Click to tweet: http://clicktotweet.com/eM0yF . I reject the Design and First Cause Arguments for the existence of God. Should i also go further and conclude that Jesus is not a historical figure? I look at the evidence.
Firstly, the references to Jesus in the work of Josephus are unreliable. They appear to have been inserted at a later date, as the earliest quotes lack references to Jesus, they have a jarring style with the rest of the passages concerned and are a complete change of subject. Therefore, they are probably forgeries. With the Talmud, where the criterion of embarrassment can be applied, although there appear to be references to "Yeshua", they cannot be directly connected to the figure of Jesus as understood by Christians, and are therefore not very useful.
However, there are various reasons for supposing that he may have existed, by which i mean someone who founded Christianity, possibly as a Jewish sect, rather than the miracle-worker born of a virgin who rose from the dead. The reason i think it's rational to believe this is that claimants to the title of Messiah have existed before and after his time and that it's a possible career for a nice Jewish boy. Besides this, someone must have written the Sermon on the Mount and the other sayings of Jesus as recorded in the Q document.
Of course, i am being a little disingenuous here but i think this argument should be allowed to stand on its own rather than being affected by ad hominem. Atheists who flat-out deny the possibility of Jesus's existence are going too far and not being genuinely sceptical. Of course it's possible that he didn't exist, but it's a bold statement to say he didn't, and it seems to be more about maintaining a strong or extreme position than obeying the demands of logic.
Thisses sources include Holy Week and Hypergraffiti's fascinating series on Seventh Day Adventism, along of course with what i see as hyperpolarisation for irrational reasons. At the same time, i am rather bothered by my own overstatement here, which is rather similar to the manic street preachers' sneaky manipulation of the truth as manifested in planting people in crowds and producing misleading publicity, which of course i've witnessed at first hand. Even so, it is the case that both the Design and First Cause Arguments are fatally flawed and i have suggested that people follow the anno to the R&S playlist, so they can easily discover i'm theist if they engage, as is also the case if they read the description. This gives me an insight into the position of annoying evangelists. They clearly expect a straightforward message to be rejected early on and therefore embellish their truth.
So, i'm also thinking about a Holy Week playlist, but of course that could scare a lot of people off so i'm going to have to go on a different tack. I could bore people senseless with religious videos even though I find them fascinating, so it'll have to be circumlocutory. So, whereas i can easily think of stuff to do on the doctrine of the Trinity, the Fall and theories of atonement, i think i'm going to have to ration myself there. Fortunately i can also think of videos on chocolate and Easter eggs. It's a fine balance. Hypergraffiti has a knack of producing videos to which i want to respond, and i'm very glad she's decided to start this second channel. In fact, i'm tempted to respond to her videos but it might annoy her and it certainly wouldn't generate views, though of course Theintrostealer is basically right in his approach.
Another aspect of this video is that it highlights splitting and polarisation for simplicity's sake, along with faux scepticism, so all that's interesting. Also, Drink And Think is coming up and that's going to be about political correctness, so i ought to put a video together on that. However, tomorrow is also Big Science, in hypothesis.
It amazes me that people run out of ideas for videos. This may indicate that i have no quality filter and that they have as many as i get, then realise they're awful and forget them. Or, it may mean that they're busy or that they've been uploading so long that they have run out of ideas, or that they're more focussed, something which worries me.
Anyway, list of potential videos on Easter:
- Easter Eggs (metaphorical)
- The Fall
The ones i'm missing out are in my head too but i don't want to hector people about the Lawerd.