Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Jesus myther View of history

I am discussing Jesus mytherism on a certain list. One of the participants said:

And the difference between ancient and modern events seems to me
strong enough that I've stopped routinely comparing Holocaust denial
with mythicism. (In our own arguments for a historical Christ we
highlight the paucity of ancient evidence). If I do, I always note
the difference in evidence. I've seen a Holocaust denier's letter
to a magazine in which he did not just compare but seemed to EQUATE
Holocaust denial with what he called "Jesus denial" (a term I once
used), and said that his theory should get the same respect that was
being accorded by the magazine to a mythicist. This Holocaust
analogy is very tricky. For us it can feel very right to highlight
mythicism along with Holocaust denial, but that means that the
latter is being compared with the former, and I'm not sure that such
a great crime should be placed in the same category as a bad theory
expressed at times with bigotry (such as one sees at "Jesus Never
Existed"). If two evils exist and one is greater, the lesser might
like to be compared with the greater, but the reverse will not
necessarily be true.

I see it as an epistemological crisis. There is no epistemic authority left. These guys value the form of science, even though they don't' really understand science. so for them a God argument is wrong because it's not an empirical experiment. The idea of making a thesis and then demonstrating the logically necessity of the thesis as a true statement is beyond them. They have to test a hypothesis to see if some tangible data turns up as one investigates. No, God fingerprints yet, so no God.

That's sort of the way they think about history (they think history is an empirical experiment too--like everything). The idea of a historical fact having presumption is beyond them. So they say "well let's test the Jesus hypothesis--MO empirical data of Jesus turning up--so no Jesus." You notice some of their major arguments center on the idea that witnesses were interview too late (Papas) and no historian in Jesus on day wrote about him. so even if they did accept Joshes as evidence, it would be invalid because it written too late. Unless it's breaking up to the minute news with film at 11, it's no good.

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