Is Jesus mythicism "denialism"?

Abrahamic religion, you know, the one with the cross...

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Re: Is Jesus mythicism "denialism"?

#41  Postby MS2 » Nov 06, 2015 6:17 pm

I think McGrath is mistaken to call it denialism. I guess he is upset and perhaps even feels threatened that people don't defer to the specialists when it comes to this particular issue, whereas with most other issues the specialists are deferred to.
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Re: Is Jesus mythicism "denialism"?

#42  Postby Thommo » Nov 06, 2015 6:37 pm

MS2 wrote:I think McGrath is mistaken to call it denialism. I guess he is upset and perhaps even feels threatened that people don't defer to the specialists when it comes to this particular issue, whereas with most other issues the specialists are deferred to.


Sounds about right, his response definitely feels a bit tinged with emotion, to me. I think consensus in ancient history does deserve some "deference" (for want of a better word), but any sceptic is surely going to afford deference commensurate to the level of evidence, and that's never going to be the same with regard to evolution or modern history as it is for ancient history and really he's going to have to make his peace with that or be forever irked.
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Re: Is Jesus mythicism "denialism"?

#43  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Nov 06, 2015 6:59 pm

Thommo wrote:
MS2 wrote:I think McGrath is mistaken to call it denialism. I guess he is upset and perhaps even feels threatened that people don't defer to the specialists when it comes to this particular issue, whereas with most other issues the specialists are deferred to.


Sounds about right, his response definitely feels a bit tinged with emotion, to me. I think consensus in ancient history does deserve some "deference" (for want of a better word), but any sceptic is surely going to afford deference commensurate to the level of evidence, and that's never going to be the same with regard to evolution or modern history as it is for ancient history and really he's going to have to make his peace with that or be forever irked.

Not to mention the scope and composition of the consensus.
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Re: Is Jesus mythicism "denialism"?

#44  Postby proudfootz » Nov 06, 2015 7:00 pm

Thommo wrote:
MS2 wrote:I think McGrath is mistaken to call it denialism. I guess he is upset and perhaps even feels threatened that people don't defer to the specialists when it comes to this particular issue, whereas with most other issues the specialists are deferred to.


Sounds about right, his response definitely feels a bit tinged with emotion, to me. I think consensus in ancient history does deserve some "deference" (for want of a better word), but any sceptic is surely going to afford deference commensurate to the level of evidence, and that's never going to be the same with regard to evolution or modern history as it is for ancient history and really he's going to have to make his peace with that or be forever irked.


Yes, if McGrath can present the evidence which would compel intelligent people to accept his conclusions, he'd be better off presenting his case without all the stamping and shouting and wild accusations.

Of course, if he can't make his case, he might do well to attack people who are skeptical of his ideas, misrepresent their arguments, and play to the prejudices of onlookers.
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Re: Is Jesus mythicism "denialism"?

#45  Postby Thommo » Nov 06, 2015 7:56 pm

Thomas Eshuis wrote:Not to mention the scope and composition of the consensus.


Yeah, absolutely, all these things are important.
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Re: Is Jesus mythicism "denialism"?

#46  Postby Leucius Charinus » Nov 07, 2015 1:40 am

Evolving wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:
The point in using probability is to avoid the black and white YES or NO answer to the question of historicity. There is - in theory - a grey area between the hypothesis that Jesus existed and its antithesis. Those who are convinced that Jesus existed can run with a probability of 1 (100%) if they like. But there will be some comfortable with a 80% or even a 50% chance. The same applies to the hypothesis that Jesus did not exist. I see both ends of the spectrum of belief, and positions between these antithetical positions.


The trouble with using the term "probability" is that it has a specific meaning in maths and physics.


Of course it has, and none of that specific meaning is lost when the term is properly employed in the analysis of historical hypotheses.

If you say there is an 80% chance that Jesus existed, you are effectively saying that, if you observe a sufficiently great number of potential Jesuses, the proportion of them that actually exists will tend towards 80%.


The two authors McGrath and Ehrman both ascribe 100% (or almost?) to the probability that Jesus was an historical figure. They are not alone because they claim the rest of the Biblical Historians and Ancient Historians also hold this conviction in the field of history. OTOH there have been a number of "Mythicist Authors" who have ascribed a zero probability (or almost?) to the historical Jesus based upon their own interpretation and evaluation of the EVIDENCE (which surprisingly is the same for both parties!!)

The situation which prompted this thread is the invective of "denialism". We find this invective to be applied by those who hold that Jesus was 100% historical to those who hold that Jesus is zero percent historical. These are what I called the two extreme positions above. The YES and the NO.

However based on my experience in these types of discussions I find that there are people who have an opinion on the matter which is between these two extremes. Take for example those who think that there is evidence to support both the HJ and the MJ case, and who assess this evidence as completely incapable of deciding the position one way or another. This position may be evaluated to be midway on the same probabilistic spectrum - at 50% [pure agnostic]. Others may lean towards one end or another from this mid-point, based upon their own assessment and evaluation of the historical evidence. This is all I meant when I described an example of an 80% concluding hypothesis. People are quite entitled to evaluate both the positive and negative evidence for and against both extreme positions in order to arrive at their own conclusions. I am not saying that someone puts all the evidence into a database computer and presses a button and the answer comes out as 42%. I am saying that there will be people who are slightly in favour of the myth hypothesis over the historical hypothesis, that's all.


I think it's much better simply to say that one hypothesis seems much more likely than the other.


So do I. But the problem is that those who see the HJ hypothesis as 100% historical truth are calling "holocaust deniers" those who see the hypothesis as zero% historical truth. Both cannot be right. It therefore follows that if other independent researchers consider one hypothesis is more likely than the other, they might also indicate the degree of likelihood. As you can see we are back to a probability spectrum. Some might consider the HJ more plausible - 80% history, but not 100%, with 20% of myth added. Others (in the "Myth Side of the spectrum of belief") may consider Jesus to be a mix of 80% myth and 20% history. That's what I meant by my comments above.


EDITED TO ADD: To clarify my position, this is what I mean by a spectrum of probability.
http://www.rationalrevolution.net/artic ... llowup.htm


A Spectrum of Historical Possibilities ...

Image


    A Spectrum of Historical Possibilities ...

    (1) The Gospels are inerrant and absolutely historically true. Jesus is the Son of God who was predicted by the Hebrew scriptures, who came to earth in human form, was born of a virgin, preached, and was crucified by Pilate, then rose from the dead and now sits on the right hand of God. The Gospels are historical eyewitness accounts or based on solid eyewitness accounts.

    (2) The Gospels are generally true but somewhat exaggerated accounts of a real Jesus who had a following of people who thought he was the Son of God. He wasn't born of a virgin and didn't walk on water or perform miracles or rise from the dead, but the Gospels reflect his true teachings and the basic events of his life, and he was crucified by Pilate. The Gospels come from eye witness accounts mixed with a little legend.

    (3) The Gospels are generally true but somewhat exaggerated accounts of a real Jesus who was influential in the region. He may or may not have really been crucified by Pilate. He was later mythologized and elevated in status. The Gospels come from eye witness accounts mixed with legend.

    (4) The Gospels are mostly fabricated stories inspired by a real Jesus. The Gospels come almost entirely from legends and scriptures, but are still loosely based on the actions of a real Jesus whom we don't know very much about.

    (5) The Gospels are mostly fabricated stories inspired by a real person or persons from a spectrum of time, perhaps from events as far back as 200 years before the supposed life of Jesus. Over time stories were put together that cobbled various political events and persons into a single "Jesus Christ" figure. The events and teachings in the Gospels are mythologized, but based on real-life events that took place over time and were done by a person or various people. The Gospels come almost entirely from legends and scriptures, but are still based on the actions of some real people, without which the story of Jesus would never have come into existence.

    (6) The Gospels are completely fabricated stories based on scripture, legends, and the mystical beliefs of existing Jewish cults. There is no human figure at the center of the Gospel stories at all. The Gospels were generally written in the same manner that most scholars claim, during the late 1st century to early 2nd century, but there is no person at the core of them, whether all of the writers themselves knew it or not.

    (7) The Gospels are completely fabricated stories based on pagan myths about figures such as Dionysus and Mithras. The Gospels were written by directly mixing Jewish and non-Jewish religions and beliefs into stories that borrow from both traditions. The meaning of the Gospels has been largely lost and generally has little to do with Judaism.

    (8) Pious Forgery
    "The Gospels are completely fabricated stories that were intentionally crafted to deceive people, and there is no historical person at their core. The Gospels were really written anywhere from the 2nd century to the 4th century and much of early Christian history has been fabricated. The writers of the Gospels knew that there was no Jesus and the whole crafting of the religion was part of a political tool by Roman Emperors or others of a similar kind.


We are dealing with a full spectrum of hypothetical belief (000-100%), and to be fair to all parties involved (independent of their use of depreciating rhetoric) we need to be able to model their hypothetical conclusions on the evidence. (The very same evidence - evaluated differently mind you!!!).

By raising the invective of "holocaust denialism" the 100% historical truth HJ brigade have shot themselves in the foot with regard to the self-perceived holy war they are fighting with the heretics.
Last edited by Leucius Charinus on Nov 07, 2015 2:22 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Is Jesus mythicism "denialism"?

#47  Postby SafeAsMilk » Nov 07, 2015 1:59 am

Cito di Pense wrote:
Lots of people grew up believing in divine Jesus and no longer do so. This is the last shred connecting them to that past, this 'something like-ness'.

A 'this-has-to-mean-something-ness'?

In many cases, people just can't face their old chums from church and say to their faces that all of it was nonsense. That's a bunch of years wasted, all right.

Ah, The Phases Of Our Lives. I definitely know people who have a hard time letting go. For me it's part of art, but I know others have had a less benign experience.

I personally don't care what anyone believes, as long as they can give a good account of what hinges on their answer.

I'd like to say I have more than "it just makes sense to me", but I might not. Don't know how big the hinge in question is, I'm a hobbyist here.
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Re: Is Jesus mythicism "denialism"?

#48  Postby proudfootz » Nov 07, 2015 2:58 am

It doesn't much matter whether Jesus existed, or whether it was Einstein's wife that thought up the theory of relativity.

People are interested in people, and that is why gossip reigns everywhere.
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Re: Is Jesus mythicism "denialism"?

#49  Postby Thommo » Nov 07, 2015 4:06 am

Leucius Charinus wrote:The two authors McGrath and Ehrman both ascribe 100% (or almost?) to the probability that Jesus was an historical figure. They are not alone because they claim the rest of the Biblical Historians and Ancient Historians also hold this conviction in the field of history.


If this is actually true it's not an argument for a historical Jesus, but an argument for the worthlessness of the field of study.

I sincerely hope it isn't
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Re: Is Jesus mythicism "denialism"?

#50  Postby Evolving » Nov 07, 2015 1:44 pm

Leucius Charinus wrote:
Evolving wrote:...The trouble with using the term "probability" is that it has a specific meaning in maths and physics.


Of course it has, and none of that specific meaning is lost when the term is properly employed in the analysis of historical hypotheses.

If you say there is an 80% chance that Jesus existed, you are effectively saying that, if you observe a sufficiently great number of potential Jesuses, the proportion of them that actually exists will tend towards 80%.


The two authors McGrath and Ehrman both ascribe 100% (or almost?) to the probability that Jesus was an historical figure. They are not alone because they claim the rest of the Biblical Historians and Ancient Historians also hold this conviction in the field of history. OTOH there have been a number of "Mythicist Authors" who have ascribed a zero probability (or almost?) to the historical Jesus based upon their own interpretation and evaluation of the EVIDENCE (which surprisingly is the same for both parties!!)

The situation which prompted this thread is the invective of "denialism". We find this invective to be applied by those who hold that Jesus was 100% historical to those who hold that Jesus is zero percent historical. These are what I called the two extreme positions above. The YES and the NO.

However based on my experience in these types of discussions I find that there are people who have an opinion on the matter which is between these two extremes. Take for example those who think that there is evidence to support both the HJ and the MJ case, and who assess this evidence as completely incapable of deciding the position one way or another. This position may be evaluated to be midway on the same probabilistic spectrum - at 50% [pure agnostic]. Others may lean towards one end or another from this mid-point, based upon their own assessment and evaluation of the historical evidence. This is all I meant when I described an example of an 80% concluding hypothesis. People are quite entitled to evaluate both the positive and negative evidence for and against both extreme positions in order to arrive at their own conclusions. I am not saying that someone puts all the evidence into a database computer and presses a button and the answer comes out as 42%. I am saying that there will be people who are slightly in favour of the myth hypothesis over the historical hypothesis, that's all...



It seems that these "probabilities" of 100%, 50%, 80% or whatever are not statements about the objective facts (Jesus existed vs. Jesus didn't exist), but about the person making the statement: about how sure they feel.

Am I wrong? In physics or any of the other natural sciences, "probability" is rigorously defined: if we say that a certain outcome has a probability of 80%, that means that, if we repeat the observation a large number of times, the proportion of times when that outcome is observed will tend to 80%. What does it mean in history?
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Re: Is Jesus mythicism "denialism"?

#51  Postby Evolving » Nov 07, 2015 5:41 pm

Why would there be a shop for making you tired?

EDIT: This was a whimsical response to the post immediately before it, which has been removed: better to remove this one too, I think.
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Re: Is Jesus mythicism "denialism"?

#52  Postby Leucius Charinus » Nov 07, 2015 11:52 pm

Evolving wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:
Evolving wrote:...The trouble with using the term "probability" is that it has a specific meaning in maths and physics.


Of course it has, and none of that specific meaning is lost when the term is properly employed in the analysis of historical hypotheses.

If you say there is an 80% chance that Jesus existed, you are effectively saying that, if you observe a sufficiently great number of potential Jesuses, the proportion of them that actually exists will tend towards 80%.


The two authors McGrath and Ehrman both ascribe 100% (or almost?) to the probability that Jesus was an historical figure. They are not alone because they claim the rest of the Biblical Historians and Ancient Historians also hold this conviction in the field of history. OTOH there have been a number of "Mythicist Authors" who have ascribed a zero probability (or almost?) to the historical Jesus based upon their own interpretation and evaluation of the EVIDENCE (which surprisingly is the same for both parties!!)

The situation which prompted this thread is the invective of "denialism". We find this invective to be applied by those who hold that Jesus was 100% historical to those who hold that Jesus is zero percent historical. These are what I called the two extreme positions above. The YES and the NO.

However based on my experience in these types of discussions I find that there are people who have an opinion on the matter which is between these two extremes. Take for example those who think that there is evidence to support both the HJ and the MJ case, and who assess this evidence as completely incapable of deciding the position one way or another. This position may be evaluated to be midway on the same probabilistic spectrum - at 50% [pure agnostic]. Others may lean towards one end or another from this mid-point, based upon their own assessment and evaluation of the historical evidence. This is all I meant when I described an example of an 80% concluding hypothesis. People are quite entitled to evaluate both the positive and negative evidence for and against both extreme positions in order to arrive at their own conclusions. I am not saying that someone puts all the evidence into a database computer and presses a button and the answer comes out as 42%. I am saying that there will be people who are slightly in favour of the myth hypothesis over the historical hypothesis, that's all...



It seems that these "probabilities" of 100%, 50%, 80% or whatever are not statements about the objective facts (Jesus existed vs. Jesus didn't exist), but about the person making the statement: about how sure they feel.

Am I wrong? In physics or any of the other natural sciences, "probability" is rigorously defined: if we say that a certain outcome has a probability of 80%, that means that, if we repeat the observation a large number of times, the proportion of times when that outcome is observed will tend to 80%. What does it mean in history?


Good question. The best answer that I have seen to this question was provided in another forum. Essentially with physics and science you can repeat the experiments as many times as you like and then record and analyse the results. However with history, the experiment has already happened - and only once - in the past, and we are attempting to reconstruct it.

    The Historical method and the Scientific method

    History's method is as scientific (rigorous) as it can possibly be, given its particular circumstances.

    Given that strict scientific methodology is inherently impossible for History,
    the postulates of the historical hypotheses (often miscalled "theories")
    are subject to what is often called "mental experiements", in a nutshell rigorously controlled "what-if" speculation.

    The traditional scientific methodology is reversed in one critical point;
    the results of the "mental experiment" (i.e. the present conditions of the issue at hand) are known in advance;
    it is the "methodology" of such process which is trying to be logically induced from such results.

    The process as a whole is superficially similar to pure philosophical research,
    given the ostensible relevance of logical reasoning (actually shared by any scientific discipline).

    The critical difference is that, contrary to pure philosophical research and analogous to any scientific discipline,
    the method of History is restricted by the regular rules of evidence;
    the core falsifiable criteria of Popper are required too.

So you are not wrong about the scientific method, and essentially you are correct in saying that the percentage values as I have used them above reflect on how sure people feel about the hypothesis - in this case the hypothesis that Jesus existed (or did not exist) as an historical figure. The degree of being sure in history is directly dependent upon the ancient historical evidence that is available to support the hypothesis, and of course how this much of this evidence is available. For example, if we had vast collections of figurines, sculpture reliefs, mosaics and inscriptions devoted to Jesus from the 1st or 2nd centuries, then with such an abundance of evidence, the probability that Jesus existed would obviously rise for many historical researchers.

However the reality of all this is that we have a "Jesus Industry", which has developed in the centuries since antiquity, and those who find themselves within this industry, like McGrath and Ehrman and many others, are not likely to change their "feeling" or "assessment" (based on their evaluation of the historical evidence) that the hypothesis that Jesus existed is to be associated with a truth value of almost 100%. Likewise at the other end of this spectrum of belief, those who have done their own research and made the assessment that Jesus most likely did not exist in history, are not likely to change their opinion, "feeling" or "assessment" (again based on their evaluation of the historical evidence).

The paradox here is that both extreme positions share exactly the same set of evidence. They are obviously evaluating this same evidence in an entirely different manner, to arrive at diametrically opposed hypothetical conclusions.
Last edited by Leucius Charinus on Nov 08, 2015 12:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is Jesus mythicism "denialism"?

#53  Postby Leucius Charinus » Nov 08, 2015 12:17 am

Thommo wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:The two authors McGrath and Ehrman both ascribe 100% (or almost?) to the probability that Jesus was an historical figure. They are not alone because they claim the rest of the Biblical Historians and Ancient Historians also hold this conviction in the field of history.


If this is actually true it's not an argument for a historical Jesus, but an argument for the worthlessness of the field of study.

I sincerely hope it isn't


Good observation. The statement is not completely true IMO. Biblical historians and ancient historians are two different breeds of historians. The way I look at these two fields is that the field of biblical history is a subset, or a specialised field of study within the superset of general study called ancient history. Ancient historians can study anything they like. Plato, Homer, Buddha, Napoleon, Isaac Newton, etc, etc, etc. They are happy to focus on millions of other historical problems, and rarely if ever make any assessments outside of their chosen focussed field of study. None of them to my knowledge have declared either their support or opposition to the claims made by the biblical historians. And if they did set out down this path, then they would have to study the same material as furnished within the field of Biblical Scholarship, and this includes a great deal of dogma being paraded as "traditionally received history".

The Biblical historians OTOH are continually focussed on the history of the bible and all related issues, including the historicity of Jesus. But this industry - and especially in the past - as a whole is not likely to countenance and receive papers, theories and assessments in which the historicity of Jesus is in question. These Biblical Historians have a loud voice and they pronounce that they have the historical truth of the origins of the Christian religion and its ancient historical literary evidence.

Some of the more astute and well respected ancient historians have written about this situation, such as Arnaldo Momigliano who writes ....

    ON PAGANS, JEWS, and CHRISTIANS

    --- Arnaldo Momigliano, 1987


    Chapter 1:

    Biblical Studies and Classical Studies
    Simple Reflections upon Historical Method


    p.3

    Principles of Historical research need not be different
    from criteria of common sense. And common sense teaches
    us that outsiders must not tell insiders what they should
    do. I shall therefore not discuss directly what biblical
    scholars are doing. They are the insiders.

And this is it in a nutshell IMHO. The biblical historians are the "INSIDERS". They consider themselves to be in possession of the most important field of historical studies - that which includes the study of Jesus and his history. They also consider themselves to be in possession of the "historical truth" - arrived at by "peer review" and consensus (of their "Closed Shop")

This explains the invective that they cast upon other researchers - outside their field or "INDU$TRY" - in the study of Jesus and his history, that they are to be known as "holocaust deniers".
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Re: Is Jesus mythicism "denialism"?

#54  Postby kiore » Nov 08, 2015 12:30 am


!
GENERAL MODNOTE
This thread is: Is Jesus mythicism "denialism"? For those who wish to discuss Historical Jesus etc please do it in the long existing thread. I do understand there is some crossover at points but let us try and keep this on topic. Some off topic posts have been moved.
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Re: Is Jesus mythicism "denialism"?

#55  Postby Thommo » Nov 08, 2015 2:37 am

I spent some insomnia time reading through the full discussion with James McGrath in the comments section, I found this one very interesting:-
It is hard to talk about the "best evidence" because, as in the case of evolution, our understanding is based not on one piece of evidence but the convergence of many pieces which point in a single direction. Paul having met Jesus' brother, and having been aware of the developing movement around Jesus within at most a few years of Jesus' death, about which he writes in first-hand accounts in his letters, is important evidence. The likely original form of the mention in Josephus is important, too, but less so since Josephus wrote decades later. Tacitus takes a rather dim view of Christianity, and so even if he was repeating what Christians had to say, it is likely that it was something that he had good reason to think was correct.


I can't help wonder exactly how convinced we are supposed to be of the historicity of a person or event based on the testimony of three people. Would we be deniers if we agreed with the court that found William Roache not guilty? After all at least five women testified, in court against him.

That said I don't think McGrath has been as bad as all that in those comments, I don't quite get where his beef is that he wants to use the epithet "denialist", but this view seems broadly reasonable:-
I have no objection to anyone investigating the case in appropriate academic ways. And I have no objection to anyone saying that Jesus or Socrates might not have existed, as long as they acknowledge that the balance of probability leans in the other direction.

Other than the rather odd prescription regarding specific requirements for exactly how the concept of "probability" must be abused (as discussed upthread here). Given that "probability" in such a setting merely means "confidence" it does rather seem that he's saying there's a right answer to a question he acknowledges doesn't have a right answer. But that seems a small detail in the grand scheme of things.

ETA: Thanks Kiore for orchestrating the split of offtopic posts. :thumbup:
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Re: Is Jesus mythicism "denialism"?

#56  Postby RealityRules » Nov 08, 2015 3:07 am

Shrunk wrote:I should know better than to start a thread on this subject, but here goes:

Jerry Coyne recently blogged about a BBC poll showing 40% of British people do not believe Jesus was a real person, in which he wrote:
What’s more galling is that the BBC is taking what “many scholars believe” as the gospel truth—pardon the pun—despite the fact that close scrutiny gives virtually no extra-Biblical evidence for a historical Jesus. I’m still convinced that the judgement of scholars that “Jesus was a real man” comes not from evidence, but from their conviction that the Bible simply couldn’t be untruthful about that issue.

This prompted another blogger, Bible scholar James McGrath, to accuse Coyne of engaging in "denialism."

Larry Moran then responded to that on his blog, and a spirited discussion between the two has ensued which is still ongoing there.

So is the evidence in favour of an historical Jesus so strong that someone holding the contrary position can justifiably be called a "denialist"? (If you want my opinion, I'm the commentator named "lutesuite" on Sandwalk.)

McGrath is framing an argument by attacking those who do not find the primary argument convincing.

McGrath should try to provide a constructive argument. But he can't, b/c there is not enough contemporaneous information to be called evidence.
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Re: Is Jesus mythicism "denialism"?

#57  Postby proudfootz » Nov 08, 2015 3:27 am

I think 'denialist' in this context is an appeal to emotions.

To reject a claim that is merely 'possible' is no crime against rationality.

To reject a claim that is merely 'plausible' is not a crime against rationality.

McGrath and others need to match their rhetoric to the confidence their claims obtain on those they seek to persuade.
"Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't." - Mark Twain
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Re: Is Jesus mythicism "denialism"?

#58  Postby RealityRules » Nov 08, 2015 3:37 am

Framing Jesus mythicism as 'denialism' is a type of equivocation fallacy, and a combined red-herring strawman fallacy.

It seeks to equate *lack of acceptance of an historical Jesus* with denial of fairly-well verified things like the Holocaust, AIDs, anthropomorphic climate change (previously termed 'anthropomorphic Global Warming'), and Evolution.
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Re: Is Jesus mythicism "denialism"?

#59  Postby RealityRules » Nov 08, 2015 3:40 am

It's almost a formal fallacy or a combination of formal fallacies (most fallacies are informal) -

    the *drawing an affirmative conclusion from negative premises fallacy*
or
    an existential fallacy

It's
    1. an 'accent fallacy' (ambiguity of accent) - a subtle shift in the meaning or intention of an argument by changing the emphasis (accent, tone) of certain words, phrases, or statements.
and
    2. ad lapidem fallacy (throw stones) - dismissing an argument as absurd or false without demonstrating it is false, often with ridicule (or in a bullying manner).
as well as

    Shifting the burden of proof
.
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Re: Is Jesus mythicism "denialism"?

#60  Postby Leucius Charinus » Nov 08, 2015 10:00 am

Shrunk wrote:So is the evidence in favour of an historical Jesus so strong that someone holding the contrary position can justifiably be called a "denialist"? (If you want my opinion, I'm the commentator named "lutesuite" on Sandwalk.)


Some background on the use of the term "[holocaust] denialist".
http://vridar.org/2010/06/16/christ-myt ... st-denial/

Presents quotes from https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Christ_my ... e_comments


The very logic that tells us there was no Jesus is the same logic that pleads that there was no Holocaust.
Nicholas Perrin, Lost in Transmission?: What We Can Know About the Words of Jesus, Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2007, p. 32


Along with the scholarly and popular works, there is a good deal of pseudoscholarship on Jesus that finds its way into print. During the last two centuries more than a hundred books and articles have denied the historical existence of Jesus. Today innumerable websites carry the same message... Most scholars regard the arguments for Jesus' non-existence as unworthy of any response—on a par with claims that the Jewish Holocaust never occurred or that the Apollo moon landing took place in a Hollywood studio.
Michael James McClymond, Familiar Stranger: An Introduction to Jesus of Nazareth, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004, pp. 8 & 23–24


A hundred and fifty years ago a fairly well respected scholar named Bruno Bauer maintained that the historical person Jesus never existed. Anyone who says that today—in the academic world at least—gets grouped with the skinheads who say there was no Holocaust and the scientific holdouts who want to believe the world is flat.
Mark Allan Powell, Jesus as a Figure in History: How Modern Historians View the Man from Galilee, Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1998, p. 168


In a society in which people still claim the Holocaust did not happen, and in which there are resounding claims that the American president is, in fact, a Muslim born on foreign soil, is it any surprise to learn that the greatest figure in the history of Western civilization, the man on whom the most powerful and influential social, political, economic, cultural and religious institution in the world -- the Christian church -- was built, the man worshipped, literally, by billions of people today -- is it any surprise to hear that Jesus never even existed?
Bart D. Ehrman, "Did Jesus Exist?", Huffington Post, March 30, 2012
"It is, I think, expedient to set forth to all mankind the reasons by which I was convinced that
the fabrication of the Christians is a fiction of men composed by wickedness. "

Emperor Julian (362 CE)
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