I am proud to be an Atheist and I enjoy  discussing various  topics  on A/N......I may  not believe in God  or all the  fables  in the  Old or New testament, but some of us do believe in traditions from our culture  unrelated  to any Theistic  belief.....Maybe  being  Jewish  is unique, because it is a rich culture with  a very long history as well as being a religious faith......I may  have  rejected the religious  part but  certain traditions are important to me  because  they define  who I am and  where  I came from....People  who have  roots in various  countries  of the world may  no longer  believe in their ancestral  religion  but  still are proud  of the culture  from which  they came......It defines  us.......Some traditions of a certain culture, many  may not agree with,  but it is important  to respect  them none the less....

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Comment by Luara on August 21, 2014 at 4:10am

Jesus did not exist. It is not the case that there was a man named Jesus, and only the stories about him are myths, but there actually was no Jesus.

Almost no historians agree, for various reasons. 

But on an Occam's Razor basis alone, it makes sense that there was a person behind the story of Jesus.  It's simpler to create a legend around a real person, rather than invent a story that sounds like it originated with a real person but didn't.  The Jesus story can be rationalized into something that isn't at all strange for that time. 
There are even similar recent people, like Jim Jones, who people said was the most loving man they'd ever met, who did faked miraculous healings. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on August 20, 2014 at 11:10pm

As I traveled to 32 nations of the world, from China, eastern and northern Europe, Mexico, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Alaska, all over the U.S. I heard many creation stories and saw many ceremonies that were based on ancient customs. Each culture had sacred texts or verbal stories passed from generation to generation. It didn't take long to realize that all peoples have rituals, ceremonies, creation stories, flood stories, and that they were all different, and the historians and archaeologists have been able to date different stories to ancient myths. There was not one creation story, there were many and each one is different and each one claims to be the real story. There were many ancient flood stories but history and geology reveal that not all floods were the same floods. There are different stories about how old the earth is and not all stories are the same.

Homo sapiens, a social animal, wants to understand how things work and why. Some mysteries were too complex to understand so they created stories to explain the unknown. Now, in each tradition, people begin to understand why the sun rises and sets ... not really ... but that is how it looks. New understandings correct the perceptions of ancients. We still have god of the gaps in religious communities that we, as atheists, do not have to buy into them, we just have to understand from where the stories rise and how they are replaced as knowledge grows. . 

Comment by Michael Pianko on August 20, 2014 at 10:31pm
Jesus did not exist. It is not the case that there was a man named Jesus, and only the stories about him are myths, but there actually was no Jesus. The historical Jesus was not historical, the historical Jesus is imaginary, like how god is imaginary; the whole concept of Jesus is a myth. In addition, All the Christian stories related to Joseph and Mary and three wise men are myths, in addition, the characters are not historical, they never existed; the characters are fiction, they are all imaginary.
Comment by Joan Denoo on August 20, 2014 at 9:46pm

Fact or fiction? 

Did god make heaven and earth?

Was jesus christ the son of god? 

Was jesus conceived by the holy ghost?

Was jesus' mother a virgin?

Was jesus crucified, he died, and was buried?

Did jesus rise from the dead?

Did jesus ascended into heaven and sit on the right hand of god?

Will jesus come to judge mankind?

Do you believe in the holy ghost?

Do you believe in the church?

Do you believe in saints?

Do you believe in sins?

Do you believe in the resurrection of the human body?

Do you believe in the life everlasting?

Comment by Michael Penn on August 20, 2014 at 8:39pm

Pat, I agree with every word you have said here. I do mean every word!

Comment by Pat on August 20, 2014 at 6:42pm

I've just read this post by Luara. Her and I disagree on a lot of things, and I mean A LOT OF THINGS. However, on this one, she nailed it! 

Here's an article from the most respected newspaper in Israel, Haaretz. The Exodus story is just mythology -  a mythological fairy story. I go back to what the late author and public intellectual, Christopher Hitchens said. "That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." 

FT31, you seem to have a need to "believe" in something. I'm not trying to be critical of you personally. Just an observation. Believing in something for which there is absolutely no evidence has a label. Same as believing in invisible sky daddies based on made up stories.

It's called "Faith." You have it, and I don't.

I'm an atheist. I have no faith. And, please don't take this personally, but the reason I have no faith is because I am not a fucking idiot!

Comment by Luara on August 20, 2014 at 6:03pm

Silverman and Finkelstein  are not the only  ones  with  an opinion  on this

They are expressing the best consensus opinion, from what I've read.  The consensus opinion is what I give most credence to, in areas like history where I don't have the background to make a personal decision. 

FT, why are you defending the Torah so much???   It's just a collection of ancient writings. 

Do you have a strong emotional investment in believing it?  Happy Passovers, precious childhood experiences? 

Is your personal identity wrapped up in the story of the Exodus?

Do you feel the world is antagonistic to Jewish people, and Jewish culture is your refuge?  Something like that?

I was rather taken aback when you asked, since I said the Exodus is a myth, did I think the Holocaust never happened either? 

That is such a leap!  From an ancient tale in the Bible being made up ... to the massacre of six million Jews and others in the Nazi concentration camps being made up!!!

And the Holocaust denialists are generally virulently anti-Semitic!  I say, it looks like the Exodus is a myth, and suddenly in your eyes I'm virulently anti-Semitic???

I have nothing against Jewish people.  I've liked and loved Jewish people. 

I don't find your attitude very comprehensible. 

When I was in college, someone said there was evidence of a flood having happened, all over the world.  That "factoid" stayed in my mind, undigested. 

Decades later, I mentioned this "fact" at an atheist meetup.  A guy there immediately corrected me - said, absolutely no evidence of a global flood. 

I didn't argue.  He'd just cleared away a misconception.

But then, I had no emotional investment in a global flood. 

The Exodus story confers specialness on Jewish people.  Jewish people get together for Passover and tell this stirring story about Jewish origins.  Is it a feeling of specialness that you're defending? 

Humans are special.  Jewish people, not special among humans. 

Comment by Michael Pianko on August 20, 2014 at 5:27pm

When Melvil Dewey invented the Dewey decimal system, he was biased towards christianity and the bible. But still, there is a good reason even he put bibles in the 200's section while history and archaeology were put in the 900's.

Comment by Michael Penn on August 20, 2014 at 5:26pm

More than just these 2 are saying it. You can find documentaries online and even in You Tube to watch on this. Use some key words ad see what comes up.

I few years ago I wouldn't have agreed with any of it, but I do now. I do understand how you feel because I have been there. 

Comment by Freethinker31 on August 20, 2014 at 5:21pm

@ Michael Penn....I understand  what you are saying  but Silverman and Finkelstein  are not the only  ones  with  an opinion  on this........It would be a dishonor  to history   to take  the  findings  of these  two men as  the truth and nothing but the truth......There is too much at stake here....These  men  single handedly are trying  to say  the Jewish  culture is a sham....I am standing  by what I have  written here . That is my right...This has nothing  to do with Atheism but  everything to do with Ancient  history...

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