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The Jesus Of The Nt Never Existed.


Gaylordcat
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I am an atheist but I am open to discussion of religion in general and Christianity in particular because I was raised in that faith.

 

The place of religion in human life is significant to say the least. Religion is so vital to human beings that I do not believe there was, is, or ever will be a culture that does not espouse a faith in something.

 

During my 74 years I have studied religions extensively, and the reason I am an atheist is because no religion has empirical proof of an extant god. As our ability to improve evidence-based research, I see the need for a god diminishing in geometric progression. At one time, for example, people believed babies came from alone; the mother was just the incubator. Indeed, the so-called virgin birth of Jesus supports such a belief if considered objectively.

 

In fact, I sincerely believe that the Jesus we meet in the NT never existed. I doubt the existence of any character of the NT, with the ironic exception of Pontius Pilate who is verified by Roman historians. Josephus' writings are not substantial proof, either.

 

I have read Reva Aslan's book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth and I am now reading D.M. Murdock's (a.k.a Acharya S) Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection. Impressed by both, I ask this question of the members of this forum: What is your opinion of Aslan and Murdock, and what is your belief in the existence of Jesus? Any enlightenment will be appreciated.

 

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Gaylordcat,

 

I know nothing of Aslan and Murdock, so I can't address them and their contributions. And as to Jesus, I don't know as I have any real "enlightenment" to offer. All I have is my opinion, my point-of-view.

 

I cannot, of course, prove that Jesus ever existed. Neither can I prove that God exists. My spirituality, such that it is, does not rest upon first cause science. Rather, I am more concerned about whether or not these "symbols" lead us to good values, good morality, towards being more compassionate as individuals and as a human race.

 

So my question is not so much did Jesus or does God exist as it is: Does what Jesus represents and do our best ideas about God make us and our world better or worse. And I suppose that this is a value judgment for each of us.

 

Traditional Christianity often sees Jesus as a human sacrifice to an angry God. Without the innocent blood of Jesus, says the paradigm, God either could not or would not forgive sins. Jesus' reported teachings (in the gospels) are, for the most part, irrelevant. He was simply a means to an end, a sheep to the slaughter to allow God to forgive us in order to take us to heaven. I don't find these ideas satisfying to my sense of morality or justice.

 

But I do find most of the teachings of Jesus to focus on compassion, forgiveness, justice, unity, making a difference in our world. Regardless of whether Jesus actually existed, I find these values meaningful and worthy of holding to. Similarly, I find the notion that God created all that is and has provided us a relatively safe (but short) existence to be meaningful to me versus the scientific notion that it is all but random chance with no meaning or purpose. Whether God actually exists or not, I cannot say with any absolute assurance. I experience what I call God, but these are my experiences, not scientifically verifiable proofs. They help me make sense of my life, but they are not necessarily enough for others.

 

What I contend for, and there are those here who certainly disagree with me, is that any kind of "Christianity" must somehow have Christ and God at the center, because the Christ that we have (if we have any) affirmed and experienced the reality of God. If progressive Christianity scuttles Christ because there is no proof of his existence, or scuttles God because there is no proof of God's existence, then what is left may be a good and satisfying form of humanism (perhaps as the UUA has), but it has nothing left in common with the Christian religion. If/when that happens, it should be honest enough to say, "We are no longer Christian." If we don't have integrity, we don't have much. A Christless, Godless religion may appeal to some, but I don't think it would have anything to do with Christianity as a religion.

 

Still, I think the question is whether or not the best teachings attributed to Christ and our best ideas about what we call God are worth holding to? If they are, then, on a certain level, it doesn't matter that we don't have the grave of Jesus of Nazareth or the stone tablets from Mount Sinai. The only beliefs that truly matter are the ones that result in good actions. Everything else is simply talk.

 

Just my 2c.

Edited by BillM
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BillM, I couldn't agree with you more. If the world lived as the Jesus of the NT taught, we would be in a kind of paradise. I think we can say the same for other religions that teach love and compassion. My god, to use the word, is the universe. We are all stardust and will return to that state when we die. Believing thus, I can be pigeon-holed, but I don't mind; I like pigeons.

 

My search for the flesh and blood of Jesus is simple curiosity. Not believing he existed does not diminish my admiration for whoever created him because that creator gave us some very good ideas on how to behave. Indeed, I know Pip was a creation of Charles Dickens, but after reading Great Expectations a hundred times and teaching it in senior English classes for many years, Pip has been a good mentor in many ways.

 

Thank you for responding. I love to discuss religions.

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Gaylordcat, you saw (and expressed) what I was getting at...with far fewer words. :)

 

I think our myths and metaphors can embody the best of who we are and who we strive to be. I suspect there is some historical truth there, but getting to it is extremely difficult because we tend to enshroud history with so many layers of interpretation.

 

Like you, I have searched for the "flesh and blood of Jesus", the historical Jesus (versus the Christ of faith) who was a real Jewish sage that walked Galilee in an effort to reform Judaism. And I encourage you to continue the search. But most "Jesus scholars" (of the critical bent, especially of the Third Quest flavor) conclude that we simply cannot get at the true or real Jesus of Nazareth. If this is true, then it is natural to ask, "Why bother?" But that approach is, to me, akin to casting Pip aside simply because he doesn't really exist. And much is lost in doing so, for Pip is, IMO, a mirror in which we can see ourselves and which asks us to consider what it means to be human. I suspect the same is true to Jesus. How ironic it is, then, for my conservative brothers and sister (who insist that, yes, Jesus is undoubtedly an actual figure of history) to see him as a reflection, not of humanity at its best, but of God-in-human-form. So while they might say that Jesus is/was real, I think they miss the point. Some of this is due to the mythology surrounding him found in the gospels. And I think some of it is due to our human predilection to worship.

 

Like you, I believe we physically turn to dust when we die. As to whether there is a soul or spirit that transcends the death of the body, I do not know. I hope so. But I don't think that was Jesus' central message or what he really meant by the kingdom of God. So I simply try to live in such a way that if all of "this" is going somewhere, I can contribute in some small way to making things just a bit better. For me, Jesus' teachings help me do that...regardless of who said or wrote them.

 

Nice chatting with you also. I hope others chime in.

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BTW, Gaylordcat, I hope you didn't interpret my first response as advocating that this forum be "Christians only", for that was not my intent. I think much would be lost here if we enforced some kind of doctrinal creed about Jesus, God, the Bible, etc. My own theology is closer to deism than it is to supernatural theism, and most Christians would not find deism to be very "Christian". I don't believe that Jesus was/is God, or that God is some kind of superhuman in the sky, or that the Bible is God's rulebook for all people for all time. I am probably "Christian" only insomuch as I value many of Jesus' teachings and love the people in my UMC church.

 

My response was only meant to say that Christianity, as a religion, has a history. To me, progressive Christianity does well to examine its roots, its mother religion, and to question what is worth keeping and what is worth scuttling, either because certain things no longer make sense, or are immoral, or don't do anything to add to the value of life. To me, it needs to have something to do with Jesus and God. Now, as to exactly what that "something" is or might be, I think we need to have some great discussions about that. In fact, I think that if we don't, Christianity might die out (and some parts of it need to) as materialism seems to be the new god of this modern age. But, as I've stated, that is my point-of-view. And this is where atheists and agnostics can help those of us who still, for whatever reason, wear the label "Christian" to be honest with ourselves and the world with what we believe and practice...and why. "Because the Bible says so" or "because Jesus said" or "because the Church believes" is no longer enough...and it shouldn't be. The individualism that is rampant in our world has just about killed off authoritarian models. This is why we need better answers to life than "just believing" that Jesus existed and gave us the words of God. There is, I believe, truth there. But it is not found in the literalism that plagues much of Christianity and that warns people not to question.

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Gaylordcat,

 

I have recently read Aslan's book which I found very interesting and well put together. I particularly liked how he didn't dance around the 'nasty' side of Jesus - Even in the NT Jesus wasn't all love and bubbles, he was a Jew first with a message for the Jews, not the whole world, and he was an 'end of times' believer. I think his death threw his followers into a bit of a spin and left them wondering what to make of it all, but enter Paul (who never met Jesus) and all of a sudden we have somebody embracing a world-wide view of Jesus' teachings and pushing the envelope. In the process, Paul turns Jesus and his message into something he/it was originally not.

 

That's what I think anyway. I don't have a skerrick of hard evidence.

 

Like Bill (and maybe like Paul) I extend Jesus' teachings and think that love and compassion is something the world could do with and if we were to all have those two ideals as our primary concerns, everything else would tonk along nicely. I am not waiting for God to come through the clouds on a stallion to damn the heathen and stamp his authority on the world - I am doing my bit to work towards a better world and future for my children and the generations to come. Why - because I love them. Why do I love them? That's the bit for me that leaves room for God. But again, it's all pretty open-ended for me.

 

Cheers

Paul

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I believe in that a man named Jesus walked the earth and had a following. I no longer believe in the virgin birth, as ISA 7:14 Is not about Jesus. After over 50 some years of being a RC, I now look at the bible as a huge metaphor, The virgin birth is the virgin birth of us all as we become more spiritual in our walk, and the virgin birth is the birth of a new way of looking at God, our creator and source of all, through the teachings of Jesus , the parables, etc. I believe Jesus was very enlightened and got himself killed bringing us his message.

 

Then we get the mean God back in Rev, which sends all these curses on the earth. I find that so odd. I believe the Hellinestic Jewish wrote under Ptolemy and the inserted Greek and some Egyptian beliefs in the OT , and the book of Rev sure has a lot of Greek overtones, and then then Rome was in charge so then they messed with the NT and put their spin on it.

 

So the Bible to me is more about human nature and how humans viewed God, also about the culture of the time, whoever was in charge. Ptolemy wanted his copy of the Bible, Constantine did, and then King James. I think Jesus message was one of peace and we are all one, but different.

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I feel if Jesus exists in someones's mind he exist. If he doesn't exist in a person's mind then he doesn't exist in that reality. Multiple realities with different environments and personalities.

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Romansh, thank you for your reply and the suggestion. I did look up Ehrman's book and read parts of it. I find his thesis just one of many and not definitive. In fact, I do not believe it is possible to have the definitive answer. We, including scholars, historians, theologians, etc., simply do not know and have precious little evidence to support what they believe; all that I have read is opinion.

 

I am a mythicist. Myths arise often from historical occurrences. Example: Davy Crocket was a real person. Stories about him include his stopping the sun. Myth created by someone who either wanted to deify Davy or make fun of him. My point: First, in 1st century Palestine the name Yeshua (Jesus' Aramaic name) was very common. It means, I am sure you know, God is with us, or the Lord is with us. Everyone wants God to be with them.

 

So, it is possible that one of the Yeshuas of the time was exceptionally charismatic and imparted his wisdom so dynamically that he had a loyal following. He was, perhaps, the Martin Luther King, Jr., of his day, around whom I believe myths will be created someday. After Jesus' death, his followers created a new Judaism around him that eventually became Christianity. However, he was not divine. He was not born of a virgin who was visited by angels, etc., and when he died, however he died, he was dead. He did not rise from the dead.

 

I believe if he had been divine and all that is said about him in the NT is true, i.e. historic, it would take away the impact of his life and his deeds; none of us can be gods so he's a bad role model is he is a god. We can strive to emulate his life if he is human, but not if he was a god. And, if he was a god, especially the Yahweh-god of the OT, he was faking all he did. On the cross he wasn't suffering or dying. He was putting on an act.

 

If he did exist, he was not the Jesus described in the NT. That person was a creation of many imaginative minds over the centuries. As an atheist I can accept his existence as a human being, but not as a god. I personally do not think there is enough evidence to support his existence as portrayed in the NT. I find no corroborative evidence anywhere. References in Josephus, etc., are themselves not corroborated. Does anyone believe an earthquake at the moment he died that destroyed buildings would not have been recorded by historians of the time? Does anyone believe that corpses came out of graves and walked among the people of Jerusalem when he died and would not be mentioned by Josephus and other historians of the time? All of that has myth smeared all over it.

 

Ermann doesn't like mythists, so he denigrates us gently by saying, essentially, that we don't know what we're doing. I think he does understand what we do, which is search for the truth in myths. As a mythist I see Jesus as a mythological character in a play that imparts incredible truth; ways to live life by loving and caring for each other. That does not make Jesus unreal. He is real, as real as Buddha who may never have existed. It is what we learn from the stories, a.k.a. myths, surrounding these characters that is important. What about the Hindu gods that left us the Vedas packed with truth? Did they exist? Lots of Eastern religions are based on myth that imparts wisdom. Existence is not important, in my view. What is important to me is the truth that is imparted.

 

Thanks for allowing me to rave about a subject that fascinates me.

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  • 1 month later...

Those Greek philosophers were very intelligent, was just reading about Democritus from around 500 BC and his thoughts on humanity and he didn't believe in God, I guess Plato wanted all his stuff burned but never made it. Also what about Plutarch, and Philo, all very inspired men.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Aslan's work is so unoriginal and doesn't offer anything new to the conversation. I should take him so seriously when he said in an interview that he never heard of Bart Ehrman? Are you kidding.

 

That aside, despite the supposed fact that it put forward that The Jesus of the NT never existed, I find that kind of strange because the only reason this website exists is part and parcel of that Jesus. Also despite the non-belief in any supernaturalism even if we take the Bible as an existential treatise on e human condition it is worth something.

 

It seems to me that whatever belief human beings hold there is always an element of belief that they can do better. So faith and hope seem to be part of what makes us human. What we hope for and have fai in, then, determines how we live. For all the wrong that has been done in the name of religion there is some "spiritual" or unmanifested but evident, in humani beings . I don't exclude non-humans from this but I cannot comment on them as I cannot communicate with them. I do not presume to think that human beings are the most important beings in the universe, but it seems that even secular humanism has to admit that humans have more value than non-humans - not that I am saying we have the "right" to kill other life forms. But that it the way life is, isn't it? I think we all are part of a matrix if you will in which we are co-dependent with life therefore we need to figure out how to minimize killing other life forms.

 

So Jesus doesn't exist, God doesn't exist, blah blah blah. What does the secular humanist with Scientism as their faith have to offer in terms of hope, faith, love for others, as a form of evolution? Now I'm not coming to this with the attitude of a religious fundamentalist, but the presumption that is made to Jesus, logically then, needs to be applied to other figures I history who offered humanity a glimpse of their own potential? Being atheist, I would think you look incredulously at other faiths say Hinduism, which is not so much a religion as a culture which has philosophical schools which are atheist but somehow live in harmony with other schools which are theistic.

 

The athesit/theist argument for Hinduism happened thousands of years ago and the West seems to be coming to the pray pretty late.

 

My own notion of God and Jesus is somewhat less theistic than orthodoxy, but I admit to being attracted to orthodoxy for deeper aspects of spirituality and an appreciation and respect from studying it without judgment. It seems that atheism is all about judgement and for me presents a different form of fundamentalism.

 

Ito say that this or that person in the bible or this or that event did or did not happen with "evidence" is absurd. There is not evidence so no definitive judgement can be made. What we all do unfortunately is come to the table with our our karma, our our emotional baggage and our our prejudices - all things we need to get over if we want to be humble and really mature.

 

There is faith and hope and frankly the arrogance of atheists I come across is astounding at times. They mistake their subjective biases for objective fact - the same as funafmentalists do when they take about biblical inerrancy, infallibility, and literalism.

 

There is no way to unanimously prove than anything in he bible happened or not or happened exactly the way it is written. That is faith. And in ink the reasons why atheism attack other peoples faith is somewhat understandable but it also reflects some deep seated issues of hate in themselves. Why desire to make anyone an enemy? Or hate people? It makes nonsense. Fine, have your opinion and state it. But let goers work out their own existential needs without the paranoia that hey are trying to impose mind control over you. Get over your own existential needs too.

.

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There is faith and hope and frankly the arrogance of atheists I come across is astounding at times. They mistake their subjective biases for objective fact - the same as funafmentalists do when they take about biblical inerrancy, infallibility, and literalism.

 

I was wondering, as an atheist by some definitions, I have the faith, hope and frankly the arrogance that you modify your point of view.

 

 

There is no way to unanimously prove than anything in he bible happened or not or happened exactly the way it is written. That is faith. And in ink the reasons why atheism attack other peoples faith is somewhat understandable but it also reflects some deep seated issues of hate in themselves. Why desire to make anyone an enemy? Or hate people? It makes nonsense. Fine, have your opinion and state it. But let goers work out their own existential needs without the paranoia that hey are trying to impose mind control over you. Get over your own existential needs too.

 

What some perceive as attack others might perceive as defence.

 

For example in in the mid nineties the Discovery Institute's leaked wedge document was perceived as an attack on science.

 

Intelligent design and and teach the controversy are other perceived attacks.

 

Regarding hate - your comment, I think, speaks for itself,

 

I cannot prove or dispove an angel went to Mary and foretold of a parthengenic birth instigated by god. But for me this is position is totally ridiculous and nonsensical. Now if someone actually believes this fair enough. But if they teach it to their children as some absolute truth or work to incorporate such beliefs into the state political structure, then am I not allowed to resist this without the label of hate?

Edited by romansh
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I agree that intelligent design should not be taught in schools but that is a debate that has to be addressed like all other issues in a democratic society. I tolerate all forms of belief so long as they are not illegal, despite what my opinion of that belief is. Yes I can see that the events portrayed in scripture are nonsensical and ridiculous. But it is the value imposed on these events that is subjective. So your opinion is your opinion and to go into an "attack" of someone's beliefs is not offering a rational or helpful solution to living in community with people in a democratic survival. I don't care what side of the argument you are on but you ruin the hope of sustainable society with divisiveness and hatred of others.

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If you were in the same room with a fundamentalist who does what you say they if or believe what you don't you'd gnash your teeth at them. You wouldn't want to ring their neck if they told you how they felt about any issue you didn't agree with? You would think them stupid or delusional for what they believe wouldn't you? Is that love?

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matteoam

Thank you for responding. That I am an antheist is true, but I'm new at it. I was a Christian for over 60 years, and during those years, I worked very hard to find meaning in Christianity and did find a lot. In all religions can be found great truths, rules to live by, reasons for doing unto others as we would wish them to do unto us, and just generally give people guides by which to live their lives. I include all relgions of the planet, including indiginous religions that define special cultures. My respect is deep for all of them. I do not believe, however, that one need be a theist in order to be a good person.

 

But, I am a child of science, of the scientific method, and of emperical evidence. Faith in religious teaching is just that, faith, which includes belief, confidence, conviction, and much more. And faith is a good thing, allowing human beings most of whom are not trustworthy but contentious to at least shake hands (most of the time) and get along. We have faith in each other much of the time.

 

However, Christianity demands that be believe in facts that the church defines as true and historic. Unless we believe in the tenents of the Apostle's Creed or some other affirmation of faith, we cannot in reality call ourselves Christians, and if we mumble through the creeds each Sunday, we feel like hypocrites, or at least I do, did. There is no emperical evidence that a man called Jesus was born of a virgin after being overshadowed by the so-called Holy Ghost, aka God, aka Yahweh. It didn't happen. If this God, Yahweh, Holy Ghost whom we are taught created heaven and Earth and all that is therein, then he, she or it created the laws of biology, physics, chemistry, etc. If this god chooses to break any of those laws for any reason, it is no longer a god but a despot. Therefore, no virgin birth took place except in the myth created to give Jesus an entrance on the stage.

 

Laws were not broken so Jesus could heal leprosy, deaf-mutes, or blindness, nor raise peopleto life who were dead and buried. Water cannot be made into fine wine, storms cannot be calmed by any person, and he was not raised from the dead after being executed by Rome unless he was not dead when taken from the cross and resusitated in the tomb. These are not emperical events; they are insults to reason if we are meant to believe them without question. They are attempts to make myths into history, including, I believe, the existance of Jesus. For me the Jesus of the NT is another tale of the God Sun, or Sun God, known to and worshipped by human kind since before Egyptian civilizations. But that's just me; I do not ever proselytize.

 

I don't have time to go on today, but suffice to say, if Jesus appears in the sky at any time, anywhere, and can prove who he is, I will believe. Right now after swallowing whole the teaching of the church for over 60 years, I am regurgitating and feeling very sad that I can no longer in good conscience call myself a Christian. But, the good things I learned about love from Christianity I retain and try very hard to practice every day. If I appear arrogant and wear my atheism on my sleeve, I apologize. I don't think I do wear it on my sleeve because most of my friends who are practicing theists don't know I am atheistic; the subject does not come up because we have more important things to discuss.

 

Again, thank you for your response.

 

F

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Recently I heard someone say the following: “The God you do not believe in does not exist”. I don’t know who came up with this originally, but I think it’s quite good. I like it because nothing necessarily follows from it. It stands on its own…something to ponder.

 

Peace.

 

Steve


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I don't think science can prove or disprove anything in the bible. I'm with the Dalai Lama who said that if scientific discovery contradicts Buddhism then Buddhism should change. I tend to side with atheists when there is a believer/non-believer debate only to the extent that the non-believer resorts to ad hominen argument, which is why as intelligent as Chris Hitchens I had to roll my eyes at his pointless attacks at people.

 

I not fake the bible literally in the same way a fundamentalist does. I have a much less theistic view of God than orthodoxy does only because I do believe that eventually to truly understand the Divine all images we place on it need to be discarded, as useful as they may be. The arrogance that I see in atheism is the notion of Scientism, a prejorative term I know, but accurate in its meaning. It shows that atheism can create its own religion of sorts. The scientific method should be applied to areas of spirituality and the paranormal, but that will not really happen but those who have invested time and money in a career or have a reputation that might be threatened by serious study in gees subjects. Dennett, Harris, Hitchens, Dawkins, and now Laurence Krause to some extent have been raised to divine status by atheist-minded people. I love all the work these men have written and I wish they would raise the bar and not diminish themselves by taking part in ridiculous debates. Alas they need to get paid too. I think their impact has been felt thought and they are all relevant for the times but they are passe and have nothing new to offer to the conversation. Well not Krauss. They have done very much for progressive spirituality I think as critical as they. Are of liberal Christianity and people like Marcus Borg and Spong and others who want the faith to evolve. What concerns me about the paradigm of reason they put forth is one that is somewhat intent on shutting down belief that cannot be "proven" beyond Scientism. I don't this is some conspiracy at work but even though their intentions are noble the result may be not what they intend.

 

As far as proving or disproving the miracles of Jesus, well yes the laws of nature cannot be broken. So? I believe In the transformative powers of these stories. Does that make me stupid? I don't care if any of it occurred or not. I really don't. What I care about is how it has saved people. Can anyone really be offended or negatively from the concern of a man who helps those in need of help? Is self-sacrifice such an affront to the sociopathic individualism of our age? In my opinion any negative impact that religion has had on people in the name of God is so beyond that explanation. We may not be guilty of the bad that happens in the world but were ALL responsible for perpetuating it on countless levels to varying degrees. To live with that hope and faith offers is to be truly human. That doesn't mean that you have to believe in a religion that is all bs. I'm talking about being someone in someone else's lives then do it. I sometimes think I don't care if God exists if that (the way god is portrayed by dead civilizations) saw it.

 

I recommend Frans de Waals book The Bonobo and the Atheist. Great read! He considers himself an aptheist someone who doesn't card if God exists. I think the Buddha was one too by the way. "Atheism will need to be combined with something else, something more constructive than its opposition to religion, to be relevant to our lives. The only possibility is to embrace morality as natural to our species."

 

I believe in the possibility that the gospels are true as much as believe that the Buddha meant what he said which is why Buddhism is alive and we'll in the world. My Christianity is not one dependent on creeds and moral prescriptions, or precepts. If other people want that good for them they have tier own karma to work out. I love them anyway. I will not subscribe to hateful remarks about them despite what people have experienced. Anger may be a part of the healing process but it also leaves a deep scar if not balmed with love and forgiveness. I don't buy they idea of righteous anger that Christians pride themselves. It's not useful to the conversation anymore because it has only dominated the conversation and look at all the ego-minded illusion it has perpetuated. We all have to grow up inkwell are going to live together and there is no where else to go to not liverish one another. Love, gratitude, joy, humility, forbearance, patience, these are the only things that matter. Can atheism offer these? I'm not taking morality or even humanism I'm taking about love of humanity. Real genuine love. I think with all it's flaws PC can be more of a genuine faith being as inclusive as it is with atheism. Atheism needs to really grow up just like PC does.

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You hate them do you not? So you share table with them and aren't get invested in your life? Do you know them or care if they live or die?

 

To the first question the answer is NO!

The secon needs clarification.

And the third, Depending on the degree that I know them would be roughly in proportion to the degree I care.

 

This last question to me comes across as presumptious.

Edited by romansh
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If you were in the same room with a fundamentalist who does what you say they if or believe what you don't you'd gnash your teeth at them. You wouldn't want to ring their neck if they told you how they felt about any issue you didn't agree with? You would think them stupid or delusional for what they believe wouldn't you? Is that love?

Again this post of yours comes across as presumptious to me. Depending on the fundamentalist and the moment, it is more often a light hearted but serious debate.

 

I don't want to wring anyone's neck.

Do I think them stupid. No ... the one's I come across are educated and errudite.

But I do understand they can no more help holding the opinions they have, any more than you or I can.

 

So in this light I can treat your opinions and questions in the same light as I treat those that believe in a parthengenic birth.

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I agree that intelligent design should not be taught in schools but that is a debate that has to be addressed like all other issues in a democratic society. I tolerate all forms of belief so long as they are not illegal, despite what my opinion of that belief is. Yes I can see that the events portrayed in scripture are nonsensical and ridiculous. But it is the value imposed on these events that is subjective. So your opinion is your opinion and to go into an "attack" of someone's beliefs is not offering a rational or helpful solution to living in community with people in a democratic survival. I don't care what side of the argument you are on but you ruin the hope of sustainable society with divisiveness and hatred of others.

 

Here is a question or two for you Matte.

 

If I think you are wrong, and argue forcibly, honestly openly to show that you are wrong, is that attacking you? Regardless of your answer is your answer subjective and therefore ignorable?

 

Can you give an example of an objective fact? If not, the division between one's subjective bias and another's objective fact is sort of pointless, is it not?

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The church built a wall around a small part of the infinite and called it God with itself as the authority. I think when the church did this they divorced science and expelled it from their walled compound out of ignorance to the fact that science is describing the same phenomenon. I feel everyone is the authority of their experience of the infinite which is expanding with their awareness. In my mind the people who say they know God are expressing their experience which is not the total view because they would not be able to talk, write or express it in anyway. To know the totality of eternity one must become one with it beyond the mind in a state on oneness. As a Christian I have chosen the powerful image of Jesus Christ to represent the expression of the tangential point between the predicaments of living in a duality that exist in a unity. He embodies the awareness as seen through my dualistic mind to the universal mind that is aware of unity. It is not that the material world will one day dissolve into Jesus Christ, but that the ego's extroverted tendencies will disappear exposing an ocean of diverse frequencies, vibrating, and communicating on different levels united in a whole. The Christ mind expresses this unity of self with God.

Einstein stood on the shoulders of the others and built a bridge that establishes unity in energy. According to Einstein’s theory of relativity energy becomes mass and mass becomes energy, E=MC2. The subatomic interaction of matter and energy is a dance of energy changing to mass and mass to energy, some say energy is mass. Mystics from both the East and West speak in similar concepts saying that creation is spiritual. There is no barrier between energy and mass between material and spiritual. They are one and the same like different sides of the same piece of paper. In the view of science there is no solid material in our world because the subatomic particles that make up the matter as we know them are mostly space and are made of energy. If you put a ping pong ball in the middle of a football stadium to represent the nucleus of an atom, an electron would be a speck of dust at the top rim of that stadium. This representation demonstrates that solid mass is composed mostly of space. Einstein revealed to us that matter does not exist in the form that we observe. We sense and are of the opinion and the impression that matter is solid, but it largely consists of space creating an illusion of perception. Matter turns out to be just fluctuations of energy with different frequencies in a symphony of vibrations forming a unified field. The entities and gadgets that make up our world thanks to science and technology become visible and appear to be pure energy at some level. The “Quantum Entanglement Theory” states that there appears to be an eternal inter-connection between all elements. If two electrons are created together, they are forever “entangled,” much like two people in love. Regardless of the distance between the two electrons, a change in quantum spin in one electron immediately causes the other electron to change spin as well. Leon Balents, senior author published in the journal Nature Physics an article where he explains that Quantum Entanglement Theory represents the extent to which measurement of one part of a system affects the state of another. In our example, measurement of one electron influences the state of another that may be far away. Scientists have acknowledged that the
entanglement of electrons is present in varying degrees in solid materials. This insinuates that information is being transmitted at speeds faster than light. Some scientists claim that Quantum Entanglement substantiates that there is no such thing as space, and that everything in the universe is in touch. I would suggest that this space or subtle energy containing information is similar to the consciousness that Carl Jung referred to as the collective unconsciousness. He stated that the religious experience must be linked with the experience of the collective unconscious. Consequently, God is experienced as a psychic experience on a path that leads one to the realization of his/her psychic wholeness. I don't know if it is a fact, but by using Jesus as my diety my mind has a yantra, which is similar to a mantra. A mantra is a sound vibration and a yantra is a visual vibration similar to a symbol. These are just tools used to calm and focus the mind like a bead, rosary bead or buddhist bead so one can park the mind on that frequency and visit the soul a gateless entry to the collective unconscious or pure energy that some of us might call God. In my mind science and theology are married and support each other. The church has divorced them out of the ignorance of duality. In my mind their marriage is the demonstration of unity.


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  • 8 months later...

Interesting, and thought provoking discussion!

 

I've chosen to believe in the faith of Christianity in its orthodoxy, despite my commitment to science, and acceptance of evolution and dependence on reason.

 

For example, I agree it may not be likely that Jesus was born of a virgin, (from what I recall, this could be taken as a mistranslation by Matthew of the Hebrew word for "young woman"-- however in the end, I don't feel bad for holding two opposing views.

 

It's a dichotomy, it's complex, life is complex, things can be both particles and waves at the same time, and I like that. It's a kind of chaos, and I can live with that.

 

I don't expect others to, but I think a freedom comes from not trying to understand or needing to prove everything you believe.

 

Does that make anyone uncomfortable?

Edited by jasonsilver
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Hi Jason,

 

I think you will find most here are comfortable and even if they disagree would respect your right to hold your own views.

 

Personally i don't see how it would be just a mistranslation by Mathew. I say this because in Math 1:18-24 he tells a story as if the virgin birth is fact and then uses the old testament as if to reinforce his story. If one excludes the OT reference he makes he still tells a story of what an angel said to Joseph that is not from the OT and which in my view makes it more than just a mistranslation. It seems to me it is either true or he is propagating a myth. I am inclined to believe the latter .

 

Joseph

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