2016-04-27

Myth Conference 2016

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by Neil Godfrey

May 22nd, 2016, at the City of Athens Cultural Centre

You may recall the book Jesus Mythicism: An Introduction by freelance journalist Minas Papageorgiou. The book was originally written for Greek readers and now there is a mythicist conference coming up soon in Greece. Some of the same names associated with the book also appear related to the Conference.

From the Conference website:

In November 2013 a group of Greek independent investigators decided to join their forces in the website mythikismos.gr, in an effort to present a fuller picture of the area of study called Mythicism. 

About two and a half years later, this area of investigation is becoming more and more popular in Greek society, attracting numerous scientists of various worldviews and beliefs. We have therefore decided to move one step further and organize, in collaboration with the Mythicist Milwaukee group, on May 22, 2016, in the city of Athens, the 1st Greek Mythicism Conference, with a free entrance to all.

The goal of this innovative conference is to feature the various manifestations of Mythicist concepts, as seen through the particular viewpoint of both Greek and foreign investigators, who do not necessarily embrace the same philosophical line of thought. The international character of the conference undoubtedly increases the value of this venture.

For the schedule: http://mythcon.gr/προγραμμαschedule/

And for the speakers: http://mythcon.gr/ομιλητεσ-2/

And for the translation: http://itools.com/tool/google-translate-web-page-translator

I like the way it goes beyond the historicity of Jesus question. It’s certainly eclectic. I hope some of the presentations will be available online afterwards. I’d personally like to see even more eclecticism in future years so methodological approaches comparable to those of Carrier (and non-secularists like Brodie) can gain a hearing.

 

5 Comments

  • 2016-04-27 13:47:42 UTC - 13:47 | Permalink

    The only real way to have a mythicist-conference is that nobody announces it. Then a few weeks later it should be mentioned in passing on blogs, but always from anonymous accounts and in a positive light. The description of the conference should grow more detailed and enthusiastic but differ on every detail: speakers, time, venue, format, etc. etc.
    Robert Price should mention he saw it the video on youtube and it was AWESOME. No videos should be found on youtube for others to see.
    Then no mentions should be given for a long time but a general consensus should form the conference debunked historicity once and for all.

    If people doubt the conference was held they should be met with responses such as:

    If the conference did not take place, how could people have mentioned it on blogs?
    If the conference did not take place, how did it debunk historicity?
    If the conference did not take place, how could Robert Price have seen the videos on youtube?

    • Damon
      2016-05-02 06:58:04 UTC - 06:58 | Permalink

      Of course, the amount of evidence that Mythicists could eventually produce that they themselves, and their conference, existed, would be a million times greater than the evidence for Jesus.

      First of all, they could present themselves. As actual, real, live witnesses. Not ancient accounts. Then receipts for the rental of the hall. Then a thousand more things like this, that Christianity cannot produce as reliably.

  • 2016-04-28 16:17:51 UTC - 16:17 | Permalink

    You might find this article at 538 (noted bayesians) interesting: http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/who-will-debunk-the-debunkers/

    “What about the fabled decimal point? According to Sutton’s research, a German chemist did overestimate the quantity of iron in spinach, but the mistake arose from faulty methods, not from poor transcription of the data. By the 1890s, a different German researcher had concluded that the earlier estimate was many times too high. Subsequent analyses arrived at something closer to the correct, still substantial value — now estimated to be 2.71 milligrams of iron per 100 grams of raw spinach, according to the USDA. By chance, the new figure was indeed about one-tenth of the original, but the difference stemmed not from misplaced punctuation but from the switch to better methodology. In any case, it wasn’t long before Columbia University analytical chemist Henry Clapp Sherman laid out the problems with the original result. By the 1930s, Sutton argues, researchers knew the true amount of iron in spinach, but they also understood that not all of it could be absorbed by the human body.

    The decimal-point story only came about much later. According to Sutton’s research, it seems to have been invented by the nutritionist and self-styled myth-buster Arnold Bender, who floated the idea with some uncertainty in a 1972 lecture. Then in 1981, a doctor named Terence Hamblin wrote up a version of the story without citation for a whimsical, holiday-time column in the British Medical Journal. The Hamblin article, unscholarly and unsourced, would become the ultimate authority for all the citations that followed. (Hamblin graciously acknowledged his mistake after Sutton published his research, as did Arbesman.)

    In 2014, a Norwegian anthropologist named Ole Bjorn Rekdal published an examination of how the decimal-point myth had propagated through the academic literature. He found that bad citations were the vector. Instead of looking for its source, those who told the story merely plagiarized a solid-sounding reference: “(Hamblin, BMJ, 1981).” Or they cited someone in between — someone who, in turn, had cited Hamblin. This loose behavior, Rekdal wrote, made the transposed decimal point into something like an “academic urban legend,” its nested sourcing more or less equivalent to the familiar “friend of a friend” of schoolyard mythology.”

    • Neil Godfrey
      2016-05-02 07:20:29 UTC - 07:20 | Permalink

      It’s a great article. Love it. Should be compulsory reading for all New Testament scholars — and interested lay readers who engage with their works, too.

  • redhatGizmo
    2016-04-29 03:46:46 UTC - 03:46 | Permalink

    No Carrier or Price so some prominent Mythicist are missing but that KenH of JesusNeverExisted.com fame has really good sense of humor check out his YT channel hes gonna be a fun at Conference and Looks like the Greek orthodoxy is already up in arms against it lol.

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