Posted by: rudyruddell | March 31, 2012

The Historicity of Jesus

From a 3/31/12 response to a Facebook post at The Skeptics Testament Podcast.

I accept the historicity of Jesus, only because I am deferring to historians who know a lot more than I do, just like I accept that gravity is formed by the warping of space-space.

However, I agree with Scott Brickner, that the case for the historicity of Jesus is different because of the implications of the non-existence of Jesus is so huge, since the assumption of Christianity is a falsifiable hypothesis: If Jesus could be proven to be non-existent, the consequences would be monumental. It would be to Christianity like finding a mammal fossil in the dinosaur geological layer would be to evolution.

If it were discovered that Caesar, Alexander the Great, or Aristotle had not existed, there would be a minor tremor among historians and perhaps a newspaper article. However, if it were proven that Jesus never existed, it could cause a world wide cultural tsunami. Granted, it would not destroy Christianity, just like proof of no cargo cult god would not destroy the cargo cult, but it would cut the heart out of support from a large segment of intellectuals who provide the intellectual justifications for the average educated person.

And that is why atheists want to prove Jesus never existed. If we could do so, it would be a major coup. So, if the majority of scholars are going to support the underpinnings of the largest religion in the world, I think they should be held to a higher standard than for other less consequential figures. However, historians are trying to be scientific and not get involved it politics, so they treat Jesus just like they do any other figure, so I reluctantly agree with that philosophy because I support the scientific method.

My point is that I also support, applaud, and encourage historians like Richard Carrier who seek to disprove the existence of Jesus, because such a discovery could be an uppercut to the jaw of a religion that is an iron ball on the leg of science, morality, and equality.

  • 6 hours ago · Like
  • NJ Bruzzese Rudy, my scathing comments to Scott also apply to your last post. You are both taking an indefensible position.

    43 minutes ago · Like
  • Rudy Ruddell I disagree, but perhaps I was not clear and concise enough: I accept the historicity of Jesus and that historians should not change their standards for Jesus, just because Jesus impacted history more than any man in history. However, anyone who uses the historicity of Jesus on which to base their life is basing their life on very flimsy, albeit sufficient for historical purposes, evidence.

    38 minutes ago · Like
  • NJ Bruzzese Ah, yes that is different to Scott’s claim Rudy. Mea culpas.

    37 minutes ago · Unlike ·  1
  • NJ Bruzzese I don’t think anyone disagrees with the difference and impact the quest for the historical Jesus is and will have. But to suggest his historicity requires a separate standard of evidence due to this is utterly fallacious and that is Scott’s tenuous position.

    34 minutes ago · Unlike ·  1
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Responses

  1. I see no reason to point out that mental projection belief within a religious context is clearly a fool’s errand.

    I think it makes more sense to devote finite human lifespans to improving the fragile social cooperation construct which is constantly threat from people who refuse to share anything, (typically authoritarian conservatives) except their horribly self-serving corrosive ideas on how to “improve” society if only everyone would subscribe to a harsh authoritarian narrative where most people are expendable if they’re not white or relatively wealthy.

    Arguing the existence of a shared, viral mental construct, does not make it any less fake to me than mother goose, which still exists as a comparably fantasy level fairy tale, the only real difference is that adults are actively infecting young minds with adult-level fairy tales under the assumption that
    if you infect children when their young with a fear meme, they’re less likely to become less doubtful as they grow older.

  2. My reason for pointing “out that mental projection belief within a religious context is clearly a fool’s errand” is that I was inspired to do so and since this blog is here for me to write whatever inspires me, I did so. It is your choice as to whether to read it or not.

    “I think it makes more sense to devote finite human lifespans to improving the fragile social cooperation construct which is constantly threat from people who refuse to share anything,”
    I respect your opinion and I encourage you to devote your human lifespan to whatever you want, and I will devote mine to whatever I want. It would not make sense for me to spend my time doing something that you think is important because I would not be motivated to do so. Everyone has their own hot buttons and yours are not the same as mine. Live and let live.


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