Is it just me?

MattShizzle
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Is it just me?

Am I the only one that when bringing up that I consider Jesus Christ a myth that people act like I am either stupid or crazy? It seems people are for the most part convinced it's a historical fact that he existed - and of course they bring up the same tired old "evidence" if they know a little more than the average person or checked out fundie websites.

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pariahjane
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IF Jesus Christ existed

IF Jesus Christ existed (and I'm not so sure he did) he was definitely not the son of god. 

The thing that really killed me was that people actually believe in Adam & Eve and stuff.  I guess this should have been obvious, but for some reason, it wasn't.  I always figured they took the whole fruit story as an allegory, or metaphor.  It was only until I read some posts on this site that I realized that people really honestly truly believed that story.  I can't believe that other people believe that story was true.    I honestly had no idea that people were that gullible.  

If that was the case, I definitely would believe the stories about Zeus over God.  So much more interesting... 

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GreyhoundMama
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You are not alone.

Matt, you are not alone. If Jesus lived, he was certainly only human. Personally, I don't care if he actually existed. He's sort of like Buddha, Santa Claus, Mohammed and the Loch Ness monster. Quaint ideas, sometimes even good ideas, but nothing to worship about.

My parents are good, logical people, but my extended family is extremely conservative Christian. I actually have cousins who believe that the planet earth is only a few thousand years old. There's just no reasoning with that level of ignorance.

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MattShizzle
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I'm actually talking about

I'm actually talking about saying he never existed. People assume it's a historical fact he existed - in that denying he was the son of God is fine, but not that he existed.

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American Atheist
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MattShizzle wrote:

MattShizzle wrote:
I'm actually talking about saying he never existed. People assume it's a historical fact he existed - in that denying he was the son of God is fine, but not that he existed.

You're not the only one, my brotha.

But yeah, I get these weird reactions when I say that Jesus never existed. My brother is an agnostic, but even he said something like "What?! But Jesus did exist!"

I'm like "Nu-uh"

And he's like "Uh-huh"

"Nu-uh!"

"Uh-uh!

"Nu-uh!"

"Uh-huh!!!"

"Nu-uh!"

"Uh-huh!"

 

Stupid people. But my dad and I were Christmas shopping (for some reason, but I'll explain some other time) last year and I was saying that Jesus never existed. Everyone at the mall heard me and a lot of people were turning around to look at me.

*Shrugs*

But oh well, I'm just doing what I do best.Cool


zarathustra
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One of the arguments for

One of the arguments for faith which I received -- and accepted -- back in catholic school (please forgive me!) was that there was certainly a historical jesus. The argument essentially went that if this historical figure was in fact not the son of god and had in fact not risen from the dead, would his apostles have submitted to torture and death on behalf of what they knew to be a lie? Some might recall our friend St. Michael using this himself. I was saved the embarassment of having to explain the historicity of jesus, because I couldn't have. 

Later in college I was doing a paper on early christian literature (yes the virus stayed in my brain quite a long time). One resource I consulted pointed out -- perhaps unintentionally -- that above and beyond any claims for jesus' divinity, there was really no good historical basis for jesus. Mohammed in fact fulfilled more criteria for historical accuracy than did jesus.  I rapidly lost enthusiasm in completing the paper.

Hitherto, I am unaware of any historical attestations to a jesus of any sort. All purported references to christ are extrapolations from historical references to christianity.

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GreyhoundMama
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MattShizzle wrote: I'm

MattShizzle wrote:
I'm actually talking about saying he never existed. People assume it's a historical fact he existed - in that denying he was the son of God is fine, but not that he existed.

 Yup, gotcha. That's why I said "...if he lived..."

I've never personally researched the historical accuracy of his existence, so I'm still open minded about it. Smiling

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Iruka Naminori
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pariahjane wrote: The

pariahjane wrote:

The thing that really killed me was that people actually believe in Adam & Eve and stuff.

-snip- 

It was only until I read some posts on this site that I realized that people really honestly truly believed that story. I can't believe that other people believe that story was true. I honestly had no idea that people were that gullible.

I was raised to really honestly truly believe that story.  And a large percentage of the people I know really honestly truly believe that story.  The gullible are among us.  It's no accident that some joke like The Secret can become a best-seller and get people to believe that there are vibes that attract like to like.

"Faith is not a result of fuzzy thinking; it is the cause of it." - Dan Barker 

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Iruka Naminori
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GreyhoundMama wrote: I've

GreyhoundMama wrote:

I've never personally researched the historical accuracy of his existence, so I'm still open minded about it. Smiling

Yeah, me too.  Right now I think the burden of proof should be on Christians to prove there was an historical Christ.  

Seriously.

It's been accepted on faith for too long that there was one. By now, you know many of the reasons for doubting the historicity of Jesus.

Even if a Jesus did exist, it is silly to believe he performed miracles or was the son of god.  Sometimes I just can't wrap my mind around the fact I believed this stuff and that most of the people I know still believe this stuff.  Sometimes I'm not very good company because of the stuff I know.

There have been re-conversion attempts, but it would be close to impossible to convert me.  It's like asking me to believe in Santa after I saw my parents put the presents under the Christmas tree. 

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Hagane Kakashi
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GreyhoundMama wrote:  I

GreyhoundMama wrote:

 I actually have cousins who believe that the planet earth is only a few thousand years old. There's just no reasoning with that level of ignorance.



And what do they say about Cave men fossils, or dinosaur fossils? That god planted them there?


I Quixie
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Hagane Kakashi

Hagane Kakashi wrote:
GreyhoundMama wrote:

I actually have cousins who believe that the planet earth is only a few thousand years old. There's just no reasoning with that level of ignorance.



And what do they say about Cave men fossils, or dinosaur fossils? That god planted them there?

Oh, no. It's worse than that. They say that Satan put them in the ground, to "test our faith".

It boggles the mind. I know.

Reading along the thread, I notice two things:

1- Our assured insistence that people who believe irrational things are stupid.

2- The surprising revelation that many of us believed in some of these things until relatively recently.

Which is all to say that I don't think it's useful to hurl insults at them. They are you and me and little baby sister and cousin Amos and the crazy cat lady down the block in the end.

It never does any good to call someone stupid. It's a trigger word that does nothing but bring the discussion to a screeching halt. One of my standard things to do to fire-and-brimstone street preachers is remind them that not one person has ever been converted to anything at all by being yelled at. Not one. It's important to remember that that advise goes both ways.

Jesus comes up in conversation a lot. As long as the Christians are a missionary cult, this will continue to occur. If we side with the argument that there is no contemporary physical or historiographical evidence to certify that a historical Jesus of Nazareth was the seed of a religious movement which sprouted after his death, then that's cool. You should say so and explain yourself if asked why you believe that. If, however, your argument is unconvincing to someone for whatever reason (say . . . maybe they've never heard of any Plinies - old ones or young ones - or . . . maybe your paraphrasing of something was not so good . . . or maybe you screwed up some dates in your telling . . . . etc), then don't get mad and call people stupid. Do you have (a) favorite book(s) on the subject? Invite them to read them and to discuss at some later time. (The book that they'll have YOU read is the NT, which most people who bother to read books about mythicist theories have already read - so you don't have much to do to prepare). Of course, chances are that they'll just think you're crazy anyway and that no such book club will ever emerge, but at least there's no hostility.

There's a thread elsewhere here called "Kill them with kindness". Cool title.

Personally, I've familiarized myself with most of the mythicist arguments and with those that assert historicity and i come to the conclusion that there's no way to ever prove either position. Using Ockam's razor I tend to side with the historicity side. It explains more with less to me. But then, I'm a heathen and don't really care whether Jesus was historical or not. The cult that put his face on their flag IS historical. Even if Jesus existed, he has as much to do with the mystery cult that rose up in his memory as the historical John Coltrane has to do with the cult that rose up in HIS (winks). If there was a historical Jesus then that Jesus is irrelevant to his cult ... is what I'm saying. Cults are like telenovelas, they are about grandiose sweeping motion. Emotional paroxysm. Exageration. The historical Jesus was too boring by contrast.

Anyway . . . let us keep our cool when dealing with the gullible masses.

Let's be rational.

Ó

"Theology is that science which treats of the unknowable with infinitesimal exactitude." - Anatole France


aiia
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MattShizzle wrote: Am I the

MattShizzle wrote:
Am I the only one that when bringing up that I consider Jesus Christ a myth that people act like I am either stupid or crazy?
No you definitely are not alone.

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.