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The actual Jesus probably didn't exist

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Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:53 am
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Snoink says...



Pigeon wrote:Why are we arguing about the flood? Isn't the debate supposed to be about Jesus?

I know, I know, arguing Biblical accuracy...except that it's still irrelevant, because al that matters for the purposes of this discussion is the New Testament, or possibly just the gospels.


Because we love hopelessly off-topic discussions. XD
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Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:20 am
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Kyllorac says...



@Pigeon

Because. It's as good a topic to argue as any.

And sources are always good.

@skwmusic

I'm not sure what exactly you want sources on, but here are some on the major known periods of glaciation or submergence.

There have been at least five major glaciation events. Of these, the Stuartian-Varangian was perhaps the most severe. It's effects have been observed on all continents except Antarctica, though there is debate on whether the entire planet was truly covered in thick ice (Snowball Earth; you can read a copy of the article here) or whether it was more of a slush ball.

Life is believed to have originated about halfway through the Archean Eon, or around 3.8 billion years ago (source). The Stuartian-Varangian glaciation occurred near the end of the Proterozoic Eon (which preceded the Phanerozoic Eon, which stretches from 542 million years ago to the present) and lasted around 165 million years. And yet, despite the glaciation, there is evidence of abundant life in the oceans (See: slush ball source).

As for more recent glaciation events that overlap human history, right now, we're in the middle of one: the Quaternary glaciation (Wikipedia is so convenient when it comes to gathering information for you). Well, technically we're in the middle of a glaciation lull, hence the lack of ice as far as the eye can see where I live, which happens to be at a decently northern latitude to have been thickly covered by ice the last time glaciers were still heading towards the Equator. Glaciers still make up ~10% of the surface (though this percentage is dwindling due to global warming).

In any case, there are too many scientific sources and resources to list concerning the Quaternary glaciation fluctuations and effects, which have been well-studied and documented. Have fun finding them.

As for the Black Sea flood, Wikipedia gives a very nice overview. Long story short, as I said before, that the flooding occurred is not in dispute by the scientific community; only how quickly, how catastrophic, and the exact date of the event.

And when it comes to flood stories appearing in cultures worldwide, I can only thank the internet for a mirror, else this wonderful resource would be lost to us.

There's also this paper that posits the flood event described in so many cultures was a direct result of deglaciation, and it even suggests a time: ~8250 BC.

As for humanity surviving a long-term disaster, you might find this article most interesting. Basically, the lack of genetic diversity among humans is the result of bottlenecking, or a sudden, catastrophic decrease in the breeding population of a species. That article covers the various types of evidence for several bottlenecking events throughout human history, in addition to comparison with one long-term bottleneck event lasting several thousand years.

In either case, humanity has managed to survive, disasters notwithstanding.

And this flood would not be just for 30 days

40. If you're going to disparage something, at least do it accurately.

How are the carnivores going to eat, what about species that mate by killing each other, does this include plants, do we save the poisonous animals, what species of plants do these things eat, all this is knowledge that no human being has had until very recently in human history.

That is completely false. A lot of old folk knowledge, which for decades (if not centuries) has been dismissed as being the result of fanciful ignorance has been found to be scientifically valid. One case: hot water sometimes instantly freezes when tossed onto a cold surface. Scientists of the time were all "Hot water can't instantly freeze because it's hot! There is no scientific theory that would explain such an event! Water's high specific heat prevents such a thing from happening! Such a phenomenon is merely an old folk tale!" and then it was observed. And then they had to completely revise now-obviously flawed theories on how the physical world (namely water) worked.

Another example would be the fairy tale of Rapunzel; believe it or not, the story is actually about a plant and how it reproduces (the rape flower dangles golden, hair-like tassels from it's tall stalk in order to snag pollen). In addition, domestication (which involves knowing how to house, feed, and treat various animals and their illnesses) and artificial selection have been practiced for thousands of years.

Our ancestors were not stupid or unobservant. In many ways, they were far more aware of the natural world around them than we are nowadays.

But if it did, surely no human had the knowledge or incentive to document this event, and even if they did, all records would be lost in the flood after the guy died.

Two words: ORAL HISTORY.

You don't forget life-altering events like the flood that killed most everyone you know and/or uprooted you and your entire family. Even nowadays, little floods that don't do much except make a person's basement a bit damper than usual make for good talk.

And I am left seriously wondering what sort of key words you used in your search.
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skwmusic says...



I love how half your post is providing sources that a "flood" happened (not really a flood more like a freezing but okay I'll accept it) and not on my actual arguments, which set the flood as a hypothetical. Though I do thank you for the sources.

However, it would've been nice if you took my arguments in context. You know, just for the sake of argument (ba duh, ching~~~)

And this flood would not be just for 30 days



40.


Okay so I get some facts wrong in the story. I guess that means you can totally rule out all of this that comes right after it, which you so conveniently cut out.

This would not have just *poof* came out of nowhere in like 2 days. This would at least take a few thousand years to rise and fall. No human could've survived this time period.


Am I right? I mean 40 days is totally enough for a flood to happen.

Right.

That is completely false. A lot of old folk knowledge, which for decades (if not centuries) has been dismissed as being the result of fanciful ignorance has been found to be scientifically valid.


Ignorance? Hmm. Something's not right about that word. To me it means more of obliviousness or refusal to accept available knowledge. I don't know when the water thing was proven and stuff but if it was only proven recently I wouldn't necessarily call that ignorant because there were no scientific tests or public records that were really out there. I think a better term would be "close-mindedness", refusal to accept or try to test it out and see if maybe there is an alternative.

But of course that's neither here nor there. I should really be addressing your rebuttal.

Ok so our ancestors knew some cool stuff. And that's cool. But to say that because they knew some cool stuff so that must mean they could've built and managed this massive ark is ridiculous. If we were to build Noah's ark today, ensuring that two of every species was to be fit into this, it would take an extremely large global effort. All the top businessmen, financial analysts, biologists, architects, engineers, and don't forget all the workers that actually have to build and monitor the ship. And you don't even answer my responses. And even then you would only get it partly working. Even if we take out the financial part of this ship, which surely would not've existed in Noah's time, do you really think he and like 4 or 5 of his sons could've built it by themselves? Or did god just plop a giant boat onto the earth with water works to prevent dehydration and feces poisoning, electricity and ventilation to mimic temperate zones, unreal buoyancy because, seriously, boats until recently couldn't have even held one elephants on the friggin' thing, let alone two, master architecture with cages for lions and trees for monkeys, and to top it all off, just enough room for two of every species, and Noah's family! Why am I even typing all this? You quoted me in your response but didn't bother to type an actual rebuttal, just telling me that our ancestors knew some cool tricks that we didn't quite believe until recently.

Two words: ORAL HISTORY.


One word: CONTEXT

If you accept that this story was passed on by oral tradition which it most certainly was not, the story would be so distorted after hundreds of thousands of years (which it would not have survived anyways) that the documented story in the bible would be just about as hooplah as nyan cat shooting rainbows out his ass.


Now this was on a seperate end of the paragraph, which doesn't excuse the intellectual dishonesty, but makes it slightly more understandable. Like if you took a mouse, ate its head off, and stuffed the mouse in between a space to make it slightly bigger.

If you're going to disparage something, at least do it accurately.


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Last edited by skwmusic on Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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HereBeMonsters says...



...Moving on from the Flood for a moment...

(I posted this somewhere else, but it'd be suitable here.)

As far as I know, there is no real good historical evidence for Jesus' existence. However, I think that the probability that such a man DID exist is pretty good, personally.

Firstly, the context of 1st century Judea would be about right for a figure such as Jesus to emerge, following in the wake of the spread of radical new Greek philosophy across the Near East such as Cynicism, perhaps causing a questioning of more traditional Jewish ideas. Also, I think the fact that the religious movement appeared at all points to a founder, a charismatic and provocative teacher who upset the status quo under the Romans (we've got good evidence for Pilate's existence, of course), was got rid of, and later deified by his followers.

Of course, it's all total speculation on my behalf, but it would make a lot of sense.




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Cole says...



All I'm saying is that with the evidence that stands, the only reason you're doubting His existence is because of skepticism. Sure, perhaps Jesus wasn't a deity (I happen to believe there is plenty of evidence to support this, as many people do), but it can easily be said that He was a radical Jewish preacher that existed.

I mentioned this before: If liberal scholars applied the same standard of rejection of the historical evidence for Christ to other ancient historical personages, such as Julius Caesar or Alexander the Great, those two would be rejected as myth as well.

Do you get what I'm saying? We have plenty of evidence supporting the life and works of Yeshua the Nazarene, about as much as we do for thousands of other historical figures, which you believe to be fact.

If you applied the same skepticism towards other historical figures as you do towards Yeshua, most historical figures would be rejected as mythology. The only reason, I assume, that you question the historical evidence for Yeshua's life is because of your cynicism.
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tr3x says...



I mentioned this before: If liberal scholars applied the same standard of rejection of the historical evidence for Christ to other ancient historical personages, such as Julius Caesar or Alexander the Great, those two would be rejected as myth as well.


Seriously? Liberal scholars are biased against the Judeo-Christian faith, and thus purposefully reject evidence that supports the existence of a historical Jesus? This isn't an arbitrary standard of evidence we're invoking; there are serious flaws in the documents and evidence and are supposed to corroborate Christ's evidence.
Firstly, it was only half a century after his supposed death that accounts began appearing, and none of the accounts were first-hand, they basically repeated the stories of those who claimed to have been there. On top of this, all the accounts are from Chrisitian sources, with no non-Christians confirming them - the closest possible evidence is that of Flavius Josphus, and even their veracity is contested. The various historical inconsistencies such as Mary and Jesus fleeing to Bethlehem because of Herod's 'census' and slaughter of firstborns also throw doubt on the story. The census was not only conducted several years earlier, but also in a different part of the country, and Herod died before 4 BC - we have fairly accurate historical evidence for this.
The thing is, it's pretty hard, if not impossible to prove that Jesus did not exist. There were dozens of crazy, apocalyptic Jewish preachers in Jerusalem during this era, many of whom were crucified. It's quite likely that one of them was named Yoshua or something similar. Most modern Biblical scholars recognize that the persona of Christ was most likely patched together from a bunch of old prophecies and Hebrew archetypes; the teacher, the leader, the sufferer, the voice of God.
There's no persuasive evidence for the existence of a single great leader who unified the people and brought the word of god to earth. It's a lot more likely that the persona was fabricated by the scholars and politicians of the time, and lead to the rise of Christianity.

Both Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great have a lot more concrete evidence supporting their existence. We have first hand accounts from Roman scholars( Marcus Tullius Cicero, Sallust, Catullus, Asinius Pollio, etc), portraits, statues, coinage from the time period. As for Alexander, we have independent accounts of him from India(Indica by Megasthenes, one of his generals is an example), Afganistan, Greece and Egypt. We have archaeological evidence (busts, coins, pottery, weapons) and hell, we even have genetic evidence for the presence of the Greek army in North Western India.
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Cole says...



Now, I think I've worn out this topic too much. I don't really care what you guys have to say. No one can really convince the other. But I just can't keep coming back here whenever you guys disagree with something. So, I should probably be done with this debate. Snoink's going to get mad at me, too. She told me to stay away from debates because of my health. I'm sorry : P

So, this is all I have to say.

Tr3x, scholars, professors, and historians have dedicated their lives to proving the existence of Yeshua the Christ. Like I said, these people have a lot more to say than I do, and are certainly more educated and well-read on the subject than we are.

However, I feel like I need to correct you on some things, or to clarify:

Sure, people can be biased about the existence of Christ. I think most people (including you) are biased about this topic. I don't deny the fact that Christians are, too. However, whenever I attempt to share some evidence to support the Gospels, you all throw fits. So, let me show you some non-Christian sources.

None of the accounts were first-hand, they basically repeated the stories of those who claimed to have been there.


Why do people keep saying this? John, Matthew, Peter, James, and Jude (some of the authors of the New Testament) all personally knew Christ. John, Matthew, and Peter were His disciples. James and Jude were Christ's brothers.

There were dozens of crazy, apocalyptic Jewish preachers in Jerusalem during this era, many of whom were crucified. It's quite likely that one of them was named Yoshua ["Yoshua" is the Hebrew translation of "Joshua", by the way, not "Jesu/Jesus"] or something similar. Most modern Biblical scholars recognize that the persona of Christ was most likely patched together from a bunch of old prophecies and Hebrew archetypes; the teacher, the leader, the sufferer, the voice of God.


Watch the adjectives, please. I don't care if you think Christ had nothing good to say, but stay away from words like "crazy" please. It's a little offensive. Just wanted to let you know.

You keep bringing up arguments that are quite inaccurate--most of it I have no idea where you're getting it from. (I don't have time, though, to discuss all of them. It's 11:20 PM over here)

The only two recorded "apocalyptic" preachers in the Sanhedrin records at this time were Yohanan ha-mmatbil (John the Baptist) who was killed by Herod, and Yeshua. Josephus has plenty to say about John the Baptist, but that is another discussion.

Both the Sanhedrin and the Roman prefects (at this time, it was Pontius Pilate) took great historical records. The Roman records are more reliable. If Pilate failed at any task, he would be held accountable by Tiberius. This is why the Gospels describe Pilate's reluctance to convict Jesus, because he was fearful of a Jewish revolt, which would lead to his punishment.

However, most preachers were not crucified. Jesus was a special case, which is why His story withstands historical skepticism. Blasphemy was generally acted upon by the Sanhedrin, not the Roman governor. The reason why Pilate was brought into the issue was because the Sanhedrin convinced him that Jesus was preaching against Caesar and that His followers would attempt rebellion.

Non-Biblical Sources:

Although there is overwhelming evidence that the New Testament is an accurate and trustworthy historical document, people are still reluctant to believe what it says unless there is also some independent, non-biblical testimony.

Tacitus:

Reporting on Emperor Nero's decision to blame the Christians for the fire that had destroyed Rome in 64 AD, the Roman historian Tacitus wrote:

Nero fastened the guilt [...] on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of [...] Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome...


What all can we learn from this ancient (and rather unsympathetic) reference to Jesus and the early Christians? Notice, first, that Tacitus reports Christians derived their name from a historical person called Christus (from the Latin), or Christ. He is said to have "suffered the extreme penalty," obviously alluding to the Roman method of execution known as crucifixion. This is said to have occurred during the reign of Tiberius and by the sentence of Pontius Pilatus. This confirms much of what the Gospels tell us about the death of Jesus.

The "most mischievous superstition" which arose in Judaea and Rome that Tacitus is referring to (which he later addresses) is the belief that the Christ who had been crucified had risen from the grave; he obviously finds the rapidly growing religion based on the worship of a man who had been crucified as a criminal bizarre.

Pliny:

Another important source of evidence about Jesus and early Christianity can be found in the letters of Pliny the Younger to Emperor Trajan. Pliny was the Roman governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor. In one of his letters, dated around 112 AD, he asks Trajan's advice about the appropriate way to conduct legal proceedings against those accused of being Christians. Pliny says that he needed to consult the emperor about this issue because a great multitude of every age, class, and sex stood accused of Christianity.

At one point in his letter, Pliny relates some of the information he has learned about these Christians:

They were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble to partake of food--but food of an ordinary and innocent kind.


This passage provides us with a number of interesting insights into the beliefs and practices of early Christians. First, we see that Christians regularly met on a certain fixed day for worship. Second, their worship was directed to Christ, demonstrating that they firmly believed in His divinity. Furthermore, Pliny's statement that "hymns were sung to Christ, as to a god" is a reference to the rather distinctive fact that unlike other gods who were worshipped, Christ was a person who had lived on earth. Pliny understood that Christians were worshipping an actual historical person as a god.

Not only does Pliny's letter help us understand what early Christians believed about Jesus' person, it also reveals the high esteem to which they held His teachings. For instance, Pliny notes that Christians "bound themselves by a solemn oath" not to violate various moral standards, which find their source in the ethical teachings of Jesus. In addition, Pliny's reference to the Christian custom of sharing a common meal likely alludes to their observance of communion and the "love feast."

Josephus:

Perhaps the most remarkable reference to Jesus outside the Bible can be found in the writings of Josephus, a first century Jewish historian (as you mentioned, I believe). On two occasions, in his Jewish Antiquities, he mentions Jesus. The second, less revealing, reference describes the condemnation of one "James" by the Jewish Sanhedrin. This James, says Josephus, was "the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ." This agrees with Paul's description of James in Galatians 1:19 as "the Lord's brother."

As interesting as this brief reference is, there is an earlier one, which is truly astonishing. Called the "Testimonium Flavianum," the relevant portions declare:

At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus. And his conduct was good, and he was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. And those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them after his crucifixion and that he was alive; accordingly, he was perhaps the Messiah concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders.


We see a good deal of corroborating information about the biblical Jesus. We read that he was a wise man who was virtuous and had many disciples. And although He was crucified under Pilate, His followers continued their discipleship and became known as Christians. This harmonizes quite well with the biblical record. It increasingly appears that the "biblical Jesus" and the "historical Jesus" are one and the same.

The Talmud:

There are only a few clear references to Jesus in the Babylonian Talmud, a collection of Jewish rabbinical writings compiled between approximately A.D. 70-500. Given this time frame, it is naturally supposed that earlier references to Jesus are more likely to be historically reliable than later ones. In the case of the Talmud, the earliest period of compilation occurred between A.D. 70-200. The most significant reference to Jesus from this period states:

On the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald [...] cried, 'He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy.'


Let's examine this passage. "Yeshu", firstly, is generally accepted as a secular version of the Hebrew name "Yeshua". "Yeshu/Yeshua" is the true, Hebrew translation of the name "Jesus". When it says that Jesus "was hanged", refers to crucifixion. For instance, Galatians 3:13 declares that Christ was "hanged", and Luke 23:39 applies this term to the criminals who were crucified with Jesus. So the Talmud declares that Jesus was crucified on the eve of Passover.

The passage also tells us why Jesus was crucified. It claims He practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy. Since this accusation comes from a rather hostile source, we should not be too surprised if Jesus is described somewhat differently than in the New Testament. But if we make allowances for this, what might such charges imply about Jesus?

Interestingly, both accusations have close parallels in the canonical gospels. For instance, the charge of sorcery is very similar to the multiple accusations from the Pharisees that Jesus cast out demons "by the power of Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons." But notice this: such a charge actually tends to confirm the New Testament claim that Jesus performed miraculous feats. Apparently Jesus' miracles were too well attested to deny. The only alternative was to ascribe them to sorcery. Likewise, the charge of enticing Israel to apostasy parallels Luke's account of the Jewish leaders who accused Jesus of misleading the nation with His teaching. Such a charge tends to corroborate the New Testament record of Jesus' powerful teaching ministry. Thus, if read carefully, this passage from the Talmud confirms much of our knowledge about Jesus from the New Testament.

Lucian:

Lucian of Samosata was a second century Greek satirist. In one of his works, he wrote of the early Christians as follows:

The Christians [...] worship a man to this day--the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account... [It] was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws.


Although Lucian is jesting here at the early Christians, he does make some significant comments about their founder. For instance, he says the Christians worshipped a man, "who introduced their novel rites." And though this man's followers clearly thought quite highly of Him, He so angered many of His social group with His teaching that He "was crucified on that account."

Although Lucian does not mention his name, he is clearly referring to Jesus. But what did Jesus teach to arouse such wrath? According to Lucian, he taught that all men are brothers from the moment of their conversion. That's harmless enough. But what did this conversion involve? It involved denying the Greek gods, worshipping Jesus, and living according to His teachings. It's not too difficult to imagine someone being killed for teaching that. Though Lucian doesn't say so explicitly, the Christian denial of other gods combined with their worship of Jesus implies the belief that Jesus was more than human. Since they denied other gods in order to worship Him, they apparently thought Jesus a greater god than any that Greece had to offer.

Let's summarize what we've learned about Jesus from this examination of ancient non-Christian sources.

1. Both Josephus and Lucian indicate that Jesus was regarded as wise.

2. Pliny, the Talmud, and Lucian imply He was a powerful and revered teacher.

3. Both Josephus and the Talmud indicate He performed miraculous feats.

4. Tacitus, Josephus, the Talmud, and Lucian all mention that He was crucified. Tacitus and Josephus say this occurred under Pontius Pilate. And the Talmud declares it happened on the eve of Passover.

5. There are references to the Christian belief in Jesus' resurrection in both Tacitus and Josephus.

6. Josephus records that Jesus' followers believed He was the Christ, or Messiah. And finally, both Pliny and Lucian indicate that Christians worshipped Jesus as God.
Last edited by Cole on Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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ונדעה נרדפה לדעת את יהוה כשחר נכון מצאו ויבוא כגשם לנו כמלקוש יורה ארץ׃




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tr3x says...



I don't really care what you guys have to say.

This isn't a debate. I posted this earlier; Christians will take the existence of Jesus on faith, and disregard any facts to the contrary. Any refutation I have for your page long diatribe is useless and futile.
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Rubric says...



How convenient for you tr3x that when confronted with a well-reasoned detractor you can refuse to respond and yet still claim victory.

I disagree with Hayden on a great many issues but your stance is incredibly insulting to us both. Hayden's post is framed as a response to those who do not take the bible seriously as a historical source. He is explicitly catering to those who disagree with his faith so that he can engage with them on an intellectual level in the discussion of historical sources.

You then choose to throw it in his face, writing off his conclusion as derived from "mere" faith, something you consider essentially worthless, and characterising him as a bad-faith debater, one likely to "disregard any facts to the contrary". You derive the conclusion that his thorough post (which I admit is on the long side of such contributions) is a "diatribe", a term described as "A forceful and bitter verbal attack against someone or something" at dictionary.com. Hayden's post is neither bitter nor forceful, and your characterisation of his words in this way is unfair.

Frankly I consider your post morally bankrupt and your stance intellectually unconscionable. These are not ad hominem attacks as I do not seek to further either side of this debate with them, but rather have you reflect on your role in this debate and the stance you adopt with other members of this site.
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Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:44 pm
Cole says...



Thank you, Rubric.

I don't really care what you guys have to say.


One last thing, Tr3x. Why is it that you seem to be able to think my words mean something completely different than what I intended? I feel like that happens a lot between the two of us.

I said that not because I was going to ignore whatever points you made, but because I precisely knew that you, skwmusic, or someone of the like, were going to arrogantly disregard my post like you guys have been doing throughout this entire thread whenever I've tried to engage myself in the discussion.
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ונדעה נרדפה לדעת את יהוה כשחר נכון מצאו ויבוא כגשם לנו כמלקוש יורה ארץ׃




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Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:24 pm
tr3x says...



How convenient for you tr3x that when confronted with a well-reasoned detractor you can refuse to respond and yet still claim victory.

I fully capable of responding if I wanted to. I don't have to prove anything to you; I'm not going to dance for your benefit. I never claimed victory either, I have no idea how you implied that. What I did do was comment on the futility of this thread (as I have done previously), as it's obvious that neither side will ever be convinced since it's practically impossible to have evidence either way.

You then choose to throw it in his face, writing off his conclusion as derived from "mere" faith, something you consider essentially worthless, and characterising him as a bad-faith debater, one likely to "disregard any facts to the contrary".

Christianity is a faith. Based on faith. I pointed this out. Is it not true that even the most well reasoned argument would pale in the face of the statement "I have faith,"?

It's obvious religious debates never work out on this board.
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Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:47 pm
Snoink says...



Guys, cool it and stop attacking each other.
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Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:52 am
Kyllorac says...



@skwmusic

It seems we are operating on completely different wavelengths.

You're talking planetary-wide flooding. I'm talking localized. Of the two, the latter is far more likely to have occurred (considering it occurs all the time), even taking into account that the surface of the Earth has been comprised entirely of liquid water in the past.

Keeping in mind that, way back in the early days of human history, populations were small and concentrated in small areas due to various needs and physical constraints, settlements were (and still are) always near some source of fresh water, and so it's entirely possible that there was a horrible flood that catastrophically affected the region people had settled without it being a worldwide flood.

Due to the limited range a person can travel in a given day, and given how life outside of a settlement would be much more difficult, people would've been unlikely to travel far; up until automobiles became readily available, as well as roads to drive them on, this still held true. Ancient peoples' concepts of "the world" as a whole would have been much smaller and localized than the concept we hold now. As a result, that puts a severe constraint on what constitutes "every animal". Rather than millions of species to account for, there were perhaps a dozen or so local animal species, which makes the logistics far more feasible.

Localized floods occur all the time, and they can be extremely rapid and violent, especially around large rivers, which happened to be one of the favorite places for our ancestors to settle. The most ancient of civilizations have been concentrated around large rivers, such as Mesopotamia (Tigris and Euphrates), Egypt (Nile), and China (Yellow and Yangtze), as well as large, freshwater lakes (the Aztec on Lake Texcoco and Tiwanaku on the shores of Lake Titicaca).

Is it really that far-fetched that our ancestors, back when the population was small and concentrated into one fairly small geographical area, survived a flood that killed off a lot of people and scattered the survivors?

I also wonder why you discredit oral history so. Oral history has been show to be extremely accurate; various Native American tribes kept accounts of debts owed, even ones generations old, through the use of oral history. It is a skill that no longer sees much use, due to high rates of literacy and the availability of writing materials, but that does not make it any less valid a means of passing on history or information.

You also have to keep in mind that written accounts provide no guarantee of accuracy or legitimacy, with many of the oldest known accounts being creative retellings of various events real and not (the Greek and Roman historians were particularly guilty of this).

I also fail to see how I disparaged you or your argument, unless presenting a reasonable argument supported by sources that were asked for is considered disparaging.
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Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:36 am
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Nate says...



National Geographic has a great cover story this month in which they try to trace the routes of the Apostles:
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2012/ ... unter-text

In regards to whether Jesus existed, when even Richard Dawkins contends that Jesus did exist, you've got to be arguing on pretty thin grounds, haha. In fact, even the most prominent proponent of the "Jesus myth," G.A. Wells, now believes that Jesus did in fact exist (when he first starting putting the theory out there in the 1970s, he did not believe this).

See:
Atheists for Jesus by Richard Dawkins
Earliest Christianity by G.A. Wells

Most of the arguments put forth thus far against Jesus' existence are... odd to say the least. Thatguy refers to some megalomaniacal Church, which doesn't make any sense whatsoever. Early Christianity was nothing more than a very informal network of scattered communities with virtually no power structure at all. There wasn't even anything remotely resembling a central authority until the second century, and even that was pretty weak. Others resort to basic prejudice against Christianity itself, and then bizarrely use that as evidence to buttress their arguments.

The vast majority of historical scholars believe Jesus did exist. Very, very few take an opposing view simply because it defies reason. You have to end up believing in a conspiracy theory concocted by dozens of individuals in Judea around 30 A.D. And then instead of using the idea that the Messiah had returned to rally the Jews, they instead went their separate ways to spread a message of love and peace.

The simplest explanation is that there was a man who preached about God's love for us all in the area of Judea around 30 AD. After his death, others felt inclined to share that message with others. Why is this so hard for some to accept?

Now, what is perhaps arguable is the nature of Jesus. Early Christians were hardly uniform in their view; some believed he was the son of God, but others believed he was solely a preacher. And certainly, whether you believe in the Resurrection or not is really just a matter of faith. But on the subject of whether Jesus existed at all? You've got to make an incredibly convoluted argument to say that he did not.

In fact, it's a lot like 9/11 conspiracy theories. No matter the evidence presented, some people simply refuse to believe that Al Qaeda was responsible. There's just no arguing with conspiracy theorists!

At any rate guys, go outside and throw a ball around or something! You'll be left happier and wiser :)
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Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:56 am
noninjaspresent says...



I believe Jesus did exist, but not as a son of God or someone with supernatural powers, but as a good man who believed all men were equal and severely disliked the slavery present at that time. What makes him stand out the most is that he stood out against those in power and helped many people be freed from the chains of slavery.

And there is evidence that scientifically proves certain events (one of being the story where one of the "messengers of God" tells the Pharaoh to release the slaves, and when he doesn't things start happening such as the water turning red (I can't remember the exact title about it at the moment) I made a post about it in one of the clubs). Though the way the evidence proves them is in a way that shows how they can natural happen without any divine acts. Such as the story in brackets. The river can turn red by this type of red algae that can get into that waterway at times. That algae is deadly to the fish, thus leading on to the second thing.

Also, there is quite a lot of evidence that proves that what people may see as a god would actually be aliens. Has anyone seen the Indiana Jones movie about the crystal skulls? Well there are real crystal skulls (I'm not too sure but around 10 in total) that have been found. The crystal skulls that have been certified to be real (most are) are cut in ways that no past or present Earthly technology could cut them. Our tools would just make them shatter or break in unrepairable ways.
Also, crop circles could actually not be hoaxes. In Britain at one time, there was a whole surge of them. A couple of men spoke up saying they were the cause, but when they demonstrated how they did it, their results were vastly different to those that had been found.
And have you ever wondered why the same farming techniques appeared at opposite ends of the globe at roughly the same time (not large enough gaps in time to indicate the spreading of those techniques by travellers).

What about the Qu'ran and other well known holy texts. If you looked deep enough you would mostly likely find they have roughly the same amount, if not more evidence that proves them to be correct.
And translation has to come into play. During the translation of those texts, the misinterpretation of one single letter might change the whole meaning of a sentence.
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