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BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus

Don Firth 06 Jun 06 - 04:51 PM
Big Mick 06 Jun 06 - 04:16 PM
Clinton Hammond 06 Jun 06 - 04:09 PM
Ebbie 06 Jun 06 - 04:01 PM
Amos 06 Jun 06 - 09:41 AM
GUEST 05 Jun 06 - 04:52 PM
Don Firth 04 Jun 06 - 09:41 PM
282RA 04 Jun 06 - 04:51 PM
282RA 04 Jun 06 - 04:17 PM
robomatic 04 Jun 06 - 03:17 PM
dianavan 04 Jun 06 - 03:05 PM
Don Firth 04 Jun 06 - 01:59 PM
Haruo 04 Jun 06 - 01:26 PM
Dave the Gnome 04 Jun 06 - 12:09 PM
282RA 04 Jun 06 - 12:04 PM
282RA 04 Jun 06 - 12:02 PM
282RA 04 Jun 06 - 11:58 AM
282RA 04 Jun 06 - 11:50 AM
GUEST,Frank 04 Jun 06 - 11:12 AM
GUEST,Frank 04 Jun 06 - 11:10 AM
GUEST,Frank 04 Jun 06 - 11:02 AM
dianavan 04 Jun 06 - 12:44 AM
Haruo 04 Jun 06 - 12:14 AM
Clinton Hammond 03 Jun 06 - 11:34 PM
Wavery 03 Jun 06 - 10:57 PM
GUEST 03 Jun 06 - 07:41 PM
Big Mick 03 Jun 06 - 06:40 PM
Don Firth 03 Jun 06 - 04:46 PM
Dave the Gnome 03 Jun 06 - 04:34 PM
GUEST,Frank 03 Jun 06 - 04:29 PM
Dave the Gnome 03 Jun 06 - 03:44 PM
Clinton Hammond 03 Jun 06 - 03:35 PM
Rustic Rebel 03 Jun 06 - 03:31 PM
wysiwyg 03 Jun 06 - 03:31 PM
Don Firth 03 Jun 06 - 03:27 PM
282RA 03 Jun 06 - 03:18 PM
282RA 03 Jun 06 - 03:11 PM
Ebbie 03 Jun 06 - 03:10 PM
Dave the Gnome 03 Jun 06 - 03:01 PM
Big Mick 03 Jun 06 - 02:40 PM
Don Firth 03 Jun 06 - 02:25 PM
Clinton Hammond 03 Jun 06 - 02:12 PM
Clinton Hammond 03 Jun 06 - 02:11 PM
Dave the Gnome 03 Jun 06 - 02:01 PM
GUEST 03 Jun 06 - 01:45 PM
282RA 03 Jun 06 - 01:24 PM
Clinton Hammond 03 Jun 06 - 01:21 PM
Dave the Gnome 03 Jun 06 - 12:57 PM
282RA 03 Jun 06 - 12:15 PM
bobad 03 Jun 06 - 12:13 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: Don Firth
Date: 06 Jun 06 - 04:51 PM

Harvey? Is that you?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: Big Mick
Date: 06 Jun 06 - 04:16 PM

Amos,

Harvey is a friend of mine. I knew Harvey. You, sir, are no Harvey.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 06 Jun 06 - 04:09 PM

If you see Buddah by the side of the road, kill him....


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: Ebbie
Date: 06 Jun 06 - 04:01 PM

Amos, listen carefully: Harvey is a friend of mine. Harvey would not advise or condone bloodshed, except metaphorically. If he appears to be telling you otherwise, bid the bogus apparition begone.


:)


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: Amos
Date: 06 Jun 06 - 09:41 AM

I, too have been told to go to war. In my case, the mandate stemmed from a large white rabbit, about six feet in height, not normally visible, it seems, to normal mortals. His name, Harvey, is actually a corruption of the ancient Babylonian word "Larry", which is in turn cognate to the Hebrew "Yaweh".

However, after due consideration, I have decided to decline the option to comply with this powerful spiritual being, since I feel it would be unethical, and compromise my inherent personal moral compass.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jun 06 - 04:52 PM

I prefer Playboy


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: Don Firth
Date: 04 Jun 06 - 09:41 PM

I am acquainted with all of that, 282RA. Have you ever read The Closing of the Western Mind : The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason by Charles Freeman? I found it most educational and enlightening. Freeman covers a pretty wide scope and I think it's pretty easy to tell by the title where he's coming from.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: 282RA
Date: 04 Jun 06 - 04:51 PM

>>And you do? 282RA. how do you know what other people know?<<

I'm sure I don't but I believe everybody should have the same information I do, it seems to me to be very important information and very strange to me that people should be so ignorant of it. With the importance we place on Christianity in the U.S. we know surprisingly little about it. I seriously doubt more than 1 in 10,000 American self-professed Christians could tell you a thing about Origen or could even honestly say they had ever heard of him.

Otherwise they would know he was a 3rd century Church Father who more or less fell out of favor with the Church because he had the audacity to be born in raised virtually in the same area as Nazareth was said to be and yet he had never heard of it and could locate nothing of it. He could neither locate nor verify the existence of cities as Bethany (where Jesus supposedly raised Lazarus) or Bethphage. Origen was a Josephus scholar who pored over the man's works in hopes of finding a historical reference to Jesus Christ and never mentioned the passage Eusebius quoted a century later.

We should know Eusebius was essentially a liar and certainly not a historian. That his Josephus quote is spurious, that it was he who wrote the account of Constantine seeing crosses in the sky before the Battle of Milvian Bridge in 312 and therefore the account is likely not true. We should know Eusebius actually championed using falsehood and deceit to spread the gospel.

Then there's Bishop Cyril of Alexandria, Peter the Reader, Hypatia, the 2nd sacking of the Library and the history of the Library itself and what it was said to have housed in its glory days.

People should know how monks were recruited from prisons and those thrown out of the military. How they were shaped into a street army and, like Hitler's early SS, club down hecklers and beat up opponent's. On a word from the bishop they would riot, rampage, loot, pillage, rape and kill. This was how business was done for the Church and how so many ancient writings have disappeared--these marauding Christian armies destroying everything they could get their hands on.

There was also a wonderful library at Tripoli, Lebanon that was also destroyed. Very interesting reading.

Then there is early Christianity in Rome. Why Christ was never referred to as "Jesus" or any variation. He was only called "Chreist" or Chrestus. And the earliest known image of a crucified savior is graffito from 2nd century Rome and depicts a human body surmounted with an ass's head and the figure is nailed to a cross. Next to that the phrase in Latin, "Alexamenos worships his god" which tells us a lot about what kind of worship was going on in the Eastern Greek-speaking Empire (Alexamenos being a Greek name). And the fact that no New Testament scenes are found painted on the walls in the Roman catacombs, no crosses other than the swastika. One depiction of Jesus there shows him as Orpheus strumming a lyre and surrounded by Old Testament figures. You have to ask youself, what did Christians believe before there was a New Testament? It's bound to be very different from yours.


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: 282RA
Date: 04 Jun 06 - 04:17 PM

>>Thanks for the info on Irenaeus and Jesus living to 50, 282. It does indeed look like a significant issue. But when you wrote that I "refuse to do [my] own homework and would rather rely on the very person they [I'm] disputing to dig up the information for [me]" you misconstrue the situation. First off, I wasn't disputing you, I was asking for your evidence (as you have done innumerable times in these threads); secondly, I wasn't disputing you, I was interested in learning more about something I had never run into before; and in the third place, you wrote that we should "remember" this, which is dang hard to do if one has never heard it before.<<

Fair enough. I'm sorry for berating you. I've been quoting sources all along and it seemed no one cared--so I figured they knew it already or they didn't care about it. I would think anyone would find it of import and give it careful consideration. It doesn't matter what they think of me. Look at the info, if you're interested--delve more deeply into it. Christianity/Gnosticism are far more fascinating and informative than most people ever dreamed. And that's only counting what has survived. Far more has undoubtedly perished.

>>As for Irenaeus getting away with heresy (if this is what it was), doesn't surprise me at all. The Church (you said "Roman church bishops" but I'm not sure there's any reason to call him "Roman") was a lot less centralized, a lot less authoritarian, and a lot more open to diversity in a variety of areas in the second century than it was in the fourth after it was bought out by the Empire.<<

The Church still had the idea of heresy back then because Irenaeus condemned gnosticism (his word, btw) as heresy (which actually means "choice"). But apparently, the belief that Jesus survived the crucifixion and lived to age 50 was okay within the Church. That would indicate that much of the Roman Church came from Papias whom they asserted knew Polycarp who was certainly mythical. We're not even sure when Papias lived--early or mid 2nd century.

Papias stated that Mark was an interpreter for Peter and that his account was accurate in the episodes recounted but were out of order. Papias doesn't elaborate on what was out of order in Mark's narrative. We do know that Mark has no miraculous birth story (or any birth story) and the earliest versions ended at 16:8 thereby cutting out the resurrection. He seemed to have Luke but we can't be certain how similar it is to today's but likely was not in narrative form in his day. He claimed Matthew was written in Hebrew. Irenaeus is the first Church Father to mention the four present gospels sometime around 180 or later. Papias's fragments mention no crucifixion. As with James's epistle, he may not have heard of it. Irenaeus appears to have combined the crucifixion with Papias's material by having Jesus survive the crucifixion in order to live to age 50. We have no indication that Papias believed that or had ever heard of it. So Papias apparently believed in a very different Jesus than today's orthodoxy. But then so did Irenaeus.


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: robomatic
Date: 04 Jun 06 - 03:17 PM

Been enjoying much of this thread, with the following comments:

Guest, Sori. Your initial post was thoughtful and well-argued. The only thing I'd change would be to eliminate the word 'rightful' in the last line, unless you meant it ironically, in which case I'd put 'apostrophes' around it.

I'd also create a Sori persona so I would not show up as a guest, it's too easy to subvert the ID if you're going to post more on the topic and be taken seriously. See how many 'Guests' like to show up and throw their little bombs into the column and discombobulate the rest.

Religion is the awe in which we hold our ignorance.


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: dianavan
Date: 04 Jun 06 - 03:05 PM

Don, you say, "That's what gets me about fanatical fundamentalists of any stripe, religious or atheist:   their bloody "know-it-all" arrogance. As if they have a direct pipeline to the Almighty."

Isn't that the crux of it all? Who has the 'direct pipeline?'

The Roman Catholic Church and most Christian churches that have followed are all based on the succession of the apostles.


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: Don Firth
Date: 04 Jun 06 - 01:59 PM

". . . when they don't have all the information they should. . . ."

And you do? 282RA. how do you know what other people know?

That's what gets me about fanatical fundamentalists of any stripe, religious or atheist:   their bloody "know-it-all" arrogance. As if they have a direct pipeline to the Almighty.

Or whatever.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: Haruo
Date: 04 Jun 06 - 01:26 PM

Thanks for the info on Irenaeus and Jesus living to 50, 282. It does indeed look like a significant issue. But when you wrote that I "refuse to do [my] own homework and would rather rely on the very person they [I'm] disputing to dig up the information for [me]" you misconstrue the situation. First off, I wasn't disputing you, I was asking for your evidence (as you have done innumerable times in these threads); secondly, I wasn't disputing you, I was interested in learning more about something I had never run into before; and in the third place, you wrote that we should "remember" this, which is dang hard to do if one has never heard it before.

As for Irenaeus getting away with heresy (if this is what it was), doesn't surprise me at all. The Church (you said "Roman church bishops" but I'm not sure there's any reason to call him "Roman") was a lot less centralized, a lot less authoritarian, and a lot more open to diversity in a variety of areas in the second century than it was in the fourth after it was bought out by the Empire.

Haruo


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 04 Jun 06 - 12:09 PM

That was indeed the point AR282/282RA (whichever handle you prefer). You made the claim. You substantiate it but, OK, they are indeed your threads. You are most welcome to them and I hope they give you great pleasure. Who am I to spoil whatever you need to satisfy you. Good luck with them.

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: 282RA
Date: 04 Jun 06 - 12:04 PM

>>Don, I agree with you that people must come to their own conclusions.<<

That's problematic when they don't have all the information they should in order to do that. It's even more problematic when they don't want to know that information. No Bush is president, the whole damned country thinks just like him--make up your mind and facts be damned.

I don't let anybody get away with that anymore.


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: 282RA
Date: 04 Jun 06 - 12:02 PM

Btw, DtG,

I didn't start this thread or "the other one." They are not "my threads." The truth is, I took both over virtually without effort. So I will take that to mean I own them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: 282RA
Date: 04 Jun 06 - 11:58 AM

>>>Just spotted a whopping hole AR/RA. You say When you make the claim, you have the burden of proof. Hence, the claim that Jesus Christ was historical must be proven.

This whole thread (and your other one) was started with the claim that Jesus was not an historical character. Surely then, by your own admission, the burden of proof is with you?<<<

Wow, I sure didn't see that coming!! All I can do is paste this post I tacked up on this thread about 3 days ago:

>>Some folks have a skewed view of how proof works. It goes like this:

When you make the claim, you have the burden of proof.

Hence, the claim that Jesus Christ was historical must be proven. You don't ask the con side to prove it because one does not prove the negative. This prevents the pro side from invalidly trying to turn the tables to "prove he didn't." That is not where the burden of proof lies so no one has to prove he didn't.

Nor can you try to prove your claim by saying, "You can't prove anyone existed. Prove Lincoln existed." Okay, I will. We have his photos, we have his words, his handwriting, many accounts by those who knew him. His eldest son, Robert, lived well into the 20th century. If we had any such proof as this with Jesus Christ, we'd have no reason to question his historicity. The burden of proof really doesn't lie on the person claiming Lincoln existed but on the one who claims he didn't. We won't find any photos of Christ, of course, but we should at least have a plethora of accounts contemporary with Jesus Christ had he actually existed. We have nothing. Even the spurious Josephus quote and the misinterpreted Tacitus quote were not contemporary to Jesus Christ.

Even so, compelling evidence has been brought forth that presents a very strong case that Jesus Christ was not historical and even this has yet to be satifactorily rebutted.

You have to prove Jesus Christ was historical and if you fail, then your case is considered wrong or false until you can prove it. None of this "he's real to those that believe." That's as silly as saying the tooth fairy is real to those who believe. So what? Doesn't make them right. It does make them gullible though.<<


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: 282RA
Date: 04 Jun 06 - 11:50 AM

>>Somebody, I think it was 282RA (who appears to be AR282 without the Caesarian obsession), wrote "remember that two Roman Church bishops--Irenaeus and Papias--did not believe Jesus died on the cross but lived in Asia to age 50". I do not want to argue the point (or the historicity of Jesus for that matter) but I would be grateful for any pointers to evidence to back up this "memory". Where is the evidence that Irenaeus and Papias, or either of them, believed Jesus lived in Asia to age 50? Curious... have never encountered this notion before. <<

Once again, people refuse to do their own homework and would rather rely on the very person they are disputing to dig up the information for them. Why don't you folks actually investigate something on your own like I have? Then maybe you'll see where I'm coming from instead of arguing everything only to admit in the end that you haven't investigated anything and don't really know what you're talking about?

I could quote Tom Harpur, who gives a very good synopsis, but you probably wouldn't accept it since he seems to be of a non-historic bent. So I got this from the Catholic Encyclopedia Online:

It is probable that whenever St. Irenaeus quotes "the Presbyters" or "the Presbyters who had seen John", he is citing the work of Papias. Where he attributes to these followers of John the assertion that Our Lord sanctified all the ages of man, that Papias had inferred that Our Lord reached the age of fifty, as Irenaeus concludes, nor need we be too certain that Papias explicitly cited the Presbyters in the passage in question. His real statement is possibly preserved in a sentence of "De fabrica mundi", which implies only that our Lord reached the perfect age (between 30 and 40) after which decline begins.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11457c.htm

Now there are some Christian apologists that try to fudge 50 years into 33 but there is nothing from Papias that says Jesus died at 50. Irenaeus says it and he says he got it from Papias. Since Papias only survives today in fragments, we'll have to take Irenaues's word that there was such a statement by Papias because it no longer exists. Irenaeus, however, seemed to be an accurate writer since he did accurately quote gnostic passages in his "Against Heresies" at a time when we did not have the Nag Hammadi Library and were forced to accept Irenaeus at his word. To his credit, Nag Hammadi proved he was accurate in what he quoted. So if he says that Papias stated Jesus "passed through every age" and lived to 50 and that Papias claimed to have learned this from John the Presbyter, then I'd take Irenaeus at his word.

Odd, isn't it that two bishops of the Church were allowed to hold this view and write of it without any rebuke from the Church? Obviously Christianity was far more varied than Christianity today would like to believe.


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: GUEST,Frank
Date: 04 Jun 06 - 11:12 AM

Sorry to send message twice. My computer provider screwed up.

Frank


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: GUEST,Frank
Date: 04 Jun 06 - 11:10 AM

Thanks Don. I agree that people have to come to their own conclusions.

Dianavan, the Founding Fathers recognized just how political religion could become.
That's why we have Separation of Church and State.

Mithras (Egytian god worshipped by the Romans) was reputedly born on Dec. 25. Let me be the first to wish you all a Merry Mithras. :}

Frank


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: GUEST,Frank
Date: 04 Jun 06 - 11:02 AM

Don, I agree with you that people must come to their own conclusions.

Dianavan, I think that religious leaders who are made powerful by their flocks are opportunists who are like many politicians today.

Separation of Church and State was a crucial foundation of the US Constitution because the Founding Fathers realized just how political religion can become. They were prophetic.
      Historically, there is a short jump from Cromwell to Fallwell.

Everyone, why should anyone care about the historical Jesus? What purpose would it serve? Or the historical Zeus or Mithras. BTW, let me be the first to wish you all a Merry Mithras (ancient Egyptian god) since he was apparently born (unlike Jesus) on December 25th. :)

Frank


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: dianavan
Date: 04 Jun 06 - 12:44 AM

Frank - "Religion was probably invented to codify morality so that laws could prevail in a society. The problem has been that many laws are not sacrosanct and can be immoral or unjust."

Aint it the truth.

"invented to codify morality..."

...according to religious leaders who are made powerful by their flocks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: Haruo
Date: 04 Jun 06 - 12:14 AM

Somebody, I think it was 282RA (who appears to be AR282 without the Caesarian obsession), wrote "remember that two Roman Church bishops--Irenaeus and Papias--did not believe Jesus died on the cross but lived in Asia to age 50". I do not want to argue the point (or the historicity of Jesus for that matter) but I would be grateful for any pointers to evidence to back up this "memory". Where is the evidence that Irenaeus and Papias, or either of them, believed Jesus lived in Asia to age 50? Curious... have never encountered this notion before.

Haruo


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 03 Jun 06 - 11:34 PM

"Until I say the whole movie for the first time I thought -I- was Kaiser Soze!" -Gabriel Byrne-


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: Wavery
Date: 03 Jun 06 - 10:57 PM

"The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist."        - Verbal Kint


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jun 06 - 07:41 PM

It still does not matter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: Big Mick
Date: 03 Jun 06 - 06:40 PM

I agree


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: Don Firth
Date: 03 Jun 06 - 04:46 PM

I'm not equating atheism with religious fundamentalism; what I am equating are the folks on both sides of the issue who seem compelled to argue incessantly over things that simple can't be proven, yet even admitting that, they seem to be demanding that others believe as they do.

I think Frank has a solid handle on this whole issue.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 03 Jun 06 - 04:34 PM

Just spotted a whopping hole AR/RA. You say When you make the claim, you have the burden of proof. Hence, the claim that Jesus Christ was historical must be proven.

This whole thread (and your other one) was started with the claim that Jesus was not an historical character. Surely then, by your own admission, the burden of proof is with you? The claim is that Jesus was NOT historical. All opposing views were therefore counter claims. Which you go on to say do not need proving.

Just how many cakes do want to eat?

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: GUEST,Frank
Date: 03 Jun 06 - 04:29 PM

Atheism is not necessarilly a fundamentalist belief since it posits the idea that religion in itself is a corruptible entity. I think this fact has been proven categorically and historically.

Keeping an open mind that the Earth is flat is intellectually dishonest because it opposes what we know to be scienfically accurate. Creationism and other pseudo-scientific "religious" constructs fall into this category.

The existence of Jesus can't be proven. But the myth is related to others such as Isis and Mithras that share similar stories.

"Deism" might make some sense in that it doesn't require a religious text to support it. Most of the founding Fathers of the Constitution such as Jefferson and Franklyn were Deists. Jefferson's famous razor blade to the New Testament serves as an example.

"Deism" can't be proved or disproved either.

The motive for atheism is that religiosity is possibly a form of corruptible madness. Blood has been historically spilt over it.

That said, the myth of Jesus of the Sermon on the Mount IMHO is a good thing in that is holds a behavioral model that makes sense for the survival of our species. If we regard it as a myth (in the Joseph Campbell sense) and not a historical fact, it makes for a better world. The consistency of this myth, however, can not be found in the bible that we know of today. It is a schizophrenic text, badly written by hack scribes in the beginning and better educated scribes later who were fostering their personal agendas.

I believe that the value of religion is only as good as the morality of the people who practice it. I see very little of "morality" in religion as it is being practiced by in large today. I believe as do many Atheists that morality comes first and then if religion supports
it than that's one thing. Religion was probably invented to codify morality so that laws could prevail in a society. The problem has been that many laws are not sacrosanct and can be immoral or unjust.

I have no problem with people professing their religious belief as long as it doesn't promulgate violence, sado-masochism, cruelty or brutality. If it makes people get through the night to believe that the moon is of green cheese, why not?

But an intellectual discussion on religion gets into the area of metaphysics and philosophy which has no empirical basis whatever. The value of such a discussion may be that it helps a society define ethical behavior.

I do have a problem though with those who claim that god told them to go to war.

Frank


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 03 Jun 06 - 03:44 PM

AR282/282AR. Why do you state that in court you are innocent until proven guity? It is well known that is true in a lot of cases. But not in all. It seems to be one of those many false premises that you accuse others of.

BTW - if your previous posts are anything to go by you will now accuse me of changing the subject. I wish to point out in advance thet the above is in response to your statement.

I am quite happy to go on but is there any real point? You have your view. I have mine. Never the twain shall meet. I don't consider your views any better or worse than mine or anyone elses either. I would argue with a fundemental Christian just as vehemently. Just don't assume that you are better than me or your views better than mine please.

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 03 Jun 06 - 03:35 PM

"We were comparing arguing about the historicity of Jesus Christ to presenting evidence in court."

Isn't there a current court case on this very subject??


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: Rustic Rebel
Date: 03 Jun 06 - 03:31 PM

Jonah was swallowed by a sea ship, not a whale. Where do you not see this?
Jesus walked near the Mississippi in Minnesota and it's true he was not the one hung on the cross. That's why Peter denied him. It wasn't him but an imposer so Jesus could make his get-away.

Hail! Hail! Hail! to the Mudcat Bard (ye plebes kneel here). Bardic Defender of All that Is Vile Among Wimmens and Wolves from MN!!!
I resemble that Wimmens from MN remark although, 'vile' I'm at it-these may be my myths or not....!


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: wysiwyg
Date: 03 Jun 06 - 03:31 PM

All I know is,

(A) nobody answered my question and
(B) I'm glad Jesus is a deity and resurrection-compatible, because
(C) Mudcat has surely beaten him (the subject) to death-- many times over!

Which mkaes me wonder (again) why
(A) nobody answered my question.

But now I think I know the answer-- it's because, "Who has the biggest penis?" is too easily and objectively answered, instead!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: Don Firth
Date: 03 Jun 06 - 03:27 PM

282RA, you prove my point. Thank you.

You just can't let it go.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: 282RA
Date: 03 Jun 06 - 03:18 PM

>>BTW,282, you made an incorrect statement above when you said, "You have to prove Jesus Christ was historical and if you fail, then your case is considered wrong or false.....". Nope, it is only considered unproven.<<

Not in a court of law. We were comparing arguing about the historicity of Jesus Christ to presenting evidence in court. In court, you are innocent until PROVEN guilty. If the guilt is not proven, the innocence is then presumed. Likewise, if the historic Jesus is not proven, this personage must then be considered non-historic. You can suspend judgment if you wish but in a court of law, a judgment must be rendered one way or another. If we impose this same standard on the Jesus argument, then he must be presumed to be non-historical.


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: 282RA
Date: 03 Jun 06 - 03:11 PM

>>Some people can't stand ambiguity.<<

What's wrong with that? Especially where it need not exist?


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: Ebbie
Date: 03 Jun 06 - 03:10 PM

Let's contrast the historicity of a being called Jesus with the Egyptian pyramids.

The pyramids are old but are indisputably still here, they are physical, available for viewing; they have been researched and conjectured about and theories abound concerning their function(s), their reason(s) for being, the way they were built. In recent years there has been more agreement on all this but there is still plenty of unknown territory in the subject.

One of these is tangible, the other relies on man's vagaries, subject to the ups and downs of civilizations and the histories kept-or not kept. One of them is old but the other is much older.

Why are we surprised that proof is lacking?


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 03 Jun 06 - 03:01 PM

Sorry Clinton - Just seen the latest Dr Who and Black Holes DO exist after all:-) Your views about art are certainly as valid as mine btw!

Court of law is an interesting thing. We are talking about the UK / USA model here I guess? Did you know that in France the theory is that should be no real difference between defence and prosecution? The object of the excercise is to find the truth. If both sides agree that there is no proof either way then they move to a balance of probabilities model.

I do not know if there is any such proof that Jesus did exist, although why anyone thinks I must, or even want to, prove it is beyond me. What I do know is that there are an awful lot of things that we cannot prove. Just because we cannot prove them does not mean they do not exist.

But then again I am an optomist. Perhaps I should be more cynical in my views. I don't think it would make me a better or happier person though.

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: Big Mick
Date: 03 Jun 06 - 02:40 PM

Yep, Don. I have lurked in this thread and found myself thinking that there is not a lot of difference between religious fundamentalist, and atheist fundamentalists. Both are intolerant of others views and seem to feel that it is necessary.

BTW,282, you made an incorrect statement above when you said, "You have to prove Jesus Christ was historical and if you fail, then your case is considered wrong or false.....". Nope, it is only considered unproven. Also, you continually draw analogies to a court of law. This is a bogus, pseudo intellectual analogy. The discussion centers around beliefs. Beliefs do not have a burden of proof. They are simply beliefs. Hence, given that proofs are not necessary, the only thing you have is your beliefs.

You need to lighten up a bit, 282. You come off shrieky and strident. It is enough to simply not buy into the Jesus story. I can respect that and your reasons for it. All the rest just makes you sound as though you have this unhealthy need to pound anyone who disagrees with you.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: Don Firth
Date: 03 Jun 06 - 02:25 PM

Some people can't stand ambiguity. It drives them crazy and they have to have everything nailed down or they start to feel insecure. This is the mind-set of the fundamentalist, who can't reach a decision without consulting the Bible, as if it were the Boy Scout manual.

Interestingly enough, one finds the same mind-set in the hard-charging atheist. If anyone else does believe in God, or Jesus, or Zoroaster, they seem to feel compelled to attack that person's beliefs. Repeatedly. Incessantly. Ad infinitum. Ad nauseum. It's a manifestation of their insecurity. It's just as persistent--and for the same reason--as the evangelist who insists on saving your soul and just won't leave you alone.

The essence of religious belief is mystery. Not knowing for sure. Some folks just can't handle that.

That's why this thread has gone on for so long, simply repeating the same things over and over again.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 03 Jun 06 - 02:12 PM

"If there can be another explanation then it is still supposition"

You go ahead and cling to that 0.0001% if you need to....


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 03 Jun 06 - 02:11 PM

"Both our views are as valid as anyone elses."

All views, all opinions are NOT created equal.....

Ask me about art.... you'll see.... my opinion ain't worth a hill of dingleberrys.....


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 03 Jun 06 - 02:01 PM

282RA - are you AR282? You both have an unusual way of quoting, between >> << marks, when there is absolutely no need. What I said was actual only about 2 posts up! Nothing to do with the argument and doesn't invalidate your points in any way. Just wondering why you would do it?

I've already said fine - you are entitled to your point of view. I am entitled to mine. Both our views are as valid as anyone elses. I would not dream of depricating your standpoint. All I ask is that for one minute you imaginne that someone else may be right. I am not saying that I am or that you are. Just that eother of us MAY be.

Clinton. I got as far as The observations rule out nearly all other possible explanations for the tremendous amount of matter. The 'nearly all' statement stopped me in my tracks. If there can be another explanation then it is still supposition. Just like this argument. Sorry.

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jun 06 - 01:45 PM

Proof schmoof. It no longer matters.


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: 282RA
Date: 03 Jun 06 - 01:24 PM

>>Mmmmm - Looks very much like a hung jury in the court of law example! There is evidence - but some believe it and others don't. Pretty much like black holes realy. There is plenty of evidence that they should exist, some would even say must exist, but no substantiated proof. I think until Mr Wells lends us his clever machine we will never 'know'.<<

Once again, this fails to address the basic premise of having a court of law: one side must prove something through the presenting of evidence while the other must defend against that evidence or offer counter-evidence. We're not worried about hung juries right now. We're concerned about the fact that the historists have not yet presented a viable case. Until that happens, it is never going to go before a jury. It's going to be thrown out at the hearing stage for lack of evidence.

>>I still believe that the balance of evidence is in favour of there being an historic JC.<<

And we're asking you to present that evidence to us for our study but, other than a couple of very weak and questionable examples, you have not complied.

>>I still think it is no great step of 'faith' but a reasonable supposition that the powers that were at the time used an historic rather than fictional character on which to base their messiah.<<

Powers? Who were these powers?

>>I think that although the Jesus myth was created as an analogy their is no reason to assume the character himself is a figment of someones imagination.<<

You have backasswards. Because the story is clearly a myth, we have no reason to assume the main character of such a story is real when he doesn't turn up in any other non-mythical accounts.

>>If someone chooses to hold a differing viewpoint then that is fine by me. As long as they don't try to force it on me and as long as I am not derided for my own views.<<

I get that a lot from believers even though they seem to practice that least of anybody.

>>Remember of course that most, if not all, of 'history' is based on someones viewpoint. And when we get two people chronacling events those viewpoints rarely co-incide.<<

That doesn't invalidate evidence. Two historians may not agree on how Pearl Harbor was planned and carried out or why but the documents concerning the attacks, the eyewitness accounts, the statements of people involved in the decision-making, etc. once set down are preserved and there for anyone to peruse. That evidence doesn't change, no two people may agree on the implications of the evidence but the evidence itself is objective and there for study and analysis. Two historians may not agree about exactly how or why Pearl Harbor happened but both agree it happened and when it happened and who the major players were.

It that evidence in the historist case of Jesus that is entirely lacking. There is no history to write for Jesus simply because we have no historical account. If we did, we wouldn't nned to construct a history for Jesus because we already have one. But all we have here is mythology and that is not evidence.


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 03 Jun 06 - 01:21 PM

Final "PROOF" of Black Holes came down th epike as long ago as 2002....

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/blackhole_milkyway_021016.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 03 Jun 06 - 12:57 PM

Mmmmm - Looks very much like a hung jury in the court of law example! There is evidence - but some believe it and others don't. Pretty much like black holes realy. There is plenty of evidence that they should exist, some would even say must exist, but no substantiated proof. I think until Mr Wells lends us his clever machine we will never 'know'.

I still believe that the balance of evidence is in favour of there being an historic JC. I still think it is no great step of 'faith' but a reasonable supposition that the powers that were at the time used an historic rather than fictional character on which to base their messiah. I think that although the Jesus myth was created as an analogy their is no reason to assume the character himself is a figment of someones imagination.

If someone chooses to hold a differing viewpoint then that is fine by me. As long as they don't try to force it on me and as long as I am not derided for my own views. Remember of course that most, if not all, of 'history' is based on someones viewpoint. And when we get two people chronacling events those viewpoints rarely co-incide.

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: 282RA
Date: 03 Jun 06 - 12:15 PM

>>But if you want some careful analysis, check out books by Bart Ehrman.<<

I've read a very provocative and wonderfully insightful book called "The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture" (Oxford University Press, 1993) by Bart D. Ehrman (Assoc. prof. of Religious Studies at U of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) and he has a highly interesting take on what early Christianity was like before the NT and the orthodoxy was established.

We know in the early days of this religion, there were hundreds of competing views about who and what Jesus Christ was. Some groups didn't even regard Jesus and Christ as the same being. Some said a divine Christ came to inhabit a human Jesus. Others said Jesus Christ was a man chosen by god. Others said he was the son of god and not really begotten on earth 2000 years ago but that he "pre-existed" his earthly incarnation. All sorts of views that competed for supremacy--for orthodoxy. What we call orthodox today was just another competing view at one time with no more claim to orthodoxy than any other group.

Ehrman believes that not only is the modern orthodoxy not orthodox in the 2nd and 3rd centuries but that the NT itself does not express an orthodox view except where it has been provably corrupted by scribes of the orthodox persuasion, which occurred from the 2nd to the 4th centuries.

The original writings that comprise the canon were Adoptionist. Adoptionists held that Jesus was an ordinary man who was, at some point, declared by god to be His son. There was no miraculous birth with angels, guiding stars or pregnant virgins.   Ehrman points out that even the Adoptionist creed appears to have changed over time. The oldest form of Adoptionism held that Jesus was not appointed or declared the son of god until his resurrection. A later form took over that held that Jesus was adopted by God at his baptism.

For instance, in Mark 1:1, we read, "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the son of God." Ehrman mentions eight important early texts that omit the phrase "son of god." Scholars try to account for the omission by saying it was a mistake on the part of the scribes but Ehrman finds it odd that such a mistake would appear immediately in a text rather than somewhere in the middle and that every scribe who copied a Markan gospel text independently of the others managed to make the same mistake over and over again.
Then we read of the baptism of Jesus by John:

"And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens opened and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, 'Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased.'" (Mk 1:10-11)

Here was originally an Adoptionist moment. For them, Jesus became son of god at that moment. He was not the son of god before then. First of all, the wording of the passage indicates that ONLY Jesus saw the heavens part and dove descend and the voice of god speak to him. No one else present saw or heard anything. This would be odd for Jesus to require this personal epiphany were he already the actual son of god especially since his miraculous birth would have made everyone around him aware of his special status. Nevertheless, orthodox Christians of today can say there is no declaration of god that Jesus was only appointed his son at that moment. IOW, Jesus still could have been preexistent in this baptism account and it is therefore not Adoptionist.

Luke 3:22 also recounts the incident but the earliest Lukan manuscripts do not have god saying, "Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased." Rather, god says, "Thou art my beloved Son; today I have begotten thee." This is an important distinction.

By saying "today I have begotten thee" we see that god adopted Jesus as his son at that moment and that Jesus was not an actual semi-divine son of god from birth and was not pre-existent. He was an ordinary man who was adopted by god at his baptism. So even Mark's account of the baptism was corrupted by the orthodoxy so the preexistence of Jesus could not be questioned here.

The baptism incident, too central to Christianity to be deleted, had to be changed to choke off the Adoptionist claims which were apparently quite widespread at that time (remember that two Roman Church bishops--Irenaeus and Papias--did not believe Jesus died on the cross but lived in Asia to age 50). Strangely, though, the early Lukan MSS did not remove the Adoptionist language from 3:22 even though it blatantly contradicted Luke's claim in 1:35 where he wrote:

"And the angel said to her, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.'"

So we see why the early Lukan MSS were changed, they contradicted the orthodox claim put forth in 1:35--namely that Jesus was son of god from birth. Ehrman believes 3:22 to be an original verse of text since it would be highly questionable that scribes educated in the later orthodox school would have added Adoptionist Christology.
The Lukan MSS, which include Acts, must have been hugely revised because Acts is strewn with Adoptionist statements--some of them extremely blatant. In Acts 10:37-38, Jesus is declared to be adopted by god at his baptism:

"the word which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power..."

We find traces of the older Adoptionist creed that Jesus was adopted at his resurrection in Acts 2:36 spoken by Peter:

"Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified."

In 5:30-31, we find a more blatant example:

"The God of our fathers raised Jesus whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins."

Ehrman feels blatant creeds as this were not deleted because they represented an older Adoptionist Christology no longer practiced and so did not present a problem to the anti-Adoptionist group pushing to become the orthodoxy.

The Adoptionist creed is an older Christology than Paul's since he addresses the Adoptionists in his opening lines in Romans:

"...the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and designated Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead..."(Rom 1:3-4)

Once again, we run across Jesus being designated as Son of God at his resurrection. Paul was forced to address the issue of Adoptionism and Jesus being descended from David because these were the main groups he would preach to in Rome (assuming he ever really went there--he wasn't in Rome when he wrote Romans and there is no record he ever went there much less died there).

The Transfiguration, if Spong is correct, was a post-resurrection event recast as a pre-resurrection one. The very nature of the episode indicates that Jesus was already dead when it occurred and that Peter would have no reason to want to build a tabernacle to Jesus right then and there were Jesus still alive--Luke even includes a bit about Peter saying this in his confusion.

If Spong is right--and I think he is--then this may have been another original Adoptionist moment that came at the resurrection since while he was on the mount with Peter, John and James, a "bright cloud" comes over them and a voice declares Jesus to be his son and that the others listen to him. A strange order since they were already following him. This then may have originally been the moment Jesus first appeared after his death. Again, the Transfiguration episode may have been so central to orthodox Christology that the incident was not deleted but changed from post- to pre-resurrection status.

Why not just write entirely new gospels instead of revising old Adoptionist literature? Same reason. These writings were THE Christian writings of that period and for the orthodoxy to be regarded as legitimate they would have to gradually revise the original documents rather than throwing out the baby with the bath water by creating entirely new ones.

This indicates that the miraculous birth movement came up through the Adoptionist church and, by degrees, took it over.


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Subject: RE: BS: Jesus as mythic god like Zeus
From: bobad
Date: 03 Jun 06 - 12:13 PM

"No-one can say whether he did realy exist. But to say categoricaly that he did not is a pretty strong conclusion to make on the scant evidence."

See post from From: 282RA
Date: 02 Jun 06 - 04:38 PM


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