Searching For The Historical Hercules
While most people today don’t believe Hercules was actually born of a virgin or was half god, there is universal agreement among Zeus-worshiping scholars that there was a real historic Hercules. In fact, only those who have an anti-Zeus bias reject the historicity of Hercules.
University of Notre Dame Philosophy professor Gary Gutting, recently wrote an article in the New York Times arguing against the atheistic view toward Zeus. He argues that Zeus very well may have actually existed. I think that if Zeus existed, than Hercules must have existed too. If we were to reject the historicity of Hercules, then we would also have to reject the historicity of Socrates, Plato, Jesus, and Bill Clinton.
Gutting has a PhD. in Philosophy of Religion. He studies religions for a living. This isn’t just a faith-based opinion; he is an expert and a scholar. So Fox News should stop embarrassing itself by questioning his faith. His article is a scholarly work by someone who has a PhD in Religion! This is what he does for a living. He has a PhD in the Philosophy of Religion. PhD! PhD! PhD! While you may never have heard of him, among Zeus scholars in America, he is kinda a big deal.
Okay, this shit is about to get real. No one takes any claims about a historical Hercules or a historical Zeus seriously. Why? Because it is ridiculous to believe that there were such figures in history and there is zero contemporary evidence to support claims of their existence. Zeus was alleged to be a deity hiding out on Mount Olympus. No one saw him. Hercules was at least alleged to be a half person, but still there is no reason to believe that his exploits were based off any real person. Yahweh and Jesus are much the same. They are purely fictional characters – who are we going to look for next, the historical Superman? You don’t know that there wasn’t someone named Clark living in Kansas.
Despite the fact that there are zero contemporary accounts of Jesus and all we have are the Gospels and some vague references to someone called “the Christ” in writings written many years after his alleged death (which may have even been forged), there is nothing and yet we have scholars and experts (mostly Christians) who assert that there must have been a historical figure that these fanciful tales were based on. Why?
Go ahead and ask them for some evidence; I dare you. You will get a barrage of anger Christians telling you that these people are experts and scholars and that even though we have contemporary accounts both praising and criticizing Plato and Socrates by people who knew them, that we would have to immediately stop teaching all of Plato’s works because there is allegedly more evidence for a historical Jesus than there is for Plato. Really? I don’t think that is true and even if it were true, we could still teach the books, we could just add a footnote saying that we don’t know who actually wrote them.
Okay, where is the evidence? The answer is the authoritative word of PhD scholars like Reza Aslan and others. In fact, the belief in a historical Jesus is apparently “universally accepted” by theologians and Christian historians. There is more evidence for a historical Jesus than there is for Socrates, Plato, Hercules, and Bill Clinton!
Okay, where is the evidence? Repeat. These people have PhDs! They are scholars and therefore have authority. There is just one problem; the evidence is where the real authority lies and there is no evidence that Jesus or Hercules were anything more than fictional characters. If you strip Hercules of his half-godness, why would anyone accept anything else about his exploits as possibly true? Same thing applies to Jesus. If you strip him of his supernatural magic, then why would anyone take seriously anything else from the story?
Why is it merely assumed and asserted that there must have been some historical figure at the core of the stories without any real evidence to back up such claims?
- Dear Christians: Have You Heard The Harsh Reality? (skepticink.com)
- Media fingers wrong ‘Man of Steel’ character in Jesus analogy (skepacabra.wordpress.com)
- Theists Will Drown In A Lake Of Semen (skepticink.com)