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A picaretagem do Cristo Mítico

Eu não sei como alguns amigos meus tem a coragem de apoiar essa mulher, é realmente triste. Acho que eles não conhecem o ditado “O inimigo do meu inimigo nem sempre é meu amigo”…

“Exciting and provocative… Acharya S has done a superb job in bringing together this rich panoply of ancient world mythology and culture, and presenting it in a comprehensive and compelling fashion.” Earl Doherty, The Jesus Puzzle


Juntando material para o artigo para o site Ceticismo Aberto, do site de Acharya S. Depois eu pinto de vermelho as afirmações falsas sobre suas credenciais… Para uma biografia correta, ver a página da Wikipedia aqui.


What Are Acharya’s Credentials?

(NB: The following is an autobiographical essay, not a curriculum vitae, and incorporates creative writing rather than serving as a straightforward recitation of my credentials.)

Over the years that I have been online, many people have wondered about my credentials, particularly since I write about controversial and contentious subjects that tend to create widespread debates. Let us first understand that the “credential argument” frequently constitutes an ad hominem attack, especially in the case of individuals who disagree with mainstream perspectives. In reality, it is not always necessary to have perfect and proper credentials to become an expert or authority in a subject, or even to understand it. One doesn’t need credentials, for instance, to recognize that “Christmas” occurs during the winter solstice period, which represents a “Pagan” solar holiday. There have been many brilliant laypeople with few or no credentials who have been able to cut through the haze and bring to light numerous insights leading to monumental breakthroughs in virtually every subject over the centuries.

For example, the mysterious ancient Cretan language called “Linear B” boggled the minds of the world’s best and most credentialed authorities and experts for decades. Linear B was finally decoded by an amateur linguist named Michael Ventris. While this decoding may not have led to monumental scientific breakthroughs, it was very important in the world of archaeology.

With enough time and effort, we could certainly compile a long list of discoveries and insights by people who did not possess the “proper” credentials. What were the credentials of those who have influenced and created human culture for the past many thousands of years? Did they attend Harvard or Yale? How on Earth did human civilization progress without all these people with acceptable credentials? In a word, intelligence. People have simply used their brains to figure things out, not needing to study for decades or to obtain the obligatory sheepskin first.

That having been said, we must also keep in mind that there is such a thing as specialization that does require study, although this study, of course, may be acquired outside of the confines of academia. In other words, many brilliant people have been self-taught. American President and lawyer Abraham Lincoln and lay Egyptologist Gerald Massey come to mind immediately as examples of individuals in this self-taught category.

While I myself am “self-taught” in the sense that I developed a fascination for learning certain subjects at an early age, unlike the bulk of my detractors I actually do have formal, academic credentials relevant to my field of expertise.

Early Education

Firstly, I have been interested in the Greek myths and Greek civilization since I was around three years old, when I came across comics and cartoons about Zeus and Hercules, among others. In addition to reading books on mythology, I also spent many long hours in my family’s small library pouring over National Geographic magazines dating back to the 1930s, so I possessed a very broad and expansive view of the world beginning at an early age.

All the while, I attended schools in a small town known for its emphasis on academic excellence that included advanced “experimental” programs designed to educate the individual to his or her fullest and highest potential. As such, I was filtered into the advanced programs for “gifted” children with high IQs. At one point in second grade, one of these experimental programs allowed me to speed-read at a rate of some 600 words per minute. Another program had us studying the Inuit (Eskimo) culture in fourth grade. In middle school, I was given the chance to learn photography and cinematography. I shall never forget these exceptional opportunities that helped shape my world view, as they were extremely stimulating and exciting.

Furthermore, I was raised on a small farm with loads of animals, both wild and domestic, and fields and woods all around. This pastoral and idyllic childhood instilled in me a profound delight in nature, of which I became a keen observer, allowing me eventually to recognize, understand and appreciate the nature-worshipping roots of many religious concepts.

At the age of 11, I became fascinated by the work of famed paleoanthropologist Louis Leakey, with the result that I knew that I wanted to study anthropology, specifically the branch of it called archaeology. When I was 14, my father took my family to Greece, where he had been assigned to teach psychology on an American battleship. As soon as I saw the Temple of Zeus in Athens, I knew exactly what I wanted to study in college. While we were in Greece at that time, I learned enough Greek that my family turned to me to communicate with the natives.

Franklin & Marshall College

As a result of these experiences, the first day of college I already had my major in mind, as my first class was about ancient Greek art and architecture. I approached the professor after that class and asked what was his major, to which he replied that it was “Classics, Greek Civilization.” And that became what I majored in, receiving a BA from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The 17th oldest college in the United States, Franklin & Marshall (F&M) represents a combination of the college named for American Founding Father Benjamin Franklin – chartered in 1787 – and that named after Chief Justice John Marshall. F&M is considered a “potted Ivy League” school, appearing in the “highly selective” category in guides to the top universities and colleges. My qualifications for gaining entrance into F&M included being an honor roll student in high school, a National Merit Scholarship honorable mention, and a National Honor Society member.

During my sojourn at F&M, I also studied French and Spanish, as I had done in middle and high school, as well as German, Italian, Latin and ancient Greek. My skills with modern languages were good enough that, during my junior year when I traveled around Europe, I could and did conduct myself in French, Italian, Spanish, German and modern Greek, the latter of which I taught myself while studying in Greece with the Lake Forest College Program under the direction of Professor Emeritus of Religion Rev. Dr. Dan Cole. During that semester abroad, my Greek became good enough that when I answered the phone, people thought I was a Greek boy! (Greek women tend to have high-pitched voices, while I do not.) Moreover, Greek people frequently stopped me on the street and asked me in Greek for directions. In the northern Greek village of Metsovo, where people speak the Slavic language of Vlach first and Greek second, after hearing me speak Greek, one peasant woman asked me if I were a university student from Athens. When I replied that I was an American who had just recently learned the language, she was flabbergasted and insisted that I must be a Greek-American who had known the language from an early age. I further informed her that, no, I was not Greek at all.

The Greeks absolutely loved the fact that I spoke Greek, and they would get tears in their eyes when they communicated with me – some of these people had never spoken to a foreigner before, because they knew no other languages and had never met a foreigner who spoke Greek. One man from an isolated village on the island of Crete wept when he discovered I could speak Greek, as he said he could die in peace knowing that he had finally spoken to a foreigner! This man had lived through World War II, with Germans and Brits occupying his island; yet, he had never spoken to a foreigner, because none of those he’d met spoke Greek. The relief from his isolation was so powerful that it caused him to weep with joy from speaking with me.

The American School of Classical Studies at Athens

After graduating from college, I spent a year in Greece with the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, where I studied with some of the luminaries within the field of Greek archaeology, including Dr. John McK Camp, who guided First Lady Hillary Clinton around the Athenian Acropolis when she and daughter Chelsea visited Greece during the Clinton Presidency. I also excavated at the important classical site of Corinth, under the direction of Dr. Charles K. Williams. Prior to this postgraduate work (?), I had excavated a “paleo-Indian” tool-making camp under the direction of Dr. Ken Feder of Central Connecticut State College. During my postgraduate studies, I also served as a teacher’s assistant on Crete to a group of students from Lake Forest, the program I attended in Greece during college.

In order to be accepted into the American School of Classical Studies, I had to take a written exam that covered pretty much every aspect of ancient Greek civilization and took me several hours to complete. I also needed to have recommendations from my professors, with whom I was pretty cozy because there were only two Classics majors that year. My professors at Franklin & Marshall College included Dr. Robert Barnett, Dr. Joel Farber and Dr. Ann Steiner. It was Dr. Steiner, now a provost of the college, who introduced me to the American School of Classical Studies or ASCSA.

The American School of Classical Studies at Athens is no slouch in the world of Classics and Greek civilization and archaeology. ASCSA is, in fact, one of the most respected institutes in the world in this field. Following is a quote from the ASCSA website:

The American School of Classical Studies at Athens, founded in 1881, is the principal resource in Greece for American scholars conducting advanced research on the language, literature, art, history, archaeology, and philosophy of Greece and the Greek world from pre-Hellenic times to the present. Each year the School, its programs, and its facilities welcome some 400 graduate students and scholars from over 160 affiliated North American colleges and universities.

The American School is so significant, in fact, that our matriculation party was attended by the wife of the Greek President and the Greek Minister of Culture Melina Mercouri.

It should be noted that I was not a summer associate but a regular member at ASCSA, and am now an alumna. Contrary to fallacious internet gossip, I did not have to pay to gain entrance into ASCSA. There was tuition, of course, but the entry requirements were strictly academic, as described above. The following is an excerpt from the description at the ASCSA site regarding regular membership:

The Regular Program of the American School offers an intensive introduction to and survey of the sites, monuments, history, and archaeology of Greece, from prehistoric times to the present, with a focus on sites dating from the Bronze Age through the Roman period. The program consists of three terms and runs from September to June. The fall term is chiefly devoted to a series of trips, usually four in number, of ten to twelve days’ duration to sites and museums outside Attica. The sequence and itineraries of these trips may vary from year to year, but they normally include Central Greece, Northern Greece, and the Peloponnese, with special attention to Delphi, Olympia, and Corinth. Participants in the regular program–Regular Members–are required to participate in each of these trips. Trips are led by one or more members of the School staff, and each Regular Member delivers an on-site, seminar-style report on each trip.

On that same page appear the requirements for admission into ASCSA:

Regular membership is generally open to advanced graduate students, although well-prepared undergraduates who will have earned the B.A. before the start of the program may apply. Admission is granted on the basis of the School’s qualifying examinations, letters of recommendation, and other information submitted to the School’s Committee on Admission and Fellowships.

I was in fact one of only four of the relatively rare “well-prepared undergraduates” among 22 members who were accepted that year. The rest of the members were PhD candidates, and two of the other undergraduates were from Harvard and Princeton. In addition, I was the second-youngest member of ASCSA during that year. My “well-prepared” status, it should also be noted, stemmed from my education at Franklin & Marshall, during which time I was regularly on the Dean’s List. (I include this detail in response to calumny disparaging my grades.) My year at ASCSA was thrilling but not easy, as we were held to the highest standards by some fairly difficult professors. The list of professors I studied under in Greece reads like the “Who’s Who in Classical Greek Civilization” and includes:

  • ASCSA Director Dr. Steven G. Miller, Director, Nemea Excavations
  • Dr. Stella G. Miller-Collett, Associate Director, Nemea Excavations
  • Dr. John McK Camp, II, Director, Agora Excavations at Athens
  • Dr. Charles K. Williams, II, Director, Corinth Excavations
  • Dr. Nancy Bookidis, Assistant Director, Corinth Excavations
  • Dr. Frederick A. Cooper, Archaeologist and Architectural Historian, Bassae Excavations
  • Dr. Oscar T. Broneer, Director, Isthmia Excavations
  • Dr. Joseph W. Shaw, Director, Kommos Excavations
  • William B. Dinsmoor, Jr., Archaeologist and Architectural Historian

Some years after my time with ASCSA, I returned to Greece to give a send-off to my deceased father, who was a true philhellene. All in all, I traveled to Greece four times and spent a total there of almost two years, during which time I journeyed to some 200 archaeological sites all over the country, including not only ancient temple sanctuaries but also numerous Orthodox and Byzantine Christian churches and monasteries such as the fascinating but macabre sites at Meteora. Many of these sites were very isolated and difficult to get to, including some that required us to hike up mountains and trudge through snow for hours at a time. Naturally, we spent a significant amount of time at such famous locales as Athens, Corinth, Delphi and Olympia, as well as traveling to various Greek islands and their archaeological sites.

After my year with the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, I did not pursue academia for a variety of reasons, although I certainly could have. In the first place, I did not want to become a college professor with the attendant strict curriculum and hectic schedule. I also knew instinctively from my previous experiences that, if I had pursued academia, I would have needed to rein in significantly my intellectual wanderings, which likely would have eventually prevented me from writing my controversial books. Furthermore, I had another career I wished to pursue while I was young, and I did so for several years.

Over the more than 20 years since my formal education ended, I have continued my studies of the world’s cultures, including and especially mythology and religion. At a certain point, when I began stumbling upon the Christ-myth material I am now notorious for promulgating, I knew that I was in fact well qualified to write about it and to develop expertise in it. I possessed a long and intensive background in mythology and the very language of the New Testament, for one thing, as well as being quite familiar with the general milieu in which the Christian ideology arose. I had spent many months in the heart of Western civilization – Greece – and I knew to a large extent what the ancient world of the time was really like. I also knew quite a bit about Christianity not only from being born and raised a Protestant but also from spending numerous hours in Christian churches and monasteries in Greece and elsewhere throughout Europe. In fact, I traveled to numerous archaeological sites in other countries as well, including Stonehenge, Avebury and Silbury Hill in England, for example. Furthermore, following my postgraduate studies I briefly became a “born again” Christian while living in New York City, a period that found me immersing myself in the study of Christianity and the Bible, particularly the New Testament, with which I was already somewhat familiar. Shortly after that “conversion” – again, I was already born and raised a Christian – I began studying several other religions, including Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sufism, Taoism, Jainism and Islam. These studies, naturally, led me away from Christian fundamentalism.

What all this means is that from an early age I have been single-focused and have gained expertise, including obtaining certain academic credentials, in subjects and fields that are highly relevant to the origins of Christianity, the New Testament and the gospel story. My areas of interest and expertise include not only Christian origins but also archaeology, comparative religion, mythology, astrotheology and archaeoastronomy. Throughout much of my work, which includes numerous articles online and in print, as well as a number of books unusual in their scope and breadth, I examine the connections between modern religious belief and the ancient veneration for the sun and other natural phenomena, an ideology falling under the rubric of “astrotheology.”

As concerns my credentials and continuing education, I would like to consider my books Suns of God and Christ in Egypt in particular a PhD thesis in the subjects of comparative religion and astrotheology [Sinto muito Dorothy, uma tese de PhD passa por uma banca de cinco membros, sofre críticas e revisão por pares, e não equivale a um livro auto-publicado]. In this regard, I sincerely hope that these important subjects become increasingly popular and taught in colleges and universities, and that others may be able to obtain relevant and appropriate credentials therein.

Detectando os Pseudo-Cientistas (e Pseudo-Historiadores!)

Precisamos urgentemente, como cientistas e céticos, aplicar esses critérios a Earl Doherty e Dorothy Murdock (aka Acharya S.). Não deveriamos deixar esse trabalho apenas para teólogos…

“Earl Doherty is a masterful writer and an indefatigable scholar who leaves no relevant stone unturned. Any critic who seeks (desperately) to write him off because he writes without establishment academic credentials only demonstrates how far he himself falls short of recognizing real scholarship when he sees it. Has Doherty had to resort to publishing his own books? So did Hume. That’s no excuse for anyone interested in the Christ Myth or the historical Jesus not to read this all-encompassing book…Earl Doherty’s masterpiece.” Robert M. Price, author of Deconstructing Jesus, The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man, and The Pre-Nicene New Testament.

Era Pitágoras um charlatão?

Foto: Pitágoras defendendo o Vegetarianismo – Quadro de Rubens (1618-20)

Referência para meu artigo sobre o Pitágoras histórico.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Pythagoras
First published Wed Feb 23, 2005; substantive revision Fri Nov 13, 2009

Pythagoras, one of the most famous and controversial ancient Greek philosophers, lived from ca. 570 to ca. 490 BCE. He spent his early years on the island of Samos, off the coast of modern Turkey. At the age of forty, however, he emigrated to the city of Croton in southern Italy and most of his philosophical activity occurred there. Pythagoras wrote nothing, nor were there any detailed accounts of his thought written by contemporaries. By the first centuries BCE, moreover, it became fashionable to present Pythagoras in a largely unhistorical fashion as a semi-divine figure, who originated all that was true in the Greek philosophical tradition, including many of Plato’s and Aristotle’s mature ideas. A number of treatises were forged in the name of Pythagoras and other Pythagoreans in order to support this view.

The Pythagorean question, then, is how to get behind this false glorification of Pythagoras in order to determine what the historical Pythagoras actually thought and did. In order to obtain an accurate appreciation of Pythagoras’ achievement, it is important to rely on the earliest evidence before the distortions of the later tradition arose. The popular modern image of Pythagoras is that of a master mathematician and scientist. The early evidence shows, however, that, while Pythagoras was famous in his own day and even 150 years later in the time of Plato and Aristotle, it was not mathematics or science upon which his fame rested. Pythagoras was famous (1) as an expert on the fate of the soul after death, who thought that the soul was immortal and went through a series of reincarnations; (2) as an expert on religious ritual; (3) as a wonder-worker who had a thigh of gold and who could be two places at the same time; (4) as the founder of a strict way of life that emphasized dietary restrictions, religious ritual and rigorous self discipline.

It remains controversial whether he also engaged in the rational cosmology that is typical of the Presocratic philosopher/scientists and whether he was in any sense a mathematician. The early evidence suggests, however, that Pythagoras presented a cosmos that was structured according to moral principles and significant numerical relationships and may have been akin to conceptions of the cosmos found in Platonic myths, such as those at the end of the Phaedo and Republic. In such a cosmos, the planets were seen as instruments of divine vengeance (“the hounds of Persephone”), the sun and moon are the isles of the blessed where we may go, if we live a good life, while thunder functioned to frighten the souls being punished in Tartarus. The heavenly bodies also appear to have moved in accordance with the mathematical ratios that govern the concordant musical intervals in order to produce a music of the heavens, which in the later tradition developed into “the harmony of the spheres.” It is doubtful that Pythagoras himself thought in terms of spheres, and the mathematics of the movements of the heavens was not worked out in detail. There is evidence that he valued relationships between numbers such as those embodied in the so-called Pythagorean theorem, though it is not likely that he proved the theorem.

Pythagoras’ cosmos was developed in a more scientific and mathematical direction by his successors in the Pythagorean tradition, Philolaus and Archytas. Pythagoras succeeded in promulgating a new more optimistic view of the fate of the soul after death and in founding a way of life that was attractive for its rigor and discipline and that drew to him numerous devoted followers.


1. The Pythagorean Question

What were the beliefs and practices of the historical Pythagoras? This apparently simple question has become the daunting Pythagorean question for several reasons. First, Pythagoras himself wrote nothing, so our knowledge of Pythagoras’ views is entirely derived from the reports of others. Second, there was no extensive or authoritative contemporary account of Pythagoras. No one did for Pythagoras what Plato and Xenophon did for Socrates. Third, only fragments of the first detailed accounts of Pythagoras, written about 150 years after his death, have survived. Fourth, it is clear that these accounts disagreed with one another on significant points. These four points would already make the problem of determining Pythagoras’ philosophical beliefs more difficult than determining those of almost any other ancient philosopher, but a fifth factor complicates matters even more. By the third century CE, when the first detailed accounts of Pythagoras that survive intact were written, Pythagoras had come to be regarded, in some circles, as the master philosopher, from whom all that was true in the Greek philosophical tradition derived. By the end of the first century BCE, a large collection of books had been forged in the name of Pythagoras and other early Pythagoreans, which purported to be the original Pythagorean texts from which Plato and Aristotle derived their most important ideas. A treatise forged in the name of Timaeus of Locri was the supposed model for Plato’s Timaeus, just as forged treatises assigned to Archytas were the supposed model for Aristotle’s Categories. Pythagoras himself was widely presented as having anticipated Plato’s later metaphysics, in which the one and the indefinite dyad are first principles. Thus, not only is the earliest evidence for Pythagoras’ views meager and contradictory, it is overshadowed by the hagiographical presentation of Pythagoras, which became dominant in late antiquity. Given these circumstances, the only reliable approach to answering the Pythagorean question is to start with the earliest evidence, which is independent of the later attempts to glorify Pythagoras, and to use the picture of Pythagoras which emerges from this early evidence as the standard against which to evaluate what can be accepted and what must be rejected in the later tradition. Following such an approach, Walter Burkert, in his epoch-making book (1972a), revolutionized our understanding of the Pythagorean question, and all modern scholarship on Pythagoras, including this article, stands on his shoulders. For a detailed discussion of the source problems that generate the Pythagorean Question see 2. Sources, below.

2. Sources

2.1 Chronological Chart of Sources for Pythagoras

300 CE Iamblichus
(ca. 245–325 CE)
On the Pythagorean Life (extant)
Porphyry
(234–ca. 305 CE)
Life of Pythagoras (extant)
Diogenes Laertius
(ca. 200–250 CE)
Life of Pythagoras (extant)
200 CE Sextus Empiricus
(circa 200 CE)
(summaries of Pythagoras’ philosophy in Adversus Mathematicos [Against the Theoreticians], cited below as M.)
100 CE Nicomachus
(ca. 50–150 CE)
Introduction to Arithmetic (extant), Life of Pythagoras (fragments quoted in Iamblichus etc.)
Apollonius of Tyana
(died ca. 97 CE)
Life of Pythagoras (fragments quoted in Iamblichus etc.)
Moderatus of Gades
(50–100)
Lectures on Pythagoreanism (fragments quoted in Porphyry)
Aetius
(first century CE)
Opinions of the Philosophers (reconstructed by H. Diels from pseudo-Plutarch, Opinions of the Philosophers [2nd CE] and Stobaeus, Selections [5th CE])
Pseudo-Pythagorean texts
forged
(starting as early as 300 BCE but most common in the first century BCE)
100 BCE Alexander Polyhistor
(b. 105 BCE)
his excerpts of the Pythagorean Memoirs are quoted by Diogenes Laertius
200 BCE Pythagorean Memoirs
(200 BCE)
(sections quoted in Diogenes Laertius)
300 BCE Timaeus of Tauromenium
350–260 BCE)
(historian of Sicily)
Academy Heraclides
(ca. 380–310)
Xenocrates
(ca. 396–314)
Speusippus
(ca. 410–339)
Lyceum
Dicaearchus
(ca.370–300)
Aristoxenus
(ca. 370–300)
Eudemus
(ca.370–300)
Theophrastus
(372–288)

Aristotle
(384–322)

400 BCE Plato
(427–347)
500 BCE Pythagoras
(570–490)


4.2 Pythagoras as a Wonder-worker
Some have wanted to relegate the more miraculous features of Pythagoras’ persona to the later tradition, but these characteristics figure prominently in the earliest evidence and are thus central to understanding Pythagoras. Aristotle emphasized his superhuman nature in the following ways: there was a story that Pythagoras had a golden thigh (a sign of divinity); the people of Croton called him the Hyperborean Apollo (one of the god Apollo’s manifestations); the Pythagoreans taught that “of rational beings, one sort is divine, one is human, and another such as Pythagoras” (Iamblichus, VP 31); Pythagoras was seen on the same day at the same time in both Metapontum and Croton; he killed a deadly snake by biting it; as he was crossing a river it spoke to him (all citations are from Aristotle, Fr. 191, unless otherwise noted). There is a clear parallel for these remarkable abilities in the later figure of Empedocles, who promises to teach his pupils to control the winds and bring the dead back to life (Fr. 111). There are recognizable traces of this tradition about Pythagoras even in the pre-Aristotelian evidence, and his wonder-working clearly evoked diametrically opposed reactions. Heraclitus’ description of Pythagoras as “the chief of the charlatans” (Fr. 81) and of his wisdom as “fraudulent art” (Fr. 129) is most easily understood as an unsympathetic reference to his miracles. Empedocles, on the other hand, is clearly sympathetic to Pythagoras, when he describes him as “ a man who knew remarkable things” and who “possessed the greatest wealth of intelligence” and again probably makes reference to his wonder-working by calling him “accomplished in all sorts of wise deeds” (Fr. 129). In Herodotus’ report, Zalmoxis, whom some of the Greeks identified as the slave and pupil of Pythagoras, tried to gain authority for his teachings about the fate of the soul by claiming to have journeyed to the next world (IV. 95). The skeptical tradition represented in Herodotus’ report treats this as a ruse on Zalmoxis’ part; he had not journeyed to the next world but had in reality hidden in an underground dwelling for three years. Similarly Pythagoras may have claimed authority for his teachings concerning the fate of our soul on the basis of his remarkable abilities and experiences, and there is some evidence that he too claimed to have journeyed to the underworld and that this journey may have been transferred from Pythagoras to Zalmoxis (Burkert 1972a,154 ff.).

Takata no Google images




Foto 4

Pois é… É duro entrar de férias e não ter nada para fazer antes do jogo do Brasil. Estou pensando se esse material sobre o Takata mítico poderia ser reunido em um livro ou pelo menos um paper…

Uma análise cética sobre a historicidade de Roberto Takata.

Outras fotos de Roberto Takata no Google images.
A “verdadeira” foto do presumido Takata seria a quarta. A segunda é uma foto modificada por fotoshop e sugere que Takata é um avatar de Sottomaior. Notar que a foto tratada é mais nítida que a original (isso pode ser visto pela melhor definição dos galhos das árvores). Notar também que a pele de Takata parece ser excessivamente branca para ser de uma pessoa real. Nenhuma dessas fotos bate com a descrição do presumido ator contratado para participar do II EWCLiPo, ver esta foto (não autenticada):

(Por questão de segurança, esta foto foi retirada do blog a pedido de Takata)

Foto 6. O suposto Takata, junto com Lacy Barca e Tatiana Nahas. Notar que o suposto Takata segura o copo com a mão esquerda, enquanto que é bem conhecido que o verdadeiro Takata não é canhoto.


Notem especialmente que, embora os personagens nas fotos 4 e 6 se parecem, na segunda foto o ator usa óculos. Mesmo que se considere que a foto 4 seja de um Takata mais jovem e sem barba, é muito improvável que em poucos anos esse Takata tivesse desenvolvido miopia.

Procurei “Roberto Takata” no Google images, mas a única foto que apareceu é aquela foto falsa. Acho que as evidências fotográficas da existência de Roberto Takata extremamente tênues. Se Takata realmente existisse, certamente existiriam fotos dele na Internet, pois ele é um blogueiro razoavelmente famoso.
Nessa busca, aparece mais fotos de mim mesmo (o que é claro, pois eu realmente existo!) do que de Takata. As duas fotos que aparecem são as mesmas, mas uma das fotos foi cortada lateralmente, ou mesmo tratada com fotoshop, não sei com que intenção.
Examinando essas cinco fotos, onde apenas quatro delas são independentes, tendo a concluir que Takata é uma figura mítica, uma combinação de pelo menos três pessoas diferentes. Para mais argumentos da Teoria do Takata Mítico, ver o post Roberto Takata existe mesmo?
Para entender o motivo sério para a Teoria do Takata Mítico, ver aqui.

Eu sou um troll muito chato!

Coitado do Takata, eu estou me comportando de forma Trollistica no Never Asked Questions. É que está sendo muito divertido (pelo menos para mim!), e estou aprendendo um monte de coisas sobre os Pré-Socráticos, sobre historiagrafia antiga, sobre ceticismo e metodologia científica e histórica. Tudo isso com a ajuda sempre amável e respeitosa de Roberto Takata (ou pelo menos dos blogueiros de ciência que se escondem sob o pseudônimo de Roberto Takata…).

Vou listar os comentários do NAQ aqui, mas nao vou mais ser mais um Troll no NAQ. Os próximos comentários farei apenas aqui, para nao incomodar o Takata.

Disclaimer: Os comentários são feitos em tom de brincadeira, mas tenho enorme respeito e admiração por Takata, que considero um bom colega blogueiro e talvez até um amigo, pois troco emails com ele frequentemente. Ou seja, as brincadeiras são feitas por que julgo que tenho liberdade com ele para isso (e lhe dou liberdade para me chamar de Kino, etc.). Não são feitas e nem devem ser interpretadas como um tipo de gozação mal-intencionada em cima do Takata. Na verdade, toda a blogosfera científica brasileira ama Takata e seus onipresentes comentários, não conheço nenhum blogueiro que o desconsidere, e o tem em alta estima, com uma pontinha de inveja de suas capacidades analíticas, mesmo que às vezes ele se comporte de forma um pouco insistente (troll-like) nos blogs dos outros (especialmente o meu….!)

Blogger Osame Kinouchi disse…

Takata,

Leia a pagína sobre Pitágoras na Wikipedia, é MUITO interessante:

Voce está correto que Heráclito e Xenofanes foram quase contemporâneos a Pitágoras. Mas não consegui achar as breves referencias que eles fazem a Pitágoras.

Eu realmente nao entendi isso:

“(Também não é correto dizer que afirmei que as evidências da existência de Pedro e Tiago são menores do que as de JC. Eu disse: “Não sei se Tiago, José, Simão, etc eram ou não históricos. Mas parece q há até menos indícios a respeito deles.”)”

Ué, qual a diferença entre dizer “parece que há menos indicios a respeito deles” e dizer “as evidencias da existencia de Pedro e Tiago sao menores que JC”?

Acho que
e você está se tornando um verdadeiro jornalista, ou seja, daqueles que não gosta de escrever um Erramos… rs Tudo bem, eu sei que voce realmente acredita que nao errou… OK.

Mas… Menos indicios nao equivale a menores indicios?

Para um relato sobre minhas aventuras como troll no Pharingula, veja:

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/06/episode_lxxiv_sacred_music.php

Foi uma experiencia emocionalmente exaustiva (nunca fui tao insultado na minha vida, e nunca vi tanta falácia lógica por metro de texto!)

Minha análise dessa experiencia, junto com a exegese que Kentaro Mori faz da opiniao de PZMyers, está aqui:

http://comciencias.blogspot.com/2010/07/p-z-myers-e-os-libertarians-americanos.html

30 de junho de 2010 21:28

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Blogger none disse…

Quase não, foram efetivamente contemporâneos – suas linhas de vida se sobrepõem em boa extensão.

Eu tomo cuidado em registrar “talvez”, “parece”… e não é por questão meramente estilística. Eu afirmo que *parece* X, eu não afirmo que *X*.

É, eu tinha lido sua experiência. Sim, tem porções radiciais – eu já me fiz passar por religioso pra medir a pressão.

De não gostar de errar acho que não é preciso ser jornalista. Por isso tomo cuidado – qdo é só minha opinião a registro como tal, qdo é um argumento expresso os elementos de sustentação, etc. Se me mostrar onde errei, no entanto, registro meu erro.

Já fiz isso inúmeras vezes. Inclusive aqui no NAQ. http://neveraskedquestions.blogspot.com/2009/02/pesos-e-medidas.html

Sem contar as inúmeras edições com strike through.

[]s,

Roberto Takata

30 de junho de 2010 21:44

Blogger none disse…

Repare, no entanto, que, mesmo sem concordar com seus reparos até o momento, tenho-os registrados. (E, qdo acho necessário, rebatido.)

[]s,

Roberto Takata

30 de junho de 2010 21:45

Blogger none disse…

De Xenófanes sobre Pitágoras, Fragmento 7.

De Heráclito, Fragmento 129.

[]s,

Roberto Takata

30 de junho de 2010 22:09

Blogger Osame Kinouchi disse…

O fragmento 7 na verdade está nas obras de Diorgenes Laertio, do seculo 3 AC. Existe duvida se o “him” do texto se refere a Pitagoras, e mesmo que referisse, os experts acham que ele se refere a uma historia mitica (sobre Pitagoras detetar a alma de um amigo em um cachorrinho que latia).

Pelos seus criterios, acho que esse fragmento 7 nao conta para a historicidade de Pitagoras… Sinto muito.

Veja em detalhe aqui:

http://books.google.com.br/books?id=LxxJXTviacgC&pg=PA118&lpg=PA118&dq=%22fragment+7%22+xenophanes&source=bl&ots=Mc785_ZgsM&sig=8H6EVt6nVX5ivgRwLdEfI7vi5_8&hl=pt-BR&ei=ygItTKn_KoT68Aaj2ugH&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CBsQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=%22fragment%207%22%20xenophanes&f=false

1 de julho de 2010 14:17

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Blogger none disse…

Pelos meus critérios o fragmento 7 serve. Veja como não é algo terrivelmente restritivo.

E é muito mais o q existe em relação a JC, p.e.

[]s,

Roberto Takata

1 de julho de 2010 15:12

Blogger Osame Kinouchi disse…

Sinceramente, nao vejo porque o fragmento 7 serve. Escrito 250 anos depois de Pitagoras, por Diogenes Laercio, e apenas atribuido a Xenofanes. E nao cita o nome Pitagoras. Poderia estar se referindo ao Pitagoras mitico. Nao há evidencia que Xenofanes conheceu Pitagoras. Quantos graus de separacao entre Pitagoras e Xenofanes? Pelo menos 3 graus, se Pitagoras existiu.

1 de julho de 2010 19:00

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Blogger none disse…

Serve porque o critério q defendo não tem esse grau de rigidez.

Novamente está atribuindo a mim algo q seria defendido pelos q defendem o embasamento da historicidade de Jesus – a questão temporal. Quem se encrenca com um relato de 300 anos depois dos acontecimentos são eles, não eu.

Se houver algo similar em relação a JC, aceito que terá um embasamento suficiente.

Q ‘min’ se refira a Pitágoras pode ser deduzido do contexto. Não é algo certo, mas em ciência não há nada 100% certo. É, porém, suficientemente embasado. O relato é mais credível porque não faz menção a nada que o descredite. Não se fala em elefantes invisíveis rosas, p.e. Se encontrarem porções mais completas do fragmento em que essas referências surjam, então a credibilidade do relato diminui.

[]s,

Roberto Takata

1 de julho de 2010 19:26

Blogger Osame Kinouchi disse…

Takata, esse assunto é muito interessante, nao é boring, porque se nao houve um Jesus histórico, isso é uma revolução Copernicana na História Ocidental. Não é um assunto de somenos importancia (se fosse, ou seja, se a existencia ou de Jesus fosse irrelevante, nao haveriam tantos livros e panfletos em sites ateistas sobre o tema, concorda?)

o fragmento afirma que Pitagoras era capaz de detetar a alma de um amigo reencarnado em um cachorrinho ouvindo os latidos do mesmo.

“O relato é mais credível porque não faz menção a nada que o descredite. Não se fala em elefantes invisíveis rosas, p.e”

Eu acho que é uma história mitica, pois é um relato de um milagre ou capacidade paranormal. Além disso, é claramente uma referencia a uma estória ouvida de segunda ou terceira mão. Não é possivel afirmar que

Acho que o fato de que este trecho se refere o Pitagoras histórico, ou seja, que Pitagoras realmente disse isso, não está além de uma dúvida (bastante) razoável (e portanto nao pode ser usado como evidência do Pitágoras histórico).
O nome de Pitágoras nem aparece no texto!

Ou seja, eu acho que esse fragmento é uma evidencia mais fraca do que a citação de Suetonius (da Wikipedia):

Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus (c. 69–140) wrote the following in his Lives of the Twelve Caesars about riots which broke out in the Jewish community in Rome under the emperor Claudius:
“As the Jews were making constant disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he [ Claudius ] expelled them [the Jews] from Rome”.[75]
The event was noted in Acts 18:2. The term Chrestus also appears in some later texts applied to Jesus, and Robert Graves,[76] among others,[77] consider it a variant spelling of Christ, or at least a reasonable spelling error.

Ou seja, essa passagem é constestada por alguns como referente a Jesus, porém ela é muito mais explicita que o Fragmento 7. E não fala de Elefantes invisíveis cor-de-rosa ou de poderes mediunicos de Jesus (ao contrário dos poderes mediunicos de Pitagoras). Logo, ela é mais confiavel que o Fragmento 7. Você concorda?

2 de julho de 2010 04:24

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Blogger Osame Kinouchi disse…

Takata, esse assunto é muito interessante, nao é boring, porque se nao houve um Jesus histórico, isso é uma revolução Copernicana na História Ocidental. Não é um assunto de somenos importancia (se fosse, ou seja, se a existencia ou de Jesus fosse irrelevante, nao haveriam tantos livros e panfletos em sites ateistas sobre o tema, concorda?)

o fragmento afirma que Pitagoras era capaz de detetar a alma de um amigo reencarnado em um cachorrinho ouvindo os latidos do mesmo.

“O relato é mais credível porque não faz menção a nada que o descredite. Não se fala em elefantes invisíveis rosas, p.e”

Eu acho que é uma história mitica, pois é um relato de um milagre ou capacidade paranormal. Além disso, é claramente uma referencia a uma estória ouvida de segunda ou terceira mão. Não é possivel afirmar que Xenófanes conheceu pessoalmente Pitagoras.

2 de julho de 2010 04:25

Excluir

Blogger Osame Kinouchi disse…

Acho que o fato de que este trecho se refere o Pitagoras histórico, ou seja, que Pitagoras realmente disse isso, não está além de uma dúvida (bastante) razoável (e portanto nao pode ser usado como evidência do Pitágoras histórico).
O nome de Pitágoras nem aparece no texto!

Ou seja, eu acho que esse fragmento é uma evidencia mais fraca do que a citação de Suetonius (da Wikipedia):

Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus (c. 69–140) wrote the following in his Lives of the Twelve Caesars about riots which broke out in the Jewish community in Rome under the emperor Claudius:
“As the Jews were making constant disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he [ Claudius ] expelled them [the Jews] from Rome”.[75]
The event was noted in Acts 18:2. The term Chrestus also appears in some later texts applied to Jesus, and Robert Graves,[76] among others,[77] consider it a variant spelling of Christ, or at least a reasonable spelling error.

Ou seja, essa passagem é constestada por alguns como referente a Jesus, porém ela é muito mais explicita que o Fragmento 7. E não fala de Elefantes invisíveis cor-de-rosa ou de poderes mediunicos de Jesus (ao contrário dos poderes mediunicos de Pitagoras). Logo, ela é mais confiavel que o Fragmento 7. Você concorda?

2 de julho de 2010 04:26

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Blogger Osame Kinouchi disse…

Nao consegui achar o fragmento 129 de Heraclito. Voce teria algum link?

No livro Os Pré-Socráticos da coleção Pensadores, só temos até o fragmento 126. Por que?

2 de julho de 2010 04:27

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Blogger Osame Kinouchi disse…

Takata, você poderia dar uma opiniao sobre esta página? Especialmente sobre a passagem de Josephus sobre Tiago?

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/testimonium.html#reference

Ela parece séria, mas cita abundantemente Wells e Doharty como se estes fossem academicos serios (ou seja, que publicam em revistas com peer review).

2 de julho de 2010 04:50

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Blogger Osame Kinouchi disse…

Posso copiar esta sequencia de comments para o meu blog?

Estou escrevendo aquele projeto para o Universal do CNPq. Na equipe já temos uma pos-doc e
Me adicione no SKYPE para batermos um papo sobre o projeto da revista.

SKYPE: osame.kinouchi

2 de julho de 2010 05:04

Excluir

Blogger Osame Kinouchi disse…

Ops, eu queria dizer “uma pos-doc, Monica Campiteli, tres estudantes de informatica – o Zedy e o Lucas vc conheceu no II EWCLIPO, e possivelmente um amigo meu especialista em editoração eletronica, Carlos Mores, (responsável por varias revistas cientificas brasileiras).

Achei o fragmento 129 de Heráclito, vou analisá-lo!

2 de julho de 2010 05:07

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Blogger Osame Kinouchi disse…

Primeiro: eu aceito os critérios dos historiadores da Antiguidade, mas farei aqui uma parafrase do método de Takata, que é mais cético:

Fragmento 129 de Heráclito:

Pythagoras, son of Mnesarchos, practised inquiry beyond all other men, and choosing out these writings, claimed for is own wisdom what was but a knowledge of many things and an art of mischief.

1. O texto foi escrito por Diogenes Laercio no seculo III AC, e atribuido a Heráclito. Nao existe outra fonte independente que confirme que o texto é original de Heráclito. Da wikipedia: The main source for the life of Heraclitus is Diogenes Laërtius, although some have questioned the validity of his account as “a tissue of Hellenistic anecdotes, most of them obviously fabricated on the basis of statements in the preserved fragments.”[1]

2 de julho de 2010 05:12

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Blogger Osame Kinouchi disse…

2. Pythagoras, son of Mnesarchos, practised inquiry beyond all other men.

Dado que isso não é verdade (Pythagoras nao foi o maior inquiridor ou pesquisador da grecia antiga), o texto perde credibilidade.

3. O texto denigre Pitagoras, chamando-o de plagiador, e portanto nao é uma interpolacao de um Pitagorico. Mas, assim como as lendas do Rei Artur também denigrem o personagem em certas passagens, isso mostra que o argumento contra interpolação nao é extritamente valido.

4. Alem disso, o texto é autocontraditorio, louvando Pitagoras no começo e chamando-o de plagiador no fim.

2 de julho de 2010 05:21

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Blogger Osame Kinouchi disse…

5. Nao existe evidencia independente de que o texto seja original de Heráclito.

6. O texto nao sugere que Heráclito tenha conhecido Pitagoras pessoalmente. Pitagoras poderia ser uma figura mitica, criada pelos Pitagoricos, que eram religiosos tao exdruxulos (ou mais) que os cristaos primitivos. Os Pitagoricos acreditavam que Pitagoras era filho de Apolo.

2 de julho de 2010 05:24

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Blogger Osame Kinouchi disse…

Da Enciclopedia Stanford de Filosofia (estou aprendendo um monte de historia antiga sobre os pré-socraticos, isto é MUITO interessante, nao boring…)

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pythagoras/

The Pythagorean question, then, is how to get behind this false glorification of Pythagoras in order to determine what the historical Pythagoras actually thought and did. In order to obtain an accurate appreciation of Pythagoras’ achievement, it is important to rely on the earliest evidence before the distortions of the later tradition arose. The popular modern image of Pythagoras is that of a master mathematician and scientist. The early evidence shows, however, that, while Pythagoras was famous in his own day and even 150 years later in the time of Plato and Aristotle, it was not mathematics or science upon which his fame rested. Pythagoras was famous (1) as an expert on the fate of the soul after death, who thought that the soul was immortal and went through a series of reincarnations; (2) as an expert on religious ritual; (3) as a wonder-worker who had a thigh of gold and who could be two places at the same time; (4) as the founder of a strict way of life that emphasized dietary restrictions, religious ritual and rigorous self discipline.

2 de julho de 2010 05:25

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Blogger Osame Kinouchi disse…

Desculpe pelo Trollismo. É que a sua caixa de comentarios nao permite textos mais extensos, entao é necessario quebrar em varias janelas.

O unico objetivo aqui nao é encher a sua caixa de comentários (voce pode deletar depois!). É que achei isso mais pratico para copiar depois para o meu Blog, OK?

Nao ficou ainda claro para mim. Vc defende a historicidade de Pitágoras ou acha possível que ele nunca tenha existido?

2 de julho de 2010 05:28


Quem é Roberto Takata?

Roberto é polemista e cético famoso, entrevistado pela Revista Galileu e citado aqui por um blog católico, nos seguintes termos:

A frase em destaque está espalhada pela blogosfera católica, numa resposta às críticas a respeito do movimento de ateus que defende a retirada de imagens sagradas e crucifixos das repartições públicas brasileiras. O movimento foi criado no final de 2006, é uma iniciativa de “céticos, inquisidores da razão” como o biólogo, Roberto Mitsuo Takata, e o engenheiro, Daniel Sottomaior Pereira.

O adjetivo entre aspas tomei emprestado do título de uma matéria da revista Galileu, n°116. A reportagem entrevistou Takata e Sottomaior, as poucas palavras deles são contextualizadas pelo seguinte subtítulo da matéria: Eles declararam guerra a astrólogos, religiosos, ufologistas, tarólogos, curandeiros e místicos em geral.

A revista científica, Galileu, informa que os céticos declaram GUERRA aos religiosos. E dentre os céticos que a matéria cita estão extamente aqueles que “de forma alguma [promovem] um movimento contra a religião cristã”, como diz exaustivamente Takata em respostas a vários católicos.

É uma contradição que Takata, “um crítico ferrenho da imprensa na área de ciência e de saúde”, não se deu ao trabalho de combater. Justo ele que, no site Observatório da Imprensa, analisa os discursos midiáticos com precisão.


Acho que posso sair em defesa de Takata: Primeiro, o rapaz da foto não é o verdadeiro Roberto Takata, pelo menos o Takata que conheço (o verdadeiro Takata possui barba é é mais velho). Está claro que essa foto é um photoshop ou uma fraude. Talvez Takata seja um avatar de Daniel Sottomaior, mas também não tenho certeza que Sottomaior exista…


O puzzle de Jesus: uma crítica cética


Bom, dado que parece que nem Roberto Takata nem Kentaro Mori irão escrever uma resenha crítica do artigo Jesus Puzzle, acho que deverei ser eu a fazer o trabalho de cético. Começo com alguns comentários feitos no Pharingula:

Posted by: Osame Kinouchi Author Profile Page | June 30, 2010 9:24 AM

Dear P. Z.,

Disclaimer (I am an atheist scientist).

I found in the site of Atheists of Silicon Valley
inumerous links to the conspiratory theory of the Mythical Christ. Se here:

http://comciencias.blogspot.com/2010/06/ateismo-sim-conspiracionismo-nao.html

This is a well known pseudocientific thesis and it seems to me that serious atheists should not subscribe it, but it seems that this theory is gaining increasing popularity in atheists circles.

After a search, I have not found any critical account of it in your blog, in denialism blog and others atheist blogs in Science Blogs.

So, I ask you to make some considerations about this issue, because a friend asserts me that no serious atheist subscribe it. Is this affirmation valid?

With best regards,

Osame

PS: Ou seja, minha pergunta inicial não é sobre a historicidade de Jesus, mas sim sobre a plausibilidade da Teoria do Cristo Mítico de E. Doherty e outros e sobre as credenciais acadêmicas desses autores, dado que a teoria consta da lista de teorias conspiratórias da Wikipedia. Isso foi motivado pelas fortes afirmações da Wikipedia. Se estas estão erradas, deveriam ser editadas:
While advocates rely on the absence of contemporaneous reference to Jesus,[140] and the relative silence of Paul regarding much of Jesus’ life, specialists like R. T. France regard such arguments with deep suspicion, arguing that various sources may not mention Jesus for any number of reasons.[141] Further, while many Christ myth theorists draw parallels between early Christianity and Hellenistic mystery religions, relatively little is actually known about the beliefs and practices of the latter.[115] Scholars like Herbert George Wood have suggested that, given the above issues, the Christ myth theory can only be advocated in defiance of the available evidence.[142] A number of scholars therefore classify it as a form of denialism and compare it to a variety of fringe theories.[143] For example, the BBC’s Today programme once asked N. T. Wright if he would appear on-air to debate Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy concerning the thesis of their book The Jesus Mysteries. Wright, whom Newsweek once deemed “perhaps the world’s leading New Testament scholar”,[144] declined, saying that “this was like asking a professional astronomer to debate with the authors of a book claiming the moon was made of green cheese.”[114]

Posted by: Dania Author Profile Page | June 30, 2010 10:07 AM

Osame Kinouchi,

I suggest you read this first. Then you can come back to us.

Posted by: Osame Kinouchi Author Profile Page | June 30, 2010 10:30 AM

Dania and PZ, Doherty is a well known conspiracionist. I am saying about serious historians and references, like the present in Encyclopedia Britanica…

Should the article about the historical Jesus in Encyclopedia Britannica be changed?
Should we atheists try do edit the pages about the historical Jesus and the Christ Myth theory in Wikipedia?

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

Posted by: Osame Kinouchi Author Profile Page | June 30, 2010 10:58 AM

Dear Dania, I follow your link to the Journal of High Criticism,http://www.depts.drew.edu/jhc/

It seems to me that an scholar journal should not put in its forefront that:

This Publication May be Hazardous to Your Cherished Assumptions!

Is this journal serious? Is it listed in the ISI Thompson databank?

Also there is an humorous citation:
F. C. Baur says, “I’ve been waiting a long time to see something like this appear again.”

It does not seems to me a scholarly journal. Or is it?

Baurs (1792-1860) is the lea

der of the Tubingen school tha, as the wikipedia article says:

The Tübingen School was at the height of its influence in the 1840s, but lost ground to historical fact.[4] Since Adolf von Harnack proposed very early dates for the synoptics and Acts (c 1910), the Tübingen School has been generally abandoned.[5]

Should we edit the Baurs wikipedia page?

Posted by: Dania Author Profile Page | June 30, 2010 11:04 AM

Well, I for one, am not asserting that Jesus did not exist. I’m saying that there is absolutely no credible historical evidence for his existence, as far as I know. In addition to that, the Jesus story is internally inconsistent. If Osame knows of any evidence for Jesus existence, I would really like to hear about it.

And this is all I have to say on this topic.

Posted by: Dania Author Profile Page | June 30, 2010 11:52 AM

Osame says: Sorry, I am really concerned that we atheists should endorse conspiracy theories like Christ Myth Theory:

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

You’re concerned that some atheists agree with something that someone (who?) decided to call a conspiracy theory on freaking Wikipedia? Please.

Posted by: Dania Author Profile Page | June 30, 2010 12:45 PM

Do you think that there is no scholar consensus about the historical existence of Jesus?

No, I recognize that the consensus exists. I also happen to think that the source of it could just largely be consensus gentium. Actually, I think Richard Carrier (thanks for the link, Sili!) makes this point too.

But, really, I don’t know. I think it’s possible that the Jesus story evolved from earlier mythologies and isn’t tied to a historical figure. Or maybe there was a historical figure from which the myth originated. There’s so little data that it’s hard to say.

That said, I would, of course, welcome opinions from people who have studied this subject in more detail than I have.

Posted by: broboxley OT Author Profile Page | June 30, 2010 12:48 PM

@Ol’Greg #108 it’s wikipedia, a consensus based encyclopedia run by rabid agendaists not a scholarly publication. Altho it is useful for a quick look for some things.

Ou seja, toda a questão é sobre quem é mais confiável (neste tópico da Teoria do Cristo Mítico). Earl Doharty, um escritor com apenas o bacharelado em História (ou seja, não é um academico) e que nunca conseguiu publicar seus artigos em qualquer revista séria com peer review, ou as abundantes fontes citadas pela Wikipedia.  Agora, se a Wikipedia também faz parte da grande conspiração (a consensus based encyclopedia run by rabid agendaists), o que eu posso mais dizer?


Eu apenas não entendo qual é a diferença entre as posições de Takata e as de Doharty. Elas me parecem idênticas. E Takata não consegue reconhecer que suas posições diferem do consenso acadêmico (os acadêmicos não são agnósticos em relação à historicidade de Jesus, eles não acham que as evidências são fracas ou inexistentes, conforme afirma Doharty).  Sendo assim, quando sua opinião difere do maistrean acadêmico, me parece que o ônus da prova está com ele – e com Takata, não com os acadêmicos (assim como o ônus da prova estava com Galileu, e não com os acadêmicos de seu tempo). Será Doharty o novo Galileu, que irá revolucionar os estudos acadêmicos sobre o Jesus Histórico?

Repetindo:  A number of scholars therefore classify it as a form of denialism and compare it to a variety of fringe theories.[143] For example, the BBC’s Today programme once asked N. T. Wright if he would appear on-air to debate Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy concerning the thesis of their book The Jesus Mysteries. Wright, whom Newsweek once deemed “perhaps the world’s leading New Testament scholar”,[144] declined, saying that “this was like asking a professional astronomer to debate with the authors of a book claiming the moon was made of green cheese.”[114]


Acho que a melhor maneira de Takata refutar minha tese de que ele está adotando as teses de Duharty seria ele fazer um (pequeno?) post com uma análise crítica e cética sobre Duharty, suas credenciais acadêmicas e sua Teoria do Cristo Mítico. É muito simples, basta acessar a página de Duharty via um link aqui. Interessante que nesta página da wikipedia não existe nenhuma referência para artigos em revistas acadêmicas sérias, mas apenas para livros auto-publicados, sites de internet e revistas de associações ateístas.

P. Z. Myers e os libertarians americanos

P. Z. Myers publicou dois posts interessantes sobre os Libertarians. Pelo que entendi, os Libertarians americanos são uma espécie de fanáticos pelo livre mercado com tendências conspiratórias. Ver aqui e aqui. Conclusão: Libertarians são verdadeiros xaropetas (ainda bem que eles não existem no Brasil!).
Também fiz uma experiência em um post de Pharyngula, bancando o advogado do diabo e tentando convencer os comentaristas de que ateus sérios não deveriam acreditar na Teoria do Cristo Mítico. Foi uma experiência bem estranha, vocês sabem que quando eu foco em algum assunto eu viro um verdadeiro troll. Bom, isso é uma maneira de me vingar dos trolls que aparecem por aqui.
Esse diálogo de surdos está registrado nos comentários deste post no Pharingula.
Minha conclusão é a seguinte:
1. Existe uma forte polarização na discussao do ateísmo nos EUA, acho que bem maior que no Brasil. Essa polarização cria um clima de resentimento e paranóia (por exemplo, muitos ateus disseram que usavam pseudonimos porque tinham medo de perder o emprego ou serem localizados pela internet, e sofrerem ameaças, perseguição ou atentados contra suas famílias. Achei essas justificativas meio exageradas, mas em todo caso elas refletem a percepção dos ateus.
2. Fica confirmada a baixa proporção de mulheres atéias nessas listas de comentários. Farei uma estatística mais tarde para determinar a proporção nessa amostra.
3. A imensa maioria dos comentaristas subscreve uma ou outra forma da tese de que nunca houve um Jesus histórico. Essa crença, contrária ao consenso acadêmico, parece estar bastante disseminada na comunidade de ateus da internet.
4. Alguns poucos acreditam que a existência ou não de Jesus é irrelevante. Mas pelo tom extremamente raivoso das respostas, o tópico me pareceu ter muita relevância pessoal e emocional para eles. Me pareceu uma espécie de pensamento desejante, fruto de dissonância cognitiva: não basta afirmar que Jesus era um homem comum, um rabi ou curandeiro judeu. É importante para boa parte dos comentaristas do Pharingula afirmar que a tese da não historicidade de Jesus é academicamente respeitável e que é uma idéia defensável, mesmo que a totalidade dos acadêmicos afirme o contrário.
5. Ninguém se dispôs a alterar as páginas da wikipédia que afirmam que a teoria do Cristo Mítico é negacionista, conspiratória, ou pelo menos uma fringe theory. Alguns afirmaram que os editores da Wikipedia são cripto-religiosos com agendas ocultas.
6. Fui insultado de várias maneiras, embora eu nunca fiz nenhum tipo de insulto (fui apenas chato e insistente na minha posição de que a teoria do Cristo Mítico é uma fringe theory). Minha impressão é que eles pensaram que eu era um religioso disfarçado (de novo, os sentimentos paranóicos…).
7. Ninguém foi capaz de sugerir um estudo acadêmico que defende a tese do Cristo Mítico. a melhor coisa que sugeriram foi um artigo em uma revista extinta da internet em 2003, patrocinada por um grupo ativista ateu, ou seja, uma espécie de fanzine não indexado no ISI Thomson.
8. Também ninguém conseguiu responder ao meu exemplo pitagórico. A conclusão foi que a existência histórica de Jesus é irrelevante, enquanto que não existe nenhum problema em citar o Pitágoras mítico nas escolas, dado que é apenas uma anedota pedagógica. Mas, se a existência histórica de Jesus é irrelevante, por que a insistência em negar a existência do consenso acadêmico historiográfico ou a insistência em afirmar que Jesus provavelmente (ou possivelmente) não existiu? Não seria melhor tomar uma posição agnóstica sobre o tema, em vez de tomar uma posição que está a um fio de cabelo das teorias conspiratórias do Cristo Mítico?
Finalizo com a posição de P. Z. Myers e a exegese da fala do mesmo por Kentaro Mori:

Posted by: PZ Myers Author Profile Page | June 30, 2010 9:35 AM

Jesus is a myth. No serious historian should be endorsing the historicity of Christ — there are no primary sources supporting tales of his existence, the story is internally inconsistent and clearly a pastiche from multiple sources, and come on, at best you can argue that once upon a time, there was a charlatan doing cheap magic tricks.

Disse Kentaro no 100Nexos:

Ele é um cético respeitável, mas se destaca mais como ativista ateu, e no caso aqui, penso que seu antagonismo com a religião determina a forma como ele se expressa e sua opinião a respeito. Note, contudo, como ele mescla deliberadamente, penso eu, “Jesus” com “Cristo”. De fato nenhum historiador sério endossaria que o “Cristo”, o “Jesus da religião” existiu. Ao mesmo tempo, quando Myers finaliza afirmando que “at best” existiu um charlatão com truques baratos, está exagerando. Todos — inclusive o Takata — reconhecem ser provável ter existido um Jesus histórico. Se era ou não charlatão, se sua existência é mais improvável do que provável, é o Myers ateu tendo precedência sobre o Myers cético.

Posted by: Kentaro Mori Author Profile Page | junho 30, 2010 1:43 PM

P. Z. Myers é conspiracionista?

Acho que P. Z. Myers não está correto nesta afirmação. Em todo caso, acho que isso contesta a afirmação de Kentaro Mori de que nenhum cético respeitável endorsa a tese do Cristo Mítico:

Posted by: PZ Myers Author Profile Page | June 30, 2010 9:35 AM

Jesus is a myth. No serious historian should be endorsing the historicity of Christ — there are no primary sources supporting tales of his existence, the story is internally inconsistent and clearly a pastiche from multiple sources, and come on, at best you can argue that once upon a time, there was a charlatan doing cheap magic tricks.

Sobre o Pitágoras histórico

Pelos critérios de Roberto Takata, as evidências de que Pitágoras realmente existiu são mais fracas do que as da existência de Jesus.

Critérios de Takata:

1. Se existem mitos sobre a vida de um personagem, isso logicamente enfraquece a probabilidade de que tal personagem existiu:

a) Pitágoras (Jesus) foi tido como seus seguidores como filho de Apolo (de Yavhe) , e tido como divino.
b) É atribuido a Pitágoras (Jesus) vários milagres, tais como fazer curas, viajar pelo tempo e espaço, brilhar com uma luz sobrenatural e falar com animais e plantas.

2. Se as fontes sobre o personagem são posteriores à sua morte, isso enfraquece a probabilidade de que tal personagem existiu:

A primeira referência a Pitágoras é de Xenophanes (570-475 A.C.). Supondo que Xenophanes escreveu sobre Pitágoras aos 30 anos, isso significa que a primeira referência (extremamente fragmentária) sobre Pitágoras ocorre 95 anos após a suposta morte desse suposto filósofo grego. Em comparação, as primeira referências a Jesus ocorrem 25 anos após sua suposta morte. Logo, Pitágoras é menos provável que Jesus, segundo Takata.

3. Se o suposto personagem histórico ensinou por via oral em vez de deixar escritos, sua existência histórica fica logicamente enfraquecida.

No texts by Pythagoras are known to have survived, although forgeries under his name — a few of which remain extant — did circulate in antiquity. Critical ancient sources like Aristotleand Aristoxenus cast doubt on these writings. Ancient Pythagoreans usually quoted their master’s doctrines with the phrase autos ephe (“he himself said”) — emphasizing the essentially oral nature of his teaching.

4. Se ao personagem supostamente histórico está associada uma seita religiosa que tinha interesses em mitificar seu suposto fundador, então o implica logicamente que a existencia desse fundador se torna menos provável.

Por todos os critérios, o Pitagorismo é uma religião, logo, Pitágoras possivelmente não existiu.

5. Se existem movimentos pseudocientíficos modernos que veneram o suposto personagem histórico, isso implica logicamente que a probabilidade da existência do personagem diminua.

Pitágoras (e Jesus) são reverenciados pela New Age como profetas, logo é menos provável que realmente tenham existido.

6. Dado que existem pessoas que afirmam terem visto o ET de Varginha, disso decorre logicamente que argumentos relacionados com a rede social do suposto personagem não têm valor. Takata afirma que as evidências a favor da existência de Pedro e Tiago são menores que as evidências a favor da existência de Jesus. Mas não esclarece se ele aceita a historicidade da epistolas Paulina de Gálatas (50 E.C.) , onde Paulo afirma que Pedro se comportou de forma hipócrita ao se afastar dos cristãos gentios quando cristãos judeus, enviados por Tiago (suposto irmão do suposto Jesus) chegaram em Antioquia.  Ou seja, Takata parece afirmar que a epistóla aos Galatas, universalmente aceita pelos historiadores, é na verdade falsa, ou pelo menos que esse trecho referente a Pedro é. 

Isso contrasta fortemente com os critérios dos scholars, em especial ao critério do embaraçamento: se um trecho contém afirmações que seriam embaraçosas para o Cristianismo tardio, a probabilidade de tal trecho ser original aumenta. Como Pedro foi, tardiamente,  colocado como primeiro papa, é muito improvável que copistas do Catolicismo Romano tivessem redigido ou interpolado este texto, que chama Pedro de hipócrita.

Dado as poucas e fracas evidências da existência real de Pitágoras, a lógica de Takata implica que as referências ao mesmo deveriam ser retiradas dos livros de ciência e livros textos, e que os professores e blogueiros de ciência não deveriam falar de Pitágoras, pois o Pitágoras histórico, mesmo que tenha existido, é hoje basicamente um mito, e não sabemos nada de concreto e confiável sobre ele.

O problema que tenho em relação aos critérios de historicidade de Takata (que não são os dos historiadores profissionais) é que tais implicações lógicas me parecem falaciosas, ou seja, são non sequitor lógicos.  Gostaria que Takata me esclarecesse sobre esse ponto e, dado que ele é um importante representante do movimento cético (ou seja, um cético respeitável segundo Kentaro Mori), caso tenha cometido um erro de avaliação, ele faça uma retratação ou redija uma coluna “Erramos” (algo que ele sempre pede que os jornalistas façam quando pegos por seu detetor automático de falácias).

Foto: Busto de Pitágoras no Museu do Vaticano. Seria esse busto uma parte da conspiracão do Vaticano, que condenou o livro de Copérnico por Pitagorismo?

Da Wikipedia:

Pythagoras of Samos (GreekὉ Πυθαγόρας ὁ ΣάμιοςO Pythagoras o Samios, “Pythagoras the Samian“, or simply Ὁ Πυθαγόρας; c. 570-c. 495 BC[1]) was an Ionian Greek philosopher and founder of the religious movement called Pythagoreanism. Most of our information about Pythagoras was written down centuries after he lived, thus very little reliable information is known about him. 

Pythagoras made influential contributions to philosophy and religious teaching in the late 6th century BC. He is often revered as a great mathematicianmystic and scientist, and he is best known for the Pythagorean theorem which bears his name. However, because legend and obfuscation cloud his work even more than with the other pre-Socratic philosophers, one can say little with confidence about his teachings, and some have questioned whether he contributed much to mathematics and natural philosophy. Many of the accomplishments credited to Pythagoras may actually have been accomplishments of his colleagues and successors. Whether or not his disciples believed that everything was related to mathematics and that numbers were the ultimate reality is unknown. 

Biographical sources

Accurate facts about the life of Pythagoras are so few, and most information concerning him is of so late a date, and so untrustworthy, that it is impossible to provide more than a vague outline of his life. The lack of information by contemporary writers, together with the secrecy which surrounded the Pythagorean brotherhood, meant that invention took the place of facts. The stories which were created were eagerly sought by the Neoplatonist writers who provide most of the details about Pythagoras, but who were uncritical concerning anything which related to the gods or which was considered divine.[3]


Thus many myths were created – such as that Apollo was his father; that Pythagoras gleamed with a supernaturalbrightness; that he had a golden thigh; that Abaris came flying to him on a golden arrow; that he was seen in different places at one and the same time.[4] With the exception of a few remarks by XenophanesHeraclitusHerodotusPlatoAristotle, and Isocrates, we are mainly dependent on Diogenes LaërtiusPorphyry, and Iamblichus for the biographical details. Aristotle had written a separate work on the Pythagoreans, which unfortunately has not survived.[5] His disciples DicaearchusAristoxenus, and Heraclides Ponticus had written on the same subject. These writers, late as they are, were among the best sources from whom Porphyry and Iamblichus drew, besides the legendary accounts and their own inventions. Hence historians are often reduced to considering the statements based on their inherent probability, but even then, if all the credible stories concerning Pythagoras were supposed true, his range of activity would be impossibly vast.[6]


There is little direct evidence as to the kind and amount of knowledge which Pythagoras acquired, or as to his definite philosophical views. Everything of the kind mentioned by Plato and Aristotle is attributed not to Pythagoras, but to the Pythagoreans. Heraclitus stated that he was a man of extensive learning;[22] and Xenophanes claimed that he believed in the transmigration of souls.[23] Xenophanes mentions the story of his interceding on behalf of a dog that was being beaten, professing to recognise in its cries the voice of a departed friend. Pythagoras is supposed to have claimed that he had been Euphorbus, the son of Panthus, in the Trojan war, as well as various other characters, a tradesman, a courtesan, etc.[24]

Many mathematical and scientific discoveries were attributed to Pythagoras, including his famous theorem,[25] as well as discoveries in the field of music,[26] astronomy,[27] and medicine.[28] But it was the religious element which made the profoundest impression upon his contemporaries. Thus the people of Croton were supposed to have identified him with the Hyperborean Apollo,[29] and he was said to have practised divination and prophecy.[30] In the visits to various places in Greece – DelosSpartaPhliusCrete, etc. which are ascribed to him, he usually appears either in his religious or priestly guise, or else as a law giver.[31]


Writings

No texts by Pythagoras are known to have survived, although forgeries under his name — a few of which remain extant — did circulate in antiquity. Critical ancient sources like Aristotle and Aristoxenus cast doubt on these writings. Ancient Pythagoreans usually quoted their master’s doctrines with the phrase autos ephe (“he himself said”) — emphasizing the essentially oral nature of his teaching.


Because of the secretive nature of his school and the custom of its students to attribute everything to their teacher, there is no evidence that Pythagoras himself worked on or proved this theorem. For that matter, there is no evidence that he worked on any mathematical or meta-mathematical problems. Some attribute it as a carefully constructed myth by followers of Plato over two centuries after the death of Pythagoras, mainly to bolster the case for Platonic meta-physics, which resonate well with the ideas they attributed to Pythagoras. This attribution has stuck, down the centuries up to modern times.[43] The earliest known mention of Pythagoras’s name in connection with the theorem occurred five centuries after his death, in the writings of Cicero and Plutarch.


Religion and science

Pythagoras’ religious and scientific views were, in his opinion, inseparably interconnected. Religiously, Pythagoras was a believer of metempsychosis. He believed in transmigration, or the reincarnation of the soul again and again into the bodies of humans, animals, or vegetables until it became moral. His ideas of reincarnation were influenced by ancient Greek religion. Heraclides Ponticus reports the story that Pythagoras claimed that he had lived four lives that he could remember in detail,[45] and, according to Xenophanes, Pythagoras heard the cry of his dead friend in the bark of a dog.[46]

[edit]Lore

Pythagoras became the subject of elaborate legends surrounding his historic persona. Aristotle described Pythagoras as a wonder-worker and somewhat of a supernatural figure, attributing to him such aspects as a golden thigh, which was a sign of divinity. According to Aristotle and others’ accounts, some ancients believed that he had the ability to travel through space and time, and to communicate with animals and plants.[47] An extract from Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable‘s entry entitled “Golden Thigh”:

Pythagoras is said to have had a golden thigh, which he showed to Abaris, the Hyperborean priest, and exhibited in the Olympic games.[48]

Another legend describes his writing on the moon:

Pythagoras asserted he could write on the moon. His plan of operation was to write on a looking-glass in blood, and place it opposite the moon, when the inscription would appear photographed or reflected on the moon’s disc.[49]

Influence on esoteric groups

Pythagoras started a secret society called the Pythagorean brotherhood devoted to the study of mathematics. This had a great effect on future esoteric traditions, such as Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry, both of which were occult groups dedicated to the study of mathematics and both of which claimed to have evolved out of the Pythagorean brotherhood.[citation needed] The mystical and occult qualities of Pythagorean mathematics are discussed in a chapter of Manly P. Hall’s The Secret Teachings of All Ages entitled “Pythagorean Mathematics”.

Pythagorean theory was tremendously influential on later numerology, which was extremely popular throughout the Middle East in the ancient world. The 8th-century Muslim alchemistJabir ibn Hayyan grounded his work in an elaborate numerology greatly influenced by Pythagorean theory.[citation needed] Today, Pythagoras is revered as a prophet by the Ahl al-Tawhidor Druze faith along with his fellow Greek, Plato.

Ateísmo sim, conspiracionismo não

Kentaro Mori observa que nenhum cético famoso endossa a tese do Cristo Mítico. Acho que ele está certo, eu deveria ter dito “ateu famoso”. A conclusão lógica, se Kentaro estiver certo, é a de que os ateus famosos que defendem a Teoria do Cristo Mítico não são, ao mesmo tempo, céticos famosos… Será isso defensável?
Ver a lista abaixo, com ateus suficientemente famosos para publicarem livros encontrada no Atheists of Silicon Valley:

Christian Historicity

From a series of posts at “Internet Infidels” Biblical Criticism forum (July 2008)

Of course you want to see my review of the book, hopefully will appear on Amazon.com in a few days:

Shattering the Internet Mythicists (July 23, 2008)

by PhilVaz (St. Petersburg, FL United States)

Having been aware of this so-called “debate” on the Internet (please note: it is entirely an “online debate” not one advanced by serious NT or historical Jesus scholars) since the mid 1990s, I am glad that J.P. Holding has finally transcribed and edited some of his impressive “Tektonics” online articles for an entire book on “Shattering the Christ Myth.” He and his amateur scholar contributors have pulled together an excellent set of articles and chapters debunking both the “myth” hypothesis and the “copycat” or “pagan parallel” thesis presented by many an anti-Christian conspiracy buff and uninformed skeptic of historical Christianity.

Chapters include an introduction on the history and origin of the “Christ myth” claims dating from the early 1800s; detailed defenses of the standard non-biblical references to Jesus from the Jewish historian Josephus (his two passages), the Roman historian Tacitus, Lucian, Pliny the Younger, and Papias; responses to the various “silences” argued by “mythicists” from Remsburg to G.A. Wells to Earl Doherty; analysis of the supposed “pagan Christs” from Mithra to Krishna to Horus to Dionysos; reviews and refutations exposing the abysmal scholarship and poor arguments of recent “Christ myth” movies “The God Who Wasn’t There” and “Zeitgeist”; and additional material on the city of Nazareth, the academic and Internet mythicists, and more.

This book shows there is really nothing at all to the “mythicist” claims: they are groundless historically, poorly argued based on “silence” and refuted by numerous reliable witnesses to Jesus, and that includes the canonical Gospels and the earliest writings of St. Paul. The real debate among scholars is not whether there was a historical Jesus who was crucified under Pontius Pilate around 30 AD, but on Christ’s claims to divinity and being the unique Son of God, the miracles of the Gospels as signs of that divinity, and especially the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ — i.e. the whole “Jesus of history” vs. “Christ of faith” debate among conservative evangelical and more “liberal” scholarship.

Jeffery Jay Lowder of Internet Infidels: “There is simply nothing intrinsically improbable about a historical Jesus; the New Testament alone (or at least portions of it) are reliable enough to provide evidence of a historical Jesus. On this point, it is important to note that even G.A. Wells, who until recently was the champion of the christ-myth hypothesis, now accepts the historicity of Jesus on the basis of ‘Q’.” (“Josh McDowell’s ‘Evidence’ for Jesus”)

British historian Michael Grant: “…if we apply to the New Testament, as we should, the same sort of criteria as we should apply to other ancient writings containing historical material, we can no more reject Jesus’ existence than we can reject the existence of a mass of pagan personages whose reality as historical figures is never questioned…To sum up, modern critical methods fail to support the Christ-myth theory. It has ‘again and again been answered and annihilated by first-rank scholars’. In recent years ‘no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non-historicity of Jesus’ — or at any rate very few, and they have not succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary.” (Jesus: An Historian’s Review of the Gospels[1977], pages 199, 200)

Anglican Bishop N.T. Wright: “It is quite difficult to know where to start, because actually the evidence for Jesus is so massive that, as a historian, I want to say we have got almost as much good evidence for Jesus as for anyone in the ancient world….the evidence fits so well with what we know of the Judaism of the period….that I think there are hardly any historians today, in fact I don’t know of any historians today, who doubt the existence of Jesus [aside from one or two]….It is quite clear that in fact Jesus is a very, very well documented character of real history. So I think that question can be put to rest.” (“The Self-Revelation of God in Human History” from There Is A God by Antony Flew and Roy Abraham Varghese [2007])

Robert Van Voorst: “Contemporary New Testament scholars have typically viewed their [i.e. Jesus-mythers] arguments as so weak or bizarre that they relegate them to footnotes, or often ignore them completely….The theory of Jesus’ nonexistence is now effectively dead as a scholarly question….Biblical scholars and classical historians now regard it as effectively refuted.” (Jesus Outside the New Testament [2000], pages 6, 14, 16)

Shattering the Christ Myth is a welcome addition to the many evangelical defenses of Jesus Christ by well-known scholars such as R.T. France (The Evidence for Jesus), Moreland/Wilkins (Jesus Under Fire), and recently Boyd/Eddy (The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition). As a Catholic apologist, I also appreciated the brief chapter on “Leo’s Line” explaining the “fable quote” sometimes attributed to Pope Leo X by mythicist skeptics.

My only complaint is the book is slightly “oversized” so it is not the size of your normal paperback and may not fit easily on your bookshelf. Nevertheless a definite 5-star effort from apologist J.P. Holding and company.

Phil Porvaznik


Annihilating the Christ Myth

aa <<>>

OK, I’ll try to explain, but I’m no expert on this topic. You should go ahead and get the J.P. Holding book, and write your own fair and detailed review.

Here’s my “story”….

In the mid-1990s I became aware of this whole “Jesus myth” thing from some radical skeptic forums I was involved with on Usenet and FidoNet (particularly the old obnoxious “HolySmoke” forum). At the time I was a beginning Internet “Catholic lay apologist” (mainly inspired by Karl Keating and Catholic Answers) trying to sort out the whole Catholic-Protestant “fundamentalist” debate thing (along with a few Greek/Eastern Orthodox Christians too), and occasionally ventured into the skeptic-Christian debate. At that time the 80-year-old essay by M. M. Mangasarian“The Truth about Jesus : Is He a Myth?” (orig 1909) I remember was regularly posted at HolySmoke and elsewhere. That was my introduction to the “Jesus myth” claims, and I found this very strange that someone would actually deny Jesus even existed. Sure atheists believed God didn’t exist, I knew that already. But that there was no historical Jesus? I never heard that before.

This was back in 1994-95 for me, before Earl Doherty went online, and slightly before the “Internet Infidels” became a site I believe. Other atheists I found online in various discussion forums recommended books by G.A. Wells who was the only well-known “Jesus myth” scholar. What I didn’t know, but later found out, was he was not really a credentialed or professional NT or Jesus scholar, but a teacher of German. Wells had also changed his mind about this time, and now writes in his 2004 book:

“Some recent scholars (such as Freke and Gandy in their 1999 book, and Earl Doherty, whose book was also published in 1999) hold that the earliest Christian writers did not believe Jesus to have come to Earth as a man at all. I have never maintained this view, although it has often been imputed to me by critics who have been anxious to dispose of my arguments without troubling to see wherein they consist.” (G.A. Wells, Can We Trust the New Testament [2004], page 4)

Wells is now saying he never really believed the “mythicist” claim. In the 1970s however, Wells had at least two books that many atheists and skeptics interpreted as arguing for the “Jesus myth” position, and these are probably the books that Michael Grant is referring to above in his 1977 book on Jesus, along with the earlier “Jesus myth” scholars (very few of them) dating back to the late 19th, early 20th century.

These are outlined in J.P. Holding’s book in the chapter by James Hannam “A Historical Introduction to the Myth that Jesus Never Existed.” So yes, the “Jesus myth” position had a very few adherents, beginning explicitly with Bruno Bauer (1809-1882), and later Arthur Drews The Christ Myth (1911), then John M. Robertson (1856-1933) The Historical Jesus (1916) and The Jesus Problem (1917) which argued Jesus was based on some sort of pre-Christian myth, and in the United States by John Remsburg The Christ (1909) that Jesus was a pagan god, and mathematician William B. Smith. However, Hannam writes:

“The generation of Jesus Mythologists represented by Smith and Robertson died out in the 1920s. They had based their work on theories about mythology from the ‘history of religions’ school but scholarship itself moved on, leaving the Jesus Mythologists high and dry….[but] a few amateurs trudged on….It was not until 1971 that the Jesus Myth burst back into life with the work of a polite and erudite Professor of German…George Albert Wells (1926- ).” (J.P. Holding, Shattering, chapter by Hannam, page xiv-xvi)

By the 1920s the earliest “mythicist” claims were answered, annihilated, shattered, and obliterated, and then later in the 1970s when they re-surfaced with G.A. Wells, his bogus claims were again answered, annihilated, shattered and obliterated by such historians as Michael Grant, once again in the 1980s (since Wells was still publishing his books) by the evangelical scholar R.T. France (The Evidence for Jesus), and then in the 1990s when Doherty replaced Wells as the primary “Jesus myth” scholar/historian for the skeptic/atheist community, the J.P. Holding online articles (and now his oversized book) answers, annihilates, shatters, and obliterates their claims all over again in excruciating detailed fashion (in my opinion, read the book for yourself).

Maybe when Doherty admits Jesus existed in a new edition of his book (like Wells did), then Richard Carrier will take over as the new “scholar/historian” for the “Jesus myth” claims and come up with new (or new and improved) arguments from silence for “mythicism.” You never know….

It is also true (just as I said) that this whole “debate” is limited to mainly online discussion forums (such as the Infidels.org) and web sites (and a couple of self-published books) and isn’t addressed by professionals anymore, and is simply ignored by mainstream biblical scholarship and modern historical Jesus studies. E.G. see the Crossans vs. the Craigsthe Borgs vs. the Wrights, the Jesus Seminar or more “liberal” types vs. the evangelicals, or traditional or moderate Catholic scholars like Raymond Brown or John P. Meier, etc. None of these guys are “mythicists” and they do not even address them or their “arguments.” Why? Because there is no real “debate” on the subject, never has been. That is my understanding after carefully studying this subject as an amateur the past 10+ years.

Sobre o gnosticismo feminista

Um ótimo artigo sobre O Código Da Vinci, traduzido por Kentaro Mori no Sedentário e Hiperativo.


por Robert Sheaffer

Um extrato:

Um Matriarcado Cristão Antigo provado nos Textos de Nag Hammadi? De acordo com Brown, antes de Constantino e seus capangas reescreverem a Bíblia para torná-la patriarcal, “Jesus era o feminista original” (248). O Cristianismo adorava o “sagrado feminino” da “deusa perdida”, baseado no princípio supostamente antigo do “Cálice e da Lâmina” (237–8). Na verdade, O Cálice e a Lâmina é o título de um livro de 1987 da feminista Riane Eisler promovendo alegações especulativas de que a antiga Creta era supostamente “não-patriarcal”. E Eisler fundamentou sua tese, em grande parte, nas interpretações da falecida arqueóloga Marija Gimbutas, que no início de sua carreira construiu uma excelente reputação profissional, mas depois vagou por interpretações feministas extremas de “deusas” em desenhos e ícones antigos que foram rejeitadas quase universalmente pelos seus colegas. Na introdução para seu livro, Eisler explica o simbolismo de “gênero-holístico” do “Cálice e Lâmina”, o qual ela inventou junto com Gimbutas.[15] Assim não há nenhum modo pelo qual qualquer sociedade secreta antiga poderia ter usado o simbolismo do “cálice e lâmina”, porque esse simbolismo não existia antes de 1987.

Vários livros populares convenceram muitos de que a descoberta dos textos de Nag Hammadi provam a existência de uma versão com orientação mais feminista do Cristianismo Gnóstico antigo. O mais proeminente deles é Os Evangelhos Gnósticosde Elaine Pagels, uma estudiosa que de fato trabalhou no Projeto Nag Hammadi.[16] O livro de Pagels não é um trabalho explicitamente feminista, e contém muita informação valiosa sobre os textos de Nag Hammadi. Ela sugere que Maria Madalena foi inserida em alguns textos gnósticos como uma “figura” literária para ilustrar o conflito entre aqueles que queriam ampliar o papel das mulheres dentro da igreja contra aqueles que queriam restringi-lo, uma sugestão que faz muito sentido. Ela adverte a respeito de tomar estes evangelhos posteriores como tendo muito conteúdo histórico: “Os antagonistas em ambos os lados recorreram à técnica polêmica de escrever literatura que supostamente derivava de tempos apostólicos, professando fornecer as visões originais dos apóstolos sobre os assuntos”. Em outras palavras, muitos dos textos não-canônicos cristãos, gnósticos ou não, foram escritos por zelotes religiosos para demonstrar que “os apóstolos concordavam comigo”.

Muitos feministas citams Os Evangelhos Gnóstico para apoiar as alegações de que os gnósticos eram antigos feministas, uma reivindicação que em verdade não é embasada pelo texto do livro. Pagels escreve que “os gnósticos não eram unânimes em afirmar as mulheres—nem os ortodoxos eram unânimes em denegri-las. Certos textos gnósticos inegavelmente falam do feminino em termos de desprezo”. Porém, ela sim sugere que, no saldo final, as mulheres estavam um pouco melhor na Igreja Gnóstica do que na ortodoxa. Depois, escrevendo em outros meios populares, Pagels adotou uma forte posição feminista, alegando que o feminismo gnóstico teria sido “suprimido”.

Quão “feministas” os gnósticos realmente eram é difícil de concluir com certeza, e a conclusão de cada um dependerá de quais textos escolhe para se concentrar em e quais resolve ignorar. Em vários trabalhos gnósticos, Deus o Pai é elogiado e celebrado como “muito másculo”,[17] o que dificilmente agradará a feministas. No Diálogo Gnóstico do Salvador, Jesus dirige seus discípulos para “Rezar no lugar aonde não há nenhuma mulher” e urge que “os trabalhos da feminilidade” sejam destruídos.[18] A Sofia [Sabedoria] Gnóstica de Jesus Cristo diz “Estes são todos perfeitos e bons. Por estes o defeito foi revelado na fêmea”.[19] E o mais claro de todos, no Evangelho Gnóstico de Tomás, Simão Pedro diz, “Permita que Maria nos deixe, já que mulheres não são merecedoras da Vida”. Jesus responde, “Eu mesmo a guiarei para torná-la masculina, de forma que ela também possa se tornar um espírito vivo que se assemelhe a vocês homens. Uma vez que toda mulher que se torne masculina entrará para o Reino dos Céus”.[20] É óbvio que qualquer interpretação do movimento gnóstico como proto-feminista requer uma leitura extremamente seletiva de seus textos.

Os historiadores profissionais e arqueólogos rejeitam quase universalmente reivindicações feministas de culturas antigas feministas/adoradoras de deusas no mediterrâneo ou em outros lugares. (Veja Goddess Unmasked de Philip G. Davis para uma excelente avaliação da pouca fundação acadêmica na qual estudiosos feministas construíram tais alegações).[21] Todas as sociedades humanas conhecidas, no passado e no presente, são “patriarcais” no sentido em que a liderança formal tanto na sociedade como em casa é predominantemente associada ao homem. As aulas de “Estudos sobre o Feminino” alegam haver muitas exceções, mas essas não sobrevivem a um escrutínio crítico.[22] Isto não significa que nenhuma líder exista, nem nega que as mulheres tenham freqüentemente poder informal enorme não considerado por medidas formais.

**********

Do artigo A Perturbadora Persistência do Determinismo Social (2001):

Minha intenção, aqui, é mostrar como uma tomada de posição dogmática pró `causas determinantes sociais’, principalmente quando relacionada aos transtornos psiquiátricos, pode ser muito perigosa neste tipo de debate `científico’ ideologicamente polarizado. Tentarei enfatizar que, se idéias científicas são construídas socialmente, muito mais longamente construído é o caminho que vai de uma hipótese científica particular até suas possíveis consequências políticas e ideológicas.

Assim, se idéias científicas não possuem consequências ideológicas diretas e inevitáveis, se tais `consequências’ são na verdade construídas socialmente (pela mídia, pelos intelectuais, políticos e cientistas), então parece ser mais promissor não só denunciar as motivações ideológicas dessas contruções mas também explorar leituras e implicações alternativas das mesmas idéias. É preciso evitar a armadilha de se ancorar posições éticas ou políticas na sobrevivência ou derrota de hipóteses científicas particulares.

Talvez um exemplo em forma de caricatura torne mais claro o que foi dito. Imaginemos que existisse uma esquerda acadêmica durante a Renascença e que esta, consciente de seus deveres de `vigilância’ (patrulhamento?) da ciência a fim de denunciar suas consequências políticas perniciosas, acabasse por concluir que a nova física de Galileu e as idéias heliocêntricas Copernicanas representassem uma ideologia burguesa de dominação. Isto poderia ser fartamente documentado, seja pelo financiamento à ciência feito pela burguesia mercantil dos Medici, seja pelo uso dessa nova física na produção de armamentos (telescópios militares, análise balística etc.).

Poderia até acontecer que uma seita de freiras feministas denunciasse o profundo significado machista do Heliocentrismo. Antes, o centro do Universo era a Grande Mãe Terra, princípio feminino; agora, propunha-se a visão patriarcal de um Sol-macho central em torno do qual orbitariam os planetas-fêmeas (Vênus, Terra-Gaia), machos jovens (Marte, Júpiter etc.) e filhotes-satélites. O Heliocentrismo também poderia ser criticado por apresentar um certo ranço aristocrático: uma de suas consequências será `legitimar’, séculos mais tarde, regimes autoritários como o do Rei-Sol Luis XIV…

Além disso, já que tanto o Geocentrismo quanto o Heliocentrismo constituem hipóteses necessariamente falíveis e transitórias (afinal, hoje sabemos que o Sol não é o centro do Universo) e uma vez que os epistemólogos já `demostraram’ (sic) que as hipóteses científicas nada mais são do que receitas de cálculo que não refletem necessariamente uma realidade exterior independente do observador humano (conforme a epistemologia do Cardeal Belarmino), fica claro que a atitude `realista’ e `intolerante’ de Galileu só poderia ter origem em uma ideologia reacionária sexista. Tudo muito interessante.

E no entanto, a Terra se move…

O ponto é que tais `consequências’ machistas, ideológicas etc. não decorrem diretamente do fato da Terra girar em torno de si e do Sol (em primeira aproximação), mas são construídas e elaboradas (consciente ou inconscientemente) pelas pessoas que as defenderam ou rejeitaram nesta situação imaginária. Implicações alternativas, em que se encarasse o Heliocentrismo como lbertário e o Geocentrismo como pensamento reacionário, oderiam ser (e historicamente foram) desenvolvidas. ssim, se nossos companheiros da `esquerda renascentista’ acoplassem
seu projeto ético-político à defesa intransigente do Geocentrismo, isto seria não apenas um enorme equívoco estratégico mas também levaria a um triste e progressivo abandono de sua honestidade intelectual. Não adianta se negar a olhar pelo telescópio! A atitude de permitir-se o auto-engano desde que seja por uma boa causa traz péssimos frutos
a médio prazo.

Nota de Rodapé: No caso do debate sobre a influência genética sobre a personalidade, talvez um dos novos telescópios seja a possibilidade de clonagem humana, que de uma hora para outra tornou altamente testáveis as afirmativas sociodeterministas, irritando profundamente tanto os ambientalistas comportamentais quanto os … reencarnacionistas! Reconhecer este fato não implica em nenhum endosso ético desse tipo de clonagem.

Concurso livro “Dúvida, uma história”.Participe!

Como eu tenho dois exemplares deste livro, farei um concurso de posts para sorteá-lo.
Para participar, você deve fazer uma crítica cética da Teoria do Cristo Mítico, discutindo as falácias desses teoristas conspiratórios pseudocientíficos. Ela deve ser postada no seu blog ou enviada para ser publicada aqui.
Por outro lado, se você quiser participar fazendo uma defesa da Teoria do Cristo Miítico, isso também pode. O prêmio é o troféu “Xaropeta Chatolete de 2010”. Participe!

Dúvida: Uma História: os grandes indecisos e seu legado de inovação de Sócrates e Jesus a Thomas Jefferson e Emily Dickinson.

O perigo do conspiracionismo

O fenômeno do Conspiracionismo precisa ser encarado e estudado de forma mais séria pelos sociólogos (e talvez jornalistas). Eu acredito que, longe de ser um fenômeno marginal ou humorístico (feito por chatoletes e xaropetas, como diria minha namorada), o Conspiracionismo é um sintoma de profunda crise social. Explico a seguir.

Embora os diversos conspiracionismos (ou denialismos, digo negacionismos, Takata!) defendem teses contraditórias, por exemplo, que “A ida do Homem à Lua é uma farsa mas os cientistas escondem” versus “A Apolo XI observou UFOs mas os cientistas escondem”, ou ainda “Jesus nunca existiu mas os historiadores escondem” versus “Jesus teve uma filha com Maria Madalena mas os historiadores escondem” versus “Jesus morreu na Cachemira mas os historiadores escondem”, todos possuem uma base comum: o questionamento da autoridade dos scholars ou intelectuais. Sem esquecer o Criacionismo de Terra Jovem versus o Criacionismo de Terra Velha, onde os cientistas escondem que a Evolução é uma farsa. Ou seja, o Conspiracionismo é um sintoma de anti-intelectualismo.

Esse anti-intelectualismo, por outro lado, é um sintoma do questionamento da autoridade social (não é a toa que a maior parte das teorias conspiratórias tiveram origem na década de 60). Infelizmente, embora a extrema esquerda também seja conspiracionista, em termos de posicionamento político, o conspiracionismo atualmente é dominado por extremistas de direita, em particular anarquistas de extrema direita como os Libertarians americanos.

Assim, entre os conspiracionismos mais atuantes, está o negacionismo do Holocausto e o conspiracionismo da Nova Ordem Mundial (patrocinada por judeus via Protocolos dos Sábios de Sião etc). Mesmo na Ufologia existe uma teoria difundida de que os UFOs seriam aeronaves nazistas vindas de Agharta (situada na Terra Oca) e que um dia irão instaurar o IV Reich? Você duvida da Terra Oca e dos UFOs? É porque os cientistas, mancomunados com a ONU, escondem esse fato.

Sem querer cair falácia da Redução ao Nazismo, eu gostaria de propor que o ator social do Conspiracionismo é o mesmo dos Conspiracionistas Nazistas da década de 20-30: jovens machos pequeno-burgueses com educação universitária mediana (sem doutorado), suficientemente articulados para defenderem suas teses mas que sentem grande frustração social por não possuírem poder e influência intelectual. Esses jovens machos precisam, para sua própria afirmação social, questionar a autoridade dos machos adultos. Em volta deles atuam teóricos de uma geração anterior, que possuem agendas políticas bem definidas mas ocultas (e conspiratórias?).

Sendo assim, em vez de inutilmente ficar “debatendo” com conspiracionistas , cientistas e céticos deveriam focar esse movimento com um olhar sociológico: deve-se perceber que o alvo do conspiracionismo de direita é a ruptura da teia de autoridade social, representada pela Ciência, História, Política, Religião etc. a fim de instaurar uma Nova Ordem Mundial Facista (ops, estou caindo no conspiracionismo, mas vá lá!).

Infelizmente, o vírus do conspiracionismo está no ar e mesmo o movimento cético, cujo propósito inicial era desconstruir as teses conspiracionistas, têm recentemente enveredado por caminhos negacionistas (desde que alinhados com sua filosofia particular). Um exemplo claro pode ser encontrado no debate entre ateus extremistas (vulgo “chateus”) no blog do Reinaldo Lopes sobre a Teoria do Cristo Mítico, uma teoria conspiratória e pseudocientífica rejeitada pela comunidade de históriadores e scholars mas que cada vez mais, como um meme parasítico, tem contaminado as mentes de tantos autoproclamados racionalistas… Muito triste!

The New Scientist Debates Denialism

Category: DenialismGeneral DiscussionGlobal Warming DenialismHIV/AIDS denialismHolocaust Denial
Posted on: May 24, 2010 6:00 AM, by
MarkH

Luckily they don’t make the mistake of actually debating denialists. The feature of last weeks issue, “Age of Denial” is a series of articles by skeptics and one laughable rebuttal, discussing the nature of denialism and tactics to use against it. They do quite a good job covering the basics, starting with Deborah MacKenzie and her article “Why Sensible People Reject the Truth“:

Whatever they are denying, denial movements have much in common with one another, not least the use of similar tactics (see “How to be a denialist”). All set themselves up as courageous underdogs fighting a corrupt elite engaged in a conspiracy to suppress the truth or foist a malicious lie on ordinary people. This conspiracy is usually claimed to be promoting a sinister agenda: the nanny state, takeover of the world economy, government power over individuals, financial gain, atheism. … All denialisms appear to be attempts like this to regain a sense of agency over uncaring nature: blaming autism on vaccines rather than an unknown natural cause, insisting that humans were made by divine plan, rejecting the idea that actions we thought were okay, such as smoking and burning coal, have turned out to be dangerous.

Here she has it exactly right. Denialism starts with ideology, which most of us possess to some degree or another, and a conflict between that ideology and reality – at least so far as science allows us to understand it. In order to regain control of one’s beliefs, and protect them from being challenged, one has to prove that the science is wrong. And that requires one to believe in some form of non-parsimonious conspiracy theory, after all, how else could it be that science has come up with such an answer if not for the concerted malfeasance of thousands of individuals, all working together to undermine the TRUTH?

Further she cites these as tactics of denialists:

How to be a denialist Martin McKee, an epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine who also studies denial, has identified six tactics that all denialist movements use. “I’m not suggesting there is a manual somewhere, but one can see these elements, to varying degrees, in many settings,” he says (The European Journal of Public Health, vol 19, p 2). 1. Allege that there’s a conspiracy. Claim that scientific consensus has arisen through collusion rather than the accumulation of evidence. 2. Use fake experts to support your story. “Denial always starts with a cadre of pseudo-experts with some credentials that create a facade of credibility,” says Seth Kalichman of the University of Connecticut. 3. Cherry-pick the evidence: trumpet whatever appears to support your case and ignore or rubbish the rest. Carry on trotting out supportive evidence even after it has been discredited. 4. Create impossible standards for your opponents. Claim that the existing evidence is not good enough and demand more. If your opponent comes up with evidence you have demanded, move the goalposts. 5. Use logical fallacies. Hitler opposed smoking, so anti-smoking measures are Nazi. Deliberately misrepresent the scientific consensus and then knock down your straw man. 6. Manufacture doubt. Falsely portray scientists as so divided that basing policy on their advice would be premature. Insist “both sides” must be heard and cry censorship when “dissenting” arguments or experts are rejected.

Sound familiar? That’s because McKee cites us in his paper. We’ll forgive her for not identifying the original source, after all McKee gives the credit.

She does get a few things wrong, likely due to her unfamiliarity with just how absurd some denialists are. For instance when she says:

The first thing to note is that denial finds its most fertile ground in areas where the science must be taken on trust. There is no denial of antibiotics, which visibly work. But there is denial of vaccines, which we are merely told will prevent diseases – diseases, moreover, which most of us have never seen, ironically because the vaccines work.

This is demonstrably false, as we have encountered denialists who do deny the efficacy of antibiotics and all of Western medicine, as their particular ideology requires them to believe in the primacy of religion (Christian Science, New Age Nonsense) or in the magical properties of nature. She goes on to describe the work of our good colleague Seth Kalichman and the good things he’s done to fight HIV/AIDS denialism. Overall, a good summary of the problem. I also like how she stays non-judgmental and reflects on how pseudoscience is ultimately a complement to science:

This is not necessarily malicious, or even explicitly anti-science. Indeed, the alternative explanations are usually portrayed as scientific. Nor is it willfully dishonest. It only requires people to think the way most people do: in terms of anecdote, emotion and cognitive short cuts. Denialist explanations may be couched in sciency language, but they rest on anecdotal evidence and the emotional appeal of regaining control.

If imitation is the highest form of flattery, this certainly applies to pseudoscience. After all pseudoscience is a reflection of the authority science has as the arbiter of truth. If being on the right side of science wasn’t so important, cdesign proponentsists and global warming denialists wouldn’t fight so hard to warp it to fit their ideology, and by doing so, implicitly seek its approval.

Jim Giles contributes an interesting article on an example of how a lie travels twice around the world before the truth gets its boots on with Unleashing a Lie, but then the series gets a bit more problematic with the contributions of noted skeptic Michael Shermer (also anerstwhile global warming denialist and persistent libertarian) and an amusing counterpoint from the otherwise wonderful Michael Fitzpatrick, a British GP who fights the good fight against autism quackery.

Starting with Michael Shermer, who ostensibly flipped back from the dark side of denialism with his 2006 piece The Flipping Point, but who, I imagine due to his well-known libertarian ideals, inspired by Ayn Rand no less, still seems to reject the need for any kind of top-down societal change to address the problem. In recent writings – in particular his “5 questions”he still seems to be playing the same game (not to mention promoting the work) of Bjorn Lomborg. Admit global warming is real, sure, but deny we should do anything about it. Or certainly nothing difficult or requiring sacrifice. This is the well-known minimalization approach common to libertarians who “accept” the science. This is the strategy of the Lomborgians and the scam of the Copenhagen consensus, admit the problem exists, just minimize its significance, blow the costs out of proportion and create a consensus from a minority of like-thinkers. Shermer also clearly still has warm feelings for Rand even if he’s rejected Randians as being a creepy cult. His recent work the mind of the market, is primarily lauditory of the free-market solves-all view of things, and these hints and others suggest the ideological source of his problems with the theory. And even though he’s come around (very late I might add) to accept the science of AGW, you can tell he’s still sore about being once labeled a denier:

Though the distinction between scepticism and denial is clear enough in principle, keeping them apart in the real world can be tricky. It has, for example, become fashionable in some circles for anyone who dares to challenge the climate science “consensus” to be tarred as a denier and heaved into a vat of feathers. Do you believe in global warming? Answer with anything but an unequivocal yes and you risk being written off as a climate denier, in the same bag as Holocaust and evolution naysayers.

What is so interesting is that Shermer clearly gets denialism and the problem ideology plays in its promulgation:

Denial is different. It is the automatic gainsaying of a claim regardless of the evidence for it – sometimes even in the teeth of evidence. Denialism is typically driven by ideology or religious belief, where the commitment to the belief takes precedence over the evidence. Belief comes first, reasons for belief follow, and those reasons are winnowed to ensure that the belief survives intact.

In particular his baloney detection tool kit ends with the question “is the idea being promoted fueled by personal belief?” While I think it’s wonderful that he’s came around about 40 years after the science, I think he still has to own up to the fact that his rejection of the science, perfectly strong science in the 1990s and 2000s, was due to anything but his ideology. There wasn’t a new piece of data that arrived in 2006 to change him, just, according to him, Al Gore’s presentation of it that finally worked to change him. Why would a true skeptic reject the scientists and the IPCC only to convert after seeing the Vice President give a TED talk? I think it likely was easy to be skeptic given his distaste for the environmental movement and the perceived infringement on individual liberties that environmental regulation entails. It is also still questionable if his support for Lomborg and the other libertarian minimizers doesn’t represent that he hasn’t just morphed his denial into a new strategy that admits the science is real then happily undermines any of its significance. Anyway, that’s too much time trying to get into someone else’s head, but I’d be happier if Shermer, who is a leader in promoting true skepticism, could just say, “yes I was being irrational”, after all, that’s the whole point of what real skeptics are trying to achieve and what we are trying to achieve with denialism blog. That is, explaining the fact that even very smart, highly skeptical people can be tricked into thinking irrational things when reality conflicts with their ideology. It’s not that denialists are stupid, it’s that they’re irrational and can’t face changing certain core ideals or overvalued ideas that conflict with reality. Given his continued support for Lomborg and falling for his slight-of-hand I’m not sure he’s out of the woods yet on this issue.

Secondly, the denialism rebuttal, by noted autism quack-fighter Michael Fitzpatrick misses the point, and oddly channels some of the classic crank arguments against the very notion of denialism in his article, “Questioning Science Isn’t Blasphemy“. Note the offhand Gallileo Gambit in the title, in fact, that’s little more than the entire argument:

THE epithet “denier” is increasingly used to bash anyone who dares to question orthodoxy. Among other things, deniers are accused of subordinating science to ideology. In his book Denialism: How irrational thinking hinders scientific progress, harms the planet, and threatens our lives, for example, Michael Specter argues that denialists “replace the rigorous and open-minded scepticism of science with the inflexible certainty of ideological commitment”.

How ironic. The concept of denialism is itself inflexible, ideological and intrinsically anti-scientific. It is used to close down legitimate debate by insinuating moral deficiency in those expressing dissident views, or by drawing a parallel between popular pseudoscience movements and the racist extremists who dispute the Nazi genocide of Jews.

Isn’t it telling that the only argument against using the terminology of denialism is an irrational Galileo Gambit, and completely missing the point? We’re not shutting down debate, or censoring anyone, or even insinuating moral deficiency. Quite the opposite, we’re showing how even well-meaning smart people fall for irrational arguments and try to describe which arguments aren’t worth listening to or accepting as legitimate. Denialism is not actual healthy debate, it’s the art of creating the appearance of a debate when facts are settled. Recognizing denialism is just recognizing that some tactics are flawed, and that their use does not represent actual healthy debate. Clearly some denialists aren’t honest brokers in a debate, but the fact is a lot of people fall for and use these arguments simply because they don’t know better. And until everyone understands what represents healthy debate and logical arguments, little progress will be made in advancing legitimate scientific views against the nonsense being peddled by the HIV/AIDS denialists, the autism/vaccine cranks, and AGW denialism. Every success I’ve ever had in changing someone’s mind on these topics has been in explaining how the denialists have twisted facts and relied on conspiracies to promote nonsense. And I have these arguments with good, smart people. I’ve argued AGW once with a surgeon and an anesthesiologist during a case, I’ve gotten into it in bars with the tipsy and opinionated. And usually, if I explain the origins of the opposition (see Naomi Oreskes work on this), factually explain the science, and explain the common canards like global cooling, warming has stopped, etc., I usually close the deal when you explain how absurd the denialists’ conspiracy theory ultimately is.

As philosopher Edward Skidelsky of the University of Exeter, UK, has argued, crying denialism is a form of ad hominem argument: “the aim is not so much to refute your opponent as to discredit his motives”. The expanding deployment of the concept, he argues, threatens to reverse one of the great achievements of the Enlightenment – “the liberation of historical and scientific inquiry from dogma”.

How very cranky, sound like someone is feeling oppressed? All denialism is is a description of a flawed but common type of argument. Here the author suggests that calling flawed arguments flawed will bring the enlightenment to a screeching halt, and we will have a new dark age of scientific orthodoxy being filtered down from our evil leader, Al Gore. Not likely.

Dr. Fitzpatrick seems to think the problem of denialism is caused by a scientific establishment that is too slow to respond when denialist arguments rear their ugly heads, he cites Duesberg and Wakefield as examples:

Both Duesberg and Wakefield were reputable scientists whose persistence with hypotheses they were unable to substantiate took them beyond the limits of serious science. Though they failed to persuade their scientific peers, both readily attracted supporters, including disaffected scientists, credulous journalists, charlatans, quacks and assorted conspiracy theorists and opportunist politicians.

In both cases, scientists were dilatory in responding, dismissing the movements as cranks and often appearing to believe that if they were ignored they would quietly disappear. It took five years before mainstream AIDS scientists produced a comprehensive rebuttal of Duesberg. Though child health authorities were alert to the threat of the anti-vaccine campaign, researchers were slow to respond, allowing it to gather momentum.

Social psychologist Seth Kalichman of the University of Connecticut in Storrs mounts a typical defence of this stance in his book Denying Aids: Conspiracy theories, pseudoscience, and human tragedy. According to Kalichman, denialists often “cross the line between what could arguably be protected free speech”. He justifies suppression of debate on the feeble grounds that this would only legitimise the deniers and that scientists’ time would be better spent on research.

Such attempts to combat pseudoscience by branding it a secular form of blasphemy are illiberal and intolerant. They are also ineffective, tending not only to reinforce cynicism about science but also to promote a distrust for scientific and medical authority that provides a rallying point for pseudoscience.

As Skidelsky says, “the extension of the ‘denier’ tag to group after group is a development that should alarm all liberal-minded people”. What we need is more debate, not less.

I’m not sure exactly what he’s arguing here. Is labeling bogus tactics of argument fascist? Should we create a science PR wing that rises to meet all these challenges? We already have a private version of such a thing with folks like Orac and Ben Goldacre, but your average researcher is usually completely unaware of the pseudoscientists out there causing harm. In the case of HIV/AIDS denial in South Africa, the body count from this harm can be counted in the hundreds of thousands and the debate over the cause of AIDS is long over. The damage by Mbeki and others occurred a decade after scientists in an organized way addressed Duesberg’s bogus ideas and he still kept at it! At what point do we call these poisonous ideas what they are and stop acting like more talk fixes the problem? And what else do you call arguments that rely on conspiracy and cherry-picking and fake experts, logical fallacies and constantly moving goalposts? At a certain point you have to stop acting like you’re facing an honest broker and explain that your opponent isn’t even arguing anymore, because denialism isn’t debate. It’s just rhetorical parlor tricks, a performance designed to confuse and spread doubt where there should be none. If you don’t point out to people how not to fall for the crank arguments these arguments will continue to have resonance and work on the uninitiated (and even on seasoned skeptics like Shermer).

This whole argument reeks of false persecution to me. Fitzpatrick argues we should keep playing cards with a trick deck. At some point you have to point out the cheats for what they are. It’s not suppressing debate, it’s defining what legitimate debate is and refusing to engage unless we’re agreeing to use the same set of facts. If the denialists have a problem with that the solution is simple. Stop alleging idiotic conspiracy theories. Stop cherry picking and moving the goalposts. Stop making things up. When you stop acting like a denialist, you’ll stop being called one.

Marina, ciência e religião

Dois por cento de teólogos criacionistas?

O leitor Cesar Reis questionou minha suposição de que apenas 2% dos teólogos são criacionistas. Depois afirmou que os teólogos cristãos são herejes e traidores da verdadeira religião. OK. Vamos sair do grupo de teólogos com PhD e ficar apenas com os clérigos em geral (pastores e padres). O Clergy Letter Project angariou até agora 12585 assinaturas rejeitando o Criacionismo. Já o CreationLetter.com angariou até agora 257 assinaturas de clérigos que apoiam o Criacionismo.

Estatisticamente falando, isso é uma amostra representativa. Logo, temos 257/12585 = 2,04%.
clérigos a favor do criacionismo. OK, César, eu errei! (por 0,04%)…
Update: acho que errei a conta… A porcentagem certa é  257/(12585+257) = 2,001%, ou seja, errei meu chute por 0,001%!
PS: Uma pesquisa informal revela que o número de pós-docs de física no Brasil que são criacionistas supera esses dois por cento… Que chato, somos bem mais crédulos (em teorias conspiratórias) que teólogos, padres e pastores…
Clergy Letter Project
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Clergy Letter Project is an organization that has created and maintains a statement signed by American Christian clergy of different denominations rejecting creationism, with specific reference to points raised by intelligent design proponents. This effort was organized in 2004 by biologist Michael Zimmerman, now Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana.

By April 7, 2010 , the Clergy Letter Project had collected 12,508 signatures of US Christian clergy, 471 signatures from rabbis, and 224 signatures from Unitarian Universalist Clergy.[1] It continues to collect more. The Project is also making efforts to publicize its other activities.

Por que os teólogos não são criacionistas?

O debate com um leitor levantou um ponto interessante: por que a grande maioria dos teólogos não é criacionista? E por que a maioria dos criacionistas famosos não são teólogos, mas engenheiros? (como diria Sheldon, “hummm…. engenheiros…. está explicado…).
Embora a lista de criacionistas famosos dada na Wikipedia não cite os criacionistas judeus, muçulmanos, budistas ou new agers (acho que isto deveria ser revisto na Wiki), me parece uma amostra relevante em relação ao Criacinismo Bíblico. Assim, notamos o fato interessante de que apenas John Withcomb e Thomas E. Woodward estudaram teologia (em seminários fundamentalistas).
Por que a maioria dos criacionistas bíblicos famosos não são teólogos? E por que a maioria dos teólogos famosos não é criacionista? Acho que a resposta é muito simples: os criacionistas bíblicos são profundamente ignorantes em teologia, pois desde Agostinho ou mesmo Paulo de Tarso os teólogos reconhecem que a linguagem bíblica é metafórica, que não se deve fazer uma leitura literal da Bíblia e que o literalismo bíblico é teologicamente insustentável. 

Ao contrário dos criacionistas bíblicos, os teólogos estudam profundamente a Bíblia, sua origem, sua história, sua filologia, sua critica textual, a linguagem e a cultura da época, etc. Já os criacionistas bíblicos não possuem a mínima formação nessas áreas, ou pelo menos se comportam como se não tivessem.

Para mais informações, aqui vai a página da Wikipedia sobre o tema:

List of participants in the creation–evolution controversy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a list of people and organisations involved in the creation-evolution controversy.

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Scientific Community

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Organizations and websites

  • The United States National Academy of Sciences has made a number of statements opposing creationism. They state, “Creationism, intelligent design, and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life or of species are not science because they are not testable by the methods of science.”[1]
  • The American Association for the Advancement of Science (the world’s largest general scientific society) contrasts the “scientific robustness of the contemporary theory of biological evolution”[2] with the proposed teaching of intelligent design that will “confuse students about the nature of science.”[3]
  • The Royal Society is opposed to creationism being taught as science. The society is committed to the teaching of evolution as the best explanation for the history of life on earth.[4]
  • The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) supports the teaching of evolutionary biology in schools, and opposes the teaching of creationism. They hold that science classes should teach evolution; that teachers should be “nonjudgmental” of students’ religious views; and that “creation science” and “intelligent design” should not be taught.[5]
  • The National Center for Science Education was founded in 1981 to oppose creationism and is led by Eugenie Scott. It has 4,000 members and operates a website. It also runsProject Steve, a list of 772+ certified Doctorate holding pro-evolution signatories named Steve (or Stephen or some variant thereof), as a parody of creationist attempts to collect signature lists of experts who doubt evolution.
  • The American Association of Physics Teachers states that “we do not endorse teaching the ‘evidence against evolution,’ because currently no such scientific evidence exists. Nor can we condone teaching “scientific creationism,” “intelligent design,” or other non-scientific viewpoints as valid scientific theories.”[6]
  • The American Astronomical Society supports teaching evolution, noting that many astronomical observations show changes in the universe over a long period of time consistent with evolution. They state that “‘Intelligent Design’ fails to meet the basic definition of a scientific idea” and “does not belong in the science curriculum.”[7]
  • The American Geophysical Union states that “Earth History and the Evolution of Life Must Be Taught: Creationism Is Not Science,” thus the AGU “opposes all efforts to require or promote teaching creationism or any other religious tenets as science.”[8] In addition, the American Geological Institute, the Association for Women Geoscientists, the Geological Society of America, the Paleontological Society, the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology and the Society for Organic Petrology all have position statements supporting the teaching of evolution and opposing the teaching of non-scientific ideas.
  • The Board of Directors of the American Chemical Society supports “evolution as the only scientifically accepted explanation for the origin and diversity of species.” [9]
  • The American Physical Society‘s governing Council has long expressed its opposition to the inclusion of religious concepts such as intelligent design and related forms of creationism in science classes.[10] APS is the world’s largest professional body of physicists, representing over 43,000 physicists in academia and industry in the US and internationally.
  • Kansas Citizens for Science is a group that is trying to fight the revision of science standards in Kansas.
  • CSICOP and The Skeptics Society are anti-pseudoscience organizations with creationism among their targets.
  • The Talk.Origins Archive is a large website of articles critiquing creationary ideas, plus a discussion forum; there is an extensive set of links to sites of interest on both sides of the debate – including True. Origins.
  • Talk Reason is a take-off of the talk.origins archive that deals exclusively with debunking intelligent design.

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People

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Creationists

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Organizations and websites

  • The Creation Research Society, an organization that limits voting members to those with a postgraduate degree, supports the study of origins with regard to creation science.
  • The Institute for Creation Research is based in San Diego and was founded in 1970 by Henry Morris. It is now led by his son, John Morris. ICR publishes a number of books and newsletters, as well as producing radio spots and operating a website and a small museum.
  • Answers in Genesis (AiG) is a Christian apologetics organization devoted to the beliefs of Young Earth creationism, specifically a plain reading of the first chapters of the Book of GenesisKen Ham is a notable creationist from AiG.
  • The Center for Scientific Creation, founded by creationist Dr. Walter Brown, is dedicated to studying origins from two different perspectives. It studies the earth as it exists today and formulates theories about what past events could have occurred to generate what we see today. It also looks at the Genesis account of origins and history, and formulates theories and predictions (of which there are 38) that science has not yet discovered, but based on Dr. Brown’s theories, will be discovered when technology and research is applied in those areas. Creationists claim that some of his predictions of scientific discovery have already been found to be true, including his prediction about comet composition, discovered by the Deep Impact Mission on 4 July 2005.[11]
  • The Discovery Institute is a Seattle-based think tank which has been the primary driver behind intelligent design. Its members include Phillip E. Johnson – father of the intelligent design movementStephen C. MeyerMichael Behe and William Dembski. Its goal as stated in its Wedge strategy document is to “defeat [scientific] materialism” represented byevolution, “reverse the stifling materialist world view and replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions” … “We are building on this momentum, broadening the wedge with a positive scientific alternative to materialistic scientific theories, which has come to be called the theory of intelligent design (ID). Design theory promises to reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions.”[12] The institute’s ultimate goal is to “renew” American culture by shaping public policy to reflect conservative Christian, namely evangelical Protestant, values.[13].
  • The American Scientific Affiliation is an organization of professional scientists who also have a commitment to the Christian faith and has been in existence since 1948. There has been long-standing dialog in this organization between members who believe that there is no conflict between evolutionary science and religious ideas and other members who believe that there is a conflict.
  • Reasons to Believe is a progressive creationist organisation founded in 1986 by Hugh Ross. It publishes a number of books and operates a website. Ross opposes biological evolution but accepts mainstream theories of geological and astronomical history.
  • Answers In Creation is an old-earth creationist website which supports both progressive creationists and theistic evolutionists. This is accomplished by examining young-earth creationist arguments and showing the flaws they contain.
  • The True.Origin Archive is a website set up to respond to claims made on the Talk.Origins Archive (see above); it includes a page of purchasable material of interest to creationists.
  • The Center for Origins Research, at Bryan College.
  • Probe Ministries is an evangelical Christian organization founded in 1973 by James F. Williams Jr. and Jon Buell, based in Richardson, Texas. It is a Christian worldview and apologetics ministry headed by Ray Bohlin, a fellow of the Discovery Institute.[14]
  • Christian Answers provides online access to “over 45-thousand files” of Christian apologetics (including creationist) materials in 42 languages. Team members behind Christian Answers include: AIIA Institute; Answers in Genesis; Associates for Biblical Research; Creation Research Society; Eden Communications/Films for Christ; Ray Comfort/Living Waters Summit Ministries. Christian Answers maintains a list of scientists that subscribe to creationism.[15]
  • The Creation Science Association of Mid America (CSAMA) is Young Earth creationist organizaton[16] based in St Louis, Missouri.[17] In 1999 the Kansas State Board of Educationrelied heavily on CSAMA material in constructing science standards that minimized the tuition of evolution.[18]

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People

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See also

Roberto Martins e a divulgação científica da História da Ciência

Um interessante (chocante?) artigo de Roberto Martins na RBEF:

Como Não Escrever Sobre História da Física – um Manifesto Historiográfico

(…) quando uma pessoa começa a estudar a história da ciência (ou qualquer outro tema), ela não tem uma mente em branco, mas cheia de crenças provenientes daquilo que já leu ou ouviu falar. De um modo geral, um cientista atual gosta de pensar que ele próprio é muito superior aos “antigos”, e por isso ele acredita com facilidade em quem lhe diz que os pensadores que foram ultrapassados eram tolos, não tinham bons argumentos, não sabiam fazer ciência, e suas idéias apenas foram aceitas porque recebiam o apoio de religiosos estúpidos. Como já se sabia desde a época dos romanos, “Você acredita facilmente naquilo que deseja fortemente” (Publius Terentius, citado por EDWARDS, The new dictionary of thoughts, p. 120). 

Assim, uma série de crenças, geralmente do tipo que alimenta o amor-próprio dos cientistas, vai se difundindo e passa a constituir uma base tácita com a qual olhamos para o passado. “Toda pessoa, onde quer que vá, está cercada por uma nuvem de convicções confortantes, que se movem com ela como moscas em um dia de verão” (Bertrand Russell, citado por PARTINGTON, The Oxford dictionary of quotations, p. 551).

Por que 21 de dezembro de 2012?

A data 21 de dezembro de 1954 lhe diz alguma coisa? Bom, isso aconteceu há 55 anos atrás…

When Prophecy Fails

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

When Prophecy Fails
1964 When Prophecy Fails Festinger.jpg
Book cover, 1964 edition.
Author Leon Festinger, Henry Riecken, Stanley Schachter
Country United States
Language English
Subject(s) Psychology
Genre(s) Non-fiction
Publisher Harper-Torchbooks
Publication date January 1, 1956
Media type Hardcover
Pages 253
ISBN ISBN 0061311324
OCLC Number 217969

When Prophecy Fails is a 1956 classic book in social psychology by Leon Festinger, Henry Riecken, and Stanley Schachter about a UFO cult that believes the end of the world is at hand.

Contents

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Cognitive dissonance

Festinger’s theory of cognitive dissonance can account for the psychological consequences of disconfirmed expectations. One of the first published cases of dissonance was reported in the book,When Prophecy Fails (Festinger et al. 1956). Festinger and his associates read an interesting item in their local newspaper headlined “Prophecy from planet Clarion call to city: flee that flood.” A housewife from Michigan, given the name “Marian Keech” in the book, had mysteriously been given messages in her house in the form of “automatic writing” from alien beings on the planet Clarion. These messages revealed that the world would end in a great flood before dawn on December 21, 1954. Mrs Keech had previously been involved with L. Ron Hubbard‘s Dianetics movement, and her cult incorporated ideas from what was to become Scientology.[1] The group of believers, headed by Keech, had taken strong behavioral steps to indicate their degree of commitment to the belief. They had left jobs, college, and spouses, and had given away money and possessions to prepare for their departure on the flying saucer, which was to rescue the group of true believers.

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Premise of study

Festinger and his colleagues saw this as a case that would lead to the arousal of dissonance when the prophecy failed. Altering the belief would be difficult, as Keech and her group were committed at considerable expense to maintain it. Another option would be to enlist social support for their belief. As Festinger wrote, “If more and more people can be persuaded that the system of belief is correct, then clearly it must after all be correct.” In this case, if Keech could add consonant elements by converting others to the basic premise, then the magnitude of her dissonance following disconfirmation would be reduced. Festinger and his colleagues predicted that the inevitable disconfirmation would be followed by an enthusiastic effort at proselytizing to seek social support and lessen the pain of disconfirmation.

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Sequence of events

Festinger and his colleagues infiltrated Mrs. Keech’s group and reported the following sequence of events:[2]

  • Prior to December 20. The group shuns publicity. Interviews are given only grudgingly. Access to Keech’s house is only provided to those who can convince the group that they are true believers. The group evolves a belief system—provided by the automatic writing from the planet Clarion—to explain the details of the cataclysm, the reason for its occurrence, and the manner in which the group would be saved from the disaster.
  • December 20. The group expects a visitor from outer space to call upon them at midnight and to escort them to a waiting spacecraft. As instructed, the group goes to great lengths to remove all metallic items from their persons. As midnight approaches, zippers, bra straps, and other objects are discarded. The group waits.
  • 12:05 A.M., December 21. No visitor. Someone in the group notices that another clock in the room shows 11:55. The group agrees that it is not yet midnight.
  • 12:10 A.M. The second clock strikes midnight. Still no visitor. The group sits in stunned silence. The cataclysm itself is no more than seven hours away.
  • 4:00 A.M. The group has been sitting in stunned silence. A few attempts at finding explanations have failed. Keech begins to cry.
  • 4:45 A.M. Another message by automatic writing is sent to Keech. It states, in effect, that the God of Earth has decided to spare the planet from destruction. The cataclysm has been called off: “The little group, sitting all night long, had spread so much light that God had saved the world from destruction.”
  • Afternoon, December 21. Newspapers are called; interviews are sought. In a reversal of its previous distaste for publicity, the group begins an urgent campaign to spread its message to as broad an audience as possible.

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Conditions

Festinger stated that five conditions must be present, if someone is to become a more fervent believer after a failure or disconfirmation:

  • A belief must be held with deep conviction and it must have some relevance to action, that is, to what the believer does or how he behaves.
  • The person holding the belief must have committed himself to it; that is, for the sake of his belief, he must have taken some important action that is difficult to undo. In general, the more important such actions are, and the more difficult they are to undo, the greater is the individual’s commitment to the belief.
  • The belief must be sufficiently specific and sufficiently concerned with the real world so that events may unequivocally refute the belief.
  • Such undeniable disconfirmatory evidence must occur and must be recognized by the individual holding the belief.
  • The individual believer must have social support. It is unlikely that one isolated believer could withstand the kind of disconfirming evidence that has been specified. If, however, the believer is a member of a group of convinced persons who can support one another, the belief may be maintained and the believers may attempt to proselyte or persuade nonmembers that the belief is correct.

Lista de revistas com acesso aberto

A lista completa está aqui.
Por um acidente alfabético, as revistas de Filosofia e Religião (Philosophy) se encontram entre as de Matemática e Estatística (Mathematics) e as de Física (Physics).
Dado que a palavra “Matemática” tem um sentido original de estudo, contemplação e iluminação (“insight”), dado que Platão era Matemático, dado que Pitágoras talvez seja o primeiro físico-matemático, talvez faça sentido…

Mathematics and Statistics
Mathematics (143 journals)
Statistics (32 journals)
Philosophy and Religion
Philosophy (115 journals)
Religion (59 journals)
The Bible (4 journals)
Physics and Astronomy
Astronomy (General) (17 journals)
Physics (General) (62 journals)

Deuses tipo I e Deuses tipo II

Do blog Chi Vó Non Pó

Que raio de Deus é esse?

Category: Comportamento
Posted on:
Novembro 30, 2009 8:16 PM, by João Carlos

Uma curiosa coincidência me tirou da toca, hoje. De um lado, o acinte praticado pelos corruptos do Distrito Federal, orando em agradecimento por uma rapinagem bem sucedida. O assunto é bem esmiuçado no post Da Religião como símbolo político do Hermenauta (via itens compartilhados da Lucia Malla).

Como se fora de encomenda, o EurekAlert traz uma notícia – com o sugestivo título “As inferências dos crentes sobre as intenções de Deus são incrivelmente egocêntricas” – sobre o resultado de um estudo, publicado hoje em Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, liderado por Nicholas Epley, professor de ciências do comportamento na Escola Booth de Administração da Universidade de Chicago, que também é assunto do Not Exactly Rocket Science, do Scibling Ed Yong, com o título “Criando Deus segundo a própria imagem”.

Em resumo, o estudo revela que as pessoas tendem a acreditar que Deus pensa como elas. Ou, posto de uma forma menos eufemística, que as pessoas acreditam que Deus tem que perguntar para elas como gerir o universo. Não é de estranhar, portanto, que o tema “Deus” cause tantas discussões e desavenças…

Last, but not least, uma outra notícia no EurekAlert coloca a pergunta: “Existe um gene do placebo?”, sobre os estudos de Matthias Breidert e Karl Hofbauer, publicados em Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, onde se discute uma predisposição genética dos pacientes mais suscetíveis ao Efeito-Placebo (eles afirmam que as variáveis são tantas que nada se pode afirmar, com segurança…) (um muggle-gene?…)

Bom… Se Dawkins pode postular um “gene egoísta”, eu posso postular um “gene estúpido”.

Crédulo do jeito que eu sou, não consigo imaginar um Criador para um universo do tamanho deste que aí está, que se envolva com o sucesso ou insucesso de indivíduos, notadamente quando esse Super-Ser supostamente impõe um código de ética com 10 cláusulas-pétreas (e uma 11ª implícita: “Jamais sejais apanhados violando qualquer uma das anteriores”) que “servem para os outros, não para mim”…

No entanto, a esmagadora maioria daqueles que se dizem religiosos pensa exatamente assim. O tal “Deus” é o fiador de toda a sorte de cretinice, safadeza, preconceito, violência gratuita, discriminação… enfim, de todo procedimento escandalosamente anti-social por parte daqueles que dizem se preocupar com o futuro da humanidade.

Eu cá não consigo conciliar essa contradição. Talvez porque eu seja portador do “gene estúpido”… mas a impressão que eu tenho é exatamente o contrário.



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Comments (5)

1

Estranho, esse estudo de Epley citado pelo EurekAlert não está relacionado no Early Edition de 30 de novembro do PNAS. Fazendo uma busca por Epley não retorna resultado algum…

[]s,

Roberto Takata

Posted by: Roberto Takata | dezembro 1, 2009 12:46 AM

2

O ideal, talvez, era que todos fossem “humanistas”, como o era, por exemplo, Isaac Asimov, antes de escolherem essa, ou aquela, ou nenhuma, religião.

Inté!

Posted by: Joey Salgado | dezembro 1, 2009 7:34 AM

3

O post do Yong traz a seguinte referência: PNAS doi:10.1073/pnas.0908374106

Posted by: João Carlos Author Profile Page | dezembro 1, 2009 9:32 AM

4

Sugestão: existem dois tipos de “deuses”. Os deuses criadores, seja o Deus de Platão e teólogos platonistas, seja os “Deuses Astronautas” que teriam criado a humanidade em estilo Arquivo X (ou tipo ID) – chamemos isso de deuses tipo I – e os deuses-espiritos-memes-onírico-neural (DEMONs, desculpem o neologismo forçado!) que habitam os cerebros humanos – chamemos isso de deuses tipo II.

Ou seja, um DEMON é uma personalidade alternativa (Guia, Orixá, Espirito de Jesus, Yavé, deuses greco-romanos, espíritos da floresta, ETs “irmãos do espaço”, anjos, etc) que emergem em outra rede neural do cérebro que não a rede neural usual onde se situa o ego, por exemplo, na região correspondente do outro hemisfério cerebral (“ego ipsilateral?”).

A pessoa fica então com (pelo menos) duas personalidades, que dialogam entre si através da oração e do rito. É uma teoria baseada no livro “A Mente Bicameral”, de Jaynes, você conhece?

Isso explicaria as correlações entre o DEMON de uma pessoa e sua personalidade usual (em termos de valores, etc, por exemplo, uma pessoa pequeno-burguesa tenderia a ter um DEMON que valoriza as posses materiais e os meios mágico-religiosos para consegui-las; já uma pessoa mais altruista como Marina Silva teria um DEMON altruista etc).

Assim, a crença de que podemos conversar, mesmo em silêncio, com Deus ou com os espiritos seria devido ao fato de que podemos realmente conversar com nossos DEMONs, pois ambos habitam o mesmo cérebro.

O importante seria não confundir o Deus dos Filósofos com nosso DEMON pessoal. E lembremos que todos temos nossos demonios pessoais, embora muitos sejam não pessoais, tais como valores, obsessões e paixões…

PS: É uma teoria testável? Predição: pessoas com DEMONs ouvem vozes dos mesmos durante a oração ou meditação, e isto poderia ser comprovado usando-se imagens de ressonancia magnetica funcional, detetando-se focos de atividade auditiva fora das regiões normais…

Posted by: Osame Kinouchi | dezembro 3, 2009 9:23 PM

5

Uma excelente sugestão quanto à forma de testar a comunicação com o DEMON. Mas eu penso ter lido (não sei onde) que o centro cerebral envolvido nas experiências “místicas” é o mesmo que gere os sonhos e alucinações.

Posted by: João Carlos Author Profile Page | dezembro 3, 2009 9:55 PM