Scientology: Good or Bad?

Discussion in 'Alternative' started by Nick the Pilot, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    I believe we have evidence of Mohamed outside the Quran...

    But when it comes to Moses, Abraham, Jesus...don't have anything contemporary outside of the bible.... ya gotta have faith.

    Siddhartha? Isn't he proof that he made up Buddhism....sat under the tree till he had it figured out...
     
  2. Gordian Knot

    Gordian Knot Being Deviant IS My Art.

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    Actually, Tea, it is a logical fallacy - i.e. one cannot prove scientifically that something never existed. One cannot prove lack of evidence. Which is why I go on and on that science cannot ever prove, or disprove the divine.

    And to restate my point. I was not making a claim either way whether the Great Religions of today are based on real events or not. I was saying that we can look at Scientology and make such a case that it is baloney because its origin is in very recent times, and a great deal is known about its founder by people who are still alive today.

    We do not have that kind of information access to the beginnings of the Great Religions of today that were born 2 or 3 thousand years ago. We have ancient records of testimony in which there is no way to judge their accuracy or lack thereof.
     
  3. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

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    Actually, GK, it's harder to prove because it's a logical fallacy, in your virtual face!
     
  4. Gordian Knot

    Gordian Knot Being Deviant IS My Art.

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    Ah but how do you know it is a virtual face? It is a belief! Hah!
     
  5. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

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    :( <- my beaten virtual face
     
  6. DavidMcCann

    DavidMcCann Hellenist

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    The historian Michael Grant remarked that not only had no reputable historian ever denied the existence of Jesus of Nazareth, but the arguments deployed by the disreputable ones would be equally effective against Alexander the Great. It's not a question of faith, but of understanding the nature of historical evidence.

    Later writings are a start. The Ancients were not stupid: Aristotle knew that Pythagoras really lived, but that Orpheus was a legend. Flavius Josephus knew who Jesus was, and he wrote about 60 years after the crucifixion.

    Characters like Moses and Abraham are a different kettle of fish. Abraham is said to have been a contemporary of King Amraphel. If that's a bad corruption of Hammurabi, then he lived some 800 years before the Pentateuch was written. People can preserve oral histories for long periods, as evidence from Polynesia shows, but they gradually acquire legendary overlay. Did the ancestors of the Israelites migrate from Sumeria to Canaan in the Middle Bronze Age? Probably. Was their chief called Abraham? Maybe. Was his nephew's wife turned into a pillar of salt? Hardly!
     
  7. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    The writings attributed to Josephus were discredited long ago....and that was the only nonbiblical reference.

    I am not saying Jesus didn't exist....just there is a severe lack of evidence.

    lol on the pillar of salt... some folks think differently than you on that one too!
     
  8. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    "Pillar of salt" is an Aramaic expression meaning scared to death.
     
  9. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    That is just the thing....we know some of them...but we don't know many idioms that are now taken literally were lost to time....
     
  10. DavidMcCann

    DavidMcCann Hellenist

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    Says who? And what about Tacitus? And what's wrong with a Biblical reference, if it's subjected to sensible scrutiny like any other document? I'm reminded of Charles II's comment on an eccentric cleric, that he was the sort of man who'd believe anything so long as it wasn't in the Bible.

    How much evidence do you expect for people in early history? How much is there for any of the Pre-Socratic philosophers? For Buddha? For Confucius?
     
  11. Gordian Knot

    Gordian Knot Being Deviant IS My Art.

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    There is nothing wrong with Biblical references. The point is the only evidence for JC is in the Bible. There are no sources outside of Biblical references that even mention his name. Who says Josephus is not considered a reliable source? Do a Google search and look at the hundreds of links that state just that.

    Another issue is that the Romans were darn good at documenting their history. Yet nothing is said of JC or even a JC like person being crucified in the historical record.

    From an earlier post, Michael Grant's comment is absurd. NO reputable historian has ever denied the existence of JC? Seriously?? In over 2000 years of historians, not a one that was considered credible in his field EVER questioned the authenticity of JC???

    The wording suggests more that Grant did not consider any historian credible unless they believed Christ existed. Bit of a bias there.

    And how much evidence do I expect for people in early history? Well this is my personal opinion. Either there is solid evidence or there is not. That there is little to no evidence does not mean that a person did not exist. It does mean that the judgement must remain neutral. If there is no reliable evidence, there is no reliable evidence. What we desire to believe is irrelevant.
     
  12. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    GK,

    It has been said that there were four people living around that time, and bits and pieces of the live of these four people were sewn together to create the story of Jesus. It has been said that there was a person named Josheshua, he was one of the four people I mention, and it was his name that was 'massaged' into the name Jesus. (If I remember correctly, Josheshua lived about 100 B.C.)

    It has also been said that the twelve apostles were actually twelve monks living in a Christian monastery in the fourth century. Each of them were asked to create their own version of the story of Jesus, and these twelve stories were then woven together to create the NT. It is said that, as time went by, these twelve monks came to be known as the twelve apostles, and the rest is history.
     
  13. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Actually the scholarly consensus is now that someone called Jesus existed; had a huge number of followers, and founded a religion.

    I recall one atheist sociologist, or socio-archaeologist, or something like that in the social sciences, saying Something Happened, quite what happened is another matter, but it seems that Baptism and a Crucifixion was central to whatever it was.

    The writings of Josephus have not been discredited. There are issues, but the fact remains that scholarship does not refute him, nor his references to Christ.

    Then there's Tacitus, who writes of Nero scapegoating 'the Christians' for the great fire of Rome in 64AD, and who writes that "Their name comes from Christ, who, during the reign of Tiberius, had been executed by the procurator Pontius Pilate. Suppressed for the moment, the deadly superstition broke out again, not only in Judea ... but also in Rome ... "

    Then there's Mara Bar Sarapion:
    "What good did it do the Athenians to kill Socrates ... the Samians to burn Pythagoras ... the Jews to kill their wise king ..."
    He goes on:
    "God justly avenged these three wise men ... Socrates is not dead, thanks to Plato, nor Pythagoras, because of Hera's statue. Nor is the wise king, because of the new law which he has given."
    The Historical Jesus: A Comprehensive Guide Theissen and Merz, 1998.

    Then there's Pliny ...
     
  14. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    It depends on what is meant by 'evidence'.

    There's no evidence for Socrates, but few doubt he existed.

    There's no evidence for the Buddha. And what written materials we have date from at least 400 years later.

    All the evidence for evolution is circumstantial, isn't it? But no-one in his or her right mind doubts that.

    There is an enormous amount of evidence that points to the existence of Christ, and a lot of it contemporary. Luke's been proven reliable, by hard evidence, on more than one occasion, when everyone chose to dismiss him.

    I don't think it's quite so cut-and-dried as that? Scholars say the evidence tell us something, but I do agree that just making up what we want to believe is irrelevant nonsense.
     
  15. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Okee dokee a few things....the writings of Tacitus and Josephus.... anyone care to post this wonderful 'evidence' which yes, yes is under conjecture? But let us at least let folks who follow along read what evidence you speak....not the commentary on it...but the actual words (or translations of those words)

    And yeah... Socrates... Jesus... Who knows who existed...we've got a ton more contemporary writing on Socrates eh? We Christians should wish we had that. the gospels were written decades after his death, mostly if not all third hand information, what we call in the courts today....heresay.

    But down to brass tacks...when is the last time we had major wars over Socrates or Buddha followers? When is the last time we had Socratics bombing abortion clinics, protesting funerals, whining about nonsocratics?? Let us focus on the issue at hand. I don't believe our question was whether or not Socrates existed.... don't they refer that to a straw man or something? Derailing the discussion?
     
  16. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Where's the 'wonderful evidence' that discredits Josephus?

    Why? You don't.

    Yet you swear by it.

    Oh good grief ...
     
  17. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Tacitus....
    This is thought to be authentic...

    Do you see the detail in this evidence. Written ad 116, obviously not an eyewitness or even hardly born....but he heard stories...and wrote one line.
    Dick Cheney presented more evidence on WMDs in Iraq..Iand with just as much obvious political agenda). just sayin.
     
  18. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Attributed to Josephus in the 70's.... now by this time the Gospel of Mark had been written, Paul was dead, had made 4 major journeys around the Mediterranean including to Rome, promoting Christianity wrote over a dozen epistles that were being circulated....Josephus this famous historian has only the above to say about the burgeoning religion that has grown from this Jew called Jesus.
    Now this was supposed to have been written 20 years later. Gospels of Mathew and Luke have been written and were circulating...as well as the rest of the NT canon except John... and this is what we hold our hat on Jesus the so called Christ...

    https://www.google.com/search?q=dis...57.5207j0j4&sourceid=chrome&es_sm=93&ie=UTF-8
     
  19. DavidMcCann

    DavidMcCann Hellenist

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    The passage that Wil has quoted is taken from the translation by William Whiston, made in 1732 from the editio princeps of 1544 — in other words, of no scholarly value. I've just checked the Wikipedia article "Josephus on Jesus", which I'd not seen before. It seems a reliable presentation of current scholarship and a good reconstruction of the text.

    As for Nick's "it has been said", so what? And by whom? It's been said that the Moon landing was a fake and that Elvis Presley is alive and well.

    What is it about this topic that brings about a total lapse of scholarship and sense? Or does it just attract people who never had any? Like those with silly signatures and ungrammatical English ... I never cease to be amazed and amused that I, a pagan, have to defend the Christians!
     
  20. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    When scholarship and sense refutes opinion and prejudice?
     

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