Law’s article

Further to my previous post. I’ve now read the article by philosopher Stephen Law (pic) and largely agree with the two principles he discusses. However, Law is wrong that Carl Sagan invented the principle ‘extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence’. I discovered such principle in the writings of CSICOP writers before Sagan became famous. The second principle however is an original of Law:

Where testimony/documents weave together a narrative that combines mundane claims with a significant proportion of extraordinary claims, and there is good reason to be sceptical about those extraordinary claims, then there is good reason to be sceptical about the mundane claims, at least until we possess good independent evidence of their truth. [emphasis added]

Lew is talking about the historicity of the mundane, or non-miraculous, gospel narratives. Those who watched Carrier’s lecture embedded in the previous post will remember his presentation of the field of New Testament studies as divided into three competing viewpoints:

(1) Christian historicity: Jesus was an amazing famous superman who could walk on water and shit—the majority of so-called biblical scholars in the US believe this.

(2) Secular historicity: Jesus was an ordinary man, whom no one noted but a few fanatical observers. The Gospels are mostly fiction, but there are kernels of historical truth in them. This is what I used to believe up to the last week, when I discovered mythicism or:

(3) Secular non-historicity: Jesus was the name of a celestial being, subordinate to god, with whom Saul/Paul hallucinated conversations. The Gospel began as a mythic allegory about the celestial Jesus, set on earth, as most myths then were (e.g., the god Osiris).

Law elaborates his second principle in the context of the three competing theories to explain the origins of Christianity. His conclusion is that secular non-historicity is the best approach to explain it.

Regular visitors of this site will remember that I have mentioned the work of Albert Schweitzer while discussing the (quixotic) quest of the historical Jesus. Yesterday I was struggling with myself as to who was right, Schweitzer or Carrier. Schweitzer’s view was that the apocalyptic Jesus makes historical sense from the viewpoint of secular historicity because his prophecy was unfulfilled (‘Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God’).

Law’s piece resolved my doubts in a more parsimonious way than Schweitzer because the New Testament ‘is a story developed by myth-makers who had certain radical ethical and other views (e.g. the Kingdom of God being imminent) that they wanted others to accept’. Since those who advanced apocalyptic eschatology were Paul (in his very first epistles), Mark and Matthew, it is unnecessary to postulate a historical Jesus in the secular historicity sense. Per Occam’s razor and Law’s second principle, considering the evangelists’ books as the product of mere literary fiction is enough.

I was raised as a Catholic in the 1960s and 70s and then became an eschatologist (William Walter’s ‘Eschatology’ is a schismatic cult originated in Christian Science). After I left the cult, since the middle 1980s through the middle 1990s I became interested in secular historicity and did not change my views on the so-called historical Jesus until last week. However, I doubt that those who have not struggled with religious parental introjects will find this post interesting.

My biography aside, I believe that the ultimate truth about the origins of Christianity is pivotal to save the white race from extinction. Those white nationalists who are traditional Christians have stagnated in Christian historicity, and many secular WNsts assume that the second stage, secular historicity, is the most plausible one. What whites need is a complete rejection of the New Testament, even the notion of a non-miraculous historical Jesus, as the NT was largely written by men of Semitic origin.

If universal, Christian-inspired love, is murdering the Aryan race what we need is full apostasy from Judeo-Christianity. This means that we should consider secular non-historicity or mythicism seriously.

Mythicism, a closer look

The last few days I have been immersed in the videos and lectures of Richard Carrier about the Christ myth theory, to the extent that his views are shaking my previous point of view about the so-called historical Jesus (yesterday I ordered his latest book, On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt). In this lecture Carrier was younger than he is today but it is a good starting point for his work:

Today I will be reading the article of another mythicist, Stephen Law, published in Faith and Philosophy 2011, Volume 28, Issue 2, April 2011, pages 129-151, which abstract says:

The vast majority of Biblical historians believe there is evidence sufficient to place Jesus’ existence beyond reasonable doubt. Many believe the New Testament documents alone suffice firmly to establish Jesus as an actual, historical figure. I question these views. In particular, I argue (i) that the three most popular criteria by which various non-miraculous New Testament claims made about Jesus are supposedly corroborated are not sufficient, either singly or jointly, to place his existence beyond reasonable doubt, and (ii) that a prima facie plausible principle concerning how evidence should be assessed—a principle I call the contamination principle—entails that, given the large proportion of uncorroborated miracle claims made about Jesus in the New Testament documents, we should, in the absence of independent evidence for an historical Jesus, remain sceptical about his existence.

Law’s full article, ‘Evidence, Miracles and the Existence of Jesus’ can be read: here.

Published in: on December 31, 2018 at 12:54 pm  Comments (4)  
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