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Tom Foss
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Soil Creep: I bought into the "Jesus in the Orient" hypothesis for some time, but I've been a bit more skeptical of it since a commenter suggested its racist roots. The ideas of Buddhism weren't isolated, and I don't know that there's any real reason to posit Jesus's travels in Southeast Asia. Given the shaky evidence for his existence at all, let alone for the truth of the reported details of his life, I think it's difficult to say anything about what the real Jesus did or said, assuming he even existed. As to Dionysus, he's not the only one. The various tropes of the Jesus story are present throughout mythologies around the world, but particularly around the Mediterranean. At the very least, I think this is evidence that the Jesus story was mythologized and fictionalized according to the conventions of the day. I don't think it's a very extraordinary claim to suggest that there was an itinerant Jewish preacher with an apocalyptical bent roaming around Judea in the first century (in fact, it seems that there were several). It's not even that extraordinary that he said some stuff that eventually got recorded by followers. But when we start getting into the details of the life of a person who may or may not have ever lived, we're running onto shaky ground.
Toggle Commented Apr 15, 2009 on Easter and God the Victim at Skeptico
1 reply
Qjet: i gotta say, it sounds like christopher is being an obstinate child on the show. hey i agree with him, but refusing to follow a hypothetical situation That's not what Hitchens was doing. Friel posed a "What if X, wouldn't you therefore say Y?" and Hitchens said "no, given X, I wouldn't say Y." The only thing Hitchens wasn't going along with was Friel's script. Even if God created me, I wouldn't say that he "owned" me. Even if Jesus died for me, I wouldn't consider it a particularly great or generous act--it's not a generous act to correct your own mistake, and it's certainly not generous to use it as blackmail for eternity thereafter. Even if you accept Friel's premises, his conclusions do not necessarily follow, which is precisely what Hitchens was trying to show. becuase you know the result is compromising your principles to win an argument I think "compromising your principles" would be allowing the schmuck to run through his scripted argument without pointing out the gaping holes in it. I mean, even though it is a waste-of-time exercise in "what if I were right, wouldn't you say I'm right?" the argument isn't one where the conclusions are necessarily implied by the premises. and that makes you a true fagot. Classy. deep: I don't get the whole "punishment I deserve" thing anyway. What the hell have I done that makes me deserve to get crucified? No, no, you deserve to be tortured forever, and your crime was being born, because someone (who never existed) didn't understand right from wrong and didn't therefore recognize the wrongness in disobedience. But Jesus paid for your eternity of torture in Hell with a day of torture on Earth and a few hours in Hell, and so now you only deserve eternal torture for the crime of being born if you commit the second crime of not being adequately reverent of this great act of sacrifice. Skemono: What really gets to me is the belief that some people have that Jesus being crucified was somehow a noble act of sacrifice on his part. But he supposedly comes back just three days later. Yeah, exactly. If you told me that I could be whipped, beaten, and nailed to a tree until I died, but less than three days later I'd be God, I'd take the deal without hesitation. What's a few hours of torture when it's followed by an eternity of omnipotence?
Toggle Commented Apr 13, 2009 on Easter and God the Victim at Skeptico
1 reply