Posted: Feb 07, 2016 11:29 pm
by lpetrich
Jesus mythicism seems like it has a certain common feature of crackpottery.

He has strong compulsions to focus his attacks on the greatest scientists and the best-established theories. When Newton was the outstanding name in physics, eccentric works in that science were violently anti-Newton. Today, with Einstein the father-symbol of authority, a crank theory of physics is likely to attack Einstein in the name of Newton. This same defiance can be seen in a tendency to assert the diametrical opposite of well-established beliefs. Mathematicians prove the angle cannot be trisected. So the crank trisects it. A perpetual motion machine cannot be built. He builds one. There are many eccentric theories in which the "pull" of gravity is replaced by a "push." Germs do not cause disease, some modern cranks insist. Disease produces the germs. Glasses do not help the eyes, said Dr. Bates. They make them worse. In our next chapter we shall learn how Cyrus Teed literally turned the entire cosmos inside-out, compressing it within the confines of a hollow earth, inhabited only on the inside.

(Martin Gardner, Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science)

But IMO Jesus mythicism is not far from minimalist historicism like the Haile Selassie scenario, as it may be called. Someone real but with so much mythology in surviving accounts of him that it's hard to tell fact from fiction.