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What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
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03-05-2014, 11:17 PM
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
(03-05-2014 07:24 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  What do you found your moral judgments on?
I'm not sure god gets you any further than not god on that front. Either god approves of what is good because it IS good and disapproves of what is bad because it IS bad, in which case good and bad exist regardless of the existence of god, or good and bad are merely statements about god's preferences, and torture would be good and helping thy neighbor bad if god's preferences happen to run in that direction.

As I see it, theists and atheists have the same problem on the where do morals come from subject.
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03-05-2014, 11:23 PM
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
(03-05-2014 06:47 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  
(03-05-2014 06:15 PM)Impulse Wrote:  Apparently this needs to be spelled out for you more precisely. My approach to the idea of a god is:

1. There is no evidence for your god or any god.
2. If there was evidence to support or prove the existence of your god, he is a beast and I would want nothing to do with praising him.
3. If there was evidence to support or prove the existence of another god that had decent morals, I would have no problem following that god.
4. #2 and #3 are irrelevant without getting past #1 first.

Therefore, yes, evidence is of primary importance. No hiding, just logical common sense.

my point is that when an atheist who thinks like you tells a Christian that there is no evidence for God and that is why they do not believe in Him, the Christian can simply reply by saying: "So what?" If I bothered to give you the evidence, you would not ask God to be born again and repent of your sins. A Christian could care less if you acknowledge God's existence as a mere fact. The demons acknowledge His existence and tremble. And many acknowledge His existence and hate Him.

When a Christian talks with an atheist and gives them arguments and or reasons why God exists it is with the aim of leading that person to the point where they see their desperate need for God and their hopeless state so that they will repent and confess their sins and be forgiven. It is not so that the person can say: "Ok God exists."

As I stated, I could care less whether or not you agree that the proposition "God exists" is true. You can believe the proposition and align yourself positively against God. I do what I do because I desire to see people receive the light and illumination of Christ in their heart and mind so that they may be saved, not so that people can say "God exists" and then go their merry way as slaves to sin.

"I do what I do because I desire to see people receive the light and illumination of Christ in their heart and mind so that they may be saved, not so that people can say "God exists" and then go their merry way as slaves to sin."

AH HA! So...you're here to proselytise. Not to learn. That would explain why you're totally incapable of understanding the simplest concept...you are too busy trying to steer the conversation to suit your own agenda.

You think Jeebus died for us because we're so sinful, and you're going to help us realise it. Fucking pathetic. Do you really think we haven't heard this a thousand times before, and rejected it as nonsense?

Deep down people like you are just sheep. You've been told what to think and what to do. You've been programmed to convert others into sheep too. You've been bribed with promises of heaven and threatened with the fear of hell, yet those who collect your cash never have to deliver the reward or impose the punishment. You've been sucked in, and you're not smart enough to see it. You're a pawn, a consumer, the sucker at the end of the line.

You don't really, genuinely care about anyone apart from yourself. You don't like it when people think for themselves or present you with original ideas. You want the rest of the world to be just like you, so your cognitive dissonance becomes less intrusive.

Wake up Jeremy. Jeebus is the generic, default solution for the lazy and the stupid's search for meaning. You're being used.
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03-05-2014, 11:36 PM
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
(03-05-2014 11:23 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(03-05-2014 06:47 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  my point is that when an atheist who thinks like you tells a Christian that there is no evidence for God and that is why they do not believe in Him, the Christian can simply reply by saying: "So what?" If I bothered to give you the evidence, you would not ask God to be born again and repent of your sins. A Christian could care less if you acknowledge God's existence as a mere fact. The demons acknowledge His existence and tremble. And many acknowledge His existence and hate Him.

When a Christian talks with an atheist and gives them arguments and or reasons why God exists it is with the aim of leading that person to the point where they see their desperate need for God and their hopeless state so that they will repent and confess their sins and be forgiven. It is not so that the person can say: "Ok God exists."

As I stated, I could care less whether or not you agree that the proposition "God exists" is true. You can believe the proposition and align yourself positively against God. I do what I do because I desire to see people receive the light and illumination of Christ in their heart and mind so that they may be saved, not so that people can say "God exists" and then go their merry way as slaves to sin.

"I do what I do because I desire to see people receive the light and illumination of Christ in their heart and mind so that they may be saved, not so that people can say "God exists" and then go their merry way as slaves to sin."

AH HA! So...you're here to proselytise. Not to learn. That would explain why you're totally incapable of understanding the simplest concept...you are too busy trying to steer the conversation to suit your own agenda.

You think Jeebus died for us because we're so sinful, and you're going to help us realise it. Fucking pathetic. Do you really think we haven't heard this a thousand times before, and rejected it as nonsense?

Deep down people like you are just sheep. You've been told what to think and what to do. You've been programmed to convert others into sheep too. You've been bribed with promises of heaven and threatened with the fear of hell, yet those who collect your cash never have to deliver the reward or impose the punishment. You've been sucked in, and you're not smart enough to see it. You're a pawn, a consumer, the sucker at the end of the line.

You don't really, genuinely care about anyone apart from yourself. You don't like it when people think for themselves or present you with original ideas. You want the rest of the world to be just like you, so your cognitive dissonance becomes less intrusive.

Wake up Jeremy. Jeebus is the generic, default solution for the lazy and the stupid's search for meaning. You're being used.


Much of what you have said is unworthy of a response. However, I will say this. I am always learning from people. Whether they are atheists, Christians, Muslims, or whatever. There is something that can be learned from everyone. And everyone is unique and has their own story to tell.

Secondly, I am here to tell others about Jesus Christ. How this takes place depends on the persons I am speaking with and the circumstances. This should not be some profound mystery to you or anyone else.

You may consider it preaching or whatever. That is fine. You will be hard pressed to go anywhere in America where Jesus' name is not on someone's lips. He has that effect on people. You may not like this. But no doubt, if it was your name that was on their lips you would have no misgivings I wager.

In a sense, I am being used. Only not in the way you see it. You see it in the sense of using some old dirty rag to clean a toilet with, or a mop to clean a floor with.

I see it as being used to accomplish a great work, far greater than anything I could do on my own strength.

Jesus told His disciples, some of whom were fishermen, to follow Him and He would make them fishers of men. The sublime statement in all of its wonder kind of sums up how I see myself. I see myself clearly, plainly, and honestly. As one who on his own is capable of doing things that pale in comparison to what I have done, am doing and will do in the service of Christ.

So yes I am being used. I am a servant of Christ. I no longer serve myself. And I am overjoyed to tell you that.
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03-05-2014, 11:37 PM
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
(03-05-2014 07:57 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  
(03-05-2014 07:49 PM)Impulse Wrote:  Evil, hmm... now where did that come from again? Oh, that's right. Your god created it. And since you also believe the bible is his word, then he also admitted it (Isaiah 45:7). Even from your twisted point of view, it would be completely your god's deliberate doing that evil is all that is left when someone chooses a life without your god. Your god also supposedly set up the whole environment in which Eve's sin resulted in all the pain and suffering in the world. He could have set things up completely differently - like a truly benevolent god would have - but he didn't. Consider

It bothers me every time my kids get something as minor as a cold. It tugs at my heart strings to see them coughing, sneezing, congested, feverish, vomiting, etc and I end up wishing I could trade places with them to relieve them of it. How in the hell does a benevolent god look down at all the world's suffering knowing he could take it all away, but then do absolutely nothing?! You blame Adam, Eve, humans and sin for this, but then forget this is all your god's plan that has been set since before the world existed according to your belief. There are countless ways to see how ALL the responsibility would lie with your god if he really existed, but you see none of it. Obviously, your head is planted firmly and deeply in the sand!

To say God has done nothing regarding the evils of this world is to ignore the most important thing He has done.

Until you give your life for my sins, you will never be able to convince me that you have a better plan than what God's plan is for the evils of this life.

"Until you give your life for my sins, you will never be able to convince me that you have a better plan than what God's plan is for the evils of this life."

Jeremy, you've been brainwashed.

Jeebus died because he was a naughty boy and the Romans didn't like him, not because he wanted to sacrifice himself to himself for a bunch of anonymous sinners. Jeebus wasn't real bright, but he wasn't that stupid.

St Paul (do you know who he was?) invented the ludicrous idea that Jeebus died for your sins...

Christ’s Sacrificial Death

Paul invented the curious concept that Christ was crucified to save souls from their sins. Why have plenty of people since accepted this peculiar idea?

Having the son of God become human, and free the faithful from the guilt and consequences of their sins, was an attractive story. It meant God was no longer a distant impersonal deity, like the character in the Old Testament, but someone more like them, with whom they could identify. Christ became an ally, a great guy, and everyone’s best friend. He would take on your punishment for you, provided you believed in him. Do that, and Paul promised a free pass to salvation. Churches have pushed this unusual plan to such an extent that Christians rarely question it. This is why some of them insist others believe in Jesus; so that sins can be forgiven and entry into heaven attained.

The whole argument is irrational. Why would the son of God need to sacrifice himself to appease his father, who was also himself, for the sins of the world? Is not sacrificing anyone a pointless, barbaric act that punishes a scapegoat? Why would faith in this sacrifice be a ticket for entry into heaven? Why would a hypothetical omniscient god buy into this balderdash? There has never been a good explanation for this nonsense despite countless contrived attempts by theologians, because no sensible explanation is possible.
(http://atheistfoundation. org.au/article/easter-and-the-doctrine-of-atonement/, http://www. youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Dzuxyq3ltls).

God could simply say “you’re genuinely sorry, so I forgive you.” Yet that would never do for Paul, as he’d been indoctrinated with scripture, so couldn’t imagine a benevolent God, but thought of him as a rigid demagogue who demanded a sacrifice.

Most modern people consider sin a deliberate act that results in harm, usually to another person. Yet Paul claimed sin can be something one’s born with, like a birth defect. (http://atheism.about.com/od/ thebible/a/originalsin.htm). This is a dim-witted idea, as a newborn can’t deliberately cause harm, so can’t sin. Paul is the only New Testament author to discuss this concept of “original sin,” as further articulated by Tertullian of Carthage (AD 150-225) and Augustine of Hippo (354–430 CE.) It’s a nasty notion. People are told they’re basically bad - because they were born. It makes susceptible people dislike themselves, which churches know is good for business.

I think Paul misunderstood sin. He thought it was about actions or thoughts that upset his God. Yet sin harms our fellows, or sometimes the perpetrator himself. It should be the victim who does the forgiving, because they are vindicated, maybe compensated, and the guilty party can promise not to repeat the offense. Wrong-doers learn from
their mistakes, and society benefits. Paul bypassed this reparative process by saying that sin was forgiven by a fictional man in the sky who insisted on faith in Christ, an unrelated third party.

In turning Christ’s death into a sacrifice that saves souls, Paul sacrificed common sense. He devalued interpersonal relation- ships and compromised social harmony. (http://www.youtube. com/watch?v=HA55jGyq2C8). (https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=7gvv_UM7CYg).

Today’s churches, however, like the idea, as it brings them into the equation. They can cash in by claiming to be the conduit between the sinner and the man in the sky.
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03-05-2014, 11:39 PM
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
(03-05-2014 11:17 PM)djhall Wrote:  
(03-05-2014 07:24 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  What do you found your moral judgments on?
I'm not sure god gets you any further than not god on that front. Either god approves of what is good because it IS good and disapproves of what is bad because it IS bad, in which case good and bad exist regardless of the existence of god, or good and bad are merely statements about god's preferences, and torture would be good and helping thy neighbor bad if god's preferences happen to run in that direction.

As I see it, theists and atheists have the same problem on the where do morals come from subject.

Ahh! Old Euthyphro rears its ugly head again.

It is a false dichotomy by the way.
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03-05-2014, 11:45 PM
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
(03-05-2014 11:37 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(03-05-2014 07:57 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  To say God has done nothing regarding the evils of this world is to ignore the most important thing He has done.

Until you give your life for my sins, you will never be able to convince me that you have a better plan than what God's plan is for the evils of this life.

"Until you give your life for my sins, you will never be able to convince me that you have a better plan than what God's plan is for the evils of this life."

Jeremy, you've been brainwashed.

Jeebus died because he was a naughty boy and the Romans didn't like him, not because he wanted to sacrifice himself to himself for a bunch of anonymous sinners. Jeebus wasn't real bright, but he wasn't that stupid.

St Paul (do you know who he was?) invented the ludicrous idea that Jeebus died for your sins...

Christ’s Sacrificial Death

Paul invented the curious concept that Christ was crucified to save souls from their sins. Why have plenty of people since accepted this peculiar idea?

Having the son of God become human, and free the faithful from the guilt and consequences of their sins, was an attractive story. It meant God was no longer a distant impersonal deity, like the character in the Old Testament, but someone more like them, with whom they could identify. Christ became an ally, a great guy, and everyone’s best friend. He would take on your punishment for you, provided you believed in him. Do that, and Paul promised a free pass to salvation. Churches have pushed this unusual plan to such an extent that Christians rarely question it. This is why some of them insist others believe in Jesus; so that sins can be forgiven and entry into heaven attained.

The whole argument is irrational. Why would the son of God need to sacrifice himself to appease his father, who was also himself, for the sins of the world? Is not sacrificing anyone a pointless, barbaric act that punishes a scapegoat? Why would faith in this sacrifice be a ticket for entry into heaven? Why would a hypothetical omniscient god buy into this balderdash? There has never been a good explanation for this nonsense despite countless contrived attempts by theologians, because no sensible explanation is possible.
(http://atheistfoundation. org.au/article/easter-and-the-doctrine-of-atonement/, http://www. youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Dzuxyq3ltls).

God could simply say “you’re genuinely sorry, so I forgive you.” Yet that would never do for Paul, as he’d been indoctrinated with scripture, so couldn’t imagine a benevolent God, but thought of him as a rigid demagogue who demanded a sacrifice.

Most modern people consider sin a deliberate act that results in harm, usually to another person. Yet Paul claimed sin can be something one’s born with, like a birth defect. (http://atheism.about.com/od/ thebible/a/originalsin.htm). This is a dim-witted idea, as a newborn can’t deliberately cause harm, so can’t sin. Paul is the only New Testament author to discuss this concept of “original sin,” as further articulated by Tertullian of Carthage (AD 150-225) and Augustine of Hippo (354–430 CE.) It’s a nasty notion. People are told they’re basically bad - because they were born. It makes susceptible people dislike themselves, which churches know is good for business.

I think Paul misunderstood sin. He thought it was about actions or thoughts that upset his God. Yet sin harms our fellows, or sometimes the perpetrator himself. It should be the victim who does the forgiving, because they are vindicated, maybe compensated, and the guilty party can promise not to repeat the offense. Wrong-doers learn from
their mistakes, and society benefits. Paul bypassed this reparative process by saying that sin was forgiven by a fictional man in the sky who insisted on faith in Christ, an unrelated third party.

In turning Christ’s death into a sacrifice that saves souls, Paul sacrificed common sense. He devalued interpersonal relation- ships and compromised social harmony. (http://www.youtube. com/watch?v=HA55jGyq2C8). (https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=7gvv_UM7CYg).

Today’s churches, however, like the idea, as it brings them into the equation. They can cash in by claiming to be the conduit between the sinner and the man in the sky.

All of what you have said is indeed something to ponder. Seeing as how I have not only pondered it some time ago, but have addressed said issues in other forums, I will simply say thank you for sharing it with us.

You see, my beliefs do not rest upon what is written in a book or what someone has said about Jesus. My beliefs rest upon my relationship with a person.

Similarly, you could compile a list of arguments against my mother being my mother. None of them would be convincing because I know who my mom is. We have a bond, a kindred relationship that exists between the two of us. I know her voice, I know the things she likes, the things that make her sad, etc....

So when you present your material for my viewing pleasure, it is akin to you presenting material for me to view that states my mother is not my mother.

It is akin to me sending you links to look at that argue your mom is not your mom.
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03-05-2014, 11:46 PM
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
(03-05-2014 11:39 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  Ahh! Old Euthyphro rears its ugly head again.

It is a false dichotomy by the way.
Ah, well, that happens to me a lot around here. Not having a background in philosophy I find most of what I say or think turns out to have been said or thought by someone else at some point. Rolleyes

I'm sure I can find the false dichotomy response by googling response to euthyphro... its unlikely you're the first person to express it either. Laugh out load
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03-05-2014, 11:58 PM (This post was last modified: 04-05-2014 12:35 AM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
(03-05-2014 11:45 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  
(03-05-2014 11:37 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  "Until you give your life for my sins, you will never be able to convince me that you have a better plan than what God's plan is for the evils of this life."

Jeremy, you've been brainwashed.

Jeebus died because he was a naughty boy and the Romans didn't like him, not because he wanted to sacrifice himself to himself for a bunch of anonymous sinners. Jeebus wasn't real bright, but he wasn't that stupid.

St Paul (do you know who he was?) invented the ludicrous idea that Jeebus died for your sins...

Christ’s Sacrificial Death

Paul invented the curious concept that Christ was crucified to save souls from their sins. Why have plenty of people since accepted this peculiar idea?

Having the son of God become human, and free the faithful from the guilt and consequences of their sins, was an attractive story. It meant God was no longer a distant impersonal deity, like the character in the Old Testament, but someone more like them, with whom they could identify. Christ became an ally, a great guy, and everyone’s best friend. He would take on your punishment for you, provided you believed in him. Do that, and Paul promised a free pass to salvation. Churches have pushed this unusual plan to such an extent that Christians rarely question it. This is why some of them insist others believe in Jesus; so that sins can be forgiven and entry into heaven attained.

The whole argument is irrational. Why would the son of God need to sacrifice himself to appease his father, who was also himself, for the sins of the world? Is not sacrificing anyone a pointless, barbaric act that punishes a scapegoat? Why would faith in this sacrifice be a ticket for entry into heaven? Why would a hypothetical omniscient god buy into this balderdash? There has never been a good explanation for this nonsense despite countless contrived attempts by theologians, because no sensible explanation is possible.
(http://atheistfoundation. org.au/article/easter-and-the-doctrine-of-atonement/, http://www. youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Dzuxyq3ltls).

God could simply say “you’re genuinely sorry, so I forgive you.” Yet that would never do for Paul, as he’d been indoctrinated with scripture, so couldn’t imagine a benevolent God, but thought of him as a rigid demagogue who demanded a sacrifice.

Most modern people consider sin a deliberate act that results in harm, usually to another person. Yet Paul claimed sin can be something one’s born with, like a birth defect. (http://atheism.about.com/od/ thebible/a/originalsin.htm). This is a dim-witted idea, as a newborn can’t deliberately cause harm, so can’t sin. Paul is the only New Testament author to discuss this concept of “original sin,” as further articulated by Tertullian of Carthage (AD 150-225) and Augustine of Hippo (354–430 CE.) It’s a nasty notion. People are told they’re basically bad - because they were born. It makes susceptible people dislike themselves, which churches know is good for business.

I think Paul misunderstood sin. He thought it was about actions or thoughts that upset his God. Yet sin harms our fellows, or sometimes the perpetrator himself. It should be the victim who does the forgiving, because they are vindicated, maybe compensated, and the guilty party can promise not to repeat the offense. Wrong-doers learn from
their mistakes, and society benefits. Paul bypassed this reparative process by saying that sin was forgiven by a fictional man in the sky who insisted on faith in Christ, an unrelated third party.

In turning Christ’s death into a sacrifice that saves souls, Paul sacrificed common sense. He devalued interpersonal relation- ships and compromised social harmony. (http://www.youtube. com/watch?v=HA55jGyq2C8). (https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=7gvv_UM7CYg).

Today’s churches, however, like the idea, as it brings them into the equation. They can cash in by claiming to be the conduit between the sinner and the man in the sky.

All of what you have said is indeed something to ponder. Seeing as how I have not only pondered it some time ago, but have addressed said issues in other forums, I will simply say thank you for sharing it with us.

You see, my beliefs do not rest upon what is written in a book or what someone has said about Jesus. My beliefs rest upon my relationship with a person.

Similarly, you could compile a list of arguments against my mother being my mother. None of them would be convincing because I know who my mom is. We have a bond, a kindred relationship that exists between the two of us. I know her voice, I know the things she likes, the things that make her sad, etc....

So when you present your material for my viewing pleasure, it is akin to you presenting material for me to view that states my mother is not my mother.

It is akin to me sending you links to look at that argue your mom is not your mom.

Ok....I hear you.

You're being guided by your "intuition"

This is my reply...it's the last 2 pages of my book...

“Intuition”

“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with
your own reason and your own common sense.”
(Buddha, c. 500 BCE.)

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use.”
(Galileo, http://michaelcaputo.tripod.com/galileoandgod/)

“I don’t trust my inner feelings, inner feelings come and go”
(Leonard Cohen, http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=gI8CZcOyZos).

Most Christians I’ve talked to admit they don’t go to church to learn something new, but for other reasons - perhaps the comforting ritual, the music, the sense of community, because they’re lonely, out of social obligation, or habit, or even to “switch off.” Many admit they have a need to worship someone and gentle Jesus just fits the bill. Some are frightened God might punish them if they don’t believe. (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pascal-wager/). Some are stuck in the so-called “Concorde fallacy” i.e.
“I can’t give up all I believe because what I’ve invested will be lost.” I’m sure there are other reasons too. These people are content to use up their time, believe what they’re told, pay their dues, and support a whole class of people who don’t have a real job and don’t pay tax.

Most well-educated, intelligent young people aren’t finding these reasons compelling enough to go to church, although there are com- munities where the indoctrination is so strong, they’re obliged to. Millions of people in the developed world have left churches. For most informed, objective people, belief makes little sense. There have been numerous studies showing that, statistically speaking, intelligence levels and Christian religiosity are inversely proportional (http://www.skeptictank.org/hs/iq_relig.htm).

Those promoting Christianity usually claim facts about belief aren’t necessary. They tell people to rely on their intuition or feelings. So some Christians “know in their hearts” that their God exists, and that’s enough for them. Their assumption is ill founded, because their intuitive feelings are nothing more than what they’ve been told to believe, usually since childhood.

There have been many thousands of different religions throughout history, and billions of people have all had compelling feelings about hundreds of different gods. If Jesus is a god only because believers imagine he is, the same faulty reasoning proves that Mohammed, the founder of Islam, and Joseph Smith, the chief architect of Mormonism, were divinely inspired prophets. It means a painted wooden idol in the African jungle two hundred years ago was an actual god. Today’s Moslems cry out to Allah. They may give up their lives for him, but does that mean he’s listening? No. Did Joseph Smith dictate God’s words? Hardly. Was the painted post a god? Of course not. Was Jesus the savior of the world? Never!

Christians claim other religions have got it wrong, but Jews and Muslims know in their hearts that Christians are mistaken. Intuitive feelings can’t possibly confirm reality, because all three religions can’t be true. They’re mutually exclusive.

I get warm fuzzy feelings if I imagine a million dollars in my bank account. If my friends were to tell me it’s true, I might get real excited, for a minute or two. Improbable fantasies and imag- inative friends can’t change reality. The money isn’t really there, even though I’d like it to be. For the same type of reason, Jesus isn’t really a god, despite how good it makes Christians feel to believe it.

Instead of turning to intuition, or to our “conscience,” or to what makes us feel good, or to what we’re told in church, we should rely on rational thought, as this is the only proven way to assess what is best and true. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0ZqQznblZo).

Yet the faithful in all religions have been convinced by spin-doctors that they don’t need evidence. If you’re a diehard believer you’ve probably been worked on for many years, and it might be impossible to reason you out of a position you didn’t reason your way into. The facts just bounce off you. You’re getting something out of your belief that I don’t understand. I accept that. I’m well aware human concord isn’t found by insisting one knows absolute truth, but in listening to others’ viewpoints. If you’re a Christian, and always will be, I hope my writing hasn’t compromised your happiness, but helped you appreciate why so many others can’t join your club. I look forward to a dialogue with you.

I encourage everyone else - those who can be objective and who truly appreciate the value of rational thought, to put Christianity in perspective. It’s a second rate solution sold to those too lazy or frightened to think, one invented by priests and other propagandists to give themselves power and income. “Jesus,” in all his various guises, is a fiction; a mythical figure that symbolizes the acceptance of what well-oiled institutions insist people believe. He’s a corporate logo for a figure who, if he ever existed, never was what he’s made out to be. The logo is used to cajole consumers into having faith in a raft of prejudices, beliefs and behaviors, instead of using their common sense. He’s a device to “dumb down” the people. Belief in Jesus is like smoking. A cigarette may seem to be your best friend, yet it damages you without you knowing it, is expensive, and harms your children. Churches are like cigarette companies; they promote a toxic product for their own financial gain.

Atheists are free to find meaning however they choose, without get- ting caught up in a priest’s or preacher’s agenda. When we accept there’s no God, we’re not throwing anything away, but discovering ourselves, and we break free from corporate control. That’s cathartic! If you’re brave enough to let go, you’ll think more clearly, be less opinionated, more accepting of many others, and gentler on yourself. You’ll discover that God, the bible and preachers are hold- ing you back, because open mindedness and rational thinking are far superior. Cognitive dissonance will disappear, real self-esteem improve, you’ll have more time and money, and you’ll probably find more real friends.

If you’re sitting on a fence, not knowing what to believe, consider this. There are no gurus or teachers of infallible truth. Anyone who claims they are is a con man. Enlightenment is found by being true to our inner selves. Some of the earliest Christians, the Gnostics, thought that if we understand the flaws in our own natures we’re freed from ignorance. They believed in being rational, brave and flexible, so we can acknowledge mistakes and move forward. What great ideas. It’s OK to concede we’ve been conned. Whether we’re willing to let debunked dogma go and embrace reason is the important issue.
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04-05-2014, 12:05 AM (This post was last modified: 04-05-2014 12:13 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
(03-05-2014 11:36 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  In a sense, I am being used. Only not in the way you see it. You see it in the sense of using some old dirty rag to clean a toilet with, or a mop to clean a floor with.

Well, you are a *tool*. At least you admit it.

(03-05-2014 11:36 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  I see it as being used to accomplish a great work, far greater than anything I could do on my own strength.

One teensy weensy problem. Not ONE convert.

(03-05-2014 11:36 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  Jesus told His disciples, some of whom were fishermen, to follow Him and He would make them fishers of men. The sublime statement in all of its wonder kind of sums up how I see myself. I see myself clearly, plainly, and honestly. As one who on his own is capable of doing things that pale in comparison to what I have done, am doing and will do in the service of Christ.

Self-righteous useless pious drivel.

(03-05-2014 11:36 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  So yes I am being used. I am a servant of Christ. I no longer serve myself. And I am overjoyed to tell you that.

You tell yourself that. In fact your god exists only in your mind. You serve no one but your own fantasy world, and your "relationship" with your fantsy. Thumbsup
If in fact Jebus is *using* you, why then would he pick someone who cannot even define his own terms ? You are a piss-poor and ignorant representative for him. I think you chose yourself to represent yourself, and you actually tell yourself that you think you can do a more than adequate job at it. So far, you've demonstrated you can't do much of anything.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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04-05-2014, 02:38 AM
RE: What is the more likely explanation of Jesus?
(03-05-2014 11:45 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  
(03-05-2014 11:37 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  "Until you give your life for my sins, you will never be able to convince me that you have a better plan than what God's plan is for the evils of this life."

Jeremy, you've been brainwashed.

Jeebus died because he was a naughty boy and the Romans didn't like him, not because he wanted to sacrifice himself to himself for a bunch of anonymous sinners. Jeebus wasn't real bright, but he wasn't that stupid.

St Paul (do you know who he was?) invented the ludicrous idea that Jeebus died for your sins...

Christ’s Sacrificial Death

Paul invented the curious concept that Christ was crucified to save souls from their sins. Why have plenty of people since accepted this peculiar idea?

Having the son of God become human, and free the faithful from the guilt and consequences of their sins, was an attractive story. It meant God was no longer a distant impersonal deity, like the character in the Old Testament, but someone more like them, with whom they could identify. Christ became an ally, a great guy, and everyone’s best friend. He would take on your punishment for you, provided you believed in him. Do that, and Paul promised a free pass to salvation. Churches have pushed this unusual plan to such an extent that Christians rarely question it. This is why some of them insist others believe in Jesus; so that sins can be forgiven and entry into heaven attained.

The whole argument is irrational. Why would the son of God need to sacrifice himself to appease his father, who was also himself, for the sins of the world? Is not sacrificing anyone a pointless, barbaric act that punishes a scapegoat? Why would faith in this sacrifice be a ticket for entry into heaven? Why would a hypothetical omniscient god buy into this balderdash? There has never been a good explanation for this nonsense despite countless contrived attempts by theologians, because no sensible explanation is possible.
(http://atheistfoundation. org.au/article/easter-and-the-doctrine-of-atonement/, http://www. youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Dzuxyq3ltls).

God could simply say “you’re genuinely sorry, so I forgive you.” Yet that would never do for Paul, as he’d been indoctrinated with scripture, so couldn’t imagine a benevolent God, but thought of him as a rigid demagogue who demanded a sacrifice.

Most modern people consider sin a deliberate act that results in harm, usually to another person. Yet Paul claimed sin can be something one’s born with, like a birth defect. (http://atheism.about.com/od/ thebible/a/originalsin.htm). This is a dim-witted idea, as a newborn can’t deliberately cause harm, so can’t sin. Paul is the only New Testament author to discuss this concept of “original sin,” as further articulated by Tertullian of Carthage (AD 150-225) and Augustine of Hippo (354–430 CE.) It’s a nasty notion. People are told they’re basically bad - because they were born. It makes susceptible people dislike themselves, which churches know is good for business.

I think Paul misunderstood sin. He thought it was about actions or thoughts that upset his God. Yet sin harms our fellows, or sometimes the perpetrator himself. It should be the victim who does the forgiving, because they are vindicated, maybe compensated, and the guilty party can promise not to repeat the offense. Wrong-doers learn from
their mistakes, and society benefits. Paul bypassed this reparative process by saying that sin was forgiven by a fictional man in the sky who insisted on faith in Christ, an unrelated third party.

In turning Christ’s death into a sacrifice that saves souls, Paul sacrificed common sense. He devalued interpersonal relation- ships and compromised social harmony. (http://www.youtube. com/watch?v=HA55jGyq2C8). (https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=7gvv_UM7CYg).

Today’s churches, however, like the idea, as it brings them into the equation. They can cash in by claiming to be the conduit between the sinner and the man in the sky.

All of what you have said is indeed something to ponder. Seeing as how I have not only pondered it some time ago, but have addressed said issues in other forums, I will simply say thank you for sharing it with us.

You see, my beliefs do not rest upon what is written in a book or what someone has said about Jesus. My beliefs rest upon my relationship with a person.

Similarly, you could compile a list of arguments against my mother being my mother. None of them would be convincing because I know who my mom is. We have a bond, a kindred relationship that exists between the two of us. I know her voice, I know the things she likes, the things that make her sad, etc....

So when you present your material for my viewing pleasure, it is akin to you presenting material for me to view that states my mother is not my mother.

It is akin to me sending you links to look at that argue your mom is not your mom.

"My beliefs rest upon my relationship with a person"

Did that person tell you to go to an atheist forum and chat to the heathens? Or was that your idea?

Are you sure you didn't get any of your ideas out of a book? You sound awfully like the founder of Christian theology...

“Take me for your model, as I take Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1, NJB.)
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20, KJV.)

Poor old Jeebus. He can't tell all you Christians to stop pretending you're his best mate, and to stop being so stupid... because he's dead. As a door nail.
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