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Old 03-14-2017, 01:40 PM   #76
Aaron W.
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Re: Is there any evidence that Jesus Christ existed?

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Originally Posted by Lychon View Post
I'm pointing out that established scholarship on the historicity of Jesus has recognized a distinct religious bias as far as ecclesiastical methodology is concerned, meaning that certain religious sources in support of Jesus' historicity are disputed or outright rejected by academics in the field.
Except that they're not. I welcome you to cite a mainstream argument in favor of the historicity of Jesus that simultaneously rejects the canonized gospels (the implicit object of conversation) as being meaningful evidence in favor of Jesus' existence.
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Old 03-14-2017, 06:18 PM   #77
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Re: Is there any evidence that Jesus Christ existed?

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Except that they're not. I welcome you to cite a mainstream argument in favor of the historicity of Jesus that simultaneously rejects the canonized gospels (the implicit object of conversation) as being meaningful evidence in favor of Jesus' existence.
Yes, they are. Here is an example:

""...The point I shall argue below is that, the agreed evidentiary practices of the historians of Yeshua, despite their best efforts, have not been those of sound historical practice"

Donald H. Akenson (29 September 2001). Surpassing Wonder: The Invention of the Bible and the Talmuds. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-01073-1.

https://books.google.com/books?id=40E8am9SlwgC

Also, try not to pervert the argument to escape admitting your error here: the dispute is about the methodologies used by some ecclesiastics, and not about a wholesale rejection of the gospels outright. Stay on topic.

P.S. I'm simply amazed that out of the 20 or so individual arguments we've had so far amongst the several threads, you've managed to lose all 20. Pick your battles more carefully in the future to avoid this humiliation.
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Old 03-14-2017, 06:29 PM   #78
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Re: Is there any evidence that Jesus Christ existed?

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Never said that a trend is evidence of individual action- that is a straw man. The argument is that religious bias in ecclesiastical historicity arguments is firmly established in scholarship, and that claiming it is an "absolute failure" as to referencing such bias is simply unreasonable. Moreover, no one ever said anything about discounting historians based on their "religion or lack thereof". I'm making a general statement about ecclesiastical bias, and not commenting on particular works or historians.

This isn't a "hypothesis": it is established scholarship that ecclesiastical bias exists. I agree that applying this across the board to any ecclesiastical historicity argument is absurd, but that's not remotely my position here. Rather, it is simply that such bias has been recognized, and that implying that it is an "absolute failure" to consider it is unreasonable.
But now you've just moved back to your unfair interpretations. "Rejecting historians just because they are Christians is an abolute failure" (paraphrased) obviously doesn't translate to "Specific historic method by a specific group of Christian scholars is an absolute failure".

You do this way too much. You translate people's statements into something very different and then you attack it - and if called out you start to backpeddle before you return to your initial misinterpretation when the debate has moved on.

You seem to think it "wins" you something. I have no idea why, this isn't a presidential election. Try engaging people on what they say, instead of spinning imaginary discussions.
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Old 03-14-2017, 06:48 PM   #79
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Re: Is there any evidence that Jesus Christ existed?

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But now you've just moved back to your unfair interpretations. "Rejecting historians just because they are Christians is an abolute failure" (paraphrased) obviously doesn't translate to "Specific historic method by a specific group of Christian scholars is an absolute failure".
No, I have done no such thing: Aaron W.'s "absolute failure" quote belies a recognized religious bias in Christian (read: ecclesiastical) historicity arguments. The original quote goes as such:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron W.
"Yeah, but all those writings were by *CHRISTIANS* and shouldn't count" argument (which is an absolute failure when it comes to debating the subject)
It is precisely being a Christian polemicist that gives rise to a greater likelihood of the religious bias in question, therefore to claim it is an "absolute failure when it comes to debating the subject" is simply false because it belies the existence and likelihood of such bias. This is wholly distinct from arguing that Christian historicity arguments are automatically invalid, which is the straw man you erected afore.

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You do this way too much. You translate people's statements into something very different and then you attack it - and if called out you start to backpeddle before you return to your initial misinterpretation when the debate has moved on.
False again. This is most amusing, coming from someone who has established a pattern of wilful misinterpretation of his opponent's polemics, only to shift gears after being exposed. What you're doing here is projecting your own sophistic methods of arguing onto your opponent in hopes of preempting criticism. Specifically, you've made blatant hermeneutical errors, and are now accusing me of the same without providing any valid support for the accusation. Most unfortunate.

For example, you erected a straw man about my position here, pretending that I was arguing that Christian historicity arguments should be automatically discounted, and after having that shredded, you now soften your approach by misquoting Aaron W. to allow your critique to stick. As I explained above, it does not stick: Aaron W.'s extreme language belies a distinct and recognized religious bias among ecclesiastical historicity arguments, and there is nothing unreasonable in pointing that out.

Try not to deflect with such puerile projection- when you make an error, own it and move on. Going through this song and dance to save face is unnecessary.

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You seem to think it "wins" you something. I have no idea why, this isn't a presidential election. Try engaging people on what they say, instead of spinning imaginary discussions.
If you're involved in some fantastical exchanges that I am unaware of, that has nothing to do with me. I've responded to your sophisms and straw men cogently and logically, and in response, you've chosen to project your ego-driven desire to save face over making numerous errors of reading comprehension. As related above, there is no need for this, and neither is there a need to distract from your fault by analogizing to a "presidential election". I've made my position clear: claiming that it is an "absolute failure in debating the subject" in pointing out that the argument arises from a Christian ideologue belies an established religious bias for historicity arguments. It does not necessarily mean that any specific arguments or historians are so tainted.

If you need additional elaboration on this, let me know. Keep the sophisms and ego to a minimum, please, and please try not to project your methods and frustrations onto your opponent.
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Old 03-14-2017, 06:53 PM   #80
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Re: Is there any evidence that Jesus Christ existed?

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No, i have done no such thing: Aaron W.'s "absolute failure" quote belies a recognized religious bias in Christian (read: ecclesiastical) historicity arguments. The original quote goes as such:



It is precisely being Christian that gives rise to a greater likelihood of the religious bias in question, therefore to claim it is an "absolute failure when it comes to debating the subject" is simply false because it belies the existence and likelihood of such bias. This is wholly distinct from arguing that Christian historicity arguments are automatically invalid, which is the straw man you erected afore.
So Christians can't be decent historians when it comes to the historicity of Jesus?

Yes or no will suffice.
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Old 03-14-2017, 07:04 PM   #81
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Re: Is there any evidence that Jesus Christ existed?

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So Christians can't be decent historians when it comes to the historicity of Jesus?

Yes or no will suffice.
More wilful misinterpretation of my position to avoid admitting your original mistake. The argument is that a distinct religious bias has been recognized amongst Christian polemicists, and making extreme statements like "absolute failure" belies this recognition. That's the entire argument- it has nothing to do with whether Christians are capable of being decent historians.

You're spinning too fast. Cool off for a second.
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Old 03-14-2017, 10:03 PM   #82
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Re: Is there any evidence that Jesus Christ existed?

Seems like it is more plausible that there is an anti-religious bias on the part of skeptics.
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Old 03-14-2017, 10:18 PM   #83
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Re: Is there any evidence that Jesus Christ existed?

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Yes, they are. Here is an example:

""...The point I shall argue below is that, the agreed evidentiary practices of the historians of Yeshua, despite their best efforts, have not been those of sound historical practice"

Donald H. Akenson (29 September 2001). Surpassing Wonder: The Invention of the Bible and the Talmuds. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-01073-1.
This makes me wonder if you actually read the statement in context. None of the 9 questions listed have anything to do with challenging the historicity of Jesus the person on the basis of religious bias.

Quote:
1. What did Yeshua believe about (a) the world and (b) himself?
2. What did he say?
3. What did he do?
4. What did the disciples who encountered him personally believe about him?
5. How did this differ (if at all) from what subsequent generation believed?
6. When did the motifs and symbols that transform Yeshua of Nazareth into Jesus-the-Crhist begin to adhere to the man? At the very beginning or later?
7. How did these ideas evolve within first-century Christian circles?
8. When was the story of Jesus-the-Christ crystallized in written, and therefore, normative - form?
9. And, ultimately, is the history of Yeshua every obtainable, or must one settle for the history of the disciples of Jesus-the-Christ, something very different indeed?
These are all about historical readings and interpretations. It doesn't actually challenge anything I've claimed.

Quote:
P.S. I'm simply amazed that out of the 20 or so individual arguments we've had so far amongst the several threads, you've managed to lose all 20. Pick your battles more carefully in the future to avoid this humiliation.
Oh, the humiliation. Why haven't I matched you wall-of-text for wall-of-text? It's almost as if I'm enjoying the fact that only a few sentences launches you into yet another argument in which you continuously demonstrate a lack of knowledge.

Based on the time stamps of your posts, it looks like you're spending anywhere between 15-45 minutes per wall-of-text post. I assure you I'm spending considerably less time and getting considerably more amusement.
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Old 03-15-2017, 03:56 AM   #84
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Re: Is there any evidence that Jesus Christ existed?

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More wilful misinterpretation of my position to avoid admitting your original mistake. The argument is that a distinct religious bias has been recognized amongst Christian polemicists, and making extreme statements like "absolute failure" belies this recognition. That's the entire argument- it has nothing to do with whether Christians are capable of being decent historians.

You're spinning too fast. Cool off for a second.
If Christians can be decent historians, then of course anyone ignoring these historians because they are Christians is committing a failure.

It's the errors in works and schools of thought that must be pointed out.
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Old 03-15-2017, 04:20 AM   #85
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Re: Is there any evidence that Jesus Christ existed?

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This makes me wonder if you actually read the statement in context. None of the 9 questions listed have anything to do with challenging the historicity of Jesus the person on the basis of religious bias.
Fascinating- you ask for a reputable source regarding religious bias in ecclesiastical historicity arguments. Your interlocutor provides you with exactly that, and you deny it, similarly to how you denied the sources showing that 'polemic' is defined as 'an argument.' Well played.

Again, allow me to quote the author of the work:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donald H. Akenson
""...The point I shall argue below is that, the agreed evidentiary practices of the historians of Yeshua, despite their best efforts, have not been those of sound historical practice"
Donald H. Akenson (29 September 2001). Surpassing Wonder: The Invention of the Bible and the Talmuds. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-01073-1.

https://books.google.com/books?id=40E8am9SlwgC

Fail. Moving on.

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These are all about historical readings and interpretations. It doesn't actually challenge anything I've claimed.
Of course it does: you implied that I was incorrect regarding my claim that there exists a distinctly recognized religious bias in ecclesiastical historicity arguments. Now I've provided you with a reputable source demonstrating that. You deny it. Lovely. There are more sources than just that one, but why bother posting them when you're just going to deny them? My point has already been made.

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Oh, the humiliation. Why haven't I matched you wall-of-text for wall-of-text? It's almost as if I'm enjoying the fact that only a few sentences launches you into yet another argument in which you continuously demonstrate a lack of knowledge.
Adorable defensive mechanism to save face over failing to respond to your opponent's polemics. I've got your head spinning so fast that for the last 3 weeks, you've been entirely preoccupied with me. But please, tell me more about "launching" and "humiliation". I see that projection is your go-to self-preservation device. Cool.

Whenever you get the chance, my arguments await your rebuttal. Failure to engage them implies concession. Improve.

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Originally Posted by Aaron W. View Post
Based on the time stamps of your posts, it looks like you're spending anywhere between 15-45 minutes per wall-of-text post. I assure you I'm spending considerably less time and getting considerably more amusement.
Are you becoming that desperate for this to end that you're now checking the time stamps of my posts? Interesting. For the record, most of my responses to you and your twin on here take about 5 minutes. On top of that, watching you lose argument after argument, and then grasp at straws to redirect, makes those 5 minutes or so per post more than worthwhile.

But please...tell me more about this "amusement." We're not even close to getting started here =D.
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Old 03-15-2017, 04:24 AM   #86
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Re: Is there any evidence that Jesus Christ existed?

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If Christians can be decent historians, then of course anyone ignoring these historians because they are Christians is committing a failure.
Agreed, but ignoring the fact that religious bias exists among Christian polemicists, and making statements the belie such bias, is definitely not a failure.

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Originally Posted by tame_deuces View Post
It's the errors in works and schools of thought that must be pointed out.
Also agreed. Not sure really what you're even trying to do here anymore, asides from being a contrarian.
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Old 03-15-2017, 04:43 AM   #87
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Re: Is there any evidence that Jesus Christ existed?

I've been saying the same thing the entire time. AaronW's statement is not wrong. Anyone discounting a historian because he is a Christian is committing a failure. It's errors in method, works and schools of thought that must be the grounds for rejection.

And the distinction is important. This forum alone has had hundreds of posters who have wanted to discount sources because they were religious, irreligious, Muslims, Christians, atheists or whatnot. We live in a world where people increasingly just read what they perceive to be "their side" and accuse the other of bias without investigation. It's bad form.
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Old 03-15-2017, 04:53 AM   #88
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Re: Is there any evidence that Jesus Christ existed?

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I've been saying the same thing the entire time. AaronW's statement is not wrong. Anyone discounting a historian because he is a Christian is committing a failure. It's errors in method, works and schools of thought that must be the grounds for rejection.
Perhaps you have been saying the "same thing the entire time", but your lack of clarity in expressing it tells another story. Either way, Aaron W.'s statement is wrong. Christian polemicists have a greater likelihood of engaging in recognized religious bias when arguing for the historicity of Jesus: it is precisely the fact that they are Christian theologians that gives rise to the greater likelihood of this bias, i.e., Christian ideology engenders it. Thus, using the language "absolute failure" relative to Christian polemicists is simply unreasonable because it belies this bias (i.e., misleads the reader by implying that there is no connection between "being Christian" and "unsound methodology", and there definitely is). This has nothing to do with specific arguments or specific historians: it is simply a recognition of the fact that a certain ideology makes a certain error of methodology more likely. Quite simple.

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Originally Posted by tame_deuces View Post
And the distinction is important. This forum alone has had hundreds of posters who have wanted to discount sources because they were religious, irreligious, Muslims, Christians, atheists or whatnot. We live in a world where people increasingly just read what they perceive to be "their side" and accuse the other of bias without investigation. It's bad form.
That's great- has nothing to do with my argument here though.

Last edited by Lychon; 03-15-2017 at 05:05 AM.
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:33 AM   #89
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Re: Is there any evidence that Jesus Christ existed?

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Anyone discounting a historian because he is a Christian is committing a failure.
Amusingly, that's the true for of ad hominem that Lychon has failed to properly characterize in multiple conversations.
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Old 03-15-2017, 12:22 PM   #90
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Re: Is there any evidence that Jesus Christ existed?

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Are you becoming that desperate for this to end that you're now checking the time stamps of my posts?
Yeah. It's such a time consuming process when they're all listed on the main page and you've made the most recent 4-5 posts. Absolute desperation.

Quote:
Interesting. For the record, most of my responses to you and your twin on here take about 5 minutes.
I'm doubtful that this is true.
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Old 03-15-2017, 03:32 PM   #91
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Re: Is there any evidence that Jesus Christ existed?

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Yeah. It's such a time consuming process when they're all listed on the main page and you've made the most recent 4-5 posts. Absolute desperation.
Right, because that's what your posting history says =D.

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Originally Posted by Aaron W. View Post
I'm doubtful that this is true.
Some have taken longer. This one took ~30 seconds. But either way, what does that have to do with the substance of the arguments? I've already made clear that this is entertaining for me, so...yeah...
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Old 03-15-2017, 03:34 PM   #92
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Re: Is there any evidence that Jesus Christ existed?

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Amusingly, that's the true for of ad hominem that Lychon has failed to properly characterize in multiple conversations.
Not sure where I've failed to "properly characterize" ad hominem. If I recall, I pointed out several of your veiled ad hominem against me, which you denied, and then ignored. On top of that, my argument here has never been that "being Christian" = "bad historicity argument".
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Old 03-15-2017, 07:21 PM   #93
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Re: Is there any evidence that Jesus Christ existed?

you guys need an arbiter

everyone agrees that all people have biases

everyone agrees that regardless of bias, claims need to be evaluated on their merits

move on to discussing claims and evidence
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Old 03-15-2017, 07:51 PM   #94
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Re: Is there any evidence that Jesus Christ existed?

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Not sure where I've failed to "properly characterize" ad hominem. If I recall, I pointed out several of your veiled ad hominem against me, which you denied, and then ignored.
My recollection was that I challenged you to quote a definition and quote an example, and then your response was to note quote a definition and cite an example of me mocking your degree as an ad hominem.

My response (which might have been lost in some other deleted posts) was that mocking your degree because you've failed to make a meaningful argument is not an ad hominem. I was making fun of your degree on the basis of your argument, not rejecting your argument on the basis of your degree.

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On top of that, my argument here has never been that "being Christian" = "bad historicity argument".
Good. Then you've failed to raise any meaningful objections to my statement.
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Old 03-16-2017, 04:03 AM   #95
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Re: Is there any evidence that Jesus Christ existed?

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you guys need an arbiter

everyone agrees that all people have biases

everyone agrees that regardless of bias, claims need to be evaluated on their merits

move on to discussing claims and evidence
I think the discussion about bias and evidence was never about that, in the same way that throwing a plate about someone is not about destroying dishware.

But I do agree with your points.
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Old 03-16-2017, 06:41 AM   #96
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Re: Is there any evidence that Jesus Christ existed?

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My recollection was that I challenged you to quote a definition and quote an example, and then your response was to note quote a definition and cite an example of me mocking your degree as an ad hominem.
Right, and that was an ad hominem. I didn't provide a definition for you because you're a big boy and should be able to find it out on your own using any of the available online dictionaries (and also because you've outright denied/ignored previous dictionary definitions I've cited, e.g., 'polemic'). Still waiting for you to show me where I failed to "properly characterize" an ad hominem.

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My response (which might have been lost in some other deleted posts) was that mocking your degree because you've failed to make a meaningful argument is not an ad hominem.
And I explained to you why you're wrong: making a statement about my alma mater being so "proud of me" implies that they should be embarrassed of me. That is a veiled ad hominem. You denied it then, and you're denying it now. Most unfortunate.

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I was making fun of your degree on the basis of your argument, not rejecting your argument on the basis of your degree.
Which is an ad hominem: you were implying that I'm an embarrassment to my alma mater by making fun of my degree (if I recall, your words were along the line of "your alma mater must be so proud of you"). By your logic, one could spew ad hominem with impunity simply by including a proxy lol.

You're struggling so hard here. It's adorable.

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Good. Then you've failed to raise any meaningful objections to my statement.
Sure I have- your "absolute failure" language in that context belies the established existence of religious bias. If this is your way of conceding, I accept. =D
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Old 03-16-2017, 07:35 PM   #97
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Re: Is there any evidence that Jesus Christ existed?

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making a statement about my alma mater being so "proud of me" implies that they should be embarrassed of me. That is a veiled ad hominem. You denied it then, and you're denying it now. Most unfortunate.
Yup. You totally get what an ad hominem is. Ad hominems are totally about things you infer from my statements. 110%.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

Quote:
Ad hominem ... is a logical fallacy in which an argument is rebutted by attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself.
I'm completely chessmated here.

Quote:
Sure I have- your "absolute failure" language in that context belies the established existence of religious bias. If this is your way of conceding, I accept. =D
I stand by my original statement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by me
Those two authors are not the most important for historians in thinking Jesus existed. Even if neither Josephus nor Tacitus mentioned Jesus, there would not be any particular challenge to Jesus' existence. The volume of other evidences is more than sufficient.

The primary reason that those two are brought up is in counter to the "Yeah, but all those writings were by *CHRISTIANS* and shouldn't count" argument (which is an absolute failure when it comes to debating the subject).
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Old 03-17-2017, 04:36 AM   #98
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Re: Is there any evidence that Jesus Christ existed?

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Yup. You totally get what an ad hominem is. Ad hominems are totally about things you infer from my statements. 110%.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem
Quote:
Ad hominem ... is a logical fallacy in which an argument is rebutted by attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself.
Bravo- I knew you could look up the definition. And thank you for (again) validating my position: you uttered a veiled ad hominem against me by stating that my alma mater should be "so proud of me", implying that they should be embarrassed of me. Rather than address my argument (which you subsequently abandoned), you implied that I am someone of whom my alma mater should be embarrassed.

Alternatively, consider this more simplistic argument:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiktionary.com

Noun:

ad hominem (plural ad hominems)

1)...

2) A personal attack.
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ad_hominem

Most of the time I use "ad hominem", I mean a personal insult, i.e., a personal attack (as opposed to the more formal definition you've provided above regarding logical fallacy). Most would agree that your "so proud of you" statement is exactly that, i.e., an insult against me. It's cool, dude- I'm probably guilty of a few ad hominem against you over the past few weeks myself, but I'm not going around denying it.

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I'm completely chessmated here.
No quarrels here ;-). Cool neologism (I guess).

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Originally Posted by Aaron W. View Post
I stand by my original statement.
And I stand by my retort (quoted below). Guess we'll have to just agree to degeneracy, urgh, disagree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lychon
Christian polemicists have a greater likelihood of engaging in recognized religious bias when arguing for the historicity of Jesus: it is precisely the fact that they are Christian theologians that gives rise to the greater likelihood of this bias, i.e., Christian ideology engenders it. Thus, using the language "absolute failure" relative to Christian polemicists is simply unreasonable because it belies this bias (i.e., misleads the reader by implying that there is no connection between "being Christian" and "unsound methodology", and there definitely is). This has nothing to do with specific arguments or specific historians: it is simply a recognition of the fact that a certain ideology makes a certain error of methodology more likely.

Last edited by Lychon; 03-17-2017 at 04:55 AM.
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Old 03-17-2017, 08:29 AM   #99
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Re: Is there any evidence that Jesus Christ existed?

Yes, we know what you mean. You've written the same point 17 times, only pausing to argue that it is not what you meant before you write it again.
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Old 03-17-2017, 09:42 PM   #100
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Re: Is there any evidence that Jesus Christ existed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron W. View Post
wiktionary. QED.
Provides a link from Wikipedia, then lambasts me for quoting from Wiktionary, which is part of the same organization (Wikimedia) and subject to the same editing process. And that's not even taking into account that his own argument was refuted on the merits- the Wiktionary definition was simply an alternative polemic, and I purposely chose Wiktionary to parallel your selection of Wikipedia. There are other sources I could have chosen, but why even bother anymore when I'm arguing with people who deny plain English definitions (e.g., 'polemic' = 'an argument' gets a response of "I don't read dictionaries that way.").

QED indeed. =D.

Last edited by Lychon; 03-17-2017 at 09:57 PM.
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