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  #11  
Old 9th December 2017, 05:26 PM
wadaye wadaye is offline
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The Irreverent Mr Black said View Post
Lot of work for not much expected gain, SEG.
Yeah I know, Mr Black, thanks. It just seems interesting to me sorting the wheat from the chaff. It annoys me that the whole Christian tourist industry is based on guff. I'll get over it one day
While we muse on our navals about how many angels there are on the head of a pin or whether there is evidence or lack of evidence of a historical Jesus in the real current world animals and plants are being driven to extinction and plenty of people are being subjected to mass murder, mass rape, trafficking and genocide.

Of course its a relaxing endeavour to look at such questions but its not ultimately important. In life one has to pick one's fights. There are larger and more consequential fights to fight in my view. But as a hobby, that's up to you.
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  #12  
Old 9th December 2017, 07:05 PM
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The Irreverent Mr Black said View Post
Sometimes it's good to do things simply for the sake of enjoyment.
Sure it is, that's why I'm here and not cleaning the pool. Of course, getting to the truth is important too. If a Christian makes a claim about the existence of God based on a false or weak argument, I will have something to say about that and I'm sure that you would too. I feel the same way about historical Jesus claims.

Are you also agnostic about his existence?
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  #13  
Old 9th December 2017, 07:14 PM
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While we muse on our navals about how many angels there are on the head of a pin or whether there is evidence or lack of evidence of a historical Jesus in the real current world animals and plants are being driven to extinction and plenty of people are being subjected to mass murder, mass rape, trafficking and genocide.

Of course its a relaxing endeavour to look at such questions but its not ultimately important. In life one has to pick one's fights. There are larger and more consequential fights to fight in my view. But as a hobby, that's up to you.
G'day Wadaye. I agree with you that real world problems are more important than philosophical problems. Are all Christians' unfounded claims about their religion important to you as an atheist? Or do you think that they are not ultimately important?
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  #14  
Old 9th December 2017, 08:58 PM
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Default Re: The City of Nazareth of Nowhere

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I actually agree with you on most of this GM, except the bit about "almost no-one outside of a vanishingly small number of people..." The numbers may be small, but they are growing.
They're still vanishingly small, and will remain so until a significant number of people gain the education required to perform the assessment in question.

See, I think you're missing the central point of my argument, which is that neither you nor I are competent to make that assessment. It doesn't fucking matter much whether there are ten or hundreds of academics adopting the Mythicist position. Hell, it wouldn't matter if there were thousands, it still doesn't render you or I competent to opine on the issue.

I feel fairly comfortable talking about science in many respects, because I have a reasonable testable grasp on the basics, with a leaning distinctly toward physics, because that was what I trained in. I can have an intelligent conversation about black holes or quantum mechanics or why that magical thruster drive is ludicrous bullshit. I can sit down at a bar and explain to my mate who dropped out of school in year 10 the laws of thermodynamics, and have him explain them back to me with clear understanding after an hour of discussing it.

I can't have that conversation with anyone about this subject. I am not fluent in Ancient Greek or Aramaic. If Carrier told me that 1st Century Samaritans were required by law to suck the cock of a donkey every day or suffer the penance of painting Uncle Jed's fence green, the only metric I have to estimate the veracity of that claim is how fucking idiotic it is, because I don't know any of this shit. And neither do you.
Now, you might be right, you might come down on the side of correct when (if) it all pans out, but I contend that you're doing exactly what I argued shouldn't be done if one wishes to establish and maintain intellectual integrity. You don't possess the academic background to assess the arguments, and you're latching on to other proclaimed academics who supposedly support your position to bolster it.

I will argue quite strenuously that that path is a road to perdition.

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There's more academics within the guild turning over and doubting the veracity of his existence.
Two problems:

1) Not very many. It's not like this is sweeping through academia. It's still an area that almost no-one gives the slightest fuck about, because the only people who care seem to be either really really Christians or really really antiChristians. No-one outside of those camps gives a shit.

2) Neither you nor I are competent to comment. I well remember the days when the orthodoxy was that attributing intelligence or emotion to non-human animals was unsupportable, but any of us who lived with other animals knew it was bullshit but it took actual rigorous study to demonstrate it.

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The trouble is, there is a load of bad Mythicist theories circulating on the internet, just like there are bad Christian arguments. Richard Carrier's "On The History of Jesus" was a slam dunk for me. It did cop a bit of flack over his use of Bayes Theorum, but it provided very logical arguments and was extensively cited.
Do you not see the disconnect here? It was a slam dunk for you, unlike all the bad arguments, because it took the form of a scientific argument. But that was all it did, it took the form of a scientific argument. Provided a lot of citations.

Carrier has no training or background in basic science, so far as I'm aware. That's what led to the criticisms of his misuse of Bayes' Theorem. The fact that he cited extensively seems to have bypassed the sceptical requirement that said cites be apposite and accurate.

Look, logic only goes as far as it's supported by evidence, and my key argument is exactly about that evidence, and our ability to assess it. I contend that you don't possess such ability, and neither do I. All you've brought to the table so far is feeling something real strong.

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David Fitzgerald said that it's better to be agnostic about Jesus existing. He said, "If someone gives you a quote about what Jesus supposedly said or did, you should come back and say, "I don't know whether he existed or not and neither do you!"
Well, good for him.

I'd happily contend that, whatever the benighted cunt said, I can demonstrate that he wasn't a god.
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  #15  
Old 10th December 2017, 01:30 AM
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They're still vanishingly small, and will remain so until a significant number of people gain the education required to perform the assessment in question.
Except that they aren't "vanishingly" small, they are growing in number each year after more intelligent engagements are made and good arguments are made in articles and books.

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See, I think you're missing the central point of my argument, which is that neither you nor I are competent to make that assessment. It doesn't fucking matter much whether there are ten or hundreds of academics adopting the Mythicist position. Hell, it wouldn't matter if there were thousands, it still doesn't render you or I competent to opine on the issue.
Yes, but the thing is GM, we don't have to have qualifications to see through bullshit. We have both been around in the world for a while and have gathered filters to help us to avoid being sucked into situations that take away our assets or otherwise damage our positions. IOW, we don't need any special accreditation to see through fakery.

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I feel fairly comfortable talking about science in many respects, because I have a reasonable testable grasp on the basics, with a leaning distinctly toward physics, because that was what I trained in. I can have an intelligent conversation about black holes or quantum mechanics or why that magical thruster drive is ludicrous bullshit. I can sit down at a bar and explain to my mate who dropped out of school in year 10 the laws of thermodynamics, and have him explain them back to me with clear understanding after an hour of discussing it.
That's great, I have unique accreditation in Search Engine Optimization,
Analytics and Semantic Link Siloing. I can sit down at a bar and explain to my mate who dropped out of school in year 10 the laws of link dynamics, and have him explain them back to me with clear understanding after an hour of discussing it. So what?

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I can't have that conversation with anyone about this subject.
Me either. So what?

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Now, you might be right, you might come down on the side of correct when (if) it all pans out, but I contend that you're doing exactly what I argued shouldn't be done if one wishes to establish and maintain intellectual integrity. You don't possess the academic background to assess the arguments, and you're latching on to other proclaimed academics who supposedly support your position to bolster it.
Well, don't you do the same when someone argues a philosophical point about the existence of God, do you? Or do you stand aside and remain silent as you don't have any accreditation in that field?

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I will argue quite strenuously that that path is a road to perdition.
Well, if you have no accreditation in physics or philosophy, your travel will also be damned my friend! What are your qualifications out of interest, seeing you brought this up?


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1) Not very many. It's not like this is sweeping through academia. It's still an area that almost no-one gives the slightest fuck about, because the only people who care seem to be either really really Christians or really really antiChristians. No-one outside of those camps gives a shit.
Your False Dilemma doesn't work here. It's not an either or situation that you are making out. A lot of people that are neither "really really Christians" or "really really antiChristians" (whatever THEY are) care about what is what is the truth and abhor bullshit, just like me.

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2) Neither you nor I are competent to comment.
Incorrect! I don't need any competency to comment on bullshit!
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I well remember the days when the orthodoxy was that attributing intelligence or emotion to non-human animals was unsupportable, but any of us who lived with other animals knew it was bullshit but it took actual rigorous study to demonstrate it.
That is a straw man argument and has fuck all to do with anything that we are talking about. What is your point?


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Do you not see the disconnect here? It was a slam dunk for you, unlike all the bad arguments, because it took the form of a scientific argument. But that was all it did, it took the form of a scientific argument. Provided a lot of citations.
Correct. The citations were relevant. What is the disconnect that you are seeing?

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Carrier has no training or background in basic science, so far as I'm aware.
I see. This shows me that you have done fuck all research into his qualifications.

Carrier has a doctorate in ancient history from Columbia University where his thesis was on the history of science in antiquity. He specializes in the intellectual history of Greece and Rome, particularly ancient philosophy, religion, and science, with emphasis on the origins of Christianity and the use and progress of science under the Roman empire.

What exactly are your qualifications so that we can compare apples to apples?

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Look, logic only goes as far as it's supported by evidence, and my key argument is exactly about that evidence, and our ability to assess it.
I have an opinion on the evidence and so do you. I don't pretend to have abilities beyond that, and I am glad that you don't either.

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I'd happily contend that, whatever the benighted cunt said, I can demonstrate that he wasn't a god.
Well you have admitted that you haven't got any accreditation to comment on that, so it would be interesting to find out how exactly you know that he wasn't a god. Please give us all your definition of a god and how you came to that conclusion that he wasn't.
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  #16  
Old 10th December 2017, 03:08 AM
wadaye wadaye is offline
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...

... Are all Christians' unfounded claims about their religion important to you as an atheist? Or do you think that they are not ultimately important?
Well where does it get us ultimately? Assume that it can be proven that Jesus did not exist. Does that make Christianity a slightly lesser claim to validity than say Islam? Of course that would be a subjective notion existing only in the heads of convinced disbelievers (or non-believers, take your pick) in an historical Jesus. To convinced Christians or Muslims or Jews their own texts take precedence over reality. A certain Catholic priest stepped way way way out of line once by saying that its the twentieth century and its no time and place to believe in such things as the virgin birth. I haven't heard from him again though he may still be out there. Take out the virgin birth and one has to doubt that we are left with a single Christianity, because the schism between those who follow the teachings or moral example of an even fictionally living but normally conceived man, as compared to those who believe the whole thing rests on the cosmic plan, are just too gaping and wide to be the same religion. Such differences are ultimately the stuff of the local auto de fe.
To the believer we are all just mouthing different versions of blasphemy or heresy.

Personally I ask myself is it worth fighting over, or even spending further research hours on, and for myself the answer is a categorical no, since I have a backlog of politically meaningful things that I haven't gotten around to, like writing a letter to the PM condemning Australia's complicity in genocide in Yemen by Saudi Arabia.

Personally I find the actual history of Christianity, for example the association with eunuchism, the nasty habit of burning women, children, and men at the stake after cutting their tongues out, and of course not forgetting the good times and deeds from time to time, far more interesting and complex than the miserable scraps that we have to fight over concerning an historical Jesus.
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  #17  
Old 10th December 2017, 08:43 AM
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Well where does it get us ultimately?
To the truth, hopefully. It would help if you answered my questions, btw. I can give you lots of examples where being skeptical of Jesus claims are helpful in a practical sense. Here's one about the Christian evangelist and ex barrister, Nicky Gumbel. He consistently cites the very questionable Josephus reference to Jesus as good secular evidence for his existence! He would know given his experience as a barrister and Christian apologist that that passage is highly suspicious for being an interpolation, yet he presents it as an incontrovertible truth to his gullible audiences. He is trying to bring this sort of bullshit to Australia to spread his indoctrination packages. Knowing the truth helps you battle bullshit.
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Assume that it can be proven that Jesus did not exist. Does that make Christianity a slightly lesser claim to validity than say Islam?
I'm not going down that rabbit hole of trying to prove a negative! That's like saying assume you can prove that God doesn't exist.

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Personally I ask myself is it worth fighting over, or even spending further research hours on, and for myself the answer is a categorical no, since I have a backlog of politically meaningful things that I haven't gotten around to, like writing a letter to the PM condemning Australia's complicity in genocide in Yemen by Saudi Arabia.

Personally I find the actual history of Christianity, for example the association with eunuchism, the nasty habit of burning women, children, and men at the stake after cutting their tongues out, and of course not forgetting the good times and deeds from time to time, far more interesting and complex than the miserable scraps that we have to fight over concerning an historical Jesus.
Horses for courses. I had know idea about Australia's complicity in genocide in Yemen by Saudi Arabia, but thanks for bringing that to attention, I'll check it out Wadaye.
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  #18  
Old 10th December 2017, 09:50 AM
wadaye wadaye is offline
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Well where does it get us ultimately?
To the truth, hopefully. It would help if you answered my questions, btw.
I thought I did but post again which one and I will try again.

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I can give you lots of examples where being skeptical of Jesus claims are helpful in a practical sense. Here's one about the Christian evangelist and ex barrister, Nicky Gumbel. He consistently cites the very questionable Josephus reference to Jesus as good secular evidence for his existence! He would know given his experience as a barrister and Christian apologist that that passage is highly suspicious for being an interpolation, yet he presents it as an incontrovertible truth to his gullible audiences. He is trying to bring this sort of bullshit to Australia to spread his indoctrination packages. Knowing the truth helps you battle bullshit.
I agree its important to be able to respond appropriately and on the same page to imbeciles like this. [but don't expect that his sheep would listen to your arguments for the most part]. The supposedly incontrovertible evidence of Jesus life and death claimed by him, is simply assumed in the wider community (for example by Goenka in his Vipassana talks for westerners)

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Horses for courses. I had know idea about Australia's complicity in genocide in Yemen by Saudi Arabia, but thanks for bringing that to attention, I'll check it out Wadaye.
Yes we are involved in naval exercises with the house of Saud which is imposing a blockade to starve the Shia population into submission. That is a breach of the current laws of war and is an act of genocide, but it doesn't seem to bother our government.
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Last edited by wadaye; 10th December 2017 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 10th December 2017, 10:37 AM
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I thought I did but post again which one and I will try again.
Thanks. They were pretty much rhetorical questions, but maybe I was second guessing you;
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Are all Christians' unfounded claims about their religion important to you as an atheist? Or do you think that they are not ultimately important?
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I agree its important to be able to respond appropriately and on the same page to imbeciles like this. [but don't expect that his sheep would listen to your arguments for the most part].
Correct, most of them wouldn't and I would be wasting my breath. I would like to be well informed enough on the subject to rebut this silliness when anyone that was on the fence and said something to me like, "what do you think about this guy SEG?"

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The supposedly incontrovertible evidence of Jesus life and death claimed by him, is simply assumed in the wider community (for example by Goenka in his Vipassana talks for westerners)
That's a damn shame and should be rebutted at every opportunity, or at least discuss without getting into a slanging match.

I re-visited that thread and noted that Jom was using his critical thinking on the subject as below;

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Jom said
I basically found the answers paralleled religion in many ways. Christianity and GV are both based on a "man who lived thousands of years ago who did great things" but nobody can prove this.
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Yes we are involved in naval exercises with the house of Saud which is imposing a blockade to starve the Shia population into submission. That is a breach of the current laws of war and is an act of genocide, but it doesn't seem to bother our government.
Yes, there seems to be a lot of apathy on this by our government. Do you think anything can be done about it?

Last edited by SEG; 10th December 2017 at 11:00 AM.
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  #20  
Old 10th December 2017, 03:31 PM
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Default Re: The City of Nazareth of Nowhere

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Goldenmane said View Post
I'd happily contend that, whatever the benighted cunt said, I can demonstrate that he wasn't a god.
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SEG said View Post
Well you have admitted that you haven't got any accreditation to comment on that, so it would be interesting to find out how exactly you know that he wasn't a god. Please give us all your definition of a god and how you came to that conclusion that he wasn't.
I couldn't attempt to steal Goldenmane's thunder. I'm sure he will get back to you SEG.

In There Was No Jesus, There Is No God, Raphael Lataster remarks that regardless of the disqualification of documents claimed as authenticating an historical Jesus, using a Bayesian methodology and textual criticism, there indeed was no Christ.

As to those who would try to defend the notion, making a case for God and the supernatural, one must ask 'why do you want to'?
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Last edited by Strato; 10th December 2017 at 03:33 PM.
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