesus did not exist. So, it won’t be a huge shock to my system to change on that point.

    That many historical people existed and did not have anything written about them is a fairly persuasive argument. However, it would argue only for the existence of a homebody, not a leader who caused enough trouble to have warranted an emergency meeting of the San Hedrin on a Jewish holiday with so many Romans interested in the outcome.

    So, I think at best, you are arguing for a very different person than the Jesus of the bible, even if the name is the same.

    I think given the five historians writing of the day’s events in the region at the time, one cannot argue for an important and radical leader who went unnoticed and unwritten about for years. These people were indeed recording history in real time, unless my understanding is incorrect. (I’m citing the same source, but particular paragraph, not for you, but for others who may not have the patience for the entire lengthy article.)

    http://www.rationalrevolution.net/articles/jesus_myth_history.htm#8

    I would pay specific attention to Philo and Pliny who seem rather unlikely to have ignored the radical leader described in the bible.

    Would you please provide links for some documentation on the events of which you speak that were written so much later than their occurrence? I would actually like to read a few. 2 or 3 at random should be enough. I find lots of information about Carthage and its destruction but little about how we know it even happened.

    I think another thing that would help you make the case for Jesus as flesh and blood would be historians writing about him in the same way that other historical characters are written about.

    Perhaps I just don’t know how to study history, but I do not know how historians validate or invalidate particular claims.

    If, as you state, there are no Roman records, please dispute this point in particular. I don’t know whether you are correct or this article to which I linked is correct. The article states that 200 manuscripts from Pliny are preserved.

    Also, the article claims that Velleius Paterculus wrote a compendium of Roman history that still survives today. Is this false as well?

    As for how controversial it was to crucify Jesus, apparently, if the bible is to be believed, controversial enough to require the Sanhedrin to violate their own rules. Again, I cite the same article for those who do not wish to read all sections.

    http://www.rationalrevolution.net/articles/jesus_myth_history.htm#5

    I found this quite convincing. If you do not, please explain why. Here’s a bit more on the Sanhedrin.

    http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/jesus/sanhedrin.html

  18. Zarove says:

    Im workign now so, as I said, I’ll write bck later, but I would like to note that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” may be a great quote from Carl Sagan, but its wrong.

    Extraordinary claism require oly ordinary evidence.

    If I was standign next to you, and said I coudl shoot energy beams from my hands, I’ve just made an extraordinary claim. But all I’d need ot prove it is to aim my hands at a target and blast. Dispite the fact that I can shoot enrgy beams beign in and of itself extraordinary, the evidence I presented is no more extraordinary than the evidence I woudl give you if I claimed I coudl cross the street or wave my hand.

    Evidence for extraordinary claims need not be itself extraordinary, only convincing.

    Besides, I’m arguign in favour of a Historical Jesus, not nessisarily everythign else. If you start with a Materialistic and Naturlaistic mentality that precludes the possibility of Muracles, ghen the evidence I present for Miralce sbased soley on Historical methodology woudl never be that convincing. I’d have to employ Scientific and Philosophical arguments. Neither of which are required here, since all I have to do is present you with the reasons Historians aggree that Jesus existed.

    Those reaosns maily rest in the fact that Jeuss’s life story doens’t rea dlike a myth, and the emergence of CHristanity seems ot focus on real evnts, as opposed to mythic ones. I’ll go into detail perhaps tomorrow on this, if ot tonight, and explain why.

    Still, for my purposes here, I just want to clear up the isconception. We cans ave for another day discussiosn about hte valididty of the THeology, Miracles, and suchlike.

    All I’m intereste din here and now is the Historical valididty of the arguments.

    I may even toss in Easter, which wasn’t, by thr eay, a Pagan fertility festival featurign rabbits and eggs.

    That claim is an old and debunked one, which makes no snese.

    If you htink abitu it, those who claim this say CHristaisn stole two Holidays, Saternalia and Easter. Saternalia was renamed Christmas, in order to reflect the new menaing of the Holiday, Yet Easter retaisn the name of the Pagan fertility goddess its suppose to honour? Why woudln’t the Early Christains have renamed the Holiday too?

    Actually, the only evidence that there is any Pagan connection to Easter is fromt he Venerable Bede, who said the Celts named the Holiday Honourign Jesus’s Ressurection after the month it fell in. The Celts used a Lunar Calender so Easter fell n the same month every yewar, unlike in our SOlar Calender. This Month was named after an obscure Celtic goddess named Oestera. THis is again at leats accordign to Bede.

    But we know nothign about Oestera. We have only oen reference ot her in Antiquity, and htat is Bede himself. The Celts left no writtigns of her and no monks refered ot her.

    Hence we dont relaly know what sort of goddess she was, and assignign the idea of her as a Fertility goddess ranges from soem of the same sorts of soruces as the Horus-Jeuss bit comes form. THe name sounds vaugly liek Ishtar so apparnelty it was Ishtar…

    Of coruse thats all nonsense.

    Easter was the Earliest hristain Holidya ot be Celibrated, and we have evidence of its celebraiton form the seocnd century. It was also connected to Passover. In fact, Easter falls on the Fits Sunday after the Firts FUll Moon after the Vernal Equinox. THis Full Moon is itself Passover. Easter is linked inseperably to Passover, and n NonGermanic Languages its nto even called “Easter”. Its called Pasche or Paska or some such.

    And some even doubt the Venerable Bedes inepretation and trace the world to an old Germanic word Oelster, meanign Ressurection.

    Still, there is no actual evidence that Easter was rooted in Paganism.

    The Easter Egg was just a later addition because Lent ended, thus allowing peopel to eat dairy and meat aain,and I beelive came frmt he same naiton as CHstmas Trees, Germany. (The CHristmas Tree itself isnt Pagan, it started in the 1600′s amongst Lutherans of all people.)

    The Eadster Bunny is just a marketable cute thign created for Easter, not related to anything.

    As to CHrustmas, even though the holiday itself was originally pagan (Saternalia), the thigns associated with it wherent. Christmas Trees where a fad that stuck in Germany started for no reaosn at all, and Saint Nicolas was a real man, a Bishop in Asia Minor (Modern Turkey) who later became asosicated with the Festival due to his Generosity.

    But Ive said too muh and will bne back later, back to work, I’ll post more evidence when I get the chance.

  19. Zarove says:

    Oh, and you seem to not understand when I say “Records”.

    I mean actual Official Roman Records. I’m not refering to Historians, I’m referign to actual Roman Records kept by the State.

    At any event, you metion that Jeuss warrented atention to the extned that the San Hedrion wodl violare its own rules, and warrented ROman Attention as well. However, this is only partially correct. The San Hedron was concerned, ROme was not.

    Rome didn’t care about Jesus. Pilate initilaly didn’t want naythign to do with him and sent him to Herod Aggrippa, who sent him back to Pilate. Even Herod didn’t care. Pilate then spoke to Jesu and foudn nohtign particulalry threatenign to the stte in him and wanted ot release him. His mainconcern was over the growing Crowd that wante dhim killed, and he washed his hands of it afterard.

    I cna’t see form any of this a perspective that see’s the average Roman concerned about Jesus or payign attention to him. The Jews wante dhim dead for Blasphemy, in that he clamed to be one with God, and for claimign to me Messiah. Do you reallythink the Romans cared about that once Jesus said “My Kingdom is not of this world” and proved he didnt intend to lead a rebellion?

    Executing Jesus as a conveneince or Pilate, not soemthign he did because he personally took notice of Jeuss prior to his trial.

    It was eaiser t give the Jerusalem Jewish Population its desire for his life than to risk them rioting.

    But form a ROman Perspective this was routine. It snot liek the Jews where an easy lot to control, as they never truly accepted ROman Rule fully.

    Also, you must know that Pliney didn’t actually live in Judea, right? WHy woudl a ROman Senator, who lived several hundred miles away, care about someone who, from a Roman PErspective, was a minor figure who gaiend a followign in an obscure backwater of the Emoire and managed to get killed? Woudl he even be aware of such a mans existance?

    It snot like he was going to clock on the evenign enws and see a report form a correspondant about some guy name Jeuss tossing merchants out of the Temple…

    Jeuss wan’t signifigant enough to attract that much local ROman Attention, much less woudl messengers run at top speed to ROme to report on him.

    At the time, he was simply an unimprtant Rabbi in Palistine, who got a following and lvied in that remote outpost of Empire.

    They’d not even have bothered telling Rome about him, and Pliney mist likly just never heard of him.

    The trouble with Christ Myuthers is that they seem not to relaly realise this, and pretend that Jeuss had to be a big deal to everyone if he existed, forgettign that even the NEw Tstament cntradicts this.

    Now Im pulling htis form memory, and writing whle in a bit of a hirry doign soemthign else so its a bit sloppy, but Ill make the case in installments. Ill begin with why Jeuss was most liekly real. ( 50-50 nothing.) THen Ill adress spacific concerns.

  20. bobbo says:

    Scott–well done. Ordinary, extra-ordinary, scientific. Very cogent and logical.

    Zargove. You know, simply dismissing an argument is not an argument in and of itself? You do that a little bit and then catch yourself sometimes.

    Your example of shooting energy beams from your hands is a good example. First you simply dismiss but then you go forward with your argument which was well done. So–every word in a discussion has to be defined. What does “ordinary” or “extra-ordinary” even mean? We have to add a second element after definitions which is context. Regarding energy beams, you switch context. Jesus and Socrates are historical issues requiring ordinary evidence. You demonstrating to us your energy beams is NOT HISTORICAL. So, in your example, you indeed shoot energy beams to the amazement of Scott and myself. WE are convinced by your ordinary evidence. Now, I’m so amazed I go off and live in a cave and die 50 years later never having told a soul. Scott becomes your adherent and studies for years to shoot energy beams himself but never manages it BUT decides to write his memoirs describing the events. Sadly, you have died, I have died, Scotts writes up two different versions of what happened, no one else witnessed the events. What do scholars say 100 years from now? Just what Scott said: Extra Ordinary Claims ((those not within common human experience)) require extra-ordinary evidence and there is NONE PRESENT.

    Contra–we could define extra-ordinary evidence as a real time current DEMONSTRATION! And isn’t that many people’s constant and reasonable complaint about the deities? They create a universe and then go dormant as if they didn’t even exist. Rather extra-ordinary outcome given they love us so much.

    It becomes almost irrelevant whether Jesus existed or not. If he did, he was just a man, not even an Elvis of his age. Much better to make dead men gods as they can’t be questioned. Very logical, almost necessary to the formation of any religion. Imagine if the Dali Lama never died?==we’d all be Buddhists for sure.

  21. bobbo says:

    Speaking of Elvis and being famous, known and unknown, it JUST occurred to me there is a disjunction. I would think anyone that could walk on water, resurrect the dead, turn water into wine, feed the multitudes with a single fish would hardly live and die in near anonymity to become famous only by the efforts of a follower.

    It makes sense to me that ANYONE who could do what Jesus supposedly did would be VERY VERY famous during his lifetime. More evidence in my mind, it was all made up.

  22. Zarove,

    I think I was clear that in order to substantiate the claim that Jesus actually existed as a flesh and blood human, all I would require is ordinary evidence.

    Given the work you did in disproving the Horus == Jesus myth, I am surprised to see no links in your post.

    Please understand that anonymous blogger opinion, even one who has been reputable in the past does not constitute even ordinary evidence.

    As for the pagan fertility ritual of easter, I’m not married to the idea. I got an earful when I made the mistake of wishing a happy easter to a couple of born-agains. The went on and on about easter as a pagan ritual to the fertility goddess and asserted that they only celebrated the resurrection. I really couldn’t care less about this.

    I’ll wait for some links showing the ordinary evidence that Jesus was more than allegory.

    Showing that other historical figures did not have real evidence just makes me question their existence as well. It does not prove that Jesus existed.

    bobbo,

    Your last post makes a lot of logical sense to me. Unfortunately, it does nothing to prove the non-existence of Jesus as human. If Zarove can supply some real evidence rather than mere logic, it will do a lot to convince me.

    Sorry Zarove, I have fairly strict standards of evidence. You haven’t met mine yet.

    Still, you succeeded on the Horus/Jesus issue. I’ll wait to see how you do on this.

  23. Zarove says:

    I udnerstand. I didnt mean to dussapoint, btu as I said, I was bust and workign at the time. I’ll present the case tomorrow, which shoudl be quieter for me. ( I dont actulaly work tomorrow.)

    That said, for this thread all I’m doign ix presentign the secular case for Jesus. I don’t need to explain why Jesus coudl do all of those amazing things. SOme thigns may have been exagerated or added later as the legend grew, in the same way George Washingtons Cherry Tree was not a real event, but Washington surley lived as a man.

    On the miralces, though, Only a handful of them are actually dramatic, and some of them witnessed by few. When jeuss walked on Water, for example, only his Apostles saw him. Eben if they tld everyoen they knew, which wodl not have been many at the time, many wodl dismiss it as a fishermans tale.

    The Feeding of te 5000 was amazing only if you saw him and what he had to work with. If your in the back row of the event, all you see is some gy handing you soem bread and soem fish, and may not know where it came from.

    Just as an example.

    As to my case, A lot of it will be me presentign logic, rather than links. The logic, though, is internally consistant and hwat Schoalrs tend to use themselves. I will try ti pst links though.

    Also, there are books about hte Historical jesus from Historians, but I cant htink of them offhand, so Ill just use Amazon.

    I’ll have to break my post into multiple parts though, so my plan for now is just to present the case as is, and hten to follow up with links to other soruces.

    I’ll begin by tellign why Jesus was real, in the same fashion that the Rational Revolution site tries to argue he is not, and tell why their argumetns arne’t valid.

    So just gitve me a bit. I just couldnt do it today due to oher obligations.

  24. bobbo says:

    Zarove–”logic” is NOT EVIDENCE.

    You have a clear choice–argue there is EVIDENCE for an historical Jesus, OR argue it is logical that an historical Jesus existed.

    Don’t confuse the two.

  25. Zarove,

    Let’s at least hear the logic and see if it is as or more sound than the logic of the link. I’m curious whether you’ll be able to convince me. Perhaps valid logic will at least sway me somewhat in your direction.

  26. Meow says:

    Just because every little detail is not the exact same doesn’t disprove this comparison. It’s highly peculiar how many similarities there ARE. Besides, it’s quite easy for a myth to be passed down and altered. And to make a human be born from a virgin? That is a very strong “truth” to make people thus believe…

    “The Pagan Christ is forthright in declaring that counter to precedent, Christianity launched a hostile takeover of the ancient salvation myths. Many early church fathers, in an attempt to declare exclusive rights to this mythological Jesus, made him an historical biblical person”

    http://www.tomharpur.com/books/books_thepaganchrist.asp

  27. bobbo says:

    Yea, but when a major point of comparison is directly contradicted, that particular example (Horus) fails.

    Don’t trip over your own certainty–especially in a discussion of religion?

  28. Meow,

    I agree that there are many similarities. For example, both are completely nonsensical and ridiculous myths. However, I think it is now clear that the myth that the Jesus myth derived almost exactly from the Horus myth is now proven to be a third myth.

    Let’s eschew all mythology from our thinking, especially if we want to be rational creatures rather than merely rationalizing ones. I’ll miss this myth. It was a fun one. Once I know it’s false though, I can never go back.

  29. nick says:

    watch zeitgeist! this movie is all about how jesus and every messiah/christ before him were nothing more than some anthropomorphic horoscope derived solar messiah. and it talks of HOW it is these similarities came to be like the virgin birth, dec 25, the 3 kings, 12 disciples/brothers, beginning ministry at age of 30, etc# loved this movie…just mind a few minutes of mean bully/billy goat athiest opinions before it hops to the facts and YOU WILL lOVE IT. (and after that parts it gets into 9/11 and other VERY interesting conspiracies.)

  30. nick,

    Actually, that was where I got the idea for this post. It turns out though, that the source of this comparison is one article with no supporting data and no real footnotes.

    Sorry to disappoint. Zeitgeist got it from a bad source, as did I.

    As for the conspiracy theories in Zeitgeist, frankly, they’re quite ludicrous if you do any research on them at all.

  31. You are under the misconception that the Bible says he was born of a virgin. It doesn’t.

    What the Bible says is the father of Jesus was someone other than the man his mother married.

    This was unacdceptable for the Church fathers. On the basis of a mistranslation and twisting Jewish idiom into a Greek mould they upgraded his birth to something acceptable to the Greek mind.

    You may find these articles on virgin birth of interest and coming from an unusual angle

    http://www.wallsofjericho.info/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=14&Itemid=26

    and, similarly the debate on TheologyWeb:

    Forum — General Theistics 101
    Thread — Does the Bible teach that Mary was a virgin when Jesus was conceived?

    http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/forumdisplay.php?f=160

  32. bobbo says:

    T Crosthwaite == Mary wasn’t a virgin huh? Good stuff. Everything I think I’ve heard about christian religion is wrong.

    Its fun. Worthy of a life time of study. I will google the Catholic Position. I’m going to assume its not bible based?

    Not to much effort to be given—mostly waiting for my own personal angel to deliver the truth to me.

    Wow, many “new ideas” this week. Most of it bad, but still new. Live long and prosper.

  33. bobbo says:

    St. Luke (1:34-35)

    Yep, bible seems to cover just about every answer to any question.

    Cracks me up. Lets see. Do I believe in Miracles? – - – - – - No.

    Still VERY possible to build a religion on that. Just wouldn’t look like anything we see today.

  34. T Crosthwaite,

    Thanks for the additional information. I’m always interested in more bible misconceptions, so to speak, and mistranslations as well as just plain inconsistencies. Thanks for sharing.

  35. Just to elaborate on the misconception that the Bible says Jesus was born of a virgin.

    The New Testament is almost wholly a Jewish affair. Jesus was a Jew, so were the disciples, so was Paul.

    Following the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD custody of what became known as the New Testament soon passed into the hands of other peoples in the Roman Empire.

    The early interpreters of the New Testament, whose views have been handed down to us, were predominantly from a Greek culture and particularly ill-equipped to interpret Jewish writings. Their interpretations twisted the Bible into a Greek mould and in the process distorted what was said.

    These distortions have been reinforced by incorrect and selective translations.

    The virgin birth is a prime example. To mention just a couple of points. The prophecy in the Old Testament says “young woman,” not “virgin” as it was mis-translated until fairly recent times. There are dozens of cases in the Bible of the Holy Spirit, or the Spirit of God, “coming upon” someone, but only in Mary’s case is it interpreted as God inpregnating that person. (Other examples are given in the virgin birth articles on my website.)

    I might mention that there are other people in the Bible with the same name as Jesus, but inconsistent translations obscure this. There are also other “christs,” which simply means “anointed,” but the word is left untranslated where it refers to Jesus giving the impression that he is the only “christ.”

    It might also be pointed out that the term “God the Son” does not appear in the Bible. The term “son of God” does and it is applied to Jesus and others. It refers to an ethical relationship between God and a man, nothing to do with the man being divine.

  36. bobbo says:

    T Crosthwaite==from your interesting website: http://www.wallsofjericho.info/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=20&Itemid=28

    ==I disagree. The phrase you quote: “The angel told Joseph not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife, “for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit”. (Matthew 1:20) Because of their mindset, many mistakenly take these words as alluding to a virginal conception.

    However, the angel was not talking about the manner of the child’s conception. If one discards prejudice and applies the rules governing grammar, it is seen that the phrase “of the Holy Spirit” refers to the child in Mary’s womb, not its conception.” //// I don’t think “grammar” can be used to that end. CONTEXT also applies? Plus if the fetus is “of the Holy Spirit” what does that mean except how it was conceived? Typical religious dogma X MEANS Y. No doubt at all. Too bad every little slice of humanity takes the same attitude but applies different meanings.

    What I was looking for was the analysis of the orginal language==not the 4-5 times removed KJ version or whatever.

    Arguing about what an English Translation says really is the height of – - – of – - – of – - – well, its even kind of hard to pick the right word just how wrong that is.

    The “Holy” word of god. As put thru the meat grinder. Well Done.

  37. bobbo

    You say you are looking for an “analysis of the originial language, not the 4-5 times removed KJ version or whatever.” Fair enough. However without any such analysis you have no inhibition in interpreting the “KJ words.”

    You have quoted from the article ‘Joseph and the Birth of Jesus’ that appears on my website. The article continues:

    “The angel said a similar thing to Zacharias about the child Elizabeth would carry in her womb (‘He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb’), and no one suggests a virginal conception in that case. (Luke 1:15)”

    As for this and the other virgin birth articles on the website, you will have seen they all deal at great length with CONTEXT.

    The question that could be asked is this: Have we been conditioned to read words in one way when they apply to Jesus, but in a different way when the same words are applied to others in the Bible?

    On this question, it might be worth re-reading my previous post with regard to the words “Jesus,” “christ,” and the “Holy Spirit/Spirit of God coming upon someone.”

    And how many people confuse the biblical term “son of God” with the non-biblical term “God the Son”?

  38. Les Kelly says:

    Christians read doctrinal concepts of Holy Trinity, Incarnation, and Virgin Birth into the Bible narratives simply because their minds have been thoroughly conditioned in this vein by their theologians for the past 1800 years. They approach the Bible with specific conditioned connotations, preconceptions and mindsets of expecting to find their church doctrines there, so is it any wonder that they find exactly what they expected to find as they read their Bible???

    Matthew’s Gospel, text 1:23 is a prime example of misunderstanding due to preconceptions and warped mindset. This text is one of the foundations upon which the spurious doctrine of virgin birth is built, and close analysis will show that Matthew’s meaning in this text does not fit the use which the “Christian” churches have made of it. As it stands, Mt 1:23 is based on a gross mistranslation of the prophet Isaiah from Hebrew into Greek (the LXX) made in ALEXANDRIA about 500 years AFTER Isaiah had died.

    It is important to understand that Matthew sees in the personal life of Jesus of Nazareth a RECAPITULATION of the history of the nation of Israel.
    Matthew sees Jesus as a composite of values found in Israel’s history – and “virgin birth” or “Jehovah God Incarnate” does NOT fit these values.

    The real significance of Mt 1:23 is not to be found in the LXX mistranslation of Isaiah’s words spoken 750BC, but that once again Jehovah God was visiting and supporting his people.

    This theme wends its way through Hebrew Scripture of God being with or visiting his people in the sense of giving them sustenance or support when they face difficult times or oppression. Such a time was in Isaiah’s days (750 BC) when the land of Judah was under attack by the confederate forces of Ephraim and Syria. The prophet Isaiah had given King Ahaz a sign through a child appropriately named IMMANUEL (With us God) as a living chronometer for the king to mark off the years of oppression. Matthew used Isaiah’s sign of 750BC where God was with his people, as a RECAPITULATION of God again visiting his people, but this time in the teaching person of Jesus of Nazareth.

    Certainly, Jesus of Nazareth personified the values of God, in that he lived these values and also expected all people to do likewise (that is the essence of his sermons). However, to personify or live God’s values is NOT to be God incarnate.

    The doctrines of apotheosis (incarnation of the gods into human form) and virgin birth certainly do not embody Hebrew values. These are doctrines of revamped paganism unheard of by Jesus of Nazareth or his disciples.

    Les Kelly, Tasmania.

  39. stock says:

    If TC and LK are correct and Jesus never sinned then theres no original sin – ‘sin in the flesh’ (Christadelphian version)does it mean we are all responsible for our own descisions?

  40. bobbo says:

    T Crosthwaite == thanks for your completely polite, yet unreasonable, response.

    Now I know in a very real sense that many, but not all, issues can only be explained by reference to other issues/relevant facts that are not contained “within” the presented fact pattern. Nonetheless, the current givens should be fully explored before turning to these other issues. Just way too easy to lose track of what is actually being discussed, to have strawmen and red herrings introduced into a given issue to do otherwise as you suggest here.

    YOUR analysis as presented is based on the english translation. You do NOTHING BUT acknowledge and accede to that criticism by complaining that I do the same. Thank you.

    I am NOT a bible scholar. I don’t believe in god. I don’t think the bible is anything but made up/complied stories for mass indoctrination. “If” I were the opposite, if I really believed, I would learn the original languages of the bible and study it earnestly. Now, we are only human with restraints on our time. Much easier to just study in the language we already now. I’m with you, but you are advocating bible interpretation by non-original sources. Criticizing me for doing the same is really beyond the pale. Further, as indicated above, I am NOT interpreting the bible===I am only interpreting YOUR interpretation, a totally different process.

    I have never read/studied the bible beyond an occasional stay in motels that had the book next to the tv remote. I’d pick it up and read for 2-3 sentences until its opaqueness made me pine for an ad on tv. I’m about as unbiased as to christian teachings as one can get. I have a BS in English Literature studying/parcing great works of literature. Those studies treat a sonnet as a thing standing on its own. Sometimes appreciation is helped by referring to something outside the work but it is very rare. One of the qualities of great literature is that it does stand on its own. No wild goose chase chasing down one outside reference to another to have it make sense.

    When you study great literature you find general agreement among experts as to the meaning of those things of import to most readers. Yes, there are some famous disputes and people can question some secondary issues. Not so with the Bible. The experts, as you and Les Kelley and all the Abrahamic Religions demonstrate do not even agree on the basics.

    As long as these BASIC disagreements exist, one can gain greater spiritual understanding by studying the Lord of the Rings trilogy–in its original language.

    Where were we?? Oh==you have offered nothing to counter the plain reading of the text that Jesus was born of a virgin. Now, because I am actually kind of interested in the subject, I will do the research you refuse/fail to do and find out if the original language called Mary a virgin or “a young woman.”

    Dude!

  41. Leslie Kelly says:

    The problems that arise from the creeds and doctrines of the many denominations and sects of Christendom – virgin birth, incarnation (apotheosis), trinity, original sin, etc, etc, is that they cover all cases of proving the wrong point and are difficult if not impossible to manifest in everyday ethical conduct. They amount to little more than a set of cannonised beliefs. “Christians” profess belief in creeds and doctrines in a similar manner that creeds and mantras are professed in the myths and gods of New Age paganism.

  42. stock says:

    bobbo sept 9
    Kowing now what bobbo is and is not.You are (a).a BS in English Literature’.(good to see you took the ‘Eng Lang Lit Kit)and (b)’Unbiased as to Christian teaching.
    You are not-(a) ‘a bible student/reader -’(2 or 3 verses and waiting for a TV ad)’
    If you’re being truthful about ‘doing the research’, then I strongly suggest you gain acess to ‘the Hebrew and Chaldean Lexicon’ by William Gesinius, who, in the world of Scholarship, is regarded as THE authority on those languages(no doubt you’ll remember what an ‘authority’ is from your studies to gain your BS in English Lit.

  43. bobbo says:

    Stock==I actually did go off and google a few websites regarding “virgin birth” but before I got to a site that analyzed the original text, it hit me it didn’t matter what the Expert might think, or myself before or after reading the Expert. It just doesn’t matter what the truth is when .5-1 Billion people disagree. And thats one major point about religion==whatever is thought about any point, the majority of people in the world disagree and so do many people of the same basic faith that just see things slightly differently.

    Its a mess. Much better just to dismiss it and watch commercials for deoderant on tv. Oooh==here’s one now.

  44. stock says:

    bobbo
    ‘before you got to a site…’. bobbo, you gave up! After saying you would- you didnt. Oh dear!

  45. bobbo,

    Do you want the truth served up to you on a silver platter?

    Getting to the truth of the “virgin birth” story is not as formidable as you might suppose. However, it does require effort, a systematic approach, a command of logic, and the ability to overcome conditioned responses.

    The virgin birth articles on my website provide an example of how a layman can go about the task.

    But if you value getting to the truth in relation to how many people believe or don’t believe something, then I suspect you will find it more satisfying confining yourself to the role of armchair critic.

  46. bobbo says:

    Stock==thats correct. I did not continue on a path that I knew lead no where. A deeper insight really. You probably won’t understand this, but to continue would have been hypocrisy. Don’t you agree that every sunrise allows us to redefine/reevaluate/re-appreciate who we are? And so does every waking minute.

    T Crosthwaite === You have spent a lot of time on your website and I do respect that. Jealous even. But to atheists, moreso anti-theists, like myself it really is irrelevant what “exactly” the bible says, or any variation of it. The argument regarding “what it says” only goes to showing internal inconsistencies and doesn’t go to “the truth” at all. Its been a few years since I last looked into “Bible Inconsistencies” and I just forgot I am resolved on this issue, no need to look again. I love words and history so much I just lost my overriding orientation there for a while. I apologize. Keep studying the Bible==there is a kind of knowledge there.

    The only truth worth knowing lies in Science and your own heart. To study that, you need Science, and an ability to look within I would say with the stimulus of great Literature, specifically NOT including the Bible, with some philosophy, psychology books thrown in. Works for me, we each have our own path.

  47. T Crosthwaite,

    Like bobbo, I find the bible amusing only as literature and a source of what others believe. That said, I would like to see how my own site has been used in your site. I have not been able to find the page on your site that links to mine. Would you please provide a working link to the source?

    Thanks,
    Scott

  48. stock says:

    bobbo,
    It seems you want this and that, but you dont want to pay for it. The phrase ,’pseudo intellectual freeloader’ comes to mind.I previously pointed out your stated ‘beliefs’ and ‘not beliefs’. You saying unequivically ‘I dont believe in god’puts you on exactly the same common ground (basis / premis) as those who say ‘ I do belive in god’ and yet you belittle them. Sorry bobbo,you’re not up to scratch in terms of and objective discussion.Your excuse for not persuing your stated intention previously can only and fairly be described as a pathetic piece of phlegmatically phobic philistine philosophising. More effort needed bobbo

  49. stock,

    Actually, you seem to be extremely uninformed about the issue via rational thought and have no understanding of the burden of proof. You make an extraordinary claim that there is an invisible man in the sky watching everything you do. It is your job to provide evidence.

    Similarly, if I make a claim that there is a fire-breathing dragon living in my closet, you would ask, if you cared at all, to come and see him. I would then tell you that the dragon is invisible.

    You might then respond that you could put powder on the floor and watch for his footsteps. At this point, I would tell you that my dragon always flies around the room.

    You might then ask if you could bring a heat detector to see evidence of his fire. I would then tell you that he breathes cool fire.

    You see how this works? If you fail to see the similarity in your claim of god to my claim of a dragon, you are probably beyond help.

  50. bobbo says:

    Hey Stock==I love a good alliterative character smear. Always looking for the diamonds within the shit. I disagree with your assessment.

    Nah. I can only repost what I already said. I love words, but that love is not satisfied by Bible Research.

    Are you being very christian in that attack? ((A burden I don’t have to bear.))

  51. bobbo says:

    Scott–I don’t believe there is a flying cool heat breathing invisible dragon in your closet===and if there is, I’m AGAINST IT!!!

    I think those holes in your clothes that frustrate you so are either there are already when you pick them out of the dumpster, or made by some kind of weevil that hatches their eggs on it.

    In all cases, you have provided only an argument, and not proof of your spiritual grounding in this real world. What kind of person you might be without this Dragon is a wholly tangential person. Have faith, be strong. You can be a good person with the moths, and without the Dragon.

    Soldier ON!!!!

  52. stock says:

    scott and bobbo,luv yer both. My lovely wife of 48 years (that’s married to and not her age) are leaving this thriving metrolopis in which we live and going to the country, bush,scrub, veldt for two weeks. keep the thread open. We have not deserted it.
    Bobbo, you picked the alliteration! well done.

  53. stock,

    I’ve only ever closed one thread on this blog, and that because it was superseded by a more recent and detailed post on exactly the same topic. I do still reserve the right to invoke Godwin’s Law, however, at my own discretion, of course.

  54. scholar time says:

    Lets set a few things straight. we’ll keep it simple.

    due to the post there was much debate over the physical existence of jesus. i went to oxford university to study philosophy and theology. i have remained at this fine institution for seven years. i am now in the final year of my phd in philosophy. this is not a debate truly academic institutions need worry themselves over as the answer is known to be unclear, without being particularly difficult.

    jesus as an allegorical character within the zodiac.

    this is likely. the parallels between both jesus and moses, and those of many other ancient religious deities are apparent for all to see. they are alleged to represent the signs of the zodiac. likely suggestion due to primitive societies obsession with the stars. this would explain the origins of religion, of religious tales, and of the similarities of religious tales. remember, an idea inherent within a small society 5000/6000 BC can have huge implications on the outcome of the world. the butterfly effect anyone? through this theory, his existence is irrelevant. maybe no-one existed, or maybe someone marginally similar to the man we call jesus existed. we. dont. know!

    jesus could have been a non-divine philosopher

    jesus could have been a deity

    i have studied him from an academic perspective more than but a very few. i am atheist. in my academic opinion he is predominantly allegorical.

    p.s. zarove, you spend a whole paragraph presenting yourself as the worlds finest in the art of debate, yet your arguments are poorly structured and easy to pick apart. you rely too much on what is considered ‘given’ knowledge. you are clearly a theologian and not a philosopher. the best way to approach this issue is by preparing your mind with descartes. obliterate all of your prior understanding and bias. tackle the topic from what points we can guarantee. the beauty of this technique is that it shows how none of this information is watertight. yet upon close inspection, you will find that i am transporting my water in a leaky bucket. whereas you are using a sieve. they key piece of evidence for me, is the ten or so gods who pre-date jesus but still hold a similar story. pre-date. PRE-DATE. very key issue. also his accuracy to the zodiac helps :). i’m getting tired and i’m off to bed.

    few last points: zarove, download google chrome as your browser. i am dyslexic, and its built in spell check system helps keep me fairly typo free.

    also dont try to criticise my argument structure because its awful. i didn’t write an argument, i simply noted some desperately needed information.

    there are reputable sources for these claims about older religions. in oxford there is a copyright library where every published document and book is kept since copyright law began. trust me, there’s enough info in there to sufficiently aid the suggestion of an allegorical jesus.

    many thanks, and i hope google chrome changes your surfing world as it did mine.

    scholar x

  55. bobbo, the evangelical anti-theist says:

    “Its hard for me to believe:” that a philosophy major would study a subject for 7 years and corrupt and play with a very straightforward factual question: Did Jesus the person exist in history or not? Blowing most of your fluff away, you say no one knows then go on to say affirmatively that he exists in allegory?

    Is there an allegorical pink unicorn? An allegorical FSM? If not, why not?

  56. scholar time says:

    i apologise, i’d been drinking. it was about 4/5 in the morning GMT.

    to clarify. this debate cannot be proved either way. however, my personal opinion is that the concept of jesus is an allegory built upon the existence of a man (who was nothing like the jesus so many know and love). is that clearer?

    well, no. :)

    the man who i believe existed was nothing like our idea of jesus. therefore, i don’t class him as jesus. as he was not literally jesus, nor does he conform to our understanding of jesus.

    these aren’t clear waters, are they?

    btw, i didnt study a full seven years of philosophy major; my initial three years were dual major philosophy and theology. just to clear things up.

    also, the idea that philosophers clear issues up, and can present them in simple concise forms is wrong. most of the time all we do is overcomplicate.

    p.s. i consider the concept “evangelical anti-theist” strange. my dislike of religion stems from its attempts to press its own ideologies on to others. i had hoped atheists would be more chilled out and considerate. but of course, this is purely personal preference. have a nice day.

    scholar x

  57. bobbo, the evangelical anti-theist says:

    Scholar: “i’d been drinking” implies you were drunk then and sober now??? But you sound just the same? Finely balanced ying/yang you have going there.

    I think being philosophical is great, but not when it obfuscates clear thinking, so no, you did not directly answer the direct question. As a result, I can imagine any number of interpretations you may be musing on but that is not the purpose of my evangelism.

    “I believe” that any belief in god, therefore the anti position as well, is a private one between the believer and his god. Once one opens one’s pie hole, that one becomes political or evangelical. You are right that it is a slur. At least I have that much of it right. So, I’m having fun with facts and analysis while maintaining clarity and insight. Try it.

  58. scholar,

    Thanks for your personal insights. Though you have not actually contributed any proof either way about the existence of Jesus as a flesh and blood human, you do have somewhat of an interesting take on things.

    If you have any links to scholarly journals on the subject, they might add a bit more to this conversation.

    http://scholar.google.com can be a help in finding them. Though, at your school, you likely have better resources for searching.

    As for evangelical antitheist, I don’t like the term evangelical there either. I am an outspoken antitheist. I hate theism for the reason you cite. The trying to ram it down the throats of others bit has been quite bloody and very violent at many times throughout history, including the present time.

    Therefore, I vocally oppose religion, most especially, the Judeo-Christian-Islamic religion (deliberately singular).

    Does that make me evangelical?

    e⋅van⋅gel⋅i⋅cal
      /ˌivænˈdʒɛlɪkəl, ˌɛvən-/ [ee-van-jel-i-kuhl, ev-uhn-]
    –adjective
    1. Also, e⋅van⋅gel⋅ic. pertaining to or in keeping with the gospel and its teachings.
    2. belonging to or designating the Christian churches that emphasize the teachings and authority of the Scriptures, esp. of the New Testament, in opposition to the institutional authority of the church itself, and that stress as paramount the tenet that salvation is achieved by personal conversion to faith in the atonement of Christ.
    3. designating Christians, esp. of the late 1970s, eschewing the designation of fundamentalist but holding to a conservative interpretation of the Bible.
    4. pertaining to certain movements in the Protestant churches in the 18th and 19th centuries that stressed the importance of personal experience of guilt for sin, and of reconciliation to God through Christ.
    5. marked by ardent or zealous enthusiasm for a cause.
    –noun
    6. an adherent of evangelical doctrines or a person who belongs to an evangelical church or party.

    Apparently, by definition 5, possibly yes. However, I think definition 5 is a relatively recent definition. Words and their usages are not static. Dictionaries are descriptive rather than proscriptive. So, meanings change and dictionaries merely report the current usages.

    I think definition 5 came about as a deliberate attempt to use a word that didn’t make sense in that context as a derogatory remark against those with whom one disagrees. Therefore, I personally reject this new use and, while I admit it exists, feel that it is a poor and inaccurate use of the word.

  59. bobbo, the evangelical anti-theist says:

    Well Scott:

    Part of being evangelical is going on a mission to convert the heathen—aka===open a website and invite discussion so you can provide your insights??? Ignore facts when you would wish reality to be otherwise?

    Very evangelical. Whats wrong with being and admitting to being ardent or zealous?

    Heh, heh. Intellect can be used to understand and accept, or continue blind and rejecting. But to enter an arena and argue for any position is to be evangelical.

    Course, I could name myself pompous instead to achieve the same effect? or maybe just tell everyone I am a philosophy major? All the same thing. Subtle differences not worth the mention perhaps.

  60. bobbo,

    I have no problem with the term ardent. Both zealous and evangelical have religious meanings to them. I do not believe one can be an evangelist for that which is not religious. I also resent the term when used for technology evangelists. I think we should use another word for this rather than one that specifically started as a word for religious “persuasion”. Think about it, the root of the word has angel in it. I do not believe in angels and hence cannot be evangelic.

  61. bobbo, the pompous anti-theist says:

    Hah, hah. Ev-ANGEL-ica. Your argent zeal and logic have won me over.

    Evan-GEL-ica. I guess we can’t support any low viscous fluids either?

    I cooked four sixteen pound birds this year–a personal record as I slowly increase the target. I thought two was kinda silly===now hoping to hit 5. I’ll have cheap protein for 6 months.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  62. catherine says:

    If you truly wanna know if Jesus Christ is real Invite Him into your heart, your life. And see for yourself. He’s real people. He’s real. He’s not a myth as so many believe. I got to know Him for myself. I will not speak on your beliefs or non beliefs. We all have the right to beleif what we want. And if we judge we are to judge righteous judgment.

  63. catherine,

    Is that really your idea of evidence?

    Sorry. No. Why would I invite someone into my heart who causes death and destruction through xenophobia? I can be a better and more moral person without such a despicable character as my slave master.

    Even if you believe in the liberal, long haired, hippie freak, commie, pinko version of Jesus who heals the sick without asking for citizenship papers or proof of insurance, you must admit that his followers have caused an awful lot of bloodshed, and not as a byproduct of some other philosophy, but as a direct result of and because of their belief in Jesus.

    Imagine for a moment that your life has exactly the meaning that you choose to give it. Then take control of and responsibility for your own life. It is a very liberating experience.

  64. bobbo, the evangelical anti-theist says:

    Scott==your response is totally inappropriate. Catherine offered no form of evidence, just her personal experience, aka, not evidence.

    Also, “by definition” a mere belief in Jesus does not by itself cause any action at all towards your fellow man. You really are injecting too much Old Testament Anti Jesus is Love mythology into your evaluation.

    Getting cranky? I’m feeling bad. My next door neighbor was all happy about her son accepting Jeebus and getting a job and I stupidly said something like “But he doesn’t exist” which made her all sad. No reason to interfere with other people being inoffensively happy. Now, I have to wash her car to seek amends. I was wrong. So are you.

    As we get older, we really should become wiser=kinder.

  65. bobbo,

    I was indeed pointing out the fact that personal experience is not evidence. The tangent I went on had to do with why someone even might want to let some mythical freakazoid into one’s heart, which might be painful … and leave a hole.

    Seriously though: “As we get older, we really should become wiser=kinder.”

    Really? Why? The longer I live, the less I understand human beings. Wiser? Kinder? Perhaps when they are indeed being inoffensively happy. But, blogging is not necessarily inoffensive. catherine is spreading a bad meme. I’m trying to spread better memes.

    Real happiness isn’t going to come from slavery to an imaginary friend in the sky. Real happiness will come from taking responsibility for one’s own life and experiencing the liberating effect of ascribing exactly the meaning one wants to one’s own life.

  66. bobbo, the evangelical anti-theist says:

    Why? Why indeed. A question science/rationality cannot address-only emotions do. That requires psychoanalysis, not available on most day time blogs.

    You are being disingenuous if not downright dishonest not to “accept” the fact that most of your fellow humanoids do allow dogma and nonsense into their lives. Better Christ than Muhammad? Your attitude is on par with the “hate” you say you hate. Attack mode. It doesn’t “work.”

    And doing what works, is pragmatic, is wise. And what works is looking at yourself before attacking other people. When you do that, you give wrong but inoffensive, even happy, people a pass not a bump.

    So, yes wise = kind, and if you don’t agree, I’m sorry but I’ll just have to hunt you down like a dog, and make the world a better place: filled with people who think and act just like I do, even as I change my mind from day to day.

    ((Review. Slavery? Really? Catherine, me and YOU, remain free, FREEEEEEEE, to change our minds as the spirit moves us. Being attacked only gives rise to a defense. Silly Hooman. Repent.))

  67. Bobbo,

    Please, not you too!! “Better Christ than Mohammad”??!!? Not at all!! Do you think a corpse cares whether s/he dies in a building into which a plane crashed or was shot by an Operation Rescue shithead?

    Why would you bring that up on this topic at all?

    As for slavery, consider all of the time wasted in religious ritual for no good purpose. Yes. It is slavery. “Thy will be done.” Never has there been a more willing slave.

    Perhaps I am not being persuasive. Tough. Perhaps I am offending people. Yup. They offend me too. When someone knows I’m an atheist and wishes me a merry Christmas, it’s offensive. “In Clod We Trust” is an incredibly offensive sentiment in a nation that claims to have freedom of religion. Does anyone worry about offending the atheist? No.

  68. bobbo, the evangelical anti-theist says:

    Yes, “Better Christ than Mohammad.” /// Of course this has nothing to do with corpses in the ground and rather has to do with what corpses currently above ground are running around organizing themselves about. Christ==render unto Cesar what is Cesar’s is far better for the FREEDOM to not believe than is Mohammad==I am Cesar.

    I probably brought it up as a continuing slow burn fron “that other blog.”

    Slavery, as in Muhammad btw, is enforced from the outside. Freedom is still available if the only force is the weakness of mind. You fail to consider the DIFFERENCES when recognizing only the similarities between Slavery as Commonly Understood, and Slavery to God as Obedient Servitude.

    You have to TRY to be persuasive in order to not be persuasive. You are just being a knee jerk atheist misanthrope. Better than being religious, but still a knee jerk atheist misanthrope. Well one out of three is better than none. Keep working on it.

  69. We’ll have to agree to disagree on the Jihad vs. Crusade opinion. I think they’re the same. As for slavery, is it any greater today under Islam than it was in 1860? Check the bible on slavery some day.

    http://www.evilbible.com/Slavery.htm

    As an atheist, I don’t see a big difference between being enslaved under one religion or another. The other aspect of slavery though, the one to which I referred previously, was all about enslaving oneself to an imaginary friend? How do you see a difference in which imaginary friend one picks to enslave oneself to?

  70. bobbo, the evangelical anti-theist says:

    Ahh, THAT kind of slavery. I’ve ranted a few times that the saving aspect of religion is its hypocrisy. Few people “truly believe” even when they claim to be and even think they are. Everyone rolls their own religion picking and choosing what feels right to them. And thats a good thing.

    But certainly, enslaving one’s self to a more controlling religion/god would be more difficult than enslaving one’s self to a more liberal god? I don’t want my women all covered up and very much like Christian Bikini Contests.

    Scott–you simply aren’t using the golden rule – - – of analysis. Identify the commonalities, note the differences, weight the elements and importance/consequences of each element and try to reach some nuanced tentative conclusions.

    All religions are the same is just about always wrong: as in I can’t think of when they are. Course, if you are blind to their differences, then they are all the same.

    Hey–somehow I got off this thread trying to respond and I see a lot of other good stuff here. I’m envious. Good job.

  71. bobbo,

    First, I didn’t say all religions are the same, did I? Eastern religions, tribal religions, these are different. You said, “better Christ than Mohammed”. My usual statement is that there is only one JudeoChristianIslamic religion. There are many subsects. But, at the gross level, they are the same. A literal reading of any will cause one to become violent. They all acknowledge that they are indeed worshiping the same desert war god.

    You said, “identify the commonalities, note the differences, weight the elements and importance/consequences of each element and try to reach some nuanced tentative conclusions.”

    OK, let’s identify the commonalities. Anyone coming from outside would see that these religions all share the ten commandments, all share the same creation myth, all state that there is one correct way to act, all have conflicting information saying that we should not kill and then admonishing people to kill left and right, all say prayers to an imaginary friend with the expectation that the imagined supreme being will make temporary alterations in the laws of physics to provide some boon, all thank their imaginary friend in the sky for all that is good but refuse to make him/her take responsibility for what is bad, etc., etc., etc.

    What were the differences again? Oh yeah, the particular name they ascribe to the imaginary friend, a minor point on whether other gods do not exist (only Islam) versus may not be put before the main god (Judaism/Christianity), whether pork may be eaten, etc.

    OK, let’s give some weight to the differences versus the similarities. I’d say that the sects of the JudeoChristianIslamic religion’s sects are on the order of 97% the same. They kill each other over the other 3%. Do you really see the numbers differently?

    Too bad no god has said that thou shalt not waste life. Religion could quickly be considered a complete and utter waste of exactly as much time as one chooses to spend on it, and would vanish.

  72. bobbo, the evangelical anti-theist says:

    When you spend 97% of your time on how different religions are the same, that doesn’t leave much time/room for their differences? And when they are all that much the same (however much that is) then the differences are all that more important.

    I’m just a home grown antitheist and not an expert on religions’ intimate workings at all. But the issue of the day has been referenced several times and you refuse to address it: Muslims combine all aspects of life including the interpersonal and governmental all as religiously controlled issues. The others say render unto Caesar what is Caesars making a break between that which is religious in nature vs that which is non-religious. Huge Difference.

    Don’t the Jews “encourage” thinking for one’s self? Maybe not, that doesn’t sound very religious to me but so on down the various sects of the main religions. Some are fundamentalist and some are free thinking. Very different.

    Hmmm. I forgot the original question – - – - – “on getter older, should one become wiser? or was it “Better Christ than Muhammad?” I think within the various J,C,P sects I could find enough “freedom” to be happy. Not so sure of that with Islam==in all cases, assuming I could profess in Public and continue to think for myself in private? And certainly never if I had to face Mecca 4 times a day. And I’d kill myself if I had to live in the Middle East “as” a Muslin.

    Surely there have to be some significant “differences?”

    • Bobbo,

      One important thing you need to consider is that one must compare fundamentalist to fundamentalist. A fundamentalist view of any of the sects of the JudeoChristianIslamic religion will cause violence and extremism.

      Today, there happen to be a large number of fundamentalist Muslims because the Saudis are funding Salafi schools all over the place with their oil money. Reduce the price of oil and the fundamentalism will be relegated to a loud minority, as it is with Christian fundamentalists in the U.S.

      It is really a mistake to focus on the slight differences instead of the overall major issues. Take a look at Dominionists (who may include Sarah Palin in their ranks, though it is not proven). This is a sect of Christianity that seeks to establish Christ’s dominion on earth, yes, a global theocracy.

      Do not ignore the threat. It is pure evil and will require much violence if it spreads.

  73. ZAROVE says:

    Th bit about the Church changing the Virgin Birth bit in Luke is silly. The Greek says she was a Parthenos, and there is no actual reference to a man other than Joseph.

    The idea that the New testament is mistranslated or altered by the church is just daft, and there is really no evidence for that is there?

    Also sorry for the protracted delay.

  74. ZAROVE says:

    THAT said, I’ll begin to prove Jesus existed with just one link.

    I’ll be back later to show the rest.

    http://staff.kings.edu/bapavlac/evalsources.html

    This is he Historical method. If we apply it to the Early Church we find that Jesus as a man had to exist. This is the conclusion of all Scholars who study relevant fields on the matter, including Atheists like Bart Ehrman. The idea that Jesus, the man, didn’t exist is simply not Logical.

    While no one is able to show Physical evidence, because the events took place much too long ago, the same can be said of Caesar, whose only evidence is coinage and statuary.

    One more on the Virgin Birth, the ides that the Bible was mistranslated in regards to the word came form the idea that “Almah” was mistranslated in the Old Testament book of Isaiah. Anyone who says the Original book of Luke says Mary was pregnant by another man, especially one who pulls the old “Christians see this as they have been indoctrinated, but a plain reading will reveal…” trick really has no clue as to what he’s on about. Nothing in the text refers to Mary having sex with a man, just not Joseph. It calls her a Parthenos which means Virgin. No reference is made to even suggest Sex, and plenty to show she “had not known a man”.

    Its fairly obvious if you look at the Greek.

    Passage Below:

    26. En de’ too’ meeni’ too’ he’ktoo apesta’lee ho a’ngelosGabriee’l apo’ tou’ Theou’ eis po’lin tee’s Galilai’as hee’o’noma Nazare’th
    27. pro’s parthe’non emneesteume’neen andri’hoo’ o’noma Ioosee’f ex oi’kou Daui’d, kai’ to’ o’noma tee’sparthe’nou Maria’m.
    28. Kai’ eiselthoo’n pro’s autee’n ei’pen,”Chai’re, kecharitoome’nee, ho Ku’rios meta’ sou’!”{*}
    29. Hee de’ {*} epi’ too’ lo’goo dietara’chthee kai’dielogi’zeto potapo’s ei’ee ho aspasmo’s hou’tos.
    30. Kai’ ei’pen ho a’ngelos autee’, “Mee’ fobou’, Maria’m,heu’res ga’r cha’rin para’ too’ Theoo’!

    Anyone who reads this and comes away with the idea that it never refers to Mary as a Virgin but simply says she was Pregnant by a man not her Husband has no idea what Parthenon means. Or in verse 34:

    “Poo’s e’staitou’to, epei’ a’ndra ou ginoo’skoo?”

    Basically she says “How can I have a Child when I have never been known by a Man”, or, “Had intimacy with a man”. Saying this means “She was pregnant by a man who wasn’t Joseph and the big bad evil Church couldn’t deal with that” just makes no sense whatsoever So no, the Gospel of Luke doesn’t Really say that Mary was just Pregnant by another man besides Joseph, it makes it explicitly clear that no man was involved in the conception of Jesus and that this is a Miracle of God. That discards the entire Greek Text. it’s not that Christians only see this because of conditioning, the while argument is the opposite, too many Atheists are credulous enough to believe any argument they hear that takes down Christianity.

    Even the Original Almah claims isn’t true.

    (Almah doesn’t actually mean “Young Woman”, but comes from the Hebrew Root meaning Hidden or Veiled, or otherwise unknown, and at least strongly implied Virginity.

    Hence why it was Translated as “Parthenos” in the LXX.

    • I think a significant difference exists between Jesus and Cesar, or actually quite a few differences.

      1) Writings about Cesar exist from the time of his life, not so for Jesus.

      2) There is no mention in any historical text about a controversial crucifixion at the time of Christ.

      3) The San Hedrin did not meet on holiday’s. It would be like suggesting that the Supreme Court of the United States convened on Christmas Eve to hear a death penalty case. Such things don’t happen.

      4) The San Hedrin would have had to violate their own laws regarding the time between a conviction and execution. This also would not happen.

      5) No one has ever attributed supernatural powers to Cesar. Ordinary claims require ordinary evidence to back them up. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. In Christ’s case, even the ordinary evidence is in short supply.

      As for whether Mary was a virgin, removing that extraordinary claim would reduce the amount of extraordinary evidence required. Since you seem married to the idea of her virginity, you will find your case harder to make, not easier.

      Do you really claim she was a pregnant virgin?

      Or, would you like to backpeddle a bit and merely claim that the original text, which may be fictional, asserted her virginity?

      Lastly, if you quote Greek, at least have the decency to provide your own assertions of the correct translation. I don’t happen to speak Greek and am not about to trust a web translator for subtle meanings.

  75. ZAROVE says:

    Now, here is the problem with your setup before. History is not Science. Whereas I cannot prove any single event actually happened in Scientific terms, I can show Documentary Evidence which suggests such occurred.

    This brings us to Jesus. With Jesus we don’t seem to have a Myth that started like all other Myths. Myths take Generations to really get going, starting as vague stories that add detail over time. We usually also see a plethora of versions of said Myth. The Myth is usually also set much further back than the Codification Process.

    In Jesus, we have only a single story that was codified rapidly, and told very close to the events it depicts.

    That alone tells us its at least highly Unusual. Even the famed “90 year gap” that is frequently sued by such sites as “The Rational Revolution” seem to overlook that it was closer to 300-500 years between the Trojan Wars and Homer.

    Meanwhile, Christianity also got started in a specific time and place that Contemporaries would have been able to verify at least some part of it. Remember, the earliest Christian Writings we have are of Paul, only ten years after the events, and likely internal Christian writings existed before this time. Working only with Paul’s Letters though we find Paul telling others specific Information about Jesus’ Earthly Life which shatters the claim that he as a Purely Esoteric being who never became Flesh, as some propose. ( I will show specific passages if asked.)

    Then there is 1 Corinthians Chapter 15, in which Paul notes that there are some 500 Witnesses who saw the Resurrected Jesus, and while some of them had Died, the greater part still lived. He encouraged those he wrote to to ask them of the events.

    If Jesus never existed at all, wouldn’t someone have ventually noticed thatPaulw as full of it and no one knew this bloke he was on about? Or did Paul pay some 350 people to pretend to know Jesus personally?

    Worse still, if the greater part of the 500 were still Alive in Jerusalem, there should also be people who disapprove of Christianity who are there too and were during the life of Jesus of Nazareth.

    Yet, none of them bothered to stop the Idiot Disciples Paul made and say “You’re a fool, Jesus never existed, there was no such person!” Christianity had enemies in its early days, and yet even THEY accepted Jesus as Real, in terms of being a real man who lead a real life.

    Then there’s the fact that Jesus seemed to have aspects of his life that were tacked on to prove he was Messiah that wouldn’t be necessary if he as a pure Mythic Creation.

    A perfect example of this is that his home town was Nazareth. Everyone knew Messiah would be from Bethlehem, as the Prophets had said Messiah would be Born there and it as just assumed he’d have lived there. Yet, the Gospels indicate him as “Jesus of Nazareth”.

    To resolve this we see the Birth Narratives arranging for his Parents to go to Bethlehem to Enrol in a census just in time for Mary to give Birth to Jesus in Bethlehem thus fulfilling the Prophecy. But, wouldn’t a Mythmaker have been able to spar himself such a convoluted trip that relies on Dumb luck and Chance by simply having his Legendary Hero simply be born of Parents who already live in Bethlehem? Why bother with Nazareth at all? Nazareth is never even mentioned in the Old testament. ( It did exist before that’s brought up, forgive the lack of links as it’s not the most significant detail here.) Think about it. You are a fiction writer who is doing a piece on the Messiah having been born, and are trying get a religious following going. So you make the hero form a small, unimportant backwater Village like Nazareth when the Prophecies explicitly state he will be from Bethlehem? Why? Why not just have his Family be from Bethlehem in the first place and avoid the need of creatin an excuse to get his Parents there. The most Logical reason would be that Jesus really was from Nazareth, and this was a well-known Fact that couldn’t be changed. In this case its just either True that he was born in Bethlehem, or else its just a way to work around the Prophetic expectations. Either way, its clear that its centred on a real man.

    The Religious Following is also telling. Mythic Religious cults start small and slow, developing over many generations till the myth itself is formed then centring around it with evolving Rites.

    Meanwhile, Christianity comes out of no where and just is. It explodes into Existence ion the First Century with a ready-made story and prepared Rituals like Baptism and the Eucharist, and a complete History.

    It didn’t have tome to just come about out of Myth.

    Then there is the fact that Jesus was crucified. Unlike how we think fo it today the crucifixion was not a common end for a god, nor a Hero. It was a shameful death and the point of it was that all who died that way were proven failures. It was a shame to be mocked and scorned. So why pick it? It certainly wouldn’t be the first Choice of those creating a Myth, and St. Jerome in his Apology (Often misquoted to prove Pagan Origins) said that unlike all other gods or myths Jesus Christ was Crucified. This is in “The Apology” by Justyn Martyr.

    A Mythic Jesus would leave us with these questions then.

    1: Why include Crucifixion?

    2: Why make him Jesus of Nazareth and not Jesus of Bethlehem given the Prophecies that Messiah would be from Bethlehem?

    3: Why would Paul say Witnesses could be asked and they need not take his word for it if this was not at least partially True?

    4: Why is it that none of Christianity’s enemies denied Jesus existed? The Theory came about only I the 18th Century.

    5: How did a Story base don a Mythic an nonexistent set of events become so big so fast?

    6: If we remove Jesus form History and understand him as a Mythic figure, how do we even explain how the Story developed this Rapidly and was set in the Lifetime of the actual Early Church without anyone ever finding out that it wasn’t True?

  76. bobbo, the evangelical anti-theist says:

    Gee Zarove==stuck on Jesus? Everything you say is irrelevant. The myth of Jesus could easily have started/developed differently from other myths as a function of the inherent variability of such things. Jesus the Myth could easily be based on the life/teachings of several different real people (aka Life of Brian) and Paul simply put all things together years after current witnesses had passed.

    Beyond that, there is no history/evidence/science to indicate Jesus was born holy in any sense of the word or that he was resurrected.

    Much later, the Mormons started up a whole new christ based myth by writing a book and having a group of people believe it. The New Testament came about a bit slower but it was the same process. And Scientology and the Church of Elvis are well on their way.

    This notion of God is all too human and shows its imperfections readily.

    Even if god did exist, he should be contested. He should leave his creation ALONE. Tyrant not to do so.

    • bobbo,

      There is nothing I’m aware of in any text suggesting that god is not a tyrant. That alone won’t make him non-existent. It might make him not benevolent. However, the OT certainly never claimed him to be benevolent. (Funny, I typed beneviolent before catching my typo. Freudian slip of the fingers, and an accurate description of the fictional desert war god.)

      That said, the rest of your post is entirely correct. All evidence of Jesus comes from at least 70 years after his life. Since most people at the time didn’t live to 70, there’s very little even first hand eye-witness information there. And, eyewitness testimony is about the least reliable form of evidence there is.

      In the case of Cesar or other major historical figures, there is writing from many sources that one may piece together and hope to get some reasonable image of the individual, or at least some confidence that said individual existed.

      Why does this not exist for Jesus?

      Even if he was a more minor character than Cesar at the time, he is described as having been highly controversial and disruptive to a great many people, enough to have gotten the attention of the top Hebrews and Romans of the time. And, yet, with both Hebrew and Roman historians, we get absolutely no mention of the character at all.

      So, I will not assert that he did not exist as flesh and blood. I will merely assert that there is far less evidence than one might expect for such a character. I remain agnostic about the existence of him as a human being (and honestly don’t even care much, though I like the debate).

      I will assert that no gods exist and Jesus is no exception. Certainly, there is zero evidence that he or anyone else is a god. However, just to claim the existence of a human being and philosopher named Jesus (or actually Y’shua) would merely require ordinary evidence.

      Proving that he existed would not matter too much to me. If he did, he was a doubter though.

      ‘Father, why have you forsaken me?’

      Even just doubt in the old orthodoxy would make him a doubter, regardless of any belief in god.

      And, I would also point out that as a messiah bringing world peace, he was a complete and utter failure. Can you say crusade? How about inquisition?

      Even the wars of the non-religious would be evidence of failure on the part of anyone who claimed to bring world peace. So, no, by his own religion, if he existed, he was a miserable failure as a messiah.

  77. bobbo, the evangelical anti-theist says:

    Scott–well the two of us have reached agreement==figures its off topic that got us going?

    And how to bring Zarove into our happy little group? I guess we’d have to start with the dictionary and what words actually mean? Like what can you do with someone who thinks: “Christianity comes out of no where and just is.” Ha. Ha. And that uniqueness is somehow evidence of its truth? Kinda makes me wonder what the definition of “is” is?

  78. ZAROVE says:

    Misanthripic Scot, your claim is wrong. You say that nothign was written about Jeus for 70 years? Pauls letters are only from about ten years after the time of Jesus, and the GOspels, even takign the late date for them, are form only about 40 years later. I think your confusing the 70 AD claim to mean 70 years after his Crucifiction, but the AD Datign was suppose to start at his Birth. If we accept the GOspel of Mark as beign from about 65-70 AD and assume aroudn 30-35 AD for Jesus’s Death on the Cross, we do not arrive at 70 years after the fact. And theres still Pausl Letters. And the General Epistles. Eahc of those were written long beofre the GOspels themselves.

    Also, the whole “God is a Tyrant’ and FIcitonal War god bit is useles sin this topic and only reveal a Bias.

  79. Zarove,

    You’ve proven yourself better at this once before. Cite a source please. Then, after you cite a source and prove to me that the writings are only from about 30 years after Christ’s supposed death, perhaps you would care to explain why no one, not one single person, wrote about a figure so controversial and so famous as to get the attention of the top people from Rome and from the Hebrews.

    Why did no one from either side, while writing the events of the time in great detail, give a single mention of a man claiming to perform miracles and spreading a philosophy so radical that it angered both Romans and Hebrews alike?

    Here’s my source again in case you missed it earlier.

    http://www.rationalrevolution.net/articles/jesus_myth_history.htm

    As for bias, certainly both you and I are biased. You believe in and worship Christ. I see scripture telling of genocides ordered by god. I see scripture telling me I must stone my friends to death for crimes that hurt no one. I see scripture telling my closest family to cast the first stone at me to set an example. I see a god who would kill a woman for turning to take a last look at the city in which she was born, but then let a daughter-fucker live a long and healthy life.

    How drunk must one be to not recognize one’s daughter? Could one really perform sexually at that point? Read the story of Lot and tell me what you think.

    Your god is a vicious bastard. If, when I die, I find out that you are right about him/her, I plan to get in one good shot before being zapped for eternity. I’ll punch your god right in the nose. Your god is worthy of contempt rather than worship, were he or she to actually exist.

    But, back to your topic, ignoring the biases that you and I each have, why did no one write a single word about such an infamous man during his life?

  80. ZAROVE says:

    Your distorting events, and still not really getting the facts. I mean, in the case of Lot, Lots wife wasn’t born in Sodom, she and her Husband moved there later. Worse, she wasn’t Punished for looking back. At least the text doesn’t say she was, only that they were warned not to, and she did. Nothing in the text indicates God, in a fit of rage, turned her to a Pillar of Salt for merely looking, and its evident in the story itself that her fate was caused mainly by the act being self evidently harmful rather than maliciously so.

    Rather like if I told a three year old not to touch a hot stove. If they did touch the hot stove anyway, and wound up with a nasty burn, you could say that my punishment for disobedience to me was far too harsh on a Three Year Old, couldn’t you? I’d come off as a right bastard for burning the Three Year old. Well, if you don’t bother considering that I didn’t actually burn them, they burnt themselves after I had warned them.

    As to Lot, the fact is, he was drunk and the passage makes it very clear that he was incapacitated, and people today do perform sexually when inebriated to the point of total loss of control. Blaming Lot for the Incest is simply an attempt to force guilt upon him.

    This is yet another example of you offering an interpretation that you simply prefer, as it suits your one ends. You desire to see God in a Negative light, and therefore interpret these matters in a way that accommodates your desires. God is not a Tyrant, nor evil, nor Vicious, and he examples you cite are nothing more than the Usual Drivel Atheists have presented long ago, before you were around. It rests on false presentation of the Facts.

    Its rather like the “Iron Chariots” Bible Contradiction, in which God supposedly can’t beat Iron Chariots, which Atheist are too smart to bother checking out to see why its absolutely daft.

    As to my own Biases, in my past I have defended Islam when it is defamed. Recently Joseph Farah on WorldNetDaily said the Koran calls blacks “Raisin Heads”, which was not True. The quote he was abusing did not originate in the Koran, but in the Hadith. Worse, the actual quote simply said that we should Obey our masters, even if they are Ethiopians, and even if their heads look like Raisins. The quote was not about all black people, only Ethiopians, and the Quote didn’t even say all Ethiopians had Raisin Heads. (Apparently a reference to age.)

    So the text in the Hadith was not, in fact, Racist. Farah also misquoted several other passages in the Koran or falsely attributed Hadith passages to the Koran. I sent an (Unanswered) Email to him, telling him he had born false witness. He of course did not reply.

    I am not a Muslim. I did as I said merely in the interest of Truth. I even defended Richard Dawkins a time or two, while I ma not an Atheist, simply because something false about him was said. IE, he is not a Christ Myther, when someone else said he was.

    If I were merely here as a Pure Christian Apologist I’d not offer Secular Arguments, would I?

    That said, I usually don’t provide Citations for things that are extremely simply to find. I forget that sometimes people don’t want to do any work at all. But still, this stuff I say is easy to confirm.

    But you should also note that I didn’t say all texts written about Christ are from 30 years later, I said the Gospels were. The mistake you make is in assuming that everything we have about the life of Jesus was written 70 years later, which is based on the Gospels being written around 70 AD. That’s the origin of the misunderstanding.

    But its wrong both in its placement of the Gospels ( If it was 70 Years later it’d be about 100 AD) and in the fact that it overlooks other texts. I already had mentioned Paul’s writings as the earliest extant Writings of Christianity, and they were written ten years or so later. What about the Epistle of James?

    As to dating the texts, it really depends on who you ask \of precise Dating as divergent Scholarly schools exist. The General tend in Laymen circles (Of which this is) is to divide it neatly into “Liberal” and “Conservative” camps. (Not to be confused with political positions, please.) Some take a relatively late dating for the earliest of Paul’s Epistles, whilst others an early one. But none place 1 Thessalonians past Circa 50 AD, only 20 years after the events of the Gospel.

    Here is an excellent Resource using Liberal Dating, called “Early Christian Writings”.

    http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/

    Another, from a decidedly Catholic perspective, is here.

    http://www.systematicchristianity.org/TheLettersOfPaul.htm

    One can find also information on this matter from “Straight Dope”, which did a wonderful multipart Series on “Who wrote the Bible”.

    A link to Part One is below.

    http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1985/who-wrote-the-bible-part-1

    Go far enough you find Paul’s Epistles, and the Gospels.

    Still, none of these sources support the idea that nothing was written of Jesus prior to 100 AD, 70 years after his Death. Even “Early Christian Writings” says something was likely written of him around 30 AD or so.

    Which brings me to the final objection you made. Why didn’t anyone write about him till log after the events? But is such a question serious?

    All Extraordinary Men we know of in Antiquity have the same fate. Few were written of in their own Lifetime. Hannibal was written of only after his Death, and the same is true of Socrates, who is only written of by Plato years after his Demise. Or what of Alexander he Great? What do we have written of him from his own Lifetime? Everything we have about him is from much later.

    In the Ancient World, people tended not to write a lot of things down in the lifetime of the men they revered. Ink and Paper were expensive, and besides, people preferred to hear the information from people rather than read it, as they viewed oral tradition as more reliable. Only when witnesses began to die off would the events of someone’s life hen be committed to paper for preservation.

    Then there’s the fact that, even if they had written something in the lifetime of the Great Man, it could be lost to Antiquity.

    In this regard, Jesus is perfectly normal. It’d be unusual indeed for someone to have written of him during his life, and not strange at all that nothing was written of him in the course of his life.

    This is what we’d expect from Antiquity, in fact, and what is true of the vast majority of people we find in Ancient History. Why should Jesus be any different? Why do you use this as evidence he may not, or likely wasn’t, real but a Myth when the same applies to literally most Figures in History? Isn’t that simply application of a Double Standard?

    Come now, be more reasonable.

    • A human turning into a pilar of salt is obviously a bit of magic Zarove. Who performed the magic if not god?

      As for god being a vicious bastard, that much is abundantly obvious.

      1 Samuel 15:2-3: Thus saith the LORD of hosts: I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he set himself against him in the way, when he came up out of Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.’

      What did infants and sucklings, not to mention oxen, sheep, camels, and asses, do to deserve such a fate? Answer: Not a god damned thing, obviously. But, god is a raging bastard.

      Psalm 137:9: Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

      Deuteronomy 13:7-11: If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, that is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying: ‘Let us go and serve other gods,’ which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; of the gods of the peoples that are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him; but thou shalt surely kill him; thy hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to draw thee away from the LORD thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

      I added this last because it’s the one for which my family should kill me.

      As for Josephus, didn’t he live after Jesus died? If not, he must have been a very small child at the time since he was born in 37AD and I thought Jesus died at 33.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephus

      Oh, and even a quick wikipedia search finds that historical reconstructions of Jesus rely heavily on the bible and that nothing was written about him during his life.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus#Historical_views

      So, it seems that nothing was written of Christ from the time of his life. You claim that the same is true for other historical figures.

      However, I claim that at the time of Jesus, there were people writing the events of the time from both the Roman and the Hebrew side, authors such as Pliny the Elder, Seneca the Younger, and Valerius Maximus, and Velleius Paterculus. All made no mention of Jesus.

      And, again, what of the San Hedrin working on Erev Pesach? They would be stoned to death according to their own law for working on a holiday. But, according to the bible, they did so to execute Jesus. This would surely be a momentous occasion worthy of mention in the writings of Pliny and Seneca.

      However, all of that said, I merely expressed doubt about the existence of said human, not an assertion that the man didn’t exist. So, why the vehemence in your argument?

      If I have any double standard, it is because of the highly extraordinary claims of supernatural powers, not because I find the existence of a human unlikely. Were the claims more ordinary, perhaps even as a leader or king, I would likely accept them. However, the claim is for virgin birth and a god. That immediately brings into suspicion the entire story.

      If I said I saw some guy preaching on the street, you’d probably believe me. If I told you that the man walked across the Hudson River after turning it into wine, you’d probably discount the entire story. That is not a double standard.

  81. ZAROVE says:

    Also, its not true that Jesus is not mentioned by Historians. He is mentioned Twice by Josephus.

    And before its said, the idea that the passage in Antiquities is a forgery is not true. But even if it was true, the other passage about James the Brother of Jesus is not a forgery, and no one has ever said it was. Most Historians believe the famous passage about Jesus was authentic, but edited. The consensus is that Josephus wrote about Jesus being a Purported messiah. Ill go into more detail later.

    It should also be noted that Jesus only made the news in Palestine. Only the Romans in Palestine had heard f him. Only the Jews in Palestine had, too. He was locally controversial, not controversial to the Empire. He was likely unknown to the Eternal City.

    As to Jesus being a Doubter, he was quoting the 22nd Psalm. Read it for yourself below.

  82. ZAROVE says:

    Psalms 22

    1. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?
    2. O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.
    3. But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
    4. Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.
    5. They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.
    6. But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.
    7. All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
    8. He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.
    9. But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts.
    10. I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly.
    11. Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.
    12. Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.
    13. They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.
    14. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.
    15. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.
    16. For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
    17. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.
    18. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
    19. But be not thou far from me, O Lord: O my strength, haste thee to help me.
    20. Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.
    21. Save me from the lion’s mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.
    22. I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.
    23. Ye that fear the Lord, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.
    24. For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.
    25. My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.
    26. The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the Lord that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.
    27. All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.
    28. For the kingdom is the Lord’s: and he is the governor among the nations.
    29. All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.
    30. A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.
    31. They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.

  83. BTW Zarove,

    Matt 5:17: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.”

    I’d suggest that you put on a yarmulke, stop eating pork, and stick to the old law.

  84. Zarove,

    I’m thinking we’ve gone off on way too many tangents at once. Let’s try this. Give me enough proof from someone who wasn’t taking hallucinogenics and who was an adult, or at least a teenager, at the time of Jesus to show that the man Jesus even existed. Then we can discuss the rest.

    Thanks.

  85. ZAROVE says:

    Grammar: when you use the word God as a name, as you do in your posts, it must be capitalised. I don’t care if the word god is not a proper Noun, the way a word is used determines if it is or is not in a sentence. I also don’t care that you don’t believe in god so don’t want to show veneration or feel no need to shoe respect for the tile, as god is not a title but a name. Its never used as a Title anyway.

    No one belies god gave Moses the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, its God, cap G.

    That said, your postings about Gods tyrannies really ignores the realities of the time they lived in. I hate to break it to you but, you can’t judge events that took place 6000 years ago by Modern Standards.

    Psalm 137: 9 is he worst offender. You act as if this is a commandment of God to smash Children’s Skulls in, when the reality is the Psalm was written during the Babylonian Captivity, and was simply expressing what will happen to the Babylonians, that they will face he same fate they visited upon Israel.

    One thing I always hated about Internet Atheists is their willingness to swallow the “Hate verses in the Bible” unquestioningly, without reading the surrounding verses, or getting a feel of what the whole passage is even talking about.

    As to the problem of working on the Passover, don’t you think you need to really consider hat if Jesus was a Myth the writers of the Gospel would have excluded that? They were Jewish too you know, and well aware of the Law. Besides, Jesus wasn’t killed on the Passover, but shortly after not quiet the same thing.

    You should also not really trust Wikipedia. The Links I supplied reveal that writings of Jesus likely did exist in his own lifetime, but few to none survive. Is this really that out of the question considering the time period and the later destruction of Jerusalem? Suppose there were several writers who spoke both positively and negatively of Jesus, all living in Jerusalem. What would have happened to their works if they remained mainly in and around Jerusalem after Tacitus burned the city to the Ground? While my speculation is not evidence, it does illustrate the flaw to your thinking.

    As for writings done by those who knew Jesus, we have the Three Epistles of John and the Gospel of John, as well as the Book of Revelation. We have the Book of James. We have first Peter. (Second Peter is in some dispute.) We have Jude.

    Why aren’t they enough?

    Luke’s Gospel, while written by someone who explicitly states he didn’t personally meet Jesus, was still written by someone who went about asking people who had known him. Firsthand testimony was used by Luke to acquire details and check facts.

    It should also be noted that Seneca did not live very close to the events, nor did Pliney, nor Trajan, and anyone who did was either dead before or killed during the fall of Jerusalem.

    In that way it is like Mesada, whose only record came to us from Josephus, who likewise was not there, but which is accepted in History.

    Also, how could Josephus’s information on Jesus have come from the Bible when it had yet to be compiled?

    Also, a Miracle is not Magic.

    As to the evidence, I did above. You have no evidence that the Authors took Hallucinagens, by the way.

  86. zarove,

    when you fix your spelling you can speak about my capitalization of the word god. until then, you’re going to have to do a lot more than point out a lack of capitalization to make your point.

    If you chose to ignore the hate verses in the bible, you must admit that you are cherry picking it. In what possible context would it be OK to slaughter all of the men, women, infants, sucklings, oxen, sheep, camel and asses in the city?

    You presumably believe that God (capitalized, happy?) is all knowing and that His morality is timeless and unchanging. So, it certainly acceptable to judge by today’s standards. I’m not judging the biblical characters. I’m judging God Him/Herself.

    Your God Is Not Worthy Of Worship. Rather, your god is worthy of contempt. If, when I die, I find out that you are right about Him/Her and that S/He does indeed exist, I will do my best to get in one good shot before I get zapped for eternity. I plan to make my best attempt to punch God in the Nose.

    Your God lives to laugh while he sends people to Hell for eternity. Think about the math.

    About 2 billion of the world’s 6.8 billion people are Christian. So, by definition, 70% of the world’s population of humans are going to Burn In Hell For Eternity!

    But wait!! Some Christians sin; some murder; some are homosexual; some don’t die with the name of Jesus on their lips. These are presumably also going to Burn in Hell!!

    But wait!! Some worship idols and other gods, like statuary of the Virgin Mary and others. Some believe that one must take holy communion; others do not. One group is wrong. They are going to Hell.

    So, what percentage is left? How many go to heaven? Seems like a very small number. Perhaps God actually hates people and laughs when He sends them to Hell. Who knows?

    It’s so much easier as an atheist, isn’t it?

    Yes, your god is vicious and unforgiving. Holding a grudge for eternity is in fact the very definition of unforgiving. Is this creature worthy of worship or contempt? Do you see now why I hate the very concept of your God even though I believe S/He does not exist?

    The concept is abhorrent. Never has such a mean and vindictive fictional character been invented. Only a despicable species like our own could even dream up such a creature, let alone waste our precious little time on this planet singing praise to this Ultimate Bastard.

    Why aren’t they enough?

    Because the three of them mixed in obvious hallucinations making all of them non-credible witnesses. Eyewitness testimony is the least reliable form of evidence around. The human mind simply does not work like a video recorder. So, to take at face value the nonsensical ravings of lunatics would be illogical.

    As I said, I admit the possibility that they did see a man named Jesus. I’m just not willing to assert that they did any more than I would assert that UFOs exist when many more people have described them in much detail.

    Firsthand testimony was used by Luke to acquire details and check facts.

    The legal term for such evidence is called hearsay.

    In that way it is like Mesada [sic], whose only record came to us from Josephus, who likewise was not there, but which is accepted in History.

    Actually, Masada is a real place. I’ve been there. There are numerous artifacts from the people who lived and died there. You are flat dead wrong about the only account being from Josephus. There is real physical evidence of the historical event. Archeology, heard of it? I guess not.

    Also, how could Josephus’s information on Jesus have come from the Bible when it had yet to be compiled?

    Legitimate question. But, again, the answer is hearsay since he was not yet born when Jesus died.

    Also, a Miracle is not Magic.

    Are you serious? Then what is it? Certainly it is not a normal thing that any human can cause. So, if Lot’s wife was turned to salt as “a miracle” it was not performed by a human, correct? Who did it? Was God careless about the side effects of his destruction?

    What is your distinction between miracle and magic? I really am curious. If it is performed by a god or spirit of another religion, which is it? Does it matter whether it is another JudeoChristianIslamic sect’s version of God who did it? What about Zeus, Odin, the spirits of Voodoo? Which are miracles? Which are magic? What is the difference?

    As for hallucinogens, no. I have no evidence that they did. Occam’s razor. Which is the simplest explanation?

    A) A supernatural being exists that has never given a hint of real proof about his/her existence and deliberately confuses people by calling him/herself different names in different locations for the purpose of causing war.

    B) The authors of the bible were on some form of drugs that made them imagine things.

    C) The authors of the bible actively lied.

    D) The authors of the bible were either dehydrating or sleep deprived and not in their right minds.

    E) The authors of the bible heard children’s stories from birth and wrote them up as truth when they got older.

    F) The authors of the bible were trying to control the masses with a story praising the good behavior of slaves. (Thy will be done — Never has there been a more willing slave than one who truly took that message to heart.)

    G) Any other simple explanation that does not invoke a supernatural being for whom there is not a shred of evidence.

    The least reasonable of all is A. All the others are more believable by orders of magnitude.

    Remember, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. There is not even a shred of ordinary evidence for the existence of any god, gods, or godlets.

  87. bobbo, the evangelical anti-theist says:

    “writings don’t exist, but I can imagine they did and were destroyed, so its a fallacy to say writings don’t exist.”

    “Firsthand Testimony?”

    “a Miracle is not Magic”

    Given the above, I will claim at least “I” have no bias.

    Ha, ha. Carry on.

  88. ZAROVE says:

    I am dyslexic.

    Also, spell checks are hard to use, because all the words on the drop list look the same.

    That said, I didn’t ignore the “Hate Verses”, but rather noted how you are cherry picking them to support a fallacious assumption. IE, Psalm 137:19 was not really a Hate Verse at all, and if you’d read the rest of the Psalm you’d realise swiftly that it was simply saying the same fate would visit the Babylonians as they had visited upon Israel when they had conquered it, not a commandment from God to kill babies by smashing their skulls against stones and to be happy about it.

    As to the Cities, do you not know anything about Ancient warfare? Tribal Cultures? Moral Principles are Eternal, but not all else in Morality is, and in this case you also have to realise that God was working on developing Humanity to a specific point, which they had not reached. He still had to both speak to them on a level they’d understand and would have to present tot hem a course of action that would allow them to live in the world they lived in. Had they not wiped out the whole City then the City would have in several years attacked them in Vengeance. Because unlike today they didn’t make a distinction between an individual, his family, his extended Tribe, and the passage of time. If my Grandfather killed someone the surrounding Villagers may take hold of me to make me pay for it.

    Regarding Hell, your well off Theologically there as well. Hell is not a place God send people because he holds Grudge for Eternity, it is a place one sends oneself by ones own refusal to accept God. Also, while Christ is the only way to Heaven, classical Theology tends to view this as because he is the Final Judge, not that one necessarily must become a Christian.

    For example, the Catholic and Orthodox Churches have something called Invincible Ignorance. Commonly misunderstood, this doctrine doesn’t say everyone goes to Heaven f they are ignorant of Christ, but it does permit someone who has never heard the Gospel to get into Heaven by generally trying to seek God and his will and operates on the assumption that said individual likely would have become a Christian if he had heard. Many Theologians also think that it is wrong for us to try to say who will and will not get into heaven, and the Purpose f attempting to get people to be Christians is to ensure they follow the Teachings of Christ, and find Salvation, not because this alone will Save one. After all, if being a Christian was all it took, then how would you explain Mathew 7:23? Being a Christian is Important, but in the end Jesus Judges who Enters Heaven and who doesn’t, and this is based upon the condition of our Soul. Hell is simply the Natural result of rejecting God and his Love, and choosing Selfishness, Hatred, and oppression. God doesn’t send us there out of his own anger, or because he holds a Grudge, but because that is where we have told him we want to go based upon our own choices of who we are.

    Now that the Theology is out of the way…

    • Zarove,

      I had remembered that you were dyslexic and had not commented on your spelling previously for exactly that reason. My comment was about your complaint about capitalization. If you want me to continue to ignore your spelling, you’ll have to ignore whether I put a capital G on god regardless of whether I use it as a proper name or not. Sometimes, I mean it as a generic placeholder for any god or gods. Sometimes I just don’t feel like honoring him/her with capitalization. If that little denigration of your vision of the invisible man in the sky bothers you, perhaps you should not debate with atheists. I’d suggest getting a thicker skin.

      Regarding hell, I’ve never heard it the way you say, but would still say that the whole gnashing of teeth thing for eternity sounds like a pretty bad place. Why would a benevolent god create such a place? Certainly, the inability to get out once in means that your god cannot possibly be all-forgiving. In fact, the existence of such a place proves that your god is very cruel indeed, even if only one person goes there. Perhaps, could it be? Does your vision of hell show it to be empty? Filled with only temporary residents?

      I do not seek yours or any other god. I seek real knowledge of the workings of the universe and appreciation of my relationship to the other wonderful creatures with whom we share the planet. I do not want to go to hell. I expect oblivion to be my reward.

      As I was (or more accurately was not) for the first 13.73 billion years of the universe, so I expect to be again. Life, for me, is a brief interlude in oblivion. I intend to make the most of it without doing harm (to the best of my ability) and not waste a lot of time on fantasy. The real world is fantastic enough for me. It’s real beauty and wonder exceed any fantasy ever dreamed up by humans.

      Do you expect hell for me based on your teachings? I know you don’t want to presume to take the ability of judgment away from your master. But, since I can’t expect an answer from him or her, what is your opinion?

  89. ZAROVE says:

    You claim the legal term for what Luke did was Hearsay. That’s not True. If it were, than any Biography written about any individual would be Hearsay. Atheists on the net and elsewhere are too in love with accusing everything of being Hearsay for it to even be a credible argument. If Luke did nothing but copy and compile written records you’d complain, if he gets it directly form witnesses you complain.

    But this is how History works, whether you like it or not, and the only way you can really Challenge Jesus’ existence and the overall story is to ignore how Historians ten to gather Historical Information. Nearly all Great men in Antiquity have Miracles attributed to them, yet they are not rejected. Why should Jesus be?

    Also, calling them Hallucinations doesn’t mean they were either.

    But for my presentation, all I really asked was that you use the same standard of admission used by Historians for all Ancient Texts, including he Bible, which would show that Jesus did indeed exist.

    • I claim that if one tells a story and claims to have heard the story from others, that yes, that is the definition of hearsay. And, since the claim includes many claims for things that simply do not occur in ordinary life, (water to wine, walking on water, resurrection after death, etc.) that extraordinary evidence would be required. In fact, it makes me think that the entire story is suspect. Were the claim a simple claim of a philosopher who said we should generally be nice to each other, I would believe that said philosopher existed.

      However, that is not the claim. The claim is for a miracle worker. The claim is of experiences outside those that any human has ever recorded first hand. The claim is of experience that simply does not happen. And, the evidence is weaker than normal, not stronger. So, while it might have been enough had the claim been ordinary, it must be at least admitted that the evidence is far from sufficient.

      As such, it calls the entire story into question.

      In the case of the Cesars, there are records not only from word of mouth from Rome, but from artifacts left behind and from histories of others, such as Egyptians. Further, the claim for the Cesars do not, despite your claim, include miraculous works. They are simply stories of a ruler. Rulers are commonplace in history. It’s not a stretch of anyone’s imagination to consider the possibility of one.

      Do you see how your claim is different?

      A) The claim is for extraordinary occurrences.
      B) No writing exists from anyone who didn’t believe he was a miracle worker stating that the man simply existed.
      C) All writings about the man are from people who believed he was something more than human.
      D) All writings about the man are from much later than the time period in question.

      I do not believe any of these conditions apply to other historical characters. Perhaps you have a link stating otherwise.

  90. bobbo, the evangelical anti-theist says:

    Zarove==who are you replying to? In context, it appears to be me but I don’t wish to horn in as Scott says he enjoys it and “basically” I don’t so much.

    Yes, most of History is hearsay and it gets criticized for that as being VERY UNRELIABLE for all the obvious reasons.

    Scott makes an excellent point that warms my heart every time he repeats is: ordinary claims only require ordinary evidence but extra-ordinary claims require extra-ordinary evidence. Hearsay evidence is not even allowed as evidence unless it meats an exception, none of which apply to bible renderings.

    History “works” by other than hearsay: First person reports, official records, surviving artifacts, etc.

    I can’t think of a single “miracle” regarding great men or small of antiquity or modern that is believed. What are you thinking of?

    • bobbo,

      No worries about stealing my thunder. You’ve said this well.

      Most of history is the compilation of the best available data about any given individual. I’m not sure what history books say about Jesus. Perhaps they acknowledge his existence. I don’t know. If so, I wonder what stories get included and what do not. Perhaps this varies based on the history book. I’m confident that the miracles get left out.

      But, since all stories of him are so second hand and all are from religious folks worshiping him, I’m not sure there’s a lot of real information about the man’s life. That’s why, while I acknowledge the possibility that he may have existed as a human being, I do not claim to know even that little bit.

      Until I get a time machine to go back and check, though that would be far from my first adventure, I just say that I don’t know whether he existed as a human and that I have seen no evidence to even entertain the possibility of any god, gods or godlets.

  91. Zarove,

    I think it may be time to acknowledge that you have enough data to convince yourself, but not enough to convince me on this one.

    This is not really that surprising since you seem convinced of a great many things for which there is no evidence at all.

    Out of curiosity, what other gods do you believe in? Satan? Virgin Mary (as someone to whom you can pray and get results)? Saints? How about Zeus? Odin? Allah? Ganesh? Shiva? Yahweh?

    The first commandment acknowledges the existence of other gods but merely demands that you don’t worship them before God. Humorous link (not part of my argument): http://tinyurl.com/2bdytmo

    Unless, of course, you are a Muslim. The Muslim first commandment denies that other gods exist at all. Though, I think they still have Satan around. I’m not sure how that gets reconciled with ‘There is no god but Allah.’ Oh well. That’s seriously off-topic.

    What makes your choice of which god more valid than the others?

    As Dawkins says, when you understand why you reject all of the other gods, you will understand why I reject yours.

    [ed note: I left this up too long to just delete it; people may have already read it. So, I'm leaving it in place, but striking out a large segment that is irrelevant to the discussion in progress as neither Zarove nor I are really trying to convert each other.]

  92. ZAROVE says:

    One thing. Allah and Yahweh are the same god. Allah isn’t really a name, it is a contraction in Arabic for “The God”, and asking if I believe in other gods like Allah or Yahweh is a bit silly. Also, since when is the Virgin Mary a goddess? She was a Human and in Catholicism and orthodoxy she is a Saint in Haven, but not Divine. Satan is also not a god, and I’m not sure why you think either he or the Virgin Mary are. Satan is understood as an Angel, not a god. (Spare me the “god of this world” quote, its obviously not meant literally. Allow some figures of speech to exist in the Bible, and don‘t accuse me of cherry picking. It gets old. ) Also, the first commandment doesn’t actually acknowledge that other gods exist. This statement is a common Atheistic cobbler, but just saying “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” doesn’t mean other gods have a material existence, it only acknowledges the worship of other gods. Obviously this did occur.

    This to me is the same as you telling me to put on a Yarmulke and stop eating Pork, a misbegotten claim that really rests on you not bothering to get the facts. For one thing, the Yarmulke was never worn prior to the middle ages, so obviously the Law, being much older, never requires it. Besides, I wear hats most of the time. I am also a Vegetarian. However, if you’d read the New testament you’d soon realise that the early Church obviously didn’t understand Jesus fulfilling the law as meaning the later converts were bound to the ceremonial laws of the Jewish people, and Gentile Converts were not required to follow certain things that were meant to mark out Judaism.

    Why bring this up? Because it’s a pattern. The problem in your thinking is that, rather than use Logic and reason, you simply latch onto any Anti-Christian argument you find and assert that it is true. You take at face Value whatever you read on the Rational Revolution or perhaps other sites, without really cross examining them.

    That is why you are unconvinced of Jesus’ existence. it’s not that I have enough evidence only to convince me, personally, that Jesus existed, I have enough to convince the worlds historians. You won’t find he idea that he didn’t exist being taken seriously by any of them, and for the reasons I listed above.

    Its hard to believe he didn’t exist given the amount of writings about him written in living memory, how the story is so insular and its overall structure unchanging, and how it is written in such a way as to really not read like a myth at all. They even get the titles of Minor officials right, something hat was very difficult in the Ancient World. It couldn’t have been multiple people combined into one as it hasn’t got that much detail to combine, and it couldn’t have been fully myth either.

    While I can understand rejection of Miracles, I don’t accept the idea that I a story has miracles it becomes wholly unreliable. If so, then we’d have to discount Julius Caesar. He worked Miracles too. So did Emperor Justinius, and so did Emperor Valin.

    You of course claim that Julius Caesar was attested to by multiple sources. Was he though? Not really, as no one write of him outside of Rome and then mostly after his death.

    Caesar did leave personal writings, but If we follow the same Logic as we do here, we could accuse them of being forgeries.

    Its all just daft.

    As I’ve said, Sagan was wrong. Extra-ordinary claims only require Ordinary evidence, and as my arguments here have been complete secular and all I’ve asked you to believe is that Jesus existed as a an, whose lie was written down in the normal fashion of the day, which includes Miracles attribute to him, regardless of whether or not such events actually occurred, and that the basic story of an itinerate Rabbi teaching reforms to Judaism, who managed to end up on the wrong end of a controversy with the Sanhedrin, managed to get Crucified by the Romans because they didn’t like him and had the power to pressure the city to do so.

    I’d hardly call what I promoted here extra-ordinary.

  93. Zarove,

    ‘Holy Mary mother of God’, ‘Hail Mary full of grace, let me win this stock car race.’ People pray to the Virgin Mary and hope for intervention. She may not be God, but is definitely treated as a god or godlet. So too for all of the saints and angels. When the pope got shot, he claimed it was some angel who turned the bullet from his heart. Had God himself intervened, presumably the bullet would have missed him completely. ;-)

    Regarding Satan, of course he’s a full fledged god. He’s the equal of God, in fact. Else, God would be able to get rid of him. Since He can’t, obviously Satan is of equal power to God. Even if you consider Satan’s power to less than God’s, clearly Satan has enough power to make him a lesser deity, which is all an angel really is when you think about it.

    As for the first commandment, other gods being worshiped makes them just as real or unreal as your God. What else could possibly give any reality to an imaginary friend who has not even the power to prove his/her own existence? Do you believe God to be more valid than Shiva? If so, why? Objectively, why? All gods are equally invalid. What makes yours real and the others false? Your own hubris?

    As for the sameness of Allah/Yahweh, you’d better throw in God/Jesus with them. It’s all the same god right out of Zoroastrianism. Christianity brought back the Devil, who was never accepted in Judaism. But, otherwise, the deity is the same one.

    ‘You won’t find he idea that [Jesus] didn’t exist being taken seriously by any of them, and for the reasons I listed above.’

    You’re probably correct that the world’s historians mostly accept the existence of Jesus. And, as I said, I don’t assert that he didn’t. Have you considered the possibility that they simply aren’t willing to take on the world’s 2 billion Christians? Sometimes people, even fairly smart people, don’t question some things. They just take them at face value. I have not heard sufficient proof that the man existed. Perhaps if I looked into it, I might question the existence of Alexander the Great as well. However, I bet I would find a lot more real physical evidence and first hand accounts than you assert there are. Either way, all it would do if you proved to me that the case was the same for either would make me doubt Alexander. Though, again, I would point out that there are no claims that Alexander was supernatural, so the burden of proof is lower.

    However, if you’d read the New testament you’d soon realise that the early Church obviously didn’t understand Jesus fulfilling the law as meaning the later converts were bound to the ceremonial laws of the Jewish people, and Gentile Converts were not required to follow certain things that were meant to mark out Judaism.

    Interesting. So, the ten commandments are still valid. But, putting the words Shema Yisroel on your doorposts and on your hands is not. Where in the New Testament does it specify which is which? Do you still believe in Genesis? Adam and Lilith Eve had two sons. The End. Is homosexuality allowed in Christianity? How about wearing a mix of linen and wool?

    you simply latch onto any Anti-Christian argument you find and assert that it is true

    Actually, I have not asserted truth. I have asserted my own doubt. You seem to have trouble living with the existence of my doubt. Why does it affect you so?

    Besides, I do not restrict myself to being Anti-Christian. I oppose all sects of the JudeoChristianIslamic religion equally. I also oppose all belief in the supernatural. I strongly support evidence based thinking. There is no evidence for any supernatural being. Therefore, I give no more credence to such imaginations as I do to unicorns, fire-breathing dragons, or the great pumpkin.

    Lastly, most of my aversion to the bible comes from an attempt long ago to actually read it. What a horrible and despicable work of fiction! In addition to being self-contradictory (e.g. Thou shalt not kill. Penalty for breaking any commandment? Death by public stoning!), it repeatedly depicts God as advocating and even commanding genocide.

    Its hard to believe [Jesus] didn’t exist given the amount of writings about him written in living memory

    Really? How does writing about him in recent times add any credibility? As for stories unchanging, have you ever studied how people lie under oath? They practice the story to get it just right. People telling the truth are much more likely to have minor changes in detail in the telling and retelling of the story until it solidifies in their brains, with or without errors being incorporated into the telling and solidifying as truth. It’s why eyewitness testimony is so unreliable. Human memory simply does not work as a video recorder.

    ‘… we’d have to discount Julius Caesar. He worked Miracles too. So did Emperor Justinius, and so did Emperor Valin.’

    Please cite some examples of this already. You’ve made the claim several times. You must have a link or something to back this up. Both bobbo and I have requested the details on this.

    As for evidence of Julius Cesar, one thing that can be said for him that cannot be said of Jesus is that there are physical artifacts. Scroll down this page and note the coinage, some of which is dated to the time during his life.

    http://www.romanemperors.com/julius-caesar.htm

    Perhaps a coin or even several coins depicting the man are not proof to you. But, they sure go a lot farther to me than hearsay testimony delivered decades after death.

    You are correct though that claims that Jesus existed as flesh and blood are ordinary claims requiring only ordinary evidence. However, I think the coinage depicting the heads of Julius show that even the ordinary claim that Julius existed is backed up with better evidence than exists for Jesus.

    True that Julius was the more important figure during his own lifetime and that a character such as Jesus would not have coins minted in his image. So, I do still allow for the possibility that Jesus existed. I’m just not convinced either way.

    Were I to just spout whatever I found on the web as truth, I would be asserting that Jesus never existed. But, I am actually a thinking individual and do remain agnostic about his existence as a human.

    As for your claim that Sagan was wrong, I just flew around my office several times; then, I bested Jesus by turning water into single-malt scotch. In a decade or so, I’ll find some friends to back up my claim; They’ll look very earnest when talking about it too. Then in another 2 decades, the friends will write about it.

    And, you will believe it. Right? I didn’t think so.

    Why? Because extraordinary claims do indeed require extraordinary evidence. Ordinary claims such as that I just typed this blog post all by myself, require far less evidence. You and bobbo will probably both believe that merely upon reading the text on your computer screens.

  94. ZAROVE says:

    Your proving my point. I mean, its not like you bothered to actually comment on what Christianity is, only a caricature of what you want it to be. Satan is God’s Equal? Not really. In fact, its fairly obvious that he’s not. The idea that they are equal in power and rivals is simply a cartoonish understanding of the matter. Also, Satan is actually in Judaism, and the Zoroastrian claim is straight out of 19th Century scholarship. Can’t you read something more recent?

    The same applies to Prayers to Mary uttered by Apostolic Christians. They actually don’t attribute to Mary any divinity, they only say she is a Saint and perfected, and Prayer, in its oldest definition, is simply earnest beechen, not really reserved for Deities. One can pray to a judge for Mercy, or Pray to a King for Audience, or even Pray to a Friend to get him to change his mind.

    But the point I raised above is that, you make these mistakes because you refuse to look at the facts objectively.

    Look at my earlier example, in which I noted that Psalm 137:9 was not really a Hate Verse in the Bible. Its not, and if you’d read Verses 1 through 8 you’d soon realise its not. it’s a Psalm written shortly after the Jews were taken Captive by Babylon, and the Psalmist ( who is not David as he had been dead quiet a while by this point) is sorrowful and homesick, singing of how the Babylonians want a song of Mirth from Zion, but they cannot sing the Lords Songs in a Strange Land. The song then makes allusion to a Prophecy that Babylon will be destroyed, and suffer the same fate as did Judea.

    The verse was not really hateful at all in this context, and has more of a “What goes around comes around” sort of meaning.

    Read verse 8.

    8. O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us.

    Below I reproduce the whole Psalm, using the King James Version.

    So why should I see “Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.” as a hate verse in the Bible given the actual meaning of the Psalm? You act as if this verse was a commandment that the Jews should smash Babylonian Babies heads against stones and be happy about it, when the true meaning is obviously not this at all.

    I doubt you’ve ever read Psalm 137 though, and suspect you simply pulled the “Hate verse” off some website, buying into it wholeheartedly as it fed your prejudice. Much like you did the bit about Horus being the myth Jesus was based upon, an d much like you now still cling to the ides that Jesus was a Myth, and how you will offer alternate explanations for what I’ve said even though taken together the case I presented makes his existence as a man certain.

    Consider this: Perhaps your hatred of Christianity has blinded you, so that you will accept that which is in error to suit that hatreds end.

    Go on an look into Alexander the Great, there are no firsthand accounts in evidence, But be my guest and see for yourself.

    The reason Historians don’t doubt Jesus’ existence is because its really proven, by the means above. Many wouldn’t care what the Public thought, and its hardly like many Academics I could easily name to care what the worlds Christians thought. Some have advanced the idea he was gay, or hat he was a sexual libertine, or that he was married, or that he was the bastard son of Rape. Do you honestly believe that in this environment they’d be too afraid to take on the worlds Christians?

    Be a bit more realistic.

    • If Satan has less power than God, why does God allow him to live? Why not banish Satan? If God can banish Satan, but chooses not to, again God becomes worthy of contempt rather than worship. Which is it?

      And, it is you who misunderstands prayer. People pray to gods hoping for real results. People say Hail Marys hoping for forgiveness for their sins. Mary has power, otherworldly supernatural power, according to some (most?) sects of Christianity. And, you didn’t mention the pope who got shot and claimed that some angel (no, I don’t remember which angel) turned the bullet away from his heart, clearly a supernatural power.

      I pray thee do my bidding as a way of asking a friend for a favor is a very different use of the word pray, and an old use of the word at that. When one prays to a religious figure, one is expecting or hoping for the supernatural. That is fundamentally different.

      As for my supposed hatred of Christianity, you really are becoming offensive. It is one thing to misunderstand once. It is another to completely ignore my explicit statements to the contrary. I hate all nonsense equally, not just Christianity.

      Re: Alexander. Scroll down in the first link below to see the coins with his image that have survived from the time of his life. Of course, he claimed to be a god, which would require extraordinary evidence. But coins with a depiction of Alexander as he viewed himself are a lot more evidence than anything that exists for Jesus.

      http://www.saudiaramcoworld.com/issue/200606/ptolemy.s.alexandrian.postscript.htm

      More coins dated to the time of his life, though near the end.

      http://rg.ancients.info/guide/ancients.html

      More artifacts, these from the tomb of his brother may have belonged to Alexander. If so, and if we can prove it, it would again be much more than has ever existed for Jesus.

      http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/04/080423-alexander-great.html

      Even if you are right about historians, it does not mean that I need to accept it. In my opinion, I have not seen sufficient evidence to prove the existence of Jesus. Certainly, nothing you have told me here does so. And your case regarding Cesar and Alexander, while good in causing me to do some searching, has turned out totally erroneous. Both Julius and Alexander have real artifacts from the time of their lives stating the cases for their existence. Jesus does not.

      Before you call me a Christian hater yet again, I do not assert that there is more proof of Moses. I know of no copy of the O.T. that dates to the correct time frame for him. Nor have I heard any convincing evidence that he existed either.

      Re: Zoroastrianism: ‘It is believed that key concepts of Zoroastrian eschatology and demonology have had influence on the Abrahamic religions.’

      http://tinyurl.com/jfv8e

      You can check wikipedia’s sources if you like. I don’t care as much since it doesn’t have an effect on my atheism either way, which has different roots and a bit more history than Christianity but less than Judaism, dating to Epicurus and Siddhārtha Gautama, though history does not affect correctness. I’m just pointing out that the roots of atheism are different than those of religion. So, the religious roots are less meaningful to me personally.

  95. ZAROVE says:

    Psalms 137

    1. By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.
    2. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.
    3. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.
    4. How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?
    5. If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.
    6. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.
    7. Remember, O Lord, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof.
    8. O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us.
    9. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

    • You’re correct. I’ve never read the whole psalm before. Reading it in context, however, I still find it disturbing. Apparently, if one forgets Jerusalem, lots of bad things will happen. Ridiculous pile of rubbish and still rather cruel as well, even in context.

  96. ZAROVE says:

    And as an afterthoguht ( so don’t berate this for being undocumented, it’s a bullet list) your post made numerous errors and assumptions.

    1: Lileth is not mentioned in Genesis, and please spare me the “Earlier versions” routine, she’s a much later legendary figure.

    2: Genesis does not say that Adam and Eve had only two sons. It says clearly in Chapter 4 verse 25 they had a son named Seth, so this is at leats 3 sons. Also, given how long Adam lived, it is much more reasonable to assume that he did not limit his procreation to just three sons, and we have every indication that both he and Eve according to the text had numerous Children.

    Certainly nothing in the text says they had only three Children, and the ideas they had only two is directly contradicted.

    3: back to the Greek, the idea that the early Church wanted Mary to be a Virgin to avoid he embarrassment of having an unwed mother is equally unproven isn’t it? Yet that is given credence. At least I posted the Greek text. What evidence do you have that I’m wrong?

    4: Dawkins overused quote of “We’re all athirst, I just go one god farther, and when you understand why you reject all the other gods, you’ll see why I reject yours” is as inaccurate as Sagans “Extraordinary Claims require Extraordinary proof” quote.

    For one thing, he assumes that people believe in God for no reason at all. This is simply his lack of any real understanding of the topic he speaks of.

    Heck, I’ve even said the pagan gods DID exist, I just reject them as gods. Most of the pagan gods in Pagan cultures were simply personifications of natural Forces. IE, Poseidon was not simply the god of the Ocean. He IS the Ocean. The idea that gods are supernatural begins that exist in a separate realm is an idea that came about in the 18th Century.

    Bringing me to the last point.

    5: Though not the topic of this thread, there actually is evidence for Gods existence. Anyone who has bothered to read a serious Theologian knows full well that the idea that one has to take Gods existence on “Faith” , by which I mean what Dawkisn means, that one has to believe in God even though there is no evidence, is balderdash.

    Faith, by the way, is not really belief without evidence.

    DO you want me to recommend some books on it? I cant go into detail as to do so corrupts the point of this thread, bit the evidence for Gods existence is there, and perfectly Rational people believe in God or perfectly Rational reasons. Its not all suspension of disbelief or belief even though there is no evidence.

    • 1. Who cares? Why make a big deal about that? I mentioned it as a humorous aside.

      2. So, do you actually believe the Adam and Eve story literally? You evade the question by asserting the existence of unmentioned children after asserting the non-existence of unmentioned Lilith. You could at least pretend to be consistent. But, do you believe it??!!?

      3. Huh? I don’t get what you’re saying here. How about this. Do you believe the original bible did or did not say that Mary was a virgin? Do you personally believe Mary was a virgin? How about her mother? As I’m sure you know, The Immaculate Conception refers to Mary’s conception. The Incarnation of Christ refers to that of Jesus.

      4. I do not believe Dawkins is stating that people believe in God for no reason. Nor do I believe that. What I personally believe, however, is that if you examine why you personally believe all of the other gods to be false, you will see why I add yours to that list. I do not mean that you will be convinced, merely that you will understand.

      This does not say that you have not done an excellent job thinking and reasoning your way to a belief in God in the same way that I have thought and reasoned my way to atheism. I know that there are thinking theists out there. What I think though is that you do not see the parallel between your rejection of a great many gods and my rejection of one additional god.

      As for your Poseidon analogy, why not simply say that God is the Universe? It’d be sort of like the Gaia concept writ large. Is that your belief? Jesus is the Universe? It sure doesn’t sound that way from what you’ve written here.

      5. What you call evidence of God’s existence is pure and complete misunderstanding of the term evidence. Are you talking about the evidence for a prime mover? Is that your idea of evidence? Every cause has an effect?

      To me, that has always been the strongest argument for a god. Here are the problems with it:

      A. Quantum mechanics, which has been verified and reverified experimentally and is in use in the semiconductors in the computer on which you are reading this, completely and utterly denies cause and effect at the quantum level. Given that the universe is expanding, the starting point for the universe was a tiny quantum soup with great energy. At the quantum level, objects can and do pop in and out of existence all the time, without cause and effect. Ignore these virtual particles, and your calculations and predictions will be wrong, verifiably and demonstrably wrong.

      B. The argument flies up is own asshole in endless recursion. For, if the universe is an effect that requires a cause, so too is your God. In fact, your God, being more complex than the universe by the definition of being able to create it, is actually harder to explain. Now, instead of a universe to explain, we’ve got this God character able to leap tall buildings in a single bound create universes left and right at the rate of one a week.

      And, yes, faith when referring to religion is indeed belief without evidence. Read a dictionary. Here are some excerpts, with the use of faith in other ways such as friendship, observance of obligation, etc. deleted as irrelevant to this discussion. From dictionary.com:

      faith
      –noun
      2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.
      3. belief in god or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims.
      5. a system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith.
      8. Christian Theology. the trust in God and in His promises as made through Christ and the Scriptures by which humans are justified or saved.

      World English Dictionary
      faith
      —n
      1. strong or unshakeable belief in something, esp without proof or evidence
      2. a specific system of religious beliefs: the Jewish faith
      3. Christianity trust in God and in his actions and promises
      4. a conviction of the truth of certain doctrines of religion, esp when this is not based on reason
      6. any set of firmly held principles or beliefs

  97. ZAROVE says:

    Scott, I don’t know why its Still disturbing o you about the Psalm except that you apparently still misunderstand what its actually saying. Else you simply want to cling to it as being hateful.

    It isn’t saying ‘If you forget Jerusalem bad things will happen”. I don’t even know how you can interpret this as that. This is a Patriotic Hymn, written by a Captures people. They were hauled off to Babylon, and now are slaves. The Psalm is saying that its unthinkable for him to forget his Homeland and to embrace the ways of his Captors. Its not, in any way, suppose to reflect the sort of thinking your pushing.

    But that’s the point, isn’t it? it’s not like you’ve stopped to think about these issues in a serious way, you’re simply trying to back Atheism. Hence why you quote men like Dawkins who come up with the ridiculous arguments like “God is more complex than the Universe so is harder to explain”. No, God isn’t, scientifically speaking, Complex. If we accept God as understood by real Theologians, or even as understood by people who have never understood Theology like Dawkins, you see that he lacks moving parts. By definition, God isn’t complex at all. Regardless of his Great Power, and regardless of his Intelligence, he has no Physical form ( Going colloquially, not in the Matter-is-energy definition used in Physics). He is a Spirit.

    Whether you believe in God or not, the concept of God really isn’t as a Complex being at all.

    And look at Faith again. You ignore the bulk of the Definition in order to focus on the one definition which backs your claim. Heck you omitted Definition one. Good for you, you can find in a Dictionary that Faith can mean Belief without Evidence. But does that actually alter my argument? I’m saying that Faith, when used to describe Religious Faith, isn’t meant as “Belief without evidence” by most of the writers in Christianity throughout its 2000 year History, so it still doesn’t avail you to say that one definition is that it means belief without evidence, because this is still not what it means in what we are discussing, what it meant to those who used it.

    You can’t replace the word “Faith” with “Belief without evidence” in the Bible and expect the passages to still make sense. This is because the Authors of the text simply didn’t mean to convey that they were talking about belief without evidence. Augustine’s “City of God” can’t replace Faith with belief without evidence either. Thomas Aquinas’s work becomes completely unintelligible. I mean, if Faith meant Belief Without Evidence to Aquinas, why did he waste 30 years of his life trying to sow how Christianity was proven by Aristotelian Logic? He wrote the Suma Theologica on the Premise that the best reasoning of his Day could prove Christianity, something he wouldn’t’ have done if he understood Faith as belief without evidence. So why adhere to the idea that Faith actually means belief without evidence here? Clearly it’s not what was meant by the Word in actual documents.

    Which brings me back to the original point I am making, You aren’t really arguing against Christianity at all. Your arguing against a Caricature of Christianity, something you wish it were. Oftentimes your criticisms are base don nothing more than misunderstanding and a shallow grasp of what is actually being discussed. This or that “Hate Verse” in the Bible becomes less hateful when looked at in context. For instance, Dan Barker famously likes to Quote Jesus saying “Bring mine enemies here and slay them before me!” as if this was something Jesus actually ordered his Disciples to do, even though the actual quote is from a Parable and is in the Mouth of a Fictional King. (And before its asked why Jesus made the King so mean, this is how Kings were 2000 years ago if they wanted to live, and the Audience would have fully expected this.) Its just foolish to think such things prove how bad Christianity is. The same applies to how much a Tyrant God is, or how Scientifically unbased Christianity is.

    It doesn’t matter if I believe Mary was a Virgin or not, if we’re trying to be honest and evaluate only the evidence, we look at it, and that’s what I said I’d discuss here. What I can assert with 100% certainty is that the claim made earlier, that the text actually doesn’t say she was a Virgin, and instead say’s she was simply unmarried and had a Child, and that Church couldn’t handle this so made her a Virgin, is wrong.

    The Greek word Parthenon means “Virgin” and is in all versions of the Gospel of Luke we possess, and we have no evidence whatsoever of any tampering. None. No one, not even the Gnostics who denied the Virgin Birth in favour of a fully Divine Jesus, not even the Stoics, no one said otherwise about the text when speaking of Christian beliefs. Even the Jews who rejected it said the Christians have always claimed this, and cited Luke. On what basis should I believe otherwise?

    Which is what I’m really arguing here. You don’t believe these claims because they are true or they have evidence, you buy into them because you are biased against Christianity and want them to be True.

  98. Zarove,

    Are you really that stupid? I didn’t think so until now. God is simple? Thought is a simple thing to you? Being able to think a universe into existence is simple? It takes tremendous complexity of mind to even understand what we do understand about the universe. God contemplated it all and created it and is simple? No. I think not. I think if you believe that, you might be exceedingly simple.

    Please try again. You can do better. You’ve shown yourself capable of it. This wasn’t your finest moment.

    As for your psalm, yes, I read it and reread it. It is disturbing to me. Your mileage may vary.

    Faith??!!? Are you kidding me? You want all of the definitions, fine. I thought I was sticking to the point by omitting the non-religious and irrelevant to this discussion definitions. Here they all are and none support your thesis.

    faith
    –noun
    1. confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another’s ability.
    2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.
    3. belief in god or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims.
    4. belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.: to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty.
    5. a system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith.
    6. the obligation of loyalty or fidelity to a person, promise, engagement, etc.: Failure to appear would be breaking faith.
    7. the observance of this obligation; fidelity to one’s promise, oath, allegiance, etc.: He was the only one who proved his faith during our recent troubles.
    8. Christian Theology . the trust in God and in His promises as made through Christ and the Scriptures by which humans are justified or saved.
    —Idiom
    9. in faith, in truth; indeed: In faith, he is a fine lad.

    Faith
    –noun
    a female given name.

    faith
    — n
    1. strong or unshakeable belief in something, esp without proof or evidence
    2. a specific system of religious beliefs: the Jewish faith
    3. Christianity trust in God and in his actions and promises
    4. a conviction of the truth of certain doctrines of religion, esp when this is not based on reason
    5. complete confidence or trust in a person, remedy, etc
    6. any set of firmly held principles or beliefs
    7. allegiance or loyalty, as to a person or cause (esp in the phrases keep faith , break faith )
    8. bad faith insincerity or dishonesty
    9. good faith honesty or sincerity, as of intention in business (esp in the phrase in good faith )

    Thank you for clearing up the point about Mary’s virginity. You were not clear in your prior post whether you thought the original text said yes or no.

    And, if you post one more time that I am anti-Christianity, I will ban you from my site. I resent it and have said so in no uncertain terms.

    So, back on topic. What do you see as evidence of God. If not as a prime mover, then what? I can’t wait to hear your definition of evidence.

  99. ZAROVE says:

    One other thing. I didn’t say “There we writings of Jesus in recent times so he had to have existed”, that’s not what “Living memory” means. When I used the term “Living Memory” I meant that we have texts written in a timeframe that people would have still been alive who could attest to them. Basically the whole New Testament was written in Living Memory of the events they describe. I wasn’t talking about contemporary works at all.

  100. Zarove,

    I thought you had said earlier that only the earliest of Christian writings were about 30 years after his death. The others were much later than that. No? And, which writings were written by the people who remembered him? Lastly, why wait? Clearly they had seen something truly special, right? So, why didn’t they put it down on paper ASAP? Perhaps what they saw wasn’t so special? Perhaps they didn’t see it themselves but heard about it from a friend who heard it from a friend? Perhaps it was the fish that caught that was soooooooo big and only grows in the telling. Maybe the original fish was actually pretty small. (That’s metaphore. I mean that the story was not really worth telling until it had grown many times its original size.)

    But, why the lag occurred is important, at least to me, though obviously not to you.

    Also important to me is why there is zero corroborating evidence from any source outside the bible. All those people he healed. Anyone write a book about it? Today, they’d be screaming about it on Oprah. What was the equivalent then? Just to walk away and never mention it? Uh … thanks Jesus, see ya around. Bye.

    So, which books of the bible were written close to the time?

  101. Zarove,

    I did a bit more research. The Christ Myth Theory is indeed a minority opinion and a small one. However, in my mind at least, there is still something real about the fact that nothing about Jesus was written during his life and that no secular sources corroborate the biblical account.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ_myth_theory

    As I have stated that I question the existence of Jesus, rather than believe one theory or the other, I will take it as a reasonable probability that he did indeed exist as flesh and blood, but that the matter will likely never be settled.

    So, I will continue to say, “I don’t know” if asked my opinion on whether Jesus existed. Perhaps, we should take a page from CNN and “leave it there.”

    What do you think? Can you tolerate my doubt? Or, do you still think I’m being anti-Christian by recognizing an unsettled issue when I see one?

  102. ZAROVE says:

    You’ll find that I’m actually very difficult to offend. My main perspective in this was to show that Jesus was a real Historical figure, and the Christ Myth theory that’s Popular online, especially the one that says he’s copied form this or that Pagan godman, is utter Rubbish.

    I can easily accept that others don’t agree with me or aren’t convinced of what I believe in, but the problem mainly lies when they start to believe in things which are not really rational.

    This is not the only blog I’ve shown up on to voice concern, though surprisingly it is one of my most successful visitations.

    Take a look at this NeoCon blog. (Its been two days and as of my last visit they still haven’t posted my actually short alternate post.)

    Its about the difference between patriot and a Loyalist. The Blog Owner, a Neocon, had the Audacity to claim that the difference was that the Loyalists do not love their country or countrymen but love Government, and then tried to link the Loyalists of 1776 to the Modern Obama-Loving Liberals. Never mind that the Loyalists were actually the Conservatives, or that they also loved their country, or that the Patriots were called Patriots by themselves… These people didn’t even want to accept that the Loyalist may have fought for what they believed in. to them the Loyalists were just selfish Socialists who waned Big Government for their own security.

    All Poppycock, but I did present an alarmingly good case for the Loyalist Cause. Pity it wasn’t responded to.

    http://paratusfamilia.blogspot.com/2010/08/loyalist-or-patriot.html#comme%20nt-form

    In regards to this, keep in mind that I never tried in this post to convince you of anything other than the Scholarly consensus.

    And on that note, I will answer your other question.

    You ask why I don’t find it odd that no one wrote of Jesus till around 30 years later. If you reread my posts you’d see that they did. Paul’s writings start at about ten years after Jesus, not 30 years. Other Epistles were also written, and most Scholars think there is enough material to reconstruct the idea of an early Passion Narrative written possibly as early as 30 AD. Not that it’d matter, because even if the Gospels were the only record we had, and were written 30 years later, that still faster than we normally get in Ancient Texts.

    Unlike today, the Culture in the Roman World put its trust in Living Witnesses over written texts. Besides, Ink and Paper were expensive. In an Oral Culture, they train their memories to be vastly superior to what we do in our Culture, and the integrity of Oral Transmission has been shown in modern Oral Cultures. Only when the Witnesses began to die would they begin to think of writing down Information, and often not even then, waiting two or three Generations. Homers “Iliad” comes to mind, as it was written several Centuries after the fact. The Ancients didn’t think like us, and thus didn’t just take as a matter of course that they should write extraordinary things down right as they occurred.

    Expecting them to write about the events of Jesus right away is somewhat unrealistic. While sometimes extraordinary events were written down shortly after they happened, this was the Exception rather than the Rule.

    Then we have the fact that very little of the texts written in Antiquity actually survive to this day. So, Hypothetically a Document about the Life of Jesus may have been written around 33 AD, right after his Ascension, by Peter himself, and yet been Lost to us after the Fall of Jerusalem. If few copies were made ( And all Copies were done by hand so this isn’t unreasonable) and most were kept in the Jerusalem Church, then when Trajan burned the City to the Ground most if not all Copies would have likely been consigned to the fires along with the Buildings and people of the City.

    Any surviving copy that made it out of the fire would then have to content with people carrying it who may have lost it, or never gotten to a position to copy it.

    In my Hypothetical Scenario above, it becomes easy to see how a Document could have been lost.

    Or perhaps smaller documents on leaflets were used in the Compilation of Luke’s Gospel. Once Luke had finished his Gospel, containing he information in the individual leaflets, the leaflets themselves wouldn’t be copied separately, and people would just Copy Luke.

    In most Bibles, we have a Passage we know of as John 7:53-811, the Famous story of the woman Taken in Adultery. However, the text is not part of the Original narrative and has been found in other part s of John in Ancient Manuscripts, and even in Luke.

    It most likely was a freeloading leaflet that, once the Gospels had been written and earlier partial stories incorporated into them for preservation, had managed to not be included. Rather than have it lost it was included into Luke or John in various parts till it became customary to put it in John exclusively and in the place we now have it.

    This was all very common in the Ancient world. That is how things were done. That is how most History texts like Josephus’s Antiquities were written. It shouldn’t be too extraordinary that the same happened with the Bible or, to those who study History, be seen as all that odd at all. While it may seem strange to a 21st Century mind, and this may sound slipshod, and you may ask why they didn’t write everything down right off and why they didn’t do things in a more organised manner, this is simply how the Ancient world operated. The “Scientific” History that we do today didn’t exist till the 19th Century, and even crude attempts at attribution of sources didn’t begin till the 1600’s. We should treat the Biblical texts as Products of their time, and as such not try to act surprised when they were written in a way consistent with the Ancient worlds other texts. We shouldn’t expect the texts to conform to modern Standards developed Centuries later. That’s just not how these things were written.

    • Zarove,

      A few things.

      1) I’m not really conventional about anything despite your numerous claims of me just spouting what others had written.
      2) I admit when I’m wrong, as I did on this original post.
      3) I never said that Jesus didn’t exist. I merely assert that the proof is insufficient.

      Certainly much could have been lost from antiquity and you may be somewhat right about oral tradition. However, I think that the accuracy of which you speak is merely repetition of a story. It does not say that in the early time of the story as it was being told the first few times, that it did not vary greatly before coalescing into a narrative that was repeated with any degree of accuracy. Of course, that could happen with writing things down as well, unless it is written very soon, and even then, humans make imperfect recorders at best. Hence my assertion about eyewitness testimony as the worst form of evidence.

      So, all of what you say may be true. But, without the artifacts, without corroborating evidence from secular sources, how will we ever really be sure.

      If someone wanted to bet me a large sum of money, e.g. more than a quarter, on whether the historical Jesus existed, I would not take either side.

      I hope that I have at least made my case sufficiently that you understand why I am not convinced, as I understand why you are. I think that’s all we can hope for in terms of any agreement on this issue.

      BTW, I didn’t click through to that other blog. A) there are plenty of bad blogs out there. B) I really don’t care enough about that issue. I was not even aware of Loyalist/Patriot as political movements.

  103. ZAROVE says:

    That said, Faith, when speaking about Religious Faith, still can’t mean belief without evidence. Definition 2 you posted doesn’t say that it’s the definition of Religious Faith, wile the others aren’t, it sjust oen definiton of Faith in general.

    Religious Faith can be definition 1, confidence in a person, place, thing, or idea; Loyalty to such a thing, and Trust. That definition is what was actually meant by Aquinas, that definition is how Augustine understood it, and how the Bible uses the term.

    If Religious Faith can only mean belief without evidence, then Christianity can’t be seen as a Religion as it doesn’t rest on Faith as it is used Religiously, but on confidence in the concepts and Trust in them and in God. None of it asks that it is believed without evidence.

    On God and simplicity, I meant that from a Mechanical sense God isn’t complex. An analogy, admittedly somewhat poor given the cosmic nature of God and the mundane nature of the object I refer to, will help.

    I have an intricately made walking cane. It has elaborate patterns and designs and obviously had to take a great deal of skill to make. However, as an object the Cane is simple. Its just a piece of wood, basically, and has no moving parts.

    Even the tools that made it (It was hand made) were simple. Flat and pinpointed pieces of metal, mainly.

    Despite the Intricate pattern, the cane is simple.

    The same applies to God. God may be vastly intelligent but is not really mechanically complex.

    • On the issue of faith, I think it is really your turn to admit you are wrong. There is simply no definition of faith that allows for religious faith based on some evidence. In fact, were Jesus to come to earth personally and prove his existence to the satisfaction of everyone on the planet, leaving sufficient evidence behind, faith in Jesus would disappear. He would become established fact.

      As for definition 1 being used for religion, no. It really isn’t. But, even that sort of confidence or trust in a person or thing is still very much in the absence of evidence. It is instead trust based on a relationship with a friend or by established past performance. It is the kind of faith that kept people investing in the stock market even as it dropped after the bull market of the 90s.

      Else, if you claim there is evidence, you had better be prepared to put forth real scientific evidence. For, indeed, a universe with a personal god to whom one could pray for temporary suspension of the laws of physics would be demonstrably different than the universe in which we live.

      Remember, now you are no longer talking about historical evidence that such and such may have existed, now you are contradicting science. This requires scientific evidence. You may be unfamiliar with the much higher standards. From the sound of it, you are.

      So, put forth your evidence or admit that you are wrong. For, I assert and will state very strongly that not a single shred of evidence, real scientifically acceptable evidence, has ever been submitted for the existence of any supernatural being.

      Your faith is just that, faith without evidence. That is fine. However, you really need to understand what you are dealing with. Logic won’t do it. We’re talking about evidence here.

      Many things are logical. Not all are true. Cause and effect is incredibly logical. However, it has been scientifically proven not to exist at the quantum level. That one could, by applying ever greater force, approach the speed of light and see it moving slower is logical. That one could simply accelerate more using Newton’s Laws of motion and catch up to and even overtake a beam of light would be incredibly logical. But, it is false.

      Relativity, one of the most tried and proven scientific theories we have, with real scientific evidence behind it says that if you accelerate to 99.9% of the speed of light and are passed by a beam of light, the light will pass you with a relative speed of the speed of light. Time slows down, your mass increases. None of this is logical. And, yet, it is true. A tremendous amount of real hard evidence supports it.

      Where is your evidence?

      No. I assert again, you are entitled to your faith. But, if you want to be honest with yourself, you must accept that it comes from reasoned logic and your own desires, but no evidence at all.

  104. bobbo, the evangelical anti-theist says:

    Well, if the denominator is how many people have even looked at this thread, put me in the numerator of people who have read the whole thing, and parts twice?

    Zarove: you allow words to mean whatever you want them to. Thats ok. The start of every discussion “should be” a rather longish discussion of what the relevant words mean. You and Scott are touching on so many issues that do get more fully discussed elsewhere by all of us that it is a constant “temptation” to just jump in with the end of an argument rather than the beginning.

    Why would anyone wish their tongue to cleave to the roof of their mouths whether as a sentiment in a song or as a punishment from god? What it still means to my mind is the forming of this christian religion as a subservient obedient class of worshipers and a punishing god/consequence for violation of rules, turning to salt or otherwise. Not very “humane” which of course the jealous god is not.

    But “faith.” You know, the definition of faith that you attribute to Arminius, that of “loyalty” seems manipulated. Loyalty is loyalty = supporting a person or idea. Faith does not speak to loyalty, it goes to something else which is why another word is used. I think “believing without evidence” is quite fine and makes a point. Another one, that I use, is “believing without understanding.” But the reason an idea or concept is not understood is because there is no proof of it. Things proven are understood.

    The minute Satan is mention, and the dithering going on about other gods or the powers of 21 layers of Arch Angels with Satan being the head cheerleader, it seems to me the relevant discussion is the resolution of Epicurus’s logic trap:

    “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
    Then he is not omnipotent.
    Is he able, but not willing?
    Then he is malevolent
    Is he both able and willing?
    Then whence cometh evil?
    Is he neither able nor willing?
    Then why call him God?”

    And when you can’t resolve the above logic trap yet maintain your loyalty to Jesus/god/Holy Spirit/Angels then what you are epressing is “faith.”

    You really should avoid all the foregoing side issues and stick with as narrow a subject that provides for an exchange?

    Is there enough objective reliable evidence to conclude that Jesus was a real person? I’d say there is no evidence outside the bible and the bible is not objective/reliable but others can disagree. Thats ok because the argument of important is Epicurus’s.

    As an antitheist, I take the argument even further. Assuming god does exist however you will—so what? Why should anyone submit to his desires as best we can determine them? I am only a simple human being and if you disagree with me, I will not punish you or send you torments==I will simply leave you alone. Why can’t God be half the man I am???

    And what of “proportionality?” I don’t think anything anyone does on this earth, including Hitler, deserves an eternity of punishment when all the tools they had to work with were provided by God to begin with? It all goes back to Epicurus.

    You religious types simply have made a god that doesn’t make any sense and evidently is a tyrant–he forces his opinions onto other people who aren’t bothering him at all. Why isn’t the universe a big enough place for him to leave me alone?

    Fun read now that I know god is a “simple thing” in the same meaning that the universe is not really mechanically complex. Let the evil/confusion/private comfort that is words used any way you wish continue.

  105. bobbo,

    Please tread lightly around Godwin’s Law. I still reserve the right to invoke it at will on my own blog, even if I agree with the person who caused the invocation. However, thank you for causing me to look for the link to my own Thick Skin Etiquette page as it reminded me to be more thick skinned about Zarove calling me anti-Christianity.

    Zarove, I now revoke my threat of banning. However, I would still ask that you respect my own declarations of my beliefs. I would hate to begin down the path of Rich Rosen’s Rules for Net Debating as this has been an otherwise good debate.

    bobbo, Of course, you and I both agree that the god described in the bible, both new and old testaments, as well as the one described in the Quran is worthy of contempt rather than worship, even if only contempt for the idea of the imaginary being in the sky. Epicurus got it nearly completely correct. He missed when he said that we should still maintain the religious traditions because the masses need them and it promotes unity or some such nonsense.

    You have a good point about defining terms. However, Zarove has claimed evidence of God’s existence.

    Zarove, before you take the challenge to come up with real hard scientific evidence for the existence of a God in contradiction with science, I must warn you. I foresee only 4 possible outcomes from this debate.

    1. You will come out looking mind-bogglingly scientifically illiterate.
    2. You will walk away at some point never to return to this blog pretending you didn’t read whatever was said last that you could not refute.
    3. You will admit that science really is on to something and will become an atheist.
    4. You will embrace Steven Jay Gould’s idea of non-overlapping magisteria and never try to reconcile science and religion again, accepting the two contradictory ideas simultaneously.

    I know you believe there is a 5th option. Trust me in this. There is not. In over 2,000 years no one, not a single individual in history, has ever come up with a single piece of hard evidence that any god, gods, or godlets exist.

    It has not been for lack of trying.

    If you take on this debate, I am more than willing to teach you what scientific evidence means and why it is fundamentally different than anything religion has going for it. History is very different than science. Many areas are gray. Science works by a very different standard.

    I don’t know if you want to take the risk to your very soul.

    If you continue from this point, I will accept that you are undertaking this at your own risk and will be more than glad to explain to you the kinds of evidence that go into forming a scientific theory, which is very very different than the normal English language definition of the word. Only a theory indeed.

    Fully formed scientific theories like relativity, quantum mechanics, and evolution are the nearest things we have to facts about the way the world works. If you wish to learn about them, I can give you enough of the basics and explain to you the type of evidence about them that exists.

    You will be forced to admit that religion has not a shred of similar evidence.

    You have been warned. I am serious. I highly recommend that we do not continue this discussion.

    Danger Danger Danger Will Robinson!!!

    To bobbo’s point about definitions.

    Science Dictionary

    theory

    A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena. Most theories that are accepted by scientists have been repeatedly tested by experiments and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena. See Note at hypothesis.

    hypothesis

    Plural hypotheses (hī-pŏth’ĭ-sēz’)
    A statement that explains or makes generalizations about a set of facts or principles, usually forming a basis for possible experiments to confirm its viability.

    For a discussion on scientific evidence, check this wikipedia page. And, please note that since we’re not talking about a social science in God, I will be assuming that we will use the standards for the physical sciences.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_evidence

    I’m sure you’ll use the weakest possible definition. So, please provide it up front so that I may decide if that standard will be acceptable to me.

    Also let me know if you dispute the definitions above in any way. I’d hate to get 17 pages into discussion only to realize as we have several times that our definitions of standard sounding terms are very different.

    Again though, feel free to take a pass on this. I really think you should.

    • BTW, I have a lot of respect for the late Steve Gould, love his writing, have autographed books of his from when I heard him lecture, etc. But, I really disagree with non-overlapping magisteria.

  106. bobbo, the evangelical anti-theist says:

    Well, I’m insulted. I made no COMPARISON to Hitler which is the heart of Godwin’s Law. I used it as an objective measurement.

    Congrats on catching yourself for thin skin though. I was going to mention it before my own post got too long.

    There must be some other outcomes? 4 is an even number after all and does some violence to the normal course of things. I caught the first 10 minutes of a Public Access show from the Creationist Museum in Texas. He was using science to prove the inerrant accuracy of the Bible. Seems a pair of fossilized sandals appears in the fossil record of 550 Million Years Ago which is “proof” that the Great Flood was a few thousand years ago. I did not rewind the tape to check the chain of reasoning a second time.

    But that sounds like a fifth wheel on this caravan to nihilism: “Scientist have cause and effect confused, and the science confirms God.” Probably throw in the benefits/proof of prayer working in double blind studies too. Your response that they aren’t peer reviewed will fall on deaf ears and we are back to democratic voting on what reality is.

    Ha, Ha. Must be tough to run a blog. Careening from power trips to condescension? Its one thing to disagree about “definitions” and quite another to argue the definition is being followed and two parties arrive at conflicting base line applications. How do we define THAT?

    Ditto on the magisteria. Cop Out.

    • From wikipedia:

      The rule does not make any statement about whether any particular reference or comparison to Adolf Hitler or the Nazis might be appropriate, but only asserts that the likelihood of such a reference or comparison arising increases as the discussion progresses.

      All references are fair game. I have warned people about it on other threads but have never yet closed a thread over it.

  107. ZAROVE says:

    Scott, that’s were your still wrong, I’m afraid. You claim that if Jesus came back and proved himself fully, Faith in him would no longer exist, because he’d be an established Fact. Faith is, by definition, belief without evidence, so if evidence exits its not Faith.

    But why should I accept that definition of Faith as what is meant by Religious Faith? Certainly my own Faith in Jesus wouldn’t be destroyed by his proving himself, but would be strengthened. This is because my own Faith is not Belief without evidence.

    I also don’t think a Universe with a personal God would have to be different than the one we live in, an think you’ve read too much Richard Dawkins if you think it must be. Dawkins postulated that God wouldn’t create the Universe we see, and explained that what we see is precisely the type of Universe we’d expect if it wasn’t designed. However, Dawkins is already a convinced Atheists, and is simply looking at the Universe through his own filters. Someone else, such as C.S. Lewis, would argue that the Universe we see is exactly what we’d expect to find if it were Created by God.

    While you can dismiss Lewis and praise Dawkins, the one thing you can’t do is really show why Dawkins is right and Lewis wrong, since what you’re really doing is accepting an interpretation of evidence rather than evidence itself, and these are still in the end based upon the biases both individuals possessed when assessing matters.

    When I say “God exists” I’m not really contradicting Science. Whether or not I have evidence, the truth is nothing in Modern Science rules out Gods existence. Richard Dawkins may say it does, so may several Atheist writers, but they are wrong. Dawkins, particularly, as he won’t even pick up a book on Theology.

    In fact, Dawkins claim that our Universe is exactly he sort of Universe we’d expect if it weren’t created is not itself base don Science but on Philosophy, an his presumption of what Universe should look like if God existed. Really he’s only trying to argue against God, and this should be obvious, and as a result is writing Polemic, not Science.

    But there is the rub, you want me to prove a Supernatural being exists. It should be obvious by now that I follow classical Theology. As a natural result of this I don’t believe in Supernatural beings. This is not to say I reject the existence of God, but I don’t see God as Supernatural. I see God as the Source of Nature. I do not see Angels and Spirits as Supernatural either, I see them as simply a part of our Natural world. The idea that there is a separate realm of Spiritual beings, a Supernatural realm not connected to our own, is actually an 18th Century innovation. Prior to the 18th Century, Everything was thought of as part of our Natural world, not separate from it. So I shouldn’t have to prove God exists as a Supernatural being at all, should I?

    That said, just how deep do you want to go in this discussion? Because Theology is a much deeper topic than you may realise. An example of this complexity would be if I asked you this question, and I will to see how you answer it, how did Science disprove Paul Tillich’s view on God? If you don’t know who Paul Tillich was, then that’s my point.

    The type of God I’d seek to argue for wouldn’t really be a magical sky Wizard, and the concepts of God I can place in this blog would be very much about contrasting views about God.

    Would you really want that type of discussion?

    That said, the Patriot and Loyalist bit is about the American Revolution. The Blog Owner and her fans said the Loyalists, those who stayed Loyal to the King and Unity with Great Britain, were defined by Loyalty to Government, not heir country or countrymen, and the patriots loved their country and countrymen, not the Government. She then tried to use this to show how the Patriots of old are like today’s Patriots in Conservatism who resist Obama, and the Loyalists are those who’d back Obama and Socialism. This is of course absurd. The Loyalists of 1776 were the conservatives, and did love their Country. The Patriots were called Patriots because they named themselves. The Loyalists weren’t selfish either, only loyal in the end to themselves and personal enrichment.

    I simply disliked how they treated the Loyalists as if they were communists or had made a pact with the Devil.

    So I’d still like your take on my replies over there. You’d at least see what sort of thinking I can do on other grounds. I took the Loyalist side in the thread, and argued as a Loyalist would from 1776 if transported to today. I have an interesting Historical re-enactment, and dislike how people abuse the memory of my Ancestors to fuel their own Patriotism.

    • Zarove,

      You’re first paragraph merely reasserts my point. Were Jesus to come and provide hard evidence of his existence, your faith would be utterly destroyed as it would no longer be faith. It would be replaced with knowledge. It would not change your beliefs. But, belief due to fact is not faith.

      As I pointed out before, you are using a definition of faith that is not in the dictionary. You are making up your own word. The religious definitions of faith are all about belief without evidence. When you write your own dictionary, you may cite it. However, I think it will be considered far less reliable than Webster’s.

      Regarding the universe, please give me credit for having a brain. Else, this conversation is pointless and you should have it with Dawkins. I am not Richard Dawkins.

      A universe with a personal god would be demonstrably different not because god would design it differently but because the laws of physics would not be constant and reliable. When people pray for intervention from their personal gods, the hope is for a temporary suspension of the laws of physics to accommodate the person praying. Yes. It is. Really. A prayer that is answered supernaturally is the very definition of a temporary suspension of the laws of physics.

      This simply does not happen. That is demonstrably different than the universe in which we live.

      So, please have your conversation with me. Or, go to Dawkin’s website and have your conversation there.

      When I say “God exists” I’m not really contradicting Science.

      Actually, you are. Science does not assert that all things are known. But, the assertion of an unknowable unprovable god is actually against the very foundation on which science rests, that the physical laws of the universe can ultimately be determined and when they are, or to the extent that they already have been, that they can be used to make predictions.

      Any vision of any god other than Spinoza’s flat out denies this.

      As for theology, you misunderstand me. I do not wish to argue theology at all. I wish to argue science. You claimed you have evidence of God. I want evidence. Theology is going to be a string of utterly bullshit faulty logic and rationalizations. I want scientific evidence. I assert that you have none.

      As I do not typically give credence to hypotheses for which there is no evidence, I give no credence to God. You claim that I should. Show me the evidence. Real hard credible science worthy evidence.

      • Oh, and theology is a scholarly study, not a scientific one. So, don’t try claiming it to be something it is not. The physical and real existence of a deity would be a natural science if one actually were to exist. Said deity would have to be accounted for in the laws of physics to deal with the exceptions when waters parted or seas rose to above the level of Everest or water turned to wine or beings larger than Jesus lizards walked on water. (You’d have to walk about 100 miles per hour to do it the way Jesus lizards do and remain within the laws of physics.)

  108. I just want to add a bit more about God vs. science.

    First, if your definition of God is the god of Spinoza, we need not have that conversation at all. That god is utterly and completely impotent and serves no purpose other than as mental masturbation.

    But, you don’t. You argue for Jesus.

    That is a personal god that does indeed intervene in the world. Such a god would need to be accounted for in the physical laws. Gee, that O-ring in the shuttle was bad. I don’t understand it. I saw flames begin to shoot out. Then the husband of the school teacher on board said a prayer and it just stopped. Gases simply stopped flowing out of a gaping hole with a tremendous pressure difference on the other side.

    I am also not interested at all in philosophical discussions about the existence of the supernatural. That too is pure mental masturbation. You said you have evidence. I explained what I meant by evidence. Rather than concede that you do not have any such evidence, you sought to bring the conversation over to your preferred venue, that of philosophy, or if you prefer theology, which is basically a subset of philosophy that deals with gods. (No, please don’t bother to tell me the difference. Neither is a science. Both are mental masturbation. They can be entertaining at times but will never produce an answer on the existence of any god, gods, or godlets and offer nothing approaching scientific proof from either side of the debate.)

    So, do you or do you not claim to have evidence, real hard scientific evidence?

    I know the answer. I want to hear you admit it, as I admitted when you proved to me that Jesus != Horus.

    Go ahead. Admit it. Or, admit that you really have so little knowledge of science that you really can’t tell the difference. I believe that was option 1 on my prior list. Care to try for 2, 3, or 4 instead?

  109. ZAROVE says:

    Actually this is a bad ime as Ill be working on something till after sepember first. Ill still post on a couple of places but not much. Still, when you say Theology is not Scientific, don’t you think you synthetically Limit the discussion? Any discussion of God is going to b Theological, obviously. If I am to argue God’s existence can iin the bounds of Known or beelived Sceintific models, Ill have ot show how Theologically.

    That said, the idea that a Universe created by God woudlnot have Uniform laws is absurd. One of the arguments used for God is that the Laws of the Universe are consistent, thus showing a Designer. If you read the works of early Theologians and Philosphers, and how Moern Science came to be, you soon discover that they predicted Uniform Physical Laws based on the belief that God had created the Universe. It was their belief that God had created the Universe to work on fixed Principles and for Nature to operate accordign to fixed Laws. To them, Investigatign how thigns worke din Nature was thus findign out about God. They surly didn’t think Uniform Laws were inconsistent with belief in Gods existence.

    I mean, if your argument is that a Universe with God in it shouldn’t have Uniform Lws because God can alter them, then your argument is pointless. It sliek saying a man outside of a mahcien who built it to work a certain way cant stop the machine to make adjustments, that the Mahciens internal works cant do on their own.

    People just don’t see God as personaly operatign every Atom, but rtather see God a having established Natural Laws and Principles.

    Also, A good test on if we got right what words mean is if w can replace them in he sentneces they are used withthe definition. If Faith meansbeleif withotu Evidence, then we shoudl be able to repalce instances of which it is used wiht that inthe Bibelor other THeological writtings. If you tried this it woudln’t work. I’ll prove that when I get back in a few days.

  110. Zarove,

    Do not come to my site and attempt to dictate the rules. You are flat dead wrong and are making a fool of yourself. Theology is indeed not scientific. It is both theoretically and practically incapable of ever resolving the issue of whether any gods exist. Therefore it is indeed mental masturbation.

    A discussion of god may indeed be truly scientific and not involve theology. The discussion would center on the evidence.

    That is why I asked for evidence. I stated my requirements for evidence up front. You pretended to accept the challenge, but completely and utterly failed to do so. Yet, you could not bring yourself to just walk away like a gentleman. Instead, you attempted to dominate the discussion and make it your own. I do not wish to get into endless circumlocution.

    I asked for evidence. You claimed you have some. I do not want mental masturbation. I want evidence. The idea that you don’t know what evidence is puts you very squarely in the category of mind-bogglingly, scientifically illiterate.

    Use any excuse you want to attempt to go away gracefully. However, you risk falling into both category 1 and 2 by doing so.

    Evidence!!!!! Not theological writings. Show me the evidence.

    I can easily dispute everything you said. I have chosen not to do so in order to prevent you from steeling the argument. This is not a theological debate. I will not bother with such bullshit. Give me some evidence. Evidence of the sort that proves relativity, quantum mechanics, and evolution. Give me a hard prediction made before an event that came true because of the existence of a god. Make sure the writing predates the event.

    I can give numerous examples for relativity, quantum mechanics, or evolution. I can even show you technologies built on engineering based on the theories such as GPS, computers, and pretty much all of modern medicine, respectively.

    Where is your evidence of God? What new findings were predicted by the existence of God? What technology was built based on predictions about the physical world as controlled by any god?

    Did we split the atom based on a knowledge of God? Did we build a steam engine based on a knowledge of God? Did God tell us about the photoelectric effect? The wave particle duality of light? The structure and function of DNA?

    Evidence!!!!

  111. bobbo, the evangelical anti-theist says:

    Evidence!!!!

    Does the universe look just as if there is a god? I think CS Lewis was just being “contrary” and this brings us back to the Epicurus Logic Trap. The universe “CAN’T” look like there is a god because the notion of god contradicts itself. No evidence, No Logic, but people can still believe.

    Scott–you’re losing it. Zarove isn’t arguing the way you want him too and you are getting overly combative and demanding. Not a pleasant sight. I appreciate your direct application of the definition of faith but you take it too far. If Jesus showed and proved himself today in a way amounting to “proof” of his existence==still no proof he was the same Jesus? And if Today Jesus showed the location of buried coins and a court transcript on papyrus of his conviction for trespass in the Temple and so forth, still no proof he is the son of himself-faith still required for that bit of magic. No–you are getting roped by Zarove’s own steadfastness. You need a bit more Kung Fu in your armamentarium, not boxing skills, and certainly not the power of the Ring Master.

    I admire Zarove’s steadfastness and his willingness to provide an argument/facts. Few provide the depth he presents. To demand he argue according to your Magisterium is actually to take his entire argument away. Instead, you should just point out faith based nonsense with the reality of science. Tedious of course but thats what you fairly invite on every religious question.

    I actually want to discuss which is better: ice cream or cake but YOU are not allowed to argue for cake. Go!!!!!!

  112. bobbo,

    I am trying to get Zarove to see that there is precisely zero evidence of God. When he sees that, if he is capable, I doubt he will be converted, but at least will understand why atheists are atheists.

    The way Zarove wants to argue is to rehash the same arguments that have convinced no one from either side in over 2,000 years. There is no possible conclusion for that.

    Of course, I can argue against the points he makes. He’s just going to rehash the same arguments that have been presented for over 2,000 years. We’ve heard that all before.

    Yes, I agree that requiring him to argue as a scientist rather than as a theologian takes the argument away. I presented it that way up front. He accepted the challenge, well sort of. He thought he could accept the challenge by his own rules. I stated the rules up front. I do not want to change them. I do not want pages and pages filled up with over 2,000 years of the arguments for and against God that have gone nowhere in all that time.

    His correct response was to admit that he has nothing like scientific evidence. Instead, he insists that God may only be discussed through theology.

    This is patently false.

    God may indeed be discussed on the basis of scientific evidence. It just happens to be a very short discussion. That is my point.

    As for the depth Zarove provides, perhaps. If what you want is a philosophical debate, yes. I bet he’s good at that. I’ve heard nearly all of the arguments before though. They don’t work. They can’t work.

    The reason they can’t work is obvious. God, were he to exist, would be in the realm of natural science. There would be evidence, real scientific evidence.

    I just want Zarove to admit either A) he has no idea what science is or B) there is no scientific evidence for God.

    If he admits A, it will be a starting point from which to educate him on science and the scientific method.

    If he admits B, he will at least understand that atheism is a rational position.

    I’m sure that either way, his faith will remain unshaken. But, I want him to understand. Right now, he does not. Also, as I have shown on this thread, I admit when I am wrong.

    I wonder if Zarove has the capacity to do likewise.

  113. ZAROVE says:

    I’m getting a degree in Psychology which is a Science, and I do like reading books on Science.

    That said, Scott, the problem with what your arguing is that you can’t discuss God at all without Theology. Theology simply means “The Study of God”. How can I discuss the existence of God without even so much as defining what God is? I mean, even the Flat “God is a Supernatural magical man who lives in the Sky” argument used by many Atheist sites I’ve seen is, ultimately, a Theological Statement.

    If I wanted to argue for the existence of a Magical Man who live sin the Sky, who I call God, I’d still have to argue Theology even if I were arguing Scientific Evidence.

    Theology is vital in any discussion of God because Theology is what we use to define what we mean by God.

    In that way, if I were to argue for Paul Tillich’s version of God, I’d have a completely different sort of God than the Sky Wizard above.

    You only apply Scientific Facts and verifiable claims once the problem is defined. Just like anything else in Science.

    You couldn’t prove even things that have been Proven using your tactic. How can you prove Relativity if we don’t allow you to actually use the definition of Relativity on the outset? How can you prove Evolution is a Valid Theory much less True if we don’t allow you to introduce the Definition of Evolution? The same applies with God. You must allow Theology, or you can’t actually discuss the existence of God. Even if God was a specific object in the Universe we saw with the Hubble Telescope, even if God personally came down and spoke at the United Nations, parted the Atlantic Ocean, made am impressive light show overhead, cured all the worlds cases of Cancer, and to top it all fed every hungry person on the planet, thus providing absolute, unquestionable proof of his own existence, in order to describe the events you’d end up talking Theology.

    Just as any attempt to explain Humanity leads you to the Humanities. You can’t discuss humanity without first defining what it is to be Human. You can’t have a discussion about whether or not Humans even exist without first knowing what a Human is.

    Theology tells us what God is, and from that we can then proceed to see if, as you asserted above, the Universe really does look like it has no god in it. Really that depends on who and what God is, doesn’t it?

    When Epicureans asked hwy God didn’t stop evil, and stated that if he couldn’t, he was powerless, and if he could and didn’t, he was malicious, he was making a Theological Observation. He was also assuming that a Good and Powerful God would see the world in the same way he did.

    Your doing the same. You assume that, because Nature and Natural Laws exist and are fixed, then it seems God doesn’t exist as we shouldn’t expect fixed Laws in a Universe with God intervening. Never mind that people who actually believe in God actually first postulated he idea of Fixed Natural laws as what they’d expect in a Universe with God, before those Laws were discovered, and used that as the basis of their own attempt at understanding those Laws.

    And that’s why the discussion is in the end pointless. You don’t want to introduce Theology and simply want Scientific Proof that God exists, despite the fact that in the end you’ll still need to define what God is and what we should expect in a Universe with him in order to have that discussion, and to get that Definition must turn to Theology. If I can’t define God, I obviously can’t prove he exists. But I can’t prove Humans exist if I can’t define them either, so I guess they don’t.

    That said, I never said all Atheists were Irrational. My argument in this thread was to show Jesus existed as a man, not that he was Divine. If we turn it into discussions of God’s existence, then all I’d argue for i Rational warrant, not final Proof. Can you accept the reverse? That Theism, while you personally arne’t convicned by it, canbe Rational?

  114. bobbo, the evangelical anti-theist says:

    I agree with Zarove: with many wanderings the issue had come down to was there an historical (real) Jesus? My short answer would be who cares? But Zarove obviously would then move to his devinity and that is proof of God as one and the same?

    The argument of god by theology doesn’t resolve the basis of the dialectic as the “study of god” takes the scholastic route as well as the scientific. I don’t see two Magisteria there. Was Jesus born in Bethlehem? From theology comes a testable theory///err-hypothesis. It can be accepted by faith, or ruled “not established.”

    Anyhoo–I think the theological basis of god has already been best argued and lost by Zarove: you used the same rules he uses to exclude all the other gods, and then use the same rules to rule out the one remaining god. That theological/scientific argument can’t be bettered but it won’t “win” against someone who won’t deal with the Epicurus Logic Trap or who thinks the universe looks just the way it would if god did exist: ie, the very same way it would look if god didn’t exist. Ha, Ha. Thru the looking glass.

    Its not being fairly raised outside of Zarove saying god was a simple concept. Just as simple as the mechanics of the universe. Words. Once you hang the label of some word on a subject, thinking often stops. No one “in their right mind” theological or otherwise, is going to say the universe/god is simple. Yet if you do/can, then words will mean any private thing you want them to mean and proof becomes irrelevant.

    Scott–did you catch recent studies that show people become more entrenched with their belief systems when they are confronted with contrary evidence? A human defense mechanism.

    Facts don’t sway true believers, thats exactly how they got that way. The only thing that will sway a true believer is to have one of his true beliefs shaken by experience, not by argument. HIS wife killed by lightning, or HIS child taken by still birth. But god works in mysterious ways and even personal affronts will not convince otherwise. I have caught a few religious types in “lying” and being hypocrites and have pointed it out. Didn’t change a thing.

    There are some nuggets in the above discussion–not a whole meal. I like nuggets.

  115. Zarove,

    You pick the definition of God, your God, the one you personally believe exists.

    Psychology is a softer science than that which I have been discussing. It is certainly a science, and is evolving into a harder science through the use of functional MRIs and other brain scans, but is not a hard science such as the physical sciences. And, the existence of any god you choose would be a matter of physical science.

    After you admit that you have not a single shred of hard scientific evidence for whatever god you personally choose, we can have a theological debate.

    But, first, I want to make sure that you understand that what you are calling evidence is fundamentally different and less than the definition of evidence used in the hard sciences, and even less than that used in the softer social sciences.

    I want you to fully understand atheism, which I believe you still do not. You believe that atheists, or at least the smart ones, all arrive at our conclusions through the same theological debates that lead to your belief in God.

    This is not the case.

    Many, though not all, atheists come to the conclusion that no gods exist from looking at the physical science type of evidence for the vast array of gods that man has dreamed up. This is the same way we arrive at the conclusion that there are no unicorns, fire-breathing dragons, gnomes, elves, orcs, hobgoblins, or any other mythical creature. God is no different for us. There is quite simply zero scientific evidence for the existence of any gods or any of these other mythical creatures.

    Until you understand that, I will not even begin the circumlocution and faulty logic on both sides of the theological debate.

    So, again, it is very possible to discuss gods in a scientific context. It is merely a short discussion. And, the definition used for any god is irrelevant precisely because the hard evidence for any definition you choose is zero. Let me know when you understand that. Then we can begin a silly and lengthy theological / philosophical debate. Who knows? I might even enjoy it as much as you do. And, I’ll even let you lead, once we get past this first sticking point.

  116. bobbo, the evangelical anti-theist says:

    Scott–yes, I’ve been thinking about going more to the cagematch, don’t know why I haven’t. Alfie is enjoyable about once. Thanks for the link.

    Aren’t most of our attitudes/beliefs set quite young before the rigors of the scientific process are known?

    I turned atheist in sunday school when made fun of for asking where all the rain came from for Noah’s Flood. It didn’t/still doesn’t make any sense: “gushed forward from the ground” or “rained for 40 days” doesn’t explain the set amount of water there is. So ultimately god created extra water molecules and then made them go away.

    Did the greeks even have science? Hit or miss affair and their best contributions remain thought experiments just like mine as a little kiddie.

    HA!!! As I said before, arguments do not change minds, only experience. Well, argumentation does have a dual quality about it.

    NO ONE including Zarove can define/describe his god that does not fall within the Epicurus Logic Trap. If you stick to your guns and require this description of god, indeed, the conversation won’t get past: Its a mystery, but I still believe the incoherent thing I worship.

    “Then why call him God?” I look forward to your continuing discussion, but won’t hold my breath.

    Rest in peace.

  117. bobbo,

    Re: Greek thought experiments. Keep in mind that one of those thought experiments was that all matter was made up of atoms. Pretty damned impressive guess, no? But, no, they did not have the scientific method. BTW, special relativity was arrived at through knowledge of the existing data and a major league thought experiment.

    Re: beliefs remaining constant from youth: Actually, not in my case. In my case it took me ’till well into my 30s to become an atheist. It was a long process involving lots of thinking, reading, and debating.

    For me, it went like this:

    Birth – ~8-10: Mild believer with not much thought given to it.

    At around 8 or 10 years old, sometime in Hebrew school, I was told that shabbat (a.k.a. the sabbath) was a high holiday, as are Rosh Hashanna (new year’s) and Yom Kippur (day of atonement).*

    I came home, informed my father of this, and asked why we didn’t go to temple every Saturday. He said, “we’re not that religious.” I’ve always been a whole-hog-or-none type of guy. So, this didn’t sit well with me. I began to wonder how one could be only partly religious. The religion specifies that every Jew must go to temple every Saturday (actually, if one is not close enough, one may pray at home, but I doubt I new or would have cared about that detail as we did not pray at home either).

    So, thus began my questioning.

    In my teens, I read a lot of Heinlein.

    If you’ve read his books, you know that he mixed into his science fiction a lot of philosophy, much of it either libertarian (classic libertarian and strongly socially liberal) or anti-religion. He made a number of great remarks that stuck with me. I’ll put a few here. You can see more at this link.

    • Of all the strange crimes that humanity has legislated out of nothing, blasphemy is the most amazing – with obscenity and indecent exposure fighting it out for second and third place.
    • Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other sins are invented nonsense. (Hurting yourself is not sinful–just stupid.)
    • The most ridiculous concept ever perpetrated by H.Sapiens is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of the Universes, wants the sacharrine adoration of his creations, that he can be persuaded by their prayers, and becomes petulant if he does not recieve this flattery. Yet this ridiculous notion, without one real shred of evidence to bolster it, has gone on to found one of the oldest, largest and least productive industries in history.
    • God split himself into a myriad parts that he might have friends. This may not be true, but it sounds good, and is no sillier than any other theology.
    • The profession of shaman has many advantages. It offers high status with a safe livelihood free of work in the dreary, sweaty sense. In most societies it offers legal privileges and immunities not granted to other men. But it is hard to see how a man who has been given a mandate from on High to spread tidings of joy to all mankind can be seriously interested in taking up a collection to pay his salary; it causes one to suspect that the shaman is on the moral level of any other con man. But it is a lovely work if you can stomach it.

    So, for many years, I became an agnostic, though at some point I made up my mind that if God did exist, he would judge us on far more important things than how well we sing praise to his name. So, while I remained agnostic, and utterly unconvinced by any philosophical or theological argument for decades, I became convinced more and more strongly that the Judeo-Christian-Islamic religions certainly had it all wrong.

    This belief was reinforced quite strongly by my attempt to read the Bible. I have skimmed a lot of it, but have read in detail the entire Pentateuch, the foundation for the rest in a very real sense. I am convinced that nothing can turn a moral and thinking individual away from religion as easily as reading the bible.

    Still, for me, this was not enough to turn me to atheism, nor was my college Philosophy class, which did a pretty fair job of presenting the philosophical and theological arguments both for and against god.

    The two I found strongest were the argument for a prime mover and the turtles all the way down, though I don’t recall if the latter was presented as such.

    Then, sometime in my 30s, after years of debates with a friend who is an atheist and a whole bunch of recreational reading about evolution and theoretical physics, my friend pointed out two very interesting things that finally did convince me.

    One is that an atheist does not assert that he or she would not change his or her mind given new evidence.

    The other was the kicker though. It was the realization that there are no other ideas to which I give any credence without a shred of evidence.

    That one really smacked me in the head. It pointed out my own hypocrisy. Once aware of this huge contradiction in my brain, allowing for the existence of a god or gods, but not for the existence of unicorns or The Great Pumpkin, I could not last long as an agnostic.

    The final decision that there really is no reason to give credence to the god hypothesis was, for me, incredibly liberating. Now, my life has meaning, not the meaning of a fictional sky spirit, but the very real meaning that I choose to give my life. I am responsible. I am a good and decent human being because that is morally the right thing to do … for me. There is also a strong evolutionary bias toward morality, which is found to at least some degree in a great many species, especially primates.

    However, the point of all this rambling is not just to walk you through an overview of my own wanderings and searching for truth, but also to point out that philosophical and theological arguments have never been enough for me. I still think Zarove is under the impression that I arrived at atheism by simply being convinced by the other sides of each of the arguments that have led him to God. I was never convinced by any of them. I can spout them for hours. I particularly like the turtles all the way down argument.

    But, even that was not enough to be proof, at least for me. Though, that combined with removal of the prime cause argument once I learned a bit about quantum mechanics is quite powerful.

    Epicurus’ incredible logical proof can only be used to disprove the existence of a good and just god. Mean, vindictive gods (think of the god of the old testament) survive the argument. Gods with morals so different than our own that we would not recognize them as morals also survive. And, of course, Spinoza’s ineffectual god can survive anything while being such an amazing nothing that there is no reason to care whether said creature exists. As to why call a god a god if he behaves as does the petulant little brat of the O.T. quite simply because else he’ll smite you.

    In fact, nothing has ever served as proof for me of the non-existence of gods. What there is though is a complete and total absence of any form of hard evidence. Millennia of searching, and nothing. Not one shred of evidence. Therefore, though it can’t be proven that there are no gods, there is no reason to give credence to the god hypothesis.

    That is what I want Zarove to understand.

    After that, if he has some theological arguments I’ve not heard before, it could be quite interesting to hear them.

    First though, I want Zarove to understand the very real lack of anything that qualifies as evidence. All theological so called evidence is merely logic, and probably logic founded on premises as false as cause and effect.

    I want him to admit that he has no hard evidence. Then we can discuss turtles, teapots, the dragon living in my closet, or whatever.

    * Note to Zarove: See, I do not have the hatred for Christianity that can only come from years of Catholic school being beaten by nuns and sexually assaulted by priests. Though, there do seem to be a lot of such victims driving around with their Darwin fish.

  118. bobbo, the evangelical anti-theist says:

    Scott–we are formed by our childhood experiences, parental role models, close society. My parents never went to church, never prayed. Don’t even know what my father thought because he did all the talking and never talked about that subject. Somehow I was going to Sunday School. Mom died not long ago. I wish I had asked her why I started going. She told me why I left as I had forgotten it. Mom was the adopted daughter of a Baptist Minister in Colorado. She used to sing and play violin at weekend burials and do all kinds of work for her father. She became an atheist to rebel against her strict upbringing I think. I’d say in my early years I was a mild non-thinker about the subject since it never came up after I got out of Sunday School. “One Nation Under God” meant nothing to me every school morning. Just a ceremony as so much of religion is. I never have focused on the lack of evidence per se and have always been convinced by the lack of logic. Of course, a little evidence would solve the lack of logic so it all gets related together eventually.

    Logic. Like our inalienable rights: supposedly god given??? I don’t think so.

    My two sisters and one of their husbands were all “personally called” by Jesus to become faithful. Once you know Jesus, there is no doubt and questioning that personal experience falls outside rational argument. They all do a fairly credible job of being “kind” people as well. They all could have turned out a lot worse.

    • Early childhood does a lot to shape how we think, but not necessarily what we think. Else, we would all believe exactly as our parents. I don’t. Old dogs can learn new tricks. Further, new neural connections are formed all through life. I have changed my way of thinking a lot over the years, as I have detailed above on just this one subject. I have also changed my mind about other subjects as well. I did not always hate our species. Time passes. Our minds change. The longer I live, the less I understand most other members of my species.

      I send an email with a numbered list of 5 questions and get back a response with 2 of them answered. I don’t get that. I send a detailed email requesting information and get a response “call me”. I don’t get that. I ask Zarove to admit that he has no scientific evidence for God. Of course there is none. He asks me to define God. It doesn’t matter what definition is used. The scientific evidence is the same, none. Why bother to ask the definition? I don’t get that.

      Many of the same people who want to be free to practice their religion want to legislate theirs on the rest of the country. What if one of the groups is successful? What if suddenly some Christians either must or must not practice the ritual mock-cannibalism of communion? One group will be completely out of luck. And yet, both groups try to legislate their ideas on others without thought that they could be on the losing side. I don’t get that.

  119. bobbo, the evangelical anti-theist says:

    I share your irritation of direct questions not being answered—but really, who wants to talk to such people about “anything” anyway? Such a lack or rigor/detail/honesty must infuse everything they do/say/think?

    I think it is more the case that you do “get that” and more simply just don’t accept it, or are disappointed by it. To “not get” that which is constantly presented to you is the very kind of hubris you are railing against.

    Same values as yours – slightly different words?

    Keep the faith.

  120. bobbo,

    Same sentiment different words, yes. Also slightly different use of “get that”. I get that it happens. I do not get what goes on in the mind of someone who does that. Perhaps you would argue nothing at all goes on in their minds. However, asserting that would be hubris indeed.

    Some of the people from whom I’ve received a subset of answers, with multiple communications, have ultimately created good trips for me. Where I travel is remote. I can pay someone in Britain or the U.S. a lot more, have less of the money get to the locals, or can deal with the locals directly. I prefer, when possible, to deal with locals directly. But, paying extra will not guarantee that all questions get answered on the first try either, even when English is the first language, even when the tour company is relatively competent, as evidenced later when the trip goes reasonably close to plan.

    As for the “call me” response, I find it frustrating when it is a recruiter who wants me to call during business hours to discuss interviews. I’ve been dealing with this issue recently. But, they got me a position that I hope is good.

    So, who wants to deal with such people? Not me. Who wants to limit their own opportunities for travel or work? Also not me. One must strike a balance.

    Re: Faith: Everyone’s already had her. She’s all reamed out. You can have her. Though, on the other hand, all that experience. Hmm….

  121. bobbo, the evangelical anti-theist says:

    You knew Faith too?

    I used to own/manage/train a head hunting shop. SOP is to establish when it is CONVENIENT FOR THE CLIENT to make contact. Your recruiter is either poorly trained or incompetent. Still, its up to you to first sell the recruiter and then sell the Interviewer.

    One more experience I would now avoid ((to own and manage, use them if needed=of course.))

  122. I was too young to have known Faith in the biblical way. By the time I reached maturity, I hadn’t heard from her in years … and still haven’t.

  123. Zarove,

    I may get a bit busy now too. But, by all means, let me know when you find that godvidence. I’ll definitely reply as I can. Take your time. A few thousand years have thus far turned up nothing though, so I won’t hold my breath.

  124. ZAROVE says:

    But Scott, you still can’t even grant that Faith in the religiosu sense doesn’t mean “Beleif without evidence”. In fact, a large part of knowing God is knowing what God is like, which requires still some discusion. And my general rule is not to try to convince anyone but to correct errors in their thinking. I learned a long time ago people tend to be rather stubborn in beleifin what hey desire.

    That said, you won’t even accept basic tenets like God beign simple, and claimed that me sayin g this was not my finest hour. Yet, what I said has been Theologically present for a very long time.

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/divine-simplicity/

    Evidence for Gods existence will rest on what God is. I can prove Unicorns exist if I define them as regular Horses.

    • Zarove,

      Find me a dictionary that includes your definition of religious faith. I do indeed stick to the truth, which is that religious faith is belief without evidence.

      Unless … do you have some real hard evidence in the scientific sense of the word? You have not posted any.

      Your definition of evidence is probably logic. Logic is not evidence. As I stated above, much of science, proven science, is not logical. Quantum mechanics is not logical. Relativity is not logical.

      If you claim to have evidence of any god, post some already. Pick your definition of god and post some evidence.

      Regarding divine simplicity, is your god able to think?

      God is radically unlike creatures in that he is devoid of any complexity or composition, whether physical or metaphysical.

      So, your god is nothingness?

      God is what he has. As identical to each of his attributes, God is identical to his nature. And since his nature or essence is identical to his existence, God is identical to his existence.

      Meaningless tautological bullshit. This says nothing about what god is. You do realize that, don’t you? There is not a single statement about the reality of what any of that might mean. Consider this same statement with my modifications. It rings just as true as the original.

      God is what he has, which is nothing because he is not a physical creature. As identical to each of his attributes, God is identical to his nature, though his nature is nonexistent since he is neither physical nor metaphysical and is devoid of any composition. And since his nature or essence is identical to his existence, God is identical to his existence or utter lack thereof as he has already been defined as being devoid of any composition.

      So, back to your definition of god, are you willing to state anything positive about him or her? Can s/he think? Can s/he create? Can s/he intervene on the part of particular humans to change the outcome of any event? Can s/he have any measurable effect on the world at large?

      What exactly is your god? Meaningless tautology? I am what I am? Is he Popeye? How about some real positive attributes or behavior? When you answer what god is, will we be left with a definition that is relevant to the world?

      The god of Spinoza for example, is irrelevant. Why bother discussing such a nonentity? Is yours more meaningful? If so, how? What can God do? What can’t God do?

      And, remember, I did invite you to pick the definition of god. Do so. Is this divinely simple and divinely impotent god the one of your choice? Is that the god you personally worship? Get personal here. Use your definition. When you pray to God, what are you praying to? What results do you expect?

      Also from your link, BTW, was this amusing quote:

      God is free of matter/form composition, potency/act composition, and existence/essence composition.

      You do realize that from this definition, god is indeed impotent, it says so in the definition. Free of potency. The god defined above is quite literally nothing. If you believe in this particular god, then we are both atheists.

      “God is free of existence” == “God does not exist”

      That’s just the English language for you.

      So, care to try for a better definition of god? Perhaps one who is not free of existence? Perhaps one who can create, intervene, cause miracles? Your call.

      And, again, as I said, Theology is a branch of philosophy, not science. Nothing on that web page could ever be construed as evidence. If you disagree, you had better quote something from it that you believe is evidence not mental masturbation. Then we can talk about that.

  125. ZAROVE says:

    Sorry, it posted before I was finished.

    Anyway, the point is, most Atheists don’t study Theology and tend to simply view a Caricature of what God is suppose to be around and expect that to be proven, which Obviously I won’t be doing.

    • Zarove,

      Do you know most atheists personally? Do you really think that theology is the right area of study? I could just as easily make just as ridiculous a claim that most theists don’t study science, or at least don’t attempt to relate it back to their delusional beliefs.

      This may or may not be true. But, it is every bit as valid as your statement. Besides, why theology? Why not the wider field of philosophy.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theology

      Theology is the study of a god or, more generally, the study of religious faith, practice, and experience, or of spirituality.

      So, right from the definition, theology, which you even insist on capitalizing as if to emphasize its religious nature, assumes the existence of some god and then argues for said god’s existence.

      At least philosophy starts with the question, rather than the answer.

      But, in truth, neither is the right way to determine the existence of any god. For once again, I say to you that we are not looking for rationalizations that can be made equally well for either side, we are looking for evidence.

      If you cannot understand what evidence is, I strongly suggest that you get the hell out of any scientific field of study, even a softer social science.

      So, again, pick a definition, assert that this is the one you pray to. Then, show me the evidence of your god.

      Why do you refuse to even assert a definition, refuse to offer any evidence, and then assert that your faith is based on evidence.

      You don’t even have a god. I claim you do not even know the definition of your own god. When you define God, come back and let me know your definition and your evidence.

      Remember, don’t ask me to define your god. I have left the door wide open. Post your definition and your evidence.

  126. bobbo, the evangelical anti-theist says:

    Scott—please don’t respond until you give Zarove’s link a quick look over. I had forgotten just how convoluted an argument (not evidence) for God could be. A real touchstone that I’m glad Zarove cleared up for me: “I can prove Unicorns exist if I define them as regular Horses.”====Very demonstrative of how Zarove deals with contrary facts/definitions.

    “I can prove God is Love if I define love as casting souls into a lake of fire forever.”

    Yea, Verily.

    • bobbo,

      Give me some credit. As you can see from my replies, I did indeed read his link. It defines god as non-existent. I wonder if the whole page was posted by an atheist as a joke on theists to see how many would cite it as if it were a pro-God argument.

  127. bobbo, the evangelical anti-theist says:

    Scott–how did you read his link before he provided it? Are you standing outside of space/time/logic as well? If so, look to your left or right and god and jesus should be there to discuss these issues with you and if you don’t like their answers, look straight ahead and behind you for the Holy Ghost.

    On point, a very short article regarding a bit of nonsense from Stephen Hawking. He is replacing god with “spontaneous creation.” “Maybe” he is only talking about the conditions of planetary formation but the headline seems to be about the Big Bang.

    Some religious guy is quoted as saying that belief stands outside of proof.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11161493

    • I don’t understand the question. Timestamps indicate that I posted well after he did.

      As for Hawking, he is probably trying to avoid having people arguing for decades that he believes in god. See, Hawking said, “… know the mind of God.” and Einstein said “God does not play dice …”

      Therefore, both believe(d) in God, right?

      False!

      Einstein did not believe in a personal god. He used the term to mean the order of the universe and later wrote about his beliefs at length, only to have his detailed writings ignored and the one phrase remembered by creationists for decades. The same will be true of Hawking. Just watch.

      Even creationists want to feel smart. And, the recognized smartest minds are in science. So, creationists are always looking to claim scientists are on their side. Neither Hawking nor Einstein are/were.

      But, watch, you’ll see them claiming Hawking as a believer for decades to come, despite his latest statement on the subject.

  128. ZAROVE says:

    I capitalise most nuns. I capitalise Atheist, for example. I tend to write in Formal English which takes its Grammatical rules mainly out of German Sources, and in German all nouns are capitalised regardless of being Proper or not. In High English this isn’t true but, it is for many more nouns than in contemporary written English.

    That said, your still spelling god near Universally in lower case, which is bad Grammar even in contemporary English. All Proper Nuns are Capped, and all names are Proper Nouns. While the word god may not be a Proper Noun on its own, Whenever a word is used as a name, it becomes a Proper Nun. You are using the word God as a name often, yet leaving it in lower case. This is bad Grammar.

    • Actually, I’ve been pretty careful to capitalize God but not a god or your god, which are not proper names.

      Capitalizing non-proper nouns is bad English. We’re not speaking German. Capitalizing atheist or atheism is offensive as it implies that it is a religion. Capitalizing theology implies it is a religion, which is true and was my point. Theology starts from the premise that God exists. It does not offer evidence. Rather it offers rationalizations of the original premise. Theology would not, for example, offer any argument against the existence of God. That would be considered in the wider field of philosophy.

  129. ZAROVE says:

    Also, Scott, my link basically said God didn’t exist how? Divine Simplicity simply states that God has no moving parts and is not composed of anything, but is the totality of his own being. It doesn’t say God doesn’t exist, and I think your missing the point of Divine Simplicity. Which is why I mentioned the difficulty in arguing for Gods existence, because you will still in the end filter whatever I say through pre-existing ideas and biases, and really haven’t taken the time to look at this from another perspective.

    How do I explain God when you think Divine Simplicity is arguing that God doesn’t exist? That’s clearly not what the article says, and unlike Bubo, the actual argument I linked to wasn’t even trying to prove God existed, but merely explain what God is.

    You initially thought I was off my rocker when I said God was simple, and now think this is arguing God doesn’t exist. That’s just not what’s being said, and shows that you are reading into the text your own ideas, which you will do regardless of what I say.

    Its all rather Boysian…

    Your seeing what you want to see.

    • I quoted directly from your link to make my case that divine simplicity is atheism. You chose not to read it. Here it is again.

      “God is free of existence” == “God does not exist”

      The left side of the equation is from your link. That is what free of existence means. Welcome to the world of atheism. We’re glad to count you among our membership.

      From your link on divine simplicity, the real divine attributes become:

      God is omniabsent.
      God is omnimpotent.
      God is omnignorant.

      Here is the explanation:

      God is omniabsent. Your link states that God is free of existence.

      God is omnimpotent. Your link states that God is free of potency. (BTW, this also explicitly states that God has no power to do anything at all. God does not posses the power to create a universe. God is free of potency. Get it?)

      God is omnignorant. This is my own, so requires more explanation to relate back to your link. Thought requires a time line, it is a progression. God is unchanging. Knowledge requires a storage structure. One can have knowledge stored in neurons or stored in a database. Even a mythical pie-in-the-sky spiritual storage “device” would have to have a structure. A mechanism is required. The knowledge base itself cannot meet a definition of simple and still contain the knowledge because the knowledge itself is a complex data set. God is divine simplicity, so has no means to store information, and cannot himself contain a complex data set and still be simple. Further, the access to knowledge again requires a time line. But, God is unchanging. Therefore, God is ignorant.

      Now, you have steered this conversation away from my challenge far enough. You have flatly refused to provide YOUR definition of God. Is divine simplicity it? If so, you have chosen a definition that begins with an assertion that there can be no evidence of God. So, you have failed.

      Care to choose another definition? This is your choice, not mine, so stop throwing it back at me.

      I want YOUR PERSONAL definition of God.

      Second, you said your belief is based on evidence. Provide some. Thus far, you have not even attempted to provide any evidence at all whatsoever. You have merely asserted that you have some up your sleeve. Please do provide it.

  130. Actually Zarove, if divine simplicity is your personal definition of God, you must, repeat absolutely must, acknowledge that you faith is not based on evidence.

    That entire link to divine simplicity explicitly and deliberately defines a god that is not only free of any possibility of disproof, but if you look more carefully, you’ll see that the particular god on that page is equally free of any possibility of proof or even the slightest shred of evidence.

    For, what evidence could ever be used to show the existence of a god that is free of existence?

    In an effort to come up with an idea for God that cannot be disproved, they have equally come up with a definition for God that could only ever be believed by faith without even the tiniest shred of evidence.

    So, again, you have proven my point more than your own, if only you were able to even see things from the other side clearly enough to attempt to dispute them.

  131. BTW, attacking divine simplicity from the other side is even easier.

    I have a grandfather clock (hypothetically since I don’t) that has a 1 meter pendulum with a mass of 100 grams. There is a 200g weight on a chain providing the force to keep the pendulum in motion. The pendulum has a coefficient of drag of 0.1. I apologize if I’ve missed any bits of information necessary, please feel free to make them up as this is purely hypothetical anyway.

    How long will the pendulum continue to swing and the clock continue to work, before the chain must be pulled again and the pendulum restarted?

    It is a moderately complex calculation to perform involving, if I remember my college days correctly, a fourth order ordinary differential equation to solve.

    I’m sure an all-knowing god could easily perform this.

    Can God do it?

    If so, it means that God possesses moderately complex knowledge.

    Add to this little tidbit all of the various knowledge of humanity, and God possesses quite complex knowledge. Add to this all of the knowledge that humanity does not possess, but God presumably does, and God possesses some highly complex knowledge indeed.

    In order to possess complex knowledge, one must be complex. If you are capable of believing otherwise, then we probably have nothing further to discuss. For indeed, one must be at least as complex as the knowledge one possesses, by definition.

    So again, God is either omniscient and highly complex or omnignorant and simple to the point of non-existence.

    But, again, all of this is simple logic and will not convince anyone who is not already convinced. For, clearly, your mind can comprehend an entity simpler than the sum of His knowledge. For me, this is an utter contradiction.

    So, we’re back to objective evidence. Have you found any?

    Take your time. I intend to be as busy as you for a while, so you may even get to post your stuff and have it uncontested for a while.

  132. A last point about theology. The very roots of the word mean the study of God. Any field designed to study a subject already presupposes that the subject of study exists. To answer the question of whether the subject of study exists, one must start from a point outside. Therefore, theology is inherently the wrong field for a discussion on the existence of God. Theology is the correct field for a discussion of the attributes of God. So, feel free to use theology to get your definition of God, but then you’ll need to step outside that box to argue for the existence of God. And, of course, remember that I was talking about evidence.

    Neither philosophy nor theology is about evidence, so for that, you’ll have to enter the realm of (oh no) science. Thus far, none of your arguments have gone anywhere near the scientific.

    Good luck.

    And, again, don’t ask me to define God. Any definition you choose will be fine with me. But, take this personally. Don’t just pick any definition. Pick the definition of the creature to whom you personally pray.

  133. ZAROVE says:

    The article explains many different views on Dine Simplicity, not just one. That said, the general point of Simplicity is that God doesn’t have pars, and is not “composite”. he is not made up of smaller parts. Having complex knowledge doesn’t mean God is made up of smaller things that when out together make God.

    When I said God was simple, I mean, God doesn’t consist of anything, but is God in totality. There aren’t smaller pieces of God that fit into a greater picture, that when taken collectively make God.

    Thus, God is not Complex. God is simple. Though I dislike using the term in a Scientific setting, or those who try to use Science, the best I can describe this in laymen’s terms is to Imagine God as an all encompassing “energy field”. And yes I know energy is simply the amount of work one can do, but, Imagine a Sci FI “Energy being” like the Q, or the force in Star Wars. Neither are materially complex. It doesn’t matter that they both possess great knowledge and power, neither are Materially complex. They are not made of smaller parts. (Though the Q continuum went through a change in later episodes, an now “Evolved”, though prior it had just been.)

    God is thus understood as basically an all encompassing energy field, not as something that has parts.

    That’s what is meant by Divine Simplicity, and what you’ll have to grasp before anyone can make any reasonable arguments.

    • Two points.

      1) It’s not about whether there is a physical complexity. If God is all-knowing, or even knows anything at all, that knowledge itself has complexity. Regardless of whether it is contained in some energy field, the knowledge of the workings of the universe is highly complex knowledge. Therefore, one who possesses such knowledge is, by definition, complex.

      2) Forget reasonable arguments. You said you were in the possession of evidence. I don’t want logic. I want evidence. You said you had some. Do you?

  134. ZAROVE says:

    Also, Theology is not a Religion. Generally its “The study of Religion’, but specifically its “The Study of God”. Theism is not a Religion, Theism is belief in at least one god. Belief in at least one god doesn’t qualify as a Religion. Just as being an Atheists doesn’t make one non-religious. Religion is a set of beliefs regarding the fundamental nature of our existence, and in reality everyone has a Religion, when properly defined as a term.

    • OK, Theology may not meet the definition of religion with its rites and rituals. However, Theology, as the study of God, does indeed presuppose the existence of the subject matter to be studied, i.e. God.

      So, one will never answer the question of whether or not there are any gods from within a field that already presupposes the answer to be yes.

  135. bobbo, the evangelical anti-theist says:

    Scott – fyi, your response with its timestamp did not show up in my browser for many hours if not a day or more. I accept some delay but that much delay can cause problems like we just had. I also received a notice a week or so ago that a “new person” had posted on this link but so far “her” posting has not appeared–some glitch of some kind in the notification system I suppose?

    I am awestruck that you can make any sense at all from Devine Simplicity. I find it beyond sense.

    • Sorry, I have no control over the hosting by wordpress. In general, it has been more than good enough for my needs and is run better than I can or am willing to run a host.

      As for Divine Simplicity, I can understand the meaning. As far as I can read it, it is as I stated, “God is free of existence. God is free of potency.”

      For my reading, these equate to “God does not exist. God is impotent.”

      I think those who believe in Divine Simplicity are as atheistic as I am, but are not logical enough to realize it.

  136. bobbo, the evangelical anti-theist says:

    Only a small tangent: just rewatched “The Human Spark” on PBS. Part 3 mentions that Humans uniquely “assume” causation in all they see even at a very early stage like 3-6 months old==one of the first uniquely human traits that expresses itself first. After that, the also human trait of “preferring” things/people that agree/cooperate with us also expresses itself very early. Combine the two and you get religion. Earlier in the same show, the theory that the human brain size is due mostly to evaluating and dealing with social interactions ((as opposed to tool making or language)) is foundational to “where morals come from” and so forth.

    Science.

    • Yes. Interesting point. In addition, there is the tendency of humans to take what their parents teach them from birth as literally true without question. To learn each point for oneself would result in a lot of dead humans. Imagine if each of us did not take on faith that our parents were correct on basic points like not sticking screw drivers into electrical sockets and instead had to learn them all by trial and error.

      But certainly assuming actors where there are none has served us better than assuming there were no actors where some existed. Those with hypoactive actor detection, would fall easy prey to leopards while those with hyperactive actor detection see few if any ill consequences.

  137. Ben says:

    WOW, I’m feeling a little inadequate to involve my self in this discussion, after reading the first few posts, you have all done your homework and have amazing points – however i think in all this trying to find out who he is or who is right, we’ve ignored the one being that does exsist, HUMANS we are it, we are the devine and if we can’t understand ourselves how the hell do you very very intelligent people think we can understand any of the thousand year old folk stories. I don’t understand and guess i never will why we can’t find out the truth rather than being told what the truth is.

    But guys seriously good reading well done.

    • Ben,

      Thanks for the compliment. This thread has indeed gone on to some very interesting and unplanned topics. I’m enjoying it immensely. As for humans as the divine, why only humans? Take the logic a bit farther and you’ll arrive at the conclusion from Stranger in a Strange Land (1961, by Robert A. Heinlein) that “all that groks is god.”

  138. clova says:

    Its funny how everybody knows who Jesus is and knows his story..but most dont believe it even after 2000 years..He’s the alpha and the omega..His story will be remembered forever.You don’t ever hear nobody ever arguring over other gods but Jesus.

  139. bobbo, the evangelical anti-theist says:

    Clova—I’ve heard such arguments especially when traveling outside of the United States. Go far enough away, isolated enough, and they haven’t even heard of Jesus. Perhaps more relevantly, even on the subject of Jesus, some think he is a seperate god from god, others only the natural son of a man, others the human son of god, others that he is god himself.

    Yes—people believe all sorts of things. The ONLY shared belief system we have comes from science.

    Thats a comfort.

  140. Clova,

    Everyone knows what fire breathing dragons are. Everyone knows what trolls, elves, Zeus, and Odin are.

    Why don’t we argue about these? In the case of Zeus and Odin, these were major religions. They died because they are false. It takes a while for people to wake up to the fact.

    On a recent trip to Madagascar, a Malagasy guide proudly proclaimed that he no longer believes in many gods but only in God. If one is better than many, is not zero better still?

    I didn’t have the heart to ask someone from such a different culture. I also didn’t want to be overly offensive to a guide who was providing a service to me.

  141. bobbo, the evangelical anti-theist says:

    Hey Scotty—I’m just responding as I’m getting email notices regarding this thread filled with offers of porn. But I had missed this particular response of yours.

    I admire you for everything you post here, the substance and the process.

    I admire/envy your continued travel. Of course, I revel in the logic of your challenge AND your respect of context of when to issue it.

    Well done====all around.

  142. Hey bobbo,

    Sorry for the porn emails. I can spam the comments, but can’t unsend the email notifications of them. I have been removing the trackback and pingback feature from each post as it gets spammed. I’ve only had one or two legitimate trackbacks. The great many others have all been spam. Unfortunately, I can deny that by default going forward, but can’t retroactively deny it on all previous posts. So, one at a time, as they get spammed, I’m turning off that feature. That should get rid of most of the spam. WordPress’ spam filter isn’t bad, but is not perfect. No spam filter ever is.

    Thanks for the compliment and for stopping by.

    Scott

  143. There are absolutely many similarities whenlinking Jesus and Horus.
    If the shoe fits so well, why not wear it? Also I think many Christians deny this similarity because they fail to see Jesus as a sun god when the New Testament clearly links the two.

  144. Hi Joshua. If the show fits, I will indeed wear it. Like you, I wanted this to be true. It seemed incredibly amusing to do so as I am extremely anti-religion.

    However, wanting it does not make it so. In this case, looking for peer reviewed literature, there was just a single paper with bad references. So, when the facts do not bear out the conclusion I want, I must give up on the supposed link between Horus and Jesus.

    If you can provide me with some real peer reviewed scholarly works on the subject, I may revisit this.

    Keep in mind, admitting that Horus != Jesus does not imply anything positive about Jesus, or even about the possibility of his existence, for which there is no evidence. It merely acknowledges that they are separate myths.

  145. The Expulsion Of Gods says:

    Hi all!

    My intention is not that of deception, nor one to berate others, my intention is to only direct others to certain facts that point in the direction of certain cultures that have been directly infuanced by others.

    Atum, finisher of the world and the god of creation.

    Atum’s name is thought to be derived from the word tem which means to complete or finish. Thus he has been interpreted as being the ‘complete one’ and also the finisher of the world, which he returns to water chaos at the end of the creative cycle. As creator he was seen as the under lying substance of the world, the deities and all things being made of his flesh or alternatively being as Ka.

    Origin
    Atum is one of the most important and frequently mentioned deities from earliest times, as evidenced by his prominence in the pyramid texts , where he is portrayed as both a creator and father to the king.

    Role
    In the Heliopolitan myth, Atum was considered to be the first god, having created himself, sitting on a mound (benben coridentifide with the mound itself), from the primordial waters (NU).
    Early myths state that Atum created the god Shu and goddess Tefnut by spitting them out of his mouth.

    In the old kingdom the Egyptians believed that Atum lifted the dead king’s soul from his pyramid to the starry heavens. He was also a solar deity, associated with the primary sun god Ra. Atum was linked specifically with the evening sun, while Ra or the closely linked god Khepri were connected with the sun at morning and midday.

    In the Egyptian book of the dead, which was still current in the Greco-Roman period, the sun god Atum is said to have ascended from chaos-waters with the appearance of a snake, the animal renewing itself every morning.

    Atum is the god of pre-existence and post-existence. In the binary solar cycle, the surpentine Atum is contrasted with the ram-headed scarab Khepri – the young son god, who’s name is derived from the Egyptian hpr “to come into existence”. Khepri – Atum encompassed sunrise and sunset, thus reflecting the entire solar cycle.

    Relationship to other gods
    Atum was a self-created deity, the first being to emerge from the darkness and endless watery abyss that girdled the world before creation. A product of the energy and matter continued in this chaos , he created divine and human beings through lonliness, he produced from his own sneez, or in some accounts, semen, Shu the god of air, and Tefnut, the goddess of moisture. The brother and sister, curious about the primeval waters that surrounded them went to explore the waters and disappeared into the darkness. Unable to bear his loss, Atum sent a fiery messinger to find his children. The tears of joy he shed on their return were the first human beings.

    Iconography
    He is usually depicted A’s a man wearing either the royal head-cloth or the dual white and red crown of upper Egypt, reinforcing his connection with kingship. Sometimes he also is shown ss a serpent, the form which he returns to at the end of the creative cycle, and also occasionally as mongoose, lion, bull, lizard, or ape.

    Worship
    Atum’s cult centered on the city of Heliopolis (Egyptian:Annu.
    (Source Wikipedia)

    If you’ll note; the Egyptian Empire had once owned the property, or territory of Israel, also the Isralites had some measure of control in ancient Egypt too. So to say the Isralites were never directly infuanced by the Egyptian Empire – then you’d only be kidding yourself.

    Here’s something that might interest you from, St. Augistine.

    Quote
    -That which is known as the christian religion existed among the ancients, and never did not exist; from the beginning of the human race until the time when christ in the flesh, at which time the true religion which already existed began to be called christianity. -
    End quote

    Very telling.

    Sorry, but I’m not always inclined to listen as to what most of the scholars have to say, because most have their own agendas, and they’re not into pissing on the religous establishment that reside in our government and the pulpits.

    Well, I thank you for allowing me to partake in in this nice blog.

    Troy

    • Hi Troy.

      Interesting information. I’m not sure how this relates to any discussion of whether Horus and Jesus are the same myth. But, the information is interesting nonetheless. Feel free to come by any time. I welcome tangents. I don’t particularly understand the point of this one other than to say that the Christian religion evolved from earlier beliefs.

      But, we knew that anyway. If nothing else, it evolved from Judaism which preceded it by around 2 – 8 centuries. 8 is sort of the traditional view. I put the lower limit at 2 because that’s as far back as the Dead Sea Scrolls go. We have no confirmed record of the old testament from earlier than 2 centuries before the alleged time of Christ.

  146. The Expulsion Of Gods says:

    Hey Scott;

    I’ve come across this article from Wikipedia about Osiris, and felt the need to share its very importance that answers the question on whether, or not, the Egyptian story was influential in the the Jesus myth; and is as follows:
    Enjoy.

    Osiris myth
    Influence
    –The effect on the Osiris myth on Egyptian culture was greater and more widespread than that of any other myth.–
    In literature the myth was not only the basis for a retelling such as “Contendings”, it also provided the basis for more distantly related stories. “The Tale of Two Brothers”, a folk tale with human protagenists, includes elements similar to the myth of Osiris. One character’s penis is eaten by a fish, and he later dies and is resurrected. Another story, “The Tale of Truth and Falshood”, adapted the conflict of Horus and Set into an allegory, in which the characters are direct personifcations of truth and lies rather than deities associated with those concepts.

    From at least the time of the Pyramid texts, Kings hoped that after their deaths they could emulate Osiris’ restoration to life and his rule over the realm of the dead. By theearly Middle Kingdom (c.2055-1650 B.C.), non-royal Egyptians believed that they, too, could overcome death as Osiris had, by worshiping him and receiving the funerary rites that were partly based on his myth. Osiris thus became Egypts most important afterlife deity.
    –The myth also infuanced the notion, which grew prominent in the New Kingdom, that only virtuous people could reach the afterlife. As the assembled deities judged Osiris and Hours to be righteous, undoing the injustice of Osiris’ death, so a deceased Soul had to be judged righteous in order for his or her death to be undone.
    –As ruler of the land of the dead and as god connected with maat, Osiris became the judge in this posthumous trial, offering life after death to those who follow his example.–
    Hmmm…that has a familiar ring…

    As the importance of Osiris grew, so did his popularity. By late in the Middle Kingdom, the centuries-old tomb of the First Dynasty ruler Djev, near Osiris’ main center of worship in the city of Abydos, was seen as Osiris’ tomb. Accordingly, it became a major focus of worship. For the next 1, 500 years, annual festival procession traveled from Osiris’ main temple to the tomb site, that procession made reference to, and may have ritually reenacted, Isis and Nephthy’s mourning, restoration, and revival of their murdered brother.
    –Note:
    The pilgimage. Also, Cain and Able anyone?–
    Kings and commoners from across Egypt buit chapels, which served as cenotaphs, near the processional route. In doing so they sought to strengthen their connection with Osiris in the afterlife. Another major funerary festival, a national event spread over several days in the month of Khoiak in the Egyptian calendar, became linked with Osiris during the Middle Kingdom. During the Khoiak the djed pillar an emblem of Osiris, was ritually raised into an upright position, symbolizing Osiris’ restoration. By Ptolemic Times (305-30 B.C.), Khoiak also included the planting of seeds in an “Osiris bed”, a mummy-shaped bed of soil, connecting the resurrection of Osiris with the seasonal growth of plants.

    The myth’s religious importance extended beyond the funerary sphere. Mortuary offerings, in which family members or hired priests presented food to the deceased, were logically linked with the mythological offering of the Eye of Horus to Osiris. By analogy, this episode of myth was eventually equated with other interactions between a human anda being in the divine realm. In temple offering rituals, the officiating priest took on the role of Horus, the gifts to the deity became the Eye of Horus, and whichever deity received those gifts was momentarily equated with Osiris.

    The ideology surrounding the living king was also affected by the Osiris myth. The Egyptians envisioned the events of the Osiris myth as taking place sometime in Egypt’s prehistory, and Osiris, Horus, and their divine predecssors were included in Egyptian lists of past Kings such as the Turin Royal Canon. Horus, as past king and as the personification of kingship, was regarded as the predecessor and
    examplar for all Egyptian rulers.
    His assumption of his predecessor’s throne and pious actions to sustian that spirit in the afterlife were the model for all pharaonic successions to emulate. Each new king was believed to renew maat after the death of the preceding king, just as Horus had done. In royal coronations, rituals alluded to Osiris’ burial, and hymns celebrated the new king’s accession as the equivalent of Horus’ own.

    The myth influenced popular religions as well. One example is the magical healing spells based on Horus’ childhood. Another is the use of the Eye Of Horus as a protective emblem in personal apotropic amulets. Itsmythological restoration made it appropriate for this purpose, as a general symbol of well-being.

    As the antagonist of the myth, Set did not enjoy increased popularity. Although he was credited with positive traits in the Osiris myth, the sinisteraspects of his character predominate. Overall he was viewed with ambialence until, during the first millennium B.C., he came to be seen as a totally malevolent deity. This transformation was prompted more by his association with foreign lands than by the Osiris myth. Nevertheless, in those late times, the widespread temple rituals involving the ceremonial annihilation of Set were often connected with the myth.

    In late centuries B.C., the worship of Isisspread from Egyptacross the Mediterranean world, and she became one of the most popular deities in the region. Although this new, multicultural form of Isis absorbed characteristics from many other deities, her original mythological nature as a wife and mother was key to her appeal.
    –Horus and Osiris, being central figures in her story, spread along with her. It was to a Greek priestess of Isis that Plutarch wrote his account of the myth of Osiris. Her importance continued into the fourth century A.D., when christianity eclipsed it. But christianity absorbed many of the traditions surrounding Isisand incorporated them into the veneration of Mary, such as Isis’ title “Mother of the God” (referring to Horus), which infuanced Mary’s title “Mother of God).

    Through the work of classical writers such as Plutarch, knowledge of the Osiris myth was perserved even after the middle of the first millennium A.D., when Egyptian religion ceased to exist and knowledge of the writing systems that were lost. The myth remained a major part of western impressions of ancient Egypt. In modern times, when understanding of Egyptian beliefs is informed by the original Egyptian sources, the story continues to influence and inspire new ideas, from works of fiction to scholary speculation and new religious movements.

    Which brings me to this:
    (King James version, Hosea 13:4)
    —Yet I am the lord thy god from the land of Egypt;— and thou shall not know no god but me: for there is no savior beside me.

    The Egyptian empire lasted for about 5,000 years, and in all that time they were able to “spread the word” and influenced others and their religions throughout the Mediterranean, Scott.
    I’m not saying that the scribes of the bible had made a carbon copy of the myth of Osiris simply because, it isn’t. But over time the scribes knew that people would figure out that this Jesus myth is the same as the Osiris myth, so they changed it in order to make it as their own when, it isn’t.

    Lets face the fact that over the centuries kings, and theologians have been adding and subtracting to the bible’s narrative for their own devious and sadistic purposes to include killing in the name of their god.
    And before its demise this Egyptian myth was in direct competition with the christian myth; and I’ve no doubt that it infuenced the myth of christ through the myth of, Osiris.
    As we all know, the christian myth is not their own as it was taken from many other faiths.

    As I’ve said before, “I don’t listen to religious scholars who always have a religious agenda”. I will always take issue with them.

    Good day, and thanks for reading.

  147. I think there have been a lot of influences on Christianity. Certainly, history had an effect on the Christ myth. I say myth because there is no evidence that Christ as flesh and blood ever walked the planet. Perhaps he did. Perhaps not. I’ll remain Christagnostic about his existence as an ordinary human being.

    Regardless. I think there have been a lot of influences on this myth. I don’t think one can state that Jesus == Horus as I had thought when I first wrote this post.

    Does that make the Christian mythology any more real or realistic or believable or even plausible? Of course not.

    It just makes it its own particular blend of prior myths rather than a cloning of one specific myth. Remember, to steal from one source is plagiarism. To steal from many sources is research.

    But, thanks for another detailed take on the subject.

    • The Expulsion Of Gods says:

      I too, do not believe in the myth of christ as there is no documentation in which to show this said creature to even exist, but I do think that many other religious cults was very influential in the making of the christ, to include, but not limited to the Egyptian cult of the pharaohs.

      The article in question from “Wikipedia” has not been challenged, nor is it a contagion as it does list its sources. You’ve asked for something in relation to your article from, as you’ve stated on another thread, “a fairly reliable source”, and I’ve done so. So please, do not accuse me of “plagiarism” just because you’re in a disagreement with said article. Perhaps you may want to challenge it? I don’t know.

      The jesus myth, as well as the bible, are absolute bullshit and in no doubt its written accounts are taken from other sources. As the Greeks had “Hercules” the Jewish people had to have “Sampson”. Hell, even the “Talmud” (if memory serves me correctly) is writings are based on Babylonian sources.

      Anyway, glad to be of some help.

      • First, sorry! I wasn’t accusing you of plagiarism. I was accusing the authors of the Jesus myth of plagiarizing from other myths.

        As for the existence of Christ, I’m willing to be agnostic about whether he walked the earth as a normal human being because that’s not an extraordinary claim. The claims of an extraordinary nature, such as miracles, resurrection, virgin birth, would require extraordinary evidence. Of course, there is no evidence even of the ordinary kind. So, ….

        Yes. I agree that wikipedia is a usually reliable source. I just don’t read the text you posted as stating that Jesus is Horus, rather that one mythology borrowed bits from other mythologies. So, the authors of the Jesus myth are guilty of research rather than plagiarism.

        BTW, for any who would like to see the source and click through to the supporting data, here is the wikipedia page we’re discussing.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osiris_myth

        Note that from this page, the only explicit connections between the Jesus myth and that of Osiris are in the early Christian depictions of Mary holding Jesus and in Mary’s title “Mother of God”. The reference in wikipedia is sort of vague about just which traditions were absorbed by Christianity, but does state that many were.

        So, it seems Jesus != Horus but that some of the mythology surrounding Osiris was incorporated into the mythology of Jesus. And, of course, both the Osiris myth and the Jesus myth are complete and utter bullshit without a shred of evidence to support either.

        Once one realizes why they don’t believe in Osiris, it should be obvious that the same reasoning applies to Jesus.

      • The Expulsion Of Gods says:

        Ummm…I’d like to apologize for my outburst, Scott. But it was in your fourth paragraph that derailed me, and was the cause of my tangent on the matter:

        —It just makes it its own particular blend of prior myths rather than a cloning of one specific myth.—

        —Remember, to steal from one source is plagiarism.—
        —To steal from many sources is research.—

        Again, I’m sorry for that, Scott. But I mistakenly thought it was directed at me.
        Hope you’ll except my humble apology.

      • No problem. No apology necessary. I was sorry to have been unclear. In the future, if I’m trying to insult you, I’ll make sure it’s obvious. ;)

        Thus far, I have not felt the need to do so.

  148. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

    “Remember, to steal from one source is plagiarism. To steal from many sources is research.” /// As this is a rather famous slam against academia in general, its would be hard to turn it into an personal insult.

    Plagiarism: A piece of writing that has been copied from someone else and is presented as being your own work. You stated the work was from the wiki. No plagiarism is presented when the source is stated.

    Note: everything I write above has been stated before by many, many people. I am devoid of anything new or original myself. I would make an excellent researcher.

    • “Remember, to steal from one source is plagiarism. To steal from many sources is research.” /// As this is a rather famous slam against academia in general, its would be hard to turn it into an personal insult.

      I’m using it as an insult to those who penned the New Testament. They performed “research” and consplatenated a whole bunch of old crap and probably a bit of new crap into some supposedly wholly and holy new crap.

      Holy crap!!

      Most likely what happened is a game of broken telephone where I tell you a story and you tell it to Phred and he tells it to another and so on. Each one mixing in a new bit of crap until a completely new ball of crap emerges and someone writes it down.

  149. The Expulsion Of Gods says:

    Okay, okay, Bob. Let me state for the record that I’m fairly new to the internet, and blogs too. I’ve been on a few forums and have had a rather enjoyable experience, but I’ve learned to keep my guard up because I don’t always know how to take people, okay?

    On some forums, I’ve been laughed at because I was insulted without even knowing it. This is why I’m a bit touchy on these matters, but I’m willing to be your friend if you’ll let me?
    I’m not the professional as you obviously are, but I do try. That’s got to account for something, doesn’t it?

    Look, if you want a friend, you’ve got one. But if not, then allow me to never speak to you. Is that fair?

    • bobbo’s often hard to read. He has his own brand of punctuation that I like to call functuation. He uses words in ways that are far from standard and then claims that everything is definitional. But, if I use a word even in one of the accepted ways, he likes to throw a dictionary at me. So, I throw them back at him all the time. It’s all in good fun. Think of it as a pillow fight with large heavy tomes replacing the pillows. Thunk.

      I think in this case, his comment was directed at me. I didn’t personally find it insulting.

      I should also point out that I laid out the rules for this blog including “thick skin etiquette”. So, perhaps when people are a bit terse or may seem insulting, it’s best to just be a bit thick skinned about it. Or, launch a counter attack. Whatever makes you happy. But, the fault is mine for deliberately laying the groundwork for heated debates in my own etiquette page.

      https://misanthropicscott.wordpress.com/the-misanthropic-principle/thick-skin-etiquette/

      • The Expulsion Of Gods says:

        I’ll stop for a while now. Because I’m becoming an immediate joke.

        I’m not myself at the moment, and will explain later.

        It’s times like this when one no longer feels the need to go on.

        Goodbye for now

        Troy

      • Sorry Troy. I’m just not seeing it. I’m sorry you feel offended by what has been said here thus far. I just don’t really understand why and don’t see you becoming a joke now.

        Please do go on. I’d love to have you back. You’ve said some very good things here.

  150. The Expulsion Of Gods says:

    From Wikipedia

    Stories of divine birth in the eighteenth dynasty

    Hatshepsut’s divine birth
    Since in the eighteenth dynasty, Amun-Re became the greatest god in Egypt, stories of divine birth had to be associated with him. This was clearly shown in Hatshepsut’s temple in Deir El Bahri where she said that she had built this temple as a garden for her father Amun and indeed the temple looks like a garden with little shrubs and trees and ramps leading to the temple. To future legitimize that she is the rightful heir to the throne, she recorded on the walls of her temple in the northern half of the middle terrace in Deir El Bahri the story of her divine birth to prove that she is the physical daughter of Amun.
    The story of her divine birth is recorded as a series of sequential scenes showing the contact between her mother queen Ahmose and Amun-Re and how she is the physical daughter of Amun.

    The story begins with scenes of her mother Ahmose, wife of Thutmose I when the gods decide that she would be the one to give birth to the ruler of Egypt. Upon making this decision, Amun-Re descends to earth in the form of her husband Thutmose I and visits her in her chamber. He first finds her asleep but his godly presence awakens her and by his divine breath impregnates her. Before he left her chamber, he revealed his divine nature to Ahmose and told her that she will give birth to the future ruler of Egypt. He told queen Ahmose:

    “This is my daughter, Khnemet-Amun Hatshepsut, my she live. I designate her as my successor. She it is who shall be on this throne. Assuredly, it is she who shall sit on this heavenly throne. She shall issue decrees to the people from all departments of the palace. Assuredly, it is she who shall guide you. Obey her word; assemble you at her command…for she is your god, the daughter of a god.”
    Then after this scene, scenes of queen Ahmose being heavily pregnant were shown which is unique in ancient Egypt, in this scene the queen was shown being led to the birthing room by Heket; the Egyptian frog goddess of childbirth and Khnum who was a god that was believed to create children’s bodies in their mother’s wombs using potter’s wheel.
    The queen is then shown with midwives at the time of the birth; various gods also attend the birth (including Meskhent the goddess of births). After the birth two Hathor goddesses suckle the baby and its astral self. Finally the goddess of history, Safket, makes a record of Hatshepsut’s birth.

    So, what we seem to have here is a blending of Amun-Re and Horus, and both are from the same religion that is (at least to myself) a precursor to the blable story.

    Later

  151. It probably is a precursor. However, there are many miraculous births in a variety of religions.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miraculous_births

    If one reads up on too many religions, one could easily come to the conclusion that humans reproduce asexually. Perhaps it happens like this.

  152. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

    Taking things including the internet at face value until some other viewpoint is made abundantly clear, and assuming Expulsion may read this at some point in the future: you get what you put out.

    Simple rule really. When you use your emotional tenderness to take insult at every opportunity, you are actually using your emotions as a sword against others. Getting others to offer less so as not to offend you. So that you can live unmolested in your private thoughts. Women do that all the time. Men get drunk instead. Its a toss up.

    “Sticks and stones can break your bones, but words can break your heart.” //// but who here is looking for love? Only an idiot is immediately insulted by words, by disagreement, by a personal attack. Thats mostly why I use the technique myself: quickly identify the idiots… and move on.

    Reference to a pillow fight is most appropriate. WHAT can one stranger say to another stranger that should have any deep affect at all……. except the truth, hit on by accident?

    This forum is just a mirror. Check for condensation.

  153. bobbo,

    Simple rule really. When you use your emotional tenderness to take insult at every opportunity, you are actually using your emotions as a sword against others. Getting others to offer less so as not to offend you. So that you can live unmolested in your private thoughts. Women do that all the time. Men get drunk instead. Its a toss up.

    I don’t really get what you mean here. But, I will say that your statement at the end is highly sexist and far from my experience. Perhaps you’re hanging out with the wrong people.

    Only an idiot is immediately insulted by words, by disagreement, by a personal attack. Thats mostly why I use the technique myself: quickly identify the idiots… and move on.

    If that’s your strategy, you’re the idiot. I haven’t noticed that this is what you do. Are you saying launch a personal attack to see who is offended? You should be offended, by yourself. That’s a horrible and annoying strategy and will make you miss out on some very good and interesting perspectives.

    Sensitivity is neither a character flaw nor an indication of low intelligence. Deliberate and calculated insensitivity such as you describe is.

    I believe the term for your “technique” is called bullying.

  154. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

    “I believe the term for your “technique” is called bullying.” /// Only if you are doing it wrong. Perhaps it only sounds bad when stated the way I did?

    But, I will say that your statement at the end is highly sexist and far from my experience /// so you admit one’s appreciation for this idea is highly personal? Ha, ha. Thats a start. So, you want to hold to the school that the sexes are the same for all issues, most issues, or at least this issue? Or maybe it could be just what is called a feminime trait that is in all of us to varying degrees? While I agree “everyone” is sensitive…about something…. if your experience is that women are not more sensitive …. about many more things ….. then our experiences have been very different. Its like you don’t believe all the sex differentiated studies regarding the subject?

    Its almost like you are trying to bully me now.

  155. bobbo,

    “I believe the term for your “technique” is called bullying.” /// Only if you are doing it wrong. Perhaps it only sounds bad when stated the way I did?

    No. Actually, it just really is bad to have a policy of insulting people as a strategy to avoid those who are sensitive about it. There’s no good way to word that. It just means that, though I haven’t seen you do it, if you do, you’re a turd.

    Its like you don’t believe all the sex differentiated studies regarding the subject?


    |-----------------------------|
      |------------------------------|

    Just imagine that the ranges above are the ranges for the gender differences in almost anything human. Yes, it may mean that, on average, there are some differences. Though, what you mean by sensitivity, may not actually be one of them. That’s far more likely to be cultural than genetic, and hence, will not be true for our whole species.

    More importantly, even where there are actual differences, the ranges overlap far more than they don’t. So, there will likely be many men who are more “sensitive”, whatever you think that means, than the average woman and many women less “sensitive” than the average man.

    Humans are far too complex to pigeonhole this way. It only makes the sexist induhvidual who does look stupid. So, look smart, feel smart, be smart. Don’t assume that because someone has a vagina that they’re more sensitive than you. Well, actually, even most people with penises are probably more sensitive than you’re demonstrating yourself to be.

  156. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

    So… you think I’m a turd huh? Why….. why…… thats quite distasteful! Actually, like most of everything else I think, I can only assume that.

    I was only slightly uncomfortable with what I posted AS I posted it. I was in the ballpark, but I allowed things to be slightly jumbled. Slightly jumbled as in grabbing the wrong end when juggling chainsaws?

    What I really meant is that I often get the criticism of being a bully, or insensitive when I simply disagree with a proposition and/or point out how some statement is wrong. Its THEN that I don’t care what some other people’s sensitivities and name calling is==connected to what I did say,… they are using their emotions as a sword to shut other people down. But I was inartful.

    So–we draw our line with much overlap but with extension for one sex or the other. I notice and refer to that difference and state the simple truth. You notice it and want to discuss the issue as if those measured differences don’t exist. GENERAL STATEMENTS are about those measured differences–not about the individual persons involved. You mix and match your facts to arrive at the politically correct but wrong conclusions. I do the reverse.

    No different than betting of the two next people walking thru the door, who will be taller. I’ll take the Males over the Females and win 80 out of 100 times. Rather a fools bet don’t you think?

  157. bobbo,

    So… you think I’m a turd huh? Why….. why…… thats quite distasteful! Actually, like most of everything else I think, I can only assume that.

    Please work on your reading comprehension.

    I said you are a turd IF YOU DELIBERATELY BULLY PEOPLE rather than speaking to them as your idea of an intelligence test, which is really more of a sensitivity test, one which IF YOU DO THIS, you would fail.

    What I really meant is that …

    Yes, this matches my experience blogging with you far better than the other description. This is why I said I had not seen you do what you had said.

    As for the male female issue, you’re making your bets on very little information. The overlap in height is much less than the overlap in any mental difference. And, I’ve met many women taller than I am. Still though, what you’d really be looking at, if I could graph it is two bell curves of almost any mental issue is that the peaks would be very close together. The differences are extremely minor. They are close enough to be roughly 50/50. Or, possibly 50.0001/49.9999. You would not make much money betting this way.

    Stick with height.

    The physical sexual dimorphism is far more pronounced than any mental sexual dimorphism.

  158. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

    Please work on your reading comprehension. /// I was going for the joke. Slippery, especially when wet.

    The overlap in height is much less than the overlap in any mental difference. /// I don’t think so. So much so…. I won’t even look it up.

    Bell shaped curves are much better representations than the line graphs, but the idea is still in both. Woman constantly score significantly higher than males at recognizing emotional states in people from set photographs. They also constantly score significantly higher than males at focusing on emotional dynamics as oppossed to whether graphical representations are bars or bells when presented with short stories and asked to analyze them. Thats what I was thinking of when saying they are more likely more sensitive than men (sic–whatever I said).

    Speaking of emotions…. how come you always use your encyclopedic knowledge of the mundane to disagree with me? Saw a nice drinking game based on “Big Bang.” When Penny doesn’t get a joke–one drink. When Sheldon makes a Bazinga–take 3 drinks. Anyone can make their own list. The only drinking game I have ever played is: “Find a beer can.” Easy to play.

  159. The overlap in height is much less than the overlap in any mental difference. /// I don’t think so. So much so…. I won’t even look it up.

    bobbo you ignorant slut!Sorry, couldn’t resist the SNL reference.)

    Seriously, are you stating that you don’t care about the facts? You want to persist in your beliefs regardless of evidence? Really?

    I’ll do the research on this a bit later since you don’t give a shit what the hell your misguided brain contains and I do are about the veracity of the contents of mine.

    Once we end this little tangent, I’m going to end this thread and let if continue on the new more historically correct thread mentioned at the top of this thread.

  160. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

    Ha, ha. One of the VERY best comedy themes ever crafted. I miss that show…… when it was good.

    Who said reading comprehension skills were lacking?…..Oh, it was YOU. Kinda Ironic given my lack of interest is grounded in my firm belief that your bald statement to the contrary carries no weight.

    Hmmm… yes… tricky thread management. The substance of the thread is of value to infrequent visitors and NOT the tangents. Both are valuable for those of us with nothing better to do.

    I don’t know how to balance that. I support whatever you do.

  161. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

    Maybe indeed just delete the dithering tangents? If you felt like it… with a note to see the new topic: “Threads Gone Wild.” or a note like: Comment deleted… while enjoyable… it was a tangent.”

    I don’t support acting unilateral without notice/documentation or whatever. Too highhanded….. But it is your Forum!

    I see some Pro’s and Con’s. Starting a “new” thread on an old subject could throw some off and lose some continuity?

    Just guessing.

  162. I love tangents. I’d never delete this. I just want to get through the tangent. I can’t find supporting or contradicting data for what you said. Perhaps you wouldn’t mind giving it a try? I’ve been trying with Google Scholar and have been getting nowhere. I can neither confirm nor deny your statement. You made the claim. Would you mind supporting it?

    http://scholar.google.com

    I’ll keep trying too.

  163. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

    You mean how fast you would lose 100 bucks on betting who is taller of two random matched men and women coming thru the door?

    From first google hit I found: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_average_height_of_men_and_women_in_the_US

    The average height of men and women in the US is:

    178.2 cm (5′ 10.2″) for men

    164.1 cm (5′ 4.6″) for women.

    God, thats worse than I thought. I was thinking %80 to me was even light but I moderated that by thinking you most often see men and women paired up and that pairing is biased by both parties selecting on men being taller. So what of a random pairing? 6 inches is HUGE!!! I am further biased by being 6’3″ myself. I see nothing but short women.

    So–I can’t do it, and I don’t recall ever seeing it addressed, but I assume there is a statistical formula that could immediately give you the answer of two standard bell shaped curves with those averages being matched on a random basis.

    My smugness remains supreme. In fact, now, I have NO DOUBT AT ALL. No need to quibble on the exact amount of $$ that would be won or how fast your pot of fantasy would be taken down by reality. But it would be pretty fast. Its why women date and wear heels.

    I EXPRESSLY IMPLIED (?) NOT TO THROW THE TANGENTS AWAY.
    “Removed to “Tangents Thread”–see the sidebar.” That way everyone gets what they want. A bit of work for you, but the original thread is maintained why the interesting tangents are given more focus. Like–go thru this thread and remove our discussion on what a turd I might be to a new thread you start like “Tangent on Internet Etiquette” or some such. Link back and forth.

    Its all good.

  164. I still like tangents.

    I wasn’t really expecting you to prove a difference of greater than 7.9%. I would have settled for greater than 5%. I would even be interested to know just what the difference is.

    That said, I bet the difference between men in the U.S. and men in some other countries is greater than 8%. I admit that there were fewer countries on the following list that have the average height of men being less than the U.S. average for women than I expected. But, there are some.

    http://www.disabled-world.com/artman/publish/height-chart.shtml

    So, even for height, where humans have a moderately large and certainly statistically significant sexual dimorphism, there are countries where the men’s average is lower than the women’s average here. I couldn’t find any where the average woman was taller than the average U.S. man. That surprised me.

    Anyway, I’m closing this thread since I don’t want further conversation on the main topic here. I want to ensure that those who are interested in this actual topic at least have to view the thread with the really good video from an historian on the subject before commenting on this topic again.

    Short answer: Jesus != Horus.
    Longer answer: Jesus myth borrows/steals/plagiarizes from many prior myths.

    Please see the new thread on this subject and comment there. I’m always interested in the opinions of others, even if I disagree, even if I disagree in a heated manner. This thread is now closed to further comments.

    https://misanthropicscott.wordpress.com/2013/04/11/a-more-rigorous-take-on-the-jesus-myth/

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