Under what circumstances would you say it is permissible to say some imagined entity was non-existent? What is actual evidence of absence? Or would you like to leave open the door for the possibility of Zeus? Ares? Odin? How about the Loch Ness Monster?
The stories of Zeus, Aries and Odin are just that. Stories.
You've already heard this, but your post does not answer my question. Take another look at it.
You say those stories are just stories, without proving they are. But I say that about the bible, and whoa Nelly, I'm breaking some kind of law of logic. Take another look at the point I'm making. Let me help...
In another post you said:
No. If something was never there there would not be any evidence of absence. Something has to be removed in order to have evidence of absence.
Presumably, we agree Zeus never existed, yes? How do we establish that?
Now, correlate Zeus and yhwh.
Do we leave the door open for the possibility of Zeus?
The same can be said about a huge chunk of the Old Testament of the bible. Most of the books contained are stories about God.
1. How do you know which chunk is just a story and which isn't?
2. No, most of the OT is not about yhwh. Most of the OT is a culture dump of the hebrew people in roughly the iron age. It includes their rituals and their national myths, which appears as history, but is not. George Washington probably did not chop down a cherry tree.
but these stories have a good chance of having a basis in fact just like our ancient history books do.
A good chance? What is the probability? Show your work. And what does that mean? If jesus H was just a wandering hebrew loud-mouth, and not the son of god, then xianity is complete bullshit. That is the whole core of xianity.
Does that mean the Iliad also has a good chance of having a basis in fact? How about the epic of Gilgamesh? The Hindu Vedas?
The man was a great teacher of what is universally moral,
Oh really? What is universally moral? What about xianity is universally moral? People get to go unpunished for their crimes? That someone else has the power to forgive others for their transgressions against you? That someone else can take your punishment? I don't find any of that moral.
he still deserves respect and was probably the greatest teacher of all time.
I disagree. He did nothing in terms of delivering useful practices. The whole power of jesus H is in the idea that he was supposedly god. If he wasn't, then he was irrelevant. The Buddha, Prince Siddhartha Gauthama
, on the other hand developed a system of ethical principles and meditation techniques that work regardless of any supernatural claims attachted to buddha. In other words, even if The Buddha is just a fiction, it does not matter, because what he said works
As far as "Nessy" goes, who is to say that we have discovered all of the lifeforms on earth.
So you do
want to leave the door open for the loch ness monster. Okay. We should also leave it open for mermaids, because, hey, you never know. And leprechans, because who's to say?