Jesus, From Good To Bad

Talking too much about god is not viewed as serious philosophy in Europe anymore. However, just look at Charlie Hebdo, Putin, or the CIA accusing Julian Assange to have kissed a consenting woman wrong to see the error of the ways of ignoring how imbeciles think.

Ignoring Hitler was not profitable to higher intellectual types, let’s not repeat the mistake.


“Evidence”, in law, history, and much of science, is all about establishing in what “universe” (in the sense given in Logical Treatises) the logos of the debate is going to live.

Informal Bayesian analysis is used all the way to do so. It is informal, because it depends blatantly upon subjective elements (so does all and any logos).

It can be fraught: some used it to “prove” the existence of Jesus, or its opposite.

I wrote against the historicity of Jesus, for decades. In the USA, this makes you less appreciated than if you wrote against the car. But Jesus is central to tolerating the plutocratic order (strangely enough, as the Gospels clearly despise wealth).

Thinking Out Of The Box Works, Even For Gnus.

Thinking Out Of The Box Works, Even For Gnus.

Carrier is a historian not infeodated to Christianism. In the USA, an entire propaganda is directed against these people, calling them “Gnu Atheists”.

I just consulted Carrier’s (very recent) work:

Carrier’s arguments about the inexistence of Jesus, the person, are purely logical, and similar to those I long published. However he misses more general arguments which I used. First observation: at the time, Jesus-like characters were a dime a dozen.

Some of the Jesus look-alike, who really existed, violated the law, and were tried and executed (we have the historical records). Some died in Rome, some in the Orient.

Before I pursue the general theory, let me insist a bit using more arguments against the existence of Jesus the person.

It is often say that Tacitus speaks of Jesus (however, Josephus, the top Jewish general, writing 39 years earlier his gigantic history of Judea, did not).

Tacitus wrote the Annals in 109 CE. That was 45 years after Saint Paul spent some time inventing Cristus in his golden prison in Rome (I say). According to me, Saint Paul was exfiltrated from Rome (for the same reason that he was brought to Rome in the first place, to escape execution in Jerusalem).

Saint Paul obviously had very high contacts inside the Roman state (his exfiltration from Judea was already quite a risk for Rome. Four years after Saint Paul’s writing, the first Evangels/Gospels are written by supposed “eyewitnesses” of Cristus (although Josephus, who was in the best position to know everything, was not in the know).

Many top Romans obviously felt Cristus was a better deal than those pesky Jews. And presented a golden opportunity for a universal religion (as all religion had a top god, it could be identified to the one of Jesus).

Indeed, by 300 CE, Christianism had extended massively a Romanitas of sorts, well beyond the Roman LIMES (the military border). (It is even rumored that at least one emperor was a closet Christian during the Third Century).

We know, from various documents, that very high officials in Rome, were engaged in the Christian conspiracy, early on. (Some declared they would write Gospels during their retirement…)

The idea of Christianism was not too bad, at first sight: it was to reintroduce the Republic, through the “Christian Republic”, a sort of sea monster that kept on reappearing until 1789…

As early as the Eight Century, the Venetian Republic blossomed under the wings of the Franks (Charlemagne no doubt saw himself as the new Augustus… Or more exactly, DAVID).


Last, no least: the Annals were discovered by religious people, in religious establishments. In various Abbeys, Monasteries, and Monte Cassino. Rumors of forgeries are as old as their discovery. Are the “Cristus” passages authentic?


A good way to understand the root of a flawed reasoning is to understand the logic that exert psychological pressure to produce that lie. There was a need for a Jesus character, so plenty of Jesus characters were produced, by the general logic in attendance.

What was that logic?

Jewish faith was Judeo-centric. It had a great strength: an undivided god. Many religions recognized a god of the gods, but having no god but god was simpler, and less subject to contradictions, while being more sympathetic to a state led by just one “Prince” (Princeps).

A message more oriented towards all people, not just Jews, and normal human ethology, that is, with more love than Rome experienced, fit the species better.

Hence a full century before the alleged Jesus, there was another, just like him in his philosophical message, but this one gentleman was fully historically documented, in Alexandria.

The logic wanted a Jesus, so Saint Paul produced it (with several caveats in his writings which basically recognized he made Jesus up, and those caveats were produced by me, long ago, and Carrier, more recently).

When Laplace furthered “Bayesian” analysis, he was interested by some games of chance.

When philosophers produce truth, they do not blindly parrot gnu logic. Gnus are herd animals, travelling by the millions. Gnu Christians have stampeded all over civilization for 17 centuries.

How does new philosophy produce new truth? By pondering why gnus do what they do.

Why did Saint Paul want Jesus to be? Why was the “Jesus” message welcomed by the empire? Emperors and bishops who governed the empire in 400 CE, had interest to eliminate the logics those questions called for.

New truth is produced by introducing new facts, which break the universe the old logic rested on.

The best way to do that, is through a meta-logic making the old logic a special case (as General Relativity did to Classical Gravitation).

Arguably, Jesus was just the meta-logic towards a more human society, which the Roman Empire was sorely in need of.

Having a reason for Jesus the myth, makes the historical Jesus less likely. It explains the frantic anxiety of those fragile types who are afraid they cannot cuddle with their idol anymore.

What sort of reasoning is this? Having a different

reason for a hypothesis can make axioms that led to this hypothesis superfluous. This is not properly speaking what came to be called “Bayesian” (a recent term) analysis. But it is related.

When Laplace presented his book on Celestial Mechanics to Napoleon, the tyrant retorted: ”I do not see God in your book.” Laplace retorted: “I did not need this hypothesis.”


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8 Responses to “Jesus, From Good To Bad”

  1. ianmillerblog Says:

    Dear Patrice,
    First, a question. You quote the use of Bayes theorem to prove a very low probability of Jesus being a true person. Now, assume statement (1) is, Jesus existed. Bayes theorem, as I understand it, allows you to calculate conditional probabilities, based on the probability of some other statement being true. What was statement (2)?

    Back to Tacitus. Cristus appears in the Annals, from memory, only a few days after the Great Fire. Nero was being attacked by certain senators for having started the fire (and this untruth lasts through to today!) when in fact he was in Antium at the time. He then came back and acted most responsibly (according to Tacitus). But as the attacks on him got more vicious, he needed a scapegoat,so he announced to all that it was the followers of Cristus who were getting revenge for Rome having crucified their teacher. This suggests strongly that Nero had heard something of this Cristus, and more importantly, so had the senators, and they would either know or could find out that this Cristus had been crucified. Had there been no Cristus crucified, the senators would have immediately hounded Nero, so we can assume there was a Cristus who was crucified.

    A more interesting question is what actually happened. Let us assume the story is more or less correct, i.e. correct in places, but with a bit of an error in places. Why did Pilate have Cristus crucified? Not because he thought Cristus was guilty of anything, because what he ordered was a most unusual crucifixion. Had he wanted to punish this Cristus, there would have been the standard crucifixion. And most certainly Pilate was not bowing to the Jews. History is quite clear that he would break up protests by breaking a very large number of Jewish bones. Whatever else Pilate was, a Ro0man bowing to the mob was not one of them. What I suggested in my “Athene’s prophecy” was this: as you note, would-be Messiahs were two a penny at the time, and the Jews thought their Messiah would lead a revolt and get rid of the Romans through divine intervention. So, Pilate decided to give the Jews what they wanted, with the least suitable (from their point of view) person – he would give them a Messiah who could rise from the dead. Now this crucifixion makes perfect sense, except that Cristus was not dead when he was taken down.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      The Bayes thing started because some Jesus lover used Bayesian statistics to prove the existence of Jesus. Carrier replied with his own Bayesian stats.

      There was a whole exchange on a philosophy site, which, as usual barred my fully informed comment because it would hurt Christians. I put some pieces of it in the very latest essay today.

      So called “Bayesian” (recent word) analysis is all over. Even in math, mathematicians don’t even read what (new) people wrote. No time, too hard. They just ask a friend who should know: “How good she/he is?”

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Your reasoning about Tacitus is cogent, sharp, correct. However, two things:

      1) How do we know for sure that this Tacitus-Cristus stuff is not a forgery? It has been rumored for 7 centuries.

      2) My observation, that is new, as far as I know, is that Saint Paul got help for exfiltration, once, and probably twice, from higher ups in Rome. The first exfiltration was really heady stuff, risking a revolt in Judea (which happened indeed roughly at the time of the Great Fire).
      So, if Christians were capable of influencing the very top, on the most crucial policy, it was natural for Nero to accuse Christians, even before the Gospels. Once again, Saint Paul had just written his best seller, three years earlier. Not just that, but Christian-like ideas were spreading in Rome (taxes on the rich, welfare, etc.). Nero himself was favorable to many of them, and very “Orient” oriented…

      Tacitus was pro-Principate. Even if Nero’s associates had set the fire, he won’t admit to it.

      It’s true the short crucifixion of Christ is highly suspicious. The normal was more like three days than 3 hours… In any case, even if some sort of Christ had gone up on a cross for 3 hours, and then “resuscitated”, then the whole thing would have been a dark ops, embarrassing operation… Hence why nobody talked about it at the time. Romans could, and did do dark ops, especially Scylla… OK, that was 150 years earlier…

      • ianmillerblog Says:

        I doubt the Annals are a forgery. Two sets of books in totally separate monasteries? Why forge partials, and how would two separate places maintain a common style? I suppose it cannot be ruled out, but I don’t really buy it.

        Nero may have been favourable to the Christians, but when he needed to, he did send them to the lions, etc. He was the first to initiate an anti-Christian pogrom.

        I doubt Pilate would be embarrassed by anything that he ordered. The evidence is his arrogance was high, except maybe in contact with Tiberius, and nobody got too badly on the wrong side of Tiberius and survived.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          The points I was trying to make:
          1) A forgery was suspected for Tacitus (not my opinion, but something 7 centuries old), and we know stuff was added in many famous texts (Euclid, Qur’an, etc.) OK, forget that.

          2) As Saint Paul had extremely high level accomplices in Rome, it is obvious that many were onto his schemes (including probably Nero), so that is no wonder they got mentioned early (and that Nero wanted to kill them after a while, just like he got his mother killed) . More surprising is their absence from Vespasian, Titus, Josephus and even Domitian (who had his own war against philosophers). Conclusion: Christianism, the Christian conspiracy, was somehow attached to the Orientalist, Nero.

          • ianmillerblog Says:

            1. I am unimpressed by “suspicions”. Don’t forget the moon landing has been alleged to be a fraud, Elvis is alive, etc. It may be a fraud, but Cristus gets so little comment, i can’t see that being the reason for fraud.

            2. Josephus, being a Jew, would hardly give Cristus any mention. Recall there were something like a couple of hindered other claimants. Even Tacitus regarded Christians at best as an extremely minor nuisance that just happened to give Nero the chance to get the Senators off his back. As far as I can make out, in the first century, apart from the odd Christian, nobody took Cristus as anyone worth bothering about. From what I have heard of Vespasian, he wouldn’t have given Christians a second’s thought. Domitian was even further from the scene. You may be right, but my point is, the so-called 0.08% probability is just ridiculous, and based more on prejudice and wishful thinking than on fact, because there just aren’t enough facts.

            • Patrice Ayme Says:

              The probability, as I have explained somewhere, was in reply to some Jesus crazies who had used Bayesian analysis, they claimed, to “prove” a probable existence for their lover boy, romantic attachment, general explanation of the world, and global desire of the sensuous type.

              My general position on Christianity is that it was a dream come true for fascist plutocratic uneducated Roman imperial autocrats. So it would NOT be surprising Nero pushed it (one way, and then another, as he liked to do).

              And it is a fact that many in the Roman government were pushing hard for Christianism in the Second Century (let alone the Third, when the Christians constituted a para-military force… complete with an organization of the entire empire in “dioceses”… which were made official in the fourth century…)

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Some Jews wanted this, others wanted that. As the apex of the Judean War, I see at least four Jewish factions which were in total disagreement: Jews in Alexandria (peace with Rome), regular Jewish army headed by Josephus (surrendered to Romans, esp. Vespasian, Titus), the Simon crazed maniacs (bottled in Jerusalem), and another faction in Jerusalem not as crazed as Simon. Simon was whipped to death in Rome.

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