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1 hour ago, Robert_Tulip said:

She said her breast cancer was caused by an untreated tooth abscess, after she could not afford the required treatment.  

 

Then I stand corrected. In any event, a sad affair. 

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Hard core Christians reject both religious historical scholars & their finding. They believe religious scholars are possessed by the Devil, the father of lies. They also believe the Devil manipula

My study & research has convinced me that Jesus was more than likely a literary figure in a fictional story, but mainstream scholarship doesn't agree. Scholars that hold this view of Jesus being a

We've seen christians flatly deny the astrotheology of the bible, tooth and nail. And then, after several years of hot debate, I began seeing christians trying to silently accept astrotheology but in

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16 minutes ago, Robert_Tulip said:

Accusing people who are trying to describe the forest of engaging in conspiracy theory is an unproductive contribution.

 

Ok. Perhaps "The Christ Conspiracy" was an unfortunate title choice.

 

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53 minutes ago, webmdave said:

 

Ok. Perhaps "The Christ Conspiracy" was an unfortunate title choice.

 

·       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.  An excellent book, The Memory Code by Lynn Kelly, looks at this anthropological practice around the world and explains how lore was kept secret from the wider group to preserve its accurate transmission.  Such oral secrecy was central to the mystery cults of the Hellenistic world.

·       If Jesus Christ actually was invented as a fictional character, then this invention process necessarily involved some level of conspiracy by a secret community, such as the most likely candidate, the Therapeuts of Alexandria.  I think of it as like bait and switch, with the public literature of the Gospels used to generate interest, in order for initiates to be taught ‘the secrets of the kingdom’ which are told as parables to the public, according to all the synoptics (Mark 4, Luke 8, Matt 13).  My view is that the secrets of the kingdom are basically the astronomical underpinnings of Christianity.

·       However, I don’t agree that the subsequent suppression of this invention process had to involve conspiracy in the sense of concealing things people knew to be true.  200 years elapsed from the time of Mark, writing in the mid-second century or earlier, through to the Council of Nicaea.  That is as long as since Napoleon, and in a context of much lower information and communications technology the original understanding could have been forgotten.  Over that period, the “Boxer Principle”, that a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest, could have been enough to generate the myth of literal historicism, without deliberate lying other than the pious fraud extensively documented by reputable scholars such as Bart Ehrman and Candida Moss. The authors of Christendom under Constantine fully believed that Mark was Gospel Truth, so their suppression of heresy cannot be classed as a conspiracy.

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15 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

 

It is, or was at one point, like a denominational thing. Fierce internal battles between mythicist authors with differing views on how to theorize the possibility of a christianity without a fixed historical core. Fights about what direction to take arguments in. At one point people like Murdock, Price, and Carrier had what were like denominational followers. 

·       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 ever having been an academic conference on whether Jesus existed, illustrating how marginal this work is.

·       What I find interesting is to compare and integrate three issues in mythicist scholarship – the use of Old Testament and Greek Midrash as documented by Robert Price and Dennis MacDonald, the analysis by Earl Doherty and Richard Carrier of how Paul’s Epistles are impossible with a historical Jesus, and the astral and evolutionary mythology analysed by Murdock, including especially her Egyptian research, leading into my own research on precession. 

·       While I like Carrier, he is arrogant and narrow, for example with his ignorant assertion that there is no evidence of Buddhist influence on early Christianity.  His “cosmic Jesus” model with its anachronistic concept of outer space seems to me to involve a basic misunderstanding of the construction of astral myth. 

15 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

 

I stopped paying attention to the debates for the most part. Once I mapped out the only possible conclusion.  As to the historicity of jesus, it's impossible to successfully argue for or against. It's lost to time. Contemporary witness doesn't exist. And it's beyond being firmed up as knowable at this point. Unless new evidence presents itself. The church's historical evidences are late, non-contemporary, and can't prove their position.

·       I completely disagree that it is impossible to prove that Jesus was invented.  The issue is to find the most plausible explanation for all extant data.  The framework of paradigm shift as explained by TS Kuhn in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions can be applied to show that the growing anomalies of the paradigm of conventional faith will accumulate until a better and more explanatory paradigm emerges. 

·       My view is that such a better paradigm will emerge from the astronomical framework of precession, to describe the how, where, why, when, who and where of the manufacture of the Gospels, explaining the most plausible method, motive and opportunity.  I hope to write a PhD on this.

·       New evidence for this hypothesis includes identifying the whole process of incorporating precession motifs in the New Testament.  I contend that this data cannot be explained in any other way than the manufacture of Jesus Christ as avatar of the zodiac Age of Pisces.

15 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

 

Telescoping back from now trying to prove a mythical origin is even further removed from the contemporary period in question. And it doesn't seem possible to show whether a historical setting was mythologized with astrotheology or whether an astrotheological allegory was historized. 

·       The issue here Josh is that the Pisces Avatar Hypothesis presents the emergence of a world messiah as a necessary event at precisely the time attributed to Jesus, and explains how this timing was expected beforehand in so called prophecy.  If a messiah was expected at that time, it is reasonable to argue the hope gave rise to the belief. Stories were gradually created to service this popular psychological anticipation of world transformation, first with the bare bones in Paul and then with the flesh added by Mark, alongside the precession cosmology in the Apocalypse.   

15 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

That's what this all boils down to. It's an agnostic situation of neither side being able to know for sure. And it branches off into who thinks which direction is more probable. Do you agree with this summary of the landscape, Robert? 

·       As a statement of current status it is helpful and fair, but I think that will change rapidly as the precession hypothesis gets more attention.

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14 hours ago, Robert_Tulip said:

   

·       As a statement of current status it is helpful and fair, but I think that will change rapidly as the precession hypothesis gets more attention.

 

Maybe so, but I still have a hard time seeing the connection between precession and an evidence based movement, and I'm not sure the general public would ever see it.

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On 2/3/2021 at 10:50 PM, Robert_Tulip said:

I completely disagree that it is impossible to prove that Jesus was invented.  The issue is to find the most plausible explanation for all extant data. 

 

Not everyone will accept it as plausible. The deeper issue is that even if precession is plausible, that doesn't demonstrate that there never was any Jesus of Nazareth. This looks to me like trying to prove god doesn't exist. The people who say that it can be proven have to use methods. Those methods will include showing where mythology and religion are man made. But that can never prove that a god doesn't exist no matter how hard they try to establish the argument with those methods. 

 

Turn to the existence of Jesus. You can't prove to the academic community that the NT is certainly based on precession. Murdock could not prove this. It's up to interpretation of the texts and what seems plausible to you or I. But for all these years of debating about it, we can not prove that Revelation is about precession, for instance, because it's cryptic and allegorical. It's strongly denied by some. I just happen to think that it's most likely that it is about precession. Based on my instincts and intuition I think it makes sense as an interpretation. Considering all of the variables. 

 

Just like my better judgement tells me that god doesn't exist. I don't have to prove it. Nor would I try. 

 

On 2/3/2021 at 10:50 PM, Robert_Tulip said:

The issue here Josh is that the Pisces Avatar Hypothesis presents the emergence of a world messiah as a necessary event at precisely the time attributed to Jesus, and explains how this timing was expected beforehand in so called prophecy.  If a messiah was expected at that time, it is reasonable to argue the hope gave rise to the belief. Stories were gradually created to service this popular psychological anticipation of world transformation, first with the bare bones in Paul and then with the flesh added by Mark, alongside the precession cosmology in the Apocalypse. 

 

I myself think that you're right. I understand precession. The Great Year. And how timing played a key role. I see all of that as true. But it's difficult to go further and argue that we know that they didn't fix these astrotheological allegories to the story of a prophet preacher type. It's murky water. And it's opinion. These are two separate issues being combined together. Whether or not the astrotheology is true does little to prove or disprove an historical jesus. 

 

Again, I don't believe in the historical jesus myself because I feel like the whole thing was made up. Just as made up as YHWH.

 

I'm taking an 'agnostic atheist' position towards the existence of jesus - I don't know, but I don't believe.  

 

And you seem to be taking a 'gnostic atheist' position towards the existence of jesus - I do know, and I don't believe. 

 

 

 

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On 2/3/2021 at 10:50 PM, Robert_Tulip said:

As a statement of current status it is helpful and fair, but I think that will change rapidly as the precession hypothesis gets more attention.

 

Basically, you have a 'gnostic atheist' position about the existence of jesus. Which you admit is premature now, but you think it will become the dominant position eventually? 

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12 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

 

Not everyone will accept it as plausible.

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.

12 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

The deeper issue is that even if precession is plausible, that doesn't demonstrate that there never was any Jesus of Nazareth.

·       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 hill, failure to find archaeological evidence of its inhabitation at the alleged time of Christ, the apparent use of Nazareth as a cover for the proscribed Nazarene/Nazarite sect, the Midrash links to Old Testament terms for Christ such as ‘branch’ (netser), and the absurdity of Mark 14:66f, where a servant girl in Jerusalem tells Saint Peter she knew he was with the Nazarene, when the evidence suggests Nazareth was at best an insignificant distant hamlet if it existed at all, and not possibly the basis for the “Nazarene” title of Christ.

I think all this is plenty to prove that “Jesus of Nazareth” is fictional, in the sense of a messianic character who actually came from the town allegedly in Galilee.  But then if we add upon this internal implausibility the case that a better explanation for the texts is that they were invented to fulfill a stellar blueprint, the two sides of the argument come together as a compelling case against historicity.

12 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

This looks to me like trying to prove god doesn't exist. The people who say that it can be proven have to use methods. Those methods will include showing where mythology and religion are man made. But that can never prove that a god doesn't exist no matter how hard they try to establish the argument with those methods. 

·       With the existence of both Jesus and God, the best method is to ask what is the most plausible basis for all extant data. With God, it is clear that belief has at times conferred a major evolutionary selective advantage, with communities with strong united supernatural beliefs achieving a cohesion and direction that helped them to adapt and flourish.  I think that sufficiently explains why religion remains such an important part of human life, and is a much more productive line of enquiry than any acceptance of the supernatural terrain that believers want to hold to. 

·       I am reading Why Buddhism is True by Robert Wright, and he constantly puts “natural selection” in the place of designer that the religious ascribe to God.  That makes complete sense to me, including as a way that God can be retained as a sort of metaphor for the total forces of natural selection.

·       Similarly with Jesus, his invention by spiritual communities is a line of thinking that has not yet been adequately analysed, although Acharya made a great start on it with her discussion in The Christ Conspiracy of the Therapeuts of Alexandria.  I see the integration of this Buddhist framework together with the astronomy and astrology of precession as a compelling and elegant positive explanation of all the evidence, answering all the anomalies that surround the literal stories.

I consider that this addresses the negativity of Carrier, who provides a compelling demolition of the idea that Jesus may have existed but is very weak on providing a positive explanation of how and why Jesus might most plausibly have been invented, a gap I put down to Carrier’s strong prejudice against spirituality.

12 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

Turn to the existence of Jesus. You can't prove to the academic community that the NT is certainly based on precession. Murdock could not prove this.

Murdock did not really try to prove the NT was based on precession.  When I discussed this with her she said in her view I put too much emphasis on precession, compared to the broader links she explained between Jesus and the sun.  It is like she saw precession as a neat background to Jesus as a Sun God, where my argument is that the original construction of Jesus Christ against the framework of precession provides the fundamental organising principle of systematic atheology.

12 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

 

It's up to interpretation of the texts and what seems plausible to you or I. But for all these years of debating about it, we can not prove that Revelation is about precession, for instance, because it's cryptic and allegorical. It's strongly denied by some. I just happen to think that it's most likely that it is about precession. Based on my instincts and intuition I think it makes sense as an interpretation. Considering all of the variables. 

·       I have not seen years of debating about it, I have seen you and me discussing it and getting almost totally ignored by everyone else.  To get debated requires a much higher standard of presentation than has been achieved so far, through journal articles in peer reviewed publications.  That is why I want to do a doctorate on this material.

It is perfectly possible to prove that precession is the most plausible explanation of a series of texts in Revelation, including the holy city, the tree of life, the river of life, the twelve jewels, the alpha and omega, the woman with the moon at her feet, the four living creatures, the dragon covering a third of the sky, and the beast of the apocalypse.  The shared framework with all these stories is that the order observed in the visible heavens is the basis for the action of God on earth.

12 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

Just like my better judgement tells me that god doesn't exist. I don't have to prove it. Nor would I try. 

The point about God is mainly a problem for psychology and sociology – that the existing stories are much better explained as allegorical construction than as supernatural revelation. This change only adds to the power of their moral messages, by deleting the fantasy component and making the stories compatible with science, while removing the ability of churches to use alleged miracles to augment their social control.

12 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

I myself think that you're right. I understand precession. The Great Year. And how timing played a key role. I see all of that as true. But it's difficult to go further and argue that we know that they didn't fix these astrotheological allegories to the story of a prophet preacher type. It's murky water. And it's opinion. These are two separate issues being combined together.

·       In fixing the allegories to a story, they made up the story.  There were numerous events that helped embellish the story, but if there was a single ‘King of the Jews’ he would have been noticed by Josephus and Philo and others.  Without the profile of a “King of the Jews” Jesus could not have been the basis of an explosive cult.  With that profile he would have been noticed outside the Gospels. 

12 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

Whether or not the astrotheology is true does little to prove or disprove an historical jesus. 

·       The astrotheology explains the method, motive and opportunity for the invention of Jesus in ways that are internally and externally consistent.  By drawing together older solar mythology into an imaginary historical man, the authors sought to create an integrated moral vision of the power of truth by presenting the invincible sun as possessing all the strengths and weaknesses of an individual person.

·       People have simply not considered whether the astrotheology could be true because if it were it would so comprehensively undermine conventional faith.  So astral allegory gets dismissed with mockery, like N. Tirely Wrong’s comparison of the Jesus Myth theory to the idea that the moon is made of green cheese.  That is the real level of public debate about these issues.

12 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

Again, I don't believe in the historical jesus myself because I feel like the whole thing was made up. Just as made up as YHWH.

Starting from this “feeling” that the Jesus story is implausible, it should be possible to pull it together to provide a rigorous explanation. That is still very much work in progress as far as the positive mythicism agenda is concerned. 

12 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

I'm taking an 'agnostic atheist' position towards the existence of jesus - I don't know, but I don't believe.  And you seem to be taking a 'gnostic atheist' position towards the existence of jesus - I do know, and I don't believe. 

I view explaining the Jesus Myth story as the third great revolution for Christianity, after Copernicus and Darwin destroyed the myths of heaven and creation in the first and second revolutions.  Now the task is to destroy the myth of Jesus of Nazareth so that Christianity can find some real point of dialogue with the modern world, instead of concealing its pet God like a naughty puppy they don’t want anyone to see.

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These are many of the reasons that I don't believe in the Jesus of Nazareth myth. But like I said, I have very good reason not to believe in god either. It's clearly made up. The Jesus myth is clearly made up. But I recognize that I can't prove a negative. I can't prove that Santa doesn't exist, for instance. 

 

Someone else might say, 'sure you can.' 

 

And then proceed to apply a methodology of trying to prove a negative. But you could argue that Santa is always just out of reach. The historical jesus could be just out of reach. 

 

Now if someone does argue that the historical jesus is just out of reach, I think that defaults to jesus is myth by extension. Whatever we do have about jesus is myth, we don't have whatever may be factual, and someone is justified in settling on the conclusion that the NT is mythological and not very historical at all. 

 

You see what I mean? 

 

It's reasonable to conclude on the myth theory but it's also reasonable to leave it as something that remains unknown. It seems like no matter how hard the argument you can't prove a negative and absolute conclusions remain unknown. 

 

Unless we found some literature discussion how the myth was mapped out and made up and what the motivations were that went into making it up in undeniable terms. 

 

 

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