[ExI] The existence of Jesus (Was: Political Origins of Life)

Amon Zero amon at doctrinezero.com
Mon Feb 6 15:09:20 UTC 2012

On 6 February 2012 13:39, Ben Zaiboc <bbenzai at yahoo.com> wrote:

> BillK <pharos at gmail.com> jested:
> > But, of course, Jesus may not actually have said that ...
> Presumably this was said in jest, and it did make me laugh, but I'm now
> wondering how many people, on this list and elsewhere, that are not
> religious, actually believe there was a Jesus.
> I don't mean believe in Jesus as in 'this guy who totally existed, was the
> son of some god or other', but in the sense of believing there was a single
> person that these stories are based on.  I'd have thought it patently
> obvious that Jesus is a kind of King Arthur or Robin Hood figure, a
> composite myth from many stories over a long period of time.  There is
> absolutely no historical evidence for such a figure (afaik, please correct
> me if I'm wrong on that.  With references, obviously!).
> "Jesus may not have actually said that" sounds very like "King Arthur may
> not have actually lived at Camelot" to me.  Am I in a minority?
> Ben Zaiboc

It's a fine point, and one I agree with. However, as I've noted here
before, implying some person is fictional tends to make believers and
unbelievers alike sense that the person must in some way be less valuable
than if they'd been "real". What this means is that some believers may
understand it to be true that the historical Jesus is a composite character
at best, but would feel uneasy about acknowledge the fact, lest it imply
that Jesus is thereby devalued.

Me, I have no problem with the greatest teachers being partially or wholly
fictitious. It works for Pythagoras, so why not Jesus?

Hell, fictional & composite characters could be the chosen people of Greg
Egan's "God Who Makes No Difference". Although I suppose He is their
antithesis. He's a god that exists but might as well not, whereas the likes
of Jesus or Robin Hood have tangible effects in our world regardless of
whether they ever actually existed at all...

- A
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