"The God Who Wasn't There" is a feature-length documentary that Newsweek says "irreverently lays out the case that Jesus Christ never existed." Learn more at http://www.thegodmovie.com/

Comment by Daniel Yang on April 28, 2010 at 1:27am
Christopher - Mario and I haven't been debating religion so much rather than the historical existence of Jesus. Now, debating religion has been lucrative for Hitchens so you may want to reconsider! And apologize, I don't know Pat Condell. But I have read Antony Flew.

Gaytor - I'll check out the other thread and try to respond soon. Thanks for putting it up! I read the summary of the Ehrman book you mentioned...creative way to approach the topic.

Mario - I agree. Time separation from the actual historical event (in this case 2000 years) makes it difficult to know "fact" with 100% certainty. This isn't a perfect analogy, but history is much like memory and sense perception, although we can't prove it with 100% certainty, we can find reasonable support for it. (Our American judicial system rises or falls on this principle.) For example, I'm pretty sure I ate eggs this morning, but other than the empty egg shells in the trash, I can't prove it to you with 100% certainty, but I can trust my memory to be pretty reliable in this case. By next week, I'll have an even harder time proving it to you. But I'm still relying on a pretty decent memory to assure you. A month from now, it'll be really difficult for me to "prove" it to you, but I can give you a fairly reliable answer still. Historical research is about finding historical memory channels.

There are those who say, "But there isn't any reliable research done on the historical Jesus in support of his existence!" That's a dishonest statement. A student of history will find that to be quickly dispelled.

It's true that the uncertainty of an event leaves much room to create legend or fictional myth. Admittedly this happens quite a bit of course. And if you are wired up to be skeptical about things, then the fair way to make a rational decision about something (if its important enough to you) is to do critical homework...read the smartest people on both sides of the argument and make an informed decision. If you are prone to trust sources without too much skepticism, you may find that belief is not as much a betrayal of logic and rationalism as you think. These kinds of people tend to process information quicker and make decisions quicker. The vast majority of our decisions made throughout the day are made this way.

I apologize if I sound like I'm just saying again to "doubt your doubts" or "doubt your skepticism." But true rationality allows us to do that.

Another note, comparing Jesus to Alexander the Great is probably a more fair comparison of historical figures rather than Robin Hood or King Arthur.

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