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Is there evidence that Jesus Christ existed? Yes, there is.

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posted on Apr, 13 2015 @ 10:22 PM
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originally posted by: BuzzyWigs
a reply to: Dfairlite


Or maybe you have evidence to support your claim; if so please bring it forward.

I do have evidence - 10 years of case studies to begin with.
But since I'm not at liberty to discuss the personal lives of former clients, I can't 'bring it forward' to you, and don't want to.
If you want to learn more, enroll in graduate school and become a counselor.
There are hundreds - thousands - of books out there that discuss religion and its effect on people.
However, here's a prerelease document for the book The God Virus: How Religion Infects our Lives and Society

Here's a thread from a few years ago:
The Varieties of ATS Religious Experience (where members have written their stories)

Here's another random site from page 1 of search for results:

Religion is supposed to be good for you. Yet people get hurt in religious systems, sometimes seriously. I used to think that although damage was done by so-called cults, most religion is essentially benign. It could give you some comfort as a child and teach you some values, but then you grew up and away from it. It wasn’t until I looked back on my struggle to grow free of my own indoctrination, and heard the stories of others, that I realized that this kind of emotional and mental damage can be profound.
debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com...

and another: How Christian fundamentalist homeschooling damages children

Those will give you a start.


How about some scientific studies, rather than a few blog posts, your vague implication that "you know", and some stories written by members of this site. See, you are falling victim to confirmation bias and small sample bias. If you look at the studies they show that those raised in religious homes do better than those raised in non-religious homes. Of course there are exceptions, but we shouldn't try to ascribe rules based on exceptions.
edit on 13-4-2015 by Dfairlite because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 13 2015 @ 10:42 PM
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originally posted by: ParasuvO
a reply to: ElectricUniverse

How do you safely reconcile yourself in the knowledge that beliefs are interchangeable and can be altered at will, within such a supposed strict framework of TRUTH.

This is already a partial admittance that ALL CHRISTIANS are in religious cults, DESPITE the fact that lately they are teaching the flocks to claim, I AM NOT RELIGIOUS, LOL.






I think the funniest part is the way Christian doctrine is always" right" no matter how much the fundamental known nature has changed.... If the biblical account was actually the TRUTH , shouldn't it have been the church who revealed the nature of
The universe.

If Jesus was really the son of God (and a real person, not an amalagramation like with king author) then wouldn't the whole round earth and expanding universe of amazingness be worth mentioning. Hell any normal person would lead with that, then get to the whole save your soul stuff.

But when we thought the world was flat, according to Christianity, the bible said the world was flat. You can literally bend it to fit anything you want.

I think any rational person would have to agree the present incarnation of Christianity could be FAR worse. For the most part they are good loving family people and we ALL have our prejudices. But as flawed as it is, Christianity hates to admit that is presently in it's best form. That in any previous time Christianity was used to commit atrocities.....and the bible was used as proof they were fullfilling gods will.



posted on Apr, 13 2015 @ 11:10 PM
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originally posted by: Entreri06

originally posted by: ParasuvO
a reply to: ElectricUniverse

How do you safely reconcile yourself in the knowledge that beliefs are interchangeable and can be altered at will, within such a supposed strict framework of TRUTH.

This is already a partial admittance that ALL CHRISTIANS are in religious cults, DESPITE the fact that lately they are teaching the flocks to claim, I AM NOT RELIGIOUS, LOL.

devil:

I think any rational person would have to agree the present incarnation of Christianity could be FAR worse. For the most part they are good loving family people and we ALL have our prejudices. But as flawed as it is, Christianity hates to admit that is presently in it's best form. That in any previous time Christianity was used to commit atrocities.....and the bible was used as proof they were fullfilling gods will.



I love the line "christianity was used to commit atrocities". Its the same mantra that the atheists have claimed all along. But the best part of it is, the atheists want to get rid of religion for everyone. Now, think about that for a minute. Evil people were able to take the teachings of christ (love thy neighbor as thyself, love god, parble of the good samaritan, etc.) and use it to kill people. So what is going to happen when we take away those good and admirable qualities and replace them with the mantra of: "there's nothing out there, there is no afterlife, there is no creator." I mean, if that isn't setting people up for failure I don't know what is.


"shouldn't it have been the church who revealed the nature of
The universe"

Not really, what was the point of god sending us here in the old testament and new testament? Was it to understand the nature of the universe? No, it was to learn the difference between good and evil and for redemption. The nature of the universe is a side note on such a journey. That would be like reading a blog about a trip to disney land and expecting it to tell you the intricacies of California.
edit on 13-4-2015 by Dfairlite because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 13 2015 @ 11:56 PM
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originally posted by: Dfairlite
I love the line "christianity was used to commit atrocities". Its the same mantra that the atheists have claimed all along.


This isn't really true - because not all atheists have been claiming that Christianity has been used to commit atrocities for all its history (eg, "all along"). Personally, I think most atrocities blamed on religion are carried out by evil people who simply find religion (Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, or whatever) a convenient banner to wrap 'round themselves to justify their actions to others. It's clear that non-religious people (Stalin comes to mind, and Mao Tse Tung as well) are capable of mass atrocity also.



But the best part of it is, the atheists want to get rid of religion for everyone. Now, think about that for a minute.


This is outright falsehood. I am atheist, and I simply don't care what other people believe, or how they worship, as long as they're not trying to force me to do likewise (and almost none of them, of any religion, do try to force others). My mother is Christian, and I've certainly never tried to get her to "get rid of her religion" - it's a comfort to her, and I have no problem with her beliefs. I simply don't share them.

Why is there this insistence among some small minority of religious people - Christians included - to try to put words into the mouths of atheists and anyone else who doesn't believe what they believe? Either you don't know it's false, and you're simply ignorant of the truth, or you do know it's false and you're intentionally lying. Atheism is simply the lack of belief in a deity, and atheists are (almost by definition) not an organized group - and we certainly don't all share the same views of others religions.

Perhaps you've confused atheist with anti-theist?



posted on Apr, 14 2015 @ 12:19 AM
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a reply to: Dfairlite

So, now we aren't just trying to substantiate an individual human's existence but explain every reference to an imaginary figure?

You do like your stacked decks and loaded questions, don't you?

So much for fair-minded debate.

We know that there was no eclipse during the Passover of 33 CE because we now understand what causes eclipses and can show that those conditions didn't exist at that time.

Dying for a cause is now proof that the cause is correct or real? That's an interesting take on Islamic terrorists, now isn't it?

Occam's Razor is it? Fine. The simplest explanation for why the accounts don't match up (except in the mind of a believer) is that the stories are all from different times about different figures.

Classical as well as modern historians tend to write what they are paid to write, or, they write what pays.

"Let you do a little comparison here so you can understand" ... etc. Sure, you can build any straw-man you wish.

My argument was clear.



posted on Apr, 14 2015 @ 12:20 AM
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a reply to: Entreri06




I think the funniest part is the way Christian doctrine is always" right" no matter how much the fundamental known nature has changed...


Sort of like how anti-christians insist that Jesus didn't exist as a historical person despite the volumes of evidence that indicate he did?



If the biblical account was actually the TRUTH , shouldn't it have been the church who revealed the nature of
The universe.


The bible deals with spiritual things, but I fail to see what this has to do with the OP?



If Jesus was really the son of God (and a real person, not an amalagramation like with king author) then wouldn't the whole round earth and expanding universe of amazingness be worth mentioning. Hell any normal person would lead with that, then get to the whole save your soul stuff.


The bible actually states that the earth is round, but I'm unsure what this has to do with the argument? This has become a free for all of Christian bashing instead of anything resembling the OP... How is it I had posts removed, yet this stuff remains?



I think any rational person would have to agree the present incarnation of Christianity could be FAR worse. For the most part they are good loving family people and we ALL have our prejudices. But as flawed as it is, Christianity hates to admit that is presently in it's best form. That in any previous time Christianity was used to commit atrocities.....and the bible was used as proof they were fullfilling gods will.


I find it comical that certain posters here insist on using their personal opinions about a religion as proof that Jesus of Nazareth was somehow a fictional character, without mounting any sort of solid evidence against the arguments.

Clearly, you don't need to be a Christian or even accept the religion itself to be capable of accepting the obvious:



Yet round and round we go!

Those who have been most vocal in criticism of this thread (as they always are on this subject), also happen to be those with the biggest bone to pick with the religion itself. Completely incapable of viewing the discussion rationally.



posted on Apr, 14 2015 @ 12:31 AM
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a reply to: DeadSeraph

Well, since those of us who were late in posting comments on this thread but who did write on topic, and respectfully, are just ignored anyway, so perhaps that's why you end up arguing with people who are taking extreme positions.

I wrote this on page 20, but no-one has addressed it:

I think that one problem with this thread is that the question asked in the title is ambiguous; is the question, "Is there evidence for a historical figure named Jesus of Nazareth whose biography at least loosely fits the person depicted in the Bible?", or is the question, "Is there evidence for a historical Jesus Christ (a messiah who could perform miracles, etc) as depicted in the Bible"? The first question seems worthy of a discussion or debate, the latter is pretty obviously "no", unless you decide you want to start taking the Bible as evidence of its own claims.

And even the question, "Is there evidence for a historical Jesus of Nazareth" seems to dodge the core issue, which is, "Is there *conclusive* or *definitive* evidence for a historical Jesus of Nazareth"? Because not all evidence is equal (hearsay for instance is a form of evidence, but its usually not accepted in U.S. courts of law, and circumstantial evidence is considered weaker than "hard" evidence). And of course, there is evidence of historical occurrences that never happened. There is evidence that aliens crashed a spaceship in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947, in the form of a statement released by the military claiming that it was, in fact, a crashed "UFO", and assorted eye-witness reports. But that initial statement by the military turns out to be a cover for the new American program of using balloons to spy on the USSR, and the eye-witnesses turn out to be unreliable (as any police detective will tell you, eye-witnesses are often unreliable). So there's evidence for the UFO hypothesis, but it's not *good* evidence, and if you're one of the people that believes little aliens did crash there, well, you're gullible.

So from reading this entire thread, and doing some research, it seems there is some small amount of (patchy) evidence for the existence of a historical person whose name has been transliterated and mis-translated into "Jesus of Nazareth", but that evidence is a mix of circumstantial and hearsay. It's hearsay because the single strongest piece - the mention of Pilate having had "Chrestos" executed - was something that Tacitus didn't watch himself (he wasn't even born), and so he was repeating information he got from another, unknown, source. Was *that* source reliable? Could Tacitus have made an error? We don't know - which is one reason that hearsay makes for weak evidence. Plus, since Tacitus doesn't explicitly write that it was Jesus of Nazareth who was executed, historians are left to make the (small, perhaps) leap that the Chrestos who was executed was the same person as the Jesus referred to in the Bible.

There seem to be a couple other references to either a Chrestos, but the most commonly mentioned one (the more credible one by Josephus) suffers from similar issues. Neither account is a first-person account. Some other people have brought up other possibly-historical figures - King Arthur, and Robin Hood - for whom there is also controversy, and for them too, if there was a single historical figure that inspired the legends, the original person's story has been embellished greatly.

So to the question, "Is there evidence for a Jesus of Nazareth", it seems (to me) that the answer is, "Yes, there is some".
To the question, "Is there conclusive, definitive evidence for a Jesus of Nazareth", I think the answer is "No, there isn't". Note that I'm not claiming that there was no historical person named Jesus (or Yishua, or whatever) from Nazareth who had followers, etc, I'm just claiming that the evidence we have for such a person isn't conclusive. Maybe he did exist (it seems plausible to me), but I haven't seen any way to completely rule out the possibility that the references in the Bible and by Tacitus and Josephus are a mixture of references to different people or simple errors.

And finally, the truth is that history is indeed written by the victors, and the Catholic church was a monumental victor, and so much of what we have of the historical record comes to us via the centuries of Christian dominance of human power structures. It's very hard to rule out intentional changes to the historical record (except in cases where we find manuscripts or evidence from pre-Christian times) that attempt to reinforce the Christian narrative. That has very obviously happened, and the Bible itself is rife with edits and misappropriated material sourced from Buddhism, the old testament, and from whole cloth.

At the end of the day, the issue of the historicity of Jesus of Nazareth seems like it would only matter to either Christians, or to anti-theists. Contrary to what some on this thread have said, atheists don't claim that there can be no god, and are not "anti-religious". The word atheism comes from the Greek, "a-" [without] + "-theos" [ (belief in) God ]. Atheists lack belief, while anti-theists are opposed to god(s) or religion or both.



posted on Apr, 14 2015 @ 12:33 AM
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There are many types of athiests some do indeed feel the need to attack Christianity but as in life there are many types of people. Lately a new brand of some early-21st-century atheist writers who have advocated the view that "religion should not simply be tolerated but should be countered, criticized, and exposed by rational argument wherever its influence arises have arouse . Here is a group like Richard Dawkins that believe it's there duty to fight religion. Me I'm more of a classical sense I don't care if you believe in god the tooth fairy etc. I just don't believe there is some entity controlling the universe but I'll defend others rights to do so.

If faith helps someone in their lives I'm all for it they have a need that they fill with it. But along the same lines Christians don't need to tell others what they believe is wrong either there are way to many religions in the world for that. About the thread I do believe there was a Jesus do I think he was some magical entity sent by God no. DId he do some good most definately our modern system of the courts can directly be traced to common law which originated with his teaching. So Jesus like it or not changed the world and still does today since our entire legal system is based off his teachings.



posted on Apr, 14 2015 @ 12:52 AM
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a reply to: awareness10

Thank you, you're the second person within only a few weeks to say that. I just recently changed it, I guess I made a good choice


Sadly I can't take credit for the work, but I did touch it up a bit to make it more vibrant and exude the colors I wanted.



posted on Apr, 14 2015 @ 01:24 AM
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originally posted by: Dfairlite

originally posted by: Entreri06

originally posted by: ParasuvO
a reply to: ElectricUniverse

How do you safely reconcile yourself in the knowledge that beliefs are interchangeable and can be altered at will, within such a supposed strict framework of TRUTH.

This is already a partial admittance that ALL CHRISTIANS are in religious cults, DESPITE the fact that lately they are teaching the flocks to claim, I AM NOT RELIGIOUS, LOL.

devil:

I think any rational person would have to agree the present incarnation of Christianity could be FAR worse. For the most part they are good loving family people and we ALL have our prejudices. But as flawed as it is, Christianity hates to admit that is presently in it's best form. That in any previous time Christianity was used to commit atrocities.....and the bible was used as proof they were fullfilling gods will.



I love the line "christianity was used to commit atrocities". Its the same mantra that the atheists have claimed all along. But the best part of it is, the atheists want to get rid of religion for everyone. Now, think about that for a minute. Evil people were able to take the teachings of christ (love thy neighbor as thyself, love god, parble of the good samaritan, etc.) and use it to kill people. So what is going to happen when we take away those good and admirable qualities and replace them with the mantra of: "there's nothing out there, there is no afterlife, there is no creator." I mean, if that isn't setting people up for failure I don't know what is.


"shouldn't it have been the church who revealed the nature of
The universe"

Not really, what was the point of god sending us here in the old testament and new testament? Was it to understand the nature of the universe? No, it was to learn the difference between good and evil and for redemption. The nature of the universe is a side note on such a journey. That would be like reading a blog about a trip to disney land and expecting it to tell you the intricacies of California.


So god created us, to redeeme us?!? Huh lol

I really do love that!

"Reality is a side note.. What's important is the stuff that's not real." Lol

Christians are the ones saying Islam is responsible for the actions of it's believers. Why wouldn't Christianity be as well?


Make no mistake, there's not very many people still using Christianity to commit horrible acts. But history is full of Christians saying the bible tells us to do horrible things. Is it present day Christians faults? Of course not, but you don't get to claim there is some obvious path to righteousness laid out in the bible. Literally every Christian has nearly the same book and yet every single Christian has a completely different take on it's meaning.



posted on Apr, 14 2015 @ 01:30 AM
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originally posted by: dragonridr
There are many types of athiests some do indeed feel the need to attack Christianity but as in life there are many types of people. Lately a new brand of some early-21st-century atheist writers who have advocated the view that "religion should not simply be tolerated but should be countered, criticized, and exposed by rational argument wherever its influence arises have arouse . Here is a group like Richard Dawkins that believe it's there duty to fight religion. Me I'm more of a classical sense I don't care if you believe in god the tooth fairy etc. I just don't believe there is some entity controlling the universe but I'll defend others rights to do so.

If faith helps someone in their lives I'm all for it they have a need that they fill with it. But along the same lines Christians don't need to tell others what they believe is wrong either there are way to many religions in the world for that. About the thread I do believe there was a Jesus do I think he was some magical entity sent by God no. DId he do some good most definately our modern system of the courts can directly be traced to common law which originated with his teaching. So Jesus like it or not changed the world and still does today since our entire legal system is based off his teachings.


What else should people do when people are using falsehoods to get people to do negative things?

Using logic and reason to attempt to undo the brainwashing people go thru since child birth is the most humane thing I can think of.

The things Jesus preached didn't originate with him.



posted on Apr, 14 2015 @ 01:33 AM
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originally posted by: Kirkster
a reply to: DeadSeraph

Well, since those of us who were late in posting comments on this thread but who did write on topic, and respectfully, are just ignored anyway, so perhaps that's why you end up arguing with people who are taking extreme positions.

I wrote this on page 20, but no-one has addressed it:

I think that one problem with this thread is that the question asked in the title is ambiguous; is the question, "Is there evidence for a historical figure named Jesus of Nazareth whose biography at least loosely fits the person depicted in the Bible?", or is the question, "Is there evidence for a historical Jesus Christ (a messiah who could perform miracles, etc) as depicted in the Bible"? The first question seems worthy of a discussion or debate, the latter is pretty obviously "no", unless you decide you want to start taking the Bible as evidence of its own claims.

And even the question, "Is there evidence for a historical Jesus of Nazareth" seems to dodge the core issue, which is, "Is there *conclusive* or *definitive* evidence for a historical Jesus of Nazareth"? Because not all evidence is equal (hearsay for instance is a form of evidence, but its usually not accepted in U.S. courts of law, and circumstantial evidence is considered weaker than "hard" evidence). And of course, there is evidence of historical occurrences that never happened. There is evidence that aliens crashed a spaceship in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947, in the form of a statement released by the military claiming that it was, in fact, a crashed "UFO", and assorted eye-witness reports. But that initial statement by the military turns out to be a cover for the new American program of using balloons to spy on the USSR, and the eye-witnesses turn out to be unreliable (as any police detective will tell you, eye-witnesses are often unreliable). So there's evidence for the UFO hypothesis, but it's not *good* evidence, and if you're one of the people that believes little aliens did crash there, well, you're gullible.

So from reading this entire thread, and doing some research, it seems there is some small amount of (patchy) evidence for the existence of a historical person whose name has been transliterated and mis-translated into "Jesus of Nazareth", but that evidence is a mix of circumstantial and hearsay. It's hearsay because the single strongest piece - the mention of Pilate having had "Chrestos" executed - was something that Tacitus didn't watch himself (he wasn't even born), and so he was repeating information he got from another, unknown, source. Was *that* source reliable? Could Tacitus have made an error? We don't know - which is one reason that hearsay makes for weak evidence. Plus, since Tacitus doesn't explicitly write that it was Jesus of Nazareth who was executed, historians are left to make the (small, perhaps) leap that the Chrestos who was executed was the same person as the Jesus referred to in the Bible.

There seem to be a couple other references to either a Chrestos, but the most commonly mentioned one (the more credible one by Josephus) suffers from similar issues. Neither account is a first-person account. Some other people have brought up other possibly-historical figures - King Arthur, and Robin Hood - for whom there is also controversy, and for them too, if there was a single historical figure that inspired the legends, the original person's story has been embellished greatly.

So to the question, "Is there evidence for a Jesus of Nazareth", it seems (to me) that the answer is, "Yes, there is some".
To the question, "Is there conclusive, definitive evidence for a Jesus of Nazareth", I think the answer is "No, there isn't". Note that I'm not claiming that there was no historical person named Jesus (or Yishua, or whatever) from Nazareth who had followers, etc, I'm just claiming that the evidence we have for such a person isn't conclusive. Maybe he did exist (it seems plausible to me), but I haven't seen any way to completely rule out the possibility that the references in the Bible and by Tacitus and Josephus are a mixture of references to different people or simple errors.

And finally, the truth is that history is indeed written by the victors, and the Catholic church was a monumental victor, and so much of what we have of the historical record comes to us via the centuries of Christian dominance of human power structures. It's very hard to rule out intentional changes to the historical record (except in cases where we find manuscripts or evidence from pre-Christian times) that attempt to reinforce the Christian narrative. That has very obviously happened, and the Bible itself is rife with edits and misappropriated material sourced from Buddhism, the old testament, and from whole cloth.

At the end of the day, the issue of the historicity of Jesus of Nazareth seems like it would only matter to either Christians, or to anti-theists. Contrary to what some on this thread have said, atheists don't claim that there can be no god, and are not "anti-religious". The word atheism comes from the Greek, "a-" [without] + "-theos" [ (belief in) God ]. Atheists lack belief, while anti-theists are opposed to god(s) or religion or both.



I agree with everything but the only Christians and anti-teists should care. Any truth seeker would care, he's too big of a historical figure for people not to care.



posted on Apr, 14 2015 @ 01:34 AM
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a reply to: Kirkster
Great post, starred it. Yes there's evidence, but it's more underwhelming than overwhelming so we're not left with any clear conclusions like there was or there wasn't but rather interpolations, and probabilities about what's more or less likely.

Richard Carrier specializes in this period of history and he acknowledges the evidence presented by mainstream historians but perhaps doesn't find it as persuasive as his peers. He also mentions that it boils down to probabilities and no definite conclusions:

Christ Myth Theory

In 2014 Carrier released a book, On the Historicity of Jesus, where he gave a probabilistic estimate that Jesus was a historical figure: "With the evidence we have, the probability Jesus existed is somewhere between 1 in 12,500 and 1 in 3"



originally posted by: dragonridr
DId he do some good most definately our modern system of the courts can directly be traced to common law which originated with his teaching. So Jesus like it or not changed the world and still does today since our entire legal system is based off his teachings.
If experts like Richard Carrier are questioning his existence then there must be even more questions about what Jesus actually taught if he was historically real. The writings about his teachings came decades after his death and may be rooted in older works that didn't originate with Jesus, the person or the myth, whichever is actually the case. The other issue is there seems to be a disconnect between Paul's writings closer to the time of Jesus and the later Gospels.

Why I Think Jesus Didn't Exist - A Lecture by Dr. Richard Carrier

He acknowledges that other experts may be right about the historicity of Jesus, but in his probabilistic view of weighing the available evidence, as noted above he arrives at a probability far less than 99.9%.

Some may think the probability approach is a cheat since in reality Jesus Christ either did or did not actually exist, but considering the relatively scant evidence we have to go on, it seems like a reasonable approach to me.

edit on 14-4-2015 by Arbitrageur because: clarification



posted on Apr, 14 2015 @ 01:35 AM
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originally posted by: Kirkster

originally posted by: Dfairlite
I love the line "christianity was used to commit atrocities". Its the same mantra that the atheists have claimed all along.


This isn't really true - because not all atheists have been claiming that Christianity has been used to commit atrocities for all its history (eg, "all along"). Personally, I think most atrocities blamed on religion are carried out by evil people who simply find religion (Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, or whatever) a convenient banner to wrap 'round themselves to justify their actions to others. It's clear that non-religious people (Stalin comes to mind, and Mao Tse Tung as well) are capable of mass atrocity also.



But the best part of it is, the atheists want to get rid of religion for everyone. Now, think about that for a minute.


This is outright falsehood. I am atheist, and I simply don't care what other people believe, or how they worship, as long as they're not trying to force me to do likewise (and almost none of them, of any religion, do try to force others). My mother is Christian, and I've certainly never tried to get her to "get rid of her religion" - it's a comfort to her, and I have no problem with her beliefs. I simply don't share them.

Why is there this insistence among some small minority of religious people - Christians included - to try to put words into the mouths of atheists and anyone else who doesn't believe what they believe? Either you don't know it's false, and you're simply ignorant of the truth, or you do know it's false and you're intentionally lying. Atheism is simply the lack of belief in a deity, and atheists are (almost by definition) not an organized group - and we certainly don't all share the same views of others religions.

Perhaps you've confused atheist with anti-theist?


Anti-theists tend to be atheists in my experience. And from that same experience I've learned that a majority of them want religion gone. Now, that may be a small sample size bias, and it definitely is a generalization, but it's the information I have to go on.



posted on Apr, 14 2015 @ 01:50 AM
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a reply to: Gryphon66

The eclipse: Exactly, that's why argument was a failure. It didn't explain the event since it was not possible. So you contend he was trying to explain a phenomenon that never happened?

Dying for a cause is not proof that the cause is correct, that's a disingenuous take on my argument. How many people did jim jones get to die for him. Now remove jim jones and how many people would have died for his cause? That's my point people get behind leaders first, not ideas.

Explain what you mean the when you say the accounts don't match up.

Historians write what pays? I bet there are many who would very much disagree with you, but whatever, if you're going to contend that trusted historians wrote what they were paid in order to get around hard evidence, you're worthless to have this discussion with.

A straw man is defeating an argument you have not presented. I was trying to get clarification on your argument. If your argument is not that historians confirmed the beginnings of christianity by referencing an "enlightened one" by all means, clarify. (BTW Christus is latin, not greek, for annointed one. Christus is the latin spelling of a greek word.)

Your argument was obviously clear in your mind, however, from where I'm sitting it's not very clear. Some clarification would be nice.

Maybe you could give me a thesis statement on what exactly you are contending. That way I can directly approach your contentions rather than guessing what you are implying.
edit on 14-4-2015 by Dfairlite because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 14 2015 @ 01:55 AM
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originally posted by: Arbitrageur
a reply to: Kirkster
Great post, starred it. Yes there's evidence, but it's more underwhelming than overwhelming so we're not left with any clear conclusions like there was or there wasn't but rather interpolations, and probabilities about what's more or less likely.

Richard Carrier specializes in this period of history and he acknowledges the evidence presented by mainstream historians but perhaps doesn't find it as persuasive as his peers. He also mentions that it boils down to probabilities and no definite conclusions:

Christ Myth Theory

In 2014 Carrier released a book, On the Historicity of Jesus, where he gave a probabilistic estimate that Jesus was a historical figure: "With the evidence we have, the probability Jesus existed is somewhere between 1 in 12,500 and 1 in 3"



originally posted by: dragonridr
DId he do some good most definately our modern system of the courts can directly be traced to common law which originated with his teaching. So Jesus like it or not changed the world and still does today since our entire legal system is based off his teachings.
If experts like Richard Carrier are questioning his existence then there must be even more questions about what Jesus actually taught if he was historically real. The writings about his teachings came decades after his death and may be rooted in older works that didn't originate with Jesus, the person or the myth, whichever is actually the case. The other issue is there seems to be a disconnect between Paul's writings closer to the time of Jesus and the later Gospels.

Why I Think Jesus Didn't Exist - A Lecture by Dr. Richard Carrier

He acknowledges that other experts may be right about the historicity of Jesus, but in his probabilistivc view of weighing the available evidence, as noted above he arrives at a probability far less than 99.9%.

Some may think the probability approach is a cheat since in reality Jesus Christ either did or did not actually exist, but considering the relatively scant evidence we have to go on, it seems like a reasonable approach to me.


The nice thing about statistics is that they can be manipulated to say what the user wants them to say. They change with new inputs and different weighting of those inputs. They are highly subject to personal bias because they are so easily manipulated.

That said, I'd like to see this guys probabilities of other historical figures existence since we really have scant evidence to go on for a great many figures that are assumed to have existed. If he used the same criteria, that would give some context to his probabilities. Plato was brought up earlier along these same lines.



posted on Apr, 14 2015 @ 02:49 AM
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a reply to: Kirkster



Well, since those of us who were late in posting comments on this thread but who did write on topic, and respectfully, are just ignored anyway, so perhaps that's why you end up arguing with people who are taking extreme positions.


I apologize if I may be a bit behind in responding to your contributions to the thread, I took a bit of a break after letting my proverbial chain get rattled.



I think that one problem with this thread is that the question asked in the title is ambiguous; is the question, "Is there evidence for a historical figure named Jesus of Nazareth whose biography at least loosely fits the person depicted in the Bible?", or is the question, "Is there evidence for a historical Jesus Christ (a messiah who could perform miracles, etc) as depicted in the Bible"? The first question seems worthy of a discussion or debate, the latter is pretty obviously "no", unless you decide you want to start taking the Bible as evidence of its own claims.


The problem here (which many don't seem capable of discerning) is that a miracle working son of God as indicated in the New Testament doesn't somehow preclude the evidence for the existence of Jesus of Nazareth. At bare minimum, the OP framed the argument in the context of historical evidence for "Jesus Christ". Given the fact Christ is a title for "Messiah", some have chosen that as a hill to die on, when Tacitus himself defines Jesus as "Christus", in all likelihood based on the very logical reason that he was reporting on "CHRISTians."




And even the question, "Is there evidence for a historical Jesus of Nazareth" seems to dodge the core issue, which is, "Is there *conclusive* or *definitive* evidence for a historical Jesus of Nazareth"? Because not all evidence is equal (hearsay for instance is a form of evidence, but its usually not accepted in U.S. courts of law, and circumstantial evidence is considered weaker than "hard" evidence). And of course, there is evidence of historical occurrences that never happened. There is evidence that aliens crashed a spaceship in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947, in the form of a statement released by the military claiming that it was, in fact, a crashed "UFO", and assorted eye-witness reports. But that initial statement by the military turns out to be a cover for the new American program of using balloons to spy on the USSR, and the eye-witnesses turn out to be unreliable (as any police detective will tell you, eye-witnesses are often unreliable). So there's evidence for the UFO hypothesis, but it's not *good* evidence, and if you're one of the people that believes little aliens did crash there, well, you're gullible.


This is one of the better arguments I've seen, however it completely ignores all the obvious questions I've put forth in this thread. Why does one set of Criteria apply to a certain individual (for instance, Socrates) and not the other? Especially so when in this case, we have extra biblical corroboration of the individual in question in the form of some of Christianity's most vocal critics? The same tired old arguments that surely these must be Christian forgeries have been used ad nauseum in this thread, yet they simply aren't true (as a bit of honest research will reveal).

How can anyone be "proven to exist" based purely on the criteria of contemporaneous documentation, or even purely physical data? I can assure you neither exist for many of my ancestors, yet here I type to you?

Could it be perhaps that this isn't a very strong argument?



So from reading this entire thread, and doing some research, it seems there is some small amount of (patchy) evidence for the existence of a historical person whose name has been transliterated and mis-translated into "Jesus of Nazareth", but that evidence is a mix of circumstantial and hearsay. It's hearsay because the single strongest piece - the mention of Pilate having had "Chrestos" executed - was something that Tacitus didn't watch himself (he wasn't even born), and so he was repeating information he got from another, unknown, source. Was *that* source reliable? Could Tacitus have made an error? We don't know - which is one reason that hearsay makes for weak evidence. Plus, since Tacitus doesn't explicitly write that it was Jesus of Nazareth who was executed, historians are left to make the (small, perhaps) leap that the Chrestos who was executed was the same person as the Jesus referred to in the Bible.


Given the fact Tacitus was later vindicated via the Pilate stone (as well as hundreds of other entries of which nobody calls into question), we have little reason to assume he would have been lying, or relying on Christian or Jewish hearsay. He would have absolutely no motivation to do so, and every motivation to call out Jesus as a fictional fraud if he had any evidence whatsoever to suggest that was the case. Instead, we find Tacitus deriding Christians and "Christus" himself, something highly unusual if the passage were to have been interpolated by early Christian scholars. If we are to assume Tacitus had any reason to fabricate his account of the execution of Christ by the order of Pontius Pilate, why should we not discard everything Tacitus recorded as mere fantasy?



There seem to be a couple other references to either a Chrestos, but the most commonly mentioned one (the more credible one by Josephus) suffers from similar issues. Neither account is a first-person account. Some other people have brought up other possibly-historical figures - King Arthur, and Robin Hood - for whom there is also controversy, and for them too, if there was a single historical figure that inspired the legends, the original person's story has been embellished greatly.


These are all poor examples that do not have documentation from within the first century the individual is said to have lived (as well as documentation by the individuals critics).



So to the question, "Is there evidence for a Jesus of Nazareth", it seems (to me) that the answer is, "Yes, there is some".
To the question, "Is there conclusive, definitive evidence for a Jesus of Nazareth", I think the answer is "No, there isn't". Note that I'm not claiming that there was no historical person named Jesus (or Yishua, or whatever) from Nazareth who had followers, etc, I'm just claiming that the evidence we have for such a person isn't conclusive.


It is most certainly conclusive by historical standards.



Maybe he did exist (it seems plausible to me), but I haven't seen any way to completely rule out the possibility that the references in the Bible and by Tacitus and Josephus are a mixture of references to different people or simple errors.Maybe he did exist (it seems plausible to me), but I haven't seen any way to completely rule out the possibility that the references in the Bible and by Tacitus and Josephus are a mixture of references to different people or simple errors.


You have multiple documents from varying sources that all confirm things reported in the New Testament (another document from multiple sources). How could you possibly think this could be a mixture of references about different people, when they all point to a person that was put to death by crucifixion, supposedly executed for blasphemy or sorcery (depending on which perspective), etc?



posted on Apr, 14 2015 @ 02:53 AM
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a reply to: Kirkster

Sorry, I ran out of space. Continued:




And finally, the truth is that history is indeed written by the victors, and the Catholic church was a monumental victor, and so much of what we have of the historical record comes to us via the centuries of Christian dominance of human power structures.


Yet some of the earliest extrabiblical correlation comes from Christianity's most vocal opponents...



At the end of the day, the issue of the historicity of Jesus of Nazareth seems like it would only matter to either Christians, or to anti-theists.


I think it should matter to history (and many who are neither Christian nor Anti-Theist would agree with me).



Contrary to what some on this thread have said, atheists don't claim that there can be no god, and are not "anti-religious". The word atheism comes from the Greek, "a-" [without] + "-theos" [ (belief in) God ]. Atheists lack belief, while anti-theists are opposed to god(s) or religion or both.


I haven't once pointed the finger at atheists in this thread. Many of the members posting here in this argument don't even qualify as atheists. They simply hate the religion of Christianity, and are incapable of separating their emotions from the debate at hand.



posted on Apr, 14 2015 @ 02:57 AM
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a reply to: Dfairlite

Your dishonesty is getting the better of me.

There was no eclipse. The darkness is a literary creation. Like you, if Thallus believed in literary creations, he might have tried to explain it. I don't pretend to know what a few fragments of literature mean, unlike you.

Thallus also talks about an Assyrian king joining with Cronus to make war on Zeus and the Olympians.

You intimated that the Christians would not have died for a man that had not existed, a cause that wasn't real. I pointed out an easy, modern example of why that position is not correct. Your attempts to restate the argument are laughable.

Explain what I mean? The accounts do not match up. They do not corroborate each other. They do not refer to the same things.

Show me one historian that writes anything that they know won't get published. Oh, and now it's "trusted historians" eh? Your belief is showing again.

Now you're going to redefine forensic terminology. You presented a different version of my argument that was flawed and weaker (if not ridiculous). Really, you're going to be that petty about Latin and Greek and claim that Christus is not χριστός?

You're really grasping at straws now. Where you're sitting is in the seat of belief. As demonstrated here, you're willing to deal unfairly and dishonestly to try to make what you think are points.

Write your own thesis; my argument is clear. Your attempts to counter it are unsuccessful. More than that, you've shown me that you're disingenuous, which removes any desire on my part to interact with you.

Take this as a "win" on your imaginary scorecard and kindly move on.



posted on Apr, 14 2015 @ 03:01 AM
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a reply to: Dfairlite
Watch the video, he gives his reasons and I'm sure some of the reasons he gives don't apply to Plato, though I agree it would be interesting to get his take on that too.



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