8
   

What is up atheist?

 
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 May, 2012 10:59 am
@Val Killmore,
The difference it makes is that you claimed that "atheist archeaologists and historians" believe that he existed. What are you doing trying to throw this back at me? It was your claim, so i don't have anything to prove. It is hilarious, though. We need to get Frank over here, and you can tell him it makes no difference if one is an agnostic or an atheist.

As i've already pointed out, Grant's scholarship as a classicist is controversial. The "mass of pagan personages" to whom he refers are often questioned as to their historical reliability. People frequently question the claims of Livy and Polybius, and it is well known that the first five books of Livy are completely unreliable. I've got Grant's Founders of the Western World upstairs, and he completely and summarily dismisses Livy's narrative for the first few centuries of Roman history. I am gratified to see, however, this evidence of Grant's unreliability, because it gives me a good reason to view what he writes much more skeptically.

(By the way--have you read Titus Livius or Polybius, or are you just throwing around names that Grant mentiosn? I've read them, and i apply to them the same skepticism with which i regard any history.)
Val Killmore
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 May, 2012 11:06 am
@Setanta,
Yes, a slight mistake on my part. To more accurately put it, I meant atheist archeaologists and historians believe Jesus' nonexistence can not be proven.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 May, 2012 11:10 am
Well, as i've already noted, as Thomas also did, what matters is that people believe that he did. I've got a statement for you, but i've got something else to do first.
0 Replies
 
Val Killmore
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 May, 2012 11:18 am
@Setanta,
I have read some exerts from Livy and Polybius for a greek/roman history course, not too long ago (the course was forced on me, I did despise it, me being a liberal arts and science major who is only interested in physics and chemistry).

As to skepticism, well skepticism does not produce progress, but simply a process to reject the irrational. For progress to be produced, the irrational must be replaced with something rational.

I am all for rational skepticism.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 May, 2012 11:27 am
@Val Killmore,
Val Killmore wrote:
"This sceptical way of thinking reached its culmination in the argument that Jesus as a human being never existed at all and is a myth.... But above all, if we apply to the New Testament, as we should, the same sort of criteria as we should apply to other ancient writings containing historical material, we can no more reject Jesus' existence than we can reject the existence of a mass of pagan personages whose reality as historical figures is never questioned.

For my understanding, could you name some of these "pagan personages whose reality as historical figures is never questioned"?
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 May, 2012 11:28 am
I am unimpressed by the concept of "progress."

Now don't wet your panties at this because it is said without animosity. You are like so many theists who come here, although you don't appear hostile. Most of the other theists who come here and do what you've done are hostile.

What you've done is come here with the assumption that atheists are an intellectual monolith. Atheists are just about the least homogenous group you can think of. Even artificially, atheists can be divided into two groups--the explicit, or strong atheists who assert that there is no god; the implicit, or weak atheists, so simply don't believe it. We don't know, don't care, ain't buyin' it. I recognize thet you are asking for opinions, and so implicity acknowledge that there may be a range of opinion. That's good, but it doesn't go far enough. It's not like the difference between Presbyterians and Congregationalists, who still share a core set of beliefs. The loud, pushy, obnoxious atheists may share the core belief that there is no god. But they are not all the atheists, and my personal experience is that atheists are usually not of that type--they are more likely to be the "don't know, don't care, don't believe it" types.

Trying to lump all atheists together is the intellectual equivalent of trying to herd cats.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 May, 2012 11:30 am
Uh-huh . . . who would them boys be?
Val Killmore
 
  0  
Reply Thu 24 May, 2012 11:39 am
@Setanta,
Never mind, what I said first is what I meant, I thought there was a double negative at first, but never mind.

As to me being a theist, I'm not, I'm an agnostic.
Where did you get the faintest idea that I am a theist?
Val Killmore
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 May, 2012 11:41 am
@Setanta,
Who's trying to impress you? Skepticism is the root of scientific method.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 May, 2012 11:44 am
@Val Killmore,
The vigor with which you defend the concept of an historic Jesus, and your obsessive references to atheists.
Val Killmore
 
  0  
Reply Thu 24 May, 2012 11:44 am
@Setanta,
I didn't lump atheists and agnostic together, I said on the discovery of historical matter. Hell, a theist historian, who is unbiased, can come up with something contradictory or not, that may align with the discovery of an atheist. Read more carefully next time.
0 Replies
 
Val Killmore
 
  0  
Reply Thu 24 May, 2012 11:49 am
@Setanta,
Did you even read my post with an unbiased lens? I'm not defending the concept of historic Jesus, I'm defending the possibility of Jesus' existence, because there is not enough evidence to prove that such a man did not exist.

This question, to tell you the truth, was gauge meter to test if people actually made conclusions from the given evidence, rather than their religious biases, or a lack of. Also to see if people can distinguish absence of evidence from evidence of absence

Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Thu 24 May, 2012 11:53 am
@Val Killmore,
Well, now you're getting snotty. I read the OP, and understood it quite well, despite the shaky coherence

Quote:
I'm not defending the concept of historic Jesus, I'm defending the possibility of Jesus' existence, because there is not enough evidence to prove that such a man did not exist.


You claim to be interested in science? Apparently you miss the point that people who make claims have to prove them, no one else has to disprove them.

I've had all of your company that i care for today.
Val Killmore
 
  0  
Reply Thu 24 May, 2012 11:58 am
@Setanta,
I only got snotty after you got snotty first, sir!
Oh, and have a good day!

P.S. Someone has to try to disprove it by replicating experiments, you bone head, or how will theories stand up. For example Newtonian physics was replaced by Einstein's theory of relativity for moving reference frames by a way of replicating thought experiments, which Newtonian theory did not hold, so accommodations had to be made.

Your self righteous attitude is your greatest enemy.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 May, 2012 12:00 pm
@Val Killmore,
Bullshit.

Have a lousy day.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 May, 2012 12:30 pm
Well, this atheist would need some evidence before accepting a hysterical Jesus. I read an interesting thought on Jesus about fifty years ago. It stays with me because it sounds sensible. It is the thought that the New Testament, in breaking with the law of the Old Testament, is mirroring a stage of human evolution, re the mental process. From an eye for an eye to forgive your enemy type of thing. Because evolution does not happen evenly within a species necessarily, many are still with old testament attitudes. It is difficult to know which side will eventually win out. So, Jesus would exist as an archetypal image, whether or not he was a man.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 May, 2012 01:01 pm
@Val Killmore,
Val Killmore wrote:

Of course, an atheist do not believe in God, but do atheists believe that Jesus is a real man who existed at some point in the human history?
Your question is unrelated to Atheism, but no, I do not believe that Jesus was a real person who existed. I think the evidence for it is too thin to be convincing.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 May, 2012 12:31 am

http://img683.imageshack.us/img683/6676/smallerj.th.jpg
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 May, 2012 12:52 am
@Val Killmore,
Aw, this is sad. This was a good discussion for a relatively long time.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  2  
Reply Sat 26 May, 2012 05:30 am
@Val Killmore,
Quote:
Of course, an atheist do not believe in God, but do atheists believe that Jesus is a real man who existed at some point in the human history?


Val, that sentence is a bit confusing because of its wording.

Even if worded better, it presumes that atheists can be lumped together—all having the same take on the question of the existence or non-existence of gods (or GOD). That just cannot logically be done—or as Set mentioned, it is like herding cats.

I think one thing atheists have in common is that none of them “believe” GOD exists…and I suspect none of them think gods exist…although that subtle difference sometimes produces surprises in discussion with them. In any case, every atheist I’ve ever been in contact with seem intent on asserting that he/she does not have a belief in the GOD’s that have so far been proposed by humans.

Many of them assert that they also have a belief gods do not exist…although a significant number go no further than asserting an absence of belief that gods exist and do not take the further step of asserting a belief that they do not exist.

I am agnostic on the question. I do not “believe” (or guess or suppose or estimate) that gods exist; I also do not “believe” (or guess or suppose or estimate) that gods do not exist.

On your specific question about Jesus: I do not “believe” Jesus existed and I do not “believe” Jesus did not exist. I simply have an absence of “belief” either way on the issue.

I suspect (guess, estimate, suppose) that a Jesus character (or characters) probably existed…in much the same way I suspect Homer existed. Someone wrote The Iliad and The Odyssey…and either it was a guy named Homer or someone who later became known as Homer in history. It doesn’t matter much in my estimation, because the books are here…and it appears the specifics cannot be verified.

Someone (or several someone’s) motivated a lot of Jews to move in a direction quite different from the mainstream Jewish moral and ethical tradition—and motivated proselytization of that departure. It may have been one guy; it may have been several…some may have been beaten and crucified along the way. We are here now…and if it was just one guy or many combined to make the mythology of the Jesus story…we apparently cannot verify.
 

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