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Rock-Star

Honest Question for Atheists

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Irelandalucia

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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Irelandalucia

The roman Historian Josephus records the actuality of Jesus in his Tome 'The antiquities of the Jews' There are many other historical references to his existence most of which have a religious basis though not always Judeo/Christian in origin.The fact that he existed is incontrovertible, however as to his claim, that is the burning question.

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Tiggs

Ha ha, true Christians don't re-edit anything because they're truth-junkies, that's why the Bible has come down to us through the centuries warts and all with its contradictions and inconsistencies unedited, uncensored and untouched, nobody's tried to pretty it up in any way..:)

Well, this might come as a bit of a shock to you, but not every Christian who has ever lived throughout the history of Christianity would fall under your classification of being a true Christian.

For example, the earliest recorded witness to tampering with the books that later went on to form the Bible comes from Celsus,in the early half of the second Century:

“some believers, as though from a drinking bout, go so far as to oppose themselves and alter the original text of the gospel three or four or several times over, and they change its character to enable them to deny difficulties in face of criticism.”

So. Not entirely unedited, uncensored and untouched, I think you'll find. Not by a long margin.

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Rock-Star

The roman Historian Josephus records the actuality of Jesus in his Tome 'The antiquities of the Jews' There are many other historical references to his existence most of which have a religious basis though not always Judeo/Christian in origin.The fact that he existed is incontrovertible, however as to his claim, that is the burning question.

Hi there and welcome to UM! I am no expert in this field and therefore do not consider myself a proper person to debate this subject. However, search through these forums, particularly the in-depth posts of a knowledgeable member like Dr. D, and you might have to reconsider just how "historical" much of the perceived "evidence" out there actually is. Thank you for your interest in this topic!

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Rock-Star

So. Not entirely unedited, uncensored and untouched, I think you'll find. Not by a long margin.

I've actually heard of a gathering called "The Jesus Commission" or something like that, where a bunch of men sat down together and debated what words Jesus actually said, and then proceeded to cast votes to determine which words were true. Kind of makes you wonder...

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Rock-Star

A big thank you again to all the members here for taking such an interest in this topic! All of your reponses are much appreciated!

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----STAR----

(Haven't seen any atheists on a crusade or ethnic cleansing yet..)

Stalin? Mao? Hitler?

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ShadowSot

Stalin? Mao? Hitler?

Stalin, fair enough, though he set himself up as a religious figure, Mao, again, fair enough.

Hitler? Not so much. In God We Trust was on the buckles of the men.

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Tiggs

The roman Historian Josephus records the actuality of Jesus in his Tome 'The antiquities of the Jews' There are many other historical references to his existence most of which have a religious basis though not always Judeo/Christian in origin.The fact that he existed is incontrovertible, however as to his claim, that is the burning question.

If Jesus' historicity is incontrovertible - then why are so many people in this thread saying otherwise?

If we're talking facts - then the facts are that there are no contemporary historical references to Jesus. Absolutely none whatsoever. No historian, even those of the heavily Christian variety, would claim otherwise.

What remains are two scant historical references to Jesus for the remainder of the first century, both of which are highly controversial, the most highly controversial of which is Josephus' reference, a reference which for centuries was universally regarded as a forgery - for example, it was described in the latter 18th century by Bishop Warburton of Gloucester as "a rank forgery, and a very stupid one, too", and has only regained traction in modern times, due to the absolute lack of any other evidence for Christ's historical existence.

So. Probably not as incontrovertible as you previously thought. Sorry.

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----STAR----

Why? Science is based on quantifiable proofs as faith is based on nothing more than being told to believe.

Is it? I would say Faith sits on a spectrum.

Faith... must be enforced by reason... when faith becomes blind it dies. --- Mahatma Gandhi

Consciousness exists within the brain not the body and with out the brain consciousness does not exist. When one dies so does consciousness, it can not be transformed into something that no longer exists. Energy can not be destroyed or created just transformed is what I think you are going for. However our energy and our consciousness are two different things. We do release our energy when we die and it's called decomposition, the gift of life that comes after us.

Do you have any evidence for this, or is it just what you believe?

Consciousness is a funny subject. There is so much about the mind that is yet to be discovered. We know that consciousness exists because we are self aware, but until the substance* of consciousness can be identified, how can one quantify where it does or does not exist? It can not. Therefore, any statement to say otherwise is an induction that sits somewhere on the faith spectrum.

*thats if it has a substance, i personally do not believe it has.

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Tiggs

I've actually heard of a gathering called "The Jesus Commission" or something like that, where a bunch of men sat down together and debated what words Jesus actually said, and then proceeded to cast votes to determine which words were true. Kind of makes you wonder...

You're probably referring to "The Jesus Seminar". As you can see from the Wiki link - it wasn't an entirely uncontroversial process.

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ShadowSot

Easy, you remove the brain, or impose sufficient enough damage to it, you die. The body can be kept "alive" on life support, but enough damage to the brain, and "you" are gone.

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Electra Sofocles

First i would like to appologize for my grammar as my first language is romanian.

I was raised as a Orthodox Christian, and our religion can be sometimes very tought with rules that now seem way too old, and they do not apply to the modern world. My opinion... Been raised in Romania but have been in UK for the past 10years and all my family have stayed behind...

Your question with regards to 'is nothing more to this life? 'even though it might seem a very complex question is acctually followed by a simple answer...

There is... And you and anyone else who feels that way can only know the answer when YOU are ready. God loves people like you who question things as you will get in time more knowledge then anyone who is just a simple follower.

My personal reason to believe in God, and i know it might sound selfish is that when things are really bad in my life THERE IS a presence that is there to help me. Maybe you have been blessed not to go through bad things in life. I am not taking the easy way out by blaming the evil for when things go bad as we all are aware of our actions i am only saying that when you are down and reach for help you can feel that within yourself... something is there who is looking after you. And trust me is the most amazing feeling ever... more than love itself. And somehow i know you do feel that too deep down but you cant explain it. More have tryed to explain scientifically the existance of God, and my dad as well who is a physician. The conclusion is that you cant... My dad stopped writting his book after 10 years of research and typing as he realised that is just a very easy question to answer just as yours as well. Just have patience and dont stop looking for answers and your reward will be far more grather than anything. Trust me...

Enjoy your day!

An Angel

Edited by Electra Sofocles

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ShadowSot

Maybe you have been blessed not to go through bad things in life.

Far from it, I assure you.

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Raptor

I find this ironic, as most science today is based upon inductive reasoning.

"Consciousness exists within the body, therefore it can not exist outside of it"

Does the red make the blue true?

The red can be proven, sort of (but i question even that), but the blue has not been proven, so to support it would require an act of faith.

Disclaimer: Not say that the red and blue sentence is what you believe or anything, just an example of reasoning some people use to make my point.

Given that scenario, you're not going to find many people who simply think that consciousness cannot exist outside of the body, but rather that there's absolutely no reason for us to suppose that it does.

It doesn't take a leap of faith to think that there can be no consciousness without a body because there's no evidence to support the notion that there can be. That is to say, all the known properties of the phenomenon (consciousness) can already be explained in terms of it being an internal physical process. There's nothing left unexplained, so the notion that it might exist outside of the body might be fairly considered as being entirely without merit.

Bring evidence for an external consciousness to the table and I'll consider the possibility, in the same way that I'll consider the possibility of giant fluffy unicorns if you bring the evidence to me first. Until then, though, I'm not taking a leap of faith by not believing either of them.

Where do atheists derive their morals and values from?

A combination of empathy and reason.

If you rely solely on a book to tell you that it's wrong to mistreat other people then the matter of where your morals come from is of far greater concern to me.

Thankfully, though, I'm satisfied that this isn't the case. Most religious individuals have actually adopted parts of a moral code developed over the years by free-thinking people (both religious and non-religious) through the discourse of rational debate and discussion, although frustratingly many religious individuals who do this still insist on attributing these morals to religious scripture and are left wondering how atheists could possibly share the same morals. I trust that you believe it's wrong to own a slave, or that women and men should be equal? If so, where did these morals of your come from?

Edited by Raptor

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Rock-Star

You're probably referring to "The Jesus Seminar". As you can see from the Wiki link - it wasn't an entirely uncontroversial process.

Ah yes, that was it. Thanks for the info. Things such as this really make one wonder how any biblical translations were really put together. If scripture were truly "divinely inspired" as many claim, why would a bunch of mere humans need to sit down and hash out what is true and what is not. Interesting.

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Rock-Star

If you rely solely on a book to tell you that it's wrong to mistreat other people then the matter of where your morals come from is of far greater concern to me.

Thankfully, though, I'm satisfied that this isn't the case. Most religious individuals have actually adopted parts of a moral code developed over the years by free-thinking people (both religious and non-religious) through the discourse of rational debate and discussion, although frustratingly many religious individuals who do this still insist on attributing these morals to religious scripture and are left wondering how atheists could possibly share the same morals. I trust that you believe it's wrong to own a slave, or that women and men should be equal? If so, where did these morals of your come from?

Excellent points. I would like to believe that mankind is in general inherently good, and as you say, it should not take a book to tell one to treat others as you would wish to be treated. Any person of any belief system should be able to deduce that this will lead to a better way of life. Even if every word of the Bible were to be true, Jesus would simply be repeating a universal truth with this command.

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----STAR----

Stalin, fair enough, though he set himself up as a religious figure, Mao, again, fair enough.

Hitler? Not so much. In God We Trust was on the buckles of the men.

Good point, thanks for that, i did hesitate before putting Hitler in, should have checked up. But for the others, the point still stands.

:tu:

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----STAR----

Given that scenario, you're not going to find many people who simply think that consciousness cannot exist outside of the body, but rather that there's absolutely no reason for us to suppose that it does.

It doesn't take a leap of faith to think that there can be no consciousness without a body because there's no evidence to support the notion that there can be. That is to say, all the known properties of the phenomenon (consciousness) can already be explained in terms of it being an internal physical process. There's nothing left unexplained, so the notion that it might exist outside of the body might be fairly considered as being entirely without merit.

Bring evidence for an external consciousness to the table and I'll consider the possibility, in the same way that I'll consider the possibility of giant fluffy unicorns if you bring the evidence to me first. Until then, though, I'm not taking a leap of faith by not believing either of them.

Without there being any evidence of what the substance of consciousness is (if it has one at all) the only evidence that it even exists within the human body is subjective. Which then becomes objectified by the fact that we all experience it, yes, but it (what is known about it) can not be treated as a fact until it is located and identified as a quantifiable substance.

Until then, all theories relating to consciousness are just a mixture of causal connections and inference.

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ShadowSot

Good point, thanks for that, i did hesitate before putting Hitler in, should have checked up. But for the others, the point still stands.

:tu:

It's why I often tell people it's more important to have a intelligent, thinking populace than an atheistic one.

Sure, Stalin was an atheist but he also new how religion could be used to manipulate people. He reinstated the Russian Orthodox church during his rule.

Mao set up a cult of personality for himself, something along the same as Stalin did, which is why people were and are still supportive of him and his actions.

Arguably, it is this type of behavior that many people, atheists, and the secular and moderate religious are working to avoid.

Far more important to have a learned populace that asks questions, seeks information, and challenges their government.

However, we are faced both with a government that is steadily becoming more religious toned and more powerful, and a people that are becoming at once more apathetic and more frustrated.

Lestwise, he in the States anyway.

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Dr. D

The roman Historian Josephus records the actuality of Jesus in his Tome 'The antiquities of the Jews' There are many other historical references to his existence most of which have a religious basis though not always Judeo/Christian in origin.The fact that he existed is incontrovertible, however as to his claim, that is the burning question.

As has been mentioned here earlier, Josephus' mention of Jesus was a much later insertion into his works and is not historically valid.

There are no writings of Jesus contemporary to his time and others that have often been quoted by Christians as evidential were written decades after the crucifixion and have minimal value in the form of proof.

The existence of Jesus can, and has often been, debated since there is no tangible evidence of him dating to the alleged time of his mission on earth.

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----STAR----

It's why I often tell people it's more important to have a intelligent, thinking populace than an atheistic one.

Sure, Stalin was an atheist but he also new how religion could be used to manipulate people. He reinstated the Russian Orthodox church during his rule.

Mao set up a cult of personality for himself, something along the same as Stalin did, which is why people were and are still supportive of him and his actions.

Arguably, it is this type of behavior that many people, atheists, and the secular and moderate religious are working to avoid.

Far more important to have a learned populace that asks questions, seeks information, and challenges their government.

However, we are faced both with a government that is steadily becoming more religious toned and more powerful, and a people that are becoming at once more apathetic and more frustrated.

Lestwise, he in the States anyway.

I quite agree. Religion is often used by people to manipulate.

You have made me think of a scene from inherit the wind, ever seen it?

link to inherit the wind clip

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ShadowSot

I quite agree. Religion is often used by people to manipulate.

You have made me think of a scene from inherit the wind, ever seen it?

link to inherit the wind clip

Nope, and can't view tuber videos at work.

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Raptor

Without there being any evidence of what the substance of consciousness is (if it has one at all) the only evidence that it even exists within the human body is subjective. Which then becomes objectified by the fact that we all experience it, yes, but it (what is known about it) can not be treated as a fact until it is located and identified as a quantifiable substance.

Until then, all theories relating to consciousness are just a mixture of causal connections and inference.

Well personally, I believe that the evidence for consciousness being a physical manifestation of the brain is overwhelming, but that's not really the point, is it? The point is that you said it takes a leap of faith to deny the possibility that consciousness might be external to the body (or have an external component, at least). I merely maintain that it doesn't necessarily require faith to do so, because there exists an empirical explanation (which might or might not be true) that is able to tie up all the loose ends.

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----STAR----

Well personally, I believe that the evidence for consciousness being a physical manifestation of the brain is overwhelming, but that's not really the point, is it?

In some ways, it does impact upon the point. The point is only valid if the things that deny the possibility that consciousness might exist externally as well as internally can be proven to be fact, then there would be no reason to question otherwise.

I do not think evidence for consciousness being a physical manifestation of the brain is overwhelming at all, neuropsychology et al is still a very young science.

Manifestation of the brain overwhelming? simplified, but maybe sort of...physical? still unproven with little to no evidence.

The point is that you said it takes a leap of faith to deny the possibility that consciousness might be external to the body (or have an external component, at least). I merely maintain that it doesn't necessarily require faith to do so, because there exists an empirical explanation (which might or might not be true) that is able to tie up all the loose ends.

The problem is that as the loose ends are not tied up, i would suggest that any inference made requires a leap of faith. As i said, faith sits on a spectrum, so i am not trying to say it is the same as saying "i am going to leap off this 100 story building and i shall not die because i believe that God will protect me", but, if it is not fact, then it requires a certain amount of faith.

In acknowledging this, we can be open, on both sides of the court, to the possibility that things are not always as they seem and it is wise not to put all of our eggs into one basket...

....unless God says otherwise :P xxx

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