I'm a Christian. Convince me to become an athiest.

sugarfree
Theist
Posts: 478
Joined: 2007-03-14
User is offlineOffline
I'm a Christian. Convince me to become an athiest.

MrRage
Posts: 896
Joined: 2006-12-22
User is offlineOffline
First things first. Are you

First things first. Are you willing to admit that you are wrong if evidence was show that contradicted your beliefs?


AModestProposal
AModestProposal's picture
Posts: 157
Joined: 2006-12-26
User is offlineOffline
No, you tell me a sensible,

No, you tell me a sensible, rational reason why you're Christian.

 And I swear newby, if your answer involves the limitations of science, the prime mover argument, pascal's wager, or abstract metaphysical poetry like our friend Bodhi-moron, I'll send the Flyiing Spaghetti Monster to smack you upside the head.


zntneo
Superfan
Posts: 565
Joined: 2007-01-25
User is offlineOffline
Well not to be picky or

Well not to be picky or anything but first spelling the word correctly might help alittle.


Ophios
Ophios's picture
Posts: 909
Joined: 2006-09-19
User is offlineOffline
sugarfree wrote: I'm

sugarfree wrote:
I'm listening...

I see no reason why WE should convince you. It's up to you. 

AImboden wrote:
I'm not going to PM my agreement just because one tucan has pms.


Sapient
High Level DonorRRS CO-FOUNDERRRS Core MemberWebsite Admin
Posts: 7580
Joined: 2006-04-18
User is offlineOffline
  sugarfree wrote: I'm

 

sugarfree wrote:
I'm listening...

 

Which God do you believe in?

Why?

What is your proof that this god exists?

What other things do you believe in that you need faith to believe in?

MrRage asked an important question as well.

 

Keep in mind, we can only help you, have have to do the thinking yourself.

 

Please donate to one of these highly rated charities to help impede the GOP attack on America 2017-2019.

Support our activism efforts by making your Amazon purchases via this link.


magilum
Posts: 2410
Joined: 2007-03-07
User is offlineOffline
I was never really

I was never really religious, but what did it for me was seeing how easily completely inexplicable conclusions would spring into existence among the faithful, and milliseconds later be elevated to absolute certainty in a flurry of tribal head nodding.
I'm not a huge science geek, but I like explanations to make sense, and not to have conspicuous wildcards stuck in every gap. I've grown less tolerant of magical thinking over the years.
If you've got a nagging voice inside your head that tells you, "I don't see how they came to that conclusion," it's only a matter of time before humoring the logical inconsistencies becomes too burdensome to endure happily.


Laker-taker
Laker-taker's picture
Posts: 87
Joined: 2006-04-04
User is offlineOffline
sugarfree wrote: "I'm a

sugarfree wrote:
"I'm a Christian.  Convince me to become an [atheist]."

I'm listening...

Why?  That's sort of a curious demand.  You don't want to be a Christian anymore or something?


aiia
Superfan
aiia's picture
Posts: 1923
Joined: 2006-09-12
User is offlineOffline
sugarfree wrote: I'm

sugarfree wrote:
I'm listening...
If there is a god show me some evidence


GreyhoundMama
GreyhoundMama's picture
Posts: 76
Joined: 2007-03-09
User is offlineOffline
Well, personally I find it

Well, personally I find it rather chain-yanking to come in here as a newbie and demand we prove something to you. I've only been here a few days and am trying to contribute before asking much of the guys around here.

But I will offer this little thing for you to think about.

A good friend of mine studied to become a Catholic priest. He's now privy to an amazing amount of "insider" information. The number of times he was told what the "real story" was, vs. what the "faithful" were told boggles my mind. The priests know all kinds of things that were altered, added, or downright lied about, just to keep the faithful in line.

It still boggles my mind.

Now, if you really are curious, I think you should do some of your own research. You can start right here, by reading some of the excellent discussions on this board.

Besides, we're not here to convert you. We're here to intelligently discuss the universe. What you believe is up to you.

Karen and her hounds
creating art ~ creating a new life


rexlunae
rexlunae's picture
Posts: 378
Joined: 2007-01-07
User is offlineOffline
GreyhoundMama wrote: A good

GreyhoundMama wrote:
A good friend of mine studied to become a Catholic priest. He's now privy to an amazing amount of "insider" information. The number of times he was told what the "real story" was, vs. what the "faithful" were told boggles my mind. The priests know all kinds of things that were altered, added, or downright lied about, just to keep the faithful in line.

I'd love to see some of that information. You should start a thread about it or something, if you feel like it.

In response to the original question:
Atheism is not a positive belief, so we can't de-convert you unless you tell us why you believe in the first place. Those of us who were Christians once could tell you why we stopped believing, but those stories might not apply to you at all.

It's only the fairy tales they believe.


GreyhoundMama
GreyhoundMama's picture
Posts: 76
Joined: 2007-03-09
User is offlineOffline
Good idea, thanks! I'll

Good idea, thanks! I'll have to ask my friend and see if he's willing to share the specifics. It was a few years ago so it's all rather hazy to me. Quite frankly, I remember the gist, but for me, religious details tend to go in one ear and out the other! It would make for interesting discussion though, so I'll see if I can come up with it. Come to think of it, I think I have another friend who knows some of that stuff too. He's now studying Buddhism, but he's always been a philosopher at heart and has studied many religions out of curiousity to understand them.

rexlunae wrote:
...You should start a thread about it or something, if you feel like it...

Karen and her hounds
creating art ~ creating a new life


Ig
Posts: 96
Joined: 2006-12-26
User is offlineOffline
You just have to look at

You just have to look at the evidence for a natural explanation of things and the total lack of evidence for god(s). This requires work on your part to educate yourself.

If you do this and are smart, brave and open minded, you will convince yourself. Three big ifs. Do you have what it takes? Most people dont. They are too scared to live in a world without god(s). Are you one of those?


sugarfree
Theist
Posts: 478
Joined: 2007-03-14
User is offlineOffline
Okay--I'm eating breakfast

Okay--I'm eating breakfast and have to get on with work, but I jotted down answers to your questions.  Hopefully I can type fast.  Here goes.

Mr. Rage:  Yes, I'm willing to admit I am wrong about being a Christian.

AModestProposal: Why am I a Christian?  Because I looked at all the alternatives and Jesus's truths are the ones that held up to the most scrutiny.

Zntneo: Sorry about the spelling, it was late.

Ophios: You don't have to play if you don't want to.

Sapient: 1. The Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.  A single God who embodies "relationship".  We are made in His image, hence, relationship is our primary need.  2. See answer to  AModestProposal. 3. I exist.

Magilum: You hung around with the wrong group of Christians.   I would have suggested you read what Jesus has to say, then decide for yourself.

 Laker-Taker: I want to understand you guys better.

Alia: See answer #2 to Sapient.  I can't get into more detail yet, gotta go to work.

Greyhound Mama: Not trying to yank your chain.  I just enjoy a healthy debate.  I believe your Catholic priest friend was fed some lies.  I disagree with Catholics on many issues.

Rexlunae: I would be interested in learning why some of you stopped believing.

Ig: I'm brave enough to admit when I'm scared.  I'd say I'm smart and open-minded as well.  Before deciding to be baptized, I considered new-agey type ideas, atheism, agnosticism, Judaism, Buddhism.  Also became more familiar with Hinduism and Islam.  And took several philosophy classes in college where I learned about egoism, utilitarianism, and many others...


Ig
Posts: 96
Joined: 2006-12-26
User is offlineOffline
I dont know if you are a

I dont know if you are a Young Earth Creationist. If so you have a lot of work to do. That stuff will rot your brain. If it stays in there long enough there is no turning back from insanity. Eye-wink

Here's a good place to start to get rid of those insane claims.

http://www.answersincreation.org/ 

The above website is run by Christians with brains. It's god of the gaps reasoning and perhaps a pre-emptive strike so they dont lose more Christians due to education.

At least they arent completly nuts like the wackos at Answer in Genesis.

 


Conn_in_Brooklyn
Conn_in_Brooklyn's picture
Posts: 239
Joined: 2006-12-04
User is offlineOffline
Well, if you're a Christian

Well, if you're a Christian then you're already an atheist when it comes to every other god or goddess that anyone else have ever believed in, worshipped, etc. ... So now the burden is on you, my dear, to convince us why your god is THE only real God.

I'm off myspace.com so you can only find me here: http://geoffreymgolia.blogspot.com


Truatheist
Truatheist's picture
Posts: 37
Joined: 2007-02-20
User is offlineOffline
There is absolutely no

There is absolutely no evidence of the Christian god…or of virgin births…or of men raisng from the dead…or a being so powerful that it can bring about existence out of nothing…or that this deity would sacrifice Himself to Himself to save mankind from His own wrath.

Admit these truths and embrace reality.


 

 

 

Reason, Observation, and Experience -- the Holy Trinity of Science.
Robert G. Ingersoll


zarathustra
atheist
zarathustra's picture
Posts: 1521
Joined: 2006-11-16
User is offlineOffline
Under scrutiny, the story

Under scrutiny, the story of jesus amounts to nothing more than a myth. Outside of the bible, there is no corroborating reference to the life of jesus in the 1st century; neither are there any contemporary references to many of the events tied to his story, which would have been significant enough to record (the slaughter of innocents, Caesar's census, the tearing of the temple curtain). Figures prior to the 1st century (e.g, Alexander) and after (e.g., George Washington) have incredible myths attached to them, yet there are multiple independent references to them whereby they stand up to scrutiny as historical figures. The bible remains the only reference to jesus; for the many errors it is riddled with (including unresolvable inconsistencies in the 4 gospel accounts of jesus' life), and its openly partisan bent, the bible's accuracy is not to be trusted. Until other references are discovered, it is only sensible to treat jesus as a myth.

What truths of jesus do you speak of that hold up to scrutiny?

sugarfree wrote:
You hung around with the wrong group of Christians. I would have suggested you read what Jesus has to say, then decide for yourself...I believe your Catholic priest friend was fed some lies. I disagree with Catholics on many issues.

This quote of yours highlights another problem I have with "christianity". Since there are so many different christian denominations (literally thousands), it is quite a riddle to determine exactly what christianity is. You can say it is defined as a belief in jesus' divinity, but you yourself point out that there is such a thing as "the wrong group of christians", and you "disagree with catholics". Do you think that "this wrong group of christians", or the catholics have not read what jesus has to say? How did they get it wrong, while you got it right? How do you establish that they were "fed lies", and you weren't? What is the objective standard by which to "read what jesus has to say", and why is it not so obvious that all christians follow it? I find that a problem in itself, that the words of jesus are so nebulous that they can be developed upon in a thousand mutually exclusive ways.

I have more to say, but I'll let you respond. Thank you for being open-minded enough to embark on this discussion.

There are no theists on operating tables.

πππ†
π†††


Yiab
Posts: 73
Joined: 2007-02-24
User is offlineOffline
sugarfree wrote: I would

sugarfree wrote:
I would have suggested you read what Jesus has to say, then decide for yourself.

 

So, where can I find what Jesus has to say?

The old testament makes no mention of Jesus at all for obvious reasons, so clearly not there.

The new testament contains sayings attributed to Jesus by people who likely never met him (if he existed at all) and we don't even have original copies of those texts. What we do have are copies of some texts which came long after and have since been retranslated in dozens of different ways by hundreds of people with different agendas.

Plus, in the gospels Jesus never claimed to be the son of god, nor to be god himself, that claim happened later.

 

So, how can I separate what may be left of the words of Jesus from the mountain of propoganda and filth it's been buried in for centuries by power-hungry dictators and madmen?

I suppose the more pertinent question is how can you? 


rexlunae
rexlunae's picture
Posts: 378
Joined: 2007-01-07
User is offlineOffline
sugarfree wrote: Rexlunae:

sugarfree wrote:
Rexlunae: I would be interested in learning why some of you stopped believing.

Well, I'll share why I stopped believing, but I don't know how applicable it will be to you. It's been quite a while now, over 5 years, so the details may be a little fuzzy.

For me it was the logical problems with the religion. Christianity is premised upon the idea that the son of god was born to man to atone for the world's sins. But, why would god need to sacrifice his son, or himself given the nature of the trinity as described by virtually all denominations, so that he could forgive us for a sin which we didn't necessarily commit but we inherited from our ancestors? I couldn't think of a reason that that made sense. Weren't we his creation? And if so, any flaws are his fault. So, god was sacrificing himself to himself to atone on our behalf for a sin which was his fault in the first place. And worse, he was sending people to hell because they did not believe in him, regardless of their opportunity to know about him. This is supposed to be the work of a just god? Most Christians will mention freewill at this point, but that just seemed to me like a nonsensical kludge to justify the status quo.

Along the same lines, the fact that religion is very tightly tied to the spread of populations bothered me. If Christianity was right, shouldn't it pop up all over the world, in separate revelations? But it didn't. Christianity started in Jerusalem, spread to the surrounding territory, and was picked up by the Roman Empire, which spread it throughout Europe. The Europeans then spread it to America, Australia, and parts of Africa. But it never showed up in the far east, and in the near east it's a very marginal minority, and the natives in the lands to which it spread had to wait for Europeans to bring it to their shores. Shouldn't a just god give everyone the same opportunity to go to heaven?

So there you have it. The major reasons I stopped believing. I hope it's helpful. Although it was a nice side effect, the need to reconcile my beliefs with science was not a major factor in my decision. For me, it took about a year to build up the courage to even entertain serious doubts, as afraid of god's wrath as I was. After finally evaluating the religion honestly, and concluding that it made no sense, it took a long time for me to become comfortable with my decision, but eventually I realized the negative impact the fear of Christianity had been having on me. Ultimately, it was one of the best decisions I ever made.

It's only the fairy tales they believe.


aiia
Superfan
aiia's picture
Posts: 1923
Joined: 2006-09-12
User is offlineOffline
sugarfree wrote: AiiA

sugarfree wrote:
AiiA wrote:
sugarfree wrote:
I'm listening...
If there is a god show me some evidence
See answer #2 to Sapient.

1. answer #2 to Sapient. - 2. See answer to  AModestProposal.
2. answer to  AModestProposal. - Why am I a Christian?  Because I looked at all the alternatives and Jesus' truths are the ones that held up to the most scrutiny.

(this is a very annoying game) This doesn't look like the response that I would expect.


On the hunch that you meant answer #3 to Sapient

1. answer #3 to Sapient  - 3. I exist.

Your existence is not evidence of god.

tisk tisk All that 'cleverness' for nothing.

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


Iruka Naminori
atheist
Iruka Naminori's picture
Posts: 1955
Joined: 2006-11-21
User is offlineOffline
rexlunae

rexlunae wrote:
GreyhoundMama wrote:
A good friend of mine studied to become a Catholic priest. He's now privy to an amazing amount of "insider" information. The number of times he was told what the "real story" was, vs. what the "faithful" were told boggles my mind. The priests know all kinds of things that were altered, added, or downright lied about, just to keep the faithful in line.
I'd love to see some of that information. You should start a thread about it or something, if you feel like it.

My curiosity was piqued, too. Smiling 

Books on atheism, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server.


Iruka Naminori
atheist
Iruka Naminori's picture
Posts: 1955
Joined: 2006-11-21
User is offlineOffline
GreyhoundMama wrote: Good

GreyhoundMama wrote:

Good idea, thanks! I'll have to ask my friend and see if he's willing to share the specifics. It was a few years ago so it's all rather hazy to me. Quite frankly, I remember the gist, but for me, religious details tend to go in one ear and out the other! It would make for interesting discussion though, so I'll see if I can come up with it. Come to think of it, I think I have another friend who knows some of that stuff too. He's now studying Buddhism, but he's always been a philosopher at heart and has studied many religions out of curiousity to understand them.

I personally know two people who lost their Christian faith because they went to seminary.   

Books on atheism, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server.


GreyhoundMama
GreyhoundMama's picture
Posts: 76
Joined: 2007-03-09
User is offlineOffline
one ...

I remember the gist of one of them. It was that Catholic priests were not originally celibate. It was added as a requirement at some point relatively recent in history. I vaguely remember it being some king or other power figure who had sexual hangups, and added the celibacy requirement. My friend is on the other side of the country, but I'll email him with some questions.

Gosh, I wonder how many fewer sexual abuse issues we'd have within the clergy if priests were allowed to marry? Although the uncle of mine who abused children in his church was lutheran and married, so it sure didn't stop him. Frown

 

Karen and her hounds
creating art ~ creating a new life


Ophios
Ophios's picture
Posts: 909
Joined: 2006-09-19
User is offlineOffline
Quote: Ophios: You don't

Quote:
Ophios: You don't have to play if you don't want to.

Not saying I don't want to play. Just saying it's up to you. We can only give you evidence, you have to look at it yourself. 

AImboden wrote:
I'm not going to PM my agreement just because one tucan has pms.


magilum
Posts: 2410
Joined: 2007-03-07
User is offlineOffline
I wasn't speaking of

I wasn't speaking of Christians exclusively. But their behavior let me glimpse how easily delusions manifest in otherwise functioning adults. A great example to study is new age people. They have absolutely zero set dogma from what I've seen. They cherry-pick from various religions, and assemble a belief as it suits them. Because their beliefs are so individual, there's no massive group to give them any undeserved credibility.

 

Their selectiveness is easy to see, but, if you pay attention, so is that of adherents to the Abrahamic dogmas. The delusions made up today and the ones written down thousands of years ago aren't different evidence-wise. The ramblings of people so desperate for approval and agreement they're willing to sacrifice any sense of coherence in their realities to have the support of an invisible friend.


todangst
atheistRational VIP!
todangst's picture
Posts: 2843
Joined: 2006-03-10
User is offlineOffline
sugarfree

sugarfree wrote:

AModestProposal: Why am I a Christian? Because I looked at all the alternatives and Jesus's truths are the ones that held up to the most scrutiny.

Why do all christians pretend that they came to christianity through choice? You were likely born into a society where christianity was the dominant religion, and you were likely raised by christians, or at least by people influenced by christianity. These were signficant factors in your 'decision'. 

I'd like to see a page dealing with common myths christians spread about themselves, and one of the top ones would be "I came to my religion as a choice, after an objective comparison of other views"

 

"Hitler burned people like Anne Frank, for that we call him evil.
"God" burns Anne Frank eternally. For that, theists call him 'good.'


todangst
atheistRational VIP!
todangst's picture
Posts: 2843
Joined: 2006-03-10
User is offlineOffline
Iruka Naminori wrote: I

Iruka Naminori wrote:

I personally know two people who lost their Christian faith because they went to seminary.

I have a friend who had thoughts about studying theology, but he decided against it because he was an atheist. When he presented that reason as to why he did not study to a seminary student, the response was "So? How is that a reason?"

The more you learn about something, the more you are able to critically analyze it. Theists are smart to remain ignorant of their own religion, it's history, and how scholars approach it.

"Hitler burned people like Anne Frank, for that we call him evil.
"God" burns Anne Frank eternally. For that, theists call him 'good.'


rexlunae
rexlunae's picture
Posts: 378
Joined: 2007-01-07
User is offlineOffline
todangst wrote: Why do all

todangst wrote:
Why do all christians pretend that they came to christianity through choice?

I've often wondered at that myself. It seems to be a trait unique to Christians. I often hear things like "I just looked at all the options, and Jesus was the only one that sounded right". And yet, I know they've never given any thought to Jainism.

It's only the fairy tales they believe.


zntneo
Superfan
Posts: 565
Joined: 2007-01-25
User is offlineOffline
My mom told me the same

My mom told me the same thing, but when I pushed she admitted that she only looked at different denominations of Christainity and nothing else.


MrRage
Posts: 896
Joined: 2006-12-22
User is offlineOffline
sugarfree wrote: Mr. Rage:

sugarfree wrote:
Mr. Rage: Yes, I'm willing to admit I am wrong about being a Christian.

Then that's all you really need, that and to do your homework. Keep a curious mind, question everything.

It took me something like 5 years of searching before I finally gave up Christianity. It's been said in this thread before, but I don't think anything we're going to say is going to persuade you that quickly.

I'm an atheist because I'm a materialist/naturalist. I we don't need God to explain our origins, and we don't need God to explain ethics/morals. The explanation of origins and ethics in the Bible are inadequate, IMO.

Just stay involved in dialog, and see where it goes.


MrRage
Posts: 896
Joined: 2006-12-22
User is offlineOffline
todangst wrote: Why do all

todangst wrote:

Why do all christians pretend that they came to christianity through choice? You were likely born into a society where christianity was the dominant religion, and you were likely raised by christians, or at least by people influenced by christianity. These were signficant factors in your 'decision'.

I think most Christian think the whole lot is about choice. When you sin it's a choice, e.g. gay people choose to be gay. When you believe in God/Christ/etc it's about choice. I distinctly remember my dad saying that unbelievers choose not to be persuaded about the truth of the gospel.

On the other hand, most Christians can't get away from at least trying to look like they're objective, even if they aren't.


Cruci Fiction
Posts: 43
Joined: 2007-02-01
User is offlineOffline
sugarfree,

sugarfree,

I agree with you in that you're brave. Because in actuality, not many Christians have the courage you've already demonstrated of yourself just by simply conversing on an atheist forum regarding your religious beliefs.

I was intrigued with the title you chose to give this thread. It's actually worded to be a challenge however.

But when it comes to matters of conscience, that which convinces one person of something may have little or no impact on another. Therefore, eventhough this thread has so far seen many reasonable and logical statements/arguments that challenge and conflict with core Christian teachings and beliefs, none may be that proverbial needle in the haystack for which you're looking that would suffice in convincing yourself to be called an atheist. Yet I do highly commend you for seriously looking for that needle, as I do not think you would open your Christian beliefs to scrutiny and possible damage from such a knowledgeable bunch of nonbelievers as you'll find in here if you didn't harbor some doubts in that which you believe has convinced yourself to be convincing.

Are you looking for Truth, or for truth? As an atheist, I crave the excitement that comes with continually learning, questioning, and exploring, so as to know what really is true and correct, even if I may not personally like it.

Are you looking to someone, or to something, to answer for you, all of the deep and profound questions of the cosmos that will give you a calming sense of tranquility throughout the rest of your life, eventhough no living human being (or even billions of them) can actually and honestly know such answers? Or are you brave enough to struggle with harsh realities and fight against ignorance and superstition in order to expand humankind's database of empirical knowledge primarily through means of the scientific method? I subscribe to the words of James Thurber (1894-1961) who said: "It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers." Heh, he also said: "You can fool too many of the people too much of the time." -- and don't we atheists know that's true?

So give us some idea of what you're looking for, sugarfree. What are your doubts about Christianity? For what precisely do you want to know answer(s)? We (atheists) have no single holy book, doctrine, or any "inerrant word" from a being not of this earth from which we can use to "convince" you of anything. And more importantly, only you can honestly answer the question to/for yourself as to whether you even remain convincible to change at this point. If historical and scientific FACTS, brutal honesty, and the use of sound reason and logic mixed with a lot of common sense are ALL not the things you demand for yourself, then I am sad to say we cannot convince you to be an atheist. However, it would not then be us who had lost the challenge you offered. Though indeed we would not be able to say we had won the challenge either, it would unfortunately be you who would've lost in the long run.

I do hope you find whatever it is you're looking for.


sugarfree
Theist
Posts: 478
Joined: 2007-03-14
User is offlineOffline
Ig wrote: I dont know if

Ig wrote:

I dont know if you are a Young Earth Creationist. If so you have a lot of work to do. That stuff will rot your brain. If it stays in there long enough there is no turning back from insanity. Eye-wink

 

Funny thing, I heard someone using the terms Young Earth and Old Earth today on Moody Radio. I'd never heard of either term, but apparently this guy had come up with an Old Earth type scientific model.

I think God included in the Bible what we need to know, not necessarily everything there is to know. Imagine how big that book would be. The things he chose not to reveal to us...well...they are up for debate...


sugarfree
Theist
Posts: 478
Joined: 2007-03-14
User is offlineOffline
Truatheist wrote: There is

Truatheist wrote:
There is absolutely no evidence of the Christian god…

 What is your evidence that God doesn't exist?  How do you know that, for certain, beyond a doubt?

Several hundred years ago, we didn't know about radio waves.  We couldn't see them, but they were always there...  I can turn off my radio, deny they exist, but they are still there.  My disbelief doesn't make them go away.


MrRage
Posts: 896
Joined: 2006-12-22
User is offlineOffline
sugarfree wrote: Funny

sugarfree wrote:
Funny thing, I heard someone using the terms Young Earth and Old Earth today on Moody Radio. I'd never heard of either term, but apparently this guy had come up with an Old Earth type scientific model.

I'm starting to doubt you've really searched things out if you haven't heard of Old Earth creationists.

sugarfree wrote:
I think God included in the Bible what we need to know, not necessarily everything there is to know. Imagine how big that book would be. The things he chose not to reveal to us...well...they are up for debate...

It's not that God didn't include everything. God included things that are wrong, e.g. the Genesis creation account.

Truatheist wrote:
There is absolutely no evidence of the Christian god…

sugarfree wrote:
What is your evidence that God doesn't exist? How do you know that, for certain, beyond a doubt?

Note Trueatheist said there's no evidence for the Christian god not he/she has evidence the Christian God doesn't exist. You've got the burden of proof and all that jazz.

sugarfree wrote:
Several hundred years ago, we didn't know about radio waves. We couldn't see them, but they were always there... I can turn off my radio, deny they exist, but they are still there. My disbelief doesn't make them go away.

This is about as bad as saying "We can't see the wind." The thing is we can measure and manipulate radio waves. We can't do the same with God.

Like I said, I'm starting to doubt you've really searched things out, because these are some of the oldest arguments in the book. And they're bad and refuted arguments.


sugarfree
Theist
Posts: 478
Joined: 2007-03-14
User is offlineOffline
Yiab wrote: The old

Yiab wrote:

The old testament makes no mention of Jesus at all for obvious reasons, so clearly not there.

The old testament does speak of Jesus in the form of prophecies. Here's one: Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel.

Yiab wrote:

The new testament contains sayings attributed to Jesus by people who likely never met him

His disciples never met him? They were his students. And the tradition of passing text from person to person orally was alive and well in his day, so that even if his disciples did not physically write the gospels, it makes sense that they were reliably passed from person thru person via memorization. That was their mode of communication. They were much better at it than we are, because they had to be out of necessity. Even so, the four gospels are believed to be written down around 70 A.D.

Yiab wrote:

Plus, in the gospels Jesus never claimed to be the son of god, nor to be god himself, that claim happened later.

I'd have to disagree. In John 10:30 he says "I and the Father are one." In John 14:6-7 he says, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me. If you know me you will know the Father also." So, I don't understand what you mean by, that happened later.


sugarfree
Theist
Posts: 478
Joined: 2007-03-14
User is offlineOffline
zarathustra wrote: Outside

zarathustra wrote:


Outside of the bible, there is no corroborating reference to the life of jesus in the 1st century...The bible remains the only reference to jesus;


I just did a quick search of google and found that Jesus is mentioned in the writings of Josephus, Tacitus, and Lucian, among others. And there are the gnostic gospels, that, while they didn't make it into the Bible, are proof that there were other people out there trying to make sense of this man called Jesus.

zarathustra wrote:


and its openly partisan bent
They had Republicans and Democrats back then? (Sorry couldn't resist.) I'm not understanding your word choice here.

zarathustra wrote:
the bible's accuracy is not to be trusted. Until other references are discovered, it is only sensible to treat jesus as a myth.


Here's something I just found listing the number of actual manuscripts we have of various ancient texts.

Author, When Written, Earliest Copy, Number of Manuscripts

Plato, 427 - 347 B.C., 900 A.D., 7

Sophocles, 496 - 406 B.C., 1000 A.D., 193

Aristotle , 384 - 322 B.C., 1100 A.D., 49

Homer (Iliad) , 900 B. C. , 400 B.C., 643

New Testament (8 authors**) , 40 - 100 A.D., 24,000

(Notice the amount of actual New Testament manuscripts that have been discovered...) Given your argument, should we also disregard the works of Plato and Aristotle as sources of historical record...After all we only have 7 of Plato's original works.

zarathustra wrote:

What truths of jesus do you speak of that hold up to scrutiny?
For me, Christianity gives the most comprehensive and infallible explanation of the nature of evil, why bad things happen, etc. When I was in college, a friend of mine was murdered. I was a humanist at the time and believed that man was basically good and that "everything would turn out in the end." My humanist philosophy provided me no way of dealing with the fact that 3-4 "basically good" human beings shot my friend in the back of the head, but for no other reason than they were bored. At the time, I didn't understand the nature of evil, nor did I believe in the devil. My shallow belief in a thin God or "life-force" that I had pieced together in my own mind was not enough to bolster me thru this situation. As a result, I became very mad at this God and was convinced he was going to put evil thoughts in my head and make me hurt somebody because "obviously that's what he did to those guys who killed my friend." I thought, "this God must be one sadistic fella." But, for some reason, I kept searching. I knew that, because this humanist philosophy I had concocted did not withstand the trials of real life, I must be missing something. There must be something more...a deeper more profound truth. Something...I was missing. Well, one of the problems was, I was blaming God for something the devil did. I can go into it more if you are interested. Otherwise, this post will go on forever...

zarathustra wrote:
This quote of yours highlights another problem I have with "christianity". Since there are so many different christian denominations (literally thousands), it is quite a riddle to determine exactly what christianity is.
I agree, this is a problem. But, here's the thing a lot of non-Christians don't understand. Churches are filled with human beings. Fallible, corruptible human beings, who disagree, focus on shallow things, become divisive, etc. But Jesus "came not to call the righteous, but sinners" Mt 9:13. The thing I have learned about human nature is, God gives us lemonade, and we tend to turn it into sour lemons. Personally, I attend a Restoration Church, called such because it was founded as part of the Restoration movement in the 1800's (i.e., "Christian Church, Church of God). That movement was born out of a desire to get away from man's church institutions and get back to the Bible. The bottom line should be, what does the Bible say, not "what does the church say."


AModestProposal
AModestProposal's picture
Posts: 157
Joined: 2006-12-26
User is offlineOffline
sugarfree wrote: Mr. Rage:

sugarfree wrote:

Mr. Rage: Yes, I'm willing to admit I am wrong about being a Christian.

AModestProposal: Why am I a Christian? Because I looked at all the alternatives and Jesus's truths are the ones that held up to the most scrutiny.

The answers you've given do not correlate with the notion that you're willing to admit error. But that's okay. You don't have to admit doubts on the forum. But don't lie to yourself. I'm confident that if you are truly honest with yourself, you'll see that The Bible does not hold up to ntense scrutiny the way hard science does. And I know, I know, science can't explain everything for you in a nice, neat package with a big bow on top. Christians have been peddling that one for almost 2000 years. It's true. Science isn't perfect. It doesn't hold all the answers. But accepted science is verifiable through constant, rigorous testing. For instance, because of science, I'm so certain that a ball thrown up in the air, if uninterupted, will come down again that I'd bet everything I own on it. That's truth. Though you're welcome to bet against me on that one if you like. I wouldn't make the same bet that someone can turn water into wine or raise the dead. Tell me, does that sound like a smart bet to you? 

If you truly are interested in finding truth, I suggest you go through The Bible again. But after each sentence, take a pause, and ask yourself questions like, does that sound plausible? Is this verifiable? Is this the simplest logical answer? If my mind was a blank slate and I knew nothing of religion, would this still be so convincing? Ask these questions not for us, but for yourself. You owe yourself that.

Lastly, I'll put forth a favorite question of mine, adapted from Dawkins: What is more likely or epistomologically reasonable, that the universe began with an infinitely complex thing that, in 6 days, magically then created other complex things (far less complex things), or that the universe began with very simple things, which over the course of billions of years, gradually grew increasingly more complex one small step at a time? Phrased another way, if me run into a childhood friend you haven't seen in 20 years, do you assume he grew bigger and taller in one day over the course of that 20 or that he gradually grew to that size over the entire span of the 20 years? You tell me which scenario holds up to more scrutiny.


sugarfree
Theist
Posts: 478
Joined: 2007-03-14
User is offlineOffline
rexlunae

rexlunae wrote:
Christianity is premised upon the idea that the son of god was born to man to atone for the world's sins. But, why would god need to sacrifice his son, or himself given the nature of the trinity as described by virtually all denominations, so that he could forgive us for a sin which we didn't necessarily commit but we inherited from our ancestors?

Okay, you're really making me think here, this is good. I agree, the cruxifiction "Jesus died on the cross for me" is a hard one to conceptualize. First piece of the argument: God is perfect. He cannot accept or embrace that which is imperfect. It just isn't possible. He embodies perfection. It is his nature. Second: God created us with free will. Using our free will, we decided to go against God's will. This equals sin. Sin leads to death because it separates us from God (who is our life-force, he created us after all, only he know how to sustain us).

So, God, through the course of history has been leading us back to him. The old testament was our training ground. He gave us lots of rules to follow...like you do with Kindergartners. To atone for our sins, he required we sacrifice unblemished lambs. But as time went on, we grew up to the point where he knew we were ready to meet Him face to face. Thus, came Jesus. Jesus became the ultimate unblemished lamb.

God taught us thru the old testament laws that a sacrificed lamb washed away our sins and made us perfect again. Now, he was saying, enough with that, you understand the concept, lets get this over with once and for all. So, he sent down his perfect son. Who was then sacrificed. And then it was finished. Now, to wash away our sins and make us perfect again, we accept Jesus as our savior, he is the unblemished lamb for ALL of us.

Here's a piece that drove it home for me tho. Jesus, as part of the trinity was, is, has always been, in perfect relationship with God. He has never felt alone, abandoned, unloved. Except for that one moment on the cross when he said "God, why have you forsaken me." For that moment, God left him, and he felt like the rest of us...no, he felt a billion times worse, because he felt the weight of all our sins, and all the heartache our sins have caused. Can you image? Every one, every single person that walked the earth...In that moment, he felt all our rage, depression, anxiety, lonliness, fear. This perfect being, who had never felt any of those negative things. That is why it was a sacrifice for God to send Jesus down. He knew Jesus was going to have to shoulder that massive burden...

See, instead of punishing us for our rebellions against him, God took the weight of the punishment instead. God doesn't make us accept Jesus because He's mean. He wants us to accept Jesus because it is his gift to all humanity. Can you imagine, buying a great gift for someone, holding it out to them, excited for them to open it, but they never do?


Iruka Naminori
atheist
Iruka Naminori's picture
Posts: 1955
Joined: 2006-11-21
User is offlineOffline
sugarfree wrote:

sugarfree wrote:

 

The old testament does speak of Jesus in the form of prophecies. Here's one: Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel.

Sorry, but that "prophecy" (mentioned in Matthew) was a mistranslation of the Greek Septuagint: http://www.geocities.com/paulntobin/virgin.html

 

Books on atheism, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server.


sugarfree
Theist
Posts: 478
Joined: 2007-03-14
User is offlineOffline
todangst wrote: Why do all

todangst wrote:

Why do all christians pretend that they came to christianity through choice?

You do not become a follower of Jesus except by choice, and you mark the occasion of your choice thru baptism.  Baptism is the mechanism by which you recieve the Holy Spirit, meaning, Christ's spirit comes down to dwell in you and be your guide.

 Have you ever prayed?  I did not pray until I was in college, as an experiment.  I was suprised when my prayer was actually answered.  I don't remember that prayer was for. Something small.

I do now that when I ran over my cat last spring, I was hysterical.  I mean hysterical.  I was home alone and the pain was so great, I was screaming at the top of my lungs (yes, I love my cats).  Then I remembered, Jesus said to lay my burdens on him.  So I fell to my knees and said "Jesus, it hurts too much, you have to take this pain away from me."  In that instant, the hysterics subsided, and I felt like I was going to actually make it thru the situation alive.  Coincidence?

 BTW: I made a choice to be baptized while I was still in college.


Iruka Naminori
atheist
Iruka Naminori's picture
Posts: 1955
Joined: 2006-11-21
User is offlineOffline
sugarfree wrote:

sugarfree wrote:

I do now that when I ran over my cat last spring, I was hysterical. I mean hysterical. I was home alone and the pain was so great, I was screaming at the top of my lungs (yes, I love my cats). Then I remembered, Jesus said to lay my burdens on him. So I fell to my knees and said "Jesus, it hurts too much, you have to take this pain away from me." In that instant, the hysterics subsided, and I felt like I was going to actually make it thru the situation alive. Coincidence?

Yes. Coincidence. Frown

I'm sorry. I love my parrot very much, so I can empathize with your love of animals. My parrot will be celebrating his twentieth birthday (hatch day) on April 1st. I don't know his exact hatch date, but he was between three and four months old when I got him, so I figured him for the April Fool.

The sad truth is prayer does not work, except as a placebo.

Scientific Study: http://tinyurl.com/ff6v6

Something that may resonate even more: http://www.whydoesgodhateamputees.com/

If you like, I'll tell you about the very last prayer of my life and how it illustrated coincidence, in this case, a bad coincidence. It involved animals.

Books on atheism, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server.


Conn_in_Brooklyn
Conn_in_Brooklyn's picture
Posts: 239
Joined: 2006-12-04
User is offlineOffline
sugarfree wrote: rexlunae

sugarfree wrote:

rexlunae wrote:
Christianity is premised upon the idea that the son of god was born to man to atone for the world's sins. But, why would god need to sacrifice his son, or himself given the nature of the trinity as described by virtually all denominations, so that he could forgive us for a sin which we didn't necessarily commit but we inherited from our ancestors?

Okay, you're really making me think here, this is good. I agree, the cruxifiction "Jesus died on the cross for me" is a hard one to conceptualize.

Hold up right there ... This is was got me when I was a Christian.  Why is Jesus dying on the cross a big deal?  He'd one/third of the Godhead ... He didn't really die.  His human body died, sorta, but then was resurreected again.  According to Christians, he's still alive.  Also, what is he the sacrifice for?  Original sin - but we know that Adam and Eve didn't really exist ... Ok, you may believe they existed, but consider that modern science is right and Genesis is wrong ... Jesus is being sacrificed for an 'original' sin that never happened ... Also, why would God need to sacrifice himself, to apease himself, for a violation that He knew would happen.  

Ok, I know there's a lot there, but think about it ... Esp. the "what did Jesus give up?" question, given the adoration for the character of Jesus among Christians ... 

I'm off myspace.com so you can only find me here: http://geoffreymgolia.blogspot.com


sugarfree
Theist
Posts: 478
Joined: 2007-03-14
User is offlineOffline
AModestProposal wrote: The

AModestProposal wrote:

The answers you've given do not correlate with the notion that you're willing to admit error. But that's okay. You don't have to admit doubts on the forum. But don't lie to yourself.

Okay, "if I'm being honest" (Simon Cowell reference.  Am I gonna be kicked off this website now for watching American Idol?) I read thru the forums a bit, and I have heard many of the arguments you all have posted here.  In fact, I have asked them myself, to myself.  But, the more I have studied Christianity, read the Bible, gone to church, the more certain I am that I am on the path of Truth.

 So, odds are you are not going to convince me.  But it is a good practice to vocalize ones beliefs and to be forced to explain them to another person.  So, it's a win-win for all of us, I believe.


zarathustra
atheist
zarathustra's picture
Posts: 1521
Joined: 2006-11-16
User is offlineOffline
sugarfree wrote:

sugarfree wrote:

I just did a quick search of google and found that Jesus is mentioned in the writings of Josephus, Tacitus, and Lucian, among others. And there are the gnostic gospels, that, while they didn't make it into the Bible, are proof that there were other people out there trying to make sense of this man called Jesus.

Should have expected this, as it has been presented before. If you peruse the sources you cite (as I'm sure you have, since you are very much interested in learning about this), you will realize these sources provide evidence of christians, not christ. When Josephus, Tacitus and Lucian mention jesus, they merely mention him as the object of worship by christians, not as an actual historical figure. Noone doubts that christians are part of the historical framework. Once again, there is nothing external to the bible, no contemporary record, to corroborate the slaughter of innocents, the tearing of the temple curtain, the earth shaking during the crucifixion, the overturning of graves, or ... jesus. Using Tacitus' account of christian worship in Rome as historical evidence for jesus is comparable to using a Newsweek article about the Hale-Bopp cult as evidence for the presumed spaceship in the comet (which is what the cult believed in).

sugarfree wrote:

and its openly partisan bent
They had Republicans and Democrats back then? (Sorry couldn't resist.) I'm not understanding your word choice here.

Take my word for it ... becoming an atheist will make you a better comedian (sorry, couldn't resist). What I meant by 'partisan' is that the bible is itself biased in its stance towards jesus' existence and divinity. As it is also the only reference to jesus' life, its accuracy is not to be trusted.

sugarfree wrote:

zarathustra wrote:
the bible's accuracy is not to be trusted. Until other references are discovered, it is only sensible to treat jesus as a myth.


Here's something I just found listing the number of actual manuscripts we have of various ancient texts.

Author, When Written, Earliest Copy, Number of Manuscripts

Plato, 427 - 347 B.C., 900 A.D., 7

Sophocles, 496 - 406 B.C., 1000 A.D., 193

Aristotle , 384 - 322 B.C., 1100 A.D., 49

Homer (Iliad) , 900 B. C. , 400 B.C., 643

New Testament (8 authors**) , 40 - 100 A.D., 24,000

(Notice the amount of actual New Testament manuscripts that have been discovered...) Given your argument, should we also disregard the works of Plato and Aristotle as sources of historical record...After all we only have 7 of Plato's original works.

Plato's works are philosophical dialogues, and Aristotle's are esoteric philosophical writings. I was not under the impression that Plato's and Aristotle's works were ever purported to be historical record. I frankly do not see how they possibly could be. Much less in the case of Greek tragedy (Sophocles) and Greek epic poetry (Homer). Unless you care to explain, I must conclude that you have made a logical error by using the aforementioned texts to affirm the New Testament's historical accuracy.  Oh, and I think you meant to say we have 7 of Sophocles plays...we have far more than 7 of Plato's dialogues.

sugarfree wrote:
For me, Christianity gives the most comprehensive and infallible explanation of the nature of evil...

Thank you for sharing your experience here. It warrants a full treatment which I will give when I have some more time. I am certainly sorry about your friend.

sugarfree wrote:


zarathustra wrote:
This quote of yours highlights another problem I have with "christianity" Since there are so many different christian denominations (literally thousands), it is quite a riddle to determine exactly what christianity is.

I agree, this is a problem. But, here's the thing a lot of non-Christians don't understand. Churches are filled with human beings. Fallible, corruptible human beings, who disagree, focus on shallow things, become divisive, etc. But Jesus "came not to call the righteous, but sinners" Mt 9:13. The thing I have learned about human nature is, God gives us lemonade, and we tend to turn it into sour lemons. Personally, I attend a Restoration Church, called such because it was founded as part of the Restoration movement in the 1800's (i.e., "Christian Church, Church of God). That movement was born out of a desire to get away from man's church institutions and get back to the Bible. The bottom line should be, what does the Bible say, not "what does the church say."

I am at least glad that you acknowledge it is a problem. It is fair to say that humans are fallible, however, you would think that god's message itself would be perfectly clear. In your bible, Gamaliel himself says that if it is of man's making, it will disappear on its own. Why don't all the fallible version of christianity disappear on their own? I asked you once before what the objective standard is for determining true christianity. To respond "what the bible says" does not really advance the topic. Surely each denomination holds that its reading of "what the bible says" is the correct reading, while all other readings are mistaken. We are still left to wonder what is the objective standard for reading "what the bible says".

There are no theists on operating tables.

πππ†
π†††


Iruka Naminori
atheist
Iruka Naminori's picture
Posts: 1955
Joined: 2006-11-21
User is offlineOffline
sugarfree wrote:

sugarfree wrote:

In fact, I have asked them myself, to myself. But, the more I have studied Christianity, read the Bible, gone to church, the more certain I am that I am on the path of Truth.

If Christianity is the truth, why does it need such "shoring up"? If you didn't go to church, how long would it be before the doubts began? In fact, I have a hunch you're having doubts now and that is why you are here.

Maybe you'll play with the atheists for awhile so you can convince yourself you looked at the other side. Or if you're more honest than that, you may sincerely address your doubts. If, as you say, you've had the same thoughts (doubts) that have occurred to all of us, maybe there is something to them.

A person has to be very brave to follow the truth wherever it may lead. I try, but darn if I don't have to stop and catch my breath sometimes. Smiling

Books on atheism, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server.


Roisin Dubh
Roisin Dubh's picture
Posts: 428
Joined: 2007-02-11
User is offlineOffline
sugarfree wrote: Second:

sugarfree wrote:

Second: God created us with free will. Using our free will, we decided to go against God's will.

But how is it truly free will, when the omniscient god already knows who will accept his will, and who will reject it?

Quote:
This equals sin. Sin leads to death because it separates us from God (who is our life-force, he created us after all, only he know how to sustain us).

So, god created certain people doomed to "death" from the start? The point of this would be???

Quote:
So, God, through the course of history has been leading us back to him.

What leading? He already knows who will follow and who will not.

Quote:
The old testament was our training ground. He gave us lots of rules to follow...like you do with Kindergartners.

Not to sound like a broken record, but again I raise the question; what's the point if he already knows who will adhere to the rules, and who won't?

Quote:
To atone for our sins, he required we sacrifice unblemished lambs. But as time went on, we grew up to the point where he knew we were ready to meet Him face to face. Thus, came Jesus. Jesus became the ultimate unblemished lamb.

And this meeting was so important, only a very small fraction of the world's population would be invited? Why weren't the Asians allowed to meet him? Or ancient peoples in South America? Since it's likely that no South American had ever heard of Jesus until the conquistadores brought him over, were generations of Incas, et al, all cast into hell simply because there was no television 2000 years ago?

Quote:
God taught us thru the old testament laws that a sacrificed lamb washed away our sins and made us perfect again. Now, he was saying, enough with that, you understand the concept, lets get this over with once and for all. So, he sent down his perfect son. Who was then sacrificed. And then it was finished. Now, to wash away our sins and make us perfect again, we accept Jesus as our savior, he is the unblemished lamb for ALL of us.

According to your logic, god created people that were destined to sin. In order for the predestined sinners to cleanse themselves of sin, god creates an animal whose purpose is to be slaughtered, because that's the only way he will accept the apologies of people he knew would commit sin in the first place. Then, after a few practice rounds, he decides to send his son instead of a four-legged animal. Why does he need this sacrifice at all? This makes sense to you?

 

Quote:
Here's a piece that drove it home for me tho. Jesus, as part of the trinity was, is, has always been, in perfect relationship with God. He has never felt alone, abandoned, unloved. Except for that one moment on the cross when he said "God, why have you forsaken me." For that moment, God left him, and he felt like the rest of us...no, he felt a billion times worse, because he felt the weight of all our sins, and all the heartache our sins have caused. Can you image?

What I can imagine is that this god is a sadistic maniac.

Quote:
Every one, every single person that walked the earth...In that moment, he felt all our rage, depression, anxiety, lonliness, fear. This perfect being, who had never felt any of those negative things.

Jesus never felt loneliness? You just quote an example. And rage? How about the temple incident? And why are loneliness or anxiety sins?

Quote:
That is why it was a sacrifice for God to send Jesus down. He knew Jesus was going to have to shoulder that massive burden...

Which by logic would have been completely pointless and unnecessary. Again, if true, your god is a sadistic jackass not worthy of the effort it would take to loathe him.

Quote:
See, instead of punishing us for our rebellions against him, God took the weight of the punishment instead. God doesn't make us accept Jesus because He's mean. He wants us to accept Jesus because it is his gift to all humanity. Can you imagine, buying a great gift for someone, holding it out to them, excited for them to open it, but they never do?

But he already knows that we wont open it, so?????????

"The powerful have always created false images of the weak."


todangst
atheistRational VIP!
todangst's picture
Posts: 2843
Joined: 2006-03-10
User is offlineOffline
rexlunae wrote: todangst

rexlunae wrote:
todangst wrote:
Why do all christians pretend that they came to christianity through choice?
I've often wondered at that myself. It seems to be a trait unique to Christians. I often hear things like "I just looked at all the options, and Jesus was the only one that sounded right". And yet, I know they've never given any thought to Jainism.

Precisely... they're being dishonest with themselves here, the reality is that they either 1) grew up theists or 2) were raised in a theist household, and eventually came around to a religion the same as their own.

I'm not just saying this out of personal opinion. Ralph Hood's "Psychology of Religion' has a nice research section on apostates (i.e. moving from any religious position to another) and his researchers find that changing from the religion of your family is actually quite uncommon....

So it's rather unlikely that all of these theists are telling the truth. It is my feeling that they are presenting themsevles this way in order to enhance the sense that they came to their position rationally, and not through parental inculcation.

But that's pretty dishonest.

 

zntneo wrote:
My mom told me the same thing, but when I pushed she admitted that she only looked at different denominations of Christainity and nothing else.

I bet, and I'd wager further that her religion of 'choice' was pretty similar to the religion of her family.

 

"Hitler burned people like Anne Frank, for that we call him evil.
"God" burns Anne Frank eternally. For that, theists call him 'good.'


todangst
atheistRational VIP!
todangst's picture
Posts: 2843
Joined: 2006-03-10
User is offlineOffline
sugarfree

sugarfree wrote:
zarathustra wrote:


Outside of the bible, there is no corroborating reference to the life of jesus in the 1st century...The bible remains the only reference to jesus;


I just did a quick search of google and found that Jesus is mentioned in the writings of Josephus, Tacitus, and Lucian, among others. And there are the gnostic gospels, that, while they didn't make it into the Bible, are proof that there were other people out there trying to make sense of this man called Jesus.

Isn't this matter imporant enough for you to do more than a quick search? Particularly when the goal of your quick search clearly was to find anything that affirmed your position?

 

The claims for Josephus, Tacitus and Lucian have been refuted so many times that we already have stock responses to these claims.

Rook Hawkins shows why each claim is nonsensical here:

http://www.atheistnetwork.com/viewtopic.php?p=38862&sid=c0d3cb2c4ea30da8a8641964cd8ea922#38862

In brief, NONE of these historians are contemporary sources, the Josephus testimonium is considered a forgery, and the claims for Tacitus and Lucian are equally ridiculous... Tacitus only mentions a 'chrestus' who lived during reign of Nero, decades after jesus would have lived, and Lucian, writing around 150 years after the supposed life of jesus, actually writes a scathing, mocking account of christians and how gullible they are....

The reality is that history is silent about 'jesus the christ'. I write about this subject here:

 http://www.rationalresponders.com/a_silence_that_screams 

 

 

Quote:


Here's something I just found listing the number of actual manuscripts we have of various ancient texts.

Author, When Written, Earliest Copy, Number of Manuscripts

Plato, 427 - 347 B.C., 900 A.D., 7

Sophocles, 496 - 406 B.C., 1000 A.D., 193

Aristotle , 384 - 322 B.C., 1100 A.D., 49

Homer (Iliad) , 900 B. C. , 400 B.C., 643

New Testament (8 authors**) , 40 - 100 A.D., 24,000

(Notice the amount of actual New Testament manuscripts that have been discovered...) Given your argument, should we also disregard the works of Plato and Aristotle as sources of historical record...After all we only have 7 of Plato's original works.

First, it's patent nonsense that any Gospel existed prior to the book of Mark, around 68-70 AD. If this is your implication, you need to examine it.

Second, the number of copies of a work tell us nothing about the veracity of the beliefs.

Third, we know that while we only have later copies of the works of Plato, et. al. that earlier copies must have existed due to cross referencing in other ancient works. It's simply not controversial that those works have a provenance dating back to Greece, whereas there is no provenance for the gospels prior to Mark around 70 AD. 

Finally, your comparison suffers from a large flaw: the works of Plato, Aristotle, et. al. do not make any supernatural claims... there's nothing about those works that requires us to overturn naturalism itself to accept them.

If you are really intersted in challenging yourself, you'll take a look at what I've cited and settle for more than just a quick web search to prop up your beliefs....

 

 

"Hitler burned people like Anne Frank, for that we call him evil.
"God" burns Anne Frank eternally. For that, theists call him 'good.'


sugarfree
Theist
Posts: 478
Joined: 2007-03-14
User is offlineOffline
Iruka Naminori wrote: If

Iruka Naminori wrote:

If Christianity is the truth, why does it need such "shoring up"? If you didn't go to church, how long would it be before the doubts began?

This is not the point of church at all. The point is spirituality, goodness, humbleness, shedding of pride and arrogance are virtues that are not easy to acheive. These virtues do not swoop down, hit you on the head, and immediately become part of you. I go to church not to be convinced of what I already know, but to learn how to become a better person. And you have a problem with that because....?

Iruka Naminori wrote:

In fact, I have a hunch you're having doubts now and that is why you are here.

On the contrary, I have been where you are. And where I am now is a MUCH better place. Why would I not want to communicate this to people?