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Was Jesus a scam artist?

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Major Nikon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 10:47 AM
Original message
Was Jesus a scam artist?
Around the time of Jesus, the Jews were desperately looking for a Messiah to relieve them from Roman oppression, and most Christians seem to agree that Jesus was indeed that Messiah. However, Jesus wasn't the only person vying for that title. There were plenty of them during that time (as there still is today). So what made Jesus different, and why did he collect such a following? Well for one thing, at that time in order to establish street cred as the Messiah, you had to do miracles. Who was going to follow someone as the Messiah if they couldn't demonstrate power over heaven and earth? So in the gospel of John, it's written that there were so many miracles they didn't have enough paper and time to write them all down.
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%2021:2... ;&version=ESV

There is no other historical account of the miracles of Jesus. The Jews and the Romans were pretty good at writing stuff down, and particularly historically significant events. So here you have a guy that is wandering around parts of Israel (which isn't a big area to begin with), performing miracle after miracle, and nobody but the followers of Jesus seems to be writing it down. Some theologians have dealt with this discrepancy by saying the miracles never happened and they were simply poetic or legendary in nature. In other words, they were metaphors. This too doesn't pass the smell test. If they were a metaphor, why claim there were so many of them you couldn't write them all down? Sounds more like they are trying to say Jesus was doing little else besides performing miracles. Even if you believe the metaphor explanation, you still have to ask yourself why they were included in the bible in the first place and were clearly written in non-metaphorical terms as if they really did happen. You still have people today that genuinely believe the miracles of Christ genuinely happened, and it's not that big of a stretch to imagine early Christians did also. It's pretty hard to believe that they were included for any reason other than to establish the credibility of Jesus. So really the only conclusion you can reasonably draw from is was either Jesus and his followers engaged in duplicitous acts in order to gain credibility (which seems likely during that time) or those men who actually wrote the bible included them in order to gain credibility. Either way that makes someone a scam artist or the miracles did actually happen and somehow (miraculously?) there were no other written accounts.
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MarkCharles Donating Member (932 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 10:53 AM
Response to Original message
1. I don't know, but I'm kind of wondering about the folks who wrote books about...
him, 50 or so years later. Why write a book about a mythical figure or a real figure without getting the facts consistent between the book authors?

When a famous and great humanist generous caring person is around and becomes well known, a lot of people want to be associated with him. A lot of people want to emulate him. They even stretch the truth a little, in an effort to be listened to as they relate their story of a once great person.

One has to wonder, if Jesus were as great as everyone now claims he was, WHY WASN'T THERE ONE PERSON ALIVE WHO COULD WRITE ABOUT HIM while he was alive, or very shortly after that rising from the dead thing Jesus did on Sunday? Surely something like that would be unusual enough to get people talking and writing letters or making statements about it. No recorded words until decades later?

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MilesColtrane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. "WHY WASN'T THERE ONE PERSON ALIVE WHO COULD WRITE ABOUT HIM while he was alive"
They might have been afraid of getting the old hammer & nails treatment themselves?

:shrug:
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Major Nikon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 11:07 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. They weren't afraid of cultivating their own followings
What's to fear if they truly believed?
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 11:08 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. The Romans were meticulous record keepers.
They noted when petty thieves were executed. And the people who documented that didn't get executed for it.
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MarkCharles Donating Member (932 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Yes, Literacy in the Roman provinces and within the Jewish leadership was
believed to be relatively high. Correspondence between Rome and the provinces was the major means to implement any type of control over the populations. Likewise, religious leaders in Judaism were often the most scholarly members of a community, reading and interpreting ancient written words of the Tora for their believing congregants.
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ewagner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. From my readings,
I believe you are correct about the levels of literacy among both the Roman leadership as well as the Jewish leadership. Which makes some of the questions raised early even more intriguing.

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okasha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #7
47. Could you cite some of those records, please?
Edited on Sat Dec-03-11 03:43 PM by okasha
Say, court records or journals or daybooks or whatever giving the names, sentences and times and places of execution of--oh, given the tens, possibly hundreds, of thousands of people the Romans crucified--maybe a dozen or so "petty thieves?" And where can we find the records for the rest of those 100,00 or so?

Thanks.
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-11 10:08 AM
Response to Reply #47
49. LMAO
Got burned yourself and you think this is a way to turn the tables?

Tell you what, I'll respond exactly the way you did. If you ever decide to back up your claims, I'll be all over this one for you.
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okasha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-11 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #49
53. In other words,
you have no sources.

Thought so.
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-11 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #53
54. In other words, I meet like with like.
You document your claims, I'll document mine. Show me what a better person you are.
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okasha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #54
61. All anyone has to do to document this talking point
is produce the records of persons crucified in and around Jerusalem within--oh, say a week either way--of Passover between the years 30-36CE. The presence or absence of one Yeshua ben Yusuf would go a long way toward solving at least one theological/hisorical controversy. Somehow, neither you nor anyone else has been able to do this, only produce the "Romans kept meticulous records" talking point.

To which the only appropriate answer is "pffft."
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ewagner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 10:57 AM
Response to Original message
2. question....
There are other biblical accounts of miracles...water into wine...Lazarus raised from death...etc., but I take it that you're position is that there are no other historic documents OTHER THAN THE BIBLE to confirm those miracles. Is that correct?

It has always bothered me that everything we know about Jesus appears to be from biblical accounts alone. And...at that biblical accounts written by others. Jesus, apparently, didn't write anything which raises the question of "why didn't he write anything?" He was the giver of laws but he never wrote them. Was Jesus literate? Did he have scribes to write down his homilies?

Except for the letters of Paul, I don't know if much of the new testament that was written contemporaneously with the life of the apostles. Most of it, if I am not mistaken, was written 90 to 100 years after the crucification. Is that your understanding?
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Major Nikon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. That's my understanding
That's why I was careful to say "the followers of Jesus" and not Jesus himself or the apostles. I think it's pretty safe to say that none of those people wrote the gospels attributed to them.
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rrneck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 11:01 AM
Response to Original message
4. Jesus was real. The miracles were real.
Just as real as Gandalf coming back from the dead after defeating the balrog. Gandalf was just waaay cooler.

It's all fiction.
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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #4
10. bible = true. bible = book. therefore anything in a book must true. hmmm nt
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rrneck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. When Jesus comes back
tell him I got another ride.
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Marrah_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 06:55 AM
Response to Reply #4
57. Wait, what????? BLASPHEMER!!!!!!!!!!!
Gandalf was so a real person.
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Old and In the Way Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 12:53 PM
Response to Original message
12. It's always struck me as odd as well...that a person creating this many miracles
didn't have more independent historical sources corroborating the testimonies that are in the bible.
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deacon_sephiroth Donating Member (315 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. yes, but further along that point
it's odd enough in and of itself that a person that wants to convince the world of his divinity decides to perform miracles... but only trivial miracles, tantamount to parlor tricks and only in front of some of his close friends.
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 01:13 PM
Response to Original message
14. Yes. he actually retired to a comfortable life in Nigeria.
:eyes:
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cleanhippie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. So HE is the one that keep sending me those emails about my lottery winnings?
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edhopper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Please
don't respond to a very legitimate question about the veracity of the Bible and the evidence for a historic Jesus.
It might make you reconsider your faith.
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. If you consider the OP to be "a very legitimate question" you may reconsider your objectivity.
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MarkCharles Donating Member (932 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Is not religion strong enough to withstand each and every question raised?
No matter how "legitimate" or not the religious believer feels the question to be?
Is it up to the religious believer to decide what can be legitimately asked about a religion?
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Sure it is.
More to the point, I was not the one to characterize a question as "legitimate". That of course raises the question ofwhether questions can also be illegitimate.

The question is bogus baiting.
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MarkCharles Donating Member (932 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. So YOU are the one we need to consult to determine if a question is
legitimate?

You think the question is NOT legitimate? You find it "bogus"?

If history and recent current events have taught us anything, we can often see a close correlation between religious preachers and scams and schemes which have given those preacher folks a very rewarding lifestyle. To not ask questions about the legitimacy of a given preacher's alleged accomplishments and claims would be foolhardy, would it not?
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edhopper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. But he was the son of God
how can you even question his motivation or legitimacy.

:sarcasm:
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MarkCharles Donating Member (932 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. Sarcasm appreciated. I really have more questions about those who
chronicled his alleged miracles, from birth to his after-life experience back on Earth.

The writers of those gospels, (and any others that might not have made it into the Bible) seem to have a number of inconsistencies, and a good number of parallels, so it's kind of amazing.

I'm thinking about modern day parallels. We all witnessed the horrific death of Princess Dianna, and following the terrible event, within a year, dozens of books and articles appear in the press. Hundreds of thousands of people lined the streets at her death. Of course, it's different times. But the point is the same. If Jesus was, himself a marvelous man who had great influence upon so many, why so many many years without a mention in any chronicles or any way of knowing who witnessed what.

Comparatively speaking, the world of Roman provincial management of what we call holy lands was pretty darn secure and well chronicled. Yet no mention anywhere of this man who claimed to be God? Stretches the imagination to think that most people would have considered him at the time, nothing more than yet another scam artist. As the years passed, as memories dropped to zero, (most people didn't live long lives) his "lore" and "persona" could be amplified by scam artists fifty or more years later in their writings about this man.
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edhopper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. A parallel would be
Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. Smith was a bona fide scam artist whose "discoveries' were proven bogus at the time. Young was a child rapist who led his people in atrocities. And yet millions believe and follow and we are suppose to be accepting of this sham.
So that Jesus could have been just another false messiah preaching his own line of "faith", but due to some followers like Paul gained traction in the minds of people is not inconceivable.
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MarkCharles Donating Member (932 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. Good parallels! Thanks! n/t
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 05:21 PM
Response to Reply #21
27. How astute. That's exactly what I said.
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Major Nikon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. It's been a question that has been asked for at least the last 200 years
If you don't consider it a legitimate question, your head must be quite far into the sand.
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 05:24 PM
Response to Reply #20
28. Really? Point me to the person in the 19th century who asked if he was a scam artist.
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Major Nikon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 05:55 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. Albert Schweitzer
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 05:57 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. That's questioning his existence, not asking if he was a scam artist.
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Major Nikon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #31
33. Sigh
First of all, the book most certainly does examine the historical evidence of the alleged miracles and talks about them in great detail comparing the historical evidence with what the bible says. Next, if Jesus didn't exist, then the whole idea of Christianity would be a scam, and the writers of the gospels would be scam artists which is what I alluded to in the OP if you had read it. The point here is that people have been questioning the validity of biblical claims for at least the last 200 years, or in other words, questioning if Christianity is a scam. If it is a scam, then one would have to assume there were scam artists involved, yes?
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 06:43 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. No need to sigh. I got the point a long time ago.
The problem is, questiong his historic existence does not lead inexorably to your conclusion that Christianity is a scam.

The statement you are making through a disingenous question is that Christianity itself is a scam. I can understand why you did not write that as a headline, even if disguised as a question.
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Major Nikon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 07:30 PM
Response to Reply #34
36. Sigh
My point had very little to do with whether Jesus existed or not. The book addresses the question of whether or not the miracles actually happened, along with the question of whether Jesus existed or not. You wanted a 200 year old example of someone who asked the question and I gave you one. So if you want to pretend this isn't a valid question to be asked, be my guest.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-11 10:50 PM
Response to Reply #36
55. Have you actually read Schweitzer? First, his book was written 100 years ago, not 200.
Second, Schweitzer is not attempting a scientific investigation of the miracle stories: he was attempting a critical overview of the work of quite a number of distinct authors who claimed to present a historical portrait of Jesus, from the late eighteenth century to the late nineteenth century
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 06:17 PM
Response to Reply #30
32. XX: Results
Those who are fond of talking about negative theology can find their account here. There is nothing more negative than the result of the critical study of the Life of Jesus.

The Jesus of Nazareth who came forward publicly as the Messiah, who preached the ethic of the Kingdom of God, who founded the Kingdom of Heaven upon earth, and died to give His work its final consecration, never had any existence. He is a figure designed by rationalism, endowed with life by liberalism, and clothed by modern theology in an historical garb ...

The study of the Life of Jesus has had a curious history. It set out in quest of the historical Jesus, believing that when it had found Him it could bring Him straight into our time as a Teacher and Saviour. It loosed the bands by which He had been riveted for centuries to the stony rocks of ecclesiastical doctrine, and rejoiced to see life and movement coming into the figure once more, and the historical Jesus advancing, as it seemed, to meet it. But He does not stay; He passes by our time and returns to His own. What surprised and dismayed the theology of the last forty years was that, despite all forced and arbitrary interpretations, it could not keep Him in our time, but had to let Him go. He returned to His own time, not owing to the application of any historical ingenuity, but by the same inevitable necessity by which the liberated pendulum returns to its original position ...

We are experiencing what Paul experienced. In the very moment when we were coming nearer to the historical Jesus than men had ever come before, and were already stretching out our hands to draw Him into our own time, we have been obliged to give up the attempt and acknowledge our failure in that paradoxical saying: "If we have known Christ after the flesh yet henceforth know we Him no more." And further we must be prepared to find that the historical knowledge of the personality and life of Jesus will not be a help, but perhaps even an offense to religion.

But the truth is, it is not Jesus as historically known, but Jesus as spiritually arisen within men, who is significant for our time and can help it. Not the historical Jesus, but the spirit which goes forth from Him and in the spirits of men strives for new influence and rule, is that which overcomes the world ...

He comes to us as One unknown, without a name, as of old, by the lake-side, He came to those men who knew Him not. He speaks to us the same word: "Follow thou me!" and sets us to the tasks which He has to fulfil for our time. He commands. And to those who obey Him, whether they be wise or simple, He will reveal Himself in the toils, the conflicts, the sufferings which they shall pass through in His fellowship, and, as an ineffable mystery, they shall learn in their own experience Who He is.

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/schweitzer/chapte...

The Quest of the Historical Jesus
A Critical Study of its Progress from Reimarus to Wrede
By Albert Schweitzer
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/schweitzer /
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deacon_sephiroth Donating Member (315 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-11 09:52 AM
Response to Reply #32
48. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!
I'll agree with the summary of this article if it will do wit ha bit of editing:

((But the truth is, it is not Jesus, (snip) who is significant for our time and can help it.))

that should do it.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-11 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #48
51. JS Bach's Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier (Albert Schweitzer )
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-11 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #48
52. Nobel Peace Prize 1952
... Let us dare to face the situation. Man has become superman. He is a superman because he not only has at his disposal innate physical forces, but also commands, thanks to scientific and technological advances, the latent forces of nature which he can now put to his own use. To kill at a distance, man used to rely solely on his own physical strength; he used it to bend the bow and to release the arrow. The superman has progressed to the stage where, thanks to a device designed for the purpose, he can use the energy released by the combustion of a given combination of chemical products. This enables him to employ a much more effective projectile and to propel it over far greater distances.

However, the superman suffers from a fatal flaw. He has failed to rise to the level of superhuman reason which should match that of his superhuman strength. He requires such reason to put this vast power to solely reasonable and useful ends and not to destructive and murderous ones. Because he lacks it, the conquests of science and technology become a mortal danger to him rather than a blessing ...

But the essential fact which we should acknowledge in our conscience, and which we should have acknowledged a long time ago, is that we are becoming inhuman to the extent that we become supermen. We have learned to tolerate the facts of war: that men are killed en masse -some twenty million in the Second World War - that whole cities and their inhabitants are annihilated by the atomic bomb, that men are turned into living torches by incendiary bombs. We learn of these things from the radio or newspapers and we judge them according to whether they signify success for the group of peoples to which we belong, or for our enemies. When we do admit to ourselves that such acts are the results of inhuman conduct, our admission is accompanied by the thought that the very fact of war itself leaves us no option but to accept them. In resigning ourselves to our fate without a struggle, we are guilty of inhumanity.

What really matters is that we should all of us realize that we are guilty of inhumanity. The horror of this realization should shake us out of our lethargy so that we can direct our hopes and our intentions to the coming of an era in which war will have no place ...

http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/...
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deacon_sephiroth Donating Member (315 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 09:03 AM
Response to Reply #52
60. yes..........
bad IS in fact BAD, and good is GOOD, and Jesus is irrelevant. Thank you for making my point.
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edhopper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-11 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #28
42. Thomas Paine seems to have come close
"The study of theology, as it stands in Christian churches, is the study of nothing; it is founded on nothing; it rests on nothing; it proceeds by no authorities; it has no data; it can demonstrate nothing."--Thomas Paine, in The Age Of Reason

"All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit." - Thomas Paine
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Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 05:10 PM
Response to Original message
26. Maybe some people who weren't followers and who witnessed the miracles quickly became followers.
Maybe other people who weren't followers and who witnessed the miracles reached the conclusion that the miracles were like the tricks of professional magicians.

Another possibility is that many people who witnessed miracles deliberately refrained from speaking or writing about them on the grounds that such communication could make them lose credibility. After all, if a boy cries "wolf", then the two main possibilities are:
#1 there is a wolf nearby, the boy is in danger, and the boy needs help.
#2 the boy is lying and wants attention.

Until people arrive and see for themselves, they have no way to choose between the two. In the case of a miracle, you don't need help, and you don't want people to think that you are lying.

Unless a miracle is very prolonged, there's no point in calling others to witness it.

Nor can one's motive be to share one's experience of the recent past with others. There is no way to share it. The attempt to share it would raise questions about credibility. If you wanted to share it with others, and you knew where to find the person whose presence seemed to attract miracles, then the best approach might be to say that you have seen some interesting events that you won't describe, and that if others want to know more, then they need to go to such and such location and look for a person matching a specified description. Within a few years, that kind of information would become like an expired coupon. Do you really expect people to write down and periodically recopy that kind of useless information?
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Major Nikon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 05:50 PM
Response to Reply #26
29. People of that time were predisposed to believe in the hocus pocus
Rabbis recorded all sorts of events, especially if they had anything to do with an alleged act of god. Many of these records exist during the time and places Jesus would have frequented and there's no mention of them. In the Roman records there's little to no mention of Jesus at all. There's not even an alleged miracle attributed to him. It doesn't seem plausible that the Romans, who recorded even mundane things would have absolutely no mention of any of this.
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Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 07:03 PM
Response to Reply #29
35. How about the possibility of the deliberate destruction of records between their time and ours?
Edited on Wed Nov-30-11 07:04 PM by Boojatta
After all, it's not surprising to discover that some religious authority of the past wasn't willing to tolerate a diversity of views on questions related to his or her own religion.

Records of mundane events would survive the message control efforts of organized religion precisely because they don't refer to Jesus.
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Major Nikon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 07:39 PM
Response to Reply #35
37. If that were the case, it should be reasonably obvious that the records were censored
And I'm pretty sure biblical scholars of the past 200 years would have accounted for those possibilities.
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Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #37
38. I'm talking about records having been destroyed, not censored.
What can biblical scholars of the past two hundred years do about records that were destroyed between 2011 years ago and 201 years ago? If a manuscript doesn't exist, then how can they apply their scholarly manuscript analysis skills to reach any conclusions?
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Major Nikon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 08:15 PM
Response to Reply #38
40. You gave a motivation for their destruction
That's censorship. And biblical scholars have all sorts of ways of accounting for the validity or absence of records. In many cases they can compare two or more sets of records that covered the same time periods. Discrepancies often reveal themselves that way. They can also examine records and put them into their historical context. So as far as what records exist and what records don't, I haven't personally examined them, but many scholars have and it's not a stretch to appeal to their authority, especially when such authority is well scrutinized.
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 07:59 PM
Response to Original message
39. I used to think Jesus could have been conman until I had a psychopath in my life
and I realized that there is no way a conman Jesus would have made the lives of so many better with his teachings if he was one. Psychopaths just try to diminish the lives of as many people as possible to get their rocks off by using them. Jesus wanted people to lead better lives. And, for many people over the years, he did make life considerably more liveable. No conman would have succeeded in doing that.
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edhopper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-11 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #39
43. The same was said of
Joseph Smith (a true conman). You are also making the assumption that the quotes attributed to Jesus in the Bible were actually his and that Christianity itself is solely the result of his teachings and not all the many writers of the NT.
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Marrah_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 06:58 AM
Response to Reply #39
58. I think that would sort of depend on who you were
Pretty sure there were alot of people who's lives were not made better because of his teachings.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-11 12:00 PM
Response to Original message
41. He was a Schizophrenic.
His behavior and mannerisms, at least as recorded in the gospels, seem to point to Schizophrenia. It is not uncommon for religious schizophrenics to start thinking that they are God.
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MarkCharles Donating Member (932 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-11 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #41
44. Interesting observation about schizophrenics, and perhaps that Jesus guy! n't
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Nye Bevan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-11 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #41
50. Hmmmmm. I've seen a few schizophrenics
but never one who could feed 5000 people with a couple of loaves and fishes. Or who could turn water into wine.
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humblebum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-11 01:59 PM
Response to Original message
45. It makes perfect sense that that the crucifiction of Jesus was not recorded
Edited on Thu Dec-01-11 02:29 PM by humblebum
at the time. It is true that the Roman and Jewish upper classes were quite literate. But, word of mouth was still the primary mode of communication. Historians and scribes of the day were relatively few, as was the availability of writing accessories to just anyone. Historians of that period displayed little concern for anything pertaining to the everyday lives and concerns of the lower classes. Instead, historians generally were hired by royalty, or the upper-classes to record their affairs and deeds. The substance of most ancient historical writings consisted of magnifying the significance of rulers, heroes, wars, and battles. So, in this light, it makes sense that the events surrounding Jesus' life were not immediately recorded.

Paul was an educated and highly literate Pharisee, who wrote much about the immediate events after Jesus' time, but of course never knew Jesus as a man. Luke was an educated gentile, and a friend of Paul. He also wrote after the fact. The apostles were not known to be of the upper-classes, and so it is quite natural that they wrote little or nothing as events unfolded.

Given these facts, it is not unusual that the events of Jesus' life were not recorded in the immediate Roman and Jewish histories. Of course, much was recorded in the years after, by historians who referred to the early Church, and in the writings of the apostles. Objective proof? There is none. Nor is the absence of the events evidence of absence. Other than the gospels, the most immediate recording of an historical link to Jesus, that I know of, are the references of Irenaeus and Tertullian to the life of Polycarp whom they recorded as having been a disciple of John the Apostle. Irenaeus recorded that he had heard Polycarp speak in his youth.
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MarkCharles Donating Member (932 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 08:32 AM
Response to Reply #45
59. You're telling us that a government that takes a census doesn't record
Edited on Tue Dec-06-11 08:33 AM by MarkCharles
executions of their "criminals"?

SURE! It's that "belief" thing that enables you to rationalize what must have been a tremendous "witch hunt" to locate and arrest and crucify this man, Jesus, but not a single record was made of this crucifiction nor those of two other common criminals beside him on that hillside?

OKAY!
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Antifa919 Donating Member (16 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 11:35 AM
Response to Original message
46. I think so.
I'd say all self-claimed "prophets" and "messiahs" from Jesus to Mohammed to Joseph Smith were scam artists.
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sakabatou Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 01:58 AM
Response to Original message
56. Even if he did do miracles...
According to Jewish scripture, he wouldn't have been the messiah anyway.
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Amaya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 11:58 AM
Response to Original message
62. Religion is the biggest scam ever...
" When it comes to BULLSHIT...BIG-TIME, MAJOR LEAGUE BULLSHIT... you have to stand IN AWE, IN AWE of the all time champion of false promises and exaggerated claims, religion." George Carlin :)
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