Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Can Evidence Be Destroyed?

Jesus wowed ’em in the sticks. His rep preceded him, and, initially, Jesus wowed ’em in Jerusalem too: the people, the public. But Jesus didn’t stay there, reveling in their adoration; he went straight to the Temple: where he got a very different reception.
The Temple sandbagged him. And the people instantly shut their trap. The local kleptocracy, taking direction from Rome and telling the local kings and priests what they could and couldn’t do, backed the local kings and priests this time around, and crucified Jesus.
How do we ahem know this?
Because once the kleptocracy was no longer paying attention, some of the people from the sticks wrote down what they say Jesus had said: and done. Eighty, a hundred years after the crucifixion of Jesus some gospels starting showing up. Notice, right away: this is not good scholarship. But sometimes it’s the only kind possible. The kleptocracy kept its records ... and some people kept a different set of records, records not telling the same, the official, story.
Now: who you ’gonna believe? You don’t have to believe anybody, but do notice that the records are not the same. That’s the key. That’s the source of the macroinformation.

The kleptocracy keeps the records it wants. And for a long time, those are all the records the people will have. Until new fossils turn up, a new technology -- fingerprints! -- is discovered, old manuscripts found "new". (The ancient Egyptians had a big battery!)

I remember that last claim from decades ago. I never heard more about it, so maybe what those yoyos found wasn’t really proof of ancient Egyptian control of electricity. I don’t know. And THAT’s the point.
John may have been a lunatic. Jesus may have been a charlatan. Some huge portion of King James’ red letters may be political editing. ... Once thing remains clear: the kleptocracy did not keep honest records: and new records can always turn up.

I bet we’d find more macroinformation, galore, if we could compare the Church’s version of history in the last couple of millennia and "new" evidence from the Vatican archives. But I’m not for one second suggesting that the Vatican archives are a complete or true record either. The archives might show part of what some heretic said, but certainly not all: and not any of what the bulk of heretics said.

Once upon a time no one imagined that everything could be knowable. Once upon a time Og and Dora, and their little Bling, were busy looking for food, looking over their shoulder for the lion. The heap of vegetation they slept on had no walls. There were no pictures of Grandma. Og and Dora remembered Grandma, big Bling less so. And soon no one remembered Og or Dora or Bling.
In Sumer they scratched symbols onto clay to represent how many sheaves of wheat they’d harvested that year. And maybe their count was accurate (enough). But no Sumerian imagined that they had records of that year’s planetary biosphere production, let alone an inventory of the cosmos.

more coming, especially more on book burnings, on submissions getting ignored, on best sellers getting repressed ... and on pk’s history of being erased without a trace. And a Nth repetition of what pk tried to do about all this, and pk’s Jerusalem’s reaction.

This piece follows from pk: American Heretic, which follows from Swift Enlightenment. The order counts:Swift Enlightenment
pk: American Heretic
Can Evidence Be Destroyed?

2011 09 07 That was 2005. It's only since then that I've found and read Bart Ehrman's books of New Testament scholarship. Apparently we do "know" a great deal more about Biblical mistakes and lies than I'd been aware. Now we should comb the utterances of states and media with equal care.

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