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Eric
10-08-2010, 07:56 AM
If I told you - with great exuberance - about my new friend who was very real and who "turned my life around" but whom no one else could see or hear ... you'd (rightly) think I was going nuts. No way would you actually believe my not-visible, ghost-like friend was physically real as opposed to something ginned up by my over-active imagination. Right? Is there anyone who disagrees?

Yet when people do exactly the same thing but under the auspices of a major religion, most people do take it seriously - as if a hallucination or mental problem somehow gets validated when it's agreed upon by a large enough number of people. (This is what separates a "cult" from a "religion.")

Why is this?

How come the same rules of evidence and objectivity we'd expect (even demand) in almost any other circumstance get tossed when it comes to religion? (Provided it's an established one, with enough believers.)

I don't get it - and wish someone would explain it.

Logically, is there any more reason for taking seriously someone who "professes Jesus" over someone who worships Ra? Or believes he can channel spirits? Or that Napoleon whispers advice in his ear?

How? Why?

DonTom
10-10-2010, 06:42 AM
"I don't get it - and wish someone would explain it."

I figure religion is a very common emotional disease. They get high on their nonsense. Just another drug, IMO.

Other than that, I do not understand it either. But I also don't understand why any drugs are so common. Even if it's beer, which many Americans are also hooked on.

-Don-

Eric
10-10-2010, 06:54 AM
"I don't get it - and wish someone would explain it."

I figure religion is a very common emotional disease. They get high on their nonsense. Just another drug, IMO.

Other than that, I do not understand it either. But I also don't understand why any drugs are so common. Even if it's beer, which many Americans are also hooked on.

-Don-

I've heard the argument that most people have a "religious gene" that predisposes them to accepting religion. I've always thought that the main reason for widespread religious belief is simply that most people are born into religious families and so are molded to think in religious terms from a very early (and impressionable) age.

In my own case (and perhaps yours?) my parents were pretty indifferent to religion, so I picked up a skeptical attitude early on. And once you begin to question religion, it's virtually impossible to continue believing in any of it!

DonTom
10-10-2010, 09:34 AM
I've heard the argument that most people have a "religious gene" that predisposes them to accepting religion. I've always thought that the main reason for widespread religious belief is simply that most people are born into religious families and so are molded to think in religious terms from a very early (and impressionable) age.

In my own case (and perhaps yours?) my parents were pretty indifferent to religion, so I picked up a skeptical attitude early on. And once you begin to question religion, it's virtually impossible to continue believing in any of it!I've known religious people who had parents who were not a bit religious. But in those cases, they are all depressed with life and then somebody comes along who is religious to give them a type of hope or whatever. I think there are many different reasons why people get hooked on religion, but the reasons are about the same for getting hooked on any drug.

My parents were once very religious. But that was when I was very young. My dad was a Mormon and my parents married in Salt Lake City, where my dad was born. But when they moved to CA, my dad gave up on the Mormon nonsense, but my mother became a Christian of some other faith (not Mormon) and stayed that way until death. My dad died an atheist.

Yes, I think a very big part of our personalities is in ROM ( "genes" or the way we were born) and the rest in RAM (how our environment programs us).

-Don-

Eric
10-12-2010, 07:52 AM
I've known religious people who had parents who were not a bit religious. But in those cases, they are all depressed with life and then somebody comes along who is religious to give them a type of hope or whatever. I think there are many different reasons why people get hooked on religion, but the reasons are about the same for getting hooked on any drug.

My parents were once very religious. But that was when I was very young. My dad was a Mormon and my parents married in Salt Lake City, where my dad was born. But when they moved to CA, my dad gave up on the Mormon nonsense, but my mother became a Christian of some other faith (not Mormon) and stayed that way until death. My dad died an atheist.

Yes, I think a very big part of our personalities is in ROM ( "genes" or the way we were born) and the rest in RAM (how our environment programs us).

-Don-

It's the (often militant) certainty that really disturbs me.

Hell, I know I'm not omniscient or even particularly smart; so it follows that there is the possibility I am unable to perceive fully the extent of reality; that perhaps there is something "behind the scenes" directing the course of our lives. Who knows?

The thing that absolutely bewilders me is when someone says they do know. That they are certain "Jesus is Lord" - or whatever.

Am I dumb - or ignorant - for calling bullshit on that?

Is it not self-evident that no one knows anything about the origins of the universe (in a spiritual sense)? About such things as whether we continue to exist in some way after the death of our physical bodies? About a being we might call "god" - and what this being wants us to do?

Seriously...

I'd like some religious person to answer this challenge. But so far, none have.

And if they can't answer it, then my only request is that they humbly admit that - like me - they don't know, either.

It's ok to hope/suspect/entertain a possibility - while at the same time conceding openly that other people's differing hopes/suspicions thoughts about what might be are just as valid as your own - until there is definitive proof, one way or the other. And proof does not mean "faith," or "read the Bible," or "my pastor says." It means the same thing as 2+2=4. Verifiable, undeniable, fact.

Anything less is just an opinion no different than claiming "chocolate ice cream is the best flavor."

If all the world's religious people - and agnostics/atheists - agreed on this point, I think most if not all the problems (and evils) associated with religious belief/opposition to religious belief, etc. would disappear.

doncoo
01-09-2012, 03:38 PM
It's the (often militant) certainty that really disturbs me.

Hell, I know I'm not omniscient or even particularly smart; so it follows that there is the possibility I am unable to perceive fully the extent of reality; that perhaps there is something "behind the scenes" directing the course of our lives. Who knows?

The thing that absolutely bewilders me is when someone says they do know. That they are certain "Jesus is Lord" - or whatever.

Am I dumb - or ignorant - for calling bullshit on that?

Is it not self-evident that no one knows anything about the origins of the universe (in a spiritual sense)? About such things as whether we continue to exist in some way after the death of our physical bodies? About a being we might call "god" - and what this being wants us to do?

Seriously...

I'd like some religious person to answer this challenge. But so far, none have.

And if they can't answer it, then my only request is that they humbly admit that - like me - they don't know, either.

It's ok to hope/suspect/entertain a possibility - while at the same time conceding openly that other people's differing hopes/suspicions thoughts about what might be are just as valid as your own - until there is definitive proof, one way or the other. And proof does not mean "faith," or "read the Bible," or "my pastor says." It means the same thing as 2+2=4. Verifiable, undeniable, fact.

Anything less is just an opinion no different than claiming "chocolate ice cream is the best flavor."

If all the world's religious people - and agnostics/atheists - agreed on this point, I think most if not all the problems (and evils) associated with religious belief/opposition to religious belief, etc. would disappear.

I was raised Roman Catholic and was emersed in the rituals and indoctrination. If anyone should have been sold on it all it should have been me.

But I remember, even from the youngest age, of thinking to myself that the stories they were telling us in Sunday school didn't make any sense.

Virgin births, walking on water, Adam and Eve, the holy triology etc...

There always seemed to be something that didn't add up. That's not to say that I don't believe there could be a supreme power, but I know it ain't got nothing to do with organized religion.

I agree with Bill Maher's position: I'm not athiest because to be so would imply the same thing the religious nut-jobs claim. Namely, that they know for sure their god exists. I'm saying simply that I don't know how we got here or what happens after we die and since the nut-jobs are just humans like me then they don't know either.

They've just deluded themselves into believing.

eesquared
01-10-2012, 08:57 AM
"I figure religion is a very common emotional disease. They get high on their nonsense. Just another drug, IMO."


Funny.....I never pictured any of the 'regulars' in here as subscribing to Marxist thought:

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions.
It is the opium of the people.

Marx, (1843)

I do not think that anyone who is religious is automatically emotionally disturbed or mentally ill. I know many religious people who are emotionally stable and very few who are mentally ill.

Ken
01-10-2012, 11:23 AM
Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions.
It is the opium of the people.



Some people believe that they, and only they, control their destiny. I am one of them, I have no need for a 'God'. My path through my life is guided and controlled by my thoughts, my reasoning - good or flawed - and my resultant actions. Every decision I make changes that path and once that path is chosen there is rarely any way back. Yes, there may be some superior intellect out there in the galaxy, in exactly the same way as we humans are intellectually superior to some other forms of life, but that is no reason to revere or worship 'it'. If it is there, so be it, I hope it has a nice life. I believe that, when I die, there is only the black darkness of eternity left - not that I will be in any way aware of it. The only way I will ever live, from the instant of my passing on, is in the memories of those who's life mine has touched.

Others need a crutch to help them through life's weary toil, for them religion is that crutch. My mother was very religious, a regular church goer until her body failed and she could barely move - but that was God's will. She could always find something bad that she had done in her life for her God to allow her to suffer in atonement. She believed that her God was with her at all times and this belief was a great comfort to her. If she mislaid something she would ask God where it was and when she found it she would thank him for showing her where it was. Her religion made her feel that there was a reason to her life (the perpetual worship of her God) and that life, as we know it, was not just a genetic accident. She could not and would not accept that when we die that is the end of us for all eternity. She firmly believed that when she died she would be reborn, to a new and truly wonderful existence, reunited with Dad and all her friends, relatives and family, who had gone before, in a magical place called heaven. If that is the sort of comfort religion can give, to those who need that crutch in order to enjoy their lives, who am I to gainsay them.

Ken.

eesquared
01-10-2012, 11:35 AM
It's the (often militant) certainty that really disturbs me.
Ok – I’m on board with the militant certainty. It disturbs me, too. It disturbs me on the level that in the name of Allah, radical Muslims feel compelled to destroy all the infidels. It disturbs me on the level that in the name of Christianity, thousands of people were tortured and killed during the Inquisition. It disturbs me that in the name of God, thousands (or millions, depending on which version of history one subscribes to) of Jews were exterminated during Hitler’s reign.

Hell, I know I'm not omniscient or even particularly smart; so it follows that there is the possibility I am unable to perceive fully the extent of reality; that perhaps there is something "behind the scenes" directing the course of our lives. Who knows?
Well, you’re a smart guy, Eric…probably smarter than the average Joe. But you are right…Who knows? Nobody knows for certain in the sense that no one can prove that God exists. Which leads to your later comment on faith. Let’s look at the definition of faith from the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (1973):
faith: 2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.
From another viewpoint, just because something cannot be proven does not mean that it does not exist or that it is not true. For example, a dream. Have you ever had a dream? Let’s say that you slept and you had a dream. Good dream, bad dream, it matters not. What matters is that you had a dream. You cannot prove that you dreamed. There is no evidence that you dreamed. No one can get inside your mind and recover absolute proof and undeniable evidence that you dreamed. All that remains is your belief that dreaming occurred. So, you have faith that you dreamed. You believe that the dream occurred. You know that you dreamed. That is an example of faith: the belief in something that cannot be proven.

The thing that absolutely bewilders me is when someone says they do know. That they are certain "Jesus is Lord" - or whatever.
I think that they are misspeaking. What they are certain about is their belief that Jesus is Lord. Just as a non-believer is certain that God does not exist…or whatever.

Am I dumb - or ignorant - for calling bullshit on that?
No. Because they cannot prove the existence of God. It is an impossibility. I am a believer, but I am the first to admit that God’s existence cannot be proven. People believe based on faith, not based on scientific evidence.

Is it not self-evident that no one knows anything about the origins of the universe (in a spiritual sense)?
People have been trying to ‘prove’ the origins of the universe since …well, since forever it seems. If someone has done it, I don’t know about it.
About such things as whether we continue to exist in some way after the death of our physical bodies?
I have often heard the argument that our ability to reason is what separates us from the animals. Does it follow that we have the ability to reason because we have another aspect to our nature, that being our mind or soul, or a spiritual aspect? Perhaps.
About a being we might call "god" - and what this being wants us to do?
Ahhhh….the supernatural. I guess it depends on what you want to believe, Eric. I believe supernatural forces exist. I believe there is good in the world, and I believe there is evil in the world.

Seriously...
Yes, seriously.

I'd like some religious person to answer this challenge. But so far, none have.
By “answering the challenge”, I assume you mean that you want someone to prove God’s existence to you. Sorry dude….can’t be done.

And if they can't answer it, then my only request is that they humbly admit that - like me - they don't know, either.
I admit, though not so humbly, that nobody knows in the sense that nobody can prove it.

It's ok to hope/suspect/entertain a possibility - while at the same time conceding openly that other people's differing hopes/suspicions thoughts about what might be are just as valid as your own - until there is definitive proof, one way or the other. And proof does not mean "faith," or "read the Bible," or "my pastor says." It means the same thing as 2+2=4. Verifiable, undeniable, fact.
Who am I to invalidate someone else’s religion or claim that they are not going to go to heaven because they do not subscribe to my faith? That’s just silly. What makes their belief any less sincere than mine just because it is different?

Anything less is just an opinion no different than claiming "chocolate ice cream is the best flavor."
But…chocolate is the best flavor! J

If all the world's religious people - and agnostics/atheists - agreed on this point, I think most if not all the problems (and evils) associated with religious belief/opposition to religious belief, etc. would disappear.
Isn’t that what the founders promoted in the First Amendment -the freedom to exercise religion?
I don't get it - and wish someone would explain it. How? Why?
Why? Because….chocolate is the best flavor. No seriously…Maybe because people choose to believe. There is nothing wrong with believing just because one chooses to. What makes the decision to believe any different from a decision to sit on the porch and watch the sunset? We sit on the porch and watch the sunset because we enjoy it, or because we just want to do it. There is no logic or reason in our action to sit on the porch and just watch the sunset. The act of sitting on the porch serves no grand purpose, contributes nothing to the betterment of society, or creates economic value of any kind. We sit and watch the sunset because we simply want to do it. Perhaps we find it comforting. Perhaps we think of it as the promise of a tomorrow. Perhaps we think of it as a time of reflection on the day’s events. Not everything has to have a purpose.


My point is that because some people believe in an unknown, in the existence of an unproven, in an illogical concept or being does not make them emotional retards any more than you riding your bike because you enjoy it or find it comforting makes you mentally unstable.

doncoo
01-10-2012, 12:49 PM
I completely disagree. Eric's original post is correct.

Mark Twain said: "Religious faith is believing in something you know ain't so"

Eric's analogy between a child's imaginary friend and the god of organized religion is valid.

Humans are afraid of death, so they invent a solution: eternal life. It's so transparent it's ridiculous. And the church invents a god with which they can exploit the people's fears to make money. LOTS of money.

A delusion is a false belief held with absolute conviction despite superior evidence.

This definition is based on the fact that humans have the ability to reason and use logic to collect evidence. So, if reason and logic tell you that god is imaginary, and there is not one ioata of evidence to the contrary and yet you still "believe" then you are delusional.

Santa Claus is dismissed because he has nothing to offer. Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy as well. All imaginary beings just like god.

Religion didn't make it's way into human civilization until the human brain had developed that part that allows for imagination. When someone died they used to just leave them lying like other animals do.

This old argument of "just because it can't be proven, doesn't mean it doesn't exist" is incorrect in a reasonable world, like the one we live in.
If we follow that philosophy then there is no reality only the reality of whoever can get their "unproven but still valid" imagination politicized so it gets validity and can be enforced. Which is all religion is.

Mithrandir
01-10-2012, 05:31 PM
Pascal, French philosopher, scientist, mathematician and probability theorist (1623-1662) had a reason to believe in God based on a 2x2 matrix. It was similar to this



–Table I– ===========God exists========God does not exist
You believe in God=======(a) infinite reward=====(c) finite reward
You do not believe in God==(b) infinite punishment== (d) finite reward

In a nutshell if God does not exist, then it does not make much difference if we believe or not. If he exists then it is very important.

I do not think this is a way to end all argument about the existence of God, but it was a nice way to hedge your bets if you are not sure.

Mithrandir
01-10-2012, 11:13 PM
I never had a conversation with God in the same way that I (or most people) would speak with another person. The best that I can do is pray to God. I probably would be cautious of anyone that claimed to speak directly (as one person to another) with God.

Do my prayers get answered? Since I can be a bit dull at times, I am not sure if I can always tell when my prayers are answered. I think they get answered but not always in the way that I would expect. (I do not think I or others could scientifically prove if my prayers get answered, but I do not think I am hurting any one through prayer.)



How come the same rules of evidence and objectivity we'd expect (even demand) in almost any other circumstance get tossed when it comes to religion? (Provided it's an established one, with enough believers.)


Although at some point belief in God does require some faith, I do not see any issue with trying to find evidence to support one's belief.

I do not know how logical I can be, but I am willing to have some dialogue.

Jesus Christ was a historical person. He was not some mythical person.

Jesus preached in public. He performed miracles that were witnessed by others and the apostles.

Jesus died and was resurrected from the dead. This was witnessed by the apostles and others.

"If Christ is not risen our faith is in vain" (1 Corinthians 15:17)

The apostles and other Christians spread the good news of Jesus' resurrection and what Jesus spoke and did throughout the Roman Empire.

People believed what was said and the numbers of Christians grew.



Logically, is there any more reason for taking seriously someone who "professes Jesus" over someone who worships Ra? Or believes he can channel spirits? Or that Napoleon whispers advice in his ear?

How? Why?

Did Ra or Napoleon perform miracles which were witnessed by others? Did they rise from the dead? Was this death and resurrection witnessed by others? Is Ra a historical person?

doncoo
01-11-2012, 08:59 AM
Pascal, French philosopher, scientist, mathematician and probability theorist (1623-1662) had a reason to believe in God based on a 2x2 matrix. It was similar to this



–Table I– ===========God exists========God does not exist
You believe in God=======(a) infinite reward=====(c) finite reward
You do not believe in God==(b) infinite punishment== (d) finite reward
In a nutshell if God does not exist, then it does not make much difference if we believe or not. If he exists then it is very important.

I do not think this is a way to end all argument about the existence of God, but it was a nice way to hedge your bets if you are not sure.

I've addressed this very issue many times before. If someone "buys into" the whole religion "thing" simply in an effort to "hedge their bets", and god really does exist, don't you think god knows that they are just "hedging their bets"? That they do not necessarily really believe and are not really necessarily convicted to him?

Pascal should have added that row to his table.

doncoo
01-11-2012, 09:13 AM
I never had a conversation with God in the same way that I (or most people) would speak with another person. The best that I can do is pray to God. I probably would be cautious of anyone that claimed to speak directly (as one person to another) with God.

Do my prayers get answered? Since I can be a bit dull at times, I am not sure if I can always tell when my prayers are answered. I think they get answered but not always in the way that I would expect. (I do not think I or others could scientifically prove if my prayers get answered, but I do not think I am hurting any one through prayer.)



Although at some point belief in God does require some faith, I do not see any issue with trying to find evidence to support one's belief.

I do not know how logical I can be, but I am willing to have some dialogue.

Jesus Christ was a historical person. He was not some mythical person.

Jesus preached in public. He performed miracles that were witnessed by others and the apostles.

Jesus died and was resurrected from the dead. This was witnessed by the apostles and others.

"If Christ is not risen our faith is in vain" (1 Corinthians 15:17)

The apostles and other Christians spread the good news of Jesus' resurrection and what Jesus spoke and did throughout the Roman Empire.

People believed what was said and the numbers of Christians grew.



Did Ra or Napoleon perform miracles which were witnessed by others? Did they rise from the dead? Was this death and resurrection witnessed by others? Is Ra a historical person?

You say Jesus Christ existed. How do you know this? It's my understanding that many other religions, such as Islam and Greek Mythology have similar stories about a god having a child with a human. I believe the Greeks version was Hercules right? Son of Zeus with a human mother. It seems to be an old story retold over the millenium and incorporated into new religions as they appeared.

You speak of Jesus as if you knew him, yet if he lived, he lived 2000 years ago and even the stories claim that nobody really believed anything he was preaching. He probably came across as kind of crazy as anyone making such proclamations today would come across as well.

His "feats" or miracles have never been seen since so it's easy to dramatize them and make legend out of them as time goes on.

My one big problem with religion has always been this simple: if god exists, and he wants us all to heed his wishes then how easy would it be for him to stop all the misunderstanding, put an end to all the religious wars by simply showing himself? He created the universe and life itself, and the best he can do is a book written in the third person?

Yet people will make ridiculous, absurd excuses for him over and over again. It's like the wife of an abusive husband: he beats me because he loves me.

If god exists then he made man with the ability to reason and logic and that reason and logic gives us no reasonable or logical evidence that he exists. Just the contrary, everything indicates that man created god, not the other way around.

Ken
01-11-2012, 12:15 PM
You say Jesus Christ existed. How do you know this? It's my understanding that many other religions, such as Islam and Greek Mythology have similar stories about a god having a child with a human. I believe the Greeks version was Hercules right? Son of Zeus with a human mother. It seems to be an old story retold over the millenium and incorporated into new religions as they appeared.

As you so rightly say, a recurring theme in many religions. Taking this to its logical extreme the God believers should accept that there were many so called Gods who mated with humans and had at least one God-Human hybrid each. In which case there is no one true religion.


He probably came across as kind of crazy as anyone making such proclamations today would come across as well.

A point I have made many times during religious arguments. The usual reply is 'Ah but he was the son of God and you are not.' "How do you know that he was the son of God?" 'BECAUSE IT IS WRITTEN IN THE BIBLE.' "WTF"


His "feats" or miracles have never been seen since so it's easy to dramatize them and make legend out of them as time goes on.

I wonder what those olden day scribes would have made/written about the magic of, say, Penn & Teller. Many of the so called miracles - Water into wine, never ending food (loaves and fishes), raising the dead are just simple tricks easily performed.


My one big problem with religion has always been this simple: if god exists, and he wants us all to heed his wishes then how easy would it be for him to stop all the misunderstanding, put an end to all the religious wars by simply showing himself? He created the universe and life itself, and the best he can do is a book written in the third person?

Hence the theists claim that 'God revealed would be God destroyed.' as it is the only way they can perpetuate their myth.


If god exists then he made man with the ability to reason and logic and that reason and logic gives us no reasonable or logical evidence that he exists. Just the contrary, everything indicates that man created god, not the other way around.

A bit self destructive is it not?

Ken.

doncoo
01-11-2012, 12:33 PM
As you so rightly say, a recurring theme in many religions. Taking this to its logical extreme the God believers should accept that there were many so called Gods who mated with humans and had at least one God-Human hybrid each. In which case there is no one true religion.



A point I have made many times during religious arguments. The usual reply is 'Ah but he was the son of God and you are not.' "How do you know that he was the son of God?" 'BECAUSE IT IS WRITTEN IN THE BIBLE.' "WTF"



I wonder what those olden day scribes would have made/written about the magic of, say, Penn & Teller. Many of the so called miracles - Water into wine, never ending food (loaves and fishes), raising the dead are just simple tricks easily performed.



Hence the theists claim that 'God revealed would be God destroyed.' as it is the only way they can perpetuate their myth.



A bit self destructive is it not?

Ken.

What if Jesus turned out to be just a middle-aged traveling magician going through a midlife crisis looking for answers like everyone else and so he managed to delude himself into believing he was the son of god?

What if Jesus turned out to be just a mentallly ill guy looking for friends?

And they created an entire religion based on him. A world wide phenomenon responsible for so much death, desctruction and misery.

That's the idiocy of organized religion: it's all fairy-tales, myth and legend. Not single piece of evidence.

Mithrandir
01-11-2012, 09:28 PM
You say Jesus Christ existed. How do you know this?

I would say primarily from my years as a Christian, the Bible, the lives of the apostles and saints, and writings of the fathers of the church. Your question did cause me to look for non-Christian sources about historical evidence of Jesus christ.

I was able to find Josephus, Tacitus, and Pliny the Younger (to name three) that have mentioned about Jesus in their writing.



You speak of Jesus as if you knew him, yet if he lived, he lived 2000 years ago and even the stories claim that nobody really believed anything he was preaching.

I know Jesus in the same way that I know of George Washington, Alexander the Great and other people of history.
One difference between Jesus and other people of history is that I consider Jesus to be God.

Some people believed Jesus, some did not


His "feats" or miracles have never been seen since so it's easy to dramatize them and make legend out of them as time goes on.

Several of his miracles have been written in the New Testament.
They were witnessed by the Apostles. They made the miracles and the resurrection of Christ known to others and signed their witness with their blood.



My one big problem with religion has always been this simple: if god exists, and he wants us all to heed his wishes then how easy would it be for him to stop all the misunderstanding, put an end to all the religious wars by simply showing himself? He created the universe and life itself, and the best he can do is a book written in the third person?

That is a good question and I do not have an answer at this time.

eesquared
01-14-2012, 09:19 AM
Originally Posted by doncoo http://epautos.com/forum/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://epautos.com/forum/showthread.php?p=135501#post135501)
You say Jesus Christ existed. How do you know this?


I'll ditto Mithrandir on this. Josephus wrote of Jesus' existence. Whatever else you want to say about the Jews, they were tedious about documentation. Hence, Josephus' writings that Jesus did exist are considered valid.

doncoo
01-14-2012, 08:47 PM
Originally Posted by doncoo http://epautos.com/forum/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://epautos.com/forum/showthread.php?p=135501#post135501)
You say Jesus Christ existed. How do you know this?


I'll ditto Mithrandir on this. Josephus wrote of Jesus' existence. Whatever else you want to say about the Jews, they were tedious about documentation. Hence, Josephus' writings that Jesus did exist are considered valid.

When I went to the American museum in Cairo it was filled to the brim with Egyptian artifacts. Artifacts with intricate engravings and writings. Much is known about the acient Egyptians from these artifacts. We know what kind of crops they cultivated, what kind of gods they worshiped (and it wasn't the jewish god), even what kind of pets they kept.

What I did not see in that musuem, what I did not find one piece of literature about, was a single old testament bible story. So much in the old testament took place right there and yet nothing about any of it recorded by the Egyptians. And they were tedious about their documentation as well.

An entire civilization and nothing about such miracles as the passover, the locust, the parting of the red sea? How were those "miracles" not recorded everywhere? I have to believe that anyone who might have seen an entire river turn red with blood, or see a man part an entire sea would have run to write something down.

There's more recorded in caves by acient cavemen about their horses than these things in Egypt. The only place I've ever read anything about them are in religous texts.

BrentP
01-15-2012, 01:49 AM
Where to start? Rather than put lots of qualifiers about just keep in mind this is how I see it.

Mostly organized religions are fables or use fables to control people. get them to emotionally invest themselves in a belief system and they become easily controllable and enforcers against others in society. It really doesn't matter if the fables are constructed around faith or the state or the environment or "science" or anything else, just that they exist. It keeps people in line and invested what usually turns out to be lies.

Like the fables about lincoln being exactly opposite of the reality. Kinda like how Jesus's teachings have been twisted into war for the banksters when he opposed both war and banksters.

As to ancient egypt, well... we are lied to about so much and it's become pretty clear ancient egypt is one of those things. The Zep Tepi was likely real. One of the distortions is wrt the structures at Giza. The records indicated they were -restored- the evidence shows they were restored. But to be restored would make them far older than the belief system we are supposed to hold says they can be. So we are supposed to believe the granite facings had the backs cut into wavy water wear patterns to match the worn limestone underneath just because they decided to make it in such a difficult and stupid way. Of course if you're restoring a structure that has meaning to you, you don't go chiseling more off it. You make a patch that preserves as much of it as possible and protects it from further wear, like these granite facings did.

Oh well... in the end it's all about keeping people controllable, manipulable, and in the dark. That's what religion is for. Faith. That's something different and something each person will have in their own way. Faith doesn't require a power structure and doesn't require anything more than one's own thoughts. Religion is often spread at gun/sword point. Faith is voluntary.

David
11-24-2013, 10:35 PM
I've heard the argument that most people have a "religious gene" that predisposes them to accepting religion. I've always thought that the main reason for widespread religious belief is simply that most people are born into religious families and so are molded to think in religious terms from a very early (and impressionable) age.

In my own case (and perhaps yours?) my parents were pretty indifferent to religion, so I picked up a skeptical attitude early on. And once you begin to question religion, it's virtually impossible to continue believing in any of it!

That's not really true. I've gone through phases of doubt, and even a phase when I believed God existed and hated Him! Yet I remain convinced of my faith.

I remember we were discussing this very thing on the comments section, but it would probably be easier to do it here.

As I mentioned to you before, you don't seem like a raving anti-theist in general. You seem much more focused in general on hating the State (a hatred which I share) than religion one way or another. So why call people who believe they hear from God "Crazy" and things like that? Even if you believe its true, do you really have anything at all to gain from trying to convince people of it?

I know you aren't an "atheist" per say but I've always found it odd that atheists ever waste their time proselytizing. I get why a religion other than mine would do it, whether they be Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Muslims, or whatever, but I frankly don't see why anyone who believes in nothing at all would try to convince believers that they are crazy. What do they stand to gain?

I know a lot of evangelical Christians, and I've definitely grown up in their community. America-worshipping tradition has certainly seeped into the church, to the point where it ticks me off at times, but the worst big-government drones (People, not machines, in this case) are generally people who don't give a crap about religion or God. Why do you think that is?

Frankly, they accept majority rule as near-absolute because they don't have anything else. Why would they reject it? What higher authority do they have to hold majority rule to?

Now, obviously I get that there are exceptions to all this, but the point I'm getting at is... you aren't ever going to convince Christians to be libertarians or ancaps if you make it out like the philosophy of anarchism is anti-religious. I wasn't really offended by your comments, but most people really aren't going to think very much about this philosophy. There aren't many of us, and if the first thing a Christian sees of the ancap philosophy is religion-bashing, quite frankly, they're going to reject it. Maybe that makes them "clovers", but I've been there. And frankly, in this one case, as a born-again Christian, I can't blame them.

At the very least, stick to bashing the State;)

David
11-24-2013, 10:37 PM
That is a good question and I do not have an answer at this time.





The answer can be found in Mark 4:12, or Romans 9. The problem is most Christians are Arminian, and so they don't want to know the answer;)

Ed
11-25-2013, 08:31 AM
The answer can be found in Mark 4:12, or Romans 9. The problem is most Christians are Arminian, and so they don't want to know the answer;)

True, that. Short of proselytizing, I really can't understand why atheists or religionists bother to initiate discussions of religion online. Maybe they're just entertaining themselves, or maybe they're honing their chops for future flamewars or something. Many on every side of this kind of discussion seem not to want to know or hear answers to questions they raise themselves, if those answers aren't easily batted aside or ridiculed.

I see you're finding some dormant discussions to restart. Hope you start a few new ones as well. Good to see you here.

David
11-25-2013, 09:31 AM
I've addressed this very issue many times before. If someone "buys into" the whole religion "thing" simply in an effort to "hedge their bets", and god really does exist, don't you think god knows that they are just "hedging their bets"? That they do not necessarily really believe and are not really necessarily convicted to him?

Pascal should have added that row to his table.

I don't agree with Pascal either. Especially since I believe to be saved you have to believe Jesus Christ died for your sins, not just believe in "God" (generic.) Also, although I do believe in eternal punishment on all unbelievers, a lot of people don't, and Pascal fails to consider that either.




True, that. Short of proselytizing, I really can't understand why atheists or religionists bother to initiate discussions of religion online. Maybe they're just entertaining themselves, or maybe they're honing their chops for future flamewars or something. Many on every side of this kind of discussion seem not to want to know or hear answers to questions they raise themselves, if those answers aren't easily batted aside or ridiculed.

I see you're finding some dormant discussions to restart. Hope you start a few new ones as well. Good to see you here.

Hi, Ed.

I can see why someone who is persuaded of their religion (Any religion, not just mine) would want to share it. But, why proselytize atheism? if the believer stops believing, how does that help the atheist?

Now, I know some statist Christians can be aggravating, but showing them that they are interpreting the Bible wrong would probably be easier than trying to convince them not to believe anyway.

Ken
11-25-2013, 09:48 AM
Hi, Ed.

I can see why someone who is persuaded of their religion (Any religion, not just mine) would want to share it. But, why proselytize atheism? if the believer stops believing, how does that help the atheist?


Hm, think of religion as just a belief. Think of atheism as just a belief. If either is just a belief and someone is persuaded of their belief, then why not share that belief?

Mind you, as a devout atheist myself I don't give a damn whether people believe or not - I just classify (organised) religion and politics as the two biggest evils in the world we live in.

Ken.

Ed
11-25-2013, 10:16 AM
Hm, think of religion as just a belief. Think of atheism as just a belief. If either is just a belief and someone is persuaded of their belief, then why not share that belief?

Mind you, as a devout atheist myself I don't give a damn whether people believe or not - I just classify (organised) religion and politics as the two biggest evils in the world we live in.

Ken.

David & Ken, Seems to me that beliefs being shared are different from proselytization. As a Christian, I share Ken's view that organized religion and electoral politics are indeed two of the biggest evils affecting all of us. I was never comfortable proselytizing though the religious organization (church) my family attended took proselytization as a duty commanded by Christ. I might be a bad Christian, but I also fail to give a damn whether people believe or disbelieve so long as they don't assault me for what I fail (in their opinion) to accept as fact.

Ken
11-25-2013, 10:21 AM
David & Ken, Seems to me that beliefs being shared are different from proselytization. As a Christian, I share Ken's view that organized religion and electoral politics are indeed two of the biggest evils affecting all of us.

Good point, Ed. I should have made the distinction between sharing, i.e. being quite happy to say what I do/do not believe (if asked), and proselytizing.

Ken.

Ed
11-25-2013, 03:35 PM
Ken, my reading of the Bible has Christ commanding his disciples (not any others) to go out and preach. There's also an admonition to share the word, and then "shake the dust from your shoes" ( meaning walk away) if the person you shared with isn't receptive. That stops short of proselytizing, IMO.

I remember the lyrics to a Steppenwolf song from the 60s:

"but all the other teachings that I tried were about the same.

One grain of truth mixed with confusion caused by man."

Still makes sense to me.

Ken
11-25-2013, 04:19 PM
There's also an admonition to share the word, and then "shake the dust from your shoes" ( meaning walk away) if the person you shared with isn't receptive.

Yep. That's my philosophy, on my atheism, too.

Ken.

Mithrandir
11-25-2013, 07:34 PM
Ken,

Just remember that atheists belong to a non-prophet organization. ;)

David
11-25-2013, 09:08 PM
Hm, think of religion as just a belief. Think of atheism as just a belief. If either is just a belief and someone is persuaded of their belief, then why not share that belief?

Mind you, as a devout atheist myself I don't give a damn whether people believe or not - I just classify (organised) religion and politics as the two biggest evils in the world we live in.

Ken.

What do you mean by "organized religion"? Religion becomes evil when it sleeps with the State, but then, that goes for any organization that goes to bed with the State. As Ron Paul once said "If you are in bed with government, expect to catch the disease it spreads" or something like that.


David & Ken, Seems to me that beliefs being shared are different from proselytization. As a Christian, I share Ken's view that organized religion and electoral politics are indeed two of the biggest evils affecting all of us. I was never comfortable proselytizing though the religious organization (church) my family attended took proselytization as a duty commanded by Christ. I might be a bad Christian, but I also fail to give a damn whether people believe or disbelieve so long as they don't assault me for what I fail (in their opinion) to accept as fact.


I too take proselytism as a religious duty. I preach the gospel anytime I get a chance. But assaulting someone for not believing would be evil:)

Jacob
11-25-2013, 09:38 PM
I hope this fits here: There was a very "Christian" girl in high school who liked me, and at the time I was still a virgin, apparently she was too. We got to talking to each other on AOL instant messenger and somehow was able to steer the conversation towards sex (gee, I wonder how that happened?...). She told me that vaginal sex is only for married people, but anal and oral weren't sex, so that was ok. The next day at school I told my friends about the conversation and they pointed out to me that the girl had a lot of lower back hair, so for the next week I didn't want to be looked at as "not cool" to my friends so I started ignoring her. After another week or so me and my now massive boner tried talking to her but she started dating a guy she met at church (she was 17 at the time and the dude was 24).

I also want to add that a different girl from my high school, who was super hot (therefore, way too cool to associate with me when I was in high school) and was a super slut. I haven't had a Facebook page in almost 2 years but back when I did I saw that this girl was married and now "super Catholic". Every one of her posts, on a daily basis, were some new quote for the bible or about how if you weren't Christian you're an idiot. That shit amuses the hell out of me.

All that said, I have no disrespect for Christians (my whole family is Christian and I celebrate all the holidays with them, I even go to church with them sometimes), but it blows me away how many "fake" Christians there are out there.

David
11-26-2013, 12:05 AM
"super Catholic". Every one of her posts, on a daily basis, were some new quote for the bible or about how if you weren't Christian you're an idiot. That shit amuses the hell out of me.

Catholicism is retarded.

I seriously hope that any of you who decide not to believe Christianity do not have Romanism in mind when they think of Christianity.

Ken
11-26-2013, 05:14 AM
What do you mean by "organized religion"? Religion becomes evil when it sleeps with the State, but then, that goes for any organization that goes to bed with the State. As Ron Paul once said "If you are in bed with government, expect to catch the disease it spreads" or something like that.


In very simplistic terms - Any religion based on indoctrination from an early age. Any religion which is based on pomp and ceremony rather than on just living a good life - which requires no religious belief at all. Any religion whose church amasses great wealth from those poorer than itself. Etc, etc.

Ken.

Ed
11-26-2013, 10:57 AM
By organized religion, I mean religious organizations that go beyond the circle of believers and into the realm of property ownership by the church and association with other churches for the establishment of dogma, or agreed upon tenets of belief outside the core teachings of a single circle. It doesn't take much to become an organized religion. Anyone who likes that kind of thing, is fine with me. I'm not impressed with it, myself.

Ed
11-26-2013, 10:59 AM
Sorry, the above should read "that go" rather than "the go". Edit function isn't working correctly.

Dave Brand
11-27-2013, 07:07 AM
Think of atheism as just a belief.



I have to take issue with that statement! Atheism is not a belief, it's a lack of belief! Personally I don't like labelling people as this or that -ist, but if we must have a label for those of us who have no beliefs I think we need one which distances itself from any notion of gods.

Ken
11-27-2013, 01:06 PM
I have to take issue with that statement! Atheism is not a belief, it's a lack of belief! Personally I don't like labelling people as this or that -ist, but if we must have a label for those of us who have no beliefs I think we need one which distances itself from any notion of gods.

Not in my book, Dave.

ATHEISM - Disbelief, or denial, of the existence of God or gods, godlessness. A rather more simplistic version than my own definition but it will suffice. One of the definitions of 'belief' (there are several) is 'thing believed'.

If I believe that there is no God then that, by definition, is my belief. Atheism is a much a belief as theism.

Ken.