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Old 06-08-2011, 11:36 PM   #31 (permalink)
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That oral tradition really has to develop remarkably fast. Mark is from 60 or so, as far as I recall, John, the last and completely unreliable one, is from 100. And supposedly he died around year 30. The tradition developing that fast, seems very, very unlikely to me. People seemingly actually believed that stuff to a very large extent, he was a dominant figure much more than a silly 'urban legend'. It does seem much less reasonable to me, than that someone existed.

@ tore: It in no way improves the evidence. But how much evidence do you want? You really can't expect to much evidence concerning a figure like Yeshua. So I don't think it makes sense to be too skeptical about it.
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:39 PM   #32 (permalink)
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That oral tradition really has to develop remarkably fast. Mark is from 60 or so, as far as I recall, John, the last and completely unreliable one, is from 100. And supposedly he died around year 30. The tradition developing that fast, seems very, very unlikely to me. People seemingly actually believed that stuff to a very large extent, he was a dominant figure much more than a silly 'urban legend'. It does seem much less reasonable to me, than that someone existed.

@ tore: It in no way improves the evidence. But how much evidence do you want? You really can't expect to much evidence concerning a figure like Yeshua. So I don't think it makes sense to be too skeptical about it.
I was under the impression that christianity was an oppressed religion for a long time after Jesus's crucifixion. I don't know if you could call him a dominant figure. And also, earlier you cited the inconsistencies of witness accounts as evidence that they were true. I don't have a problem with that reasoning other than that much of the accounts are not eye witness but are written based on the eye witness accounts of others... and these accounts based on the same eye witnesses are often contradictory... which makes no sense.
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:55 PM   #33 (permalink)
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I meant dominant in the mind of the people believing in him. Sorry, English is not my first language. He is much more important than an urban legend, to the people concerned with him. They would be more careful.

And of course. It is an oral tradition after Yeshua. No doubt about it. But it must stem from something, and with the speed it developed, that must be something substantial. A life or a lie. And if it was a lie, it wouldn't be so inconsistent at it's core. Sure, the details would remain the same. But talking about forgiveness on the mountain, then getting into a fit and throwing people out of the synagogue. His personality would have been less messy. But yeah, I can see that I haven't really been able to explain what I mean on that one.

The thing is, as important as Yeshua became to people, if someone had invented him it would have had to be a conspiracy at it's core. And then it wouldn't have been so contradictory. I think this is what I'm trying to get at.
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:59 PM   #34 (permalink)
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No worries about the language thing. I get the idea of what you're saying - I'm in the circle of people who think the stories of Jesus probably were based on a real person. But I'm in no way certain about it.
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Old 06-09-2011, 12:13 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Oh, no, neither am I. It's like that with things that happened 2000 years ago in circles not really well documented. It's very, very rare that anything can be decided with complete certainty. But I just can't really see any reason to doubt it. I mean, any other explanation seems even less likely. It's interesting to examine though, I heard a podcast recently where a scholar explained how much of the gospels the real Yeshua had actually said. It turns out, very, very little. And while the story of Jesus seems hard to explain without some Yeshua participating, the story of his resurrection seems very easy to explain away, apparantly.
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Old 06-09-2011, 12:49 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Negative confirmation bias would simply be a confirmation bias. It would be the equivalent of a preconcieved notion that a hypothesis is false rather than the hypothesis being true.

I think what you are thinking of is better called something like "truth criteria". People who think like me want things about our universe that they believe to be "true" to fulfill certain criteria, for example that it is proven through hypothesis testing. I like the principle of parsimony which is often called occam's razor although most people who use that word don't fully understand or appreciate what it is. It is a criteria by which you can evaluate hypotheses. If you have two hypotheses explaining a phenomenon, the one which requires you to make fewer new assumptions about our universe is the preferred one.

If you don't know how to put this philosophy to daily use, here's an example I've used before. Imagine you are in a dark house at night - a door closes behind you, but there is noone there. You have two hypotheses to explain the door closing - either it was a draft or it was closed with intent by a ghost. Accepting that it was a draft only requires the assumption that a draft could get into the building - we already know moving wind can close doors, something that can be explained by physics and observed through daily experience .. Accepting that the door was closed by a ghost, however, may require you to accept assumptions like there is a "life" after death, dead people are able to interact with our environment by closing doors, will and intent can exist without a hard physical body etc. etc.

Every time you make a new assumption, there is a chance that the assumption is, in fact, wrong. So, when piecing how the world functions together by testing hypothesis after hypothesis, parsimony as a criteria helps us find the truth by reducing the risk that we will accept a lie as being true. People who want their beliefs to match how the universe actually is should try to follow it I think. Broadly speaking, that's what sceptics do.

There's a lack of Jesus evidence so if you believe he really existed, there is a fair chance you're believing in a lie. Sceptics don't like to take that risk.

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Old 06-09-2011, 01:38 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Old 06-09-2011, 01:40 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Old 06-09-2011, 01:49 AM   #39 (permalink)
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I think that there's enough sociological evidence that suggests Jesus was an actual human being, although I believe that in real life he was closer to a political revolutionary than a messianic figure. The entire foundation of the catholic church was based around the holy Roman empire's inability to deal with the subversiveness of the early pre-church Christians, kind of an if-you-can't-beat-em'-join-em' approach.
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Old 06-09-2011, 04:54 AM   #40 (permalink)
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That oral tradition really has to develop remarkably fast. Mark is from 60 or so, as far as I recall, John, the last and completely unreliable one, is from 100. And supposedly he died around year 30. The tradition developing that fast, seems very, very unlikely to me. People seemingly actually believed that stuff to a very large extent, he was a dominant figure much more than a silly 'urban legend'. It does seem much less reasonable to me, than that someone existed.
You're assuming all the Christian dates are right but there is absolutely no reason to do so. The fact is that the Jesus story has antecedents from hundred and hundreds of years before the events supposedly occurred, plenty of time to evolve into the Christian version.

Also, this argument you're making that "people really believed it so it must be true" basically implies that anything and everything people ever strongly believed was true is actually a fact. So do you think Hercules was a real person too?
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