2010-02-22

10 myths + 4

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by Neil Godfrey

I have in the past discussed various misunderstandings or misrepresentations of mythicist arguments, and notice I have earlier discussed one more myth that is not included in the previous post’s list of 10.

Myth #11

Mythicists argue that someone made up a story about recent real historical events and invented persons, and that significant numbers of people (who could have known better) suddenly began to believe in this newly constructed history of the recent past.

I address this, and elaborate on another point (that no-one would ever have made up a story of a crucified messiah) in this older post:  Most scholars confusing plot setting and character constructs with historical fact

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There have also been other ignorant claims about mythicist arguments. I mention them for sake of completeness, but they are so fatuous that they are not worth responding to. Let those who wonder if these accusations are true ask for supporting evidence from those who repeat them.

Myth #12

Mythicists believe that Christianity was the result of some nefarious conspiracy.

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Myth #13

Mythicist think that their arguments do not find themselves in mainstream scholarly peer reviewed publications because of some conspiracy on the part of historicists or the churches.

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Myth #14

Mythicists arguments are motivated by a psychological need to remove all traces of Jesus from this world.

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0 thoughts on “10 myths + 4”

  1. I do hope that you will not only tell us what mythicists don’t believe but what mythicists do believe. One reason why mythicism fails to persuade me is that I have yet to encounter a plausible alternative account of how we get the literature and the early Christian beliefs that we do on a mythicist scenario.

  2. I also would like to see a comprehensive presentation of mythicism. In my uneducated opinion it should start with a thorough presentation of what we do know about biblical origins.

    We do not know who the anonymous gospel authors are, indeed the attributions do not appear in written record for at least a century after the supposed events. We do know that christianity is claimed to have sprung from jewish messianism and prophecy. I think that makes it relevant to discuss the roots of this religion, including polytheism, and its association with older mesopotamian and persian religions. Some of their texts do survive as examples.

    I would anticipate a thorough review of world religious history as an introduction. The Greek and Egyptian mythologies are excellent points of comparison, as they attest to multiple characters with complex lives who move back and forth from the heavens to earth to do their works. They live exceedingly complex lives which are quite well documented. No one seems to question how such mythology could get to paper and stone, do they? Its rather easy to accept it for what it is since no one proclaims it anymore as their faith. Yet, as Justin Martyr admits, his Jesus is no different than the sons of Jupiter. Interesting comment.

    The New Testament Jesus suffers from any number of basic logic flaws. When its all said and done, he offers nothing more for his raison d’etre than “your salvation is based on faith in me.” Rather odd. Any impartial analysis would seemingly result in the conclusion that this religion is purely a regional phenomenon. Its success in my opinion is due to its claim of the ultimate personification of the divine. Christianity succeeded by bringing god to flesh, though only in concept could this be true.

    As I read through the gospels, I am repeatedly struck by the writing as being literature. There are countless events that not only could not have happened, but also could not be attested to as written. The events leading up to the walking on water scene, e.g., are indicative of literature. I also note the introduction in Mark of a 30-year old Jesus through the vehicle of John the Baptist. That hints to me that John the Baptist may have been a real character who was used here to provide Jesus his “bona-fides.”

    There are countless reasons to suspect mythicism as the root of this story. Haggling over interpretation of scripture is in my opinion one of the least effective ways to present the case. While analysis of scripture is a must do, the setting is what is most important. Christians tend to look with tunnel vision at their religious doctrine and are thus unable to see how it sprang from pre-existing ideas. They just refined those ideas and put them to paper.

  3. As I read through the enumerated myths levelled against mythicists, I find it illuminating to replace “Jesus” with “Hercules,” or your own choice of god. The anti-Hercules conspiracy, indeed.

  4. Good idea. I am preparing a response. I hope to explain that “mythicism” is not a belief or whatever. It is a paradigm through which to view and explain the evidence. There ought never be “a belief” associated with mythicism as such any more than their should be “a belief” associated with “historicism”. The confusion arises, i suspect, with the identification of the historical enquiry with only one conceivable model of Christian origins, the culturally embedded one that really is little more than a paraphrase or rationalization of the gospel narrative itself.

    1. Neil wrote:

      “I hope to explain that “mythicism” is not a belief or whatever. It is a paradigm through which to view and explain the evidence. There ought never be “a belief” associated with mythicism as such any more than their should be “a belief” associated with “historicism”.

      Now – that very point is something that I have recently been trying to get across…

      ‘mythicism’ is not a belief system – it is purely a paradigm, a framework with which one approaches the gospel story. As is ‘historicism’. Whatever scenario one builds up after using either framework is a consequence of that approach. The basic framework one is working from – the assumption that one takes as ones ‘tool’ – is where the big difference lies between the mythicists and the historicists – and thus the different results either side will achieve.

      Sure, one can just read the gospels as literature. Its when one seeks to understand the history that gave rise to the gospel story that one has to dig deeper and that requires the use either of the historicists ‘tool’ or the mythicists ‘tool’.

      Yes, there may indeed be various theories that can be built up after the mythicist ‘tool’ has been used – likewise with the historicists ‘tool’. But to put the emphasis upon the scenarios – as though these scenarios are themselves the measuring stick by which to judge the mythicist case is nonsensical. Just as it would be nonsensical to dismiss the historicists case because the idea of an apocolyptic preacher just does not happen to be your thing – gentle Jesus giving one a warmer comfort blanket.

      So far, with the current blog debate, the mythicist ‘tool’ has not been granted any legitimacy. On the contrary, the mythicist position has been denigrated, by James McGrath, as being comparable to creationism. This is truly a most unpleasant slur – and something that really does need to be addressed by James if he wants mythicist to take him seriously re wanting to engage with those who hold a mythicist position. If the very ‘tool’ a mythicist is using is not acceptable – then why would any scenario that a mythicist might present, using this ‘tool’, be viewed as anything other than some creationist type nonsense?

      Methinks the rules of engagement need to be clearly set down….

      1. The problem is that Christian believers cannot take the mythicist position seriously because it runs directly into their religious beliefs. Even when they hold extremely unorthodox ideas about who the “historical” Jesus might have been, they still have to believe that there was a real individual at the root of it all or they can’t really call themselves Christian. Affirming the existence of the man Jesus has been part of the Christian doctrine since the first creed was written.

        That’s why you see believers like John Shelby Spong who can write books about how the Gospels were constructed whole cloth as a type of midrash and that there’s nothing historical about them and yet still insist that at the root of it all there must have been a historical personage who started it all, and that that person was martyred through crucifixion. It’s a foundational belief of Christianity. Rejecting the crucifixion itself would be bad enough (even though the entire crucifixion story as it appears in the Gospels seems to have been pieced together from the OT, and the assertions that no one would have “created” a crucified messiah all seem to be assertions without actual evidence to back them up). Rejecting the existence of the man Jesus would mean rejecting a basic tenet of Christianity.

        So I can’t get bent out of shape at biblical scholars who can’t confront their own biases and see their own assumptions – it’s a question of faith for them. What irritates me is that McGrath, who I’ve followed on his blog for a while, seemed like a fairly reasonable, thinking man before I read this whole exchange. And yet he’s throwing around slurs like “creationist” when it’s clear that he hasn’t even read any actual mythicist sources himself beyond random people on the Internet. Even a few of the overview books for the layperson by a historical Jesus agnostic like Robert Price would be enough to have a basic grounding in the arguments and see that this isn’t just cranks on the Internet making crap up. Yet he refuses to do even the basic research to see where the questions are so that he can find answers to them himself. That’s disappointing – I thought he was a deeper thinker than that from his blog writings.

      2. You gotta admire Spong’s style — the way he can knock the stufffing out of any historical Jesus in the gospels and then conclude at the end of it all that Jesus is a mystical experience (but not mythical! 🙂

  5. Neil, I would love to read a few blogs devoted to setting out a best positive case for mythicism. I see that your discussion with James has attracted the interest of the Acharya S mythicists, so it might not be a bad time for you to present the best mythicist case for review.

  6. Do we really need to know why Jack and the Beanstalk was written to know that Jack and the Beanstalk is not historical?

    What are the origins of the Jack and the Beanstalk story?

    Until they are found, let us laugh at people who think Jack and the Beanstalk is not history.

  7. Aren’t the theories about the historical Jesus (HJ) just as varied as the internet theories about the mythical Jesus (MJ)? It seems as though the only agreements between the HJs is that a guy named Jesus got crucified. If we look at the so-called heretical literature, his crucifixion (i.e. docetism, which has left remnants in Islam) and to a lesser degree even his resurrection were doubted!

    Let’s not pretend that HJs are one homogeneous entity.

  8. Myth #11
    Mythicists argue that someone made up a story about recent real historical events and invented persons, and that significant numbers of people (who could have known better) suddenly began to believe in this newly constructed history of the recent past.

    Here are some quotes from Doherty in his new book giving the progression, from p 394 to 397:

    “Could Mark have considered his story to be historically true? This seems highly doubtful… our novelist would naturally base the story of his characters on known historical elements…

    Perhaps not too long after Luke, another community further north in Syria, possessing a Revealer Son and known later as the community of John, joined the company as well, creating a rather different version reflecting a proto-gnostic outlook…

    Thus the scene was set in the wider Christian world for regarding Mark’s figure and his story as historical.”

    Myth #12
    Mythicists believe that Christianity was the result of some nefarious conspiracy.

    Have you seen books like “Operation Messiah: St. Paul, Roman Intelligence and the Birth of Christianity” http://www.amazon.com/Operation-Messiah-Roman-Intelligence-Christianity/dp/0853037027

    While the author here believes that Jesus was historical, I’ve seen mythicists who have used such books to promote the idea that Jesus was made up to turn Jewish expectations away from a military Messiah still to come.

    Myth #13
    Mythicist think that their arguments do not find themselves in mainstream scholarly peer reviewed publications because of some conspiracy on the part of historicists or the churches.

    I’ve quoted Doherty below. But surely you don’t deny that there are mythicists like Acharya S who believe that academia are afraid to confront their ideas?

    Anyway, Doherty writes:
    http://www.freeratio.org/thearchives/showthread.php?t=147064

    “One of the leading avant-garde publications in the public eye was offered a substantial amount of money to take the opportunity to demonstrate that the mythicist case hasn’t a leg to stand on, yet they refused… to me it smacks of nothing so much as fear and hesitation over opening a Pandora’s Box of disturbing ideas which might further undermine the foundations of their own world.”

    Also, on his website here:
    http://jesuspuzzle.humanists.net/Weimer-Gibson.htm

    “… I have encountered considerable opposition from dissenters to my theories on Jesus Mythicism. At times, that opposition has been loud and antagonistic, even rabid. This has included not simply those with confessional interests on the question of Jesus’ existence, but others who identify themselves as religiously neutral, even atheistic. Paradoxically, I have found that those who declare themselves in the latter category tend to be among those who react against myself and mythicism with the greatest amount of vitriol and animosity. Why this is so is not clear to me…

    [Gibson’s misrepresentation about Doherty shows] to demonstrate the sort of dishonest and paranoidal opposition to Jesus mythicism which pervades a good portion of the established academic and not-so-academic community (especially on the Internet), and what those interested in an open, innovative and free-inquiry approach to the question are regularly faced with.”

    Myth #14
    Mythicists arguments are motivated by a psychological need to remove all traces of Jesus from this world.

    Do you remember Michael Turton’s comment “We’re going to destroy your Jesus” to Jim West over Turton’s review of James Tabor’s “Jesus Dynasty”? It was motivated by the Christian Right’s influence in politics and society in the USA. From here:
    http://earliestchristianhistory.blogspot.com/2006_05_01_archive.html

    “And each year that the Christian Right digs at the foundations of the United States, the number of ahistoricists will grow, because it is the natural response of people like me who were once willing to live and let live — you blot out our democracy? Fine! We’re going to destroy your Jesus. Doherty himself is an excellent example of how these two ideas cross-fertilize, for not only does he work on ahistorical Jesus theories, he also works with groups that oppose the Christian Right. And as the number of ahistoricists grows, Jim, we’re going to get better at it.”

    Now, the point isn’t that all mythicists are like that. But there is a grain of truth to each myth. Nearly all mythicists raise the same kinds of complaints about the evidence for a historical Jesus. The only way you can distinguish yourself from the Acharya Ss is by your positive case for mythicism. I would love to see it.

    1. Thanks, GDon. Your post is quite instructive. I look forward to your incisive analysis of Doherty’s book after seeing how incisively you saw right through my myth list.

      Myth #11
      Mythicists argue that someone made up a story about recent real historical events and invented persons, and that significant numbers of people (who could have known better) suddenly began to believe in this newly constructed history of the recent past.

      Here are some quotes from Doherty in his new book giving the progression, from p 394 to 397:

      “Could Mark have considered his story to be historically true? This seems highly doubtful… our novelist would naturally base the story of his characters on known historical elements…

      Perhaps not too long after Luke, another community further north in Syria, possessing a Revealer Son and known later as the community of John, joined the company as well, creating a rather different version reflecting a proto-gnostic outlook…

      Thus the scene was set in the wider Christian world for regarding Mark’s figure and his story as historical.”

      So you are quoting passages from Doherty that demonstrate he does not believe that someone made up a story about recent real historical events and invented persons, and that significant numbers of people (who could have known better) suddenly began to believe in this newly constructed history of the recent past. I had wished I had time to add this sort of supporting evidence myself. So thanks for confirming my post with specific evidence here.

      Myth #12
      Mythicists believe that Christianity was the result of some nefarious conspiracy.

      Have you seen books like “Operation Messiah: St. Paul, Roman Intelligence and the Birth of Christianity” http://www.amazon.com/Operation-Messiah-Roman-Intelligence-Christianity/dp/0853037027

      While the author here believes that Jesus was historical, I’ve seen mythicists who have used such books to promote the idea that Jesus was made up to turn Jewish expectations away from a military Messiah still to come.

      Well there ya go! There really is every shade of opinion out there, isn’t there. I have even read one book by a historian who denies the Holocaust, and another historical book about the blood line of Jesus being traced back to Mary Magdalene. Sure can’t trust any historian! Never know what quack ideas you might read if you stick to reading history books.

      Myth #13
      Mythicist think that their arguments do not find themselves in mainstream scholarly peer reviewed publications because of some conspiracy on the part of historicists or the churches.

      I’ve quoted Doherty below. But surely you don’t deny that there are mythicists like Acharya S who believe that academia are afraid to confront their ideas?

      Anyway, Doherty writes:
      http://www.freeratio.org/thearchives/showthread.php?t=147064

      “One of the leading avant-garde publications in the public eye was offered a substantial amount of money to take the opportunity to demonstrate that the mythicist case hasn’t a leg to stand on, yet they refused… to me it smacks of nothing so much as fear and hesitation over opening a Pandora’s Box of disturbing ideas which might further undermine the foundations of their own world.”

      Also, on his website here:
      http://jesuspuzzle.humanists.net/Weimer-Gibson.htm

      “… I have encountered considerable opposition from dissenters to my theories on Jesus Mythicism. At times, that opposition has been loud and antagonistic, even rabid. This has included not simply those with confessional interests on the question of Jesus’ existence, but others who identify themselves as religiously neutral, even atheistic. Paradoxically, I have found that those who declare themselves in the latter category tend to be among those who react against myself and mythicism with the greatest amount of vitriol and animosity. Why this is so is not clear to me…

      [Gibson’s misrepresentation about Doherty shows] to demonstrate the sort of dishonest and paranoidal opposition to Jesus mythicism which pervades a good portion of the established academic and not-so-academic community (especially on the Internet), and what those interested in an open, innovative and free-inquiry approach to the question are regularly faced with.”

      Okay, you got me on this one. I read your quotations from Doherty twice and did not see any complaint about any conspiracies, here. Just normal everyday opposition and hostility that seems to obsess a few individuals whenever any controversial idea is an issue.

      Myth #14
      Mythicists arguments are motivated by a psychological need to remove all traces of Jesus from this world.

      Do you remember Michael Turton’s comment “We’re going to destroy your Jesus” to Jim West over Turton’s review of James Tabor’s “Jesus Dynasty”? It was motivated by the Christian Right’s influence in politics and society in the USA. From here:
      http://earliestchristianhistory.blogspot.com/2006_05_01_archive.html

      “And each year that the Christian Right digs at the foundations of the United States, the number of ahistoricists will grow, because it is the natural response of people like me who were once willing to live and let live — you blot out our democracy? Fine! We’re going to destroy your Jesus. Doherty himself is an excellent example of how these two ideas cross-fertilize, for not only does he work on ahistorical Jesus theories, he also works with groups that oppose the Christian Right. And as the number of ahistoricists grows, Jim, we’re going to get better at it.”

      Now, the point isn’t that all mythicists are like that. But there is a grain of truth to each myth. Nearly all mythicists raise the same kinds of complaints about the evidence for a historical Jesus. The only way you can distinguish yourself from the Acharya Ss is by your positive case for mythicism. I would love to see it.

      Well, gee, you got me on this one, too GDon. I mean, how can I deny someone who has a thing against the Christian Right is going to take his hostility into hours of study to prove that Jesus is a myth? Yep. You got me on this one! I’ll bet you can tell who is against the Christian Right just by seeing if they argue Jesus is a myth, too! Right? (Any ex-christian atheist who argues Jesus is merely a failed prophet or charlatan is simply being bone lazy, or those who try to destroy the Right’s Jesus by proving he was meek and gentle are wimps!)

      1. Neil, speaking on behalf of the “dishonest and paranoidal opposition to Jesus mythicism which pervades a good portion of the established academic and not-so-academic community”: I’ll look forward to you presenting the mythicist case that you believe needs to be addressed.

    2. Have you seen books like “Operation Messiah: St. Paul, Roman Intelligence and the Birth of Christianity” http://www.amazon.com/Operation-Messiah-Roman-Intelligence-Christianity/dp/0853037027

      While the author here believes that Jesus was historical, I’ve seen mythicists who have used such books to promote the idea that Jesus was made up

      I just have to say, this is some awesome reasoning. “Here’s a historicist author who promotes a conspiracy theory about the origins of Christianity. Therefore all mythicists believe that Christianity is a conspiracy.” Nice.

      Some mythicists believe weird things. Some historicists believe weird things. I’ve read work from “historicists” who insist that all of the miracles in the New Testament attributed to Jesus must have actually happened. So what? Just because some historicists believe weird things doesn’t mean that ALL historicist claims are immediately invalidated without the need to argue against them. Likewise just because some mythicists believe weird things doesn’t mean that ALL mythicist ideas are invalid a priori.

      Yeesh – this isn’t hard. There are quacks in every field. That doesn’t mean that everyone in the field is a quack. It’s like saying “there’s a WWII historian who believes that the cause of WWII was tied to Germany’s poor economy and he denies the holocaust ever happened, so the whole idea that Germany’s economy had anything to do with the start of WWII is clearly bogus.” The argument is nonsensical – the two beliefs are not tied together and need to be evaluated separately even if both beliefs happen to be held by a single person.

      1. @Jer:
        I just have to say, this is some awesome reasoning. “Here’s a historicist author who promotes a conspiracy theory about the origins of Christianity. Therefore all mythicists believe that Christianity is a conspiracy.” Nice.

        Jer, perhaps you missed the end of my post. Let me repeat that again:

        “Now, the point isn’t that all mythicists are like that. But there is a grain of truth to each myth. Nearly all mythicists raise the same kinds of complaints about the evidence for a historical Jesus. The only way you can distinguish yourself from the Acharya Ss is by your positive case for mythicism. I would love to see it.”

        Jer, can you tell me from Neil’s many blog posts exactly what the mythicist case is? He has told us what it is not. He has asked historicists that the mythicist case deserves to be addressed. I’d like to understand it, even investigate it for myself. Could you help out on this?

  9. GDon has already been told that the first mentions of Jesus are as a rock in the desert and as giving instructions to his followers on how to obtain access to his body and blood by conjuring them up in a ritual meal.

    The first Jesus mentioned is a non-historical Jesus, whose body was accessed by conjuring it up in a ritual meal.

  10. I look forward to GDon telling us how the idea of a historical Jesus saying and doing things explains Romans, James, Jude.

    Entire books of the New Testament are totally baffling on the idea that early Christians thought their Saviour had been on Earth recently, saying and doing things that were worth talking about.

    Historicists like to put forward individual verses from the Epistles as ‘problems’ for mythicists when there are entire books where they cannot explain where the Jesus went.

  11. Neil,

    I noticed a comment you made recently, and want to follow up with a thought. Someone had been commenting that you had not added comments on some other blog, and you responded saying that you were doing it as time allowed, but… more importantly that you made your “big thoughts” as blog ideas, not comments. (My words not yours).

    The point is I wanted to say YEAH! for two reasons.

    First, I enjoy your writing. I find it well thought out, and well written. I am interested in both the subject that you write on, and in the concept of “blogging” and internet communities in general.

    Which brings me to my second thought. I am a retired computer industry person. I have given much thought to the community concept, and have wrestled with blogging as I have seen it explode. And wanted to give you some of my prior thoughts to indicate why I loved your post. Back in the day, there were BBS or forums. And multiple people in a community could talk to each other. They were a very effecrtive tool for discussions.

    Today people are moviing to their own blogs. There are some similarities, but there are differences. The problem with the BLOGS is that let’s say in the BBS world you had 10 people participating. you could generally see all the TOPICS and all the RESPONSES to a on a single screen. Today if you and to follow that same person community you have to visit 10 different pages, AND scroll down to where the comments not only state, but to where the recent ones are added, and if they are threaded, you have to back up and look for that, and if they are not threaded you have to try to follow the conversations going on inside a comment list.

    It is a fucking nightmare.

    I love blogging don’t get me wrong. I love seeing people write out their thoughts, and I love reading them. For years, I participated on IRC (internet relay chat) for computer help channels, and would spend some time in the politics/religion channels. The thing I always found his people were talking about NOTHING. They were holding arguments with rhetorical tricks. And all of the augments were based on rhetorical tricks and gamesmanship, to the point that there was actually no politics or religion discussions. Blogs eliminate that. Only people that have something to say, and take the time to say it blog.

    In fact, if I had my way, there would be no comments, on blogs, you would be able to add a URL to the bottom of a blog article that would point to another blog article, and everyone would communicate with linked lists of blog articles.

    Ok, well perhaps not, but you get my point. I prefer to see your posts as blog articles. I even prefer to see you make comments to discussions on other blogs as blog articles on your blog. That way I can follow your writing, and don’t have to look for your writings in the comments of other people’s blogs.

    So to sum up, i appreciate your writing, keep it up. And don’t take other people’s advice to comment more in other blogs. Instead continue to comment with your own blog articles and make a quick entry in the other blog “you can find my comment on this here; URL”

    It is becoming hard enough to find and follow people out there in the cloud, the beauty of a blog is that it will allow me, in theory, to read all your shit. Please don’t spread your shit out.

    Cheers!
    RichGriese.NET

    1. Thanks, Rich. I know Antonio has said on McGrath’s blog that I have disappeared from that forum as a result of his challenges to me. Glad I’ve been able to help bolster someone’s ego.

      Don’t know what to make of this blogging thing. I just wanted to share interesting stuff I was reading. Have had very little time to read other blogs. Got caught up a bit with Exploring Our Matrix when I saw a few dirty things being said there that were directed at people I consider (online) friends.

      I would like to organize some of these posts that share more interesting readings on to my vridar.info page — another site that needs a lot of work format wise.

      Someone else once suggested a wiki format to allow more ongoing exchanges and contributions of ideas. I try to get over to FRDB or JM for that sort of exchange.

  12. Neil, this is from Acharya S’s article: “What is a mythicist?”
    http://www.stellarhousepublishing.com/mythicist.html

    “One of the major planks of mythicism is recognizing the ancient astrotheology and nature worship engaged in by the cultures of antiquity whose religions and myths contributed to the formation of the Bible-based, Abrahamic faiths such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam in particular, but other religions as well… The study of mythicism, astrotheology and archaeoastronomy reveals a very ancient body of knowledge that is both highly fascinating and far too overlooked in today’s society…

    A popular form of mythicism may be seen also in the first part of internet movie “ZEITGEIST,” which purportedly has been viewed over 100 million times worldwide and for which my work served as a significant source.”

    Neil, how much time should historicists spend on Acharya S and her brand of mythicism? Yet I’m sure she could have written your last few blog entries, raising the same criticisms as yourself against “the mythicist position”. Do you see now my point on why you need to present a positive case for mythicism, to distinguish yourself from mythicists like Acharya S?

  13. GDon, you are quite free to compare my photo with the Man in the Moon for all I care. Your attempts to link me with X, and James’ attempts to link mythicists with creationists, strike me as comparable to bigots linking all Germans with nazism. To even bother to take the time in ongoing replies to such nonsense would be a waste of time.

  14. James F. McGrath Says:
    2010/02/23 at 12:43 am
    “I do hope that you will not only tell us what mythicists don’t believe but what mythicists do believe.”

    It is interesting to see that a university professor is asking for your help in his education. I have found that your articles are very well written and informative. This seems to confirm that. If someone that teaches on the subject of religion, is asking you to educate him on the subject, that certainly speaks to the respect you have gained on the subject.

    Cheers!
    RichGriese.NET

  15. Yeh, well. James does need a lot of education. From his question he seems to think mythicists are some sort of strange sub species.

    So I told him what mythicists “believe” — they believe that certain people like William Tell and Rama and Jesus are mythical. Of course James then twists that into a pretty little distortion to make it sound I am arguing from a premise that I am not.

    So he is not a very bright student. I should speak to his parents about his future studies.

    Maybe I will suggest to them that he could find a place in a department of religion, specializing in biblical studies.

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