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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 1:00 pm 
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Shallow, Handwaving Dismissals and Statements of Blind Faith

Quote:
Bultmann (1958): “Of course the doubt as to whether Jesus really existed is unfounded and not worth refutation. No sane person can doubt that Jesus stands as founder behind the historical movement whose first distinct stage is represented by the oldest Palestinian community.”

Bornkamm (I960): “To doubt the historical existence of Jesus at all . . . was reserved for an unrestrained, tendentious criticism of modern times into which it is not worth while to enter here.”

Marxsen (1970): “I am of the opinion (and it is an opinion shared by every serious historian) that the theory ['that Jesus never lived, that he was a purely mythical figure'] is historically untenable.”

Grant (1977): “To sum up, modern critical methods fail to support the Christ-myth theory. It has ‘again and again been answered and annihilated by first-rank scholars.’ In recent years ‘no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non-historicity of Jesus’—or at any rate very few, and they have not succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary.”

M. Martin (1991): “Well’s thesis [that Jesus never existed] is controversial and not widely accepted.”

Van Voorst (2000): “Contemporary New Testament scholars have typically viewed their [i.e., Jesus mythers] arguments as so weak or bizarre that they relegate them to footnotes, or often ignore them completely.”

Burridge and Could (2004): “There are those who argue that Jesus is a figment of the Church’s imagination, that there never was a Jesus at all. I have to say that I do not know any respectable critical scholar who says that any more.”

Allison (“Explaining,” 2005): “No responsible scholar can find any truth in it.”

Maier (2005): “the total evidence is so overpowering, so absolute that only the shallowest of intellects would dare to deny Jesus’ existence.”

R. J. Miller in Scott, ed. (Finding, 2008): “We can be certain that Jesus really existed (despite a few hyper-historical skeptics who refuse to be convinced).”

Vermes (2008): “Let me state plainly that I accept that Jesus was a real historical person. In my opinion, the difficulties arising from the denial of his existence, still vociferously maintained in small circles of rationalist ‘dogmatists,’ far exceed those deriving from its acceptance.”

C. A. Evans in Evans and Wright (2009): “No serious historian of any religious or nonreligious stripe doubts that Jesus of Nazareth really lived in the first century and was executed under the authority of Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea and Samaria.”

- Do Historical Scholars Think Jesus Existed?

The blathering above is a mere wave-of-the-hand dismissal by ignoramuses who are too invested and/or lazy actually to study the large body of mythicist literature dating back hundreds of years.

In many cases, these dismissive individuals are vested Christians who are simply making a statement of blind faith. Again, they have not studied the documentation, do not know the arguments, and are unqualified to be making pronouncements and pretenses of expertise.

Witness the fracas with Bart Ehrman, who has admitted that he and his biblical scholar and theologian colleagues are completely ignorant of Jesus mythicism. Yet, he feels he is qualified to address the subject.

Implausible Fairytales

Not only is it entirely sane to question the implausible fairytales of one particular culture, after having been taught that similar tales of other cultures are mythical, but also it is dishonest to declare that the debate has no merit. It most assuredly does have merit, and all this type of disingenuous conceit does is to cause us to dig in further and to continue bringing forth the evidence, which is massive and neverending, much to my delight - because it's true.

As the Ras Shamra/Ugaritic texts demonstrated quite nicely how much of the Jewish theology is Canaanite, and as many OT scholars and biblical archaeologists now admit that figures like Moses are mythical, so too do the contemporary documents and artifacts from the early Christian era show that much "Christian" theology is Pagan, and that the main supernatural figure is as mythical as are the Greek and Roman gods who influenced his character.

It is ludicrous for those who believe without any real, scientific evidence that a Jewish man was born of a virgin, healed the blind, raised the dead, walked on water, multiplied loaves and fishes, transfigured on a mount, resurrected himself from the dead and flew off bodily into heaven to be calling others "insane." What unmitigated gall!

In the meantime, what the list of quotes above proves for all the world to see is that Jesus mythicism has been a force to be reckoned with since at least the time of the earliest comment there, which is 1958. Hence, mythicism is a persistent and substantial train of thought that is also quite logical, rational and scientific.

Albert Schweitzer

As we know, however, Jesus mythicism is traceable to many centuries earlier. Indeed, a case can be made from the reactions by early Church fathers Justin Martyr, Tertullian and others that individuals in antiquity doubted every major aspect of the gospel tale. In this regard, to be oblivious to the mythicist case, as Bart Ehrman has admitted he was until recently, represents an egregious oversight, particularly when one considers that one of the most popular books in Christian theology is that of Dr. Albert Schweitzer, The Quest of the Historical Jesus Christ.

It is ironic that the mythicists' rebutal book edited by Zindler and Price has as its title, Bart Ehrman and the Quest of the Historical Jesus Christ, therefore. Schweitzer's book is very famous and has been widely read throughout universities, colleges and seminaries in the German- and English-speaking world. In fact, it has been de rigeur in the past to read Schweitzer, if one wishes to be recognized as erudite in the subject of Christian theology.

Although he himself is not a mythicist, Schweitzer raises up the mythicist debate that was raging just before and into his time, such as concerns the work of Strauss and Bauer. Thousands of theology students since Schweitzer's time have been aware of the analysis of the gospel story as a compilation of myths. In fact, when I first went online in 1995, I received many emails from people who said they had been taught Jesus mythicism in seminary, including and especially within the Jesuit brotherhood.

Since it is obvious that this debate has been around a long time, how one could be completely ignorant of it and still be considered an "expert?"

Hercules

Moreover, it is as logical, rational and scientific to doubt the Jesus story as it is to doubt the factuality of the story of the Greek son of God Hercules/Herakles. If we are to dismiss the Hercules story as "myth" - although the word "myth" in reality is not a dismissal - then why should we not be skeptical of the equally implausible Jesus story?

In ancient Greece, to question the reality of the gods could bring upon one the death penalty - that is how seriously devotees took their faith then. It was widely believed that Hercules was a real person who walked the earth and had his adventures in the third dimension. To question such an article of faith would bring about the same sort of hand-waving and shallow ridicule we see in the comments above.

Do these snide retorters believe Hercules was a real person? Why not? It's just a question of era and locale, and the time will come when a new generation of scholars will say the same things about Jesus as we do now about Hercules: To wit, he is a mythical figure, not a historical personage.

As part of this realization that Hercules was a mythical figure, scholars during the centuries around the common era, such as Varro, back-engineered his various myths and determined that there were dozens of Herculeses combined together to create the figure commonly believed in and propitiated. If I'm not mistaken, Varro's count was 44 different figures, including some real and some mythical.

It is because of these scholars' dissections that today we are quite certain that Hercules is a mythical figure. We mythicists are merely doing the same work of these ancient scholars, applied to yet another patently obvious mythical composite of characters. Few things in this field of blind belief could be more sane, in fact, than this scientific analysis and scrutiny.

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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 5:37 pm 
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^ yep! 8)

Remember now, Richard Carrier says to avoid anything pre-1950's as if to imply that anything after that is fine or at least better. Here's a discussion of that http://freethoughtnation.com/forums/vie ... 171#p25171

The quotes below make a strong case against Dick Carrier's claim that only post-1950's works should be held up as reliable when the quotes are embarrassingly bogus yet, post 1950's! It shows how even modern scholars can be so categorically wrong:

Quote:
Bultmann (1958): “Of course the doubt as to whether Jesus really existed is unfounded and not worth refutation. No sane person can doubt that Jesus stands as founder behind the historical movement whose first distinct stage is represented by the oldest Palestinian community.”

Bornkamm (I960): “To doubt the historical existence of Jesus at all . . . was reserved for an unrestrained, tendentious criticism of modern times into which it is not worth while to enter here.”

Marxsen (1970): “I am of the opinion (and it is an opinion shared by every serious historian) that the theory ['that Jesus never lived, that he was a purely mythical figure'] is historically untenable.”

Grant (1977): “To sum up, modern critical methods fail to support the Christ-myth theory. It has ‘again and again been answered and annihilated by first-rank scholars.’ In recent years ‘no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non-historicity of Jesus’—or at any rate very few, and they have not succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary.”

M. Martin (1991): “Well’s thesis [that Jesus never existed] is controversial and not widely accepted.”

Van Voorst (2000): “Contemporary New Testament scholars have typically viewed their [i.e., Jesus mythers] arguments as so weak or bizarre that they relegate them to footnotes, or often ignore them completely.”

Burridge and Could (2004): “There are those who argue that Jesus is a figment of the Church’s imagination, that there never was a Jesus at all. I have to say that I do not know any respectable critical scholar who says that any more.”

Allison (“Explaining,” 2005): “No responsible scholar can find any truth in it.”

Maier (2005): “the total evidence is so overpowering, so absolute that only the shallowest of intellects would dare to deny Jesus’ existence.”

R. J. Miller in Scott, ed. (Finding, 2008): “We can be certain that Jesus really existed (despite a few hyper-historical skeptics who refuse to be convinced).”

Vermes (2008): “Let me state plainly that I accept that Jesus was a real historical person. In my opinion, the difficulties arising from the denial of his existence, still vociferously maintained in small circles of rationalist ‘dogmatists,’ far exceed those deriving from its acceptance.”

C. A. Evans in Evans and Wright (2009): “No serious historian of any religious or nonreligious stripe doubts that Jesus of Nazareth really lived in the first century and was executed under the authority of Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea and Samaria.”

- Do Historical Scholars Think Jesus Existed?

Same with the quotes from the original post in this thread:

Quote:

- From the original post of the Religion and the Ph.D.: A Brief History thread

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:14 pm 
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Why would we consider New Testament scholars who've taken oaths to be initiated as Christian devotees to be considered non-biased in religious studies when they believe their eternal soul is on the line to support the doctrine of Jesus?:

The Apostles' Creed:

"I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen."

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

"Dear Jesus, I admit that I am a sinner deserving of Hell. I believe that you died, were buried and rose again. Please forgive me of my sins and take me to Heaven when I die. I now believe upon You alone, apart from all self-righteous works and religion, as my personal Savior. Thank you. Amen."

How to Go to Heaven According to the Word of God

"The God Who Wasn't There" (you'll find the "personal relationship with Jesus" bit starting at 41 minutes)


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:38 am 
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Below is a link to McGrath making all sorts of excuses to refuse to allow mythicism in academia:

Code:
Mythicism and the Mainstream: The Rhetoric and Realities of Academic Freedom by James McGrath
http://www.bibleinterp.com/articles/2014/03/mcg388024.shtml

Be sure to give the comments a going over. You'll see comments from Dr. Robert Price and Neil Godfrey. Post a comment yourself if you want ... perhaps a link to this thread.

McGrath is desperate to keep mythicism out of academia to protect Christianity and his little baby Jesus and he'll invent any excuse to meet those ends.

On the other hand, a major problem with some like Carrier and Godfrey is that they're far more interested in the "methodology and peer review" than they are the actual primary sources and other credible evidence, which puts them in a position where they 'can't see the forest for the trees.'

If you're paying close attention you'll notice Carrier and Godfrey's cult like worship of methodology and peer review and their constant attempt to bludgeon Acharya with them, meanwhile, elsewhere they admit that there are a great many problems with ... yep, you guested it, methodology and peer review!

Code:
Neil Godfrey's blog:

If Peer-Review Does Not Work for Science Why Does It Work for Biblical Studies?
http://vridar.org/2013/10/15/if-peer-review-does-not-work-for-science-why-does-it-work-for-biblical-studies/

"The editors of the ACP Journal Club find that less than 1% of studies in most journals are “both scientifically sound and important for clinicians”.

We have little or no evidence that peer review ‘works,’ but we have lots of evidence of its downside.

Peer-review does not detect errors. Again numerous studies have demonstrated this. Papers have certain errors deliberately inserted into them (mixes of major and minor) and are then sent to peer review, and the rate of detection of those errors is so often very, very low indeed."

Speaking on methodology Carrier recently stated on 4-26-14 on the "Geek’s Guide to the Universe" podcast episode 108 on Noah:

Code:
Carrier at 1:43:50: "Well part of my project for the 'Historicity of Jesus' was I realized that the methodology in Jesus studies is hosed basically and I'm not the only one to notice this. Many scholars in the field have pointed out that the methodologies that have been used to study Jesus are hopelessly flawed."

Carrier at 1:45:55: "I have like 50 pages in my book 'Proving History' on why the 'criterion of embarrassment' is logically fallacious and does not work in Jesus studies at all."

http://www.wired.com/2014/04/geeks-guide-christopher-moore/

For Christ sakes, in his own article even McGrath concedes the following:

Quote:
"Peer review is not intended to assess the correctness of conclusions, merely that appropriate methods are being used and scholarly norms of rigor and argumentation being followed."
- James F. McGrath

Three myths about scientific peer review
http://michaelnielsen.org/blog/three-my ... er-review/

Peer Review and Biblical Studies Scholarship
http://larryhurtado.wordpress.com/2013/ ... holarship/

Peer-review
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peer_review

Acharya's response:

Quote:
McGrath's blog

Just a couple of thoughts:

Muslim academics teach that Jesus is a mere prophet. They work hard to keep Christian views out of their universities in some Muslim-dominant countries and areas. These scholars engage in a blatant bias towards Islamic doctrine - are we supposed to accept these beliefs because they've managed to monopolize the field?

The same can be said of Christian universities and colleges - of course they will work actively to keep mythicism out. That fact, however, only proves their bias, not that they are correct."

On Methods and Methodology by Acharya

Addressing Neil Godfrey on methodology

Acharya S: Peer Review and Scholarly Journal Publications

Historians vs Classicists

A significant point apparently needs to be esssssplained on the differences between historians and classicists. Richard Carrier appears to believe that everybody needs to present a "Historian" case exactly the same way he does. Carrier has arrogantly claimed on video in a lecture that he is the ONLY mythicist anybody should listen to.

What Carrier, Neil Godfrey and company don't seem to understand is that the study of Classics INCLUDES the study of mythology. Acharya had to read Homer's Iliad and the Odyssey in their original ancient Homeric Greek language as a part of her curriculum, which are full of mythology for those who don't know.

Despite what Carrier and Godfrey claim, Acharya does in fact follow the necessary methodology from her training in Classics and if Carrier or Godfrey ever actually read her books they'd realize that fact. It's funny to see Carrier fanboy, Rook Hawkins/Tom Vern, pursue the EXACT same education that Acharya already had when Tom was born, yet, he consistently smears her while also never having actually studied her work. The utter intellectual dishonesty from this gang is out of control.

If Joseph Campbell were alive today Carrier and Godfrey would probably attack him for his methods/peer review and lack of Ph.D., which he refused specifically because he felt it would hold him back from pursuing his interests in mythology. Hell-O!!!

We mythicists did not come this far just to be discriminate against by other mythicists. Acharya S/D.M. Murdock has never done a damned thing to Neil Godfrey or Richard Carrier beyond exposing his sloppy and egregious errors in his intellectually dishonest tirades against her. I'm reminded of Acharya's review of "Jesus: God, Man or Myth?" by Herb Cutner:

Quote:
"...the mythicist school was fought tooth and nail, and almost buried, save for the few daring individuals who kept it alive over the past decades. Cutner is one of these rare and courageous individuals who risked the malevolence and vitriol of the clergy and its zealots. In his synopsis of the historical-versus-mythical, Cutner notes that the clergy's "adversaries" were dispatched in the most unprofessional and puerile manner:

Quote:
"Long ago the celebrated Dr. Bentley, in trying to dispose of Anthony Collins, had found one very fine method: convict your Freethinking opponent of fraud, ignorance, and bad scholarship, and his thesis falls to the ground. I should say rather, try to convict your opponent by this method, for some of the mud thrown is sure to stick.... By thus concentrating on mistakes of grammar or Greek, the reader is unwarily led away from the main issue which is exactly what the critic wants. Over and over again Christian controversialists have pursued this method, as if it always mattered greatly that a present tense of Greek should be the imperfect, or that a date should be conjectured as, let us say, 1702 when it ought to be 1712 in the opinion of somebody else. (27-28)"

"Indeed, there is hardly a mythicist who has not experienced such treatment, even at the hands of other mythicists and/or freethinkers, another fact highlighted by Cutner, who shows that the early modern mythicists were viciously attacked not only by Christians but also by other "rationalists" and "freethinkers" who, in their attempts to remain 'respectable' with the Christian elite, mindlessly fell in line and displayed a real lack of critical thinking. Professional jealousy also factors into this type of vitriol, as various scholars want their particular interpretation to become that which is accepted by the establishment....."

Scholars and others who've actually read Acharya's books are quite supportive of her work. For example:

Quote:
"I find it undeniable that many of the epic heroes and ancient patriarchs and matriarchs of the Old Testament were personified stars, planets, and constellations."

"I find myself in full agreement with Acharya S/D.M. Murdock"

- Dr. Robert Price, Biblical Scholar with two Ph.D's
http://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/ ... _egypt.htm

"Your scholarship is relentless! ...the research conducted by D.M. Murdock concerning the myth of Jesus Christ is certainly both valuable and worthy of consideration."
- Dr. Kenneth L. Feder, Professor of Archaeology, Central Connecticut State University, Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience In Archaeology

"I can recommend your work whole-heartedly!"
- Dr. Robert Eisenman, James the Brother of Jesus and The New Testament Code, RobertEisenman.com

"I've known people with triple Ph.D's who haven't come close to the scholarship in Who Was Jesus?"
- Pastor David Bruce, M.Div, North Park Seminary, Chicago, HollywoodJesus.com

"Thirty years ago, when in divinity school, I might have had second thoughts about becoming an Episcopal priest if a book like D.M. Murdock's 'Who Was Jesus?' had been available to me."
- Bob Semes, Retired university professor of History and Religion, Founder and Executive Director of The Jefferson Center

"...I have found her scholarship, research, knowledge of the original languages, and creative linkages to be breathtaking and highly stimulating."
- Rev. Dr. Jon Burnham, Pastor, Presbyterian Church, Houston, TX

"Acharya S has done a superb job in bringing together the rich panoply of ancient world mythology and culture, and presenting it in a comprehensive and compelling fashion."
- Earl Doherty, The Jesus Puzzle

"The Christ Conspiracy—very, very scholarly and wholly researched—is a book for today..."
- Rev. B. Strauss, ex-Catholic Priest, Chicago, IL

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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 2:50 am 
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Some barely literate person was trying to deflect off my work by saying that I don't have a doctorate, therefore blah, blah, blah. I think my response is worth repeating here.

Attacking my credentials is credentialism, and it is a logical fallacy. Most of the people pretending to be valid critics of my work have no relevant credentials themselves, so by their own "logic" we should ignore everything they say.

This fallacy fails to take into account that much of my work consists of quoting ancient texts, primary sources in their original languages, as well as the works of highly credentialed authorities. Hence, dismissing these sources is an illogical and dishonest act if one is concerned about credentials.

Moreover, many authorities previously have not had PhDs. For example, Joseph Campbell eschewed obtaining a PhD for much the same reason that I did, which was that he didn't want to be limited to what the school wanted from him. Neither do I want to be hampered in such a manner. I wouldn't be doing this work if I had earned a PhD and was working at a university. My hands would be tied.

Credentialism is the last desperate refuge for those who can't think for themselves. My superior education, post graduate work, facility for languages and high IQ are credentials enough for what I do.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 5:19 pm 
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I use to sometime ago debate the Mythicists issues on forums I would join but I stopped long ago just because of what was spoken about earlier in this thread "credentials!" You get some fundie backed in a corner and when they can see no way out they ask where are your "credentials?" I have not led a life with a silver spoon in my mouth and have not went to college. Hell I only got a GED while doing military service. It's for this reason I just stopped debating the Christ Myth because it took me some years to realize that its a no win situation. Christianity has had 2000 years to cover these lies and myths.

I find the subject of Astrotheology fascinating but do not go out of my way to join forums to debate it. I believe all in all the debate about Jesus Never Existing has died. A few such as Ken Humphrey, Earl Doherty and others have kept the debate's head slightly above water but the ship is listing badly to starboard at this point.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 11:59 am 
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Here's an addendum, a comment I posted on Facebook, that can be copied and pasted wherever this fallacy is raised. (Yes, I'd love attribution.)

One of the more frequent fallacies we see is the appeal to credentialism. Firstly, it should be recalled that credentialed institutions in the Western world commonly have been founded in the name of Christianity; hence, credentials from those schools/seminaries often have been skewed towards upholding Christian doctrines. It is because of this potential bias or compulsion towards a certain viewpoint that I specifically did not pursue a PhD, the same reason the esteemed mythologist Joseph Campbell also avoided one.

Secondly, not all degrees/doctorates are equal or equally obtained. Some require much harder work and more money to acquire, meaning they are out of reach of the bulk of humanity and reflect elitism, not necessarily expertise. Others can be picked up much more easily and cheaply, so just sporting a PhD or other doctorate after one's name does not insure competence or expertise.

Having a doctorate also is not necessarily a sign of intelligence. There have been people with 100 IQs who have them, while many with genius IQs have not.

Instead of relying fallaciously on credentials - behavior that indicates insecurity with the subject matter - read the actual facts, check them and mull them over. Do they make sense? Are they logical? Scientific?

Taking someone's word on something simply because they have "alphabet soup" after their name can turn out to be a really bad idea. There have been many charlatans and lesser intellects with higher degrees who have spread terrible falsehoods and created horrendous paradigms. Caveat lector!

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=3110

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:39 pm 
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New Blog: Bart Ehrman errs again – this time about virgin births

Did the historical Jesus exist -Bart Ehrman (2.5 minute)


At 1:55 (or 53:13 in the full version) you can hear Ehrman claim:

Quote:
"I think that atheists have done themselves a disservice by jumping on the bandwagon of mythicism because, frankly, it makes you look foolish to the outside world."
– Bart Ehrman

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"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."

- Upton Sinclair


It's frustrating that the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) will invite Bart Ehrman for a lecture and even give him an award but, refuse to invite Acharya S/Murdock for a lecture or their radio show or anything. I have lost loads of confidence in the FFRF and other secular organizations who refuse to invite Murdock - THAT is the true "disservice" here. She should be invited to speak at every major freethought and mythicist lecture event like Skepticon for example. Supporters of Murdock's work need to start putting in requests for her to speak at lectures.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 5:36 pm 
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Borrowed from: Book: Ehrman and the Quest of the Historical Jesus

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 2:47 pm 
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College Accreditation Should Be Denied To All Evangelical Institutions That Require Professors To Sign Doctrinal Statements

http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2015/01/college-accreditation-should-be-denied.html

A typical doctrinal statement:

Quote:
We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are verbally and plenarily inspired of God, are inerrant in the original writings, and are the infallible authority in all matters of faith and conduct (II Timothy 3:16).

Quote:
"Why is college accreditation important?

Quote:
There are several reasons accreditation is important besides ensurance of quality and adherence to academic standards. Accreditation determines a school's eligibility for participation in federal (Title IV) and state financial aid programs, as well as eligibility for employer tuition assistance. Proper accreditation is integral for the acceptance and transfer of college credit, and is a prerequisite for many graduate programs. In addition, degrees attained from a school without regional accreditation may not be as accepted for professions that require licensure..."

Should something be done about this? I think so, and it has nothing to do with me being an atheist. I recognize private colleges have First Amendment protections. At the same time accreditation agencies exist in order to insure the quality of education that students can expect to receive in American colleges. So the best and only way to insure the quality of education in institutions of higher learning is to withhold accreditation from them if they are sectarian in nature, if they have a doctrinal statement that forms the foundation of their colleges, and if they force their professors to sign a doctrinal statement (and/or their graduating students).

Here are some more links to doctrinal statements as examples:

Liberty University
http://www.liberty.edu/aboutliberty/?PID=6907

Dallas Theological Seminary
http://www.dts.edu/about/doctrinalstatement/

Biola University
http://www.biola.edu/about/doctrinal-statement/

Grand Canyon University
http://www.gcu.edu/About-Us/Doctrinal-Statement.php

and many more: https://www.google.com/#q=%22doctrinal+statement%22

Perhaps somebody would post a link to this thread over there for those who may be interested:

Code:
Religion and the Ph.D.: A Brief History
http://freethoughtnation.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3110

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:53 pm 
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We've heard Richard Carrier repeat that pre-1950's work is regarded as outdated and untrustworthy but, he fails to mention that around that time period is when the Religious-Right in America went into full on "War with the Secular World" mode. Remember, in the 1950's is when Senator Joseph McCarthy got us "In God We Trust" on the $1 dollar and "under god" in the Pledge of Allegiance and the 10 Commandments, prayer in schools and all those blue laws etc. Well, here's a book by a professor of history at Princeton University, Dr. Kevin M. Kruse, entitled: One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America that backs up what we've been saying.

Here's an NPR interview with Dr. Kruse about his new book: How 'One Nation' Didn't Become 'Under God' Until The '50s Religious Revival

A Christian Nation? Since When?

Birth Of A (Christian) Nation: Scholars Debate The Genesis Of A Popular Myth

Throughout this era America was trying to differentiate itself from both, the Nazi's twisted version of Paganism and the Soviet communism/atheism of World War II, which meant stepping away from the American founding father's secular values as well as mythicism. This is a major reason how we ended up with all this pathetic methodology throughout the academic world that accepted the claim that Jesus existed based on no credible evidence whatsoever. Being made aware of this information is very important in order to better understand the GOP/Republican religious right and their influence upon academia. Now is an imperative time to understand this information since the GOP now has its largest majority in Congress since World War II, so, don't make the mistake of assuming they won't be pulling more Senator Joseph McCarthy crap - like they are right now with their anti-gay laws and more. Soon, I bet they plan to eliminate separation of church and state or something, which is scary because there are too many fundy Christian extremists on the Supreme Court who have spoken out publicly against church/state separation, which is one of the great things about America along with the 1st Amendment and much more.

So, one can see how important this information is, so, why does Richard Carrier and company appear not to know anything about it?

Quotes from the book description:

Quote:
"As Kruse argues, the belief that America is fundamentally and formally a Christian nation originated in the 1930s when businessmen enlisted religious activists in their fight against FDR’s New Deal. Corporations from General Motors to Hilton Hotels bankrolled conservative clergymen, encouraging them to attack the New Deal as a program of “pagan statism” that perverted the central principle of Christianity: the sanctity and salvation of the individual. Their campaign for “freedom under God” culminated in the election of their close ally Dwight Eisenhower in 1952."

"But this apparent triumph had an ironic twist. In Eisenhower’s hands, a religious movement born in opposition to the government was transformed into one that fused faith and the federal government as never before. During the 1950s, Eisenhower revolutionized the role of religion in American political culture, inventing new traditions from inaugural prayers to the National Prayer Breakfast. Meanwhile, Congress added the phrase “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance and made “In God We Trust” the country’s first official motto. With private groups joining in, church membership soared to an all-time high of 69%. For the first time, Americans began to think of their country as an officially Christian nation."


Quote:
Ignore Pre-1950 Scholarship

Instead of studying the subject to gain expertise in comparative religion and mythology dating back thousands of years, Carrier admits to confining his knowledge to the past several decades. Recounting his scholarly training, he says:

Quote:
The first day I arrived in the office of my graduate advisor (sic) at Columbia University, Professor William V. Harris, a very distinguished scholar of ancient history, one of the first things he said to me is (paraphrasing, since I can't recall his exact words--this was now about ten years ago), "Don't rely on anything written before 1950 or so unless you can confirm what it says from primary evidence or more recent scholarship."

"In fact, almost every historical work written before 1950 is regarded as outdated and untrustworthy by historians today."

"History Before 1950"
richardcarrier.blogspot.com/2007/04/history-before-1950.html

(See also: http://freethoughtnation.com/forums/vie ... 171#p25171)

How can Carrier claim nobody should study and discuss pre-1950's works, when much of the 18th/19th century mythicist material came out during the brilliant "Age of Enlightenment," the same time as when Bayes came out with his theorem? That's like biologists not studying Darwin or Mendel because they're "old" and "outdated!"

Of course, we shouldn't rely on scholarship from any single source or era, and primary sources and modern scholarship definitely should be consulted as well, which Murdock does all the time - in their original languages. Carrier wouldn't know that fact, because he hasn't studied her work and just repeats lies about it.

But, ignorance is not expertise! To be an expert, you have to study a subject inside and out, not lazily confine yourself to a tiny percentage of the research on a subject. Also, while historical texts may need constant revision, the subjects of religion and mythology generally do not - and those are the subjects we are dealing with here.


Freethinkaluva22 wrote:
Remember now, Richard Carrier says to avoid anything pre-1950's as if to imply that anything after that is fine or at least better. Here's a discussion of that http://freethoughtnation.com/forums/vie ... 171#p25171

The quotes below make a strong case against Dick Carrier's claim that only post-1950's works should be held up as reliable when the quotes are embarrassingly bogus yet, post 1950's! It shows how even modern scholars can be so categorically wrong:

Quote:
Bultmann (1958): “Of course the doubt as to whether Jesus really existed is unfounded and not worth refutation. No sane person can doubt that Jesus stands as founder behind the historical movement whose first distinct stage is represented by the oldest Palestinian community.”

Bornkamm (I960): “To doubt the historical existence of Jesus at all . . . was reserved for an unrestrained, tendentious criticism of modern times into which it is not worth while to enter here.”

Marxsen (1970): “I am of the opinion (and it is an opinion shared by every serious historian) that the theory ['that Jesus never lived, that he was a purely mythical figure'] is historically untenable.”

Grant (1977): “To sum up, modern critical methods fail to support the Christ-myth theory. It has ‘again and again been answered and annihilated by first-rank scholars.’ In recent years ‘no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non-historicity of Jesus’—or at any rate very few, and they have not succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary.”

M. Martin (1991): “Well’s thesis [that Jesus never existed] is controversial and not widely accepted.”

Van Voorst (2000): “Contemporary New Testament scholars have typically viewed their [i.e., Jesus mythers] arguments as so weak or bizarre that they relegate them to footnotes, or often ignore them completely.”

Burridge and Could (2004): “There are those who argue that Jesus is a figment of the Church’s imagination, that there never was a Jesus at all. I have to say that I do not know any respectable critical scholar who says that any more.”

Allison (“Explaining,” 2005): “No responsible scholar can find any truth in it.”

Maier (2005): “the total evidence is so overpowering, so absolute that only the shallowest of intellects would dare to deny Jesus’ existence.”

R. J. Miller in Scott, ed. (Finding, 2008): “We can be certain that Jesus really existed (despite a few hyper-historical skeptics who refuse to be convinced).”

Vermes (2008): “Let me state plainly that I accept that Jesus was a real historical person. In my opinion, the difficulties arising from the denial of his existence, still vociferously maintained in small circles of rationalist ‘dogmatists,’ far exceed those deriving from its acceptance.”

C. A. Evans in Evans and Wright (2009): “No serious historian of any religious or nonreligious stripe doubts that Jesus of Nazareth really lived in the first century and was executed under the authority of Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea and Samaria.”

- Do Historical Scholars Think Jesus Existed?

Same with the quotes from the original post in this thread:

Quote:

- From the original post of the Religion and the Ph.D.: A Brief History thread

In the video below, Carrier makes a few brief comments regarding peer review:

Code:
Richard Carrier Deconstructs Christianity in One Hour
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3jvINxIcwc

Quote:
At 6 minutes - Question: "You mentioned that your book is peer reviewed and generally I relate that to journals, do books receive peer review and how is that peer review process going? Are you running into any problems even in academia regarding your peer review of this topic that, you know, can ruffle feathers sometimes?

Quote:
6:20 Carrier: "Yeah, not this one per say, peer review can be problematic in a lot of ways because a lot of people have axes to grind well outside of this subject in all subjects in history. So, sometimes it can be very difficult to get through peer review because your peer reviewers won't be fair to you. I know, I know, I mean, I'm sure every single historian in every single field has stories to tell about unfair and biased peer review process they've had to deal with."

We support peer review but also understand that it doesn't guaranty that any work will be inerrant or free from all errors but, Carrier never mentions any of that. Btw, I have found errors in Carrier's own university press peer reviewed book "On the Historicity of Jesus" myself.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 8:50 pm 
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Hi guys, I just want to share this fantastic blog of Tim Claason which delves into the history of early Christianity, Gnosticism, and the lack of evidence for the historical Jesus and it's characters. He focuses mostly on Gnosticism and how the early orthodoxy used the OT and the works of historians like Josephus to flesh out the Jesus we know today. There are few things that I don't agree personally but he seems to be quite the erudite author and he is very kind even when people seems to disagree or he disagrees to a comment.

https://timsteppingout.wordpress.com/

Here's his post on the Alexandrian roots of Christianity. https://timsteppingout.wordpress.com/2016/07/16/the-out-of-egypt-theory-and-an-alternative/

Cerinthus: The Most Important Heretic You’ve Never Heard Of
John The Baptist Didn’t Exist Either
The Curious Case of the Gnostic Mandaeans


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:27 pm 
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The "scholarly consensus" for a historical Jesus is a load of crap

I am so tired of hearing this type of argument because we now know it is false:

"That Jesus existed is the common opinion of all academic experts since long ago"

LOL, that claim is very misleading and down-right false when one studies the issue as Historians nor New Testament scholars study the case for mythicism. There is no place one can go in academia to get a Ph.d. in mythicism like we are talking about that includes the study of astrotheology and archaeoastronomy etc.

Here's one of the most famous New Testament scholars Dr. Bart Ehrman admitting that he and most New Testament scholars know nothing about the case for mythicism:

Quote:
"Writing Did Jesus Exist was an interesting task. For one thing, before writing the book, like most New Testament scholars, I knew almost nothing about the mythicist movement."
- Dr. Bart Ehrman

I have read Ehrman's previous books which were actually quite good and did dispute many Christian beliefs. My issue is with his book, Did Jesus Exist (DJE), which was very unlike Ehrman to do such sloppy and dishonest work that misrepresented mythicists arguments and even lied.

Christians love to claim that the "scholarly consensus" agrees that Jesus was a historical character, but sadly, nobody ever checks into this claim to discover what this so-called "scholarly consensus" really is all about. Below is a quote from historian Richard Carrier in a video discussing this exact issue:

Quote:
"...you have secular scholars but secular scholars were all trained up in schools and programs that were developed originally by Christians and so a lot of their training and education is imbuing them with a lot of Christian faith tradition they are being told is just the consensus knowledge and so they go on repeating that so, they've actually been affected by the same attitudes as Christians and just not aware of the fact that they've been in the cultural package that's been installed in them was actually created by Christianity, by the believers and so we don't have that happening for example with secular Hercules people who are studying Hercules or the other mystery religions those scholars don't have a package that was created in their institutions to sell them and to teach them that was created by believers in those gods so that's why we have this different breakdown of why people treat Jesus different even secular scholars ..."
- Dr. Richard Carrier, Historian

He goes on too, starts at 20:22: watch?v=aFCbUyIK_Wk

Below is Dr. Robert Price essentially saying the same thing:

Quote:
"As for this tiresome business about there being "no scholar" or "no serious scholar" who advocates the Christ Myth theory: Isn't it obvious that scholarly communities are defined by certain axioms in which grad students are trained, and that they will lose standing in those communities if they depart from those axioms? The existence of an historical Jesus is currently one of those. That should surprise no one, especially with the rightward lurch of the Society for Biblical Literature in recent years. It simply does not matter how many scholars hold a certain opinion."
- Dr. Robert Price, Biblical Scholar with two Ph.D's

Quote:
"Scholars in general can also be notoriously cautious, particularly when it comes to stepping on the toes of mainstream institutions, especially those of a religious bent—and there have been many such establishments, including major universities like Yale and Harvard, both of which started as Christian divinity schools.1 Numerous other institutions in the Christian world were either founded specifically as Christian universities and colleges or had seminaries attached to them. As stated on the Princeton Theological Seminary website, regarding early American education:

"Within the last quarter of the eighteenth century, all learning ... could be adequately taught and studied in the schools and colleges, nearly all of which were church initiated."2

Footnotes:

1. See the Yale Divinity School website: “Training for the Christian Ministry was a main purpose in the founding of Yale College in 1701.” (“History of Yale Divinity School.”) See also the Harvard Divinity School website: “The origins of Harvard Divinity School and the study of theology at Harvard can be traced back to the very beginning of Harvard College.” (“Harvard Divinity School–History and Mission.”)
2. “About Princeton Theological Seminary–History of the Seminary.”

- Christ in Egypt, 505

I have yet to see any serious investigation into how assorted religious institutions and organizations have influenced various academic theological courses with their funding, grants, donations and other influences; and to what degree it continues to this very day. Here is a recent example of what's wrong in academia still to this day. We have professional archaeologists publicly saying that other archaeologists are "bending science to prove a Biblical heritage" ... with "generous funding, from religious groups"

Quote:
"Archaeologists have given up many of their best practices in order to answer the continuing demands of mainly political actors," says Raphael Greenberg, an Israeli archaeologist from Tel Aviv University, who has worked in Jerusalem.

"says some archaeologists cater to financial donors like Elad, which seeks to establish Biblical roots and develop tourism"

"Over time, when you're funded by these people in huge sums, and we're talking millions of dollars, you become part of the machine," argued Greenberg, who has been speaking out for some time over his doubts about archaeology in the holy city.

Jerusalem archaeologists feel pressured on all sides.

"I'm being looked at by religious extremists on all sides, the municipality, and the Antiquities Authority. Everybody is pushing his side," says Ronny Reich, an archaeologist from the University of Haifa in northern Israel."

Researchers dig up controversy in Jerusalem, Reuters, Mar 24, 2010

Quote:
"The Mythicist case has been rebutted? Really? When did that happen? The arguments of the Mythicist camp have never been refuted - they have only been steadfastly ignored."
- Dr. Robert Price, Biblical Scholar with two Ph.D's

Quote:
"The "Jesus Christ" of the New Testament is a fictional compilation of characters, not a single historical individual. A compilation of multiple "people" is no one. When the mythological and midrashic layers are removed, there remains no historical core to the onion. The evidence reveals that the gospel story is myth historicized, not history mythologized."

— D.M. Murdock/Acharya S

Jesus Christ is a mythical figure

Image

Image


These are just a small example of why there are valid and very serious trust issues with the so-called "scholarly consensus" for a historical Jesus. The "scholarly consensus" for a historical Jesus is a load of crap. Bart Ehrman admits that he and New Testament scholars know nothing about mythicism so, why would we ever trust them about it - we should not be looking for their approval on the issue of mythicism because they are not even qualified to discuss it. All they can do is fall back on the "scholarly consensus" strawman argument based on a built-in biases across academia. Courses on religion might as well have a sign up saying: "Mythicists NOT allowed, accept Jesus as a historical figure or else"

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