How much believability does Paul's testimony add to the Jesus story?
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12-06-2017, 01:40 PM
RE: How much believability does Paul's testimony add to the Jesus story?
I know a guy who knows a guy who claims to know another guy who said that he knows another guy ......

Also, suicide bombers take the cake insofar as really, really, really believing complete bullshit as true.
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12-06-2017, 01:48 PM
RE: How much believability does Paul's testimony add to the Jesus story?
as much as you should believe my mom when she says I have a great nose.

I just don't don't get when they say "this isn't a court of law.' oh, so we can make up anything we want?
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12-06-2017, 01:49 PM
RE: How much believability does Paul's testimony add to the Jesus story?
(12-06-2017 01:18 PM)seoq Wrote:  
(12-06-2017 01:05 PM)Deesse23 Wrote:  If you "wonder about" then you dont seem to know, and no counterargument is needed at all! "I do not know" is a perfectly good position about something. Its the starting point for figuring out to actually know it in the future.

So, what is it? You "wonder", aka. "i dont know"? If so: Is this your (common theist) problem, you cant admit to not know and you need to make something up (assume) that you need to argue against (or need us to argue against)? Again, you dont need to assume another starting position than "i dont know, and i am going to try and figure out now".

I honestly don't know if Paul existed or any of the things he said were true. I'm simply aware of these things and I'm bringing them up in a way that lets you guys weigh in with your opinions, so that I can see where the logic of everything lays and hopefully that allows me to come to some sort of conclusion. I'm kind of sick and tired of having to continuously go over this in my head (due to my religious past and upbringing) and Paul's testimony stands out to me as one of the strongest "proofs" (if you will) of the Jesus story. Like why would someone take the testimony of other people and allow it to so utterly consume them that they spent the rest of their life preaching it? They must have believed the testimony, and those who gave it must have believed it too to spend their life doing the same thing. This is where I'm at right now.

I think that you can possibly find the answer in your own paragraphs:
Quote:Paul's testimony stands out to me as one of the strongest "proofs" (if you will) of the Jesus story
Quote:I honestly don't know if Paul existed or any of the things he said were true.
Your strongest "proof" for the existence of the son of the creator of everything that exists is.....the existence of another guy (Paul), whose existence you dont know is true either?
How strong does that actually sound to you? Would you consider this to be strong enough to base your belief on in terms of "i believe it to be true".
Remember: "I dont know" is a reasonable position!

Knowledge is a subset of belief. We can claim to know something if we can demonstrate it to be true. You seem to be aware of the fact that you cant demonstrate Paul or his stories to be true, but do you at least believe his existence or stories to be true? To warrant a belief you need good reasons. Do you have any? We cant tell you what compelling arguments are for you to believe anything. You need to start thinking for yourself. You need to set a standard for yourself as to when you start to find something believable. I any case reason and being reasonable would be good parts of such a standard, thats all i can suggest.

I honestly dont know, and i dont waste too much time with this bullshit (Jesus, God, whatever) to be honest. There are scholars and scientists engaged trying to find out. I dont know, or rather doubt they ever find something conclusive regarding Paul and his stories.

But so what? I am perfectly fine with not knowing so many things (life is short, you know), and if some kind of god really exists then i really hope he isnt either stupid enough or hasnt that cruel sense of humor to think that i am going to believe in his existence based on THIS unverifiable bullshit, given the powerful brain he equipped me with. If gods test is to find out what kinda unfounded bullshit i am ready to believe in with the least possible evidence, then screw him, but all the evidence and incoherence of the whole religion of Christianity yells "BULLSHIT" at me.

Ceterum censeo, religionem delendam esse
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12-06-2017, 01:52 PM
RE: How much believability does Paul's testimony add to the Jesus story?
By the way, seoq, I used exactly the same argument as a believer.

"There's no WAY that people would go to their deaths based on a lie! The story HAS to be true!"

Well, as we've seen, people do silly things, often based on lies. About 63 million voted for Trump. 'nuff said.
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12-06-2017, 01:56 PM
RE: How much believability does Paul's testimony add to the Jesus story?
(12-06-2017 11:22 AM)seoq Wrote:  
(12-06-2017 11:00 AM)Brian37 Wrote:  None, zip, zero, ziltch.

No such thing as a magic baby with super powers born without a second set of DNA. Humans also cannot have all the blood drained out of their body, suffer complete organ and brain death only to survive rigor mortis 3 days later.

It is a book of myth.

The NT writers are not first hand accounts but were written way after the fact.

It would be like me claiming to know Donald Trump giving me 1 billion dollars with a magic wand. Trump is a real person, but that does not make me a billionaire nor does it make magic wands real.

The Harry Potter books mention London, but you don't believe little boys can fly around on brooms.

The NT was not written because the writers knew shit about reality, the NT was written by delusional opportunists who wanted a new religion to separate themselves from the old one.

Just like the first Hebrews stole the old Canaanite character Yahweh from their prior polytheism.

The story of Paul is not a real one, it is a story that was written to glorify a hero character. Just like Robin of Batman and Robin. Robin is added in to make the main hero look good.

Bear with me here. You say Paul doesn't exist but among scholars this isn't a universally held belief. So lets assume, that at the least, some of his letters are genuine and that he did exist (for the purpose of this conversation, because this is where I'm at right now). Given this let's also assume he knew people who knew Jesus and these people claimed to have witnessed Jesus' ascension. Paul converts and then spends YEARS of his life preaching the gospel message and establishing the church all the while under persecution. Why? Because of his conversion experience and the testimony of others. If you think this is all hogwash, can you explain to me why? Is it because everyone lied to Paul, or that Paul was somehow "in on it"? Or do you just reject all of it? Again, bear with me here because I'm just trying to understand this stuff. With that said it doesn't seem unreasonable to me to believe that PAUL believed what he was saying, and that he knew people first hand who claimed that Jesus ascended. To me, if Paul existed and believed what he was preaching, it lends a lot of credibility to the Jesus story.

Edit: I should also include that Paul allegedly did a lot of work with these people who claimed to have known Jesus, while growing the church. They seemingly had just as big of a stake in spreading the gospel message as Paul did. This kind of lends credence to the idea that they weren't just straight up lying to Paul, to me at least.

You still are not getting it. We don't assume anything first off.

Secondly the NT was not written in an age of mass media, very few humans back then were literate enough to read, much less write. So the illiterate layperson would simply follow the leader. It really would not matter to most, even in prior polytheism if the powers that spread the mythology were projecting an accurate factual story, to most it simply was popular, and was sold by the writers just like a modern blockbuster movie, it played well to their own desires.

But even if we did agree that a man named Paul or even a man named Jesus really did exist, it would only mean mere men started a new religion, it would still not make any of the fantastic claims true.

The oldest known NT writing was 40 years after what the bible claims of the death story, that is still way after the fact, and the person whom wrote it we have not even contemporary evidence that that actual person existed, kinda like when an author uses a pen name, and not your real name. Just like Popes never use their real name.

But not even that matters, like I said, babies are not born without a second set of DNA. Humans don't magically poof tons of food into existence or poof suddenly water into wine. If you want to cure an eye problem today, you go see a eye doctor, but nobody cured the blind back then, and not even the Jesus story curing blindness is the oldest in any case.

And especially the death myth. If you were to murder someone exactly as the story implies they would die and stay dead.

The common tactic for starting a new religion is looking to older and surrounding competing ideas. The Rasta religion is not original, it stems from African Jewish/Christian traditions.

Just like most Buddhists and Hindus don't want to face their overlap. The Buddha mythology reads as a rejection of older Hinduism and separates itself by enticing followers by incorporating Hindu ideas, such as reincarnation and uses some of the ideas from the Baghavad Gita and Vedas. Funny how the first Buddha mythology is in close physical proximity to India, funny how India and Asia are right next to each other.

Funny how Islam Christianity and Jewish religions all have their start in the same proximity. Funny how the Hebrews got the name Yahweh from the older prior Canaanite polytheism stemming from the same geographic region.

You ask us why we don't take the story of Paul seriously, and it really would not matter to me which religion you argue, in all of antiquity worldwide humans did not have a modern global understanding of reality.

Christianity came from somewhere and Hebrews also didnt magically pop out of the blue, just like the Rasta religion is based on prior ideas stemming from prior religions and motifs.

The easiest way to start a new religion incorporate old ideas of heros and underdogs, good vs evil. Use the old ideas you like, marginalized or demonize the parts of the old ways you don't like, create a hero figurehead to sell.

Paul doesn't matter to me one bit because even with out that character, the bible makes patently scientifically false about a human with super powers regardless, and humans do not have super powers.

Poetry by Brian37(poems by an atheist) Also on Facebook as BrianJames Rational Poet and Twitter Brianrrs37
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12-06-2017, 02:00 PM
RE: How much believability does Paul's testimony add to the Jesus story?
(12-06-2017 01:52 PM)Heath_Tierney Wrote:  By the way, seoq, I used exactly the same argument as a believer.

"There's no WAY that people would go to their deaths based on a lie! The story HAS to be true!"

Well, as we've seen, people do silly things, often based on lies. About 63 million voted for Trump. 'nuff said.

cool, 63 million out of 330,000,000 million. that still leaves a ton of very silly people.

'nough said.
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12-06-2017, 02:04 PM
RE: How much believability does Paul's testimony add to the Jesus story?
I find it interesting that you consider Paul's "testimony" to be evidence of the truth of the Gospel stories... yet you ignore where it was pointed out to you that many of the claims he made would have been impossibilities (or extremely unlikely, to put it as mildly as I can) under Roman law and practice. That's not even counting the contradictions between Paul's descriptions of Jesus and the ones in the Gospels, which are supposedly the passed-down accounts by the direct followers of Jesus who actually knew him.

So ask yourself about Paul's claim: why would he, if actually given a direct revelation from God, make so many mistakes? Why would it be so different from what followed (or came from the people who personally knew Jesus) in the Gospels?

Paul's writing not only fails to establish that the things claimed in the Gospels are true stories, but it indicates a totally different Jesus than the one described decades later in those Gospels. That alone should tell you about the reliability of Paul as a witness. What his motives were for doing what he did, I cannot say, but that's not really the point. The point is that his own writing disproves his claim to have had a revelation about Jesus-- or at least, that the revelation he did receive is not of the Jesus you're thinking of, based on modern Christian teaching.

Please go back and carefully re-read the explanations we're giving you, paragraph by paragraph, and consider what each MEANS in terms of your claim that Paul's writing gives weight to Jesus the Offspring of God While Himself That Same God™, as you seem to think (and as many fundamentalists claim) that it does. Remember what they said about reading the books of the Bible in the order they were written, rather than in the order they appear in the voted-upon Canon.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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12-06-2017, 02:06 PM
RE: How much believability does Paul's testimony add to the Jesus story?
Even if you take the text as an accurate representation of Paul's claims (not their reality, just what he said about them to others), he comes off as half crazy, half conman. It's clear from his writings that at the very least he got a lot of ego stroking (given his issues with women and sex, I think that was the only kind of stroking he could allow himself) from his followers.

Hmmm, why would anyone choose a life where they're adored and admired, fed, clothed, and housed, travel funded, and all you have to do in return is tell them they're scum and bound for damnation unless they do exactly what you tell them to?
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12-06-2017, 02:08 PM
RE: How much believability does Paul's testimony add to the Jesus story?
(12-06-2017 01:56 PM)Brian37 Wrote:  You still are not getting it. We don't assume anything first off.

Secondly the NT was not written in an age of mass media, very few humans back then were literate enough to read, much less write. So the illiterate layperson would simply follow the leader. It really would not matter to most, even in prior polytheism if the powers that spread the mythology were projecting an accurate factual story, to most it simply was popular, and was sold by the writers just like a modern blockbuster movie, it played well to their own desires.

But even if we did agree that a man named Paul or even a man named Jesus really did exist, it would only mean mere men started a new religion, it would still not make any of the fantastic claims true.

The oldest known NT writing was 40 years after what the bible claims of the death story, that is still way after the fact, and the person whom wrote it we have not even contemporary evidence that that actual person existed, kinda like when an author uses a pen name, and not your real name. Just like Popes never use their real name.

But not even that matters, like I said, babies are not born without a second set of DNA. Humans don't magically poof tons of food into existence or poof suddenly water into wine. If you want to cure an eye problem today, you go see a eye doctor, but nobody cured the blind back then, and not even the Jesus story curing blindness is the oldest in any case.

And especially the death myth. If you were to murder someone exactly as the story implies they would die and stay dead.

The common tactic for starting a new religion is looking to older and surrounding competing ideas. The Rasta religion is not original, it stems from African Jewish/Christian traditions.

Just like most Buddhists and Hindus don't want to face their overlap. The Buddha mythology reads as a rejection of older Hinduism and separates itself by enticing followers by incorporating Hindu ideas, such as reincarnation and uses some of the ideas from the Baghavad Gita and Vedas. Funny how the first Buddha mythology is in close physical proximity to India, funny how India and Asia are right next to each other.

Funny how Islam Christianity and Jewish religions all have their start in the same proximity. Funny how the Hebrews got the name Yahweh from the older prior Canaanite polytheism stemming from the same geographic region.

You ask us why we don't take the story of Paul seriously, and it really would not matter to me which religion you argue, in all of antiquity worldwide humans did not have a modern global understanding of reality.

Christianity came from somewhere and Hebrews also didnt magically pop out of the blue, just like the Rasta religion is based on prior ideas stemming from prior religions and motifs.

The easiest way to start a new religion incorporate old ideas of heros and underdogs, good vs evil. Use the old ideas you like, marginalized or demonize the parts of the old ways you don't like, create a hero figurehead to sell.

Paul doesn't matter to me one bit because even with out that character, the bible makes patently scientifically false about a human with super powers regardless, and humans do not have super powers.

Wait, you mean God didn't wait 300,000 years after the first modern human we can prove was alive before sending himself as a half-human sacrifice to himself to save us from himself? Gasp

I rather like this animation of the spread of today's major religions around the globe... it kinda puts things into perspective:




"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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12-06-2017, 02:15 PM
RE: How much believability does Paul's testimony add to the Jesus story?
RocketSurgeon76's inclusion of a video brought this to mind. It's an animated adaptation of the spread of religion from ancient history to modern day and - fortunately for us - is done to the tune of Malignant Narcissism by Rush. Just over 2 minutes long:



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