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Offline Matthieu

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What do these people have in common?
« on: December 23, 2013, 11:49:30 PM »
What do da Vinci, Galileo, Newton, Tolstoy, Martin Luther King Jr., Kierkegaard, C.S. Lewis, Francis Collins, Nelson Mandela, all 44 U.S. Presidents, and billions and billions of people from every racial, ethnic, national, and political category imaginable have in common? Let us also include men and women from nearly every conceivable profession. Yes, the list of Christians includes some of the brightest and most successful people who have ever lived.

Now, tell me how it is that so many virtuous and brilliant people have been duped by the so-called fallacy of the divinity of Christ? I submit that many, many rational minds have, as the result of careful study and thought, arrived at the conclusion that Jesus Christ is, in fact, the son of God.

Most of the posts on this forum could lead one to conclude that the body of Christians is nothing more than a population of rubes. Please, may we not begin our conversations with that assumption?

Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: What do these people have in common?
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2013, 11:58:06 PM »
 Funny how some of those 44 presidents were nothing more than war-mongers,and the very people who shot and killed Martin Luther King and imprisoned Mandela and subverted both MLK and Mandela and the race of people of the African heritage  were "Christians"

 As for the early scientists,it was be a Christian or die,was it not?
« Last Edit: December 23, 2013, 11:59:53 PM by 12 Monkeys »
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Offline Astreja

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Re: What do these people have in common?
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2013, 12:00:41 AM »
Well, Matthieu, the first question I have for you is this:  Given that there is considerable diversity of belief within Christianity itself, and given that people may participate in a religion purely for the sake of fitting in, please name any one element of Christian belief that directly influenced the work of all of the named individuals.
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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: What do these people have in common?
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2013, 12:07:55 AM »
I'm not quite sure what the fallacy of the divinity of christ is. Well, I know what those words mean, but I've never heard the term before. I didn't become an atheist because of it. So you are making some assumptions here that may not be appropriate. Well, that are not appropriate.

I do not limit my atheism to your god. I apply it to all past, present and future gods. So the list of folks I disagree with is far longer than the one you proposed.  And unless one or more of those gods can actually show up, instead of relying on old stories as proof of their existence, I ain't gonna buy any of the myths.

If you want to be another groupie, that's your option. Just don't expect that because you think it is true that everyone else will agree with you. And don't expect that if you agree with a lot of people that all of you must be right.

Just jumping on the bandwagon is no guarantee that it will take you where you want to go.
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: What do these people have in common?
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2013, 01:09:13 AM »
They share a god with David Koresh, Jim Jones, Adolf Hitler, Fred Phelps, Marshall Appelwaite, Sun Myung Moon, the Duck Dynasty Fakers, The Ku Klux Klan, Jim Bakker, The Teaparty, and on and on...
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline mhaberling

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Re: What do these people have in common?
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2013, 01:27:28 AM »
Matheiu...

Throughout the span of time there has been good Christians and Bad Christians, Intelligent Christians and Stupid Christians. I don't know if we could add up the good and subtract the bad and then come to a conclusion about the reality of Christianity.
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: What do these people have in common?
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2013, 03:25:25 AM »
What do da Vinci, Galileo, Newton, Tolstoy, Martin Luther King Jr., Kierkegaard, C.S. Lewis, Francis Collins, Nelson Mandela, all 44 U.S. Presidents, and billions and billions of people from every racial, ethnic, national, and political category imaginable have in common? Let us also include men and women from nearly every conceivable profession. Yes, the list of Christians includes some of the brightest and most successful people who have ever lived.

Now, tell me how it is that so many virtuous and brilliant people have been duped by the so-called fallacy of the divinity of Christ? I submit that many, many rational minds have, as the result of careful study and thought, arrived at the conclusion that Jesus Christ is, in fact, the son of God.

You'd need to prove that, of course, for the billions.  Because my experience is that around 95% of believers believe because they were brought up in a faith, had it programmed in to them from childhood, and just never seriously thought about it at all.   

You also seem to assume that someone who is clever and successful is necessarily able to apply their skills to all aspects of their lives.  So we should therefore assume that a person who is succesful at science, lets say, should also inevitably be:

1) A wow with the ladies.
2) A snappy dresser.
3) Financially astute.
4) Socially balanced, a great raconteur, life and soul of the party, good with children.
5) Equally adept at law, english literature, and baseball.
6) An accomplished artist and musician.

Because that is what you are saying here - that brilliance in one field is automatically transferrable in every respect to another aspect of life.
Most of the posts on this forum could lead one to conclude that the body of Christians is nothing more than a population of rubes. Please, may we not begin our conversations with that assumption?


Most of the posts on this forum could lead one to conclude that the body of Christians is nothing more than a population of rubes.

And that's the flipside of what you are saying above.  If brilliance MUST mean a considered acceptance of Christianity, then you must also accept that anyone who has in any way failed - who is in any way NOT brilliant - must clearly have NOT been able to rationally consider Christianity.

Which - by any measure of intelligence - must mean that 50% of Christians at least never really thought about their faith.  And given that you said "brightest and most successful people" you are probably only asserting that maybe 1% of Christians are Christian through decision, rather than Christian through accident of birth and docile acceptance - which I don't think is the point you wanted to make!

Final thought:

Most of the posts on this forum could lead one to conclude that the body of Christians is nothing more than a population of rubes. Please, may we not begin our conversations with that assumption?

You may not have meant those last few lines to say what they actually said….but if you really want us to begin our conversations on the assumption that most Christians are rubes….well, okay!  ;)
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline shnozzola

Re: What do these people have in common?
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2013, 07:04:21 AM »
Welcome Mathieu,

 Let me wish you a merry Christmas. 

Now, many atheists are agnostic, as am I.  As I have gone through life searching for truth, I have arrived at a point where the argument for the existence of god has been outweighed as I learn more and more about the universe, and the history of life and the  inhabitants on our little planet.


I have no way of knowing whether there is any god, allah, zeus, etc. (google the list sometime) My intention is to respect the views of harmless individuals no matter what they believe.  How could I be sure - and that is the point - the people who are sure, look at what they have done and  continue to do. 


Even now a new member named "atheists are scum" is walking the halls.  I hope he doesn't have a gun.  I am sure he could find a passage allowing him to use it on atheists.  You, on the other hand, being a good cafeteria Christian, may ignore those passages and concentrate on the parable of the good samaritan.  That makes you hopefully safe to, say, Taoists, Buddhists,  followers of Confucianism, and Hindus, just to name several of our brothers and sisters around the world.


My guess is the brilliant people ( I am certainly not one of them, possibly a B student on my best days) you cited above also looked at the landscape and realized "being sure" isn't well thought out and leads to wars and all sorts of merriment.

Question for you - there are many atheists that think Jesus himself is a myth, and there is good historical evidence to raise the question - search back through the arguments here.  There is also a  group called Atheists for Jesus, who don't believe in a god but do "get" the message of love and think a real person named Jesus existed.
Jesus himself said over and over, I am the son of man.  That phrase gets used many ways, but, for yourself, if you learned that the truth was - Jesus was not the son of god  - how would that effect your life?
« Last Edit: December 24, 2013, 08:36:59 AM by shnozzola »
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Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: What do these people have in common?
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2013, 09:46:43 AM »
What do da Vinci, Galileo, Newton, Tolstoy, Martin Luther King Jr., Kierkegaard, C.S. Lewis, Francis Collins, Nelson Mandela, all 44 U.S. Presidents, and billions and billions of people from every racial, ethnic, national, and political category imaginable have in common? Let us also include men and women from nearly every conceivable profession. Yes, the list of Christians includes some of the brightest and most successful people who have ever lived.

Now, tell me how it is that so many virtuous and brilliant people have been duped by the so-called fallacy of the divinity of Christ? I submit that many, many rational minds have, as the result of careful study and thought, arrived at the conclusion that Jesus Christ is, in fact, the son of God.

Most of the posts on this forum could lead one to conclude that the body of Christians is nothing more than a population of rubes. Please, may we not begin our conversations with that assumption?

You raise an interesting point.  As a Christian theist I have no problem with accepting Jesus the Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. 

Where I am confused is what is the purpose of the point?  Are you meaning that because a large number of people (great and small) have embraced Christianity, that Jesus Christ is, in fact, the son of God? 

Ever curious,

OldChurchGuy
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Offline Jontom10

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Re: What do these people have in common?
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2013, 10:41:22 AM »
Intelligent, brilliant people can be stupid too.
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Offline Matthieu

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Re: What do these people have in common?
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2013, 11:08:28 AM »
Given that there is considerable diversity of belief within Christianity itself, and given that people may participate in a religion purely for the sake of fitting in, please name any one element of Christian belief that directly influenced the work of all of the named individuals.

Astreja, I don't pretend to know the hearts of people I've never met. I can only assume that the central message that Christ delivered is common to all who believe. That is, to paraphrase, love thy God and love thy neighbor.

Offline Willie

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Re: What do these people have in common?
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2013, 11:49:14 AM »
Astreja, I don't pretend to know the hearts of people I've never met. I can only assume that the central message that Christ delivered is common to all who believe. That is, to paraphrase, love thy God and love thy neighbor.

That last part is frequently absent, or at least very selective. Sometimes spectacularly so.

Offline Matthieu

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Re: What do these people have in common?
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2013, 02:11:41 PM »
You'd need to prove that, of course, for the billions.  Because my experience is that around 95% of believers believe because they were brought up in a faith, had it programmed in to them from childhood, and just never seriously thought about it at all.   

I would say that a majority of non-believers don't believe because that is the way they were brought up. And they remain in their unbelief not as a result of honest investigation and a suspension of doubt, but because humans are strangely complacent about such an important subject. As Screwtape pointed out, “It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things into their minds: in reality our best work is done by keeping things out.”

You also seem to assume that someone who is clever and successful is necessarily able to apply their skills to all aspects of their lives.  So we should therefore assume that a person who is succesful at science, lets say, should also inevitably be:

1) A wow with the ladies.
2) A snappy dresser.
3) Financially astute.
4) Socially balanced, a great raconteur, life and soul of the party, good with children.
5) Equally adept at law, english literature, and baseball.
6) An accomplished artist and musician.

I said nothing about "all aspects of one's life." I said that smart people have come to a rational conclusion that Christianity is true.


Offline Matthieu

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Re: What do these people have in common?
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2013, 02:15:04 PM »
They share a god with David Koresh, Jim Jones, Adolf Hitler, Fred Phelps, Marshall Appelwaite, Sun Myung Moon, the Duck Dynasty Fakers, The Ku Klux Klan, Jim Bakker, The Teaparty, and on and on...

It would be silly to fault the science of medicine because most of us don't understand it very well or even misuse it.

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: What do these people have in common?
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2013, 02:36:20 PM »

I said nothing about "all aspects of one's life." I said that smart people have come to a rational conclusion that Christianity is true.

The important thing is that I haven't fallen for the gibberish. And it appears to be important to you that you have. What's the issue?
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Offline Matthieu

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Re: What do these people have in common?
« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2013, 03:50:39 PM »
They share a god with David Koresh, Jim Jones, Adolf Hitler, Fred Phelps, Marshall Appelwaite, Sun Myung Moon, the Duck Dynasty Fakers, The Ku Klux Klan, Jim Bakker, The Teaparty, and on and on...

The Tea Party seems a bit out of place there.

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: What do these people have in common?
« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2013, 03:53:30 PM »
They share a god with David Koresh, Jim Jones, Adolf Hitler, Fred Phelps, Marshall Appelwaite, Sun Myung Moon, the Duck Dynasty Fakers, The Ku Klux Klan, Jim Bakker, The Teaparty, and on and on...

The Tea Party seems a bit out of place there.

You're right. It should have been at the beginning of the sentence, not the end.
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline Astreja

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Re: What do these people have in common?
« Reply #17 on: December 24, 2013, 03:58:32 PM »
Given that there is considerable diversity of belief within Christianity itself, and given that people may participate in a religion purely for the sake of fitting in, please name any one element of Christian belief that directly influenced the work of all of the named individuals.

Astreja, I don't pretend to know the hearts of people I've never met. I can only assume that the central message that Christ delivered is common to all who believe. That is, to paraphrase, love thy God and love thy neighbor.

I don't see any actual function for the "love thy God" part, and one does not have to believe in gods to love one's neighbour.
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: What do these people have in common?
« Reply #18 on: December 24, 2013, 04:12:27 PM »
I said nothing about "all aspects of one's life." I said that smart people have come to a rational conclusion that Christianity is true.

And I said - prove it.  Otherwise it's your baseless assertion that because they were smart in other fields, they carefully examined Christianity and found it to be true.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Graybeard

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Re: What do these people have in common?
« Reply #19 on: December 24, 2013, 04:21:27 PM »
What do da Vinci, Galileo, Newton, Tolstoy, Martin Luther King Jr., Kierkegaard, C.S. Lewis, Francis Collins, Nelson Mandela, all 44 U.S. Presidents, and billions and billions of people from every racial, ethnic, national, and political category imaginable have in common? Let us also include men and women from nearly every conceivable profession. Yes, the list of Christians includes some of the brightest and most successful people who have ever lived.

Now, tell me how it is that so many virtuous and brilliant people have been duped by the so-called fallacy of the divinity of Christ? I submit that many, many rational minds have, as the result of careful study and thought, arrived at the conclusion that Jesus Christ is, in fact, the son of God.

Most of the posts on this forum could lead one to conclude that the body of Christians is nothing more than a population of rubes. Please, may we not begin our conversations with that assumption?

Dear me, you are the simpleton aren't you. Christians, today, are famous for not thinking. They  just cannot resist putting forth the most ridiculous arguments in support of their invisible friend who does nothing.

Do you seriously believe that the argument that you have put forward is in any way logical or convincing?

Look. I am going to be generous and assume that you are aged about 12. You will find that as you grow up and learn, that it is best to test arguments before you put them into print.

Welcome to WWGHA. I hope your stay is informative and pleasant.

Listen up, here is the deal: you post here "I am sorry, I realise now that my argument is completely stupid and proves absolutely nothing. I need to think about things more critically." and I donate, via PayPal $10 to your local church. I will include a message to the pastor/priest/vicar/witchdoctor to the effect that he should be doing a better job.

OK - there's your challenge. What do you say?

If you don't want to do that. Respond to this post and I will tell you why you are simply not thinking and why the body of Christians is nothing more than a population of rubes.



« Last Edit: December 24, 2013, 04:37:23 PM by Graybeard »
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Offline Matthieu

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Re: What do these people have in common?
« Reply #20 on: December 24, 2013, 04:31:26 PM »
I said nothing about "all aspects of one's life." I said that smart people have come to a rational conclusion that Christianity is true.

And I said - prove it.  Otherwise it's your baseless assertion that because they were smart in other fields, they carefully examined Christianity and found it to be true.

Well, C.S. Lewis, for example, documented his own conversion and understanding of Christianity in a pretty detailed manner. It's called Mere Christianity. Among other credentials, he chaired the department of Mediaeval and Renaissance Literature at Oxford.

Theodore Roosevelt worked as a missionary, gave sermons at Harvard, and wrote about his beliefs in Christian publications.

Men like Mandela and King demonstrated their beliefs through speeches and more importantly, actions. King insisted that the civil rights movement be advanced in a non-violent way because of his Christian beliefs.

Offline Matthieu

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Re: What do these people have in common?
« Reply #21 on: December 24, 2013, 04:57:47 PM »
What do da Vinci, Galileo, Newton, Tolstoy, Martin Luther King Jr., Kierkegaard, C.S. Lewis, Francis Collins, Nelson Mandela, all 44 U.S. Presidents, and billions and billions of people from every racial, ethnic, national, and political category imaginable have in common? Let us also include men and women from nearly every conceivable profession. Yes, the list of Christians includes some of the brightest and most successful people who have ever lived.

Now, tell me how it is that so many virtuous and brilliant people have been duped by the so-called fallacy of the divinity of Christ? I submit that many, many rational minds have, as the result of careful study and thought, arrived at the conclusion that Jesus Christ is, in fact, the son of God.

Most of the posts on this forum could lead one to conclude that the body of Christians is nothing more than a population of rubes. Please, may we not begin our conversations with that assumption?

I admit, that's pretty funny.

Listen up, here is the deal: you post here "I am sorry, I realise now that my argument is completely stupid and proves absolutely nothing. I need to think about things more critically." and I donate, via PayPal $10 to your local church. I will include a message to the pastor/priest/vicar/witchdoctor to the effect that he should be doing a better job.

Glad you caught the question mark. It undermined your comment a little.

OK - there's your challenge. What do you say?

Ok, ready. I'm still trying to get my legs under me, so take it easy.

If you don't want to do that. Respond to this post and I will tell you why you are simply not thinking and why the body of Christians is nothing more than a population of rubes.

<<ModEd - Sorted quotes>>
« Last Edit: December 25, 2013, 02:21:12 AM by Anfauglir »

Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: What do these people have in common?
« Reply #22 on: December 24, 2013, 08:57:12 PM »
Matth care to explain as I had asked why the oppressors of people like MLK and Mandela were Christians doing what they thought was right?
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: What do these people have in common?
« Reply #23 on: December 25, 2013, 02:18:38 AM »
I said that smart people have come to a rational conclusion that Christianity is true.

And I said - prove it.  Otherwise it's your baseless assertion that because they were smart in other fields, they carefully examined Christianity and found it to be true.

Well, C.S. Lewis, for example, documented his own conversion and understanding of Christianity in a pretty detailed manner. It's called Mere Christianity. Among other credentials, he chaired the department of Mediaeval and Renaissance Literature at Oxford.

That's one, I'll give you that for sake of argument.

Theodore Roosevelt worked as a missionary, gave sermons at Harvard, and wrote about his beliefs in Christian publications.

Men like Mandela and King demonstrated their beliefs through speeches and more importantly, actions. King insisted that the civil rights movement be advanced in a non-violent way because of his Christian beliefs.

...but not those.  Your point was that successful and brilliant men carefully and logically researched Christianity and concluded it was correct.  Your three examples there do NOT demonstrate that point.  It shows they had beliefs that they acted on - it does NOT show that:
...as the result of careful study and thought, arrived at the conclusion that Jesus Christ is, in fact, the son of God.

Nor does it go any way towards supporting your wild assertion that:
billions and billions of people .....so many virtuous and brilliant people .....many, many rational minds have, as the result of careful study and thought, arrived at the conclusion that Jesus Christ is, in fact, the son of God.

As Greybeard says, you've made a silly and rather juvenile assertion, which you have no way of backing up.  That lots of otherwise brilliant people are and have been Christians I do not dispute.  What I DO dispute is your assertion that any brilliant man who is also a Christian has always become one as the result of careful study and thought.

BYW - I'll add $10 to Greybeard's offer if you take it up.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline albeto

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Re: What do these people have in common?
« Reply #24 on: December 25, 2013, 03:33:16 AM »
I said nothing about "all aspects of one's life." I said that smart people have come to a rational conclusion that Christianity is true.

Objectively speaking, this cannot be considered a rational decision. To decide to be a Christian requires to decide to believe some things in faith. That is to say, they accept as true ideas which have no evidence to support them as being true. Additionally, information increasingly exposes Christian (and all theistic) beliefs to be incorrect. The rational conclusion can only be to acknowledge the lack of information. Belief only works when the information that explains reality is missing. Those who willfully choose to ignore available information, who willfully choose to neglect teaching their children available information, are not being rational. They are making decisions based on emotional desires, not a rational, critical analysis of the facts. Those who have been neglected, are victims of the clergy, who exist only to support the infrastructure that supports clergy.

Offline skeptic54768

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Re: What do these people have in common?
« Reply #25 on: December 26, 2013, 11:50:21 AM »
Objectively speaking, this cannot be considered a rational decision. To decide to be a Christian requires to decide to believe some things in faith. That is to say, they accept as true ideas which have no evidence to support them as being true.

Like atheists with abiogenesis?

*cue Jeopardy music*
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Offline Angus and Alexis

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Re: What do these people have in common?
« Reply #26 on: December 26, 2013, 12:11:13 PM »
Like atheists with abiogenesis?

*cue Jeopardy music*

Abiogenesis has some evidence, being that an experiment proved that inorganic materials can make proteins...

To OP:

What do they all have in common?
Hmmm...all are human, all are organic, all are made of atoms, all had emotions, all were born, all aged, all-
You get the point...
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Offline skeptic54768

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Re: What do these people have in common?
« Reply #27 on: December 26, 2013, 12:25:16 PM »
Like atheists with abiogenesis?

*cue Jeopardy music*

Abiogenesis has some evidence, being that an experiment proved that inorganic materials can make proteins...

To OP:

What do they all have in common?
Hmmm...all are human, all are organic, all are made of atoms, all had emotions, all were born, all aged, all-
You get the point...

They can make proteins. Long way from that to life.
Takes a leap of giant faith...
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - Jesus (said 2,000 years ago and still true today.)

Offline Angus and Alexis

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Re: What do these people have in common?
« Reply #28 on: December 26, 2013, 12:28:43 PM »
So learning how to walk can never allow you to run?

Nice logic there.
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