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Thread: Jesus Christ from Outer Space

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Jesus Christ from Outer Space

    Richard Carrier is working on a new book explaining Jesus mythicism: Jesus from Outer Space! The Price Review • Richard Carrier

    Its full title: "Jesus from Outer Space: What the Earliest Christians Really Believed about Christ"
    Outer Space pares down the argument of my extensive peer reviewed monograph On the Historicity of Jesus from nearly 700 pages to about 200. No footnotes, no digressions, minimal citations (it includes a page-by-page concordance to OHJ where you will find all of those things). And no math (or rather, no obvious math—it’s actually all there, but now hidden behind colloquial English). It also sticks to only the essential arguments and facts, so anyone reading it can’t resort so easily to the fallacy of “arguing against a minor point not even relevant to the conclusion” and claiming to have refuted its thesis (an otherwise common practice among critics).

    JFOS also re-frames and expands some of those key arguments for a mythical Jesus in ways that more clearly explain them, and more clearly show why they are hard to rebut, and that more decisively refute what have become “the usual rebuttals,” which tend to be misinformed and illogical. ...
    RC proposes that it is a good starter text for anyone interested in Jesus mythicism.
    New material includes a clear explanation, right out of the gate, of why this book’s “shocking” title is actually not anachronistic or contentious, but in fact entirely, contextually accurate—even if Jesus existed. That’s right. Even historicists must concede the first Christians believed Jesus was what they would then call an extraterrestrial. He did not come from “heaven” as an alternative dimension, in the way modern Christians believe. He literally came from outer space. As “heaven” then meant exactly that. As a preexistent being, Jesus lived among the stars, just beyond the orbit of Saturn. Until he descended—either to enter Mary’s womb (as historicists maintain the first Christians believed), or to enter a sublunar body-suit in the realm of Satan and his Legion (as the most defensible alternative maintains)—and then to be killed and rise from the dead, and return, literally, to the farthest reaches of outer space, to communicate with earthlings below in their dreams and visions.

    This is actually a mainstream consensus view. The only thing I’ve changed is that I’ve put it in plain English, rather than hiding it behind esoteric vocabulary and prolix phrasing. The rest of the book takes the same approach.
    Just outside of Saturn's orbit? That's from Ptolemy's cosmology. The celestial bodies reside on spheres that surround the Earth, in this order outward:

    (Earth), Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Fixed Stars

    The Earth and the celestial realm have different constituents. The Earth: earth, water, air, fire. The celestial realm: aether

    The chapters:
    1. Which Jesus Are We Talking about Exactly?
    2. There Is a Good Chance Jesus Never Existed
    3. A Plausible Jesus Is Not Necessarily a Probable Jesus
    4. All the Historians on a Single Postcard
    5. But Isn’t Jesus as Attested as Any Other Famous Dude?
    6. More Like All the Other Dying-and-Rising Savior Gods of Yore
    7. How Did Christianity Switch to a Historical Jesus?
    8. The Cosmic Seed of David?
    9. The Peculiar Cult of the Brothers of the Lord

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Of course, the discoveries of the last few centuries have made total hash out of that cosmology. It's not just heliocentrism vs. geocentrism, it's also direct observation. Like of meteorites and Moon rocks and Mars soil and Venus atmosphere. Also less direct observations, like spectra. One finds the same chemical elements *everywhere*. Also of observing orbits. Also of doing stellar-structure calculations.

    But Jesus Christ does not seem to have revealed any of that to his New-Testament-era followers. Nothing like "The Sun is a superhot ball of naphtha air that is bigger than the Moon's path around the Earth. Mercury, Venus, the Moon, and Mars are much like the Earth. Mercury and the Moon have no or water. All of Mars's water is frozen and its air is burnt air and only a hundredth as much as Earth air. Venus is covered with clouds and its air is burnt air a hundred times as much as Earth air. Jupiter and Saturn are both composed of naphtha air, but they are not as hot as the Sun, and the naphtha air is watery in them. Jupiter and Saturn have numerous celestial bodies moving around them, some of them as large as the Moon. Saturn has rings around it composed of chunks of ice. The fixed stars are suns that look faint because they are very far away."

    One doesn't have to reveal *everything* that we have discovered in the last few centuries. Just enough to show that one knows what the Universe is actually like.

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    The two cosmologies are entirely different, it is not accurate to say that they believed in an "outer space" equivalent to the modern concept, or that Jesus came from there. He's not putting it in "plain English" at all, he's mixing and matching ideas from centuries apart. I notice from the chapter headings that the book is not, for the most part, about the same topic as the title, which he gets to only in the penultimate chapter and then abandons for the finale. Writing a whole book on the subject would have required some actual research into ancient perspectives on astrology.

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    Veteran Member excreationist's Avatar
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    From his old writings:
    https://www.richardcarrier.info/Hist...y_of_Jesus.pdf
    This incarnation, death, and burial took place in outer space just below the moon
    He sometimes says that Jesus was an angel or archangel....
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richar...r#cite_note-71

    Something not really related is Carrier saying that there could have been mass hallucinations of Jesus
    https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/14255

    I think mistaken identity would be more likely...
    https://talkfreethought.org/showthre...esus-sightings

    I'm not a fan of Carrier in general though I haven't read his material in depth.

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    Formerly Joedad
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    I liked this:

    Quote Originally Posted by From link in OP
    This is a basic requirement of effective argumentation, particularly given what we know of the neuroscience of inherent human irrationality. If you defend the same conclusion with a hard-to-rebut argument and an easy-to-rebut argument, the human tendency is, neurologically, to attack the easy one and then conclude—even literally convincing themselves—that they have therefore refuted the conclusion. Even though they never touched the strong argument for it. The conclusion we must draw from this scientific information about human behavior is: never include weak arguments for a conclusion. If you don’t need them, simply bin them. You will literally be hurting your case, making it less likely to gain adherents, otherwise.

    Price is aware of the principle, concluding he thinks I am “trying to shorten [my] line of defense by granting as much common ground to [my] opponents as [I] can,” ...

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post
    I liked this:

    Quote Originally Posted by From link in OP
    This is a basic requirement of effective argumentation, particularly given what we know of the neuroscience of inherent human irrationality. If you defend the same conclusion with a hard-to-rebut argument and an easy-to-rebut argument, the human tendency is, neurologically, to attack the easy one and then conclude—even literally convincing themselves—that they have therefore refuted the conclusion. Even though they never touched the strong argument for it. The conclusion we must draw from this scientific information about human behavior is: never include weak arguments for a conclusion. If you don’t need them, simply bin them. You will literally be hurting your case, making it less likely to gain adherents, otherwise.

    Price is aware of the principle, concluding he thinks I am “trying to shorten [my] line of defense by granting as much common ground to [my] opponents as [I] can,” ...
    Oh, I hate nothing so much as a person using weak arguments to defend a position I agree with.

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    Super Moderator Atheos's Avatar
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    Yeah, makes me think of Lee Stroebel's "Case for Christ." There are lots of weak arguments in that book. When I see how insanely weak one of his arguments is I feel like I can dismiss his entire case immediately because that weak argument is so easy to see through.

    The book would be more convincing if he'd just stick with the strong arguments in it.

    Unfortunately that would leave the book devoid of content.

    Maybe that's not so unfortunate after all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Atheos View Post
    Yeah, makes me think of Lee Stroebel's "Case for Christ." There are lots of weak arguments in that book. When I see how insanely weak one of his arguments is I feel like I can dismiss his entire case immediately because that weak argument is so easy to see through.

    The book would be more convincing if he'd just stick with the strong arguments in it.

    Unfortunately that would leave the book devoid of content.

    Maybe that's not so unfortunate after all.
    An online acquaintance gave me a copy many years ago thinking it would bring me to Jesus. I think I read most of it then it went to the round file. You're right about the weakness of the arguments.

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    I thought the OP referred to my favorite daydream -- that real ETs have studied our strange civilizations for at least 4000 years -- back to ancient Sumer, maybe, and can bring us up to speed on our misconceptions of man's history. Relating to Jesus, they could show us in some recorded form that, for instance:
    > Mary and Joseph hooked up during their courtship, and Mary needed a good story to cover for having one in the oven, and, instead of a good story, she came up with "God did it', (thus setting a precedent used for the next 20 centuries by polemicists for the faith.)
    > Jesus was raised with an uber-Karen mentality, sort of like Trump ("You're not just entitled, you're king of the earth"), and as a male super-Karen, he learned to inflate his importance, first to his parents and other adults, and later to his posse.
    > The blind guys and lepers were rented from Galileean Mimes and Bit Players.
    > The 2000 pigs that jumped off the cliff drank leftover wine from a shipment that didn't make it to Cana -- purely as a lark from the disciples, to see if pigs could get hammered, and -- oops.
    > The coin in the fish's mouth was a simple sleight of hand gag that I can show you in ten, fifteen minutes tops.
    > Lazarus was sleeping off a double whammy of old wine from old wineskins and moldy pomegranate skins.
    > The empty tomb stories don't have any trickery or special effects, but were merely concocted so that the 12 (make that 11) could continue crashing & eating at the same houses they used during the First Tour. They were so successful that this led to the clergy we see around us today.

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Brilliant Art by Rena Davonne • Richard Carrier - the cover art for "Jesus from Outer Space"

    He doesn't mean it literally, that outer space is really as colorful as in that painting, but to indicate the mystical and hallucinatory origins of Xianity.
    But the elements are indeed a silver spaceship-like cross descending from the stars toward earth (if you look closely, to Palestine in particular) through a geocentric universe as seen through the eye of the mind, in the very sense described in the writings of the Jewish theologian Philo of Alexandria. Philo describes how the universe looks differently to those who can see with the mind; most of which features are invisible to ordinary sight. You are thus here seeing the rings of the cosmos, occupied by their corresponding geocentric planets (Moon, Venus, Mars, and so on), lit up according to their respective harmonies and ethereal elements.

    Among the “planets” so schemed is the Sun. So the star you see way off above left is the True Star, after which all stars are but mere copies—another thing Philo explains in his works. In Christian conception—for example, as Ignatius describes—at the resurrection Jesus became that True Star and shined from the heavens to the eye of the faithful with a light brighter than any normal star—and Satan and all other celestial beings were compelled to bow thereto. This is indeed the kind of weird thing ancient Christians believed, dispelling the anachronistic insistence today to imagine they had perfectly normal beliefs like buttoned-up modern-science-tending Christians today.
    RC links to her Facebook page @artbyrena where one can find some more examples of her artwork.

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