"It seems as thiugh Polingborne and Beale embrace good old-fashioned Enloghtenment era Deism. The deity "creates" and then turns away not involving itself in any of the outcome and subsequent activity. By…"
"I always thought Descartes posited his thesis on duality mainly to placate the church and keep that authority off his back. He was best known in his time as a mathematician (including theorems). His "philosophy" was…"
"Environmental sifting may be a good way of describing natural selection, but "survival of the fittest" is not.
That dubious piece of phraseology did not emerge from Darwin, but social philosopher Herbert Spencer, even…"
"I do not think the mythicist assertions and underlying information are off topic for Atheist Nexus at all. This particular group pertains to the discussion of evolutionary biology and its impact on humankind both as stated theory and in…"
I have corresponded with D.M. Murdoch, aka Acarya S, starting about 12 years ago and I have proffered favorable review of some of her books on Amazon. From an anthropological standpoint, I think there is merit to the…"
Hi there - Doing some catching up on the last few months of the do-you-believe-Jesus-existed thread that I missed. Sorry now that I missed it. *Really* enjoyed your refreshingly complete, thought out critique of the Josepheus/Tactius references.
In re-examining the issue, I think the main problem is that Christianity is so huge, Jesus is such a household name, that most people (many a scholar included) seem to start with the given that Biblical Jesus is an exaggeration of an otherwise real person whose biography, sayings and deeds are in the bible. Starting from that given, it's very easy to find facts that fit the theory. "See? Even Josephus says there was a Jesus!"
I'm intrigued with the approach (and why more people don't approach it this way) from a default of doubt, a la Descartes. "Biblical Jesus is a total fabrication. Prove otherwise." Suddenly, the same evidence *could* be pointing to biblical Jesus, or a number of Jesuses who got mashed into one, or any number of known events that get tacked onto one name, or there was a local folk-hero Jesus but didn't say or do anything close to resembling anything in the scriptures.
Or even that it could have been entirely fabricated. Maybe not as probable, but certainly plausible.
Anyway, as I'm trying to break back into the thread I was reviewing past posts and wanted to give a thumbs-up on yours. ;-)