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View Diary: Struggle and Faith: How Occupy Has Taught Me To Tolerate Religion (231 comments)

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  •  You do not win by moving the goal posts, not2plato (0+ / 0-)

    You made a very definite statement, that there is no trace of a temple on Temple Mount. If you had only admitted you were wrong, or even that you had misspoken. But no, you scramble to justify a statement that was plainly wrong.

    I could have picked almost any sentence in your post and done the same. Evidence for Jesus as a living person? It's in Josephus. Nazareth's existence at the time of Jesus? Excavations show a town of about 50 houses.

    If you are so wrong about so much regarding matters that are easily investigated, why are you so certain that you know anything about deeper matters?  

    •  As you are quite aware, (1+ / 0-)
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      I was referring to the Old Testament tale of a Jewish temple on the temple mount.  Of course, I did not say that.  I said temple.  Perhaps you think my last reply established that some temple has been discovered there.  It did not.  

      f you want to claim that hunk of wall as evidence of a temple, well, go ahead. It could just as easily be a fortification.  I am not denying it is there.  I simply deny that anybody knows what it is or was.  And by the way, nobody has established that it is part of ANY temple.  So, I stand by my very general, original statement.  

      As for evidence of a Jewish temple of the sort the Bible discusses, well, I see you offer no evidence of that.  Because there is none.  

      You link to Wikipedia Josephus on Jesus, but did you read it?

      The three references found in Book 18 and Book 20 of the Antiquities do not appear in any other versions of Josephus' The Jewish War except for a Slavonic version of the Testimonium Flavianum (at times called Testimonium Slavonium) which surfaced in the west at the beginning of the 20th century, after its discovery in Russia at the end of the 19th century.
      Although originally hailed as authentic (notably by Robert Eisler), it is now almost universally acknowledged by scholars to have been the product of an 11th century creation as part of a larger ideological struggle against the Khazars. As a result, it has little place in the ongoing debate over the authenticity and nature of the references to Jesus in the Antiquities.  Craig A Evans states that although some scholars had in the past supported the Slavonic Josephus, "to my knowledge no one today believes that they contain anything of value for Jesus research.
      That leaves the references in the Antiquities, but, of course, they are not authoritative and are subject to much dispute.  You can pretend they are rock solid, but they are not.  Just read the Wiki about that.  

      As for Nazareth, your boy Josephus, a Roman general, waged war in Galilee for quite some time, yet never mentions Nazareth.  St Paul never mentions Nazareth, the Old Testament never mentions it.  Know why?  It didn't exist.  The archeology you mention has some hope, of establishing that there may have been something there other than graves and caves.  But it does not do much.  And, of course, it is probably just more wishful thinking from people who think their faith is also historical accuracy.  

      This paper attacks the very dig you cited as if it was gospel.
      For more, check out the whole site.

      Looks like you have no ammo, CharlesII.  

      As for your belief that you know something about me (or anyone else) on the basis of a scribble on a blog, it is, like your faith, groundless.  

      The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief. -- Shakespeare

      by not2plato on Wed May 01, 2013 at 05:20:59 PM PDT

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      •  You express contempt for science and rationality (0+ / 0-)

        1. You made a statement about the Wailing Wall that is contradicted by a reputable source. You are trying to walk this back. I am not fooled, nor am I impressed. There is a very good reason why there is not more archaeological evidence of a Temple on Temple Mount, but I am sure that you know what that is. No one is eager to start a religious war just to prove the idiocy of what you are asserting.

        2. The reference in Josephus' Antiquities 20:9:1 is stated by Wikipedia to be almost universally acknowledged as authentic. (In addition, there is a reference in Tacitus, about which there's no question). It does not matter that some passages of Josephus were fiddled. Contrary to what you assert, there is evidence, and not of the faith variety, that Jesus lived.  

        3. The site that you link to dispute the existence of Nazareth misrepresents the statement of the Israeli Antiquities Authority and makes assertions on the authority of unnamed experts. So, yes, the dating of the site is an archaeologist's opinion, not a settled fact. But a named, professional archaeologist's statement is actual evidence. Some guy on a blog using unnamed sources is not.  

        There are many valid reasons to challenge the literal/historical veracity of scripture. But you have chosen examples where the weight of the evidence actually contradicts your assertions. In so doing, you show me that you have contempt for science and rationality. Indeed, your method of argument resembles the worst kind of religion, the kind that denies actual facts and lifts up inventions to try to prove its case.

        And so, sir, enough with you. Life is too short to waste.  

        •  Yes, far too short. (1+ / 0-)
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          And as you know, a magazine is not an authoritative source.  Here is what that wall is not: evidence that the old testament tales are not lies.  

          The remarks from Josephus, Tacitus and other non-biblical texts are from many years after Jesus allegedly lived.  They testify to the hearsay of their times.  Here is what they do not do: prove that Jesus actually existed.  

          And none of those sources mention Paul or the other heroes from the new testament.  (Because none of them ever existed either.)

          As for Nazareth, there is no dispute as to its existence.  A named archeologist is no better than the evidence he or she brings, and in this case it is at best very shaky.  So, again, there are many reason to believe, and almost none to disbelieve the thesis that Nazareth did not exist at the time of Jesus, and he could not have been from there (and by the way, the bible calls it a city, not a few houses).  The passage in Acts where Paul is accused of being a Nazarean priest is very curious: that was a splinter sect.  

          The bible is a mass of contradictions and lies, and there is no god and no afterlife.  Get used to it.  

          Your reasons for disbelieving in Amon-Ra or Thor are sufficient reasons for disbelief in Jesus the miracle man from Galilee.  If you disbelieve in all other gods except one, you are being unethical.  The evidence in favor of the historical existence of Horus or Poseidon is as good as that for Jesus.  Prejudice is the only explanation for your believing in one but not the others.  Rationality has nothing to do with it.  Faith is not rational, and if you will be honest with yourself, you will see that it cannot be and that you do not hold your beliefs on the basis of evidence.  People are not Yankee fans or Cubs fans due to evidence.  Ditto in regard to their faiths.  

          If you attack me personally on this site again, I will again stand up to your bullying, and again humiliate you.  

          The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief. -- Shakespeare

          by not2plato on Thu May 02, 2013 at 07:04:29 AM PDT

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