Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

If you want to disprove the Christian faith (faith in the historical person of Jesus Christ), then you need to make up your mind about the positive and negative historical sources concerning him, their closeness in time to him (historical distance), and the textual reliability of those sources.

See Paul Barnett's "Jesus And The Logic Of History" for the historical method as applied to Jesus: http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-History-Studies-Biblical-Theolog...




I'm not interested in proving it or disproving it, but rather just pointing out that Christianity keeps disproving itself, particularly when it comes to interpreting something like Genesis as anything but an ancient fable.

Using science to try to validate a creation myth thousands of years removed from its intended cultural and political context seems kind of absurd - and a lot of Christians would agree with me anyway, so it's not even that irreligious a point of view.

I would argue this is neither good science nor good religion. Both should accept that the map is not the destination, and that although some models are momentarily useful, none are necessarily true. Genesis is a beautiful story which had a point and a purpose in its time and place but it didn't happen. We know it didn't happen because the evidence against its account is overwhelming (unless you reinterpret the account, but then there's no possible way the original Hebrews meant for the story to take into consideration fundamental truths about geology and astronomy which they had no concept of at the time.)

That said though, I wish there could be a thread about these sorts of things without the incessant drive-by downvoting. Or at least without the censorship of the downvote mechanism.


I think there's a difference between the scientific method (our study and understanding of observed uniformity) and the historical method (our study and understanding of events and their explanation, particularly how one event causes another).

Furthermore, there's a difference between historical study (did it happen?) and frequentism (how often has it happened?).

For example, if we are using words such as "didn't happen" then the best way to explain this would be in terms of the historical method and not in terms of frequentism (there is a fascinating essay on frequentism and how it kept people from accepting Bayes theorem for many years).

The other thing people often do in these kinds of discussions is to reduce all human knowledge (the sciences) to merely the scientific method, which is to confuse science with scientism.

I think it's useful and constructive to credit/discredit the Bible on its most central and crucial claim - the historicity of Jesus Christ - something which is much easier and concrete to deal with than trying to peer millions of years back in time through a particular kind of literary genre.


I don't believe the historical reality of Jesus would give or remove credibility from the Bible. Discovering that the city of Troy really existed doesn't prove that the Iliad and Odyssey happened, either, or that the Greek Gods were real. Jesus could very well have existed, while not being the Son of God.

The most crucial claim that the Bible makes is the one that all religions make - which is that the supernatural exists, and takes precedence over the natural world. It's all well and good to approach it from a historical and cultural perspective, but the leap between Jesus being real and Jesus being Christ is pretty much infinite.


> I don't believe the historical reality of Jesus would give or remove credibility from the Bible.

It would for Biblical literalists and many fundamentalists. For those people, there's no metaphorical dimension to their beliefs -- the Garden of Eden is a real place, Noah's Ark is hidden somewhere on the slopes of Mt. Ararat, the Shroud of Turin is a legitimate historical artifact, and the Ark of the Covenant ... shall I go on?

> The most crucial claim that the Bible makes is the one that all religions make - which is that the supernatural exists, and takes precedence over the natural world.

Yes, that's true, but there's a world of difference between accepting the existence of a supernatural dimension, and requiring that it leave artifacts in the physical world.

> ... the leap between Jesus being real and Jesus being Christ is pretty much infinite.

Not for True Believers, many of whom have zero capacity for abstraction.




Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: