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Goodbye Jesus

Durant: Myth And Timescale.


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Formerly Darthokkata by the way.

 

Anyway, now I've got a new screenname and I've been off arguing on other places.

 

I ended up arguing with someone in an extended debate on Youtube, and ended up bitch slapping them with Logic and evidence. [it turned out they were just plagiarizing their arguments from a Christians site, and they got very quite after I pointed it out.] I've crushed my enemy, seen them driven before me, and listened to the lamentations of the apologists.

 

Anyway, all their arguments were from a website called Y-Jesus.

 

To get to the point, there was mention of Durant, and that he said in 'History of Philosophy' that Myths can be proven true by how long they take to develop, or that there is some relation between the truth of a myth and how quickly it spread. As in, a story can be proven that it's true or not by how long the story takes to develop and spread. Especially in early history apparently. Something along the lines of, the story of Jesus can't be a myth because it didn't take 200 years to develop.

 

That in itself isn't really true, but the claim was that the story was developed within a single generation, and therefore couldn't be a Myth, and that proves Jesus was a real man. Which is just irrational bad logic as far as I can tell.

 

The argument seems to be that Myths take hundreds of years to develop, but true stories pop up and are spread quickly.

 

I of course see errors with this position. It's faulty logic to begin with, but I've also not been able to find any reference to Durant making this claim. It says it's from History of Philosophy, and I'll not be able to get my hands on it for a while yet.

 

On top of that, how quickly a story spread has little to do with how true it is, and more to do with how interesting or culturally relevant it is.

 

I was wondering if anyone who has read it might be able to explain the truth behind this assertion? Did Durant make such a claim or is it a misquote or misrepresentation? It's supposed to be in 'History of Philosophy'. A quote would be appreciated if possible.

 

I'd like to know the context of this claim, as I've not encountered it before. It doesn't make sense to me, and I can think of several examples where this was not the case, Washington and his Cherry Tree, and most other American Folklore and Urban Legends don't fit this profile for example.

 

The internet has given new rise to Myths and Folklore, but we're talking about a different medium. The same thing can be said of Print being available, but part of the argument for Jesus being 'real' involved that it was written down quickly after his death. Apparently within 30 years or so, which is also not true as far as I know. The earliest partial gospel is almost a hundred years later, with complete manuscripts not showing up until more than a hundred years after the fact.

 

Does Durant mention something along these lines? Is there any academic credit to the argument at all? Again, I can't find any mention of it, but I've not read History of Philosophy and have no means of acquiring it in the near future. I'm planning on it when I'm able, as it sounds like an interesting read, but in the meantime, I'm curious about Durant's actual position on this. It'd be nice to know if I run into someone else making this claim.

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Formerly Darthokkata by the way.

 

 

Does Durant mention something along these lines? Is there any academic credit to the argument at all? Again, I can't find any mention of it, but I've not read History of Philosophy and have no means of acquiring it in the near future. I'm planning on it when I'm able, as it sounds like an interesting read, but in the meantime, I'm curious about Durant's actual position on this. It'd be nice to know if I run into someone else making this claim.

I can't really help you except to say that Durant wrote a multivolume book about civilization and a book entitled "The Story of Philosophy." You might be able to find it online (starting with Wikipedia).

 

An example of a myth that spread quickly was the bodily assumption of Caesar Augustus into the heavens which was witnessed by the entire Roman Senate.

 

At least, I assume it was a myth...

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I think a myth would be faster to get a foothold in a era where people could not easily verify the sources of the claims. There were stories about how magicians and even famous people did miracles, like raising dead and healing sick, some of these people were still alive when these rumors were going around. So either it is possible to have legends begin and develop much faster than 200 years, or every miracle written during that time must be true. Which means that even pagan gods can heal people, raise the dead, and make water into wine, etc.

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An example of a myth that spread quickly was the bodily assumption of Caesar Augustus into the heavens which was witnessed by the entire Roman Senate.

 

At least, I assume it was a myth...

No, it must be true. There were eyewitnesses, you know. Caesar Jesus Augustus? :shrug:

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Thanks loads.

 

I was looking for the book under the wrong title. Found a nice PDF file for it. Searched through it, and found absolutely no reference for Durant making any mention of time factor or time scale having anything to do with myth. Also checked through Lessons of History just to be sure, which also makes no mention of it at all.

 

In fact, the words Time and Myth do not appear in Story of Philosophy, which is the book he cited on the website that he copied his arguments from.

 

So, the claim, as I suspected, is total bullshit. ^_^ I knew Durant was smarter than that, but I'd never read Story of Philosophy, so I couldn't say for sure if it was true or not.

 

Now I've got plenty to read though, I've always liked Durant. I read Lessons of History in school a long time ago, so I knew it wasn't a quote from that book.

 

A few quotes from Durant:

 

"Most History is guessing, the rest is prejudice." Will and Ariel Durant.

 

"I know my own work is flawed, and that our laborious masterpieces will be superseded as knowledge grows and vistas change." Will Durant

 

"I am still an agnostic, with pantheistic overtones. The sight of plants and children growing inclines me to define divinity as creative power, and to reverence this in all its manifestations, even when they injure me. I cannot reconcile the existence of consciousness with a deterministic and mechanistic philosophy. I am skeptical not only of theology but also of philosophy, science, history, and myself. I recognize supersensory possibilities but not supernatural powers." Will Durant

 

"Though men cannot be equal, their access to education and opportunity can be made more nearly equal. The rights of man are not rights to office and power, but the rights of entry into every avenue that may nourish and test a man’s fitness for office and power." Will Durant

 

One of my personal favorites: "Democracy is the most difficult of all forms of government, since it requires the widest spread of intelligence… Education must spread, but intelligence is perpetually retarded by the fertility of the simple." Will Durant

 

I also agree the idea that timescale had anything to do with the validity of History or identifying a myth is very suspect. It struck me as stupid immediately, and my idiot sense was tingling as soon as I saw it.

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Thanks loads.

 

A few quotes from Durant:

You're welcome. Nice quotes btw.

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I think that Durant accepted the historicity of Jesus writing: "That a few simple men should in one generation have invented so powerful and appealing a personality, so lofty an ethic and so inspiring a vision of human brotherhood, would be a miracle far more incredible than any recorded in the Gospels." (from the Story of Civilization vol 3 Caesar and Christ p557)

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I think that Durant accepted the historicity of Jesus writing: "That a few simple men should in one generation have invented so powerful and appealing a personality, so lofty an ethic and so inspiring a vision of human brotherhood, would be a miracle far more incredible than any recorded in the Gospels." (from the Story of Civilization vol 3 Caesar and Christ p557)

 

Yeah, he did. I personally don't agree, but I also don't insist that it's wrong. Michael Grant is another who has the same view, he also came up.

 

My stance on Historical Jesus is 'possible but not proven'. I can accept that someone might believe he existed, evidence seems to imply that he may have, but there is no real solid proof that he did.

 

I personally doubt it. It seems odd that no contemporary scholar or historian makes any mention of him. He was supposedly a very important man that performed miracles in front of thousands of witnesses. Yet no one thought to write anything about him until almost a hundred years after his death? I find that suspect. There were a lot of people in the area in that period that would have been very interested, or at least made some mention of such a man. Perhaps it just didn't survive, but without evidence to support the claim, I doubt that it's true. It's within possibility that Bible Jesus was based on a real person. There isn't enough evidence to confirm it, and enough reasonable doubt to think that it's probably not true in my view.

 

I don't share Durant's views on a lot of things, but he was a skilled writer if nothing else. I do enjoy his perspective on a lot of things. Story of Philosophy is turning out to be a good read if nothing else.

 

The issue wasn't his view about Historical Jesus, but rather the idea that he claimed time factor has some relation to the validity of myth or history. Durant doesn't make any claim like that I've found, nor does Michael Grant. I can find any reference to any Historian making that assertion.

 

It was insisted that this was the case though, and that Durant had made such a claim in the book 'Story of Philosophy'. I found it suspicious, and it's now been conclusively discredited.

 

I already had a case against it, as one of the examples used was 'Washington and his Cherry Tree'. The claim was made that this myth took somewhere in the vicinity of 200 years to develop, which isn't true. It was from a book published by Mason Locke Weems in 1800 immediately after his death. Weems was immensely popular in the early 1800s and the myth was prolific shortly after it was published. There's a lot of evidence to support that it was.

 

They insisted that Durant made the assertion in the book 'Story of Philosophy' and that it was a common factor used by Historians to validate the truth of a story. I was looking to verify or debunk the claim, in relation to Durant in particular. It's been debunked, and he now looks like an idiot. ^_^

 

Reason and Evidence! Huzzah!

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I think that Durant accepted the historicity of Jesus writing: "That a few simple men should in one generation have invented so powerful and appealing a personality, so lofty an ethic and so inspiring a vision of human brotherhood, would be a miracle far more incredible than any recorded in the Gospels." (from the Story of Civilization vol 3 Caesar and Christ p557)

 

Yeah, he did. I personally don't agree, but I also don't insist that it's wrong. Michael Grant is another who has the same view, he also came up.

 

My stance on Historical Jesus is 'possible but not proven'. I can accept that someone might believe he existed, evidence seems to imply that he may have, but there is no real solid proof that he did.

 

Reason and Evidence! Huzzah!

They're still looking for the body. Don't give up hope. He may still have existed.

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