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Discussion 19 to Meditation 38
Re: The Historicity of Jesus & Socrates

by JT

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You are quite right about Socrates. Further, there are scholars who question whether Plato correctly gave us Socrates' true views . But, you are correct that his existence is not generally considered an invention of Plato. Socrates' reality is generally accepted. But no extraordinary metaphysical claims are made about Socrates' activities. And no religion depends upon him actually having lived.

However, extraordinary claims are made for Christ. And they are extraordinary enough that it is reasonable to expect that they would have been noted within his lifetime. As an example, the whole of Matthew 2 is full of extraordinary events that went undocumented at the time - star in the east - wise men - Herod's councils - massacre of the innocents. Yet somehow Matthew, who did not observe these any of these events firsthand, somehow was able to write about these purported events over 50 years later. He is the only one who reported them. These events do not appear even in the other gospels.

Matthew provides no information on how he obtained this extraordinary knowledge. With no supporting evidence, Matthew 2 appears pure fiction, as do all the other extraordinary events surrounding Christ.

We do not accept that the existence of people who are Raelians supports the extraordinary claims made by Rael.

We do not accept that the existence of people who are Scientologists supports the extraordinary claims made by L. Ron Hubbard.

We do not accept that the existence of followers of the Order of the Solar Temple supports the extraordinary claims made by Jo di Mambro.

We do not accept that the existence of followers of the Heaven's Gate cult supports the extraordinary claims made by Do.

There is no more evidence for the extraordinary claims of these cult founders than there is evidence for the extraordinary claims about Christ. Yet, we have a lot of real evidence that these individuals actually existed.