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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Another Argument that Pisses Me Off

This was over at Dan's blog, and I had to post it:

"You have heard of Julius Caesar and I am sure you believe that he existed right? Well there were 10 manuscripts of antiquity that explained who he was as we know him today. 10 that is it, in one language, everything we know today about him came from just those 10 manuscripts, with the earliest one dating to 1,000 years after the original autograph

By contrast, the New Testament antiquity of the Bible (with all its information about Jesus) was claimed to be written between 40 A.D. and 100 A.D. The earliest known copy is from 130 A.D. and there are 5,000+ known copies in Greek, 10,000 in Latin and 9,300 in other languages."

I'm so sick of hearing this argument. 10,000 copies of bullshit is still bullshit. QED.

9 comments:

  1. Our blog title says, "We're NOT here to bash religion or the religious"

    Does anyone else feel hypocritical? This seems to be unavoidable since we are a group of skeptics pointing out the absurdity of religious claims...and pretty much bashing them all over the place...just pointing this out since it will at some point be rightly used against us.

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  2. "We just ask that you stay on topic and not be abusive."

    Not to be a negative Nancy....but the header needs to be rewritten (Sye, Mark Laine, Ray, etc.). I have no problem being abrasive, particularly to religious idiots and their conceits...but I at least want to be up front about it. Or, we could be clean cut and well groomed...but we are a bunch of cynical assholes.

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  3. Clostridiophile sez:

    Our blog title says, "We're NOT here to bash religion or the religious"

    Does anyone else feel hypocritical? This seems to be unavoidable since we are a group of skeptics pointing out the absurdity of religious claims...and pretty much bashing them all over the place...just pointing this out since it will at some point be rightly used against us.


    Well, perhaps the blog title should be changed, or at least amended, since it's a lead pipe cinch that at some point, a theist is going to holler "religion bashing" when we point out their irrationality.

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  4. 10,000 copies and we still don't know shit about Jesus between the ages of 12 and 30...

    Whereas 10 copies and we know pretty much everything that happened in Caesar's life.

    Plus, whoever suddenly made quantity equal certainty?

    "A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it." - David Stevens

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  5. The earliest known copy is from 130 A.D. and there are 5,000+ known copies in Greek, 10,000 in Latin and 9,300 in other languages."

    Argumentum ad Populum. Invalid.

    Next time you hear this, ask how many copies of "Dianetics" have been circulated.

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  6. Actually, is this base assumption -- the supposed lack of evidence about Caeser's life - even remotely correct? I've only done secondary source research into Roman history, but I'd bet the dog food money that there are more than 10 freaking manuscript sources about him. Try hundreds. Of a certainty there'd be a lot more, and closer to the originals, if the Christians (and some Muslims) hadn't been so fond of burning pagan libraries. And I suppose that all of the archeological evidence - coins, inscriptions, statuary - don't count for anything either. Plus, it doesn't threaten my entire worldview if historians someday prove that JC (whichever) was really a cross-dressing alien.

    Sheesh.

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  7. Clos, while I think we could argue this one a bit, your point is well taken. I'm going to change it.

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  8.      How many copies before it's good evidence? ;-)

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  9. I've heard this argument to refute the claim that the Bible has been "translated so many times" that it's very different from the originals. This argument is usually not made by an atheist, but by someone who believes in a god or gods, just not the Christian one.

    And that, in principle, is all this argument is good for: establishing that the Bible is close in content to the original sources.

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Unlike Ray we don't censor our comments, so as long as it's on topic and not spam, fire away.

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