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Old 05-05-2009, 03:49 AM   #40
Achilles
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurgan View Post
Now this is one of those debates where people are quick to accuse me and say "well, as a Christian, you're biased." But if I were shown overwhelming evidence that Jesus never existed as a historical person, that would pretty much shatter my faith.
As I have pointed out before, Kurgan, believing something first and then expecting others to disprove it isn't how it works. You can do it that way, but that isn't being intellectually honest and no one who is is going to take you seriously.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurgan View Post
And I wouldn't want to believe in a system I knew was nonsense. For me, the foundation of Christianity is that Jesus was an actual person.
Right, hence why this conversation is going to go nowhere quick: you have a vested interest in a particular outcome that prevents you from participating objectively. I give you kudos for giving it a name, but the reality seems to be that you haven't closed the loop within your own thinking.

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Originally Posted by Kurgan View Post
If he was merely some metaphor, or a plagiarism of some other gods or unrelated persons, that's it, as far as I'm concerned. Time to consider some other religion (Conservative Judaism strikes me as a pretty good one)!
And if some similar crisis were to befall that one too? Would you just keep hopping from faith-to-faith until there weren't anymore without checking the veracity of any of them beforehand?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurgan View Post
For me, it's not merely a matter of an appeal to authority (ie: that the majority of modern experts in the related fields, whether believers or non-believers accept that Yeshua bar Yosef, known to us as Jesus of Nazareth, called Christ, was a real historical person, upon which the religion known as Christianity, and the character of the New Testament, was based), though this helps (the burden of proof is on the minority challenging the experts, here).
You seem to be invoking appeal to authority as basis for a valid argument. You are aware that appeal to authority is a logical fallacy, correct?

Also, as I have pointed out repeatedly, this isn't how burden of proof works. The party making the claim has the burden of proof to support that claim. In this case, those that claim that jesus was an actual historical person have the burden of proof for supporting that claim. "Minority" vs. "majority" viewpoint has absolutely nothing to do with anything.

It's disappointing that you approach this thread as though you want to have a legitimate debate in good faith, yet you continue to attempt to rearrange the rules as you go along.

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Originally Posted by Kurgan View Post
Rather, as a budding "expert" myself (though by no means at the top of the game yet, I assure you) the evidence I've seen thus far is convincing.
I've been waiting months to see it too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurgan View Post
There's multiple attestations of a figure who sounds an awful lot like Jesus, a Jewish cult leader with a brother named James, in the right place, and the right time... both in non-Christian and Christian sources (the latter, though biased, are useful, especially since several of them are independent of one another). Some are quick to point out that these scholars don't all agree exactly what Jesus was really like, or precisely the main focus of his teachings. However that is a bit like saying because mainstream scientists disagree over the precise mechanisms or systems of evolution, that evolution is "in crisis" or "just a theory" (and somehow alternative theories like creationism are just as valid). The point is they agree on certain minimum things, sufficient to say he existed.
Hardly convincing. Groups of people that already believe X write about X existing. Later "scholars" (who also believe X), see said documents and then argue that this is confirmation of X. Said "scholars" also decide that other "scholars" who believe X are legitimate and those that do not are not. Cozy.

Of course what we don't have to have for this model to work is X itself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurgan View Post
Then there's the absence of any critiques of Christianity charging that Jesus was a hoax (which one might expect if that's how it happened, or at least a forceful defense by a Christian apologist early on that he wasn't).
Except that "christianity" wasn't established until decades after his alleged death. And what do we have to corroborate said death? Why the stories themselves, of course!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurgan View Post
The notion that all the texts were tampered with later by Christian scribes needs to be demonstrated.
Says that man that has repeatedly claimed to be familiar with Bart Ehrman's writing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurgan View Post
The only reference we know is tampered with is the infamous "Testimonium Flavium." Even still, most scholars believe that it is still partially genuine. The references to James elsewhere in Josephus are not contested by modern scholars, and in context there is nothing that appears out of place for a Jewish commentator like Josephus (who is discussing the fall of a high priest connected to the death of James).
See earlier explanation of "scholars".

The rest of your post is a series of strawmen. Glad to see you're back, Kurgan!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurgan View Post
I'll check back in awhile. If nothing ever comes of it, on the one hand I'll be disappointed I didn't get to have a hearty debate with you all like in the old days, but on the other I'll be pleased that another internet conspiracy theory has failed to gain a foothold in these hallowed forums...
Says the guy that excused himself from our last debate

TTFN.
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