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This is a quote from Allen Watt.  One of the best speakers about religion on NPR.  If you don't believe me just read the book of Leviticus.  

Fundamentalist Christians raciest are the most none Christlike people in America.  I have been an Atheist since I was very young  but I have read the bible from front to back.  It is full of a lot of ideology similar to the Muslim Bible.  Stoning people, selling you children, not going near a woman who is having her cycle.

The only redeeming thing in it is Christ's teaching.  Love you neighbor, do unto others as you would want them to do to you.

How can Christians be so fucking hateful?    

Tags: Bible, Evil

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--- Matt VDB --- The simple fact is that no amount of eye-witness testimony or contemporary attestation (which again, we don't have) could get us to the conclusion that miracles happened 2000 years ago. Which makes you wonder why a God would be so inane to even try to convince us of such a thing.

Well, I'd think that if there was a god, it would be way better at providing such convincing evidence. Particularly in the form of ongoing miracles, with lots of witnesses, lots of video evidence, in forms that would be exceedingly difficult to fake.

One of the issues I really struggled with as a child is that God seemed to be so ever-present in the ancient world, then 2,000 years ago, with Jesus, said "That's it" and vanished.

Kind of like how space-aliens only seem to appear to under-educated rednecks in the countryside who didn't happen to have any CCTV's or reliable witnesses around.

We *could* assume the redneck in question is giving us accurate information.

Or we *could* suspect that might, maybe, quite possibley are somehow interpreting events just a wee bit differently than the CCTV would have.
And yet the irony is, even after all those supposed miracles, people 2000 years weren't any more impressed than religious believers now.

Remember the story of Exodus? The Jews get to witness miracle after miracle after miracle (parting of the sea, getting fed by mana at day and led by a pillar of fire at night), then Moses goes away for just a moment, and the Jews decide "Meh, screw it, let's worship another God!"

Very impressive stuff, apparently.
Josephus (or the forger) describes Jesus as "a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure."  The Jews rejected Jesus' "truth," so why would Josephus, a Jew, think of Jesus' teachings as truth?  This reference, taken IIRC from The Antiquities of the Jews, seems to me like an obvious interruption in the text.

There is scant evidence, but of course that doesn't amount to proof.  Then, too, the existence of an itinerant preacher named Yeshua in ancient Judea is such an unremarkable claim that in the end it doesn't particularly matter because accepting that claim is not the same as accepting the claim that he was the son of God and performed numerous miracles.  None of the gospel writers knew him; they passed on hearsay.  The healings and miracles add up to an extraordinary claim that requires extraordinary evidence, and the writings of his followers a generation (at least) removed doesn't qualify.  Obviously, they were inventing episodes for a credulous audience of superstitious ancients who believed in magic.  Jesus protects his disciples from the Evil Eye, and in the book of Acts we meet a magician, Simon Magus, who really can fly WITHOUT the help of God.  I just wish the ancient Hebrews were around today; I've got a bridge and some swampland I've been trying to unload.

 

Alvar Ellegard suggests that Jesus is a fiction modeled after the Essenes' Teacher of Righteousness.  He makes a good argument.

"There is scant evidence, but of course that doesn't amount to proof."

 

Nothing in historical analysis will ever amount to "proof". All we can ever have is varying amounts of evidence which corroborate or contradict certain claims. Those who want "proof" should stick to mathematics and stay away from historical analysis - or any other scientific endeavour for that matter.

In this case, the scant evidence we have is about the evidence we expect.

 

"Then, too, the existence of an itinerant preacher named Yeshua in ancient Judea is such an unremarkable claim that in the end it doesn't particularly matter because accepting that claim is not the same as accepting the claim that he was the son of God and performed numerous miracles"

 

I agree 100%. The two claims are completely different. Believing in a Jesus CHRIST (i.e. a Messiah) is an extraordinary claim and requires extraordinary evidence. Believing that there was some Jesus of Nazareth who spawned a religion is a relatively ordinary claim and therefore requires ordinary evidence. Which we have.

 

However there's no shortage of atheists unable to differentiate between the two claims. Look at the people calling me a closet Christian if you want some examplese.

 

"None of the gospel writers knew him; they passed on hearsay.  The healings and miracles add up to an extraordinary claim that requires extraordinary evidence, and the writings of his followers a generation (at least) removed doesn't qualify.  Obviously, they were inventing episodes for a credulous audience of superstitious ancients who believed in magic."

 

Inventing probably, but probably also exagerrating episodes which might have actually occurred. Many of Jesus' miracles are actually just exagerrated versions of the kind of "faith healing" which we can still see in episcopelian Churches to this day.

I agree though.

 

"Alvar Ellegard suggests that Jesus is a fiction modeled after the Essenes' Teacher of Righteousness.  He makes a good argument."

 

Jesus hung out with sinners, tax collectors and prostitutes, drank wine and touched lepers. Some weird fucking Essene.

Ellegard's thesis is fringe stuff.

 

Kind regards,

Matt

I believe that if they ever find some sort of "God" he wil be a mathmatical formula
The "nasty" part invalidate the good parts. Either accept it all or disregard it all
Let us not forget that Jesus said to listen to Old Testament law. Matthew 5:17
I prefer not to think of anything as good or evil. Let's not forget that the Bible was written before modern psychology, modern law and modern science. Lots of people were walking around back then with untreated mental disorders. Life was more raw and brutal, so of course acceptable limits of behavior and perception of reality were broader than they are today.

Religion is analogous to an organism; its primary goal is to multiply and grow as a whole. The DNA of religion doesn't change quickly as it grows, thus why we see these archaic stories and values still being held onto today. Expanding on this analogy, it is easy to see how theists see atheists as a cancer. Reason destroys this DNA, and the organism sees us as a threat that could wipe out thousands of years of growth in an evolutionary instant. Other religions aren't subjected to this vitriol, as they are just other organisms in the schoolyard. This is why theists will likely never accept non-theists as an organization deserving of equal status.

Atheism will be the cancer that kills religion. Right now we are just a small melanoma; too small to do immediate widespread damage. As time goes on, though, I expect the damage to religious cells to increase exponentially, and maybe our children's-children will see the rapid decline of ancient religions and the rise of reason.
YES!
I'm not so confident that the cancer will kill the organism. A successful organism has antibodies to protect itself. Religious antibodies might just kill or keep in check the cancer. I'm no fan of religion, but success does breed success. We may always remain one-celled protists in an emerging world of mega-metazoans.
But...we are having an impact. News from the UK this morning that one of the pope's aides has compared the UK to a third world country (apparently because of the wide variety of nationalities seen on the street) and said the country is a hotbed of aggresive athiests. Sadly for the catholic church, the aide said it to the press which has made a big noise about it this morning, sticking another long blade into the rotting carcus of the church. Also good news that ticket sales for the pope's functions have been err...somewhat subdued. When the previous pope popped into the UK in '82, apparently three hundred thousand went to the mass thingy he held. In 2010, they've only managed to offload eighty thousand tickets, less than a third of the '82 figure. The church is scared, the child rape thing, September 11 etc. are all having an impact on perceptions of not just the church but religious belief as a whole. And, melanomas can and do kill, very efficiently.

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