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Old 12th March 2018, 06:48 AM   #921
Porpoise of Life
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Originally Posted by dejudge View Post
Notice I am not arguing about the existence or non-existence of Julius Caesar.
No, because he doesn't fit your narrative. He claimed to be descendent from a god. Many emperors not only claimed to be the offspring of a god, they claimed to be living gods themselves, or at least claimed they would ascend to godhood after their deaths.
Since all these people are very well attested in the historical record, mentioning them is an argument against your reasoning that because Jesus was said to be divine, he couldn't have been (based on) a living human.

You'll just ignore this, and blather on about the Gospels, probably using the word 'ghost' a lot...
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Old 12th March 2018, 06:58 AM   #922
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Originally Posted by dejudge View Post
Notice I am not arguing about the existence or non-existence of Julius Caesar.
Indeed, since it's fatal to your one and only argument.
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Old 12th March 2018, 08:18 AM   #923
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Originally Posted by dejudge View Post
You seem not to realise that you have admitted Jesus was just like Hercules and Achilles.

Just like Hercules and Achilles, Jesus was a non-historical character.

I have not denied that the Jesus in the NT was God Creator, the Logos, the first born of the dead, the Lord from heaven, born of a Ghost and a Virgin who walked on water and instantly transfigured before his resurrection and ascension


Notice I am not arguing about the existence or non-existence of Julius Caesar.
No. I have said that the evangelists believed that Jesus was a son of God in a similar way of Hercules and Achilles. It is a very different thing. You mistook the idea.

No. You have not said anything of Julius Caesar. It is I that asked you if the fact that people said that Caesar was a descendant of a god implies that Caesar didn't exist. Do you catch the similarity with Jesus' case?

Last edited by David Mo; 12th March 2018 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 12th March 2018, 08:18 AM   #924
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Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post
No, because he doesn't fit your narrative. He claimed to be descendent from a god. Many emperors not only claimed to be the offspring of a god, they claimed to be living gods themselves, or at least claimed they would ascend to godhood after their deaths.
Since all these people are very well attested in the historical record, mentioning them is an argument against your reasoning that because Jesus was said to be divine, he couldn't have been (based on) a living human.

You'll just ignore this, and blather on about the Gospels, probably using the word 'ghost' a lot...
You'll just ignore the fact that Jesus of Nazareth is not attested at all in the historical record.
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Old 12th March 2018, 08:21 AM   #925
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Originally Posted by dejudge View Post
You'll just ignore the fact that Jesus of Nazareth is not attested at all in the historical record.


We are not discussing that. Don't go off on the tangent. We are discussing whether the fact that people believed that he was a son of God implies his non-existence.
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Old 12th March 2018, 08:25 AM   #926
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
No. I have said that the evangelists believed that Jesus was a son of God in a similar way of Hercules and Achilles. It is a very different thing. You mistook the idea.

No. You have not said anything or Julius Caesar. It is I that asked you if the fact that people said that Caesar was a descendant of a god implies that Caesar didn't exist. Do you catch the similarity with Jesus' case?
I have shown you the writing of antiquity where it is admitted Jesus was just like the sons of Jupiter.

Quote:
And when we say also that the Word, who is the first-birth of God, was produced without sexual union, and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter.
Jesus was always non-historical just like Jupiter and his sons.
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Old 12th March 2018, 08:33 AM   #927
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
We are not discussing that. Don't go off on the tangent. We are discussing whether the fact that people believed that he was a son of God implies his non-existence.
The fact that Christian writings in and out the Bible admit their Jesus was born of a Ghost and a Virgin without a human father, was God Creator, the Logos, the Lord from heaven, the first born of the dead implies he never ever existed.
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Old 12th March 2018, 08:36 AM   #928
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Originally Posted by dejudge View Post
You'll just ignore the fact that Jesus of Nazareth is not attested at all in the historical record.
Well, anywhere between 'not at all', 'barely', and 'pretty good for some nobody apocalyptic preacher in a provincial backwater', depending on the definitions we're using and whether or not we're willing to believe the factuality of the accounts of people who could have had a religious motive for writing what they did...

That's why there is a discussion in the first place. I'm not saying I believe there was an historical Jesus, and what it even means to have an 'historical Jesus' if we strip away everything apart from "A man who was crucified in Jerusalem for angering the Romans sometime in the first half of the First Century and who had a group of followers" is a point of contention.

But the thing is that your 'lol, ghosts can't have babies, so that means it must be a myth' is just a terrible argument.
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Old 12th March 2018, 08:46 AM   #929
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Originally Posted by dejudge View Post
The fact that Christian writings in and out the Bible admit their Jesus was born of a Ghost and a Virgin without a human father, was God Creator, the Logos, the Lord from heaven, the first born of the dead implies he never ever existed.
The fact that Roman writings admit that Julius Caesar was a descendant of Venus and that after his death he became a god, and that his divine soul manifested itself as a comet in the sky and that he received his own cultus and priesthood implies he never ever existed.
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Old 12th March 2018, 09:11 AM   #930
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Originally Posted by dejudge View Post
You'll just ignore the fact that Jesus of Nazareth is not attested at all in the historical record.
Sure he is. Weakly.
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Old 12th March 2018, 09:20 AM   #931
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Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post
But the thing is that your 'lol, ghosts can't have babies, so that means it must be a myth' is just a terrible argument.
Notice how Dejudge does nothing but switch between that terrible argument and, when it's pointed out that historical characters have mythical elements added to them too, the much more reasonable but still wrong position that there's no historical support at all for Jesus. When the admitedly-weak evidence is presented he just switches back to the terrible argument again, always starting his post with snark.

This is the behaviour of a person who is cornered but can't admit it for ideological reasons.
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Old 12th March 2018, 10:05 AM   #932
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Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post
The fact that Roman writings admit that Julius Caesar was a descendant of Venus and that after his death he became a god, and that his divine soul manifested itself as a comet in the sky and that he received his own cultus and priesthood implies he never ever existed.
In Dejudgian logic it is just so.
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Old 12th March 2018, 10:08 AM   #933
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Originally Posted by dejudge View Post
I have shown you the writing of antiquity where it is admitted Jesus was just like the sons of Jupiter.



Jesus was always non-historical just like Jupiter and his sons.
I'm not discussing what's the case, but what someone believed. Just focus, please.

Someone believed that X was the son of a god does not imply that X believed he was not a man. Right or wrong?
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Old 12th March 2018, 01:13 PM   #934
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Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post
Well, anywhere between 'not at all', 'barely', and 'pretty good for some nobody apocalyptic preacher in a provincial backwater', depending on the definitions we're using and whether or not we're willing to believe the factuality of the accounts of people who could have had a religious motive for writing what they did...That's why there is a discussion in the first place. I'm not saying I believe there was an historical Jesus, and what it even means to have an 'historical Jesus' if we strip away everything apart from "A man who was crucified in Jerusalem for angering the Romans sometime in the first half of the First Century and who had a group of followers" is a point of contention.
If you strip away everything you are left with nothing but fiction.

By the way, you invent fiction because in the NT Jesus was not crucified for angering the Romans.

Pilate found no fault with Jesus in the fables called Gospels.

Luke 23:4
Quote:
Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man..
Pilate found no fault with Jesus in the fables called Gospels.

Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post
But the thing is that your 'lol, ghosts can't have babies, so that means it must be a myth' is just a terrible argument.
What laughable nonsense you post. I did not invent the Christian Bible and Christian writings where it is clearly stated their Jesus was born of a Ghost and a Virgin, the firstborn of the dead, a quickening Spirit, the Lord from heaven, the Logos, God Creator who walked on water before he transfigured, resurrected and ascended in a cloud.

The Christian Bible is evidence that their Jesus never ever existed at all.

Jesus of Nazareth was a complete fabrication manufactured after at least c 110 CE.

Later Paul and the Epistles were invented sometime after the resurrection fable of Jesus was already circulated and there were Churches all over the Roman Empire or no earlier than c 170 CE.

Romans 1:8
Quote:
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.
There is simple no historical evidence that people of Rome [throughout the whole world] were worshiping Jesus as a God before c 70 CE.
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Old 12th March 2018, 01:38 PM   #935
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Originally Posted by dejudge View Post
If you strip away everything you are left with nothing but fiction.
What nonsense you write. Fiction is something.
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Old 12th March 2018, 02:03 PM   #936
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Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post
The fact that Roman writings admit that Julius Caesar was a descendant of Venus and that after his death he became a god, and that his divine soul manifested itself as a comet in the sky and that he received his own cultus and priesthood implies he never ever existed.
Based on your absurdity and bizarre logic, if Julius Caesar existed then Romulus and Remus must have existed because they were born of a Ghost and a woman.

Plutarch's Romulus
Quote:
Now there was an oracle of Tethys in Tuscany, from which there was brought to Tarchetius a response that a virgin must have intercourse with this phantom, and she should bear a son most illustrious for his valour, and of surpassing good fortune and strength...
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Old 12th March 2018, 02:07 PM   #937
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Indeed, since it's fatal to your one and only argument.
No, it isn't.


Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Sure he is. Weakly.
He's attested outside of the bible/gospels where?


Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Notice how Dejudge does nothing but switch between that terrible argument and, when it's pointed out that historical characters have mythical elements added to them too, the much more reasonable but still wrong position that there's no historical support at all for Jesus. When the admitedly-weak evidence is presented he just switches back to the terrible argument again, always starting his post with snark.

This is the behaviour of a person who is cornered but can't admit it for ideological reasons.
No. The terrible arguments are from the people who think that Yeshua was a real flesh-and-blood person with a more than 50% probability.


Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
What nonsense you write. Fiction is something.
Fiction doesn't prove someone was real, does it?





ETA: I probably shouldn't get involved again. I get really tired of being snidely and obliquely attacked because I happen to think there's not enough evidence supporting the idea that Yeshua of the bible was a real flesh-and-blood person. I guess I'm an eeeevill, ignorant, loutish, pathetic mythicist who blindly follows the idiotic ideology of the know-nothings.
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Old 12th March 2018, 02:37 PM   #938
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Originally Posted by The Norseman View Post
No, it isn't.
Sure it is. Dejudge's entire argument is that many details in Jesus' story are fictional, ergo Jesus didn't exist. That's ridiculous on the face of it.

Quote:
He's attested outside of the bible/gospels where?
Not directly, no. But isn't the bible itself part of the body of evidence? It purports to tell a story about a historical character, same as any such work, and must be evaluated against the evidence we have for that time period and region, the dynamics of religions and cults, etc.

Quote:
No. The terrible arguments are from the people who think that Yeshua was a real flesh-and-blood person with a more than 50% probability.
I think there are good and bad arguments on both sides. Personally I'm more-or-less on the fence, but to say that there's no evidence is false. If you say the evidence is unconvincing, that's fine.

Quote:
Fiction doesn't prove someone was real, does it?
I was just having fun with Dejudge's wording.

Quote:
ETA: I probably shouldn't get involved again. I get really tired of being snidely and obliquely attacked because I happen to think there's not enough evidence supporting the idea that Yeshua of the bible was a real flesh-and-blood person. I guess I'm an eeeevill, ignorant, loutish, pathetic mythicist who blindly follows the idiotic ideology of the know-nothings.
Are you talking about me? I never attacked you.
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Old 12th March 2018, 03:16 PM   #939
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Sure it is. Dejudge's entire argument is that many details in Jesus' story are fictional, ergo Jesus didn't exist. That's ridiculous on the face of it.
Again, complete nonsense.

You don't know and don't have the slightest idea that all fictional characters have no history.

Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, John, Mary, Adam, Eve, Romulus, Remus, the God of the Jews, the Holy Ghost, Achilles, the Roman myth Gods, Satan, Jupiter, Angels and hundreds of myth characters were deemed to be non historical because all we have are not historical accounts.

All we have of Jesus and Paul are fiction--they never ever existed.

Jesus was the son of a Ghost and Paul saw him after he resurrected.

What fiction!!! What fairy tales!!!

Last edited by dejudge; 12th March 2018 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 12th March 2018, 06:06 PM   #940
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Originally Posted by dejudge View Post
Again, complete nonsense.
If you want to make the argument that the evidence for Jesus is too weak to pass muster, make it. But don't pretend that having fictional elements in the story is your big gun, because we know that real people have had fictional elements added to their stories. It's a complete non starter, and your vacuous posts change nothing of that. In fact, you're not even responding to the criticisms of your arguments, prefering to dance between them because you know you can't defend either.
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Old 12th March 2018, 07:27 PM   #941
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
If you want to make the argument that the evidence for Jesus is too weak to pass muster, make it. But don't pretend that having fictional elements in the story is your big gun, because we know that real people have had fictional elements added to their stories. It's a complete non starter, and your vacuous posts change nothing of that. In fact, you're not even responding to the criticisms of your arguments, prefering to dance between them because you know you can't defend either.
Again, you don't make any sense.

The argument that Jesus never ever existed is precisely based on the fact that there is no historical evidence of his existence and writings describe him as a fiction character the son of a ghost walking on water before transfiguring and conversing with ghosts then resurrecting, cooking and eating fish, and ascending in clouds.

The historical evidence is not weak but non-existent even in the Christian Bible.

In the Christian Bible a supposed contemporary of Jesus, the author of the so-called Epistles only could invent a most absurd lie that he saw his Jesus, the Lord from heaven, the firstborn of the dead after the resurrection.

Jesus and Paul were never ever history.
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Old 13th March 2018, 12:30 AM   #942
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Originally Posted by dejudge View Post
Based on your absurdity and bizarre logic, if Julius Caesar existed then Romulus and Remus must have existed because they were born of a Ghost and a woman.

Plutarch's Romulus
It would be bizarre if we are saying that "It was believed that Caesar was descendant of a god" and "Caesar existed" would imply "Jesus existed". You are wrong. This only is in your head.

What we said is:

It was believed that some really existent men were descendants of a god.
It is possible that a man was considered that it was a descendant of god and he existed
It is possible that Jesus was thought to be the son of God and he existed
When you say that one reason to say that Jesus didn't exist is that he was considered the son of God you are wrong, completely wrong.
Look for other reasons but stop constantly claiming this failed argument.

I hope this will prevent you to insist in your absurd position.
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Old 13th March 2018, 12:47 AM   #943
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Originally Posted by The Norseman View Post
No. The terrible arguments are from the people who think that Yeshua was a real flesh-and-blood person with a more than 50% probability.
(...)
ETA: I probably shouldn't get involved again. I get really tired of being snidely and obliquely attacked because I happen to think there's not enough evidence supporting the idea that Yeshua of the bible was a real flesh-and-blood person. I guess I'm an eeeevill, ignorant, loutish, pathetic mythicist who blindly follows the idiotic ideology of the know-nothings.
Maybe there are some "terrible" arguments. There are also some indications that Jesus probably existed. A very different Jesus from the "evangelical" Jesus, of course.

Why does it make people so nervous to think that Jesus really existed? I don't understand. That the issue makes a Christian nervous is understandable. But a rational person?

Feeling attacked by every opposite arguments is a way to end in fanaticism. Take it easy. The existence of Jesus is not a main objection to atheism or scepticism. It is not even an objection. I am an atheist myself and I don't feel even disturbed by the idea that Jesus of Galilee really existed. I think even that it is a bit more plausible that the contrary. A little.
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Old 13th March 2018, 02:43 AM   #944
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Originally Posted by dejudge View Post
The fact that Christian writings in and out the Bible admit their Jesus was born of a Ghost and a Virgin without a human father, was God Creator, the Logos, the Lord from heaven, the first born of the dead implies he never ever existed.
I find it difficult to imagine that the whole edifice of Christianity is based upon someone that never even existed. But the likes of Earl Doherty, Robert M Price and Richard Carrie make a strong case for it nevertheless. Probably, given the time lapse in the gospels between the purported events and when they were recorded, i.e. 40+ years after, what we probably have are highly embellished accounts of the life of a charismatic nomadic preacher.
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Old 13th March 2018, 03:23 AM   #945
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Originally Posted by The Norseman View Post
ETA: I probably shouldn't get involved again. I get really tired of being snidely and obliquely attacked because I happen to think there's not enough evidence supporting the idea that Yeshua of the bible was a real flesh-and-blood person. I guess I'm an eeeevill, ignorant, loutish, pathetic mythicist who blindly follows the idiotic ideology of the know-nothings.
That "of the bible" part is key.

The very term "historical Jesus" has a huge spectrum of hypothesis. Touched on by Remsberg in 1909, by Rudolf Bultmann in 1941 (and used by Richard Carrier in 2014), and reiterated by Biblical scholar I. Howard Marshall in 2004, the two ends of this range (the italicized clarifiers are from Marshall) are:

* Reductive theory (Remsburg's Jesus of Nazareth): "Jesus was an ordinary but obscure individual who inspired a religious movement and copious legends about him" rather than being a totally fictitious creation like King Lear or Doctor Who

* Triumphalist theory (Remsburg's Jesus of Bethlehem): "The Gospels are totally or almost totally true" rather than being works of imagination like those of King Arthur.

Marshall in fact warns "We shall land in considerable confusion if we embark on an inquiry about the historical Jesus if we do not pause to ask ourselves exactly what we are talking about."

However, as Carrier notes, "Either side of the historicity debate will at time engage in a fallacy here, citing evidence supporting the reductive theory in defense of the triumphalist theory (as if that was valid), or citing the absurdity of the triumphalist theory as if this refuted the reductive theory (as if that were valid)".

The reality is mythism has (and still has) a huge range...and not all of it is in the Yeshua didn't exist as a flesh and blood person domain. (https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Christ_Myth_Theory)

Albert Schweitzers' comment "I especially wanted to explain late Jewish eschatology more thoroughly and to discuss the works of John M. Robertson, William Benjamin Smith, James George Frazer, Arthur Drews, and others, who contested the historical existence of Jesus. It is not difficult to pretend that Jesus never lived. The attempt to prove it, however, invariably produces the opposite conclusion" (Schweitzer, Albert, Out of my life and thought: an autobiography (1931), p. 125.) shows the problem.

The bolded people never "pretend that Jesus never lived." Heck, Frazer clearly stated "My theory assumes the historical reality of Jesus of Nazareth." (Frazer, Sir James George (1913) The golden bough: a study in magic and religion: Volume 9 Page 412)

Similarly Robertson and Drew didn't entirely throw Jesus the man out with the mythical bathwater.

"In wide circles the doubt grows as to the historical character of the picture of Christ given in the Gospels. [...] If in spite of this any one thinks that besides the latter a Jesus also cannot be dispensed with; but we know nothing of Jesus. Even in the representations of historical theology, he is scarcely more than the shadow of a shadow. Consequently it is self-deceit to make the figure of this 'unique' and 'mighty' personality, to which a man may believe he must on historical grounds hold fast, the central point of religious consciousness." (Drews, Arthur (1910) The Christ Myth)

"[John] Robertson is prepared to concede the possibility of an historical Jesus, perhaps more than one, having contributed something to the Gospel story. "A teacher or teachers named Jesus, or several differently named teachers called Messiahs" (of whom many are on record) may have uttered some of the sayings in the Gospels.) (Robertson, John M (1910) Christianity and mythology)

1. The Jesus of the Talmud, who was stoned and hanged over a century before the traditional date of the crucifixion, may really have existed and have contributed something to the tradition.
2. An historical Jesus may have "preached a political doctrine subversive of the Roman rule, and thereby met his death" (Robertson, John M (1916) The Historical Jesus: A Survey of Positions); and Christian writers concerned to conciliate the Romans may have suppressed the facts.
3. Or a Galilean faith-healer with a local reputation may have been slain as a human sacrifice at some time of social tumult; and his story may have got mixed up with the myth.

The myth theory is not concerned to deny such a possibility (that Jesus existed as a human being). What the myth theory denies is that Christianity can be traced to a personal founder who taught as reported in the Gospels and was put to death in the circumstances there recorded" (Robertson, Archibald (1946). Jesus: Myth Or History.)

A Jesus who died of old age, only preached 'End of the World is nigh' speeches to small groups, or was killed outside the 26-36 CE reign of Pontius Pilate would fit under this version of the myth theory. Ehrman has wrote that a Jesus who existed but didn't found Christianity would be a "mythical" Jesus. (This would make Remsburg's position "mythic" even though he accepted Jesus existed as a human being because Remsburg believed Jesus preached a form of Judaism which was turned into Christianity by his followers.)

Funny thing about that, a church father describes such a Jesus. Perhaps you have heard of him? His name is Irenaeus. He expressly puts Jesus crucifixion in the time of Claudius Caeser and Herod Agrippa with Pontius Pilate thrown in cover up the fact this places Jesus crucifixion 42-44 CE...long after Paul had his vision (no later then 37 CE)

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Old 13th March 2018, 03:59 AM   #946
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Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
I find it difficult to imagine that the whole edifice of Christianity is based upon someone that never even existed. But the likes of Earl Doherty, Robert M Price and Richard Carrie make a strong case for it nevertheless. Probably, given the time lapse in the gospels between the purported events and when they were recorded, i.e. 40+ years after, what we probably have are highly embellished accounts of the life of a charismatic nomadic preacher.

Just to be clear - it's not "40+ years afterwards" that we have any gospels (or even any letters from Paul). Apparently the earliest more-or-less complete and readable gospels date from 4th to 6th century at their earliest. We have fragments and parts of gospels that are thought to date to as early as circa.125 AD, but those small fragments together with some larger but degraded and incomplete remnants, are of course NOT what have been used to produce the biblical stories of Jesus that are used to argue for his existence ... the gospels that have been used to argue as evidence for his existence are those from 4th to 6th century and later.

The important difference is that for earlier mere fragments, or even quite extensive but still damaged and incomplete remnants, we cannot of course know what was said in the numerous missing parts ... the missing parts of the earliest gospel writing might have included sentences and descriptions that made clear that Jesus was originally being described as a spiritual figure rather than a normal man on Earth. So you have to use the more complete versions, and as I say - the earliest examples of those apparently date from 300 to 500 years and more after Jesus is said to have died.

We do have earlier examples of most of Paul's letters, the earliest relatively complete examples are said to date from about 200AD (which is still nearly 200 years after Jesus is thought to have died). But as I others have explained here many times before (and as authors like Carrier, Wells, Doherty and many others have emphasised) - Paul's letters do not really describe a real living human Jesus known to anyone ... they only ever describe belief in a spiritual Jesus "know" in religious visions.
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Old 13th March 2018, 04:19 AM   #947
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Originally Posted by dejudge View Post
Again, you don't make any sense.

The argument that Jesus never ever existed is precisely based on the fact that there is no historical evidence of his existence and writings describe him as a fiction character the son of a ghost walking on water before transfiguring and conversing with ghosts then resurrecting, cooking and eating fish, and ascending in clouds.
That's exactly what I just said. How can you possibly repeat my own words to me as if they are your own and then claim that I'm the one not making sense?

If the MJ argument is based on lack of evidence, then stick to that. Arguing about embellishments and additions to the story is pointless, and that's all you've been doing. You're the one not making sense.
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Old 13th March 2018, 04:22 AM   #948
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Originally Posted by dejudge View Post
The fact that Christian writings in and out the Bible admit their Jesus was born of a Ghost and a Virgin without a human father, was God Creator, the Logos, the Lord from heaven, the first born of the dead implies he never ever existed.
That does not follow at all.

You quite simply do not understand the arguments that people are making.
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Old 13th March 2018, 07:05 AM   #949
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Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
I find it difficult to imagine that the whole edifice of Christianity is based upon someone that never even existed. But the likes of Earl Doherty, Robert M Price and Richard Carrie make a strong case for it nevertheless. Probably, given the time lapse in the gospels between the purported events and when they were recorded, i.e. 40+ years after, what we probably have are highly embellished accounts of the life of a charismatic nomadic preacher.
The Jewish religion is directly based on a myth God that never ever existed.

That very same non-existent myth God is the father of Jesus.

It is not difficult at all to see that Christainity like the Jewish religion is based on non-historical characters.

In addition, the Roman/Greek religion in the 1st century was directly based on multiple non-historical characters.

All that is required to start a religion is the belief [faith] that Gods exist.

Christians believe Jesus was the only begotten son of the Jewish God.


Aristides Apology
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The Christians, then, trace the beginning of their religion from Jesus the Messiah; and he is named the Son of God Most High.

And it is said that God came down from heaven, and from a Hebrew virgin assumed and clothed himself with flesh; and the Son of God lived in a daughter of man. This is taught in the gospel............ And hence also those of the present day who believe that preaching are called Christians, and they have become famous.
Jesus was always a product of belief---never ever a product of history.
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Old 13th March 2018, 07:25 AM   #950
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
Just to be clear - it's not "40+ years afterwards" that we have any gospels (or even any letters from Paul). Apparently the earliest more-or-less complete and readable gospels date from 4th to 6th century at their earliest. We have fragments and parts of gospels that are thought to date to as early as circa.125 AD, but those small fragments together with some larger but degraded and incomplete remnants, are of course NOT what have been used to produce the biblical stories of Jesus that are used to argue for his existence ... the gospels that have been used to argue as evidence for his existence are those from 4th to 6th century and later.

The important difference is that for earlier mere fragments, or even quite extensive but still damaged and incomplete remnants, we cannot of course know what was said in the numerous missing parts ... the missing parts of the earliest gospel writing might have included sentences and descriptions that made clear that Jesus was originally being described as a spiritual figure rather than a normal man on Earth. So you have to use the more complete versions, and as I say - the earliest examples of those apparently date from 300 to 500 years and more after Jesus is said to have died.

We do have earlier examples of most of Paul's letters, the earliest relatively complete examples are said to date from about 200AD (which is still nearly 200 years after Jesus is thought to have died). But as I others have explained here many times before (and as authors like Carrier, Wells, Doherty and many others have emphasised) - Paul's letters do not really describe a real living human Jesus known to anyone ... they only ever describe belief in a spiritual Jesus "know" in religious visions.
Right, as Carrier points out there is nothing to show any of the Gospels were written before 100 CE; the dated generally give are guesses based on Jesus actually existing and some his followers wrote about him. Even in the Jesus existed crowd Luke is dated as late as 130 CE which logically puts John even older then the 120 CE end date generally thrown out.

But even if we were to go with the (unsupported) c70 CE for Mark that is well within the range in which a possible actual founder is replaced with fictional version better suited to the cult's views. I of course point to John Frum

Guiart's 1952 Oceania paper shows the complexity involved regarding determining if Jesus was a man or a celestial being (Guiart, Jean (1952) "John Frum Movement in Tanna" Oceania Vol 22 No 3 pg 165-177)

We are told that "A man named Manehevi had posed as a supernatural being by means of ingenious stage management." But later we are also told "From elsewhere rail the rumour that, in spite of the Administration statement, Manehevi was not John Frum, and that the latter was still at liberty."

Here we are told John Frum was a "supernatural being" while the believers are saying he is an actual man who "was still at liberty"

If that isn't enough we are also told "John Frum, alias Karaperamun, is always the god of Mount Tukosmoru, which will shelter the planes, then the soldiers."

Here we are told that John Frum is Karaperamun (who is a long existing volcano god) but we were also told that Manehevi was (or pretended to be) John Frum and that John Frum was another person who was still at liberty.

As you can see from Guiart's 1952 article, a mere 11 years after the John Frum movement become noticeable by nonbelievers it is not clear if John Frum is simply another name for Karaperamun (the High god of the region), a name that various actual people use as leader of the religious cult, or the name of some other person who inspired the cult perhaps as much as 30 years previously. If to confuse things further it has been suggested that Tom Navy, a companion to John Frum, is based on a real person: Tom Beatty of Mississippi, who served in the New Hebrides both as a missionary and as a Navy Seabee during the war. Then there is a splinter group, called the Prince Philip Movement, that states Prince Philip, consort to Elizabeth II, is the brother of John Frum (even though Prince Philip only has sisters).

If you examine the John Frum cargo cult in detail one can see possibly of one or more inspired believers deciding to become Jesus even if Jesus originally started out as nothing more than a celestial being. So it is well within reason as John Robertson implied in 1900 that one or more people inspired by Paul's writings (or teachings) took up the name Jesus, preached their own view of Paul's message, and possibly got killed for it. It is one way to read Paul's 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 warning of minds being "corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ" by "another Jesus, whom we have not preached," "another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted".

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Old 13th March 2018, 07:37 AM   #951
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I think the Gospel of Thomas is reasonable evidence that there was someone named Jesus who said some stuff.

You also have to consider that the Roman Catholic church did a pretty good job of erasing all the historical evidence that there was a historical Jesus.
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Old 13th March 2018, 01:43 PM   #952
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Originally Posted by bobdroege7 View Post
I think the Gospel of Thomas is reasonable evidence that there was someone named Jesus who said some stuff.
There is no historical evidence in the Gospel of Thomas to show that there was an actual person called Jesus of Nazarethwho was worshiped as a God in the time of Tiberius.
Originally Posted by bobdroege7 View Post
You also have to consider that the Roman Catholic church did a pretty good job of erasing all the historical evidence that there was a historical Jesus.
How could the Roman Church erase historical evidence of their Jesus while simultaneously fabricating historical evidence for the same character?

The forgery called the "TF" in Antiquities of the Jews 18.3.3 was invented because there was no historical evidence for Jesus just like the Seneca/Paul epistles were fabricated in an attempt to historicise Paul.

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Old 13th March 2018, 04:12 PM   #953
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Originally Posted by dejudge View Post

There is no historical evidence in the Gospel of Thomas to show that there was an actual person called Jesus of Nazarethwho was worshiped as a God in the time of Tiberius.
No, not in the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Thomas is historical evidence of Jesus, but then the Gospel of Thomas doesn't say Jesus was a god, which is one of the reasons it's not in the Bible.

Originally Posted by dejudge View Post

How could the Roman Church erase historical evidence of their Jesus while simultaneously fabricating historical evidence for the same character?
Simultaneously? Not really but we are talking 2000 years and thousands of different people working to make Christianity work for them. But there is evidence both things happened.

Originally Posted by dejudge View Post

The forgery called the "TF" in Antiquities of the Jews 18.3.3 was invented because there was no historical evidence for Jesus just like the Seneca/Paul epistles were fabricated in an attempt to historicise Paul.
Since we don't have the original of Antiquities we don't much know the extent of the forgery, nor of the reason behind the forgery.
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Old 13th March 2018, 05:24 PM   #954
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Originally Posted by bobdroege7 View Post
No, not in the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Thomas is historical evidence of Jesus, but then the Gospel of Thomas doesn't say Jesus was a god, which is one of the reasons it's not in the Bible.
The Gospel of Thomas is not historical evidence of Jesus but a collection of sayings. It is not known when gThomas was actually written, it is not known who really wrote gThomas and it cannot be corroborated that the sayings were spoken by anyone a person called Jesus in the 1st century before c 70 CE.

By the way, there is no historical evidence or corroboration of any disciple of Jesus named Thomas in any non-apologetic source.

Thomas appears to be a fiction character in the fables called Gospels composed no earlier than c 110 CE.

In addition, based on your reasoning, Genesis is historical evidence of the serpent because we the sayings of the creature to Eve.

Or, gMatthew is historical evidence for Satan because he was in conversation with Jesus in Jerusalem.

Originally Posted by bobdroege7 View Post

Simultaneously? Not really but we are talking 2000 years and thousands of different people working to make Christianity work for them. But there is evidence both things happened.
There is no historical evidence at all that the Roman Church erased evidence of their Jesus. You forget that the Roman Church declared that their Jesus was the son of a Ghost, the Lord from heaven, God Creator, the Logos, the firstborn of the dead without a human father.

There was never ever any historical evidence of such a fiction character to erase.

It was the complete opposite.

The Roman Church had to fabricate "evidence" to support their fiction characters in the Gospel.

The very NT is a perfect example of the massive amount of fabrication employed by Christians.

Every writing in the NT is falsely attributed or a forgery.

Originally Posted by bobdroege7 View Post
Since we don't have the original of Antiquities we don't much know the extent of the forgery, nor of the reason behind the forgery.

Well, you don't have any original Gospel of Thomas from the supposed time of Jesus so you really don't know if gThomas is historical evidence of Jesus.

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Old 13th March 2018, 05:29 PM   #955
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Originally Posted by bobdroege7 View Post
No, not in the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Thomas is historical evidence of Jesus, but then the Gospel of Thomas doesn't say Jesus was a god, which is one of the reasons it's not in the Bible.

It's not evidence of Jesus unless Jesus did actually exist, is it?

It can only be evidence of Jesus as a real person, if the author of that Gospel either (a) gives a credible or believable account of how the author had met or seen or otherwise personally encountered Jesus, or else (b) the author has to give credible accounts showing how other checkable sources/people had indeed met a living figure named Jesus ...

... but afaik there is no such information in the Gospel of Thomas, is there?

It is not evidence of Jesus simply to claim that some unknown person once wrote a gospel consisting of a list of "sayings" that the author claimed to be from Jesus ...

... on top of which -

1. who actually wrote that Gospel?
2. what is the date of the earliest extant complete copy of that gospel?
3. who told the author that any such sayings ever came from Jesus?
4. who has ever verified that any of the sayings were ever uttered by Jesus? ... and how did that person (the "source") claim to know that the sayings came from Jesus?

Or to put all that another way - afaik, what you have as the Gospel of Thomas, is yet another set of anonymous writing, known only as a copy from centuries after the lifetime of Jesus, and with nothing at all to corroborate a single thing in that gospel.

I'm not saying Jesus did not exist. I don't know whether he did or not (none of us really know). But gospels cannot possibly be reliable as credible independent or verifiable evidence (because they are all way too late in extant useable form, are all actually anonymous afaik, and far too much of what the canonical gospels said has turned out to be impossible miraculous myth making ... plus, authors like Randel Helms have shown how those gospel writers were often creating their Jesus stories from what had been written centuries before as messiah prophecy in the OT). ...

... it needs something far better than religious eulogies written as gospels and letters by later anonymous authors who had never met anyone called "Jesus", if we are ever to claim such writing to be evidence approaching a level of 50% or better (i.e. a level that could ever be honestly claimed as "more likely than not" for Jesus as a real person ever known to any of those writers).
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Old 13th March 2018, 05:44 PM   #956
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Originally Posted by dejudge View Post



There is no historical evidence at all that the Roman Church erased evidence of their Jesus. You forget that the Roman Church declared that their Jesus was the son of a Ghost, the Lord from heaven, God Creator, the Logos, the firstborn of the dead without a human father.
There is lots of evidence that the Roman Church burned a lot of evidence both living and written.

For one, early church fathers connected the Gospel of Thomas with the Manicheans which is like a wanted dead or alive poster. Execute and burn on sight.

It's a wonder any of it survived.
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Old 13th March 2018, 05:57 PM   #957
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Originally Posted by dejudge View Post
The Gospel of Thomas is not historical evidence of Jesus but a collection of sayings.
Yes, that's what we call evidence.

Otherwise, what would you accept as evidence?

Originally Posted by IanS View Post
It's not evidence of Jesus unless Jesus did actually exist, is it?
Isn't that a bit backwards, though? I mean, if we use evidence to determine historicity, we can't weigh evidence upon historicity.
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Old 13th March 2018, 06:49 PM   #958
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Originally Posted by bobdroege7 View Post
There is lots of evidence that the Roman Church burned a lot of evidence both living and written.
The evidence that the Roman Church burned the living and written texts do not mean that they burnt evidence of an historical Jesus.
Originally Posted by bobdroege7 View Post
For one, early church fathers connected the Gospel of Thomas with the Manicheans which is like a wanted dead or alive poster. Execute and burn on sight.

It's a wonder any of it survived.
Again, the sayings in gThomas is not evidence of an historical Jesus just like the sayings of Satan in gMatthew is not evidence of an historical Devil.

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Old 13th March 2018, 08:15 PM   #959
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Sure it is. Dejudge's entire argument is that many details in Jesus' story are fictional, ergo Jesus didn't exist. That's ridiculous on the face of it.
Well, sure, if that's the only thing that's being put forth, but it isn't. It's the totality of information that, when put together, makes me think there isn't enough there to say with a more than 50% certainty that it all is based on a real flesh-and-blood person.



Quote:
Not directly, no. But isn't the bible itself part of the body of evidence? It purports to tell a story about a historical character, same as any such work, and must be evaluated against the evidence we have for that time period and region, the dynamics of religions and cults, etc.
Of course the bible is the only evidence we have; any other writings have been determined to be either interpolations and/or deliberately altered in another way. What survives, that is.



Quote:
I think there are good and bad arguments on both sides. Personally I'm more-or-less on the fence, but to say that there's no evidence is false. If you say the evidence is unconvincing, that's fine.
Okay, I'm easy. I can say it's unconvincing; but in this case, it then brings up the issue of what we consider to be evidence. Are anecdotes evidence? In any other field, it's often thought that due to the inherent unreliability, anecdotes are not considered valid evidence. But if you want to take anecdotes as evidence when it comes to history, okay. But in either case, there's nothing else and no other surviving writings that can help lend credence to the veracity of those anecdotes when it comes to determining Yeshua's historicity.


Quote:
I was just having fun with Dejudge's wording.
Ah. Sorry, I didn't get it.


Quote:
Are you talking about me? I never attacked you.
No, no. I apologize if I inferred it. I have participated in (rarely) but more just read all kinds of these threads from way back and sometimes it just feels like, because I don't find the evidence compelling (as you term it), or that there isn't any evidence that Yeshua existed as flesh-and-blood, I'm automatically considered a crackpot, an idiot, a history denier and all kinds of things.



Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Maybe there are some "terrible" arguments. There are also some indications that Jesus probably existed. A very different Jesus from the "evangelical" Jesus, of course.
Yes, even this is problematical, as far as I'm concerned. There are probably dozens of different versions of what this true flesh-and-blood Yeshua really was; this coming from whichever flavor of HJ believer you want to talk to. I would think that there would be more to it than "yeah, he existed" as something that all the HJ's could agree on, but there doesn't seem to be.



Quote:
Why does it make people so nervous to think that Jesus really existed? I don't understand. That the issue makes a Christian nervous is understandable. But a rational person?
I could bring up a similar point aimed at the HJ people too: what is it that you're so afraid of or nervous about to find out that Yeshua never existed?

I think it's a silly argument either way.

But, I appreciate you thinking me a rational person, but you mistake my stance as one from nervousness or whatever. I grew up nominally theistic, made my discovery maybe only about fifteen years ago that I was (and probably had been for longer than I realized) essentially an athiest, and yet I still thought that Yeshua probably existed. Up until I joined the JREF, that is. Until I started reading some threads here which questioned all the material that is used to support a more than 50% probability that Yeshua was really flesh-and-blood.

That application of critical thinking, questioning the scant-to-non-existent evidence changed my mind. After reading multiple threads here and reading many other websites and at least several books on the topic, it seemed to me to be just as likely that Yeshua was made up if not more likely. My dad, having been a Lutheran pastor for more than fifty years, was willing to talk with me about it as well as suggest books for me to read (for the HJ side of things) so it wasn't like I was seeking out only the MJ side materials.


Quote:
Feeling attacked by every opposite arguments is a way to end in fanaticism. Take it easy. The existence of Jesus is not a main objection to atheism or scepticism. It is not even an objection. I am an atheist myself and I don't feel even disturbed by the idea that Jesus of Galilee really existed. I think even that it is a bit more plausible that the contrary. A little.
I feel attacked because there are many here who have attacked people arguing my position and several who were extremely rude to me directly too. It has nothing to do with my posting style; just the position I'm taking on this debate.



Originally Posted by maximara View Post
That "of the bible" part is key.

The very term "historical Jesus" has a huge spectrum of hypothesis. Touched on by Remsberg in 1909, by Rudolf Bultmann in 1941 (and used by Richard Carrier in 2014), and reiterated by Biblical scholar I. Howard Marshall in 2004, the two ends of this range (the italicized clarifiers are from Marshall) are:

<snip>
Thank you for this.



Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
That does not follow at all.

You quite simply do not understand the arguments that people are making.
How does it not follow? It seems logical enough to me. If there are nothing but fictional stories made about someone with no other corroborating evidence, then it's reasonable to conclude the person is fictional. You apparently disagree, and that's fine. But from his stance, it very much follows.


Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Yes, that's what we call evidence.

Otherwise, what would you accept as evidence?

Isn't that a bit backwards, though? I mean, if we use evidence to determine historicity, we can't weigh evidence upon historicity.
I'd personally accept other writings that weren't written by already-believers, for one.

And I use the exact same argument that proponents use when they inevitably bring up other figures in history: maybe they existed and maybe not.
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Old 13th March 2018, 10:18 PM   #960
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Yes, that's what we call evidence.
Sure it's evidence, but evidence of what?

Here are some sayings:-
"Insufficient facts always invite danger."

"Without followers, evil cannot spread."

"If you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."

"In critical moments, men sometimes see exactly what they wish to see."

"The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few."
Is this historical evidence of the person those sayings are attributed to?
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