(As usual, all andsoforth guaranteed tarrifyingly lalala. Pleas note, A contributed only one comment here. The rest is me and B. B is the one really making a euphemism of himself here. For all I know, A may've grasped my point right away. As I say below, it ain't rocket science.)
A: People are so desperate to try to make Jesus real, even there is no real evidence that he ever actually existed. It was over 70 years after his supposed death that anything was ever written about the guy and then 20 years after that and no accounts were actually witnessed by anyone. No historians or government accounts exist either. Its like when they found a old medium size boat in Turkey, that wouldn't even hold but a few animals and claimed that it was noah's ark...give me a break!
ME: I'm not convinced that Jesus existed, but I do know how to add and subtract. If Jesus existed and lived for 33 years, then he probably died around AD 25 to 40. Paul's earliest writings dating from the early 50's, at most 30 years after Jesus' supposed death, probably more like 20 to 25. 70 years after his supposed death would be around 95 to 110, and almost all of the New Testament was written by then.
Honestly, this stuff isn't complicated at all.
B: SO, what does any of this prove or even suggest?
ME: It proves that some people can't add and subtract 2-digit numbers.
B: yea, I got that part....but beyond the math.....what does this prove?
ME: When I first heard about the New Atheists, I assumed I was one: I'm an atheist who doesn't hide his views about religion, I'm very critical of religion. I'd also read 2 of Dawkins' books -- on BIOLOGY. So many New Atheists are scientists, and repeatedly point the importance of peer review, and quite rightly, it is very important. The thing is, it's important in other fields besides science. History, for example. corkery said: "It was over 70 years after his supposed death that anything was ever written about the guy" What's the difference between 70 years and the correct number, 20 years? What the difference between "Bronze Age goat herders" and "Iron Age city dwellers"? It's the difference between an A and an F on a History 101 exam. New Atheists don't practice peer review in each other's statements about history. And as long as they don't, they won't be taken seriously. I don't know whether Jesus existed or not, but I do know that it was about 20 years after his supposed death that the first writings about him appeared. And so does everybody else with an elementary acquaintance with the facts. And if someone doesn't see the difference between 20 years and 70 years in this case, or doesn't care what the difference might be, why should anyone take them seriously on the subject?
B: So......you didn't answer my question. Thanks anyway.
ME: I did answer it. I don't know how I possibly could've made myself clearer.
B: No, you talked about numbers and math. You didn't answer my question (maybe you should actually read it). I asked WHAT DOES THIS PROVE? Why are you so obsessed with the math? Even if you're right on the math...so what? 20 years. 70 years. WHO CARES? It means nothing.
(Terrifyingly real. What do we do in a situation like this? I thought about suggesting to B to ask a third party to explain what I said to him, since I obviously was getting nowhere. Instead I just gave up and came here and told you about it. If anyone has any other suggestions, please chime in. This stuff has to be dealt with. B is by no means unique.