Author Topic: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?  (Read 3420 times)

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Offline Timo

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #174 on: July 29, 2014, 01:41:50 AM »
Number 1 is not an assumption. It's a conclusion based on the evidence of the resurrection.

Number 2 is also not an assumption because if you refer to number 1 you will see that it PROVES God raises the dead.

So, neither one is an assumption. So the simplest explanation is that Jesus rose.

Are you being serious?
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Offline skeptic54768

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #175 on: July 29, 2014, 01:42:42 AM »
I guess I can not prove Jesus to you. What evidence would you accept, anyway? Would you have to feel his nail marks like Thomas? Is that the only thing that can possibly prove Jesus to you?


When it comes to the belief in Jesus, you have to have a shared starting point.  That starting point, for everyone, is the bible.  At the very least, I think it is safe to say that everyone agrees Jesus is a character in a book.  Whether he was real or not, he was definitely a character in a book. 

Now, be honest with yourself here... If you went into any library in the world and found a book (other than the bible) that claimed one of the characters (say, the author's great, great grandfather) died and rose from the dead, would you immediately lean toward the book being fact or fiction?  And what if it said that 500 people saw this man a few days after he died, but none of those 500 people ever came forward to corroborate?  And what if the book said that a couple went to his grave a few days later and it was all dug up and nothing was there? Would that be enough to actually convince you that this man rose from the dead? Of course not. The author could simply be making it up.  People make stuff up all the time. 

Now ask yourself what sort of evidence that the rest of the book would have to contain in order to convince you that the person actually rose from the dead.  It would take a lot, right?  If you want to know what it would take to convince me that Jesus really died and rose from the dead, then just think about what it would take for me to convince you that my great, great grandfather did it.  It wouldn't be flying plates, bloody walls, visions of the great, great grandfather, dreams, emotional highs, or anything else like that.  It would take evidence. 

If you are using anything short of that same criteria when it comes to Jesus, then you are suppressing your very own skepticism in favor of confirmation bias, and you're simply funneling your personal experiences through that confirmation bias position.  People in every religion do that.  I know you don't think YOU do that, but nobody thinks they do that.  Nobody. 

Given the evidence, it's just vastly more reasonable to think it's all made up and that you're just like all the other religious people out there.

Very intellectually stimulating.

But, I would say that I would believe your grandfather rose from the dead if he had the same evidence that Jesus does.

To me, there's nothing hard to believe about a resurrection, since I believe in the soul. You put the soul back in the body, it reanimates.
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 skeptic54768

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #176 on: July 29, 2014, 01:45:41 AM »
Number 1 is not an assumption. It's a conclusion based on the evidence of the resurrection.

Number 2 is also not an assumption because if you refer to number 1 you will see that it PROVES God raises the dead.

So, neither one is an assumption. So the simplest explanation is that Jesus rose.

Are you being serious?

Yes, contrary to popular belief, Occam's razor does allow God as an explanation. Ockham was a believer in God, and it's named after him so obviously ockham used God.
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 One Above All

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #177 on: July 29, 2014, 01:46:11 AM »
Number 1 is not an assumption. It's a conclusion based on the evidence of the resurrection.

Number 2 is also not an assumption because if you refer to number 1 you will see that it PROVES God raises the dead.

So, neither one is an assumption. So the simplest explanation is that Jesus rose.

Yahweh exists because he raises people from the dead. Yahweh raises people from the dead because he raises people from the dead.

The first assumption is unsupported by evidence outside the Bible. One source (and one that has been proven to be wrong over and over and over and over and over and over again) proves nothing. This is not "One source to rule them all". The second is circular (I'd put "logic" here, but there's no logic to be found anywhere in the above post).
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Offline One Above All

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #178 on: July 29, 2014, 01:47:34 AM »
Yes, contrary to popular belief, Occam's razor does allow God as an explanation. Ockham was a believer in God, and it's named after him so obviously ockham used God.

For whatever reason (maybe his entire posting history), I'm beginning to suspect skeptic54768 isn't able to grasp the concept of "logic".
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Offline Timo

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #179 on: July 29, 2014, 01:48:47 AM »
Yes, contrary to popular belief, Occam's razor does allow God as an explanation. Ockham was a believer in God, and it's named after him so obviously ockham used God.

For whatever reason (maybe his entire posting history), I'm beginning to suspect skeptic54768 isn't able to grasp the concept of "logic".

Definitely.  I don't know if I can martial the patience to explain this.
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Offline skeptic54768

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #180 on: July 29, 2014, 01:49:03 AM »
Number 1 is not an assumption. It's a conclusion based on the evidence of the resurrection.

Number 2 is also not an assumption because if you refer to number 1 you will see that it PROVES God raises the dead.

So, neither one is an assumption. So the simplest explanation is that Jesus rose.

Yahweh exists because he raises people from the dead. Yahweh raises people from the dead because he raises people from the dead.

The first assumption is unsupported by evidence outside the Bible. One source (and one that has been proven to be wrong over and over and over and over and over and over again) proves nothing. This is not "One source to rule them all". The second is circular (I'd put "logic" here, but there's no logic to be found anywhere in the above post).

But, the Bible is not just one source. It is multiple books with multiple authors, therefore it's multiple sources.
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 #181 on: July 29, 2014, 02:00:03 AM »
Those sources are kind of sketchy though.

The evidence suggests that Mark is the first Gospel that was written.  Even conservative scholars place it decades after Jesus' death.  It begins with Jesus' baptism and, in our earliest manuscripts, it ends with the empty tomb.  And yet our Bibles contain additional material.  This would suggest that the our sources have interpolations.  The evidence also suggests that Matthew and Luke used Mark as a source.  For example, we find that where Mark doesn't write about a topic, like how Jesus of Nazareth came to be born in Bethlehem, Matthew and Luke disagree with each other.  In other words, we don't have independent witnesses.  What's worse, the Gospel narratives are set in a historical time and place that we know things about from other sources.  And yet, the Bible describes things that no one seems to have noticed.  For example, there's no reference to people leaving their tombs and walking around Jerusalem.  Why do you think that is?
« Last Edit: July 29, 2014, 02:02:51 AM by Timo »
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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #182 on: July 29, 2014, 02:00:45 AM »
Yes, contrary to popular belief, Occam's razor does allow God as an explanation. Ockham was a believer in God, and it's named after him so obviously ockham used God.

For whatever reason (maybe his entire posting history), I'm beginning to suspect skeptic54768 isn't able to grasp the concept of "logic".

Definitely.  I don't know if I can martial the patience to explain this.
The trouble with septic is that he lacks the power of logic, but not the how to use a keyboard.
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Offline Timo

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #183 on: July 29, 2014, 02:35:18 AM »
Number 1 is not an assumption. It's a conclusion based on the evidence of the resurrection.

Number 2 is also not an assumption because if you refer to number 1 you will see that it PROVES God raises the dead.

So, neither one is an assumption. So the simplest explanation is that Jesus rose.

Okay.  So let me take a stab at this.  As far as I can tell, in the opening thread and in subsequent posts you were running a poorly articulated version of Gary Habermas' minimal facts case for the Resurrection.  Namely, that there is enough scholarship to demonstrate to a relatively high degree of certainty that:

1. Jesus died by crucifixion
2. Jesus tomb was found empty
3. His followers claimed to have had experiences with the risen Jesus
4. Jesus' followers went on to establish the Christian faith, even in the face of persecution.

Even if we accept all of these facts on face value, there's no argument for the Resurrection as an explanation without the assumption that the God of the Bible exists and would want to raise Jesus from the dead.  For example, I saw one of Habermas' collaborators, Mike Licona admit as much in a debate with Bart Ehrman.

How would you respond if I were to claim that I accept the minimal facts but that I strongly believe that aliens observing Judea at the time replaced Jesus' corpse with an android as part of an ongoing experiment in religious development among humans.  How can I assume that these aliens existed, you ask?  Well to that I say that I don' t need that assumption.  Indeed the Resurrection is strong evidence of their existence.  How else can you possibly hope to explain the minimal facts?!
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Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #184 on: July 29, 2014, 05:15:21 AM »
Number 1 is not an assumption. It's a conclusion based on the evidence of the resurrection.

Number 2 is also not an assumption because if you refer to number 1 you will see that it PROVES God raises the dead.

So, neither one is an assumption. So the simplest explanation is that Jesus rose.


You have not proved that there is any evidence of Jesus resurrection. The more likely "miracle" is that Jesus survived being crucified. Why did the people who put Jesus in his tomb buy medicinal herbs which were used to the heal wounds of living people?
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Offline Mrjason

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #185 on: July 29, 2014, 05:44:53 AM »
<snip>

To me, there's nothing hard to believe about a resurrection, since I believe in the soul. You put the soul back in the body, it reanimates.

I find this very odd. skeptic54768 do you not think that the physical damage that loosed the soul from its mortal coil would prevent the person from being alive even after the soul was stuffed back into its receptacle?

Look at it another way, if all that it takes to keep the body alive is the presence of a soul why do people die? And to preempt your answer to that question; why is there always a physical reason for death?


Offline screwtape

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #186 on: July 29, 2014, 08:26:40 AM »
Yes, contrary to popular belief, Occam's razor does allow God as an explanation. Ockham was a believer in God, and it's named after him so obviously ockham used God.

You have either ignored or are unaware of your assumptions that allow for god. Why don't you think about all your hidden assumptions and list them?  Then we can apply the Razor.
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Offline epidemic

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #187 on: July 29, 2014, 08:40:19 AM »
Very intellectually stimulating.

But, I would say that I would believe your grandfather rose from the dead if he had the same evidence that Jesus does.

To me, there's nothing hard to believe about a resurrection, since I believe in the soul. You put the soul back in the body, it reanimates.


Let me ask something, where do you think the soul resides in the body.  I am guessing that it must reside in the frontal lobes because that is where it appears that everthing that makes us, us is in there?  I can cut out the soul and still have the body continuing on living for days weeks and months possibly even years.  So basic life sustaining would not appear to be the souls job.

I am not sure where you get the reanimation theory from???

Just another thought,  if you were alive and had say birth defects which caused you agony and to look horrific,  when your soul gets put back in after death do you get the same crappy body?

if you were cremated do you become annimate dust?  Do people from ground zero shadow people from Hiroshima get re-assembled from their dust strewn around the world?

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #188 on: July 29, 2014, 12:05:48 PM »
The answer to any unlikely or disputed story with the least assumptions is not a supernatural one.  A supernatural answer needs so many complicated assumptions that we would be here all day listing them. Starting with the existence of supernatural beings with the ability to bring back the dead, who have never been demonstrated to be real.

Much simpler: People lie, people are mistaken, people are confused, people's memories are not perfect, people believe what they wish was so.

If you do not have concrete evidence for something, why would you go to a supernatural answer before having exhausted the much simpler possibilities?
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 median

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #189 on: July 30, 2014, 03:06:40 PM »
How did Christianity start? I don't know. But, I do know that even when the facts are easily researched, folks still find a way to believe what they want to believe. And what they want to believe isn't always good for them. Take homeopathy, for example. Not only has it not been shown to work, but it's been shown not to work. But, people still buy that stuff.

Scientology is another perfect example. Here we have a religion that was started in modern times, has no backing evidence, and even has some things directly pointing to it being a complete con. None of that stops believers from defending it with a passion.

It does not at all seem improbable to me that ancient peoples started believing something like the resurrection.

Now that is very true. Hubbard himself said that he made it up as a joke to make money and yet people still defend it. Excellent point. How does one differentiate a false belief from a true belief? Well, I would say the founder making a statement that it's a joke should prove it's false. We have no such statement about Christianity though. Of course, we don't have a statement from Joseph Smith either saying Mormonism is false, but Mormonism has been proven wrong by history experts who have proven Jesus never visited the Native Americans.

So that is 2 religions that are easily proven false and people still defend them. Of course, my belief is that demons answer their prayers and keep them in the religions, but why do you guys think people still believe it even with the proof those 2 are wrong? Also, is it reasonable to believe in Christianity, considering it has never been proven wrong?

This is called the fallacy of a Complex Question. Christianity (just like Mormonism and Scientology) has been proven wrong. It has been shown that its theological assertions are irrational and it's texts are in error (just like those other religions). And yet you, just like them, continue to defend it. So you are no different than they are in that respect.


But, I would say that I would believe your grandfather rose from the dead if he had the same evidence that Jesus does.


There is no "evidence" of a 'Jesus' rising from the dead. There are CLAIMS in old books but those are not evidence of resurrection - anymore than Mormon, Muslim, Hindu, or Egyptian texts are evidence of their alleged supernatural claims. It doesn't matter how many times people tell a story or repeat a claim. Repetition (i.e. - "manuscripts") do not demonstrate that miracles occurred. We already know that people throughout history lie, fabricate, make mistakes, spread rumors, and suffer misapprehensions about these claims. But merely reading a book about something does not make it 'evidence' of the claims that are found within it.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2014, 03:13:20 PM by median »
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Online Ron Jeremy

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #190 on: July 30, 2014, 03:14:54 PM »
Skep; Cargo Cults give a pretty good idea of how Christianity started;




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." - An example of a clearly demonstrably false biblical 'prophesy'.

The biblical myth of a 6000 year old Earth is proven false by the Gaia satellite directly measuring star age.

Offline epidemic

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #191 on: July 31, 2014, 11:22:08 AM »
Cargo cults,  awesome.  So in essence humans are by design idiots:)

Offline Timo

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #192 on: July 31, 2014, 01:56:08 PM »
I really wish it would have occurred to me to mention the cargo cults.  They are one of the better examples of why this notion that the early Christians would have been somehow corrected if their belief was in error and Christ by their contemporaries is just so absurd.  The fact is that people are weird.  We believe all sorts of weird things for weird reasons.  And we often believe weird things even in the face of abundant evidence that is contrary to said weird beliefs.  Why the early Christians should be seen as some sort of special case is completely beyond me.
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Offline frank callaway

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #193 on: July 31, 2014, 02:50:00 PM »
i think you have to go back to the dawn of man... one day we walked out of the forest and said... hmmmm, this must all be for me.  this "creation" has been giving to me so that i may survive, and as i survive i ponder who would have given me such a glorious creation... fast forward through the ages and mankind has worshiped just about anything and everything conceivable in an effort to know this "god"... but what have we received...? only the cold dead stare of the universe as it looks upon us with pitiless indifference...
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #194 on: July 31, 2014, 03:03:32 PM »
How does any religion gain adherents if it is false?

That is the question that Christians can't seem to wrap their heads around. They believe that their religion has to be true, because if it had been false it would never have caught on and spread.

At the same time, they clearly recognize the falseness of cargo cults, Hinduism, Islam, Cao Dai, Rastafarianism, Sikhism, Moonies, Scientology, Wicca, Santeria and any denomination or offshoot of Christianity other than their own--Mormonism, JW's, Catholicism, Pentecostals, what have you.

All of these and many more religions, cults and sects have gained adherents and spread, in spite of being false and in many cases clearly completely made up by kooks or charlatans. If it was not true, how did it survive and spread?

Any and all religious groups can counter critics with the same responses that Christians use:
Why would people change their entire lives for a lie?
Why would people endure persecution and even death for a lie?
Why would people leave their friends and families for a lie?

And the made-up religions seem to work just as well as the true ones: phony religions and nonexistent gods also somehow heal sickness, get people to give up drinking or drugs, turn gang-bangers around, help people find jobs, give people the strength to face pain and adversity, turn players and sluts into faithful husbands and wives, protect soldiers in battle, and cause miracles.
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 frank callaway

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #195 on: July 31, 2014, 09:23:21 PM »
And the made-up religions seem to work just as well as the true ones: phony religions and nonexistent gods also somehow heal sickness, get people to give up drinking or drugs, turn gang-bangers around, help people find jobs, give people the strength to face pain and adversity, turn players and sluts into faithful husbands and wives, protect soldiers in battle, and cause miracles.

that is interesting... i don't know about healing sickness or finding jobs, but I have witnessed people change as a result of, not what I would call religion, but more of a "surrendering".  i've seen first hand more than once people do a 180 with their lives.  i wonder why that is...?  perhaps a mental disorder? how could a non-existent god help someone to stop cheating on their wife - or give comfort to the lesser of society?

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Offline xyzzy

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #196 on: July 31, 2014, 10:45:02 PM »
And the made-up religions seem to work just as well as the true ones: phony religions and nonexistent gods also somehow heal sickness, get people to give up drinking or drugs, turn gang-bangers around, help people find jobs, give people the strength to face pain and adversity, turn players and sluts into faithful husbands and wives, protect soldiers in battle, and cause miracles.

that is interesting... i don't know about healing sickness or finding jobs, but I have witnessed people change as a result of, not what I would call religion, but more of a "surrendering".  i've seen first hand more than once people do a 180 with their lives.  i wonder why that is...?  perhaps a mental disorder? how could a non-existent god help someone to stop cheating on their wife - or give comfort to the lesser of society?

Well, obviously a non-existent god doesn't do anything. But you know that already.

Some questions for you Frank, seeing as you seem to like to ask them so much.

In the last few decades, society has made great strides in moving away from the rather silly assertion that women are inherently inferior to men and that they were "helpless little things". Consequently, women are now more empowered and achieve things that they'd previously been told that they couldn't do without the help of a man.

When, do you think Frank, that religious people will similarly stop believing that there are things that they can't do for themselves, and recognise that the articles that they thanked "god" for, were their own achievements?

Second, what ways can you think of that religious authorities might benefit from their [religious] followers constantly having their confidence and self-esteem undermined?

Finally, do you think Christianity is any different from any other religion in the above examples? If not, why not?
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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #197 on: July 31, 2014, 10:49:01 PM »
that is interesting... i don't know about healing sickness or finding jobs, but I have witnessed people change as a result of, not what I would call religion, but more of a "surrendering".  i've seen first hand more than once people do a 180 with their lives.  i wonder why that is...?  perhaps a mental disorder? how could a non-existent god help someone to stop cheating on their wife - or give comfort to the lesser of society?

I've seen people do that, and I've seen people do a 0° turn but take god into their life so that they could have him help them drink, beat their wives, steal, etc. So folks are able to get imaginary help no matter what direction they want to go to appear acceptable in public. Very convenient.

Having never needed to take any turns of any angle, and not needing a god to help me become a bad guy, I guess I'm just not religion material. Stuff makes sense: I'm not all confused, lost, scared or otherwise helplessly jammed into reality, so I guess it just won't happen to me.

God had his chance with me when I was a kid and a sucker for a lousy story. Since he doesn't exist, he missed. Apparently others are suckers for a longer period of time. And don't realize that he is fiction. So sad.

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #198 on: August 01, 2014, 12:35:52 PM »
I still believe in a higher power. Call it God ( for lack of a better name). I still believe in Jesus. ( and no, I can't tell you why .) which I find hard to understand. I mean you would think that I would have some reason to believe.
As for the bible. I question it a lot. As for why I believe. I really don't know. I have been looking for reasons to believe or not believe. Does not look like I am getting any where fast.. But I am still searching for the truth. Once I find the truth. God will either be there or he won't. Nice to see most of the gang still here..
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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #199 on: August 02, 2014, 10:56:23 AM »
I still believe in a higher power. Call it God ( for lack of a better name). I still believe in Jesus. ( and no, I can't tell you why .) which I find hard to understand. I mean you would think that I would have some reason to believe.
As for the bible. I question it a lot. As for why I believe. I really don't know. I have been looking for reasons to believe or not believe. Does not look like I am getting any where fast.. But I am still searching for the truth. Once I find the truth. God will either be there or he won't. Nice to see most of the gang still here..
so is it peer group that you believe,it's easy to not think? Why make it a default position?
There's no right there's no wrong,there's just popular opinion (Brad Pitt as Jeffery Goines in 12 monkeys)

Offline jdawg70

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #200 on: August 03, 2014, 12:34:18 AM »
I still believe in a higher power. Call it God ( for lack of a better name). I still believe in Jesus. ( and no, I can't tell you why .) which I find hard to understand. I mean you would think that I would have some reason to believe.
One starting point is to ask yourself what exactly you mean by 'higher power'.  I wonder if your belief in a 'higher power' is merely just the tacit acceptance that human beings lack control over the vast majority of events and outcomes in the totality of reality.  I mean - does this 'higher power' thing you believe in necessarily entail characteristics such as 'sentience', 'will', 'intention', or any other sort of anthropomorphic-esque feature?

When you say you believe in Jesus, do you mean to say that you believe that Jesus Christ, the human-incarnate form of the Son of God, actually existed and sacrificed himself for the purpose of human salvation?  Or is it more of a belief in the goodness and lessons one can garner from an ideal Jesus-esque character?

Getting more specific is one very good way of examining your own beliefs.  If you find yourself being overly-vague and nebulous, the difficulty in finding solid reasons and/or evidence for your acceptance of a claim may stem from the lack of coherent definition revolving around that claim.  You may be having a hard time finding solid reasoning for your acceptance of x because x has no characteristics that distinguish it from not x.  In a sense, you're looking for an answer, but you don't know what question you're trying to answer in the first place.

Now this isn't necessarily the case.  Sometimes concepts and ideas are very difficult to articulate and communicate, and that does not necessarily mean the concept is invalid or not real.  But any difficulty in getting more specific regarding claims that you believe are true should give you pause.

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As for the bible. I question it a lot.
I think the question you need to ask yourself here is why you treat the bible any differently than any other old book.  Or do you spend a lot of time questioning other old books like The Epic of Gilgamesh or Beowulf a lot?

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As for why I believe. I really don't know. I have been looking for reasons to believe or not believe. Does not look like I am getting any where fast.. But I am still searching for the truth. Once I find the truth. God will either be there or he won't. Nice to see most of the gang still here..
This appears to be the appropriate way to approach this.  You believe what you believe, and you'll allow new information and new data to shift your beliefs.
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."

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Offline median

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #201 on: August 03, 2014, 12:32:58 PM »
I still believe in a higher power. Call it God ( for lack of a better name). I still believe in Jesus. ( and no, I can't tell you why .) which I find hard to understand. I mean you would think that I would have some reason to believe.
As for the bible. I question it a lot. As for why I believe. I really don't know. I have been looking for reasons to believe or not believe. Does not look like I am getting any where fast.. But I am still searching for the truth. Once I find the truth. God will either be there or he won't. Nice to see most of the gang still here..

This makes me think of a salesman standing at the door, attempting to sell me a product that I do not have sound reason for thinking is a real product (i.e. - it could be a scam). If I took your approach, I would say, "Sure, no problem!" and hand over my credit card - b/c, hey, "I still believe but don't know why". That method is an unreliable one for separating fact from fiction. The time to believe is after sufficient evidence has been presented. The default position should be (and nearly always is) skepticism (especially for extraordinary claims such as ones to the supernatural or miraculous). Any other method is (respectfully) sheer stupidity and foolishness. Why would you just hand over your credit card instead of being skeptical and withholding belief and/or judgment until there is sufficient evidence to warrant belief?
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

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Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
« Reply #202 on: August 04, 2014, 10:29:05 AM »
Why would you just hand over your credit card instead of being skeptical and withholding belief and/or judgment until there is sufficient evidence to warrant belief?

Because even a blind squirrel finds an acorn every once and a while.   Just accepting his word on faith may every once and a while result in a win.  That salesman at your door may be selling you snake oil or the cure for cancer.  Skepticism may indicate this is likely a lie but he has told you he has many other doors to hit buy it or don't buy it but he is leaving shortly.

This is where the bible thumpers win alot of converts.  Once you die there are not mulligans, so why not try it and hope for the best.  Not believing may free up your sundays and wednesdays, but if you are wrong you burn in hell.

Of course the cost benefit analysis also has to include all the different denominations that will get you sent to hell.  In alot of ways picking a faith, is 99.9% doomed to failure even if there is a god, you will likely choose the wrong god and poof you are screwed.