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  1. #51
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    It's like trying to say that being Jewish is either being part of an ethnic group OR a faith. The reality is that people can be both, or one, or the other.
    I keep telling people that it's an ethnic faith group! Jesus

  2. #52
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    Classic dilemma.

    Trying to prove that something doesn't exist is impossible. But we can be reasonable and infer the real possibility, just like in the celestial teapot's analogy.

    The fact remains that we have absolutely NO CONTEMPORARY SOURCE about a person called Yehoshua or that could fit into the events described by the Bible during that time.
    All the authentic documents referring to Jesus or to "Christos" were written decades or centuries after his presumed death.
    Sorry, I wasn't clear. I didn't mean to ask you to prove the non-existence of something. I mean: Do you have any sources for your claim that your theory is the consensus among historians? Because I have always read that even though the first references are from 20 or so years after his death the absolute majority of historians assumes that there was a rabbi fitting that description (one of the many gurus of his time) being executed by the Romans.
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  3. #53
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    Do you have any sources? I'm asking because I have read and heard (from historians) the opposite many times but have always been interested in this.
    They said the same thing about Pontius Pilate (who should have had his name on many many more documents than Jesus) until the first archeological evidence was discovered 50 years ago.
    Take the weakest thing in you
    And then beat the bastards with it
    And always hold on when you get love
    So you can let go when you give it

  4. #54
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    Well, I never claimed he was. Don't forget that I too am an atheist. I was referring to the debate over whether or not that person ever lived ... just like some people claim Socrates never lived and was a literary invention by Plato.
    My point is that that person cannot have lived, because he does not fit the definition. Jehoshua ben Joseph is as much Jesus as Thomas Mann is Gustav von Aschenbach.

  5. #55
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    Sorry, I wasn't clear. I didn't mean to ask you to prove the non-existence of something. I mean: Do you have any sources for your claim that your theory is the consensus among historians? Because I have always read that even though the first references are from 20 or so years after his death the absolute majority of historians assumes that there was a rabbi fitting that description (one of the many gurus of his time) being executed by the Romans.
    Well... As far as I've read, and when I followed some lectures about that period of time, I was told that the honest consensus is that Jesus never existed. But you can't say that too often in public, because once again, you have political correctness. Officially stating that is too awful for Christians, and Christian influence is still very strong amongst our countries. It's denying their religion in its very essence, and we don't want to humiliate our Christian friends, do we?
    So when you check the cultural background of almost every "historian" who claims that Yehoshua was nonetheless an historical figure... you will find a Christian or a religious person.

    It's exactly the same for historians who deny there could be any real resemblance between Christianity and early Mithran or Sol Invictus mythos. The mere idea that Christianity could have borrowed or aggregated foreign ideas and rituals anywhere else in order to create a synthetic central "Messiah" figure is too awful to endure in our modern times. So they will deny these facts with the last drop of their energy.

    But Mithra was born from a virgin during the 25th of december, just like Sol Invictus. To recognize each other, Mithra followers would use the sign of a cross, and to officially initiate a new member, they would symbolically put water on his/her head, and give him/her a piece of bread to eat.

    Such coincidences aren't coincidences IMHO.

    Now, in 2013, it's still too awful to say this in front of our Christian friends, especially because we don't want to offend them. But who knows, within the next century it might become the official scientific consensus, and our grandchildren might laugh about the religious prudery we still exhibit today.
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  6. #56
    philosopher wood nymph greenfairy's Avatar
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    I celebrate the pagan parts. Which is a lot of it. And the traditions I like which come from other stuff, just because I like them. I'm not really sure which ones are Christian, but there probably aren't many. I just lump it together with Yule and acknowledge Jesus as a cool guy.

  7. #57
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    Do you have any sources? I'm asking because I have read and heard (from historians) the opposite many times but have always been interested in this.

    If I'm remembering correctly, Tacitus is the only one who mentions "Christ". Here's a page on the problems people have with it being 'proof' Jesus existed (even just as a man).

    I can't remember everything that led me to this decision, but I remember thinking that he probably was real (regardless of whether or not he was the son of God). eta: Arguments to the contrary seem to me like Atheists picking a nit because it isn't irrefutable- as if 'probable' isn't good enough.



    As for the op, I agree with whoever said the thing about tradition having a value in itself. I grew up with absolutely no association between Christmas and Christianity- just because some other people have a strong association, that doesn't negate the meaning I've come to imbibe it with myself.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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  8. #58
    failed poetry slam career chubber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saudade View Post
    Isn't Christmas a pagan holiday anyway?
    I think so, they had to recruit them by merging multiple holidays of different religions, e.g. even the Mary female was imported from another religion where they worshipped some singular female deity.

  9. #59
    violaine
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    I'm in it for the fun and decorations. Don't care for the gifts. I love trimming the tree more than anything. I was always taught Christmas isn't Christian, so there's no cognitive dissonance for me. I think of it as a co-opted, mish-mash of traditions that colliding cultures cobbled together so they could all get their party on. :-). I only recently started to celebrate it too; it is entirely possible to navigate the season without anyone bringing religion into it where I live. I don't mind if people do, it means different things to people, even nothing to some.

  10. #60
    ndovjtjcaqidthi
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    Quote Originally Posted by chubber View Post
    I think so, they had to recruit them by merging multiple holidays of different religions, e.g. even the Mary female was imported from another religion where they worshipped some singular female deity.
    Mhmm.

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