Why I Believe
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23-04-2017, 10:11 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(23-04-2017 05:50 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  Belief and Faith

I've been thinking, what does it mean to have "belief" and (as I asked earlier) how does belief differ from faith?

Belief: For me, this is when I consider there is enough evidence for a claim that I consciously decide to think that claim is true/real (as opposed to the claim being not true/false).

Faith: This is when I do not have enough good evidence to believe something is true/real, but I decide to believe it could be true/real anyway.

For example:

Do I believe that 2000 years ago there was a Jew called Jesus in the Holy Land?
Evidence: Plenty of Jews were called Yahshua in those times.

Decision: I believe this claim is true

Do I believe there was a Jew called Jesus who said he was the son of God and taught belief in him was the path to salvation?
Evidence: Though sparse I do believe there is enough evidence that Jesus existed in a historical sense, at least.

Decision: I believe this claim is true (whether Jesus' claims are true or not is another question).

Do I believe Jesus was crucified by the Romans/Jews?
Evidence: There are documented records the Romans carried out crucifixions, and I've stated above I believe Jesus existed in a historical sense.

Decision: I believe this claim is true

Do I believe Jesus rose from the dead 3 days later?
Evidence: None outside the bible records

Decision: I have to consciously apply faith that this claim is true

So what does all this mean to me? It means I can have faith that absolutely ANYTHING is true. I'd bet people could argue all day whether or not faith is gullibility and naivety or if it was trust and confidence in something. I guess it might boil down to how many things you put faith into. Too much faith spread around would in my book, make a person gullible but faith here and there might just show a person has the 'convictions of his beliefs'.

The question for me though, is, if there was no threat of eternal punishment, would I choose to apply faith that Jesus rose from the dead after three days in a tomb, walked on water, raised the dead, that waters were parted, that the sun stood still, that the dead got up and walked around Jerusalem, that a man survived three days in the belly of a whale, that a global flood occurred and so on?

Scary as it is, I think I'd have to say no, because saying yes feels like I am being dishonest to myself. So at least I've admitted that.

EDIT: Pondering a bit more, even if there was no punishment, I am not entirely convinced I could just simply switch off my faith. There's something deep inside me that holds on to believing. Not sure if this is the deep rooted fear or if I'm just clinging on, but it's there.

Isn't the brain a wondrously frustrating thing!

That's quite a leap on the crucifixion; because crucifixions happened and you believe a Jesus existed that the claim he was crucified is true? Does not compute.

Yes you can say it's POSSIBLE it happened, but you in no way can say it actually did. Also you are ignoring the problems with the description of how the bible said they handled Jebus' crucifixion and how actual evidence tells us they did. There is no documented evidence they had any "custom" of allowing one prisoner to go free each Passover, that's only in the bible. The Romans wouldn't have hurried to get Jebus down from the cross to appease the Jewish beliefs because they didn't give a fuck what the Jews believed. They would have left him up to rot. All that stuff was made up for the story.

So yeah, you can say it's possible a radical teacher with followers named Jebus was arrested and crucified, but it has little resemblance to what the bible says happened. Which means you have no reason to believe the bible's version.

As far as the rising from the dead 3 days later, yeah I'd say that's a gullible faith because you know good and well people do not "rise from the dead" after they are confirmed 100% dead. And since you know that as a scientific fact, combine that with the fact you have no real evidence that Jebus did it at all, just old claims piled on by other people who weren't there claiming it happened.

Also I think we're getting back to how the meaning of "faith" is screwed up. Saying I have "faith" that my cancer will be cured (I don't have cancer that I know of, just using the example), but what I really mean is I have hope that doctors, medicince, procedures, and my own body can fight it and win. All of that is a "faith" in real, scientifically provable things. There are no "miracles" invovled, nothing supernatural, no matter how much one wants to believe it.
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23-04-2017, 10:16 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(23-04-2017 09:26 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  I think I would like to study a book dealing with whether or not Jesus existed. There are a few out there but some of them are not well researched. I'd prefer a good scholarly book. It all hinges on this for me for obvious reasons. If Jesus never existed, like this website claims: http://www.godlessgeeks.com/JesusExist.htm

Then that's it.

Can anyone recommend a book please?

Thank you

This guy makes a living off of Jesus analysis - Bart D. Ehrman

I haven't read him because I don't give a shit but his credentials are top-notch.

#sigh
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23-04-2017, 10:21 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(23-04-2017 09:26 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  I think I would like to study a book dealing with whether or not Jesus existed. There are a few out there but some of them are not well researched. I'd prefer a good scholarly book. It all hinges on this for me for obvious reasons. If Jesus never existed, like this website claims: http://www.godlessgeeks.com/JesusExist.htm

Then that's it.

Can anyone recommend a book please?

Thank you

Richard Carrier's "On the Historicity of Jesus" is good but not an easy read. You might want to start with one of David Fitzgerald's books "Nailed: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed at All" or "Jesus: Mything in Action". Full disclosure: I haven't read Fitzgerald's books, just listened to interviews with him about them.

Bart Ehrman also has some good stuff although he accepts a historical Jesus. I think he's too willing to give the benefit of the doubt but he makes good points

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23-04-2017, 11:25 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(23-04-2017 10:21 AM)unfogged Wrote:  
(23-04-2017 09:26 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  I think I would like to study a book dealing with whether or not Jesus existed. There are a few out there but some of them are not well researched. I'd prefer a good scholarly book. It all hinges on this for me for obvious reasons. If Jesus never existed, like this website claims: http://www.godlessgeeks.com/JesusExist.htm

Then that's it.

Can anyone recommend a book please?

Thank you

Richard Carrier's "On the Historicity of Jesus" is good but not an easy read. You might want to start with one of David Fitzgerald's books "Nailed: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed at All" or "Jesus: Mything in Action". Full disclosure: I haven't read Fitzgerald's books, just listened to interviews with him about them.

Bart Ehrman also has some good stuff although he accepts a historical Jesus. I think he's too willing to give the benefit of the doubt but he makes good points

Yay us mythicists gotta stick togetherBig Grin
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23-04-2017, 12:40 PM
RE: Why I Believe
(23-04-2017 10:16 AM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(23-04-2017 09:26 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  I think I would like to study a book dealing with whether or not Jesus existed. There are a few out there but some of them are not well researched. I'd prefer a good scholarly book. It all hinges on this for me for obvious reasons. If Jesus never existed, like this website claims: http://www.godlessgeeks.com/JesusExist.htm

Then that's it.

Can anyone recommend a book please?

Thank you

This guy makes a living off of Jesus analysis - Bart D. Ehrman

I haven't read him because I don't give a shit but his credentials are top-notch.
Thanks Girly

I have read his 'Misquoting Jesus' book but that's about it. Far as I know he believes in a historical Jesus, albeit he's agnostic.

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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23-04-2017, 12:42 PM
RE: Why I Believe
(23-04-2017 10:21 AM)unfogged Wrote:  
(23-04-2017 09:26 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  I think I would like to study a book dealing with whether or not Jesus existed. There are a few out there but some of them are not well researched. I'd prefer a good scholarly book. It all hinges on this for me for obvious reasons. If Jesus never existed, like this website claims: http://www.godlessgeeks.com/JesusExist.htm

Then that's it.

Can anyone recommend a book please?

Thank you

Richard Carrier's "On the Historicity of Jesus" is good but not an easy read. You might want to start with one of David Fitzgerald's books "Nailed: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed at All" or "Jesus: Mything in Action". Full disclosure: I haven't read Fitzgerald's books, just listened to interviews with him about them.

Bart Ehrman also has some good stuff although he accepts a historical Jesus. I think he's too willing to give the benefit of the doubt but he makes good points
Thanks for the recommendations

Not an easy read in what way unfogged?

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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23-04-2017, 12:52 PM
RE: Why I Believe
(23-04-2017 12:40 PM)SeaJay Wrote:  
(23-04-2017 10:16 AM)GirlyMan Wrote:  This guy makes a living off of Jesus analysis - Bart D. Ehrman

I haven't read him because I don't give a shit but his credentials are top-notch.
Thanks Girly

I have read his 'Misquoting Jesus' book but that's about it. Far as I know he believes in a historical Jesus, albeit he's agnostic.

Bart did an excellent seminar explaining how Jesus (the man) could have become Jesus (the god). It is fascinating because he attempts to answer the question on how, if Jesus was a man, did he evolve into the critter he is today.












"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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23-04-2017, 01:39 PM
RE: Why I Believe
(23-04-2017 12:42 PM)SeaJay Wrote:  Not an easy read in what way unfogged?

Long, and detailed. It was written with the intent of being peer-reviewed among other scholars in addition to general consumption. Most of the other recommendations you've gotten take a couple of hours maybe to read and are aimed at the general public so they are relatively easy reading. That isn't to say they aren't valuable, just that reading OHJ is a bigger commitment.

I'm not sure I accept all his interpretations but it moved me a few pegs down the scale towards mythicism. I do think he made a convincing case that pure mythicism isn't an unreasonable position even if I'm not quite ready to adopt it myself.

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23-04-2017, 02:02 PM
RE: Why I Believe
Thanks all for the links and advice, much appreciated.

Man those videos are long, and there's three of them! Think I'll watch them and then decided whether or not to buy the Carrier book

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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23-04-2017, 02:03 PM
RE: Why I Believe
Wow, the error concerning Jeremiah, Mark, and Jesus riding two donkeys into Jerusalem is a cracker.

Not heard a good rebuttal of it yet.

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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