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Matt VDB's Discussions

The Dangers of Atheism

Started this discussion. Last reply by Madhukar Kulkarni Mar 22, 2013. 23 Replies

I ran a quick search for discussions on this topic and nothing came up, so I thought I'd make a thread on it to see what you guys think. The provocative title of this thread is identical to the title…Continue

Tags: Usefulness, Definitions, Atheist, Label, Harris

Agora and Hypatia: Separating Fact from Fiction

Started this discussion. Last reply by AgeOfAtheists14 Mar 26, 2013. 72 Replies

Alright, I know that this might be a bit of a serious topic to discuss around the "water cooler", but bear with me. I'm a bit of a history nut, and a big pet peeve of mine are the pseudo-historical…Continue

Atheist from Belgium

Started this discussion. Last reply by booklover Jan 1, 2012. 10 Replies

Hey what's up everybody ;)Just thought I'd stop by and say hi. I'm a 17-year-old (well, almost 18) atheist from Belgium. My name is Mathieu, but since you Americans have trouble with them French…Continue

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Matt VDB's Page

Latest Activity

Matt VDB replied to Jennifer W's discussion Do you believe Jesus existed?
"You have great access to the people who lived it though, and that makes all the difference. Ditto for Josephus."
Feb 5
Matt VDB replied to Jennifer W's discussion Do you believe Jesus existed?
"That's utterly simplistic tripe. Christianity was oppressed for a good three hundred years before its adherents got anything close to "power". And by that time all of its important documents had already been written.History…"
Feb 5
Matt VDB replied to James M. Martin's discussion Five Reasons to Doubt Jesus Christ Ever Existed: Arm at All Points!
" Pretty much. Just that he didn't invent a religion but flipped allegiances, from an extremist Pharisee to an extremist follower of Jesus. You know, like he says. "
Jan 23
Matt VDB replied to James M. Martin's discussion Five Reasons to Doubt Jesus Christ Ever Existed: Arm at All Points!
"Search here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Gospels I count about  You mean Pope Leo III who had to escape Rome because of his enemies, and who Charlemagne had to reinstate? You do realise that Leo wasn't taking orders from the…"
Jan 23
Matt VDB replied to James M. Martin's discussion Five Reasons to Doubt Jesus Christ Ever Existed: Arm at All Points!
"Matt I don't see what's troll-like about challenging a statement you make and giving contrasting evidence. And since you mentioned experts: I also mainly rely on the opinions of experts that I read. I don't tend to take positions that…"
Jan 23
Matt VDB replied to James M. Martin's discussion Five Reasons to Doubt Jesus Christ Ever Existed: Arm at All Points!
"Hey Jimmy, I am polite with people who are interested in truth and an honest conversation. On the other hand I have little patience with those who have made their conclusions beforehand and are just spouting error after error. You seem to be in…"
Jan 22
Matt VDB replied to James M. Martin's discussion Five Reasons to Doubt Jesus Christ Ever Existed: Arm at All Points!
"Nice amateur psycho-analysis there. Actually the reason for the literalist movement was because after Protestants seperated themselves from the Catholic Church, they no longer had a set of previous principles or tradition to interpret. So the…"
Jan 22
Matt VDB replied to James M. Martin's discussion Five Reasons to Doubt Jesus Christ Ever Existed: Arm at All Points!
"Jimmy, You make some good points in the beginning but then you veer off. Jesus doesn't have the same birth, death and life story of other "man gods" at all, even though that's a common trope among atheists. He rather has many…"
Jan 21
Matt VDB replied to James M. Martin's discussion Five Reasons to Doubt Jesus Christ Ever Existed: Arm at All Points!
"Leon, Yeah that's what we started to talk about. Then you started branching out to a variety of other topics due to having a cartoonish and ill-informed view of history. So you mistimed Theodosius by about a century, and got confused about the…"
Jan 21
Matt VDB replied to James M. Martin's discussion Five Reasons to Doubt Jesus Christ Ever Existed: Arm at All Points!
"What? I'm not listing those historians because they mentioned Jesus. I'm just listing them because they are historians of the time whose stories are often similary superstitious as any found in the gospels. Did you actually think Herodotus…"
Jan 21
Matt VDB replied to James M. Martin's discussion Five Reasons to Doubt Jesus Christ Ever Existed: Arm at All Points!
"It's interesting to realise that Biblical literalism is a very recent movement, and was essentially invented by Protestants after the Reformation. Even in the Middle Ages, meaning in the Bible was sought on any of 4 levels (literal,…"
Jan 21
Matt VDB replied to James M. Martin's discussion Five Reasons to Doubt Jesus Christ Ever Existed: Arm at All Points!
"Being a historical document is different from being a document accurately describing history.Of course historians and archaelogists don't have the Bible in one hand anymore, but neither do they have De Bello Gallico in one hand when researching…"
Jan 20
Matt VDB replied to James M. Martin's discussion Five Reasons to Doubt Jesus Christ Ever Existed: Arm at All Points!
"Yes indeed. A tour very similar to how a Catholic minister would tell a child about the history of the Bible. Terribly misinformed and amusingly short-sighted. "
Jan 19
Matt VDB replied to James M. Martin's discussion Five Reasons to Doubt Jesus Christ Ever Existed: Arm at All Points!
"Nah, I have little love left for Christianity. But the only that annoys me more than Christians distorting history, is atheists screwing around with history, thinking whatever they say is correct just because it happens to give them a nice stick to…"
Jan 17
Matt VDB replied to James M. Martin's discussion Five Reasons to Doubt Jesus Christ Ever Existed: Arm at All Points!
"It fucked up Europe after 1453? Do please tell how they managed that. Also you do know that the Holy Random Empire was formed several centuries before the Byzantine Empire fell, right?"
Jan 16
Matt VDB replied to James M. Martin's discussion Five Reasons to Doubt Jesus Christ Ever Existed: Arm at All Points!
"Sadly, starting your quest for historical accuracy with large blinkers on and a heavy bias, isn't a great way to get the truth either."
Jan 16

Matt VDB's Blog

Correctly applying skepticism (in history)

Posted on January 26, 2012 at 7:30pm 1 Comment

I want to talk briefly about what it really means to be a skeptic. Skepticism can be variously defined, but it generally relates to the idea that information needs to be well supported by evidence to be believed. It seems characterised by an attitude that questions sources, checks facts, analyses data, and fields a healthy amount of incredulity with regards to nonsense.

In short, I think a skeptic is someone who comes to beliefs about reality through a process of rational inquiry into…

Continue

Historical Myths and Atheism

Posted on January 11, 2012 at 5:30am 36 Comments

As most of you who know me have found out, I spend a fair amount of time on this site not just making friends and having conversations, but also have debates which usually center around history. I am not a professional historian, but I am pretty well-read on the subject and consider it one of my hobbies, so I usually find myself debating with people not very familiar with the issues.

What I've noticed is that many atheists are not as historically literate as they think (I've…

Continue

Comment Wall (18 comments)

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At 5:55pm on March 18, 2012, Steph S. said…

I liked what you had to say! I sent you a friend request. Have a nice weekend!

At 9:00pm on January 7, 2012, Lorien said…

Watergate was a coverup. Yes conspiring does exist but the conspiracy theory rhetoric is a complete waste of time and never ends because they don't accept provided evidence proving there claims are wrong.

At 4:21pm on January 7, 2012, Lorien said…

I wonder if my double facepalm will be deleted again on that 9/11 blog. Some atheists just can't make the leap to being a skeptic. You can't be a real skeptic if you are not an atheist (non-believer) but you can be an atheist and believe in conspiracy and paranormal crap.

At 1:56am on December 31, 2011, Alice said…
At 7:30pm on May 15, 2011, Ruth Anthony-Gardner said…
Greetings, Matt! I'd like to invite you to a group where we talk about anything on our minds, Hang With Friends. :D We'll have some interesting conversations. Maybe you can start one.
At 10:18am on October 3, 2010, Diana Agorio said…
Matt, I further defined "Mad Dog" and "Wild Boar" for you on Sigmund's blog post ''Did Jesus exist?' vs. 'Did God exist?''

I would appreciate a response. The reason I get a bit irritated with you is because you ask me question after question and once I have answered all your questions, you drop it. It would be nice if you could say: "I see your point" or "That makes sense" or something to that effect. Also, the story about the swine should be the easiest for someone not familiar with Babylonian mythology to recognize as an astrological tale. Can you see it?
At 5:35am on September 23, 2010, Rob van Senten said…
Hi Matt VDB,

Thanks, and you're welcome!
I hope that the discussion at the "Man Made God" blog from Richard Goscicki will not be completely derailed.
At 6:27am on September 21, 2010, Rob van Senten said…
Hi Matt VDB,

I just came by to tell you that I appreciate your input. A|N needs more people that actually check the facts before regurgitating them, thanks!
At 3:38pm on August 9, 2010, Mark R. Stevens said…
Not a problem here -I do understand that these are emotional issues and have had a lifetime of practice discussing them. I like to think that those of us independent thinkers are a cut above -if that's not being too pompous...

I appreciate the comment
At 1:26pm on June 9, 2010, nick altman said…
Thanks for the heads up. Quite a claim, his site at first glance seems to hint at a lot of woo and spiritualism. I hope he did not come here based on an appeal to our atheism to support his argument.
 
 
 

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