Apparently you can't do polls on here.... but

Do any of you think that Jesus actually existed? What do category do you fall into?

A. Believed he existed, claims are false

B. Believed he existed, claims are exaggerated

C. Don't believe he existed

D. Believe he existed, claims are true (sorry had to leave the idiot category open)

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My hackles remain raised and I maintain that your arguments are those of a theist.
A theist makes claims without evidence and refuses to consider the points of others, as you're demonstrating. You can call names all you like, you've yet to make a logical contention. Keep patting yourself on the back I suppose and have fun slandering others. If you'd like to have an intelligent discussion, feel free to make a point.

*edit

For the record, I am an atheist. I once believed Christ was a total myth, possibly an amalgamation like Robin Hood or Arthur, and I believed the religion was invented by Roman slaves and lower classes who were following the lead of a charismatic cult leader, probably Peter. I felt the cult was legitimized by Constantine. I then looked at the actual evidence and stopped making assertions based on ignorance. A living man who gave rise to the myth of Jesus changes nothing, there is still no god and no evidence for a god. Open your mind and consider you just might be wrong. Are you prepared to actually hear out and give credence to the evidence you are so quick to dismiss?
Fred,

"George thought it was theists and I agree with George that it is common among them too but it could be that Matt and you Nick have loyalty and see yourself as supportive of another group."

What's that supposed to mean? You know full well that the only thing I've (and I'd count Nick with me) advocated here is proper historical analysis with the evidence in mind.
And you also know full well that we've both said things that would make Christians highly uncomfortable.

"A kind of abuse of rhetorical skills you two seems to love to show off.

So I don't think you are theists at all. I think you two are atheists that love to use rhetoric writing to make others upset."


And that's total nonsense. I've never had to rely on rhetoric at all, because my discourse is based - first and foremost - on evidence. As for making people upset: have I ever made you upset? No. Have I ever made George upset? No. I've always been very polite with people who have honest questions, who maybe aren't familiar with the relevant arguments, or those that I talk to for the first time.
It's only when said people refuse to concede a point or cling to their faith positions, that I'll start using sarcasm and maybe a little bit of scorn. That's it.

If that makes some people upset, so be it. But don't give me this crap about how this is my goal.

Regards,

Matt
@ Fred.

I simply meant "we" as in Matt and myself. If you feel Christ was not based on a real man, make specific points. We can debate those points. How am I spouting rhetoric simply by stating there is evidence in the face of someone claiming there is no evidence? Frankly I think this comes down to someone taking the word "ignorant" as some kind of insult. Ignorant was used in the literal sense. If you don't think there is evidence, frankly you must be ignorant or dishonest. The evidence that exists you are free to say is not compelling enough, but to state there is a void of evidence is simply untrue. How can you possibly disagree?

I originally entered this thread of the opinion that Jesus was not real, and Christianity probably was created later in time and their history was a a fabrication. Matt demonstrated to me a way of looking at things that seemed to make more sense logically. I changed my mind, and I thank him for challenging me.
You dare accuse me of rhetoric? It's not my fault that people lack the ability to make a logical argument. If they continue to make the same mistakes, all I can do is repeatedly point out those mistakes. If that seems rhetorical, it's a view without a solid premises.
"feel free to make a point"... I think I already did!
Your point was that there was no evidence, this suggests there is no argument at all outside of the theistic argument. This is simply not true. You're wrong if you think there is no evidence, but you're free to look at the evidence and choose what you feel it tells us, it's not an obvious fact that Jesus existed and nobody that is here is going to tell you otherwise. There is however evidence to examine which suggests he did exist, whether it's compelling enough for you to accept as probable or not. We've been talking about it now for dozens of pages, you coming in and stating there's no evidence is a little comical. You're either ignorant of the evidence, or you choose to not come to the same conclusion, it's that simple. What do you want us to do, state the same evidence we've been stating over and over again because you don't want to at least look at the most recent discussion in the thread? You're just answering the OP's topic, which is fine, but don't pretend otherwise. If you have a point of contention over the evidence Matt has presented numerous times, make a point. But simply saying there is no evidence at all is insulting, and further equating us to theists even more so.

Perhaps you feel the passages from Tacitus are total embellishments in all content, and not just pieces of it? Or perhaps your contention of Jesus being a amalgam of myth is born from specific themes you'd care to specify? We will argue that it's easier to account for the position that Jesus was a man who gave rise to a mythology and religion that is of course not true, but it makes more sense that he was a real man than some conspiracy that has been enduring for two thousand years. You cannot simply say there is no evidence at all for a Jesus without looking ignorant.
I have to say it really does not matter to me if he existed or not, the damage is already done. The toothfairy does not exist and look at the damage it continues to do. Why would parent have their own child believe in something that does not exist? If Jesus did exist he is now dead. The only importance of this history if the history of events that took place in human history which is the philosophy of thought and actions taken that effected the well being of human activity.
George,

I'm still waiting for some substantiation for your suspicion:

"I suspect he is a compilation of many different ancient myths."

Alright, what is this based on?
@ Fred. This seems to be posted on the wrong page. Sorry for the double post.

I simply meant "we" as in Matt and myself. If you feel Christ was not based on a real man, make specific points. We can debate those points. How am I spouting rhetoric simply by stating there is evidence in the face of someone claiming there is no evidence? Frankly I think this comes down to someone taking the word "ignorant" as some kind of insult. Ignorant was used in the literal sense. If you don't think there is evidence, frankly you must be ignorant or dishonest. The evidence that exists you are free to say is not compelling enough, but to state there is a void of evidence is simply untrue. How can you possibly disagree?

I originally entered this very thread of the opinion that Jesus was not real (around page 60), and Christianity probably was created later in time and their history was a a fabrication. Matt demonstrated to me a way of looking at things that seemed to make more sense logically. I changed my mind, and I thank him for challenging me.
You dare accuse me of rhetoric? It's not my fault that people lack the ability to make a logical argument. If they continue to make the same mistakes, all I can do is repeatedly point out those mistakes. If that seems rhetorical, it's a view without a solid premises.
Further more, if I was arguing out of rhetoric, I would be claiming my view was the correct view with certainty. Never have I done this. The evidence for Christ is one of deduction, a case of looking at a void and making judgments based on the void. I could very well be wrong, but I feel the people who are contending with my viewpoint are ignoring why Matt and I seem to be advocating the view that we are. So far, the arguments offered in reply ignore the point we are making directly. I think this is due to an emotional response (and what is actually a response out of rhetoric, if you'll excuse the "I know you are but what am I" defense).

The rhetoric among many atheists is that because Christianity isn't real, automatically this must mean Jesus was not real as well. When these atheists hear another atheist challenge that contention, it seems to confuse them. Time and again, the essence of our argument is ignored in favor of red herrings. Again and again points are introduced rather than addressing the argument we've made directly.

My view is actually fairly simple. If Christ did not exist in the first place, why are his earliest know detractors never known for attacking the Christians on that point? Instead, the people of his time attack his divinity. This suggests to me he was a real human being. He was not the Christ of the Bible, and he was not the son of god.
I don't like to use the word "believe". There is probably enough historical data that can give someone an educated viewpoint. Personally, I don't care very much. If he did exist, he was a great man in many respects, but history is filled with great men/women.
I've been a lifelong atheist so I don't need any such information to help me convert from any particular religion to atheism.
I believe a physical human being named Jesus existed, sure. I'll even get on board with the idea that he was a great philosopher. Clearly, I don't believe in his divinity, otherwise I wouldn't be on this board. The immaculate conception, miracles and whatnot are all bullpuckey.

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