Author Topic: The Sun Will Be Darkened  (Read 6645 times)

Gordon

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Re: The Sun Will Be Darkened
« Reply #125 on: November 23, 2015, 08:01:33 AM »
Yet, very little 'historical fact' exists from that time period - what was written down was often written down more than 2 or 3 decades after the events and often by the conquerors - yet no-one makes that great a deal of accepting what we're told.

True - so best to be cautious about the risks of post-hoc bias, mistake, exaggeration and lies - especially when outlandish claims are involved that date from antiquity and a culture where credulous religiosity was the norm.

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I have yet to see anyone provide a rational explanation why the 'risks of human artifice' as you call them have any concrete validity.

So, are we to conclude that you believe that people can't benefit from human artifice or use it to advance their agenda: really?

Perhaps it is more the case that you are as wary as I am when faced with potential snake-oil vendors but you are indulging in some special pleading that the early Christians behind the NT were somehow immune from such vices. Tell me, do you believe every word uttered by our beloved politicians?

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All I have seen is allusion to the concepts and implications of why they are valid, based on 20th and 21st century interpretations of the context - again, something that the likes of Jim and I have addressed perfectly logically.

Jim isn't participating in this thread so I'm not going to comment on your reference to him. So, are you saying here that mistakes and lies are somehow less worrying when these are raised as risks associated with the ancient cause you happen to support? It is almost as if you think these early Christians were somehow infallible and unquestionably trustworthy!

Outrider

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Re: The Sun Will Be Darkened
« Reply #126 on: November 23, 2015, 10:33:41 AM »
OK, we know that someone called Jesus was crucified at the request of the Jewish religious leadership, and that the Romans would not have allowed him to live because of the influence the Jewish leadership had in Rome.

No, we don't know that. There's no Roman record of any such thing, and they were remarkably thorough in their record-making and record-keeping.

There's an allegation from well after the fact by people building up the cult of Jesus that this happened, and two references from well after the fact to the cult of Jesus and its beliefs.

Historians, typically, are willing to concede that it's entirely possible the account is based on someone, but with very few details.

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We also know that under Jewish law, those sentenced to death had to be dead by the beginning of the Jewish Sabbath.

Why would the Romans give a toss for the Jewish traditions?

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We can also make an educated assumption that, since this all occurred at Passover, the Jewish authorites would be that much more vigilant in making sure that the death sentence had been completed.

We have no reliable account of when it happened. We have no reason to think that the Jewish authorities would have been allowed to make decisions on the timing.

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If Jesus hadn't died, the Jewish and Roman authorities would have known about it and been able to produce his body once the resurrection stories started to circulate (after all, having requested the death sentence the Jewish authorities wouldn't have allowed his body to be released to anyone without being certain that he was dead).

Except that there's no evidence of anyone making the claims of resurrection until decades later, at which point - in the absence of any records - the Romans wouldn't have had any clue on where to even look for remains. 

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In my view the very fact that the circumstances surrounding his arrest, conviction and crucifixion were so unusual that the Jewish authorities wouldn't have left anything to chance.

In my view, the 'evidence' for any circumstances surrounding his arrest, conviction and crucifixion are highly suspect.

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As such, I would suggest that all your conspiracy theory-type ideas are the least likely of the options available to us.

I agree. The most likely explanation is that nothing remarkable happened, and forty-something years later some people with a vested interest documented the mythologising of a wandering philosopher.

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Yes, I accept that that isn't definitive evidence, but then cases of this sort are often decided by the circumstantial evidence that surrounds the case.

It'd be great if we even had that - we don't. We have entirely biased accounts from within the already established cult making historical claims for which the other actors in the alleged events have no documentation or recollection.

O.
Universes are forever, not just for creation...

New Atheism - because, apparently, there's a use-by date on unanswered questions.

Eminent Pedant, Interpreter of Heretical Writings, Unwarranted Harvester of Trite Nomenclature, Church of Debatable Saints

Outrider

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Re: The Sun Will Be Darkened
« Reply #127 on: November 23, 2015, 10:56:13 AM »
And the problem with this is why they felt the need to get rid of Jesus.

No, the problem is that you aren't able to demonstrate that they did get rid of Jesus, or that Jesus actually was. They got rid of some people who were civic agitators because they were an invading power exerting their authority - they did it before and they did it again afterwards, and Jesus was so significant that they completely failed to record him AT ALL, despite recording at least some (if not all) of the others.

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It's not as if he is recorded as having been a political and/or military leader - as many of the other 'Messiahs' of the time are recorded as having been.  What's your explanation?  Remember that, as Shakes likes to tell us, suggestions of this sort have to be backed up with evidence.

Yes, they do. It's not as if he's recorded at all. Nothing. No contemporary references.

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Actually, from a purely logical perspectrive, the Gospel accounts are more likely than  the other alternatives that have been proposed over the centuries, because they take the circumstances and social practices of the day into account far more than any of those other alternatives.

Except that they're predicated on being a better explanation for events that we have very little reason to think actually happened, and no reason whatsoever to think resulted in magical endings like 'resurrection'. 

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I accept that that isn't conclusive, but it does suggest that there is more truth to the accounts than some like to admit.

No, it doesn't. It's 'if any of this actually happened, I can explain that magical claims better with magic than you can with science.' Well no shit, Sherlock. That still leaves you with the small stumbling blocks of a) no-one has any decent reason to think that it actually happened and b) magic isn't real.

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As I've said before, whilst people hold rigidly to a purely scientifically-confirmable understanding of evidence, we are never going to be abe to have a meaningful debate simply because we are working on totally different planes of reality.

Well, no. We're working on demonstrable reality, you aren't demonstrating anything, you're just making up arbitrary claims. We have more evidence of Muhammed and Joseph Smith than we do of Jesus, yet you discredit their claims - why?

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I'm never going to regard your understanding of reality as a complete understanding; you are never going to consider my understanding as valid.

That's because you don't give us anything to understand. You claim Jesus because of the Bible, back up the Bible with 'These were honest people, they followed Jesus', ignore the fact that the entire thing is built upon claims of magic and then claim that other arguments aren't valid because they have a presumption that arguments should be based on reliable claims...

O.
Universes are forever, not just for creation...

New Atheism - because, apparently, there's a use-by date on unanswered questions.

Eminent Pedant, Interpreter of Heretical Writings, Unwarranted Harvester of Trite Nomenclature, Church of Debatable Saints