Wednesday, January 26, 2011

James McGrath's Blogging on Mythicism

James McGrath has posted a list of blog posts he's written concerning Jesus mythicism:

I haven't read every post yet, but I have read a few. And I'd say it's definitely a must if you are thinking about mythicism. The problems he's outlined with the theory and with the way in which its proponents argue (of which I have been guilty of in the past, I'm ashamed to say) are very clear.


Frances said...

It is appalling that McGrath has spend so much time insulting something he does not understand, and that you seem to think he has a point.

Richard Carrier is working on a book that will support mythicism. In the meantime, Neil Godfrey on Vridar has run rings around McGrath.

Steven Carr said...

They are clear, aren't they?

I wonder why people don't seem to recognise themselves in McGrath's portrait of them.

Is it because he is using cardboard cut-outs of people he dislikes?

See Neil Godfrey to hear from a real person, and not the cardboard cutout McGrath presents as a mythicist.

eheffa said...

The Mythicist position is very frequently dismissed as some sort of crackpot conspiracy theory without any integrity. I think that Dr. McGrath employs many of these same dismissive arguments in his critique of the 45 min Skepticon talk by David Fitzgerald. He appears to put the Mythicist argument aside without actually engaging the real argument or the data.

David Fitzgerald's response to James McGrath is worth a read as a good initial response to his criticisms.


It seems that so much of this debate is colored by the a priori beliefs of the debaters without considering the real elephant in the room. Why would a benevolent god intent on revealing himself through the most important event in all of human history, disguise the whole thing to look like some sort of obscure pious fiction? Why hide the event & make it look like just another man-made religious fable? Why make the documentation so suspect (undated, anonymous hagiographies with no outside corroboration) that only the very credulous & those indoctrinated from an early age would accept it as real history?

We are supposed to accept the notion that the all-perfect creator of the Quark, Genome and the Super-nova was behind this story of the god-man from Galilee but could not do an even half-credible job of documenting the events of Jesus' life.

The fact that there is any debate at all around the historicity of the Gospel Jesus is good evidence that the Christian god of the Bible is a terrible communicator and that these events are nothing more than a pious myth.