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Plagiarism In The Bible

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posted on Nov, 19 2014 @ 08:38 AM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t
Occam's Razor says that the idea with the least amount of assumptions is the most likely one. Since the only source we have that we know for a fact speaks about Jesus, is the bible, and the bible isn't to be trusted; Occam's Razor doesn't tell you much about Jesus. For starters, you have to make the assumption that the bible is truthful about Jesus (or kind of truthful). This being the case makes it hard to apply Occam's Razor to Jesus and that is why the jury is still out for me if he was a real person or not. I definitely don't think that he performed miracles, rose from the dead, and is the son of God if he did exist (that violates Occam's Razor because it adds many assumptions to the tale).


You seem to be adding a lot of assumptions the other way, however, which if applied consistently (as I mentioned before) would undercut most of what we know of ancient history.



The research that CERN releases is released in peer reviewed journals. Anyone is allowed to go look that information up, study the data that they got and see if the same conclusions can be drawn. It isn't even remotely similar to the Bible.

Sure! But my point is that it's all secondary info, certainly by the time it reaches you, and even the scientists who get to do the peer review *with* the data got the data from a secondary source....



This is why history isn't a science. We have to go with written works and assume that the writers were telling the truth. It helps if we can confirm an account through multiple independent sources, or even better, if we can confirm an account through scientific means, but neither of those things is always the case. So if the source material for an account is the only source material it makes it harder to believe.


It isn't, though. Both Josephus and Tacitus refer to Christ, and Josephus also refers to John the Baptist. (There's pretty good scholarly consensus on this point, at least according to the Wiki.) We *might* even have archeological evidence in the case of the Tomb of James, but I don't think there's good enough evidence on that to count it yet.



But at this point, you have to look at the material itself. In the case of the bible, as per the OP, much of it is plagiarized. Also, a lot of it is made up; we know this because the claims violate scientific theories and laws. So it brings much doubt on the authenticity of even benign claims (like if Jesus was real or not).


I don't think the OP's provided any really substantial evidence. She's pointing out the similarities between different mythologies and Christian tradition. Christians have embraced this as a talking point for some time.
As far as the violation of scientific theories and laws, Josephus starts his Antiquities of the Jews with a bit about Adam and Eve, and people don't toss out his works. It's very, very easy to poke at the historicity of the gospel until you start applying the same criterion to all the other writings of that time (and before.)




posted on Nov, 19 2014 @ 09:35 AM
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a reply to: StalkerSolent


You seem to be adding a lot of assumptions the other way, however, which if applied consistently (as I mentioned before) would undercut most of what we know of ancient history.


most of ancient history doesnt claim that god sent his son to die for mankind. and most of the legends that do say so are referred to as MYTHology.


Sure! But my point is that it's all secondary info, certainly by the time it reaches you, and even the scientists who get to do the peer review *with* the data got the data from a secondary source....


one of the really beautiful things about science is that if YOU stalkersolent feel that a scientific claim can be debunked and can prove it, then you are more than free to do so and will be thanked for the favor. the catch is that you have to prove the claim is false or invalid. you cant just say it is.


It isn't, though. Both Josephus and Tacitus refer to Christ, and Josephus also refers to John the Baptist. (There's pretty good scholarly consensus on this point, at least according to the Wiki.) We *might* even have archeological evidence in the case of the Tomb of James, but I don't think there's good enough evidence on that to count it yet.


if im thinking of the right one, it was determined to be faked because part of the writing was added later.



I don't think the OP's provided any really substantial evidence. She's pointing out the similarities between different mythologies and Christian tradition. Christians have embraced this as a talking point for some time.


they have dismissed it you mean. or made excuses as to why a supposedly divinely inspired work is paralleled by religions deemed to be blasphemy at one time or another.


It's very, very easy to poke at the historicity of the gospel until you start applying the same criterion to all the other writings of that time (and before.)


when you usually find invisible sky fairies in fiction its a bit confusing to be told "oh, that one actually exists." "how do you know" "i have faith. and ive seen some weird stuff..."

no one has actually been able to explain to me why the bible can be taken so seriously and yet zeus and odin and ra and qetzlcoatl are fairy tales.
edit on 19-11-2014 by TzarChasm because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 19 2014 @ 09:59 AM
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originally posted by: StalkerSolent
You seem to be adding a lot of assumptions the other way, however, which if applied consistently (as I mentioned before) would undercut most of what we know of ancient history.


No, not all historical sources come from dubious origins. There is a difference between reading The Stand for historical reference and reading a biography of Stephen King for historical reference. If the source is CLEARLY fiction, there is no reason to trust even the mundane things as true. It requires a bigger assumption to trust that they are true than to trust that they aren't.


Sure! But my point is that it's all secondary info, certainly by the time it reaches you, and even the scientists who get to do the peer review *with* the data got the data from a secondary source....


All you are doing is nitpicking the flaws in the peer review process, but currently it is the best method we have to narrow down what the true truth is. We have to accept the flaws and try to work around them. We have to trust that the scientists aren't making up data at CERN. Though I'm sure there are checks and controls to make sure that isn't happening anyways.


It isn't, though. Both Josephus and Tacitus refer to Christ, and Josephus also refers to John the Baptist. (There's pretty good scholarly consensus on this point, at least according to the Wiki.) We *might* even have archeological evidence in the case of the Tomb of James, but I don't think there's good enough evidence on that to count it yet.


No, it's pretty much agreed by CHRISTIAN scholars that they are referring to Jesus. The consensus is still out for the people without confirmation biases though. I've seen some good refutations for both of those accounts on why they aren't talking about Jesus (or a Christ as they appear).


I don't think the OP's provided any really substantial evidence. She's pointing out the similarities between different mythologies and Christian tradition. Christians have embraced this as a talking point for some time.
As far as the violation of scientific theories and laws, Josephus starts his Antiquities of the Jews with a bit about Adam and Eve, and people don't toss out his works. It's very, very easy to poke at the historicity of the gospel until you start applying the same criterion to all the other writings of that time (and before.)


Well first off, Josephus lived hundreds of years ago. He didn't have access to the same amount of knowledge, scientific or otherwise, that we do today; so I think his opinion on the matter is irrelevant. Second, Christians haven't embraced those talking points. They tend to do things like say that Satan planted those stories to bring doubt to the bible, or even better yet just flat out ignore the similarities.

The way I see it, quality control was non-existent back in those days so all someone had to do was write a bunch of nonsense down, repeat it as truth for a while, indoctrinate the children with this "truth" so that they believe it unquestionably, and you have a new religion.

Also, the bible is so haphazard, it doesn't make sense. You'd think that if it were the true word of god, god would be able to dictate to his scribes consistently? But nope, that isn't the case.



posted on Nov, 19 2014 @ 11:42 AM
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a reply to: TzarChasm

Tzar,
1. I'm not claiming CERN is messed up or something, just making a point about secondary evidence (it is reliable...)
2. Part of Josephus's bit was probably added in later, but at least one account is deemed genuine. I'm looking this up on Wikipedia, so feel free to check it out (or provide other sources!)

3. Nope. Read C.S. Lewis. He's a big fan of mythology, so I don't think it'd be fair to say he "dismissed" it.

4. Well, we can start with the fact that the Gospels, while they contain supernatural accounts, are written as if they are history the authors are familiar with. I've read other myths (the Epic of Gilgamesh comes to mind) and they don't have that style. You can even compare the Gospels to Genesis and see the difference I'm talking about! I think that's why historians view them differently.



posted on Nov, 19 2014 @ 11:49 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

1. Sure, but the Gospels aren't CLEARLY fiction (at least, not according to scholars.)
2. Look, CERN is just an example. I don't have a beef with the peer review process, particularly. I'm just pointing out that it is based on secondary evidence, which you seem to dislike.
3. Unless the Wiki is lying, or means "Christian scholars" when it says "scholars," you are incorrect: most scholars agree that they do refer to Jesus and John. Feel free to post the refutations, though! You may have a better source than Wikipedia. (I might, too
)
4. With your last point, you stop talking about the historicity of the Gospels and start speaking of the Bible as a whole. I don't mind talking about that, but if you lump the Gospels with the rest of the Bible (say, the Psalms) you're thinking theologically, not historically (at least, I think that's what you're doing in this case
)



posted on Nov, 19 2014 @ 01:13 PM
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originally posted by: StalkerSolent
a reply to: Krazysh0t

1. Sure, but the Gospels aren't CLEARLY fiction (at least, not according to scholars.)


The only people who don't think it is fiction are Christians. There may be some real events, places, or people in it; but it is still fiction. Have you not heard of the historical fiction genre before?


2. Look, CERN is just an example. I don't have a beef with the peer review process, particularly. I'm just pointing out that it is based on secondary evidence, which you seem to dislike.


The difference being that the scientist's claims can be verified if the experiment were to be replicated. Just because access to the technology to do so is limited, doesn't discount that it is still objective evidence. It still fills the requirements to be objective evidence.


3. Unless the Wiki is lying, or means "Christian scholars" when it says "scholars," you are incorrect: most scholars agree that they do refer to Jesus and John. Feel free to post the refutations, though! You may have a better source than Wikipedia. (I might, too
)


I've encountered this argument many times on ATS. Here is rationalwiki's take on it:
Evidence for the historical existence of Jesus Christ


Josephus Flavius

The Jewish historian Josephus Flavius is claimed to be earliest non-Christian to mention Jesus. However there is much debate regarding two supposed passages in Antiquities of the Jews. There is agreement that the first passage, the Testimonium Flavianum, has been tampered with by Christian copyists but none on how much. Some skeptics claim the entire paragraph is an interpolation by Eusebius in the 4th century while apologists claim that part of the passage is genuine. The second passage in reference to James brother of Jesus is also debated though not as hotly. Even if both supposed passages were genuine Josephus was not an eyewitness and at 94 CE the passage was written minimum of 58 years or nearly three generations after Jesus was supposedly crucified.



Tacitus

Tacitus was born in 64 C.E, well after the death of Jesus. He gives a brief mention of a "Chrestus" in his Annals (Book XV, Sec. 44), which he wrote around 109 CE. He gives no source for his material. He says:

Nero looked around for a scapegoat, and inflicted the most fiendish tortures on a group of persons already hated for their crimes. This was the sect known as Chrestians. Their founder, one Christ, had been put to death by the procurator, Pontius Pilate in the reign of Tiberius. This checked the abominable superstition for a while, but it broke out again and spread, not merely through Judea, where it originated, but even to Rome itself, the great reservoir and collecting ground for every kind of depravity and filth. Those who confessed to being Christians were at once arrested, but on their testimony a great crowd of people were convicted, not so much on the charge of arson, but of hatred of the entire human race.

Even assuming the passage is totally genuine, due to two fires it is unlikely Tacitus had much in the way of official documents to work with and equally unlikely that he would sift through what he did have to find the record of an obscure crucifixion; so likely Tacitus was repeating an urban myth whose source was likely the Christians themselves.[152]

However, there is much to question the validity of the passage. There is no other historical confirmation that Nero persecuted Christians...not even in Christian works after Tacitus such as The apocryphal Acts of Paul (c. 160 CE) which has Nero burning Christians to death around the death of Paul (i.e., 67 CE) and "The Acts of Peter" (late 2nd century CE) which claims Nero considered to "destroy all those brethren who had been made disciples by Peter" but had a dream after Peter's death (either 64 or 67 CE) which said 'you cannot now persecute or destroy the servants of Christ.' and a frightened Nero 'kept away from the disciples . . . and thereafter the brethren kept together with one accord . . .'.

In fact, it isn't until Sulpicius Severus c. 400 CE that the Christians themselves start writing about Nero persecuting them. Moreover, Josephus and Pliny the Elder who were both in Rome in 64 CE don't mention Christians at all which would be impossible if Nero was trying to blame them for the fire. Furthermore, Seneca the Younger's lost On Superstition didn't even mention Christianity according to Augustine in the 4th century.

So not only do non-Christians who were in Rome at the time not notice Nero's persecution of Christians, but the Christians themselves appear to be unaware of it as well and instead give two wildly contradictory accounts--either Nero killed Christians with Paul some three years after the fire, or he had a dream resulting him leaving them alone which could have been as early as 64...the year of the fire. The passage is therefore highly suspect and adds virtually no evidence even for early Christianity. In fact, Richard Carrier in "The Prospect of a Christian Interpolation in Tacitus, Annals 15.44" Vigiliae Christianae, Volume 68, Issue 3, pages 264 – 283 (an earlier and more detailed version appears in Hitler Homer Bible Christ) shows strong evidence that the passage is an interpolation, And if that wasn't enough we have proof the earliest copy of Tacitus we have has been tampered with.


There is more where it talks about tampering with the Tacitus source. Only Christians pretend like the debate is settled here. Everyone else has doubts about the evidence. In fact, read that entire page on Jesus' existence to see how the entire debate is structured between Christians and non-believers.


4. With your last point, you stop talking about the historicity of the Gospels and start speaking of the Bible as a whole. I don't mind talking about that, but if you lump the Gospels with the rest of the Bible (say, the Psalms) you're thinking theologically, not historically (at least, I think that's what you're doing in this case
)


Even the gospels are haphazardly written. Here, let's go back to rationalWiki to see what I mean:
Gospels as history


A major issue with using the Gospels is that in terms of time Matthew and Luke do not agree as to when Jesus was born. Matthew specifically puts it 6 to 4 BCE while Luke, with his reference to Quirinius establishes it as being no earlier then 6 CE.



posted on Nov, 19 2014 @ 02:12 PM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t

The only people who don't think it is fiction are Christians. There may be some real events, places, or people in it; but it is still fiction. Have you not heard of the historical fiction genre before?


Yeah, this isn't true. There are a bunch of theories. Obviously historical fiction (which I don't think was a genre at the time) is a possibility, but there's also the possibility that the gospels are accurate accounts of what the authors *thought* they saw.

It's pretty obvious that the gospels are *presented* as historical accounts




The difference being that the scientist's claims can be verified if the experiment were to be replicated. Just because access to the technology to do so is limited, doesn't discount that it is still objective evidence. It still fills the requirements to be objective evidence.


And like you said, this touches on the difference between history and science. But lowly peasants like us (well, at least like me) have to rely on second-hand reports.




I've encountered this argument many times on ATS. Here is rationalwiki's take on it:
Evidence for the historical existence of Jesus Christ

There is more where it talks about tampering with the Tacitus source. Only Christians pretend like the debate is settled here. Everyone else has doubts about the evidence. In fact, read that entire page on Jesus' existence to see how the entire debate is structured between Christians and non-believers.


Ah, yes, rationalwiki. A truly credible source. (Well, I started the Wiki use, I guess it serves me right
)
I'll see if I can actually address them substantively later; unfortunately, I'll be away for a bit. Thanks!
edit on 19-11-2014 by StalkerSolent because: My spelling is wors than i thot possible



posted on Nov, 19 2014 @ 02:22 PM
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originally posted by: StalkerSolent
Yeah, this isn't true. There are a bunch of theories. Obviously historical fiction (which I don't think was a genre at the time) is a possibility, but there's also the possibility that the gospels are accurate accounts of what the authors *thought* they saw.

It's pretty obvious that the gospels are *presented* as historical accounts


Keep in mind that all the gospels were written after Jesus had died. Again, recall my point about Penn and Teller talking about Elvis. Even in the short period of time since Elvis had died, people have very wrong ideas of what Elvis was like.


And like you said, this touches on the difference between history and science. But lowly peasants like us (well, at least like me) have to rely on second-hand reports.


Unless you can show that there is some giant conspiracy of scientists publishing bad data and keeping information squelched, I'd say that information coming out of CERN is pretty reliable. Though there is always the possibility.


Ah, yes, rationalwiki. A truly credible source. (Well, I started the Wiki use, I guess it serves me right
)
I'll see if I can actually address them substantively later; unfortunately, I'll be away for a bit. Thanks!


Good luck with it.



posted on Nov, 19 2014 @ 05:46 PM
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originally posted by: StalkerSolent






It isn't, though. Both Josephus and Tacitus refer to Christ, and Josephus also refers to John the Baptist. (There's pretty good scholarly consensus on this point, at least according to the Wiki.) We *might* even have archeological evidence in the case of the Tomb of James, but I don't think there's good enough evidence on that to count it yet.






Neither Josephus nor Tacitus lived when Jesus allegedly lived and could not possibly have witnessed him living. Any references to him were in the context of second or third-hand stories. I'm sure you know that the references to Jesus in the works of Josephus are considered to be a forgery inserted by the Church long after Josephus, himself, was dead. It's such a poor forgery that it uses language not in use when Josephus lived. Moreover, a reference to Christians in no way proves that Jesus lived. No one disputes that Christians lived. There are people, no doubt, who believe that Frodo lived. The fact that the believers live in no way proves that Frodo lived.

As for the "tomb" of James, that proves nothing. That's like finding something with "Bill brother of Bob" carved on it today. Does that prove that the cited Bob is THE Bob? Both James and Jesus (the contemporaneous versions of those names, of course) were common names.

Ask yourself why the Romans, who were scrupulous record-keepers, didn't record the alleged trial and execution of Jesus nor note him and his family in the census. Ask yourself why not a single person wrote that s/he witnessed Jesus living. Ask yourself why no one wrote a word about Jesus until multiple generations after he allegedly lived. Ask why Jesus, himself, didn't write anything. Ask why almost everything eventually written about Jesus had already been written about much older deities.



posted on Nov, 19 2014 @ 06:03 PM
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a reply to: StalkerSolent

Neither Josephus nor Tacitus lived when Jesus allegedly lived and could not possibly have witnessed him living. No one who did live when Jesus allegedly lived wrote a word about witnessing him living. I'm sure you know that the account of Jesus attributed to Josephus is considered to be a forgery inserted by the Church long after Josephus was dead. It's such a poor forgery that it uses words not in use when Josephus lived. Moreover, references to Christians in no way proves that Jesus lived. No one is disputing that Christians lived.

Ask yourself why the Romans, who were scrupulous record-keepers, didn't record the trial and execution of Jesus or mention him or his family in their census. Ask yourself why not one person who did live when Jesus allegedly lived wrote that they witnessed him living. Ask why Jesus, himself, didn't write anything. Ask why no one wrote about him until multiple generations after he allegedly lived and then that which was written had mostly already been written about much older deities. Ask why, during a time when the Jews were opposing Roman authority, did a tailor-made Jewish "messiah" conveniently pop up who urged the Jews to support Roman rule (ie. render under Caesar). The Jesus stories appeared during a time when most people didn't venture farther than the edge of town and had no way of verifying much of anything that they were told. Even today, most people simply accept that which they're told as fact and never research anything.



posted on Nov, 19 2014 @ 06:27 PM
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a reply to: Tangerine

I think a more damning problem here is that the bible contradicts aspects of Jesus' early life (and death). A document that is fairly coherent (if historically dubious at certain times), suddenly falls apart over the central figure. Thats what happens when you put together the "Second half" by committee


Seriously I am on the fence that Jesus ever lived. But I am not on the fence that the individual described in the bible is a mythalogical being, up there with Lug, Baldur, and Nathan Christopher Summers. Does this invalidate the spiritual path he represents? Hell no, I mentioned one of my own spiritual paths central figures (Lug of the long arm). But I also don't take aspects of my mythology to be superior to others.



posted on Nov, 19 2014 @ 06:36 PM
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a reply to: Tangerine

Tangerine,
If you've been reading this thread, I've pointed out that a lot of what we know about history we know from secondary sources. As I've pointed out multiple times, throwing out the Gospels because they weren't written by contemporaries means throwing out a lot of history.
As for Josephus, I encourage you to look it up on Wikipedia. They are not exactly a bastion of Christian faith, and they provide a good breakdown between the probably forgery and the genuine stuff.
As for the rest, please give me some good historical evidence for it, and keep in mind it sounds like saying "Ask yourself, why did 9/11 happen when Bush was in power?" etc.



posted on Nov, 19 2014 @ 07:18 PM
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originally posted by: Noinden
a reply to: Tangerine

I think a more damning problem here is that the bible contradicts aspects of Jesus' early life (and death). A document that is fairly coherent (if historically dubious at certain times), suddenly falls apart over the central figure. Thats what happens when you put together the "Second half" by committee


Seriously I am on the fence that Jesus ever lived. But I am not on the fence that the individual described in the bible is a mythalogical being, up there with Lug, Baldur, and Nathan Christopher Summers. Does this invalidate the spiritual path he represents? Hell no, I mentioned one of my own spiritual paths central figures (Lug of the long arm). But I also don't take aspects of my mythology to be superior to others.


I agree that part of it was put together by committee--and a damn poor committee it was. Alas, they didn't leave it as mythology.



posted on Nov, 19 2014 @ 07:29 PM
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a reply to: Tangerine

When money is involved, people tend to get a bit funny



posted on Nov, 19 2014 @ 09:12 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

Krazysh0t,
I took a look at your page about Josephus and Tacitus. As far as I could tell, they said the same thing as my source (*Wikipedia*) but changed *commonly discarded* to *hotly debated* and *commonly agreed-upon* to *debated.* They *do* mention the tinkering with of the Tacitus source, but fail to mention the *important* fact that "Christians" and "Chrestians" were used interchangeably, which is a rather important omission, in my opinion. This is why Wikipedia is great, because, despite its flaws, it does (as far as I've found) a great job at getting across the common consensus of the day.
As for the rest of the page, it basically said "we have no contemporary writings" which is true of Jesus, as well as, like, pretty much ALL THE THINGS! For example, find me some contemporaneous texts that record what Hannibal did! Without them, we basically only have coins/statuary, and I'm not even certain we would be able to link them to "Hannibal-who-crossed-the-Alps" without the non-contemporaneous texts.

Cheers!



posted on Nov, 19 2014 @ 09:32 PM
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originally posted by: StalkerSolent
a reply to: Krazysh0t

Krazysh0t,
I took a look at your page about Josephus and Tacitus. As far as I could tell, they said the same thing as my source (*Wikipedia*) but changed *commonly discarded* to *hotly debated* and *commonly agreed-upon* to *debated.* They *do* mention the tinkering with of the Tacitus source, but fail to mention the *important* fact that "Christians" and "Chrestians" were used interchangeably, which is a rather important omission, in my opinion. This is why Wikipedia is great, because, despite its flaws, it does (as far as I've found) a great job at getting across the common consensus of the day.
As for the rest of the page, it basically said "we have no contemporary writings" which is true of Jesus, as well as, like, pretty much ALL THE THINGS! For example, find me some contemporaneous texts that record what Hannibal did! Without them, we basically only have coins/statuary, and I'm not even certain we would be able to link them to "Hannibal-who-crossed-the-Alps" without the non-contemporaneous texts.

Cheers!


The point is that we should not be accepting as historical fact that which has not actually been proven to be historical fact. As you may have noticed, most people aren't even aware that there's no contemporaneous documentation proving that Jesus ever lived. It comes as a total shock when they find out or, if they're hard-core Christians, they simply go into denial. If there truly is no contemporaneous evidence proving that Hannibal lived or crossed the Alps (I don't know whether there is or not), rather than using that as justification for pretending that Jesus existed, we should stop pretending that it's a fact that Hannibal existed and crossed the Alps.



posted on Nov, 19 2014 @ 09:35 PM
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a reply to: Tangerine

What a truly shocking idea? I mean don't accept something because it's written? Next you will tell me if its not all in caps, that its as valid as all in caps? I mean the person took the effort to hit that extra key and all....

Ok seriously now. Critical thinking is a skill so few people are taught these days, that I despair for the human race at times.



posted on Nov, 19 2014 @ 10:02 PM
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originally posted by: Tangerine

The point is that we should not be accepting as historical fact that which has not actually been proven to be historical fact. As you may have noticed, most people aren't even aware that there's no contemporaneous documentation proving that Jesus ever lived. It comes as a total shock when they find out or, if they're hard-core Christians, they simply go into denial. If there truly is no contemporaneous evidence proving that Hannibal lived or crossed the Alps (I don't know whether there is or not), rather than using that as justification for pretending that Jesus existed, we should stop pretending that it's a fact that Hannibal existed and crossed the Alps.


THIS is an admirable position! As long as you understand the stakes and are willing to throw out much of recorded history, go for it! (I think you'll have credibility issues, but consistency is important!)

As far as contemporaneous documents, besides stuff that was written in stone, I think the oldest books we have are about 2500 years old, which means that we don't know much that we don't get from archeological evidence. I'm pretty sure that we'd have a hard time interpreting that without written sources that were not contemporaneous with the events. For instance, Hannibal died around 181 BC, but the people writing about him that we have records of lived around the time Christ was born, and I believe that we don't *actually* have contemporaneous works of their histories, even. We DO have archeological evidence, but I'm not sure how much of it we can interpret if we toss written history.

I do hope you realize, though, that even contemporaneous evidence and archeological evidence don't prove anything besides that someone wrote (at a certain time) and made (at a certain period) something. In fact, as I've discussed elsewhere, it's hard to prove anything.

Personally, I think it's hardly worth doubting that Hannibal crossed the Alps, or that Jesus was born, lived, and died. But perhaps I'm too naive. I've found, though, that most things in life cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
Cheers!



edit on 19-11-2014 by StalkerSolent because: Consistency.



posted on Nov, 20 2014 @ 12:51 AM
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originally posted by: StalkerSolent

originally posted by: Tangerine

The point is that we should not be accepting as historical fact that which has not actually been proven to be historical fact. As you may have noticed, most people aren't even aware that there's no contemporaneous documentation proving that Jesus ever lived. It comes as a total shock when they find out or, if they're hard-core Christians, they simply go into denial. If there truly is no contemporaneous evidence proving that Hannibal lived or crossed the Alps (I don't know whether there is or not), rather than using that as justification for pretending that Jesus existed, we should stop pretending that it's a fact that Hannibal existed and crossed the Alps.


THIS is an admirable position! As long as you understand the stakes and are willing to throw out much of recorded history, go for it! (I think you'll have credibility issues, but consistency is important!)

As far as contemporaneous documents, besides stuff that was written in stone, I think the oldest books we have are about 2500 years old, which means that we don't know much that we don't get from archeological evidence. I'm pretty sure that we'd have a hard time interpreting that without written sources that were not contemporaneous with the events. For instance, Hannibal died around 181 BC, but the people writing about him that we have records of lived around the time Christ was born, and I believe that we don't *actually* have contemporaneous works of their histories, even. We DO have archeological evidence, but I'm not sure how much of it we can interpret if we toss written history.

I do hope you realize, though, that even contemporaneous evidence and archeological evidence don't prove anything besides that someone wrote (at a certain time) and made (at a certain period) something. In fact, as I've discussed elsewhere, it's hard to prove anything.

Personally, I think it's hardly worth doubting that Hannibal crossed the Alps, or that Jesus was born, lived, and died. But perhaps I'm too naive. I've found, though, that most things in life cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
Cheers!




Depending on what it is, archeological evidence is contemporaneous documentation. Egyptian hieroglyphics, for example, are contemporaneous documentation (assuming they can be dated to a specific time).



posted on Nov, 20 2014 @ 06:55 AM
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a reply to: StalkerSolent

Well my whole point was that the issue of whether or not Jesus existed isn't settled and that the extra-biblical sources are all still hotly debated. That's why my position on the subject is undetermined. If you want to believe he existed, that's fine. With so little information and sources it's easy to draw either conclusion. So when I talk about Jesus, I like to put the caveat "if he existed" near it. I'm by no means saying he didn't exist. Just that I don't know.

Though if he did exist, all the claims in the bible of him doing miracles or raising from the dead, I can say that THAT is all fake. If there is any truth to those claims, it's probably due to superstitious people retelling a story many times before writing it down so much so that the original idea got warped to the extreme (telephone game).



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