So I recently became an atheist
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14-07-2015, 03:08 PM
So I recently became an atheist
Hey everyone. Things about religion never made sense to me. So a few of my friends who were atheist began introducing me to people like AronRa, The Thinking Atheist, etc. Boy, was my mind completely fed with information from these channels. It was wonderful. It helped make my belief in atheism that much stronger.

There was one thing though that I could never find out the answer to, and it still lingers in my head to this day.

Was Jesus Christ real? I've read that some people say he was, others say he wasn't. John was the only apostle of his who wrote a Bible, and John saw Jesus' divinity first hand. That is what is claimed. But I want to know where these stories came from? If Jesus was real, what did those people see when he was performing miracles? What did John see? And if everything of Jesus was fabricated, why was it fabricated? What was the purpose?

These questions still linger on in my head. Thank you to those that can help answer them for me.
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14-07-2015, 04:09 PM
RE: So I recently became an atheist
The general consensus amongst historian is that Jesus was indeed an historical character of very small importance. He would have been a preacher/faith healer in Palestine during the early first century. At the time, there were dozens of individual like him trying to push reform in their religion and culture. Many also used their preaching’s to spark revolt against the Roman occupation. While Jesus himself was of relatively unimportant, especially compared to some other preachers like John the Baptist who attracted a lot more attention, he became through rewriting of his story the amalgam of all those dozens of preachers be it in his teachings or «miracles» (which are all fiction of course and repeats of legendary feats of the founding fathers of Judaism). His apostle are also fictional witness used by those who built the Jesus legend to push their social, religious and philosophical agenda, a very common practice for that sort of thing at the time. Christianity didn't became a thing before the fourth century and was a religion built from top to bottom on a legend and a few philosophers. Because of the constant rewritings and amalgams, it’s very hard to determine the exact nature of the character of Jesus and there is a reasonable doubt that he may actually be completely fictive. There are several books both from religious and secular historian on that subject. Jesus is certainly the footnote of history we have researched the most.
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14-07-2015, 04:27 PM (This post was last modified: 14-07-2015 04:31 PM by jennybee.)
RE: So I recently became an atheist
"Performing miracles" was pretty typical behavior during this time period. Jesus was not the only one who was said to have done this. I posted this before, but it's a good resource:

http://infidels.org/library/modern/richa...kooks.html

Legends and myths arise all the time about various individuals--real or not. This is pretty characteristic among many different cultures/religions and not just akin to Christianity.

Here's a quick video to check out:



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14-07-2015, 04:55 PM
RE: So I recently became an atheist
(14-07-2015 03:08 PM)Nabalar Wrote:  ...
John was the only apostle of his who wrote a Bible, and John saw Jesus' divinity first hand. That is what is claimed.
...

I think you have a lot of fact-checking ahead of you. I think you'll enjoy the journey.

A good place to start is to find out who really wrote the various bits of the bible and how it was assembled and when.

Quote:my belief in atheism

Also, ponder awhile on that.

Are you saying that you have a belief in a non-belief? If so, this would make believers what? Believers in a god? Or believers in a belief in a god?

You might be onto something there.

Big Grin

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14-07-2015, 05:12 PM
RE: So I recently became an atheist
(14-07-2015 04:55 PM)DLJ Wrote:  
(14-07-2015 03:08 PM)Nabalar Wrote:  ...
John was the only apostle of his who wrote a Bible, and John saw Jesus' divinity first hand. That is what is claimed.
...

I think you have a lot of fact-checking ahead of you. I think you'll enjoy the journey.

A good place to start is to find out who really wrote the various bits of the bible and how it was assembled and when.

Quote:my belief in atheism

Also, ponder awhile on that.

Are you saying that you have a belief in a non-belief? If so, this would make believers what? Believers in a god? Or believers in a belief in a god?

You might be onto something there.

Big Grin

I also like Bart Ehrman's books. I think you would like How Jesus Became God.
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14-07-2015, 05:17 PM
RE: So I recently became an atheist
Quote:The general consensus amongst historian is that Jesus was indeed an historical character of very small importance.


There is, however, no evidence for that position outside of the bible. And since the bible is the claim it cannot be used as evidence of itself.

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
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14-07-2015, 05:44 PM
RE: So I recently became an atheist
(14-07-2015 05:17 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  
Quote:The general consensus amongst historian is that Jesus was indeed an historical character of very small importance.


There is, however, no evidence for that position outside of the bible. And since the bible is the claim it cannot be used as evidence of itself.

While you are generally right on the thin historical proofs of Jesus. You forgot, like several young historians, that there is other sources than the Bible about Jesus, most famous of them being apocryphal gospels, letters and testimonies. Though these documents are poorly preserved, incomplete (without counting those who are fake) thanks to the censure that struck them during centuries, they can still be useful if you want to study the history of Jesus.

On another note, you should not apply the traditional scientific method of inquiry to history, but the historical method of inquiry (inspired greatly by the former one). A document that claim that a person existed can be the proof than that person did if it survived the external and internal critique of the source. The modern Bible doesn't pass this test because of its inconsistencies, rewritings, factual errors and dubious origins.
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14-07-2015, 06:02 PM
RE: So I recently became an atheist
(14-07-2015 04:27 PM)jennybee Wrote:  "Performing miracles" was pretty typical behavior during this time period. Jesus was not the only one who was said to have done this. I posted this before, but it's a good resource:

http://infidels.org/library/modern/richa...kooks.html

Legends and myths arise all the time about various individuals--real or not. This is pretty characteristic among many different cultures/religions and not just akin to Christianity.

Here's a quick video to check out:




Quick question. Regarding Jesus' divinity, is it possible that so much about him was spread through word of mouth, that those who continued speaking of him, yet never even met him, kept spreading that message that he was divine because that was what they heard?

This is essential when it comes to Jesus' resurrection. For instance, I know Matthew never met Jesus, and yet his gospel speaks about Jesus' resurrection. Is what I stated before a possible explanation to that?
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14-07-2015, 06:04 PM
RE: So I recently became an atheist
(14-07-2015 03:08 PM)Nabalar Wrote:  Hey everyone. Things about religion never made sense to me. So a few of my friends who were atheist began introducing me to people like AronRa, The Thinking Atheist, etc. Boy, was my mind completely fed with information from these channels. It was wonderful. It helped make my belief in atheism that much stronger.

There was one thing though that I could never find out the answer to, and it still lingers in my head to this day.

Was Jesus Christ real? I've read that some people say he was, others say he wasn't. John was the only apostle of his who wrote a Bible, and John saw Jesus' divinity first hand. That is what is claimed. But I want to know where these stories came from? If Jesus was real, what did those people see when he was performing miracles? What did John see? And if everything of Jesus was fabricated, why was it fabricated? What was the purpose?

These questions still linger on in my head. Thank you to those that can help answer them for me.


Yeshua ben Joseph (Jesus), the man, most probably existed. By that I mean, the stories are probably based on real person.

But Jesus 'Christ' did not exist. 'Christ' was not a last name, it was a job title ('The Anointed One') that has all sorts of supernatural baggage connected to it.

None of those supernatural claims associated with him have any supporting evidence.
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14-07-2015, 06:37 PM
RE: So I recently became an atheist
(14-07-2015 06:02 PM)Nabalar Wrote:  
(14-07-2015 04:27 PM)jennybee Wrote:  "Performing miracles" was pretty typical behavior during this time period. Jesus was not the only one who was said to have done this. I posted this before, but it's a good resource:

http://infidels.org/library/modern/richa...kooks.html

Legends and myths arise all the time about various individuals--real or not. This is pretty characteristic among many different cultures/religions and not just akin to Christianity.

Here's a quick video to check out:




Quick question. Regarding Jesus' divinity, is it possible that so much about him was spread through word of mouth, that those who continued speaking of him, yet never even met him, kept spreading that message that he was divine because that was what they heard?

This is essential when it comes to Jesus' resurrection. For instance, I know Matthew never met Jesus, and yet his gospel speaks about Jesus' resurrection. Is what I stated before a possible explanation to that?

I would agree that is what happened in terms of ideas about Jesus' divinity spreading. Many scholars believe the Gospels were not written by the people they were ascribed to and instead were written years later by various anonymous authors who were not eyewitnesses to said events.

Ehrman on who wrote the Gospels:





Here is more on Ehrman's book on How Jesus Became God: (Ehrman believes Jesus existed as a historical (and non-magical) individual.





Here's one from Richard Carrier (who does not believe Jesus existed at all)



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