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Everything posted by Robert_Tulip

  1. Forensics is the science of working out what actually occurred using limited information. A forensic analysis of the Bible can piece together clues to develop the most probable explanation for extant evidence. The most extreme example of that phenomenon is that when the Christian church became victorious in the Roman Empire, it systematically eliminated all evidence it could find that contradicted its literal story of Gospel Truth.
  2. No, that is not true. Rather than bullshit, the basis of the Bible, and especially these first and last books, is metaphor. It is the corrupt and ignorant politics of the church that degraded the metaphor into literal historical claims.
  3. In reading the Bible I frequently find texts that can be interpreted as accurately describing the precession of the equinox as the fundamental framework of our planetary existence. One I just found today is John 2:15 https://biblehub.com/interlinear/john/2-15.htm In terms of the precession of the equinox, Jesus is avatar of the Zodiac Age of Pisces the fishes, which began at the alleged time of his life and followed the Ages of Aries (sheep) and Taurus (cattle). This text directly coheres with the interpretation that Christianity was invented to describe how the new Age o
  4. Continuing on this theme, systematic thinking builds logically upon assumptions. A great example is the ancient geometry of Euclid, where simple axioms about parallel lines etc have been used to systematically analyse the fundamental universal properties of mathematical shapes such as triangles, in an imagined world where parallel lines never meet at infinity. When it comes to theology, the axioms of conventional Christianity conflict with basic axioms of science. Science assumes that laws of nature exist as universal consistent descriptions of objective rea
  5. I focus on the bits I like, guided by the principle of the wheat and tares.
  6. Hi Wertbag, I think you have misread my comment. What I said about the complete absence of "Jesus of Nazareth" from the Epistles totally implies that the Bible is NOT a valid source of historical information, except in the sparse points that have external corroboration. These include the existence of Pilate, Caiaphas, the Herods and Emperor Tiberius in the New Testament, and some town locations where the Old Testament guided archaeologists to find them. As to Bible figures other than these real historical people, I view them as fiction. But very beautiful and meaningful fiction with import
  7. That is true for people coming to the debate without a vested interest, but Christians have major emotional and institutional commitment to the literal truth of the resurrection. The scientific observation from David Hume in On Miracles is that the traditional creed of the rising on the third day is more likely to be fraud or delusion than an inconsistency in the laws of nature. But Christians are able to ignore this critique because no one has produced a more compelling and persuasive story of how the resurrection story came into existence than the creeds. There are numerous alternative th
  8. Recognising that God is imaginary does not necessarily mean God is not real, since imagination is real, as one of the main things we use to construct culture. However, shifting our understanding in this way does change the attributes we can reasonably assign to such an imaginary God. · The most essential attribute for an imaginary God is consistency with observation. · A God who is inconsistent with scientific observation cannot be real. Even Saint Augustine and John Calvin accepted this basic premise. · However, if we imagine God as a personal in
  9. I looked at this God Is Imaginary site, and noted the overview text stating: This well summarizes why traditional Christian belief and its associated institutional churches is in a state of collapse as far as compatibility with rational knowledge is concerned. As I have argued in a few threads, the solution in my view is not to abandon religion, but to shift the basis of religion from belief to knowledge. That is a quasi-Buddhist approach, recognising that any literal beliefs are essentially a form of what the Bible calls idolatry, making graven images.
  10. Here is a current summation of ideas that I consider important. I would welcome discussion on any of these points. Principles of New Age Christianity 1. An ethic of truth, love and peace can sustain universal abundance. 2. Christianity can reform to support logic and evidence as the highest moral values. 3. The deep magic of our universe is more complex than current science can explain. 4. The scientific idea of complexity justifies the spiritual concept of the grace of God as the mysterious ground of the sacred. 5. The sacred
  11. These things are allegory. Goethe presented the old concept of selling the soul to the devil in his novel Faust. It means allowing your identity to be corrupted by systematic deception. The moral is that perceived personal benefits of wealth and fame and happiness are evil if the methods to acquire them are based on lies.
  12. The idea that Jesus Christ was constructed on a stellar template is completely implausible for literal Christians, so they won’t give it the time of day. Same with scientifically minded people who see the association with astrology as a total red flag. It is a big challenge to marshal the evidence to show the relative plausibility of the rival accounts. · The anomalies for Mark’s Nazareth story include the complete absence of any mention of Nazareth by Paul, its even more astounding absence from Josephus of Galilee, Luke’s fictional claims that Nazareth had a synagogue and a hi
  13. · The denominational analogy is helpful to show how political this whole topic is. Ideally, mythicist scholarship should seek the historical truth based on evidence and logic, unlike how religious sects divide based more on emotional feelings and political and economic factors. · These issues have political and social dimensions which attract people who do not look deeply into the scholarship. As well, many scholars have emotional commitments, notably to the historical Jesus, that overwhelm their rationality, making it far harder to get calm dialogue. I am not aware of there
  14. · Yes, and when I discussed this with Acharya she agreed. However, she was trying to present a hypothesis to a broad audience in a simplified way. Her New Age genre with the link to astrology in the cover art, her thesis of Jesus as personifying the sun, and her use of widely disparaged nineteenth century sources served to isolate her from academic contexts. · The concept of conspiracy is important to understand ancient religion. Universal practice in preliterate societies involved reliance on oral memory by communal repetition of mythic stories among initiated elders. A
  15. Good point. However, I am not suggesting a conspiracy theory about Christian efforts to control the past. The Edict of Thessalonika issued by Emperor Theodosius in 380 AD made promotion of all beliefs other than Nicene Christianity illegal in the Roman Empire. There was nothing secretive or hidden about this suppression of heresy as a capital crime. A good explanation of the results is at https://www.jesusneverexisted.com/theodosius.html The result of these official imperial policies was that within the Christian church, a ‘monkish sieve’ evolved that systematically destroyed heret
  16. She said her breast cancer was caused by an untreated tooth abscess, after she could not afford the required treatment.
  17. Josh, I greatly admire Acharya’s ideas as a starting point for the argument that the evolution of Christian origins were utterly different from received opinion. Acharya had some views that differ from mine, such as on my interest to work within the Christian church to reform it to cohere with science. Acharya’s hostility to Christianity largely rejected it as obsolete and irredeemable. She sought to promote a broader religious perspective, whereas I see such a broader perspective as compatible with the essence of Christianity. Her description of the New Testament as “warmed ove
  18. · Certainly. Thanks very much for sharing this interesting article on astrotheology. I met the author, Dr Ted Peters, at a conference in Canberra in 2002 on Creation and Complexity, where I presented a talk on my ideas, under the title ‘Complexity and Christian Faith: A Fractal Theology’. · The fractal method I explored in that paper sought to set theology in a scientific framework, addressing the creation and complexity theme. At that time I believed that Jesus Christ was historical, although one listener wrote that my paper was a challenge to drop all assumptions. Re-re
  19. Sorry to give that impression of equal validity. Noting Pascal’s warning that you link, I apologise if this reply is on the long side, and thank anyone with the interest to read it. You are right that my calling religion and New Age thinking 'schools of thought' wrongly inflates their credibility, although I do consider that both contain important neglected wisdom, alongside spurious magical views. As generally practiced, these magical worldviews are hostile toward science because sound method demonstrates their beliefs are false, so their proponents react emotionally to facts.
  20. I don't think I have suggested magic and science have anything in common. In general, science is right and magic is wrong, with the only similarity that both contain efforts to explain the world. I did make the point that modern science grew out of Renaissance mysticism. That is a factual historical observation, albeit one that is often viewed with some disdain.
  21. · Your opinion is entirely legitimate and is in fact the dominant view in much philosophy of science and analytical philosophy. However, there is also a highly scholarly counterview within academic philosophy, holding that the relationship between transcendental imagination and higher mathematics is close. · This field goes back to the philosopher Immanuel Kant, whom the schools of thought that support your view tend to regard rather unfairly as a proponent of word salad. · Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy has an excellent online article on Kant’s Philosophy of
  22. · I’m not suggesting Christianity without the Christ, only that Christianity should recognise that the Christ of the New Testament is entirely fictional and imaginary, not historical. · This imaginary Jesus is actually the main object of faith already, as the reconciling mediator who connects us to God. Keeping this transcendental myth while recognising it was put into history in the Gospels for political and pedagogical reasons is a small step that can put faith on a better ethical basis. · I am suggesting that the historical origins of this imaginary Christ are i
  23. · Thanks Taba, this is an important observation about the lack of public debate on Christian claims. Heresy was a capital crime throughout Christendom for a thousand years. That created an intimidating environment of intellectual bullying whose legacy continues in present attitudes. I have been largely unable to present my views in any context other than internet forums, but I hope that will change. · I recall the exact moment when I deconverted from belief in Jesus to an understanding that the Gospels are entirely mythical. In fact my change of view is documented in a pu
  24. · In general that is true, but study of the interface between science and mystical belief can itself be a rigorous scientific discipline. · For example, Isaac Newton based the theory of gravity on the mystical hermetic principle ‘as above so below’, illustrating how key scientific knowledge emerged from the mystical context of Renaissance philosophy. · Similarly, Wolfgang Pauli, pioneer of quantum physics and author of the famous ‘not even wrong’ line, worked closely with the mystical psychologist Carl Jung to assess the science within Jung’s speculative concept
  25. I hope people will read my long reply to Josh just posted. I find responding to such comments a useful way to order my thoughts. On this point from Democritus advocating strong materialism, at first glance it might appear to be a reasonable proposition in line with science. But of course modern science has found things outside atoms, such as photons, dark matter and dark energy. So even on a strict materialist viewpoint we have to consider atomism as an allegory for the idea that only matter exists. But philosophically, atomism has far bigger problems. The atomism of De
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