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Main Discussion Zone => General Religious Discussion => Topic started by: skeptic54768 on July 17, 2014, 12:16:26 PM

Title: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: skeptic54768 on July 17, 2014, 12:16:26 PM
As you guys all know, I don't really start new topics all too often, but I felt that this topic would be a fun one.

I would like the atheists to explain how they think Christianity started, especially considering something as groundbreaking as the Resurrection of Christ.

I want to see if the atheists' explanation makes more rational sense than the simplest explanation (Occam's razor), which is that Jesus rose from the dead.

So, how did Christianity start when people who were alive could have squashed the Resurrection myth?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on July 17, 2014, 12:30:22 PM
As you guys all know, I don't really start new topics all too often, but I felt that this topic would be a fun one.

I would like the atheists to explain how they think Christianity started, especially considering something as groundbreaking as the Resurrection of Christ.

I want to see if the atheists' explanation makes more rational sense than the simplest explanation (Occam's razor), which is that Jesus rose from the dead.

So, how did Christianity start when people who were alive could have squashed the Resurrection myth?

Jesus survived a crucifixion. A simpler explanation than yours.

Christianity was made up by Paul not by Jesus.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Energized on July 17, 2014, 12:56:20 PM
Christianity was made up by Paul not by Jesus.

This.

E.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Timo on July 17, 2014, 01:14:53 PM
I would like the atheists to explain how they think Christianity started, especially considering something as groundbreaking as the Resurrection of Christ.

Is the resurrection of Christ really groundbreaking though? 

Quote from: Justin Martyr
And when we say also that the Word, who is the first-birth of God, was produced without sexual union, and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter. For you know how many sons your esteemed writers ascribed to Jupiter: Mercury, the interpreting word and teacher of all; Æsculapius, who, though he was a great physician, was struck by a thunderbolt, and so ascended to heaven; and Bacchus too, after he had been torn limb from limb; and Hercules, when he had committed himself to the flames to escape his toils; and the sons of Leda, and Dioscuri; and Perseus, son of Danae; and Bellerophon, who, though sprung from mortals, rose to heaven on the horse Pegasus.[First Apology] (http://biblehub.com/library/justin/the_first_apology_of_justin/chapter_xxi_analogies_to_the_history.htm)

I think that sometimes critics of Christianity make the parallels between Christ and other dying and rising gods of the Mediterranean out to be a bit more than they are, but the fact is that there were other dying and rising gods in the Mediterranean before Christ.

And even in the Jewish tradition, it's not as if no one ascends bodily into heaven before Christ.  Enoch and Elijah do.  He's also not the only one that's brought back from the dead.  Saul has a medium bring Samuel back from the dead [1 Samuel 28].

So, how did Christianity start when people who were alive could have squashed the Resurrection myth?

I've never understood why people thought that this is a compelling argument. False ideas spread today even in the face of evidence to the contrary.  And there was no snopes in the first century.

I guess I haven't answered the question.  But I'm not sure I need to.  There is no reason to think that Christ was real and the other dying and rising gods were not.  I mean, where do you suppose all the other dying and rising gods came from?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Airyaman on July 17, 2014, 01:33:46 PM
To the people not present, the story of his resurrection was enough. Its enough for the OP after all. So it never had to happen, you just have to believe it did. That's how myths and legends often come about.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: epidemic on July 17, 2014, 01:41:30 PM
As you guys all know, I don't really start new topics all too often, but I felt that this topic would be a fun one.

I would like the atheists to explain how they think Christianity started, especially considering something as groundbreaking as the Resurrection of Christ.

I want to see if the atheists' explanation makes more rational sense than the simplest explanation (Occam's razor), which is that Jesus rose from the dead.

So, how did Christianity start when people who were alive could have squashed the Resurrection myth?

With information traveling on foot and donkey, and 40 years before the resurection story appears on paper.  I think that the odds are pretty good one could pass this story off as fact.   A couple of ancient nay sayers would be easily dismissed.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: flapdoodle64 on July 17, 2014, 02:46:45 PM
There are numerous legendary heroes...such as Robin Hood and King Arthur...who exist in folk tales widely believed at the time, yet for whom there is no contemporary documentation. This figures are interesting for students of mythology...and for historians these figures are mysteries.  Maybe such people existed...maybe not...nobody knows.

Jesus is the same.  There is no contemporary documentation of Jesus being alive, and none of his execution or resurrection.  The Romans, who occupied the region, did keep records. No Roman at the time recorded any rumor of a resurrected rabbi. 

The burden of proof is on those who claim Jesus existed. 
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Dante on July 17, 2014, 03:02:32 PM
My guess is that, since it’s such a mish-mashed hodge-podge borrowed of earlier myths and religions, it most likely was started by some Romans as a means to control the pagan peasants and other illiterate masses into thinking they had hope to get out of the dreadful, subservient life they were living and into an eternity of bliss, if only they follow the rules of the State appointed clergymen.

From there, I’m sure it was passed down from generation to generation, until it became the “Truth”.

I'm hoping screwtape, KCrady, or Graybeard will be along shortly with more details.

Oh, and BM.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: jdawg70 on July 17, 2014, 03:08:14 PM
As you guys all know, I don't really start new topics all too often, but I felt that this topic would be a fun one.

I would like the atheists to explain how they think Christianity started, especially considering something as groundbreaking as the Resurrection of Christ.

I want to see if the atheists' explanation makes more rational sense than the simplest explanation (Occam's razor), which is that Jesus rose from the dead.
Jesus resurrecting from the dead is hardly the simplest explanation.  It may be the shortest and utilize the fewest words, but that does not make it simple.  And it certainly incorporates more assumptions than the relatively simple "human beings can be wrong and spread misinformation" explanation.  It certainly incorporates more assumptions than the relatively simple "human beings will be inclined to embrace ideas that assuage their natural fears of death and oblivion, irrespective of truth-value".

Basically, I think you need to re-use Occam's razor here - you've missed a few spots.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Energized on July 17, 2014, 03:13:38 PM
The burden of proof is on those who claim Jesus existed.

But the bible doesn't get the story straight about the resurrection. Not one christian can definitively say what the events were after the stone was rolled away.

Not one.

Oh sure, skeptic will say that each book was written from the point of view of the author, and how just because one writer says 1 was present while the other writer says there were 3, the first writer didn't feel the need to mention the other 2 people because they weren't important. So the story still makes sense, see?

I've said this on the forum before - I don't have the physical strength to do the mental gymnastics required to keep the story straight...

E.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: epidemic on July 17, 2014, 03:19:00 PM
with in a couple of years a guy named Smith had people believing he had magic underpants and golden tablets describing his church.   People didn't even question the fact that the golden tablets conveniently disappeared.

All in all with the information engine of the time I don't see any problem managing to take a story of a rabbi and puffing it up to a god like myth.

You start out in the first few years with a story of jesus and his teachings and each decade you add a few new wild claims as people die off and soon you have a guy who could walk on water and raise the dead.  Especially when you have all the key players supposedly dead by the time the first official new testament bible story was written.

Just imagine how someone could convince you to drink coolaid in the information age or that hale bop comet had aliens in it ready to wisk your soul to heaven. 

imagine a guy who could get you to give him all your money and shave your head bang a tamborine and wear a stupid orange robe to beg for money for your candles.

Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: screwtape on July 17, 2014, 03:30:05 PM
False ideas spread today even in the face of evidence to the contrary.  And there was no snopes in the first century.

This. 

Today, just look at the tea bagger bullshit:  Obama is a communist.  Obama is a secret muslim.  Agenda 21.  Comin' for mah gunz.  Benghazi, Benghazi! BENGHAZI!  The IRS went after conservatives.  Obama's buying all the ammo.  I could even add non-tea bagger bullshit, like homeopathy, anti-vax, chiropractic, or pretty much every word uttered by Dr Oz or Oprah.

All those are complete lies that a large portion of the American population believes, despite abundant information that would debunk all of it. 

People on the whole are only slightly smarter than chimps.

Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: ParkingPlaces on July 17, 2014, 03:47:03 PM
Religions win by having bigger armies and more flexible stories. So while the armies were throwing stones, the religion they touted wasn't set in stone, and people were able to adjust it as variables in reality became obvious. The sun is the center of the universe, no wait, this just in, no its not, but we knew that all along, but you are still all sinners so send us all your money.

Christianity stuck in a few power centers and got forced down folks throats and then it became the norm because it could be modified as necessary by each and every practitioner, so it was easier to deal with than Hinduism, which is a bit more specific about stuff, I've heard. Or the muslim religion, which only has a couple of variants, because despots and such are more normal in their lands and they get to keep things a bit more under control.

Your religion is flexible, but individual followers are not. Once they've made up the Truth, they stick to it despite evidence. And it is that dedication to wrong-thinking that has moved christianity spiraling downward through history, always ready to make things worse.

Needless to say, I'm not actually impressed.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: nogodsforme on July 17, 2014, 03:58:00 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?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: skeptic54768 on July 17, 2014, 04:15:44 PM
Well thought out responses, guys.

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. If the Resurrection was bollocks, it would have died. They would have said, "He promised us he would resurrect and he didn't. There goes that idea of having a messiah to look up to" and they would've walked away with their heads hanging down in shame.

it is completely different from anything else.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Don_Quixote on July 17, 2014, 04:21:15 PM
See the problem is there are no eyewitnesses of the said Resurrection.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: jetson on July 17, 2014, 04:32:45 PM
Well thought out responses, guys.

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. If the Resurrection was bollocks, it would have died. They would have said, "He promised us he would resurrect and he didn't. There goes that idea of having a messiah to look up to" and they would've walked away with their heads hanging down in shame.

it is completely different from anything else.

There were no eyewitnesses...there are only second hand claims of eyewitnesses. Furthermore, eyewitnesses to what, exactly? You seem to think that 2000 years ago, a bunch of people saw Jesus the ghost, or something like that, and we're supposed to consider that worthy of serious thought?

Christianity is an invention that attempts to replace the Old Testament with a kinder, gentler set of mythology for people to cling to. It is nothing more than the hijacking of am older religion that became too tough to swallow as time went on. The blood lust and animal sacrifices, along with the unjust death punishments for breaking the outdated rules.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: skeptic54768 on July 17, 2014, 04:33:09 PM
See the problem is there are no eyewitnesses of the said Resurrection.

Sure, there are:

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+24&version=NIV
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: skeptic54768 on July 17, 2014, 04:40:30 PM
Well thought out responses, guys.

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. If the Resurrection was bollocks, it would have died. They would have said, "He promised us he would resurrect and he didn't. There goes that idea of having a messiah to look up to" and they would've walked away with their heads hanging down in shame.

it is completely different from anything else.

There were no eyewitnesses...there are only second hand claims of eyewitnesses. Furthermore, eyewitnesses to what, exactly? You seem to think that 2000 years ago, a bunch of people saw Jesus the ghost, or something like that, and we're supposed to consider that worthy of serious thought?

Christianity is an invention that attempts to replace the Old Testament with a kinder, gentler set of mythology for people to cling to. It is nothing more than the hijacking of am older religion that became too tough to swallow as time went on. The blood lust and animal sacrifices, along with the unjust death punishments for breaking the outdated rules.

Scholars place Paul's earliest letter at 50 A.D. Also, Jesus is said have died between 27-37 A.D. Even if we say jesus died in 33 A.D., that is only 17 years to 50 A.D. Someone who was 15 years old during jesus' crucifixion would only be 32 in 50 A.D.

Plenty of people would easily remember.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: ParkingPlaces on July 17, 2014, 04:50:42 PM


There were no eyewitnesses...there are only second hand claims of eyewitnesses. Furthermore, eyewitnesses to what, exactly? You seem to think that 2000 years ago, a bunch of people saw Jesus the ghost, or something like that, and we're supposed to consider that worthy of serious thought?

Christianity is an invention that attempts to replace the Old Testament with a kinder, gentler set of mythology for people to cling to. It is nothing more than the hijacking of am older religion that became too tough to swallow as time went on. The blood lust and animal sacrifices, along with the unjust death punishments for breaking the outdated rules.

Scholars place Paul's earliest letter at 50 A.D. Also, Jesus is said have died between 27-37 A.D. Even if we say jesus died in 33 A.D., that is only 17 years to 50 A.D. Someone who was 15 years old during jesus' crucifixion would only be 32 in 50 A.D.

Plenty of people would easily remember.
[/quote]

Yep, the resurrection was so impressive, Paul was so wowed, that he rushed home and wrote about it. Seventeen years later.

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.

Nobody can tell you accurately what happened 17 years ago. Especially if they've thought about it a lot between then and now.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on July 17, 2014, 04:54:13 PM
Well thought out responses, guys.

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. If the Resurrection was bollocks, it would have died. They would have said, "He promised us he would resurrect and he didn't. There goes that idea of having a messiah to look up to" and they would've walked away with their heads hanging down in shame.

it is completely different from anything else.

What eyewitness evidence supports the idea that Jesus died and came back to life rather than just survived the crucifixion?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: SevenPatch on July 17, 2014, 05:00:44 PM
If the Resurrection was bollocks, it would have died.

Hinduism is the oldest religion in the world and it is still around?  Does that mean it is not bollocks?

Why exactly would Christianity have died if the Resurrection story was made up? 

If anything, assuming the Ressurrection never happened, making it up would have been smart right?  It really helps the story, no?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Timo on July 17, 2014, 05:19:25 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?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Timo on July 17, 2014, 05:32:09 PM
Also, Skep, let me ask you again:

...where do you suppose all the other dying and rising gods came from?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Energized on July 17, 2014, 05:32:37 PM
Scholars place Paul's earliest letter at 50 A.D. Also, Jesus is said have died between 27-37 A.D. Even if we say jesus died in 33 A.D., that is only 17 years to 50 A.D. Someone who was 15 years old during jesus' crucifixion would only be 32 in 50 A.D.

Plenty of people would easily remember.

I would like you tell me to whom you spoke on the morning of 9/11 at 1130 a.m. I would like you to tell me verbatim what you said, what they said, etc. I also want you to tell me what you had for lunch, what you had for a snack in the afternoon and what did in the evening.

Then, I want you to tell me the name of the person you spoke to three days after 9/11. Let's say the first person you spoke to after lunch. What did you eat for lunch? What was the weather like? Was it on the phone or in person? Who was there? Did anyone else witness the conversation?

See, the bible is pretty descriptive and the conversations were pretty detailed. As you say, 17 years would be easy to remember, right? Hey! I'm only asking you to remember an event 13 years ago which was pretty spectacular. Surely this should be a piece of cake.

E.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: flapdoodle64 on July 17, 2014, 05:42:02 PM
In the late 1970's, in an issue of National Lampoon (old humor magazine from the 20th century), they did a joke about Elvis faking his death so he could get away from the pressures of fame and that he was really hiding out somewhere.  Within a couple years of that, I started seeing 'Elvis Sighted' type headlines on supermarket tabloids such as National Enquirer.  By the mid-1980's the 'Elvis is Alive' meme was a genuine cultural phenomenon, and singer Mojo Nixon did a terrific rock and roll song about it in 1987:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_hkIN38qnY (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_hkIN38qnY)

Humans are storytelling animals, and also transmitters of memes and legends. Psychologists have proven that we can install false memories in ourselves and others.

The best reason to believe the Jesus legend is that it is popular, billions of believers.  But many people believe Elvis is alive as well, and 50 Million Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on July 17, 2014, 06:01:39 PM
I love the whole Elvis is alive thing. It so closely parallels the stories about Jesus. There are even videos of Elvis' close friends describing how Elvis had supernatural powers and did miracles. Have you seen the one where they say he parts the storm to stay dry? That is Elvis, not Jesus.

Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Timo on July 17, 2014, 06:03:15 PM
But but but, how could that have gone on saying that when there were eye witnesses around that could have refuted that?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: SevenPatch on July 17, 2014, 06:43:10 PM
Psychologists have proven that we can install false memories in ourselves and others.

You don't remember that time you beat up that mugger and the pretty girl gave you her phone number?  Yeah it was that time we went to pick up your mom's car, I think it was 11 years ago now.  It was amazing!  What? You lost the phone number, too bad, she was cute and seemed like she was into you.

__________________________

I wouldn't be surprised if it is easier to plant false memories than to help someone remember something that they have forgotten.

Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: 12 Monkeys 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
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Airyaman 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!
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: nogodsforme 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:
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: 12 Monkeys 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?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Airyaman 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.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: jetson 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.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: nogodsforme 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.  :?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: jetson 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.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: screwtape 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.

Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: jynnan tonnix 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.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: ParkingPlaces 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?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: nogodsforme 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?  :?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: jynnan tonnix 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 :)
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: ParkingPlaces 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.  :)
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: jynnan tonnix 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.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: skeptic54768 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.  :(
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: skeptic54768 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."
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: skeptic54768 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?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: skeptic54768 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?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: skeptic54768 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.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Timo 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?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: ParkingPlaces 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
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: ParkingPlaces 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.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Timo 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.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: skeptic54768 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.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: skeptic54768 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?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: ParkingPlaces 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...
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Timo 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?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: skeptic54768 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.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: ParkingPlaces on July 17, 2014, 11:15:38 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?

They just wrote BC on everything, silly.

This is the year 5775 in the Jewish calendar (I may be a year or so off. My memory isn't what it used to be)
The muslims say this is 1435.
The Chinese say this is 4712
If the Egyptian calendar was still used, this would be 6250.

Funny how that last calendar is older than the flood. How could that be?

Jesus was white and spoke english, right? That's why we use his birthday to start our calendar. Obviously.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: skeptic54768 on July 17, 2014, 11:19:32 PM
They just wrote BC on everything, silly.

This is the year 5775 in the Jewish calendar (I may be a year or so off. My memory isn't what it used to be)
The muslims say this is 1435.
The Chinese say this is 4712
If the Egyptian calendar was still used, this would be 6250.

Funny how that last calendar is older than the flood. How could that be?

Jesus was white and spoke english, right? That's why we use his birthday to start our calendar. Obviously.

if we had an atheist calendar, what year would this be? 4.5 billion?

OK, this is a digression. Sorry. Small joke.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Add Homonym on July 17, 2014, 11:20:02 PM

Scholars place Paul's earliest letter at 50 A.D.


I don't see how they can do that, because no Christian document is ever written at one time. We can never know if the most important part of the document was added 100 years later, for the purposes of validating a claim. There is no tracking and edit history on any Christian document; no provenance; only 'logic' of believers, who think that you can date a letter, and that there must have been eye witnesses.

"Scholars" also say that Paul was running a mystery cult, who believed that Jesus came down from heaven at Capernaum. Scholars don't amount to anything. You have your belief, and you select the scholar you want to believe.

There is no tracking data on the Pauline epistles prior to when Marcion, the heretic, had them in 135AD, and we only know this because he was criticized by later Orthodox "Chrestians", around 220AD, who could have been lying out their arses, as they misappropriated Marcionite documents.

We have archeological and documentary evidence that the earliest "Christians" called themselves Chrestians. Also, we have no documentary evidence prior to 5th century that Christians ever called themselves Christians. The mis-conversion of the secret Chi Rho code was not done until the Nicene formation of Christianity. The reason why it was so late, is that prior to this time, Chrestians obviously divided themselves into groups who did and did not respect the Jewish law and physical messiah influence. Much later, when the Jewish law group dominated, they thought they could get away with backronyming Chi Rho, to Jesus Christ, and erasing all the Jesus Chrestos history.

http://www.mountainman.com.au/essenes/chrestians%20christians.htm

This re-writing of history even occurred when the Annals of Tacitus were revealed. The Chrestus had been blotted over with Christos. In other words, the early influence on the documents was by those who had the power to maintain Chrestos, against Christos. The Jesus Christ non-gnostics won this battle very late, and combined the diverse traditions with Jewish law documents, to create Christianity. Then they erased evidence of other formative beliefs that created the documents.

Quote
Also, Jesus is said have died between 27-37 A.D. Even if we say jesus died in 33 A.D., that is only 17 years to 50 A.D. Someone who was 15 years old during jesus' crucifixion would only be 32 in 50 A.D.

All rubbish history, as far as I'm concerned.

Quote
Plenty of people would easily remember.

Yeah, they remembered that he was Jesus Chrestos, who appeared from nowhere at Capernaum.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: ParkingPlaces on July 17, 2014, 11:26:50 PM
They just wrote BC on everything, silly.

This is the year 5775 in the Jewish calendar (I may be a year or so off. My memory isn't what it used to be)
The muslims say this is 1435.
The Chinese say this is 4712
If the Egyptian calendar was still used, this would be 6250.

Funny how that last calendar is older than the flood. How could that be?

Jesus was white and spoke english, right? That's why we use his birthday to start our calendar. Obviously.

if we had an atheist calendar, what year would this be? 4.5 billion?

OK, this is a digression. Sorry. Small joke.

And actually funny. Boy, it would be a bitch to have to write July 17, 4500000000000 on our checks. Almost makes me glad we have christians making up the date.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: eh! on July 17, 2014, 11:47:04 PM
fits into this mold  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero#Mythic_hero_archetype;

ie;  Mythic hero archetype[edit]

The "Mythic Hero Archetype" is a set of 22 common traits shared by many heroes in various cultures, myths and religions throughout history and around the world. The concept was first developed by FitzRoy Somerset, 4th Baron Raglan (Lord Raglan) in his 1936 book, The Hero, A Study in Tradition, Myth and Drama. Raglan argued that the higher the score, the more likely the figure is mythical.[7] Otto Rank and Alan Dundes later elaborated on the list:

1.Mother is a royal virgin
2.Father is a king
3.Father related to mother
4.Unusual conception
5.Hero reputed to be son of god
6.Attempt to kill hero as an infant, often by father or maternal grandfather
7.Hero spirited away as a child
8.Reared by foster parents in a far country
9.No details of childhood
10.Returns or goes to future kingdom
11.Is victor over king, giant, dragon or beast
12.Marries a princess (often daughter of predecessor)
13.Becomes king
14.For a time he reigns uneventfully
15.He prescribes laws
16.Later loses favor with gods or his subjects
17.Driven from throne and city
18.Meets with mysterious death
19.Often at the top of a hill
20.His children, if any, do not succeed him [i.e., does not found a dynasty]
21.His body is not buried
22.Nonetheless has one or more holy sepulchers or tombs

Dundes offered the following list of top ten figures who best matched the archetype along with their scores of 22 when he appeared in the documentary The God Who Wasn't There.

1.Oedipus (22)
2.Theseus (20)
3.Jesus (19)
4.Romulus (17)
5.Hercules (17)
6.Perseus (16)
7.Zeus (15)
8.Jason (15)
9.Robin Hood (13)
10.Apollo (11)

Lord Raglan did not score Jesus as agreed with his publisher, but contemporary author Robert M. Price argues that the high score among otherwise mythical figures supports the Christ myth theory.[8]


and;

"Even before he was born, it was known that he would be someone special. A supernatural being informed mother the child she was to conceive would not be a mere mortal but would be divine. He was born miraculously, and he became an unusually precocious young man. As an adult he left home and went on an itinerant preaching ministry, urging his listeners to live, not the material things of this world, but for what is spiritual. He gathered a number of disciples around him, who became convinced that his teachings were divinely inspired, in no small part because he himself was divine. He proved it to them by doing many miracles, healing the sick, casting out demons, and raising the dead. But at the end of his life he roused opposition, and his enemies delivered him over to the Roman authorities for judgment. Still, after he left this world, he returned to meet his followers in order to convince them that he was not really dead but lived on in the heavenly realm. Later some of his followers wrote books about him.[18]

when speaking of;


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollonius_of_Tyana


Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: nogodsforme on July 18, 2014, 12:55:11 AM
^^^Good catch.

I counted at least 13 for Muhammed. Krishna, the god who is credited with bringing the Gita (the sacred text of Hinduism) to India, has a bunch of those characteristics.  I recognize some of the west African pantheon in there. King Arthur, too.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: skeptic54768 on July 18, 2014, 01:11:57 AM
fits into this mold  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero#Mythic_hero_archetype;

ie;  Mythic hero archetype[edit]

The "Mythic Hero Archetype" is a set of 22 common traits shared by many heroes in various cultures, myths and religions throughout history and around the world. The concept was first developed by FitzRoy Somerset, 4th Baron Raglan (Lord Raglan) in his 1936 book, The Hero, A Study in Tradition, Myth and Drama. Raglan argued that the higher the score, the more likely the figure is mythical.[7] Otto Rank and Alan Dundes later elaborated on the list:

1.Mother is a royal virgin
2.Father is a king
3.Father related to mother
4.Unusual conception
5.Hero reputed to be son of god
6.Attempt to kill hero as an infant, often by father or maternal grandfather
7.Hero spirited away as a child
8.Reared by foster parents in a far country
9.No details of childhood
10.Returns or goes to future kingdom
11.Is victor over king, giant, dragon or beast
12.Marries a princess (often daughter of predecessor)
13.Becomes king
14.For a time he reigns uneventfully
15.He prescribes laws
16.Later loses favor with gods or his subjects
17.Driven from throne and city
18.Meets with mysterious death
19.Often at the top of a hill
20.His children, if any, do not succeed him [i.e., does not found a dynasty]
21.His body is not buried
22.Nonetheless has one or more holy sepulchers or tombs

Dundes offered the following list of top ten figures who best matched the archetype along with their scores of 22 when he appeared in the documentary The God Who Wasn't There.

1.Oedipus (22)
2.Theseus (20)
3.Jesus (19)
4.Romulus (17)
5.Hercules (17)
6.Perseus (16)
7.Zeus (15)
8.Jason (15)
9.Robin Hood (13)
10.Apollo (11)

Lord Raglan did not score Jesus as agreed with his publisher, but contemporary author Robert M. Price argues that the high score among otherwise mythical figures supports the Christ myth theory.[8]


and;

"Even before he was born, it was known that he would be someone special. A supernatural being informed mother the child she was to conceive would not be a mere mortal but would be divine. He was born miraculously, and he became an unusually precocious young man. As an adult he left home and went on an itinerant preaching ministry, urging his listeners to live, not the material things of this world, but for what is spiritual. He gathered a number of disciples around him, who became convinced that his teachings were divinely inspired, in no small part because he himself was divine. He proved it to them by doing many miracles, healing the sick, casting out demons, and raising the dead. But at the end of his life he roused opposition, and his enemies delivered him over to the Roman authorities for judgment. Still, after he left this world, he returned to meet his followers in order to convince them that he was not really dead but lived on in the heavenly realm. Later some of his followers wrote books about him.[18]

when speaking of;


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollonius_of_Tyana

That never stuck around, though.
Jesus was the real deal and he stuck around for the long haul.

I am quite skeptical of much of the stuff you mentioned, hence my name.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Add Homonym on July 18, 2014, 01:16:25 AM
That never stuck around, though.
Jesus was the real deal and he stuck around for the long haul.

I am quite skeptical of much of the stuff you mentioned, hence my name.

You think something becomes real, once it's fooled people, and stuck around via Catholic force, inquisitions, lies and mistranslations; until it's integrated into our psyches by fear.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: nogodsforme on July 18, 2014, 02:07:17 AM

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."

I would like to introduce you to the magic google machine, my son....

The first thing to realize is that ancient people, like in bible times, didn't keep track of days. The lived on agricultural time, and paid close attention mainly to the changing seasons and the phases of the moon. The Arabs, Chinese, Greeks all used lunar calendars.

They had festivals based on the solstices and equinoxes, or when the rains came, or the Nile flooded or whatever their seasonal changes were. It was not like they had to make an appointment with the earth to plant the wheat at 4pm on Tuesday, May 6th in the year of the leaping goat.

The Jewish calendar year started with the spring equinox, same as many pagan cultures in the northern hemisphere. Everyone celebrated the rebirth of the earth's fertility with the beginning of the new year. Easter (Estrus, or fertility) is the pagan "wild sex in the fields to remind Mother Earth what she needs to do" party made over into the boring "Christ is risen hunt for colored eggs" party. But we have kept the flowers, lambs, chicks and bunnies from the pagans.

Our modern calendar is therefore a hodgepodge of ancient pagan beliefs and fictitious entities from the Romans, the Norse, etc. Unless you think Thor (Thursday) and Odin, or Woden (Wednesday) were real people. We still have Saturday, Sunday and Monday even though few of us worship Saturn, the sun and the moon nowadays.

The seven day week comes from the ancient Babylonians. Other pagan influences are Janus, the two-faced god who looked forward and backward=January;  Mars, the god of war=March; Juno, goddess of weddings and marriage=June. 

The calendar we use in the US is called the Gregorian calendar (an improvement over the Roman Julian calendar that was really messed up because they only had months of 29 or 31 days-- they thought even numbers were unlucky) so named for demon-worshiper Pope Gregory who established it in the late 1500's.

People in Europe accepted the AD and BC time periods only sporadically--it was not like everyone looked at each other and said, "We all love Jesus! Let's start the time with the year he was born!" Some Christian regions wanted to start with the crucifixion, others with the resurrection.

It took until the 800's for 1 AD to become the accepted beginning of the "Christian era" in Catholic medieval Europe. People were not using BC until the 1400's. Protestants adopted it from the Catholics, seemingly with little fanfare, but scratched out the saints days, and some even scratched out Christmas as too pagan.[1] The Orthodox Christian folks use a different calendar. As do the Coptics and Ethiopian Christians.

As you probably know, the Mayan calendar is more accurate than the pagan-based one started by the Romans, and does not need clumsy leap years to stay on track with the sun. Hindus, Persians, Buddhists and Bahais all have different calendars. If we had been conquered and colonized by any of them, we would be using theirs instead of the Roman one.

http://www.crowl.org/lawrence/time/days.html
http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/gregorian-calendar.html
 1. I find it interesting that Easter is far more pagan than Christmas, but is accepted by all Christians as okay to celebrate. Even the anti-holiday JW's observe it as the Passover/Lord's Evening Meal.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Anfauglir on July 18, 2014, 02:56:43 AM
Well, how did they keep track of dates before Jesus?

I -1'd you - but I'm not sure whether a +1 would have been more appropriate, as you are clearly joking.  I hope.

Anyhoo.....in answer to the OP, I must just re-post this little gem.....

- - - - - - - - - -
Do you mean the Jesus who healed the sick and even raised the dead? Where the former paralysed walked again, the blind could miraculously see again, and the deaf could listen and the mute speak after the Master's gentle touch? But he did not only heal the body, he also healed the soul. They called him Saviour and Redeemer, and he healed both rich and poor, men and women, young and old, slaves and free men, friends and enemies. In one occasion a paralysed man was brough to him in his bed, and took his bed and left walking after the Saviour had touched him. What was this Saviour's name?

… Asklepios.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Who was born by a mortal virgin mother and had a divine Father, and was known as the "Saviour of the world"? Before he was born his parents wandered to a bigger town, and prophets had foretold his birth and that he would be a king. This instigated a search for the infant Saviour by a leading figure who wanted to kill him. After growing up the Son of God was shown all the kingdoms of the world from a high mountain. He also walked on water and when he met his end his mother and his favorite disciple stood by him. He then tells his mother: "Do not cry, I'm going to heaven". When he dies he utter: "It is finished" and the earth trembles and darkness cover the land. Then he ascended to heaven, and his greatest achievement was to conquer death.

His name was of course...Hercules.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We all of course know the Redeemer who was no figure of pagan Greek polytheism. He was the true saviour who wanted to help and save the sinful humans, by sacrificing himself. But he was willing to do this, out of love, pity and compassion for the humans.

His name:...Prometheus.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now, who was the real Son of God, born by a mortal virgin mother, and often presented as the venerated newborn infant, or depicted riding a donkey? He healed the sick and did numerous wonders, among those making fine wine from plain water. He was killed but resurrected from the dead and became immortal. The followers of this god often ate a holy meal in a kind of sacramental union with the deity to achieve immortality after their death. One of this god's finest achievements was his death, his sacrifice, which delivers the whole human kind.

The God was the very popular Dionysos.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Who is the "Light of the World", the One, the God who defeated death? Born of a virgin mother, considered the first true king by the people, who rose from the grave and ascended to heaven. He defeated death, and must be considered the single true God.

Of course the Egyptian Osiris!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now, the real God often called the "Light of the world", "The good shepherd", "The lamb" and is "…the way, the truth, and the life". Identified with a cross. Who could that be?

Horus, (the son of Osiris).
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The original "Light of the world" was the mediator between God and man and was born on the 25th of December. Local shepherds witnessed his birth and gave him gifts. He had 12 disciples, and when his work was done on earth he gathered together to a last supper, and then ascended to heaven. At doomsday he will return to pass judgment on both the living and the dead. The righteous will go to heaven and the sinful will be killed in a giant fire. Sunday is his holy day, and this religion gave us the seven days of the week. His followers called each other "brothers" and their leaders "fathers". They practiced baptism and established a sacred meal ritual, where flesh and blood was symbolically consumed by initiates. Above earth was heaven, and below the dark, hell, with demons and the sinners.

The 'Light of the World' is of course the sungod Mithra.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wise men were led to his birth by a star, and his conception was miraculous. After his birth the ruler in the area wanted him dead and started a hunt for the child. But his parents were warned by a heavenly messenger who told them to escape over the river with the holy child. Here, he was met by shepherds. The boy grew up and did many great deeds, and was the mediator between God and man.


His name: Krishna.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Who then, was the god whose mother was told by an angel that she would give birth to a holy child destined to be a saviour? Even as a child he instructed the priests in the temple in religous matters, while his parents were looking for him. He started his religious career when he was (circa) 30 years of age, and surrounded himself with 12 disciples. One of the disciples is his favorite another is a traitor. He and his disciples abstain from wealth and travel around talking in parables and metaphors. This God called himself "Son of Man" and was referred to as "Prophet", "Master" and "Lord". He did many great wonders and healed the sick, blind could see again and deaf hear.
He also walked on water. When one of his disciples tried to do the same, he started to sink - his faith was not strong enough.

We are here obviously talking about Buddha.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This saviour cannot be mistaken for any other. He performed countless miracles on earth, miracles well attested to by bystanders. He healed the sick and the crippled, restored sight to the blind, cast out demons, and even raised the dead! His birth was of a virgin, foretold by an angel. While still a child, he exhibited extraordinary knowledge of religious scripture. He reformed the corrupt and worldly religions of his day. He was crucified, rose from the tomb and appeared to his disciples to prove to them his power over death, after which he ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of the father. He was known as "the Son of God!" His message is of love and compassion.

We give you: Apollonius of Tyana

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And there is of course the god-man, the prophet, the founder of a great monotheistic religion that still exist today. He preached that there was only one true god, and his teachings focused on the eternal fight between good and evil. The teachings include the idea of the saviour will wake the dead and pass judgment on all. The righteous ones goes to paradise and the sinful straight to a burning hell. The very word of Paradise stems from this religion. This semigod started his career in his early thirties, and had a following of disciples. As a band of monks they wandered around, preaching their religion. He was eventually killed and sent to heaven.

And he was the Persian Zarathustra.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The problem for Jesus is that all these deities are much older than him. You don't have to be very bright to see where the authors of the gospels got their "devine inspiration" when they created the Jewish version of the popular God-Man/ World-Saviour of antiquity.

*Thanks to:

http://www.bandoli.no/

- - - - - - - - - -

And that's the point.  Every single one of those tales above were believed by tens of thousands of people.  Initially just a few, probably - just like Christianity - but eventually the tales grew and spread and were believed by large numbers of people in the known world at the time.

So.....do you agree that all those people in that list above existed and did everything ascribed to them?  Or are you going to argue that it is perfectly possible for myths and untruths to grow up around the very normal human activities of a person until, in the repeated tellings, they become as gods?

And once you've decided which of those positions you intend to apply to my little list of gods and demigods, you'll then need to explain why the Jesus-myth is anything special.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on July 18, 2014, 03:50:37 AM
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?

And if he just survived the crucifixion without a resurrection. They could say exactly the same thing. I want something which actually proves he came back from the dead.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Add Homonym on July 18, 2014, 04:16:54 AM
This is my best-fit attempt to explain Christianity, via Occam's Razor. Not saying it's true; just a best-fit to common beliefs.



A guy with no kingly history or academic record comes along, and preaches against Judaism. He has a different interpretation (which has been lost), and claims that the world will shortly be purified by fire, and that those who follow his interpretation will enter an earthly heaven with him.

The Jews and Romans successfully kill him, along with a bunch of other trouble makers. His followers (outraged by his death) still believe his interpretation and are anti-Jewish. However, now there is a power struggle, and various factions fight to become the leaders of the diversified church of Jesus, which spreads into regions where it can't be persecuted by Jews. This also allows more evolution, because any real eye-witnesses are far away.

The ones who hold the most authority, claim they have been sent special messages from Jesus. One group has members that claim they have actually seen Jesus, so their interpretation gains more momentum. Their claim is eventually synthesized into a bigger Pauline-style claim, that not only has Jesus been seen physically, but their head of church is also receiving messages from him.

The Pauline style authors note that the physical history of Jesus was rather limited, because he was an itinerant preacher. They capitalized on it, and wrote of a Jesus who came from the sky, and went back to the sky. In this way, he becomes even more miraculous, and born from God. This group spawns Marcionism. At this point, the epistles have already been edited, to accord with their point of view, that Jesus didn't really have an earthly existence at all.

To get a more physical Jesus, back to the Jews, the book of acts was then faked, where Paul is said to be as miraculous as their version of Jesus. This gives a flawed basis for Paul's supposed writings, but makes him endorse Jewish law, in a strained way, by using a Jewish maxim about neighbours. It also explains how he has authority, by creating his revelation on the Road to Damascus.

The book of John was then faked up, to down-revise the Jewish law interpretation of Jesus. The author fabricates a Jesus not even know about loving his neighbour. He improves his powers, by resurrecting Lazarus (a feat that went unnoticed by other authors), and makes him unaccountable to Jews and Romans, by a cloak of invisibility. He makes Jesus the "Word", and the Light, and says that you only have to believe in him.



What it boils down to, is that you can source the motivation for lying from faction fighting, and people vying to be head of each faction. Such people will do just about anything.

Here's some opinion on how faked-up Acts and Luke is.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5MUUP4l6l4
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Mrjason on July 18, 2014, 05:59:14 AM
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?

We only use the christian part for the numbering, the months are based on old pagan naming system


http://gwydir.demon.co.uk/jo/roman/months.htm (http://gwydir.demon.co.uk/jo/roman/months.htm)

the days of the week are too

http://gwydir.demon.co.uk/jo/roman/daysweek.htm (http://gwydir.demon.co.uk/jo/roman/daysweek.htm)

Does this mean that these gods are real?
Lol, of course not they're demons...
...but this does mean the you speak the name of a demon probably on a daily basis.  :-\

I'd be careful if I were you... :-X

Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: One Above All on July 18, 2014, 06:12:11 AM
It started the same way all religions[1] did: lies and deception.

A bunch of people want power. They make up events for the foundation of a new religion. They write stuff that can't be verified or falsified at the time, related to events that (supposedly) happened a long time ago in an unreachable place. Mix some events from other religions, such as a virgin birth, reincarnation, fear of eternal punishment for something they didn't do, and so on, and voila. New religion. Next step is to get some people who will believe it by tricking them with "miracles" and others' "testimonies", as well as "prophecies" that are seemingly fulfilled, not to mention the ego stroking ("An all-powerful entity who created everything loves me above everyone else? That's amazing!"). They get more people to believe them, who get more people to believe them, and so on. Coincidences happen from time to time, like someone getting better from the common cold or finding a coin on the ground, which just serves to increase the number of followers. Over a couple thousand years, we get to nowadays: the religion is dying off.
 1. Hyperbole. I believe the very first religion was an honest, if highly misguided, attempt at understanding the Universe.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on July 18, 2014, 06:41:55 AM
....we get to nowadays: the religion is dying off.

Even people who say they believe it, have to alter the primitive concepts. JW thinks his god is a form of energy and not a form of human. Dominic has taken on Hinduism and calls it a new form of Christianity. It is part of the general trend. Change or become extinct. Hare Krishna Shep. Devi paribhavanti. (Gods become obsolete).
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Graybeard on July 18, 2014, 07:19:39 AM
As you guys all know, I don't really start new topics all too often, but I felt that this topic would be a fun one.

I would like the atheists to explain how they think Christianity started, especially considering something as groundbreaking as the Resurrection of Christ.
There you go assuming that Christ was crucified, which assumes there was a Christ, which assumes that he was the son of god because only god can do powerful magic and make dead people come alive.

You vastly underestimate how gullible the people of Judea were around 33AD. They sincerely believed in all sorts of magic, in witches and that the weather was the wrath of their gods.

Christianity seems to have arisen through Paul. Christianity was no more than a sect of Judaism, rather like the Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses are a spin-off sect of Christianity today.

You will see from your readings of Paul[1] that Paul, who had never met Christ, and has temporal lobe epilepsy, becomes a fervent convert and, when he runs out of answers he makes them up, often contradicting Christ.

As we see from the rise of the JWs and Mormons, intense proselyting gets converts regardless of how lunatic the idea behind it is.

Paul and his followers are simply arseholes, but, in the way that Al Quaida/ISIS/Hamas glory in the blood of martyrs to make their Church stronger, the suppression of Christianity serves only to create more martyrs and the movement takes off.

Eventually, the Head Man (Constantine) gets converted and obsessed and orders that everyone else gets converted so he doesn't look like an idiot.

The Conversion of Constantine is reminiscent of how the tribal god Yahweh came to be the god of a land: King Josiah had been the same way and had employed Jeremiah, a gifted orator totally devoid of morals, to enforce Jahwism on all of his people.



Quote
I want to see if the atheists' explanation makes more rational sense than the simplest explanation (Occam's razor), which is that Jesus rose from the dead.
WTF! Simple!!!??? How "simple" is it to rise from the dead??? If it is that "simple" please explain in biological and scientific terms, referencing what we know today, as to how this was done.

Or was it "Magic"?

Quote
So, how did Christianity start when people who were alive could have squashed the Resurrection myth?
Yeah, well it didn't, did it? See how it didn't catch on in Jerusalem? But it did in Asia Minor and then Rome - miles away from Jerusalem and decades after the death of Christ.

You see Skep, if you start out with false assumptions, your reasoning can take you anywhere - as it has so clearly with you.
 1. or in your case, you will not, as I doubt that you have ever bothered reading a Bible
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: One Above All on July 18, 2014, 07:21:04 AM
skeptic54768, in your own words, what does Occam's razor state?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: epidemic on July 18, 2014, 07:28:37 AM
skeptic,

If you look at how the religion evolved different groups from different regions all had their own set of religious texts.  There were even genocides of these groups as the one true catholic church slowly formed.  The catholic church picked and chose stories from these groups and assembled a library of books and called them the bible.  A group of people with skin in the game chose from the religous texts available at the time.  On a smaller scale I am sure each of the traditions of these groups each probably assembled stories into their religious traditions and texts. 

With in a lifetime you could probably see quite alot of change. Jesus was probably a pretty good speaker and religous leader.  His message resonated with many of the have nots.  So I think this is a very plausible scenario.

Group A spoke of a great preacher was killed by the romans the end.  He preached the truth and was killed for it.
Group B Living in a town 100 miles away, Heard that a guy saw Jesus work a miracle
Group C living 200 miles away (that is a long distance that probably few would journey) says jesus was killed and one member says I heard that a guy I know saw him came back from the dead for a few days.
Along comes a guy from group A who says he walked with Jesus and cried at jesus's funeral and Jesus remained dead.  Someone from group C screams heratic and they kill the guy who walked with Jesus the preacher.

 
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: screwtape on July 18, 2014, 08:21:40 AM
Well, how did they keep track of dates before Jesus?

Suggestion:
if you look this kind of thing up for yourself, you might learn something.  Whereas if you hear it from us, you are more likely to reject true facts out of hand because 1)it comes from us, 2)during a debate, and 3)might prove one of your beliefs wrong. 

Plus, this is just lazy.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: epidemic on July 18, 2014, 08:32:56 AM
Well, how did they keep track of dates before Jesus?

I think perhaps this is the most poorly reasoned question I have seen on this website.

in the face of the fact that time measurement that has been around since the dawn of man.  It existed before jesus the only thing that changed is the name we give the unit of measurement, the duration of the unit and the reference point.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: YRM_DM on July 18, 2014, 09:02:07 AM
Christians were a blip on the radar until about 60 AD when Nero blamed them for a fire.    So for 30 years after Jesus death, barely anyone was a Christian at all.   

Paul's letters were written before that, but the gospels were written after that.  Since so much time had passed, it's possible that Jesus existed, and possible he didn't exist at all and was invented for the purposes of the church, since they could claim to have eyewitness testimony to things that nobody could disprove.

After a few centuries of persecution and being a growing underground cult... (Pagans considered them atheists and intolerant) the Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity somewhere around the year 300-320.   With the leader of a large empire converted, there was no more support of paganism and Christianity grew from a cult to a religion.

With Christianity being organized and empowered almost 300 years after Jesus, they could gather any writings they wanted.  They could have changed things, added things, "found writings" that they created... who was going to say the emperor lied or was lied to?   This is why there were writings around the time of the gospels that weren't included in the Bible.

If you consider Scientology, which came out in an era of information and modern thinking, grew to about 50,000 members, give or take, over the last few decades...   and this was a religion invented by a guy that we KNOW was a SCIENCE FICTION WRITER!   There are quotes from L Ron Hubbard to the effect of "forget being a novelist, the real money is in inventing a religion!".

Now, with the growth of the internet, Scientology has been shrinking.   It's been exposed to everyone as a cult and a sham so it's much harder for them to get recruits.   In the same way, Christianity is shrinking in the United States now that it's been exposed online as having many, many holes in it.

Let's imagine instead, that Scientology had been invented in Jesus time with some slightly different mythology to fit the time better... let's imagine that a Roman Emperor had adopted Scientology as his primary religion and used his power to gather "official" church writings into a collection.

Scientology tries to force their believers not to question it, and they attack anyone who does question it, so, this likely would have worked well as a religion of the state at that time.

So given that Christianity took decades to even start to become a blip... decades for the myth to grow.

And then didn't really become more than a cult for a few hundred years...

It doesn't seem like a good source to take as "concrete proof" that a guy died and rose from the dead, or turned water into wine, or made the blind see.

Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: flapdoodle64 on July 18, 2014, 10:43:54 AM

Christianity seems to have arisen through Paul. Christianity was no more than a sect of Judaism, rather like the Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses are a spin-off sect of Christianity today...You will see from your readings of Paul[1] that Paul, who had never met Christ, and has temporal lobe epilepsy, becomes a fervent convert and, when he runs out of answers he makes them up, often contradicting Christ.

One question that recurs for me....Paul never met Jesus during Jesus' lifetime. When Jesus appeared in a vision for Paul, how did Paul know it wasn't someone just pretending to be Jesus? In the modern world, anyone who looks like George Harrison circa 1968 is said to look like Jesus. If the Devil is real and has the power to play tricks on people, how does anyone know that Paul's vision was not the Devil making himself up like George Harrison and fooling Paul?

Also, same question for anyone who claims to have a vision of Jesus. No portraits survive that were made in Jesus' lifetime (if any were even made). So there is no record, except of imaginary Jesuses created by artists. (Many early Jesus portraits show him sans beard, so we don't even know for sure he looked like George Harrison!) How do people know it's really Jesus and not the Devil or a demon playing a trick?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Timo on July 18, 2014, 11:27:34 AM
One question that recurs for me....Paul never met Jesus during Jesus' lifetime. When Jesus appeared in a vision for Paul, how did Paul know it wasn't someone just pretending to be Jesus? In the modern world, anyone who looks like George Harrison circa 1968 is said to look like Jesus. If the Devil is real and has the power to play tricks on people, how does anyone know that Paul's vision was not the Devil making himself up like George Harrison and fooling Paul?

It's probably the same spooky business as with the other disciples.  For example, here's Mary of Magdala's encounter:

Quote from: The LORD Thy God
But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre.  And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.  And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.[John 20:11-16]

This failure on the part of the disciples to recognize the risen Christ is repeated throughout the Gospels.  Here's another example:

Quote from: The LORD Thy God
13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people. And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre. And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not. Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken. Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?  And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them. [Luke 24:13-33]

So Paul's experience would fit neatly with the rest of the narratives.  Paul had an experience with an entity that he soon understands to be the risen Christ, just as the people who knew him did.  Also:

Yeah, well it didn't, did it? See how it didn't catch on in Jerusalem? But it did in Asia Minor and then Rome - miles away from Jerusalem and decades after the death of Christ.

That's a great point that had never really occurred to me.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: skeptic54768 on July 18, 2014, 11:52:37 AM
It certainly seems i have bitten off more than I can chew.

I believe I have failed.  :-\

Never in my wildest dreams did I think this thread would blow up this fast. I need some of my Christian buddies to give me a hand with this stuff.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: skeptic54768 on July 18, 2014, 11:58:31 AM
WTF! Simple!!!??? How "simple" is it to rise from the dead??? If it is that "simple" please explain in biological and scientific terms, referencing what we know today, as to how this was done.

Or was it "Magic"?

I am saying it's simple because God is all-powerful. It really is kind of ridiculous to say that God can't make a dead man rise.

of course if you are thinking in purely naturalistic terms of "no God" then of course you will think it's hokum and hogwash. but, I personally try to look at the bigger picture of God being all-powerful.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Energized on July 18, 2014, 11:58:54 AM
That never stuck around, though.
Jesus was the real deal and he stuck around for the long haul.

I am quite skeptical of much of the stuff you mentioned, hence my name.

It has been explained to you in page upon page, post upon post. You have been given FACTS and you have been shown LOGIC. You have been clearly shown why Jesus was nothing more than a myth, you have been shown WHY this religion was propagated, you have been educated on other religions to show that older religions all have the same characteristics.

And you have the nerve to troll such an answer and call yourself a skeptic?

Seriously, dude? Do you even know what a skeptic is? There was absolutely nothing in EH!'s post that would require such an answer (you basically said tl:dr) - his post demonstrates the similarity in myths and their characteristics.  Anfauglir also did the same.

And you still insist "Jesus was the real deal".

All right, smartass, put up or shut up. Prove Jesus. Simple as that. Start a new thread. Quit putting the onus of proof on us - we aren't the ones making the claim, YOU ARE. If you don't or can't, I personally don't plan on wasting anymore of my time on a ridiculous troll who essentially sits there with fingers in his ears and eyes closed.

E.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: skeptic54768 on July 18, 2014, 12:08:05 PM
That never stuck around, though.
Jesus was the real deal and he stuck around for the long haul.

I am quite skeptical of much of the stuff you mentioned, hence my name.

It has been explained to you in page upon page, post upon post. You have been given FACTS and you have been shown LOGIC. You have been clearly shown why Jesus was nothing more than a myth, you have been shown WHY this religion was propagated, you have been educated on other religions to show that older religions all have the same characteristics.

And you have the nerve to troll such an answer and call yourself a skeptic?

Seriously, dude? Do you even know what a skeptic is? There was absolutely nothing in EH!'s post that would require such an answer (you basically said tl:dr) - his post demonstrates the similarity in myths and their characteristics.  Anfauglir also did the same.

And you still insist "Jesus was the real deal".

All right, smartass, put up or shut up. Prove Jesus. Simple as that. Start a new thread. Quit putting the onus of proof on us - we aren't the ones making the claim, YOU ARE. If you don't or can't, I personally don't plan on wasting anymore of my time on a ridiculous troll who essentially sits there with fingers in his ears and eyes closed.

E.

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?

I am sorry I can not do that.  :(
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: One Above All on July 18, 2014, 12:15:19 PM
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?

I am sorry I can not do that.  :(

You know how we've proven gravity is real? Repeatable, verifiable, reliable, unbiased, unambiguous experiments. You know how we've proven evolution is real? Repeatable, verifiable, reliable, unbiased, unambiguous experiments. You know how we've proven germs are real? Repeatable, verifiable, reliable, unbiased, unambiguous experiments. You know how we've proven electricity is real? Repeatable, verifiable, reliable, unbiased, unambiguous experiments. You know how we've proven calculators work? Repeatable, verifiable, reliable, unbiased, unambiguous experiments.
You know how you can prove Jesus? That's right: repeatable, verifiable, reliable, unbiased, unambiguous experiments.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: nogodsforme on July 18, 2014, 12:17:05 PM
A prophet is never appreciated in his own land. Not even Jesus.  Buddha roamed around looking for enlightenment-- far from home of course. Same with Rasputin, the classic itinerant holy man. Muhammed had to flee from his hometown of Mecca to Medina before Islam caught on. One of my favorite parts of this story is that Mo's beloved Uncle Talib, who raised him and protected him from his enemies, never became a Muslim himself!  :?

I can imagine him looking at his wacky preachy nephew out of the corner of his eye and shaking his head, muttering, "These kids nowadays with their highfalutin' Islam. Telling me he's ashamed of our clan's sacred statues, that they're 'idolatrous'. Whatever that means. Hell, worshiping the nature sprits was good enough for all his ancestors, but now he has to go all monotheistic on us. It's a fad, like that Christianity stuff some of the kids are smoking. It's those damn Jewish kids he's been running around with. It's a phase."[1]

So many of these holy guys have go on the epic journey away from home to gain followers. Wonder why that is? Interesting how the folks who know the prophet the best--friends, neighbors, family, local leaders-- are often the very people who don't believe the hype!

Like, how many times did Penn and Teller's relatives sit through them pulling strings of needles out of their mouths in front of guests, and catching bullets in their teeth across the dinner table before going, "Why don't you boys go out and put on shows for other people..... somewhere far away from here?"  ;D
 1. Uncle Talib died a polytheistic pagan. Muslims today say he secretly converted to Islam on his deathbed, a ret-con if I ever heard one. Can't have Mo's uncle burning in hell, now can we?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Tero on July 18, 2014, 12:17:31 PM
There sre entire books on this. Read From Jesus to Christianity.

The process is Christology.

About 100 years after a popular Jesus myth circulated a couple of guys get together. "It would be a good idea if..."  And it snowballed.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Timo on July 18, 2014, 12:37:22 PM
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?

I am sorry I can not do that.  :(

Sidebar, do you think it's fair that God conditions salvation on belief in Christ given that some of us only have the Bible and a set of imperfect messengers when a generation of Judeans witnessed Christ's ministry and miracles first hand?  Isn't it easier for such people to have believed and therefor unfair of God to hold us to the same standard?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: YRM_DM on July 18, 2014, 12:47:46 PM
Christians were a blip on the radar until about 60 AD when Nero blamed them for a fire.    So for 30 years after Jesus death, barely anyone was a Christian at all.   

Paul's letters were written before that, but the gospels were written after that.  Since so much time had passed, it's possible that Jesus existed, and possible he didn't exist at all and was invented for the purposes of the church, since they could claim to have eyewitness testimony to things that nobody could disprove.

After a few centuries of persecution and being a growing underground cult... (Pagans considered them atheists and intolerant) the Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity somewhere around the year 300-320.   With the leader of a large empire converted, there was no more support of paganism and Christianity grew from a cult to a religion.

With Christianity being organized and empowered almost 300 years after Jesus, they could gather any writings they wanted.  They could have changed things, added things, "found writings" that they created... who was going to say the emperor lied or was lied to?   This is why there were writings around the time of the gospels that weren't included in the Bible.

If you consider Scientology, which came out in an era of information and modern thinking, grew to about 50,000 members, give or take, over the last few decades...   and this was a religion invented by a guy that we KNOW was a SCIENCE FICTION WRITER!   There are quotes from L Ron Hubbard to the effect of "forget being a novelist, the real money is in inventing a religion!".

Now, with the growth of the internet, Scientology has been shrinking.   It's been exposed to everyone as a cult and a sham so it's much harder for them to get recruits.   In the same way, Christianity is shrinking in the United States now that it's been exposed online as having many, many holes in it.

Let's imagine instead, that Scientology had been invented in Jesus time with some slightly different mythology to fit the time better... let's imagine that a Roman Emperor had adopted Scientology as his primary religion and used his power to gather "official" church writings into a collection.

Scientology tries to force their believers not to question it, and they attack anyone who does question it, so, this likely would have worked well as a religion of the state at that time.

So given that Christianity took decades to even start to become a blip... decades for the myth to grow.

And then didn't really become more than a cult for a few hundred years...

It doesn't seem like a good source to take as "concrete proof" that a guy died and rose from the dead, or turned water into wine, or made the blind see.

Skeptic, if you google around a little bit on what I wrote above, you should be able to find that it's pretty accurate.

I'd think if Jesus rose from the dead and there was a time of miracles where all the disciples were healing everyone, there'd be more historical evidence for that beyond "...30-40 years later, Nero got pissed cuz he thought the Christian's started a fire"

And the main reason the church grew beyond a cult was the adoption from Constantine, though, at the time, it was a popular minority cult.

People give different reasons why Constantine might have genuinely felt he converted or faked a conversion to assert more control over rebellions parts of the population.   Either way, Constantine certainly was no eye witness to any miracle or to Jesus.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: nogodsforme on July 18, 2014, 12:48:44 PM
WTF! Simple!!!??? How "simple" is it to rise from the dead??? If it is that "simple" please explain in biological and scientific terms, referencing what we know today, as to how this was done.

Or was it "Magic"?

I am saying it's simple because God is all-powerful. It really is kind of ridiculous to say that God can't make a dead man rise.

of course if you are thinking in purely naturalistic terms of "no God" then of course you will think it's hokum and hogwash. but, I personally try to look at the bigger picture of God being all-powerful.

That's where you lose me in the logic again.

God is all powerful--or at least powerful enough to raise a guy from the dead. So, why not raise everyone? Why the sporadic, hit and miss miracles in isolated places sprinkled here and there throughout history?

Why the need for a story book,  of all the cumbersome, primitive communication tools, to tell humanity what he is all about? In dead languages, yet, so it needs to be constantly translated, just like every other book ever written by humans.

If he wanted to communicate to everyone, he could show up at halftime at the Superbowl, right on the field. Or in the middle of the World Cup. Or take over the internet right now with his message, broadcast in the language of each person online. Send a text to every cell phone in every language. That message would get to 99% of the planet in a few hours.

There should be no need for people to risk death smuggling bibles to North Koreans--for one thing, they would rather have some food.  God should just show up at the next big Kim Jong Un love fest, smite that little bastard into eternity, multiply one bowl of rice into a million and take his bow. After that, North Korean people would stampede like a herd of buffalo in heat to the nearest Christian church.

But, instead, like every other god in history, this one can only travel as fast and as far as a human believer, carrying a book. And who knows if the human believer is from the correct one of the many thousands of Christian denominations? Even after hearing god's vitally important message, it has to then be interpreted anew by every human believer, whose understanding may be wrong and is certainly limited.

Why does this all-powerful god seem to have the exact same physical constraints in time and space as every other god before and since? I have said it many times before: If there was an all-powerful god who wanted everyone to know about him, and to understand his message, we all would. Since we don't, there isn't.

And that's Occam's Razor, babycakes. :angel:
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: epidemic on July 18, 2014, 01:03:26 PM
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?

I am sorry I can not do that.  :(

Well that might be a good start, considering people who knew him wittnessed his miracles and heard his sermons, needed further miracles to believe.  I people who wittnessed first hand him raise the dead, heal the amputated, walk on water, change water into wine... these same people all required further proof.

Why would I 2014 years later require any less proof with only translated old second hand stories.  I would say the bible is not as good as hanging with Jesus and seeing him in action.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on July 18, 2014, 01:08:08 PM
It certainly seems i have bitten off more than I can chew.

I believe I have failed.  :-\

Never in my wildest dreams did I think this thread would blow up this fast. I need some of my Christian buddies to give me a hand with this stuff.

Everyone loves you so much that you get all this attention.

You are world famous now!

Imagine all those readers.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: jdawg70 on July 18, 2014, 01:09:51 PM
WTF! Simple!!!??? How "simple" is it to rise from the dead??? If it is that "simple" please explain in biological and scientific terms, referencing what we know today, as to how this was done.

Or was it "Magic"?

I am saying it's simple because God is all-powerful. It really is kind of ridiculous to say that God can't make a dead man rise.
It really is kind of ridiculous to say that god cannot create a world full of perfectly free willed creatures that can successfully exercise that free will without ever causing an innocent entity to suffer.
It really is kind of ridiculous to say that god can't convince every single sentient entity that he loves that he freakin' exists without violating their free will.
It really is kind of ridiculous to say that god cannot manifest a better way to communicate with his beloved creations than an old-ass poetic book without violating their free will.
It really is kind of ridiculous to say that god cannot achieve the salvation for humanity without requiring the sacrifice of an innocent.
It really is kind of ridiculous to say that god cannot prevent demons from leading his beloved creatures astray (in this case, essentially assuring their ability to exercise their free will.  You know - informed decisions and shit).
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: nogodsforme on July 18, 2014, 01:29:53 PM

I'd think if Jesus rose from the dead and there was a time of miracles where all the disciples were healing everyone, there'd be more historical evidence for that beyond "...30-40 years later, Nero got pissed cuz he thought the Christian's started a fire"

And the main reason the church grew beyond a cult was the adoption from Constantine, though, at the time, it was a popular minority cult.

People give different reasons why Constantine might have genuinely felt he converted or faked a conversion to assert more control over rebellions parts of the population.   Either way, Constantine certainly was no eye witness to any miracle or to Jesus.

Channeling someone on my ignore list:

But can't you see? Constantine's conversion to Christianity was the miracle he himself witnessed! And therefore, the fact that he witnessed a miracle (his own conversion) is proof that Christianity is true!

Back to Rationalityland (just as fun as Disneyland, but much cheaper-- and no lines). The lack of contemporary accounts of all these incredible (in every sense) events, and the big time gaps in the storyline don't bode well for the all-powerful being.  News accounts, diary entries, letters home, stone tablets, all commemorating the day dad or daughter got healed by a disciple of Jesus, reports of raucous celebrations of joyful healed people that had to be quelled by soldiers, souvenir coins and plaques with Jesus' face on them. There should be thousands of artifacts-- we are talking about miracles, here.

Think about all the evidence future archeologists in the year 5014 will be able to sift through showing that Hitler, or the international space station, or 9/11, or Michael Jackson, or Hurricane Katrina, or the US Tax code, or the Chinese manufacturing economy were real. And none of that is miraculous.

If future archeologists only found one account, and just a passing mention at that, of someone flying a plane into a building, and not a single other piece of evidence that said anything like that had ever happened, what should they think? That people were flying planes into buildings so often that people didn't comment on it?[1] That there had originally been thousands of accounts about 9/11, but only one survived, even though all the tax records the IRS ever collected are there, along with several bootleg Chinese videos of Pia Zadora movies. Or that people in the never flew a plane into a buidling, and that was just a story someone made up? 
 1. A theist here actually proposed that miracles were so common in bible times that nobody noticed--that is why there are so few accounts about the early Christians...
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: jdawg70 on July 18, 2014, 01:33:05 PM
A theist here actually proposed that miracles were so common in bible times that nobody noticed--that is why there are so few accounts about the early Christians...

I admire your dedication to this subject.

With that said, people used to believe in miracles and see things all the time. A dead man rising would have been "ho-hum" everyday life. They weren't "extraordinary events" like the atheists today think. They were commonplace.

I certainly would not expect a historian to write about mundane things that happen regularly. The problem is that you guys are applying your present mindset onto 2,000 years ago. Things don't work that way.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: YRM_DM on July 18, 2014, 01:45:26 PM
If you insist that there's an All-Powerful God that does everything and everything is possible, and work down from there, then it is logical that he could do things like make a man rise from the dead.   There's no actual proof that a man rose from the dead, but you can believe it because an all powerful god, who there is also no proof for, could do that... and the book, that there's no proof he inspired, said he could.

However, if you ask for "why do we believe that there is an all powerful god at all?"

- The Bible is full of problems.  The New Testament was written multiple decades after Jesus death and isn't supported otherwise historically.
- The whole Biblical story was put together hundreds of years later and translated and canonized by multiple errant people who ignore some books and place others.
- There is all kinds of stuff in the Bible you wouldn't expect to see from a being older than time who supposedly loves us.
- The universe doesn't look like it was created to support much life or for us to be the "center of attention" of a creator who loves us.
- All scientific data on the age of the universe, and whether there was a global flood, and all that stuff, supports that there was never a global flood... 8 people didn't repopulate 7,000,000,000 in 4,000 years... the earth is not 6,000 years old.   Civilizations were flourishing and recording history DURING the supposed time of the global flood.

- Oh... and FYI?  More water than exists on the entire planet didn't "drain off" forming the Grand Canyon... drain into what?  A bath tub stopper to the center of the earth where the devil drank it all and had to pee a lot?  C'mon.

- God never speaks to anyone or sends any new clear messages today that are clearly divine in nature.
- Nothing in the Bible explained things that only a god would know and people didn't know at that time.
- Statistically, all prayer has no effect, in spite of the Bible promising that prayer has effect in dozens of places.  All seemingly answered prayers can be explained as coincidences that happen equally for people who didn't pray at all.

(my relative might recover from an illness without any prayer at all)

- Everything in nature that seemed miraculous or god driven... almost everything has been explained by science.  Lightning, thunder, volcanoes, asteroids, tidal waves, disease, drug induced hallucinations, the sun, stars, planets... it's all been explained except for the origin of life (abiogenesis) and the origin of the big bang.   Of which there are educated guesses for both that do not include god, and they're tracking down the answers for those too.

THERE IS NO REASON AT ALL TO START WITH AN ASSUMPTION THAT THERE IS AN ALL-POWERFUL GOD.

Try reasoning the universe as if there is NOT, and it starts making sense.


Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Energized on July 18, 2014, 02:14:45 PM

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?

I am sorry I can not do that.  :(

Well, you've proven to yourself that he's real. Your whole life is devoted to it.

So, you're basically saying that your lifestyle, how you define yourself as a person (your outlook, etc) is devoted to something that even you cannot prove exists.

And you want to convince others that it's a real thing even though you can't prove it? Do you not see how insane that is?

E.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: screwtape on July 18, 2014, 03:32:58 PM
for what it's worth, the question of the jesus' existence has been done here heavy duty, several times.  In one of the threads there is an itemized destruction of the alleged extrabiblical accounts of jesus.  Here are some links to those conversations where one of those destructions might be:

this one is a long one. 68 pages.  tough to say where the really good stuff is without slogging through the whole thing.
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,6776.msg151481.html#msg151481

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,24866.msg553541.html#msg553541

focuses on Josephus
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,20104.msg444031.html#msg444031

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,13779.msg305941.html#msg305941

good one, by bert. two posts long
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,13232.msg294482.html#msg294482

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,25039.msg558100.html#msg558100

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,25026.msg557893.html#msg557893

etc
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: YRM_DM on July 18, 2014, 04:24:14 PM

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?

I am sorry I can not do that.  :(

And you want to convince others that it's a real thing even though you can't prove it? Do you not see how insane that is?

E.

What evidence would I accept?

1 - God/Jesus talking to me in a voice that wasn't my own telling me verifiable things I didn't know.

2 - You have a relationship with God/Jesus... have him tell you some very specific things about me that you could not find out online, and tell me those things in enough detail that there'd be no other way you could know.  (this might not totally convert me but it'd give me pause)

3 - My girlfriend's daughter is instantly healed from a debilitating brain condition.

4 - Any evidence exists that prayer moves the needle... not 100%, but, a provable amount.

As Matt Dillahunty says, if there's a god who loves me and knows me, presumably he knows exactly what it would take to convince me, but still hasn't done it.

Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: nogodsforme on July 18, 2014, 05:21:46 PM
That last part is important. Believers say, "No matter what god does, you still will not believe." They apparently have little faith in the powers of their god.  :angel:

We hear from folks frequently who got exactly what it took to convince them. For skeptic it was the healed dog and the blood on the wall. For Luk it was talking to priests or attending mass or whatever. For Jst it was reading the JW bible and suddenly it all became clear. For that burger guy, it was a song on his car radio one night, IIRC. For other people it was something else. 

So, god knew what would convince each of them. And he did it. It was not anything these folks did. In several cases people said they were sinners, busy misbehaving and ignoring god completely, and still god found them.  So they were obviously not doing what they tell us to do-- praying in the right way, with sincerity and open hearts, attending services even if they did not believe (fake it till you make it) and so forth. It was all up to god. Right?

He still has not done that for any of us. We have done many of the things these religious folks have done. I have been to many, many kinds of religious services. I have talked to many people about their faith, and have read many religious works. I have considered the possibility that this or that god existed. I have been surrounded by religious people every day. But nothing "took". 

God knows what he has to do so it will "take" for each one of us. And still he does not do it. Most, perhaps all of us, will die without knowing god. Whose fault is that? Ours? Or god's?

The theists here will say it is our fault. Because they cannot entertain the other possibilities: god does not want some people and it therefore not very loving; or god cannot reach some people, and is therefore not very powerful, or god does not exist.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Airyaman on July 18, 2014, 07:14:58 PM
<snip>

The theists here will say it is our fault. Because they cannot entertain the other possibilities: god does not want some people and it therefore not very loving; or god cannot reach some people, and is therefore not very powerful, or god does not exist.

I used to lurk on the pagan forums at belief.net. It was interesting to read that some of the heathen and pagan people said that they had indeed encountered the Christian god, but that he was very cold and indifferent to them because they had not chosen to worship him. Now, if such a god does exist, then he could also just not want to let us know about him because there are people he just doesn't like.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: ParkingPlaces on July 18, 2014, 07:47:49 PM
We hear from folks frequently who got exactly what it took to convince them. For skeptic it was the healed dog and the blood on the wall. For Luk it was talking to priests or attending mass or whatever. For Jst it was reading the JW bible and suddenly it all became clear. For that burger guy, it was a song on his car radio one night, IIRC. For other people it was something else. 

Great post, nogods (my spellchecker keeps trying to change you to no-goods  ;D). Its interesting that in the above examples, it took a different version of this god fella to get to each of them. It took customized religious or pseudo-religious material presented in specific forms to convince each of them.

So either this god guy is too inept to invent a version of religion that will appeal to me (or nogods or jetson or whoever), or we all got our shots when we were young and we're immune. Or, of course, maybe he just doesn't exist.

But if he is real, you gotta have faith, plus you have to be susceptible. To one of his prearranged religions. At least if you are a doubter of one sort or the other. I assume most people get born into lutheran or baptist or catholic households and just fall for it from the start. But possibly because they have genetic predispostions to fall for that specific form, a la their parents.

Oh well. If he is real, his only actual superpower is being invisible to a bunch of us, and as talents go, that seems to be a less than optimal one for any given omnipotent deity. I'd hate it if I have to spend all of eternity crying out in pain as I roast in hell just because it didn't occur to god to take the form of a delicious snack food to get my attention.

Oh wait, the catholics have that, don't they. I'll have to go give JC a nibble this Sunday and see if that convinces me.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: eh! on July 18, 2014, 07:55:05 PM
skep the way you have refuted all comers, demonstrated most clearly and unambiguously a case for our lord jeebus and provided verifiable historical and archaeological evidence from multiple independent and unbiased sources only the most belligerent, demon possessed, feeble of mind, brainwashed by the international atheists agenda Illuminati led demons could not agree with you.

splendid work skep, splendid i  say...BRAVO, BRAVO

HAIL  JEEBUS
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: jetson on July 18, 2014, 08:40:43 PM
skep - come join the dark side. This is one of the best threads I've seen in a long time when it comes to reasons to doubt. It can be painful to lose faith, but it is also extremely liberating and wonderful. While I was never a deep believer, I never felt better inside, or more alive than when I decided to call myself atheist. I get to abandon mythology as a lifestyle, and live as a real human being.

Dear Jesus, if you're real, please let skep be an atheist, if only to show him how cool it is.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: skeptic54768 on July 18, 2014, 08:57:57 PM
skep - come join the dark side. This is one of the best threads I've seen in a long time when it comes to reasons to doubt. It can be painful to lose faith, but it is also extremely liberating and wonderful. While I was never a deep believer, I never felt better inside, or more alive than when I decided to call myself atheist. I get to abandon mythology as a lifestyle, and live as a real human being.

Dear Jesus, if you're real, please let skep be an atheist, if only to show him how cool it is.

While this thread certainly was not what I expected, I am not an atheist again.

What you said in bold is how I felt when I became a Christian. So, I guess "personal feelings" aren't a good reason to convince someone either way, right?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: skeptic54768 on July 18, 2014, 09:01:21 PM

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?

I am sorry I can not do that.  :(

Well, you've proven to yourself that he's real. Your whole life is devoted to it.

So, you're basically saying that your lifestyle, how you define yourself as a person (your outlook, etc) is devoted to something that even you cannot prove exists.

And you want to convince others that it's a real thing even though you can't prove it? Do you not see how insane that is?

E.

Now that is very interesting. I feel like God has proven Himself to me though. I am truly sorry I can't duplicate the experience for you.i wish I could. I do wish the Lord would come down and make you a believer. but, at the same time I understand the importance of free will. This is very confusing.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: ParkingPlaces on July 18, 2014, 09:02:33 PM

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?

I am sorry I can not do that.  :(

Well, you've proven to yourself that he's real. Your whole life is devoted to it.

So, you're basically saying that your lifestyle, how you define yourself as a person (your outlook, etc) is devoted to something that even you cannot prove exists.

And you want to convince others that it's a real thing even though you can't prove it? Do you not see how insane that is?

E.

Now that is very interesting. I feel like God has proven Himself to me though. I am truly sorry I can't duplicate the experience for you.i wish I could. I do wish the Lord would come down and make you a believer. but, at the same time I understand the importance of free will. This is very confusing.

How was your free will not violated, and why would mine be if he did the same thing to me?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: jetson on July 18, 2014, 09:02:58 PM
skep - come join the dark side. This is one of the best threads I've seen in a long time when it comes to reasons to doubt. It can be painful to lose faith, but it is also extremely liberating and wonderful. While I was never a deep believer, I never felt better inside, or more alive than when I decided to call myself atheist. I get to abandon mythology as a lifestyle, and live as a real human being.

Dear Jesus, if you're real, please let skep be an atheist, if only to show him how cool it is.

While this thread certainly was not what I expected, I am not an atheist again.

What you said in bold is how I felt when I became a Christian. So, I guess "personal feelings" aren't a good reason to convince someone either way, right?

You can only convince yourself if you want to. For me, the emptiness of believing in mythology was no match for the fulfilling an amazing feeling of being a godless human being.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: skeptic54768 on July 18, 2014, 09:03:50 PM
Well that might be a good start, considering people who knew him wittnessed his miracles and heard his sermons, needed further miracles to believe.  I people who wittnessed first hand him raise the dead, heal the amputated, walk on water, change water into wine... these same people all required further proof.

Why would I 2014 years later require any less proof with only translated old second hand stories.  I would say the bible is not as good as hanging with Jesus and seeing him in action.

Another good point. But, perhaps God was using them as examples to show us precisely how he doesn't want us to be.

Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: skeptic54768 on July 18, 2014, 09:05:41 PM
You can only convince yourself if you want to. For me, the emptiness of believing in mythology was no match for the fulfilling an amazing feeling of being a godless human being.

The response I would make to this would be a derailment. It would be best saved for a new topic.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: skeptic54768 on July 18, 2014, 09:07:02 PM
How was your free will not violated, and why would mine be if he did the same thing to me?

I always heard it being put like this:

Jesus is knocking on the door, but you have to open the door and let Him in. Jesus isn't going to kick the door down and break in to you.

Perhaps I just opened the door and let Jesus in?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Timo on July 18, 2014, 09:08:48 PM
Another good point. But, perhaps God was using them as examples to show us precisely how he doesn't want us to be.

You could put it that way:

Quote from: The LORD Thy God
Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.[John 20:29]
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Timo on July 18, 2014, 09:09:40 PM
I always heard it being put like this:

Jesus is knocking on the door, but you have to open the door and let Him in. Jesus isn't going to kick the door down and break in to you.

Perhaps I just opened the door and let Jesus in?

But what if God has already hardened our hearts?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: skeptic54768 on July 18, 2014, 09:10:18 PM
Sidebar, do you think it's fair that God conditions salvation on belief in Christ given that some of us only have the Bible and a set of imperfect messengers when a generation of Judeans witnessed Christ's ministry and miracles first hand?  Isn't it easier for such people to have believed and therefor unfair of God to hold us to the same standard?

But, the point is that some people DO believe it without requiring first hand direct in-your-face proof.

Why would God "feel sorry" (so to speak) for the ones who don't believe?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: ParkingPlaces on July 18, 2014, 09:11:49 PM
How was your free will not violated, and why would mine be if he did the same thing to me?

I always heard it being put like this:

Jesus is knocking on the door, but you have to open the door and let Him in. Jesus isn't going to kick the door down and break in to you.

Perhaps I just opened the door and let Jesus in?

Fair enough. But he has to really knock. I don't want to imagine it.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: skeptic54768 on July 18, 2014, 09:13:50 PM
But what if God has already hardened our hearts?

He would not. Are you referencing the Pharaoh incident? If so, Pharaoh hardened his own heart. But, this is a derailment. not the thread for this.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: ParkingPlaces on July 18, 2014, 09:25:25 PM
By the way skep, if I don't do the JC thing and end up in hell, my free will will be violated for all of eternity. With rising energy costs and stuff, wouldn't it be wiser to violate my free will now, give me the info I need to make the right god decision, and be done with it?

And of course, there is this old question: Is it free will if there is only one predetermined and correct answer. I'd rather called it forced will.

It sounds more like a simple pass/fail exam to me. It has nothing to do with freely exercising ones options. Its just a plain old trap. It isn't real, but it is designed to scare the crap out of folks and get them to fall in line with the marching band.

I don't even sign up for grocery store customer cards. Don't expect me to apply for a slot in heaven.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: skeptic54768 on July 18, 2014, 09:29:20 PM
By the way skep, if I don't do the JC thing and end up in hell, my free will will be violated for all of eternity. With rising energy costs and stuff, wouldn't it be wiser to violate my free will now, give me the info I need to make the right god decision, and be done with it?

And of course, there is this old question: Is it free will if there is only one predetermined and correct answer. I'd rather called it forced will.

It sounds more like a simple pass/fail exam to me. It has nothing to do with freely exercising ones options. Its just a plain old trap. It isn't real, but it is designed to scare the crap out of folks and get them to fall in line with the marching band.

I don't even sign up for grocery store customer cards. Don't expect me to apply for a slot in heaven.

Yes, but you know the story of Christianity. if you don't believe, you go to hell. If it turns out you were wrong and go to hell, then you can't claim it is unfair.

I know you guys hate this analogy but if someone breaks the law and didn't know it was against the law, they still go to jail. Even if someone doesn't believe in jail, they will still go there.

Who's fault is it if someone ends up in jail? Yours or the people who built the jail?
Darn it, another digression. This topic is just going all over the place.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Timo on July 18, 2014, 09:34:02 PM
But, the point is that some people DO believe it without requiring first hand direct in-your-face proof.

Why would God "feel sorry" (so to speak) for the ones who don't believe?

It's not about anyone feeling sorry for anyone.  It's about fairness.  If God's plan is to give people different amounts of evidence and then judge them according to the same standard He's either unjust or unreasonable.

Or put another way, what do you think happens to those of us who don't accept Christ when we die?

He would not. Are you referencing the Pharaoh incident? If so, Pharaoh hardened his own heart. But, this is a derailment. not the thread for this.

It's sort of off topic, but not really.  Plus, I don't think it would warrant a new thread.  I think you're obviously wrong.  It's in the plain text, my dude.  God hardens Pharaoh's heart:

Quote from: The LORD Thy God
And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had spoken unto Moses. [Exodus 9:12]

That's the King James.  I'm not aware of any translation (http://biblehub.com/exodus/9-12.htm) that doesn't put God as the cause of Pharaoh's heart being hardened.  And in any case, Paul felt the need to grapple with the implications of a plain reading of that text.

Quote from: Paul
For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.  So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.  For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.  Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?  Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?[Romans 9:15-20]
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: ParkingPlaces on July 18, 2014, 09:38:25 PM
By the way skep, if I don't do the JC thing and end up in hell, my free will will be violated for all of eternity. With rising energy costs and stuff, wouldn't it be wiser to violate my free will now, give me the info I need to make the right god decision, and be done with it?

And of course, there is this old question: Is it free will if there is only one predetermined and correct answer. I'd rather called it forced will.

It sounds more like a simple pass/fail exam to me. It has nothing to do with freely exercising ones options. Its just a plain old trap. It isn't real, but it is designed to scare the crap out of folks and get them to fall in line with the marching band.

I don't even sign up for grocery store customer cards. Don't expect me to apply for a slot in heaven.

Yes, but you know the story of Christianity. if you don't believe, you go to hell. If it turns out you were wrong and go to hell, then you can't claim it is unfair.

I know you guys hate this analogy but if someone breaks the law and didn't know it was against the law, they still go to jail. Even if someone doesn't believe in jail, they will still go there.

Who's fault is it if someone ends up in jail? Yours or the people who built the jail?
Darn it, another digression. This topic is just going all over the place.

Its hard to stay on topic when there is so much to talk about. We usually don't worry about threads drifting unless someone is changing the subject to avoid the topic at hand. But we'll try this one later.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on July 18, 2014, 09:49:58 PM
Perhaps I just opened the door and let Jesus in?

From your description of blood on a wall and flying plates, I would not say you had a free choice. What was it you accepted which no one else believes?

I understand the importance of free will. This is very confusing.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: nogodsforme on July 18, 2014, 10:45:28 PM
Sidebar, do you think it's fair that God conditions salvation on belief in Christ given that some of us only have the Bible and a set of imperfect messengers when a generation of Judeans witnessed Christ's ministry and miracles first hand?  Isn't it easier for such people to have believed and therefor unfair of God to hold us to the same standard?

But, the point is that some people DO believe it without requiring first hand direct in-your-face proof.

Why would God "feel sorry" (so to speak) for the ones who don't believe?

Because people who believe, by definition, got from god exactly the information/experience/message/whatever, that they needed in order to believe. For some of them it was first hand direct in-your-face proof--god himself showed up and said hello. For others it was a healed doggie or a baby cured of "incurable" cancer, or a lotto ticket that paid out a million dollars right before foreclosure, or a near death experience where they saw someone they thought was Jesus in the operating room. Any of those experiences could be interpreted differently, but for those people it was sufficient evidence for god.

Those who do not believe, by definition, did not get from god exactly the information/experience/message/whatever they needed in order to believe. Otherwise, they would believe!

They might have had all of the above experiences, but not once did it occur to them that there was a god behind any of it. The baby was one of the lucky 2% whose cancer went into remission. Someone's ticket has to win the lotto, and lots of people have been near to losing their homes, so it is very likely that the two events will happen together once in a while. Nobody knows what Jesus looked like, and people's brains do all kinds of things under anesthesia or when close to death-- it might have been a Sikh technician with a beard who was the last face the person saw before they went under and dreamed they saw Jesus. So none of that stuff would be enough to give them faith, and god already knows that.

If god shows up in front of you, irrefutably the one true god, how could anyone not believe? Given that, why does he not just show up? That is all any atheist is asking. Minimally, god needs to show up. but, chances are good that he will not and most of us will die unbelievers. Again, whose fault will that be?

It is as if god gives some people just what they need (like the entry code or secret password to the "faith website") but does not give it to others. Or in the case of other religions, he hands over a fake password, or gives demons a fake one to hand out.[1]

And then, he is going to punish all the people who did not access the "faith website" correctly. Even though he knew that without the right password, they would never be able to access it.

And this is fair, just, loving, caring and kind, how?

Anyway you look at it, unless you already have the god glasses on, god comes off badly. He is at best, an arrogant Professor Snape type who enjoys rewarding the few who learn  quickly,  while holding back knowledge from the rest so he can watch the ignorant squirm in terror before him. At worst, he is Pol Pot or the North Korean dictator, torturing people to death for not marching straight enough, giving out meat to half the people, letting the others eat only grass soup, and letting a lucky few share his caviar and take luxury trips on his yacht. :P

 1. This seems particularly d!ckish, to let fake gods and demons appear to be him, knowing how many millions will fall for it. Hell for them. So sad, too bad.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: skeptic54768 on July 20, 2014, 01:14:24 AM
From your description of blood on a wall and flying plates, I would not say you had a free choice. What was it you accepted which no one else believes?

Good point there. I can not tell you why I saw what I saw. I can only tell you that I saw it. That is why no matter how much logic & reason gets thrown at me by the atheists, I will always know what I saw. No refutations can make me unsee it.

If you guys don't believe me, then so be it. What more can I do, honestly?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: skeptic54768 on July 20, 2014, 01:17:54 AM
Its hard to stay on topic when there is so much to talk about. We usually don't worry about threads drifting unless someone is changing the subject to avoid the topic at hand. But we'll try this one later.

If you do not think that is a derailment, then by all means, please refute it.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: eh! on July 20, 2014, 01:48:27 AM
you did say you were on drugs before you came a theist, so from Occam's razor to explain the blood on the wall....
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: skeptic54768 on July 20, 2014, 02:01:27 AM
you did say you were on drugs before you came a theist, so from Occam's razor to explain the blood on the wall....

Wasn't on drugs at that time. I wasn't high 24/7 non-stop.

I would know the difference, trust me. I was sober.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Graybeard on July 20, 2014, 04:00:36 AM
But what if God has already hardened our hearts?

He would not. Are you referencing the Pharaoh incident? If so, Pharaoh hardened his own heart. But, this is a derailment. not the thread for this.

Skep,

God hates people like you who distort His Words. God has already condemned you to Hell for this blasphemy. You say that Pharaoh hardened his heart himself and that the miracle done by God, was neither a miracle or done by God?

Ex:7:8: And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,
Ex:7:9: When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Shew a miracle for you: then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast it before Pharaoh, and it shall become a serpent.
Ex:7:10: And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the LORD had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent.
Ex:7:11: Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.
Ex:7:12: For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods.
Ex:7:13: And he hardened Pharaoh's heart, that he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.
Ex:7:14: And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh's heart is hardened, he refuseth to let the people go.[/b]

Skep, I suggest that, you read, mark learn and inwardly digest the following infallible scripture:

Re:2:2: I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
Re:21:8: But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

It's not me who's saying this Skep, it is God. It seems your soul is damned for all eternity. Perhaps you were serving Satan all along?

Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Ron Jeremy on July 20, 2014, 05:10:29 AM
How did Christianity start? Religion first came about when we as a species were first able to forecast our own death, when we realised that we would not live for ever. An eternal death doesn't sit well with many of us, so in the early times of us being self aware, we started searching for ways round this.
'Hmm, the big yellow thing in the sky makes our food grow. But every so often it gets weak, our food stops growing. Maybe if we build fires to warm the big yellow thing it'll get stronger and keep our food growing? Also, the big yellow thing doesn't die like we do? Maybe if we please it, the big yellow thing will not let us die? Actually, the big yellow thing seems to allow us to live; maybe it chooses when we die?

And so began the tradition of burning things or singing songs or dancing in a certain way to help us overcome death. All religions are death cults, Christianity is no exception. Skep; you sing your songs, you say your magic words, you perform your magic rituals, all to defeat death. I'm sorry mate, it's not going to work. This is your only life.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: One Above All on July 20, 2014, 05:16:52 AM
skeptic54768, in your own words, what does Occam's razor state?

Still waiting for an answer to this.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Airyaman on July 20, 2014, 06:20:36 AM
But what if God has already hardened our hearts?

He would not. Are you referencing the Pharaoh incident? If so, Pharaoh hardened his own heart. But, this is a derailment. not the thread for this.

Skep,

God hates people like you who distort His Words. God has already condemned you to Hell for this blasphemy. You say that Pharaoh hardened his heart himself and that the miracle done by God, was neither a miracle or done by God?

Ex:7:8: And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,
Ex:7:9: When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Shew a miracle for you: then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast it before Pharaoh, and it shall become a serpent.
Ex:7:10: And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the LORD had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent.
Ex:7:11: Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.
Ex:7:12: For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods.
Ex:7:13: And he hardened Pharaoh's heart, that he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.
Ex:7:14: And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh's heart is hardened, he refuseth to let the people go.[/b]

Skep, I suggest that, you read, mark learn and inwardly digest the following infallible scripture:

Re:2:2: I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
Re:21:8: But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

It's not me who's saying this Skep, it is God. It seems your soul is damned for all eternity. Perhaps you were serving Satan all along?

Rom 9:18  So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

All you need to know. Obviously, we atheists have been hardened, if he is real.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on July 20, 2014, 06:46:50 AM
From your description of blood on a wall and flying plates, I would not say you had a free choice. What was it you accepted which no one else believes?

Good point there. I can not tell you why I saw what I saw. I can only tell you that I saw it. That is why no matter how much logic & reason gets thrown at me by the atheists, I will always know what I saw. No refutations can make me unsee it.

If you guys don't believe me, then so be it. What more can I do, honestly?

Exactly. You have taken something you can't explain and assumed that Christianity had something to do with it. Strange things and demons don't prove Christianity.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: nogodsforme on July 20, 2014, 09:51:06 AM
From your description of blood on a wall and flying plates, I would not say you had a free choice. What was it you accepted which no one else believes?

Good point there. I can not tell you why I saw what I saw. I can only tell you that I saw it. That is why no matter how much logic & reason gets thrown at me by the atheists, I will always know what I saw. No refutations can make me unsee it.

If you guys don't believe me, then so be it. What more can I do, honestly?

Let's say I do believe you say the bloody words, etc. Again, that was just the right evidence that you needed to convince you of god, Christianity, etc. Were you devoutly praying for a sign, with an open heart and in all abject sincerity? Evidently not--you say you were an atheist drug using fornicating sinner.

Yet, god knew what evidence would convince you, and he gave it to you. You were worth god's time and attention. You rate. Congratulations. For the rest of us atheist drug using fornicating sinners, he has decided that we don't rate, so he will not give us the evidence that we need to be convinced. Because if he had given us the evidence that we need, we would also be convinced. We would not be atheists.

The ball remains in god's court. How could we outsmart god, if he wanted to convince us of his presence? That is what puzzles me-- the way religious people say that god can do anything, and then try to make us atheists out to be able to resist, deny and overcome god's power, somehow. Without even exerting much effort. It's not like we spend 24/7 actively forcing ourselves not to believe in god. Most of the time we don't even think about it. We don't have to actively work at not believing in Godzilla, King Kong, Frankenstein, fairies, elves, ghosts or mermaids. They are not real. Same with gods.

The buck, once again stops with god. He wants us, he knows where to find us.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Timo on July 20, 2014, 01:26:53 PM
Its hard to stay on topic when there is so much to talk about. We usually don't worry about threads drifting unless someone is changing the subject to avoid the topic at hand. But we'll try this one later.

If you do not think that is a derailment, then by all means, please refute it.

I'm very rarely confident enough to say this.  He won't refute my point.  You won't refute my point.  I'm very clearly right.  You're very clearly wrong.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Quesi on July 20, 2014, 03:48:57 PM
Well, if someone saw Jesus rise from the dead, then it must be true.  When someone sees something, or remembers seeing something, it is always true. 

However, as this makes another round on facebook, I find myself believing in the superior divinity of chocolate. 

http://youtu.be/dmBsPgPu0Wc
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Ron Jeremy on July 21, 2014, 03:33:01 AM
Skep; why is Christianity true? Why do you think this god exists and that singing songs, abstaining from some foods and burning candles will please him?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: epidemic on July 21, 2014, 07:21:23 AM
How was your free will not violated, and why would mine be if he did the same thing to me?

I always heard it being put like this:

Jesus is knocking on the door, but you have to open the door and let Him in. Jesus isn't going to kick the door down and break in to you.

Perhaps I just opened the door and let Jesus in?


Jesus may be knocking at the door and one could consider that a good effort if one wants to  believe that.  But let me liven up the scenario a bit.  Jesus is walking down the street and sees a building on fire, he quietly knocks on the door and then walks away and said "I tried but one answered my knocking, so to hell with them let them burn"

Life and death hangs in the balance and Jesus thinks it is ok to simply knock?  What about ringing the bell, banging on the door, yelling and attempting to pry it open?  PS what would be wrong with breaking down the door???
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Ron Jeremy on July 21, 2014, 07:34:45 AM
How was your free will not violated, and why would mine be if he did the same thing to me?

I always heard it being put like this:

Jesus is knocking on the door, but you have to open the door and let Him in. Jesus isn't going to kick the door down and break in to you.

Perhaps I just opened the door and let Jesus in?


Jesus may be knocking at the door and one could consider that a good effort if one wants to  believe that.  But let me liven up the scenario a bit.  Jesus is walking down the street and sees a building on fire, he quietly knocks on the door and then walks away and said "I tried but one answered my knocking, so to hell with them let them burn"

Life and death hangs in the balance and Jesus thinks it is ok to simply knock?  What about ringing the bell, banging on the door, yelling and attempting to pry it open?  PS what would be wrong with breaking down the door???

Exactly. Biblegod either gives us evidence for his existence or he doesn't. There's no 'half evidence'. If this god existed, why would he faff around with whispers? If he wants a relationship with us then best he make himself known.
I was discussing Christianity with my Christian father-in-law and was pointing out to him that the invisibleness of Biblegod should be evidence enough that it's all imaginary when he snorted; "What? Do you expect God to appear before you?!" To which I replied; "Yes. Yes I do. There is absolutely no reason that this all powerful being couldn't do that or wouldn't do that."
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: YRM_DM on July 21, 2014, 08:22:34 AM
When people say "you have to be open to Jesus knocking", Skeptic, is this roughly what they mean?

- You pray for god to show himself to you and a week later you're jogging through the park and see a rainbow and it's beautiful and you feel some emotion for the beauty of the scene.

- You pray to god to give you an answer and you're driving down the highway and a christian church has put up a billboard that says "I am real - God".

- You pray to Jesus to meet a partner, you join a dating site, join volunteer organizations, ask girls out, go on 20 dates, and finally meet someone.

- You pray to Jesus for a new job, you craft a resume, send it to 100 places, go on 10 interviews, get 5 referrals, and eventually get a temp to hire job for six months.

- You pray to Jesus to give you wisdom and, in your delivery of General Tso's Chicken, the fortune cookie says, "Cherish your friends and family every day."

- You have a sick dog who might die.  Using low level technology, a vet which isn't trained in everything thinks he sees cancer.   You pray to Jesus for the dog instead of for the sick kids with bone cancer in the hospital, and Jesus heals the dog, which then goes on to live for another six months before dying of old age or kidney failure.

- You pray for Jesus to come into your life in a meaningful way while sitting in church.  You look depressed and people around you can tell that by looking at you.  A girl walks over and says, "Jesus loves you!  He told me to tell you that!"


Are these the ways we need to take as proof that Jesus is real?   Would all of the above things be "how god talks to us"?

Or is it something more concrete than that?

Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: 12 Monkeys on July 21, 2014, 09:10:58 AM
From your description of blood on a wall and flying plates, I would not say you had a free choice. What was it you accepted which no one else believes?

Good point there. I can not tell you why I saw what I saw. I can only tell you that I saw it. That is why no matter how much logic & reason gets thrown at me by the atheists, I will always know what I saw. No refutations can make me unsee it.

If you guys don't believe me, then so be it. What more can I do, honestly?
Skeptic it was Demons,they did all those things,you just can't see it. The Demons even have YOU fooled. That or your a "special little lamb" and God chose you to come tell us the good word.......my money is on Demons
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: nogodsforme on July 21, 2014, 11:28:39 AM
skeptic, could you respond to the claim that god gave you (and every other believer) what you needed to become a believer, but decided not to give us (and every unbeliever) what we needed to become believers?

Everything is part of god's plan, so having 5 or 10 or 20% atheists on the planet is also part of god's plan, right? And having demons tricking a few billion more people into following false religions is also a part of god's plan. And having a bunch of people with the genetic or environmental tendencies to be gay or sociopaths or drug addicts or just too damn rational to believe in anything magical or supernatural is also part of his plan, no?

According to what you have said, all of these people are in danger of going to hell.

Explain to me how creating a world where a majority of the people who have every lived burn in hell forever, while saving a special tiny minority, makes for a good plan? This is the Finding Nemo school of running a universe--of all the millions of eggs, only little Nemo makes it out alive.

Explain to me how a being who does this is worthy of love or worship? Yeah, he made the universe and gave us all life, but abusive or neglectful or psychotically insane parents do not deserve their children's love or devotion--no matter how wealthy, powerful or occasionally indulgent they are.[1]
 1. If he is real, I can understand cowering in abject terror of him, since he is like Stalin on steroids. But no way could I love him or worship him.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: median on July 21, 2014, 03:03:52 PM

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?

I am sorry I can not do that.  :(

Well, you've proven to yourself that he's real. Your whole life is devoted to it.

So, you're basically saying that your lifestyle, how you define yourself as a person (your outlook, etc) is devoted to something that even you cannot prove exists.

And you want to convince others that it's a real thing even though you can't prove it? Do you not see how insane that is?

E.

Now that is very interesting. I feel like God has proven Himself to me though. I am truly sorry I can't duplicate the experience for you.i wish I could. I do wish the Lord would come down and make you a believer. but, at the same time I understand the importance of free will. This is very confusing.

I had a debate with a Christian this past weekend down at Balboa Park in San Diego. He used this same line of reasoning ("I can't prove it to you but I had an experience with Jesus and I know it's true"). The thing is, even if this were true it would not throw out rational thinking and logic. That is to say, you cannot first assume that you had an "experience with Jesus" and then use that as a justification for spinning or rationalizing the clearly irrational and erroneous claims within the bible. The two simply don't go together by default. But the problem is, this is exactly what Christians such as yourself do. You have an alleged experience (which you could be mistaken about - as other religions are). You self-diagnose that experience as "Jesus". And then you instantly accept all of the irrational nonsense that is found in that book. This is really no different from what every other religion on the planet does (claiming that b/c you had a 'experience', or b/c your life was changed that that makes your conclusions true). But it doesn't. You are throwing out your skeptical mind (selectively), when you do that, in order to find comfort. But when experiences or changed lives do not line up with critical thinking, we should be skeptical of our interpretations and self-diagnosis (since we know humans are often in error about such things). So that method isn't a reliable method for separating fact from fiction. That kind of confirmation bias is a sure fire way to be deceived.

Good point there. I can not tell you why I saw what I saw. I can only tell you that I saw it. That is why no matter how much logic & reason gets thrown at me by the atheists, I will always know what I saw. No refutations can make me unsee it.If you guys don't believe me, then so be it. What more can I do, honestly?


What you can do is consistently apply your critical thinking and skepticism to a situation that you cannot explain (which would mean admitting agnosticism instead of making unwarranted assumptions).
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: YRM_DM on July 21, 2014, 03:48:15 PM

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?

I am sorry I can not do that.  :(

Well, you've proven to yourself that he's real. Your whole life is devoted to it.

So, you're basically saying that your lifestyle, how you define yourself as a person (your outlook, etc) is devoted to something that even you cannot prove exists.

And you want to convince others that it's a real thing even though you can't prove it? Do you not see how insane that is?

E.

Now that is very interesting. I feel like God has proven Himself to me though. I am truly sorry I can't duplicate the experience for you.i wish I could. I do wish the Lord would come down and make you a believer. but, at the same time I understand the importance of free will. This is very confusing.

I had a debate with a Christian this past weekend down at Balboa Park in San Diego. He used this same line of reasoning ("I can't prove it to you but I had an experience with Jesus and I know it's true"). The thing is, even if this were true it would not throw out rational thinking and logic. That is to say, you cannot first assume that you had an "experience with Jesus" and then use that as a justification for spinning or rationalizing the clearly irrational and erroneous claims within the bible. The two simply don't go together by default. But the problem is, this is exactly what Christians such as yourself do. You have an alleged experience (which you could be mistaken about - as other religions are). You self-diagnose that experience as "Jesus". And then you instantly accept all of the irrational nonsense that is found in that book. This is really no different from what every other religion on the planet does (claiming that b/c you had a 'experience', or b/c your life was changed that that makes your conclusions true). But it doesn't. You are throwing out your skeptical mind (selectively), when you do that, in order to find comfort. But when experiences or changed lives do not line up with critical thinking, we should be skeptical of our interpretations and self-diagnosis (since we know humans are often in error about such things). So that method isn't a reliable method for separating fact from fiction. That kind of confirmation bias is a sure fire way to be deceived.

Good point there. I can not tell you why I saw what I saw. I can only tell you that I saw it. That is why no matter how much logic & reason gets thrown at me by the atheists, I will always know what I saw. No refutations can make me unsee it.If you guys don't believe me, then so be it. What more can I do, honestly?


What you can do is consistently apply your critical thinking and skepticism to a situation that you cannot explain (which would mean admitting agnosticism instead of making unwarranted assumptions).


And Median, if someone has a personal relationship with Jesus, why can't they ask him questions and get answers?     Can they explain to me the things in my life that caused me to realize my 'faith' was a delusion?    Can they explain why Jesus chose to heal a sick dog instead of letting someone's dying child have a solid chance at a long life or prevented children from starving?

Why can't any of these people who have a relationship with Jesus use that relationship to provide new information to anyone else?

If Jesus is a "different thing" than our own mind, why doesn't this relationship provide new information that you couldn't have received any other way, the same way every other relationship does?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: nogodsforme on July 21, 2014, 06:52:25 PM
^^^^Yep.

A relationship with Jesus has the exact same effect on a person's life as a relationship with Allah, Brahma, Shango or Papa Legba. According to skeptic, it is impossible for a person to tell if they have a relationship with Jesus or a relationship with a demon pretending to be Jesus. Other gods and demons cure people of addictions, save marriages, prevent houses from catching fire, locate lost dogs and heal cancer at the same exact rate as Jesus. Even Lukvance says that other beings besides the Catholic god answer prayers and perform miracles.[1]

What no theist can tell us is how someone is supposed to know for sure what fixed the problem. Was it prayer to Jesus, prayer to a different god, a demon, an alien or random chance? Every religion can produce their experts, priests, theologians and all have believers who say it was their god. But they cannot say how they know. They all expect you to have faith..... &)
 1. Interesting that none of these beings ever grow back amputated arms or legs.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: 12 Monkeys on July 21, 2014, 07:32:51 PM
Median, how has Skeptic come to the Jesus conclusion without first ruling our demons either posing as Jesus or leaving him to conclude Jesus without analysis first?  Without Skeptic doing self analysis he can't rule out demon deception.  Skeptic, of course jumped to the conclusion of Jesus. Skeptic could be spreading a false gospel for demons because he failed to actually be well....... skeptical, how is that for irony?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: JeffPT on July 21, 2014, 07:56:13 PM
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.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: 12 Monkeys on July 21, 2014, 08:24:17 PM
Welcome back Jeff
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: JeffPT on July 21, 2014, 09:43:25 PM
 :)
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: median on July 22, 2014, 01:29:35 AM
Median, how has Skeptic come to the Jesus conclusion without first ruling our demons either posing as Jesus or leaving him to conclude Jesus without analysis first?  Without Skeptic doing self analysis he can't rule out demon deception.  Skeptic, of course jumped to the conclusion of Jesus. Skeptic could be spreading a false gospel for demons because he failed to actually be well....... skeptical, how is that for irony?

My guess is, he will cite you the passage that says, "You shall know them by their fruits" and then attempt to spin or rationalize the counter-examples which demonstrate that even the alleged 'demons' do what appear to be good works (i.e. - bear 'good fruit' - so as to trick people and lead them off the path). Under his own theology HE HIMSELF cannot be sure of salvation. Of course, all of this just muddies the waters b/c these types of doctrine charades are done by every fictitious religionist who accepts superstition as fact.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Eddie Schultz on July 22, 2014, 01:41:07 AM
As you guys all know, I don't really start new topics all too often, but I felt that this topic would be a fun one.

I would like the atheists to explain how they think Christianity started, especially considering something as groundbreaking as the Resurrection of Christ.

I want to see if the atheists' explanation makes more rational sense than the simplest explanation (Occam's razor), which is that Jesus rose from the dead.

So, how did Christianity start when people who were alive could have squashed the Resurrection myth?

This ex Christian gives an indepth reason why he no longer believes in the Christian god or any other god. When you get the time to check out his de conversion story, please do so. He also explains how monotheism started, and when the Christian god first came about, which pertains to your question as the OP.

http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?annotation_id=annotation_37010&feature=iv&p=A0C3C1D163BE880A&src_vid=MlnnWbkMlbg

If you want to see how monotheism came from polytheism, and your Christian god came to be, watch the 2 videos he did on "A History Of God" by Karen Armstrong.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlnnWbkMlbg (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlnnWbkMlbg)
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: epidemic on July 22, 2014, 11:52:48 AM
As you guys all know, I don't really start new topics all too often, but I felt that this topic would be a fun one.

I would like the atheists to explain how they think Christianity started, especially considering something as groundbreaking as the Resurrection of Christ.

I want to see if the atheists' explanation makes more rational sense than the simplest explanation (Occam's razor), which is that Jesus rose from the dead.

So, how did Christianity start when people who were alive could have squashed the Resurrection myth?

This ex Christian gives an indepth reason why he no longer believes in the Christian god or any other god. When you get the time to check out his de conversion story, please do so. He also explains how monotheism started, and when the Christian god first came about, which pertains to your question as the OP.

http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?annotation_id=annotation_37010&feature=iv&p=A0C3C1D163BE880A&src_vid=MlnnWbkMlbg

If you want to see how monotheism came from polytheism, and your Christian god came to be, watch the 2 videos he did on "A History Of God" by Karen Armstrong.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlnnWbkMlbg (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlnnWbkMlbg)

I watched his whole video series.  I enjoyed it.  I did also find it enligtening how he dissects the whole origins of the bible.  His tale is quite different than  Lee Strobel's The Case For Christ.  In this book they show how all the books of the bible have just the right amount of errors as well as corroberations as to be 98% historically accurate or something like that.

Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Betelnut on July 24, 2014, 07:45:21 PM
Read "The History of God" by Karen Armstrong--an excellent book.  Essentially, Christianity is an sect of Judaism.  So a better question would be, How Did Judaism Start?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: skeptic54768 on July 24, 2014, 10:59:28 PM
As you guys all know, I don't really start new topics all too often, but I felt that this topic would be a fun one.

I would like the atheists to explain how they think Christianity started, especially considering something as groundbreaking as the Resurrection of Christ.

I want to see if the atheists' explanation makes more rational sense than the simplest explanation (Occam's razor), which is that Jesus rose from the dead.

So, how did Christianity start when people who were alive could have squashed the Resurrection myth?

This ex Christian gives an indepth reason why he no longer believes in the Christian god or any other god. When you get the time to check out his de conversion story, please do so. He also explains how monotheism started, and when the Christian god first came about, which pertains to your question as the OP.

http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?annotation_id=annotation_37010&feature=iv&p=A0C3C1D163BE880A&src_vid=MlnnWbkMlbg

If you want to see how monotheism came from polytheism, and your Christian god came to be, watch the 2 videos he did on "A History Of God" by Karen Armstrong.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlnnWbkMlbg (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlnnWbkMlbg)

Now, that is certainly interesting. The problem is that one must not swallow all of this information whole without being at least a tad bit skeptical of it. Otherwise, you wouldn't know if it was propaganda or not. You can say it's true, but it might be propaganda and likewise you might say it's propaganda but it might be true.

Now with that in mind, we must ask ourselves a common sense question: Would it have persisted for over 3,000 years if it can so simply and easily be proven wrong by a youtube video? I mean, the Jews of 2,000 years ago didn't have youtube so how would they know their religion is false? Seems like a "no-brainer," doesn't it?

Or is there something deeper going on here?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on July 25, 2014, 02:44:43 AM
Now, that is certainly interesting. The problem is that one must not swallow all of this information whole without being at least a tad bit skeptical of it. Otherwise, you wouldn't know if it was propaganda or not. You can say it's true, but it might be propaganda and likewise you might say it's propaganda but it might be true.

Now with that in mind, we must ask ourselves a common sense question: Would it have persisted for over 3,000 years if it can so simply and easily be proven wrong by a youtube video? I mean, the Jews of 2,000 years ago didn't have youtube so how would they know their religion is false? Seems like a "no-brainer," doesn't it?

Or is there something deeper going on here?

Religions don't persist because they are right or wrong, but because people find them useful, for example, in controlling other people's thoughts.

Your thoughts are being controlled. Remember how you accepted that muslim propaganda video?When someone tells you how Yahweh was invented, you won't accept the truth.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: epidemic on July 25, 2014, 07:32:07 AM
As you guys all know, I don't really start new topics all too often, but I felt that this topic would be a fun one.

I would like the atheists to explain how they think Christianity started, especially considering something as groundbreaking as the Resurrection of Christ.

I want to see if the atheists' explanation makes more rational sense than the simplest explanation (Occam's razor), which is that Jesus rose from the dead.

So, how did Christianity start when people who were alive could have squashed the Resurrection myth?

This ex Christian gives an indepth reason why he no longer believes in the Christian god or any other god. When you get the time to check out his de conversion story, please do so. He also explains how monotheism started, and when the Christian god first came about, which pertains to your question as the OP.

http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?annotation_id=annotation_37010&feature=iv&p=A0C3C1D163BE880A&src_vid=MlnnWbkMlbg

If you want to see how monotheism came from polytheism, and your Christian god came to be, watch the 2 videos he did on "A History Of God" by Karen Armstrong.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlnnWbkMlbg (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlnnWbkMlbg)

Now, that is certainly interesting. The problem is that one must not swallow all of this information whole without being at least a tad bit skeptical of it. Otherwise, you wouldn't know if it was propaganda or not. You can say it's true, but it might be propaganda and likewise you might say it's propaganda but it might be true.

Now with that in mind, we must ask ourselves a common sense question: Would it have persisted for over 3,000 years if it can so simply and easily be proven wrong by a youtube video? I mean, the Jews of 2,000 years ago didn't have youtube so how would they know their religion is false? Seems like a "no-brainer," doesn't it?

Or is there something deeper going on here?


As a skeptic, you might want to research it rather than defaulting to thinking it is propaganda.  If you need proof  people would follow a false religion for centuries, well just look at Islam, Mormonism or any other religion that is not yours. OK now that we have established that people will follow false religions for thousands of years we know it is possible.  Reason would dicatate that Judahism could be subject to the same flaws.

Perhaps research into the historiocity of the evolution of Judahism from polytheism might be enligtening. 


PS did you just look at the clip or did you look at his entire 2 hour series?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: YRM_DM on July 25, 2014, 08:01:09 AM
He absolutely should be skeptical.   But the problem with believers who are skeptical is that if he checks his facts with a pastor who is financially committed in his career to "debunking" skeptics of Christianity, he's not going to get the real answers.

But Skeptic, I'd honestly check with a local college history teacher if you have a shot... I went to a Catholic College and the guy who taught History of Western Europe was intellectually honest and taught us about "the great schism", "papal indulgences" and "the inquisition".

The origins of Christianity are the same... just study other, older religions where there's no agenda against Christianity ok?   You'll see other variations of the golden rule.  You'll see other variations of the Jesus story.   How did they get there?    Was God tricking us all again?

Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: median on July 25, 2014, 11:41:54 AM

Now, that is certainly interesting. The problem is that one must not swallow all of this information whole without being at least a tad bit skeptical of it. Otherwise, you wouldn't know if it was propaganda or not. You can say it's true, but it might be propaganda and likewise you might say it's propaganda but it might be true.

Now with that in mind, we must ask ourselves a common sense question: Would it have persisted for over 3,000 years if it can so simply and easily be proven wrong by a youtube video? I mean, the Jews of 2,000 years ago didn't have youtube so how would they know their religion is false? Seems like a "no-brainer," doesn't it?

Or is there something deeper going on here?

The "deeper" part you are missing is that the persistence of an idea (or set of teachings) has no bearing on whether or not it is true. Islam is a perfect example of this. Their beliefs have persisted too. Does that make them true? There simply is no time limit or expiration date on false beliefs b/c we know people believe false things for their entire lives sometimes. So this standard you are attempting to use is faulty. It is unreliable for separating true claims from false claims because false beliefs can last just as long as true ones.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: epidemic on July 25, 2014, 02:00:43 PM

Now, that is certainly interesting. The problem is that one must not swallow all of this information whole without being at least a tad bit skeptical of it. Otherwise, you wouldn't know if it was propaganda or not. You can say it's true, but it might be propaganda and likewise you might say it's propaganda but it might be true.

Now with that in mind, we must ask ourselves a common sense question: Would it have persisted for over 3,000 years if it can so simply and easily be proven wrong by a youtube video? I mean, the Jews of 2,000 years ago didn't have youtube so how would they know their religion is false? Seems like a "no-brainer," doesn't it?

Or is there something deeper going on here?

The "deeper" part you are missing is that the persistence of an idea (or set of teachings) has no bearing on whether or not it is true. Islam is a perfect example of this. Their beliefs have persisted too. Does that make them true? There simply is no time limit or expiration date on false beliefs b/c we know people believe false things for their entire lives sometimes. So this standard you are attempting to use is faulty. It is unreliable for separating true claims from false claims because false beliefs can last just as long as true ones.

I am not sure how persistent these teachings are either.  There were many retellings and modifications to the Torah.  The New Testament went off in all directions for a few hundred years until they had a religious group pick and choose which stories they wished to follow.  With the printed word and the crushing of alternative views and one body overseeing what was gospel we see stabilization.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: JoeNobody on July 25, 2014, 03:15:40 PM
As you guys all know, I don't really start new topics all too often, but I felt that this topic would be a fun one.

I would like the atheists to explain how they think Christianity started, especially considering something as groundbreaking as the Resurrection of Christ.

I want to see if the atheists' explanation makes more rational sense than the simplest explanation (Occam's razor), which is that Jesus rose from the dead.

So, how did Christianity start when people who were alive could have squashed the Resurrection myth?

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.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Eddie Schultz on July 25, 2014, 10:14:20 PM
As you guys all know, I don't really start new topics all too often, but I felt that this topic would be a fun one.

I would like the atheists to explain how they think Christianity started, especially considering something as groundbreaking as the Resurrection of Christ.

I want to see if the atheists' explanation makes more rational sense than the simplest explanation (Occam's razor), which is that Jesus rose from the dead.

So, how did Christianity start when people who were alive could have squashed the Resurrection myth?

This ex Christian gives an indepth reason why he no longer believes in the Christian god or any other god. When you get the time to check out his de conversion story, please do so. He also explains how monotheism started, and when the Christian god first came about, which pertains to your question as the OP.

http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?annotation_id=annotation_37010&feature=iv&p=A0C3C1D163BE880A&src_vid=MlnnWbkMlbg

If you want to see how monotheism came from polytheism, and your Christian god came to be, watch the 2 videos he did on "A History Of God" by Karen Armstrong.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlnnWbkMlbg (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlnnWbkMlbg)

Now, that is certainly interesting. The problem is that one must not swallow all of this information whole without being at least a tad bit skeptical of it. Otherwise, you wouldn't know if it was propaganda or not. You can say it's true, but it might be propaganda and likewise you might say it's propaganda but it might be true.

Now with that in mind, we must ask ourselves a common sense question: Would it have persisted for over 3,000 years if it can so simply and easily be proven wrong by a youtube video? I mean, the Jews of 2,000 years ago didn't have youtube so how would they know their religion is false? Seems like a "no-brainer," doesn't it?

Or is there something deeper going on here?

Well, it's a plus that you feel it's interesting, at least you didn't say it was bullshit. The problem is, is that you swallowed the Christianity pill without being skeptical of it. The guy that did that video based it on the book by Karen Armstrong, who did indepth research on the history of gods. The people who base their beliefs by propaganda are Christians, just do your research....skeptic.

Like I said, it's not just someone making a Youtube video, it was a person who did massive amounts of research to write a book on the subject.

The only thing going on deeper is Christian bullshit, we've all been sinking in it for many years. Thing is, some of chose to start swimming towards the truth.

BTW, Did you watch any of his other videos, his de conversion videos? I always say that a believer should ask an ex believer why they stopped believing. The guy is very nice and will answer any of your questions.

Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: skeptic54768 on July 25, 2014, 11:54:27 PM
Well, it's a plus that you feel it's interesting, at least you didn't say it was bullshit. The problem is, is that you swallowed the Christianity pill without being skeptical of it. The guy that did that video based it on the book by Karen Armstrong, who did indepth research on the history of gods. The people who base their beliefs by propaganda are Christians, just do your research....skeptic.

Like I said, it's not just someone making a Youtube video, it was a person who did massive amounts of research to write a book on the subject.

The only thing going on deeper is Christian bullshit, we've all been sinking in it for many years. Thing is, some of chose to start swimming towards the truth.

I see what you are saying that she put in time and effort into her work, but people put lots of time and effort into things.

Jeffrey Dahmer put a lot of time and effort into killing people, but that doesn't mean it was right. Obviously, I'm not comparing this woman to Jeffrey Dahmer at all, but I am just saying that just because something was full of time and effort does not automatically make it the truth.

BTW, Did you watch any of his other videos, his de conversion videos? I always say that a believer should ask an ex believer why they stopped believing. The guy is very nice and will answer any of your questions.

But why should I find it convincing that someone stopped believing? When I tell you guys why I am an ex-atheist and started believing, you don't want to hear it. You say I wasn't a true atheist or that I was heavily deluded.

That certainly doesn't seem very fair, does it?




Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: skeptic54768 on July 26, 2014, 12:00:32 AM
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?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Eddie Schultz on July 26, 2014, 12:13:30 AM
Well, it's a plus that you feel it's interesting, at least you didn't say it was bullshit. The problem is, is that you swallowed the Christianity pill without being skeptical of it. The guy that did that video based it on the book by Karen Armstrong, who did indepth research on the history of gods. The people who base their beliefs by propaganda are Christians, just do your research....skeptic.

Like I said, it's not just someone making a Youtube video, it was a person who did massive amounts of research to write a book on the subject.

The only thing going on deeper is Christian bullshit, we've all been sinking in it for many years. Thing is, some of chose to start swimming towards the truth.

I see what you are saying that she put in time and effort into her work, but people put lots of time and effort into things.

Jeffrey Dahmer put a lot of time and effort into killing people, but that doesn't mean it was right. Obviously, I'm not comparing this woman to Jeffrey Dahmer at all, but I am just saying that just because something was full of time and effort does not automatically make it the truth.

BTW, Did you watch any of his other videos, his de conversion videos? I always say that a believer should ask an ex believer why they stopped believing. The guy is very nice and will answer any of your questions.

But why should I find it convincing that someone stopped believing? When I tell you guys why I am an ex-atheist and started believing, you don't want to hear it. You say I wasn't a true atheist or that I was heavily deluded.

That certainly doesn't seem very fair, does it?

Ok, point me to where you told others here how you were an atheist and became a believer in the Christian god, I missed it. How much time did you put into not believing a god exists, to believing the Christian god exists? Probably as much as Kirk Cameron, who said he was a "staunch atheist". He has been put in his place numerous times, yet he still keeps spouting the same bullshit as if it's something new, as all Christians do.

If your reason for becoming a Christian is so strong, with evidence to support it, other than personal experience, us atheists and ex Christians would surely give it some merit, don't you think?

You'll find many more ex Christians in the world than you will ex atheists. Those that become ex atheists really don't have a good reason to start believing in a god, especially the Christian god. There is no significance of the Christian god than any other god that people have devoted their lives to over millennia. You basically believe out of fear of the unknown. Think about that.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Eddie Schultz on July 26, 2014, 12:16:27 AM
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?

Once you give your answer to the other thread, if you have one, you'll see that Christianity is proven false. This thread.

Re: Atheists - Do you hate individual Theists just because they are?

Then what?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: ParkingPlaces on July 26, 2014, 12:44:06 AM
Also, is it reasonable to believe in Christianity, considering it has never been proven wrong?

Where has hinduism been proven wrong? Buddhism?

How was Greek mythology proven to be wrong? You do realize that there are still people living in Greece who believe in the Greek pantheon of gods, as they call it. And they consider their country under christian occupation. Do you have a way to prove to them that their gods are not real? Is there something you can say to them about their gods that doesn't apply to your own? That disproves them?

Or are you forced to accept that all claims of gods are equally legitimate unless fraud is detectable. Such as with mormons and such. If a cultural group claims it has gods and those gods are real, how in the world can you proclaim them to be wrong and yourself right using the exact same standards? They have no proof that their god is real, you have no proof that yours is. They are forced to believe because proof doesn't exist, as are you.Their gods haven't shown up in person and introduced themselves to the masses, nor has your god.

I've always wondered this. If there is a real god, why would be play exactly the same game as all the false gods; i.e., why would he be just as invisible and require exactly as much belief/faith? You'd think a real go could avoid the flaws of a fake religion, you know, by being a bit more forthright and stuff. But if the hindu or christian or greek gods are real and none of the others are, the real god(s) appear to be unconcerned.

No far-fetched claim can be disproven unless the claimants make the mistake of being too specific. Something neither the hindus or christians have done. And when specific claims are made (such as a specific day for jc to return) and it doesn't happen, there is always a human individual willing to explain why they were wrong. Their unmet predictions/claims/etc. never involved the god itself. The dude(s) and, if applicable, dudettes, always get off scott free.

So nope, we can't disprove gods. Just as we can't disprove the Icelandic little people, the Huldufólk. In Iceland, it is illegal to throw rocks, because you might hit their version of a leprechaun. And over half the population thinks that the Huldufólk are real. You can't disprove it. Is that, in and of itself, a good enough reason to believe them to be real?

The reason I initially became an atheist as a child (at around 10 or 11) was that I was being taught all about Greek mythology during the week at school, and then being told virtually identical stories in Sunday school as if they were real. And while you can fool some of the people some of the time, you can't food all the people all of the time, and in my case, the acceptance of religious claims came to a grinding halt..

Over half a century later, I'm confident I made the right choice. And you can't prove me wrong.

So if neither side can prove the other one wrong, why should a person go with the positive claim? Why, when every christian story sounds just like Achilles being dipped in the pool, should I say to myself "Oh, that sounds real. Yea, sure, I can see a big boat full of animals really happening. And the garden thingy. It could happen…"

I can't think of a reason in the world to take christian claims seriously. Not a single one. If I didn't go to church when I was a teenager even though the church was full of cute girls, you can be darned sure I thought I was right. And I still do.

So nope, I can't prove christianity (or any other religion) wrong. But I have no reason to bother trying. Because no religion can prove itself true.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Timo on July 26, 2014, 01:22:02 AM
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?


Personally, I think people just sometimes believe weird things.  To go back to an earlier example, there are a not insignificant number of Americans that believe that President Barack Obama was not actually born in Hawaii.  What's so weird about this view to me is that its proponents believe that his being born in Kenya would somehow delegitimatize his election.  But even if he had been born in Kenya, he would almost certainly still be eligable for the presidency since his mother was an American citizen.  Similarly, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas is often talked about as a potential presidential candidate despite the fact that he was born in Canada to an American mother and Cuban father.  And yet this myth persists despite the fact that it doesn't make sense on its own terms and has been readily corrected in the media.

Sometimes people believe weird things!  I feel like shouting it!  Sometimes they even hold firmly to those weird beliefs even after being corrected.  Sometimes the correction itself even strengthens their false beliefs.  For example, a recent study[1] showed that giving parents information about the fact that there is no link between autism and vaccines actually made some parents more likely to believe that such a link existed.  Studies on other topics have yielded similar results.

Again, the argument that we should somehow hold up the persistence of Christianity as evidence of its truth is absurd.  Hinduism is older than Christianity and yet Christians would presumably maintain it's false.  With that being the case, it should be obvious to the Christian that the truth of a belief is not decided on the basis of seniority.


I see what you are saying that she put in time and effort into her work, but people put lots of time and effort into things.

And if you wanted to put the time and effort in to read her book you would have a better idea of whether or not her claims are true.  If you don't feel that you have enough knowledge to really test her claims then you can always read reviews of the book by other scholars in her field.  If that doesn't satisfy you, you can look at her sources or read other books on the topic.

Honestly, if you were to encourage a non-believer to read the Bible before criticizing or dismissing it and they gave the sort of response that you gave, what would you think of that person?
 1. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2014/02/25/peds.2013-2365
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: One Above All on July 26, 2014, 03:34:22 AM
skeptic54768, in your own words, what does Occam's razor state?

Still waiting for an answer to this.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Ron Jeremy on July 26, 2014, 06:50:38 AM
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.
Also, is it reasonable to believe in Christianity, considering it has never been proven wrong?

Oh but it has been though, hasn't it Skep? Remember star age proving the Earth is older than 6000 years? Proof absolute that your young Earth Christianity is wrong. But because you are deluded, you cannot accept that fact.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on July 26, 2014, 08:16:40 AM
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?

The person who made up Christianity was the delusional Saul/Paul and he boasts in his letters that he does not care that the original disciples of Jesus were hostile to him changing their beliefs. So the founder of Christianity actually admits he was just making up new ideas.

History experts will also tell you that Jesus was not a Christian, but there is a bible full of fake documents and stories saying that he was a Christian, building on the false ideas of Saul/Paul.

There is the letter of Peter which says that the universe was made from water (as in genesis).

So you see everything about Christianity has been proven wrong. Your beliefs have also been proven wrong. You believe muslim propaganda videos and the book of Enoch.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Eddie Schultz on July 28, 2014, 01:19:54 AM
Skeptic, are you ever going to reply to the many replies in differet threads pointed at you? This is one of them, and if you look down the list of threads, there are a couple more last replied to by me that you should take the time to reply to.

Thanks
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: YRM_DM on July 28, 2014, 08:12:12 AM
skeptic54768, in your own words, what does Occam's razor state?

Still waiting for an answer to this.

He didn't answer but I think it's this...   "The first blade shaves incredibly close, the second even closer, the third, forth, fifth and sixth blades shave down to the cellular level, and the seventh blade shaves to the atomic level."

Buy Occam's Razor, for the closest shave in the universe.*

*Occam's Razor is not liable for bankruptcy caused by buying the $440 replacement cartridges.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: skeptic54768 on July 28, 2014, 11:17:25 PM
skeptic54768, in your own words, what does Occam's razor state?

Still waiting for an answer to this.

He didn't answer but I think it's this...   "The first blade shaves incredibly close, the second even closer, the third, forth, fifth and sixth blades shave down to the cellular level, and the seventh blade shaves to the atomic level."

Buy Occam's Razor, for the closest shave in the universe.*

*Occam's Razor is not liable for bankruptcy caused by buying the $440 replacement cartridges.

i know what it says. it says that the simplest explanation with the least amount of assumptions is probably correct. To deny the resurrection is to make tons more assumptions as to what happened with the body than to simply say "He rose."
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Timo on July 29, 2014, 12:59:37 AM
That doesn't really make much sense.  To believe that God raised Jesus from the dead we need to assume a lot more than to assume He didn't, even in light of what evidence we find in the Gospels and the stories of the early Christians.  It requires that we assume:

1.  A god exists.  But not just any god, the god Yahweh exists.
2.  Yahweh sometimes raises people from the dead.

Whereas my explanation is that I don't believe the story in the first place and therefore don't accept that there is all that much for me to explain in the first place.  Is there any particular reason that I should trust the Gospel accounts given that they were heavily redacted, sometimes borrowed from each other, and were written decades after Jesus' death?

Am I missing something?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: skeptic54768 on July 29, 2014, 01:37:21 AM
That doesn't really make much sense.  To believe that God raised Jesus from the dead we need to assume a lot more than to assume He didn't, even in light of what evidence we find in the Gospels and the stories of the early Christians.  It requires that we assume:

1.  A god exists.  But not just any god, the god Yahweh exists.
2.  Yahweh sometimes raises people from the dead.

Whereas my explanation is that I don't believe the story in the first place and therefore don't accept that there is all that much for me to explain in the first place.  Is there any particular reason that I should trust the Gospel accounts given that they were heavily redacted, sometimes borrowed from each other, and were written decades after Jesus' death?

Am I missing something?

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.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Timo 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?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: skeptic54768 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.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: skeptic54768 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.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: One Above All 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).
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: One Above All 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".
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Timo 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.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: skeptic54768 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.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Timo 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?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: bertatberts 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.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Timo 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?!
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Foxy Freedom 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?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Mrjason 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?

Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: screwtape 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.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: epidemic 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?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: nogodsforme 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?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: median 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.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Ron Jeremy on July 30, 2014, 03:14:54 PM
Skep; Cargo Cults give a pretty good idea of how Christianity started;

http://youtu.be/1skNgYdJXK8


Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: epidemic on July 31, 2014, 11:22:08 AM
Cargo cults,  awesome.  So in essence humans are by design idiots:)
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Timo 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.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: frank callaway 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...
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: nogodsforme 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.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: frank callaway 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?

Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: xyzzy 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?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: ParkingPlaces 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.

Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: riley2112 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..
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: 12 Monkeys 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?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: jdawg70 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.

Quote
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?

Quote
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.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: median 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?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: epidemic 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.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: jdawg70 on August 04, 2014, 11:55:36 AM
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?

See...here's the thing.

I don't know if riley2112 is handing over his credit card carte blanche.  I think that riley2112 has paid the cover charge (saying 'yes' to the question 'does god exist'), but I'm not sure if he's bought any drinks.  Well, I guess he's gotten a drink - sounds like he ordered a water (saying 'yes' to the question 'did Jesus exist') or perhaps he bought a diet coke (saying 'yes' to the question 'does Jesus, a divine thingie-guy, exist).  He's now looking at the bar and trying to figure out if he wants to buy any of the drinks there.  Does he want to order a shot of well whiskey (accepting the premise 'god created reality'), does he want to get a generic vodka/tonic (accepting the premise 'god has an interest in your affairs'), does he get a glass of fine, expensive scotch (accepting the premise 'god produces miracles in response to imploring')...or does every drink look unappealing (untrue) and he should just leave the bar (no longer say 'yes' to the question 'does god exist')?

The question isn't so much why he would just hand his card over.  I think the more pertinent question is asking why he hasn't left the bar yet.

riley2112, I realize that I'm essentially saying that I don't think there is a whole lot to your belief in god.  That could be untrue, and your belief in the existence of some 'higher power thingie that can be labeled god' has more ramifications and consequence than simply you saying 'yes' to the question 'does god exist'.  But you need to start asking yourself what that 'more' is.  And if you keep wondering, over and over again, why you're in the bar in the first place...maybe it is time for you to leave it.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: JeffPT on August 05, 2014, 09:58:05 PM
But, I would say that I would believe your grandfather rose from the dead if he had the same evidence that Jesus does.

I just gave you all the evidence you have to work with.  It is the exact same amount of evidence you have when it comes to Jesus.  You have one book with claims in it.  That's all.  Nothing more. 

You don't have an empty grave to go to.  You don't have video footage.  You don't have contemporary historians who speak about seeing my great great grandfather rising from the dead.  You don't have 500 people coming forward with eyewitness testimony.  You don't have a medical doctor declaring him dead one minute and alive three days later.  There is no evidence at all for my great great grandfather or for Jesus.  There is only the claim. 

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.

And that's proving my point exactly about the whole confirmation bias thing.  This belief in a soul is part of the funneling I was talking about.  There is no evidence at all of a soul, yet that's part of the preconditioned belief system and you funnel your positions through it.  The evidence for people being resurrected at all is non-existent and you know it.  No one rises from the dead after 3 days.  No one.  It doesn't happen.  Yet you choose to believe it can happen because your belief system tells you it can.  Not only that, you make it sound like its as easy as screwing in a light bulb. 

In much the same way, If I truly believed in leprechauns, I might be chasing rainbows all day long in search of my pot of gold.  And while you may scoff at the silliness of the comparison, I'm quite serious in it.  Imagine what a person who seriously believed in leprechauns would be like...  Would they not make claims that finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is a very real possibility?  Would they not find another persons tale of finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow incredibly compelling, and probably see it as evidence that those pots exist?  Yeah, they would.  Draw comparisons to yourself here, skeptic. 

The evidence for pots of gold at the end of rainbows is just as non-existent as the evidence for a resurrection.  Neither of them happen.  Or should I say... resurrections and pots of gold at the end of rainbows happen with the exact same frequency.  I can either continue to hold fast to that belief in leprechauns, and funnel my position through that belief, and constantly find excuses for why X doesn't happen, or Y does happen, or at some point I can start to realize that maybe pots of gold at the ends of rainbows are not real.   

Funny thing about belief... it doesn't have anything to do with the truth. 


Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on August 06, 2014, 08:59:05 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..

It sounds really sad that you have not found evidence the evidence you want, and are trapped on the bridge.

If you want to read about how Yahweh was invented from other gods, there are some well researched books including - The Early History of God by Mark Smith. There are also some easier books on Asherah who was the wife of Yahweh. Finkelstein has written about the historical background.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: frank callaway on August 06, 2014, 09:08:45 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..

It sounds really sad that you have not found evidence the evidence you want, and are trapped on the bridge.

If you want to read about how Yahweh was invented from other gods, there are some well researched books including - The Early History of God by Mark Smith. There are also some easier books on Asherah who was the wife of Yahweh. Finkelstein has written about the historical background.

2112, like many, is seeking absolute truth, so the question is... is absolute truth attainable...?  i mentioned in an earlier post that “evidence” can be rather subjective and support a number of worldviews depending on how you look at it.  in other words, you could say that all there IS, is evidence of a creator… a paradigm shift in your own worldview.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: frank callaway on August 06, 2014, 09:26:09 AM
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.

women’s status were limited by jewish law in ancient isreal.  they were considered inferior to men and under the authority of men.  throughout the gospel accounts of the ministry of jesus, his treatment towards women was radically opposed to the culture of the day.  he spoke of women as equal to men and accepted them in his inner circle, he gave honor to women which was in contrast to the mid-eastern beliefs of the day.  of course any objective account of the life of christ would show this to be true… but then again that probably doesn’t fit with your worldview which paints all religious beliefs with broad indignation.  what does screwtape call that again… oh yeah,  confirmation bias... that's what you have. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus%27_interactions_with_women

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?

interesting... are you suggesting there's such a thing as "free will"...?

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

are you suggesting that absolute power and/or the abuse of authority only corrupts in the context of "religion"...?

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

refer to my first response.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: screwtape on August 06, 2014, 10:03:09 AM
Did I hear my name?  Why, yes, I did.

what does screwtape call that again… oh yeah,  confirmation bias... that's what you have. 

He probably does have confirmation bias (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias) because everyone has it.  Those of us aware of it can (but do not always) overcome it.  But that is not what you described.  What you described was just bias.  Confirmation bias is a very specific hueristic that leads to problems with making accurate beliefs.  You should probably understand what confirmation bias is before you use the term.

As for your thesis that jesus H treated women well, I think that may be at least partially true.  But even if it is, you can find examples of misogyny in the NT that are supported in xian theology.  Paul hated women, as did several of the other apostles.  You can see how they treated Mary Mags when she found the tomb empty and they thought she was just being a stupid woman. 

In the end, I would say the NT is conflicted on the matter.  You can find chapters and verses that support either perspective. But overall, I would say xianity is on balance misogynistic.

So, I think you are the one with a little confirmation bias here.  That is, you have a point of view and considered only the evidence that supports your view, rather than also take into consideration evidence that contradicts it.


http://thinkandverify.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/misogyny-and-insults-to-women-in-the-bible-new-testament/
http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/women/nt_list.html

Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: frank callaway on August 06, 2014, 10:45:22 AM
(S)He probably does have confirmation bias because everyone has it.  Those of us aware of it can (but do not always) overcome it.  But that is not what you described.  What you described was just bias.  Confirmation bias is a very specific hueristic that leads to problems with making accurate beliefs.  You should probably understand what confirmation bias is before you use the term.

potayto, potahto

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/potayto,_potahto

we're talking about a meta-narrative here... of course you can find support in the NT for either perspective, but keep in mind, i wasn't conflating my position with "christianity"... i was alining my position only with the teachings of one man.  christianity didn't spread like wildfire until after this man was gone.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Christianity
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Ron Jeremy on August 06, 2014, 11:40:15 AM
I watched a documentary a couple of days ago about life in Israel around the time of the Roman occupation and Jesus in about 10 - 20 AD. It was based on whatever documents the historians could get hold of. The thing that struck me was was when they talked about the familiarity everyone back then had with death. Women lived on average to their late twenties, men a little bit more, with the infant mortality rate around 50%.
Everybody very familiar about death, everyone knowing they would probably lose a child or two, everyone knowing their time on this world was short.

It seems obvious to me this is where Christianity and every other religion came from; a closeness with death. I can't begin to think what it must feel like to lose a child, every time I think about losing one of mine I blank the thought; it must be a hell on Earth.
When those poor folks lost a lot of loved ones I can easily see how they would accept the story about life after death, and I don't blame them for that. That belief must have soothed the pain a lot.
A friend of mine is a children's hospital doctor; I asked him about parent's belief. Although medicine in his field is very good with a high success rate, they still lose some kids. He said when parents do believe, it makes a noticeable difference to their pain.

Goddess/god belief does help sometimes, I just want it to be kept personal and out of schools and politics. Which unfortunately isn't possible with the small vocal minority of theists.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: bertatberts on August 06, 2014, 12:45:31 PM
(S)He probably does have confirmation bias because everyone has it.  Those of us aware of it can (but do not always) overcome it.  But that is not what you described.  What you described was just bias.  Confirmation bias is a very specific hueristic that leads to problems with making accurate beliefs.  You should probably understand what confirmation bias is before you use the term.

potayto, potahto

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/potayto,_potahto

we're talking about a meta-narrative here... of course you can find support in the NT for either perspective, but keep in mind, i wasn't conflating my position with "christianity"... i was alining my position only with the teachings of one man.  christianity didn't spread like wildfire until after this man was gone.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Christianity
And not even then, did it. Maybe three hundred years later maybe. And then it was enforced on people, at pain of death.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: frank callaway on August 06, 2014, 12:50:22 PM
Goddess/god belief does help sometimes, I just want it to be kept personal and out of schools and politics. Which unfortunately isn't possible with the small vocal minority of theists.

every 8th grader knows the american revolution was fought because of taxation without representation right...?  i say this because it is my belief that the history of our founder's strong faith and belief in god HAS been totally scrubbed from public schools and politics.  the founder's challenged the notion of the 'divine right of kings' and other societal issues based upon their beliefs in the scriptures. 

"the bible is the rock on which our republic rests" - andrew jackson

"america was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of holy scripture" - woodrow wilson

"no book in the world deserves to be so unceasingly studied and so profoundly meditated upon as the bible" - john quincy adams

"i say, for the human mind not to believe that there is in all this design, cause and effect up to an ultimate cause - a fabricator of all things, from matter and motion - their preserver and regulator while permitted to exist in their present forms - and their regenerator into new and other forms" - thomas jefferson

there are literally hundreds if not thousands of similar quotes, but now it seems that little evidence of the scriptural foundation remains in our classrooms.  it's like how many today believe the theory of evolution is the product of darwin.  but history shows us that anaximander (610-546 b.c.) introduced the theory of "spontaneous generation"...  diogenes (412-323 b.c.) had the concept of "primordial slime"... empedocles (495-455 b.c) introduced the theory of "natural selection" or "survival of the fittest"... kinda reminds me of ecclesiastes 1:9 what has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.


Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: One Above All on August 06, 2014, 12:55:01 PM
there are literally hundreds if not thousands of similar quotes, but now it seems that little evidence of the scriptural foundation remains in our classrooms.  it's like how many today believe the theory of evolution is the product of darwin.  but history shows us that anaximander (610-546 b.c.) introduced the theory of "spontaneous generation"...  diogenes (412-323 b.c.) had the concept of "primordial slime"... empedocles (495-455 b.c) introduced the theory of "natural selection" or "survival of the fittest"...

Only one of those actually relates to Evolution, and that's assuming you're being honest about the examples.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: wright on August 06, 2014, 01:38:11 PM


every 8th grader knows the american revolution was fought because of taxation without representation right...?  i say this because it is my belief that the history of our founder's strong faith and belief in god HAS been totally scrubbed from public schools and politics.  the founder's challenged the notion of the 'divine right of kings' and other societal issues based upon their beliefs in the scriptures. 

"the bible is the rock on which our republic rests" - andrew jackson

"america was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of holy scripture" - woodrow wilson

"no book in the world deserves to be so unceasingly studied and so profoundly meditated upon as the bible" - john quincy adams

"i say, for the human mind not to believe that there is in all this design, cause and effect up to an ultimate cause - a fabricator of all things, from matter and motion - their preserver and regulator while permitted to exist in their present forms - and their regenerator into new and other forms" - thomas jefferson

there are literally hundreds if not thousands of similar quotes, but now it seems that little evidence of the scriptural foundation remains in our classrooms.

Welcome to the forum, frank.

This "scrubbing" is hardly "total". No atheist regular here (AFAIK) would deny that many of the founders of the US were (broadly speaking) Christians and that this informed their politics and rhetoric. I admit to not having read a public primary or high-school history text for decades, but is there really no mention of that aspect of US history? This sounds like hyperbole on your part.

It seems to me what has happened in recent decades is that US public schools are realizing that to perpetuate Christian privilege (allowing teachers and administrators to openly spread their religion while on the job) is to invite very expensive and controversial lawsuits that are often won by the plaintiffs, as per the First Amendment. By correcting those policies, official and unofficial, they avoid both unnecessary expense and controversy, two things school boards tend to dislike.

The problem is that a vocal, often well-financed minority equate that loss of unconstitutional privilege with censorship and oppression. These are the ones that see teaching the solidly-grounded science behind evolutionary theory as "atheistic" and "unchristian". But to quote Jon Stewart talking to religious conservatives:
Quote
You’ve confused the war on religion with not always getting everything you want.

Do you have any specific examples of what you see as the religious history of the US being downplayed or ignored?


Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on August 06, 2014, 01:42:45 PM
  it's like how many today believe the theory of evolution is the product of darwin.  but history shows us that anaximander (610-546 b.c.) introduced the theory of "spontaneous generation"...  diogenes (412-323 b.c.) had the concept of "primordial slime"... empedocles (495-455 b.c) introduced the theory of "natural selection" or "survival of the fittest"...

Do you know the difference between science and a guess?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: frank callaway on August 06, 2014, 02:47:50 PM


every 8th grader knows the american revolution was fought because of taxation without representation right...?  i say this because it is my belief that the history of our founder's strong faith and belief in god HAS been totally scrubbed from public schools and politics.  the founder's challenged the notion of the 'divine right of kings' and other societal issues based upon their beliefs in the scriptures. 

"the bible is the rock on which our republic rests" - andrew jackson

"america was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of holy scripture" - woodrow wilson

"no book in the world deserves to be so unceasingly studied and so profoundly meditated upon as the bible" - john quincy adams

"i say, for the human mind not to believe that there is in all this design, cause and effect up to an ultimate cause - a fabricator of all things, from matter and motion - their preserver and regulator while permitted to exist in their present forms - and their regenerator into new and other forms" - thomas jefferson

there are literally hundreds if not thousands of similar quotes, but now it seems that little evidence of the scriptural foundation remains in our classrooms.

Welcome to the forum, frank.

This "scrubbing" is hardly "total". No atheist regular here (AFAIK) would deny that many of the founders of the US were (broadly speaking) Christians and that this informed their politics and rhetoric. I admit to not having read a public primary or high-school history text for decades, but is there really no mention of that aspect of US history? This sounds like hyperbole on your part.

It seems to me what has happened in recent decades is that US public schools are realizing that to perpetuate Christian privilege (allowing teachers and administrators to openly spread their religion while on the job) is to invite very expensive and controversial lawsuits that are often won by the plaintiffs, as per the First Amendment. By correcting those policies, official and unofficial, they avoid both unnecessary expense and controversy, two things school boards tend to dislike.

The problem is that a vocal, often well-financed minority equate that loss of unconstitutional privilege with censorship and oppression. These are the ones that see teaching the solidly-grounded science behind evolutionary theory as "atheistic" and "unchristian". But to quote Jon Stewart talking to religious conservatives:
Quote
You’ve confused the war on religion with not always getting everything you want.

Do you have any specific examples of what you see as the religious history of the US being downplayed or ignored?

only what i can remember from my own experience.  and i must say, my history teachers were very good, but i don't recall the xtian aspect of our founders being central in my lessons... like it or not, agree with it or not... it's just the way it was.  and that's my point... i agree that proselytizing public school children is wrong, but i also think that schools tiptoe around any mention of the bible or xtians because like you stated, they're afraid of the lawsuit. 
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: frank callaway on August 06, 2014, 02:51:00 PM
  it's like how many today believe the theory of evolution is the product of darwin.  but history shows us that anaximander (610-546 b.c.) introduced the theory of "spontaneous generation"...  diogenes (412-323 b.c.) had the concept of "primordial slime"... empedocles (495-455 b.c) introduced the theory of "natural selection" or "survival of the fittest"...

Do you know the difference between science and a guess?

do you mean theory and hypothesis...?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: One Above All on August 06, 2014, 02:56:06 PM
  it's like how many today believe the theory of evolution is the product of darwin.  but history shows us that anaximander (610-546 b.c.) introduced the theory of "spontaneous generation"...  diogenes (412-323 b.c.) had the concept of "primordial slime"... empedocles (495-455 b.c) introduced the theory of "natural selection" or "survival of the fittest"...

Do you know the difference between science and a guess?

do you mean theory and hypothesis...?

I think this answers Foxy Freedom's question, but that's just me.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on August 06, 2014, 03:03:16 PM
  it's like how many today believe the theory of evolution is the product of darwin.  but history shows us that anaximander (610-546 b.c.) introduced the theory of "spontaneous generation"...  diogenes (412-323 b.c.) had the concept of "primordial slime"... empedocles (495-455 b.c) introduced the theory of "natural selection" or "survival of the fittest"...

Do you know the difference between science and a guess?

do you mean theory and hypothesis...?

No, I mean the difference between science and a guess? Why were the ancient Greek writers not doing science? Why does evolution date from Darwin and Wallace and not ancient Greece? Why is a magical medieval explanation of something still a magical explanation even if it is proved by science that the answer is correct?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: nogodsforme on August 06, 2014, 03:11:08 PM
  it's like how many today believe the theory of evolution is the product of darwin.  but history shows us that anaximander (610-546 b.c.) introduced the theory of "spontaneous generation"...  diogenes (412-323 b.c.) had the concept of "primordial slime"... empedocles (495-455 b.c) introduced the theory of "natural selection" or "survival of the fittest"...

Do you know the difference between science and a guess?

Saying these guys developed the theory of evolution instead of Wallace, Darwin, et al, is like attributing the invention of the airplane to da Vinci.
http://www.da-vinci-inventions.com/flying-machine.aspx

Yeah, RenFair Man was really amazingly brilliant. He thought about flying machines a lot. He drew designs for them. But there would be no engine to power the thing for another 200 years. His designs, no matter how aerodynamically accurate and elegant, would never get off the ground.

So, it is not enough to have an idea, even a really good new idea, about the world. Philosophers and mystics come up with ideas about the world all the time. Myths, legends, and science fiction are full of good new ideas about the world. But the creators of Star Trek did not make working cell phones, space shuttles or laptop computers. It took actual scientists--inventors, engineers, designers and technicians to do that.[1]

You have to connect the good idea to reality, and see if it will fly. That is why ideas about evolution were not actual science until people like Darwin did observations, made hypotheses, tested them out and produced evidence in support of evolution.

Hint: A methodology that produces testable evidence is the difference between science, and a guess. That's why one is called "the scientific method" and the other is called "you got it right that time, you lucky bastid, but we don't know how you did it, and we cannot repeat it".
 
 1. We still don't have mind melds, but with computers that can interface with people's brains, we are getting close! This sh!t freaked me out! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain%E2%80%93computer_interface#MEG_and_MRI
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: wright on August 06, 2014, 03:19:14 PM
only what i can remember from my own experience.  and i must say, my history teachers were very good, but i don't recall the xtian aspect of our founders being central in my lessons... like it or not, agree with it or not... it's just the way it was.  and that's my point...

No argument that it existed. But why should it be central to any lesson plan, unless the class is specifically about US religious history? That aspect deserves mention and examination, but not to the point of special privilege.


i agree that proselytizing public school children is wrong, but i also think that schools tiptoe around any mention of the bible or xtians because like you stated, they're afraid of the lawsuit.

That could well be, and if that means kids aren't being taught the more controversial aspects of US history, I agree that's wrong. But I also think recent history shows that Christian theology has had unofficial, largely unrecognized sanction and privilege even in the public schools in the US. That this is being recognized and corrected does not equate to Christianity being censored and downplayed. The playing field is just being leveled, as the law of the land requires.


Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: screwtape on August 06, 2014, 03:21:20 PM

potayto, potahto

No.  Sorry.  That is not the case.  I am not trying to "stick it to you".  I am trying to help you.  I understand you may feel embarrassed about your error, and attempt to hand-wave it away.  You shouldn't do that, though.  It is important to you to learn the distinction, otherwise you will just make the same error, compounding the problem.

we're talking about a meta-narrative here...

Since you misused the term "confirmation bias", I do not believe you know what "meta-narrative" means.  Also, in context, it appears to contradict what you are saying in the next few sentences.  Please explain what you think the term means. 

allow me to help:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metanarrative

Please feel free to amend your post once you have a good grasp of what the word means.

Also, how old are you?

i was alining my position only with the teachings of one man. 

Interestingly, the teachings of one man was not the context of the questions asked of you.  The questions were broader. 

They also alluded to the fact that, despite jesus' alleged radical approach to women, xianity has been pretty down on women for about 1670 of its 1700 (or so) years.  And in many ways, it still is.  It seems that society has progressed in that area in spite of xianity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Christianity

Thank you so much for this link.  It is full if interesting information.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: frank callaway on August 06, 2014, 04:50:21 PM
No.  Sorry.  That is not the case.  I am not trying to "stick it to you".  I am trying to help you.  I understand you may feel embarrassed about your error, and attempt to hand-wave it away.  You shouldn't do that, though.  It is important to you to learn the distinction, otherwise you will just make the same error, compounding the problem.

ummmmm, yes, confirmation bias - when people filter out useful facts and opinions that don’t coincide with their preconceived notions... kinda like when xyzzy stated that, just recently... in the past few decades, society has moved away from the notion that women are inherently inferior to men.  and i show her how jesus did in fact treat women equal to men, thus refuting her claim that society has just recently moved away from that notion... but of course xyzzy already knew that, she just filtered it out because it didn't coincide with her preconceived notion...

Since you misused the term "confirmation bias"...

since i did not misuse the term... the rest of your post is irrelevant.  and i'm afraid this will also have a negative impact on your previous posts as well.  if i knew how or had the inclination to give you a -darwin point... i might consider it.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Zankuu on August 06, 2014, 04:59:13 PM
[…] Christianity is not like the other religions of just listening to someone's claim. The early Christians would have eyewitness testimony to the Resurrection. If the Resurrection was bollocks, it would have died.

By Zeus this reply irked me. Must have been a combination of the bold and underline. skeptic, I’m late to the game in this thread, and I’m glad to see you’re well and still around debating but I’m a little disappointed with your apologetics here.

It’s been explained to you in the past why eyewitness testimony is unreliable. To misquote the Dude: “That isn’t, like, my opinion man.” It’s a fact. It’s unreliable. Here's (http://atheism.about.com/od/parapsychology/a/eyewitness.htm) a refresher. And let’s be crystal clear here- Christianity doesn’t even have any eyewitness accounts. All we have are secondhand accounts of eyewitness accounts. An unknown author that wrote the Gospel of Luke who wrote about another person that saw Jesus preach isn’t reliable, and it sure as hell isn’t an eyewitness account. It’s as comical as Tropic Thunder. He’s a dude writin' about a dude that supposedly saw another dude!

it is completely different from anything else.

On the contrary, it’s exactly like modern Indian gurus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sathya_Sai_Baba), or for that matter anyone that used ancient parlor tricks to gather followers. These con men perform “miracles” in front of thousands upon thousands of people by creating jewels and holy ash from thin air. These so called gurus have hundreds and thousands of actual eyewitness testimonies. Right now. In our day and age. Believers not by faith but by eyewitness accounts. While you can only imagine watching Jesus turn water into wine, somewhere in India these guys are literally witnessing these "miracles" happen. But is that any reason to believe these guys are legit prophets and divine beings in the flesh? No. So, why should anyone be persuaded by these thousand year old copies of manuscripts of secondhand writings of supposed testimonies of the same type of miracles?

You said IF the story of the Resurrection of Christ was bollocks it would have died, but here we have modern examples of Indian gurus performing miracles which were proven to be bollocks, yet they still thrive on ignorance and eyewitness testimonies and word of mouth. So the popularity and spread of the Gospel stories has no bearing on their validity. More likely than not it's the same ol' run of the mill bollocks.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: frank callaway on August 06, 2014, 05:01:26 PM
  it's like how many today believe the theory of evolution is the product of darwin.  but history shows us that anaximander (610-546 b.c.) introduced the theory of "spontaneous generation"...  diogenes (412-323 b.c.) had the concept of "primordial slime"... empedocles (495-455 b.c) introduced the theory of "natural selection" or "survival of the fittest"...

Do you know the difference between science and a guess?

Saying these guys developed the theory of evolution instead of Wallace, Darwin, et al, is like attributing the invention of the airplane to da Vinci.
http://www.da-vinci-inventions.com/flying-machine.aspx

Yeah, RenFair Man was really amazingly brilliant. He thought about flying machines a lot. He drew designs for them. But there would be no engine to power the thing for another 200 years. His designs, no matter how aerodynamically accurate and elegant, would never get off the ground.

So, it is not enough to have an idea, even a really good new idea, about the world. Philosophers and mystics come up with ideas about the world all the time. Myths, legends, and science fiction are full of good new ideas about the world. But the creators of Star Trek did not make working cell phones, space shuttles or laptop computers. It took actual scientists--inventors, engineers, designers and technicians to do that.[1]

You have to connect the good idea to reality, and see if it will fly. That is why ideas about evolution were not actual science until people like Darwin did observations, made hypotheses, tested them out and produced evidence in support of evolution.

Hint: A methodology that produces testable evidence is the difference between science, and a guess. That's why one is called "the scientific method" and the other is called "you got it right that time, you lucky bastid, but we don't know how you did it, and we cannot repeat it".
 1. We still don't have mind melds, but with computers that can interface with people's brains, we are getting close! This sh!t freaked me out! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain%E2%80%93computer_interface#MEG_and_MRI

apparently my response of "do you mean theory and hypothesis...?" was taken seriously... it was an attempt at being a smart ass... which i have been known to be, although not the worst from those who accuse me.

but i have a question for you nogodsforme... what do you think of those "captain obvious" commercials...?  it's the first thing that came to mind after reading this post...
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: nogodsforme on August 06, 2014, 05:32:24 PM
Whoa, fc, what government did Jesus run, where these egalitarian laws regarding women were enforced? Are you really trying to say that, because one guy, Jesus,  was sometimes nice to women, the whole world immediately became a women-oriented place? Beginning in 35 AD? Seriously?

How did I forget that huge, woman-friendly ancient Christian society led by Jesus, where everyone had equal rights, nobody was subservient or enslaved, and women took their places of leadership and authority alongside of men? 

I must have missed those parts of the bible as a JW kid. The bible I read was telling me to shut up and let the men run things, to be submissive, that women were unclean, that women tempted men into sinfulness, that Eve brought all the trouble into the world, etc, etc. Those were "preconceived notions" that I (and evidently a lot of other people) got from the bible.

If Jesus existed, he was just one minor rabbi, a rebel and a hippie, maybe even a rabble rouser--but he gathered no instant mass following. Nobody important even seemed to notice the members for hundreds of years.  His followers were a minor and insignificant sect with no political power until the Roman emperor adopted the religion and forced everyone in the empire to join.

It took hundreds of years and many changes in the teachings of Jesus (first by Saul of Tarsus and later by the Roman councils and even later by the Protestant reformers) before something vaguely recognizeable as modern Christianity caught on in most European countries.

Equal rights for men of all races and classes, the abolition of slavery, and the emancipation of women did not accompany the conversion of the pagan masses to Christianity. Unless medieval feudal Europe looked a lot different than we thought!

Those political and economic improvements were gained by social revolutions starting in the 18th and 19th centuries. Those principles were not originally part of any branch of early Christianity. Religion was much more likely to be used by the powerful to maintain the status quo than to make radical changes.[1]

Or did Jesus advocate for women's education, suffrage, inheritance and property rights and I somehow missed that? How Jesus personally treated women had no effect on the laws of the countries that later adopted Christianity.
 1. Who are the people most likely to suppress freedom for women around the world today? Are religious groups or secular ones trying to keep girls ignorant and unskilled, raping them for daring to be outside their homes, kidnapping them or throwing acid on them for going to school?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: nogodsforme on August 06, 2014, 05:37:17 PM
One person's obvious fraud or mistake is another person's miraculous godly mystery.

BTW fc, if everything about the universe was obvious and did not need explaining, it would be a rather boring place, don't you agree? And, no I have not seen any Captain Obvious commercials. Would my life be better if I had seen them? :?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: wright on August 06, 2014, 05:40:36 PM
ummmmm, yes, confirmation bias - when people filter out useful facts and opinions that don’t coincide with their preconceived notions... kinda like when xyzzy stated that, just recently... in the past few decades, society has moved away from the notion that women are inherently inferior to men.  and i show her how jesus did in fact treat women equal to men, thus refuting her claim that society has just recently moved away from that notion... but of course xyzzy already knew that, she just filtered it out because it didn't coincide with her preconceived notion...

How does it refute her claim? Are you saying that Roman Palestine was somehow rendered gender-equal by Christian teachings about 2000 years ago? A few local rabble-rousers espousing such concepts clearly didn't have much if any effect at the time.

With few exceptions, patriarchial social views prevailed until the last few hundred years of human history. Yes, there have historically been exceptions and if some early Christians did in fact have a more egalitarian view they would be included. But widespread acceptance and practice of such ideas has only happened recently.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Graybeard on August 06, 2014, 05:57:00 PM
every 8th grader knows the american revolution was fought because of taxation without representation right...?
And broadly, that's why they are 8th graders: there was a bit more to it than that.
Quote
i say this because it is my belief that the history of our founder's strong faith and belief in god HAS been totally scrubbed from public schools and politics.
Their faith, at least the public expression of their faith, was not particularly strong. They had seen the injustices done in Europe and they set in stone the right to have your faith, regardless of what it was and they specifically excluded the state having a role in faith.
Quote
the founder's challenged the notion of the 'divine right of kings' and other societal issues based upon their beliefs in the scriptures.
And that is why the people are left to their own resources as far as faith is concerned: the state is neutral.

Quote
Andrew Jackson

“I could not do otherwise without transcending the limits prescribed by the Constitution for the President and without feeling that I might in some degree disturb the security which religion nowadays enjoys in this country in its complete separation form the political concerns of the General Government.” (letter explaining his refusal to proclaim a national day of, among other things, prayer.)

Quote
woodrow Wilson
Where was he in 1776?

Quote
John Quincy Adams
“There are in this country, as in all others, a certain proportion of restless and turbulent spirits - poor, unoccupied, ambitious - who must always have something to quarrel about with their neighbors. These people are the authors of religious revivals.”

Quote
Thomas Jefferson
Have you every read of the Jefferson Bible
Quote
The Jefferson Bible, or The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth as it is formally titled, was a book constructed by Thomas Jefferson in the latter years of his life by cutting and pasting with a razor and glue numerous sections from the New Testament as extractions of the doctrine of Jesus. Jefferson's condensed composition is especially notable for its exclusion of all miracles by Jesus and most mentions of the supernatural, including sections of the four gospels which contain the Resurrection and most other miracles, and passages indicating Jesus was divine
Or used these quotes: •  “The serious enemies are the priests of the different religious sects to whose spells on the human mind its improvement is ominous.”
•  “I join you [John Adams], therefore, in sincere congratulations that this den of the priesthood is at length broken up, and that a Protestant Popedom is no longer to disgrace the American history and character.”

Quote
there are literally hundreds if not thousands of similar quotes, but now it seems that little evidence of the scriptural foundation remains in our classrooms.
Well, I’ve got lots of quotes to say that those above were often deists rather than Christian, and for good reason.

The “scriptural foundation is a myth – like the scriptures.
Quote
it's like how many today believe the theory of evolution is the product of darwin.
Your understanding of scince is about the same as your understanding of the constitution and history.
Quote
but history shows us that anaximander (610-546 b.c.) introduced the theory of "spontaneous generation"...  diogenes (412-323 b.c.) had the concept of "primordial slime"...
All those things that were shown to be misguided and inaccurate – very similar to that book “The Bible” written years ago and which can be shown to be misguided and inaccurate ... The trouble is, we have moved on from those early attempt at explanation, but you seem to be stuck with Bronze-Age science.
Quote
kinda reminds me of ecclesiastes 1:9 what has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
Yes, until we learn by our mistakes, admit them and correct them, there will be no progress. Why do you think that some people still believe that there is an Israeli tribal god up above the sky who helps us?

Frank,
You listen a lot to Fox News, don’t you?
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on August 06, 2014, 06:33:35 PM
apparently my response of "do you mean theory and hypothesis...?" was taken seriously... it was an attempt at being a smart ass... which i have been known to be, although not the worst from those who accuse me.

Anything you can say as a smart ass, or as sarcasm, or as a joke, has already been said on this site by someone who meant it seriously. Too much smart ass and you lose all credibility.

Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: 12 Monkeys on August 06, 2014, 07:01:17 PM
Goddess/god belief does help sometimes, I just want it to be kept personal and out of schools and politics. Which unfortunately isn't possible with the small vocal minority of theists.

every 8th grader knows the american revolution was fought because of taxation without representation right...?  i say this because it is my belief that the history of our founder's strong faith and belief in god HAS been totally scrubbed from public schools and politics.  the founder's challenged the notion of the 'divine right of kings' and other societal issues based upon their beliefs in the scriptures. 

"the bible is the rock on which our republic rests" - andrew jackson

"america was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of holy scripture" - woodrow wilson

"no book in the world deserves to be so unceasingly studied and so profoundly meditated upon as the bible" - john quincy adams

"i say, for the human mind not to believe that there is in all this design, cause and effect up to an ultimate cause - a fabricator of all things, from matter and motion - their preserver and regulator while permitted to exist in their present forms - and their regenerator into new and other forms" - thomas jefferson

there are literally hundreds if not thousands of similar quotes, but now it seems that little evidence of the scriptural foundation remains in our classrooms.  it's like how many today believe the theory of evolution is the product of darwin.  but history shows us that anaximander (610-546 b.c.) introduced the theory of "spontaneous generation"...  diogenes (412-323 b.c.) had the concept of "primordial slime"... empedocles (495-455 b.c) introduced the theory of "natural selection" or "survival of the fittest"... kinda reminds me of ecclesiastes 1:9 what has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
if all this was true and the founders followed the teachings of this one man(Jesus), the blood of 60 million aboriginals would not be on their hands.... Love thy neighbour and all that.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: frank callaway on August 06, 2014, 07:17:15 PM
I must have missed those parts of the bible as a JW kid. The bible I read was telling me to shut up and let the men run things, to be submissive, that women were unclean, that women tempted men into sinfulness, that Eve brought all the trouble into the world, etc, etc...

that is a weird bible... you sure your h8red for xtians isn't rooted in a bit more...?

Equal rights for men of all races and classes, the abolition of slavery, and the emancipation of women did not accompany the conversion of the pagan masses to Christianity. Unless medieval feudal Europe looked a lot different than we thought!

actually, the abolition of slavery in britain was indeed spearheaded by an evangelical christian.  his campaign led to the slavery abolition act 1833, which effectively abolished slavery in the british empire.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Wilberforce

Who are the people most likely to suppress freedom for women around the world today? Are religious groups or secular ones trying to keep girls ignorant and unskilled, raping them for daring to be outside their homes, kidnapping them or throwing acid on them for going to school?

i agree, but that's not the xtian religion you h8 so much... but you know what religion it is, don't you.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: nogodsforme on August 06, 2014, 08:15:26 PM
Well, fc, religious people of good conscience have argued on both sides of the slavery/abolition issue. I think the fact that no major religion outlawed slavery from the getgo is one of the reasons I don't think religions come from any god. There have been times in the US when the proper Christian perspective was very pro-slavery because, the argument went, the slaves would be converted to Christianity and their souls would be saved, even if their bodies and minds were destroyed. 

If you read the letters and speeches of the Confederate leadership, it is all about how African slavery is ordained by god and the bible. That viewpoint was shared by a big segment of the US population, not just a handful of fringe nutjobs. The anti-slavery folks, like the Quakers, were considered the fringe nutjobs of their day.

If Christians were universally anti-slavery from the time of Jesus, it's hard to imagine why it ever caught on in Europe and the Americas, and why it lasted for so many centuries. If everyone was against it, why did it take until the 1800's for widespread abolition of the trade, and even longer for actual emancipation of the enslaved people? The bible offers plenty of support for slavery and was used to justify it in many countries for centuries. That is not a condemnation of the bible or of religion. It is just a fact.

If you want to think I hate religious people in general or Christians in particular, you are going to be disappointed. I can disagree with people without hating them. Most of my relatives, friends, neighbors, work colleagues and students are religious. I hate none of them. I am annoyed by some of them for various (generally non-religious) reasons, but that is very far from hatred.

I attend religious services whenever someone invites me--in the past few years I have been to various Christian, Muslim and Sikh houses of worship. I lived with Muslims, Catholics and Buddhists in other countries. I have recently given money to several Christian students to help them go on their mission trips. I arranged for a priest who works with street kids to speak to packed crowds at the college where I teach-- and still get regular emails from his organization updating me on their work. I am the faculty adviser for a Muslim student group. I financially help to support numerous families and individuals in need, both here in the US and overseas. All of them are quite religious people. I have never judged anyone or criticized them for their beliefs.

I would challenge you to find any evidence of religious hatred in my life.[1]

I am not going to go through the bible and find all those anti-woman quotes-- I read them and heard them every day as a kid. Someone else here can do that. Are you saying that those passages are not in the bible and I made them up? Or that they are there, but I am taking them out of context?
 1. What I find amusing is that every religious group I interact with think I am a member of or at least sympathetic to their faith. Unless I make a point of it, not a single person ever pegs me as a radical hardcore atheist. With my dreadlocks a lot of people assume I am a Rasta queen.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: JeffPT on August 06, 2014, 09:49:51 PM
only what i can remember from my own experience.  and i must say, my history teachers were very good, but i don't recall the xtian aspect of our founders being central in my lessons... like it or not, agree with it or not... it's just the way it was. and that's my point... i agree that proselytizing public school children is wrong, but i also think that schools tiptoe around any mention of the bible or xtians because like you stated, they're afraid of the lawsuit.

I think that's a bit oversimplified. 

It is worthy of note that there is little emphasis in the history classes regarding the heavy involvement of Christianity in witch hunts, multitudes of different wars, slavery, antisemitism / the holocaust, the crusades, the treatment of so called 'heretics', scientific stifling, the treatment of the Native Americans by the puritans and many other things for which Christianity was the primary motivating force.  You get just as brief a mention of Christianity with those things as you do with the founding fathers, and in all likelihood, most Christians are probably fine with keeping it that way.  I doubt there is a teacher alive in the U.S. that would quote Exodus 22:18 when a curious student asks why the witch hunts took place.  Most of them would probably mumble something about superstition and move along to the next topic. 

It would not be fair to point to the select group of founding fathers that happened to be Christian and make a heavy push to teach the children that these men took their Christian faith and used it to form our country, without also saying, 'see, look how these men took their Christian faith and used it to defend hunting down and killing 'witches', and so called 'heretics', and how they used it to justify wars and slavery. 

Christianity is probably mentioned just enough in history classes so as to avoid children from saying 'WTF is up with those ass hole Christians', and to avoid parents from drumming up a lawsuit. 
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: kcrady on August 07, 2014, 07:51:15 AM
ummmmm, yes, confirmation bias - when people filter out useful facts and opinions that don’t coincide with their preconceived notions... kinda like when xyzzy stated that, just recently... in the past few decades, society has moved away from the notion that women are inherently inferior to men.  and i show her how jesus did in fact treat women equal to men,

Yes, that must be why all twelve of "the Twelve" were...men.

"We here at Jesus, Inc. are an equal opportunity employer!  Sure, there may be no women in our management team, but that's because...um...SQUIRREL!"

In fairness, the Gospel of Mary Magdalene portrays Jesus making Mary Magdalene an inner-circle disciple and even teaching her things he didn't share with the others.[1]  But then, that Gospel didn't get the votes to make it into the Bible, did it?
 1. Given the way the 12 Disciples are portrayed in the canonical Gospels, i.e. as complete idiots, it wouldn't be surprising if Jesus decided they weren't ready for the "deeper" teachings.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: frank callaway on August 07, 2014, 08:17:44 AM
hey, i just figured out how to start a new topic - question moved to new thread... please don't give me any -darwin points.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: screwtape on August 07, 2014, 08:48:05 AM
ummmmm, yes, confirmation bias -

ummmmm, no, that is not confirmation bias.  I even linked the definition for you.  And still you got it wrong.


kinda like when xyzzy stated that, just recently... in the past few decades, society has moved away from the notion that women are inherently inferior to men.  and i show her how jesus did in fact treat women equal to men, thus refuting her claim that society has just recently moved away from that notion...

ummmmm, no.  Let's assume for the moment that your allegation is accurate - that jesus H did treat women equal to men.  That does not refute that society only recently rejected gender inequality.  It only shows that one guy might have been ahead of his time. You said as much in your prior post:

i wasn't conflating my position with "christianity"... i was alining my position only with the teachings of one man.

get your story straight.  Otherwise someone might get the impression you are talking out your ass.

since i did not misuse the term...

you did. QED.

 
the rest of your post is irrelevant.

Ummmmmm, no.  Me being right about one has no bearing on the other.  You still misused the the term "metanarrative" and contradicted yourself.

if i knew how or had the inclination to give you a -darwin point... i might consider it.

oh, quick, someone bring the fainting couch and smelling salts.  I have been threatened with a smite.  However will I make it through my day?


Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: frank callaway on August 07, 2014, 09:18:24 AM
ummmmm, no.  Let's assume for the moment that your allegation is accurate - that jesus H did treat women equal to men.  That does not refute that society only recently rejected gender inequality.  It only shows that one guy might have been ahead of his time. You said as much in your prior post:

yep, and the OP stated unequivocally that "society" had only recently, within the past few decades, moved away from the notion that women were inferior to men.  She did not say "most" of society, or a "large portion" of society, or give any indication of what "society" she was even talking about.  so one can only conclude that she was talking about 100% of every "society" on the planet, which would include 100% of every person on the planet who has ever lived... get it?

get your story straight.  Otherwise someone might get the impression you are talking out your ass.

i cannot help your lack of comprehension...


since i did not misuse the term...

you did. QED.

did not

the rest of your post is irrelevant.

the rest of your post is irrelevant... what, what... deja vu... i shall make this a permanent fixture on future exchanges.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: jaimehlers on August 07, 2014, 11:03:37 AM
yep, and the OP stated unequivocally that "society" had only recently, within the past few decades, moved away from the notion that women were inferior to men.  She did not say "most" of society, or a "large portion" of society, or give any indication of what "society" she was even talking about.  so one can only conclude that she was talking about 100% of every "society" on the planet, which would include 100% of every person on the planet who has ever lived... get it?
Is there some reason you think an exaggerated strawman argument like this is going to accomplish anything meaningful?  It is not even slightly reasonable to conclude that if someone makes a general statement like "society had only recently, within the past few decades, moved away from the notion that women were inferior to men" that they in fact mean every single person in every single human society that has ever existed on the face of the Earth; if that were the case, there would have been no need for society to move away from that notion, because it would have never been held to begin with.

It is not even reasonable to conclude that it means every single person in every single society that exists on the planet today, since a few decades is well within normal human lifespans, and thus many of the people who were around when society did hold the notion that women were inferior to men are still alive today.  Therefore, your argument is patently ridiculous and is a clear strawman.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Graybeard on August 07, 2014, 02:51:15 PM
I must have missed those parts of the bible as a JW kid. The bible I read was telling me to shut up and let the men run things, to be submissive, that women were unclean, that women tempted men into sinfulness, that Eve brought all the trouble into the world, etc, etc...

that is a weird bible...
It's the same Bible that you have never read.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Jag on August 07, 2014, 02:55:43 PM
yep, and the OP stated unequivocally that "society" had only recently, within the past few decades, moved away from the notion that women were inferior to men.  She did not say "most" of society, or a "large portion" of society, or give any indication of what "society" she was even talking about.  so one can only conclude that she was talking about 100% of every "society" on the planet, which would include 100% of every person on the planet who has ever lived... get it?
Is there some reason you think an exaggerated strawman argument like this is going to accomplish anything meaningful?  It is not even slightly reasonable to conclude that if someone makes a general statement like "society had only recently, within the past few decades, moved away from the notion that women were inferior to men" that they in fact mean every single person in every single human society that has ever existed on the face of the Earth; if that were the case, there would have been no need for society to move away from that notion, because it would have never been held to begin with.

It is not even reasonable to conclude that it means every single person in every single society that exists on the planet today, since a few decades is well within normal human lifespans, and thus many of the people who were around when society did hold the notion that women were inferior to men are still alive today.  Therefore, your argument is patently ridiculous and is a clear strawman.

And in fact, none of this has anything to do with the actual OP, written by skeptic (a guy), 9 pages ago.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: One Above All on August 07, 2014, 02:57:03 PM
yep, and the OP stated unequivocally that "society" had only recently, within the past few decades, moved away from the notion that women were inferior to men.  She did not say "most" of society, or a "large portion" of society, or give any indication of what "society" she was even talking about.  so one can only conclude that she was talking about 100% of every "society" on the planet, which would include 100% of every person on the planet who has ever lived... get it?
Is there some reason you think an exaggerated strawman argument like this is going to accomplish anything meaningful?  It is not even slightly reasonable to conclude that if someone makes a general statement like "society had only recently, within the past few decades, moved away from the notion that women were inferior to men" that they in fact mean every single person in every single human society that has ever existed on the face of the Earth; if that were the case, there would have been no need for society to move away from that notion, because it would have never been held to begin with.

It is not even reasonable to conclude that it means every single person in every single society that exists on the planet today, since a few decades is well within normal human lifespans, and thus many of the people who were around when society did hold the notion that women were inferior to men are still alive today.  Therefore, your argument is patently ridiculous and is a clear strawman.

And in fact, none of this has anything to do with the actual OP, written by skeptic (a guy), 9 pages ago.

Glad I'm not the only one who realized it. I think frank callaway got his threads mixed up. Probably a years-old thread, given the subject.
Title: Re: Atheists, How Did Christianity Start?
Post by: Nam on August 14, 2014, 10:09:35 PM
Goddess/god belief does help sometimes, I just want it to be kept personal and out of schools and politics. Which unfortunately isn't possible with the small vocal minority of theists.

every 8th grader knows the american revolution was fought because of taxation without representation right...?  i say this because it is my belief that the history of our founder's strong faith and belief in god HAS been totally scrubbed from public schools and politics.  the founder's challenged the notion of the 'divine right of kings' and other societal issues based upon their beliefs in the scriptures. 

"the bible is the rock on which our republic rests" - andrew jackson

"america was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of holy scripture" - woodrow wilson

"no book in the world deserves to be so unceasingly studied and so profoundly meditated upon as the bible" - john quincy adams

"i say, for the human mind not to believe that there is in all this design, cause and effect up to an ultimate cause - a fabricator of all things, from matter and motion - their preserver and regulator while permitted to exist in their present forms - and their regenerator into new and other forms" - thomas jefferson

there are literally hundreds if not thousands of similar quotes, but now it seems that little evidence of the scriptural foundation remains in our classrooms.  it's like how many today believe the theory of evolution is the product of darwin.  but history shows us that anaximander (610-546 b.c.) introduced the theory of "spontaneous generation"...  diogenes (412-323 b.c.) had the concept of "primordial slime"... empedocles (495-455 b.c) introduced the theory of "natural selection" or "survival of the fittest"... kinda reminds me of ecclesiastes 1:9 what has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.




How is Andrew Jackson a "Founding Father"?

How is Woodrow Wilson a "Founding Father"?

-Nam