Research on Belief in God

Page 8 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
Sep 25, 2009
7,527
0
0
growing up in several countries and cultures with a diverse set of traditions, i have become completely neutral on any religion as a belief system. my opinion does not fit any options in that poll.

it’s not that i don’t care. far from it. rather having no inborn preferences and looking at a religion as only one element of the wider set of cultural, political, economic and ethnic issues. in other word, i don’t accept separation of religions into stand-alone entities like christianity, islam, judaism etc. i perfectly understand the historical reasons for the separation, but i attribute it to ‘people created their own gods’ b/c it fitted in with their local traditions and realities.

do i believe a supreme being exist ? i was never afraid to say, ‘i don’t know’.

i normally try to avoid any discussions about a religion per se, unless they are a part, as I said earlier, of a specific political, cultural whatever issue.

that said, i strongly argued with one friend who considers any religion in and of itself is the source of all human ills. i also marvel at human mind's mystery, when another friend, an highly intelligent chap and an outstanding scientist, froths arguing that one particular branch of christianity is inferior to another.

if i do feel very strongly about a religion, it’s that it should be separate from the state and that clerics should not be allowed to influence international politics.
 
Jul 16, 2010
17,463
0
0
oldborn said:
Well maybe and maybe not:mad:
First (and not all early Christians) Christians were Jews and nothing but the Jews, so I do not see anything strange about Old Testament worship. Only difference was as they saw Jesus as Messiah.

Problems with circumcision and food laws brought the Early Church into conflict with some Jewish religious authorities. This maybe led to their expulsion from the synagogues.

Ethiopian Christians still claims obedience to the Laws which are found in the first five books of Tora.

I beleive and preach Rastafarian religion, Ganja rules:)
At some point in history, the early Christians could have chosen to break with the Old Testament, but they chose not to for the reason I gave you. Of course it is strange that they still worship the Old Testament as the new Testament is pretty much the opposite. Besides, Christianity is not the religion of Jesus Christ, but of Paulus. He's the single most important person in Christianity. Jesus' life is irrelevant, the only thing that matters about him is that he died on the cross. Something even Paulus admits to in his letters.

Also you must realize that the New Testament didn't exist in this form during the early Roman Empire. There were for example some more texts that were included, but are now seen as non-canon. Also there was no canon back in those days, but just texts that had a lot of authority. By the time most texts of the NT were written, there was certainly already a distinction between the Jews and Christians. We're not talking about 5 years after Jesus died here... If you read the NT you can clearly see the Christians trolling on the Jews.

Think about it: why did Pontius Pilatus let the Jews chose who should die: Barbarus or Jesus Christ? The Romans never did that! There's no historical proof that a Governor of a province lets the people pick who to kill and who to free. The Christians made that up to not anger the Roman empire too much and to piss of the Jews. In reality the Romans/Pontius Pilatus just crucified Jesus without mercy. For the Romans Jesus was just one of many that needed to be killed to keep the peace in Judea. He was hardly special... There were so many Messiahs back then...
 
Jul 16, 2010
17,463
0
0
Master50 said:
Some of my favourite contradictions of the followers of Jesus.
The story about the woman who was accused of Adultery was added to the early bibles around 350 ad. Likely by monks who thought it was a good story.
the 4 main books about Jesus were written between 30 and 70 years after jesus died and they all tell similar stories but it is hard to believe the authors were always at the same event. The earliest telling of the crucifixion portrays a very quiet and suffering Jesus who's only words are why have thou forsaken me. The version written some 30 to 40 years later has Jesus forgiving his punishers and speaking lucidly to the others on the cross with him. Instead of amalgamating the 4 books read them side by side and see what a different story they tell. From a quite suffering victim to a forgiving and powerful man in control of his destiny. At least they read like that to me.

For the most part the earliest followers of Jesus were Jews and for a very long time Gentiles were not welcome to every sect of jewish "christians". I don't think Christianity was exclusively non Jewish until Constantine. He used Christianity as a unifying religion for Rome and started to demonize the Jews with the non Jewish Jesus.

Jesus was not born in bethlehem and there was no census to force his parents to go there. That was created to support prophesy of a saviour.

Jesus spoke aramaic and maybe Hebrew yet some of the text translations from Greek don't mean the same thing if they were originally said in Aramaic or hebrew.

Even how he was portrayed changed over time. He preached the apocalypse was about to come and to read some of the stories like he expected to be alive for it. Since the end didn't actually come while he was alive the stories became more allegorical and started to portray him a god or part of god.

Read some Bart Erhman (sp). He is a biblical historian that has written a lot of books on the new testament and stories of Jesus. He teaches at Chapel hill NC.
Now the thread is do you believe in god? Can't say I do but at the moment no one is shooting at me right now either. I am definitely an atheist as it applies to any of man's organized religions.
Some of the Gospels use each other as a source, so that explains why they're so similar. The Gospel of Matthew and Luke also used a hypothetical source called "Quelle Q" which was about Jesus his life, but has now vanished from the earth. It supposedly contained quotes of Jesus and stuff like that.
 
The Hitch said:
Well Dawkins does debate a lot of extremists in his documentaries. In fact everyone he debates in the first 2 besides maybe the tourists in Lourdes are creationists. Its easier to make the point that way.

According to Dawkins half of America is creationist. The people he debates dont need to be Pat Robertson. But they still dont understand evolution. He has twice appeared on the Bill O reily show in the last 3 years. O reilly doesnt believe that a meteor crashed into the earth, rather God created life.

He also debated Ray Comfort.

And he doesnt do many.

I did attend Dawkins IQ debate in 2009 and regret not having heard about the Dawkins Hitchens vs idiots debate in 2007, which I have watched many times, so I know he can debate higher opposition but both these were 2 vs 2 so not direct 1 on 1 and far less confrotning and challenging.

Oh and I just realise Ive been confusing Craig with someone else. Bearded fellow. Either way Craig is a total nut, any atheist could beat him, and I dont care what the moderator said Hitchens would not lose that one. Besides, if he underperformed it was probably to lower himself to the debate standards.

Finaly, why is the other stuff irrelevant. Weve gone on a enjoyable little tangent. We agree on 99% of stuff anyway, so its not like we are going to start throwing rocks at each-other.
What is that Dawkins Hitchens vs Idiots debate you talk of? Is it available online?

When did Dawkins debate Ray Comfort?

Dawkins has often debated creationists indeed, but it's usually been because he didn't know they were creationists beforehand. I would go as far as saying Hitchens' opponents have not been, on the whole, brighter than Dawkins' (what's the name of that black reverend nuthead?).

I have no wish to throw rocks at anyone here. I'm just having a friendly discussion. :)
 
Jul 4, 2011
1,899
0
0
I'd like to clarify one or two things about the Gujarat riots. It happened in 2002 and was a sad time for India as a country but the political atmosphere was very charged.

Oct 1 2001, militants stormed the Jammu & Kashmir state assembly complex and killed 35 people.
On 13th December 2001, terrorists attacked the Indian parliament, the heart of India's democracy. 13 were killed and if completely successful at least 100 MPs could have been killed as well.
Finally 27th Feb, a train containing pilgrims was burnt down in Godhra.
Followed by those riots.

As an Indian, I could not tolerate either of these four events. With the first two clearly aimed at India's democratic establishments, the atmosphere was very tense. A small google will give anyone a lot of info about the last two.

Of course a lot of this may have been untouched around the world media as it was still shocked by what happened on 11th Sept, 2001.

I think each religion is as tolerant as its rulers, the founders of each would have only wanted peace for society and soul. For example, one of the greatest emperors in Indian history was Ashoka. He fought a bloody battle and Kalinga (Orissa) and as legend has it that he vowed not to wage war again (this was easy for him as the empire extended from the eastern edge of Bactria and covered the whole breadth of India right down to around Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu in the south) and converted to Buddhism. There are still one or two fanstastically preserved sites of Ashoka's India. Both the wheel on the flag and the emblem were created in this era. What followed the death of Ashoka was a succession of weak rulers and eventually led to the demise of the Maurya dynasty (till today one of the proudest and most militarily successful dynasties).

Of course, the example of Ashoka is the farthest that a man could go, in terms of tolerance, while still ruling efficiently an empire.

Hiduism, Buddhism and Jainism (the single most tolerant imo, but has never had an all conquering empire, hence its presence only in India) are basically sister religions all of which had their origins in the early Vedic religion (very similar to Judaism, Christianity and Islam). For the most part of the 1500 years (approx) that these religions have existed in independent forms, they have coexisted peacefully.

There was a point about Muslim rulers having a tax for other religion's people to keep their faith. This tax was one of the main reasons for the downfall of the Mughal Empire in India (no ruler but Aurangzeb had this enforced and compared to many conquerers the Mughals were secular) along with Aurangzeb's rule with an iron fist.

Also with the number of conquests that this country has had, and the number of times the conquerer has destroyed another religion's monuments (I've seen quite a few myself), it is testament to the country's tolerance (not a specific religion's) that most of us can live harmoniously alongside each other.
 
I apologize for quoting myself here, but there were a couple things I wanted to add since (in response to Master50's interesting historical post):

The interesting thing about the highlighted bit is that there were serious discussions among Jews as to whether or not Jesus teachings were at all meant for the pagans. Peter didn't think so.

Saul, later St. Paul, however did and began his missionary work among the gentile peoples to convert them. At a certain point they, the pagans, transformed the historical figure of the Jew, Jesus, into the supernatural Chritos (Greek, a gentile language, for Savior) or Christ and from which the religion got its name. They provided Christ with a Hellenized and classical imagery and they invented Christianity, as such, as a distinct religion from Judaism. It was a happy fiction that promised salvation, but a fiction nonetheless in my way of thinking. Not having themselves been Jews, the pagans weren't interested at all in becoming Jewish, but something else; while St. Paul realized that making the gentile converts abide by the strict dietary rules of the Jews was not doable and so pointless. So Paul emphasized to the pagans Christianity's identity as being almost exclusively wrapped up in his personal impassioned, and fanatical, belief in the resurrection of Christ (something which appeared less decisive, or at any rate less fundamental, to Jews who believed that Jesus was the Messiah), rather than the old proscriptions of the Torah. This proved to be a propitious strategy, St Paul's teachings to the gentiles, for the pagans were already quite familiar with tales of gods being reborn or resurrected in their mythology.

In other words Christianity emerged from the classical traditions of the gentile peoples and, as such, got its autonomous non-Jewish identity from the pagans in the antique world, which is the same identity that the orthodox Christians of the Latin/Roman Catholic and Greek churches (the oldest surviving forms of the religion, of which there were many variants in antiquity - Arian, Donatist, Monophysite, Gnostic, etc.) have inherited and know it as till this very day. And it was they, the pagans, who also fixed its religious calendar: with dates like Dec. 25 being a recycled sun god birthday, was now for the Christos, while Easter recalled the pagan springtime resurrection celebrations of deities like Attis that were symbolically connected to the rebirth of nature itself, etc. All the protestant Christian sects came much, much later, of course, though conventionally still use these orthodox dates to celebrate the birth and resurrection of Christ.

Constantine himself, the Roman emperor who first legalized the sect, was initially devoted more to Sol Invictus (another pagan sun god whose birthday was Dec. 25) and his Persian counterpart Mithras (also born on Dec. 25, the old winter solstice), than the Christ, even after his “vision.” And he seems to have considered the worship of Christ in terms of Babylonian/Oriental sun god worship, to the extent that some scholars believe that had Constantine wholeheartedly embraced say Mithraism, we'd all be worshiping Mithras today instead of Christ in a manner of speaking.

The process, at least in the arts and culture, began before Constantine though: let us say about a century before in the Ancient Roman World, while the council of orthodox bishops at Nicaea (325), called into order by the emperor, tried to establish what the acceptable theology (hence orthodoxy as opposed to heresy) was among the Christian Churches of the Roman Empire, but failed. Indeed Jewish Christians, who of course would not have seen themselves as such, but Jews who simply worshiped Jesus as the Messiah, continued to practice their faith in Palestine long after the hegemony of orthodoxy in the Eastern and Western Roman Empires was established after 325. They would have though eventually been persecuted, along with all the other non-orthodox forms of Christianity, by the orthodox bishops and their followers in the late IV and V centuries under the support of the last Roman emperors in a colossal bid to stamp out, once and for all, the so called heretical Christian faiths. But even this failed.

Arian Christianity, for example, which taught that God and the Son were not of the same substance and therefore the Son was a lesser god, was still practiced by the Goths and other barbarian tribes of Germanic origin who caused the fall of Rome and the West by the late V century, and would not be conquered religiously until Pope Gregory the Great's (590-604) missionary priests converted them all to Catholicism. For the first time all of Western Christianity, among the Germanic peoples and Latin populations of the former Roman Empire alike, would look at the bishop of Rome as their universal (catholic) spiritual authority. Hence Gregory the Great transformed Rome and Europe as well, by giving the papacy its medieval identity, which would even have political consequences throughout the rest of the Middle Ages.

Now the Jewish Christians to escape persecution by the orthodox church continued to practice their faith in secrecy, and, to evade the Byzantine authorities (VI century), probably, or so it has been convincingly argued by the period scholars, left Palestine and brought their branch of "Christianity" to the Arabian Peninsula, where, mixing with the native, nomadic Arab tribes would eventually plant the seeds of a new religion: Islam. We don't know all the details about this, though the historical contours are fairly clear.

Finally, what's also interesting in this religious evolution from paganism to Christianity and from Judaism-"Christianity"-Islam, is that one of the apocryphal gospels, that of Judas (that is contemporary with the 4 canonical ones), which was probably widely circulated among the Jewish followers of Jesus who eventually arrived in the ancient Arab world: it consists of a series of secret verses, messages of a hidden Truth meant for Judas alone and supposedly spoken to him by Jesus himself after the resurrection, that are very much in synch with the later style and import of the Koran. Could it be, consequently, that the sacred book of Islam arose form such apocryphal Early Christian texts that did not survive within orthodox Christianity, but did among the persecuted Jews who worshiped Jesus and who arrived in the Arabian desert by the early Byzantine period? This is precisely one academic school of thought.

This is why, to me, religion is a historical, and consequently man made, construction, which, like all historical processes, needs time to become fully elaborated into the various identities and ideologies it eventually assumes - that is before fading into, as the pagan gods once did (another part of the historical process), oblivion. Then comes the inevitable establishment of a religious hierarchy and the theological interpretations and exegesis of the original message and what was subsequently said and written about it, which, since they have often been in direct conflict and opposition to one another, among the respective camps, have lead to the many violent conflicts and bloodshed we are all too historically familiar with. In short the establishment of rigorous dogmas and behavior codes that are nothing less than that hierarchical establishment's attempt to bend society and conform it to what it says is the Truth, for which no alternatives can be contemplated. They take something ineffable and mysterious and twist it into an often demented system of mass repression. While frequently, because of this, the dogmas are an abomination of the original message, even if it seems that religion simply can't make due without them.

The not infrequent dreadful consequences for such intractable behavior and fanaticism of the religious establishments, have been, unfortunately, plainly visible to everyone. In any case, since alot of the religious establishment is conservative and, in this sense, often behaves much like the political conservative establishment: no doubt this is why, personally, I have long been turned off by them both and have avoided each like the plaque. As if in my formative years I developed antibodies against a disease, which have only grown stronger as a defense since I've gotten older.
 
Descender said:
What is that Dawkins Hitchens vs Idiots debate you talk of? Is it available online?

When did Dawkins debate Ray Comfort?

Dawkins has often debated creationists indeed, but it's usually been because he didn't know they were creationists beforehand. I would go as far as saying Hitchens' opponents have not been, on the whole, brighter than Dawkins' (what's the name of that black reverend nuthead?).

I have no wish to throw rocks at anyone here. I'm just having a friendly discussion. :)
Hitchens and Dawkins have debated many times. Aisde from the 4 horsemen which you have undoubtedly seen, their first meeting was a debate with eachother against some Christians.

Dawkins did not know who Hitchens was but was shocked when his teammate began to speak.

I dont have a clip of that debate. It was from 2002 or 2003 or some such.

The debate I was reffering to, a similar idea with Hitch and Dawkins together against the righteous, is this one

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3R6YizPuU7w

They also appeared together recently

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxolR3QSkcc&feature=related

and Dawkins gave his award to Hitchens, videos of that seem to be gone, but I dont have the heart to watch either of those.

There will be another 4 horsemen meeting in 2012 but I Hitchens will not be alive for it.
 
Dec 7, 2010
8,773
1
0
ChrisE said:
Thank you, my brother.

In the afterlife I may see you in FSM heaven with strippers and beer fountains.
The noodles will be golden and the fountains will have a never ending flow of beer. Strippers are ------THE BONUS.
 
El Pistolero said:
At some point in history, the early Christians could have chosen to break with the Old Testament, but they chose not to for the reason I gave you.... Of course it is strange that they still worship the Old Testament as the new Testament is pretty much the opposite. Besides, Christianity is not the religion of Jesus Christ, but of Paulus. He's the single most important person in Christianity. Jesus' life is irrelevant, the only thing that matters about him is that he died on the cross. Something even Paulus admits to in his letters.

Also you must realize that the New Testament didn't exist in this form during the early Roman Empire. There were for example some more texts that were included, but are now seen as non-canon. Also there was no canon back in those days, but just texts that had a lot of authority. By the time most texts of the NT were written, there was certainly already a distinction between the Jews and Christians. We're not talking about 5 years after Jesus died here...
I think that as Christian culture emerged the Old Testament was seen as essentially the great "preface" to the new religion, thus having value only in its prophetic aspects and as providing converted gentiles with a "history lesson" of their faith. Though the Jewish bible wasn't of theological importance to them, only the gospels were, other than as a means to "demonstrate" God's divine plan for humanity that went back to the Word and creation itself, and that which inexorably would lead to human salvation through the Christ. It's significance was hence primarily revelatory. For the early Christians, not Jewish followers of Jesus, everything had irrevocably changed with the coming of Christ and his resurrection, so they believed, and as you correctly point out just as Paulus had tought them. No longer was Judaism something to deal with directly, but only instrumentally as a long preamble to the saving grace offered to all nations by Christ.

The early art in the catacombs and in the Paleochristian basilicas of the empire undeniably demonstrates this. It is a visual testimony of how the gentile Christians saw the Jewish bible in analytical, didactic and even historical terms.

In Early Christian art we thus get a typological use of the Old Testament stories: for which Moses becomes an antitype for Christ as Leader and Lawgiver; the Prophet Jonah a symbolic prefiguration of the resurrected Christ and so forth. The Old Testament, therefore, provided the historical “background” and “explanations” that the New Testament didn't; for the mystery of a Divine Savior made human, who then suffered and died like a common criminal and then triumphed over His own death. The art works became the “proofs” so that the masses would believe it.
 
Jun 18, 2009
1,086
0
0
TeamSkyFans said:
Not ignorance, but perhaps I could have elaborated further but I chose to avoid being overly inflammatory.

Fwiw I have read the entire bible, the book of Mormon and am working my way through the Koran.

Obviously my thoughts were not meant to be taken as sweeping statements, that would be me acting like many so called christians act. There are a large proportion of religious people who beleive in peace, love and understanding, but there are also a large percentage who believe that for instance, man should not lie with man and if you do so you will be judged by god and cast into eternal damnation, just as they beleive that HIV was a plague sent by god to punish the sinners.

Yes, not all wars are started by religion, in some occasions religion is merely used as an excuse and if it did not exist man would find other reasons to go to war, but much intollerance in mankinds history, from the crusades, to the burning of witches, to the hanging and beheaded of many thousands of people in the 1600's was in the name of religion.

FWIW i beleive that probably the most tolerant and peaceful religion is Hinduism closely followed by Islam. But of course, many christians beleive that Muslims are all heathen extremist terrorists..

I give this thread two pages before its closed.
I totally agree.... but you'd probably have to include Buddhism up there with Hinduism and Islam.

I chose "I believe in a life force or spirit, but not in a personal being." If I subscribed to a single religion, I would be buddhist.
 
Jul 16, 2011
1,551
0
0
I grew up in a reasonably liberal Anglo-Celtic protestant family, certainly was a "spiritual searcher" during my teens and early twenties (read the Bible, Koran and Bhagavad Gitas) and would have called myself a Christian until my mid-late twenties. Certainly, my upbringing has influenced my worldview. Morally, I'm rather conservative with myself, but liberal with regard to others (certainly as long as their behaviour does not impinge on the freedom of others). However, I came to feel that I could not agree with the precepts of any organised religion and that I do not need a god figure to live in a way I see as honourable. I guess in that way, I live an "a-theistic" life (not believing in god without assuring anybody that there is no god). I don't believe in an afterlife and that the finiteness of life actually gives it meaning.

I have lived in several countries (all "Christian", but where I spent my teenage years, in the UK, there is a very large Muslim minority, 15-20%). For the past 15 years I have lived in two Catholic countries (Poland and Ireland). One thing I have found in these two countries is that an atheistic life is often misunderstood (or misrepresented) as an immoral life, or at best an amoral life.
 
El Pistolero said:
Jesus' life is irrelevant, the only thing that matters about him is that he died on the cross. Something even Paulus admits to in his letters.
Yeah the fact that he was the "Son of God" means nothing:rolleyes:

Jesus life is by far the most important. Even if you take away the death on the cross, which incidentally is what Christianity is based around, he is still far more important than Paul.

I mean first of all he is the only magician in world history. The only person who has in history been able to make a mockery of the laws of physics. pow. Like that, Water into wine. Pow, feeds 1000 with a loaf of bread.

I mean, he is the only person to be born without being conceived.

Also Paul's life was not predicted in a prophecy.

His ressurection is also more important than his death. I mean a lot of people die, its not that special, its the bit where he rises from the dead, the only person in history to defeat that big bad, that cures all the sins and prove god exists etc etc.

Another thing special about the Nazarine, is that he was kind of ahead of his time with the morals. I mean a lot of the stuff he allegedly taught and said and believed in, were ahead of the zeitgeist.

Thats probably the one argument from Christians, I buy, that Jesus was good and that it is intriguing, though it gets turned on its head when you get to the part about hell and people being tortured for all eternity for the crime of not living in a country to which Christianity has reached.

But yes, Jesus is more important than Paulus.

Its kind of in the name too. Christianity;)

PS, im glad you are bringing this stuff to the Cafe these days, not posting it randomly in race threads:D


Tank Engine said:
I have lived in several countries (all "Christian", but where I spent my teenage years, in the UK, there is a very large Muslim minority, 15-20%). For the past 15 years I have lived in two Catholic countries (Poland and Ireland). One thing I have found in these two countries is that an atheistic life is often misunderstood (or misrepresented) as an immoral life, or at best an amoral life.
I have a lot of relatives, who I am best of not telling I am an atheist. When they ask me why I dont go to church i have to say its cos i have to do homework or some crap like that. This is mainly in rural areas. There "Radio Maryja" a christian political radio station run by priests is very strong, and from what I hear, doesnt have nice things to say about my type.
 
Jul 16, 2010
17,463
0
0
The Hitch said:
Yeah the fact that he was the "Son of God" means nothing:rolleyes:

Jesus life is by far the most important. Even if you take away the death on the cross, which incidentally is what Christianity is based around, he is still far more important than Paul.

I mean first of all he is the only magician in world history. The only person who has in history been able to make a mockery of the laws of physics. pow. Like that, Water into wine. Pow, feeds 1000 with a loaf of bread.

I mean, he is the only person to be born without being conceived.

Also Paul's life was not predicted in a prophecy.

His ressurection is also more important than his death. I mean a lot of people die, its not that special, its the bit where he rises from the dead, the only person in history to defeat that big bad, that cures all the sins and prove god exists etc etc.

Another thing special about the Nazarine, is that he was kind of ahead of his time with the morals. I mean a lot of the stuff he allegedly taught and said and believed in, were ahead of the zeitgeist.

Thats probably the one argument from Christians, I buy, that Jesus was good and that it is intriguing, though it gets turned on its head when you get to the part about hell and people being tortured for all eternity for the crime of not living in a country to which Christianity has reached.

But yes, Jesus is more important than Paulus.

Its kind of in the name too. Christianity;)

PS, im glad you are bringing this stuff to the Cafe these days, not posting it randomly in race threads:D




I have a lot of relatives, who I am best of not telling I am an atheist. When they ask me why I dont go to church i have to say its cos i have to do homework or some crap like that. This is mainly in rural areas. There "Radio Maryja" a christian political radio station run by priests is very strong, and from what I hear, doesnt have nice things to say about my type.
Christianity, while it's not impossible, it's very unlikely Jesus spoke Greek and thus wouldn't even know what the hell Christ means. As for the life of Jesus, guess who wrote it? It's the religion of Paulus and not of Jesus. Without Paulus Christianity would have either never survived or been totally different. The Jesus we know has never existed. I'm sure there was a Jesus like person that preached the world was coming to an end and had a nice following in Judea, but everything else is obviously made up. Outside the Bible there are no known sources that talk about Jesus. Josephus for example has written a complete Jewish history and he doesn't mention Jesus once! Of course some people will now point out that there is actually a passage that includes Jesus, but it's already been proven to be a fabrication most likely by Monks(who are the only ones that copied his writings, Jews didn't like Josephus.). Yet Josephus does mention a lot of people that are mentioned in the New Testament like John the Baptist. But not a single mention of this Jesus Christ of Nazareth! All other sources outside the Bible mention the early Christians, but never talk about Jesus Christ him self. As far as I'm concerned, the real Jesus is the most irrelevant person in history.

As for his Resurrection being more important than his death, it isn't. Simply because he never ressurected. It's something his followers made them self believe after he died. Early Christianity(talking about during the life of this Jesus and the first few years after) was a Millenarianistic sect. Once the sect leader dies, it's game over for sects like that. Yet Christianity never died because of this Resurrection story(and among other reasons, but let's keep this post short).

And yeah, I realize your post was filled with sarcasm.

People always try to use science to debunk Christianity. That won't work: use history or archaeology. Much better!
 
El Pistolero said:
Christianity, while it's not impossible, it's very unlikely Jesus spoke Greek and thus wouldn't even know what the hell Christ means.
Umm, if he can conquer death, put people into heaven, listen to 1 million prayers at once and change water into wine, Im pretty sure he can speak greek;)

And yeah, I realize your post was filled with sarcasm.
Was not. You said the only thing that matters about Jeusus was his death. I say the resurrection and the miracles matter a hell of a lot too.
 
Jul 16, 2010
17,463
0
0
rhubroma said:
I think that as Christian culture emerged the Old Testament was seen as essentially the great "preface" to the new religion, thus having value only in its prophetic aspects and as providing converted gentiles with a "history lesson" of their faith. Though the Jewish bible wasn't of theological importance to them, only the gospels were, other than as a means to "demonstrate" God's divine plan for humanity that went back to the Word and creation itself, and that which inexorably would lead to human salvation through the Christ. It's significance was hence primarily revelatory. For the early Christians, not Jewish followers of Jesus, everything had irrevocably changed with the coming of Christ and his resurrection, so they believed, and as you correctly point out just as Paulus had tought them. No longer was Judaism something to deal with directly, but only instrumentally as a long preamble to the saving grace offered to all nations by Christ.

The early art in the catacombs and in the Paleochristian basilicas of the empire undeniably demonstrates this. It is a visual testimony of how the gentile Christians saw the Jewish bible in analytical, didactic and even historical terms.

In Early Christian art we thus get a typological use of the Old Testament stories: for which Moses becomes an antitype for Christ as Leader and Lawgiver; the Prophet Jonah a symbolic prefiguration of the resurrected Christ and so forth. The Old Testament, therefore, provided the historical “background” and “explanations” that the New Testament didn't; for the mystery of a Divine Savior made human, who then suffered and died like a common criminal and then triumphed over His own death. The art works became the “proofs” so that the masses would believe it.
I would say the art during the middle ages proof even more what you say. Often in Medieval art they link the Old Testament with the New Testament. Take a look at the Biblia pauperum for example. It's pretty much everything you just said in one book.
 
Jul 16, 2010
17,463
0
0
The Hitch said:
Umm, if he can conquer death, put people into heaven, listen to 1 million prayers at once and change water into wine, Im pretty sure he can speak greek;)



Was not. You said the only thing that matters about Jeusus was his death. I say the resurrection and the miracles matter a hell of a lot too.
His birth and death is the only thing not made up about Jesus. His Resurrection was only fabricated because he died(with it being a Millenarianism sect and all). There for his death is definitely the single most important thing in Christianity. Of course if you believe he really had a Resurrection than yeah, that's the most important thing.

He died for our sins and then resurrected. You don't need to know more about Jesus.

And no offence to Christians, but the New Testament is the worst piece of literature I have ever read in my entire life(I never bothered with the Old one except for a few tidbits I needed for a work I was making). I wonder when Dan Brown is going to rewrite the Bible.
 
El Pistolero said:
I would say the art during the middle ages proof even more what you say. Often in Medieval art they link the Old Testament with the New Testament. Take a look at the Biblia pauperum for example. It's pretty much everything you just said in one book.
Oh, I hadn't even gotten to the Middle Ages yet, and was really pointing out only what had taken place between the III and V centuries.

Yet this already demonstrated how, as you say, the early Christians linked the Old Testament to the New Testament, which, in any case, is what I already said through typology. The medieval tradition developed from this previous one.

Thus the written word became artistically and visually transformed into a language of religious imagery (that was, of course, comprehensible both stylistically and iconographically to the gentiles - which is why, by the way, Early Christian art and pagan art of late antiquity look identical), to teach the largely illiterate masses the mysteries and history of their faith, which stretched back to creation itself in the OT and had a foregone conclusion in Christ.
 
Oct 8, 2011
211
0
0
El Pistolero said:
Christianity, while it's not impossible, it's very unlikely Jesus spoke Greek and thus wouldn't even know what the hell Christ means. As for the life of Jesus, guess who wrote it? It's the religion of Paulus and not of Jesus. Without Paulus Christianity would have either never survived or been totally different. The Jesus we know has never existed. I'm sure there was a Jesus like person that preached the world was coming to an end and had a nice following in Judea, but everything else is obviously made up. Outside the Bible there are no known sources that talk about Jesus. Josephus for example has written a complete Jewish history and he doesn't mention Jesus once! Of course some people will now point out that there is actually a passage that includes Jesus, but it's already been proven to be a fabrication most likely by Monks(who are the only ones that copied his writings, Jews didn't like Josephus.). Yet Josephus does mention a lot of people that are mentioned in the New Testament like John the Baptist. But not a single mention of this Jesus Christ of Nazareth! All other sources outside the Bible mention the early Christians, but never talk about Jesus Christ him self. As far as I'm concerned, the real Jesus is the most irrelevant person in history.

As for his Resurrection being more important than his death, it isn't. Simply because he never ressurected. It's something his followers made them self believe after he died. Early Christianity(talking about during the life of this Jesus and the first few years after) was a Millenarianistic sect. Once the sect leader dies, it's game over for sects like that. Yet Christianity never died because of this Resurrection story(and among other reasons, but let's keep this post short).

And yeah, I realize your post was filled with sarcasm.

People always try to use science to debunk Christianity. That won't work: use history or archaeology. Much better!
Christianity is the religion of God, not Paul. He knew there would be a need to spread and establish the church throughout the world and made sure that need was met.
If you think history and archaeology debunk the Bible then you are sadly very mistaken.
 
Mar 18, 2009
14,634
1
0
jordan5000 said:
I`m a catholic, I believe in evolution but that humans evolved from God`s original creation, the bible says that humans were made in God`s image, but his image is never clearly defined. You can say I`m trying to sneak God in the backdoor, fair enough, but it`s what I believe.
Evidently god is a damned dirty ape. Oh, man, Charlton Heston is going to be p!ssed.

 
Sep 1, 2011
281
0
0
BroDeal said:
Evidently god is a damned dirty ape. Oh, man, Charlton Heston is going to be p!ssed.

God has no image, or at least I've never seen it as defined. God is all-powerful by definition and therefore could be anything and everything.
 
Jun 16, 2009
3,035
0
0
Descender said:
...Why is religion worthy of so much respect? Why is it ok to bash politicians because of their positions, writers because of their novels, filmmakers because of their films, but it's not ok to criticise religion or their principles?

In this same forum there are dozens of threads on politics. Quite clearly, people get upset there every day. Are those threads closed because of that?

When people get upset on account of religion matters, it is most usually their choice and theirs only to get upset. I say let us have a sensible, constructive debate. Let us be polite in a democratic way. But as long as we do it this way, let us express our views freely too, without fear of upsetting other people's ideals.

I think the answer to this is that religion and politics are indeed different - for several reasons. Primarily it is down to belief and evidence. For instance, I think of it this way:

* 2 people support different political parties. Once every - say - 3 to 5 years, one of those parties will get elected into power. From that time, there will be considerable evidence over the next year or two that will either shake or support the "faith" of the person that supported that party.

* 2 people have different religious faiths (where 'faith' includes atheism to save me typing it all the time). The only time you will really get any evidence whether your god is the real one (or that one exists at all) is likely to be after your death - although in the case of Budhists they will reincarnate and lose that knowledge all over again?).

Anyway, the point is that debate of religion is a lot stronger and more personal because NOBODY actually has any evidence to support their case. There will always be a stronger - and just as unverifiable - argument that trumps yours. Such as, how can anyone be sure that god A isn't so benevolent that he/she/it happily supports followers of other faiths even though they deny him/her/it? Its a human differentiator that is very personal, precisely because it is soley based upon faith. An argument against that faith is often taken as an insult - thats just how it is for many people. Many faiths are actually interpretations of the same events and/or texts and they are supported by those that made those interpretations.

Personally, I find it amazing that in the case of the Norwegian tragedy, when Anders Behring Breivik was identified as a Christian based upon his lengthly writings, Christian journalists instantly jumped upon this and claimed it was false because 'no follower of Jesus could have done these things'. These are the same journalists that immediately identify a terrorist as a muslim/Islamist with no evidence even though the act of terror is abhorrent to the majority of leaders of the faiths.

Seperation of god and state is supposed to be a big deal but good luck getting voted in as US President (or even just a lower representative) without a history of turning up to Christian churches....
 
The Hitch said:
Yeah the fact that he was the "Son of God" means nothing:rolleyes:

Jesus life is by far the most important. Even if you take away the death on the cross, which incidentally is what Christianity is based around, he is still far more important than Paul.

I mean first of all he is the only magician in world history. The only person who has in history been able to make a mockery of the laws of physics. pow. Like that, Water into wine. Pow, feeds 1000 with a loaf of bread.

I mean, he is the only person to be born without being conceived.

Also Paul's life was not predicted in a prophecy.

His ressurection is also more important than his death. I mean a lot of people die, its not that special, its the bit where he rises from the dead, the only person in history to defeat that big bad, that cures all the sins and prove god exists etc etc.

Another thing special about the Nazarine, is that he was kind of ahead of his time with the morals. I mean a lot of the stuff he allegedly taught and said and believed in, were ahead of the zeitgeist.

Thats probably the one argument from Christians, I buy, that Jesus was good and that it is intriguing, though it gets turned on its head when you get to the part about hell and people being tortured for all eternity for the crime of not living in a country to which Christianity has reached.

But yes, Jesus is more important than Paulus.

Its kind of in the name too. Christianity;)

PS, im glad you are bringing this stuff to the Cafe these days, not posting it randomly in race threads:D




I have a lot of relatives, who I am best of not telling I am an atheist. When they ask me why I dont go to church i have to say its cos i have to do homework or some crap like that. This is mainly in rural areas. There "Radio Maryja" a christian political radio station run by priests is very strong, and from what I hear, doesnt have nice things to say about my type.
To be fair to El Pistolero, Hitich, I believe he was refering to the actual gentile masses who knew Paul, but not Jesus, directly.

In the history of creating a mass culture of a religio in the Roman Empire, which was an overwhelmingly pagan state, just as the whole world was at the time, St. Paul was the decisive figure, the real founder of the cultus soli Creatori debitus; cum anima Christi: that is, the founder of the Christian religion's soul and identity. Even, of course, if it was Christ, not St. Paul, who was the deity worshiped.

In the historical sense, then, El Pistolero is absolutely correct, Jesus had no intention of establishing a new religion. He was a Jew, through and through and that was it.

Paul was the founder of Chritianity for reasons I also went into before, which began among the pagans he converted. And precisely because, as you indicate, Paul emphasized to the communities he preached to that His resurection was the great turning point in the history of the world, which is something that Jesus' Jewish followers, in fact, seemed to have paid less regard to. In fact, in the final analysis, it was the only thing the truly mattered to Paul andthe only thing to him for which one could actually consider himself or herself a follower of the Christ (for which not even the Jewish dietary restrictions commanded by God, were of any consequence): namely belief in the physical (not symbolic or metaphorical), but actual physical return from the darkness of death and the grave of a dead human being called Jesus of Nazereth. Paul even said as much, that is if you don't believe that Christ rose form the grave, then everyhting is pointless.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS