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Rock-Star

Honest Question for Atheists

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Rock-Star

Hi everyone,

Just so you know my background and where I am coming from, I was raised as a Christian, but throughout my life have tended to drift a little more to the Agnostic side of things. My question is, what is your reason for wanting to believe that there is nothing more to this life? No creator, no afterlife, etc?

One theory that I have heard is that atheists choose to believe in nothing, because they are then not subject to any moral code and can do whatever they want without consequence. Personally this doesn't add up to me. I for one don't see atheists acting like a bunch of hedonistic jerks all the time, in fact it seems to be quite the opposite. Or is it simply that rational thought cannot allow you to believe in something that cannot be scientifically proven? I would love to hear all of your thoughts. Again, this is purely out of curiosity. I fully respect your beliefs whatever they may be. Thank you!

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The Mule

Everytime I read one of these "question for athiests" posts, the question always disapoints me....

"My question is, what is your reason for wanting to believe that there is nothing more to this life? No creator, no afterlife, etc?"

Who says I want to beleive there is nothing? What I want and what I beleive are two different things. You have no idea how badly I WANT to beleive someone has the answers. God, Aliens, Ancient Mystics, ME - but only after I die....

Read the "Lies your parents told you" thread....then tell me why I should believe the Bible, or some preacher who passes around a plate. Like House says "Everybody lies"....

"Imagine there's no heaven...its easy if you try...." - Lennon

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fullywired

Hi everyone,

. My question is, what is your reason for wanting to believe that there is nothing more to this life? No creator, no afterlife, etc?

In my case it is not a matter of wanting to believe there is nothing because I would like to believe that there is an afterlife and a creator but I see no evidence for it.I think that when your dead that is the end and belief in the afterlife is just a comfort zone for people who can't face the prospect of etenal darkness

fullywired

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Waymarker
..I would like to believe that there is an afterlife and a creator but I see no evidence for it..

If Jesus had never existed, that'd be a valid point of view, but the fact is he did exist and has to be factored into the big picture.

For a start his arrival was foretold centuries before just as he said, - "All things about me in the law of Moses,the Prophets and the Psalms,must be fulfilled" (Luke 24:44)

And when he arrived he didn't skulk in some underground hideout, he travelled all over Israel for 3 long years in front of the people and the occupying Roman garrison, that's a lot of eyewitnesses - “I've spoken openly to the world..I said nothing in secret" (John 18:20)

And "Large crowds from Galilee, the Ten Cities, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him" (Matt 4:25)

And he pulled crowds of over 4000 and 5000 at two gigs alone (Matt 15:32, Matt 14:13)

He said straight out he was the Messiah, the Christ, the Superprophet and the Son of God (John 4:26, Matt 16:17,Mark 14:62)

Even the Koran written some 600 years later dare not deny Jesus was something special:- "Allah.. exalted some messengers above others and gave miracles to Jesus the son of Mary and strengthened him with the holy spirit" (Koran 2:253)

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Rock-Star

Read the "Lies your parents told you" thread....then tell me why I should believe the Bible, or some preacher who passes around a plate. Like House says "Everybody lies"....

Hi Mule,

Please don't get me wrong. By this post I was not in any way trying to tell you or anyone else to believe in the Bible, God, etc. Your response seems directly in line with the second option I presented, that of rational thought simply excluding your ability to believe. It is interesting that you say you do wish you could believe in something. I can relate. Even though I do have the "sense" that there is something more, my rational mind constantly leads me to doubt, and can make it hard to believe. Sorry the question dissapointed :). Thank you for taking time to respond!

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fullywired

If Jesus had never existed, that'd be a valid point of view, but the fact is he did exist and has to be factored into the big picture.

For a start his arrival was foretold centuries before just as he said, - "All things about me in the law of Moses,the Prophets and the Psalms,must be fulfilled" (Luke 24:44)

And when he arrived he didn't skulk in some underground hideout, he travelled all over Israel for 3 long years in front of the people and the occupying Roman garrison, that's a lot of eyewitnesses - "I've spoken openly to the world..I said nothing in secret" (John 18:20)

And "Large crowds from Galilee, the Ten Cities, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him" (Matt 4:25)

And he pulled crowds of over 4000 and 5000 at two gigs alone (Matt 15:32, Matt 14:13)

He said straight out he was the Messiah, the Christ, the Superprophet and the Son of God (John 4:26, Matt 16:17,Mark 14:62)

Even the Koran written some 600 years later dare not deny Jesus was something special:- "Allah.. exalted some messengers above others and gave miracles to Jesus the son of Mary and strengthened him with the holy spirit" (Koran 2:253)

Quotes from the bible are not evidence, apart from the bible there is no historical evidence for Jesus

fullywired

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The Mule

If Jesus had never existed, that'd be a valid point of view, but the fact is he did exist and has to be factored into the big picture.

Jesus might be the biggest reason NOT to beleive....Virgin birth? You're kidding me right?

Daughter....Um, Dad...I'm pregnant...

Father: It was that Joeseph kid....with the donkey...I'm going to kill him

Daughter - No Dad!!! I'm still a virgin, honest!!!

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ShadowSot

My question is, what is your reason for wanting to believe that there is nothing more to this life? No creator, no afterlife, etc?

Why do you not want to believe in Santa Clause?

It's not that I don't necessarily want to, I just don't.

I try not believe things for no reason other than they make me feel good.

One theory that I have heard is that atheists choose to believe in nothing, because they are then not subject to any moral code and can do whatever they want without consequence.

Obviously flawed, we are held to the same societal norms and laws as anyone else.

I'm not going to violate my friend's trust on a whim, for example.

Or is it simply that rational thought cannot allow you to believe in something that cannot be scientifically proven?

Dunno about rational thought, I know plenty of atheists who are in no way rational.

For me it just came about the more I studied other religions and faiths.

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Rock-Star

Why do you not want to believe in Santa Clause?

Santa is not real!!?? LOL...but seriously, thank you for your post. You make some good points. As I have stated before, other than a "sense" that there has to be something more, I cannot offer you any "evidence" why we should believe. I guess for me it is just a sobering and devastating thought that were I to get snuffed out in a car wreck on the way home from work today, that I would never again see or communicate with my wife, child, friends, etc. In my mind, that idea alone is enough to create a desire to believe that something beyond our understanding exists. I will concede, however, that it is entirely possible that this is a fabrication of the mind to make me and others, as you say, "feel good".

Edited by rockstar77

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Dr. D

If Jesus had never existed, that'd be a valid point of view, but the fact is he did exist and has to be factored into the big picture.

For a start his arrival was foretold centuries before just as he said, - "All things about me in the law of Moses,the Prophets and the Psalms,must be fulfilled" (Luke 24:44)

First of all, there were prophesies of a coming messiah. Whether or not Jesus was that messiah is yet to be contested. Certainly the vast majority of Jews living in Israel at that time did not believe him since the Hebrew faith was well preserved in spite of the claims that thousands witnessed him. Again, whether or not the fulfillment of the law, prophets and psalms was completed by divine design or by manipulation cannot be legitimately determined.

And when he arrived he didn't skulk in some underground hideout, he travelled all over Israel for 3 long years in front of the people and the occupying Roman garrison, that's a lot of eyewitnesses - “I've spoken openly to the world..I said nothing in secret" (John 18:20)

And "Large crowds from Galilee, the Ten Cities, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him" And he pulled crowds of over 4000 and 5000 at two gigs alone (Matt 15:32, Matt 14:13) (Matt 4:25)

All of which somehow escaped the attention of any historian. The “multitudes” mentioned on various occasions somehow were never noted. The triumphant entrance into Jerusalem with the “multitudes” putting palm leaves in his path was never noted outside of scripture and no one has an viable explanaton.

He said straight out he was the Messiah, the Christ, the Superprophet and the Son of God (John 4:26, Matt 16:17,Mark 14:62)

And Julius Caesar said he was a god. Alexander the Great said he was a god. Theudas said he was a god. Simon of Peraea claimed to be the messiah. Vespasian claimed to be the messiah. One more wasn’t very impressive to the Jewish community.

Even the Koran written some 600 years later dare not deny Jesus was something special:- "Allah.. exalted some messengers above others and gave miracles to Jesus the son of Mary and strengthened him with the holy spirit" (Koran 2:253)

It also claims he was a malician who learned his art in Egypt.

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ShadowSot

I guess for me it is just a sobering and devastating thought that were I to get snuffed out in a car wreck on the way home from work today, that I would never again see or communicate with my wife, child, friends, etc. In my mind, that idea alone is enough to create a desire to believe that something beyond our understanding exists.

Which is why every moment is precious. Carpe diem.

We live on in our accomplishments, in the memories we give others, in the donations we've made, good and bad, to others.

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Rock-Star

All of which somehow escaped the attention of any historian. The “multitudes” mentioned on various occasions somehow were never noted. The triumphant entrance into Jerusalem with the “multitudes” putting palm leaves in his path was never noted outside of scripture and no one has an viable explanaton.

Instances like this always make me wonder, just like you say, that if they were such significant events, why no mention whatsoever in any other writings? I actually read a book once, The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel, that incredibly enough despite it's title, did nothing for me except to prove how little historical evidence exists for Biblical stories. Funny how the book pushed me closer to Agnosticism....

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Rock-Star

Which is why every moment is precious. Carpe diem.

We live on in our accomplishments, in the memories we give others, in the donations we've made, good and bad, to others.

I can see why an atheist would have a more compelling cause than a believer to live in the moment and live life to the fullest. I know a lot of Christians that seem to think the afterlife is all that matters (the "bring on the rapture!" mentality), and that could be hurting their lives and interactions here. Even as one who hopes for something more, I am in no hurry to leave this life and want to have a happy fulfilling time on this earth. Good post!

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digitalartist

If Jesus had never existed, that'd be a valid point of view, but the fact is he did exist and has to be factored into the big picture.

For a start his arrival was foretold centuries before just as he said, - "All things about me in the law of Moses,the Prophets and the Psalms,must be fulfilled" (Luke 24:44)

And when he arrived he didn't skulk in some underground hideout, he travelled all over Israel for 3 long years in front of the people and the occupying Roman garrison, that's a lot of eyewitnesses - “I've spoken openly to the world..I said nothing in secret" (John 18:20)

And "Large crowds from Galilee, the Ten Cities, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him" (Matt 4:25)

And he pulled crowds of over 4000 and 5000 at two gigs alone (Matt 15:32, Matt 14:13)

He said straight out he was the Messiah, the Christ, the Superprophet and the Son of God (John 4:26, Matt 16:17,Mark 14:62)

Even the Koran written some 600 years later dare not deny Jesus was something special:- "Allah.. exalted some messengers above others and gave miracles to Jesus the son of Mary and strengthened him with the holy spirit" (Koran 2:253)

The writers of the Quran, would have been influenced by the bible to some extent and took some of what was in the bible to add to the quran. The quran is not therefore, valid as a separate work that supports the existence of or specialness of someone called Jesus.

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hecate
The Mule

Jesus might be the biggest reason NOT to beleive....Virgin birth? You're kidding me right?

THIS.

I honestly believe that the whole mythology surrounding Jesus was just a story about a woman's infidelity that got completely out of control.

This is not to say that he didn't exist, just that his existence has been massively distorted to the point that he has become a revered character of history.

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Waymarker

Quotes from the bible are not evidence, apart from the bible there is no historical evidence for Jesus

Think 'politics' mate.

When christianity began snowballing in popularity after Jesus's execution, the snooty Jewish priests and the posturing Romans said - "Oops better not let on it was us who killed him, quick shred all the documents implicating us or we'll have a Jesusgate scandal on our hands. Let's airbrush him out of history and start hassling christians, and people will soon quickly forget about him"..

Nevertheless 27 books did slip through the net and get published as the New Testament..

And In the first century A.D. a Jewish priest by the name of Joseph ben Matthias (later given the Roman name Flavius Josephus) was commissioned by the Roman government to write a history of events in Judea. In his book, Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus makes reference to Jesus and his disciples -

"Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man. If it be lawful to call him a man, for He was a doer of wonderful works. He was the Christ. And the tribe of Christians so named from Him are not extinct to this day."

And In the Babylonian Talmud there are numerous references to the historical existence of Jesus. In the tractate Sanhedrin, 43A, there is a fascinating historical reference to Jesus -

"It has been taught on the eve of the Passover they hanged Yeshua (Jesus). And an announcer went out in front of him for forty days saying, 'He is going to be stoned because He practiced sorcery and enticed and led Israel astray. Anyone who knows anything in his favor, let him come and plead in his behalf.' But, not having found anything in his favor, they hanged him on the eve of the Passover."

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

And as i've said before, even the Koran written some 600 years later dare not deny Jesus was something special:- "Allah..exalted some messengers above others and gave miracles to Jesus the son of Mary and strengthened him with the holy spirit" (Koran 2:253)

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fullywired

Think 'politics' mate.

When christianity began snowballing in popularity after Jesus's execution, the snooty Jewish priests and the posturing Romans said - "Oops better not let on it was us who killed him, quick shred all the documents implicating us or we'll have a Jesusgate scandal on our hands. Let's airbrush him out of history and start hassling christians, and people will soon quickly forget about him"..

Nevertheless 27 books did slip through the net and get published as the New Testament..

And In the first century A.D. a Jewish priest by the name of Joseph ben Matthias (later given the Roman name Flavius Josephus) was commissioned by the Roman government to write a history of events in Judea. In his book, Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus makes reference to Jesus and his disciples -

"Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man. If it be lawful to call him a man, for He was a doer of wonderful works. He was the Christ. And the tribe of Christians so named from Him are not extinct to this day."

And In the Babylonian Talmud there are numerous references to the historical existence of Jesus. In the tractate Sanhedrin, 43A, there is a fascinating historical reference to Jesus -

"It has been taught on the eve of the Passover they hanged Yeshua (Jesus). And an announcer went out in front of him for forty days saying, 'He is going to be stoned because He practiced sorcery and enticed and led Israel astray. Anyone who knows anything in his favor, let him come and plead in his behalf.' But, not having found anything in his favor, they hanged him on the eve of the Passover."

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

And as i've said before, even the Koran written some 600 years later dare not deny Jesus was something special:- "Allah..exalted some messengers above others and gave miracles to Jesus the son of Mary and strengthened him with the holy spirit" (Koran 2:253)

I have no intention of derailing this thread with a "did jesus exist type of debate"

it's been done too many times on this forum.There is a very good debate by Tibbs and PA on the subject and there is nothing I can add to Tibbs points and I am sure there is nothing you can add to PA's The debate can be found in archives I believe

fullywired

fullywired

Edited by fullywired

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Dr. D

Think 'politics' mate.

When christianity began snowballing in popularity after Jesus's execution, the snooty Jewish priests and the posturing Romans said - "Oops better not let on it was us who killed him, quick shred all the documents implicating us or we'll have a Jesusgate scandal on our hands. Let's airbrush him out of history and start hassling christians, and people will soon quickly forget about him"..

Nevertheless 27 books did slip through the net and get published as the New Testament.

Where do you get this stuff? Christianity did not “snowball” after the crucifixion of Jesus. It existed as a sect with little signs of growth until the entrance of Constantine and the royal support of the emperor. The letters of Paul were the earliest entrants of the New Testament and were not composed until about 40 AD.

Twenty-six books “slipped through?” Laulak Siddique tells us that 300 books that were not accepted into the Bible were burned. There are 13 books in the Apocrypha which were also books not accepted into canon. There are 21 books in the Pseudopedigraphica which were not accepted. Twenty-six books slipped through????

And In the first century A.D. a Jewish priest by the name of Joseph ben Matthias (later given the Roman name Flavius Josephus) was commissioned by the Roman government to write a history of events in Judea. In his book, Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus makes reference to Jesus and his disciples -

"Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man. If it be lawful to call him a man, for He was a doer of wonderful works. He was the Christ. And the tribe of Christians so named from Him are not extinct to this day."

Tell me that you’re kidding. This phrase once accredited to Josephus has been determined by almost all serious historians to be a later insertion, an actual forgery inserted into his Antiquities. No one uses it as a legitimate evidence as to the existence of Jesus.

And In the Babylonian Talmud there are numerous references to the historical existence of Jesus. In the tractate Sanhedrin, 43A, there is a fascinating historical reference to Jesus -

"It has been taught on the eve of the Passover they hanged Yeshua (Jesus). And an announcer went out in front of him for forty days saying, 'He is going to be stoned because He practiced sorcery and enticed and led Israel astray. Anyone who knows anything in his favor, let him come and plead in his behalf.' But, not having found anything in his favor, they hanged him on the eve of the Passover."

Wow, you really need to check your sources before you post them. The Babylonian Talmud also states:

Gittin 57a. Says Jesus is in hell, being boiled in "hot excrement."

The Talmud also tells us that Jesus was tried and executed by the rabbinical court for idolatry, enticing others to idolatry and a contempt for rabbinical authority. They were happy to take complete responsibility for his death and they never mention that the Romans had anything to do with it. This may be, after all, the true story.

Jesus is referred to as a b****** and it is claimed that Mary confessed to that fact.

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

The Dead Sea Scrolls contain texts from the Bible so why shouldn’t it have this verse you quoted. That REALLY is an evidence to the existence of Jesus?

And as i've said before, even the Koran written some 600 years later dare not deny Jesus was something special:- "Allah..exalted some messengers above others and gave miracles to Jesus the son of Mary and strengthened him with the holy spirit" (Koran 2:253)

It also claims that he was not the son of God and that he was not crucified. Shall we accept that bit of information also?

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hecate

I don't particularly doubt that Jesus existed.

I deduce from that Josephus quote is that basically Josephus is merely confirming that Jesus was, in fact, a man. Not the "son of God", just a man. Perhaps with exceptional political persuation, with an art for public speaking, and therefore highly respected. Nothing more, nothing less?

I'm not really versed on this subject, but this is just my opinion. Nonetheless, the existence of Jesus and the existence of an "afterlife" is probably two entirely completely seperate issues.

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Dr. D

I don't particularly doubt that Jesus existed.

I deduce from that Josephus quote is that basically Josephus is merely confirming that Jesus was, in fact, a man. Not the "son of God", just a man. Perhaps with exceptional political persuation, with an art for public speaking, and therefore highly respected. Nothing more, nothing less?

I'm not really versed on this subject, but this is just my opinion. Nonetheless, the existence of Jesus and the existence of an "afterlife" is probably two entirely completely seperate issues.

Except that the Josephus quote is not legitimately from Josephus but is a later forgery inserted into his work.

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Waymarker

Except that the Josephus quote is not legitimately from Josephus but is a later forgery inserted into his work.

Prove it..:)

But look guys, you're missing the point, Jesus was TOO BIG to be a myth, the entire nation of Israel and the Roman garrison saw and heard him for 3 years, it's like saying Elvis was a myth, right Elv?

"Uh-huh"

elvis-lip.jpg

Edited by Waymarker

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The Silver Thong

In my case it is not a matter of wanting to believe there is nothing because I would like to believe that there is an afterlife and a creator but I see no evidence for it.I think that when your dead that is the end and belief in the afterlife is just a comfort zone for people who can't face the prospect of etenal darkness

fullywired

Just want to point out as this is what may make some shy away from the thought of no after life. It may be eternal darkness but and I highlight this we would not be aware of this eternal darkness. Some may see that as we are suspended in limbo, when in fact we would just simply cease to exist with out awareness. What we leave behind is what lives on. Otherwise FW I agree completely.

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The Silver Thong

Prove it..:)

But look guys, you're missing the point, Jesus was TOO BIG to be a myth, the entire nation of Israel and the Roman garrison saw and heard him for 3 years, it's like saying Elvis was a myth, right Elv?

"Uh-huh"

elvis-lip.jpg

Elvis would be a myth with out direct evidence that he did in fact exist. Hearsay is not evidence.

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ShadowSot

Prove it..:)

But look guys, you're missing the point, Jesus was TOO BIG to be a myth, the entire nation of Israel and the Roman garrison saw and heard him for 3 years, it's like saying Elvis was a myth, right Elv?

But where do we have reports of this that backed up, and not fabrications like Josephus'?

Zeus was believed by much of Italy, Egypt, and several outlying countries before the fall of the Roman empire.

Much of the Arabic world believes in Allah, and Muhammad was his final and greatest prophet.

Many, many school children believe that the ancients thought the world was flat and Christopher Columbus proved the world was round.

Number of belief is not proof of accuracy.

The king has left us plenty for reference of his existence.

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Blood_Sacrifice

Why do you seek an objective proof of God or the afterlife? You are most likely not going to find any. Isn't faith enough?

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