Next Generation Emulation banner
1 - 20 of 49 Posts

·
Some Scottish Guy
Joined
·
4,340 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, what do you know, when the Italian courts aren't doing stupid **** like this they end up doing THIS:

AN ITALIAN judge has ordered a priest to appear in court this month to prove that Jesus Christ existed.

The case against Father Enrico Righi has been brought in the town of Viterbo, north of Rome, by Luigi Cascioli, a retired agronomist who once studied for the priesthood but later became a militant atheist.

Signor Cascioli, author of a book called The Fable of Christ, began legal proceedings against Father Righi three years ago after the priest denounced Signor Cascioli in the parish newsletter for questioning Christ’s historical existence.

Yesterday Gaetano Mautone, a judge in Viterbo, set a preliminary hearing for the end of this month and ordered Father Righi to appear. The judge had earlier refused to take up the case, but was overruled last month by the Court of Appeal, which agreed that Signor Cascioli had a reasonable case for his accusation that Father Righi was “abusing popular credulity”.

Signor Cascioli’s contention — echoed in numerous atheist books and internet sites — is that there was no reliable evidence that Jesus lived and died in 1st-century Palestine apart from the Gospel accounts, which Christians took on faith. There is therefore no basis for Christianity, he claims.

Signor Cascioli’s one-man campaign came to a head at a court hearing last April when he lodged his accusations of “abuse of popular credulity” and “impersonation”, both offences under the Italian penal code. He argued that all claims for the existence of Jesus from sources other than the Bible stem from authors who lived “after the time of the hypothetical Jesus” and were therefore not reliable witnesses.

Signor Cascioli maintains that early Christian writers confused Jesus with John of Gamala, an anti-Roman Jewish insurgent in 1st-century Palestine. Church authorities were therefore guilty of “substitution of persons”.

The Roman historians Tacitus and Suetonius mention a “Christus” or “Chrestus”, but were writing “well after the life of the purported Jesus” and were relying on hearsay.

Father Righi said there was overwhelming testimony to Christ’s existence in religious and secular texts. Millions had in any case believed in Christ as both man and Son of God for 2,000 years.

“If Cascioli does not see the sun in the sky at midday, he cannot sue me because I see it and he does not,” Father Righi said.

Signor Cascioli said that the Gospels themselves were full of inconsistencies and did not agree on the names of the 12 apostles. He said that he would withdraw his legal action if Father Righi came up with irrefutable proof of Christ’s existence by the end of the month.

The Vatican has so far declined to comment.
Not sure if any of you saw this. Reactions? I personally think it's lol-worthy.
 

·
Knowledge is the solution
Joined
·
7,484 Posts
On the contrary, I hope this sets up a precedent for the many priests/theologists who try to ridiculize atheists based on popular belief and "because the Bible says it" arguments. It may seem a little too much for it to have to reach a higuer court, but it is just a sign of the times you could say...

The other article you linked to is a whole different matter altogether (or... maybe not?), and, like it says itself, it shows nothing but the retrograde mind many of us still have. It makes one wonder if we have (socially) evolved at all for the last millenium...
 

·
PCSX2ベータテスター
Joined
·
1,493 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
359 Posts
Yep
People are getting dumber and dumber by the second.
In my opinion, a true believer will not need to ask this question.
I liked what the priest said about seeing the sun.
Religion is the same. I see god exist, others can't, they can't sue us.
 

·
Knowledge is the solution
Joined
·
7,484 Posts
How can you "proof" someone exists...
Well first of all they are not asking of proof someone exists (which would be even easier) but that he existed. Sometimes serious birth registers can suffice. But with someone of the importance of Jesus you would need archive, life registers, biographies by serious historians etc. I remember having a discussion with Narrrf on this a little while ago, and, from all the allieged "historians" that supported the existance of Jesus, they either: never identified him directly as Jesus, son of Maria, but rather as a man walking from here to there teaching who knows what (and there were hundreds of lunatics/apostols in that age so that means nothing), or they were appocriff work made by the Church over the year 300 or so.

In my opinion, a true believer will not need to ask this question.
Right... even though many theologists themselves may disagree with you (blind fate? :p), your argument does not apply to the problem at hand since Luigi Cascioli is an atheist himself.

I liked what the priest said about seeing the sun.
And I disagree with it. Being able "to see the obvious" as you say, doesn't prove anything at all by itself. A further process of investigation and experimentation is usually needed to prove anything in this world, why should rellgion be extempt from this? Would you believe in the existance of a single man called Napoleon just by seeing the works that are attributed to him? While this may be a factor, it is insufficient. But we have birth registers, biographies made by serious historians, and a miriad of other factors that support more the existance of Napoleon that a mere "well France is there, isn't it?"

Religion is the same. I see god exist, others can't, they can't sue us.
He is not challenging religion. He is challenging the historical existance of Jesus. (well I guess the topic's title is a little misleading :p) Dont' try to hide in faith

Well, even though I quite like some news, the article is full of twisted facts (morals derived from religion, the heck that is, it's exactly the other way around. In fact morals can perfectly live without religion. I guess the journalist haven't heard about secular humanists), and tries to further "prove" his point by showing up another totally unrelated point (birth rate... it's relationship is only secondary with the main topic).
 

·
Emulation to the max!
Joined
·
2,624 Posts
I do remeber some time back reading an article in which they had found some roman ledgers dating back to around the time jesus was supposed to be living. They documented "jesus" or someone who had be tried and convicted and whatnot for oposing the government or something. Short story it had many similarities to some of the things in the bible. Not 100% but it's was resonable to conclude that in fact there was a man named or resembaling jesus. In my opinion the controversy lies in proving he was the son of God and performed true acts of miracles, not that he existed.
 

·
Knowledge is the solution
Joined
·
7,484 Posts
Quoting "something you just read a while back", while interesting, is no material for an argument since we can't check it ourselves and verify its truthfulness.

And you made me dig up a very old post of mine... but here it is

As you can see the only reliable historical evidence we have about anything is about a lunatic that called himself Christ (great!... oh wait, that era was already filled with lunatics.... doesn't help) who was judged by Pilatos. Interesting indeed, and it would serve as a good proof if we had anything else to further support the point. But as a stand alone it does nothing.

And if you read the article you will see that, in this case, he is actually challenging historical evidence.

PS: On an unrelated note, I had some really petty grammar/spelling back then o_o... a belated apology to all of those who had to bear with my posts :p
 

·
War Games coder
Joined
·
1,927 Posts
Proto said:
And I disagree with it. Being able "to see the obvious" as you say, doesn't prove anything at all by itself. A further process of investigation and experimentation is usually needed to prove anything in this world, why should rellgion be extempt from this? Would you believe in the existance of a single man called Napoleon just by seeing the works that are attributed to him? While this may be a factor, it is insufficient. But we have birth registers, biographies made by serious historians, and a miriad of other factors that support more the existance of Napoleon that a mere "well France is there, isn't it?"
And I'd have to disagree with you there. Continuing the analogy, the judge does not see the sun at mid-day because he is not looking for it. Oh, he'll look left, right, down, etc... but not up. Nor will he likely be persuaded to look for it. And that's where I'd leave it. So sue me. I won't bother trying to get people to look where they refuse to look.
 

·
Knowledge is the solution
Joined
·
7,484 Posts
And I'd have to disagree with you there. Continuing the analogy, the judge does not see the sun at mid-day because he is not looking for it. Oh, he'll look left, right, down, etc... but not up. Nor will he likely be persuaded to look for it. And that's where I'd leave it. So sue me. I won't bother trying to get people to look where they refuse to look.
Indeed a nice analogy, but as I stated (or tried to) with my own analogy it is irrelevant to the case at hand. The judge is not trying to prove the so-theist-called obvious. Just for hard historical evidence of the man called Jesus. Is it asking for too much?
 

·
Emulation to the max!
Joined
·
2,624 Posts
Proto said:
As you can see the only reliable historical evidence we have about anything is about a lunatic that called himself Christ (great!... oh wait, that era was already filled with lunatics.... doesn't help) who was judged by Pilatos. Interesting indeed, and it would serve as a good proof if we had anything else to further support the point. But as a stand alone it does nothing.

And if you read the article you will see that, in this case, he is actually challenging historical evidence.
Oh i wasn't planning on it to be a true formal "can't deny it" argument. I was just saying that I think within a modest amount of reason we can conclude that there was a Jesus (be he sane or insane). Of course that would never stand up in the case being presented but then again any historical data or information is subject to some deniability. Simply put even if there had been evidence that Jesus had existed anything 100% undeniable would be gone. I think what this they are asking for is a little bit unreasonable.
 

·
The Hunter
Joined
·
17,202 Posts
Proto said:
Well first of all they are not asking of proof someone exists (which would be even easier) but that he existed. Sometimes serious birth registers can suffice. But with someone of the importance of Jesus you would need archive, life registers, biographies by serious historians etc. I remember having a discussion with Narrrf on this a little while ago, and, from all the allieged "historians" that supported the existance of Jesus, they either: never identified him directly as Jesus, son of Maria, but rather as a man walking from here to there teaching who knows what (and there were hundreds of lunatics/apostols in that age so that means nothing), or they were appocriff work made by the Church over the year 300 or so.
A boy named Brian? :heh:
 

·
*shrug*
Joined
·
93 Posts
Proto said:
Well first of all they are not asking of proof someone exists (which would be even easier) but that he existed...
I love topics like this. =D

Proving that something exists at any point in time is definitely not an easy thing to accomplish, despite how ridiculously obvious the evidence might seem to be at the time ... I'm actually of the mind that past evidence of existence is far more conclusive than what we can presently perceive with our senses. In the end I'd even go so far as to say that given human limitations we can only be sure of our own conscious presence. But that's kind of an interesting tangent to the actual topic at hand. =P

As far as proving that Jesus exists/existed? It's an impossible task. Even trying to prove that the man walked the earth would be more an act of faith than scientific inquiry. There's too little evidence to support it, like you've said Proto, and many others ... I'm not even going to touch the miracles and the son of God thing ... Just thinking about trying to prove something like that makes my head ache. lol =D

Interesting read though. Thanks for the link industrian. =)
 

·
Knowledge is the solution
Joined
·
7,484 Posts
Well if you start being a little philosophic even trying to prove your own existance based on the conciousness one assumes to have can become a self-delusive process. However, we have to learn to live with this uncertainity, and accept our senses as the primary source of facts we have (later extended by machinery, history, science in general etc.)... otherwise we wouldn't move from where we are :heh:
 

·
*shrug*
Joined
·
93 Posts
Proto said:
Well if you start being a little philosophic even trying to prove your own existance based on the conciousness one assumes to have can become a self-delusive process. However, we have to learn to live with this uncertainity, and accept our senses as the primary source of facts we have (later extended by machinery, history, science in general etc.)... otherwise we wouldn't move from where we are :heh:
To me consciousness and existence are synonymous ... but is consciousness/existence something that one can really question about themselves? Even the ability to question it just reaffirms our own cognition ... :heh: ... so very interesting!

... so I guess that's why I'm scared to leave the house. lol I'll agree though - our senses are the best we've got, however unreliable the results they provide us ...

I think I should stop ... I'm taking this thread off-topic. hehe :laugh:
 

·
Transcended
Joined
·
1,421 Posts
Irrefutable proof? Ridiculous idea. I don't want to perpetuate lies by ignoring facts, but really, in this case, as has been noted by Proto, the only reliable source we have is the one that was quoted. Others are either non-direct or lost.

It's a distrubing problem since it's possible that a significant portion of the world can get nuked and a few thousand years from then, nobody would have any proof that Aristotle, Socrates, Ceasar... all the way down to JFK had ever existed, despite being important people. We just have to live with it.

But I side with Proto. Under the rules of reason, the priest must be held responsible for his proclamations. Taking it to court is silly though, since by nature, it's an impossiblity to do so given what we currently have since much (if not all) of it won't stand under the scrutiny of law either. For all you know, Buddha might not have been real, or if he was, he's not a diety as the Eastern schools think. *shrug*
 

·
<font color="#990000"><b>Lurking</b></font>
Joined
·
9,456 Posts
Proto said:
As you can see the only reliable historical evidence we have about anything is about a lunatic that called himself Christ (great!... oh wait, that era was already filled with lunatics.... doesn't help) who was judged by Pilatos. Interesting indeed, and it would serve as a good proof if we had anything else to further support the point. But as a stand alone it does nothing.

And if you read the article you will see that, in this case, he is actually challenging historical evidence.
Do you really have to insult Jesus/whomever while making your point? Can't you just pass along your thoughts without offending anyone? Man, you're such a hopeless case, One tries to show you the fault of your methods, but you STILL insist on doing them!

And as for this discussion, if you wanna doubt the existence of earlier human beings starting from the cave men, moving along to Aristotle, Alexander the Great, Caesar, Jesus...whomever, then they are all don't exist according to your line of thought. Debating in such discussions is useless, you either take it or leave it. But it's truly human nature to deny and be arrogant regardless of whatever evidence is available.

Yours,
-E
 

·
Knowledge is the solution
Joined
·
7,484 Posts
Do you really have to insult Jesus/whomever while making your point? Can't you just pass along your thoughts without offending anyone? Man, you're such a hopeless case, One tries to show you the fault of your methods, but you STILL insist on doing them!
Nonono, I wasn't calling your God lunatic. I was only saying that the only reliable historical source that could be taken into account talks about "a lunatic that called himself Christ" (from the historian itself). Sorry if it appeared that I was meaning otherwise.

And as for this discussion, if you wanna doubt the existence of earlier human beings starting from the cave men, moving along to Aristotle, Alexander the Great, Caesar, Jesus...whomever, then they are all don't exist according to your line of thought. Debating in such discussions is useless, you either take it or leave it. But it's truly human nature to deny and be arrogant regardless of whatever evidence is available.
Indeed one can put them into doubt (heck many historical figures like Homer lack serious historical support, Jesus is not the only case). However the cases you mention are people backed up by many, independant and recognized historians and biographers. Of course this does not imply a direct 100% certainity of their existance, however we have a wider base to consider the posibility

Again, my goal here wasn't to ridiculize the Christiand God, but to question the historical existance of Jesus the man.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,171 Posts
seems to me that the priest could easily win the case, all he need to do is introduce the evidence (Actual evidence ) of the burial box Jesus' Brother was burried in. Was it the True Jesus? No one can ever say, but it is from the time of christ and it has Jesus' name and His brothers on it...That is enough to prove there was a man in that area at that time frame that was named Jesus. Who had a brother, named the same as Jesus' brother (The name was something like robert if I recall correctly)
 
1 - 20 of 49 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top