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Author Topic: The Origins Of Christianity
Everard
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"The comparisson is valid since the religions are so similar, you cannot simply say my logic is bad because you think its innappropriate for an unwritten religion to influence another one whose writings come much later. "

I'm not saying its innappropriate for an unwritten religion to influence later writings. I'm saying that you can't make the claim that an unwritten mythology influenced a mythology that shows up in written form, unless you have evidence that the unwritten mythology predates the written mythology... but not the actual WRITINGS of the written mythology, the actual mythology, unwritten or not. If the mythology that is written down is older then our first documents containing those writings, then it couldn't have been influenced by an unwritten mythology that shows up between when the first mythology was written down and when the first mythology was created.

Since your point of comparison is the unwritten form of mithraism's creation story, the appropriate point of comparison in judaism is when the creation story was born, not when we have evidence of it being written down. Since there is evidence that these two dates are not the same for genesis (ie there is evidence the mythology is older then our first recorded text of genesis), you need to find evidence other then archaelogical evidence for the existence of mithraism (which is not the same as knowledge of what the creation story is) pre-existing the written works of judaism we have in order to support your claim.

To put this more simply, you can't argue that A was influenced by B unless you have evidence that B predates the aspect of A that you believe was influenced by B.

But you don't have that evidence. You only have evidence that genesis was written sometime prior to 500 BCE, and that Mithraism existed around 700 BCE, and that the creation stories of these two religions are similar. Considering there is archaelogical evidence that judaism is at least as old as mithraism, its not evidence for your position at all, because it means that genesis might be as old or older then mithraism.

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Liberal
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quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
quote:
there were several posts in between dagonee's and mine and there is noc elar reason to believe I was addressing his since his name does not appear in my message nor do I preface that remark with anyone that links it to his question.
So, to be clear, you haven't addressed my earlier post?
http://aramis.obspm.fr/~heydari/divers/marianne-eng.html
quote:

Mithra, name coming from the Avestan language and the Old Persian, was the most important solar divinity of the Indo-Iranian people. In Sanskrit it is Mitra, and has been transformed in Modern Persian into Mehr, which means Sun, love, friendship and oath. The religious reform of Zarathushtra in Iran (in about1500 B.C.) relegated Mithra to the row of angels. Zarathushtra established Ahura Mazda, supreme intelligence, as the single god. However, the popularity of Mithra increased during the fourth century. B.C., and once again he occupied a privileged rank in the Persian Pantheon. Mithra thus reappeared in the epigraphy of the Persian kings beginning with Artaxerxes II (405-359 B.C.), as a god of the warriors and, at the same time, a god of divine justice. The Greek soldiers during their expeditions to Iran came to know the religion of Mithra. In spite of the collapse of the Persian Empire after the invasion by Alexander in 336 B.C., Mithra kept many followers in Asia Minor and especially in Armenia. Thereafter the Parthian dynasty of Iran (247 B.C. to 226 A.D.) venerated the religion and sometimes included Mithra in the name of its kings, like Mithradates I the Great, the name meaning "given by Mithra".

The Greeks of Asia Minor identified Mithra with Helios, their Sun god, thus contributing to the spread of his worship. Mithra acquired new attributes and gradually became the subject of worship with mysteries. The first congregation was created in Rome around 68 B.C., by adulating soldiers of Mithra, under the direction of the General Pompeus. Roman colonies, many in Asia Minor, constituted links between Persia and the Mediterranean, and allowed the propagation of Mithraism in the Roman Empire. All the more so, since the legions sent by Rome to the border areas could remain years in permanent contact with Persians and since those areas were exchanged between Persians and Romans. Mithra made his entry in the Latin literature around 80 A.D. with the poet Statius who wrote: "That you prefer to carry, the vermilion name of Titan, according to the tradition of the Achaemenid people, or of frugiferous Osiris, or Mithra who under the rocks of the Persian cave twists the bull's struggling horns." Indeed, if Mithraism attracted slaves and free men, the fact that it insisted on concepts such as truth, honor, courage, and fraternity, and that it required discipline, turned Mithra into the god of soldiers and tradesmen. To him were dedicated temples and places of pilgrimage throughout the Empire. Mithra's worship was spread all over the Roman Empire, from Spain to the Black Sea, while mounting towards Scotland in the north and going down to the Sahara. Many vestiges of this worship have been found in the United Kingdom, Italy, Romania, Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Turkey, Armenia, Syria, Israel, Switzerland (Martigny), and in France (Bordeaux, Bourg Saint Andéol in Ardèche, in Alsace, Metz, and elsewhere). Even in Rome a series of temples were widespread in the entire city, but they were later destroyed by Christians. Their number amounts to about forty in today's Rome, while at the time there were probably three times more of them. According to Ernest Renan (1823-1892) "If ever Christianity had become smitten by a fatal disease, Mithraism might have become the established religion of the whole world."

The Romans named Mithra Deus Sol invictus "unconquered sun". The Roman emperor Commodus (161-192 A.D.) himself was initiated to the worship of Mithra, and under the reign of Aurelius (270-275 A.D.) Mithraism was proclaimed the official religion of the Empire and the emperor the terrestrial incarnation of the Sun. It was Aurelius who in 274 A.D. posited the date of December 25th as the birthday of the solar divinity (natalis solis invicti). However, when Constantinus I (about 274-337 A.D.) converted to Christianity in 312 A.D., Mithraism lost its influence and, after a short revival under Julian the Apostate (331-363 A.D.), this religion disappeared. This philosopher and poet, who had embraced Mithraism, tried to restore the sun-worship. But ironically, he was killed in 363 A.D. occurring in combat in Mesopotamia against Persians.

Everard, do you know of a source of Jewish texts that predates the dead sea scrolls or even 100-200 BCE? If not, I think you need to evaluate your own assumptions.

Mithraism was not present in text so much as ONLY in symbol, carvings, etc. These are analogous to the Judaic texts in themselves and serve as a point of comparisson.

[ October 21, 2006, 04:57 PM: Message edited by: Liberal ]

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Dagonee
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Could you point to the part that has Mithraism predating the Genesis story?
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Liberal
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quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
Could you point to the part that has Mithraism predating the Genesis story?

I sure will do that as soon as you provide a source for what you contend is the earliest proven instance OF the genesis story. (no, it is not that I do not know it myself, I am just sick of splitting hairs and want to use your own standard for this to prove my point and avoid bickering over the dead sea scrolls or other things).
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RickyB
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He's saying that because mithraism, as a recorded phenomenon, is DATED to a certain time, and that this phenomenon PREDATES the earliest ACTUAL WRITTEN TEXTS STILL EXTANT of Judaism, this proves his point.

Never mind that events described in the bible can and have been independently verified to way before that.

Yeah, I know...

He really doesn't get why his logic sucks. I am officially bored.

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Dagonee
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You made the statement that X predates Y. I would assume someone doing that would have credible knowledge of X and Y.

Bad assumption, I guess.

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Liberal
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So... you won't answer the simple question? In essence I already partially answered yours with a source, but I can definately get you another one once you answer mine.

If dagonee and ricky are having a hard time accepting pictograms, carvings and other things as valid counterpoints to written text, given that almost all recorded knowledge of the few specifics of gnostic Mithraism is tied up in those artifacts(as OPPOSED to Judaism), then THAT is poor logic and is certainly not worth discussion.

But if all you cared to do was flaunt your expertise and weren't interested in a discussion you could not dominate, please feel free to belittle and chide me for not playing along.

[ October 21, 2006, 05:08 PM: Message edited by: Liberal ]

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Everard
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No, we've having a problem with how you are dating two different sources, using different tools. If you apply the same tools you apply to dating mithraism, you will find that genesis dates to at least the age of mithraism. We don't have a physical copy of genesis that dates to 2700 years ago, however, we also don't have a physical copy of the Iliad that dates to 2700 years ago. In the same way we know that mithraism is about 26-2700 years old, we know that homer wrote teh iliad and the oddysey about 2800 years ago, and that genesis is about 2500 years old, but that it was a compliation of older sources.

[ October 21, 2006, 05:12 PM: Message edited by: Everard ]

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Dagonee
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quote:
So... you won't answer the simple question? In essence I already partially answered yours with a source, but I can definately get you another one once you answer mine.
I haven't made a claim in this thread. At all. I've asked a question, one which addresses the credibility of a claim you made.

I also haven't raised any question concerning your dating of Mithraism. I'm waiting for you dating of the Genesis story - a piece of information absolutely necessary for you to possess in order for your original claim to be made.

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Liberal
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quote:
Originally posted by Everard:
No, we've having a problem with how you are dating two different sources, using different tools. If you apply the same tools you apply to dating mithraism, you will find that genesis dates to at least the age of mithraism. We don't have a physical copy of genesis that dates to 2700 years ago, however, we also don't have a physical copy of the Iliad that dates to 2700 years ago. In the same way we know that mithraism is about 26-2700 years old, we know that homer wrote teh iliad and the oddysey about 2800 years ago, and that genesis is about 27-3000 years old.

No, it is the same set of tools since the way that Mithraism was departed changes only as a mechanism and not in result. Mithraism was passed on in large part by carvings of soldiers and orally. There are some few specific aspects of the religion which is being used to the counterpoint of Judaism's written specifics as well. There is no way to compare complete origins because as an element of various Iranian religions Mithraism was arguably present anywhere in over a 1000 year context in very specific form while history does not lend itself to Judaism's status during this early period.
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Everard
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From wikipedia...

"he oldest known materially preserved fragment of a Torah text is a good luck charm, inscribed with Num 6:24–27, and dated to approximately 600 BC (Dever, p. 180). Though whole copies of the Bible were not found at Qumran, the documents of the Dead Sea scrolls contained versions of many books of the Hebrew Bible. The Scrolls have been dated from the 3rd century BC to 68 AD. It is largely undisputed that the text of the Torah had become fixed by 400 BC."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dating_the_Bible

[ October 21, 2006, 05:17 PM: Message edited by: Everard ]

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Liberal
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It is good to see you settle on a largely accepted source, that is actually half of the work for me right there. I was worried you'd be on of those insisting there is proof for written work much older than that.

Check Wiki's entry for mithraism and you will see it predates that individually by several centuries as illustrated by artifacts with specific symbols and pictograms as well as being present in 1500+/- BCE Iranian religion.

[ October 21, 2006, 05:23 PM: Message edited by: Liberal ]

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Everard
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*bangs head against wall*

Forget it, liberal. Learn logic, then we can have this discussion.

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RickyB
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Do these symbols in any way allude to the creation story of Mithraism? This silly argument began with you saying how Mithraism's creation story influenced the Judaic one.

You're comparing proof of the bare existence of Mithraism with proof of a written text of the torah.

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RickyB
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What Ev said. You seem to accept things as a given for Mithraism which you scorn to "allow" for Judaism.

You don't know what Mithraism was like in 1000 BC and before and even half a millenium after because frankly, no-one does. No one knows if there even was a "Mithraism", as opposed to the existence of such a figure.

If you're gonna say Mithraism in the 4th century was exactly like the stuff there's only silent evidence for from the 15th century, then Jehovah and anything in the bible are exactly like the Cannaanite god El, which still beats Mithras [Smile]

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Liberal
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Ricky, if you check those entries and those links, they will tell you what it was like at that time...
I am not dissallowing standards I'm using for Mithraism and not for Judaism, please show me how I am doing this.

Everard, w/e, when you learn to not be such a pompous &#^ then i guess you can have this discussion with people. If it wasn't your intent to come across that way, the "learn logic, you're logic is screwed up, admit you are wrong!, etc. etc." sure didn't help you come across as someone with an open mind who was open to dicussion instead of someone with a set viewpoint that better not be challenged.

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Everard
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Its not that you're challenging my viewpoint, liberal. You aren't. I frankly don't care about whether or not genesis came from mithraism or not, because I suspect it came from some culture that wasn't hebraic culture ANYWAYS.

My problem with liberal, is that you consistently use terrible logic, and in so doing make the rest of us liberals look bad.

Maybe debating with an open mind on your part means recognizing that people from across the political spectrum think you have logic problems, on a variety of topics, and so learning how to form arguments in a more structurally sound manner?

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Liberal
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My god, you really cannot stop, can you? Do you have any clue what you look like right now?
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Everard
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do you ahve any clue what you look like in ALL your posts to people who understand logic?

I'm not trying to be NICE to you, liberal. People have been attacking your bad logic for months, being NICE. It hasn't gotten through.

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Liberal
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Months, what the hell are you talking about? Show me one other topic, because I seriously haven't heard a word from others about my logic. You on the other hand tend to always get ahead of yourself assuming you can speak for others here. I also have noticed that you consider Israel, the middle east and Judaism to be your "pet topics" and that you seem to wildly flail around whenever someone says anything about them, even when they agree with you.

But then, I guess this is why you have had multiple topics be created for you vs. other people. (ie: the Pete and Everard Show, etc.)

[ October 21, 2006, 07:25 PM: Message edited by: Liberal ]

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Everard
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Pick a topic you posted more then once on.
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Tom Curtis
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At Liberal's suggestion, here are the comments on the antiquity of Mithraism from wikipaedia:

quote:
History of Mithraism

The putative East to West transfer

Although Roman Mithras is often considered to be of Persian origin, not least in antiquity, the assumption that Roman Mithras is specifically an outgrowth of Persian Zoroastrian culture probably cannot be sustained. The arguments against Mithras being of Zoroastrian origin are as follows:

That the fact that the tauroctony, the myth of Mithra's slaying of a sacred bull, which is one of the central motifs of Mithraism, does not occur in either Zoroastrianism or later Persian mythology. A similar legend (see iconography below) does exist in Zoroastrianism, but Mithra does not play a role in it. Also noteworthy is the fact that the slayer is evil, while in Persian lore Mithra is good.
In Zoroastrian angelology and Persian mythology, Korshed (middle Persian: Khur, Avestan: Hvare-khshaeta), and not Mithra, is the divinity of the sun and solar energy.
None of the characteristic underground temples (Mithraea) have been found outside the Roman empire, or in Persia.
Although these arguments can be explained away, the common traits or the absence thereof, cannot sustain or refute the connection by themselves.

Nonetheless, there is no evidence to rule out a general, non-Zoroastrian, influence on Roman Mithras. As Beck suggests, there is no reason to assume that a Persian or other Asian influence must perforce be an outgrowth of Zoroastrian culture: "Mithras — moreover, a Mithras who was identified with the Greek Sun god, Helios, which was one of the deities of the syncretic Graeco-Iranian royal cult founded by Antiochus I, king of the small, but prosperous "buffer" state of Commagene, in the mid first century BCE", and that it is not entirely implausible that such an intermediate form of Mithraism may have played a part in an east-to -west transfer.

That the kingdoms of Parthia and Pontus in Asia Minor may have been the sites for the development of a Roman Mithras is a legitimate assumption. Several of their kings were called Mithradates, meaning "given by Mithra", starting with Mithradates I of Parthia (died 138 BC). It would seem that, in those kingdoms, Mithra was a god whose power lent luster even to a king. And it was at Pergamum, in the 2nd century BC, that Greek sculptors started to produce the highly standardized bas-relief imagery of Mithra Tauroctonos, "Mithra the bull-slayer." Although the cult of Mithras never caught on in the Greek homeland, those sculptures may indicate the route between Persian Mithra and Roman Mithras through the eastern Aegean.

The Greek historian Plutarch wrote[3] about pirates of Cilicia, the coastal province in the southeast of Anatolia, who practiced Mithraic "secret rites" around 67 BC: "They likewise offered strange sacrifices; those of Olympus I mean; and they celebrated certain secret mysteries, among which those of Mithras continue to this day, being originally instituted by them". Plutarch was convinced that the Cilician pirates had originated the Mithraic rituals that were being practiced in Rome by his day.

Another possible connection between a Persian Mithra and the Roman Mithras is a linguistic one, from a Manichean context. According to Sundermann , the Manicheans adopted the name Mithra to designate one of their own deities. Sundermann determined that the Zoroastrian Mithra, which in middle Persian is Mihr, is not a variant of the Parthian and Sogdian Mytr or Mytrg; though a homonym of Mithra, those names denote Maitreya. In Parthian and Sogdian however Mihr was taken as the sun and consequently identified as the Third Messenger. This Third Messenger was the helper and redeemer of mankind, and identified with another Zoroastrian divinity Narisaf (Sundermann, 1979). Citing Boyce [reference], Sundermann remarks, "It was among the Parthian Manicheans that Mithra as a sun god surpassed the importance of Narisaf as the common Iranian image of the Third Messenger; "among the Parthians the dominance of Mithra was such that his identification with the Third Messenger led to cultic emphasis on the Mithraic traits in the Manichaean god" (Sundermann, 2002)

See also:
http://eawc.evansville.edu/essays/mithraism.htm

The thing I want to note about that is that this source clearly indicates changes in the Mithra myth overtime, as indeed did the source Liberal quoted. Specifically, the status of Mithra (God or angel), the identity of the Bull slayer (the evil Ahriman or the good Mithra), and the identity of the sun god (Korshed or Mithra) all change in the known mythology from 7th century BC Persia to 1st century AD Rome. So if we accept this as evidence of a Persian provenance of Mithraism, then we must also accept it as evidence that Mithraic mythology changed through time.

What is more, I do not see any reason to accept a Persian provenance of Mithraism, other than through minor syncretist elements. David Ulansey argues convincingly that Mithraism was a new religion based on Hipparchus' discovery in 128 BC of the precession of the equinoxes. If that is true, then Mithraism cannot predate that discovery. As the first literary mention of Mythraism (67 BC by Plutarch) and earliest physical remains (1st century AD) both post date the Plutarch's discovery, this suggests an invention of Mythraism and its mythology around 100 BC give or take 20 years.
http://www.well.com/user/davidu/mithras.html

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Everard
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Lets see... on the intelligence estimate thread, 3 people found fault with your logic, and after your initial post, only one person responded to your posts who didn't fault your logic.

Jasonr, donaldd, redskull, Dave at work, found fault with your logic on the responsibility thread... the only one of whom was directly engaged in arguing against your ideas was redskull.

two threads in which you participated recently in which their were major questions about your logic.

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Everard
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Interesting.
Thanks for copying that, Tom.

Certainly puts another hole in liberals theory.

[ October 21, 2006, 07:51 PM: Message edited by: Everard ]

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Liberal
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Please show me where they stopped and had the lengthy diatribe on the flaws of my logic(for that matter show me where they even used the word "logic," otherwise shut up. I am sick of your self-serving rants when the forum has to tolerate whole threads just based on you having social problems with many other members.
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RickyB
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Tom rests my case. [Smile]
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Tom Curtis
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Ricky:

quote:
Tom rests my case. [Smile]
That's a big first on a thread connected to Jews and Judaism.

I'll savour the moment. [Smile]

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Everard
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meworkingman says on the intelligence estimate thread in response to you..."Another logical fallacy (straw man)."


From javelin "Constantly repeating something doesn't make it true."

Tommysama said "I guess if you had read my post you might have realized that I questioned that assumption immediately. I don't "support" either opinion because I haven't thought it through, I just pointed out the obvious reply to his statement, without sounding to much like an ass.

Which is exactly what you sound like when you put words into my mouth about how I feel - especially when it directly contradicts what I said."

Jasonr on the responsibility thread

"Your own language suggests the inherent flaw in your argument, which stems from your obvious bias.

Logically, Bush can only take responsibility for mistakes he personally believes to have been mistakes. Your problem is you're so hopelessly biased that you cannot conceive of anyone honestly believing that Bush's policies were not mistaken. This is a "crazed" notion in your mind, so your bias leaves you with no possible solution but to assume (without foundation) that Bush doesn't believe he was mistaken, but is simply refusing to admit how wrong he was.

Consider this remarkable possibility:

1. Many of Bush's policies were wrong.
2. To the extent that Bush honestly believes that a given policy was wrong, he admits to it, and therefore takes responsibility for his mistakes.
3. The reason Bush doesn't take responsibility for some mistakes is because... and here's the shocker... get ready... he actually honestly believes they weren't mistakes! GASP!!!!

Call him stupid, call him wrong, call him crazy, but no facts you have cited on this thread entitle you to conclude that he hasn't been honest about his mistakes."

Donaldd says "Liberal, how exactly does that quote illustrate that you are NOT "blinded by partisan bias"? Maybe it doesn't prove you are so blinded, but I'm having difficulty seeing it as a counterexample."

Redskull said

"You fit in with partisans who find even when he admits he did something wrong, that he still can't even take responsibility for something without fouling even that effort as well. What you have done is created a circular argument.

You can't debate a circular argument as was demonstrated by your exchange with Matteo.

As to it being a personal observation, it is merely my pointing out how illogical your argument is because even if Bush takes responsibility, it is still an error on his part."


So... yeah. I'm not the only one criticizing your logic.

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RickyB
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Yeah, Tom, I wanted to mention something but thought better of it - or at least I thought it was better [Smile]
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Tom Curtis
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Everard, I would not quote the responsibility thread as an example of Liberal's bad logic. From my POV, the conservatives on that thread shifted the position of what was expected, then bashed Liberal for expecting them to come up with evidence for the original claim.

Though I am not a fan of his reasoning in this thread, his greater flaw has been a poor evidentiary basis, IMO.

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KnightEnder
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This whole thing has confused and bored me. Liberal is saying that something that is undocumented came before something that was documented and y'all are all arguing over it. How can you argue over which came first when you don't have a verified date for one of the variables. Like I said; I've been to uninterested to try to figure out what the hell the dissonance is, but that seems to be the juxt and I don't get it.

KE

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Everard
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Tom-
THe quotes from jason and donald were both independant of that shift.

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canadian
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My fake god is older than your fake god.
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Tom Curtis
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Ev, Jason pinged Liberal with quite inflamatory language for, so far as I can see, providing an example of one of Bush's evasion tactics - "Yes it was a mistake, but it was a fortuitous mistake because it has these benefits". Arguably, somebody defending Bush as non-evasive or responsibility would need to show that the rider on the admission was actually beneficial. We do not praise people for forthright admission of error if they excuse their erors with frankly implausible claims of benefit, even if they beleive the benefit does arise; so while Liberal could have expressed himself better, he was no more guilty of logical error in this case than was Jason. (I notice that Jason attempted to ping you on the very same point on his next post.)

Donald's point may have greater validity, though he may also have missed Liberal's point. (I can see how he could have, but don't know exactly what point Liberal was trying to make.)

At this stage your examples of cited logical errors by Liberal in other threads consist of one case of repetition (which doesn't prove anything, but isn't a logical error either), one example of a claimed misread or misunderstanding (again not a logical error), and three examples in at least two of which, IMO, the person charging the error has more clearly made the error of which they accuse Liberal than has Liberal himself.

I'm not saying that Liberal is not guilty of errors of reasoning in this or other threads. I think he has been. But I think your running at him a bit hard given his level of error, which isn't particularly exceptional for this forum (and better than a lot of others).

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Tom Curtis
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Canadian, of course it is. My fake gods were invented with the Elder Scrolls computer games. (Well, excepting Caissa for whom I still have a fondness.)
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Radu Floricica
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quote:
Originally posted by Cytania:
AD66 and the romans devastate Jerusalem, many hundreds of jews are slaughtered but many more are taken back to Rome as slaves.

AD300 and Christianity is known as a slave's religion and it's far from popular. But somehow Emperor Constantine takes it up in his struggle with 3 rival Emperors, possibly simply as a new symbol for his troops - the Labarum (PX) cross becomes a potent talisman in battle. As Constantine grows stronger he seizes upon christianity's 'one god' message and adds 'one emperor' and 'one people' (Adolf Hitler would later echo this with 'Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuhrer').

Thus we misunderstand christianity's origins. We look to intertestamental hebrew culture when in fact the seed set root and grew in Rome. We look to the apostles, the saints and the new churches when in fact it's single biggest break came from a bloody warmonger.

Thus can christianity be understood not as the religion of peace it claims to be but as a religion wedded to imperialism from the very beginning. Child and hand-maiden of war.

Talk about highjacking a thread [Smile]

I found the ideeas in this worth discussing. I didn't post at the beginning only because I thought it would be nice to do some research before, knowing my knoledge of the subject is rather weak, and I expected to find in a couple of days interesting posts discussing the history of christianity. Dissapointing, isn't it?

The worthy discussion I expected was about christianity as a political and social fenomenon after year 300. Before that we all things are rather well-known. 1000 years later we find it as an established religion all over europe. But there are precious little details avalable mainstream about how that happened. The official explanation is "emperor Constantine", but while I'm not disputing it I find it a bit short for 1000 years worth of stories. So I was anxious to hear people more knoledgeable then me share their wisdom... Only they weren't.

Maybe religion is too touchy a subject to talk about, both for people pro and against. But I found it sad that the ideea I agree most so far is canadian's:
quote:
Ahhh...the refreshing stench of religion.

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Everard
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Deleted because I'm not going to bother anymore.

[ October 22, 2006, 10:10 AM: Message edited by: Everard ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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"My fake god is older than your fake god."

Oh yeah? My fake god existed before the dawn of the dawn of fake time. Before there was nothing, yea, before there was nothing to be nothing, my fake god wasn't really real.

So there.

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Cytania
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Thanks for the responses and the side-track into Mithraism. I posted not as a troll but because I feel that the christian story is mis-told though the concentration on New Testament events.

To me there's a valid 'What If Constantine had ignored christianity?' question to be answered. Sure the new churches would have struggled on but Constantine's endorsement created the whole power-base that is Roman-Catholicism. Constantine took Christianity from being one religion amongst many to being the primary religion of Rome.

Many religions are outwardly warlike (Sikhism's symbol is a dagger/sword and Sikhs must keep one on them at all times (often a tiny pendant today)) but Christianity is noted from the passivity of it's Central figure (I've already posted on the Cleansing of the Temple, Jesus's most violent act). Jesus tells us to turn the over cheek several times in the gospels. Thus there is far more tension in Christianity's promotion by war and dictatorship than many other religions.

[ October 22, 2006, 11:11 AM: Message edited by: Cytania ]

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Richard Dey
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I've been thinking about that for several days, and I think that's a valid point. I had to compare it to other religions. Buddhism and Daoism have the worst time of it.

But it has to be remembered that Christianity was not really set until the Council of Nicaea, so Constantine is not just the impositional figure but the defining figure. Nicaea was a heavily politicized event -- and any study of it will lead one to doubt the trinity if only because it so blatantly served political, actually rather than, religious purposes.

I so admire Ranjit Singh that I have trouble putting down the subsequent Sikhs -- who so blatantly ignore the only real Sikh, Ranjit Singh. I had a huge argument with the Sikhs that went on for months -- but which I finally won on the sheer weight of the evidence [Big Grin] ).

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