But I just understand how the others may not be as convincing to some people, however I think the moral and the historical evidence for Jesus stand very strong and I am more then willing to interact on those if you all would like. But to further answer the question these two arguments I have just named, if those were logically, truthfully, and coherently disproved I would have a lot to rethink.
Lets assume for a moment that Jesus did exist, that physically there was a man in that region at that time. The historical evidence for even that is sketchy, but I will give you that. I will also give you that if he did exist, his teachings were generally moral. There are exceptions to that, but largely I would consider the tradition of Jesus to be "moral".
The thing is... at what point does that prove the existence of God? I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that a man who occasionally goes by the name of Garja online, currently lives in South-Central Ohio, behaves morally, loves his family, teaches children and wants the best for society. Garja stands in front of a rapt audience 180 days a year for 45 minute sermons 6 times a day. His teachings are moral, they talk frequently about the sins of those in the past and how men and women can move beyond that while recognizing how those past decisions effect us today. Garja has spoken with thieves, drug dealers, gang members,rapists and drug dealers and approached them as equals, but equals who lacked the ability to lead moral lives.
At what point does being moral equate divinity?
I think you ask a good question, but I'm going to present a bit of quotes I think are very significant to the topic. I have tried to represent different views But you can give your responses.
“I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene. Jesus is too colossal for the pen of phrase-mongers, however artful¡¨. He further added: “No man can read the gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life. Theseus and other heroes of his type lack the authentic vitality of Jesus.” — Einstein – Scientist and Mathematician
“I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and myself founded empires; but what foundation did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded an empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for Him.” — Napoleon (French General, Politician and Emperor (1804-14). 1769-1821)
“A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act.” — Mahatma Gandhi, Indian political leader (1869-1948
“I am an historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history.” — H.G. Wells, British author (1866-1946)
“In his own lifetime Jesus made no impact on history. This is something that I cannot but regard as a special dispensation on God’s part, and, I like to think, yet another example of the ironical humour which informs so many of his purposes. To me, it seems highly appropriate that the most important figure in all history should thus escape the notice of memoirists, diarists, commentators, all the tribe of chroniclers who even then existed.” — Malcolm Muggeridge, British journalist (1903-90)
“Jesus Christ was an extremist for love, truth and goodness.” — Martin Luther King Jr., American civil rights leader (1929-68)
Jesus Christ is to me the outstanding personality of all time, all history, both as Son of God and as Son of Man. Everything he ever said or did has value for us today and that is something you can say of no other man, dead or alive. There is no easy middle ground to stroll upon. You either accept Jesus or reject him. --Sholem Asch
I accept the resurrection of Easter Sunday not as an invention of the community of disciples, but as a historical event. If the resurrection of Jesus from the dead on that Easter Sunday were a public event which had been made known...not only to the 530 Jewish witnesses but to the entire population, all Jews would have become followers of Jesus. --Pinchas Lapide, Orthodox Jewish scholar, Germany (born 1922)
Because Christianity’s influence is so pervasive throughout much of the world, it is easy to forget how radical its beliefs once were. Jesus’ resurrection forever changed Christians’ view of death. Rodney Stark, sociologist at the University of Washington, points out that when a major plague hit the ancient Roman Empire, Christians had surprisingly high survival rates. Why? Most Roman citizens would banish any plague-stricken person from their household. But because Christians had no fear of death, they nursed their sick instead of throwing them out on the streets. Therefore, many Christians survived the plague. --“2000 Years of Jesus” by Kenneth L. Woodward, NEWSWEEK, March 29, 1999, p. 55.
I know the brutality and the cruelties of war better than many people. Now I want to work for peace. But how can mankind achieve a lasting peace? True peace of heart, mind, and soul can only come through Jesus Christ.Mitsuo Fuchida Navy Captain (Japanese; commanded air strike against Pearl Harbor in 1941)
Ernst Bloch German Marxist Philosopher It wasn't the morality of the Sermon on the Mount which enabled Christianity to conquer Roman paganism, but the belief that Jesus had been raised from the dead. In an age when Roman senators vied to see who could get the most blood of a steer on their togas - thinking that would prevent death - Christianity was in competition for eternal life, not morality. April, 1996 Newswe
Sir Lionel Luckhoo Trial Lawyer (won a world-record 245 murder acquittals in a row, making him the most successful lawyer in the world, according to The Guinness book of World Records) I say unequivocally that the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ is so overwhelming that it compels acceptance by proof which leaves absolutely no room for doubt. 1998 "God's Outrageous Claims" by Lee Strobel
The ordinary group of worshipping Christians, as the preacher sees them from the pulpit, does not look like a collection of very joyful people, in fact, they look on the whole rather sad, tired, depressed people. It is certain that such people will never win the world for Christ... It is no use trying to pretend: we may speak of joy and preach about it: but, unless we really have the joy of Christ in our hearts and manifest it, our words will carry no conviction to our hearers. Stephen Neill (1900-1984)
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
? C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
To the Christian, love is the works of love. To say that love is a feeling or anything of the kind is really an un-Christian conception of love. That is the aesthetic definition and therefore fits the erotic and everything of that nature. But to the Christian, love is the works of love. Christ's love was not an inner feeling, a full heart and what-not: it was the work of love which was his life. Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855
I will finally stop here and talk for a moment about the author of this last quote here I think most of you know him maybe, maybe not. But I won't to show you another quote of his, this is geared to this whole hiddeness of God, and when I said I don't think he is hidden at all, I meant at this point in time for me. Because before he was hidden to me in just about every way possible. I tend to agree with newton when he said god is revealed in two books the Bible, and the book of nature or science. I think God reveals himself in more ways though not restricted to these two, but personally I think it is set up brilliantly by God that we can explore the science, mathematics, logic, and other principles of the universe. In this sense he has hidden himself in the universe, so we can use our intelligence to discover the intellect and truth God displays in the universe. So I believe he reveals himself through the Bible, through personal revelation, or through his creation. I don't see how God could be loving if he forced us to believe in him? I need to start a thread for a few things, one geared towards intelligent design and evolution, one on whether the Bible is reliable or not, and finally one more specifically Jesus and whether or not what he said was true.
God is not like a human being; it is not important for God to have visible evidence so that he can see if his cause has been victorious or not; he sees in secret just as well. Moreover, it is so far from being the case that you should help God to learn anew that it is rather he who will help you to learn anew, so that you are weaned from the worldly point of view that insists on visible evidence. (...) A decision in the external sphere is what Christianity does not want; (...) rather it wants to test the individual’s faith."1847 Kierkegaard
Sorry I know these are older I'm going to respond to newer ones next mainly, the question on animals and humans and how different they are. My next reply will come faster sorry school is starting to pile up.