Apparently you can't do polls on here.... but

Do any of you think that Jesus actually existed? What do category do you fall into?

A. Believed he existed, claims are false

B. Believed he existed, claims are exaggerated

C. Don't believe he existed

D. Believe he existed, claims are true (sorry had to leave the idiot category open)

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HA HA HA!!! I'm not a Goddess... I'm SATAN!!! Bow down and worship me!! lol
HA! ;)
F. He probably didn't exist - but there's no way to disprove it, and the evidence for and against his existance are both fairly weak.
I'm sorry if I don't deal with your full post. I assume that when someone posts a laundry list of evidences for anything, they lead with their best evidence and if the first couple items aren't persuasive, it's a waste of time to "fisk" the whole thing.

You wrote:

"Of course Jesus actually existed. The historian Thomas Cahill, in "Desire of the Everlasting Hills: The World Before and After Jesus" examines the historical evidence. By closely comparing the first hand accounts in the Gospels, there is a discernible personality and a distinct moral sensibility."

You begin with an assertion and follow it up with an appeal to presumed authority which leads to this:"By closely comparing the first hand accounts in the Gospels, there is a discernible personality and a distinct moral sensibility." Yes, so what? You can say the same about a number of fictional narratives, including Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories.

"There was a recently discovered a 2,000 year-old ossuary (bone box) with his name on it in the same tomb as his brother James. Even though there are questions as to the authenticity of the inscription, everything else in the tomb tends to substantiate that there was a group of his followers (led by St. James) who considered themselves followers of Jesus but who still considered themselves Jews. There is also mention of him by Josephus, a Jewish contemporary. And, there is the recently discovered, and apparently authentic, Gospel of Judas Iscariot."

The James Ossuary is a forgery, the forger has been arrested. All it proves is there were ossuaries at the time of the supposed historical Jesus. The quote by Josephus is likely a later interpolation into a text not written contemporaneously or by any witnesses in the first place. And the Gospel of Judas is "apparently authentic"? An authentic what? Authentic Gospel? Authentically written by Judas? Or just another bit of oral tradition not written by an apostle of uncertain provenance? As the Gospel of Judas so revises the story of Jesus and Judas it worsens the problem of inter-gospel contradiction, and so much for "discernible personality and a distinct moral sensibility".

And so on and so on...

All your post proves is that bad evidence is not proof, even if you have lots of it.
Wait a minute, you were expecting me to provide proof? For my belief as to whether or not Jesus existed?

I'm sorry. I thought what you wrote was intended to be some form of evidence. I apologize for not recognizing "shits and giggles" when I see it.

I'm curious, what would constitute proof?

Verifiable eyewitness accounts and artifacts such as we have for other historical figures, such as Confucius, who pre-dated Jesus by 500 years. Ever been to the Kong Family Mansion in Qifu, Shindong Province China? I have. You could question the writings, artifacts and buildings we have surrounding the historical Confucius, but it's still more than you have for Jesus, and whatever refutation you make for the historicity of Confucius would apply to what little dubious evidence you have for Jesus.

Would a preponderance (more likely than not) standard of evidence suffice? "Clear and convincing" evidence? Or do you require proof beyond a reasonable doubt? Would Socrates meet these criteria?

What I don't accept is what you just did: Shotgunning bad evidence as if quantity of bad evidence is a substitute for quality.

Socrates doesn't meet the criteria for being a verifiable historical figure. Based on evidence, or lack thereof, it's just as likely he was a literary device invented by Plato.

As for the James Ossuary, well, I guess you can't believe everything you see on PBS.

The link I provided wasn't PBS. It was archeological sources. I'm not going to take you seriously if you can't honestly respond to a cite and make a straw-man rebuttal instead. The fact that you didn't bother to check the link speaks volumes for your "research". You've obviously started from a bunch of assumptions and are mining evidence to support it: The exact opposite of intellectually honest inquiry. You didn't check the link because, obviously, you can't be bothered with any evidence that might throw doubt on the conclusion that you are scurrying around to find evidence for.

I surmise, since your information is so much more up to date than mine, that this is a particular interest of yours. Are you prepared to refute the well-settled, time-honored consensus of modern scholarship on the historical Jesus?

Sure. Provide it and I'll evaluate it. I wouldn't claim I would refute any evidence a priori. If you have nothing specific, you are just making the most laughably vague appeal to authority.

You've got me curious. If there was no historical Jesus, where did the Jesus Movement come from?

The same magic ass pixie factory where they made King Arthur.

Who wrote the gospels?

People. And whoever they were they were almost certainly not witnesses to the events depicted in the gospels or contemporaries of Jesus.

Are you claiming the Gospels were written by the apostles?

And, of course... what is your proof?

I don't have to prove a negative. If you claim Jesus existed, the burden of proof is on you. If you claim the gospels were written by the apostles, the burden of proof is on you.

You really aren't prepared to have this argument, are you?

Indeed, what proof do I have that you exist?

I could provide proof for my existence, but I have no way of knowing what proof you have at the moment.
Incidentally, had you checked the links you might have seen this:

That's the "James Ossuary". When the police raided the forger's home, it was found stashed in a filthy bathroom. The ossuary an important bit of evidence for the historical Jesus? No. And even the forger didn't think so.

Why you should always check people's cites, and be open to new, even countervailing evidence, and constantly update your sources is obvious.

Your arguments may not improve. You may even have to abandon them.

But you'll look like less of a clown.
Frankly, it never occurred to me that I would be expected to provide "verifiable eye-witness accounts and artifacts, such as we have for historical figures, such as Confucius" in order to "prove" that the historical Jesus existed.

Now it does.

Apparently, Thomas Cahill's "Desire of the Everlasting Hills," being a mere summary of the past 100 years of scholarship on the subject is insufficient, and inadmissible in any case because it would constitute an "appeal to authority."

Maybe it will occur to you that a single pop historian who happens to agree with your a priori assumptions doesn't make for historical consensus.

If this is what your atheist community is all about, I don't want any part of it.

Yeah, that's right: I'm Emperor of Atheist Nexus, you maroon.
All hail the new Emperor! How did you overthrow Brother Richard? =P
C, because we don't have any proof. To convict someone of a crime you must have proof and its the same with making claims. I think religious people are afraid to let go of those jewish fairytales the same way a child doesn't want to let go of santa clause, its a form of escapism like t.v., drugs and gossip news.
Thing is, Jesus didn't found anything, which also speaks against his historicity. What we know as Christianity is derived from the oral traditions of several sects and later codified years, generations even, after the events. What we mostly think of as Christianity is founded by Saul of Tarsus.
A as far as we can tell, jesus did exist, however all or most claims are false
B. He existed, no doubt, but he was nothing more than a minor rabbi. He provided and taught love, kindness, and acceptance. He did not perform miracles that any modern magician cannot do, though. I bet if he was alive today, he'd also be the best source for good quality marijuana. XD He was the world's first hippy.


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