Page 11 of 11 FirstFirst ... 91011
Results 151 to 158 of 158
  1. #151
    CC Candidate Master TimONeill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    28
    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    That post does nothing to establish its reliability and as I said it is (at best) reporting the existence of Christians and their beliefs.
    Wrong. It is not just "reporting the existence of Christians and their beliefs", as anyone who bothers to read what Tacitus says can see:

    "Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judæa, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular."
    (Tacitus, Annals, XV.44)

    So Tacitus explains the name of the Christians by referring to its historical founder. He gives us one of his names - "Christus" - which is the Latin form of the Greek χριστός, meaning "Anointed One", which in turn is the Greek form of the Hebrew ha-Mashiach or Messiah. He tells us this man was executed and gives us key details of who did this ("Pontius Pilatus"), where ("in Judæa") and when ("during the reign of Tiberius"). That is historical information about a man who lived a few decades earlier and it is far more than simply "reporting the existence of Christians and their beliefs". Did you even bother to read the passage in question?

    As for "establishing its reliability", I'm afraid ancient historians didn't use footnotes and rarely tell us about their sources. So what we have to do is test two things: (i) did the writer potentially have access to reliable sources of information on this and (ii) do we have any reason to believe we can't trust what this text tells us for some reason? Taking these in turn:

    (i) As it happens, yes Tacitus did have access to reliable information about events in Judea in the relevant period. In the wake of the Jewish War of 66-70 AD Rome was host to a number of aristocratic Jewish refugees, several of whom were associated directly with the Flavian court and so moved in Tacitus' direct social circle. The Emperor Titus himself had lived with his Jewish mistress, the Princess Berenice, daughter of Herod Agrippa from 75 AD and the historian Josephus also moved in the same circles as Tacitus, as did many other Judean exiles. So Tacitus had plenty of opportunity to learn of key events in the years before the uprising and if he wanted to know about the origin of this Christian sect there were plenty of people around him who could tell him. Berenice's father was ruler of Galilee when this Galilean troublemaker was crucified and a synoptic analysis of what Josephus says in Ant. Book XVIII and what Tacitus writes shows the two overlap in key details.

    (ii) There is nothing in the text to indicate that Tacitus is unreliable here. Jesus Mythers, of course, try to find reasons to do so. The first main way they do so is to claim that all Tacitus is doing is repeating Christians' own claims about their founder and so this is not independent attestation of Jesus as a historical person. But nothing in the passage indicates anything to support this supposition. And even as a supposition, it fails on several fronts. To begin with, Tacotus scorned the use of mere hearsay in his work. For example:

    "My object in mentioning and refuting this story is, by a conspicuous example, to put down hearsay, and to request that all those into whose hands my work shall come not to catch eagerly at wild and improbable rumours in preference to genuine history"
    (Tacitus, Annals, IV.11)

    Secondly, the scorn that Tacitus shows for the Christians makes it clear that he would not have found them a respectable source of information even if an aristocrat like himself had somehow found some reason to associate with low class foreigners and slaves like them, which is unlikely. He calls Christianity "a most mischievous superstition .... evil .... hideous and shameful .... (with a) hatred against mankind" - not exactly the words of a man who regarded its followers as reliable sources about their sect's founder. Furthermore, what he says about Jesus does not show any sign of having its origin in what a Christian would say: it has no hint or mention of Jesus' teaching, his miracles and nothing about the claim he rose from the dead. On the other hand, it does contain elements that would have been of note to a Roman or other non-Christian: the bare when, where and by whom of his execution and that's about all.

    And the other way the Mythers try to dismiss this passage is by their old standby - interpolation. This is even weaker. This passage is distinctively Tacitean in its language and style and it is hard to see how a later Christian scribe could have managed to affect perfect second century Latin grammar and an authentic Tacitean style and fool about 400 years worth of Tacitus scholars, who all regard this passage and clearly genuine. There is nothing in the language and style of this passage to indicate anything but total authenticity. And we know from actual Christian interpolations that these later Christian scribes could not resist the urge to insert elements that bolster their theological arguments or support their apologetic agendas - like the interpolations into Josephus Ant. Book XVIII, which have a Jew making the claim that Jesus was the Messiah and rose from the dead. We see nothing like that here and the idea that a fourth or fifth century interpolator would be subtle enough to imitate the scorn of a second century senator for a superstitio or resist the urge to make Tacitus praise Jesus or mention his miracles or resurrection is fanciful in the extreme.

    So we know Tacitus had access to sources of information about early first century Judea, we know he didn't accept the word of people he didn't trust as sources and there is nothing in this passage to suggest it is anything other than Tacitean. It takes a certain wilful boneheadedness not to accept that this is clear attestation of a historical Jesus by one of the and most reliable historians of the time.

  2. #152
    CC International Master Kaitlin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Inventor of the Surströmming opening
    Posts
    1,416
    Jesus was just a normal person who thought to change some injustices, but after he died to cover up the fact that they had taken he's body he's followers made up a story and it went viral. After that the truth was irrelevant.
    Last edited by Kaitlin; 22-07-2016 at 06:34 PM.
    .. this Caketin is full of little spiders and watermelon seeds.....

    ..Chess is all about fear and psychology

    ..Chess is like an exam..... you havent studied for

    ..If you're good at Chess it means you are very intelligent and could potentialy do great things
    ..... but that you might have wasted that playing way too much chess

  3. #153
    CC Candidate Master TimONeill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    28
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaitlin View Post
    Jesus was just a thought to change some injustices, but after he died to cover up the fact that they had taken he's body he's followers made up a story and it went viral. After that the truth was irrelevant.
    That's pretty unlikely. Firstly, why would they steal his body? Secondly, it assumes that the later stories about the discovery of an empty tomb are historical, whereas it's likely they are much later additions.

  4. #154
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    The multiverse
    Posts
    21,570
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaitlin View Post
    Jesus was just a normal person who thought to change some injustices, but after he died to cover up the fact that they had taken he's body he's followers made up a story and it went viral. After that the truth was irrelevant.
    I agree with you to the extent that a lot of the stories in the gospels are mythic and they certainly went viral.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  5. #155
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Atlanta, GA (formerly Brisbane, and before that Wellington, NZ)
    Posts
    19,495
    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    Are you saying that words once given a meaning retain that meaning in perpetuity?
    Rather, I am pointing out that the whole term ‘Dark Ages’ is largely frowned upon by modern historians.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    If not then I fail to see that citing Petrarch is relevant. For the last century at least and precisely because of the recognition of the accomplishments of the middle ages that the term is largely restricted to the period ~500-1000. To continue to abuse normal usage appears to be manufacturing a controversy that is not there.
    Then blame your fellow atheopaths for using a graph that calls the whole period the ‘Dark Ages’.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    These were largely cultural and not scientific achievements.
    True, but there were some things relevant to science. Modern atheopaths like Bill Nye the Soundbite Guy and Neil deGrasse Tyson portray medieval people as thinking the earth was big and the universe quite small. But Boëthius (AD c. 480–524), right at the beginning of the ‘Dark Ages’, wrote in his very widely read Consolation of Philosophy:

    As you have heard from the demonstrations of the astronomers, in comparison to the vastness of the heavens, it is agreed that the whole extent of the earth has the value of a mere point; that is to say, were the earth to be compared to the vastness of the heavenly sphere, it would be judged to have no volume at all.

    His contemporary John Philiponus (c. 490 – c. 570) also proposed the idea of "impetus", refined by Buridan in the High Middle Ages, which was a predecessor to Galileo's refinement of inertia. Galileo is also given credit for showing that heavy objects do NOT fall faster than light ones (apart from air resistance), but Philiponus beat him by a millennium, and you see his advocacy of observation rather than relying on Aristotle:

    But this [view of Aristotle] is completely erroneous, and our view may be completely corroborated by actual observation more effectively than by any sort of verbal argument. For if you let fall from the same height two weights, one many times heavier than the other you will see that the ratio of the times required for the motion does not depend [solely] on the weights, but that the difference in time is very small.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    I think you will find that I never said that no-one in the Dark Ages valued logical thinking. In fact I never said that there weren't any useful contributions made by anyone in the period. And in fact I don't blame the dearth of the advancements of knowledge in the period on the Church. The reason is primarily due to the collapse of the European economy and the power structures which took centuries to replace. In some ways the Church helped to re-establish the European economy which enabled trade and spending on things like universities.
    Agreed. The Church encouraged the formation of universities, an invention of the High Middle Ages.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    However other actions by the church in the second millennium were less optimal for the advancement of human knowledge (e.g. the Condemnations, the Index, persecution of the occasional 'scientist', etc).
    A lot of the above was Renaissance not Medieval.
    “The destructive capacity of the individual, however vicious, is small; of the state, however well-intentioned, almost limitless. Expand the state and that destructive capacity necessarily expands, too, pari passu.”—Paul Johnson, Modern Times, 1983.

  6. #156
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    The multiverse
    Posts
    21,570
    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    Rather, I am pointing out that the whole term ‘Dark Ages’ is largely frowned upon by modern historians.
    Sure that's true in technical writing but I'm not sure how mainstream is the frowning on the term altogether. Regardless of that the term Dark Ages is not widely equated to the the whole Medieval period. Some people might still use it that way but that usage is definitely deprecated and has been for a long time,

    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    Then blame your fellow atheopaths for using a graph that calls the whole period the ‘Dark Ages’.
    I've only seen the graph brought up by people already denigrating it so what would be the point? If it was all that prevalent then perhaps you have a point. But this is part of the reason I don't spend much time reading blogs. There is a lack of quality control.

    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    True, but there were some things relevant to science. Modern atheopaths like Bill Nye the Soundbite Guy and Neil deGrasse Tyson portray medieval people as thinking the earth was big and the universe quite small. But Boëthius (AD c. 480–524), right at the beginning of the ‘Dark Ages’, wrote in his very widely read Consolation of Philosophy:

    As you have heard from the demonstrations of the astronomers, in comparison to the vastness of the heavens, it is agreed that the whole extent of the earth has the value of a mere point; that is to say, were the earth to be compared to the vastness of the heavenly sphere, it would be judged to have no volume at all.

    His contemporary John Philiponus (c. 490 – c. 570) also proposed the idea of "impetus", refined by Buridan in the High Middle Ages, which was a predecessor to Galileo's refinement of inertia. Galileo is also given credit for showing that heavy objects do NOT fall faster than light ones (apart from air resistance), but Philiponus beat him by a millennium, and you see his advocacy of observation rather than relying on Aristotle:

    But this [view of Aristotle] is completely erroneous, and our view may be completely corroborated by actual observation more effectively than by any sort of verbal argument. For if you let fall from the same height two weights, one many times heavier than the other you will see that the ratio of the times required for the motion does not depend [solely] on the weights, but that the difference in time is very small.
    Remember I never said there weren't any individuals. Just that their weren't many. A couple of contributions at the boundary does not challenge that view.

    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    Agreed. The Church encouraged the formation of universities, an invention of the High Middle Ages.
    Some of the universities certainly particularly Paris and Oxford, perhaps surprisingly the church was less involved in the Italian universities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    A lot of the above was Renaissance not Medieval.
    Sure but I said "in the second millennium" for a reason. The Condemnations were Medieval but the Index officially arose in in the 16th century (and although there was some precursors, they were less effective at suppressing inquiry).
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  7. #157
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Atlanta, GA (formerly Brisbane, and before that Wellington, NZ)
    Posts
    19,495
    Surely you of all people would appreciate the medieval scientist, logician, theologian, and priest Thomas Bradwardine, ‘Doctor Profundus’ (c. 1290 – 26 August 1349). You might say that he's the patron saint of your field:

    [Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth ... whoever then has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start that he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom.
    “The destructive capacity of the individual, however vicious, is small; of the state, however well-intentioned, almost limitless. Expand the state and that destructive capacity necessarily expands, too, pari passu.”—Paul Johnson, Modern Times, 1983.

  8. #158
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    The multiverse
    Posts
    21,570
    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    Surely you of all people would appreciate the medieval scientist, logician, theologian, and priest Thomas Bradwardine, ‘Doctor Profundus’ (c. 1290 – 26 August 1349). You might say that he's the patron saint of your field:

    [Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth ... whoever then has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start that he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom.
    He was a promoter of mathematics by the sounds of that quote although probably Roger Bacon was more influential. The usual name touted as the patron saint of Mathematicians is St Hubertus (7-8th century monk). If I was of that bent I would prefer the more modern (and beatified although not yet canonised) Blessed Francesco Faà di Bruno, who is more recognisably a mathematican in the modern sense. I've even had need to call on his formula for the repeated derivative of a composite function (although he was not the first to write that formula down).
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. historical consistency sf. 2010 chess goals
    By Santa in forum Ratings Arena
    Replies: 128
    Last Post: 27-11-2011, 07:51 PM
  2. Who do you say that Jesus is?
    By EGOR in forum Non-Chess
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 21-09-2007, 03:57 PM
  3. Historical Reference Question: Smyslov v Polugaevsky
    By Phil Bourke in forum Chess Training
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 14-12-2005, 07:01 PM
  4. Sex Better Than Jesus
    By antichrist in forum Religion and Science
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 01-07-2005, 05:08 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •