I'm on the verge of Deconversion

simmo
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I'm on the verge of Deconversion

Hello everyone. 
I had written out a longwinded post here about my journey from true believer to my current state of what I would call semi-decoversion, however before I could post it I hit the wrong button at the wrong time and lost it all. The Christian side of my brain tells me that God didn't want me to post my comments, therefore I lost them, whereas the rational side of my brain tells me I'm just an idiot. But I am going to try again, albeit in a shortened point form. I am looking for comments from atheists and theists to try and help me make sense of things.
- I have always gone to church and had a 'born again' experience and belief as a teenager.- I have been reading many things recently cause me to question the truth of a historical Jesus, particularly the lack of mention of him by historians of the time and the similarities of the Jesus story with prior Egyptian gods.If he did not ever exist as a living person who lived, preached, performed miracles, was crucified and then rose from the dead, then everyting about Christianity changes.- I am still skeptical about there being no creator 'god', as the intracasies of life, the world and the universe seem difficult to imagine happening by chance, so at this stage I'm still with the watchmaker people.- The idea of God answering prayer seems to be an increasingly unlikely thing to me. The number of people who cry out to God for healing and don't get a yes is incredibly high, with the number of genuine healings not  easily explained as having been medically or naturally induced is extremely small.- Despite the negativity of many towards Christianity, I see much to like about it's effect on the world. Much of the humanitarian work throughout the world is done in the name of Christ, and the selflessness that is displayed by many (and should be by all) Christians makes the world a better place. - The teachings of Jesus and Paul in the new testament  are in general great guidelines for life. - The moral codes that Christians generally seek to live by are positive ones.
So at this point I am having severe doubts about the validilty of Christianity yet still see that living a Christian life as being the best way to live. Does that sound confusing to you? Because at the moment many things are confusing me, so I would appreciate your feedback. I hope this makes sense - my original post was far more eloquent than this one, but I was not going to attempt it all again lest I lose it asecond time. If this post doesn't go through perhaps I will take it as a sign from God that I was not going to post it (not that any of you will see it) or perhaps it will just be confirmation that I am truly a moron. 


Cpt_pineapple
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simmo wrote:

simmo wrote:

- I am still skeptical about there being no creator 'god', as the intracasies of life, the world and the universe seem difficult to imagine happening by chance, so at this stage I'm still with the watchmaker people.

 

You don't need the watchmaker argument to believe in God.

 

Quote:

- Despite the negativity of many towards Christianity, I see much to like about it's effect on the world. Much of the humanitarian work throughout the world is done in the name of Christ, and the selflessness that is displayed by many (and should be by all) Christians makes the world a better place. - The moral codes that Christians generally seek to live by are positive ones.
 It doesn't matter if a Christian did good thing X,or bad thing X. What matters is what YOU believe. The motives are in the person, not Christianity.

 [edit:clarity] 


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Good work on keeping an

Good work on keeping an open mind.  I have a couple of suggestions for you.  I honestly wish I could make you do these things because they're that important, but all I can do is say, "Jeezie Chreezie, you really, really, really, really, need to do this before you make up your mind about whether there's a god.

Read:

1. Climbing Mount Improbable, Richard Dawkins

2. Read Unweaving the Rainbow, Richard Dawkins

3. Read Atheist Universe, David Mills

Those are in the order I think you need to read them, by the way.

I know it's a lot of reading, but...

 

Quote:
- I am still skeptical about there being no creator 'god', as the intracasies of life, the world and the universe seem difficult to imagine happening by chance, so at this stage I'm still with the watchmaker people.

The first book will cure this for you.  I could explain it in a bullet point, but I know it's a hard concept to get your head around.  You owe it to yourself to read a real book by a real evolutionary scientist.

 

Quote:
- Despite the negativity of many towards Christianity, I see much to like about it's effect on the world. Much of the humanitarian work throughout the world is done in the name of Christ, and the selflessness that is displayed by many (and should be by all) Christians makes the world a better place.

I'm not entirely sure how to get you started here, but you're actually mistaken about the volume of humanitarian aid done by Christians.  Mostly it's Christians who say this.  In the world, most of the humanitarian groups are not specifically Christian, nor are the hospitals, etc.  A careful study of the life of Mother Theresa will show you a person who perpetuated poverty because she believed that god wanted everyone to live that way!  Christian missionaries preach against condom use -- in AIDS riddled Africa.

 

Quote:
- The teachings of Jesus and Paul in the new testament  are in general great guidelines for life.

Some of them are decent guidelines.  None of them are original.  If you do some research, you'll find that there's not a single thing unique about the moral teaching in the bible -- at least nothing unique that we call good today!  Good morals seem to have been invented all over the world at roughly the same point in human evolution... go figure.

 

Quote:
- The moral codes that Christians generally seek to live by are positive ones.

Most Christians are good people who are deceived.  They believe that many of their actions are good despite the fact that they cause great harm in many cases.  I'll go into this at length sometime when I have more time, if you're interested.

Around the world, most people are decent, good people with good moral sense.  All cultures have had some sort of religion or social myths that have claimed to be the originators of morality.  The fact is, people invent the myths to fit the morality they already have.

Granted, people are bad, too.  That's because morality is not an absolute, and people's interests collide regularly.  It's just not as simple as any of the ancient myths would like us to believe.

 

Quote:
So at this point I am having severe doubts about the validilty of Christianity yet still see that living a Christian life as being the best way to live. Does that sound confusing to you?

Nope.  It sounds like you're on your way to rational living.

Once you're removed from Christianity for a while, it might surprise you how many things in Christianity turn out to be not as good as you think, but let's see if we can't get you all the way out of the religion first, then we'll use logic and reason to come to the best conclusion, ok?

 

Quote:
If this post doesn't go through perhaps I will take it as a sign from God that I was not going to post it (not that any of you will see it) or perhaps it will just be confirmation that I am truly a moron.

See... proof there is no god.  It went through.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hey Simmo!

Hey Simmo!

 

Thanks for stopping by and for asking some good questions. I won't be tackling all of the questions you've posted above since I think there are others here who can give you much better answers. We do have some experts in philosophy and the historical evidence for Jesus---among other things---so I'll leave them to talk about what they know best.

 

The first thing I want to tell you is that atheists do not hate Christians. As a matter of fact, it would be wrong even to say we don't like them very much. We're just as likely to like or dislike a Christian as we are to like or dislike anyone else: It all depends on their character. We do have some fundamental disagreements with them, yes, but we don't hold that against them as people.

The second thing I'd like to point out is that many atheists will even agree with you that the Bible provides good lessons in morality and gives some decent guidelines to live by. But have you ever considered that maybe morality doesn't come from the Bible? Maybe it already existed and was just written in? Many of the things we consider moral can be explained by mere human empathy or a society's need for order. If you would like an elaboration on this, please say so.

 

Also, I'm sorry to hear you still hang on to the notion of intelligent design. What is there in the universe that you find to be perfect in design? The form of animals can be explained from an evolutionary perspective, and no animal is perfectly designed. For instance, you have an appendix. Do you know what it does for you? NOTHING. It just dangles off your stomach. If you're one of the lucky few, it might suddenly swell up one day and threaten to explode and kill you, but other than that, it doesn't do anything for you at all. If there is a designer, what is the purpose of that? What is the purpose of cancer? Order and design are only perceived through selective observation and by ignoring all of our current theories about evolution and the formation of the solar system. There is actually a vast amount of disorder in the world.

 

Also, if you haven't been told this already, there are two types of atheists. There are "strong atheists" who believe that there absolutely is no god. The are certain. There is no god whatsoever and they have zero doubt about that.

Most people here aren't that type of atheist. The most common kind of atheist simply finds no reason to believe in a god. There is a devastating lack of evidence for any god. Moreoever, the gods and their deeds described in holy texts (we tend to focus on Christianity here) contradict themselves. They are self-defeating in words, actions, and in concept.

This means that we don't rule out the possibility that there might be SOME KIND of god out there. We just don't believe it is the god of a revealed religion or that we can know anything specific about that god, supposing that any god were to exist, which they might not.

 

That's all for my introduction. If you have specific questions, they are very welcome. Stick around and keep an open mind and I'm sure others will be happy to offer you any information you ask for.

 

Cheers!

 

*edit*

 

3. Read Atheist Universe, David Mills

 

Oh yes. Do that. A brilliant introduction to atheism, if you're genuinely curious.

A place common to all will be maintained by none. A religion common to all is perhaps not much different.


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Hello.simmo wrote:- I

Hello.

simmo wrote:
- I have always gone to church and had a 'born again' experience and belief as a teenager.

Congratulations. You've proven the existence of your own brain.
simmo wrote:
- I have been reading many things recently cause me to question the truth of a historical Jesus, particularly the lack of mention of him by historians of the time and the similarities of the Jesus story with prior Egyptian gods. If he did not ever exist as a living person who lived, preached, performed miracles, was crucified and then rose from the dead, then everyting about Christianity changes.

It sure does.
simmo wrote:
- I am still skeptical about there being no creator 'god', as the intracasies of life, the world and the universe seem difficult to imagine happening by chance, so at this stage I'm still with the watchmaker people.

You should do more research on these subjects. No offence, but you've demonstrated a basic ignorance of them by using the word "chance". There is much more to it than that.
This site is a great place to start:  http://talkorigins.org
simmo wrote:
- The idea of God answering prayer seems to be an increasingly unlikely thing to me. The number of people who cry out to God for healing and don't get a yes is incredibly high, with the number of genuine healings not  easily explained as having been medically or naturally induced is extremely small.

I'd go a couple steps further than "extremely small". I have not seen or heard of one single sourced and documented case of "faith healing". Even if there had been one, it seems rather trite of Yahweh to provide only certain people with hotlines to his magical powers, wouldn't you agree?
simmo wrote:
- Despite the negativity of many towards Christianity, I see much to like about it's effect on the world. Much of the humanitarian work throughout the world is done in the name of Christ, and the selflessness that is displayed by many (and should be by all) Christians makes the world a better place.

I see that as a credit to people, not invisible friends.
simmo wrote:
- The teachings of Jesus and Paul in the new testament  are in general great guidelines for life.

Suit yourself. I find the large part of New Testament teachings (to say nothing of the Old) to be benign and useless. The few "good" teachings are either common sense ("love thy neighbor" and about 40% of the Ten Commandments) or plagiarized from earlier sources (the Golden Rule). The rest, like "love thy enemy" and "hate your family, give up everything you own and come putz around the desert with me", are despicable.
simmo wrote:
- The moral codes that Christians generally seek to live by are positive ones.

I agree. Again, this is testament to the good nature of PEOPLE. I give zero credit to religion for it.
simmo wrote:
So at this point I am having severe doubts about the validilty of Christianity yet still see that living a Christian life as being the best way to live. Does that sound confusing to you?

Yes. I fail to see what advantage you have as a Christian. In fact, your faith seems to be hindering you in some areas (your understanding of science, namely).
simmo wrote:
Because at the moment many things are confusing me, so I would appreciate your feedback. I hope this makes sense - my original post was far more eloquent than this one, but I was not going to attempt it all again lest I lose it asecond time. If this post doesn't go through perhaps I will take it as a sign from God that I was not going to post it (not that any of you will see it) or perhaps it will just be confirmation that I am truly a moron. 

No, you've confirmed that you're in the same place a lot of us were at some point in our lives, including myself. Take the plunge. The water's perfect.


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Thanks for so many replies

Thanks for so many replies so quickly. Firstly on the subject of creation v evolution, I have done very little research on the subject so at this point my stated 'belief' in a creator god is coming from a point of ignorance regarding the scientific complexities of it all. Another issue I have which would be best answered by those that have left Christianity - my family are Christians, my friends are Christians, most of my life is wrapped up in Christian community. And in general I love these people, they love me, and I don't want to walk away from them. As I stated previously regarding what I see as the positive aspects of Christianity, a change in my internal beliefs may have very little effect on my outward appearance to others. I will still endeavour to love others, but with quite likely a very different mindset behind it. To walk away from Christianity is a very difficult thing for me to do.


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simmo wrote: Firstly on the

simmo wrote:
Firstly on the subject of creation v evolution, I have done very little research on the subject so at this point my stated 'belief' in a creator god is coming from a point of ignorance regarding the scientific complexities of it all.

 

Then read this topic:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/yellow_number_five/science/9731

and the book:

"Finding Darwin's God' by Ken Miller. (A Christian biochemist)

 


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simmo wrote: Thanks for so

simmo wrote:
Thanks for so many replies so quickly. Firstly on the subject of creation v evolution, I have done very little research on the subject so at this point my stated 'belief' in a creator god is coming from a point of ignorance regarding the scientific complexities of it all. Another issue I have which would be best answered by those that have left Christianity - my family are Christians, my friends are Christians, most of my life is wrapped up in Christian community. And in general I love these people, they love me, and I don't want to walk away from them. As I stated previously regarding what I see as the positive aspects of Christianity, a change in my internal beliefs may have very little effect on my outward appearance to others. I will still endeavour to love others, but with quite likely a very different mindset behind it. To walk away from Christianity is a very difficult thing for me to do.

My entire family is Catholic. The only change my deconversion has made is that we now have an extra topic to discuss at our gatherings. I'm lucky, though, to have been born into a very open minded family. I wouldn't be able to say for sure how yours would react.


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simmo wrote: - I have

simmo wrote:

- I have always gone to church and had a 'born again' experience and belief as a teenager.
  Me too, although I left at about 13 I went every weekend, afterall it's where Mom was going and I was too young to stay alone, so I had to go. (probably like you) 
Quote:
- I have been reading many things recently cause me to question the truth of a historical Jesus, particularly the lack of mention of him by historians of the time and the similarities of the Jesus story with prior Egyptian gods.If he did not ever exist as a living person who lived, preached, performed miracles, was crucified and then rose from the dead, then everyting about Christianity changes.
  Some will argue that Christ did exist, he just wasn't a miracle worker. If you read arguments like that and find them compelling, please keep in mind that whether Christ existed or not, the bible is still a fairy tale. Christs potential existence as a regular man doesn't make the bible any more true, the bible needs to be true on it's own merits. 
Quote:
- I am still skeptical about there being no creator 'god', as the intracasies of life, the world and the universe seem difficult to imagine happening by chance, so at this stage I'm still with the watchmaker people.
  I was there until I answered one question in my head honestly.... If everything needs a creator, then what created God? Christians inevitably give some sort of answer that excuses God from the rule "everything needs a creator." They said god exists eternally, or he's infinite, or he needed no creator. Whatever excuse they give, they have no proof for their claim. So we analyze and realize they make a rule that they then proceed to break all in an attempt to rationalize a reason for gods existence andone ends up sounding stupid in the process. If everything is created, what created God? Was it Gods God? And was he created by Gods Gods God? If you can excuse God (something you haveno evidence for), why can you not excuse the matter of the Universe as potentially existing eternally? My "potential" theory by the way is backed by science, although obviously not all the answers of our origins our known. You simply can't excuse God from the rules you create. 
Quote:
- The idea of God answering prayer seems to be an increasingly unlikely thing to me. The number of people who cry out to God for healing and don't get a yes is incredibly high, with the number of genuine healings not easily explained as having been medically or naturally induced is extremely small.
  I think the writings of Mother Theresa help add to the doubt one should have about the efficacy of prayer. Prayer has been scientifically proven to have no benefit.
Quote:
- Despite the negativity of many towards Christianity, I see much to like about it's effect on the world. Much of the humanitarian work throughout the world is done in the name of Christ, and the selflessness that is displayed by many (and should be by all) Christians makes the world a better place.
  Keep in mind, you can't name one positive action in the world that a Christian is capable of that an atheist is not also capable of. And I assure you atheists do good things, and they do them for rational reasons, that include having a firm understanding of how the world operates. See my site: www.atheistvolunteers.org 
Quote:
- The teachings of Jesus and Paul in the new testament are in general great guidelines for life.
  There are some mixed messages in there, however I will admit that many have selectively chosen the good parts, and come up with what appears to be good reasons to follow those teachings. 
Quote:
- The moral codes that Christians generally seek to live by are positive ones.
  And the atheist moral code is more moral. I had a video on this on youtube but it was suspended when my account was removed from youtube because I was speaking out about how illegal the activities are of Creation Science Evangelism Ministries. How ironic, eh?
Quote:
So at this point I am having severe doubts about the validilty of Christianity yet still see that living a Christian life as being the best way to live. Does that sound confusing to you?
No, I've been there. You're on your way. Just keep thinking, keep doubting, and don't stop doubting. Remain skeptical even as you form what you consider your most sacred or cherished beliefs. If you approach it calmly and with intense analysis of your actions and how they affect you and the world around you, you stand a great chance of coming to these answers on your own.
Quote:
Because at the moment many things are confusing me, so I would appreciate your feedback.
I hope you appreciate my feedback. Welcome aboard, it's great to have you here.
Quote:
I hope this makes sense - my original post was far more eloquent than this one, but I was not going to attempt it all again lest I lose it asecond time. If this post doesn't go through perhaps I will take it as a sign from God that I was not going to post it (not that any of you will see it) or perhaps it will just be confirmation that I am truly a moron.

Maybe it was Satan that allowed this post to get through. Or maybe you just pressed the wrong button the first time. I guess it's 50/50 either way. (hint: doubt the last sentence I wrote)

 

Unfortunatly this guy slipped back into theism, but his video will move you. I had the chance to speak with him for the first time a few days ago, he plans to come in our chatroom within the next week and answer the questions that he posed in the video to himself.

- Brian Sapient


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simmo wrote: Hello

simmo wrote:
Hello everyone.

- The moral codes that Christians generally seek to live by are positive ones.
So at this point I am having severe doubts about the validilty of Christianity yet still see that living a Christian life as being the best way to live. Does that sound confusing to you? Because at the moment many things are confusing me, so I would appreciate your feedback. I hope this makes sense - my original post was far more eloquent than this one, but I was not going to attempt it all again lest I lose it asecond time. If this post doesn't go through perhaps I will take it as a sign from God that I was not going to post it (not that any of you will see it) or perhaps it will just be confirmation that I am truly a moron.

If you give up Christianity, you don't heve to give up on the morals that most Christians value. I find that many Christians think their morals are superior to non-christians. I love my neighbors and treat them the way I want to be treated, yet I'm not a Christian. This idea, btw, was around long before anyone named Jesus showed up.

 

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. - Seneca


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Quote: To walk away from

Quote:
To walk away from Christianity is a very difficult thing for me to do.

This is one of the reasons I, and many others here, feel so strongly about weakening the power of religion in people's lives. What a stupid and silly thing to break up a family over! Whether or not you say words in your head to the same invisible friend as the rest of your family? Please.

Trust me. I know. When I left religion, my family became extremely distant, and to this day, we have a civil relationship, but that's about it.

That's the whole thing, though. If it were up to me, we'd be fine, but the thing is, the religion tells them that I'm a bad person. They believe on faith, not fact, so despite the fact that they can see that I'm actually a very good person, they live as if I am a pariah.

But, religion is what it is, and if you choose to leave it, you will be cursed. But, if you don't leave it, then your children will be cursed, too.

At some point, someone has to say, "This is stupid. I'm not going to ruin anybody else's life by propogating this silly myth. I'm not going to condone it or pretend to agree with it."

I know you're not at that point, and I don't expect you to understand where I'm coming from. I hope you will stay here and ask us the hard questions. Trust me, we've probably heard it before, and believe it or not, we can help with almost any question you have. We won't tell you that you have to believe this or that, but we won't pull any punches about what is verifiably true.

Please, read those books, especially the David Mills and Climbing Mount Improbable. It may be hard to understand for you, but there simply is no debate about evolution. Those who understand it know for certain that it exists, and it is how we came to be here. Let me say this again, with emphasis. THERE IS NO DEBATE ABOUT EVOLUTION. It is a theory the same way that gravity is. We know it exists, but we haven't worked out all the specifics of exactly how it works. That's it. End of story. Fact. Once you read that book, you'll be able to see that for yourself.

Actually... here's a really quick one. Get yourself a copy of Letter to A Christian Nation, by Sam Harris. It's short. You can read it in one sitting, but it explains in great detail why so many of us think it's not enough to just pretend to believe.

Anyway, enough of my rantings. Please stick around and ask us anything you want to know.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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simmo wrote: Thanks for so

simmo wrote:
Thanks for so many replies so quickly. Firstly on the subject of creation v evolution, I have done very little research on the subject so at this point my stated 'belief' in a creator god is coming from a point of ignorance regarding the scientific complexities of it all.

Yay, look at what you did, there! You admitted you don't know something. Well done (and join the club; line forms to the right, behind me). Read, read, read. Knowledge is power.

Here's my short primer on evolution (disclaimer: I am NOT A BIOLOGIST; this is my layman's understanding of it): any group of organisms, from yeast to whales, has some natural variations in their makeup, from the visible (tail width, distance between the eyes, etc) to the molecular (amount of oxygen their blood can carry, how efficiently they digest food, etc.). Often, these differences have very little effect on the day to day life of this organism, but every once in a while these differences matter.

For example, an animal that hunts: having eyes further apart will give them better depth perception, and having more oxygen capacity in their blood will mean they can run longer. That means more food for them. That means more babies who are likely to share those traits. Over time, you can see how the more advantageous features will become common, just by giving this animal a slight edge.

Now, think about practically everything in biology in this light, and you can see how a species can change over time. After that, you can see how different species can form by taking a group of animals and splitting them into different groups where the differences that are considered "advantageous" are different (colder climates mean more fur/fat, drier means less water loss, and so on).

That's evolution. Not too bad, is it?

As for abiogenesis (how did the first thing we'd consider "alive" come about?), that's an open question. Just don't make the mistake of assuming a religious explanation when scientists say "I don't know."

Quote:
Another issue I have which would be best answered by those that have left Christianity - my family are Christians, my friends are Christians, most of my life is wrapped up in Christian community. And in general I love these people, they love me, and I don't want to walk away from them. As I stated previously regarding what I see as the positive aspects of Christianity, a change in my internal beliefs may have very little effect on my outward appearance to others. I will still endeavour to love others, but with quite likely a very different mindset behind it. To walk away from Christianity is a very difficult thing for me to do.

You are not leaving these people, you are changing one fact: you no longer share a belief with them. Granted, people often have a really hard time remembering that there is a big difference between them and what they believe in, so I don't know what will happen if people in your life think you are rejecting them by rejecting an idea. It sounds silly, but it seems to happen all too often.

As to the mindset, I would rather do the right thing for the right reasons that the right thing for the wrong reasons.

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All the world's major

All the world's major religions that worship god(s) use the word "miricle" in some form. What you would call magic or fiction from some other religion's "miricle" they would say the same thing about your claims.

When you take into account "law of probibility" and "Ochams Razor"(=out of given postuated posibilities, the simplest solution is the most likely answer).

Which seems to be more likely, or the most obvious simplest solution?

1. Appollo pulled ths sun across the sky with a chariot?(And people in ancient Rome litterallly believed this as fervantly as you once believed in Jesus.)

Or,

2. Someone made that story up?

So even if the skeptic conceeds that a "Jesus" existed, there would be absolutly still no evedence that a "spirit" whatever that is, got a girl pregnant. And the bible, making that mere claim, does not provide any emperical evidence as to HOW such an event took place other than to merely say "God did it".

So, Muslims say, |"Allah" did it when it comes to Muhammed and Imams.

Jews say "Yahwey did it".

And there is no verifable or falsifiable evedence that 3 day old dead human flesh, which would have suffered brain death, organ death and rigor mortis, could rise and walk around and talk as if nothing happend. Again, the only explination "god did it".

Well, if you are right to reject someone if they said "Thor did it" in regards to thunder, then why shouldnt you use that same logic and reasoning to reject Thor, and see if the claims of Jesus would stand up to that same scrutiny.

Sprinkling real cities and real humans into a story doesnt make it true and doesnt make magic real. If it were that easy to sell a story then everyone would believe that Superman was real because they saw him flying around New York city. 

 

 

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simmo
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Thankyou everyone for your

Thankyou everyone for your continued replies. A few more comments and questions that have come to mind -  - firstly to perhaps give you a better perspective on where I am coming from when I talk about the consequences of leaving my faith with my family and friends. Sapient made a comment that I think implied that I'm still quite young (perhaps it is my simplistic language is a forum world that seemingly contains many academics)  - I'm actually in my 40's, married with pre-teen kids (all of whom are Christians). My wife is aware of my battles with belief, however she hopes that I will overcome my doubts and be renewed in my faith in God/Jesus. I believe (and so does she) that our marriage is strong enough to survive through whatever circumstances we find ourselves so regardless of where my faith 'goes' my immediate family stays together, although not without lots of hard questions from my children in the future no doubt. I would also be fairly positive about the continuance of reasonably good relationships with my extended family - they are all pretty much good Christian people (whatever that actually means) but not hardcore fire and brimstone types who are going to disown me if I come out as a non-believer. So my family relationships I don't think will suffer greatly. My greatest concern is with friends and my 'status' within my church community. I have held numerous leadership type positions within my church over the years and many people look to me as someone to whom they can turn to. Not so much in the sense of being a great adviser on spiritual or biblical matters, but as friend who cares about them. Many of these relationships I have had for years and value immensely, but they are sustained very much by our continued shared church community involvement. I don't want to lose these (or even really have them diminished in value to these other people) but it would obviously be hypocritical for me to continue being an active attending church member if I don't believe it any more. Another issue I have is the difficulty in discussing my doubts with other Christians (hence my presence here) - at this time I don't think it's my place to place doubts in the minds of other believers, because at this stage, if I'm wrong and Christianity is true, then I don't want to be responsible for leading others away from their faith. I know you will say that is a highly flawed argument, but as you hopefully can see from my writings so far I'm in a very strange place in my mind at present. I still really want God/Jesus to be true, because he provides a concrete meaning to life and a hope for a life beyond this one, which I think are positive things (if they are true, which I recognise at this point they probably aren't). I have plenty more to ask and say, so for those of you prepared to continue reading and commenting alongside this fairly simplistic thought process it would be most appreciated. I would really like to hear from the Christians on here as well. Thanks.


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First, don't believe

First, don't believe because you have to, believe because you want to. That's the best advice I can give. 

 

 

simmo wrote:
I would really like to hear from the Christians on here as well. Thanks.

 

Well, I am a Theist, but I'm not Christian. Perhaps you got go into this topic:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/sapient/kill_em_with_kindness/9983

The Topic creator's a Christian. And hey, it's an 'Ask a Christian' topic.

 


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  I noticed two things you

 

I noticed two things you seemed to stress in your last post: 1) Not wanting to dissolve your current relationships, 2) Not wanting to lose a sense of concrete meaning/purpose in your life.

 

One thing christians often ask of atheists is this: "If there is no God, then what is the meaning of life?" And it's easy to see why they would ask this question since God has been their life's purpose for so long. But turning toward atheism does not mean that your life will longer have purpose. It doesn't mean that you're in this for yourself or that life can't be beautiful. It doesn't even mean that you can't have a sense of spirituality. Atheists feel like there is definitely meaning in life; they simply don't call that meaning "God".

For an atheist, the meaning of life is the relationships we form and maintain. You talked about how much your relationships in your church community mean to you. Isn't it just as beautiful to think that holding strong relationships like that could be the meaning of life? What about the relationship with your wife or your children? Why couldn't that be the meaning of life? Why not dedicate your whole heart to these instead of to a god?

For many atheists, the meaning and purpose of life doesn't even stop at love and the relationships we share. The purpose of life can also be found in our accomplishments, the things we do that benefit others and future generations. Even if it's something as simple as helping a friend make repairs on his house, that is a human life that you have changed in a small way. Others will strive to make larger changes, sure, but what you choose to do with your life is up to you. Maybe the meaning of your life is just to raise some really great and happy kids or maybe the meaning of your life is to find a cure for cancer. It's up to you! And that's part of the beauty of it.

 

It is a sad thing that many of us who deconvert create awkardness in the relationships we share with friends and family members who continue to believe. If you ask any other atheist who has been through that process, they will probably tell you that they don't want that feeling of distance. Some try to keep the relationships going, and some just wing it. In the end, though, I imagine it will be up to them whether or not there is an awkwardness there. This is one thing that religion does to people that atheists speak out about. If you've ever wondered why sites like the RRS are so vocal and confrontational about theism, you need only look at situations like that (or for more extreme examples, the world trade center) to understand why we think religion is harmful.

 I would try to keep the relationships going. Invite your friends over for dinner or a movie, or maybe just to play some board games. Whatever you guys like to do. If they bring up beliefs in any way, just say politely that you don't want to get into it. Try to be friends with them just because you are friends, and not because you share a system of belief. Unfortunately, I can't say this always works, but it might. I have plenty of friends who believe in God that saw my gradual deconversion and are still my friends today.

Like I said, in the end, it will probably be up to them. 

 

 I'll leave it at that for now. Thanks again for all the questions! =)

 

 

 

A place common to all will be maintained by none. A religion common to all is perhaps not much different.


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Might also recommend

Might also recommend checking out Dan Barker's book, Losing Faith in Faith.  It's his story of transition from evangelical preacher to atheist.   Dan was so deep into it, he had also written hundreds of faith/worship songs (that he still collects royalties for.)    I've also heard him speak about similar difficulties to what you've pointed out, about how to deal with it within a close community of believers.


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Quote: I'm actually in my

Quote:
I'm actually in my 40's, married with pre-teen kids (all of whom are Christians).

Quite a different matter, yes, but I did address this somewhat in my previous reply. Children are very susceptible to indoctrination -- moreso than adults. Your children are Christian because you have been Christian. That's a simple fact. (Worldwide, more than 9 out of 10 religious people are in their parents' religion!)

This isn't something you have to decide now, but at some point you will have to judge whether or not you owe your children enough honesty to tell them what has happened to you. They have believed largely because you told them it was true. Perhaps you owe it to them to let them make their own choice with full knowledge, not with a false belief in your belief.

Call me lame, but I'm going to quote RUSH. "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice."

Realize that the longer they're Christians, the harder it will be for them to make a choice to leave. Gosh, if they make it into their 40s and have a couple of kids, it will be extremely difficult, won't it?

They're going to be rebellious sons of bitches for the next 8 or 10 years anyway. Why not give them the chance to get the religion out of their system when they're going to be pissing everyone off constantly anyway?

Quote:
Another issue I have is the difficulty in discussing my doubts with other Christians (hence my presence here)

(Sorry.. not trying to beliitle you, but...)

Duh.

Quote:
I still really want God/Jesus to be true, because he provides a concrete meaning to life and a hope for a life beyond this one, which I think are positive things (if they are true, which I recognise at this point they probably aren't).

It's been said before, but I'd suggest you really need to do some deep "soul searching" about meaning in life. Have you noticed that millions of atheists throughout history have had full, rich, meaningful lives? You may not be able to see this yet, but Christianity is a very arrogant religion, and believers are often unknowingly arrogant because of it. The nerve of suggesting that because I don't spend my time in their particular social club saying magical words in my head, that I don't have any purpose or meaning!

Check this out.... famous atheists who had pretty fulfilling lives, and have brought you, or someone you know, a lot of joy...

Beethoven

Berlioz

Bizet

Brahms

Debussy

Mozart

Paganini

Schubert

Scumann

Strauss

Tchaikovsky

Wagner (Yeah, he was kind of a shit head, but I don't want to be accused of favoritism)

Verdi

Ralph Vaughn Williams

Bjork

Pierre Boulez

From right down the road from my house... Peter Buck of REM

Also from right down the road from me. Saw him a couple of weeks ago at the sushi bar... Mike Mills of REM

Vic Chesnutt

Chumbawamba (Yeah, they suck. I know.)

Justin Currie of Del Amitri

Julia Darling

The Dead Kennedys

Frederick Delius

Ani DiFranco

Micky Dolenz

Danny Elfman

Brian Eno

Extreme

Filter

Randy Newman

Phil Ochs (American Folk Singer)

Andy Partridge (XTC)

Neil Peart (Rush)

Brian Ritchie (The Violent Femmes)

Chris Robinson (Black Crowes)

Ned Rorem

Arthur Rubenstein

Liam and Noel Gallagher (Oasis)

Greg Graffin (Bad Religion)

Lou Harrison (b. 1917) American Composer

Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters)

Paul Hester (Crowded House)

Stephen Jenkins (Third Eye Blind)

Billy Joel

Kirk "Sticky Fingaz" Jones (Onyx)

Mark Knopfler - simply the best finger style guitarist out there

Of course.. John Lennon

Jim Lindberg (Pennywise)

Johnny Rotten

Barry Manilow. Yes. Barry Manilow is an atheist.

Shirley Manson (Garbage)

Nick Mason (Pink Floyd)

Dave Matthews (Shh... don't tell the frat boys)

Sarah McLachlan

Ewan MacColl

Momus

Motorhead

Roger Waters

Dar Williams

Mathew Sweet

Third Eye Blind

Virgil Thomson

Tool

The Late Great Frank Zappa

 

That's just a few musicians out of a long, long list of atheists who had very fulfilling lives.

Seriously. You might want to rethink your position on Jesus giving your life or anyone else's meaning.

Everyone gives their own life meaning. Some people just don't believe in themselves enough to give themselves credit.

Wouldn't you rather give your children the chance to make a real choice? Maybe they would rather take credit for their own acheivements than have to give credit for someone who had it all planned out from the beginning and wants them to worship him for it, good or bad.

 

 

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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To add to the above

To add to the above list:

 

This is a popular YouTube video showing some other very famous atheists that have had very meaningful lives. It's a pretty good list too.

 

ATHEIST: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdVucvo-kDU

A place common to all will be maintained by none. A religion common to all is perhaps not much different.


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simmo wrote:Hello

simmo wrote:
Hello everyone. 
I had written out a longwinded post here about my journey from true believer to my current state of what I would call semi-decoversion, however before I could post it I hit the wrong button at the wrong time and lost it all. The Christian side of my brain tells me that God didn't want me to post my comments, therefore I lost them, whereas the rational side of my brain tells me I'm just an idiot. But I am going to try again, albeit in a shortened point form. I am looking for comments from atheists and theists to try and help me make sense of things.
- I have always gone to church and had a 'born again' experience and belief as a teenager.- I have been reading many things recently cause me to question the truth of a historical Jesus, particularly the lack of mention of him by historians of the time and the similarities of the Jesus story with prior Egyptian gods.If he did not ever exist as a living person who lived, preached, performed miracles, was crucified and then rose from the dead, then everyting about Christianity changes.- I am still skeptical about there being no creator 'god', as the intracasies of life, the world and the universe seem difficult to imagine happening by chance, so at this stage I'm still with the watchmaker people.- The idea of God answering prayer seems to be an increasingly unlikely thing to me. The number of people who cry out to God for healing and don't get a yes is incredibly high, with the number of genuine healings not  easily explained as having been medically or naturally induced is extremely small.- Despite the negativity of many towards Christianity, I see much to like about it's effect on the world. Much of the humanitarian work throughout the world is done in the name of Christ, and the selflessness that is displayed by many (and should be by all) Christians makes the world a better place. - The teachings of Jesus and Paul in the new testament  are in general great guidelines for life. - The moral codes that Christians generally seek to live by are positive ones.
So at this point I am having severe doubts about the validilty of Christianity yet still see that living a Christian life as being the best way to live. Does that sound confusing to you? Because at the moment many things are confusing me, so I would appreciate your feedback. I hope this makes sense - my original post was far more eloquent than this one, but I was not going to attempt it all again lest I lose it asecond time. If this post doesn't go through perhaps I will take it as a sign from God that I was not going to post it (not that any of you will see it) or perhaps it will just be confirmation that I am truly a moron. 

Let me first say that if you are reading at this site - most of what you read is just plain crap.  That is about as plain as I can put it.

1.  The whole Jesus was just the same story as Egyptian gods is absolutely a bunch of junk.  Nothing but rhetoric and I would be glad to give you more information if you would like.  What they have done is tell you lie after lie after lie. 

2.  So you are worried about the creation issue.  I am not at all.  Let me tell you something.  Each person here loves to tell you how we know this and we know that.  What they are not saying is how many times our science changes. . . at the drop of a hat.  Let me give you just a couple of examples.

A.  When I went to school a scientific fact was that Pluto was a planet - not any more

B.  In the 70's the planet was headed for an ice-age - whoops, got it wrong again.

C.  Discovery magazine wrote that our top scientist got it wrong, there are not 200 million galaxies, there are 400 million - missed it by that much 

D.  When I was born the umbilical cord was useless.  Just remember, 20 years ago we were throwing umbilical cords away because we thought they were useless after birth.  How unintelligent could God be to create a cord that is worthless after only being used 9 months AND THEN it leaves us with a scar.  BUT WAIT, we were wrong.  Maybe it was not so unintelligent after all. Umbilical cord blood is playing an important and growing role in the treatment of leukemia and other life-threatening blood diseases.  So, is it possible to state with such certainty that these things are unintelligent when science can change tomorrow?  I think not.I COULD GO ON AND ON.  They want you to believe that science is so true when in reality every time they mess it up - they go back and say, "Well now we know more."  They speak as if they are so certain.

3.  How can you make such a claim about healing and unexplained healings.  No one can say either way.  We simply do not have that data.  I am sure Lazarus' family wondered why he had to die.  AND YET, Jesus had a plan.  God has a plan when he heals and when he does not.

4.  If you came here for truth - you came to the wrong place.  This place thrives on anti-Christian rhetoric.  When shown that they are wrong - they do not change anything.  Nothing here but fools.

Romans 1: 21- 23 - 21For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

Simmo.  There is no doubt you are struggling.  But you should seek advice from those who are wise, not fools.  If you want wisdom, seek after God.  Read his word.  This place has nothing to offer but the foolishness of the world.

Instead of reading the junk they offer . . . read:

The Bible - the best way to know and love God more.

Knowing God by J.I. Packard - incredible

In His Image by Philip Yancy 

Great Doctrines of the Bible by D. Lloyd Jones

These are truly wise books.  Let me know if there is any other way that I can help you.

In Christ,

REVLyle

 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.


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Yes I'm fully aware that my

Yes I'm fully aware that my children's Christianity is as a result of their environment. I don't think they are old enough yet to be able to fully grasp the alternate view (they are also not old enough to really understand what they believe as Christians), however I'm sure the time will come when it is appropriate (in my opinion) to discuss my changing beliefs. 
With regards to my comments about the 'meaning of life', I did not mean to come across as believing that Christians were the only ones able to have a true meaning to their lives. I was trying to suggest that to Christians the idea of 'living for Jesus' gives them a specific, concrete meaning to their lives, so they don't have to find their own meaning. Their meaning in life is (I think) easier to for them to define, whereas for a non-Christian it becomes your own search for meaning - as you have suggested that could be being the best parent you can be, finding a cure for cancer, or any one of millions of choices. I fully realise that atheists can have fully meaningful lives and that many brilliant people have made significant contributions to the world outside of Christianity. I was just trying to say that for a Christian they don't need to search for meaning themselves, as Christianity gives them all the meaning they feel that they need. I'm probably still not explaining it well, but hopefully that's a bit clearer. 
 


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Archeopteryx wrote: To add

Archeopteryx wrote:

To add to the above list:

 

This is a popular YouTube video showing some other very famous atheists that have had very meaningful lives. It's a pretty good list too.

 

ATHEIST: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdVucvo-kDU

If meaningful means that it has appeared to others as important or meaningful - you are correct.  As a Christian, I am aware that there are those who do not know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and they do good deeds while on this planet.  There are those who hate the thought of God and yet they are very rich in material possessions.  This is told to us right in scripture.  There is nothing shocking about people who have contributed to society and yet denied God.  God showed mercy on them while they lived but their denouncement of Him had consequences upon their death.  None of them that have passed away would look at their life as menaingful now, because they missed knowing the creator of their life.

44But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.


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Thanks REVLyle for your

Thanks REVLyle for your comments. I came to the site so I can seek out alternate ideas beyond the standard Christian answers that to honest are often very unsatisfactory. In light of your comments, here are a few thoughts and questions for you - - The Jesus/Egytian gods thing is something I have only very recently come across. Can you point me in the direction of where I can find information that debunks these ideas?- The lack of historical commentary about Jesus outside of the gospels concerns me. Can you give me your thoughts on that.- The whole healing and miracles thing concerns me greatly. There is very little verifiable evidence for the miraculous occuring today, yet Christianity has made an entire massive industry based upon what I see as almost always false promises and lies (from the Benny Hinn's of the world down to local churches). I still have not yet given up on God/Jesus, but the interventionist God that hears and answers prayer seems very difficult to believe in.
I have many more questions for you and others on here. As I stated earlier, I really don't want to give up on God/Jesus, but it's getting hard for me not to at this point. The atheists make some very good arguments against God/Jesus, so I would appreciate some good counter-arguments. Thanks.


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Thanks for giving me the

Thanks for giving me the chance.  I would simply ask that you give me a couple of days.  Not because I need time to answer you, but because it is midnight and I am tired (tomorrow is Sunday - I have church).  I will be glad to give you as much info as you would like.  Thanks again. I will be back online later.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.


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Quote: Yes I'm fully aware

Quote:
Yes I'm fully aware that my children's Christianity is as a result of their environment. I don't think they are old enough yet to be able to fully grasp the alternate view (they are also not old enough to really understand what they believe as Christians), however I'm sure the time will come when it is appropriate (in my opinion) to discuss my changing beliefs.

Simmo, they were born not believing in a god. If it had never been taught to them, what would their beliefs be? You got it. Atheism. They're old enough to understand that some people believe that there's a god, but there isn't really one. It's kind of like Santa Claus, except that a lot of adults believe it. That's it. Simple.

One of my best friends has a ten year old kid who could beat most pastors in a debate. Don't underestimate your children. Keeping facts from children is what keeps them from learning to make their own decisions.

Quote:
I did not mean to come across as believing that Christians were the only ones able to have a true meaning to their lives.

I know you didn't. Do you see now how arrogant a thing it is for the Christians to say? Whether you meant it or not, that's the logical conclusion of your statement. It's unintentional arrogance because of not thinking.

Quote:
I was trying to suggest that to Christians the idea of 'living for Jesus' gives them a specific, concrete meaning to their lives, so they don't have to find their own meaning.

So, it's a crutch that lets them avoid asking meaningful questions about what they want in life? I agree.

Quote:
Their meaning in life is (I think) easier to for them to define, whereas for a non-Christian it becomes your own search for meaning

Right. And nothing worth having takes hard work, right?

Sorry, I'm not trying to bust your balls here. Imagine me saying all of this as nicely as possible. The thing is, your posts are dripping with theist fallacies, and I'm trying to show you that even though you may not believe in Jesus, you are still being swayed by a lot of assumptions that are not really true.

Quote:
was just trying to say that for a Christian they don't need to search for meaning themselves, as Christianity gives them all the meaning they feel that they need. I'm probably still not explaining it well, but hopefully that's a bit clearer.

No, it's perfectly clear. I have been exactly where you are, except I was not a parent when I left religion. The thing is, whether you feel like it's true or not, Christianity IS an easy way out of thinking about what is important in life. Fact is, there are a lot of people in the Christian community whose greatest purpose in life is legislating Christianity. This, as you can imagine, is a bit of a threat to the millions of us who would like to have the freedom to make our own determinations.

Questioning is harder than blind acceptance. This is true. But, simmo, do you really want to waste your one and only existence genuflecting towards a statue of a man who either didn't exist or has been dead for 2 millenia? Why not take the chance you have and do your own thinking? Why not give your children the chance to do the same?

What exactly do you think is going to be the benefit of letting them get more indoctrinated into Christianity, rather than showing them both sides now and letting them begin to think about it?

(That's not rhetorical. I want to know your answer.)

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Watchmaker

Just as a quick aside. The watchmaker analogy is so overused and completely overrated. Here's why:

If you stumble across a watch in a field you naturally conclude that the watch had a maker. The obvious reason for this being that at this point in time there are no known physical processes by which the parts that combine to make a watch could come about in the appropriate configuration to be a watch naturally. However this does not apply to cosmology, since we do know of many physical laws which are responsible for the formation of stars, galaxies, black holes, etc. Admittedly these models are incomplete, but as they exist today they are very adequate.

Biological systems also obey a set of natural laws which allow them to come about naturally. In fact unless you accept the fact that biological systems work through natural processes which don't require a builder you are forced to conclude that God is physically intervening every time every cell in every organism in the entire universe divides.

This is, of course, not to say that no special set of natural laws which we have not yet observed could exist which would first create the parts needed to build a watch but also put them together in that special configuration. But unless we observe such a spectacular set of laws I feel it is safe to conclude that a watch in a field must have had a builder. When I see, however, an unremarkable rock in the middle of a field, it is, naturally, logical for me to conclude that that rock came into existence through natural processes. Afterall we know what rocks are made of (yes I am aware there are all different kinds of rocks), and we know the processes by which rocks form naturally.

For further reading on the subject see:

http://cte.jhu.edu/techacademy/fellows/brannon/webquest/Rmform.htm http://www.fi.edu/fellows/payton/rocks/create/index.html
http://earthnet-geonet.ca/qa/rocksqa/index_e.php?q3

Now I would just like to conclude by pointing out that if you look at how beautiful the universe is, and it is beautiful, why would you cheapen it by assuming that all of this complexity had to have been created? 


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REVLyle wrote:

REVLyle wrote:

Let me first say that if you are reading at this site - most of what you read is just plain crap. That is about as plain as I can put it.

 

If, by crap, you mean "science" and "logic", then yes.

 

REVLyle wrote:

1. The whole Jesus was just the same story as Egyptian gods is absolutely a bunch of junk. Nothing but rhetoric and I would be glad to give you more information if you would like. What they have done is tell you lie after lie after lie.

 

I don't think anyone on this site is saying that Jesus was the same person as any of the Egyptian gods. Are you taking this from the Zeitgeist movie? I'm pretty sure that Rook has already disagreed with that.

The problem is a lack of contemporary writers who talk about Jesus. No one writes about Jesus until a century after his death, and even then, he is mentioned only in passing, if at all. No miracles. No rising from the dead. Nothing.

 

REVLyle wrote:

2. So you are worried about the creation issue. I am not at all. Let me tell you something. Each person here loves to tell you how we know this and we know that. What they are not saying is how many times our science changes. . .

Science changes because when science realizes it has made a mistake, it revises its theories to correct these mistakes. Religion does not do this. Obviously.

But this doesn't meant that science radically changes its mind. In fact, most of the changes that occur in science simply refine our earlier understanding rather than turning them around 180 degrees.

REVLyle wrote:

A. When I went to school a scientific fact was that Pluto was a planet - not any more

Pluto was demoted from "Planet" status to "Dwarf Planet" status simply because the IAU voted on a new definition of "Planet". Nothing about our understanding of Pluto has changed though. We simply call it something different now.

REVLyle wrote:

B. In the 70's the planet was headed for an ice-age - whoops, got it wrong again.

I can't comment on this since I've never read up on their reasons why. But the overall temperature of the earth changing in either direction is not scientifically impossible.

REVLyle wrote:

C. Discovery magazine wrote that our top scientist got it wrong, there are not 200 million galaxies, there are 400 million - missed it by that much.

That just means that we found more. There aren't just 400 million either. That's just how many we can currently see. Like I said: science refines more than it changes its mind.

REVLyle wrote:

D. When I was born the umbilical cord was useless. Just remember, 20 years ago we were throwing umbilical cords away because we thought they were useless after birth. How unintelligent could God be to create a cord that is worthless after only being used 9 months AND THEN it leaves us with a scar. BUT WAIT, we were wrong. Maybe it was not so unintelligent after all. Umbilical cord blood is playing an important and growing role in the treatment of leukemia and other life-threatening blood diseases.

I haven't heard about umbilical cords being used this way yet, but taking it as a given: so what? We just found a new use for them that we weren't aware of before. Again: Science refining itself.

REVLyle wrote:

So, is it possible to state with such certainty that these things are unintelligent when science can change tomorrow? I think not.I COULD GO ON AND ON. They want you to believe that science is so true when in reality every time they mess it up - they go back and say, "Well now we know more." They speak as if they are so certain.

If you saw a child touch a hot stove and hurt himself, would you say that the child at that point refined his understanding of the world around him, or that he was being indecisive about hot stoves?

It sounds silly when you say it too.

REVLyle wrote:

3. How can you make such a claim about healing and unexplained healings. No one can say either way. We simply do not have that data. I am sure Lazarus' family wondered why he had to die. AND YET, Jesus had a plan. God has a plan when he heals and when he does not.

Science always assumes a rational explanation. That's the great thing about it. Religion, on the other hand, is fond of a "god of the gaps". When science doesn't understand something, it works to figure it out. When religion doesn't understand something, it throws up its hands and says "I guess god did it!"

If we perceived the world through purely religious eyes, we would never learn anything because nothing would ever be investigated. We can't know everything at all possible times. Knowledge has to be acquired. You can't discredit science for not knowing what it hasn't had time to explain yet. One thing at a time.

REVLyle wrote:

4. If you came here for truth - you came to the wrong place. This place thrives on anti-Christian rhetoric. When shown that they are wrong - they do not change anything. Nothing here but fools.

Anti-Christian rhetoric = Rational answers.

REVLyle wrote:

Romans 1: 21- 23 - 21For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

You can't use the Bible to prove the truth of its own statements. Not if you're rational anyway. (oops, I hope that wasn't anti-christian rhetoric).

REVLyle wrote:

Simmo. There is no doubt you are struggling. But you should seek advice from those who are wise, not fools. If you want wisdom, seek after God. Read his word. This place has nothing to offer but the foolishness of the world.

You'll see a lot of this if you hang around here enough, Simmo. It's a big fad for christians to just call us fools and idiots and blasphemers and so on while not making any actual arguments.

"You're a fool!" <--Undeniable proof that we're wrong.

REVLyle wrote:

Instead of reading the junk they offer . . . read:

The Bible - the best way to know and love God more.

Knowing God by J.I. Packard - incredible

In His Image by Philip Yancy

Great Doctrines of the Bible by D. Lloyd Jone

 

I wouldn't be opposed to you reading those at all. Actually, reading a little from both sides is a very good thing. But read some of our books too. Compare ideas and come to your own conclusions. Don't assume we don't know what we're talking about just because someone who disagrees calls us fools.

 

I hope our responses are helping you out! Smiling

A place common to all will be maintained by none. A religion common to all is perhaps not much different.


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simmo, just a simple

simmo, just a simple question:

Why do you think atheism is the only alternative? 


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simmo wrote: Thanks REVLyle

simmo wrote:
Thanks REVLyle for your comments. I came to the site so I can seek out alternate ideas beyond the standard Christian answers that to honest are often very unsatisfactory. In light of your comments, here are a few thoughts and questions for you - - The Jesus/Egytian gods thing is something I have only very recently come across. Can you point me in the direction of where I can find information that debunks these ideas?- The lack of historical commentary about Jesus outside of the gospels concerns me. Can you give me your thoughts on that.- The whole healing and miracles thing concerns me greatly. There is very little verifiable evidence for the miraculous occuring today, yet Christianity has made an entire massive industry based upon what I see as almost always false promises and lies (from the Benny Hinn's of the world down to local churches). I still have not yet given up on God/Jesus, but the interventionist God that hears and answers prayer seems very difficult to believe in.
I have many more questions for you and others on here. As I stated earlier, I really don't want to give up on God/Jesus, but it's getting hard for me not to at this point. The atheists make some very good arguments against God/Jesus, so I would appreciate some good counter-arguments. Thanks.

Good questions.  I think you're at the point where you're fed up with the pat answers and the affected superiority of the bible believer.  Don't you know that asking questions is dangerous?  It might lead you to something approximating the truth.  We can't have that, now can we? Smiling

I'm glad you asked for specifics.  Make everyone back up claims, no matter who they are.  Don't settle for blanket statements like "This site is complete hogwash."

You are brave to admit to doubts at your age.  Dan Barker wasn't quite as old as you when he deconverted, but he had a lot to lose.  Hamby has given you quite a reading list.  I hope I'm not making you feel crazy by offering another title: Losing Faith in Faith by Dan Barker.  He was a fundamentalist minister who lost his faith.  I'm a little jealous he was able to bring his parents out, too.  Still, he has kids who still believe (last I heard) and that has to be hard for everyone involved.

Hamby and I are two of the forum's most indoctrinated ex-Christians.  We both faced really hard choices when we chose to leave the church.  Hamby's post about leaving is brilliant.  In fact, I may have to steal it sometime. Eye-wink  At some point, the idiocy must stop.  Someone has to find the courage to ask questions and keep asking them.

You're doing fine. 

Above all, to thine own self be true. - Shakespeare 

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Errrrrrrr....... and may I

Errrrrrrr....... and may I also point out that one can be a Christian and do question their faith? Do ask the 'hard' questions?

 

Questioning your faith is normal, and is not a one way ticket to atheism. 


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REVLyle wrote:

REVLyle wrote:

Let me first say that if you are reading at this site - most of what you read is just plain crap. That is about as plain as I can put it.

1. The whole Jesus was just the same story as Egyptian gods is absolutely a bunch of junk. Nothing but rhetoric and I would be glad to give you more information if you would like. What they have done is tell you lie after lie after lie.

2. So you are worried about the creation issue. I am not at all. Let me tell you something. Each person here loves to tell you how we know this and we know that. What they are not saying is how many times our science changes. . . at the drop of a hat. Let me give you just a couple of examples.

A. When I went to school a scientific fact was that Pluto was a planet - not any more

B. In the 70's the planet was headed for an ice-age - whoops, got it wrong again.

C. Discovery magazine wrote that our top scientist got it wrong, there are not 200 million galaxies, there are 400 million - missed it by that much

D. When I was born the umbilical cord was useless. Just remember, 20 years ago we were throwing umbilical cords away because we thought they were useless after birth. How unintelligent could God be to create a cord that is worthless after only being used 9 months AND THEN it leaves us with a scar. BUT WAIT, we were wrong. Maybe it was not so unintelligent after all. Umbilical cord blood is playing an important and growing role in the treatment of leukemia and other life-threatening blood diseases. So, is it possible to state with such certainty that these things are unintelligent when science can change tomorrow? I think not.I COULD GO ON AND ON. They want you to believe that science is so true when in reality every time they mess it up - they go back and say, "Well now we know more." They speak as if they are so certain.

3. How can you make such a claim about healing and unexplained healings. No one can say either way. We simply do not have that data. I am sure Lazarus' family wondered why he had to die. AND YET, Jesus had a plan. God has a plan when he heals and when he does not.

4. If you came here for truth - you came to the wrong place. This place thrives on anti-Christian rhetoric. When shown that they are wrong - they do not change anything. Nothing here but fools.

Romans 1: 21- 23 - 21For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

Simmo. There is no doubt you are struggling. But you should seek advice from those who are wise, not fools. If you want wisdom, seek after God. Read his word. This place has nothing to offer but the foolishness of the world.

Instead of reading the junk they offer . . . read:

The Bible - the best way to know and love God more.

Knowing God by J.I. Packard - incredible

In His Image by Philip Yancy

Great Doctrines of the Bible by D. Lloyd Jones

These are truly wise books. Let me know if there is any other way that I can help you.

In Christ,

REVLyle

 

I'm sure I'm not the only one who noticed all of the ad hominem attacks in this post. Very christian like.

I want to point out also that science does change. So does christianity. Take a look at history, please.

http://www.religiousbook.net/Books/Online_books/Sh/Heart_19.html http://www.shoutingground.com/~bigred/EvolChrist.html

That said. I would now like to point out that the changes in science are due to the fact that scientists do not assume that they know everything and are well aware of the fact that they are fallible. Scientific theory is based on observation. It is not valid to begin by assuming a conclusion and then accept only evidence that supports your conclusion while rejecting evidence that contradicts it. This method will never lead to truth. And if your beliefs are true then you have nothing to fear from science.

I will conclude this post now by pointing out that the creationist's apparent fear of science, more than showing the weakness of science, demonstrates that creationists may not be as secure in their own belief as they claim.

"There are those who scoff at the school boy, calling him frivolous and shallow. Yet it was the school boy who said, Faith is believing what you know ain't so."
-Mark Twain

I could be way wrong, but I offer it only as something to think about.


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REVLyle wrote:  Nothing

REVLyle wrote:

 Nothing here but fools.

 

Well sir, YOU are here.  


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To answer a couple of

To answer a couple of questions posed - Hambydammit - I am probably not comfortable discussing my present thinking on God with my children, and possibly moving them away from Christianity, because I am still thinking with a Christian mindset in many ways. The bible warns against causing others to stumble in their faith, and that is what I would possibly be doing to my children. If Christianity is true, then I bear a heavy responsibility if I cause others to fall away because of my doubts. That is one of the main reasons why discussion with other Christians on the issues I have been bringing up here is very difficult. I know none of this sounds rational to many of you, but that is the current mindset that I have. 
Cpt_pineapple - I do not see atheism as the only alternative to Christianity. In fact at present I little evidence of the Christian God as generally defined by most churches, but still evidence of a 'god' in some form via the aspects of creation and the mind/soul. Again that is just my 'feelings' on these issues and not well researched. So far you have all suggested a vast array of reading material from both sides of the fence, however I struggle to find time to read a newspaper in between the rest of my life (family, work, looking for God and the meaning of life etc.) , let alone a bunch of books on these subjects. But I know that I should.


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Quote: Errrrrrrr....... and

Quote:
Errrrrrrr....... and may I also point out that one can be a Christian and do question their faith? Do ask the 'hard' questions?

Of course.  It's possible to ask questions and arrive at the incorrect answers.

(Sorry, Cpt.  Couldn't resist.)

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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REVLyle, one of the

REVLyle, one of the difficulties I have in being able to discuss these matters with Christians is exactly some of the things that you say in your first post. When you say "nothing here but fools" that immediately brings me back to the common reference in the bible stating that only a fool would say there is no God. So as soon as someone suggests there may be no God, the Christian instantly dismisses them as being foolish based upon what the bible says. So should we just dismiss their opinion because of what the bible says and not listen to what can be well thought out and rationalised? If we go to a fundamentalist extreme, do we just dismiss atheists as agents of Satan, whose goal is to turn people such as me away from faith? Of course many of the atheists are trying to turn people away from religion, just as many Christians are trying to 'win the world for Jesus'. But should they be demonised and branded as fools for not believing what the bible has to say?


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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

simmo, just a simple question:

Why do you think atheism is the only alternative?

 

Oh no you didn't, you will not be bringing him into your comfortable little deist club. 


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simmo wrote: In fact at

simmo wrote:
In fact at present I little evidence of the Christian God as generally defined by most churches, but still evidence of a 'god' in some form via the aspects of creation and the mind/soul. Again that is just my 'feelings' on these issues and not well researched. So far you have all suggested a vast array of reading material from both sides of the fence, however I struggle to find time to read a newspaper in between the rest of my life (family, work, looking for God and the meaning of life etc.) , let alone a bunch of books on these subjects. But I know that I should.

 

Fair enough, if you don't have a lot of extra time to hit the books.  However if you want to tackle one question at time on here, I'm sure we could summon quite a bit of information to address each one.   Which do you find the toughest question to overcome?


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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

First, don't believe because you have to, believe because you want to. That's the best advice I can give

 

That is the worst advice you could give anyone on any issue, religious or not. If I "want to believe" that I am dating Cyndi Crawford, even if it is not true, you'd say "Have at it".

You'd allow a friend to be deluded "just because" it makes someone feel good?

Well, by your logic, we should let Muslims "believe because they want to" that slaming planes into buildings is a good thing "just because" they want to.

ARE YOU NUTS?

It is not a matter of wanting to or not wanting to believe something, it is a matter of EVIDENCE, nothing more and nothing less. You are promoting intelectual lazyness with that advice. 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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kellym78

kellym78 wrote:
Cpt_pineapple wrote:

simmo, just a simple question:

Why do you think atheism is the only alternative?

 

Oh no you didn't, you will not be bringing him into your comfortable little deist club.

 Time will tell.

 

*Fiddles fingers*

 


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Brian37

Brian37 wrote:
Cpt_pineapple wrote:

First, don't believe because you have to, believe because you want to. That's the best advice I can give

 

That is the worst advice you could give anyone on any issue, religious or not. If I "want to believe" that I am dating Cyndi Crawford, even if it is not true, you'd say "Have at it".

You'd allow a friend to be deluded "just because" it makes someone feel good?

Well, by your logic, we should let Muslims "believe because they want to" that slaming planes into buildings is a good thing "just because" they want to.

ARE YOU NUTS?

It is not a matter of wanting to or not wanting to believe something, it is a matter of EVIDENCE, nothing more and nothing less. You are promoting intelectual lazyness with that advice.

 

That's not what I meant.

 

I meant don't believe in God because you think you're going to Hell if you don't. I'm saying believe in God for your own reasons. 


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Quote: Hambydammit - I am

Quote:
Hambydammit - I am probably not comfortable discussing my present thinking on God with my children, and possibly moving them away from Christianity, because I am still thinking with a Christian mindset in many ways. The bible warns against causing others to stumble in their faith, and that is what I would possibly be doing to my children. If Christianity is true, then I bear a heavy responsibility if I cause others to fall away because of my doubts. That is one of the main reasons why discussion with other Christians on the issues I have been bringing up here is very difficult. I know none of this sounds rational to many of you, but that is the current mindset that I have.

No, it sounds very rational.  You want to be sure of what you believe before you make such a big leap.  I understand.

Like Iruka said, there are some of here who know very well how hard it is to leave religion.  For my part, I'll tell you that it didn't take all that much for me to realize Christianity wasn't true.  I just read the whole bible, front to back.  The hard part was getting from being quasi-spiritual-theist to atheist, and then getting to openly atheist.  

I don't expect you to make any decisions on the spot... if you think about it, any revivals you've been to, they asked you to make decisions on the spot... hard sells, if you like.  All I ask from anyone is an open mind and the willingness to truly, honestly answer questions, even if they make you very uncomfortable, or give you a feeling of guilt to even think about.

Answering questions honestly is the only way to truth.  The bible agrees with this, right?

I hope you stay on the boards for a while, simmo.  If you do, I will ask you questions you don't like answering, and I will present you with hard facts that you might not like.  I'm speaking for myself, but I know that this is the way that most of us work here.  We want you to check on what we say.  Do your own research.  Prove us wrong any time you can.  Our goal here is objective truth, not winning debates.  If you're also interested in what's really true, we can help.

 So I know more about where you're coming from, will you answer a couple of simple questions?

Have you ever really studied any other religions besides Christianity?

Have you ever travelled to any non-Christian countries?

Have you ever studied logic or critical thinking?

In your opinion, what, precisely, do you think is the message of Christianity?

 

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Have you ever really

Have you ever really studied any other religions besides Christianity? No

Have you ever travelled to any non-Christian countries? Not countries that to a great extent practice other religions, but travelled throughout Europe, much of which would probably be considered to be predominantly atheist.

Have you ever studied logic or critical thinking? Only in a business sense not philosophical (more like strategic thinking)

In your opinion, what, precisely, do you think is the message of Christianity? This is not precisely, but a fairly simple summary in the limited time I have available at the moment - Jesus Christ was the true son  of God who was born in human form for the purpose of teaching us about the true nature of God, then to become a substitutionary sacrifice for us in order for mankind to be reconciled with God. This sacrifice is required to keep with the old testament laws of blood sacrifice to atone for sins. This meant that all people were no longer under the requirements of the old law, but could now become right with God by belief in Jesus as God. To become a Christian a person must confess our sins to God, ask for forgiveness from those sins and acknowledge Jesus as the son of God who was resurrected from the dead. We are then saved from eternal punishment (for our sinfulness) and promised eternal life with God.  We are saved by our faith in God, not by any good deeds that we perform.

So that's my quick summary. Feel free to criticise me for a lack of knowledge over what I should believe or for what makes no sense at all.


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Quote: Have you ever

Quote:

Have you ever really studied any other religions besides Christianity? No

Are you aware that virtually every single tenet of Christianity can be traced to other religions? Did you know that there is actually nothing unique in Christianity? No, the virgin birth isn't even remotely unique. The sacrifice of Jesus for atonement is not unique. The creation story isn't unique. All of these have earlier predecessors.

Quote:
Have you ever travelled to any non-Christian countries? Not countries that to a great extent practice other religions, but travelled throughout Europe, much of which would probably be considered to be predominantly atheist.

So, you're aware of the fact that the majority of the world's population is not Christian. Also, the majority of people who have ever lived have not been Christain.

Quote:
Have you ever studied logic or critical thinking? Only in a business sense not philosophical (more like strategic thinking)

Ok. Do you know what logic is, exactly?

I'd like you to read a series of essays I wrote. It won't take too long, but I think it's important if you've not had basic critical thinking. Read them here. If you look down at the bottom of the first essay, you'll see parts 2 and 3, and three more, ending with "Reasoning." It won't take you terribly long to read all of them, but it's important. Once we make sure you have a good grasp on critical thinking, we can talk about faith vs. logic, but until you know for sure what logic is, it'll be hard to deal with that topic. After all, how can you argue against something when you don't even know what it is!

Quote:
Jesus Christ was the true son of God who was born in human form for the purpose of teaching us about the true nature of God, then to become a substitutionary sacrifice for us in order for mankind to be reconciled with God.

More questions, if you don't mind.

What is the true nature of god that he taught us?

Quote:
This sacrifice is required to keep with the old testament laws of blood sacrifice to atone for sins.

What does "atone" mean? Who required the sacrifice? Why?

What exactly is being reconciled?

Quote:
This meant that all people were no longer under the requirements of the old law, but could now become right with God by belief in Jesus as God.

What was wrong with the old law?

Who made the old law?

Explain how justice is served by believing the correct story? Please don't gloss over this. Those who were born Buddhist are very curious to know why they don't get points for believing their story. If anything, theirs is a bit more reasonable... no sagas of the entire world stopping its rotation so that some Jewish guy could finish killing an entire army and such. No reason to believe that the entire world was covered with water, and all the scientists in the world have simply missed the evidence.

Quote:
To become a Christian a person must confess our sins to God, ask for forgiveness from those sins and acknowledge Jesus as the son of God who was resurrected from the dead. We are then saved from eternal punishment (for our sinfulness) and promised eternal life with God. We are saved by our faith in God, not by any good deeds that we perform.

So, in summary, god made us, and knew that we would sin. So, he had us kill sheep because then he could forgive us for being the way he made us. After a while, he decided that killing sheep was not a very good way of doing things, so he turned himself into a man, and came to earth and got himself killed. Except, he didn't die, because he's god. He stayed not-dead for three days, then came back to all the way alive, then went back up to the invisible palace in the sky, and told eleven Jewish guys that if everyone believes this story, that they get to go to the magical place in the sky, too, but if they don't, he'll barbecue them forever, and nothing that they do is good enough to save them from his wrath.

But he loves us.

Did I get this about right?

(What's so hard for you to disbelieve? Sounds like a bunch of hooey to me.)

Quote:
So that's my quick summary. Feel free to criticise me for a lack of knowledge over what I should believe or for what makes no sense at all.

It sounds like you have memorized the Christian story really well. Now I want you to think about what you have memorized.

Please, answer my questions as completely as possible. Thanks!

 

 

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simmo wrote: REVLyle, one

simmo wrote:
REVLyle, one of the difficulties I have in being able to discuss these matters with Christians is exactly some of the things that you say in your first post. When you say "nothing here but fools" that immediately brings me back to the common reference in the bible stating that only a fool would say there is no God. So as soon as someone suggests there may be no God, the Christian instantly dismisses them as being foolish based upon what the bible says. So should we just dismiss their opinion because of what the bible says and not listen to what can be well thought out and rationalised? If we go to a fundamentalist extreme, do we just dismiss atheists as agents of Satan, whose goal is to turn people such as me away from faith? Of course many of the atheists are trying to turn people away from religion, just as many Christians are trying to 'win the world for Jesus'. But should they be demonised and branded as fools for not believing what the bible has to say?

 

First of all let me say that I come here to this site quite often.  I have listened to what they have said and I have certainly had good discussions and I have had some very poor ones.  I have not dismissed anyone.  I am not saying that there are not intelligent people on this website, I am simply saying that they are not wise.  Knowledge and wisdom are two different things, but I can certainly see that someone like yourself, who is not grounded in their faith can listen to this rhetoric and begin to doubt. 

Let me give you an example:  Of all the posts that I have done on this site, I have never gone into the science area and debated someone who has a vast knowledge in biology.  I do not know those subjects and simply would not add anything to the conversation.  AND YET, people on this site who do not know God seem to believe they can tell you about God OR because they do not know God they simply say that He does not exist.  All I am saying is that if you want to know more about God, ask someone who knows God, not the enemies of God.  James 4:4 - You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 

My reference to them as fools is in regards to their understanding and knowing God.  They are fools in this area.  I have studied God's word and I am studying God's word and the more I learn, the more my faith grows and the more I know the Word of God to be true.  I know God as my Lord and my Savior.  Let me help you with just the first of your issues.

You Wrote:  I have been reading many things recently cause me to question the truth of a historical Jesus, particularly the lack of mention of him by historians of the time and the similarities of the Jesus story with prior Egyptian gods.

 

First the Egyptian gods issue.  A complete bunch of lies.  I am not going to mention all the gods and all the issues but they seem to be enamered with Horus, so let's look at that one.  Here is what they claim.

1.  He was born of a virgin - that is not in the myth - complete lie

2.  He was baptized - another lie - never in the myth - He was thrown in the nile river

3.  Horus was born on the 25 of Dec.  The Bible does not make one claim that Jesus was born on this day so who cares about Horus - but again a lie.  Upon reading the only date that is mentioned is the 31st day of the Egyptian month of Khoiak

4.  Horus had 12 disciples - Also a lie - maybe 4 followers but 12 is never mentioned

5.  Horus' earthly father was (Seb) Joseph - that is not the myth.  Seb was the earth-god.   Horus was the son of Osiris.  Wait a minute, you mean there is one version that has him as the father of Seb??? That is true but Seb isn't Joseph and exactly what Horus are you talking about???  There are between 10 and 20 variations of Horus and just as many different legends refering to him.

6.  This one is just my observation but why didn't Jesus have the head of a falcon like Horus??

7.  Horus walked on water - is not in the myth - another lie

8.  Never raised someone from the dead - another lie

Is there really any reason to go on.  It is a complete fabrication told over and over again.  One of the members here responded to me by saying:

I don't think anyone on this site is saying that Jesus was the same person as any of the Egyptian gods. Are you taking this from the Zeitgeist movie? I'm pretty sure that Rook has already disagreed with that.

IF THIS IS TRUE (By the way, Rook has enough problems of his own - absolutely not a good source for truth) then why does this website profit off the movie "The God who wasn't there" which promotes these very same ideas.  That Jesus was just a copy of other ancient gods.  I find that quite interesting. 

The "lack of other historical evidence" is another lie.  I will address that issue later as you can see that it is 1:30 in the morning.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.


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simmo wrote: - I am still

simmo wrote:
- I am still skeptical about there being no creator 'god', as the intracasies of life, the world and the universe seem difficult to imagine happening by chance, so at this stage I'm still with the watchmaker people.
- The moral codes that Christians generally seek to live by are positive ones.

I know how you feel. I was a Deist for a long time because I couldn't get over the "If there is a creation, then there is a creator." thing, but you have to remember that just because we don't know how something happens, that doesn't mean that God did it. As for the moral codes of Christians, you don't need to be a Christian to be a good person. I was a horrible person when I was a Christian. I would pick fights, steal, and disrespect people when I was a Christian because I was in the idea that God will always forgive me. I am a more polite and nice person now that I am an Atheist. I now understand other people's feelings and how I effect the world and others. I think I have a better understanding of the world now that I am an Atheist. I even stopped having nightmares. I hope this helps.


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SHAKEN CREEDS: The Virgin

SHAKEN CREEDS: The Virgin Birth Doctrine By Jocelyn Rhys - Published 1922

THE VIRGIN BIRTH STORY

OTHER STORIES OF VIRGIN BIRTHS

It may be thought that the story of a virgin birth is too wonderful to have been invented merely to show that a misunderstood prophecy had been fulfilled, and that so miraculous a doctrine could not, without some basis of fact, suddenly be created by any brain, however fertile. But a study of ancient literature discloses the fact that myths of virgin births were part of many if not of all the surrounding pagan religions in the place where, and at the time when, Christianity arose.

"The gods have lived on earth in the likeness of men" was a common saying among ancient pagans, and supernatural events were believed in as explanations of the god's arrival upon earth in human guise.

About two thousand years before the Christian era Mut-em-ua, the virgin Queen of Egypt, was said to have given birth to the Pharaoh Amenkept (or Amenophis) III, who built the temple of Luxor, on the walls of which were represented:-

1. The Annunciation: the god Taht announcing to the virgin Queen that she is about to become a mother.

2. The Immaculate Conception: the god Kneph (the Holy Spirit) mystically impregnating the virgin by holding a cross, the symbol of life, to her mouth.

3. The Birth of the Man-god.

4. The Adoration of the newly born infant by gods and men, including three kings (or Magi ?), who are offering him gifts. In this sculpture the cross again appears as a symbol.

In another Egyptian temple, one dedicated to Hathor, at Denderah, one of the chambers was called "The Hall of the Child in his Cradle"; and in a painting which was once on the walls of that temple, and is now in Paris, we can see represented the Holy Virgin Mother with her Divine Child in her arms. The temple and the painting are undoubtedly pre-Christian.

Thus we find that long before the Christian era there were already pictured in pagan places of worship virgin mothers and their divine children, and that such pictures included scenes of an Annunciation, an Incarnation, and a Birth and Adoration, just as the Gospels written in the second century A.D. describe them, and that these events were in some way connected with the God Taht, who was identified by Gnostics with the Logos.

And, besides these myths about Mut-em-ua and Hathor, many other origins of a virgin birth story can be traced in Egypt.

Horus was said to be the parthenogenetic child of the Virgin Mother, Isis. In the catacombs of Rome black statues of this Egyptian divine Mother and Infant still survive from the early Christian worship of the Virgin and Child to which they were converted. In these the Virgin Mary is represented as a black regress, and often with the face veiled in the true Isis fashion. When Christianity absorbed the pagan myths and rites it adopted also the pagan statues, and renamed them as saints, or even as apostles.

Statues of the goddess Isis with the child Horus in her arms were common in Egypt, and were exported to all neighbouring and to many remote countries, where they are still to be found with new names attached to them-Christian in Europe, Buddhist in Turkestan, Taoist in China and Japan. Figures of the virgin Isis do duty as representations of Mary, of Hariti, of Kuan-Yin, of Kwannon, and of other virgin mothers of gods.

And these were not the only pre-Christian statuettes and engravings of divine mothers and children. On very ancient Athenian coins such figures were stamped. Among the oldest relics of Carthage, of Cyprus, and of Assyria figures of a divine mother and her babe-god are found. Such figures were known under a great variety of names to the followers of various sects; the mothers as Venus, Juno, Mother-Earth, Fortune, etc., and the children as Hercules, Dionysos, Jove, Wealth, etc. In India similar figures are not uncommon, many of them representing Devaki with the babe Krishna at her breast, others representing various less well-known Indian divinities.

In Egypt we also find that "Apis, the sacred bull of Memphis, was believed to have been begotten by a deity descending as a ray of moonlight on the cow which was to become the mother of the sacred beast; hence he was regarded as the son of the god."

This miracle was said to be constantly repeated.

An Apis-so, according to Plutarch, said the Mathematici-was conceived every time a cow "in season" happened to be struck by a beam of light from the moon.

The Mathematici, of course, realized that the light of the moon was really the reflection of the light of the sun, and they therefore believed that the moon received her male generative power as proxy for the sun, the creator of all things.

Apis, the living calf, was regarded as a re-incarnation of Osiris, or at any rate as an emblem of the spirit or soul of Osiris.

It is difficult to assign the exact position in the divine hierarchy which polytheists believed their various gods to occupy. Their beliefs probably differed, and were certainly vague. The better-educated classes were doubtless then, as at all times, inclined to be sceptical, and to regard all these stories of different manifestations of divinity as more or less allegorical or symbolic; and, when they were not sceptical, their minds became so entangled in the complexities of metaphysical speculation that the stories they told grew very confused. On the other hand, the ignorant classes, both rich and poor, certainly believed in the most miraculous explanations of the pantheon which the priests could invent. By such people, the more improbable the alleged fact, the better was the story liked.

From this myth of a cow impregnated by a ray from the moon probably originated the story of the rape of Europa by Jove in the guise of a bull; the idea of a god incarnate in a bull easily giving rise to variants of that kind.

Perhaps the most curious and best known variant of the bull-lover theme is the story about Pasiphae, the wife of Minos. She was said to have conceived a violent passion for the bull which Poseidon (Neptune) had sent to her husband. So, with the aid of an artist, named Daedalus, she disguised herself as a cow, and resorted to the meadow in which the bull grazed. The fruit of her union with the bull was the celebrated Minotaur, partly human, partly bovine, which Minos shut up in the Labyrinth. The ancient superstition that monsters have been born from the union of human beings and animals survived until quite recently, and probably still exists among the uneducated and semi-educated. Exact, or comparatively exact, knowledge of the possibilities of hybridization is a science of quite recent growth.

It will be observed that the Minotaur was named after the husband of his mother, as well as after his real father the Tauros. That is a peculiarity of many of these stories.

Another Egyptian god, Ra (the Sun), was said to have been born of a virgin mother, Net (or Neith), and to have had no father.

In many other countries besides Egypt similar stories of the virgin birth of gods were told.

Attis, the Phrygian god, was said to be the son of the virgin Nana, who conceived him by putting in her bosom a ripe almond or pomegranate.

Dionysos, the Grecian God, was said in one version of the myth concerning him to be the son of Zeus out of the virgin goddess Persephone, and in another version to be the miraculously begotten son of Zeus out of the mortal woman Semele. He, according to this story, was taken from his mother's womb before the full period of gestation had expired, and completed his embryonic life in Zeus's thigh. Dionysos was thus half human and half divine, born of a woman and also of a god.

His myth, which was current long before the Christian era, is a remarkable example of the kind of story which could be, and was, invented about a man-god. He was said to have been persecuted by Pentheus, :King of Thebes, the home of his mother; to have been rejected in his own country; and, when bound, to have asserted that his father, God, would set him free whenever he chose to appeal to him. He disappears from earth, but re-appears as a light shining more brightly than the sun, and speaks to his trembling disciples; and he subsequently visits Hades. The story of his birth is alluded to, and the story of his persecution related, in "The Bacchae," which Euripides wrote about 410 B.C., when the myth was already very old and very well known.

Jason, who was slain by Zeus, was said to have been another son of the virgin Persephone, and to have had no father, either human or divine.

Perseus was also said to have been born of a virgin; and it is this story which Justin Martyr, the second-century Christian "Father of the Church," stigmatizes as an invention of the Devil, who, knowing that Christ would subsequently be born of a virgin, counterfeited the miracle before it really took place.

The "Fathers of the Church" frequently gave this explanation of the numerous pre-Christian virgin birth stories to which their rivals tauntingly referred.

Adonis, the Syrian god; Osiris, the first person of the principal Egyptian Trinity; and Mithra, the Persian god whom so many of the Roman soldiers worshipped-all had strange tales told about their births.

At the time when Christianity arose all these gods were worshipped in various parts of the Roman empire.

Attis, Adonis, Dionysos, Osiris, and Mithra were the principal gods in their respective countries; and those countries together formed the greater part of the Eastern provinces of the Roman empire, and of its great rival, the Persian empire.

Classical mythology is full of kindred stories, and the idea of a virgin birth was familiar to all men of that time.

Of Plato it was related that his mother Perictione was a virgin who conceived him immaculately by the god Apollo. Apollo himself revealed the circumstances of this conception to Ariston, the affianced husband of the virgin.

Virginity, perhaps on account of its rarity in those days among women of a marriageable age, had always a halo of sanctity cast over it by barbaric and semi-civilized tribes; and even in civilized Rome itself the Vestal Virgins were looked upon as peculiarly sacred.

This reverence for virginity seems to have sometimes been contemporaneous with the institution of religious prostitution on a large scale. There is, indeed, no reason why this should not have been the case, incongruous though it seems to us, as such religious prostitution was looked upon very differently from the way in which it would now be regarded.

In origin it was an institution designed to bring fertility to the fields (by sympathetic magic). The sacrifice of chastity in the service of the goddess was an act of devotion, and not an act of licentiousness. Once again the reader must be reminded that when studying these customs we must remember that we are dealing with men and women brought up in an entirely different psychological climate from our own. A veneration for chastity was with them not incompatible with periodic orgies, nor with places set aside for sacred prostitution, asceticism and such prostitution being regarded as alternative ways of making a sacrifice for the public good.

Doubtless an historian of the future may find it difficult to reconcile our own professions and our own practice in kindred matters, and will be confused by the protestations of virtuous horror which he reads alongside of accounts given by the same authors of conspicuous lapses from virtue.

The conventions of romance are not always the same as the customs of the people. They reflect the theory rather than the practice. Extremes are always more conspicuous than the mean.

An old story which curiously illustrates this same reverence felt for virginity by the ancients, in romance rather than in reality, is the myth about the children of AEgyptus and of Danaus.

The former had fifty sons; the latter fifty daughters. The former ruled over Arabia; the latter over Libya. They quarrelled over the kingdom of Egypt which the former had conquered, and when AEgyptus tried to patch up the quarrel by sending his sons to marry the daughters of Danaus the latter pretended to consent, but provided his daughters with daggers and with instructions how to use them. On their wedding night all the daughters of Danaus, save one, murdered their husbands in their sleep. Hypermnestra spared her husband Lyncous because he had respected her virginity, and not availed himself of his marital privileges.

So Lynceus survived the slaughter of his brethren, and lived happily ever after with Hypermnestra, by whom he had at least one son.

It is not possible here to enter at length into the origin and history of the curious veneration for virginity which was current at this period, but it is of interest to note that the belief that some occult power was attached to this state of unblemished purity survived even up to the Middle Ages of our era.

For example, it was thought that virgins were peculiarly efficient as bait for Unicorns. The Unicorn, or rather his congener, the Monoceros-for it is of him that our present authority writes-was evidently a fastidious beast; only a virgin could attract him. On finding one tied up in the forest as a lure he was wont to kiss her, and then to fall asleep on her breast. Whereupon the brave hunter came up and slew him in his sleep. If the young woman was not really a virgin, the Monoceros immediately killed her, and disappeared before the hunter arrived.

This method of hunting the Monoceros is described in the "Bestiary" of Philip de Thaun, written in the twelfth century, and is but one of the many strange facts alleged by authors of that period in support of the theory that virginity had special virtues when dealings were had with animals, with demons, and with human beings.

It was a semi-romantic, semi-religious halo which was cast over this particular physical condition.

To the Vestal Virgins in Rome were attributed the faculty of prophesying and many sacred virtues. All virgins were immune from death at the hand of the executioner, and the Vestals enjoyed many other privileges so long as they preserved their chastity.

The same idea is found "in the histories of miraculous virgins that are so numerous in the mythologies of Asia. Such, for example, was the Chinese legend that tells how, when there was but one man with one woman upon earth, the woman refused to sacrifice her virginity even in order to people the globe; and the gods, honouring her purity, granted that she should conceive beneath the gaze of her lover's eyes, and a virgin-mother became the parent of humanity."

One of the legends which arose as Buddhism degenerated from its original lofty idealism was to the effect that the Buddha Gautama was given birth to by Maya, an immaculate virgin who conceived him through a divine influence.

Gautama, the Buddha, was the son of a Hindu rajah named Suddhodana, and was born, in the ordinary course of nature, in 563 B.C. He never claimed to be a god, neither did either he himself or his disciples claim that his birth was miraculous.

But in after years a myth arose among Buddhists to the effect that his mother Maya, having been divinely chosen to give birth to the Buddha, was borne away by spirits to the Himalayas, where she underwent ceremonial purifications at the hands of four queens. The Bodhisattva then appeared to her, and walked round her three times. At the moment when he completed his peregrinations the Buddha (the incarnate Bodhisattva) entered her womb, and great wonders took place in heaven, on earth, and in hell.

http://englishatheist.org/indexd.shtml

Horus

(Hor, Heru, Her)

Symbols: hawk/falcon, bull, Double Crown, Winged Disk, Udjat, Sphinx, weapons, iron, blacksmiths
Cult Center: Edfu, Buto and Heliopolis
Myths: Isis and Osiris

The falcon-headed god, the kings of Egypt associated themselves with Horus. Horus was among the most important gods of Egypt, particularly because the Pharaoh was supposed to be his earthly embodiment. Kings would eventually take the name of Horus as one of their own. At the same time, the Pharaohs were the followers of Re and so Horus became associated with the sun as well. To the people this solar deity became identified as the son of Osiris. Attempts to resolve the conflicts between these different gods in different parts of Egypt resulted in at least fifteen distinct forms of Horus. They can be divided fairly easily into two groups, solar and Osirian, based on the parentage of the particular form of Horus. If he is said to be the son of Isis, he is Osirian; otherwise he is a solar deity. The solar Horus was called the son of Atum, or Re, or Geb and Nut variously.

As Harsiesis, he is "Horus, the son of Isis". Horus was conceived magically by Isis following the murder of his father, Osiris. Horus was raised by his mother on the floating island of Chemmis near Buto. He was in constant danger from his evil uncle Seth but his mother protected him and he survived.

HarpokratesAs a child, Horus was known as Harpokrates, "the infant Horus", and was portrayed as a baby being suckled by Isis. He was said to be stunted from the waist down. This may be because his father was dead when he was conceived or perhaps because he was born prematurely. In later times he was affiliated with the newborn sun. Harpokrates is pictured as a child sucking his thumb and having his hair fashioned in a sidelock that symbolized his youth. On his head he wore the royal crown and uraeus. Also, in Egyptian art, such as the example to the right, Harpokrates is shown as a child with the sidelock of youth standing on crocodiles and holding in one hand scorpions and in the other hand snakes.

As Harmakhis, "Horus in the Horizon", he personified the rising sun and was associated with Khepera as a symbol of resurrection or eternal life. The Great Sphinx at the Giza Plateau is an example of this form of Horus.

 

http://www.egyptianmyths.net/horus.htm

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Author and theologian Tom

Author and theologian Tom Harpur studied the works of three authors who have written about ancient Egyptian religion: Godfrey Higgins (1771-1834), Gerald Massey (1828-1907) and Alvin Boyd Kuhn (1880-1963). Harpur incorporated some of their findings into his book "Pagan Christ." He argued that all of the essential ideas of both Judaism and Christianity came primarily from Egyptian religion. "[Author Gerald] Massey discovered nearly two hundred instances of immediate correspondence between the mythical Egyptian material and the allegedly historical Christian writings about Jesus. Horus indeed was the archetypal Pagan Christ." 7

Tom Harpur, "The Pagan Christ; Recovering the Lost Light," Thomas Allen, (2004), Page 5. Read reviews or order this book.

Comparison of some life events of Horus and Jesus:

Event Horus Yeshua of Nazareth, a.k.a. Jesus
Conception: By a virgin. There is some doubt about this matter By a virgin. 8
Father: Only begotten son of the God Osiris. Only begotten son of Yehovah (in the form of the Holy Spirit).
Mother: Meri. 9 Miriam (a.k.a. Mary).
Foster father: Seb, (Jo-Seph). 9 Joseph.
Foster father's ancestry: Of royal descent. Of royal descent.
Birth location: In a cave. In a cave or stable.
Annunciation: By an angel to Isis, his mother. By an angel to Miriam, his mother. 8
Birth heralded by: The star Sirius, the morning star. An unidentified "star in the East."
Birth date: Ancient Egyptians paraded a manger and child representing Horus through the streets at the time of the winter solstice (typically DEC-21). Celebrated on DEC-25. The date was chosen to occur on the same date as the birth of Mithra, Dionysus and the Sol Invictus (unconquerable Sun), etc.
Birth announcement: By angels. By angels. 8
Birth witnesses: Shepherds. Shepherds. 8
Later witnesses to birth: Three solar deities. Three wise men. 8
Death threat during infancy: Herut tried to have Horus murdered. Herod tried to have Jesus murdered.
Handling the threat: The God That tells Horus' mother "Come, thou goddess Isis, hide thyself with thy child." An angel tells Jesus' father to: "Arise and take the young child and his mother and flee into Egypt."
Rite of passage ritual: Horus came of age with a special ritual, when his eye was restored. Taken by parents to the temple for what is today called a bar mitzvah ritual.
Age at the ritual: 12 12
Break in life history: No data between ages of 12 & 30. No data between ages of 12 & 30.
Baptism location: In the river Eridanus. In the river Jordan.
Age at baptism: 30. 30.
Baptized by: Anup the Baptiser. John the Baptist.
Subsequent fate of the baptiser: Beheaded. Beheaded.
Temptation: Taken from the desert of Amenta up a high mountain by his arch-rival Sut. Sut (a.k.a. Set) was a precursor for the Hebrew Satan. Taken from the desert in Palestine up a high mountain by his arch-rival Satan.
Result of temptation: Horus resists temptation. Jesus resists temptation.
Close followers: Twelve disciples. There is some doubt about this matter as well. Twelve disciples.
Activities: Walked on water, cast out demons, healed the sick, restored sight to the blind. He "stilled the sea by his power." Walked on water, cast out demons, healed the sick, restored sight to the blind. He ordered the sea with a "Peace, be still" command.
Raising of the dead: Horus raised Osirus, his dead father, from the grave. 10 Jesus raised Lazarus from the grave.
Location where the resurrection miracle occurred: Anu, an Egyptian city where the rites of the death, burial and resurrection of Horus were enacted annually. 10 Hebrews added their prefix for house ('beth&quotEye-wink to "Anu" to produce "Beth-Anu" or the "House of Anu." Since "u" and "y" were interchangeable in antiquity, "Bethanu" became "Bethany," the location mentioned in John 11.
Origin of Lazarus' name in the Gospel of John: Asar was an alternative name for Osirus, Horus' father, who Horus raised from the dead. He was referred to as "the Asar," as a sign of respect. Translated into Hebrew, this is "El-Asar." The Romans added the prefix "us" to indicate a male name, producing "Elasarus." Over time, the "E" was dropped and "s" became "z," producing "Lazarus." 10
Transfigured: On a mountain. On a high mountain.
Key address(es): Sermon on the Mount. Sermon on the Mount; Sermon on the Plain.
Method of death By crucifixion. By crucifixion.
Accompanied by: Two thieves. Two thieves.
Burial In a tomb. In a tomb.
Fate after death: Descended into Hell; resurrected after three days. Descended into Hell; resurrected after about 30 to 38 hours (Friday PM to presumably some time in Sunday AM) covering parts of three days.
Resurrection announced by: Women. Women.
Future: Reign for 1,000 years in the Millennium. Reign for 1,000 years in the Millennium.

horizontal rule

Comparison of some characteristics of Horus and Jesus:

Characteristics Horus Yeshua of Nazareth, a.k.a. Jesus
Nature" Regarded as a mythical character. Regarded as a 1st century CE human man-god.
Main role: Savior of humanity. Savior of humanity.
Status: God-man. God-man.
Common portrayal: Virgin Isis holding the infant Horus. Virgin Mary holding the infant Jesus.
Title: KRST, the anointed one. Christ, the anointed one.
Other names: The good shepherd, the lamb of God, the bread of life, the son of man, the Word, the fisher, the winnower. The good shepherd, the lamb of God, the bread of life, the son of man, the Word, the fisher, the winnower.
Zodiac sign: Associated with Pisces, the fish. Associated with Pisces, the fish.
Main symbols: Fish, beetle, the vine, shepherd's crook. Fish, beetle, the vine, the shepherd's crook.

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Comparison of some teachings of Horus and Jesus:

Characteristics Horus Yeshua of Nazareth, a.k.a. Jesus
Criteria for salvation at the place of judgment: "I have given bread to the hungry man and water to the thirsty man and clothing to the naked person and a boat to the shipwrecked mariner." 11 "For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me..." Matthew 25:35-36 (KJV).
"I am" statements
bullet"I am Horus in glory...I am the Lord of Light...I am the victorious one...I am the heir of endless time...I, even I, am he that knoweth the paths of heaven." 12
bullet"I am Horus, the Prince of Eternity."
bullet"I am Horus who stepeth onward through eternity...Eternity and everlastingness is my name."
bullet"I am the possessor of bread in Anu. I have bread in heaven with Ra."

bullet"I am the light of the world....I am the way, the truth and the life."
bullet"Before Abraham was, I am"
bullet"Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today and forever."
bullet"I am the living bread that came down from heaven."

(From the Gospel of John)

http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_jcpa5.htm

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EGYPTIAN MESSIAH—HORUS
EGYPTIAN MESSIAH—HORUS BIBLICAL MESSIAH—JESUS
1 Horus is the Father seen in the son.. Jesus said he was the way, the truth and the life.
2 Horus claims to be the light of the world represented by the symbolic eye, the sign of salvation. Jesus stated that he is the light of the world.
3 Horus said that he was the way, the truth, the life. Jesus said he was the way, the truth and the life.
4 Horus was the plant, the shoot. Jesus says "I am the true vine."
5 Horus says “It is I who traverse the heavens, I go round the Elysian Fields. Eternity has been assigned to me without end, Lo! I am heir to endless time and my attribute is eternity. Jesus says “I am come down from heaven, for this is the will of the Father, that everyone who beholdeth the Son and believeth in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
6 Horus—I open the Tuat that I may drive away the darkness. Jesus says I am come a light unto the world.
7 Horus says “I am equipped with thy words O Ra [Father in Heaven] and repeat them to those who are deprived of breath.” These were the words of the Father in heaven. Jesus says “The Father which sent me, he hath given me a command-ment, what I should say and what I should speak. Whatsoever I speak therefore even as the Father said unto me, so I speak. The word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me."
8 Horus baptized with water by Anup. Jesus baptized with water by John the Baptist.
9 Horus—Aan, the name of the divine scribe. Jesus—John the divine scribe.
10 Horus born in Annu, the place of bread. Jesus Born in Bethlehem, the house of bread.
11 Horus The good shepherd with the crook on his shoulders. Jesus The good shepherd with a lamb on his shoulders.
12 Horus Seven on board the boat with him. Jesus Seven fishermen on board the boat with Jesus.
13 Horus Depicted as the Lamb Jesus depicted as the lamb.
14 Horus as the Lion. Jesus as the lion.
15 Horus identified with the Tat or cross. Jesus identified with the cross.
16 Horus of 12 years. Jesus of 12 years.
17 Horus A man of 30 years. Jesus a man of 30 years at his baptism.
18 Horus the KRST. Jesus the Christ.
19 Horus the manifesting son of God. Jesus the manifesting son of God.
20 Horus The trinity—Atum the Father, Horus the son, Ra the Holy Spirit. Jesus—God the Father, Jesus the son, and the Holy Spirit.
21 Horus The first Horus as a child of the virgin, the second as son of Ra. Jesus as a child of the virgin, Christ as the son of the Father in heaven.
22 Horus—Horus the sender and Set the destroyer in the harvest field. Jesus—Jesus the sender or the good seed, Satan the sender of tares.
23 Horus carried off by Set to the summit of Mount Hetep. Jesus carried by Satan to an exceedingly high mountain.
24 Horus and Set contending on the Mount. Jesus and Satan contending on the Mount.
25 Horus—The star was the announcer of the child Horus. Jesus—The Star in the East indicated the birth-place of Jesus.
26 Horus—the avenger. Jesus who brings the sword.
27 Horus—as Iu-em-hetep comes with peace. Jesus—the bringer of peace.
28 Horus—the afflicted one. Jesus—the afflicted one.
29 Horus—as the type of life eternal. 30 Jesus—as the type of life eternal.
30 Horus as Iu-em-hetep the child teacher in the temple. Jesus as the child teacher in the temple.
31 Horus The mummy bandage was woven without seam. Jesus The vesture of the Christ was without seam.
32 Horus As Har-Khutti has twelve followers. 32 Jesus has twelve disciples.
33 Horus The revelation written down by divine scribe Aan (Tehuti). Jesus the Revelation written down by John the Divine.
34 Horus—Aani bears witness to the word of Ra. Jesus—John bears witness to the word of God and testimony of Jesus Christ.
35 Horus The secret mysteries revealed by That-Aan. Jesus The secret mysteries made known by John.
36 Horus The morning star. Jesus The morning star.
37 Horus Who gives the morning star to his followers. Jesus who gives the morning star to his followers.
38 Horus The name of Ra on the head of the deceased. Jesus The name of the father written on the forehead.
39 Horus The paradise of the Pole star—Am-Khemen. Jesus The Holy City lighted by one luminary that is neither the sun nor the moon.
40 Horus Har-Seshu or servants of Horus. Jesus The servants of Jesus Christ.

Reference: Albert Churchward Horus: The Way, The Truth, The Life. In:
The Book Your Church Doesn’t Want You to Read (1924) Jim C Leedom

http://www.adam.com.au/bstett/BJesusandHorus74.htm

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Hambydammit
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Horus and Jesus A

Horus and Jesus

A connection between Jesus and Horus-Osiris is frequently raised by critics of the historicity of Jesus, who argue that he was a mythical figure (see Jesus-Myth). Superficially, the death and resurrection of Horus-Osiris, and Horus' nature as both the son of Osiris and Osiris himself, appear to be a template for the idea that this occurred in Jesus.

Deeper similarities between Horus and Jesus, which are not at all obvious to those who are not completely familiar with ancient Egyptian mythology and linguistics, have been said by some to mean that certain elements of the story of Jesus were embellishments, which were copied from the Horus as syncretism. Indeed, according to a few more radical scholars, Jesus was copied from Horus wholesale, and made into a Jewish teacher. In particular, it is said that Horus is the basis for the elements assigned to the M Gospel (the bits in Matthew which are not in the Q Gospel or Mark) and the L Gospel (the bits in Luke which are not in the Q gospel or Mark), especially the infancy narratives.

Neith's nativity

The nativity sequence itself stands out for comparison with the nativity of Ra, whose mother became thought of as Neith, who had become the personification of the primal waters of the Ogdoad. As the primal waters, from which Ra arose due to the interaction of the ogdoad, Neith was considered to have given birth whilst remaining a virgin. As the various religious groups gained and lost power in Egypt, the legend altered, and, when the cult of Thoth sought to involve themselves in the story, it was said that Thoth's wisdom (which he personified) meant that he foretold the birth of Ra to Neith. Since the later legends had other gods in existence at Ra's birth, it was said that they acknowledged Ra's authority by praising him at his birth.

Later, the tale evolved so that the god Kneph was present, who represented the breath of life, which brought new life to things. This was partly to do with the assertion, of the small cult of Kneph, that Kneph was the creator, although it was more accurate to say that Kneph was the personification of the concept of creation of life itself. As a creator, Kneph became identified as the more dominant creator deity Amun, and when Amun became Amun-Ra, so Kneph gained Hathor as a wife.

Many of the features look similar to the nativity of Jesus at first glance, such as the continued virginity, lack of father, annunciation, birth of god, and so forth, but others do not. There is much that is more subtle. Although many deities, and indeed people, were referred to as beloved, it was a title which was most frequently applied to Neith, indeed it became something of an alternative name. The word used, in this context, for beloved, is Mery in Egyptian.

Meanwhile, Kneph was said by Plutarch to have been understood by the Egyptians in the same way as the Greeks understood pneuma, meaning spirit, and so it was that Neith became pregnant by the actions of the holy spirit, like Mary does in the Christian story.

Thoth himself was identified by the Greeks, due to his association with healing, as Hermes, and consequently, in the hellenic era, Thoth was considered the messenger of the gods. This role was taken by the Archangel Michael in Jewish thought, and so if the Christians copied the tale, it would have been Michael, not Gabriel, who made the annunciation to Mary.

Much criticism of this similarity is leveled at the fact that Neith is a goddess, and not a human mother. However, Pharaohs often attributed tales of divinity to themselves, and their families, and so divine birth stories for themselves were common. Nethertheless, the tale was essentially about Neith rather than the queens of pharaohs, until that is, Amenhotep III applied it to his wife and the birth of his son, whom was consequently identified as Horus, as after the amalgamation of the gods Ra and Horus, the tale became one of Horus too. The significance of Amenhotep making the identification is both that it became a tale of the birth of Akhenaten, who left such an impression that, as the gods evolved further, the tale became remembered as being one of the birth from a human mother of a human son, who was nevertheless divine.

http://www.crystalinks.com/horus.html

 

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Hambydammit
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REVLyle wrote: 1. He was

REVLyle wrote:

1. He was born of a virgin - that is not in the myth - complete lie

2. He was baptized - another lie - never in the myth - He was thrown in the nile river

3. Horus was born on the 25 of Dec. The Bible does not make one claim that Jesus was born on this day so who cares about Horus - but again a lie. Upon reading the only date that is mentioned is the 31st day of the Egyptian month of Khoiak

4. Horus had 12 disciples - Also a lie - maybe 4 followers but 12 is never mentioned

5. Horus' earthly father was (Seb) Joseph - that is not the myth. Seb was the earth-god. Horus was the son of Osiris. Wait a minute, you mean there is one version that has him as the father of Seb??? That is true but Seb isn't Joseph and exactly what Horus are you talking about??? There are between 10 and 20 variations of Horus and just as many different legends refering to him.

6. This one is just my observation but why didn't Jesus have the head of a falcon like Horus??

7. Horus walked on water - is not in the myth - another lie

8. Never raised someone from the dead - another lie

Is there really any reason to go on. It is a complete fabrication told over and over again. One of the members here responded to me by saying:

I don't think anyone on this site is saying that Jesus was the same person as any of the Egyptian gods. Are you taking this from the Zeitgeist movie? I'm pretty sure that Rook has already disagreed with that.

IF THIS IS TRUE (By the way, Rook has enough problems of his own - absolutely not a good source for truth) then why does this website profit off the movie "The God who wasn't there" which promotes these very same ideas. That Jesus was just a copy of other ancient gods. I find that quite interesting.

The "lack of other historical evidence" is another lie. I will address that issue later as you can see that it is 1:30 in the morning.

Around here, kiddo, we like references, not just rhetoric. We also don't particularly like ad hominem attacks on those with whom you may not agree, particularly when they've read more history in a month than you have in your life.

Make with the scholarship or stop with the baseless assertions.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
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