Jesus was no Philosopher

There’s no chapter on Jesus in most philosophy textbooks, and the reasons are obvious.

was-jesus-ignorantA philosopher has credentials, but the character portrayed as Jesus didn’t. He was uneducated and illiterate. Galilean peasant society was insular and primitive, even by the standards of the times. He might’ve been clever and charismatic, yet he knew nothing of the philosophy and science of the Greek and Roman world. Non-Jewish law, ethics, history, art and literature were a mystery to him. So Jesus wasn’t qualified to be a philosophy teacher, and it shows.

He was a deluded dreamer who made wild promises that didn’t come true, such as when he promised the kingdom of God was soon to be established on earth, which never happened. He failed to give consistent or comprehensive solutions to life’s conundrums. Most of his teachings lack the detail to make them meaningful. Dogma without reasoning and explanation doesn’t cut the mustard as philosophy.

philosophyCommendable philosophers are seekers of truth and wisdom who propose answers to the mysteries of life and the universe after a reasoned analysis. They see through gloss to discover substance. They occasionally come up with profound one-liners (aphorisms) such as “E=mc squared” or “I think, therefore I am,” but these are the products of elaborate reasoning. Jesus’ numerous one-liners only proposed unsatisfactory simplistic solutions to complex problems.

Good philosophers have open minds and are genuinely interested in others’ opinions. They don’t assume or pretend they alone have all the answers. They care enough about their audience to document their ideas with precision and detail. They’re aware that one day their ideas may appear outdated. Much of what Jesus said was a dictatorial diatribe that failed to do any of this.

Many of Jesus’ teachings were second hand; they’s already been made by Jewish rabbis such as Hillel, or by Buddha or Confucius.

ha ha

He was often intolerant and xenophobic, as when he badmouthed Pharisees or Gentiles.He patronised people by promising heaven, and threatened them with hell; sure signs of weak arguments, because he never had to deliver the reward or the punishment. He praised poverty, thought depression (being “poor in spirit”) was a virtue, and praised faith (the belief in something for which there’s no evidence.) He was ignorant about mental illness, as he thought epileptics or the psychotic were possessed by evil spirits. If he was God, he should’ve known better.

He undermined the family unit, the building block of a stable society.

“If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26, KJV.) He was often inconsistent, as when he was
discussing his relationship with God the Father. He was also very patronising, as he showed no interest in other people’s opinions, and referred to his followers as sheep. He failed to have his own teachings accurately documented for posterity.

Truly inspiring words in great books, poetry, or speeches have a timeless coherency and consistency to them. Jesus’ teachings don’t. If they were sent to a publisher who’d never read the Bible, they’d garner a pink slip. He’d assume Jesus was a dunce.

Many people argue that everything he said was perfect because he was god. This is just blind, unreasoned faith, and it can’t rescue Jesus from a thinking, critical public. (http://www.richardcarrier.info/McFallRebuttal1.html).

jesus stupid

Some claim it was the fact Jesus became a man that’s what matters; that his primary purpose was to save the world from sin. Saint Paul invented this irrational and profoundly immoral idea, but he’d never heard Jesus’ teachings, a fact that’s obvious on reading his writings. The gospels hadn’t been written, so he hadn’t read them. This is why Paul, the true founder of Christian theology, didn’t consider Christ a philosopher, yet wrote volumes propounding his own philosophy.

religion endsMany people disagree with me. Some of them even claim the gospels provide a universal moral code for mankind. They have an unjustified devotion for their leather bound tomes, as they haven’t read Jesus’ supposed words objectively. I think they too easily accept any of the thousands of books and articles that try to explain, harmonize or “contextualize” Jesus’ sayings. All this commentary is heavily manufactured; it resorts to artificial and arbitrary interpretations rather than simply taking what are said to be Jesus’ words at face value. There’s no other way to make Jesus sound authoritative and wise, yet I think it’s intellectually dishonest.

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=j4QXOgVfY9k).

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4bAhGHiAxE&list=TLPqGfTSmVTss).

                                                        The Emotions of an Omniscient God

Can anyone imagine an omniscient God agreeing with Jesus’ flawed, facile dogmas? The power and depth of her thinking would be infinite, so she’d hardly be obsessed with the traditions, prejudices, rewards, and punishments of the ancient Jewish and Roman world, because she’d be bigger than that.

If, hypothetically, Jesus is an omniscient god, he wouldn’t be offended by my honest assessment of his teachings. He’d be indifferent to my opinions, and he knows I’m only using the critical faculties he gave me. I suggest those who imagine Jesus is god shouldn’t be offended either.

jesus-mask

 

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6 Responses to Jesus was no Philosopher

  1. Great work, numerous really logical suggestions! I value you crafting this editorial and the rest of your site is really good!

  2. Scott Morgan says:

    An omnipotent, omniscent creator (if he exists), by his very nature, wouldn’t need philosophy. He wouldn’t “seek truth and wisdom” because he’d have it already. He wouldn’t need to hear the opinions of others because he knows their hearts and minds already.

    According to Jesus, he said and did what his father told him. He spoke entirely in an authoritative manner and, according to the gospels, his audiences took note of this and were amazed. He didn’t get in protracted debates–he simply, and quickly, silenced those who tried to argue with him or trap him with greater wisdom. (According to the New Testament, at least).

    I concur with you, as a Christian, that Jesus was no philosopher. I’ll also add, to be clear, that Christianity is not a philosophy.

    However, IF YOU ARE RIGHT that Christian theology and the stories of Jesus are purposely made contrivances, then its arguable that the orchestrator(s) had his (their) on philosophy regarding human nature and applied them tactfully. This would especially make the orchestrator(s) an astonishing object of study. That’s why I find your blog particularly interesting, because though you’re not a believer you’re trying to unravel the mystery.

    Now, why would an omniscent creator be “obsessed” with “traditions, prejudices, rewards, and punishments” of the ancient (or modern) world? Perhaps you’ll discover a reasonable, hypothetical answer in Romans, Chapter 9.

    • Mark Fulton says:

      Ha ha. I’ve looked up Romans chapter 9 and read it. Paul was a liar. He lied about the quotation from Hosea,
      about Gentiles being descendants of Abraham, and he lied about his entirely fabricated “new covenant.” Ask any jewish scholar and they’ll tell you there is no such thing as a new covenant other than in Paul’s imagination.

      Paul invented the idea of the new covenant so that he could water-down Judaism with Gentiles. Jews were problematic for the Roman government. They didn’t worship Caesar, and they started wars. Paul was a government agent employed to undermine Judaism. In his own time he was unsuccessful as there was a massive war in 66 to 70. After the war, the Flavian government tried a different tack… they invented the Gospels.

      If we imagine an omniscient omnipotent hypothetical God she quite obviously couldn’t care less about the traditions and ramblings of a very backward tiny race of people from 2 to 3000 years ago. She’d be bigger than that.

      • Scott Morgan says:

        I didn’t comment on the first paragraph of your response where you said Paul lied about the quotation from Hosea.

        First, I see where you’re coming from. The Hosea text, in its context, was referring to Israel (I can see no reason Jews would have applied it to Gentiles during Hosea’s “release”.

        However, I do think the verses were appropriate in that they demonstrate God’s initiative in taking people who aren’t his and changing their hearts. Also, Paul points out that “not all of Israel is Israel”. I would say, from my Christian perspective, that this is both an OT and NT truth.

        Are there any OT texts that imply that Gentiles can be part of the body of Israel? I believe so, but I think many scholars can answer this more thoroughly. I know that there is God’s promise early in the Bible that Abraham’s people would be a blessing to the whole world. There’s also the promise that Gentiles who “keep His sabboths” will be recognized as God’s own. There’s “the Court of the Gentiles” where non-Abrahamic descendents can gather with the Hebrew people to worship the OT God. So, yes, I’m going to say just from my scant knowledge of the OT that some gentiles, indeed, have historically been part of Israel long before Jesus’s birth. This implies to me that there was a Gentile contingent who were included within the original context.

        As for the idea of a “New Covenant”, I’m not sure its relevant that the OT never specifically mentions this or that the phrase is coined during or after the life/death of Jesus. To a Christian of either Gentile or Abrahamic descent, the life/death/resurrection of Jesus represents a completion of God’s redeeming work. It marks an end to the sacrificial system of old which functioned as a prelude to the sacrifice of the Messiah. But to the Jewish scholar, I’m sure you’re right that this concept simply doesn’t exist in their theology.

        • Scott Morgan says:

          I should have said earlier that “I can see no reason that the Jews would have applied the Hosea promise to the Gentile WORLD”. Without specifying “gentile WORLD”, I eventually contradicted myself in the comment.

        • Mark Fulton says:

          Re
          “However, I do think the verses were appropriate in that they demonstrate God’s initiative in taking people who aren’t his”

          But… The point is that the people were “his” because they were Israelites. Paul claims that people who weren’t Israelites were “his” i.e. God’s… But they weren’t, and they still aren’t (according to the old Testament texts.)

          Re “Are there any OT texts that imply that Gentiles can be part of the body of Israel?”

          Well…maybe… The old testament is a very big book, written by numerous anonymous priests and prophets. Yet it’s very clear on reading that book as a whole it was very exclusive. Non-Jewish people were murdered, bashed, raped, enslaved and looked down on. If any Gentiles were willing to play by the rules invented by priests, such as obeying the sabbath, sure… they could join in. Just as long as they did what they were told and forked up when it came to paying the priests.

          Re…”To a Christian of either Gentile or Abrahamic descent, the life/death/resurrection of Jesus represents a completion of God’s redeeming work.”

          Utter nonsense! Bullshit invented by Paul and – or his contemporaries. Ask any Jew what they think of this and they’ll agree with me. Don’t forget our Jesus, if he ever even existed, and his family and friends, were all jewish. J E W I S H. Paul perked up 20 or 30 years later and try to change all the rules.

          To sacrifice a messiah was a ridiculous concept to the Jews… as it still is today…. for anyone who takes the time to carefully consider it.

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