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29-10-2014, 07:54 PM (This post was last modified: 03-05-2015 04:46 PM by goodwithoutgod.)
Religion on a rapid decline
Religions are losing members - "The number of Americans who do not identify with any religion continues to grow at a rapid pace. One-fifth of the U.S. public – and a third of adults under 30 – are religiously unaffiliated today, the highest percentages ever in Pew Research Center polling. The challenge to Christianity in the U.S. does not come from other religions but rather from a rejection of all forms of organized religion. The “Nones” (no stated religious preference, atheist, or agnostic) continue to grow, from 8.2% in 1990, to 14.1% in 2001, to 15.0% in 2008, to over 21% in 2012. 34% off all US adults under 30 are unaffiliated."

University of Arizona and Northwestern University recent study projects the extinction of religion in Australia, Austria, the Czech Republic, Canada, Finland, Ireland, New Zealand, the Netherlands and Switzerland. They will be entirely comprised of non-believers. The study also found that "Americans without affiliation comprise the only religious group growing in all 50 states." Religions is declining because of the increase in choice, education, information, bad press, the idea that it is useless or counterproductive and the idea that its fundamental principles are illogical."

Is religion dying? By Diana Butler Bass - “In the last dozen years, American religious institutions have undergone a myriad of crises--abuse scandals, conflicts, schism, and partisan political entanglement, to name a few--resulting in a great religious recession. Poll after poll reveals that organized religions --mainline Protestant, evangelical, Roman Catholic, and Jewish --are in varying states of disarray and decline. Sadness, even doom, has gripped many congregations, as the formerly faithful disaffiliate, and those who remain struggle to pay clergy and fix leaky roofs. The unaffiliated and atheists have been rising for thirty years.”

Atheism on the rise around the globe - "According to a new poll, religiosity worldwide is declining while more people say they are atheists. In the United States, a growing number consider themselves non-believers.

Atheism is on the rise in the United States and elsewhere while religiosity is declining, according to a new worldwide poll. “The Global Index of Religiosity and Atheism,” conducted by WIN-Gallup International headquartered in Switzerland, found that the number of Americans who say they are “religious” dropped from 73 percent in 2005 – when the poll was last conducted – to 60 percent. And 33 percent of the people polled said that they don’t consider themselves as a “religious person."

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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29-10-2014, 07:58 PM (This post was last modified: 03-05-2015 04:47 PM by goodwithoutgod.)
No Jesus
No one has the slightest physical evidence to support a historical Jesus; no artifacts, dwelling, works of carpentry, or self-written manuscripts. All claims about Jesus derive from writings of other people. There occurs no contemporary Roman record that shows Pontius Pilate executing a man named Jesus. Devastating to historians, there occurs not a single contemporary writing that mentions Jesus. All documents about Jesus came well after the life of the alleged Jesus from either: unknown authors, people who had never met an earthly Jesus, or from fraudulent, mythical or allegorical writings. All sources about Jesus derive from hearsay accounts.

Hearsay means information derived from other people rather than on a witness' own knowledge.

Courts of law do not generally allow hearsay as testimony, and nor does honest modern scholarship. Hearsay does not provide good evidence, and therefore, we should dismiss it.

If you do not understand this, imagine yourself confronted with a charge for a crime which you know you did not commit. You feel confident that no one can prove guilt because you know that there exists no evidence whatsoever for the charge against you. Now imagine that you stand present in a court of law that allows hearsay as evidence. When the prosecution presents its case, everyone who takes the stand against you claims that you committed the crime, not as a witness themselves, but solely because they claim other people said so. None of these other people, mind you, ever show up in court, nor can anyone find them.

Hearsay does not work as evidence because we have no way of knowing whether the person lied, or simply based his or her information on wrongful belief or bias. We know from history about witchcraft trials and kangaroo courts that hearsay provides neither reliable nor fair statements of evidence. We know that mythology can arise out of no good information whatsoever. We live in a world where many people believe in demons, UFOs, ghosts, or monsters, and an innumerable number of fantasies believed as fact taken from nothing but belief and hearsay. It derives from these reasons why hearsay cannot serves as good evidence, and the same reasoning must go against the claims of a historical Jesus or any other historical person.

Authors of ancient history today, of course, can only write from indirect observation in a time far removed from their aim. But a valid historian's own writing gets cited with sources that trace to the subject themselves, or to eyewitnesses and artifacts. For example, a historian today who writes about the life of George Washington, of course, can not serve as an eyewitness, but he can provide citations to documents which give personal or eyewitness accounts. None of the historians about Jesus give reliable sources to eyewitnesses, therefore all we have remains as hearsay.

What appears most revealing of all, comes not from what people later wrote about Jesus but what people did not write about him. Consider that not a single historian, philosopher, scribe or follower who lived before or during the alleged time of Jesus ever mentions him!

If, indeed, the Gospels portray a historical look at the life of Jesus, then the one feature that stands out prominently within the stories shows that people claimed to know Jesus far and wide, not only by a great multitude of followers but by the great priests, the Roman governor Pilate, and Herod who claims that he had heard "of the fame of Jesus" (Matt 14:1)". One need only read Matt: 4:25 where it claims that "there followed him [Jesus] great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judea, and from beyond Jordan." The gospels mention, countless times, the great multitude that followed Jesus and crowds of people who congregated to hear him. So crowded had some of these gatherings grown, that Luke 12:1 alleges that an "innumerable multitude of people... trode one upon another." Luke 5:15 says that there grew "a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear..." The persecution of Jesus in Jerusalem drew so much attention that all the chief priests and scribes, including the high priest Caiaphas, not only knew about him but helped in his alleged crucifixion. (see Matt 21:15-23, 26:3, Luke 19:47, 23:13). The multitude of people thought of Jesus, not only as a teacher and a miracle healer, but a prophet (see Matt:14:5).

So here we have the gospels portraying Jesus as famous far and wide, a prophet and healer, with great multitudes of people who knew about him, including the greatest Jewish high priests and the Roman authorities of the area, and not one person records his existence during his lifetime? If the poor, the rich, the rulers, the highest priests, and the scribes knew about Jesus, who would not have heard of him?

Then we have a particular astronomical event that would have attracted the attention of anyone interested in the "heavens." According to Luke 23:44-45, there occurred "about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour, and the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst." Yet not a single mention of such a three hour ecliptic event got recorded by anyone, including the astronomers and astrologers, anywhere in the world, including Pliny the Elder and Seneca who both recorded eclipses from other dates. Note also that, for obvious reasons, solar eclipses can't occur during a full moon (passovers always occur during full moons), Nor does a single contemporary person write about the earthquake described in Matthew 27:51-54 where the earth shook, rocks ripped apart (rent), and graves opened.

Matthew 2 describes Herod and all of Jerusalem as troubled by the worship of the infant Jesus. Herod then had all of the children of Bethlehem slain. If such extraordinary infanticides of this magnitude had occurred, why didn't anyone write about it?

Some apologists attempt to dig themselves out of this problem by claiming that there lived no capable historians during that period, or due to the lack of education of the people with a writing capacity, or even sillier, the scarcity of paper gave reason why no one recorded their "savior." But the area in and surrounding Jerusalem served, in fact, as the center of education and record keeping for the Jewish people. The Romans, of course, also kept many records. Moreover, the gospels mention scribes many times, not only as followers of Jesus but the scribes connected with the high priests. And as for historians, there lived plenty at the time who had the capacity and capability to record, not only insignificant gossip, but significant events, especially from a religious sect who drew so much popular attention through an allegedly famous and infamous Jesus.

Take, for example, the works of Philo Judaeus whose birth occurred in 20 B.C.E. and died 50 C.E. He lived as the greatest Jewish-Hellenistic philosopher and historian of the time and lived in the area of Jerusalem during the alleged life of Jesus. He wrote detailed accounts of the Jewish events that occurred in the surrounding area. Yet not once, in all of his volumes of writings, do we read a single account of a Jesus "the Christ." Nor do we find any mention of Jesus in Seneca's (4? B.C.E. - 65 C.E.) writings, nor from the historian Pliny the Elder (23? - 79 C.E.).

If, indeed, such a well known Jesus existed, as the gospels allege, does any reader here think it reasonable that, at the very least, the fame of Jesus would not have reached the ears of one of these men?

Amazingly, we have not one Jewish, Greek, or Roman writer, even those who lived in the Middle East, much less anywhere else on the earth, who ever mention him during his supposed life time. This appears quite extraordinary, and you will find few Christian apologists who dare mention this embarrassing fact.

To illustrate this extraordinary absence of Jesus Christ literature, just imagine going through nineteenth century literature looking for an Abraham Lincoln but unable to find a single mention of him in any writing on earth until the 20th century. Yet straight-faced Christian apologists and historians want you to buy a factual Jesus out of a dearth void of evidence, and rely on nothing but hearsay written well after his purported life. Considering that most Christians believe that Jesus lived as God on earth, the Almighty gives an embarrassing example for explaining his existence. You'd think a Creator might at least have the ability to bark up some good solid evidence.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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29-10-2014, 07:59 PM (This post was last modified: 03-05-2015 04:48 PM by goodwithoutgod.)
Ockham's razor
Ockham's razor (William Ockham) attempts to dispose of unnecessary assumptions and accepts the first sufficient explanation or cause. Oddly he even admitted that if one tends to identify a first cause of the existence of the world, one may choose to call that "god" even if one does not know the precise nature of the first cause. He further stated a first cause has its difficulties, since a cause will itself need a cause.

Religion, theology and theodicy have consistently failed to overcome this objection. Ockham himself had to default to the hopeless position that the existence of god can only be demonstrated by faith....and what is the definition of faith again? Smile

There is a central paradox to religion. The three great monotheisms teach people to think abjectly of themselves, as miserable and guilty sinners prostrate before an angry and jealous god who, according to discrepant accounts, fashioned them either out of dust, clay or a clot of blood. The positions for prayer are usually emulations of the supplicant serf before an ill tempered monarch. The message seems to be one of continual submission, gratitude, and fear. Life itself is a poor thing: an interval in which to prepare for the hereafter or the coming, or second coming of the messiah.

On the other hand, and as if by way of compensation, religion teaches people to be extremely self-centered and conceited. it assures them that god cares for them individually, and it claims that the cosmos was created with them specifically in mind. This explains the supercilious expression on the faces of those who practice religion ostentatiously: pray excuse my modesty and humility, but i happen to be busy on an errand for god.....

Again, I dont claim evolution is the end all be all answer, but it is all we have at the moment supported by empirical evidence. Thinking about why do we know of god, who encouraged that belief and why..is always an interesting research path.

Putting the thought that god is the most logical deduction is contrary to all evidence available at this time. We wouldnt even have the theory of god except for our imagination and inept human fears of the unknown...it is a carefully orchestrated, psychological creative and intuitive system that has been extremely successful in subjugating it's followers.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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29-10-2014, 07:59 PM (This post was last modified: 03-05-2015 04:50 PM by goodwithoutgod.)
Pascal's Wager
Pascal's Wager - It is a "safe bet" to believe in God just in case he is real. What's the harm? If you believe and he doesn't exist, you don't lose anything, but if you don't believe and he does exist, you lose big time.

One cannot pretend to believe, one either does or does not. I surmise that a large percentage of "christians" go through the motions under this pretense. If there is a god, I am sure he can see through the pretending..the greatest problem with the wager is its suggestion that a rational person can knowingly will himself to believe a proposition for which he has no evidence. A person can profess any creed he likes, of course, but to really believe something, he must also believe that the belief under consideration is true.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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29-10-2014, 08:00 PM (This post was last modified: 03-05-2015 04:51 PM by goodwithoutgod.)
Pat Robertson quotes..
You just can't make this shit up...

On adultery
"Males have a tendency to wander a little bit. And what you want to do is make a home so wonderful he doesn't want to wander."

On a man with an Alzheimer's-stricken wife
"I know it sounds cruel, but if he's going to do something, he should divorce her and start all over again, but to make sure she has custodial care and somebody (is) looking after her."
Asked what about the "Till death do us part" part of the marriage vow, he said Alzheimer's is "a kind of death."

On Walt Disney World's "Gay Days"
"I would warn Orlando that you're right in the way of some serious hurricanes, and I don't think I'd be waving those flags in God's face if I were you ... It'll bring about terrorist bombs; it'll bring earthquakes, tornadoes, and possibly a meteor."

On the role of a man and a woman
"I know this is painful for the ladies to hear, but if you get married, you have accepted the headship of a man, your husband. Christ is the head of the household, and the husband is the head of the wife, and that's the way it is, period."

On feminism
"The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians."

On the devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake
"They were under the heel of the French, you know, Napoleon the third and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, 'We will serve you if you will get us free from the prince.' True story.
And so the devil said, 'OK, it's a deal.' And they kicked the French out. The Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since they have been cursed by one thing after another."

On homosexuality
"Many of those people involved in Adolf Hitler were Satanists. Many were homosexuals. The two things seem to go together."

On assassinating Hugo Chavez
"You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it."

On the tornadoes that ravaged the Midwest in 2012
"If enough people were praying, (God) would've intervened. You could pray. Jesus stilled the storm. You can still storms."

amen pat, you have the ear of the lawd gawd almighty.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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29-10-2014, 08:03 PM (This post was last modified: 03-05-2015 04:53 PM by goodwithoutgod.)
Romulus
Romulus

Mythology has always fascinated me. When you research mythology, you find the common strains, a rhythm, a philosophical skeletal system where the “hero god” is constructed, and the same system is used time and time again. It is almost as if one borrowed from another throughout time. It is impossible to ignore the implication of systematic fabrication. The jesus story, however, was not original. The entire story seems to have been plagiarized in bits and pieces, and sometimes blatantly intact, from ancient god/man mythology passed down by Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Persian cultures.

The list is long, from Horus in 3000 BCE Egypt all the way to jesus, but I will focus on just one…Romulus 771 BCE. In Plutarch’s biography of Romulus, the founder of Rome, we are told he was the son of god, born of a virgin; an attempt is made to kill him as a baby, and he is saved, and raised by a poor family, hailed as King, and killed by the conniving elite; that he rises from the dead, appears to a friend to tell the good news to his people, and ascends to heaven to rule from on high. Sound familiar? Just like Jesus.

Plutarch also tells us about annual public ceremonies that were still being formed, which celebrated the day Romulus ascended to heaven. The story goes as follows: at the end of his life, amid rumors he was murdered by conspiracy of the Senate, the sun went dark, and Romulus’s body vanished. The people wanted to search for him but the Senate told them not to, “for he had risen to join the gods”. Most went away happy, hoping for good things from their new god, but “some doubted”. Soon after, Proculus, a close friend of Romulus, reported that he met Romulus “on the road” between Rome and a nearby town and asked him, “why have you abandoned us?”, To which Romulus replied that he had been a God all along but had come down to earth and become incarnate to establish a great kingdom, and now had to return to his home in heaven. Then Romulus told his friend to tell the Romans that if they are virtuous they will have all worldly power (Carrier 56).

Folks, does any of this ring any bells for you? You do realize this story predates Jesus by 800 years right? Fabricators of religion borrow from previous religions Man/God/hero constructs and have all the way back to 3000 B.C.E.

So the fact that the jesus son of god myth story has clearly been plagiarized from older Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Persian cultures, coupled with the fact that no one who wrote of Jesus actually knew him should make a thinking person take a pause, and reflect on the basis of their faith.

In regards to my posit; paragraph three speaks about the ceremony celebrating Romulus's ascension actually going on at the time, so he is a witness, unlike the lack of witnesses in the NT of jesus. More importantly the tale of Romulus itself though was widely attested as pre-christian: in Romulus (27-28), Plutarch, though writing c. 80-120 CE, is certainly recording a long established Roman tale and custom, and his sources are unmistakenly pre-christian: Cicero, Laws 1.3, Republic 2.10; Livy, From the founding of the city 1.16.2-8 (1.3-1.16 relating the whole story of Romulus); Ovid, Fasti 2.491-512 and Metamorphoses 14.805-51; and Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities 2.63.3 (1.171-2.65 relating the whole story of Romulus); a later reference: Cassius Dio, Roman History 56.46.2. The story's antiquity was even acknowledged by christians: Tertullian, Apology 21.

So as you can see, before christianity was even beginning to be fabricated, the story of Romulus was solidly incorporated into the Roman culture. So it would be a false and disingenuous posit to suggest that the story of Romulus was fabricated after jesus, and based on jesus, when it fact it is the exact opposite. It is also false to say it was interpolations (besides the fact it is all an obvious made up fabrication) as interpolations are additions to writings to make them seem more in line with whatever view the forger wishes to support after the fact. Conjecture? No, it was actually pre-christian, and as I provided above, easy to find within respectable writers from differing times and places. If Plutarch was the only one to write of it, OR he and the other writers were all writing about some "god" named Romulus from 800 years ago, and were writing it after jesus, then you could absolutely draw a correlation to the posit that the story of Romulus was based on jesus, or that it was fabricated to throw suspicion on the jesus story, sadly the facts do not reflect that.

Works cited:

Carrier, Richard. On the historicity of Jesus: why we might have reason for doubt. Sheffield, England: Sheffield Phoenix press, 2014. Print.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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29-10-2014, 08:04 PM (This post was last modified: 03-05-2015 04:53 PM by goodwithoutgod.)
Shroud of turin
Nickell, in 1983, and Gregory S. Paul in 2010, separately state that the proportions of the image are not realistic. Paul stated that the face and proportions of the shroud image are impossible, that the figure cannot represent that of an actual person and that the posture was inconsistent. They argued that the forehead on the shroud is too small; and that the arms are too long and of different lengths and that the distance from the eyebrows to the top of the head is non-representative. They concluded that the features can be explained if the shroud is a work of a Gothic artist.

http://www.inquisitr.com/1559438/turin-s...-says-yes/

The Turin Shroud never touched Jesus Christ — it was just a prop for medieval Easter celebrations, according to British scholar Charles Freeman. Freeman’s theories are in line with the carbon dating analysis that puts the shroud’s creation at about the 14th century, which challenges the wide-spread speculation that it is the real deal.

The 14-foot-long, 3-foot-wide brown cloth stained with the impression of Jesus Christ is one of the most scrutinized artifacts in the modern world. If real, the cloth gives indisputable proof that Jesus Christ was a real person.

But scientific evidence points to the Turin shroud being a fake. In 1988, three laboratories used carbon dating to determine that the cloth was created sometime between 1260 and 1390, a date that matches with the first medieval references.

According to The Guardian, Charles Freeman goes one step further to say that the shroud was a prop used to celebrate Jesus Christ in medieval Easter rituals, using ancient descriptions of the cloth to put its history together.

The first reference to the Turin Shroud came in 1355, when it was in the chapel in Lirey near Troyes in France. The House of Savoy then got the cloth in 1453, and from that point forward, the history of the shroud was well recorded — as far medieval record keeping goes.

Aside from claiming that Jesus Christ was never wrapped in the cloth, one of the more shocking revelations from Freeman’s research is that the shroud appears to have changed.

“Astonishingly, few researchers appear to have grasped that the shroud looked very different in the 16th and 17th centuries from the object we see today.”

Freeman turned up a little-known, meticulously-made engraving by Antonio Tempesta emphasizing Jesus’ blood and scourge marks, traits that are reinforced by ancient descriptions, but are not apparent today. The blood and scourge marks are more consistent with the earlier medieval depictions of Christ, and naturally makes for a better stage prop.

The theatrical ceremony Freeman believes the shroud was used in is called the “Quem quaeritis?” or “whom do you seek?” According to the researcher’s explanation, it may have been a bit creepy.

“On Easter morning the gospel accounts of the resurrection would be re-enacted with ‘disciples’ acting out a presentation in which they would enter a makeshift tomb and bring out the grave clothes to show that Christ had indeed risen.”

Despite the thorough explanation and historical references for the shroud, it seems likely that believers will continue to believe the cloth is the actual death shroud of Christ. Some scientific theories have said there is a possibility that the carbon dating tests were inaccurate.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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29-10-2014, 08:05 PM (This post was last modified: 03-05-2015 04:54 PM by goodwithoutgod.)
Star light issue..
Genesis 1:16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.

The stars gave light to the earth immediately, although the closest star, Alpha Centauri, is 4.3 light years away. So the very first star light would have taken 4.3 years to reach earth. The light we see from the Andromeda Galaxy takes 2.2 million years to reach earth, which also debunks the argument that the earth is only 6,000-10,000 years old.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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29-10-2014, 08:06 PM (This post was last modified: 03-05-2015 04:55 PM by goodwithoutgod.)
Story of jesus
Some people actually believe that just because so much voice and ink has spread the word of a character named Jesus throughout history, that this must mean that he actually lived. This argument simply does not hold. The number of people who believe or write about something or the professional degrees they hold say nothing at all about fact. Facts derive out of evidence, not from hearsay, not from hubris scholars, and certainly not from faithful believers. Regardless of the position or admiration held by a scholar, believer, or priest, if he or she cannot support a hypothesis with good evidence, then it can only remain a hypothesis.

While a likely possibility exists that an actual Jesus lived, another likely possibility reveals that a mythology could have derived out of earlier mythologies or possibly independent archetypal hero worship. Although we have no evidence for a historical Jesus, we certainly have many accounts of mythologies from the Middle East during the first century and before. Many of these stories appear similar to the Christ saviour story.

Just before and during the first century, the Jews had prophesied about an upcoming Messiah based on Jewish scripture. Their beliefs influenced many of their followers. We know that powerful beliefs can create self-fulfilling prophesies, and surely this proved just as true in ancient times. It served as a popular dream expressed in Hebrew Scripture for the promise of an "end-time" with a savior to lead them to the promised land. Indeed, Roman records show executions of several would-be Messiahs, (but not a single record mentions a Jesus). Many ancients believed that there could come a final war against the "Sons of Darkness"-- the Romans.

This then could very well have served as the ignition and flame for the future growth of Christianity. Biblical scholars tell us that the early Christians lived within pagan communities. Jewish scriptural beliefs coupled with the pagan myths of the time give sufficient information about how such a religion could have formed. Many of the Hellenistic and pagan myths parallel so closely to the alleged Jesus that to ignore its similarities means to ignore the mythological beliefs of history. Dozens of similar savior stories propagated the minds of humans long before the alleged life of Jesus. Virtually nothing about Jesus "the Christ" came to the Christians as original or new.

For example, the religion of Zoroaster, founded circa 628-551 B.C.E. in ancient Persia, roused mankind in the need for hating a devil, the belief of a paradise, last judgment and resurrection of the dead. Mithraism, an offshoot of Zoroastrianism probably influenced early Christianity. The Magi described in the New Testament appears as Zoroastrian priests. Note the word "paradise" came from the Persian pairidaeza.

Osiris, Hercules, Hermes, Prometheus, Perseus, Romulus, and others compare to the Christian myth. According to Patrick Campbell of The Mythical Jesus, all served as pre-Christian sun gods, yet all allegedly had gods for fathers, virgins for mothers; had their births announced by stars; got born on the solstice around December 25th; had tyrants who tried to kill them in their infancy; met violent deaths; rose from the dead; and nearly all got worshiped by "wise men" and had allegedly fasted for forty days.

Even Justin Martyr recognized the analogies between Christianity and Paganism. To the Pagans, he wrote: "When we say that the Word, who is first born of God, was produced without sexual union, and that he, Jesus Christ, our teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven; we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter (Zeus)."

Virtually all of the mythical accounts of a savior Jesus have parallels to past pagan mythologies which existed long before Christianity and from the Jewish scriptures that we now call the Old Testament. The accounts of these myths say nothing about historical reality, but they do say a lot about believers, how they believed, and how their beliefs spread.

In the book The Jesus Puzzle, the biblical scholar, Earl Doherty, presents not only a challenge to the existence of an historical Jesus but reveals that early pre-Gospel Christian documents show that the concept of Jesus sprang from non-historical spiritual beliefs of a Christ derived from Jewish scripture and Hellenized myths of savior gods. Nowhere do any of the New Testament epistle writers describe a human Jesus, including Paul. None of the epistles mention a Jesus from Nazareth, an earthly teacher, or as a human miracle worker. Nowhere do we find these writers quoting Jesus. Nowhere do we find them describing any details of Jesus' life on earth or his followers. Nowhere do we find the epistle writers even using the word "disciple" (they of course use the term "apostle" but the word simply means messenger, as Paul saw himself). Except for a few well known interpolations, Jesus always gets presented as a spiritual being that existed before all time with God, and that knowledge of Christ came directly from God or as a revelation from the word of scripture. Doherty writes, "Christian documents outside the Gospels, even at the end of the first century and beyond, show no evidence that any tradition about an earthly life and ministry of Jesus were in circulation."

Furthermore, the epistle to the Hebrews (8:4), makes it explicitly clear that the epistle writer did not believe in a historical Jesus: "If He [Jesus] had been on earth, He would not be a priest."

Did the Christians copy (or steal) the pagan ideas directly into their own faith? Not necessarily. They may have gotten many of their beliefs through syncretism or through independent hero archetype worship, innate to human story telling. If gotten through syncretism, Jews and pagans could very well have influenced the first Christians, especially the ideas of salvation and beliefs about good and evil. Later, at the time of the gospels, other myths may entered Christian beliefs such a the virgin birth and miracles. In the 4th century, we know that Christians derived the birthday of Jesus from the pagans. If gotten through independent means, it still says nothing about Christian originality because we know that pagans had beliefs about incarnated gods, long before Christianity existed. The hero archetypes still exist in our story telling today. As one personal example, as a boy I used to read and collect Superman comics. It never occurred to me at the time to see Superman as a Christ-figure. Yet, if you analyze Superman and Jesus stories, they have uncanny similarities. In fact the movie Superman Returns explicitly tells the Superman story through a savior's point of view without once mentioning Jesus, yet Christians would innately know the connection. Other movies like Star Wars, Phenomenon, K-PAX, The Matrix, etc. also covertly tell savior stories. So whether the first Christians borrowed or independently came up with a savior story makes no difference whatsoever. The point here only aims to illustrate that Christians did not originate the savior story.

The early historical documents can prove nothing about an actual Jesus but they do show an evolution of belief derived from varied and diverse concepts of Christianity, starting from a purely spiritual form of Christ to a human figure who embodied that spirit, as portrayed in the Gospels. The New Testament stories appears as an eclectic hodgepodge of Jewish, Hellenized and pagan stories compiled by pietistic believers to appeal to an audience for their particular religious times.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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29-10-2014, 08:07 PM (This post was last modified: 03-05-2015 04:56 PM by goodwithoutgod.)
Thermodynamics
The four laws of thermodynamics define fundamental physical quantities (temperature, energy, and entropy) that characterize thermodynamic systems. The laws describe how these quantities behave under various circumstances, and forbid certain phenomena (such as perpetual motion).

The four laws of thermodynamics in informal terms are:

Zeroth law of thermodynamics: states that if each of two systems is in thermal equilibrium with a third, they are in thermal equilibrium with each other. This law helps define the notion of temperature.

First law of thermodynamics: states that energy cannot be created or destroyed. Equivalently, perpetual motion machines of the first kind are impossible.

Second law of thermodynamics: states that the entropy of a closed system tends to increase to its maximum value (entropy is the amount of energy not available for work, sometimes in formerly referred to as “disorder” or “chaos”). Equivalently, perpetual motion machines of the second kind are impossible.

Third law of thermodynamics: reduces to the conclusion that absolute zero can never be reached in a finite amount of time.

I bring this up because it seems that pseudoscience type creationists, and those who puppet their words even though they do not understand the principles in question, like to posit that the second law of thermodynamics refutes evolution. They grasp at this straw of this disingenuous misinformation by claiming that since entropy increases in a closed system, evolution or the emergence of an ordered universe is impossible, requiring an outside creator.

As a solid rebuttal, it is easy to point out that the earth, bombarded by energy from the sun, is not a closed system, and though our observed universe is probably indeed a “closed system” (if that means anything), the second law of thermodynamics applies only to the energy of particles, which did not exist at the earliest stage of the Big Bang. The second law of thermodynamics is irrelevant to the topic of evolution, and completely useless as a theistic argument.

You can further debunk your opponent by following up with this question, “since you obviously imagine that the Second law, which is derived from within the universe, applies to the universe as a whole, does the First law also apply? Since the First law states that energy/matter cannot be created, doesn’t that rule out the creation of the universe?”

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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