Author Topic: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?  (Read 3429 times)

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Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #29 on: July 17, 2014, 07:09:18 PM »
 I have no idea how Christianity started,but I do know it has been subjagated by Demons. Demons have permeated the tapestry of Christianity.,and has left it in a shambles. We have Demon priests molesting children,an excess of wealth that would put Columbian drug lords to shame and have ventured off the Christian true path.

 Those evil demons,if only we  could invent Demon detectors,we could expose them and put them in Demon jail....... But it's just not the right time to place those darn Demons in Hell
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Offline Airyaman

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #30 on: July 17, 2014, 07:11:46 PM »
Things people believe that are lacking good evidence and are clearly not true:

Scientology.
Rastafarianism.
Cargo cults.
Professional wrestling.
Astrology.
Alien abductions.
Moon landings were faked.
Psychics.

Need I say more?

I was OK until you said Professional Wrestling. Its still real to me, dammit!
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #31 on: July 17, 2014, 07:42:28 PM »
I am reading some stuff about cognition research, how we actually think. And, it is so easy to see how religious ideas develop and catch on, based on how human brains work.

We like simple explanations for complex things. More importantly, we like explanations. Human beings would rather have a wrong answer than no answer at all. Add in the fact that memory is not like a video recording, but is a mechanism that helps us to make sense of the world.

More people who could possibly have witnessed an event will remember being there and seeing it happen, because they heard about it later and incorporated the story into their own memory.

So, no, "eyewitnesses" to a miraculous event are not good evidence for that event being true, especially as time passes. And especially as the event (Jesus rising from the dead) becomes incorporated into a larger narrative (other stories about Jesus, Jewish folklore, older pagan myths and stories).

It is extremely common. Most of us have childhood "memories" that are not our real memories, but are based on having heard adults tell stories about something that happened to us, or to other family memories. We can "remember" things that we think happened to us at age 3 or 4, but when we look back at the records, it actually happened to a sibling, or even to a character in a movie we saw at that age. Once an event becomes part of a person's memory, it is permanent and hard to dislodge. Even if it didn't really happen.

There is magical thinking in all of us, no matter how rational we try to be. It is evolutionary, because sometimes we had to make a very important decision based on too little information-- friend or foe, good or bad, poison or okay to eat? Where is the best place to leave this animal trap so we will catch some food?

So we learned to look for magical signs that would tell us what we needed to know to survive-- or at least made us think that we knew what we needed to know. Sometimes the magic worked and that reinforced all times it failed. People who were too rational, and could not keep going in the face of disappointment probably did not survive as long.

If I step onto the forest trail with my left foot first, there will be an animal in my trap when I get there. Two times out of ten, there was an animal and I remember the left foot trick. And then there is the excellent ability of human beings to rationalize. Eight times, there was no animal in my trap, even though I stepped with my left foot. It had been there before, but it heard me and escaped. I must walk more quietly.

We also easily associate inanimate objects (sacred stones, magical water sources, grandmother willow, bibles, crosses, church buildings, relics of saints) with meaning beyond the object itself.  That is why every religion has sacred objects, places, etc. Religions are capitalizing on this brain tendency.

But it does not have to be religious meaning. Most of the time it is not.

One memorable example from the book I am reading: hardly anyone here would want Hitler's sweater, no matter how nice it was, how cheap the price and how much it had been washed. Most of us would rather be cold than put it on. If someone gave it to us, we might even burn it. This is not rational--the sweater did not do anything evil. But we all recognize that the sweater has "evil cooties" because we associate the sweater with a person who did bad things.

If someone did want to wear it, it would again be because of the magical properties inherent in Hitler's sweater. A neo-Nazi might pay a lot of money to wear Hitler's sweater. Again, it is still just a sweater. There are not even any atoms of Hitler left in it. But the magic (good or bad) is in the object. Somehow.

Likewise it is hard to part with the favorite blankie or teddy bear from childhood, or that tattered copy of Goodnight Moon mom read to us. We hang onto an object that reminds us of some loved one who died. We avoid driving by the place where we broke up with the boy or girlfriend. We throw out their belongings. But we save the baby's first teeth and a lock of their hair. And we always go back to that same restaurant for the wedding anniversary. This is what we might call secular magical thinking.

Religious people don't much care for cognitive research. For one, the research shows that religions all function the same ways-- there is no sign to distinguish a false or true one based on how people's brains respond.

And for two, people in ancient times who created religions did not know much about how the human brain works, but they were good at working human brains over. :angel:
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #32 on: July 17, 2014, 08:05:51 PM »
NoGods,if the early Christians had not invented Heaven for the like minded and Hell for the hated,would it still exist as it does today. Ya sure Jews still exist,without heaven but are they the same God fearing bunch from the OT times?
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Offline Airyaman

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #33 on: July 17, 2014, 08:09:48 PM »
We can speculate all day why Christianity survived and then later became the world's largest religion (if you ignore Christians not claiming each other until census time). But I personally believe its because Christianity, at its base, is the easiest religion in the world. After all, what other religion promises eternity of bliss for just saying Jesus died, was buried, and then rose again for your sins? Most of the other religions actually require effort. Christianity just requires a few short words.
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Offline jetson

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #34 on: July 17, 2014, 08:17:18 PM »
We can speculate all day why Christianity survived and then later became the world's largest religion (if you ignore Christians not claiming each other until census time). But I personally believe its because Christianity, at its base, is the easiest religion in the world. After all, what other religion promises eternity of bliss for just saying Jesus died, was buried, and then rose again for your sins? Most of the other religions actually require effort. Christianity just requires a few short words.

Excellent point.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #35 on: July 17, 2014, 08:22:55 PM »
NoGods,if the early Christians had not invented Heaven for the like minded and Hell for the hated,would it still exist as it does today. Ya sure Jews still exist,without heaven but are they the same God fearing bunch from the OT times?

No IIRC, they are not the same people, although I would get crucified if I said that in Israel. The descendants of the "ancient Israelites" are the Jordanian and Palestinian Arabs, and some of the Ethiopians.  They are mostly Muslim and Christian, but a few are Jewish. At least as far as non-religious history goes.

The majority of Jewish folks today are of European ancestry, not of Middle East descent. Although there is that group in central Africa with the right DNA.  :?
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline jetson

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #36 on: July 17, 2014, 08:24:43 PM »
So, no, "eyewitnesses" to a miraculous event are not good evidence for that event being true, especially as time passes. And especially as the event (Jesus rising from the dead) becomes incorporated into a larger narrative (other stories about Jesus, Jewish folklore, older pagan myths and stories).

And let's not forget the simplest answer on the planet...people don't "rise from the dead." How many fucking stories are we going to have to endure about people "rising from the dead" as support for the latest god claim before this bullshit comes to an end?

Jesus Christ on a stick...it's really getting stupid.  Hell, I'm following a blog that asks "Did Jesus die?", simply because if he never died, how the fuck could he "rise from the dead"? How about we get "Christians" to prove Jesus actually died before we go down the path of wondering if he "rose from the dead".

Bwu ha ha ha ha..I love quoting that phrase...makes it all the more ridiculous that so many people think it actually happened.  "Rose from the dead", give me a break.

Talking snakes, talking donkeys, living in whales/fish, spiting fig trees, flooding the entire world, rising from the dead. LOL.

Offline screwtape

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #37 on: July 17, 2014, 08:44:23 PM »
The early Christians would have eyewitness testimony to the Resurrection.

They would, if it had been real.  If not, they'd just be talking out their ass like...every other religion. 

Quote
If the Resurrection was bollocks, it would have died.

Why?  How would/ could anyone debate it?  Back then people believed quite a lot of bullshit.  A third graders knowledge of science surpasses their greatest thinkers.  So I do not find it a stretch to think they could and did believe ridiculous things just on the say so of a friend, who heard it from a friend, whose uncle swore he saw it...

Quote
They would have said, "He promised us he would resurrect and he didn't.

They did say that.  Thus, the second coming.  The Jews know Jesus h was no messiah, because there is no second coming. That was never part of the deal.

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Offline jynnan tonnix

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #38 on: July 17, 2014, 08:46:41 PM »

And of course, there is no chance that his mind might have altered his memories of the subject. Psychologists studying the subject today tell us that the more we remember an incident, the more we distort it. Each time we remember it, what we are actually remembering is the last time we remembered the event, not the event itself. It is impossible, sans photo and video and audio evidence, to remember specifically what happened in the past. George Bush said he remembered seeing the first plane fly in to the World Trade Center live and being shocked. The only video of that event was released many days later. Nobody saw the first plane hit live on TV.

I recently went back and watched some of the replays of live TV on 9/11, including the very programs I was watching on that morning. And my memory of the events was notably different that the video record.


Yup. My husband and I have completely different recollections of the events of 9/11 even at this close of a time frame.  We were stationed in Hawaii at the time, and he had taken the day off for one reason or another. The kids (10, 13 and 15 at the time) were all at school. We had no clue what was going on as we had not turned on the TV or computer yet (it was fairly early in the morning our time). Then my mom called, and the way I remember it, she said that the second World Trade building was coming down, which confused me, not having heard anything about it yet, and I thought she was talking about a planned demolition or something that I had not been aware of until then, while my husband remembers her calling and telling us about the first plane, then watching TV coverage  and seeing the second plane hit as it happened.

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #39 on: July 17, 2014, 09:06:17 PM »
 jynnan t.

You and I could start a religion. I'll be Mark. You be Luke. Or maybe one of us should be Paul. In a few thousand years we could have millions of minions.

I mostly wrote this because I wanted to say "millions of minions". But I'm still up for it. Just think. We could make our own baby skep's in a few thousand years. Is that a great goal or what?
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #40 on: July 17, 2014, 09:08:55 PM »
Me too on the 9/11 memories.

I clearly remember 9/11 happening on a Thursday, because I had an appointment every Thursday and I remember discussing the attack with the other people that very day. And my sister was flying out to see me for the weekend, and could not come because all the planes were grounded. My sister told me she was sitting on a grounded flight crying as she heard the news the day it happened. At least that is how I remember it.

Yet, my memory is not correct. Seems that when I use the google machine, it tells me that it had to be a Tuesday because there was a primary election in New York.
So, was it a Thursday or a Tuesday? I don't know. I hope I never have to swear to the day in court. And that was one of the most memorable events of my lifetime, only 13 years ago.

Imagine what we will "remember" of 9/11 in 20 years time. George Bush himself will have flown one of the planes onto the towers. He was a pilot, wasn't he? Or was that his dad?  :?
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline jynnan tonnix

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #41 on: July 17, 2014, 09:36:52 PM »
jynnan t.

You and I could start a religion. I'll be Mark. You be Luke. Or maybe one of us should be Paul. In a few thousand years we could have millions of minions.

I mostly wrote this because I wanted to say "millions of minions". But I'm still up for it. Just think. We could make our own baby skep's in a few thousand years. Is that a great goal or what?
Well, I'm not up to making baby anythings at this point in life, but the rest sounds good. Especially the millions of minions :)

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #42 on: July 17, 2014, 09:41:07 PM »
jynnan t.

You and I could start a religion. I'll be Mark. You be Luke. Or maybe one of us should be Paul. In a few thousand years we could have millions of minions.

I mostly wrote this because I wanted to say "millions of minions". But I'm still up for it. Just think. We could make our own baby skep's in a few thousand years. Is that a great goal or what?
Well, I'm not up to making baby anythings at this point in life, but the rest sounds good. Especially the millions of minions :)

Just to be clear, I'm not up to making baby things either. I was referring to the far future, when others, slavish followers as it were, could make them. Just like skep. Minions need names, you know.  :)
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Offline jynnan tonnix

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #43 on: July 17, 2014, 09:47:12 PM »
jynnan t.

You and I could start a religion. I'll be Mark. You be Luke. Or maybe one of us should be Paul. In a few thousand years we could have millions of minions.

I mostly wrote this because I wanted to say "millions of minions". But I'm still up for it. Just think. We could make our own baby skep's in a few thousand years. Is that a great goal or what?
Well, I'm not up to making baby anythings at this point in life, but the rest sounds good. Especially the millions of minions :)

Just to be clear, I'm not up to making baby things either. I was referring to the far future, when others, slavish followers as it were, could make them. Just like skep. Minions need names, you know.  :)
Ah. Yes. Now I'm going to be up way too late trying to think of a good name for them.

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #44 on: July 17, 2014, 10:23:11 PM »
Gee Whiz, I had no idea this thread would blow up this quickly. I can not possibly address everything this quickly. This is very overwhelming.  :(
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.)

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #45 on: July 17, 2014, 10:33:46 PM »
So, no, "eyewitnesses" to a miraculous event are not good evidence for that event being true, especially as time passes. And especially as the event (Jesus rising from the dead) becomes incorporated into a larger narrative (other stories about Jesus, Jewish folklore, older pagan myths and stories).

And let's not forget the simplest answer on the planet...people don't "rise from the dead." How many fucking stories are we going to have to endure about people "rising from the dead" as support for the latest god claim before this bullshit comes to an end?

Jesus Christ on a stick...it's really getting stupid.  Hell, I'm following a blog that asks "Did Jesus die?", simply because if he never died, how the fuck could he "rise from the dead"? How about we get "Christians" to prove Jesus actually died before we go down the path of wondering if he "rose from the dead".

Bwu ha ha ha ha..I love quoting that phrase...makes it all the more ridiculous that so many people think it actually happened.  "Rose from the dead", give me a break.

Talking snakes, talking donkeys, living in whales/fish, spiting fig trees, flooding the entire world, rising from the dead. LOL.

Doesn't that fact that our calendar is based on Jesus' birth prove that he is historical and real? Why base the calendar on a fictitious entity?

How did the people before Jesus keep track of what year it was? It's not like someone was born and they said, "Date of birth: 1,500 B.C."
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.)

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #46 on: July 17, 2014, 10:39:26 PM »
But, I must say that Christianity is not like the other religions of just listening to someone's claim. The early Christians would have eyewitness testimony to the Resurrection.

Why would this matter?  There are people that were around when President Barack Obama was born and raised in Hawaii just five decades ago.  And there is official state documentation, as well as a newspaper announcement of his birth, that put it on the record.  And yet, there is a sizable portion of this country that will have none of it and insists that he was born in Kenya.  Why would that be the case when there are so many people that can so easily correct them?

Couldn't it be said that the ones who believe he was born in Hawaii are like the Christians and the ones who think he was born in Kenya are like the atheists?
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.)

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #47 on: July 17, 2014, 10:42:10 PM »
What eyewitness evidence supports the idea that Jesus died and came back to life rather than just survived the crucifixion?

The bible speaks of 500 brethren who saw Jesus at once.

 of course you will say, "The author just made it up!" but, how do you know for sure he made it up? You really can't be 100% sure the author just made it up. Wouldn't that be a presupposition that the Resurrection didn't happen?
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.)

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #48 on: July 17, 2014, 10:53:57 PM »
Also, Skep, let me ask you again:

...where do you suppose all the other dying and rising gods came from?

That is a myth. I've read the various debunkings about how there are no "dying and rising gods." This view of dying and rising gods was made popular by Acharya S, who is very sloppy and she has been debunked.
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 Timo

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #49 on: July 17, 2014, 10:55:17 PM »
Couldn't it be said that the ones who believe he was born in Hawaii are like the Christians and the ones who think he was born in Kenya are like the atheists?

You missed the point.  I'm not even commenting on whether or not the Gospel narratives are true.  I'm merely arguing that this apologetic notion that eye witnesses can stamp out false beliefs is absurd.  Things don't play out that way in the modern world and there's no reason to think that they would have played out that way in the first century.

Also, Skep, what do you think of the synoptic problem?  Can it really be said that we have independent eye witness accounts when most scholars of the New Testament agree that Matthew and Luke borrow from Mark?

The bible speaks of 500 brethren who saw Jesus at once.

 of course you will say, "The author just made it up!" but, how do you know for sure he made it up? You really can't be 100% sure the author just made it up. Wouldn't that be a presupposition that the Resurrection didn't happen?

If I were to tell you that me and five hundred of my closest partners kicked it with Tupac in Havana three years ago, couldn't I just as easily make the same argument you're making if and when someone challenged me?  Can you be 100% sure that Pac isn't still alive, hosting dinner parties with Assata?
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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #50 on: July 17, 2014, 10:57:40 PM »
Doesn't that fact that our calendar is based on Jesus' birth prove that he is historical and real? Why base the calendar on a fictitious entity?

How did the people before Jesus keep track of what year it was? It's not like someone was born and they said, "Date of birth: 1,500 B.C."

That's the demon church you don't like that came up with that. They used to be pretty powerful, and its been easier to stick with the earlier numbers than come up with new ones. Once we get to the star trek age, we'll start using star dates, and then you won't be able to use that argument any more.  ;D
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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #51 on: July 17, 2014, 10:59:30 PM »
Couldn't it be said that the ones who believe he was born in Hawaii are like the Christians and the ones who think he was born in Kenya are like the atheists?

Nah, you  have it backwards. The ones that want him to be something other than what he is are the believers, who are happier with made up stuff than that which is real. And the ones who accept the Hawaii story are the atheists, who look at the evidence.
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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #52 on: July 17, 2014, 11:00:47 PM »
That is a myth. I've read the various debunkings about how there are no "dying and rising gods." This view of dying and rising gods was made popular by Acharya S, who is very sloppy and she has been debunked.

If that's the case then why would Justin Martyr be writing about dying and rising gods in the 2nd century?  Sorry, but the idea that these parallels were dreamed up by one contemporary author is absurd.
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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #53 on: July 17, 2014, 11:03:40 PM »
That is a myth. I've read the various debunkings about how there are no "dying and rising gods." This view of dying and rising gods was made popular by Acharya S, who is very sloppy and she has been debunked.

If that's the case then why would Justin Martyr be writing about dying and rising gods in the 2nd century?  Sorry, but the idea that these parallels were dreamed up by one contemporary author is absurd.

I read a website where the author debunked the Justin Martyr quote. Not sure which site it was. It might have been CARM but don't hold me to that. But, it's definitely out there.
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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #54 on: July 17, 2014, 11:04:26 PM »
Doesn't that fact that our calendar is based on Jesus' birth prove that he is historical and real? Why base the calendar on a fictitious entity?

How did the people before Jesus keep track of what year it was? It's not like someone was born and they said, "Date of birth: 1,500 B.C."

That's the demon church you don't like that came up with that. They used to be pretty powerful, and its been easier to stick with the earlier numbers than come up with new ones. Once we get to the star trek age, we'll start using star dates, and then you won't be able to use that argument any more.  ;D

Well, how did they keep track of dates before Jesus?
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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #55 on: July 17, 2014, 11:04:57 PM »
The bible speaks of 500 brethren who saw Jesus at once.

 of course you will say, "The author just made it up!" but, how do you know for sure he made it up? You really can't be 100% sure the author just made it up. Wouldn't that be a presupposition that the Resurrection didn't happen?

Nor can you be 100% sure that the author didn't make it up. Despite that, you are basing your whole life on the assumption that it and similar stories are true. All without either confirmation or any other sort of solid proof.

That's why you have to be a believer.

I've always wondered why a real god would demand exactly the same level of belief that all the false gods demand. The latter because that's the only way they can be accepted. A real god shouldn't play the same game as all the fake gods. Yet he does.

As I always say, Hmmmmm...
Jesus, the cracker flavored treat!

Offline Timo

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #56 on: July 17, 2014, 11:06:48 PM »
That is a myth. I've read the various debunkings about how there are no "dying and rising gods." This view of dying and rising gods was made popular by Acharya S, who is very sloppy and she has been debunked.

If that's the case then why would Justin Martyr be writing about dying and rising gods in the 2nd century?  Sorry, but the idea that these parallels were dreamed up by one contemporary author is absurd.

I read a website where the author debunked the Justin Martyr quote. Not sure which site it was. It might have been CARM but don't hold me to that. But, it's definitely out there.

Well that settles it!  Come the fuck on, bro.  Why are you going to bother to respond if you're not going to link the article or at least summarize the argument?
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Online skeptic54768

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #57 on: July 17, 2014, 11:09:09 PM »
Well that settles it!  Come the fuck on, bro.  Why are you going to bother to respond if you're not going to link the article or at least summarize the argument?

Sorry.
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.)