Richard Carrier versus George Albert Wells

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
davidmartin
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Re: Richard Carrier versus George Albert Wells

Post by davidmartin » Thu Aug 13, 2020 2:28 am

maryhelena wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 12:27 am
GakuseiDon wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:30 pm

<snip>
The caveat is that the comparison is not "historical Jesus" vs "mythical Jesus", but "earthly Jesus" vs "celestial Jesus". Carrier, when calculating his odds, seems to assume throughout OHJ that anything indicating an earthly Jesus supports a historical Jesus. But that simply isn't the case. Non-historical people can be claimed to be born to a woman, etc. It means they are earthly, but it doesn't support historicity especially when myths are involved.
.
Excellent point, GakuseiDon.

And even then - no need to choose between an ''earthly Jesus'' and a 'celestial Jesus''. Both versions of the Jesus story serve to complete, as it were, the Jesus package. As that old song goes......you can't have one without the other..... :)
HelenaMary, what was the Jesus package packing?
Maybe the packaging, as packaging does, conceals what it contains...

maryhelena
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Re: Richard Carrier versus George Albert Wells

Post by maryhelena » Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:16 am

davidmartin wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 2:28 am
maryhelena wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 12:27 am
GakuseiDon wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:30 pm

<snip>
The caveat is that the comparison is not "historical Jesus" vs "mythical Jesus", but "earthly Jesus" vs "celestial Jesus". Carrier, when calculating his odds, seems to assume throughout OHJ that anything indicating an earthly Jesus supports a historical Jesus. But that simply isn't the case. Non-historical people can be claimed to be born to a woman, etc. It means they are earthly, but it doesn't support historicity especially when myths are involved.
.
Excellent point, GakuseiDon.

And even then - no need to choose between an ''earthly Jesus'' and a 'celestial Jesus''. Both versions of the Jesus story serve to complete, as it were, the Jesus package. As that old song goes......you can't have one without the other..... :)
HelenaMary, what was the Jesus package packing?
Maybe the packaging, as packaging does, conceals what it contains...
Indeed........maybe a puzzle...... ;)

The gospel story is an allegory....a political allegory.

Since this thread is set up to deal with Carrier vs Wells - the following link maybe of interest....

Gospels as "euhemerized" stories about Jesus?

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=411&sid=0bfb4bf20ce ... 70ea90603f

And no, I don't want to go over over all that again....been there done that ...and moved on....
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
W.B. Yeats

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GakuseiDon
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Re: Richard Carrier versus George Albert Wells

Post by GakuseiDon » Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:39 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 12:38 am
GakuseiDon wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:30 pm
Carrier, when calculating his odds, seems to assume throughout OHJ that anything indicating an earthly Jesus supports a historical Jesus.
this is false and you and maryhelena are complete liars (and a fool Christian apologist) if you continue to diffuse that falsity. Carrier makes it explicit, in the quote above, that:

The only issue debated in OHJ is whether that Jesus was actually historical; just as with Satan or Gabriel. The issue of “where” they thought a historical Jesus lived and died is not the same as whether there really was a real Jesus who lived and died there. OHJ only concerns itself principally with the latter. As to the former, it is formally nonspecific, and only spends most of its time on the celestial alternative because it’s the one we have the most evidence for (per above), not because minimal mythicism requires it.

You'll need to take that up with Dr Carrier, Giuseppe. I'm just reporting what Carrier writes. Here is what Carrier writes in OHJ, page 563:

The original ‘revealed’ death and burial could have been imagined as occurring on earth and still be (from our perspective) mythical, if, e.g., the passion sequence was ‘revealed’ to have occurred somewhere like the Garden of Eden, a place no one knew the actual location of and thus where no ordinary witnesses could have been available

According to Wells' mythicist theory, Paul thought that Jesus died in the remote past, with the details unknown. So "made from sperm" and "born of a woman" refer to an earthly Jesus. But for Wells, an earthly Jesus isn't a historical Jesus. In the same way, an earthly Osiris isn't a historical Osiris (I'm sure you'll agree with that).

So why does Carrier assign the odds in favor of a historical Jesus?
It is really important, in life, to concentrate our minds on our enthusiasms, not on our dislikes. -- Roger Pearse

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Giuseppe
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Re: Richard Carrier versus George Albert Wells

Post by Giuseppe » Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:51 am

GakuseiDon wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:39 am
So why does Carrier assign the odds in favor of a historical Jesus?
simple. By doing so, he would like to be extremely generous with the historicity. Wells, according to Carrier, is conceding less probabilities in support of historicity than Carrier himself is giving.

But what I am interested is to know the reasons why Doherty mythicism is more probable than Wells's Mythicism.

In the discussion with the Wells's fan, Carrier has already found a reason:
  • the euhemerization from heaven to earth has already happened with Osiris.
So it fails the principal objection by Wells against Doherty/Carrier (that the euhemerization from heaven to earth couldn't never happen).

Now I wait other answers by Carrier.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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GakuseiDon
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Re: Richard Carrier versus George Albert Wells

Post by GakuseiDon » Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:53 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:51 am
GakuseiDon wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:39 am
So why does Carrier assign the odds in favor of a historical Jesus?
simple. By doing so, he would like to be extremely generous with the historicity.
So then, you agree with me? That an earthly Jesus does not mean a historical Jesus?
It is really important, in life, to concentrate our minds on our enthusiasms, not on our dislikes. -- Roger Pearse

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Giuseppe
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Re: Richard Carrier versus George Albert Wells

Post by Giuseppe » Thu Aug 13, 2020 4:59 am

GakuseiDon wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:53 am
So then, you agree with me? That an earthly Jesus does not mean a historical Jesus?
from the POV of pure abstract logic, yes, since we have examples of earthly people who never existed and Jesus could be one of them from the first moment.

But from the point of view of the concrete evidence we have (the 4 pauline epistles so-called "cardinal"), an earthly Jesus is not even contemplated in Paul. He is always considered as working in heaven. Even at the Parusia, he will not descend on earth but he will join Paul "in the air".

To do an example, an earthly but mythical person is usually connected with an earthly element:
Hercules with his club, Robin Hood with the forest of Sherwood, Ned Ludd with the machines he destroyed, John Frum with his isle, etc.

Jesus is never connected with an earthly element in Paul.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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GakuseiDon
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Re: Richard Carrier versus George Albert Wells

Post by GakuseiDon » Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:09 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 4:59 am
GakuseiDon wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:53 am
So then, you agree with me? That an earthly Jesus does not mean a historical Jesus?
from the POV of pure abstract logic, yes, since we have examples of earthly people who never existed and Jesus could be one of them from the first moment.
Right. So from the POV of pure abstract logic, should an earthly Jesus count towards Carrier's minimal historicity theory, or should an earthly Jesus count towards Carrier's Celestial minimal mythicist theory? Keep in mind that under Wells' theory, Paul's Jesus is earthly but not historical.
Giuseppe wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 4:59 am
But from the point of view of the concrete evidence we have (the 4 pauline epistles so-called "cardinal"), an earthly Jesus is not even contemplated in Paul. He is always considered as working in heaven... Jesus is never connected with an earthly element in Paul.
In that case, how on earth does Carrier give ANY odds about historicity in the letters of Paul? Can you give me any example in OHJ where a passage in the epistles suggests a historical Jesus but NOT an earthly Jesus?

I think you see the dilemma: an earthly Jesus doesn't mean a historical Jesus. But a historical Jesus means an earthly one. Odds of 2-to-1 in favour of a historical Jesus which doesn't mean an earthly Jesus isn't just being generous, it is nonsensical.
It is really important, in life, to concentrate our minds on our enthusiasms, not on our dislikes. -- Roger Pearse

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Giuseppe
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Re: Richard Carrier versus George Albert Wells

Post by Giuseppe » Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:39 am

GakuseiDon wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:09 am
Right. So from the POV of pure abstract logic, should an earthly Jesus count towards Carrier's minimal historicity theory, or should an earthly Jesus count towards Carrier's Celestial minimal mythicist theory?
An earthly mythical Jesus should count against historicity, obviously. But Carrier doesn't so for two reasons:
  • 1) he says that there is objectively more evidence of a celestial Jesus than of an earthly Jesus;
  • 2) he says that by doing so (considering an earthly mythical Jesus against historicity), he is not generous with historicity. It is a kind of fair play.
Can you give me any example in OHJ where a passage in the epistles suggests a historical Jesus but NOT an earthly Jesus?
A such passage doesn't exist, hence the need of doing a little favour to historicists: if the historicist proves only that Jesus is earthly, then he "wins".

Personally I think that this semplification is correct and rational, since, rationally speaking, an earthly Jesus in Paul may be mythical and historical with equal probability fifty-fifty. And there would be no way to overcome the dilemma. This is the reason I have never seen the rational proponents of an earthly mythical Jesus do positive assertions as "Jesus never existed", but only to limit themselves to raise the doubt "Did Jesus exist?".

From the other hand, a celestial Jesus gives quasi by definition the absolute certainty that Jesus never existed.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Richard Carrier versus George Albert Wells

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:43 am

GakuseiDon wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:09 am
I think you see the dilemma: an earthly Jesus doesn't mean a historical Jesus. But a historical Jesus means an earthly one. Odds of 2-to-1 in favour of a historical Jesus which doesn't mean an earthly Jesus isn't just being generous, it is nonsensical.
My impression is that Carrier has a very real blind spot when it comes to an earthly but not historical Jesus. That option just does not fit into his thinking until someone snaps him to attention in some way. I have pointed out before an exchange he had with Richard Parvus once, an exchange in which, as soon as Parvus mentioned a nonhistorical scenario being located "on earth," Carrier immediately thought Parvus was describing Docetism. His mind skipped right over the obvious position(s) in between the two.

I never detected such a blind spot with Doherty, who seemed (to me, both in his books and in my debates with him) to be very aware of positions held by those like Wells, and who mounted specific arguments in favor of his own version of mythicism over and against other versions. (I completely disagreed with those arguments, but I appreciate that they were there.)
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΗΘΕΙΑ

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Giuseppe
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Re: Richard Carrier versus George Albert Wells

Post by Giuseppe » Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:50 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:43 am
My impression is that Carrier has a very real blind spot when it comes to an earthly but not historical Jesus. That option just does not fit into his thinking until someone snaps him to attention in some way. I have pointed out before an exchange he had with Richard Parvus once, an exchange in which, as soon as Parvus mentioned a nonhistorical scenario being located "on earth," Carrier immediately thought Parvus was describing Docetism. His mind skipped right over the obvious position(s) in between the two.
this is a pure blind defamation of Carrier and I don't allow this, as I don't allow that false opposition Carrier versus Doherty.

Carrier was correct to accuse Parvus's Jesus of docetism, since also I asked Parvus if his views had be called historicity. No surprise that now Parvus is historicist without give a good reason to be so (apart considering 1 Cor 2:8 not original in Paul), given his previous view of an earthly but mythical Jesus in Paul.

ADDENDA: My impression about Ben is that he likes the Wells's form of mythicism because it would give still implicitly a right of asylum to the historicist (and Christian?) hope about an earthly and historical Jesus...

...while a celestial Jesus would prove only the total dramatic failure of even grasping that hope.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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