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Everything posted by Geezer

  1. Dr. Robert M.Price, Hermann Detering, David Fitzgerald, & Dr. Richard Carrier convinced me that it is more likely, rather than less likely , that both Jesus and the Apostle Paul were literary figures not real people. I also found sufficient evidence that convinced me the Gospel Story itself was fictional. After years of study and research it became obvious to me that Christianity is a manmade religion and the Bible is simply a collection of theological myths. Therefore, no version of Christianity appealed to me. Atheism was my only alternative.
  2. This site contains a lot of information, but it’s difficult and confusing to navigate and find what you are specifically looking for. If that is true for folks that have been active on this site for years, it must be a nightmare for folks that are new to the site. But then again I’m an old fart and not particularly computer savvy. There is an amazing amount of good information on this site though and I’m continually finding new stuff.
  3. The question that begs an answer is what was the original source for these oral stories? Dr.Richard Carrier, IMO, makes the best case that I’ve heard for the Gospel being a mythical story. In other words somebody just make up the Jesus story and it caught on and then became an oral tradition. That isn’t so far fetched because there were already numerous dying/rising God/men stories already in circulation. The Jesus story could easily have been a modified version of anyone of these other existing stories.
  4. The purpose for the doctrine of a final Judgement day is to scare the hell out of the faithful and to make sure they understand it simply isn’t possible to do enough or give enough to make it to heaven,...but that doesn't mean they shouldn’t do more and more and more hoping they might squeeze enough good works in to barely make the final cut.
  5. The Church of Christ, that I was unfortunately a member of for way too long, interprets the Bible as literally as possible. Tithing was Old Testament Law, but Christians are under the New Covenant because the Law had been nailed to the cross. Tithing is OT Law the New Covenant says to give as you have prospered. In the c of C that was interpreted to mean give as you believe God has blessed you financially (In other words 10% is the bare minimum and does not reflect giving as you have prospered). No one actually said that, but people understood that’s what it really meant.
  6. Just to muddy the water a little more. Apologist generally date the Gospels from AD 50 to AD 90. Historians favor dating the Gospels from sometime after AD 70 to AD 125 + or - a few years. Pauls’s Epistles were not “discovered” until the second century by Marcion. That has led to speculation that Marcion was the author of Paul’s Epistles. Historians know for certain that Marcion and Simon Magus created a Gnostic version of Christianity that was the most popular version for quite some time; and many present day denominations continue to embrace that concept. Believers that favor salvation by faith thru grace not of works prefer Marcion’s theology. Since no writings prior to the second century have apparently survived that has opened the door to a lot of speculation. It also must be considered that there were other stories about dying and rising God/men that came to save their people, long before the Jesus story appeared on the scene. The Jesus story wasn’t unique.
  7. In Dr. John Dominic Crossan’s book, The Birth of Christianity, he concluded oral tradition could not possibly have been accurate for a long list of obvious human characteristics and flaws. Even though great effort was made in ancient times to memorize stories they become flawed and inaccurate over time due to normal human frailties.
  8. I’m sorry MOHO, I sincerely wish that was not true, but something registered with us and we were able to turn on our brains back on....so there is hope.
  9. Anyone ever play the game of Telephone? That might shed some light on how accurate oral tradition might be. Now add decades, even centuries, of transmitting these stories orally? It’s likely any resemblance to the original story would be an accident. Even written copies are subject to changes, edits, and redactions over time as well as being lost or destroyed.
  10. Religious indoctrination is so good and effective believers simply do not see the things you’ve listed. The indoctrination process has effectively turned their critical thinking skills and their brains normal cognitive dissonance responses off. And it’s difficult, to the point of being almost impossible, to turn their brains back on. Group think now controls them. They have essentially become programmed robots.
  11. Born again Christians do not think logically or rationally nor do they respond to evidence that challenges their “beliefs”. They believe historians and scientist are controlled by Satan, so therefore everything they say is the Devil speaking through them to deceive believers so the Devil can steal their souls. I have found it virtually impossible to have an intelligent conversation with a born again Christian fundamentalist. They are part of a cult and therefore only respond to other cult members. The only possible way this woman could ever be romantically interested in you would require you to become a member of her fundamentalist cult, but because the only scriptural divorce fundamentalist recognize is one based on adultery. And since both of you are divorced both divorces would have had to be based on adultery for the church to accept them as scriptural. Otherwise you both both would be living in sin and that would be unacceptable. I see little or no hope that you two will ever be able to have a romantic relationship again.
  12. A major problem in determining the historical accuracy of scripture and the Christian faith is that writings prior to the second century have been lost and or destroyed. Therefore, there are no eyewitness recordings of anything. All the “evidence” that exists is hearsay and therefore unreliable. Based on the information available I lean towards the probability that it is more likely, rather than less likely, that the Gospel story is just that....a fictional story and that would make the characters in that story fictional too. I think that also applies to Paul and his Epistles. The real authors of the Epistles created Paul as their fictional author. The surviving evidence suggest that Marcion and Simon Magus created the Christian religion using the fictional Gospel story as their inspiration. Marcion’s Churches were originally the most popular Christian Church until the Catholic Church excommunicated him. And when Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire the Catholic Church ruled unopposed for centuries building up tremendous wealth and power. I think the probabilities indicate Christianity is based on a mythical story, with a mythical God/man hero, that came to save the world, and thanks to the Roman Empire it remains the most popular religion in the world today.
  13. Just a note, all scholars do not accept that Paul was a real person. The Fabricated Paul by Hermann Detering & The Colossal Apostle by Robert M Price are two examples of scholarly works that question whether the Apostle Paul was a real person. I think both noted authors present a strong case for Paul being a literary character. The alternative is that Marcion and Simon Magus wrote the Pauline Epistles and were the real creators of Christianity. Obviously the mentioned books would have to be read to become familiar with the evidence they present and then the reader will have to decide for themselves.
  14. Good video, thanks for bringing it to my attention.
  15. My journey out of religion has been completed but I stumbled on these videos and have invested hours watching them. They are the best I’ve ever encountered about why Christianity, or any religion, isn’t true. The creator of these videos is a clinical psychologist and he is amazing. I’m not going to link them just go to You Tube and in the search box type in Theramin Trees. You will find he has made a video for just about any question people ask about religion. These videos are truly excellent. It’s like gettin free therapy session for why leaving religion is the right choice. I will note he grew up in a religious fundamentalist home. I can can also recommend videos produced by Recovery From Religion. They have some excellent videos too.
  16. Geezer


    Welcome.I’m certain you will find this site helpful. Another good place to find help dealing with religious people is Recovering from Religion. They have a lot of good You Tube videos too.
  17. That is precisely the problem. Sex feels good, it’s pleasurable. Anything that feels good and gives pleasure must be sinful. I thought everyone knew that. The sight of a beautiful naked woman incites a man to lust for her. Therefore, beautiful naked woman are sinful. That implies the human body is sinful and thus sex is sinful. A basic truth of life. If it’s fun then it’s sinful or illegal and probably both. Religion is all about being miserable and feeling guilty all of the time.
  18. The Christian faith is full of contradictions, that are obvious to everyone but a Christian.
  19. On another site I engaged a fundy that was answering every question by quoting scripture. My response was to challenge the authenticity of scripture and it’s supposed inerrant status. We exchanged several posts. I presents numerous factual errors that are in the Bible and asked him how an inerrant Bible could contain such obvious flaws. To his credit he acknowledged that the Bible isn’t inerrant. Then I asked him how he could trust the Bible’s claims if it isn’t inerrant. When he got back to me he told me he’d been praying about this problem and he’d ask God why the Bible isn’t inerrant? Then he said God told him He didn’t need an inerrant Bible because He gave Him His Son and Jesus is all sufficient and all anyone needs to know. That was his final post to me. That exchange just confirmed that an indoctrinated mind will find a way to validate what it’s been trained to believe one way or another.
  20. It was inevitable that someone, or some group, was going to respond to the Muslim terrorist attacks. When militants posted video of decapitating people, coordinated attacks with automatic weapons that killed many people, planting hidden bombs, etc. They were inviting a deadly response. It was only a matter of time. And the retaliation began long before the NZ attack and it will likely continue. All this senseless killing of innocent people is horrific and sickening, but predictable. And sadly it will continue.
  21. Thank you, but I noted that David Nicholls was the author. I was referencing his article.
  22. The inherent problem with censorship is that it tends to grow and expand. We have seen that here in the U.S. with “political correctness”. An actual social judicial/punishment segment has been created. Say the wrong thing and a person’s life can be literally destroyed. Its out of control now because it has evolved into a form of mob rule and there doesn’t seem to be a way to control it, much less end it.
  23. In my experience there are Christians that “say” they don’t take the Bible literally, but it seems to me they pick and choose what parts they acknowledge as myth and which parts they take literally. If they didn’t accept that some of the Bible is literally true and historically accurate, I don’t think they’d be Christians. If they don’t believe Jesus was a real person/Deity why would they even claim to be a Christian? I think a person has to believe Jesus and God are one and the same to identify as a Christian. At least that much seems to be required.
  24. Welcome Jerry, and I’m glad you found the exit sign. Leaving religion is difficult but also exhilarating. I know you will find this site helpful.
  25. The purpose of Bible Study is to indoctrinate people into WHAT to believe. Critical thinking would be sinful and therefore excluded.
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