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Christianity Thomas on 05 Dec 2010 12:47 am

The leavers – Young people abandoning the church in droves because GOD IS IMAGINARY

Christianity Today is starting to see the light:

The Leavers: Young Doubters Exit the Church

The North American church does not teeter on the brink of extinction. But, in my view, the crisis of people leaving the faith has taken on new gravity.

First, young adults today are dropping religion at a greater rate than young adults of yesteryear—”five to six times the historic rate,” say Putnam and Campbell.

Second, the life-phase argument may no longer pertain. Young adulthood is not what it used to be. For one, it’s much longer. Marriage, career, children—the primary sociological forces that drive adults back to religious commitment—are now delayed until the late 20s, even into the 30s. Returning to the fold after a two- or three-year hiatus is one thing. Coming back after more than a decade is considerably more unlikely.

Third, a tectonic shift has occurred in the broader culture. Past generations may have rebelled for a season, but they still inhabited a predominantly Judeo-Christian culture. For those reared in pluralistic, post-Christian America, the cultural gravity that has pulled previous generations back to the faith has weakened or dissipated altogether.

Page 3 lists several reasons why people leave Christianity:

1)

So 20- and 30-somethings are leaving—but why? When I ask church people, I receive some variation of this answer: moral compromise. A teenage girl goes off to college and starts to party. A young man moves in with his girlfriend. Soon the conflict between belief and behavior becomes unbearable. Tired of dealing with a guilty conscience and unwilling to abandon their sinful lifestyles, they drop their Christian commitment. They may cite intellectual skepticism or disappointments with the church, but these are smokescreens designed to hide the reason. “They change their creed to match their deeds,” as my parents would say.

2)

Others have been hurt by Christians. Katie, a former believer in her early 30s, had been molested by two members of her childhood church. Her mother occasionally still drags her to church.

3)

A sizable minority of leavers have adopted alternative spiritualities. A popular choice is Wicca. Morninghawk Apollo (who renamed himself as is common in Wiccan practice) discussed his rejection of Christianity with candor. “Ultimately why I left is that the Christian God demands that you submit to his will. In Wicca, it’s just the other way around.

4)

I also met leavers who felt Christianity failed to measure up intellectually. Shane, a 27-year-old father of three, was swept away by the tide of New Atheist literature. He described growing up a “sheltered Lutheran” who was “into Jesus” and active in youth group. Now he spoke slowly and deliberately, as if testifying in court. “I’m an atheist and an empiricist. I don’t believe religion or psychics or astrology or anything supernatural.”

#4 is the real reason most people are leaving, but why can’t he state it directly:

GOD IS IMAGINARY

Yes, GOD IS IMAGINARY! As soon as people realize this simple truth, they leave.

Same idea in another article:

Chances are that if you are in your 20s or 30s, you are not hanging around a church

It offers another reason:

Churches are no longer leaders in moral and ethical discussions. Young people have grown weary of churches that cannot get past issues such as homosexuality and abortion.

The bigotry and intolerance of the church is a turn off? No kidding! The reason why church members can be so bigoted and intolerant is because…

GOD IS IMAGINARY

100 Responses to “The leavers – Young people abandoning the church in droves because GOD IS IMAGINARY”

  1. on 05 Dec 2010 at 2:22 pm 1.dxt said …

    So typical of this website, show some cases in where people in their 20′s to 30′s leave the church and therefore prove God is imaginary. Nice!…….Most which are leaving is due to moral compromise……and clinging to another religion! It proves nothing as to the existence of God.

    “Churches are no longer leaders in moral and ethical discussions. Young people have grown weary of churches that cannot get past issues such as homosexuality and abortion.”

    Here is a hint: Read it in your own bible! Its quite clear. If your church cant draw a clear distinction, then get out! Find one that can read and understand the Scriptures.

  2. on 05 Dec 2010 at 3:54 pm 2.Anti-Theist said …

    People in their twenties and thirties are the prime demographic of this planet; generations further form this age window are going to be exponentially more disconnected from the main stream of education prowess and cultural opinion. Deities only exist in the minds of their followers; meaning that when people stop believing in deities, said deities will cease to exist. If a given deity has an analog value of influence then, if accurate, this story directly proves the damaging of god’s existence though a loss of fellowship.
    Forget the bible, and more importantly forget your churches and priests; god’s last stand will be held in the court of spirituality. True, absolute deism is the only faith based belief that cannot be non-respectively disregarded in the public forum; everything else is easily labeled silly and childish by the sensitive and down rite primitive and ape like by protagonists ill concerned with damaged feelings.

  3. on 05 Dec 2010 at 4:03 pm 3.MrQ said …

    Find one that can read and understand the Scriptures.

    Maybe that’s the problem. Does one read it as allegory or literal truth. That’s why there are so many flavours of Christianity.

    The literal truth version will undoubtedly lead one to uncomfortable feelings (aka cognitive dissonance) IF one then tries to PROVE the writings using logic, science, and reason. Best to use blind faith.

    There’s a little more wiggle room if one treats the stories as allegory. The ark, for example, can be symbolic of the planet Earth.

    Churches are no longer leaders in moral and ethical discussions.

    They are followers, taking direction from societies and cultures. Witness the Pope and his condom use issue….slowly he will change the churches position or risk being swept to the sidelines.

  4. on 05 Dec 2010 at 4:21 pm 4.Sister Chromatid said …

    dxt,
    The article came from a Christian website (Are your reading skills as poor as your writing skills?)

    And I read your bible; it’s the number one reason for being an atheist. Clearly, I know your magic book better than you do since I know it’s not “clear” as you imagine (thus the great number of competing and warring sects) nor is it a good moral guide. It advocates slavery, pedophilia, and torture in some passages while threatening death for those who fail to “keep the sabbath day holy” (whatever the hell that means.)

    There is no empirical study where theists beat atheists in any measure of morality while there are studies showing that religiosity is strongly correlated with societal dysfunction: http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/2005/2005-11.html(I know you aren’t big on reading, dxt, because you missed the fact that the original article was from a Christian website and you have only read your bible to confirm what your indoctrinators told you was true about it.)

    It’s obvious that people are leaving because they come to understand that Christian myths are no more believable and supportable than the myths of other religions, civilizations, and cultures.

    The atheist does not need to prove god “doesn’t exist” anymore than they need to prove that “other people can’t fly”. It’s those that believe in magical things that need to support their beliefs if they don’t want to be perceived as delusional. As far as the evidence is concerned, the you (DXT) are as delusional as the Scientologists, Mormons, Muslims, etc.

  5. on 05 Dec 2010 at 5:54 pm 5.dxt said …

    Sister,

    You have got to be joking. First of all, It makes no difference to me who wrote the article. I simply pointed out claims that were overlooked in this hypothesis causing the individual to re-think its plausibility.

    You claim to apparently know the Scriptures better than myself but yet state in the same breath you have no idea what the Sabbath is about or what it means. How can that be sister?

    I don’t, or have ever claimed, that theists are morally superior to atheists. Since you brought it up, the question is not “can we be good without a belief in God?” the real question is “can we be good WITHOUT God?” If you would like to debate this issue, I’d be happy to go there again.

    Your 4th paragraph falls miserably short in having any explanitory scope of the origin of Christianity. This is another issue I’d be happy to debate with you if you would like. If so, I hope you have a list of cheap excuses handy.

    Im delusional? I guess we could debate the last issue in my post to find out just who is the delusional one here. If you are not willing to go there sister, then I would like to kindly ask you to withhold using it or any other allusions to it in reference to my posts. The foundation for Christianity rests on the resurrection and thats where it stands or falls, and you must show me conclusively, that im delusional for believing it.

  6. on 05 Dec 2010 at 6:41 pm 6.dxt said …

    A-T,

    Starting out, it would seem your assessment of the declining belief of God in the demographic population would be logical, as was the issue with belief in past mythological figures. They were simply myths, with no evidence requiring serious inquiry. However, as soon as you mention the Scriptures, we would need to look at them before we can decide to disregard them. Indeed, this decline in belief has been foretold of according to the Scriptures. In fact, they give details of these times. So based off that simple issue, we can not rightly say “forget the bible”, because it is inline with its teachings and would not therefore provide evidence of the non-existence of God.

  7. on 05 Dec 2010 at 7:08 pm 7.Anti-Theist said …

    Good is too relative a term and is thrown around too half-hazardly to carry any weight in this type of question; that past and at the expense of embracing intellectual abandonment I will play. Yes. People were “good” long before Christianity and people are “good” without god.
    On the origins of Christianity, Soon after the Zorastrian / Babylonian takeover around 580-BC, the Babylonians were holding the Jews in captivity. The Jews were Henotheists at this time but became heavily influenced by the concept of one god of goodness and one god of evil.
    • Mithra was sent by the Father God down to Earth to confirm his contract with Man.
    • Mithra was born of a Virgin by Immaculate Conception – He was born of Anahita, an immaculate virgin mother.
    • Mithra was born in a stable – We celebrate his birth on Dec 25th.
    • Mithra was visited by wise men bearing gifts.
    • Mithra had 12 disciples – He was called the Messiah.
    • Mithra was also the god of Darius, conqueror of Babylon, He was called – - Messiah – - or Christos by Jews during their Captivity.
    • Mithra made a Contract (or Covenant) with Man confirming an older contract with God – The Persian word Mithra literally means – - Contract. – -
    • Mithra celebrated a last supper with his disciples before his death.
    • Mithra died to atone for the sins of man.
    • Mithra was resurrected on a Sunday.
    • Mithra ascended into Heaven to rejoin his Father.
    • Mithra will return to pass judgment on mankind – He was known as the judger of souls.
    • On judgment day, the dead will arise and be judged by Mithra.
    • Mithra will send sinners to Hell.
    • Mithra will send the faithful to Heaven.
    • On judgment day there will be a final conflict between evil and good. – The forces of evil will be destroyed and the saved will live in paradise forever.
    • Mithra is part of a holy Trinity (the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) that took human form.
    • Mithra is depicted as having a halo, (a circular band of light around his head).
    • Mithra followers drink wine and eat bread, which represent his blood and flesh.
    • Mithra followers are baptized.

    This is quite the begging if one was interested in the truth and had the gumption to do a little studying.

  8. on 05 Dec 2010 at 7:54 pm 8.Severin said …

    1 dxt
    “Here is a hint: Read it in your own bible! Its quite clear.“

    NOTHING is clear in the Bible.
    God ordered Noah to save all animals, but did not tell him how to get them from Australia, Americas, Arctic, Sibiria, Madagascar…
    He forgot that all those animals and their food need much (much!) more place than he predicted by giving Noah dimensions for his arc of some 10,000 sq meters.
    He forgot that species can not recover from one single pair.

    Not to forget talking snakes and light without source.
    Not to mention inbreeding mating he ordered to A+E’s children (fuck your sisters to fill the earth – my interpretation, your all knowing god just forgot it).
    Not to forget his orders for killing of children and pregnant women.
    Not to mention his supporting of slavery.
    Not to forget his „sacrificing“ of himself to himself (Jesus = god, said dxt!), to please hiself to do – something, we don’t know what exactly, because after that „sacrificing“ NOTHING CHANGED! People „sinned“ again, and more than before.
    Not to forget „shit will“ god gave to people, following the logic: I will give you free will if, and only if, you worhip me, and if you don’t, I will send you to hell (some „free will“).

    Then Jesus (the same god who said/did the a.m. idiocies and horrible things, said in a moment „love ech other“, expecting us to fall in trans about his „goodness“.

    Either that “god” was both an idiot and a sick lunatic, or – maybe – he did not exist.

    Maybe THAT is one of reasons young people are leaving religion.
    Modern young people do not expect gods to be idiots and lunatics.
    They are not stupid.
    They are MORE EDUCATED, very much more than only 50 or 100 years ago, and are starting to use their own brains, instead of believing in (bloody!) fairy tales.

  9. on 05 Dec 2010 at 8:01 pm 9.Severin said …

    1 dxt
    “Find one that can read and understand the Scriptures.”

    Are you the one?
    Didn’t you say you would not dare to comment god’s words (sahll I find it for you?)?

    Who else would?

    And, of course, WHY would we trust you or anyone else in interpreting verses?

  10. on 05 Dec 2010 at 8:26 pm 10.Severin said …

    5 dxt
    “The foundation for Christianity rests on the resurrection and thats where it stands or falls …”

    It will stand like a rock the very moment you, or anyone else, prove resurrection.

    Again: IF Jesus existed (let’s say he did), IF he was crucified (let’s say he was), and IF 2 or 500 people saw him after he was taken off the cross (let’s say they did), WHAT, the hell, tells us he was DEAD before they saw him?

    He was put off the cross (while all the people thaught he was dead, which he really was not; he was exhausted and looked like dead, but without total lost of vital functions), recovered, and walked away. Then some people saw him and spread the idea of his “resurrection”, for some reasons they knew.

    Pure BS!

    How many “resurrection” stories did you hear from everyday life?
    I’ve heard them thosands!

  11. on 05 Dec 2010 at 8:39 pm 11.Severin said …

    6 dxt
    “In fact, they give details of these times.”

    Such as how did Noah/god arrange to transport 68 pairs of kangaroos from Australia to the arc?
    Air Bus? A 380?

    I did not find it in “scriptures”.

  12. on 05 Dec 2010 at 8:49 pm 12.dxt said …

    A-T,

    Here is a link to a rather lengthy rebuttal of your claims of mythraism. The imagination can be a wonderful thing if it is used properly of course. I typically dont like to post links in order to avoid getting into a link war but there is just no end to the mithra parallel fancy. Even if you choose to outright deny this entire rebuttal, you still fail miserably under the scope of overall explanitory power for the origins of Christianity. The resurrection is the issue here.

    http://www.tektonics.org/copycat/mithra.html

    In your quote here:

    “People were “good” long before Christianity and people are “good” without god.”

    You need to clarify your stance. Im assuming you mean “good without a BELIEF in God”

  13. on 05 Dec 2010 at 9:08 pm 13.dxt said …

    Severin’

    I give already, UNCLE, UNCLE, UNCLE! I get it “no one understands the bible” Thats your stance. Your hatred for the Gospel is absolutely astounding! You are well beyond the hopes for me to be explaining anything to you. You hate the God of the bible or anything relating to a deity, I GET THAT! Im not going to argue that with you. You seem to be getting more and more intollerant and vulgar with every post. You have heard the Gospel, you are responsible now for what you do with that.

  14. on 05 Dec 2010 at 10:49 pm 14.Xenon said …

    He is obsessed is he not dxt?

  15. on 06 Dec 2010 at 3:37 am 15.Lou said …

    This is great news. Drop religion and get into a relationship with Christ. That is the trend. People getting back to God’s Word and away from man-made religions. Nations all over the world Christ is flourishing in the simplicity of the Gospel.

  16. on 06 Dec 2010 at 5:05 am 16.Hell Yeah said …

    “Drop religion and get into a relationship with Christ.”

    Isn’t the bible the source of Christianity and Christ? Christ is Christ-ianity, and Christianty is a religion, so Christ is a religion. So if you drop religion, you are dropping Christ as well. The whole point is you cannot say believing in Christ isn’t a religion.

  17. on 06 Dec 2010 at 5:10 am 17.Hell Yeah said …

    “People getting back to God’s Word and away from man-made religions.”

    All religions are man-made. All gods are part of a religion. Therefore, all gods are man-made. Get the idea?

  18. on 06 Dec 2010 at 8:28 am 18.Severin said …

    13 dxt
    “You hate the God of the bible or anything relating to a deity,…“

    Sorry, I can’t hate something that I don’t believe it exists.
    Do you hate Santa? Do you hate tooth fairies?

    You can not deny the logic (or, if you can, you are wellcome!):
    Kangaroos (polar bears, lamas, armadillos, lemurs, sibirian tigers…) exist today.

    So:
    a) they were on the arc and were saved from flood (by inbreeding mating, but let’s neglect it for the sake of debate), or
    b) god created them after the flood

    Is there any other possibility? I don’t see it.

    I apologize for being vulgar. But, who is more vulgar: I, who only told using vulgar word what your god DID, or god who did it?

    So, dxt, WHAT of the two happened? a) or b)?

    You don’t know? You can’t offer any logical answer?
    Then you don’t know anything about the matter you are trying to debate about.
    You can NOT put under our noses idiotic, illogical stories from an ancient book, and pretend naive when someone poses a straight, logical, honest question.
    An intelligent 6 year old child would immediatelly ask you the same question after he/she heard the story.
    The tzar (king) can not hide his nakedness for ever.

    The book itself is illogical and inconsistent, and can NOT be a relevant source of anything.
    YOU can not offer any additional explanations.
    So, debate ends: your book is offering us idiotic claims, is illogical and inconsistent, in short, it is a bullshit.
    Your crying about its relevance will NOT make it relevant.
    Maybe your additional explanations could do something, but you dont have any.
    Such a book can NOT be a base of any „truth“, especially not an „absolute truth“.

    You failed.
    Your helpless anger will not make your book better.

  19. on 06 Dec 2010 at 8:38 am 19.Severin said …

    14 Xenon
    Of course I am obsessed!
    I am allways obsessed to hear the truth, but you always avoid to give it.

    If you have some news for me, you are welcome!
    Read my post #13 and try your answers.

    Your calling me obsessed will NOT change facts.
    Only some explanation could do something, but none of you have any.

    Aren’t you “obsessed” with blind faith, avoiding to see idiocies stated in Bible, without any attempt to explain them for YOURSELF?

    So, Xenon, call me obsessed, but answer the simple, staright and honest question:
    How did kangaroos come to Noah’s arc?

    Why are you so obsessed with this simple question?

  20. on 06 Dec 2010 at 8:49 am 20.Severin said …

    dxt
    You never told us how can we know Jesus was really dead after he was taken off the cross?
    Do we have to trust “eye witnesses” who (maybe) saw him walking after crucification, and wote it in a book?

    How did they know he was really dead before they saw him, not just recovered after torture?
    Were they doctors? Did they examine him in details?

    I forgot, they SWEARED they were talking the truth.

    If you don’t want to take the story as pure idiocy, I am ready to hear some explanation of yours.

    But, you never have any, do you?

  21. on 06 Dec 2010 at 12:16 pm 21.Doug said …

    Yes Dxt, the conclusion of the article is a faulty one without a number of unstated supported premises being written. They should have been, so I will do so. Young People are leaving the church because the monopoly of western though held by the various sects of Christianity(each of which have gone to war with each other over their ‘clear’ and obvious completely contradictory interpretations of the Bible) is finally beginning to be broken. They are exposed to a great deal more of information, including falsehoods, and have had to develop coping skills of skepticism a lot quicker. With those skills they can more easily see the Scriptures as being no different the the Illiad, The Odyssey, The Egyptian books of the dead, or any number of other mythical works from the ancient world.

    They can see that Christ is just another made up figure.

    It would be easy to bring them back to Christianity, simply provide proof of the magical claims of that ancient book you hold so dear.

    Of course, you cannot. Your tradition, like so many across the Globe, have wondrous claims of things that happened in the past, that have no verification from outside sources, but not ‘now’ when people are looking. When said claims can be tested. The fairies of the Garden do not leave footprints or DNA evidence, and neither does your deity. How remarkably similar.

  22. on 06 Dec 2010 at 1:34 pm 22.Moses said …

    For those who believe there is a God….God exist.
    For those who don’t believe in god, a strong demon will blind them further. Jesus spoke in parables! In the same way the whole word of God is hidden only for those who believe in Faith.
    The rest? For them the Word is code unsolved

  23. on 06 Dec 2010 at 2:24 pm 23.Doug said …

    Moses, do you not get that we atheists think your claims are made up? Just stating “a strong demon” is just another magical claim we dismiss as easily as you dismiss Santa Claus.

  24. on 06 Dec 2010 at 2:46 pm 24.Joe said …

    proof 13 has typo
    says dod instead of do in the rational box at bottom.

  25. on 06 Dec 2010 at 3:21 pm 25.rael said …

    I think the key point in young peoples minds is the intolerance and bigotry so often displayed by religious people. Today’s society is more open and inclusive and it is difficult for them to associate with organisations that display this behaviour. As the article says, they cannot even get past issues like homosexuality and abortion. Also, they all insist that they are right and all the others are wrong, there is little evidence of tolerance and inclusivity, from the muslims who kill in the name of thier god to the christians who preach that all who don’t share thier particular beliefs are dammned. It is the language and behaviour of an outdated society – hopefully we are finally out growing these destructive ways

  26. on 06 Dec 2010 at 4:00 pm 26.Joe said …

    What has me doubting is well.. the hate.
    Bible states that we are to love one another.. but then says that if you back-talk your mom/dad you are to be killed.
    Yet, Thou shalt not commit murder.
    (also.. why all the “holy wars”… Murder people cuz they don’t believe???)
    Love thy neighbor as thyself… unless they are your slave, then you can separate them from their families unless they allow you to mutilate them.

    The total Hypocrisy is not convincing me that Christianity is the way to go.

  27. on 06 Dec 2010 at 4:50 pm 27.Jesus of Fairy Land said …

    Frankly, if I believed in a god I’d thank him for the fundamentalist and biblical literalists for their existence most likely guarantees their failure.

    No wonder people are leaving the church. Instant global communication means people know much more about the world.

    As science marches on and builds upon existing knowledge, biblical “knowledge” stays still. There’s a hint for you as to why it’s beyond silly to cling to the bible as anything other than a collection of historical artifacts.

    Prayer does nothing. Soldiers fighting in the name of god die at the same rate as their comrades without such belief. Not only that, but now millions more people see how both sides have god on their side yet people still die, no-one is saved, and hatred builds. Hello? Contradiction central, are you there?

    More and more our understanding of the universe increases and more and more that understanding demonstrates “god not needed”. Hence the astonishing lengths that apologists must go to in order to try to spin modern knowledge to align with ancient superstitions.

    Somehow believers feel that if they pick just a tiny piece of their holy book, shore it up with some piss-poor cherry-picked research, that somehow everything is whole again?

    Of course the bible got it wrong, it represents the writings of a pre-scientific people. As an insight into culture, superstition, and our past it’s immensely interesting. As a true story and an explanation of the cosmos, it’s embarrassing.

    People are moving away from the church? No kidding.

  28. on 06 Dec 2010 at 5:00 pm 28.Lou said …

    #16
    “Isn’t the bible the source of Christianity and Christ? Christ is Christ-ianity, and Christianty is a religion, so Christ is a religion.”

    No, Christ never refers to religion or Christianity. He ask us to be born-again and follow Him. The religious are who Christ had the most difficult time with. Young people and people groups in other nations are coming to Christ not religion. It really is a great trend.

  29. on 06 Dec 2010 at 5:34 pm 29.Jesus of Fairy Land said …

    Lou, is this what you are referring to when you differentiate between Christ and religion? If not, perhaps some references would help us understand where you are coming from?

    http://www.born-again-christian.info/religions.htm

  30. on 06 Dec 2010 at 9:04 pm 30.dxt said …

    #21,

    “They can see that Christ is just another made up figure.

    It would be easy to bring them back to Christianity, simply provide proof of the magical claims of that ancient book you hold so dear.

    Of course, you cannot.”

    Well Doug, Give yourself a round of applause! You have uncovered the secret to the worlds largest and most complicated conspiracy ever! Wow! Tell me your secret doug. Show me your conclusive evidence of this non-existent figure they call “Jesus”. Please enlighten me because im really tired of beating myself up over this whole “sin” thing. Walk me through your conclusion please. Sorry for my sarcasm but I am a little “taken back” at this evidence you seem to have.

  31. on 06 Dec 2010 at 9:46 pm 31.Doug said …

    DXT, I did not say anyone alive made Jesus up, or that there was a conspiracy amongst the head of Churches. You are reading things that are not there.

    However, When I was referring to Jesus, I am specifically referring to the one portrayed in the set of books cobbled together in an attempt to appease various sects during the council of Nicea. The process was extremely political, that is well demonstrated in those that research Late Antiquity. There are things in those book the contradict each other, actual historical events, describe things that would have left a great deal of independent evidence(500 people rising from there graves in the Roman empire) and most importantly the laws of reality itself.

    You are playing a reversal of burden of proof as well as an appeal to popularity. I am rejecting the existence of the Christ figure for the same reason I reject the existence of Horus; there is no reason to believe in old tales of magical figures. They are common across the Globe, and have nothing to support them outside of the tradition that is vested keeping the tale alive.

  32. on 06 Dec 2010 at 10:53 pm 32.dxt said …

    Doug,

    “However, When I was referring to Jesus, I am specifically referring to the one portrayed in the set of books cobbled together in an attempt to appease various sects during the council of Nicea.”

    Stop right there doug, this just spoke volumes to me. The council of Nicea had nothing to do with the cannon of Scripture whatsoever. The council met to extinguish the arian controversy. The cannon of Scripture was already well established and considered authoratative. I think you have read to many dan brown books.

    “There are things in those book the contradict each other, actual historical events, describe things that would have left a great deal of independent evidence(500 people rising from there graves in the Roman empire) and most importantly the laws of reality itself.”

    Doug, How am I supposed to take you seriously when you keep fudging your facts? 500 bodies rising from their grave? My Bible says “many rose” and Jesus appeared to the 500 during the 40 days before His ascension.

    “You are playing a reversal of burden of proof as well as an appeal to popularity.”

    Doug, an appeal to popularity? Sounds like this is your issue by fudging the facts. Reversal of burden? Here is your statement “They can see that Christ is just another made up figure.” Do you realize that not even the majority of skeptical scholars will accept this statement? The burden is on you to show them your findings.

    “I am rejecting the existence of the Christ figure for the same reason I reject the existence of Horus; there is no reason to believe in old tales of magical figures.”

    Really, no reason to believe in the existence of Christ, despite references of historical sources outside the bible. Maybe you can provide me a rational naturalistic explanation for the origin of Christianity if Jesus had not risen from the dead.

  33. on 06 Dec 2010 at 11:03 pm 33.Lightning Boy said …

    Doug

    Your entire post is made up of lies fed to you by those who feed you what you want to hear. I would seriously do as CS Lewis and many others have done and seek the truth for yourself.

  34. on 07 Dec 2010 at 1:35 am 34.Doug said …

    Lightening Boy, I have sought truth and found out the whole concept of theism to be lies. You, however seem to wish to remain deluded, to think that Christianity is something other than yet another set of magic fables simply because it is the one you were raised with.

    There is nothing separating it from the various contradictory myth structures that primitive man used to explain the world. Not one more whit of reason or evidence.

  35. on 07 Dec 2010 at 1:59 am 35.Doug said …

    Dxt, I do not read Dan Brown. Please start off with naming two contemporary eyewitness account of the Christ. I say two because so many theists seem to rely on the Joephius forgery, even though it still is from no earlier than 100 AD.

    Once again, you are the one who is making the Claim the not only was their a Christ, it was the son of a deity. To say “you cannot disprove” is a reversal of burden.

    As to the 500 thing yes, I conflated two parts of a fable…doesn’t matter much. Both 500 witnesses, and people rising from their graves would be newsworthy events, and the news from a second source is conspicuously missing.

    As to the Council of Nicea…there were numerous books, some were accepted by various strains of Christianity. Several were thrown out, some were modified, Revelations, in particular, was only kept in to try to win over a particular key group.

    You say to dismiss this Christ is, through your appeal to ridicule through sarcasm, to say that everyone who purports this belief must be in on a conspiracy. That is also an appeal to popularity, you emphasize “world wide” and act as if I am accusing people of not sincerely believing. I am not.

    I can give you a naturalistic reason for Christianity to exist: People hallucinate, lie, and exaggerate. These create myths. See the other 10000 deities mankind has worshiped. Same method.

  36. on 07 Dec 2010 at 3:16 am 36.Lightning Boy said …

    Doug, Again, do REAL study and reading and stop relying on atheist websites. For your own sake, think for yourself. If you actually believe Christianity is based on the hallucinations and lies you might be into the 911 and JFK conspiracies as a nice threesome.

  37. on 07 Dec 2010 at 3:27 am 37.Hell Yeah said …

    Volt Boy,
    How old are you? Based on your name, you must be under 18. Get a full education first, so you can do REAL study on reality. It is funny how you say that we should think for ourselves, because that is exactly what atheists do. We don’t need an ancient book to tell us what to think. We use universal knowledge and reason. It is not like we are going to websites to tell us what to think. We already know what is reality. And on what you said about 911 and JFK, who really knows, our government including both sides holds a lot of information from the public and lies a lot. And you do realize you are comparing something that happened in the last 50 years to something a few thousand years ago, right? And 911 and JFK didn’t take supernaturalistic magic to happen.

  38. on 07 Dec 2010 at 3:57 am 38.dxt said …

    Doug,

    “Please start off with naming two contemporary eyewitness account of the Christ. I say two because so many theists seem to rely on the Joephius forgery, even though it still is from no earlier than 100 AD.”

    Well, first of all im assuming you mean non-biblical sources, which I will get to in a minute. Second of all, by your reasoning, how could Josephus give an eyewitness account to anything pertaining to Christ when he was born in 37AD? Thats roughly 7 years after the crucifiction of Christ! The forgery thing is in itself debatable. Of course skeptics are going to claim that.
    Now getting back to the biblical sources thing. How are scholars supposed to determine the accuracy of ancient claims if they can not use the earliest most reliable sources? References outside the bible only tend to confirm what we already know! Do you realize what your asking? You look at the bible as one complete book but in fact, it is a collection of early independent sources of information about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. So, I will give you 4 independent eyewitnesses Paul, Peter, James and John for sure. Extra biblical references to Christ include, The Apostolic Fathers, Polycarp(Bishop of Smyrna AD 110), Ignatius(Bishop of Antioc AD 108), Clement(Bishop of Rome AD 96). All together we have direct quotes or refernces to 25 of the 27 New Testament letters including all 4 Gospels. Thats nearly 2 centuries before your supposed “Book revisions” of the 4th century Nicene council. Not only that, but people were tried for heresy for attempting to mess with the already well established authoritative books being circulated within the church. Do you think that the church in the 4th century would alter the book of revelation written by not only a diciple in AD 96 but the only diciple called “the one whom Jesus loved?” I can’t seem to stop doug.

    “You say to dismiss this Christ is, through your appeal to ridicule through sarcasm, to say that everyone who purports this belief must be in on a conspiracy. That is also an appeal to popularity, you emphasize “world wide” and act as if I am accusing people of not sincerely believing. I am not”

    Again, first of all, I never claimed that anyone who doesn’t believe in Christ is part of a big conspiracy. What I meant was “do you think that the early church was part of a massive conspiracy?” I never emphasized “world wide” unless of course your trying to tell me I only meant small isolated cases of a belief in Christ. Not sure exactly.

    Your “conflated 500 thing”, though miniscule as you believe, is a discredit to yourself in a debate. I have already given you secondary literature pertaining to Christ.

    “I can give you a naturalistic reason for Christianity to exist: People hallucinate, lie, and exaggerate. These create myths. See the other 10000 deities mankind has worshiped. Same method.”

    That not a rational naturalistic explanation, thats denial. Individuals hallucinate-not masses, the masses dont die for a lie and witnesses to the resurrection of a 3 day dead man dont exaggerate, especially when it will cost them their lives proclaiming it. 10000 other deities and there are none like it.

  39. on 07 Dec 2010 at 4:07 am 39.Hell Yeah said …

    “witnesses to the resurrection of a 3 day dead man dont exaggerate, especially when it will cost them their lives proclaiming it.”

    1. The resurrection and Jesus was a made up camp fire story that after 100 years got twisted enough into the written down story.

    2. The resurrection and Jesus was a made up story by people who wanted to trick others into believing.

    3. Jesus was a real normal man whom was put to die on a wooden cross, and they thought he was dead so they put him in a cave. He came out of the cave a few days later after still not being dead. People were dumbfounded because they were either told he was dead or saw what they thought was a dead man.

    4. Same thing as #3, but trickery was used.

    5. Supernatural events only took place a few thousand years ago, and never again in history.

    Which is more likely?…..or should I say, which is least likely?

  40. on 07 Dec 2010 at 4:14 am 40.dxt said …

    Hy,

    Haha! Nice HY. I will have to answer this one when I have more time tomorrow. You wouldn’t be taken seriously in ancient historic scholarship HY because you would be so far left of your field that I don’t even think that even skeptical scholars would sit with you at lunch.

  41. on 07 Dec 2010 at 4:14 am 41.Lightning Boy said …

    “We use universal knowledge and reason.

    Doug,

    You must gain knowledge to use it. You have nothing more than atheist blogs false ideology. You can attack me, my age and my knowledge but you are the one proving to be lacking. Don’t listen to me or anything on the blogs. Study and educate yourself with an open mind. The wise and reasonable take this approach. If you conclude the study and remain atheist, at least you will be educated about what you resent.

    You might educate yourself on lightning boy. You are lacking knowledge there as well.

    Good luck to you Doug.

  42. on 07 Dec 2010 at 4:16 am 42.Lightning Boy said …

    I’m sorry Doug I was responding to HY.

    HY, all I directed toward Doug applies to you as well.

  43. on 07 Dec 2010 at 4:24 am 43.Hell Yeah said …

    “If you conclude the study and remain atheist, at least you will be educated about what you resent.”

    Does being a confirmed Christian in my past count?

  44. on 07 Dec 2010 at 4:45 am 44.Hell Yeah said …

    #40 What dxt really means to say is that he has no comeback and needs time to think of one because something I said made a lightbulb go off in his head.

    I am not on this site to try and get believers to realize reality over night. It takes many steps over a period of time. I am just hoping that some of the things I say are the beginning steps to that process for them. Someone on here recently pointed out the book “Godless” by Dan Barker. If you believers want to know what a deeply true believer went through in his transformation into realization there is no god, then you must read this.

    By the way, mark your calendars…..because Jesus is coming back on 5/21/2011….look it up, I just heard about it today. LOL According to many believers, the bible points to that date….so if that date passes and still no Jesus, will you start the process of changing your mind?

  45. on 07 Dec 2010 at 9:01 am 45.Severin said …

    33 dxt
    „Maybe you can provide me a rational naturalistic explanation for the origin of Christianity if Jesus had not risen from the dead.“

    THAT is really too much, even from you!
    Do we have to provide evidences against every bullshit every idiot claims?
    If you were a Muslim, you would require us to bring you evidences that Mohammed did not rise to heaven to visit Allah on a horse with wings, wouldn’t you?

    If one claims something out of common sense, experiance, something defying laws of physic, biology and chemistry, in short: something illogical, then HE/SHE has to bring evidences tp support such claims.
    I admit that many things (like earth orbiting sun) were not easy to understand, and maybe looked like idocy when brought to masses, BUT after EVIDENCES were exposed, it became crystal clear. Those evidences were NOT stories of some „eye witnesses“, they were based on observing, comparing, math, LOGIC.

    MYBE (I do not believe it, of course, but for the sake of debate, let me say so) resurrection is possible.
    Maybe Jesus did rise from deaths.
    But, to convince me in something like that, much more than 1,0000,000 „eye witnesses“ are necessary.
    In fact, NOT much more!
    ONLY the proof that Jesus was REALLY DEAD (not only unconscious)!

    Of course, to complete the story, we also need EVIDENCES that he rised to heaven, after he waked up from DEATH (not from unconsciousness).

    The „historical sources“ that, according to you, prove the Bible a „historical book“, do NOT prove its content right.
    Many historical books, for example books witten by ancient explorers of earth, brought many true facts (position of some islands…), mixed with legends and myths (monsters, cyclops….).
    You may call the Bible a “historical book”, but NOT the “absolute truth” on which someone should base his life.
    So ALL we can say about Bible is: yes, the book exists, and: yes, SOME stories from the Bible really happened.
    Other stories are BS!

    So, bring us some relevnt evidences that your Jesus was dead and raised to heaven!

  46. on 07 Dec 2010 at 9:36 am 46.Severin said …

    dxt

    Do we have some report about Jesus’ state after he was put off the cross?
    Something like this, for example:

    “Rigor mortis (lit. death stiffness) is one of the recognizable signs of death (Latin mors, mortis meaning “of death”) that is caused by a chemical change in the muscles after death, causing the limbs of the corpse to become stiff (Latin rigor) and difficult to move or manipulate. In humans it commences after about 3 hours, reaches maximum stiffness after 12 hours, and gradually dissipates until approximately 72 hours (3 days) after death. Heat sources such as fire can speed up the process of rigor mortis.

    Biochemistry
    After death, respiration in organisms ceases to occur, depleting the corpse of oxygen used in the making of Adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is no longer provided to operate the SERCA pumps in the membrane of the sarcoplasmic reticulum, which pump calcium ions into the terminal cisternae. This causes calcium ions to diffuse from the area of higher concentration (in the terminal cisternae and extracellular fluid) to an area of lower concentration (in the sarcomere), binding with troponin and allowing for crossbridging to occur between myosin and actin proteins.
    Unlike normal muscle contractions, the body is unable to complete the cycle and release the coupling between the myosin and actin, creating a perpetual state of muscular contraction, until the breakdown of muscle tissue by digestive enzymes during decomposition.”

    Did anyone (at least!) see Jesus stiff, and provided at least SOME other evidences, available at that time, that he was really dead?

  47. on 07 Dec 2010 at 9:38 am 47.Severin said …

    dxt

    or like this:
    “The Body After Death
    After the heart stops beating, the body immediately starts turning cold. This phase is known as algor mortis, or the death chill. Each hour, the body temperature falls about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit (0.83 degrees Celsius) until it reaches room temperature. At the same time, without circulation to keep it moving through the body, blood starts to pool and settle. Rigor mortis, or a stiffening of the body, sets in about two to six hours after death [source: Marchant, Middleton].
    While the body as a whole may be dead, little things within the body are still alive. Skin cells, for example, can be viably harvested for up to 24 hours after death [source: Mims]. But some things that are still alive lead to the putrefaction, or decomposition, of the body — we’re talking about little organisms that live in the intestines.

    Steven Puetzer/Photographer’s Choice RF/Getty Images
    Left exposed to the elements, dead bodies break down very quickly.

    A few days after death, these bacteria and enzymes start the process of breaking down their host. The pancreas is full of so many bacteria that it essentially digests itself [source: Macnair]. As these organisms work their way to other organs, the body becomes discolored, first turning green, then purple, then black. If you can’t see the change, you’ll smell it soon enough, because the bacteria create an awful-smelling gas. In addition to smelling up the room, that gas will cause the body to bloat, the eyes to bulge out of their sockets and the tongue to swell and protrude. (In rare instances, this gas has created enough pressure after a few weeks to cause decomposing pregnant women to expel the fetus in a process known as coffin birth.)

  48. on 07 Dec 2010 at 9:46 am 48.rael said …

    severin makes a good point, despite some of the language used; the bible is an interesting historical book that can teach us much about people and society of the times in which it was written, re-interpreted, edited etc. It is nothing more than that unless it can be corroborated in some way; and this doesn’t seem too likely now. unless we return to a time of magic:)

    of course, it may be that there is a god, and all of the bible is true, but the probability of that does seem vanishingly small. Unlike the theists, if we are given evidence we will change our views; thier minds are closed

  49. on 07 Dec 2010 at 12:08 pm 49.Lightning Boy said …

    “Does being a confirmed Christian in my past count?”

    HY do you understand what scholarly research means? Reading your comments it is obvious you have no real background into the claims of Christ.

    Blogs are not research. Blogs are for people to postulate and let their biases be heard. People typically come to argue not to be informed.

  50. on 07 Dec 2010 at 12:46 pm 50.dxt said …

    #44 HY,

    “#40 What dxt really means to say is that he has no comeback and needs time to think of one because something I said made a lightbulb go off in his head.”

    Let me rephrase this statement. “What dxt really means is he likes to allow himself sufficient time to give thorough responses” It is a little more difficult to do this than spouting lies off the top of your head. The only lightbulb you set off for me is you like to live in, and make statements, in a historic fantasy land.

    #39

    “1. The resurrection and Jesus was a made up camp fire story that after 100 years got twisted enough into the written down story.”

    100 years? The crucifiction of Jesus of Nazareth is an established fact in historical scholarship and happened around the year 30AD. The text of the New Testament alone will get you to within at least 8 years of this crucifiction.

    “2. The resurrection and Jesus was a made up story by people who wanted to trick others into believing.”

    See above. The conspiracy hypothesis has no explanitory power as to the origins of Christianity. There is too much info to fully explain here.

    “3. Jesus was a real normal man whom was put to die on a wooden cross, and they thought he was dead so they put him in a cave. He came out of the cave a few days later after still not being dead. People were dumbfounded because they were either told he was dead or saw what they thought was a dead man.”

    Thought He was dead? A spear through the heart by a roman executioner? Jesus was flogged so bad that it is described that His flesh “hung from his body like ribbons?” Nailed to a cross? I can see how you say He didn’t die, perfectly reasonable.

    “4. Same thing as #3, but trickery was used.”

    Trickery? Again, perfectly rational.

    “5. Supernatural events only took place a few thousand years ago, and never again in history.”

    “Which is more likely?…..or should I say, which is least likely?”

    What is more likely? Good question HY. Lets continue this debate and let the rational folks on here decide for themselves…shall we? Time to expose your fantasies!

  51. on 07 Dec 2010 at 1:23 pm 51.Doug said …

    Dxt, despite all your sophistry, and yes I do see it quite clearly in your posts…you still cannot distinguish your Christ from all the other man god and deities of the earth. Plenty of ancient documents for them as well….but no independent verification.

  52. on 07 Dec 2010 at 1:28 pm 52.Doug said …

    Lightening BOy, I was an atheist before there was a web. So much for your “real” research theory. As to the hallucination thing, all it takes is for one persuasive person to convince others his hallucination is real. Once it becomes a mem, other people will be looking for confirmation, it is not dissimilar to how people “see” ancestor spirits in cultures where that is part of their mystical tradition.

    No different, Christianity is just another mythology.

  53. on 07 Dec 2010 at 1:43 pm 53.Lightning Boy said …

    That’s wonderful Doug. I was an atheist in the early 70s. I’m not sure of you point. You must be fairly young to see the web as some sort of nostalgic time marker.

    Anyhow, the challenge remains. I find most are not willing to put forth due diligence when it comes to things they stubbornly believe but would rather listen to blog opinion and remain in ignorance.

    I must say Doug, that is quite a hallucination that continues on for millenniums.

    Anyhow, Good luck to you.

  54. on 07 Dec 2010 at 2:15 pm 54.MrQ said …

    I was an atheist in the early 70s.

    So what happened, Sparky? Saw the light? Are you like horatio…someone who went down the wrong path in life and needed a corrective Christ bitch slap upside the head?

    I must say Doug, that is quite a hallucination that continues on for millenniums.

    Church was all about power, control, and money. All of that is slowly slipping away as people get educated and, like the thread title suggests, become leavers.
    That’s EDUCATED….. Not EDUCMUCATED like so many of the extended hillbilly family (horatio, biffy, lou, gas bag Xenon, etc) posting their drivel here.

  55. on 07 Dec 2010 at 5:54 pm 55.Severin said …

    50 dxt
    “”A spear through the heart by a roman executioner?”

    It is called a lie, what you are trying to “sell” us.
    Ignorance, arrogance, demagogy, could be tollerated in a debate, but LYING…?
    Very, very bad! It is offending of intelligence and integrity of other debaters (taking them, directly, as idiots), and can not be tollerated!

    Crucification was described in:
    Isaiah 53
    Matthew 27
    Mark 15
    Luke 23
    John 19

    The first 4 DO NOT MENTION ANY WOUNDING OF JESUS!
    John 19 mentions:
    “34 But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.”

    I have 2 questions:
    - Since when “side” = “heart”
    - Why would we trust Bible in which an event as important as piercing of Jesus with a spear was NOT mentioned in 4 of 5 descriptions?

  56. on 07 Dec 2010 at 6:03 pm 56.Severin said …

    dxt
    I am NOT trying to turn you to atheists.
    I am ONLY debating here, for 2 reason, one of which is that I like it.

    I learned about how debates run when I was 15, and the FIRST rule I learned was: DO NOT LIE!
    It is allowed in debate to appeal to inconsisten and illogical sources, to use false logic, many things are allowed, EXCEPT direc lying.

    Now you fell very low, and lost all your credibility.

    I personally never agreed with your opinion, but I never thought you was a dishonest man.

    Now I do!

  57. on 07 Dec 2010 at 7:15 pm 57.Doug said …

    Lightening boy, the point was responding to your dismissal that my sources of information regarding religion were only Atheism Websites

    QUOTE:

    do REAL study and reading and stop relying on atheist websites

    ….a clear attempt to intellectually belittle me.

    Now you act like it was I who brought the whole thing up.

    Secondly you ignored, and I am guessing purposely so, the whole point of the post about hallucinations. Once the meme has been established, people are going to have halucinations, or interpret unknown phenom through that meme. People who were not raised Christian have “visions” corresponding to the mythology they were raised with.

    Each has exactly the same amount of independently verifiable proof, that is to say stories which are not in accordance with observable testable ways the world seems to work. Stories that, since they contradict one another, must be at least sometimes false. This creates in anyone sensible who notices this, skepticism.

    There is every reason to believe that Christianity is just the same as every other mythology on the globe, a fable of ancient people that through repetition, fear, and power has been promoted as truth, to the point that even those that butter their bread through the promotion of the myth most often believe it themselves.

  58. on 07 Dec 2010 at 7:48 pm 58.Lightning Boy said …

    Any intellectual belittlement is of your own making Doug. You seem to be seraching for such evidence.

    The fact you still purport the claims of Christ are on the same level as FSM, Ra or Oden proves you have not done your due diligence. I don’t belittle those who have not done the research I only point out the issue.

    Obviously you do as you will. My observation has been communicated.

    Good Luck

  59. on 07 Dec 2010 at 7:56 pm 59.Lightning Boy said …

    Sorry Doug missed your point on hallucinations.

    There are no reports by the ancient scoffers, of which there were many. There exists no writings of such a phenomena in that day. You would have the burden of proof and it is lacking.

  60. on 07 Dec 2010 at 9:07 pm 60.Doug said …

    Um, why would I need reports of ancient scoffers?

    And besides, there were skeptics in ancient times, who did not believe in any religion(Epicurious comes immediately to mind) and those that followed their pagan religion and distained Christianity(the late 2nd century repression of Christians by the Roman empire who, in particular, feared the cannibalism aspect)

    Secondly…I’ve done my research. Just because I don’t believe in your cherished myth mean my research isn’t proper…well isn’t that a special version of no true Scottsman I’m quite sure a follower of Mohammad would say the same. Or a follow of Ra.

    If you have irrefutable proof that differentiates Christ compared to the others, you’d be a multi-millionare as there are plenty of people who would be willing to pay for that.

  61. on 07 Dec 2010 at 9:51 pm 61.Lightning Boy said …

    He may have been curious but he went by Epicurius. By ancient scoffers we refer to contemporaries…not those who lived hundreds of years later. Doug, really do yourself a favor and follow through on due diligence.

    Hagoonea’

  62. on 08 Dec 2010 at 12:56 am 62.dxt said …

    #51 Doug,

    What is misleading in my post? Your claims of 10,000 other deities dont come even close to the resurrection of Christ. Sure there are other non-Christian claims of “resurrections” out there but are completely unsubstantiated. Thats why historians call them “myths”. Their claims lack the evidence of any further serious inquiry.
    Christ, on the other hand, is the antithesis.
    Most scholars, 95% actually, concede to the following as historical facts:

    1) Jesus’ death by crucifixion
    2) Jesus’ disciples believed that he rose and appeared to them
    3) Paul, a persecutor of the church, has suddenly changed to faith in Jesus
    4) James, skeptical of Jesus during his ministry, was suddenly changed to faith in Jesus
    5) The tomb of Jesus was empty.

    With these historically established facts, how do you come to your “mythical” conclusion? These issues are why we are seriously talking about them today. How do you explain this, other than Christ did in fact, rise from the dead? We can deny them if we want, it doesn’t change the facts but if we dont, then one must give an explanation for them. What is yours?

  63. on 08 Dec 2010 at 1:19 am 63.dxt said …

    I forgot to tell you doug. The 95% number comes from data of the last 4 decades from french, german and english speaking scholars in all ranges from liberal to conservative and theist to atheist.

  64. on 08 Dec 2010 at 1:25 am 64.Hell Yeah said …

    #62/63

    So dxt, do the atheists make up the other 5%?

  65. on 08 Dec 2010 at 7:05 am 65.Severin said …

    95 dxt
    “Most scholars, 95% actually, concede to the following as historical facts:
    1) Jesus’ death by crucifixion
    2) Jesus’ disciples believed that he rose and appeared to them
    3) Paul, a persecutor of the church, has suddenly changed to faith in Jesus
    4) James, skeptical of Jesus during his ministry, was suddenly changed to faith in Jesus
    5) The tomb of Jesus was empty.”

    Which “scholars”? Source, names?
    Lies again? How deep you have inetention to go?

    Then, you are trying to „sell“ us as evidences:
    1) Something your „scholars concede“
    2) Something they concede that somebody believed
    3) The fact (?) that somebody suddenly turned to new religion
    4) Some sceptic turned to believer
    5) An empty tomb

    Are you naive, a dishonest lier who takes the rest of us idiots ready to swallow your “evidences“ without critical analysis, or just stupid?

  66. on 08 Dec 2010 at 7:17 am 66.Severin said …

    Sorry, the #65 is for #62 dxt

  67. on 08 Dec 2010 at 1:12 pm 67.dxt said …

    Severin,

    These simple facts ARE a result of critical analysis. Dr. Gary Habermas has spent 30+ years of his professional career examining the evidence of the resurrection in particular. He spent 10 of those years as a skeptic. He has catalogued a 500 page document on the positions held on all known scholars french, german and english from 1975 to present, liberal, conservative, skeptics, atheists and theists alike. These 5 facts I have stated are considered historically accurate by 95% of these scholars. He has written extensively on this subject and travels around the country teaching and debating these issues. These are facts within historic scholarship and these positions have been counted.

    All you had to do was ask severin instead of calling me a liar. If you deny these facts, you are simply on the radical fringe of less than 5% of all the scholars in this field. Don’t get your skivvies so bunched up over it.

  68. on 08 Dec 2010 at 3:21 pm 68.Severin said …

    67 dxt
    “These 5 facts I have stated are considered historically accurate by 95% of these scholars.“

    The FACTS one is able to recognize in your 5 lines are:

    1. Jesus was crucified.
    I do not deny it.
    But, there is NOTHING, at no place, telling us he DIED on the cross. There is something in the Bible, like: „when they saw he was dead…“, but about 1 billion (figuratively!) times in history of human race it happened that people THOUGHT that someone died, although he/she did NOT REALLY die.
    I know for such examples from my nearest neighborhood, and I am sure you know for many such examples too.
    If Jesus’ resurrection is SO important for Christianity, then something more than opinion af an illiterate, ignorant (and drunk) Roman centurion SHOULD NECESSARYLY confirm his DEATH (not his loss of consciousness, which a drunk centurion could easyly confuse with death!).
    His DEATH (which is crucial!) can NOT be taken as a FACT.

    2. Jesus’ disciples BELIEVED he rose from daeth.
    I do not deny they BELIEVED what they believed, which does not makes their beliefs REAL.
    They offere no evidences for their beliefs.
    I believed in Santa when I was 4! Then it turned there was no Santa!

    3. Paul changed his faith. Fine, maybe THAT is a fact (that he changed his faith).
    I do not deny he changed his faith.
    I only ask HOW does his changing of faith leads us to conclusion that Jesus rsurrected?
    Even HE (Paul) only BELIEVED it, he had no evidences!

    4. Same with Mr. James (see 3. for Mr. Paul)

    5. Tomb was empty. If empty tombs should lead us to conclusion that all their “owners” resurrected, we would have thousands of Jesuses today. Empty tomb does not tell us anything but that it was empty. There could be a lot of reasons for that. In no way an empty tomb (even if Jesus was in it a day ago) tells us that Jesus resurrected.
    IF he was put in that particular tomb (which was NOT historically proven, but let’s say it was), he probably recovered and just walked away.

    Point: NOTHING you said, and nothing ANYONE said, leads to CRUCIAL conclusion that Jesus was DAED after he was put off the cross.
    We can not conclude fact form hear-say! Especially not for as important facts as Jesus’ resurrection.

    When we come to REAL world, we could say: Jesus survived crucification (as many did), and walked away after he recovered.
    THAT holds water.

  69. on 08 Dec 2010 at 5:02 pm 69.Boz said …

    “Jesus survived crucification (as many did), and walked away after he recovered.”

    Really? many did? Can you provide some examples? Taking into the account the brutal method of execution I would like to read up on men who could survive such an ordeal.

  70. on 08 Dec 2010 at 6:35 pm 70.Doug said …

    DXT, I believe your 95% figure about as much as I believe in your god. In other words, I call it a falsehood.

  71. on 08 Dec 2010 at 6:44 pm 71.Doug said …

    Lightening boy, how stupid are you? How can there be scoffers until the myth has developed? Were there scoffers of alien abductuions in the 1790s? Epicurius lived hundreds of year BCE.

  72. on 08 Dec 2010 at 7:15 pm 72.dxt said …

    Doug,

    You are entitled to believe what you want……your opinion has no bearing on these issues. If you deny them thats fine I understand that, your an atheist.

  73. on 08 Dec 2010 at 7:26 pm 73.dxt said …

    Severin,

    Your “Jesus wasn’t dead” hypothesis has already been visited by scholars. In fact, there has been an innumerable amount of hypotheses that were taken into consideration. All these have failed at some point in there overall explanitory scope. That is why these scholars agree with these facts.

  74. on 08 Dec 2010 at 8:58 pm 74.Lightning Boy said …

    Doug,

    You are a tiresome one. There were scoffers during the life of the Christ and after the death of the Christ. My goodness you really need to do some research. Try to be a little epi-curious about the truth.

    Boz is correct.

    There are no reports of anyone surviving the crucifixion. Most who faced this execution had their legs broken so that they would die by crucifixion. The Christ had the added burden of sever beatings that could have easily have killed Him before facing the Christ. Such speculations of survival have no basis.

  75. on 08 Dec 2010 at 9:14 pm 75.Severin said …

    73 dxt
    Dead flesh (wood, microorganism…) can not live again.
    You don’t need any special evidences for that claim, just kill a fly or a moskito, and wait it to get alive again.
    Or plant a wooden chair leg and wait to get lieves. Water it well, and provide fertilizers!

    After life stops, so many IRREVERSIBLE chemical and biological processes occur in the dead body, in very short time, that no healing can start them again.
    What is dead, is dead!

    I do not exactly understand the word „scholars“. Is it „scientists“?
    I do not know ANY scientist (not 95%!) believing in possibility that someone dead (dead, one who was examined to be really DEAD, a man, a dog, a plant…) get alive again.
    I do not know anyone, and never heard about anyone having the slightest knowledge about chemistry and/or bilogy (average education, not „scholars“) who believed such a thing.
    I have many friends: orthodox Christians, Catholics, atheists, agnostics, ages from 40 to 83, some of them with university degrees, some with only high school. NONE of them (I „tested“ 8 of them) believes that anything REALLY DEAD (proved to be dead!) can get alive again.

    However, you claim Jesus came back from dead.
    Your „proves“ are in the Bible, the very same book claiming that god made man from dust, which is also IMPOSSIBLE. The very same book that “forgot” kangaroos in case of big flood. A book which maybe has some historical relevance, but knows NOTHING about chemistry, physics, math, geography, biolgy…
    A book which is TOTALLY IRRELEVANT in the a.m fields of scince.

    Then we go to circle, again:
    It is impossible, but god CAN do it.
    How do we know it?
    It is written in the Bible.
    Who wrote the Bible?
    PEOPLE „inspired by god“!
    WHAT exactly is writtenin the Bible about that topic? Some hear-say shit: someone BELIEVED something 2000 years ago, wrote it, and expected us, after 2000 years to take it for granted!!!
    Yes, I forgot: the tomb was empty!

  76. on 08 Dec 2010 at 9:35 pm 76.dxt said …

    Severin,

    You don’t have to agree that the Bible is inspired to get the resurrection. Scholars won’t assume it is. Its just another ancient document to them, in fact, you dont even need to assume it is historically reliable. If you believe that the Scriptures are just ancient documents you still get the resurrection, even without the Gospels. The Apostle Paul gives the information for the scholars to concede to the facts I have stated previously, he lays everything out for them in only 2 different books in 3 chapters total.

  77. on 08 Dec 2010 at 10:03 pm 77.Severin said …

    69 Boz
    You are right, I was hasty as always:
    I found only ONE example:
    “There is an ancient record of one person who survived a crucifixion that was intended to be lethal, but that was interrupted. Josephus recounts: “I saw many captives crucified, and remembered three of them as my former acquaintance. I was very sorry at this in my mind, and went with tears in my eyes to Titus, and told him of them; so he immediately commanded them to be taken down, and to have the greatest care taken of them, in order to their recovery; yet two of them died under the physician’s hands, while the third recovered.”[36] Josephus gives no details of the method or duration of the crucifixion of his three friends before their reprieve.

    Of course, that ONE is enough to prove it possible.
    While resurrection is biologycally/chemically impossible, it seems that your Jesus was the 2nd example.

    How long was he on the cross? A few hours?
    He survived.

    Of course, if you claim oposite, you have to prove it.

  78. on 08 Dec 2010 at 10:24 pm 78.Severin said …

    dxt
    “If you believe that the Scriptures are just ancient documents you still get the resurrection, even without the Gospels.”

    I don’t have RSURRECTION, I have what is WRITTEN about it in an irrelevant ancient book, with or without Gospels, which I do NOT trust.

    I do NOT trust drunk centurions, gods making people from dust, Paul who believed something 2,000 years ago, axpecting me to believe it today…

    I just DO NOT BELIEVE IT, because it is not in accordance with chemistry, biolgy, physics, my experance, experiance of billion other people, my common sense…
    You believe what you want.

    End.

  79. on 08 Dec 2010 at 10:34 pm 79.Severin said …

    74 LB
    “There are no reports of anyone surviving the crucifixion.”

    Yet, I found at least one!
    Enyone clever, knowing from TV/newspaper/books how dramatic accidens people survived (or “avaked” after years of being unconscious), could conclude that it was quite possible to survive srucification, especially if someone was anly a few hours on the cross.

    It is possible with or without examples.

    Resurrection is NOT possible without braking all possible laws of chemistry.

    Now, if you want us to believe resurrection, YOU have to do some research and provide evidences at least that such a thing is theoretically possible.

  80. on 08 Dec 2010 at 11:04 pm 80.dxt said …

    Severin,

    Paul WAS from 2,000 years ago and you don’t have to trust them to get the resurrection conclusion, drunk centurions or not. Severin, the resurrection was a supernatural event and does not fit inside the parameters of a naturalistic explanation. He is God severin, He has the authority to lay His life down and take it up again, whenever and wherever He wishes.

  81. on 08 Dec 2010 at 11:10 pm 81.Severin said …

    dxt. LB, Boz,

    “Curtius Rufus tells us that Alexander had 2000 citizens of Tyre crucified after he had conquered that city.”
    “The most dramatic example from Roman history may be the mass crucifixion of 6,000 gladiators and
    slaves at the end of the revolt of Spartacus (73-71 B.C.E.).”
    “The Jewish historian Flavius Josephus records two
    episodes of mass crucifixion from Israel.”
    “In 88 B.C.E. the Hasmonean king Alexander
    Jannaeus ordered 800 enemy captives crucified, while in the year 4 B.C.E., Quintilius Varus, the Roman
    officer in charge of the province of Syria, ordered
    the crucifixion of 2,000 Jews who had rebelled against Roman rule upon the death of King Herod.”

    “Later, during the Jewish revolt and war against the Romans from 66-70 C.E., the Roman commanders
    Vespasian and his son Titus both ordered crucifixion executions as public warnings and deterrents.”

    Who knows how many unrecorded survivals ocured among those 8,800+ examples of crucifixion?
    And, who knows how many unrecorded crucifixions really happened. Maybe hundreds of thousands.
    Who cared for Jews and slaves?!

    Whatever you might say, surviving crucifixion WAS POSSIBLE.

    Jesus survived.

  82. on 08 Dec 2010 at 11:13 pm 82.Severin said …

    80 dxt
    “Severin, the resurrection was a supernatural event and does not fit inside the parameters of a naturalistic explanation. He is God severin, He has the authority to lay His life down and take it up again, whenever and wherever He wishes.”

    Sorry, I do not believe in god. I do not believe in anything supernatural, as I told many times before.

    This “discussion” is senseless.

  83. on 08 Dec 2010 at 11:14 pm 83.anti_supernaturalist said …

    Start with one paranoid schizophrenic . . .

    That’s so easy. . .schizophrenia occurs in about 1% of the population worldwide. Its uniform cross-cultural and diachronic distribution point to its now well-established genetic origin.

    Saul of Tarsus (fl 50-60 CE) like Mohamed, like Francis of Assisi suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. Each gets assailed by his own inner delusions of self aggrandizement and torture by his inner demons.

    Schizophrenics believe that they are gods, or Supermen having unlimited power. Or, they hear God. “His” voice beamed directly into their minds. Demonic voices criticize them and urge them to suicide.

    Religious thinking also appears as a symptom. Saul of Tarsus after a mental breakdown “realized” that he had to sell a new faith in “Christ” to rubes and fools outside of an already credulous and superstitious group of know-nothings, the jews.

    The insane story now launched, sixty year later (110 CE) “John” of the 4th so-called gospel perverted a Stoic doctrine of a rational “Logos”, positing “Christ” as an eternally divine neo-platonic entity emanating from the 1-god of an emerging mystical trend that would culminate in the philosophy of Plotinus (205-270 CE).

    As for “Jesus”? He is a wholly fictional character — an example of the well-known hellenistic jewish genre of historical character created from nothing but ideological propaganda. Other non-existent personas are those of Daniel (who defies a foreign king) and Judith (who beheads a non-existent enemy general).

    So…all the blather about what happened to Jesus on the Roman oppressor’s cross presupposes that the xian narrative contains some truth however mangled — in fact, “Jesus” existed no more than did “Daniel” or “Judith”. Dying and reviving gods are a dime-a-dozen across the planet as symbol of Spring’s fecundity and Autumn’s death and slow decay.

    the anti_supernaturalist

  84. on 08 Dec 2010 at 11:17 pm 84.dxt said …

    Severin,

    Out of your supposed theory of “unrecorded survivals”, how many had marched around for 40 days claiming they had been gloriously risen from the dead after being buried for 3 days? How many were speared through the heart while on the roman cross?

  85. on 08 Dec 2010 at 11:28 pm 85.dxt said …

    #83,

    You have been seriously misinformed regarding your long winded non-sense. Your argument is indeed old and worn out and even skeptical scholars today will tell you that. Did you not read post 62?

  86. on 09 Dec 2010 at 2:08 am 86.Hell Yeah said …

    “How many were speared through the heart while on the roman cross?”

    Even Jesus wasn’t, whether the story is even made up or not. He was pierced in the side. Where does it say heart?

    And dxt, you keep claiming scholars. Which scholars and what is your source?

    I have no problem believing historical facts as being possible, as long as they don’t involve something supernatural. Anything involving the supernatural is basically tossed out the window as being true as far as the supernatural aspect of it goes.

  87. on 09 Dec 2010 at 2:45 am 87.dxt said …

    Hy,

    I have given you my source in one of my previous posts. These “scholars” im talking about are mainstream critical New Testament and historical scholars. These aren’t the fly by night self proclaimed individuals.

    I understand the text says Jesus was pierced through His side. It also says that when that happened “blood and water flowed out” signifying that the thin fluid filled membrane around the heart was pierced, also known as pericardial effusion. This obviously occured from the physical trauma He recieved through the scourging and crucifiction. So yes, He was pierced through the heart.

    “I have no problem believing historical facts as being possible, as long as they don’t involve something supernatural. Anything involving the supernatural is basically tossed out the window as being true as far as the supernatural aspect of it goes.”

    Then you will never come to a rational explanation of these facts and thats your choice. Thats why these scholars concede to the issues because they can not explain them other than Jesus rose from the dead. I understand this might be a hard pill to swallow for alot of people but instead of humbly admitting that this is the reason, they fight with extreme defiance so much that they will except irrationality over yet another proof for the existence of God. According to Scripture, this is the fundamental issue of mankind.

  88. on 09 Dec 2010 at 3:17 am 88.Boz said …

    “You are right, I was hasty as always:
    I found only ONE example:”

    Severin hasty is your game. Jesus crucifixion was NOT interrupted, it was completed. Not only did you not find an example, you found one of a man who was not scourged the way Christ was BEFORE being crucified. Your example does not prove it possible, it proves it impossible. Maybe you could find some proof Jesus survived the crucifixion? I have written records he did not. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

    I must say it is pleasing to see you NOW buy into Josepheus accounts of history. Maybe when it only fits your brash assertions?

  89. on 09 Dec 2010 at 7:31 am 89.Severin said …

    84 dxt
    “how many had marched around for 40 days claiming they had been gloriously risen from the dead after being buried for 3 days?”

    None.
    They would not want to talk lies.

  90. on 09 Dec 2010 at 7:37 am 90.Severin said …

    89 dxt

    Back to lies?
    Spear in heart? “Side” = “heart”?
    And mentioned in only one of 5 gospels?

  91. on 09 Dec 2010 at 8:24 am 91.Severin said …

    Boz,

    You may do and what you want, but:

    a) To survive very severe injuries is possible and happens every day. Watch TV?
    b) Resurrection is not possible, because it defies natural laws

  92. on 09 Dec 2010 at 8:25 am 92.Severin said …

    Correction to #91:

    You may do and say what you want…

  93. on 09 Dec 2010 at 8:58 am 93.Sid said …

    #6 hell ya

    thanks for apreciatin ma coment! You luk confused to me. How do you say that you dont believe in the bible and still put your screen name as ‘HELL’ YA isint the HELL a concept from the bible? If you belive in HELL how can you not belive in God? which is the princple discussion of the bible ? Another thing ,most people(like you) feel that the concept of God cannot be explained with science .When i said god is the most existing thing i meant it. Let me tell you that he exists in the smallests of the electrons,mesons ,neutrinos and as well the mighty stars , quassars and the galaxies. He provided the energy for the big bang and he will provide the energy for the big crunch! GOD AND SCIENCE ARE NEVER TWO DIFFERENT THINGS. If you feel that God lives out there in the sky ,grow up my friend he is all around. He does not have any specific form .HE IS IN EVERYTHING AND EVERYTHING IS IN HIM .Including YOU even if you dont believe in him .You say that you dont believe in him and still think about him while denying his existing .HE IS IN YOUR THOUGHTS. If you r thinking i cant explain God with a scientific base ur wrong. I can tell you how everything works . Provided you r keen to know the truth. THE ULTIMATE TRUTH. I can turn you into an atheist my friend! ARE YOU WILLING TO FACE IT?

  94. on 09 Dec 2010 at 12:58 pm 94.Hell Yeah said …

    #93 Sid

    I look confused? Far from it. And just because my screen name is Hell Yeah, doesn’t mean I believe in hell. LOL. You ever hear of expressions? That is one someone shouts when they are excited about something. When someone is pissed off or upset, they will shout God Damn It or Jesus Christ or Christ. Doesn’t mean they believe in Christ. Also, one could choose a screen name sarcastically. I feel like I am trying to explain something to a 10 year old.

    ——

    “I can tell you how everything works . Provided you r keen to know the truth. THE ULTIMATE TRUTH. I can turn you into an atheist my friend! ARE YOU WILLING TO FACE IT?”

    I have already heard it all, and you are just brainwashed to think that is how it works. By the way, I am already an atheist. LOL

  95. on 09 Dec 2010 at 1:50 pm 95.Sid said …

    This 1s for hell ya

    Oh ! i ment turn u from an atheist that was a mistake.

    You kno what i feel abt u . U are just an adamant person . All you are doing is trying to prove yourself right! U ARE NOT CURIOUS ABOUT KNOWING THE REALITY. I told u that i can prove u that exists . OKAY HERE IS A CALLENGE – You try n prove to me that God does not exists while i try n prove u that he does! LETS SEE WHO WINS!

  96. on 09 Dec 2010 at 1:58 pm 96.rael said …

    this should be an inreresting exchange!

    I look forward to Sid’s proof!

  97. on 09 Dec 2010 at 2:59 pm 97.I don't believe in atheist said …

    HY,

    You are a very confused young man. To not believe in Christ is to deny 30,000 manuscripts documenting Christ and His existence. You are here because you are searching for more. This is why atheist argue and deny the existence of Christ even though we have more ancient documents of His existence than of any other person. Let down you guard and humble yourself before the living God.

  98. on 10 Dec 2010 at 2:33 pm 98.Doug said …

    Lightening Boy

    “There are no reports by the ancient scoffers, of which there were many. There exists no writings of such a phenomena in that day. You would have the burden of proof and it is lacking”

    then

    “There were scoffers during the life of the Christ and after the death of the Christ. My goodness you really need to do some research’

    So you say their are no reports, then you say there were scoffers and I need to do my research?
    Am I not supposed to notice the weasel contradiction here?

    I am tiresome because I notice these gambits.

  99. on 10 Dec 2010 at 4:02 pm 99.rael said …

    Sid, where have you gone!

    I was looking forward to more cogent argument

  100. on 10 Dec 2010 at 5:22 pm 100.james said …

    anyone who wants to talk more in depth about christ and our god then email me. i was once someone who really questioned god and he saved me. he opened my eyes up and i am living proof that our god is real. god bless!

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