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Old 06-09-2011, 06:53 AM   #41 (permalink)
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This is just something that I've been wondering lately. Are there atheists out there who believed Jesus existed, not as the Son of God, but as a person?

I know it's not a very extensive question, but I'm just wondering what you think and if there is historical evidence of his existence.
He existed. He was just a liar. Mithras before him and a whole LINEAGE of other "Prophets" are known to have sprung up over time all claiming to be gods son in much the same manner as Jesus. Jesus was just the latest and most successful in the way in which he convinced people of his claimed divinity.
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Old 06-09-2011, 07:33 AM   #42 (permalink)
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He existed. He was just a liar. Mithras before him and a whole LINEAGE of other "Prophets" are known to have sprung up over time all claiming to be gods son in much the same manner as Jesus. Jesus was just the latest and most successful in the way in which he convinced people of his claimed divinity.
so he's just a spiritual conman?

how do you explain then, the number of followers he has, as opposed to Mithras and the others?
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Old 06-09-2011, 07:36 AM   #43 (permalink)
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so he's just a spiritual conman?

how do you explain then, the number of followers he has, as opposed to Mithras and the others?
Looks like you're arguing that popularity equals truth here. Do you really think that's a logical proposition?
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Old 06-09-2011, 07:40 AM   #44 (permalink)
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Looks like you're arguing that popularity equals truth here. Do you really think that's a logical proposition?
i'm saying that the popularity has some basis stemming from truth - otherwise, how can so many people fall into the claptrap if it's just an artful con propagated through the centuries?

surely there's a basis for their belief?

otherwise I can be a great deceiver and propagate my own divinity and later they're be millions of Weeists? (my last Chinese name)
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what? i don't understand you. farming is for vegetables, not for meat. if ou disagree with a farming practice, you disagree on a vegetable. unless you have a different definition of farming.
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Old 06-09-2011, 07:47 AM   #45 (permalink)
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i'm saying that the popularity has some basis stemming from truth - otherwise, how can so many people fall into the claptrap if it's just an artful con propagated through the centuries?

surely there's a basis for their belief?

otherwise I can be a great deceiver and propagate my own divinity and later they're be millions of Weeists? (my last Chinese name)
So if Mormonism or Scientology are major world religions two thousand years from now that means they're true?
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Old 06-09-2011, 07:52 AM   #46 (permalink)
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Janszoon has it right here, but even if your claim were addressed at face value, Jesus is simply the last in a line of many. If popularity implies Jesus is believable to the point of assuming he was telling the truth, why then were the previous incarnations of his story NOT the truth?

Answer: None of them are telling the truth. Jesus is perhaps slightly more convincing than his forebears but his story is the same as theirs to a remarkable and suspect degree, leading me to believe he is simply retelling an old tale. Think of Stephen Fry reading a Harry Potter book vs A drunkard doing it. One is clearly far more convincing and charismatic, but neither of them is telling the truth.
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Old 06-09-2011, 08:15 AM   #47 (permalink)
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So if Mormonism or Scientology are major world religions two thousand years from now that means they're true?
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Janszoon has it right here, but even if your claim were addressed at face value, Jesus is simply the last in a line of many. If popularity implies Jesus is believable to the point of assuming he was telling the truth, why then were the previous incarnations of his story NOT the truth?

Answer: None of them are telling the truth. Jesus is perhaps slightly more convincing than his forebears but his story is the same as theirs to a remarkable and suspect degree, leading me to believe he is simply retelling an old tale. Think of Stephen Fry reading a Harry Potter book vs A drunkard doing it. One is clearly far more convincing and charismatic, but neither of them is telling the truth.
i can't say much for Mormonism, i still say it's up for debate whether Joseph Smith Jr. really did receive the message from God, and the Book of Mormons has as much fallacies as the Bible so I can't vouch for its truth and veracity

all i'm saying that all the Christians I know feel they were touched by something that led them to believe, and so did I - you just have to feel it yourself - i don't think any amount of charisma by a charlatan can do that - and neither is just reading the book and believing it at face value enough to convince anybody about Jesus

Scientology is pretty telling from how they treat the non-celebrity folowers from the followers, so it's pretty much a fad

and don't get me wrong either, i'm here for a healthy debate, Gnostic Christians are more interested in knowledge than blind belief
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Old 06-09-2011, 11:30 AM   #48 (permalink)
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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?
Now come on. At this point I really think you should try and put on a counter-thesis. You think that the story of Jesus evolved over hundreds of years, and then all of a sudden coagulated into this incredibly split personality, and they all weirdly think he is from Nazareth, and they all weirdly think he was killed by Pilatus. That is really a coincidence. I don't think you would get many historians to believe that.

Your implication about Hercules makes no sense. Reductio ad absurdum. Really, if you want to be so scientific, bring up a counter-thesis, and we'll discuss how believable that one is.

The thing is: You can get absolute proof about very few people from that time. Aristoteles, Platon, Socrates. All of that could conceivably have been constructed after the fact, from oral traditions. Do you question their existence as well?
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Old 06-09-2011, 11:54 AM   #49 (permalink)
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I don't think the basis of this thread was whether or not Jesus was extraordinary, or whether his life, if he did exist, in anyway mirrored the accounts in the New Testament, but whether or not he as a person, not the living incarnation of god, actually existed.
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Old 06-09-2011, 12:15 PM   #50 (permalink)
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I think it's silly to claim that you know someone existed, to a certain extent. While I obviously wouldn't contest that Louis XIV was a real historical figure, I think a healthy amount of skepticism goes a long way when it comes to figures that supposedly lived before, to be completely arbitrary, the 1300's. And I don't just mean in the realm of religion, I mean philosophers, writers, revolutionaries, etc. I think it's healthy to hold a standard of evidence that goes beyond relayed word of mouth and transcribed texts.
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