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fullywired

. - Understanding religious delusion

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fullywired

I would suggest that not all the stories can be right but all the stories can be wrong,so what makes you think your favourite story is the true one

fullywired

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Dr. D

We cannot be sure of that, at least a dozen things attributed to JC were done/suffered/said by an actual historical person around the year 0 100 years + or 100 years -

And your source?

Edited by Dr. D

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And your source?

John P. Meier, Companions and Competitors (A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus), Volume 3 ISBN-10: 0385469934

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Dr. D

John P. Meier, Companions and Competitors (A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus), Volume 3 ISBN-10: 0385469934

This is an intermediate source. Surely in one of his four volumes he mentioned from where he has evidence that a living person was living the events described in the New Testament.

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This is an intermediate source. Surely in one of his four volumes he mentioned from where he has evidence that a living person was living the events described in the New Testament.

Oh yes, but he shows also that many of the things attributed to JC in the new testament really were done by others, from Simon the Mage to John the Baptist. A little lending from the Mythraic Mysteries (the last supper) and the Isis cult (the Marian processions) also helped.

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Llucid

And your source?

I suppose you won't accept any of the early church fathers, Josephus, Tacitus among others, as well as all the historical records they referenced that have been lost to history.

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Dr. D

Oh yes, but he shows also that many of the things attributed to JC in the new testament really were done by others, from Simon the Mage to John the Baptist. A little lending from the Mythraic Mysteries (the last supper) and the Isis cult (the Marian processions) also helped.

Certainly Meier is one of the more scholarly priests around . . . . probably Jesuit, I don't remember. His posture, as I recall, is that the sheer volume of mentionings of certain mircles and events gives evidence that something really happened. I would suggest otherwise. I think we see a case of one-ups-manship among the early messiahs. One claimed a virgin birth, others followed suit. One started a mission with twelve followers, and other claimed to have done the same. One is accused by the government and the writers of the messiahs adapt their hero accordingly.

The consistency speaks for itself. The crucifixion, the darkness at the crucifixion, rising from the dead three days later, the resurrection, the descent into hell, the last supper, the communion, the trinity, the second coming, the judgement of the dead . . . . all repeated multiple times through the succession of prime characters upon whom religions were founded.

Does any of that mean that at some point any of these things really happened? No more than the idea that if Matthew copied Mark and Luke copied Matthew and Mark then all of it must be true.

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Does any of that mean that at some point any of these things really happened? No more than the idea that if Matthew copied Mark and Luke copied Matthew and Mark then all of it must be true.

We have sources about the "others" where we are very short of sources on JC himself. But probably many things never happened as told in the bible. My favorite example is Good Friday:

So, they seez that they took JC to Caiaphas, who eager to see the last of JC wanted to end his life. Then he suddenly recalled that he had no authority to do that and send him to Pilate. Problem is that this guy lived and worked in Ceasarea Maritima (about 35 miles from J'lem) ... I guess I told the story before so I am not going to bore anybody. But if all happened as they said it should go into history as the 140 miles day.

That is why I say that many things attributed to JC happened to historical persons (notice the plural).

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Dr. D

We have sources about the "others" where we are very short of sources on JC himself. But probably many things never happened as told in the bible. My favorite example is Good Friday:

So, they seez that they took JC to Caiaphas, who eager to see the last of JC wanted to end his life. Then he suddenly recalled that he had no authority to do that and send him to Pilate. Problem is that this guy lived and worked in Ceasarea Maritima (about 35 miles from J'lem) ... I guess I told the story before so I am not going to bore anybody. But if all happened as they said it should go into history as the 140 miles day.

That is why I say that many things attributed to JC happened to historical persons (notice the plural).

How about the Slaughter of the Innocents? It had to be taken from earlier accounts involving other characters.

Joguth Chunger Gangooly, a Hindu who reportedly converted to Christ, wrote in his Life and Religion of the Hindoos:

A heavenly voice whispered to the foster father of Chrisna and told him to fly with the child across the river Jumna, which was immediately done. This was owning to the fact that the reigning monarch, King Kansa, sought the life of the infant savior, and to accomplish his purpose, he sent messengers to kill all the infants in the neighboring places.

Can we forget that Abraham was also a child in grave danger. At the time of his birth King Nimrod of Babylon was informed by his soothsayers that “a child should be born in Babylonia, who would shortly become a great prince, and that he had reason to fear him. “ Nimrod then issued orders that “all women with child should be guarded with great care, and all children born of them should be put to death.”

Or should we examine how Christian writers purposely adjusted dates so that the birth of Jesus would come at the time of the census of Quirinius? How is it possible that Matthew and Luke would have Jesus born in the time of Herod when he had been dead for ten years? How is it possible for anyone to believe that they were forced to go to Bethlehem for the census? That is ludicrous! The census was for taxation purposes and it would not have mattered to the Romans if someone was counted in one city or another.

The panorama of the New Testament simply does not comply with known history and in the web of its contradictions, one must seriously be skeptical of its entire content.

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The panorama of the New Testament simply does not comply with known history and in the web of its contradictions, one must seriously be skeptical of its entire content.

True, but I guess we should not hijack this thread.

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Llucid

Can we forget that Abraham was also a child in grave danger. At the time of his birth King Nimrod of Babylon was informed by his soothsayers that “a child should be born in Babylonia, who would shortly become a great prince, and that he had reason to fear him. “ Nimrod then issued orders that “all women with child should be guarded with great care, and all children born of them should be put to death.”

This story is not referenced in the Bible and is merely a tradition.

Or should we examine how Christian writers purposely adjusted dates so that the birth of Jesus would come at the time of the census of Quirinius? How is it possible that Matthew and Luke would have Jesus born in the time of Herod when he had been dead for ten years? How is it possible for anyone to believe that they were forced to go to Bethlehem for the census? That is ludicrous! The census was for taxation purposes and it would not have mattered to the Romans if someone was counted in one city or another.

The panorama of the New Testament simply does not comply with known history and in the web of its contradictions, one must seriously be skeptical of its entire content.

There are a couple possibilities for the census dispute.

One is that the census in Luke was the first census of Quirinius, and the it even describing it as the "first" implies that there were others. The one Josephus mentions is the second census. The author of Acts (who also wrote the Gospel of Luke) mentions this second census in Acts 5:37. There has been scholars, such as Sir William Ramsay, who believe there is evidence of Quirinius being governor more than once.

Another possible explanation is that translation of protē being "first". It can also mean "before", which would make the translation "this was the census taken before Quirinius was governor."

Making people return to their hometown was not unheard of in the ancient world. A census was an immense undertaking and every little bit of organization helped. We have evidence of C. Vibius Maximus requiring people to return to their home for a census in 104 A.D.

Edited by Llucid

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Mr Walker

I couldnt access the article at work but you already know my response.

There is no doubt that humas construct god(s).

They do so for increasingly understood reasons, including the nature of human sapience thought, the nature of delusion and subjectivity etc. No argument.

There is however from my experience no doubt that a; real physical and independent,(from human mind/thought) entity exists which when encountered by humans we tend to call god. (or a similar linguistic symbolic attachment)

Those who do not encounter this physical reality tend to suppose that those who do, are "merely" experiencing a variant of the constructed/ subjective god, because that is all they are familiar with. However physical contact with the physical variant of god leaves the same individual proofs as a physicla contact with any other real entity.

Logically, the existence of subjective constructed gods has no relationship to the existence of a physical ones, although there is considerable overlap between the two and one does tend to reinforce the other.

Thus when a person encounters the real/physical form of god amd speaks of it, that may reinforce the belief of another who has never met god; and when one with no belief, but who has met the physical god, talks to a " true believer" they can see the similarities between the consequence of belief and of knowledge.

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MARAB0D

I would suggest that not all the stories can be right but all the stories can be wrong,so what makes you think your favourite story is the true one

fullywired

I am not surprised that his comes from UK member, as this country is a legitimate Motherland of Rational Thinking. Not to be confused with "materialism", as the Motherland of the latter is Germany (Feuerbach, Marx, Engels etc). The British (if we boil all crap down to the dry precipitate) established a set of rules, how to determine, on which side is bread and on which is butter.

Why do the people from Biblical times till today ask for a Miracle? BECAUSE they want to make sure that a HUMAN, claiming a 2-way relationship with [what they call] God can in fact communicate 2-ways! Because if it is only a 1-way communication, this person is just a loony and has a DELUSION [exactly as the OP is calling this]. When some user appears here as Ronson, Bumson, Jetson, Jorson etc, and invites you (you = ALL) to share their DELUSION, this only means that this user is unable to produce the required MIRACLE, which would firmly establish their approved status as a voice of God. And this inability only confirms the rightful usage of the word "DELUSION". Can't walk over waters? Don't open your mouth! This would be my personal approach. Either there is God, and he can let you to go over waters, or just shut up until you can do this!

Edited by MARAB0D

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Paranoid Android

The article from the OP makes a fundamental flaw in its assessment of why Chrsitians believe. To quote from the article:

Now, look at what is happening inside your mind at this moment. I am using solid, verifiable evidence to show you that the Christian story is imaginary. Your rational mind can see the evidence. Four billion non-Christians would be happy to confirm for you that the Christian story is imaginary. However, if you are a practicing Christian, you can probably feel your "religious mind" overriding both your rational mind and your common sense as we speak. Why? Why were you able to use your common sense to so easily reject the Santa story, the Mormon story and the Muslim story, but when it comes to the Christian story, which is just as imaginary, you are not?

Try, just for a moment, to look at Christianity with the same amount of healthy skepticism that you used when approaching the stories of Santa, Joseph Smith and Mohammed. Use your common sense to ask some very simple questions of yourself:

These are not the reasons why I reject Santa/Qu'ran/Joseph Smith. Remember, there was a point in the past when I was not a Christian either. The original point of this article is that if non-Christians can see the clearly imaginary Jesus just as they see Santa etc as such, then Jesus must also be imaginary. But if this was the case, then I would have also seen it as imaginary and never turned to Jesus when I was 20 years old.

Of course, there are also Mormon and Muslim converts that turn to those Faiths as adults also. Which brings me to the reason I bring this up - the article is based on a false premise that "outsiders" are going to arrive at the conclusion that a story is imaginary. It was a well-written article, and followed a clear path of logic (within its defined paramaters), but ultimately narrow in its application. People turn to/turn away from various beliefs for all sorts of reasons, and it is not as simple as boiling it down to "believing/not believing in fairy tales". It is far more complex than that (the reasons I accepted Christ and rejected other Holy texts is not as simple as that, that's for certain).

As an aside, the later comment in the article about "proving" God is imaginary by praying to God and Ra to alter the course of probability is also based on a false premise - it assumes that the purpose of prayer is to get God to do things for us in a statistically better way than if we were not praying to him. This once again shows to me that the author is entirley ignorant of what it is that Christians actually believe on the subjects suggested. This is not the purpose of prayer, and conducting a coin-flipping experiment to prove/disprove it is irrelevant. As noted, it's a well written article, but limited.

~ Regards, PA

Edited by Paranoid Android

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Paranoid Android

And when new knowledge is available, those same scientists might admit they were wrong. Would you find that attitude among the religious authorities?

No, because religious 'knowledge' has to be absolute, as decreed by the fact that the God worshipped is also absolute.

Your analogy of the illusion of divinity to the illusion of reality is false, Jor-el.

Religious knowledge is absolute in the sense that what is contained within the holy text is considered by its adherents as the true path to God, but it is not absolute in the sense that the specific doctrines and dogmas of a religious organisation must be the sole truth. People are humans, prone to misunderstandings and incomplete knowledge. Sure, some fundamentalist groups still try and prove things such as a 6000 year old universe, but most people understand that knowledge is not something that should be feared. I don't know everything about my God, but if I have a misunderstanding that is corrected by new knowledge, I'm not going to hold dogma over knowledge.

Just a thought,

~ PA

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Dr. D

I suppose you won't accept any of the early church fathers, Josephus, Tacitus among others, as well as all the historical records they referenced that have been lost to history.

Josephus' only mentioning of Jesus has been generally agreed by responsible Biblical historians as a forgery. Even those who disagree find it hard to explain why none of the early church leaders, Clement, Tertullian, Justin, Arnobius, Irenaeus, mentioned this incredibly important writing that gave literary proof to the existence of Jesus. And Eusebius, himself a great Biblical forger, did not mention the writing of Josephus until about 340 A.D.

Actually, the forgery was quite clumsy. Josephus was a Jew and it would not have been likely for him to so flambouyantly praise Jesus as a messiah.

Tacitus becomes equally suspicious since he mentions "Christians," a term not used in the time of Nero . . . the time to which his writing alludes.

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Dr. D

This story is not referenced in the Bible and is merely a tradition.

Forgive me, but I do not consider the Bible to the the sole authority of historic questions. The truth is that the tale of Nimrod's fear of Abraham's birth predates Genesis by some 500 years.

There are a couple possibilities for the census dispute.

One is that the census in Luke was the first census of Quirinius, and the it even describing it as the "first" implies that there were others. The one Josephus mentions is the second census. The author of Acts (who also wrote the Gospel of Luke) mentions this second census in Acts 5:37. There has been scholars, such as Sir William Ramsay, who believe there is evidence of Quirinius being governor more than once.

Another possible explanation is that translation of protē being "first". It can also mean "before", which would make the translation "this was the census taken before Quirinius was governor."

Making people return to their hometown was not unheard of in the ancient world. A census was an immense undertaking and every little bit of organization helped. We have evidence of C. Vibius Maximus requiring people to return to their home for a census in 104 A.D.

Lanham, (Maryland: University Press of America, 1987), pp. 145-49, states:

So eager was W. M. Ramsey to prove Luke correct about the enrollment in Bethlehem that he, according to F. F. Bruce, "unwisely damaged his well-founded reputation as a very considerable scholar." In his Anchor Bible commentary Catholic scholar J. A. Fitzmyer lists other historical mistakes in Luke's writing and offers the most definitive argument against Ramsey's claims about the famous Christmas census”

Tenney Frank, , ed., An Economic Survey of Ancient Rome (Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins University Press, 1938),

There is no record of Caesar Augustus' decree that "all the world should be enrolled" (Lk. 2:1). The Romans kept extremely detailed records of such events. Not only is Luke's census not in these records, it goes against all that we know of Roman economic history. Roman documents show that taxation was done by the various governors at the provincial level. As we shall see later, the property tax was collected on site by travelling assessors, thus making unnecessary Joseph's journey away from what little property he must have owned. Gleason Archer quotes a census expert who claims, without documentation, that "every five years the Romans enumerated citizens and their property to determine their liabilities. This practice was extended to include the entire Roman Empire in 5 B.C.E."1 This goes against the fourteen-year cycle which Archer himself uses to argue that Quirinius was pulled from his busy duties in Asia Minor to do a Syrian census in 7 B.C.E., fourteen years earlier than the one recorded in Josephus and Acts 5:37.

Joseph A. Fitzmyer The Anchor Bible: The Gospel According to Luke. Two Volumes. (Garden City, NY: Doubleday Anchor, 1981, 1985), p. 401

Many have joined Archer in the hypothesis that Quirinius had an unrecorded term as Syria's governor during the time of Jesus' birth. Some misuse the "Tivoli" inscription which they say proves that some Roman official served twice in Syria and Phoenicia. First, the name is missing, so this is no proof that Quirinius is involved. Second, the inscription has been mistranslated. It should read: "legate of Augustus for a second time" not a second legate in Syria as the harmonizers insist. Archer does not refer to the Tivoli inscription directly; but still argues that since Luke knew of the census of 6 C.E., he correctly called this one Quirinius' "first" (prote). But Fitzmyer shows conclusively that the grammar clearly indicates that this was the first census in Judea, not Quirinius' first enrollment.

Leonard Thierman, Josephus the Historian, Viking Press 1884, pg. 84

In Josephus' account of the census in 6 C.E., he explicitly states that those people taxed were assessed of their possessions, including lands and livestock. In other words, the census takers were also the tax assessors. In Egypt these tax assessors went from house to house in order to perform their duties. With this in mind, let us look at a crucial error in Luke's account. Luke has Joseph and Mary making a three-day journey away from their home in Nazareth to register in their alleged ancestral home Bethlehem. But an Egyptian papyrus recording a census in 104 C.E. explicitly states that "since registration by household is imminent, it is necessary to notify all who for any reason are absent from their districts to return to their own homes that they may carry out the ordinary business of registration...."6 Unlike Matthew, who does not mention a census nor Nazareth as Mary and Joseph's home, Luke describes Nazareth as "their own city" (Lk. 2:39). If the rules of this Egyptian census applied to Palestine, then Joseph and Mary should have stayed in Nazareth to be enrolled.

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Br Cornelius

What staggers me is that no matter how many historical inaccuracies and fabrications that are found in the constructed myth of Jesus, it would never be enough to shake the faith of most Christians. It is the very essence of willful ignorance.

I have seen it discribed as such by a lapsed born again Christian. She said that outside of the born again community she was just no longer able to hold to the willful distortion of history and science which the fundamentalist community lives within. She told me that it got to the stage where she was no longer able to hold a meaningful conversation with her parents because she just couldn't ignore the distortions they continued to live by.

We are wasting our time here trying to shine a light into the mirk of a true believers jumbled minds. I suppose this tale offers hope of an escape from a disfunctional world view. She became an agnostic by the way.

Br Cornelius

Edited by Br Cornelius

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eight bits
As noted, it's a well written article, but limited.

There is nothing "well written" about exploiting the genuine sufering of the mentally ill to make a rhetorical point.

The author simply cannot accept that a rational person might disagree with them about a matter of personal opinion. Having no argument to make that withstands even casual scrutiny, they resort to ad hom.

"Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink. Everybody who agrees with me is confident that we are right."

Atheists, Nicene Christians, Mormons, Muslims, ... everybody says the same.

But not everybody pretends to diagnose symptoms of mental illness.

The irony, of course, is that the conviction that each and every person who disagrees with you is exhibiting symptoms of mentally illness is not a singing commercial for glowing mental health.

Instead of playing a doctor on the web, the author might consider consulting a real one, assuming they actually believe their tripe, and it isn't simply their junior high school debating society B-team leftovers. But very well written for the genre, lol.

-

Edited by eight bits

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fullywired

What staggers me is that no matter how many historical inaccuracies and fabrications that are found in the constructed myth of Jesus, it would never be enough to shake the faith of most Christians. It is the very essence of willful ignorance.

I have seen it discribed as such by a lapsed born again Christian. She said that outside of the born again community she was just no longer able to hold to the willful distortion of history and science which the fundamentalist community lives within. She told me that it got to the stage where she was no longer able to hold a meaningful conversation with her parents because she just couldn't ignore the distortions they continued to live by.

We are wasting our time here trying to shine a light into the mirk of a true believers jumbled minds. I suppose this tale offers hope of an escape from a disfunctional world view. She became an agnostic by the way.

Br Cornelius

Your right,as the OP was trying to point out, the adherents of each religion can spot the absurdities of of the others but they are unable to see or accept the absurdities of their own

fullywired

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Dr. D

Your right,as the OP was trying to point out, the adherents of each religion can spot the absurdities of of the others but they are unable to see or accept the absurdities of their own

fullywired

How unfair you are, Fullywired! Don't you know that all the others are based on mythology?

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Your right,as the OP was trying to point out, the adherents of each religion can spot the absurdities of of the others but they are unable to see or accept the absurdities of their own

fullywired

Which means that if they have none of their own they are better off.

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Jor-el

I don't think that it is myth or old wives tales, but I do think it is contrived and created.

And so do I in many respects. But it does not detract from the essential elements that make it true to me. My beliefs lie somewhere between Judaism and christianity, in something others might call "Messianic Judaism", and no it is not the christianity as practiced by the majority of the established christian church, whether it be Protestant, Catholic or even Orthodox.

It is not how I started, but it is what I have become after extensive contact with this forum and others.

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Jor-el

Jesus may have been a real person (though there is little direct evidence for his existence), but that doesn't make the myths of Christianity any more true. A lot was said to support his prophetic nature, but that seems largely to be an explanation devoid of much underlying reality.

Br Cornelius

And without any conclusive proof either way, how can you be so certain? Isn't it rather, what you simply prefer to believe in lew of any relevant data to the contrary?

Edited by Jor-el

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Jor-el

How about the Slaughter of the Innocents? It had to be taken from earlier accounts involving other characters.

Joguth Chunger Gangooly, a Hindu who reportedly converted to Christ, wrote in his Life and Religion of the Hindoos:

A heavenly voice whispered to the foster father of Chrisna and told him to fly with the child across the river Jumna, which was immediately done. This was owning to the fact that the reigning monarch, King Kansa, sought the life of the infant savior, and to accomplish his purpose, he sent messengers to kill all the infants in the neighboring places.

Can we forget that Abraham was also a child in grave danger. At the time of his birth King Nimrod of Babylon was informed by his soothsayers that a child should be born in Babylonia, who would shortly become a great prince, and that he had reason to fear him. Nimrod then issued orders that all women with child should be guarded with great care, and all children born of them should be put to death.

Or should we examine how Christian writers purposely adjusted dates so that the birth of Jesus would come at the time of the census of Quirinius? How is it possible that Matthew and Luke would have Jesus born in the time of Herod when he had been dead for ten years? How is it possible for anyone to believe that they were forced to go to Bethlehem for the census? That is ludicrous! The census was for taxation purposes and it would not have mattered to the Romans if someone was counted in one city or another.

The panorama of the New Testament simply does not comply with known history and in the web of its contradictions, one must seriously be skeptical of its entire content.

Were you there to witness the fact that Herod died at the time you suggest? 4 B.C.E. wasn't it?

Because there is a heck of a lot more proof that he died in 1 B.C.E.

Edited by Jor-el

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