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  • Our picks

    • My attached short essay on Precession as the Framework of Christian Origins was published last year as an Appendix in The Christ Conspiracy Second Edition by DM Murdock (Acharya S).  (4000 words)
      I helped Dr Robert M. Price to edit this new second edition. This book was quite controversial when it first came out in 1999, with its uncompromising presentation of the hypothesis that the myth of Jesus Christ arose as a personification of the Sun.  I agree with this argument, and consider that it presents a complex and coherent perspective on religion.
      Before her death in 2015, Acharya began editing her planned CC second edition, aiming to remove some of the more contentious material and present her main arguments more clearly. I had worked closely with her on some areas of her analysis of astrotheology, so was pleased to be able to help with this work, and enjoyed going through the book in detail to edit it. 
      My own long term theological interest is in this topic of Precession as the Framework of Christian Origins, which I consider provides a compelling scientific explanation of many of the perspectives that Acharya presents. This idea helps to explain the role of conspiracy in Christianity, firstly among the secret Gnostic mystic philosophers who first developed the Christ Myth as allegory, and secondly in the orthodox church, as they systematically rewrote Christian origins to exclude its founding natural cosmology and pretend that the events described in the Gospels actually happened.  
      As a hypothesis, the precession hypothesis raises such controversial material that it is difficult to discuss. The essential argument is that Jesus Christ was deliberately invented as avatar of the zodiac ages of Pisces and Aquarius. I think this idea should be of interest to ex-Christians, as a way to help excavate the abiding truths that are hidden beneath the supernatural rubble of Christendom. 
      I would welcome any questions or critique or conversation about the ideas in this paper.
      Thanks
      Precession as the Framework of Christian Origins by Robert Tulip, published in The Christ Conspiracy Second Edition.pdf
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      • 86 replies
    • Ecclesiastes 12:13 and the Meaning of Life
      Ecclesiastes 12:13 (ESV): The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
       
      To which I ask: That's all you've got?
       
      I've never set goals. Really! Oh, I did finish college (after changing my major 3 times), but I've always lived my life a day at a time. And I've always found my "meaning" in my responsibilities. I have work, I have family, and I have things to do. What more meaning do I need? Well, I know what's going on in the world and have discussions about it, and contribute to causes and organizations that I feel are important, and I vote -- so there's more meaning. I'm thinking more and more about how I'm going to be able to retire and I should have made that more important many years ago, but even now I wouldn't call it a goal. I need to get as much put away as I can, but I don't really think I want to retire. I just know that I'll have to some day.
       
      The meaning in life just comes along. I have grandchildren and I love to spend time with them. I love having grown-up conversations with my kids and their spouses. I enjoy spending the evenings with my wife, even when it's boring, because we're together. I enjoy listening to music, but not as much as I used to. I listen to podcasts in the car while commuting every day. All of that stuff is just there, but it has meaning.
       
      Largely, this day-to-day attitude that I was either born with or picked up somehow has meant that I never thought about Heaven or Hell, and certainly never imagined what they would be like. Apologists sometimes say that without eternity, life is absurd. Maybe that's so, but eternity is absurd, also. How can sitting in front of a throne worshiping a deity forever and ever be meaningful?
       
      "Meaningful" is making things work, getting things done. Meaningful is enjoying a good meal. Meaningful is enjoying a fast-food meal. Meaningful is laughing with your friends and family. Meaningful is laughing at a TV show or a movie. Meaningful is experiencing anything -- a relationship or a story or anything -- that brings out emotion, happy or sad or just deep. Meaning and purpose are found in the everyday tasks and entertainment and relationships we experience. No ultimate goal is required. In fact, believing that there's an ultimate goal takes away from the true meaning, which is found in the everyday.
       
      And after life is over? Meaning is for the living who remember you.
       
      Maybe you're young and don't have some of those things, but you still have a 24-hour day that's full of meaning. Over time, the meaning changes, but it's there already, every waking hour.
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    • What follows is just a trace of the essence of a thought I've been having lately,  so forgive me if it's not terribly coherent. Feel free to critique,  disagree with,  or otherwise challenge what follows. I'm just trying to approach making sense. I want my thinking to be stretched on this, so please challenge me.
       
      I have often heard it asserted that something cannot come from nothing. I've also heard it asked (usually in a tone of voice which suggests a certain profundity) that something cannot come from nothing.  Now,  there are various possible responses to this,  and I've engaged in a number of arguments here and elsewhere regarding this assertion. In general,  I think a great deal turns on what one means by "nothing". But this is by the by, at least for now.
       
      Recently, on these boards, I have asserted that I've heard it said that something can emerge spontaneously from the quantum vacuum. But also, that I've heard it said that the quantum vacuum is not nothing. And further, that arguments have been made to the effect that no other kind of "nothing" is possible. Well, this is all very nice, but it does still leave the layperson pondering the original question: why is there something rather than nothing? And how does something come about from nothing?
       
      These are questions that deserves to be taken seriously. But they are also questions which demand that we take them seriously. That is to say, the subject and the content of the questions matter a great deal,  but so do the presuppositions of the questions. So if we are to move forward here, it seems to me that we must proceed with caution.
       
      To put it very bluntly, the question "why is there something rather than nothing" seems to me to presuppose that there ought to be nothing, but nevertheless, there is something. I think that if we think about this for more than a minute,  we will all realize that this is nonsensical.
       
      When have we ever experienced nothing?
       
      Could we ever experience nothing?
       
      It seems to me that the very nature of experience is that it is of something. But this is to say, we have no reason, and can have no reason to think that nothing is even a possibility. 
       
      To put this another way, try considering the original question in reverse. Why is there something rather than nothing, and how did it come about? No. Why might there be nothing rather than something, and does that even make sense?
       
      I think you'll find that it doesn't make sense. Or so it seems to me right now.
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      • 100 replies
    • A load of reasons why myself and others should deconvert
      Here are my reasons for deconversion. It's more to do with the reasons why, rather than telling my story, after all that's what matters. Some of my points are from great minds other than myself, and I do not appologise for this as these people have inspired myself and many others to lose faith. I started losing my belief with the 1st scenario below. To me this is ENOUGH proof that Bible god is NOT real
       
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      • 18 replies
    • Christianity and Politics
      Why do you think so many Christians identify more with Conservatism than Liberalism?  I used to attend the Catholic Church, and the number of pro-Trump comments on some Catholic forums is shocking.  I thought it would be 50-50, but it's not even close.  Is there something about Christianity that makes people more conservative?  Is it just a Catholic thing?
      • 84 replies
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    • Thanks Weezer, I am always happy to discuss anything that is unclear.
    • Backtracking somewhat, I see your arguments for Jesus not being a real person, and considered that myself.  But after finding the Gnostic Gospels, that seemed to describe him as more of an average person, but were thrown out of the canon, I decide that he possibly existed.  I am having a hard time understanding why people insist he DID NOT exist, when we really don't know for sure.  Would it make your arguments more palatable to some if you took a more agnostic stance on this issue?
    • Robert, sometimes I have trouble following you, but I like the general direction you are going with your ideas.  THANKS!
    • ·       This is a great question.  What is needed is for the logical, evidence-based solutions to be packaged in ways that make them saleable and attractive to a mass audience, while retaining their integrity and coherence.  ·       My view is that this is exactly what the original authors of Christianity tried but in large measure failed to do.  By imagining Jesus as a philosopher king and packaging him as the Gospel miracle worker, the authors of the Gospels thought they could control the political movement they were starting, but they did not appreciate how the power would be ripped from their hands and their work would be distorted. ·       Or maybe they did appreciate the likelihood of such a corrupted result?  My view is that the original authors had a very high astronomical understanding, and constructed Jesus in a two-step model, as avatar of both the Zodiac Age of Pisces beginning in 21 AD, with its astrological theme of compassionate mystical belief, and of the Zodiac Age of Aquarius, beginning around now, with its astrological theme of innovative humanitarian knowledge.  The story at Luke 22:10 of the man with the water jug (Age of Aquarius) showing the way to the upper room (integration of earth with the visible heavens) provides a metaphor for this natural cosmology. ·       On this hypothesis, the spreading of the gospel around the world over the course of the Age of Pisces as outlined in Matt 24:14 aimed to ‘prime the pump’ for a coming New Age, when human culture would have evolved sufficiently to see a path toward operating on the Christian principles of the Sermon on the Mount and the Last Judgement, when the response to a Christ figure would be dialogue rather than crucifixion.  ·       My view is that the Gospel authors imagined the Dawn of the Age of Aquarius as the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, the ‘seventh day’ of creation in the day-millennium scheme of Psalm 90:4, the millennium of rest and restoration needed to heal the planet after the ravages of human destruction over the last six thousand years. ·       I see this model of time as a way to integrate science and popular myth, serving the serious political need to explain the climate apocalypse in Christian terms.  With the world hurtling toward collapse and conflict due to the fragility and sensitivity of our economy and politics in the context of a brittle natural climate, we are in a situation where the mythology of the four horsemen - death, disease, hunger and war – provides a major literal risk of the impending planetary future. ·       The tectonic pressures of planetary warming will continue their remorseless increase toward breaking point unless there is a paradigm shift that integrates climate solutions with an acceptable cultural framework, including some level of respect for cultural traditions.  ·       Preventing such catastrophic outcomes can be supported by exploring how such real results were imagined in ancient times, and how this realistic imagination, the ‘won’t be water but fire next time’ idea of 2 Peter 3:7, was concealed in the popular language of symbolic mythology in the Bible. I wrote a paper last year on the arithmetic of climate stability. It got partly through peer review in a leading scientific journal, but was not published due to my refusal to accept the opinions of one peer reviewer.  This paper sets out my views on climate solutions in detail, with only marginal allusion to religion with the idea of integral ecology. I expect I will circulate it publicly soon. ·       Recognising that popular culture operates at an ignorant and emotional level does not mean we should treat people with contempt.  The integration of the messages of science and religion is necessary to steer the world onto an ethical path, aiming to overcome the polarisation of politics toward mutual respect and reconciliation.  The problem is that the corruption of politics makes it a sphere where scientific messages get highly distorted, by both left and right. Such distortions by the right are widely noted, but the left-wing idea that decarbonising the economy is a sufficient response to climate change is an equally distorted and polarising message in my view. ·       My hope is that the steady increase of planetary integration illustrates that the old magical ideas of “salvation” have to be replaced by logic and evidence.  Processes such as the rise of the internet, the growth of world trade, and even the epidemiology of the pandemic generate the need for scrutiny, transparency and accountability in ways that old-fashioned beliefs have no answers for.  ·       Old beliefs can be reimagined.  Salvation through “going to heaven” is a metaphor for fixing the planet, while damnation through “going to hell” is a metaphor for planetary collapse and conflict.  ·       Finding the hard and narrow path that leads to salvation (Matt 7:14) in a scientific world requires the ethical observation that the emotional magical thinking that pervades popular religion is in fact the wide and easy highway to hell.  ·       Shifting Christianity onto a scientific ethic, which means recognising that Jesus was a fictional invention, seems to me the best way to put logic into the centre of public debate.
    • WalterP suggested he would put this topic in a debate forum, and I thought I would put the science version of it in this forum so that if anyone wished to learn about it, discuss or debate the science version of it rather than the religious version they could.   To understand the science version and basis for the fine-tuning argument, read any of the links below. A few also mention the religious perspective.   IMO the fine-tuning argument, involving the so-called anthropocentric universe has its primary sway in religion rather than having a sound scientific basis. Most scientists today would strongly disagree with this statement. Also IMO Fine tuning is based upon the false assumption by mainstream science that the laws of nature and the so-called free parameters of physics collectively are a separate entity from nature and our universe, and could have preexisted it.  I believe the laws of nature and of physics do not have a separate existence by themselves. Instead the laws of nature and the so-called free parameters of physics are not free at all but bound to each other via the mechanics of nature we observe. All of these parameters involving physical relationships have been discovered or invented by men to explain the physical relationships of nature. These so-called laws of physics are often very good at predictions and explanations, but sometimes they have been proven wrong and are changed. If so, there would be no such thing as a fine-tuning argument. There is just one known universe. Along with it our invented laws of nature, physics and its parameters must be a part and could never be separate from nature and involve different parameters and constants -- or have an existence by themselves anymore than science, forces, ratios, calculations, equations etc. could be separate from reality.   Links below explain and/or propose a fine-tuned universe in the view of mainstream physicists. A few of these views are contrary to a religious interpretation of them, and some discuss the likelihood of a religious interpretation, whether right or wrong.   https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/article/scientific-approaches-to-the-fine-tuning-problem/   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fine-tuned_universe   https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-26300-7_6   https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/fine-tuning/   https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2019/12/19/the-universe-really-is-fine-tuned-and-our-existence-is-the-proof/?sh   http://cosmos.nautil.us/short/119/fine-tuning-does-not-imply-a-fine-tuner                
    • No reason there couldn't be separate threads in two different forums.  We generally don't like to waste bandwidth on duplicate threads; but having two different approaches to the arguments, as would be offered by the respective forums, might be beneficial for our ever-present but unseen audience of lurkers.  Just a thought, take it for what it's worth. 
    • Thanks for this Pantheory.   However, my prime reason for selecting the Den isn't the hope that I will find any Christians there willing to defend this argument.   If they rise to challenge, fine.  If they don't, no matter.  Should the Mods judge my input worthy they might pin it there, waiting for any future Christians to tackle it.   No, the main reason why the Den is the best place is because this argument plays a HUGE role in current Christian apologetics.   Therefore, this topic is not just about science.  It's about how science is used and misused by Christians to further their religious agenda.   Christian apologists always try to use mainstream and orthodox science to support their religious beliefs.   Unfortunately, this means that alternative cosmologies and unorthodox scientific views do not feature in their apologetic arguments at all.   But I respect and appreciate your input here Pantheory and your willingness to cooperate with the aims and goals of this site.   Thank you.   Walter.    
    • Hi Walter,   I don't think you will find any Christians here who could defend via religion the fine-tuning argument in the debate forums. But If you post here or there I could play the devil's advocate and promote the mainstream science version of it, which I believe is the majority opinion. If the mainstream version of it is wrong, then religion would have nothing to support its bogus claims. Even if IMO the science argument for it is simply BS, I promise not to deliberately lose the argument   When you are on a college debate team and are told the subject of the debate, either law or another subject, you are not told beforehand which side you will have to support, promote,  or defend. But if you prefer, I could promote and support the religious version of this argument if no Christians choose to do so, either here or in the religious debate forums. The science arguments for and against fine-tuning are also not clear-cut so I could promote and defend the mainstream science version of fine-tuning or my alternative version which explains its mistakes IMO.
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