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  1. #121
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    Not serious!
    I haven't seen the movie but the commentary that Richard Carrier provides in his books is well worth consideration. Unfortunately Tim O'Neill doesn't think so and prefers (like CF) to obsess about personal minutia. Speaking of minutiae, if you are going to name someone in your defence you should try to get their name right. I do have a lot of time for Bart Ehrman too but I think he assumes too much on the historicity side.

    The other issue clouding the debate here is that the Christian's Jesus is not the same as the Historian's Jesus. Saying that the Historian's Jesus didn't exist is quite a strong conclusion as there is very little physical evidence either way and their only lasting legacy is in the founding of religion which was of significant cultural importance but only indirectly as the physical manifestation was effected by followers and their descendants.

    Saying that the Christian's Jesus didn't exist is a much weaker statement since many of the stories in the Bible are known to be extremely unlikely historically. Bart Ehrman and Tim O'Neill for example would seem to accept the historicity of the Historian's Jesus but not the historicity of the Christian's Jesus.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  2. #122
    CC Candidate Master TimONeill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    the commentary that Richard Carrier provides in his books is well worth consideration. Unfortunately Tim O'Neill doesn't think so
    More significantly, no actual scholars think so either. That's because pretty much every argument the current crop of Jesus Mythicists present were given consideration about a century ago and were rejected.

    ... and prefers (like CF) to obsess about personal minutia.
    The article linked to above was responding to "personal minutia" from Carrier. But if you read a bit further you'll find I move on to some fairly detailed technical analysis of one of his arguments. Though if you want a broader analysis of why the Jesus Myth thesis doesn't work, you can find that here.

    I do have a lot of time for Bart Ehrman too but I think he assumes too much on the historicity side.
    Such as what, exactly?

  3. #123
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Another Beetlejuice moment.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  4. #124
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    About Tim O'Neill
    Tim O'Neill is an atheist blogger who specializes in reviews of books on ancient and medieval history as well as atheism and historiography. He holds a Master of Arts in Medieval Literature from the University of Tasmania and is a subscribing member of the Australian Atheist Foundation and the Australian Skeptics. He is also the author of the History versus The Da Vinci Code website and is currently working on a book with the working title History for Atheists: How Not to Use History in Debates About Religion. He finds the fact that he irritates many theists and atheists in equal measure a sign that he's probably doing some good. Follow his blog at Armarium Magnum.

  5. #125
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    Another Beetlejuice moment.
    What are you on about? Tim O'Neill's article that I linked to does have a detailed analysis of the "Jesus, who was called Christ", showing that Josephus used legomenos ("called") as a brief mention that someone, something, or some place was "called" something in those days without any explanation as to why. He gives the examples of "the ascent of Engedi, at a place called 'the Eminence'," "ten men, who were called 'the Freemen'", "Roman horsemen were seen at a place called 'Union', in the borders of Galilee", "he gave the high priesthood to Joseph, who was called Cabi, son of Simon". So that description of Jesus as "called Christ" is consistent with Josephus' style, while Christians would normally say that Jesus was the Christ, not merely called the Christ.

    Also, the first time Joseph introduces a person in his narrative, he provides an identifying appellation, but once he has established that, then he doesn't give the appellation again, assuming that readers will understand that he is referring to the one previously introduced. Jesus was quite a common name in those days, and Josephus also talked about "Jesus, the son of Damneus". But what Josephus would not do, which would be necessary for Carrier's claim to work, is mention a new person by name alone without an identifying description, then mention him later with that description:

    Then there’s the fact that dismissing the phrase “who was called Messiah” as a marginal gloss that found its way into the body of the text doesn’t go far enough to explain the textus receptus. Josephus is very consistent in the way he introduces new actors to his narrative and in the way he differentiates one from another. Nowhere does he introduce a person simply by their name (“Jesus”, minus the Messiah part) and then refer to them by an identifying appellation later (“Jesus, son of Damneus”). Yet that’s what Carrier’s contrived ad hoc work around requires.

    When there are over 9,000 words explaining more about that alleged interpolation and Josephus' style, this is hardly "arguing over Carrier's minutiae".
    “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. #126
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimONeill View Post
    Though if you want a broader analysis of why the Jesus Myth thesis doesn't work, you can find that here.
    Hard to dispute reasonably with the Conclusion after over 8,000 words of documentation:
    The question asked if historians regarded the existence of Jesus to be "historical fact". The answer is that they do as much as any scholar can do so for the existence of an obscure peasant preacher in the ancient world. There is as much, if not slightly more, evidence for the existence of Yeshua ben Yusef as there is for other comparable Jewish preachers, prophets and Messianic claimants, even without looking at the gospel material. Additionally, that material contains elements which only make sense if their stories are about a historical figure.

    The arguments of the Jesus Mythicists, on the other hand, require contortions and suppositions that simply do not stand up to Occam's Razor and continually rest on positions that are not accepted by the majority of even non-Christian and Jewish scholars. The proponents of the Jesus Myth hypothesis are almost exclusively amateurs with an ideological axe to grind and their position is and will almost certainly remain on the outer fringe of theories about the origins of Christianity.
    “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.

  7. #127
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    There is some worthwhile content in that post but it is buried quite deep in historically irrelevant details about Carrier's personal affairs and amateur psychoanalysis of his state of mind. as you introduced the post

    that womanizing cheat come-out-as-polyamorous Richard Carrier, a laughing stock even among atheistic historians such as Tim O'Neill and Bible scholars like Bart Ehrman, although RW probably adores him.
    It seemed clear to me that you were more interested in the histrionic rather than historical points of O'Neill's post and by my reckoning O'Neill's expends 2,500 words in the name of histrionics before it gets started on the historical.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  8. #128
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    It seemed clear to me that you were more interested in the histrionic rather than historical points of O'Neill's post
    Not so clear at all, and in any case, you are the one who actually takes Carrier seriously.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    and by my reckoning O'Neill's expends 2,500 words in the name of histrionics before it gets started on the historical.
    Even if you're right, that still leaves about 6,500 words.
    “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.

  9. #129
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    Not so clear at all, and in any case, you are the one who actually takes Carrier seriously.
    No it is pretty clear. If you were interested in something of note like the issue of Josephus' writing style then you would have said something in your citation to make that clear. When what you actually drew attention to were the personal attacks it is pretty obvious that is what you were citing the post for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    Even if you're right, that still leaves about 6,500 words.
    No you're assuming the post doesn't descend back into histrionics. Sadly it does. But I admit there is some good points in there but if that is what you were trying to get to then you did a really bad job of citing it. We weren't discussing Josephus' writing style and no now claim that was the point of your first citation make no sense to me. Sounds more like a back-peddle.

    While there is some good points in O'Neill's post I tend to not read blog posts for this sort of material. Books are a much better source IMHO. This is part of my reason for knowing more about Carrier and Ehrman than O'Neill is that the first have produced non-technical books. To my knowledge O'Neill hasn't yet but happy to be corrected on this.

    Regarding Carrier's position being non-mainstream, that is not news. As far as I know Carrier doesn't claim otherwise.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  10. #130
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    No it is pretty clear. If you were interested in something of note like the issue of Josephus' writing style then you would have said something in your citation to make that clear. When what you actually drew attention to were the personal attacks it is pretty obvious that is what you were citing the post for.
    Stop whinging. It's not my fault that you didn't want to read the article, and the actual first point of citing it was to show how absurd the whole The God who Wasnt There DVD was by relying on dilettantes like Carrier and the 19th-century ramblings of Kersey Graves that are an embarrassment to any serious historians, including atheistic ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    No you're assuming the post doesn't descend back into histrionics. Sadly it does.
    My word count didn't include that part, starting with:

    This is, remember, a guy who wasted the critical years after his graduation indulging in his hobbies (supported by his long-suffering wife) and so failed to secure any significant academic appointment. A guy whose H-index rating is in the toilet. And a guy who wrote that ringing endorsement of his own paper above four years ago and has since seen it cited by ... ummm, well, no-one. As Carrier would say, "Ooops!"
    “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.

  11. #131
    CC Candidate Master TimONeill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    Another Beetlejuice moment.
    Whatever. You keep going on about how parts of my post on Carrier was "personal minutia", which you seem to be using to try to dodge the substance of my post. As I said, my post was a response to a post about me by Carrier which included some "personal minutia" about me. And a lot of the "personal minutia" in my post goes to the heart of why Carrier - a fringe figure with a clear ideological bias, no objectivity and and some crippling character flaws - has zero credibility. But most of it addresses one of his key arguments and shows why it simply doesn't work. But you keep dodging that part.

    Then you try this:

    While there is some good points in O'Neill's post I tend to not read blog posts for this sort of material. Books are a much better source IMHO.
    Given that Carrier is a nobody, you aren't going to find detailed discussion of his claims in books. Most scholars in the field have never heard of the guy and the few who have consider him a crank. So I'm afraid if someone is going to cite any detailed refutation of him it's going to be in blogs. That aside, your excuse above is another dodge. Now that you've been alerted to a detailed critique of one of Carrier's key arguments, why wont' you actually engage with it, regardless of what you "tend" to generally do?

    You also dodged my question about your vague claim that Ehrman "assumes too much on the historicity side".

    Why all the dodging?
    Last edited by TimONeill; 21-07-2016 at 07:24 AM.

  12. #132
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    While there is some good points in O'Neill's post I tend to not read blog posts for this sort of material. Books are a much better source IMHO. This is part of my reason for knowing more about Carrier and Ehrman than O'Neill is that the first have produced non-technical books.
    But then in another thread I cited a book by James Hannam, who earned a Ph.D. in history of science from Cambridge, and linked to Tim O'Neill's favorable review, and you dismissed Hannam as a "blatant catholic apologist", whereas your idol Carrier far better fits the charge of "blatant atheist apologist". And that time, you dismissed Hannam's as a "popular history book", and now you whinge when someone has NOT written a non-technical book.
    “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.

  13. #133
    CC Candidate Master TimONeill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    But then in another thread I cited a book by James Hannam, who earned a Ph.D. in history of science from Cambridge, and linked to Tim O'Neill's favorable review, and you dismissed Hannam as a "blatant catholic apologist", whereas your idol Carrier far better fits the charge of "blatant atheist apologist". And that time, you dismissed Hannam's as a "popular history book", and now you whinge when someone has NOT written a non-technical book.
    It seems like this guy works hard to avoid any analysis that doesn't fit his pre-assumed ideas. Not only does Hannam have a PhD in the history of science from Cambridge but his book was favourably reviewed by historians of science, including some leading figures in the field. Strange that they didn't notice it was the work of a "blatant Catholic apologist". Not only this, but it was shortlisted for British Society for the History of Science's Dingle Book Prize for 2011. This is not an organisation known for honouring works of Catholic apologism. And then there is the fact it was also shortlisted for the Royal Society's Science Book Prize for 2010. Again, the Royal Society is not exactly a hotbed of blatant Catholic apologism.

    As for it being a "popular history book", that is entirely true - it was honoured by the Royal Society as such. And what "popular history books" do is take the more obscure and difficult technical work of scholars and communicates the consensus reached by those experts for a wider audience. Which is precisely what Hannam's book does. He also provides good notes and an extensive bibliography in case anyone who suspects that he is somehow telling lies about the scholarly consensus or peddling some whacko private thesis or fringe theory can check and see what the experts say.

    So what is the real reason this "Rincewind" doesn't want to know what the scholarly consensus on medieval science is? I suspect it's the same reason he likes biased fringe eccentrics like Carrier over the consensus on a historical Jesus.

  14. #134
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    But then in another thread I cited a book by James Hannam, who earned a Ph.D. in history of science from Cambridge, and linked to Tim O'Neill's favorable review, and you dismissed Hannam as a "blatant catholic apologist", whereas your idol Carrier far better fits the charge of "blatant atheist apologist". And that time, you dismissed Hannam's as a "popular history book", and now you whinge when someone has NOT written a non-technical book.
    Now you are just being ridiculous. I didn't "whinge" that O'Neill had not written a non-technical book but rather that was an explanation as to why I was not familiar with his position regarding historicity. I prefer to not trawl the internet for a bloggers pushing their particular barrow. When he has something in published form I may read it but for now there is no reason to do so.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  15. #135
    CC Candidate Master TimONeill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    that was an explanation as to why I was not familiar with his position regarding historicity.
    Well, you are now.

    I prefer to not trawl the internet for a bloggers pushing their particular barrow.
    My "barrow" is the consensus position of scholarship on the subject. You "prefer" to insulate yourself from mainstream scholarship and read fringe works by unemployed bloggers like Carrier? A strange way of researching things.

    When he has something in published form I may read it but for now the is no reason to o so.
    So you now know there is a detailed critique of the fringe position you've decided to champion but you want to close your eyes and ignore it? This is a "rational" way of approaching a topic?

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