Posted: May 07, 2012 7:43 pm
by Evan Allen
IgnorantiaNescia wrote:
Evan Allen wrote:If you are going to bring up Occam's razor, IgnorantiaNescia, you are going to have to do the math for us. So please, show us your math that postulates fewer entities in the case of the HJ than in the case of the MJ.


1. It was angelo who brought it up, without doing any math. Perhaps you should first check this through with him.


Since Angelo assumed no multiplied entities, I think he gets a pass.

IgnorantiaNescia wrote:2. Occam's Razors cannot be used to explain away historical facts or entities strongly defended by the available evidence, the existence of oral story tellers and collectors in the Roman Empire and the existence of gospel writers in your list for example would be more or less facts. On the other hand, artificial attempts to circumvent those facts tend to result in bonus useless entities. So I'd disagree with your suggested method, but I'll play along for this post.


Please explain how something can be a "more or less" fact, when there is not a shred of historical evidence for it. Is there any archaeological evidence for Christianity in the first century? Nope. Therefore, nothing about Christianity in the first century is a fact. Do we have any extant primary texts that describe oral traditions going from Jesus to the gospel authors that date from the first century? Do we have any first century writers who describe this process in other works?

IgnorantiaNescia wrote:3. A conspiracy of relevant scholars or their enormous incompetence coupled with the Mythicist "explanations" to remove the evidence and all the mythical entities they postulate should be enough to count well over your "five entities". But anyway, copying your suggested list for the historical Jesus:

Historical Jesus: Historical Jesus, followers of Jesus in Palestine, Oral story tellers throughout the Roman Empire, collectors of oral stories from throughout the empire, gospel authors

Mythical Jesus: Gospel writers, fictional kinship or unattested group of "brothers of the Lord", necessary scholarly incompetence/conspiracy, interpolations, weird readings, unattested belief in a crucified Messiah before Jesus, reference to Nazareth alongside attempts in later Gospels to suggest Jesus was born in Bethlehem

I already count seven, happy now?


But your math is all wrong.

Prior to the first gospel writer the mythical Jesus postulates no story of Jesus of Nazareth, so it stems from one source. You have to document your other findings as entities that are actually multiplied before the first gospel writer. Seems like all of them happen after the first gospel is written.

"Brothers of the Lord" appears to be the only rung that the historical Jesus hat can hang on. I don't think it can carry that weight, but to be ultra-generous, even if we assume Paul's "lord" is Jesus of Nazareth, which he nowhere states, we can grant you that one to be sporting.

Scholarly incompetence is well after the gospel is written and has already been shown to be irrelevant to this issue. Interpolations happen after there is a gospel. Weird readings happen after there is a gospel. Unattested belief in a crucified messiah before Jesus is a bizarre non sequitur. Reference to Nazareth happens after there is a gospel.

So giving you the most generous account possible, you are still postulating only five entities, versus the two that the MJ requires even under those extremely forgiving scenarios.