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Flannery O'Conner: Wise Blood
The Acadamy ^ | Jeanette Rylander

Posted on 07/03/2002 9:26:05 PM PDT by JMJ333

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To: Anamensis
Dear Anamensis,

"Entitled by whom?"

By whatever it is that is objectively true.

sitetest

51 posted on 07/06/2002 4:45:49 PM PDT by sitetest
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To: sitetest
We will have to get more specific if we're really going to do this. Are you looking for an authority that we both agree upon so that we can then decide what that authority allows?
52 posted on 07/06/2002 6:49:33 PM PDT by Anamensis
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To: Anamensis
Dear Anamensis,

Let's back up. I said that Miss O'Connor's point of view is buttressed by the fact of human evil. You said that evil is a human construct. Okay, fine. I could just assume that you are a moral relativist. But I've glanced at posts where you seem to say something different. And I'm willing to listen.

But if evil is a human construct, at least in your view, then I want to know - is there one construct of evil to which all us humans must adhere, or may individuals have their own? I'm asking you what is your view. I'm not looking to find agreement with you. Just trying to see what you think.

sitetest

53 posted on 07/06/2002 7:36:06 PM PDT by sitetest
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To: sitetest
I don't really know how to explain this so I'll just do the best I can. We DO all have our own views of "what evil is." But the view of evil is dependent upon what one's view of good is. (That's probably not a terribly original assessment, but there you have it.) So what is good? That which is good for humans. Why? Not because a Big Ghost in the sky says so, not because of any cosmic design.... but because I'm human and I want what's best for me. If drilling for oil in ANWR is good for me but bad for the flora and fauna up there, well, drill away and screw the flora and fauna.

So MY view of good and evil aren't really relative, at least I don't think they are. I don't make allowances for other cultures: Arabs performing infibulations on 6 year old girls are doing wrong, IMNSHO, because they are doing something that is detrimental to human health. Any culture that forbids free inquiry into the nature of life is limiting the freedom to think, which is detrimental to human progress. We can see that simply by looking over at the Middle East and seeing how backward and sick they are. So there's nothing relativist in my views from what I can see. My main object is always human progress.

I simply don't tack on that final Official Seal of Approval that says "I want what God thinks is best for humans." No. I want what I think is best for humans. It may not jibe with what you think but it isn't relativist.

Moreoever, the God clause does not provide an objective starting point, otherwise there would be only one religion, not dozens of permutations all with differing emphases.

I still don't know if I'm answering your question or not. But do you see why I say evil is a human construct? We apply good and evil to things that are beneficial or harmful to us. Evil is that which is harmful to us. We don't judge non-humans in terms of good and evil, though. As I said in a previous post to JMJ, if a lion kills and eats a gazelle, is the lion "evil"? To us, generally speaking, he is not "evil" because animals aren't subject to these judgments. It's a little like that "if a tree falls in the forest" thing. Evil is the assessment of the action. If there is no one there who assesses things in that manner, there is no one there to say "that is evil." So there is no one on the savannah pointing at the lion and saying "evil." No one I know expects that lions will go to hell.

I guess the religious person's view is that there is a god somewhere doing this assessing. I don't think there is any such thing, therefore the direction the judgment is coming from is different. That doesn't make it "relative."

54 posted on 07/07/2002 8:19:15 AM PDT by Anamensis
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To: JMJ333
I just now saw your response. Naturally I'm not saying women are empty-headed, I'm saying that (and surely you aren't going to argue about this) men have historically considered women to be less logical, less intellectual, and less intelligent. They WERE, however, considered more sensitive, more spiritual, more intuitive... and if you'll look around you in church, they make up the bulk of the congregation. These two things are not unrelated to one another.

As for the special and intrinsic human dignity enshrined in the soul and endowed by The Creator, you're right, we aren't going to come to an agreement because I don't see any evidence of the dignity, the soul, or the creator. In fact, one of the reasons we never get anywhere is we can't even find a starting point to agree upon.

55 posted on 07/07/2002 8:44:59 AM PDT by Anamensis
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To: Anamensis
because I don't see any evidence of the dignity, the soul, or the creator.

Then you consider yourself what? A mere animal? A complex machine?

It is true we find no starting point because I believe that sort of reductionism has led to the things I abhore; abortion/infanticide, euthanisia, cloning, ESCR, fertility clinics, etc.

I have no argument against the notion that women are more emotional, and viewed by men as having less intellect. You have a point in that I have heard that in Italy the majority of people left who go to church are women. I was only giving an example that there have been plenty of men that one can point to for piety.

56 posted on 07/07/2002 11:24:39 AM PDT by JMJ333
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To: Anamensis
Dear Anamensis,

Thanks for your reply. I'd like to roll it around in my head for a while before I get back to you on it.

sitetest

57 posted on 07/07/2002 3:05:09 PM PDT by sitetest
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To: JMJ333
Then you consider yourself what? A mere animal? A complex machine?

"Mere" animal? What do you have against animals? Anyway, animal is just a word meaning, essentially, "animated" as in "something alive, that moves." So yes, I think we are animals in that we are animate, mammals in that we are warm blooded, primates in that we have fingernails, fingerprints, dry noses, are bipedal, etc, and Homo sapiens. Definitely the smartest of the mammals, very clever, tricky little monkeys we are, in fact... but its only intellect that sets us apart.

I was only giving an example that there have been plenty of men that one can point to for piety.

Natually. And I am only making the point that to clear a path for faith, you must first degrade intellect and decree that there are some things it cannot do. I am also making a point that Western society has had its priorities straight for some time now if it was delegating faith to women and then telling them they can't vote.

58 posted on 07/07/2002 6:25:41 PM PDT by Anamensis
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To: Anamensis
"Mere" animal? What do you have against animals? Anyway, animal is just a word meaning, essentially, "animated" as in "something alive, that moves." So yes, I think we are animals in that we are animate, mammals in that we are warm blooded, primates in that we have fingernails, fingerprints, dry noses, are bipedal, etc, and Homo sapiens. Definitely the smartest of the mammals, very clever, tricky little monkeys we are, in fact... but its only intellect that sets us apart.

Nothing! I have nothing against animals! However, I am not about to be reduced down to one. There is no comparison between me and rover in terms of my value! I can't imagine you think that your girlfriend and your cat are equal in value and only set apart by intelligence!

59 posted on 07/07/2002 7:22:25 PM PDT by JMJ333
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To: Anamensis
I'll even go you one better and say we should abolish women voting---as much as I love my right to do so. Ok! =)
60 posted on 07/07/2002 7:57:00 PM PDT by JMJ333
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To: JMJ333
Well, you obviously don't appreciate the depth of my devotion to my pets, I can see that. (-:
61 posted on 07/08/2002 5:04:55 AM PDT by Anamensis
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To: Anamensis
Dear Anamensis,

Okay. My first question has to do with the source of what you view as "good" and "evil". It ultimately derives from:

"...but because I'm human and I want what's best for me."

So, is this sort of a Golden Rule - "Do unto others..." - derived from the desire to establish a society based on mutual reciprocity?

sitetest

62 posted on 07/08/2002 3:58:55 PM PDT by sitetest
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To: sitetest
My first question has to do with the source of what you view as "good" and "evil".

Source? Source for the action or for the judgment of the action? In other words, are you asking "what makes people DO 'good' or 'evil'?" or are you asking "how do you judge what is 'good' or 'evil'?"

63 posted on 07/08/2002 4:09:07 PM PDT by Anamensis
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To: Anamensis
Dear Anamensis,

How do you judge. Is the criterion sort of a mutualized Golden Rule?

sitetest

64 posted on 07/08/2002 4:46:34 PM PDT by sitetest
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To: sitetest
No, I wouldn't use that as my guide. If you really want to know, I think Ayn Rand said it best, and she said it in quite a few different ways and formats. I can try to synopsize but I'm not so hardcore Objectivist that I can rattle the stuff off as if it were my liturgy.

We start with the rights that a man needs in order to live a full life. We would start, then, with the right to live for oneself, to seek what pleasures or profits we want without physically harming or threatening others. When I say "right" of course I mean that no government should make a law infringing upon this, and a man should be allowed to protect himself against individuals or gangs attempting to infringe upon this. Rights are something that only other humans can understand or respect, so we don't say we have the "right to live" because we don't have the right not to be hit by lightening, eaten up by cancer, or attacked by lions. I'll stop here to see if there's anything I've said so far that you want to take up.

65 posted on 07/08/2002 8:38:58 PM PDT by Anamensis
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To: Anamensis
Dear Anamensis,

So you believe that this philosophy is objectively true? That this is an objective "construct" of good and evil? Why do you view it as objectively true?

sitetest

66 posted on 07/09/2002 8:24:30 AM PDT by sitetest
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To: sitetest
I don't "believe" anything. I like everything subject to constant tests and constant re-evaluation. The objectivist philosophy looks like the one that is most beneficial to man so far, so that is the one that most closely represents my own stance. Actually, and this is hard to explain without getting tagged "relativist" but the fact is, I consider it to be an objective within a relevant relative, if that makes any sense to anyone besides me. What I mean is, if you want what's best for mankind, and if you agree that what is best for mankind is the resources to develop technologically, the responsiblity to develop psychologically, and the motive and freedom to develop in both areas, the objectivist philosophy is the best - objectively - in town. But I'm not required to "believe" this, and take it on faith. I am free to observe cultures that stifle freedom, independence, and creativity, and observe the result.
67 posted on 07/09/2002 11:43:20 AM PDT by Anamensis
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To: Anamensis
Dear Anamensis,

Okay. Then what you're saying is that if a person prefers the results that you prefer (technological development, etc.), Objectivism is a good way (perhaps the best way - at least that we know) to get there.

But there is nothing that objectively requires one to have these preferences?

sitetest

68 posted on 07/09/2002 1:46:55 PM PDT by sitetest
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To: sitetest
Well, there kind of is. For instance, one can choose NOT to value technology, freedom, and advancement. One can live like the Taliban. One might get away with it for a while, but if there is ever an instance where folks of this ilk are in conflict with those who believe in freedom and technology, they are likely to get bombed out of existance. So there is no force out there that will prevent them from making this decision, but this decision will ultimately render them less competitive and that will eventually reap the predictable results.
69 posted on 07/09/2002 7:18:41 PM PDT by Anamensis
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To: Anamensis
Dear Anamensis,

So, what are the criteria by which one might objectively judge? Are you saying something like the more evolutionarily fit, the more successfully competitive is a society, the more objectively true or good are its values?

sitetest

70 posted on 07/10/2002 5:26:00 AM PDT by sitetest
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To: sitetest
May I ask you a question? You want me to issue a motto that can fit on a bumper sticker. Why?
71 posted on 07/10/2002 8:37:50 AM PDT by Anamensis
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To: Anamensis
Dear Anamensis,

I wasn't aware that I was asking for a "motto that can fit on a bumper sticker". I'm interested in what you believe (And of course you believe things. Currently you believe that Objectivism seems to be the best way of looking at things. I notice also that you believe that if you jump off a building, gravity will have its way with you.)

If you wish, you can answer with a motto that can fit on a bumper sticker. Or you can write a 50-page dissertation.

If you would prefer not to continue the discussion, just let me know, that's fine, too.

sitetest

72 posted on 07/10/2002 8:43:31 AM PDT by sitetest
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To: sitetest
Okay, well, one thing at a time.

Are you saying something like the more evolutionarily fit, the more successfully competitive is a society, the more objectively true or good are its values?

"True" and "Good" are not interchangeable words. I don't see how values can be "true." Values are indicative of priorities, but I don't see how they can be judged in terms of their veracity.

And of course you believe things. Currently you believe that Objectivism seems to be the best way of looking at things. I notice also that you believe that if you jump off a building, gravity will have its way with you.

You are confusing belief with knowledge. As I said, gravity is not a matter of "belief." It's testable, it's verifiable, it's independent of belief. If you are going to use words interchangeably that are in fact very different, we aren't going to get very far.

73 posted on 07/10/2002 9:02:57 AM PDT by Anamensis
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To: Anamensis
Dear Anamensis,

"'True' and 'Good' are not interchangeable words."

I didn't mean to suggest that they are. I'm just trying to find the words that you might use to describe your views, and suggested these two as possibly the right ones.

"You are confusing belief with knowledge. As I said, gravity is not a matter of 'belief.' It's testable, it's verifiable, it's independent of belief."

Does this mean that everyone knows the law of gravity who has observed the phenomenon that dropped items tend to fall to earth?

sitetest

74 posted on 07/10/2002 9:28:04 AM PDT by sitetest
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To: sitetest
The trend of this discussion that I'm noticing is, though you say you want to know what I think, I'm getting the impression that you want to tell me what I think. Every time I say something, you rephrase it slightly differently, usually changing or essentializing it in some way, and then say "you mean this?"

I'm just trying to find the words that you might use to describe your views, and suggested these two as possibly the right ones.

Why not just let me say it the way I say it? I already had words of my own.

Does this mean that everyone knows the law of gravity who has observed the phenomenon that dropped items tend to fall to earth?

I'm not trying to define the law of gravity, I'm trying to explain the difference between believing something, that is, accepting something on faith, and knowing something, that is, having the right to test a hypothesis until you can verify it. And if one day you come across something that is in defiance of the reality you know, the pursuit of knowledge allows you to begin testing again, backtracking if need be to reverify what you know to ascertain that you did indeed know, and nothing has changed. I'm not sure if I can explain it any better than that. If this is going to turn into an exercise in sophistry, the "how do you know we're even here" business, I'm not trying to be rude, but I'm really not interested.

75 posted on 07/10/2002 7:19:02 PM PDT by Anamensis
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To: Anamensis
Dear Anamensis,

For a fellow who thinks he goes only where the evidence takes him, you make a lot of assumptions.

sitetest

76 posted on 07/10/2002 7:45:52 PM PDT by sitetest
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To: sitetest
I'm taking my evidence from your comments. I'm sorry you don't like how I characterize your approach but there are no assumptions involved. I'm describing what you are doing and I think we both know that it is exactly what you are doing. You aren't simply, innocently curious about my views. There is clearly a method in your approach that continually seeks to set up an essentialized straw man, and get me to adopt it. This is always the first signs of impending attack. I have been on Free Republic for almost 3 years, I know this approach when I see it. If I'm wrong, show me where I'm wrong. Show me where you haven't sought to boil my paragraphs down to yes-or-no sentences that would make easy targets for a hit.
77 posted on 07/11/2002 8:57:59 AM PDT by Anamensis
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To: Anamensis
Dear Anamensis,

Thanks for all the benefit of the doubt. ;-)

Check back with me when you get a clue.

sitetest

78 posted on 07/11/2002 11:51:11 AM PDT by sitetest
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To: sitetest
You've given me plenty of clues. You must be arrogant indeed to think your motives are not transparent. Get back to me when you've learned a little respect for other people's capabilities.
79 posted on 07/11/2002 4:34:23 PM PDT by Anamensis
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To: Anamensis
Like this: the first year of our lives we are helpless. The first experiences we have are of being hungry and crying out... and a large, seemingly omnipotent being (mommy) comes and feeds us. We are wet or dirty and we cry out... and a large, seemingly omnipotent being comes and changes our diapers. We are frightened or angry or upset and we cry out... and a large, seemingly omnipotent being comes and comforts us. In other words, mammals are imprinted early with a template for crying out for help and being helped. I've seen kittens do the same thing, do you think they believe in god? No. They just know that when they cry, someone comes. Things that are hatched from eggs and then slither away, like snakes, have no such early experiences. So when you talk about the "instinct" to look beyond ourselves for aid from an omnipotent force, all you are talking about is the residue left from our earliest experiences of dependency.

That's interesting. That may well explain the religious impulse. Maybe the socialist impulse too.

There is, however, something it doesn't explain. Why would a bunch of first century Jewish sectarians think their rabbi rose from the dead, and why wouldn't their enemies simply produce the body?

80 posted on 07/11/2002 5:32:34 PM PDT by A.J.Armitage
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To: A.J.Armitage
Why would a bunch of first century Jewish sectarians think their rabbi rose from the dead, and why wouldn't their enemies simply produce the body?

Why bother? I doubt anyone felt that a handful of lunatics was important enough to dissuade. The main troublemaker was dead (in their opinion), so let his left-behinds wander around the desert talking about him. Who would care? They were't a significant force.

81 posted on 07/11/2002 7:18:12 PM PDT by Anamensis
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To: Anamensis
You only addressed the second part, not the issue of where they'd get the idea Jesus rose from the dead in the first place.

As regards the second part, it doesn't fit with how we know religious fanatics with authority act. A Jewish Grand Inquisitor would try to root out any trace of heresy just as much as a Christian one would. And we know a particular Jewish Grand Inquisitor did go to great lengths to stop the troublemakers before becoming a notable troublemaker himself. And besides him, there are early Jewish anti-Christian polemics that have come down to us, so obviously Christians were important enough to at least write against. In fact, some of the details in the Gospels were included to refute these polemics, which means that at least some of the Jews paid attention to Christianity very early. Which leads back to the question: why not just produce the body and put a stop to it?
82 posted on 07/11/2002 7:37:41 PM PDT by A.J.Armitage
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To: A.J.Armitage
I doubt this "he rose from the dead" business started until years later. The letters and gospels, we know, weren't written until decades after the crucifixion. Oh, they tell the story that "the women went to the grave 3 days later and lo! There was only an angel." But isn't this odd that this wasn't written down until any of those who could have been witnesses were safely dead and gone? I'm sorry, but the whole thing is obviously fiction, produced well after the fact, as a recruiting device.
83 posted on 07/12/2002 8:40:25 AM PDT by Anamensis
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To: Anamensis
Even if it was all written down after the witnesses were dead, it just doesn't make sense for it to be an invention. Unless all Christians signed on to the invention at once, there would have been "non-resurrectionist" Christians. At least at first, they would've been the majority. Why aren't there records of them? And don't say their works were lost or destroyed: most of modern knowledge of the Gnostics comes from anti-Gnostic polemics. The New Testament itself contains anti-Judaizer polemics (Galatians, for example). Now, there is a polemic passage about the resurrection in Scripture, I Corinthians 15. But it's a polemic for an eschatological resurrection based on the resurrection of Christ. The resurrection of Christ was a given.

Among Christians, the resurrection has never been a new doctrine. Belief in the resurrection goes back as far as Christianity, regardless of when you think the NT was written.

The earliest NT fragments are from the late first century. Unless the earliest were from the autographs (highly unlikely, of course), they go back further. I find nothing unlikely about the texts' own claims that there were witnesses still alive.

Even if there weren't, at some point the doctrine was introduced, and not into a vacuum. If there weren't people who were in Jerusalem when things when down, there would have been non-resurrectionist Christians (as I pointed out above) and anti-Christians who would have seen the change in doctrine. If they saw any such change in doctrine, they never said anything about it.

All of which leads back to the question, where did belief in the resurrection come from, and if it's false why didn't someone either produce the body, point out there never was such a person as Jesus, point out the fact that the doctrine was just invented, or use any of the other conclusive counter-arguments that would've been there if the alternatives to the reality of the resurrection were true?

84 posted on 07/12/2002 9:48:52 PM PDT by A.J.Armitage
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To: A.J.Armitage
There were non-resurrectionist Christians... they're called Jews. They thought when Jesus said he was the Messiah that he would be helping them overturn Roman rule. So they followed him. Then he was killed. They returned to Judaism.

As for producing a body, as I said, the numbers of followers were small. !2 disciples, a few women... those who were only following him because they thought he was there to free them from the Romans would have expected that God wouldn't let him be killed. When he was, they figured, "oh, he's not the one. Bummer." and went back to Judaism. I still maintain that in the immediate years after, those who remained together as "Christ followers" weren't enough of a force to be reckoned with. You yourself admit that the NT wasn't written till the end of the 1st century.

You mentioned a lot of things from the NT, but there is so much there that makes no sense I wouldn't be able to just accept any of it without tryng to reconcile it with common sense. For intance, remember that according to the NT, the disciples didn't recognize Jesus when he supposedly reappeared 40 days later. Doesn't this sound a bit peculiar? Also, remember that before he left he said "there are those among you alive today who will not taste death before the kingdom of God returns with power." If we have 2000 year old disciples tottering around, I wish they'd present themselves.

No, I'm sorry, I've read a lot of the legends and myths of other cultures and they all have this same nonsensical, dreamlike, rambling quality.

Just for laughs, I once read a book by some German guy called "Jesus Lived in India" claiming that Jesus didn't die on the cross at all, that crucifixion wasn't always "to the death" and that to die after only 3 hours when your legs aren't broken is not likely. He thinks that the "vinegar" with which they moistened his lips just before he cried out and lost consciousness wasn't vinegar at all, because vinegar is meant to revive someone, not make them pass out. He thinks it was some drug that the Essenes made with their herbal knowledge. He further claims that Jesus was taken down still alive, which is why he reappeared 40 days later and hung around for a while before taking off for India. (Apparently legend in India has it that Jesus came there and they have spots that they say he lived, etc.)

It's an interesting idea and would certainly explain a lot. I don't really care either way, though. If you want to believe in legends, go ahead. Since nothing happens when you die but death, you have nothing to lose except your right to think instead of blindly believing whatever text is presented to you first.

85 posted on 07/13/2002 7:33:35 AM PDT by Anamensis
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To: Anamensis
I have to admit I'm disappointed with your latest reply. I didn't expect one would persuade the other, but something of a serious exchange would be nice.

There were non-resurrectionist Christians... they're called Jews. They thought when Jesus said he was the Messiah that he would be helping them overturn Roman rule. So they followed him. Then he was killed. They returned to Judaism.

This is some very bad history. Jesus was on the list of "possibles", but He was never recognized by the Sanhedrin or mainstream Judaism. They didn't "go back" because they never left. Certainly the Gospels portray Jesus as being a critic on the outside, not a temporal leader, and the earliest mention of Jesus in Roman records is in an account of the persecution of Christians in the city of Rome itself. The Romans certainly took notice of Bar Kochba in his lifetime.

As for producing a body, as I said, the numbers of followers were small. !2 disciples, a few women...

Plus a few hundred more people, at least one high-ranking defection...

The Jewish authorities obviously paid enough attention to persecute them, which, to me at least, would involve a little more effort than digging up a body.

I still maintain that in the immediate years after, those who remained together as "Christ followers" weren't enough of a force to be reckoned with.

Unfortunately for Stephen, the authorities didn't agree.

You yourself admit that the NT wasn't written till the end of the 1st century.

I'm having a hard time coming up with a charitable explaination for that line. Not only did I admit no such thing, I said the exact opposite. The earliest fragments were from the late first century (already before the end of it), which means that the texts themselves were written earlier (unless you think we have the autographs). Were you just extremely sloppy in your reading? Or is it a deliberate twisting? Both seem hard to credit. My point was pretty clear, and it's hard to see what gain you could hope for with an easily exposed lie, unless you thought the phrase "you yourself admit" is so powerful it doesn't matter if I actually said it or not.

You mentioned a lot of things from the NT, but there is so much there that makes no sense I wouldn't be able to just accept any of it without tryng to reconcile it with common sense.

Good grief. I mentioned two of Paul's letters, both times to make a point other than the one Paul was making. I'm deliberately avoiding just saying the Bible says so and that's that.

86 posted on 07/13/2002 4:15:43 PM PDT by A.J.Armitage
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To: A.J.Armitage
  I have to admit I'm disappointed with your latest reply. I didn't expect one would persuade the other, but something of a serious exchange would be nice.

Well, I'm sorry you're disappointed, but I didn't find what you said convincing at all. You seem convinced that early Christians were persecuted because they were a threat. I suspect they were more of a nuisance.

This is some very bad history. Jesus was on the list of "possibles", but He was never recognized by the Sanhedrin or mainstream Judaism.

I didn't say that he was, I said that some people probably followed him around, and when he died, they went back to whatever it was that folks like that do. You forget, this is small town stuff. He was probably sort of like some of those itinerant (sp?) preachers who show up in odd places here and there, spouting stuff, and if he got a bit of a following, he started to get on the local government officials' nerves. Likely they had folks like that offed pretty regularly.

As for producing a body, as I said, the numbers of followers were small. !2 disciples, a few women... Plus a few hundred more people, at least one high-ranking defection...

According to whom?

The Jewish authorities obviously paid enough attention to persecute them, which, to me at least, would involve a little more effort than digging up a body.

Obviously his followers weren't the problem. HE was the problem. And we have no proof that people were running around 3 days later yelling "he lives, he lives!" If the local authorities didn't bother producing a body, they must not have seen a need.

Unfortunately for Stephen, the authorities didn't agree.

Again, if someone becomes a nuisance, off with them. I really don't know how or why you have convinced yourself that this is the smoking gun, this lack of evidence from the Bible that the authorities had Jesus stuffed and mounted near the gates of the city. Like that information would be in the Bible even if it were recorded.

Were you just extremely sloppy in your reading?

I guess. When I'm dealing with people who I think are a little nuts, I don't really put much heart in it. I know that's not very nice, but think about it. Suppose someone came up to you and said "I am Napoleon." And started arguing with you about how he was Napoleon, and ran a bunch of French history by you, lots of war lingo, etc etc... You may be forced to concede that they know more about French history than you, but that doesn't change the fact that they believe in something that is nonsense, so they are frankly, nuts. How much effort would you put into arguing with this person to convince him he wasn't Napoleon?

87 posted on 07/13/2002 7:52:18 PM PDT by Anamensis
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To: Anamensis
You seem convinced that early Christians were persecuted because they were a threat. I suspect they were more of a nuisance.

Fine. They were a nuisance.

The authorities still didn't end the nuisance the easy way.

I didn't say that he was, I said that some people probably followed him around, and when he died, they went back to whatever it was that folks like that do.

Except, you did say it. "There were non-resurrectionist Christians... they're called Jews." Either way, it doesn't address my point. Anyone who left after Jesus was crucified simply ceased to be a Christian. He did not become a Christian who didn't believe in the resurrection. Your point in 83 is still wrong.

You forget, this is small town stuff.

Jerusalem was a significant regional city, not a small town.

Obviously his followers weren't the problem. HE was the problem. And we have no proof that people were running around 3 days later yelling "he lives, he lives!"

Even deliberately throwing out the Bible's statements as proof, we do have evidence they thought it not long after the event. Namely, nothing else makes the least sense for explaning the origin or Christianity. Your rather weak efforts confirm this. The question is then, where did the body go?

If the local authorities didn't bother producing a body, they must not have seen a need.

Or maybe they didn't have it.

And here we reach a legitimate "they themselves admitted", because they really did admit it. They said the Christians stole the body. The empty tomb is a historical fact.

You seem not to have noticed, but your whole model collides with the facts. It is a historical fact that Jesus' tomb was empty. It is a historical fact that the Christians were important enough to the Jews (your ignorant, admittedly nonserious speculations almost 2000 years later notwithstanding; unlike you, they were on the ground when it happened) to persecute them. Whether they felt threatened or annoyed is irrelivant: they were motivated to destroy Christianity. It's a historical fact that they did things harder and less effective than just producing the body, because the body wasn't there. So where did it go?

Again, if someone becomes a nuisance, off with them.

Again, your distinction between a threat and a nuisance means exactly nothing. The motive, whatever it was, was obviously there. The means was not.

I really don't know how or why you have convinced yourself that this is the smoking gun, this lack of evidence from the Bible that the authorities had Jesus stuffed and mounted near the gates of the city. Like that information would be in the Bible even if it were recorded.

If they'd stuffed and mounted Jesus, we wouldn't be have this discussion, would we? But we are having this discussion.

If that isn't a smoking gun, why all the effort to avoid confronting the fact? If someone tells me a bunch of 7th (I think it was 7th) century Arabs thought there was a prophet in their midst and that their enemies had too little political and military acument to stop them, I'd say "yep" and my worldview would be unshaken. But Jesus is different, isn't He?

88 posted on 07/13/2002 9:38:16 PM PDT by A.J.Armitage
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To: A.J.Armitage
Okay, it's like this, and I will give it to you straight: people don't come back from the dead. I know you have embraced an intriguing legend because you like it, but that's all it is. People don't come back from the dead. Either his body was removed or he wasn't dead in the first place.

I suspect that if indeed there was such a man as Jesus and the crucifixion did indeed take place, he wasn't dead when they took him down. His legs weren't broken, he didn't suffocate on the cross like those whose legs were broken did, because he could hold himself up.

It would explain the pattern of running blood on the shroud of Turin. It would explain why nobody saw him for some 40 days after the disappearance: he was recovering from his wounds with the Essenes. It would explain why his disciples didn't recognize him when they saw him, he probably had lost a great deal of weight.

It would also explain why he got the heck out of the area as soon as he was strong enough: he was still wanted by the authorities.

There. Either that, or his body was indeed stolen by grief-stricken followers. It certainly isn't impossible, stoned hippies steal Jim Morrison's headstone in Pere Lachaise cemetery every few years. (Too stoned to dig, I guess.)

The difference between your approach and mine is this: we both hear a recounting of an event that we know doesn't happen in real life. You alter real life to explain the event. I apply real life to the event. Now, really, if you can't except that, then accept this:

If we can't find a body, he must be alive! There's no other possible explanation! Halelluia! Have fun at Waterloo Theme park, Napoleon. Good bye!

89 posted on 07/14/2002 8:05:54 AM PDT by Anamensis
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To: Anamensis
Okay, it's like this, and I will give it to you straight: people don't come back from the dead.

You're bringing your presuppositions to the event.

I suspect that if indeed there was such a man as Jesus and the crucifixion did indeed take place, he wasn't dead when they took him down. His legs weren't broken, he didn't suffocate on the cross like those whose legs were broken did, because he could hold himself up.

...

It would explain why nobody saw him for some 40 days after the disappearance: he was recovering from his wounds with the Essenes. It would explain why his disciples didn't recognize him when they saw him, he probably had lost a great deal of weight.

But it didn't take 40 days. 40 days was when He left altogether, for Heaven. He showed up on the same day he rose. Two people didn't recognize Him. Just two, not all of them.

Of course, I got that from the Bible. You got your stuff from nowhere at all.

Now the big question: if Jesus was still alive, why didn't the authorities say so? Why did they invent the slander you repeat below?

There. Either that, or his body was indeed stolen by grief-stricken followers. It certainly isn't impossible, stoned hippies steal Jim Morrison's headstone in Pere Lachaise cemetery every few years. (Too stoned to dig, I guess.)

Stoned hippies take a headstone, therefore the disciples might have taken the body? How? There were guards.

And remember, most of them died for their beliefs. If they knew it was a lie, why? Whatever they might have hoped for by creating a fraud like that, they didn't get it.

If we can't find a body, he must be alive! There's no other possible explanation! Halelluia! Have fun at Waterloo Theme park, Napoleon. Good bye!

Why do the heathen rage?

90 posted on 07/14/2002 2:06:58 PM PDT by A.J.Armitage
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