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Liquid Gardens

Atheism - any contradictions or 'problems'?

310 posts in this topic

PA

So, you seem to have invited me to extend the query in my previous post,

I'm not in disagreement with that view. All I'm saying is that those earliest followers obviously did believe what they were preaching, because for many of them their fate was not riches but death.

Acts depicts Peter and other apostles persecuted for miracle working, not for the content of their speech. Nobody disputed that they did miracles and invoked Jesus when doing them, so there were no disputed facts for them to recant. Stephen was killed for an overt blapshemy about a question of Jewish religion, not for anything he taught about Jesus' life.

Stephen wasn't a witness anyway, so far as we know, but was at least a close associate in the Jerusalem ministry. Paul is neither a witness nor well placed in the Jerusalem ministry, a point of pride with him. He does endure the hardships and risks of the road, and has poor relations with various local authorities, but the actual subject of their quarrels is at best vague.

There's nobody getting killed in the canon for what they preach about Jesus' life, nor even much record of preaching what the preacher was a witness to.

Edited by eight bits

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And yet first century Christians were being persecuted for their faith. Some of these ways were more subtle than others. Jewish converts who turned to Christ would often find themselves being charged higher prices for goods and services by their Jewish colleagues who remained Jewish. That's only a small example, but it is still a form of persecution. If I wanted a loaf of bread and I was being charged $4 instead of $2 simply because I'd converted to a different belief, I'd be pretty PO'ed...

Interesting. What evidence do you have for that, exactly?

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And yet first century Christians were being persecuted for their faith. Some of these ways were more subtle than others. Jewish converts who turned to Christ would often find themselves being charged higher prices for goods and services by their Jewish colleagues who remained Jewish. That's only a small example, but it is still a form of persecution. If I wanted a loaf of bread and I was being charged $4 instead of $2 simply because I'd converted to a different belief, I'd be pretty PO'ed...

Not as much as you would think. For the most part the early Christians were not even noticed. There is one extant letter about them from Trajan, and in it he instructs a policy of allowing those who seek out martyrdom to have what they want but no investigations, no accepting of informer stories, no testing.

The Romans really were a very tolerant bunch when it comes to religion. The Jews were entirely unmolested, in spite of their refusal to engage in the state rituals, because of their antiquity. The Christians, once they were recognized as separate, did not have that protection, and it was considered important for the welfare of the country that the gods not be insulted. The Druids came under serious persecution because of human sacrifice (kinda ironic when you have the Coliseum built for something similar).

A period of serious persecution occurred much later under Diocletian, and probably led to Christianity's ultimate success (among many other factors) because of the example the martyrs set. After Christianity became dominant, a veritable cult of martyrs set in, and you'd think the pre-Christian Romans had nothing to do except chase and kill Christians.

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Atheism and Theism is about the existence of deities. The debate is on if deities are real. I.E. They both have the same argument.

No. False logic. Believing in an irrational tale is not the same as not believing in an irrational tale.

By your logic, somebody who believes that he is constantly followed by an invisible giant rabbit and Elvis lives in his attic is to be taken just as serious as all the people who do not believe they are followed by invisitable giant rabbits and Elvis lives in their attic.

Really?

No banana. Try again.

Edited by Zaphod222
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Koran, yes. Buddhism? Dunno. Buddhism seemed like a pretty congruent system of thought to me. But I take your word for it. So what?

Only recently, I think under Western influence, has the idea of Scripture entered Buddhism. There is a massive library of Buddhist writings, in Pali and later in Sanskrit, and of course subsequent writings from all over, but this is not seen as anything like "The Word of God." It is only the writings of wise and holy and venerated men (I doubt there are any from women, but it is such a huge corpus there may be). Let me tell you, it is chock full of contradictions. Monks love arguing over this sort of thing.

This business of contradictions kinda gets me. I suppose if your teaching is that a writing is infallible, then a contradiction presents something of a problem, but maybe not even then, since it may be only your interpretation that creates the contradiction.

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PA

So, you seem to have invited me to extend the query in my previous post,

Acts depicts Peter and other apostles persecuted for miracle working, not for the content of their speech. Nobody disputed that they did miracles and invoked Jesus when doing them, so there were no disputed facts for them to recant. Stephen was killed for an overt blapshemy about a question of Jewish religion, not for anything he taught about Jesus' life.

Stephen wasn't a witness anyway, so far as we know, but was at least a close associate in the Jerusalem ministry. Paul is neither a witness nor well placed in the Jerusalem ministry, a point of pride with him. He does endure the hardships and risks of the road, and has poor relations with various local authorities, but the actual subject of their quarrels is at best vague.

There's nobody getting killed in the canon for what they preach about Jesus' life, nor even much record of preaching what the preacher was a witness to.

I'll have to get back to you on this, look into it and see what I find. I'm not comfortable responding with the level of knowledge I have right now, but I don't have the energy to look it up right now. Please bear with me :)

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I am a time traveler from the future, I was sent here by you to save you in the future, however, I need a lot of money in order to do so. Your future self told me to come to this time and collect all your possessions from you. Please give me all your financial info...after all, what possible motive could anybody have for sitting down and "inventing" this story?

But right from the very start, Christianity was all about GIVING without charge..:)

Jesus said to his followers- "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give." (Matt 10:8)

Paul said- "..we do not peddle the word of God for profit"- 2 Cor 2:17

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Interesting. What evidence do you have for that, exactly?

Specific scrolls or manuscripts from the time, I honestly cannot recall anything. My comment was based off a Bible study I led last year. The passage was on James 1, and the first verses begin (after the greetings and salutations) with:

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

~ James 1:2-3

Several other parts in James 1 refer to the trials that these Christians face. When I was originally studying up on the passage, I read a commentary that stated the historical context, that ex-Jews who were Christians now Christians were being targeted by their former Jewish comrades, with tactics such as the ones I described. I can't recall the sources this commentary provided, I just remember it is one of the commentaries I trusted to be accurate because of the large volume of scholarly research attached to it.

Sorry I can't be of more help,

~ Regards,

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1- As Paranoid Android pointed out in post #61- "in the years immediately after Jesus, there was no colossus of a church, there were no riches and glory. There was death and persecution"

So why on earth would people sit down and "invent" Jesus and Christianity if it meant they were likely to be executed?

As opposed to remaining Jewish and definitely being executed by the Romans in 70 AD?

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As opposed to remaining Jewish and definitely being executed by the Romans in 70 AD?

Thanks for reminding me of that; the Jews in Judea did get persecuted twice, after revolting. Interestingly though Jews living elsewhere, as in Rome or Alexandria, were not touched.

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...If there's one thing I can't stand is Christians trying to convert me...

In the early 1960's some kids at school were going round telling everybody how fab and great a new group called the Beatles were.

We'd never heard of them, so we checked them out and saw it was true, they really were fab and great..:)

Same with Christianity, Christians want everybody to know how fab and great Jesus is so that they'll connect with him, and his power will flow into them and make them feel good!

"Everybody tried to touch Jesus because power was coming from him" (Luke 6:12-19)

Jesus said -"Someone touched me, I know that power has gone out from me." (Luke 8:46)

And we too can "touch" him to connect and get a power download by just mumbling a few words such as "Jesus remember me" when we're tired, lonely, fed up..:)

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Specific scrolls or manuscripts from the time, I honestly cannot recall anything.

If you find the sources involved, I'd be very interested, as the word Christian is extremely rare for the first century.

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(PA My posting is a little slower than the flow of the action, so this is the reply to your reply-post-before-last on these issues. I see that while I was composing this one, you asked for more time... so by all means take your time. Thank you for your replies so far.)

The "retail deal" which ended up being fatal was not because the person refused to give money, the reason was because the person lied about not giving what he said he would.

So, in other words, there was a fatal quarrel about the apostolic share of the proceeds of a real estate deal. This is what's in the record, PA; don't shoot the messenger.

On the flipside, Paul is said to have spurned the money offered to travelling preachers (apparently it was a lucrative business). Instead he is said to have worked as a tent-maker to pay his way.

OK, Paul has more than one iron in the fire. That doesn't pay the rent on the spacious digs in which we find the Jerusalem Apostles at the opening of Acts. Assuming, of course, that they didn't own the building.

In short, I guess I would ask whether the early Christian leaders were really as rich as what you are arguing them to be.

I am not their accountant. I'm not arguing how "rich" they were. I am arguing that their trade is lucrative (as we seem to agree), and that they are depicted as recieving money for their trouble in what few records we have.

In contrast, we have no records of any of them dying violently, except for the two we discussed. One of them we don't know why he was killed, and the other, according to the record, wasn't killed for a statement about Jesus' life.

And by the way,

Jewish converts who turned to Christ would often find themselves being charged higher prices for goods and services by their Jewish colleagues who remained Jewish. That's only a small example, but it is still a form of persecution. If I wanted a loaf of bread and I was being charged $4 instead of $2 simply because I'd converted to a different belief, I'd be pretty PO'ed...

That's called "differential pricing." People who sell stuff charge as much for it as they can get, but not a penny more than that. If you're being charged $4 for a loaf of bread, it's because the seller thinks you've got $4 to spend on his loaf of bread.

That's hardly evidence that you have a reputation for being poor.

It's all well and good to point out, as another poster did, that when Christianity was a wholly Gentile church, it was a "big tent" with lots of poor folks. That, however, is way in the future of the first generation of church leaders. In Acts, the converts include people with the wherewithall to travel long distances to Jerusalem, a Roman officer who has his own estate, a celebrity magician whose gift is refunded, that couple that tried to shortchange the apostles....

These are people with money, PA. That's what in the record.

Edited by eight bits

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The early Christians were not wealthy; mostly they were the poor and the lower ranks in the army, and of course quite a few slaves. Where did any get any idea otherwise?

Wealth did not come into the church until Constantine. Of course at that time it became the thing to be if you were up and coming.

Not all early Christians were poor, for example by doing some detective work we find that:-

Marks mother was one of the Marys (Acts 12:12) from an influential and probably wealthy family

John the disciple was also from a wealthy family (Mark 1:20; Luke 5:3; John 19:27)

Paul was an ex-bounty hunter and tentmaker.

Luke was a doctor (2 Tim. 4:11)

So by giving that up and becoming Christians they risked perscution,

Edited by Crikey

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Crikey said- Even the Koran and Buddhism is full of them [contradictions and inconsistencies].

Koran, yes. Buddhism? Dunno. Buddhism seemed like a pretty congruent system of thought to me. But I take your word for it. So what?

It shows that atheists are over-obsessed with calling the Bible "contradictory", yet rarely say a word against the others..;)

For the record Koran 2:136 names several prophets including Jesus and says they're all equal in rank- "

we do not make anydistinction between any of them",

Yet Koran 2:253 says some prophets ARE more equal than others-

"We have made some of these apostles to excel the others...

We gave clear miracles to Isa [Jesus] son of Marium [Mary], and strengthened him with the holy spirit"

As for Buddhism, the inconstencies come thick and fast, for example Buddha even tells us not to listen to him-

"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense"

Buddha

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But right from the very start, Christianity was all about GIVING without charge..:)

Jesus said to his followers- "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give." (Matt 10:8)

Paul said- "..we do not peddle the word of God for profit"- 2 Cor 2:17

You really don't understand that the bible is your claim, not your proof :/

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In the early 1960's some kids at school were going round telling everybody how fab and great a new group called the Beatles were.

We'd never heard of them, so we checked them out and saw it was true, they really were fab and great.. :)

Ha, not only that, but the Beatles were 'more popular than Jesus' according to John (Lennon, not Saint).

Same with Christianity, Christians want everybody to know how fab and great Jesus is so that they'll connect with him, and his power will flow into them and make them feel good!

We know the Beatles existed and that they made music, we don't know that Jesus is God, nor that there is a God at all; that's a pretty big difference. And what many Christians want me to know about Jesus I don't think is fab at all, quite the opposite.

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I suppose if you count all the art and architecture. Not terribly liquid.

The art, artifacts, the history channel said it was in the hundreds of billions.

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I am not sure what contractions external or internal an atheist would have.

I do not deny the possibility of a deity, I just personally do not believe in one. Thing is, unexplained things do not cause me to feel any contradiction.

Why would they?

Science grows and changes and grows and changes. it *gasps*.. evolves.

What people considered a mystery, and thus must be of god, 500 yrs ago, we now have scientific explinations of.

That is how it is today. There are mysteries we seemingly cannot demystify. Does not make it godly, just means we do not have the answers yet. We may have them in 3 yrs, 10 yrs, 100 yrs. 1001 yrs from now. Just not today.

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I know, they each read into various Bible passages only what they want to see; it's a vanity thing so they can claim "Only WE know the true meaning, and the rest of you poor dumb shmucks don't"

In other words they twist Bible verses out of shape and are therefore "spiritual perverts"

Cheery picking is at the head of the table there..Which is why I cannot hold doubt in so many editing it to suit themselves

Edited by Beckys_Mom

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Cheery picking is at the head of the table there..Which is why I cannot hold doubt in so many editing it to suit themselves

yanno, my issue with ANY 'holy' book and religion is the prayer thing.. pray for this.. because i have a test coming and need to pass.. or 'pray for me, i am ill'

It is like, IF there is a god, said god knows what you need, but why should god listen to you and give you what you need, when you are more then capable of studying for your test, or going to a doctor and doing what you need to get better.. why is your illness or whatever more important than that child breing raped down the road by their father or mother.. or that starving homeless child in the other country.. or those pple trapped in the coalmines trying to do their job and is suffocating.

if god is going to answer your prayer because you are so good as to ask for it, then perhaps something is major wrong here.. because there are to many homeless/abused/terrified pple out there.. who need help worse.. and not getting it.

See what i mean?

I know many pple cherry pick the bible, but that is because in most places, bible is used more.. now in some countries this is not true, but let us face it, in those countries, if you cherry pick the quaran (however it is spelled), in public.. it can get you punished.. if not killed.

cherry pick the safer one. you live longer

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yanno, my issue with ANY 'holy' book and religion is the prayer thing.. pray for this.. because i have a test coming and need to pass.. or 'pray for me, i am ill'

It is like, IF there is a god, said god knows what you need, but why should god listen to you and give you what you need, when you are more then capable of studying for your test, or going to a doctor and doing what you need to get better.. why is your illness or whatever more important than that child breing raped down the road by their father or mother.. or that starving homeless child in the other country.. or those pple trapped in the coalmines trying to do their job and is suffocating.

if god is going to answer your prayer because you are so good as to ask for it, then perhaps something is major wrong here.. because there are to many homeless/abused/terrified pple out there.. who need help worse.. and not getting it.

See what i mean?

I know many pple cherry pick the bible, but that is because in most places, bible is used more.. now in some countries this is not true, but let us face it, in those countries, if you cherry pick the quaran (however it is spelled), in public.. it can get you punished.. if not killed.

cherry pick the safer one. you live longer

I no longer use a bible to cherry pick it...

For the rest of what you bring up.. Praying, no one can ever know as to why god doesn't help those in serious need.. All they will care about is god looking out for them... Some have the gall to brag how god will even give them money stop them from drinking or taking drugs / smoking etc.. But not give a rap for those who are in more need... These people will never know why god does what he does, all they will want is something for themselves

In a burning building..300 people ..290 are killed, ten are saved.. The ten saved can say - "God saved us.". But what they wont say is - God didn't save the others... You might get some arrogant plonker who will have his head up his rear and he may say - Well, god saved me because I am closer, those 290 that died, just didn't pray right and were not as close to god like me .. Believe it or not, I have seen people say just that..

Another thing... If god did go and save every person from pain, suffering, disease, rape, murder, hunger etc ..No one would need to pray for much... Because these bad things happen, this is what brings on the praying..

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You really don't understand that the bible is your claim, not your proof :/

If you're going to start disbelieving history books like the Bible, you'd better burn all other books too, and close down libraries..:)

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Not all early Christians were poor, for example by doing some detective work we find that:-

Marks mother was one of the Marys (Acts 12:12) from an influential and probably wealthy family

John the disciple was also from a wealthy family (Mark 1:20; Luke 5:3; John 19:27)

I know lots of people who are from wealthy families and aren't wealthy.

Paul was an ex-bounty hunter and tentmaker.

These were labor trades.

Luke was a doctor (2 Tim. 4:11)

Doctors made little more than barbers before the 20th century.

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We know the Beatles existed and that they made music.....And what many Christians want me to know about Jesus I don't think is fab at all, quite the opposite.

Why don't you think this is fab and great?-

"Love God, love one another, feed the hungry, house the homeless, clothe the destitute, tend the sick, visit the prisoners, look after the poor"- Jesus of Nazareth (Mark 12:30, John 13:34, Matt 25: 37-40)

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