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Liquid Gardens

Atheism - any contradictions or 'problems'?

310 posts in this topic

It goes further than that; the Bible is a 'Spiritual Survival Manual' that us how to tap into The Force that fills the universe and get feelgood downloads from it, think of it as a Power Boost.. :)

Can you imagine what life would be like, if man never invented the bible? You wouldn't know how to lead a good life..!

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Frank Merton

The thing about Paul, and I think you are roughly correct about his dates, is that he knows nothing of the earthly Jesus we see in the Gospels. His Jesus is in Heaven about to return in glory. He has that Jesus died and was resurrected, but no details, and is widely interpreted as thinking of events that took place in a hazy mythical time.

That's not the textual situation. While Paul cannot say of his own natural knowledge that his beliefs about Jesus are correct, he fairly obviously believes that Jesus, wherever he is now, at some recent time walked on Earth.

Among his fellow visionaries, he lists James, identified as a brother of Jesus and as somebody Paul did meet, in the flesh. Paul doesn't simply know that Jesus was betrayed, but recites an abbreviated "institution narrative." That depicts Jesus eating and drinking, which are earthly activities. Also, the institution narrative is presented as something familiar to his reader. Either Paul taught them this, or somebody else did, but etiher way, Paul knows what it is, and that the Jesus whom the narrative depicts is instituting something on Earth.

Jesus' teaching has few things to distinguish it from others', and Paul's teaching mostly applies his own Pharisaic thinking, which Jesus would not necessarily have agreed with. However, Jesus' teaching on divorce is peculiar to him and frankly counter-scriptural. Jesus reportedly forbade remarriage after divorce, except for special circumstances. 1 Corinthians 7: 10-15 appears to try to reconcile a similar teaching Paul says he got from "the Lord" with the realities of a Gentile church (while Jesus' comments would have been solely for Jewish listeners). Thus, Paul appears to know a living Jesus teaching about a purely Earthly concern, divorce and marriage.

Finally, frrom a psychological point of view, Paul, who places so much emphasis on the physical character of the Resurrection, avoids Jerusalem during the entire period when Jesus' body would be entombed before secondary burial. As is routine in ego-defense, Paul has a song and dance about why not doing the obvious (going to Jerusalem to see that prematurely empty tomb for himself, now that he thinks it ought to be empty) was the right thing to do. It also helps to explain his emphasis on belief without evidence, which is a curious aspect of a religion whose distinctive feature is its historical character.

Had Paul tested what he made of his vision, then ... well, it depends on whether the tomb actually was untimely empty. That he took such care defending from refutation those personal conjectures in which he had invested so much, suggests that Paul believed that there was a tomb, recently used at the time of the beginning of his ministry, located in the city he took such care to avoid, where associates of the tomb's occupant still lived.

However,

PA

Whether Paul knew about it or not, as soon as his writings hit the scene, if Jesus never existed, someone would have written about it.

The writings were letters to Gentile believers located anywhere except Jerusalem. Who would read them, except people who believed that Jesus existed? If someone else did read a letter, why would they care whether Jesus existed? If they cared, how would they know whether he existed or not? If they didn't know and wanted to find out, what do you propose they should do? It's twenty years on. If there was a tomb, then it's empty, or in use by somebody else.

... there were several writers who disagreed with Christianity, they argued against Jesus on many areas, but none of them argued against his existence.

And how many of those arguments do we have from the debater, and not from the Christian apologist with whom he debated?

Edited by eight bits

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Can you imagine what life would be like, if man never invented the bible? You wouldn't know how to lead a good life..!

No problemo, we'd still have the Koran for guidance..:)

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No problemo, we'd still have the Koran for guidance.. :)

This guy is obviously trolling...do not feed the trolls :hmm:

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....and Paul's teaching mostly applies his own Pharisaic thinking, which Jesus would not necessarily have agreed with.

But if Paul was trying to push his own brand of Christianity, why did he remind people not to follow him but to follow Jesus?-

"One of you says, "I follow Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Cephas"; still another, "I follow Christ." Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you?" (1 Cor 1:12/13)

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There is not a single mention of Jesus in anything but Christian sources from that period of history, nor for several hundred years later. The earliest mention of Jesus in any of the ancient sources is an interpolation into the text of Josephus, clumsily and fraudulently inserted several centuries later.

Refs to Jesus outside the Bible-

Gospel Of Thomas

Gospel of Mary

Gospel of Peter

Gospel of Judas.

Mohammed said Jesus was a prophet and miracle man (Koran 2.253)

Roman historian Josephus, 1st cent AD- "Now there was about this time Jesus..He was a doer of wonderful works. He was the Christ.."

Babylonian Talmud tractate Sanhedrin, 43a,- "they hanged Yeshua (Jesus).."

Dead Sea Scroll 4Q246-"He shall be called the son of God, and they shall call him son of the Most High"

The Toledot Yeshu (the medieval Jewish anti-gospel) speaks at length about Jesus

In fact for centuries "scholars" used to say "Nazareth never existed in Jesus's time", but recent excavations have left them humiliated..:)

nazareth-digB.gif

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See, that's actually not why I became agnostic, feeling an internal contradiction. It was more external, I see and read people, thiests and atheists arguing back and forth and it comes down to 'no YOU prove it. No, YOU prove it'. I basically threw up my hands and thought 'who cares?!' We can't prove it, it takes faith either way to believe in something or to believe something isn't there.

I just don't care. There's perceived evil and good in the world, and a god(s) or no god hasn't changed it. Just be happy and make others happy.

same reason i have became an apatheist.

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The discussion concerning the problem of evil in Christianity had me wondering if anyone thinks that atheism has a similar set of long-standing 'debates' or 'problems' that arise from its propositions? I'm not restricting that question to just ideas that are similar to the problem of evil, I'm just using 'the problem of evil' as an example of a potential contradiction or problem internal to Christianity's propositions that has been argued and debated about for centuries now. I'm guessing there aren't really any as the only main tenet of atheism is 'there is no god', but I was wondering if anyone thought there were some.

I don't think there are any logical contradictions or weirdness, for the reason you give. I suppose there are some hard atheists, who know that God doesn't exist, and are eager to share their knowledge. But since the existence of God is unfalsifiable, it's a rather biased form of reasoning.

I also hold to the soft form of atheism, i.e. God has nothing to do with it. As in "my toaster manual is atheistic".

That said, there are some problems, at least some people see problems. Objective moral values go out the window with no God. Some people have a problem with this. I don't, I think our morality is an extension of what we see in other apes and chimps.

Then there are all the existential questions which remain. How and when did the universe begin? Is there a meaning to life? etc, etc,

The only real issue I have is the militant, hostile attitude shown by many atheists, with role models such as Richard Dawkins. Second to that (and probably because of it) is the prevalent attitude of scientism , which holds that "if science can't see it, measure it or analyze it, it's not real".

That of course is a self-refuting argument. How did they test for this claim? How was it empirically shown? This is not a scientific claim, it's more of a philosophical one. Which proves that one can actually come to knowledge without empirical evidence.

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Very simply, belief in a god or gods requires further philosophical questions to be answered such as the nature of such a god, and why evil exists in a world where god exists.

Non belief does not require, in fact disallows, any other philosophical questions about god and gods connection to the nature of the universe.

None the less, any thinking human will wonder why "evil" exists, and any caring human will wonder what can be done to minimise it.

Atheism in itself answers no human questions It needs ancillary philosophicla belief and value posirtions to be an active force. When I was an atheist i was also an active secular humanist, and had a significant ethical and moral code which I lived by. based on chosen basic value sets. Those sets were chosen using logic and philosophical reasoning.

They turned out to be quite similar to basic judaeo christian values ethics and moralities as enshrined in western laws. That is not suprising, as I was a secular product of a society based on those values and laws.

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dna-god.jpg

Jesus said- "And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered" Matt 10:30

jedward.jpg

Edited by Crikey

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I love the proof argument of something existing. I went to Job Corps a long time ago(in a galaxy far far away it seems)a while back, I tried to visit recently but I had a hard time getting in because I wasn't in the paperwork anymore. So by that same logic of Jesus existing in the world of Job Corps, i wouldn't exist(Yet here I am). I did finally get in and started to talk to people and heard stories of the things I apparently done. Easily could apply to Jesus.

I like little guide to life, when you feel bad pleasure yourself(mentally, physically, emotionally), when you feel good pleasure someone else(ask if it's ok first if you don't understand interacting with people)

Yeah DNA relates to binary,binary relates to numbers which relate to lines and circles, and lines and circles consist of just smaller points put together which are all just pictures to the old same story. Where you stop on that belief circle is what your beliefs about the universal truths are. Problems of logic occur when people try to connect the dots incorrectly. (Either from ignorance or arrogance)

Edited by Jinxdom

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......I see and read people, thiests and atheists arguing back and forth and it comes down to 'no YOU prove it. No, YOU prove it'.....

The fact remains, Jesus has been way out in front in the yellow jersey for 2000 years, not even Bradley Wiggins could catch him..:)

team-jesus.jpg

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Very simply, belief in a god or gods requires further philosophical questions to be answered such as the nature of such a god, and why evil exists in a world where god exists.

Non belief does not require, in fact disallows, any other philosophical questions about god and gods connection to the nature of the universe.

None the less, any thinking human will wonder why "evil" exists, and any caring human will wonder what can be done to minimise it.

Atheism in itself answers no human questions It needs ancillary philosophicla belief and value posirtions to be an active force. When I was an atheist i was also an active secular humanist, and had a significant ethical and moral code which I lived by. based on chosen basic value sets. Those sets were chosen using logic and philosophical reasoning.

They turned out to be quite similar to basic judaeo christian values ethics and moralities as enshrined in western laws. That is not suprising, as I was a secular product of a society based on those values and laws.

Is there such a thing as evil? ...it sucks when bad things happens to us seems to be the meaning most use.

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Refs to Jesus outside the Bible-

Gospel Of Thomas

Gospel of Mary

Gospel of Peter

Gospel of Judas.

Mohammed said Jesus was a prophet and miracle man (Koran 2.253)

Roman historian Josephus, 1st cent AD- "Now there was about this time Jesus..He was a doer of wonderful works. He was the Christ.."

Babylonian Talmud tractate Sanhedrin, 43a,- "they hanged Yeshua (Jesus).."

Dead Sea Scroll 4Q246-"He shall be called the son of God, and they shall call him son of the Most High"

The Toledot Yeshu (the medieval Jewish anti-gospel) speaks at length about Jesus

And the dates for all of those would be?

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"I’m thinking of a God very different from the God of the Christian and far and away from the God of Islam, because both are depicted as omnipotent Oriental despots, cosmic Saddam Husseins" - Antony Flew
Jesus said- "And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered" Matt 10:30

Prove it. How many hairs are on my head?

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Whether Paul knew about it or not, as soon as his writings hit the scene, if Jesus never existed, someone would have written about it. There would have been controversy. But in all the anti-Christian writing about Jesus in ancient times, and there were several writers who disagreed with Christianity, they argued against Jesus on many areas, but none of them argued against his existence.

What "anti-Christian" writings are you talking about? You see nothing of this sort until well into the second century. What you had in the first century was a percolating Jesus religion, something of a mixture of standard salvation mystery religions using Jewish messianic ideas. The Synagogue rejected it out of hand, and it seems to have been mainly a Greek sort of thing with a lot of neo-Platonism in it. Remember everything was written in street Greek, not Hebrew or Aramaic.
I'm not saying the gospels should be taken as historical fact. I'm simply saying that every text has bias. And so when reading the gospels, the Christian bias should be taken into consideration. When reading Josephus the Jewish bias should be taken into consideration. That kind of thing.

No problem there; the thing is who exactly were these Christians? They seem to have only the most superficial understanding of Palestine and its culture, speak ordinary Greek (not the Greek one would learn in a school), carry a Greek philosophical tradition, and are very much like other Greek mystery cults that sprang up during the period.

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Both sides of the board who get angry are trying to prove their case through negation.

You still don´t get it, do you. Both sides are not equal. I.e. claiming Elvis in my attic is not an equally plausible position than saying Elvis is dead.

You insist on assuming this false equivalency, just to prove your "point". Childish.

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Whoops wrong button

Edited by Jinxdom

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Whoops wrong button

Well said

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In 2009 British atheists (fronted by Dawkins natch) raised 150,000 GB pounds (235,000 US dollars) to splash these adverts on British buses-

atheistbus.gif

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheist_Bus_Campaign

Why did they do it? What purpose did it serve apart from feeding their 'demons within' to attack Religion?

And the wording is interesting as it says there's "probably" no God. Aren't they sure?

Also it says "stop worrying". Are they admitting they're worried?

It attacks ALL religions, and muslims were none too pleased..;)

And the general public were saying the 150,000 was a disgraceful waste of money.

So all in all, the campaign seems to have backfired on them..:)

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And the dates for all of those would be?

That is the question exactly. There are lots of references to aspects of the Jesus story starting around 90CE with the Gospels and a few apocryphal writings, and as Christianity spread the number of references increases. The problem is there is nothing from around Jesus time or for over a generation after.

The very first hint of Christianity even existing is Paul, and it shows something of a Jesus-Messiah movement in Asia minor (without the Gospel story, which seems to have evolved later) around 50 - 60 CE.

This was an age of mystery cults, and there was at least one based on each religious tradition in existence. The two that prevailed longest were the Osiris cult drawn from Egyptian religion and Mithraism drawn from Persian religion, but although they took ideas from these religions, they were both basically Greek in nature. The same applies to Christianity. It was a death and resurrection cult drawn from Judaism, but basically Greek in nature.

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No problemo, we'd still have the Koran for guidance.

It wouldst really exist if the bible never had done There were many books before the koran....Millions of others do not use any holy book for guidance, Never needed to, be still lead good lives.. What makes you think we should do?

This guy is obviously trolling...do not feed the trolls :hmm:

Could well be, I don't know...Or I could say CRIKEY you're right lol..Pardon the pun

Edited by Beckys_Mom

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In 2009 British atheists (fronted by Dawkins natch) raised 150,000 GB pounds (235,000 US dollars) to splash these adverts on British buses-

They must have struck a nerve as you posted the exact crap before; even posted your same misconceptions again. Get some new material, troll.

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Now I come to think of it, maybe the Christianity-bashers at UM are not just atheists, but might also be satanists, fairy-worshippers, oddball cultists and similar types, so maybe they should come clean and admit what exactly they are so we can analyse their beliefs in more detail..

For example are there any Pagans here? Tell us, don't be shy!

Actually I admire Pagans for burning Edward Woodward in a wicker man, he thoroughly desrved it for his bad acting.

And likewse Nicholas Cage got his come-uppance in the remake for squashing that innocent wasp on the pub bar..:)

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...Atheism in itself answers no human questions...

Right.. :)

BibTimC_zpsaaa26ca0.gif

Edited by Crikey

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