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Old 06-06-2011, 09:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Do atheists believe that Jesus existed?

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.
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yes, I do believe he existed but I know his divinity was invented
However if the rest of the **** is true, he was a pretty progressive guy. I'm down with Jesus, in that case.
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think most do. Josephus provided a non-biblical testimony to his existence. A lot of archaeologists and historians are atheist and Jesus is usually treated as a definite as far as existing goes.
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Not to just repeat what others have already said, but most Atheists DO believe that he was an actual person, but they disagree with his divinity.

Theistic views of him differ. Christians consider him the Messiah, and part of the Holy Trinity. Jews view him as one of numerous prophets sent by God, as do Muslims.
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Old 06-07-2011, 01:55 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I think most people would also consider parts of the bible to somewhat work as a historical narrative. A few of the letters are as closely related to the fact, that they seem to work as some kind of proof. Plus, some of the stories in Mark, Matthew and Luke seems deeply embarassing for the church that followed afterwards, so it's hard to see who would have an interest in inventing them. John, however, is probably pure make-believe.

Of course, you can believe in whatever you like. But if you want to claim that you believe in reason or anything, then it would make most sense to assume that someone named Yeshua, who was crucified by the romans in Jerusalem around year 30 probably existed. There really isn't any reason to doubt it. But of course, nothing is truly known about the past.
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Old 06-07-2011, 03:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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i don't think Atheists refute his existence much

the most hardline people I've encountered against his divinity were Muslims and Jews

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Old 06-07-2011, 03:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Conan View Post
I think most do. Josephus provided a non-biblical testimony to his existence. A lot of archaeologists and historians are atheist and Jesus is usually treated as a definite as far as existing goes.
Most atheists are aware that Josephus is an unreliable source. At best his brief mention of Jesus is secondhand information written many years after the fact by someone who wasn't there. At worst it's a Christian forgery created hundreds of years later. And since Josephus is the only non-biblical reference to Jesus this puts his existence on shaky ground.

My own personal viewpoint goes a little like this:

Do I think there really was a Jesus who performed miracles and was the son of God? No. I have no more reason to think this character was real than any other mythological figure such as Hercules, Rama, etc.

Do I think there was a real historical guy from Nazareth born in the year 1 named Jesus who maybe wasn't magical but was some sort of revolutionary figure? It's possible but there isn't much evidence one way or the other. To me this seems about as likely as any other mythological character having a historical counterpart.

Do I think the character of Jesus may have been loosely based on a real person or people whose stories have been interwoven with traditional folklore from the region but not necessarily from the specific location or time period suggested by Christians? Seems fairly likely, but again, when you're talking about ancient oral traditions, who's to say where they come from.
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Old 06-07-2011, 03:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Man fuck if I know, I have no research to back up my thoughts but I pretty much believe there was a really smart and revolutionary type of guy named Jesus in a time where science was very minimal and people believed in crazier shit and this guy became immortalized and over time mythical.

It's like when you catch a small fish, and over a decade eventually your story turns into you catching hammerhead shark with your bare hands. So yeah I think a guy named Jesus existed who was real smart and whatever, I don't believe anything about him and his magical powers, it goes against my belief of logic.
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Old 06-07-2011, 06:29 AM   #9 (permalink)
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He may have existed, albeit his alleged abilities are vastly overrated.

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Old 06-07-2011, 07:14 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Whether the man Jesus existed or not is possible. However, I believe that the myth of Jesus was constructed off of many other figures, and collaged together from many people to make a political point.
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