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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What is so demeaning about calling people who believe jesus was a myth, mythers?
You missed the point, the idea of a historical Jesus is not an extraordinary claim. The idea of the biblical Jesus is. You have tangled up the concepts. I was not saying it only applies to cosmic and universal origins, i was saying it applies to things of that scale an are akin to,... well, it's obvious what I meant, how do you not see what I meant?

How in any way is the suggestion that a historical Jesus existed extraordinary? It is more extraordinary to suggest a conspiracy.



nick... since i can't seem to reply directly to your last post... the sigh was in reference to the he/she thing. twice on this site i've had someone make an assumption of me being a "she" (not completely unreasonable because hilda would be a girls name, and hilde, as a stand-alone name, not a shortened nick name, i'm not sure about).

anyway, i think i may have misunderstood what you meant in the post i had been replying to.

is a historical jesus an extrodinary claim? no, probably not, that wasn't what i had meant. just that there had to be sufficient evidence in proportion to the claim. i was just using a well known expression, wasn't trying to imply the size of the claim. i was not clear on that.

i truly think that we will never know for sure if jesus existed, and to what extent christianity was based on the real deal. but as i said to matt, there were things i had not considered and i'd say that it's more likely than not. my preference though would be that there be more than circumstantial evidence. but given the points he brought up, i'd agree it's likely there is a real human basis for jesus as opposed to a created fiction (ala scientology).

as for "mythers" being demeaning, i didn't say that. i asked that he consider using a more respectful term. showing a 'basic' level of respect to others in the way you communicate with them (regardless of what you think of their ideas and opinions) makes them more receptive to hearing you out. the "____-er" term comes off as a nice way of saying "dumbass who believes ___" and isn't a good way to get others to listen to you with an open mind. don't get me wrong, some people are dumb shits who couldn't find a pile of cowshit in a pasture, but others have not heard various arguments for/against things, or may have limited information they are working with. willfull ignorance is another matter, of course. until you know what you're working with, it's just a good policy to not be dismissive of others.
I don't claim Jesus was a well known fact, but using my understanding of history and psychology, I can say he probably did exist. I did not think he existed until I had it summed up to me by Matt, as I never knew what the so called evidence was that so many believers I've spoken with elude to, but have no personal knowledge of.

I can see how a person would think he was a myth based on an amalgam of people, and how the idea was fabricated in Rome. It does make a great deal of sense, if you ignore what the historical evidence implies through deduction. There are plenty of examples for how a person who never existed could later be considered real.

But after finally examining the evidence, I changed my mind. I see more reason to suggest he lived than that he did not live. The idea that he never claimed to be the son of god seems to make more sense, and that his followers elevated him to this in the coming decades, it all fits a bit more in line I think.
agreed.
You're welcome.
I could have gone into each of the points in more detail, but I think my post was long enough as it is and the general gist of it was probably clear. Glad you found it persuasive.

As for general sources on the topic, I've gotten most of what I know about it through general information about Jesus and what we can know about him in a historical context (by scholars like Geza Vermes, Bart Ehrman and others); there's plenty of good objective scholars working on the issue); there are few places where all the information is compiled in one place (though it's come to my attention that Bart Ehrman is writing a 'popular history' book that will attempt to answer all the arguments in favour of Jesus Mythicism that are well-known among the general public, and have been seen a recent revival through movies like Zeitgeist).

As for the Jewish elders accusing Jesus of being an illegitimate son (and later a demon and a fraud), I'll have to get back to you on that: I'll have to plow through one of Paula Frederiksen's books to find the source for that.

"I'll "assume" that you've had many discussions of this type which is why you're quick to assume this conclusion, but you might want to give people the benefit of the doubt when a discussion is only 2 or 3 posts long."
Fair enough. Though I can't remember referring to you specifically as a Myther.
A holy spirit came to earth and impregnated a woman. She gave birth to a human god. He lived, died, lived again and went up into the sky. Damn, I knew it wasn't a joke.
Yes I do believe a very good and kind man with wonderful things to teach existed at that time. Do I believe he was the son of "god"? laughable at absolute best. I think people took his teaching out of context, and deemed him what he is today.

Watch a movie called "The Man from Earth". I warn sensitive Theists to not watch this. The concept toward the end can be disturbing and as my mother said after seeing it "Blasphemes"
You realize sensitive theists are not permitted membership here?
That was a warning for any member that might watch it with a theist present.
Hee hee. They're amongst us,... watching.
Zeitgeist, by any chance?

If so, my condolences, because the hour you spent watching Zeitgeist is one you'll never get back.
I don't see anyone objecting to the very worthwhile quest of studying historical subjects like the existence of Jesus, but the point is that these quests should be undertaken in a critical and spiritual fashion. For example, you say that the whole 'Zeitgeist thing has been ripped to shreds'. That's ineed true, but then why do you bother making the exact claims they are making in that movie even though they have no academic credibility whatsoever?

Yes, it is true that many of humanity's "sacred" numbers are derived from patterns we derive in nature (though you apparently don't consider the possibility that the relationship might be inverse; 12 isn't a sacred number because there are 12 months, there are 12 monthgs because 12 has always been regarded a a sacred number. And there are many similar problems with the parallels between nature and religion you're drawing).

But none of it matters, because when Paul is writing about Jesus he makes it clear that he's talking about a flesh-and-blood person, not some of kind of astronomical or celestial phenomenon. The same goes for Adam and Eve or Moses or Abraham; you can certainly find parallels with nature if you try hard enough (though the one with the Moon and Eve is particularly farfetched) but it doesn't matter because these stories were told in regards to flesh-and-blood people.
I could go on, but the point is that looking at Christianity in a cosmological/astronomical way actually doesn't make sense at all, and loses hands down against the far more likely explanation: the stories about Jesus were not a product of astronomical expectations, they were a product of an actual historical preacher.

Even if that pisses off the neo-pagans.

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