Tag Archives: jesus

Jesus and David

One of the arguments I’ve seen for Jesus existing, or being real, is that people wouldn’t die for his cause if he wasn’t.

This is an extremely weak argument that has been proved wrong so many times that I’m surprised people still use it.

Just because people are willing to die for a belief does NOT make that belief, or the reason behind that belief, true!

For examples within my life time, look no further than David Koresh, who believed himself a final prophet and who with 75 other people died in a standoff with the BATF and FBI. Or Jim Jones, founder of the pseudo-religious organisation Peoples Temple who with 900 others committed suicide in 1978. Then there was the UFO religion headed by Marshall Applewhite who managed to convince 39 followers to commit suicide in 1997.

All of these people were real (there’s documented evidence for them) but there is absolutely no evidence that their beliefs were true, but despite that hundreds of people were willing to commit suicide for those beliefs!

People will believe all sorts of things, just because they are willing to do all sorts of things for those beliefs, including committing suicide (Islamic suicide bombers in America 2001, or Bali in 2002 & 2005) does not necessarily make the ideas behind those beliefs real.

Oh, and if anyone thinks that religious apologetics don’t say anything like what is in the first sentence, I came across similar twice today whilst researching if Jesus was real (thanks to Sam Hilton’s comment on my last post).

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Filed under atheism, atheist, cult, god, jesus, religion

Did Jesus really rise from the dead?

Do fish ride bicycles?

Well I’ve never seen a fish on a bicycle so all the fish must have gone to heaven.

Or so the crazy logic of Jeremy Howard goes. An article in Transworld News cites Jeremy Howard as saying during a recent “Inside LifeWay” podcast:

“One thing everyone agrees on is that Jesus’ tomb was empty on the Sunday morning after His crucifixion,” said Howard, arguing that the best explanation is that Jesus in fact rose from the dead.

The best explanation? Really?

For a start the story of Jesus is still debatable. There is very little to no evidence for Jesus actually existing in the first place. Non-biblical mentions of Jesus amount to (as far as I’ve been able to determine in my limited research) two accounts, one of which, even by some biblical scholars, is considered a fake. The one possibly reliable non-biblical source does not indicate in any way that Jesus was anything more than just another one of the many “prophets” wandering around at the time. There is no non-biblical evidence for Jesus being crucified, being entombed, rising from the dead and ascending to heaven as some of the New Testament gospels would try and have us believe. Even the gospels can not agree on what actually occurred during these events.

So Howard’s first premise “One thing everyone agrees on is that Jesus’ tomb was empty on the Sunday morning after His crucifixion,” is incorrect. Not everyone agrees on this, in part because not everyone agrees that Jesus even existed.

But Howard’s conclusion is just mind bogglingly ridiculous and totally illogical. Let’s for one moment accept that Jesus did exist, that he was crucified and then entombed. There are several explanations as to why the tomb was empty.

  1. Jesus wasn’t actually dead when he was entombed. Supporters knowing this came and assisted Jesus from the tomb and then aided his departure to some other country.
  2. Jesus was dead but his followers wanted him buried elsewhere so removed his body from the tomb.
  3. Jesus was dead but, for whatever nefarious reasons, someone unrelated removed him from the tomb and hid/buried the body somewhere else. (perhaps the greatest practical joke of all time)

The above are just three ideas I came up with off the top of my head, all are pure conjecture, but all are far more likely than a person spontaneously rising from the dead, rather zombie like in my opinion, as Howard contends.

In the article it even mentions the possibility someone came and took the body, but Howard still says:

the evidence for Christ’s resurrection is solid.

I haven’t listened to the podcast and perhaps Howard comes up with some very good explanation for his logic, but I seriously doubt there is solid evidence for Jesus’ resurrection. There isn’t even any solid evidence for his existence.

The final paragraph sheds light on why Jeremy Howard has come to this illogical conclusion.

“The resurrection matters,” said Howard. “If Jesus did not rise from the dead, Christianity is untrue, …”

Which is the crux of the matter, Howard is so frightened of the idea that his whole belief system may be built on a lie that he is prepared to come to any conclusion, despite it being wrong or illogical, as long as it supports his view of Christianity.

So Jeremy Howard perhaps, just perhaps, Christianity is untrue. What do you think readers?

Hat Tip to BibleAlsoSays for highlighting the article on twitter. Delusional was the word @BibleAlsoSays used about Jeremy Howard.

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Filed under atheism, atheist, god, jesus, religion

Pictures

Just a couple of funny pictures:

jews

judgement_day

click to embigen

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Filed under jesus, Jew

Jesus is the answer…

WTF was the question?

The Atheist Foundation of Australia (AFA) are currently asking people to be on the lookout for any religious adverts; particularly on buses, billboards, or other media managed by APN.

Here’s a sample taken on the Pacific Highway near Hexham/Sandgate, you can also see it on Google Maps (though its a bit out of focus). It is unknown at this stage who the advertising company is that manages these particular billboards. If anyone knows please let me know.

jesus_billboard

As you should be aware by now the AFA was planning on conducting an Atheist Bus Campaign similar to the ones in the UK, USA and Spain. However APN has refused to carry the adverts.  The AFA has decided to pursue redress of the APN Outdoor ‘rejection’ with the Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. If the AFA find any evidence of APN carrying religious advertising then this can be used as evidence in the case. Therefore it would be appreciated if all Australians could be on the lookout for religious advertising carried by APN. If anyone sees any religious advertising please let the AFA know by contacting them on their forum, or by leaving a comment here.

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Filed under atheism, Atheist Bus Campaign, jesus, politics

All is forgiven John

The Vatican has semi-officially forgiven John Lennon for his remark that “the Beatles were bigger than Jesus”. As Tony Eastley on ABC’s AM show said today:

John Lennon’s old comment that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus caused such a stir at the time that some religious leaders called for the group’s albums to be burned and concerts boycotted. And in some places people were silly enough to do it. Forty years later though, it appears all is forgiven.

An editorial in a semi-official Vatican newspaper says Lennon’s remarks about Jesus were nothing more than the youthful joke of a working class man.

The church does take itself rather too seriusly sometimes.

report from abc.net.au/am

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Filed under atheism, Beatles, Catholic, jesus, John Lennon, religion

1,000 Views

It finally happened, one of my posts has had 1,000 views. Can anyone guess which one it is?

For the last several days it has been sitting at 998 views and the runner up,  my Carnival of the Godless # 99 post, was slowly catching up. The winner, the first to hit 1,000 views, have you guessed yet, is …

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Teenager arrested for ‘blasphemous’ T-shirt

What is it with you lot? Is it that you just like to see the words “Jesus is a Cunt“, or did I actually write something that was interesting?

To the people who commented on that blog that I didn’t say anything about Muhammad

Muhammad is a cunt too

Remember: Blasphemy is a victimless crime.

How odd, ‘cunt’ wasn’t recognised by my spell checker?

Back to normal programming soon, apologies to anyone who doesn’t like the use of the C word.

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Filed under atheism, atheist, christianity, jesus, mohammed, Muslim, religion

Can YOU meet the challenge?

What to do when some one writes a long reply to a simple question and then doesn’t even answer the question in the first place? At first I considered just ignoring it all (Poodles, possibly quite rightly, ignored points 1-3, but answered point 4 well. I knew it would be easy but Poodles saved me a few moments looking up the many bible passages that clearly show Jesus wasn’t afraid of promoting a bit of violence now and again), but then I thought I should respond, because it is the courteous thing to do. After all, it’s all about the discussion, isn’t it?

I was going to respond to makarios’ comments on the original post, but it got so long I thought I’d start a new post. Please read the original post and makarios’ comment here first. I’ll answer each of points 1-3 one-by-one.

1.
Firstly I don’t see how Hitchens is trying to slip anything past anyone. He has simply laid down a challenge to which no one has been able to respond to.

Secondly makarios your assertion that he is using the word religion instead of christianity is only your opinion, and what is “normal, everyday Christianity” anyway? (see the many tomes on ‘what is a “True Christian”‘).

How about some definitions:

religion: A set of beliefs and practices often organized around supernatural and moral claims

christianity: A monotheistic system of beliefs and practices based on the Old Testament and the teachings of Jesus

So the only difference between religion and christianity is that your ‘supernatural power’ is defined as jesus. As Poodles has rightly pointed out jesus’ teachings are at times quite violent, a good moral teacher? I wonder.

In Hitchens’ article he used the word religion three(3) times as follows:

his own supposedly kindly religion

In this context he has used the term correctly, Hitchens was referring to Gerson’s [his] religion, whatever that may be (Jewish?).

whether or not religion is metaphysically “true,” that at least it stands for morality.

Again I think Hitchens has used the term correctly, religions (of whatever flavour) and christianity profess that some higher being (in christianities case that being just happens to be jesus) somehow provide a moral basis for life; and that’s not necessarily the case. Hence Hitchens article and challenge.

The final use of the term religion in the article is as follows:

If you credit any one religion with motivating good deeds, how (without declaring yourself to be sectarian) can you avoid crediting them all?

Please read that carefully makarios, christianity is but one of many religions, what is your answer to the question.?

The bottom line is that no matter which religion you are talking about they all claim a moral high ground backed by their particular messiah. As Hitchens’ article points out these so-called higher morals are in fact quite often flawed, and not adhering to any of these religions does not equate to lacking in any good morals.

Besides being an Ad Homen attack on Hitchens, perhaps accusing him of being a bigot is a little hypocritical makarios?

more definitions:

bigot: One strongly loyal to one’s own social group, and irrationally intolerant or disdainful of others

perhaps there is some kettle calling back to you makarios?

(Yeah, OK, I’ve stooped to my own ad homen attack, but I couldn’t resist)

Re-read Hitchens’ article, his attacks on so-called ‘good morals’ covers various religions, including jewish, christian (particularly catholicism) and islam. I’m sure there would be quite a few catholics who would consider themselves ‘normal,everyday christians’ but they are members of a religion that has been just as radical and violent as islam.

2.
In all your words in point 2 all you really pointed out is that Hitchens is correct (thanks for that). The is no one ethical statement made, or one ethical action performed, by a believer that could not have been uttered or done by a nonbeliever.

Your assertion that the majority of christians would adhere to the “love thy neighbour” principle and atheist wouldn’t is purely your opinion with no facts to back that up.

I think you will find many christians who have killed and want to kill their enemy. Have a read up on some of the shenanigans going on in Iraq and Afghanistan by the right wing christian brigade; and their slandering of atheists – “no atheists in foxholes” (by the way there are many atheists in foxholes)

3.
Have you any evidence for any of that?

I’m quite sure there are many atheists who have a “concept of grace”, and “bestowing unmerited favour” though they might not put it in those terms. The difference is they do it because of humanity, not because they think it might get them to some mystical nirvana.

By the way, many atheists who I have spoken to DO get “that Christians think they’re going to heaven because they’re better people than atheists”. We just think that you are deluding yourself; as there is no evidence for any heaven, we see no evidence that generally most christians are any better than most atheists, we think that doing good deeds as a way to get to ‘heaven’ is not as good as doing good deeds just for the sake of it.

An atheist cannot conceive of any life or any salvation that is based on grace. I’ve never seen it – ever!

No salvation necessary, thanks for the concern though (TIC)

Grace – you have used this word a few times, perhaps another definition is needed:

grace: (Christian theology) a state of sanctification by God; the state of one who is under such divine influence

If that is what you mean then no, no atheist can conceive of a life without ‘grace’, because we can’t conceive of a god, we can’t conceive of having to live a life needing sanctification by anyone, thing, or mystical supernatural being. Atheists don’t consider being ‘under a divine influence’ a good thing, or even a possible thing.

However,
grace: elegance and beauty of movement or expression, or
grace: a disposition to kindness and compassion

Now if you are using either of those definitions then I would hazard an educated guess that the vast majority of atheists would live a life of grace and admire grace in other humans. Whilst I am personally not the most elegant in my movements, I certainly admire it in others, I love watching professional dancers for instance. Whilst I am not always kind and compassionate (my own personal failing, nothing to do with a lack of any supernatural being running my life), I try to be and I’m quite sure so do most other atheists.

No matter what religion or lack thereof, there will always be exceptions. There will always be bad or immoral theists and atheists alike. This doesn’t undermine Hitchens original challenge.

To date makarios I don’t see you meeting that challenge.

Care to try again?

Anyone else care to try?

 

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