Christianity is a Secularist religion.
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20-07-2014, 01:25 PM
RE: Christianity is a Secularist religion.
(20-07-2014 11:30 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  
(14-07-2014 05:09 AM)Chas Wrote:  And the difference between those two phrasings is what?

You said it was "one based on secularism and reason". You said the religion was reason-based, not the morality.

Yes Chas, you can have a "religion" which does not involve a god. If Josephus or Josephus/Paul and/or Paul was/were Hellenistic Jews and Christianity is, as some say, Paul's religion, or, as Atwill and Ellis say, Jospehus' religion, then, either way, it is easy to see how the various inconsistencies in the NT are deliberate. In Atwill's view, the NT is a dark comedic work satirizing paganistic, messianic Judaism. Again, what I am saying is simple; Christianity is written by Hellenists who I would describe as "secularists" in that they put reason above the idea of a "god" or in place of a god. I think you are nit picking. A religion can be a secular moral philosophy:




The Oxford Dictionary of the English Language does not agree with you.

Atwill's ideas are not supported by any evidence, Ellis is a loon.

You can continue to try to define words to suit you, but it only takes you down the rabbit hole.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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21-07-2014, 07:27 AM
RE: Christianity is a Secularist religion.
the title alone is enough to make me not read the thread
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25-07-2014, 10:17 AM
RE: Christianity is a Secularist religion.
(20-07-2014 01:25 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(20-07-2014 11:30 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  Yes Chas, you can have a "religion" which does not involve a god. If Josephus or Josephus/Paul and/or Paul was/were Hellenistic Jews and Christianity is, as some say, Paul's religion, or, as Atwill and Ellis say, Jospehus' religion, then, either way, it is easy to see how the various inconsistencies in the NT are deliberate. In Atwill's view, the NT is a dark comedic work satirizing paganistic, messianic Judaism. Again, what I am saying is simple; Christianity is written by Hellenists who I would describe as "secularists" in that they put reason above the idea of a "god" or in place of a god. I think you are nit picking. A religion can be a secular moral philosophy:




The Oxford Dictionary of the English Language does not agree with you.

Atwill's ideas are not supported by any evidence, Ellis is a loon.

You can continue to try to define words to suit you, but it only takes you down the rabbit hole.


No, Chas, you are the one going down the rabbit hole when you quote a dictionary.

You seem unable to grasp the argument. If the NT is written by Hellenistic Jews, and both Paul and Jospephus are said by some to be Hellenistic Jews, then the NT is written by people who don't "believe" the supernatural aspects of the NT.

Here is someone else who has found parallels between the NT and Josephus: http://www.josephus.org/ntparallels.htm

Secularism is a concept which describes ideas held by philosophers going back to Epicurus who some say "founded one of the major philosophies of ancient Greece, helping to lay the intellectual foundations for modern science and for secular individualism".

I find it hard to take you seriously as an "atheist". I think you are a bible-belt born-again Christian who has decided to denigrate those who see value in debunking Jesus and the NT.

Convince me otherwise!
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25-07-2014, 10:32 AM
RE: Christianity is a Secularist religion.
Haha....only glanced at a few posts. But funny stuff.

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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25-07-2014, 11:37 AM
RE: Christianity is a Secularist religion.
(25-07-2014 10:32 AM)Adrianime Wrote:  Haha....only glanced at a few posts. But funny stuff.


I am hoping that in ten years or less someone makes a movie called "Gamala". It will be about how the whole area of what is now Turkey, Syria and Judea was inhabited by people who were convinced that a prince called Izates should be the next Jewish leader and also Roman Emperor but is beaten by the Romans under Vespasian and Titus, who actually liked the guy and decide to save him and use his name to get the support of his side in the Jewish Revolt, so they have Jospephus write up this religion which allows Vespasian to be Emperor of a Roman Empire which is governed in a "rational" way where people don't stab each other in the back and sleep with each other's wives/husbands/children/goats.
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25-07-2014, 11:54 AM
RE: Christianity is a Secularist religion.
(12-07-2014 11:12 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  I've come to the conclusion that Christianity is not theistic in the traditional sense of the word. It may be that the writer/s of the NT was/were deistic but they weren't, in my opinion, believers in Yahweh or God as a "superbeing".

The reason I say this is threefold. First, the central concept of Christianity is that god is the "logos" which is a gnostic concept. The logos, according to John is in the "beginning" and thus "before" god and is the same thing as god.

Secondly, it is possible to have a reason based morality as Kant has shown and the moral philosophy in the NT is reason based. In Matthew, Jesus says that for those who understand the workings of the "kingdom of heaven", parables are not necessary. That means that for those who know how to reason, they don't need his parables, whereas for those who can't reason, he needs to explain how reason works in a variety of situations to result in a "reasoned" moral principle. That is not someone saying, "I'm going to spout god's word and you should obey it because I am god's messenger".

Thirdly, where other religions rely on superstitions and rites, the NT makes it impossible to take specific instances or happenings and turn them into objects of veneration. Jesus says in Matthew that "this generation" will have no signs. He is saying that those who follow his moral philosophy won't receive any signs from a god, they will have to figure things out for themselves, using reason. The inconsistencies in the NT are deliberate and they are mutually exclusive as in his healing of a man with a withered arm, no sorry, dropsy, two completely opposite conditions and his admonitions to his disciples to go abroad and spread his message....no, sorry, tarry in Jerusalem. The NT deliberately gives opposing messages so that those who want to have a formalistic religion based on following dogma, can't actually pin down what it would be.

Judaism in it's own terms is a religion of a people who descend from Abraham who came from Ur of the Chaldees. This would make him an Aryan Celt and the Jews a Celtic people who originally worshipped Celtic gods, the sun, the stars and the Tao. It is derived from ancient fertility religions of the Celtic people. Who wrote it up in it's present form I will leave to Bucky Ball and Ralf Ellis to argue over.

Christianity is, therefore, an attempt to get rid of astrological, fertility based religion and replace it with one based on secularism and reason. It does so by grafting Gnosticism onto a plausibly "religious" story which is, in fact, when read properly, a farcical take down of mythological religion.


At least you start with
"In my opinion"

But you're mistaken. Christians definitely believe God to be a superbeing. How else do you explain virgin birth?
Common.

When I want your opinion I'll read your entrails.
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25-07-2014, 01:08 PM (This post was last modified: 25-07-2014 01:27 PM by Deltabravo.)
RE: Christianity is a Secularist religion.
(25-07-2014 11:54 AM)WitchSabrina Wrote:  
(12-07-2014 11:12 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  I've come to the conclusion that Christianity is not theistic in the traditional sense of the word. It may be that the writer/s of the NT was/were deistic but they weren't, in my opinion, believers in Yahweh or God as a "superbeing".

The reason I say this is threefold. First, the central concept of Christianity is that god is the "logos" which is a gnostic concept. The logos, according to John is in the "beginning" and thus "before" god and is the same thing as god.

Secondly, it is possible to have a reason based morality as Kant has shown and the moral philosophy in the NT is reason based. In Matthew, Jesus says that for those who understand the workings of the "kingdom of heaven", parables are not necessary. That means that for those who know how to reason, they don't need his parables, whereas for those who can't reason, he needs to explain how reason works in a variety of situations to result in a "reasoned" moral principle. That is not someone saying, "I'm going to spout god's word and you should obey it because I am god's messenger".

Thirdly, where other religions rely on superstitions and rites, the NT makes it impossible to take specific instances or happenings and turn them into objects of veneration. Jesus says in Matthew that "this generation" will have no signs. He is saying that those who follow his moral philosophy won't receive any signs from a god, they will have to figure things out for themselves, using reason. The inconsistencies in the NT are deliberate and they are mutually exclusive as in his healing of a man with a withered arm, no sorry, dropsy, two completely opposite conditions and his admonitions to his disciples to go abroad and spread his message....no, sorry, tarry in Jerusalem. The NT deliberately gives opposing messages so that those who want to have a formalistic religion based on following dogma, can't actually pin down what it would be.

Judaism in it's own terms is a religion of a people who descend from Abraham who came from Ur of the Chaldees. This would make him an Aryan Celt and the Jews a Celtic people who originally worshipped Celtic gods, the sun, the stars and the Tao. It is derived from ancient fertility religions of the Celtic people. Who wrote it up in it's present form I will leave to Bucky Ball and Ralf Ellis to argue over.

Christianity is, therefore, an attempt to get rid of astrological, fertility based religion and replace it with one based on secularism and reason. It does so by grafting Gnosticism onto a plausibly "religious" story which is, in fact, when read properly, a farcical take down of mythological religion.


At least you start with
"In my opinion"

But you're mistaken. Christians definitely believe God to be a superbeing. How else do you explain virgin birth?
Common.

The title of the thread is (not so obviously as it turned out) intended to stimulate debate about whether the NT was written by one or more people as a collaboration rather than independently by writers who came up with the same stories from their own experiences.

I used the word "secularist" because it represents a viewpoint which puts reason above religion but if someone (preferably someone who has a grasp of what I am saying) can suggest a different description, then please feel free to join in.

I think it is an important point. The rulers of Egypt and Rome were confronted with populations who worshiped a wide range of deities and they sought to consolidate power by merging or adopting those cults. The Egyptians merged Ra and Horus cults. The Romans invented Serapis to create an international cult. Cults were llike political parties and the people who were able to write things like the Gospels weren't the impoverished "friends" of some sandal footed carpenter who drifted into town from god knows where. It is highly unlikely that any Jesus character was a poor person born in a stable. He is supposed to have been from the royal line of David, had his feet annointed by Mary with very expenive perfume.

If this is a story of a revolutionary, then he lost. Who was he? Why do we know so little about the Jewish Revolt? Who were its leaders? What happened to them?

What I am saying is that there were pro-Roman Hellenized Jews, like Philo of Alexandria. These people engaged in rewriting religious works including the Old Testament. They knew how to write up religious texts. It was political propagandizing to a largely illiterate, pagan society. What would you expect them to do if they were actually rational, intelligent people who didn't believe in this stuff? Write up a list of do's and don'ts and expect people to obey it because it was something that they had read in Greek literature? The history of the councils of Nicea is about getting the best gospels and practices to get people to follow Christianity. That is what was going on 2000 years ago.

I am not saying that Christians don't believe in god as a superbeing. I know that. What I am saying is that the writers of the New Testament, in my view, did not believe in virgin birth, resurrection, miracles, or even Jesus as a religious leader. The were Hellenistic Jews like Philo, Josephus and Paul. They knew they had to sell this religion to the masses who still believed in the superbeing god. Maybe they were deists themselves, but their moral philosophy was Hellenistic.

This is a very good explanation of why there are so many ridiculous inconsistencies in the New Testament...because the writers of it were making it that way so that the masses, who couldn't read, would follow the religion because it contained their myths and their "leader", Jesus. Those who could reason from first principles like "do unto others..." would see the inconsistencies and didn't need the parables or the myths in order to behave morally and rationally.

Remember, the issue Atwill and Ellis raise is whether the New Testament is deliberately written this way. It's a bold assertion. It is important in understanding this to know about Roman history of that time. Julius Caesar had overthrown Roman Republicanism at a time when Epicureanism was on the rise. He dragged Rome back into the worst kind of pagan debauchery and corruption. The last of the Claudians was Nero who was an animal who engaged in extreme depravity. He committed suicide just as he was caught and about to be killed.

Then came the year of the four Caesars in which four generals came and went. The Imperial throne was up for grabs and who would want it, given the fate of those who were in it for the previous 100 or so years?

That is where this idea comes from. There were people in the area of Judea, Syria and modern Turkey who were followers of messianic Judaism and they rebelled against Rome at precisely this time. Who was it they were following???

When they lost, what happened to their ideas? What did the Romans do to ensure that they didn't rebel agains?

Why do the first of the NT gospels spring up at this time and why is this a gnostic, Hellenistic religion in its moral/ethical core values? Why are there impossible, mutually exclusive inconsistencies in the "fabulous" resurrection story and throughout the NT? If one isn't a Christian, the answers are unsatisfying. It's all a myth? So when and who made up the myth? Where is anything written about this idea before the last century? Or, Jesus was a sandal footed buddhist monk. This is just the wishful thinking of those who would have wished to have been born into Buddhism (mainly Californians!,lol).

It's a serious question; was the NT written as a "designed" religion, by the Romans in the wake of the Jewish Revolt and does it take hold of the leader of this defeated movement and deify him to appease/control the losing side and to promote a reason based Hellenistic moral/philosophical ideology which had been rejected by the Claudians?

That is where this type of forum fails, imo. Atwill suggests that it is statistically impossible for the synoptic gospels to have been written independently because the events of the resurrection follow a precise chronology so that there are four different times of Mary's visit to the empty tomb and each results in a different number of persons returning to the tomb, one man, two, three etc. Getting this result right accidentally would be statistically unlikely in the order of billions to one against. He then adds the other timelines which coincide with timeline of Titus in Josephus' History of the Jews and he gets a statistical "certainty" that the New Testament had to be written by one person or several as a combined, unified work to be read as one story. And, if you read it as one work, the story it tells is consitent, and a farsical depiction of Maccabean Jews.

Yet, on this forum, a radical new idea like this is met with the same vehemence and closed mindedness as a Christian would greet atheistic ideas. We get one line responses and insults from people who haven't read the works of either Atwill or Ellis but "know" they must be wrong. And we get "skeptical" comments from people who have rarely ever made a post of more than a couple of lines and never express any original opinions or views themselves. It really does make me wonder whether there aren't a lot of people here who are actually Christians and are here to disrupt free and friendly discussion which drives some people away and depicts atheists as being as narrow and dogmatic as Christians themselves.

JUST SAYIN!
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25-07-2014, 01:12 PM
RE: Christianity is a Secularist religion.
There can not be a secular religion. Anything secular by definition is separated from religion.

You could claim that you believe that since christianity has secular origins it is not deistic or a religion.

I'll listen to any points supporting that argument as soon as christian churches start paying taxes retroactively.
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25-07-2014, 01:26 PM
RE: Christianity is a Secularist religion.
(12-07-2014 11:12 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  Christianity is, therefore, an attempt to get rid of astrological, fertility based religion and replace it with one based on secularism and reason.




If anything Christianity is ANTI-Reason and its stingy dogma doesn't allow any secularism whatsoever.

Dreams/Hallucinations/delusions are not evidence
Wishful thinking is not evidence
Disproved statements&Illogical conclusions are not evidence
Logical fallacies&Unsubstantiated claims are not evidence
Vague prophecies is not evidence
Data that requires a certain belief is not evidence
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25-07-2014, 01:27 PM
RE: Christianity is a Secularist religion.
(25-07-2014 01:08 PM)Deltabravo Wrote:  
(25-07-2014 11:54 AM)WitchSabrina Wrote:  At least you start with
"In my opinion"

But you're mistaken. Christians definitely believe God to be a superbeing. How else do you explain virgin birth?
Common.

The title of the thread is (not so obviously as it turned out) intended to stimulate debate about whether the NT was written by one or more people as a collaboration rather than independently by writers who came up with the same stories from their own experiences.

I used the word "secularist" because it represents a viewpoint which puts reason above religion but if someone (preferably someone who has a grasp of what I am saying) can suggest a different description, then please feel free to join in.

I think it is an important point. The rulers of Egypt and Rome were confronted with populations who worshiped a wide range of deities and they sought to consolidate power by merging or adopting those cults. The Egyptians merged Ra and Horus cults. The Romans invented Serapis to create an international cult. Cults were llike political parties and the people who were able to write things like the Gospels weren't the impoverished "friends" of some sandal footed carpenter who drifted into town from god knows where. It is highly unlikely that any Jesus character was a poor person born in a stable. He is supposed to have been from the royal line of David, had his feet annointed by Mary with very expenive perfume.

If this is a story of a revolutionary, then he lost. Who was he? Why do we know so little about the Jewish Revolt? Who were its leaders? What happened to them?

What I am saying is that there were pro-Roman Hellenized Jews, like Philo of Alexandria. These people engaged in rewriting religious works including the Old Testament. They knew how to write up religious texts. It was political propagandizing to a largely illiterate, pagan society. What would you expect them to do if they were actually rational, intelligent people who didn't believe in this stuff? Write up a list of do's and don'ts and expect people to obey it because it was something that they had read in Greek literature? The history of the councils of Nicea is about getting the best gospels and practices to get people to follow Christianity. That is what was going on 2000 years ago.

I am not saying that Christians don't believe in god as a superbeing. I know that. What I am saying is that the writers of the New Testament, in my view, did not believe in virgin birth, resurrection, miracles, or even Jesus as a religious leader. The were Hellenistic Jews like Philo, Josephus and Paul. They knew they had to sell this religion to the masses who still believed in the superbeing god. Maybe they were deists themselves, but their moral philosophy was Hellenistic.

This is a very good explanation of why there are so many ridiculous inconsistencies in the New Testament...because the writers of it were making it that way so that the masses, who couldn't read, would follow the religion because it contained their myths and their "leader", Jesus. Those who could reason from first principles like "do unto others..." would see the inconsistencies and didn't need the parables or the myths in order to behave morally and rationally.

Remember, the issue Atwill and Ellis raise is whether the New Testament is deliberately written this way. It's a bold assertion. It is important in understanding this to know about Roman history of that time. Julius Caesar had overthrown Roman Republicanism at a time when Epicureanism was on the rise. He dragged Rome back into the worst kind of pagan debauchery and corruption. The last of the Claudians was Nero who was an animal who engaged in extreme depravity. He committed suicide just as he was caught and about to be killed.

Then came the year of the four Caesars in which four generals came and went. The Imperial throne was up for grabs and who would want it, given the fate of those who were in it for the previous 100 or so years?

That is where this idea comes from. There were people in the area of Judea, Syria and modern Turkey who were followers of messianic Judaism and they rebelled against Rome at precisely this time. Who was it they were following???

When they lost, what happened to their ideas? What did the Romans do to ensure that they didn't rebel agains?

Why do the first of the NT gospels spring up at this time and why is this a gnostic, Hellenistic religion in its moral/ethical core values? Why are there impossible, mutually exclusive inconsistencies in the "fabulous" resurrection story and throughout the NT? If one isn't a Christian, the answers are unsatisfying. It's all a myth? So when and who made up the myth? Where is anything written about this idea before the last century? Or, Jesus was a sandal footed buddhist monk. This is just the wishful thinking of those who would have wished to have been born into Buddhism (mainly Californians!,lol).

It's a serious question; was the NT written as a "designed" religion, by the Romans in the wake of the Jewish Revolt and does it take hold of the leader of this defeated movement and deify him to appease/control the losing side and to promote a reason based Hellenistic moral/philosophical ideology which had been rejected by the Claudians?

The NT absorbed the cult of Mithras and the cult of Isis. You're working too hard.

When I want your opinion I'll read your entrails.
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