When Christianity Was in Charge, This Is What We Got

In 2014, I visited Hereford Cathedral in England and saw their mappa mundi (chart of the world). About 100 standalone mappae mundi remain, and this is the largest. It was made from a single calf skin, it’s a little over five feet tall, and it was made around 1300.

This is not the kind of map we’re used to. There is little attempt at accurate geography. This map wouldn’t serve an explorer or navigator, and its creators didn’t pretend that it would.

Using the theme of a world map, medieval cartographers embellished maps like this one to make them into something of an encyclopedia. Science was in its infancy, however, and the information was often bizarre.

Jabberwocky creatures?

Do you remember the “Jabberwocky” from Through the Looking-Glass? It begins:

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe.

Humpty Dumpty explains what a tove is: “‘Toves’ are something like badgers, they’re something like lizards, and they’re something like corkscrews. . . . Also they make their nests under sun-dials, also they live on cheese.”

Assuming our interest is the real world rather than Wonderland, the zoology we’re taught by the Mappa Mundi might as well have come from Humpty Dumpty. The drawing above shows monstrous people from Sebastian Münster’s Cosmographia (1544), and the Hereford Mappa Mundi includes some of these and more.

  • Sciapods had one large foot that they used to shield themselves from the sun.
  • The Blemmyes were warlike and had no head. Instead, their face was in their chest.
  • The dog-headed men were the Cynocephali.
  • Troglodites are “very swift; they live in caves, eat snakes and catch wild animals by jumping on them.”

The map also shows a number of mythical creatures, including a griffin and a salamander with wings. My favorite is the bonnacon, shown looking back over its shoulder at its own explosion of scalding diarrhea, which covers three acres. Even actual animals are misunderstood. The map reports, “The Lynx sees through walls and urinates a black stone.”

As with all mappae mundi, this one puts Jerusalem in the center. It locates places of important biblical events such as the Tower of Babel, the Garden of Eden, the route of the Exodus, and Sodom and Gomorrah.

Mythology and history are mixed without distinction. We see Jason’s Golden Fleece and the Labyrinth where Theseus killed the Minotaur, but we also see the camp of Alexander the Great.

Christianity was in charge for a millennium, and all I got was this lousy map

Christianity has been given a chance at understanding reality, and this is what it gave us. When Christianity was in charge, the world was populated by mystical creatures, we had little besides superstition to explain the caprices of nature, and natural disasters were signs of God’s anger.

Christianity’s goal isn’t to create the internet, GPS, airplanes, or antibiotics. It isn’t to improve life with warm clothes or safe water. It isn’t to eliminate diseases like smallpox or polio. It’s to convince people to believe in a story that has no evidence.

Admittedly, it’s not like Europeans had a lot of options. Christianity was the opium of the masses—better than nothing and not exceeded by much of anything in the Europe of 1300. True, eyeglasses had recently been invented and a remarkable century of cathedral building had passed, but science didn’t yet offer much of an alternative way of seeing reality.

Today, we have had a couple of centuries to give modern science a test drive, and we know that it delivers. Nevertheless, we still see Mappa Mundi thinking today. There are still religious leaders who long for the good old days of 1300.

The chief purpose of life is not happiness, but the knowledge of God.
— William Lane Craig

“Q. What is the chief end of man?”
“A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”
— the first question in the Westminster Shorter Catechism (written in 1647 but in use today)

According to the Bible, our purpose—the reason we are here—is for God’s glory. In other words, our purpose is to praise God, worship him, to proclaim his greatness, and to accomplish his will. This is what glorifies him.
— Matt Slick, CARM

There is no calling greater than praising God. This is true not only for us, but surprisingly also for God himself, he being the greatest, to glory in anything else would be idolatry. Therefore, if the greatest thing God can do is give himself glory, and no created thing can be greater than God, the greatest thing we can do (our purpose, you might say) is to glory him.
— John Piper, Desiring God

And Christians say that it’s the atheists who lead pointless lives!

Christianity is like an arch

But if Christianity is just what you do if there’s no science, why is it still here? It doesn’t win when compared against science. It doesn’t even win when compared against other religions—Christianity has one view of the supernatural, and other religions have other views. Christianity offers nothing but claims without evidence (more here and here).

The metaphor of an arch illustrates this. To assemble an arch, first you build an arch-shaped scaffold. Next, lay the stones of the arch. Finally, remove the scaffold. Once the stones of the arch are in place, they support themselves and don’t need the scaffold.

That’s how religion works. Superstition in a world before science was the scaffold that supported the arch of religion. Science has now dismantled the scaffold of superstition, but it’s too late because the arch of religion has already calcified in place.

It’s the twenty-first century, and yet the guiding principles for Christians’ lives come from the fourteenth, back when the sun orbited the earth, disease had supernatural causes, and the world was populated by Sciapods, Blemmyes, and bonnacons.

So geographers, in Afric maps
With savage pictures fill their gaps
And o’er uninhabitable downs
Place elephants for want of towns.
— Jonathan Swift (1733)

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(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 11/3/14.)

Photo credit: St. John’s College

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  • skl

    “It’s the twenty-first century, and yet the guiding
    principles for Christians’ lives come from the fourteenth…”

    Not the fourteenth. The first.

    • Michael Neville

      The guiding principles for Christian’s lives have been revised, edited, emended, amended, altered, rearranged, censored, added to and deleted from, translated, amplified, simplified and otherwise mucked about with as soon as there were two Christians. Any time given for “Christian principles” is purely arbitrary and utterly meaningless. There is a reason why there at 45,000 or more Christian sects. When Pat Robertson, Pope Francis and John Shelby Spong can all identify as Christians, then it’s obvious there are no such things as “principles for Christian lives”.

      • eric

        Additionally, the majority of US Christians are protestant. Not exactly a 1st century sect.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Or 14th century sect either.

      • skl

        Then Bob S. should have said “the twentieth”.
        Or even the “twenty-first”.

        • Greg G.

          Maybe you should have said “the twentieth” or “the twenty-first”. You just have to try to be contrary without thinking it through.

        • skl

          I’ll stick with “the first”.

        • Michael Neville

          And you’d be as wrong as if you changed to the 14th, 20th or 21st. But then we’re used to Christian apologists like you being wrong (and Lying for Jesus).

    • ildi

      There wasn’t established canon until the 4th century or so.

      • skl

        You must be referring to the canon of scripture.

        And you seem to be saying there were no guiding Christian principles before then. I doubt that’s the case.

        • Greg G.

          Before the canon, there were lots of Christian principles. Canonization was to decide what Christians actually believed to iron out the inconsistencies. Some wanted to make God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost equal and some wanted the religion to be monotheism, so the formed a committee to work out a compromise. They ended up with the Trinity.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yeah…that’s what it says right there in his comment.

          And no, he doesn’t seem to be saying there was no guiding Christian principles before then.

          Try reading for comprehension.

          There were a plethora of contradictory “guiding Christian principles”. With one god, two gods, 365 gods, phantom Jesus’s, bodily Jesus’s, Jesus not God, Evil Old Testament Yahweh, etc., etc.,…

          The early Christian Church was a chaos of contending beliefs, according to Bart Ehrman, author of Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew. Ehrman says some groups of early Christians claimed there was more than one God. Some believed Jesus was human but not divine, while others said he was divine but not human. In his book, Ehrman looks at how these early forms of Christianity came to be suppressed, reformed, or forgotten. He spoke recently with Beliefnet about what Christianity might have become if a different strain had emerged victorious from first-century intellectual battles.

          Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/christianity/2004/08/the-christianity-battles.aspx#aJYBsDwu6r7LzUf3.99

        • Susan

          Read more

          skl? You’ve got to be kidding.

    • Halbe

      So, you are a Christian Communist?

      Christian communism is a form of religious communism based on Christianity. It is a theological and political theory based upon the view that the teachings of Jesus Christ compel Christians to support communism as the ideal social system. Although there is no universal agreement on the exact date when Christian communism was founded, many Christian communists assert that evidence from the Bible suggests that the first Christians, including the Apostles, established their own small communist society in the years following Jesus’ death and resurrection. As such, many advocates of Christian communism argue that it was taught by Jesus and practiced by the Apostles themselves. Some independent historians confirm it.

      See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_communism

      • Greg G.

        That idea is probably based on Acts 4:32-37, but read Acts 5:1-11 as the follow-up. Luke likely got this from the description of the Essenes in Antiquities of the Jews 18.1.5 §18-22 or Jewish Wars 2.8.3.

      • skl

        No. I’m not religious.

        • Halbe

          Yeah right… and the Pope is not Catholic.

    • Rudy R

      Yes, the guiding principles of slavery and genocide.

  • Michael Neville

    A couple of thousand years ago it was reasonable to believe in gods. Earthquakes were caused by Rūaumoko, the Maori god of volcanoes, moving underground. Thunder was caused by Thor hitting mountains with his hammer, Mjölnir. Tsunamis were caused by Poseidon having a temper tantrum. Over the years these supernatural causes have been superseded by natural causes, so now there’s just gaps to put gods in. Cosmologists can describe the universe back to Planck Time, 5.391 x 10^-44 seconds after its creation (however some hypotheses say that time started at Planck Time). That’s an awfully tiny gap for a god to squeeze into.

  • Damien Priestly

    Troglodytes and dog-headed men are really small potatoes when you have a religion that still has exorcists…exorcising real demons, here in the 21st century.

    • Ctharrot

      Oh, that reminds me–the new Commander decks for Magic: the Gathering are out this weekend. Thanks!

  • Presumably inspired by today’s post, one commenter alerted me to this recent article from a conservative site: “The Enlightenment Got It Wrong: The West’s Debt to Christianity” (http://www.breakpoint.org/2018/08/breakpoint-the-enlightenment-got-it-wrong ).

    I’ll try to summarize: an atheist historian saw the Christian god as boring and the Olympian gods much more interesting. As he continued his studies, he realized that the Greek, Roman, and other civilizations of the time that he admired were actually responsible for some terrible human rights violations—genocide, slavery, eugenics. Conclusion: it wasn’t the Enlightenment where we got modern moral attitudes.

    Well, it may not have been Greek or Roman conquests 2000 years ago from which we got modern morals, but that doesn’t mean that they came from the examples of Jesus and Yahweh. In fact, Yahweh’s barbarity far outstrips that of Julius Caesar or any other human conqueror. And shouldn’t a god meet higher standards?

    I saw nothing in the article justifying “the West’s Debt to Christianity,” but it’s a short article—feel free to read it and highlight what I might have missed.

    • eric

      I don’t know of a single bronze age civilization that *didn’t* commit what we’d consider brutal crimes and rights violations. But if he’s claiming the notion of democracy came from Christianity rather than the Greeks, I’d suggest he back away from the pipe.

      On other enlightenment ideas; it wouldn’t surprise me at all if many of the writers of the time claimed an historical pedigree for their own ideas, to make a new idea more palatable. So I would seriously consider the notion that a lot of enlightenment ideas didn’t come from Greeks or Romans or Christianity; Kant’s ideas came from Kant. Hume’s came from Hume. Locke’s came from Locke. And so on. The enlightenment was a period of many big thinkers throwing new ideas into the pot and arguing about them. And if they cited Aristotle or Plato or Socrates? An argument from authority in some cases, to push their own agenda.

      And to be fair, I’m perfectly happy to level the same ‘citation’ requirement on both classical and Christian sources. Want to claim some idea came from Christianity? Show the citation and the linkage, and it’d better be stronger than a vague analogy. But want to claim some idea came from Plato? Okay, let’s require the same. And if an enlightenment idea can’t be traced back to either? Then credit it to the author.

    • Ctharrot

      Hmm. I keep getting hung up on this sentence: “This led Holland to view the Enlightenment’s insistence that it owed nothing to Christianity as not credible.”

      Where and when did “the Enlightenment” insist this? To be sure, Enlightenment thinkers drew enthusiastically from Greek and Roman philosophy, history, political science, etc. But plenty also explicitly espoused and endorsed Christian ethics in their treatises, letters, and speeches. Locke, Smith, Montesquieu, Adams, Grotius, on and on. Even Jefferson, the contrarian unitarian, wrote admiringly of JC’s philosophy while dismissing much of the Bible as barbaric applesauce.

      Western civilization’s intellectual provenance isn’t binary, an either/or choice between pagan and biblical roots. Early Christianity itself was a marriage of Hebrew religion and Hellenistic thought. Medieval European culture was a messy medley of mostly Germanic, Celtic, Roman, and Christian customs and ideas. And the Enlightenment was the eventual result and arguably refinement of those and additional influences.

      Metaxas’ characterization strikes me as a straw man and an egregious simplification. No serious historian argues that the Enlightenment involved the wholesale denial of the role and influence of Christian ideas.

      • Agreed. Nicely stated.

        I felt compelled to add that note about this article since it was slightly relevant to today’s post and because it was coming from a Christian standpoint. I like to make sure that articulate comments from the other side get some airplay.

      • This is all very funny to me, considering that my Catholic education was explicitly anti-Enlightenment. Everything was supposedly wonderful until the Enlightenment came along and ruined everything. Why is everything terrible in the modern age? (Assuming that it is.) Why, the Enlightenment!

        • Ctharrot

          Ha! The Church still isn’t over it? Man, talk about holding a grudge. 🙂

          While I think it’s going too far to characterize the Enlightenment categorically as anti-Christian or as rejecting Christian ethics, criticism of orthodoxy, dogma, and institutions was certainly a common theme. Not surprisingly, the Catholic Church’s Index Librorum Prohibitorum was a who’s who of Enlightenment giants–Montesquieu, Locke, Pascal, Bacon, Descartes, etc.

          Did your teachers happen to mention that the Papal States resisted silly Enlightenment ideas like representative democratic government, freedom of conscience, and freedom of expression well into the 19th century?

        • Oh absolutely. We read a lot of counter-Enlightenment stuff, as well as papal condemnations of democracy. A common belief among my fellow students was that monarchy was the ideal, although impractical to instate in America. Heck, my college had the Hapsburg heir to the throne come visit recently; it was a whole thing. There may be no Holy Roman Empire anymore, but that doesn’t stop people from hero-worshipping the people who theoretically could return to power someday.

          (Note: this is NOT mainstream Catholic belief, we were very far-right. Most Catholics are unaware the church was condemning democracy less than 200 years ago.)

        • Pofarmer

          Shoot, the Church was actively fighting democracy on the Southern U.S. border at the beginning of the 20th century.

        • Michael Neville

          Pope Pius X (reigned 1903-1914) disliked democracy and hated the Italian States. When the French president Émile Loubet visited the Italian king Victor Emmanuel III, Pius, still refusing to accept the annexation of the Papal territories by Italy, reproached the French president for this visit and refused to meet him. This led to a diplomatic break with France, and in 1905 France issued a Law of Separation, which separated church and state, and which the Pope denounced. The effect of this separation was the Church’s loss of its government funding in France. Two French bishops were removed by the Vatican for recognizing the Third Republic.

          In 1903 Pius declared voting in Italian elections to be a sin. However in 1905, in his encyclical Il Fermo Proposito he allowed Catholics to vote when they were “helping the maintenance of social order” by voting for deputies who were not socialists.

        • Ficino

          When I was in seminary there were students who wanted the several states in the US to set up their own churches. They maintained that the Constitution does not exclude a state’s establishing a church.

          A friend, who is from Greece, told me about being at a gathering with a lot of Greek Americans. Some of them started speaking reverently about “our King.” This was when Constantine II was still alive. My friend replied tartly, “What king? We have no king. We abolished the monarchy in 1974.”

          Fringe groups are fun.

        • Otto

          >>>”They maintained that the Constitution does not exclude a state’s establishing a church.”

          They are ignorant of Constitutional Law…ugh

        • Michael Neville

          The 14th Amendment has something to say about what states may and may not do.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Thank you. I couldn’t remember which one.

        • Halbe

          When I was in seminary there were students who wanted the several states in the US to set up their own churches.

          They reaĺly don’t think this kind of thing through, do they? They naively think of course that this State Church’s doctrines will align perfectly with their own. But why would that be the case? If you’re serious about your faith a State Church is one of the last things you should wish for.

        • Greg G.

          If you’re serious about your faith a State Church is one of the last things you should wish for.

          It would be Democratic Theology. It would be theological sausage.

        • Pofarmer

          Because they suck at History.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Yep.

          There’s a *reason* for the 40,000 xtian denominations fissioning regularly like they are.

        • Ficino

          Back in my Protestant days, I recall reading Francis Schaeffer and his allies. They were against the Enlightenment, of course, though they claimed its positive results were really the fruits of Dutch Calvinism. What Schaeffer et al especially hated was scholasticism, and especially, Aquinas. They thought St. Thomas’ doctrine of nature and grace was the key to most subsequent decline in the West.

        • Michael Neville

          Thomas Aquinas was pre-Enlightment. Historians traditionally place the Enlightenment between 1715 (the year that Louis XIV died) and 1789 (the beginning of the French Revolution). Tommy’s dates were 1225-1274.

        • Pofarmer

          I would posit a lot of the enlightenment was REFUTING Aquinas. Hume, etc, but it started almost immediately after he had written.

        • Haha, it’s funny how every worldview has its historical heroes and villains. I was taught to idolize Aquinas and credit any developments in human thought to his influence.

        • epicurus
        • Pofarmer

          MAGA in a nutshell.

          There is a book that I like to promote by Eric Hoffer called “The True Believers”. This belief in a mythic past where everything was super dooper and if we could just get back to that then everything would be great is a common trope. It’s also a myth, of course, but that doesn’t matter to those who believe in whatever the movement is.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          See also Bob Altemeyer’s The Authoritarians, on that topic.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          That also applies to the anti-theists who want to take us all back to the 1730s (or at the very least, the Victorian era), and pretend that post-modernism and post-postmodernism never happened.

        • Pofarmer

          Yeah, I mean, that’s exactly what’s happening.

          Holy shit.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          It sure is

        • KenderJ

          What do you mean that anti-theists want to “take us all back to the 1730s”?

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          To the old days of pretend certainty, the age of Hume and Locke (well he was a bit earlier) and Voltaire.

      • Dave Armstrong

        Thanks for your intelligent, far more objective approach to history. I appreciate it, especially seeing it in the context of Seidensticker’s usual hyper-polemical, warped, anti-Christian version. The “Enlightenment” (the supposedly “reasonable” people) also murdered Lavoisier, the father of chemistry, and several other prominent French scientists and philosophers:

        http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2015/10/who-killed-lavoisier-father-of-chemistry.html

        Galileo lived his life under house arrest in luxurious palaces of his supporters, and St. Robert Bellarmine showed that he had a more accurate understanding of scientific method than Galileo did:

        http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2015/10/galileo-bellarmine-scientific-method.html

        Galileo and other scientists of his general time, got many things wrong, too (just as some in the Church had, in condemning Galileo’s premature overconfidence):

        http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2010/07/no-ones-perfect-scientific-errors-of-galileo-and-16th-17th-century-cosmologies-rescued-from-obscurity.html

        • Michael Neville

          Galileo may have been under house arrest but in 1631 the mainly Protestant city of Magdeburg was sacked by the Catholic forces under Tilly and Papenheim. The population went from 30,000 to 5,000 in less than three days. Gott mit uns!

        • Dave Armstrong

          You can find all kinds of scandals. I’m talking about the history of science and the supposedly universal or overwhelming Christian hostility to it, in the era before modern science, as implied in Seidensticker’s post. That was Galileo’s fate. “Father of chemistry” Lavoisier’s under the “Enlightenment” was far worse: he was deprived of his head.

        • Michael Neville

          So please explain to us how, other than putting Galileo under house arrest for being an unmitigated jerk (I am aware of why Fr. Christopher Scheiner SJ was one of Galileo’s prosecutors), the Catholic Church promoted science.

        • Dave Armstrong

          I just did that above, providing a multitude of links that document it. We not only promoted it, we were central in founding modern science, and dominating it for 300-400 years, as any historian of science or philosopher of science is well aware.

        • Michael Neville

          Denouncing the French Revolution and whining about “scientism” has nothing to do with how the anti-science Catholic Church supported science. If you think I’m impressed that Robert Bellermine guessed more correctly than Galileo about what became the scientific method then you’re wrong. That 16th and 17th Century natural philosophers made mistakes is hardly evidence that the Catholic Church was right in suppressing knowledge. Did you know that it wasn’t until 1758 that Newton’s Principia Mathematica was removed from the Index Liborum Prohibitorum?

        • And wasn’t that list abolished in 1966?

        • Otto

          Damn Vatican II liberal BS is what that was.

        • Dave Armstrong

          What’s worse: prohibiting books, or prohibiting human beings from having a life on the earth and from leaving their mother’s wombs in order to enjoy that life?

        • Michael Neville

          Take your forced-birthism and shove it where the Sun don’t shine. We’re discussing the Enlightenment and your cult’s hatred of intellectual advancement. So you can stop poisoning the well right now.

        • Otto

          Time for a change of discussion, eh Dave?

        • Changing the subject? Well done, sir! I didn’t even notice. You’re smooth enough to play Vegas.

          But this is the wrong post–you’re looking for the “25 Stupid Arguments” post.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          I think you mean “women ridding themselves of unwanted parasites that INVADED their bodies.”

          Think of it as Stand Your Uterus, if that helps.

        • Dave Armstrong

          What do you think of the philosophes murdering scientists and philosophers?

        • Michael Neville

          I think about it exactly the same as I think of the Inquisition murdering anyone who disagreed with them. Tu quoque works both ways.

          In 1578 the Spanish Inquisition opened a branch to investigate heresies in the Spanish Fleet (the Armada). Being a galley slave brought before the Inquisition has got to be close to the nadir of human existence.

        • Sure, modern science came from a mostly European (and hence Christian) background. In the global game of Risk, Europe eventually won. This is a historical observation and says nothing about God’s involvement.

          I wonder: in your long list of fabulicious things that Christians did, could you replace “Christian” with “European” and have it still be true? And if so, why not just do it and celebrate Europeans’ advances rather than Christians’ advances? If I didn’t know better, I’d say that you were just putting a spin on the data to support your presupposition.

        • Dave Armstrong

          Since you have now demanded that I can never cite your words in these comboxes, there is no reason to reply to you at all, since any debates I have are always made public on my blog, for teaching purposes. But you say “no!!!!” to all that, so, as you wish . . .

        • Susan

          any debates I have are always made public on my blog

          The problem being that it’s not much of a “debate” when you edit out context, change your own responses after the fact and ban the interlocutors with whom you’re debating.

          If you are unable to interact without doing that, then calling it a “debate” is a little out of line.

        • Tommy

          Chicken shit’s gonna chicken shit I guess…

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Smells *horrible*, too.

          (there was a chicken farm in the town I grew up in…UGGGHHHH!)

        • Time to pack up your snake oil tent and move to another town, I think.

          I have are always made public on my blog, for teaching purposes

          Teaching? Who benefits from this “teaching”? Aren’t all the regurgitated comments posts the same–“atheists were mean to me again,” “watch me kick some ass,” and so on? Seems like it’s just ego stroking on your part.

          Ask your fans what they think of these posts. “Golly, Dave, I didn’t realize what a big dick you have!” is probably not what they’ll say, I’m afraid.

        • Susan

          But you say “no!!!!” to all that, so, as you wish

          Didn’t take you long to break that promise.

        • Michael Neville

          Hands up anyone who was surprised.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          As usual, you’re a lying whiner.

          You’ve ALREADY violated that request on your own wall of diarrhea…and using it as a dodge to avoid your burden of proof is about par for your ill-tempered lack of ability.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Nope.

          You provided a bunch of links back to your blog, because you’re desperate for clicks.

        • KenderJ

          Do you have any real citations? Patheos does not count.

        • as implied in Seidensticker’s post

          Show me how this is a true statement.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          “When it was a possibly *deadly* choice to identify as anything OTHER than catholic, many catholic scientists made advances in knowledge.”

          You REALLY have to work on your rhetoric.

          Here’s an example of how silly you sound:

          http://wp.production.patheos.com/blogs/sites/541/2018/07/chimps-people-like-you-gotta-work-on-your-threats-e1532486031699.png

        • got many things wrong, too (just as some in the Church had

          That’s weird–you’d think that since the Church wasn’t just another big human bureaucracy but instead was guided by the omniscient Creator of the universe that it would look different somehow.

        • Dave Armstrong

          Exactly! That’s why the Catholic Church produced modern science, including heliocentrism (formulated by the Catholic Copernicus). One (sub-infallible) Catholic tribunal at one point of our history, got science wrong (while a pious Catholic who was wrongly persecuted: Galileo, got some major things right, but also other things wrong, and another Catholic, Bellarmine, had the more modern, accurate understanding of scientific method).

          Big wow. We would expect to see this. It’s no disproof whatever of our claims. But such things are clearly beyond your capacity to understand, in the blindness of your bigotry.

        • Michael Neville

          The Catholic Church has squat to do with “producing modern science”. Certain Christians, including some Catholics, were scientists but the Church as an institution had zip point shit to do with modern science. Incidentally it was Msgr Georges Lemaître, professor of physics at the University of Leuven and one of the originators of the Big Bang theory, who convinced Pope Pius XII to stop advocating creationism.

        • Pofarmer

          So, if Catholics, in a place and time where they could be little else, advance science at the threat of the inquisition, Excommunication, torture, imprisonment, and sometimes death, the the Church get’s credit for the science. I’m not sure how that’s how this is supposed to work.

        • You’ve shown that many European scientists were Christian. Yeah. Obviously. We already know that.

          That’s why the Catholic Church produced modern science

          Wrong. Europeans who happened to be Christian largely produced modern science. As a wise man recently observed, “but such things are clearly beyond your capacity to understand, in the blindness of your bigotry.”

          . . . including heliocentrism (formulated by the Catholic Copernicus).

          Yes, Copernicus was a Catholic. Maybe he was also a knitter. Maybe he drank wine. Maybe he beat his wife. Show us the cause and effect between any of these and his science.

          Big wow. We would expect to see this. It’s no disproof whatever of our claims.

          I agree. And since your claim is simply that many European scientists happened to be Christian, your claim is unimportant.

        • epeeist

          That’s why the Catholic Church produced modern science, including heliocentrism

          Heliocentricism was postulated by Aristarchus, he is referenced both by Copernicus in De Revolutionibus and by Galileo in Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems. As far as I am aware Aristarchus was neither Christian or a member of the Catholic church.

          another Catholic, Bellarmine, had the more modern, accurate understanding of scientific method

          So his writings on scientific method include? As compared to, say, Francis Bacon’s Novum Organum.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Try again.

          Show me a single scientist of those known to have revolutionized knowledge who were supported, rather than persecuted, by the catholic church.

          I’ll wait.

          Show your work and cite reputable sources.

        • Pofarmer

          Dave’s Grooming language is a little creepy.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          MORE desperate pleas for clicks.

          You really ARE a sad sack, aren’t you?

          Nobody will read your stuff, so you come here to stir shit in the hopes some of us will follow you back.

      • Dave Armstrong

        There are all sorts of counter-facts that don’t fit into the “anti-Christian” version of European history and the history of science. For example, I have documented “33 Empiricist Christian Thinkers Before 1000 AD”:

        http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2015/10/33-empiricist-christian-thinkers-before-1000-ad.html

        As one example among many, both Augustine and Aquinas opposed astrology:

        http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2015/09/st-augustine-astrology-is-absurd.html

        http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2006/05/did-st-thomas-aquinas-accept-astrology.html

        On the other hand, many great early scientists (also Christians) were obsessed with astrology, including Galileo, Kepler, and Tycho Brahe, while Isaac Newton (an Arian) was fascinated with alchemy:

        http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2006/05/science-vs-religion-chronicles-16th-17th-century-astronomers-acceptance-of-astrology-part-i.html

        For examples of “scientific Christians” long before modern science was born, see Hermann of Reichenau (1013–1054) and Adelard of Bath (c. 1080-c. 1152):

        http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2015/10/catholics-science-1-hermann-of-reichenau.html

        http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2015/10/catholics-science-2-adelard-of-bath.html

        When modern science did get off the ground, of course it was Christianity that was overwhelmingly in the forefront of that:

        http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2015/10/christianity-crucial-to-the-origin-of-science.html

        Christians or theists founded 115 scientific fields:

        http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2015/09/115-scientific-fields-founded-or-dominated-by-christian-or-theistic-scientists-34-prominent-catholic-priest-scientists.html

        There were at least 244 priest-scientists:

        http://www.ncregister.com/blog/astagnaro/a-list-of-244-priest-scientists-from-acosta-to-zupi

        And here are 152 lay Catholic scientists:

        http://www.ncregister.com/blog/astagnaro/a-short-list-of-lay-catholic-scientists

        35 lunar craters were named to honor Jesuit scientists:

        http://www.faculty.fairfield.edu/jmac/sj/scientists/lunacrat.htm

        • Ctharrot

          I don’t feel the need to go chasing links, but I’d certainly agree most of the prominent scientists in Christendom’s history were Christians, generally products of church-run, church-founded, or church-affiliated universities, certainly prior to the 19th or 20th century. Indeed, how could it have been otherwise, when for most of that history, being the wrong religion could result in the loss of a person’s property, livelihood, liberty, skin, or sometimes even life? Put differently, we can think of a few reasons the Papal States didn’t give the world any famous Jewish scientists, right?

        • Dave Armstrong

          As I’ve pointed out now twice, it was the “Enlightenment” that murdered scientists and philosophers (namely, Antoine Lavoisier, the father of chemistry, Philippe-Frédéric de Dietrich, Nicolas de Condorcet, Jean Baptiste Gaspard Bochart de Saron, Guillaume-Chrétien de Lamoignon de Malesherbes, and Félix Vicq d’Azyr), not Christians. But flail away in the face of facts if you must . . .

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2015/10/who-killed-lavoisier-father-of-chemistry.html

          The Soviet and Chinese atheist Communists later revived the murderous spree against scientists:

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2015/10/atheist-french-soviet-chinese-executions-of-scientists.html

        • Ctharrot

          Wait, what? You’ve written how many posts to me here, but because I haven’t yet responded to the one about the French Revolution, in between mowing and driving kids around and getting the oil changed, I’m “flailing away in the face of facts” with a response about a totally different historical situation?

          I don’t get that at all.

        • Dave Armstrong

          Read your own words: “being the wrong religion could result in the loss of a person’s property, livelihood, liberty, skin, or sometimes even life?”

          Well, being a scientist could cause one to lose their life in “Enlightenment” France, or Communist Russia and China.

        • Michael Neville

          Name a scientist who was killed because he was a scientist during whatever period you guess the “Enlightenment” happened.

        • Ctharrot

          Yes, I was writing about why it’s my sense Christendom naturally produced so many Christian scientists–a church-centric university system (at least until relatively recently) and the very real obstacles faced by non-Christians in Christian countries (again, at least until relatively recently). These are not historically controversial ideas.

          How abominably certain non-Christian regimes have behaved towards believers or scientists or others is a kinda related but definitely different subject, and I don’t see how my not getting to it as quickly as you would like means that what I wrote is “flying in the face of the facts.”

          But I’ll go ahead and get to it, at least insofar as my obligations today will permit. The Terror is aptly named (also the name of a phenomenal book by Dan Simmons, but I digress), and unfortunately even Enlightenment-inspired ends were used to justify atrocious means in revolutionary France. (Although Enlightenment ideas on this side of the Atlantic gave us reasonably solid republic government intended to protect individual liberties, subject, alas, to the messy vagaries of politics and the human condition.)

          Furthermore, I agree that Soviet and Communist Chinese treatment of dissenters–political, religious, intellectual, etc.–is a human rights travesty. Speaking for myself, I would no more want to live under an officially atheist government than under an officially Baptist government. I’m exceedingly fond of the First Amendment, a freedom-of-conscience Madisonian to my marrow.

          Make sense?

        • Dave Armstrong

          Yes.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Evidence, then.

          Show your work and cite reputable sources.

          And then explain how “they do it, too” excuses a religion that claims to make those who follow it morally superior.

        • Pofarmer

          FYI, Dave’s in timeout.

        • Rudy R

          Your “Enlightenment” argument is just a straw man. Let’s be real. Religion ruled through that age, and continue to do so moving the levers of government, as they did through the Dark age.

        • Greg G.

          Dave doesn’t understand reality.

        • Pofarmer

          It’s the same tactic Trumps followers are using. “But what about Hillary’s emails?” “Benghazi!!!!!”

          Oh look, a squirrel.

          It’s not any more honest or convincing here.

        • Otto

          It’s Dave’s world…we just live in it.

        • Michael Neville

          The Enlightenment is generally considered to have ended in 1789 (you get bonus points if you know what else happened that year).

          Lavoisier wasn’t executed because he was a chemist but because he was a notorious tax farmer. He was an administrator of the Ferme générale, a financial company which advanced the estimated tax revenue to the government in return for the right to collect the taxes. On behalf of the Ferme générale Lavoisier commissioned the building of a wall around Paris so that customs duties could be collected from goods going into and out of the city. His participation in the collection of taxes did not help him when the Reign of Terror began in France, as taxes and lack of government reform were the primary motivators of the French Revolution.

        • Grimlock

          (you get bonus points if you know what else happened that year).

          Uranium was discovered. Which I totally didn’t get from Wikipedia.

        • Michael Neville

          You get double bonus points because I didn’t know that.

          So get those points stuffed and mounted over your fireplace.

        • it was the “Enlightenment” that murdered scientists and philosophers

          So from the people who charged them with crimes to the judicial system that convicted them down to the executioner himself, none of those people were Christian? They were all Enlightenment-ists? That surprises me.

        • The Soviet and Chinese atheist Communists later revived the murderous spree against scientists:

          We can always count on you to bring up the mindless talking points. I knew there was a reason we kept you as court jester!

          Rebutted here:
          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2015/04/stalin-was-a-mass-murderer-and-im-not-too-sure-about-myself-genocide/

        • Damien Priestly

          The “Enlightenment” didn’t murder anybody. It was a historical period or a way of thinking at a certain time. People murder!

          Einstein, Born, Salk, Freud and other 19th and early 20th scientists were criticized for performing “Jewish” science. I would hope nobody thinks that Special/General Relativity is a Jewish accomplishment…dare I say an Atheist science — Einstein was not a theist, but followed Spinoza’s ideas. His partner for bosonic work, Satyendra Bose, a Hindu, etc.

          We hear this all the time — a lot of science was done in the last few centuries in Europe…Europe was almost completely Christian…thus we have to thank Christianity for science. Nonsense! If Europe at the time was mostly a different religion…the science would still have come at roughly the same time…

          Jared Diamond’s “Guns Germs and Steel” explains why Europe was preeminent during the last few hundred years…it was geography and resources, not Christianity, which led to the scientific advances.

        • This seems like such an obvious correction to Dave Armstrong’s flabby Christianity-only claim that I’m surprised that he didn’t make it himself.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Yet MORE link whoring…

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          WE GOT MORE LINK WHORING!!!!

      • Dave Armstrong

        “the fourteenth [century], back when the sun orbited the earth, . . .”

        It need not be pointed out that Copernicus was the key figure who changed that, and he was a Catholic cleric, and his work was enthusiastically supported by the pope of the time and the Church (though later with Galileo there were some silly things said). Even a cursory glance at Wikipedia “(“Heliocentrism”) reveals that there were forerunners of heliocentrism in earlier Catholics:

        “European scholarship in the later medieval period actively received astronomical models developed in the Islamic world and by the 13th century was well aware of the problems of the Ptolemaic model. In the 14th century, bishop Nicole Oresme [c. 1320-1382] discussed the possibility that the Earth rotated on its axis, while Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa [1401-1464] in his Learned Ignorance asked whether there was any reason to assert that the Sun (or any other point) was the center of the universe. In parallel to a mystical definition of God, Cusa wrote that ‘Thus the fabric of the world (machina mundi) will quasi have its center everywhere and circumference nowhere.’ . . .

        “The state of knowledge on planetary theory received by Copernicus [1473-1543] is summarized in Georg von Peuerbach’s Theoricae Novae Planetarum (printed in 1472 by Regiomontanus [1436-1476] ). By 1470, the accuracy of observations by the Vienna school of astronomy, of which Peuerbach and Regiomontanus were members, was high enough to make the eventual development of heliocentrism inevitable, and indeed it is possible that Regiomontanus did arrive at an explicit theory of heliocentrism before his death in 1476, some 30 years before Copernicus. . . .

        “Another possible source for Copernicus’s knowledge of this mathematical device is the Questiones de Spera of Nicole Oresme, who described how a reciprocating linear motion of a celestial body could be produced by a combination of circular motions similar to those proposed by al-Tusi.”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heliocentrism

        • Ctharrot

          Sorry, is this intended for me? Seems like a bit of a non sequitur, but I’m not sure.

        • Dave Armstrong

          You being the only one here who shows sufficient understanding of the actual history of science, and the slightest bit of acknowledgment of the crucial, central role that Christianity played in it . . .

        • Ctharrot

          Okeedoke. Thanks. And I think plenty of the other folks here have quite a lot of understanding, but different perspectives and personalities.

        • Dave Armstrong

          Maybe so. I confess that I have yet to spot it.

        • Michael Neville

          That’s because you don’t want to spot it. You hate the idea that the despised atheists may know and understand things possibly even better than you.

        • Venavis

          Christianity is STILL standing in direct opposition to science, so you really don’t have a leg to stand on here.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Your snark is weak, padawan.

        • Greg G.

          It need not be pointed out that Copernicus was the key figure who changed that, and he was a Catholic cleric

          Copernicus sat on his findings for thirty years and only published when he was on his deathbed out of fear of the Catholic Church.

          Science fell so far behind due to the Catholic Church that when they got ancient Greek writings from more than a thousand years earlier, it was a great advancement to them.

          “Another possible source for Copernicus’s knowledge of this mathematical device is the Questiones de Spera of Nicole Oresme, who described how a reciprocating linear motion of a celestial body could be produced by a combination of circular motions similar to those proposed by al-Tusi.”

          That would be Nasir al-Din al-Tusi (1201-1274) who came up with it about a century earlier.

        • martin_exp(pi*sqrt(163))

          “Accordingly, when I had meditated upon this lack of certitude in the traditional mathematics concerning the composition of movements of the spheres of the world, I began to be annoyed that the philosophers, who in other respects had made a very careful scrutiny of the least details of the world, had discovered no sure scheme for the movements of the machinery of the world, which has been built for us by the Best and Most Orderly Workman of all. Wherefore I took the trouble to reread all the books by philosophers which I could get hold of, to see if any of them even supposed that the movements of the spheres of the world were different from those laid down by those who taught mathematics in the schools. And as a matter of fact, I found first in Cicero that Nicetas thought that the Earth moved. And afterwards I found in Plutarch that there were some others of the same opinion: I shall copy out his words here, so that they may be known to all:

          Some think that the Earth is at rest; but Philolaus the Pythagorean says that it moves around the fire with an obliquely circular motion, like the sun and moon. Herakleides of Pontus and Ekphantus the Pythagorean do not give the Earth any movement of locomotion, but rather a limited movement of rising and setting around its centre, like a wheel.

          Therefore I also, having found occasion, began to meditate upon the mobility of the Earth. And although the opinion seemed absurd, nevertheless because I knew that others before me had been granted the liberty of constructing whatever circles they pleased in order to demonstrate astral pheonmena, I thought that I too would be readily permitted to test whether or not, by the laying down that the Earth had some movement, demonstrations less shaky than those of my predecessors could be found for the revolutions of the celestial spheres.

          And so, having laid down the movements which I attribute to the Earth farther on in the work, I finally discovered by the help of long and numerous observations that if the movements of the other wandering stars are correlated with the circular movement of the Earth, and if the movements are computed in accordance with the revolution of each planet, not only do all their phenomena follow from that but also this correlation binds together so closely the order and magnitudes of all the planets and of their spheres or orbital circles and the heavens themselves that nothing can be shifted around in any part of them without disrupting the remaining parts and the universe as a whole.” – copernicus in “on the revolutions”, preface and dedication to pope paul III

        • Summary: “Many scientists have been Christian.”

          Yes, that’s a true statement. Thanks for sharing.

        • Rudy R

          It should also be pointed out that it was blasphemy not to believe in Christianity in Copernicus’s day and could cost you treasure and blood to think otherwise.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          No link back to your own page this time?

          I’m (very mildly) impressed.

          As for the content of the TL;dr? Pathetic apologist drivel as usual.

        • ThaneOfDrones

          The Holy Roman Catholic Church was so thrilled with Copernicus’ research that they placed his book on their Index Librorum Prohibitorm (Index of Banned Books), and it was not removed from the list until 1835. The Index Librorum Prohibitorum was not completely dismantled until 1965

    • Otto

      As I see it the enlightenment took some of the best morality that was disseminated by Christianity and got rid if the garbage. To my knowledge there is not one positive teaching or philosophy in Christianity that is original to it or that is necessary for it to exist. Christianity is the Borg of religion, it assimilates, it did not create anything positive; it is good at sales, not R&D.

      • Pofarmer

        An awful lot of what Christian’s think of as good Christian morality today is the result if ignoring their holy book, not following it.

        • Otto

          One certainly has to ignore or creatively rationalize large parts of the Bible to actually act the way Christians claim that they should. When the rubber meets the road they act no differently than anyone else.

          I work as a private investigator, I talked to my partner last night after a surveillance on the wife of my client where she was found to be cheating. She enlisted the help of her friend to lie, and both her and the friend are very active in their church. The husband was just astounded at my findings and their hypocrisy. My partner related a story of one he did were the spouse would face time when she was out of town at bedtime with the kids for prayer time, she did this while in the house of her boyfriend. I realize all people are shitty…Christian or not, but don’t tell me Christianity is the best, or that it helps people behave better…it’s not and it doesn’t. I had to tell my client that in my professional experience whether someone is a Christian or not is meaningless as to behavior and if he wants to get to the truth he needs to let go of that notion.

        • MR

          When the rubber meets the road they act no differently than anyone else.

          This can’t be stressed enough. I’ve lived in communities overwhelmingly Protestant, I’ve lived in a country overwhelming Catholic, I’ve visited Muslim countries…, the day to day interactions are really no different one from another and religion rarely interferes other than the inconvenience of a Sunday morning. People still lie, cheat and steal, they’re kind, generous and loving, and those divides have more to do with the kind of person the individual is than the religion they subscribe to.

        • It’s easy to rationalize (“OK, for someone else to do this might be sinful, but I have an excuse”).

        • Otto

          Especially if that excuse is ‘God agrees with me’. We all compartmentalize and justify, but that does make things a whole lot easier on a person’s conscience. Sure the theists can say that belief in God helps them realize right from wrong, but that knife cuts both ways and that is rarely, if ever, acknowledged.

        • al kimeea

          How can you be wrong when Gott mit uns…

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          If you believe the Nazi’s claims about religion, you’ll believe anything

        • al kimeea

          Same motto used in The War to End All Wars and by any empire to this day… One Nation Under Gott.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Again, if you believe anyone who justifies violence with appeals to God, you’ll believe anything.

        • al kimeea

          like an imaginary friend

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          And the idea that conceptions of the divine are just “an imaginary friend” is one of the most annoying fantasies put out by dogmatic anti-theists who don’t appear to be very good at grasping scholarly literature, in keeping with their bedfellows, the racists, creationist and other deniers of reality.

        • Ignorant Amos

          So is it just your particular divine conceptions that are not imaginary, or are all divine conceptions allowed onto the table?

          Scholarly literature does not make a divine conception any less imaginary, ya dolt.

          Creationists are deniers of reality…you do realize they have the same imaginary friend as you do and the book backs them up as much as it does you…that is, not at all.

          You’re a cretin.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          I’m not a cretin. I of course accept all conceptions of the divine, and accept all gods. You are also a denier of reality, like your buddies the creationists, the holocaust deniers, climate science deniers and racists if you pretend that religion poisons everything or pretend that billions of people are just having imaginary friends. Grow the fk up darling.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Bwaaaahahaha…yer a cretin alright.

        • al kimeea

          deniers of reality – sproing goes all the irony meters, again

          please read your buybull to learn of the reality of The Great Celestial Bully

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Might want to look at your spelling there bud

        • al kimeea

          Sorry, BuyBull

          The problem for “scholarly literature” is that it’s all based on the same Holey Book many have read cover to cover. It is ridiculous that a book purported to be, at a minimum, inspired by an all powerful, all knowing deity that created this universe, requires some of this LORD’s creations to write “scholarly literature” for other talking monkeys to understand it.

          The Abrahamic religions are the basis for your projected bedfellows, regardless of mosque, synagogue or kirk. Xianity laughs at the number of flavours Baskin Robbins has. Each claims to be the real thing, all the tens of thousands of others are wrong.

          An all powerful creator would obviously have made a text clearly and concisely laying it out plainly for all to see. What we have is none of that. Popular mythology offering spiritual salvation is what it is. Xianity just happened to gain power enough to burn dissenters and commit genocide globally while converting the survivors.

          The only difference twixt you & creationists is the timeline from the same holey text. Regardless, this deity raped a girl to produce our saviour from our deity given sinful nature. Brilliant plan there Yahweh.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Clearly you haven’t spent much time in scholarly literature

        • al kimeea

          Why should I need someone else to tell me what the holey books say? I read the xian version. It isn’t worth the paper. Or the time really if not for the harm it does to society. 300+ priests raped 1000+ children in Pennsylvania for decades. I wonder how many civil authorities were complicit and not just there.

          The language in the KJV isn’t any more annoying than Shakespeare, although you’ll learn more about the human condition reading Ol’ Bill and his works are far more entertaining. Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Merchant of Venice, Romeo & Juliet, Henry the whatever. Dickens, Wells, Solzhenitsyn, Kafka, Poe, Vonnegut, Heller, …, Asimov… all better than that book.

          You have no idea what I’ve read. Apologias aren’t convincing to those not already convinced. They’re wordy new spins on ancient arguments and all derived from a single book assembled by committee and poaching Judaic texts that poached earlier myths.

          See https://celsus.blog/2012/10/14/ten-reasons-to-reject-the-apologetic-1042-source-slogan/

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          What? I was talking about scholarly literature. What are all these other odd topics you’re introducing?

        • al kimeea

          rather than hiding behind the phrase “scholarly literature”, why not provide an example?

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Helen Bond’s scholarly monograph “Historical Jesus: A Guide for the Perplexed” offers a helpful summary of the current literature (which is very extensive).

        • Greg G.

          There seems to be four types of studies of the historical Jesus but only three of them actually exist:

          1. A biography of Jesus that looks like the author’s Rorshach test.
          B. A composite of studies that assume there was a historical Jesus.
          III. A book, study, or paper that tries to prove there was a historical Jesus but relies on hypothetical evidence.
          d. A book, study, or paper that tries to prove there was a historical Jesus that relies on actual evidence.

          When Ehrman wrote his Category III book, he said he couldn’t find any Category III or Category d books. I have not seen any and Category d books and nobody has ever recommended one, so I don’t think anyone has completed one. It doesn’t mean nobody has tried, though.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          I think I’ll go with the experts here rather than some contrarian on the internet – if you have something to say to convince the scholars, test it in the peer-reviewed space. Then I’ll read you.

        • Greg G.

          You said, “I was talking about scholarly literature.” When asked exactly which scholarly literature, you suggested Helen Bond’s scholarly monograph “Historical Jesus: A Guide for the Perplexed” but you don’t know of anything in it that proves that Jesus actually existed.

          You don’t have to believe me, I am asking you to show that you do not believe in a mirage.

        • Pofarmer

          And it’s not clear if Helen Bonds work is even “scholarly” It seems directed at lay readers, and probably covers about the same ground as Lataster.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Take it up with the scholars

        • Greg G.

          You have been touting them as if you knew they had something. Are you now admitting to me that you don’t really know what the scholars say about it?

          I know what the scholars say. Most of them probably believe it. Most of them have never considered otherwise.

        • Pofarmer

          So Rob.

          Have you read Bart Ehrman, who is said to make the best case for historicity? Have you read Raphael Lataster who deals with Ehrman’s work? Perhaps you have read Maurice Casey? Richard Carrier? Fr. Thomas Brodie. Tom Harpur? I mean, you want to appeal to the scholars but you seem to know fuck all about what they actually say.

        • Pofarmer

          Ah, yes. Typical apologetic tactic. Here, if you read just one more book……….

          If you have something to say, why not fucking say it?

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Apologetic? What the fuck are you one about? I have said what I have said – that the experts are not at all impressed by the crankery of Jesus mythicism – the only apologetics here is from the crank fringe view pretending it’s taken seriously. I didn’t say “if you read one book” – I pointed to a scholarly resource that sums up the whole field – you need to get yourself to a library and escape such ignorance.

        • Pofarmer

          You don’t have the first fucking clue what anyone here has read.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          I can tell by the unsupported claims they make, which go against the evidence.

        • Pofarmer

          Dude, we talk about the “evidence” such as it is, quite often. But you wouldn’t know that because you’re too busy mentalbating over in the corner.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          No, I’m simply pointing out some facts, supported by evidence.

        • Pofarmer

          Which facts are you pointing out?

        • Greg G.

          Give the evidence, please.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          The whole body of scholarly lit – easily verified by anyone

        • Greg G.

          That’s hand-waving. When you actually look at it, they do not have actual evidence for the historical Jesus. That is their basic assumption.

          From Did Jesus Exist as Part One:

          Odd as it may seem, no scholar of the New Testament has ever thought to put together a sustained argument that Jesus must have lived. To my knowledge, I was the first to try it, and it was a very interesting intellectual exercise.  –Bart Ehrman

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Take it up with the scholars – you’ll have to work hard to demonstrate that the evidence such as the existence of many gospels and a large organisation with many ancient buildings and art works tracing its origin back to Jesus all arose from some other source. You will need to publish in the peer reviewed literature if you want to persuade anyone who actually thinks seriously.

        • epeeist

          you’ll have to work hard to demonstrate that the evidence such as the existence of many gospels

          If the gospels are evidence for Christianity then the Qur’an must be evidence for Islam, the Vedas for Hinduism, the Book of Mormon for Mormonism…

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Yeah no worries – they’re all noble disciplines

        • epeeist

          they’re all noble disciplines

          I don’t care whether they are “noble” or not, I care whether they are true and whether their adherents are trying to force me to abide by their tenets.

        • Pofarmer

          Except We don’t have anything tracing back to Jesus. We have stuff tracing back to Paul, and Cephas, and James.

        • Greg G.

          The work has been done by Christians and non-mythicists. There are several studies, many peer reviewed, that show that aMark was likely drawing on some of the common literature of the day. When you look at each one, it is pretty obvious that the scholars are correct. But when you combine these studies, nearly the whole gospel of Mark is based on the literature of the day and not on oral traditions.

          Robert M. Price compiled these studies at New Testament Narrative as Old Testament Midrash [LINK].

          Since Mark invented the stories, when we see the stories in the other canonical gospels, we can tell they were copying Mark. Matthew and Luke copied a lot verbatim while John seems to have been careful to not copy verbatim yet passages like the Feeding of the 5000 match up point for point and detail for detail with Mark more than the Synoptics. The other gospels of Jesus were so far-fetched they were rejected by folks in the second century but they made the canonical gospels seem almost reasonable by comparison.

          So the canonical gospels don’t stand to scrutiny. Now do you know of anything in the early epistles that give us any information about Jesus that doesn’t come from Old Testament sources?

        • Greg G.

          What evidence? The extra-biblical evidence is way too late and seems to be derived from the gospels. The gospels are based on a fictional combination of the literature of the day. The epistles never talk about a preacher teacher from Galilee or his teachings. The early epistles don’t tell us anything about Jesus that doesn’t come from the Old Testament.

          What evidence are you talking about?

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          I mean the evidence to support the claim that the experts are in consensus. So unless you want to be on the level of climate deniers and anti-vaxers, you need to put up some evidence to displace the consensus. No one has managed to do that persuasively to the experts yet.

        • Greg G.

          I mean the evidence to support the claim that the experts are in consensus. So unless you want to be on the level of climate deniers and anti-vaxers, you need to put up some evidence to displace the consensus.

          The consensus of experts is usually a good way to go unless the consensus of the experts is based on the consensus itself. I showed you the quote of Ehrman that he couldn’t find anybody who had tried to prove Jesus actually existed. That does not mean that nobody tried, only that nobody has come up with an argument convincing enough to publish.

          Ehrman’s argument for the existence of Jesus relies on the Q document, which is not in existence today, and there are no references to it in any ancient documents. One of Ehrman’s most famous students, Mark Goodacre, is not a mythicist, but the argument he is known for is that Q didn’t exist, that Luke used Matthew.

          I understand the climate change argument down to the basic physics because I looked at both sides of the argument, the evidence, and the methods so I accept the reality of climate change. I have looked at the evidence for vaccinations and the arguments for both sides. The anti-vaxxers evidence and methodology does not stand to scrutiny. Before you compare me to a young-earther, I have looked at the evidence for evolution and the paleontologist methodology and the evidence for the Big Bang and the astrophysicist methodology and find they stand to scrutiny. I look at the evidence for Jesus and the arguments for both sides, and it is the evidence for Jesus that does not stand to scrutiny, nor does their historical methodology.

          No one has managed to do that persuasively to the experts yet.

          Richard Carrier says he has been in contact with the experts you assume agree with the consensus and he says many of them are sympathetic to his argument.

          You have been saying that the scholarship proves that Jesus existed but you cannot show a single peer reviewed study that shows that. Even Bart Ehrman doesn’t know of any. You appeal to a consensus that is not based on the evidence or argument, because nobody in the consensus can show that the consensus is based on anything more than the consensus.

          I am not asking you to believe me. I am asking you to show me the evidence. I am easy to convince with evidence.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          One good thing is that it appears swearing is at least allowed on this channel – fuck yeah

        • Khanhminh Nguyen

          Then I guess nice gesture and polite manners from Australians are simply an act, aren’t they?

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          We see it as completely polite and lovely to say “hi, you old cunt” to a mate. Swearing is polite as fuck.

        • Khanhminh Nguyen

          If that is the case, your people are just as crude as my people. That is all right as long as you are real. Good thing is that I am Vietnamese, so I don’t care about political correctness. If I take your words seriously, what I see on abcqanda is just an act.

          I guess I will not trust what I perceive as good manners that Christians and Muslims in Australia show to me from now on. Inside their head, I am just a heathen who deserves a fate worse than death only because I don’t believe in the same god as they do.

          I remember how Cory Bernardi tap-danced around the issue about funding Christian chaplain in schools. He made it sound like it was supposed to be inclusive to people of all faiths even though he was clearly in favor of his religion over others.

          Same thing with Randa Abdel-Fattah. She made the argument about radical Muslims as if her religion was innocent.

          Thank you for being honest. I don’t like pretentious people, especially the religious. They don’t dare to admit that they dislike certain people because their holy book says so.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Mate, don’t trust Cory Bernardi as far as you can throw him

        • al kimeea

          Ummm, you’ve moved a mountain of goalposts from the BuyBull to Jebus. After reading the nonsense within The Holey Book, I really didn’t care whether there was a Jesus or not, still don’t.

          The character, in the same source everyone works from, is quite clearly a myth regardless of the possibility of there being a preacher with a common name back in the day.

        • Pofarmer

          You’re not talking about anything. You’re just bloviating.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          No, mate, I’m pointing you to actually think and not give into confirmation bias and intellectual laziness.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Just a pity there are so many of youse. Christian hypocrites…using the YahwehJesus as an excuse to do bad shit since the get-go.

        • KenderJ

          So the inquisition wasn’t about god?

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          It was about power – I’d have thought that pretty obvious

        • Otto

          Again, if you believe anyone who justifies violence ANYTHING with appeals to God, you’ll believe anything.

          -Fixed

        • Grimlock

          That sounds like the fundamental attribution error. From Wikipedia:

          In social psychology, fundamental attribution error (FAE), also known as correspondence bias or attribution effect, is the concept that, in contrast to interpretations of their own behavior, people tend to (unduly) emphasize the agent’s internal characteristics (character or intention), rather than external factors, in explaining other people’s behavior.

          Basically, if I do something bad, it’s due to external circumstances. If you do something bad, it’s because you’re a bad person.

          We all reason a bit like that. It’s really hard to compensate for it.

        • Thanks for reminding me of the name. In my mind, that’s most evident when pro-life women stand on the picket line in front of the abortion clinic once a week. When they discover they’re pregnant, they slip in the back door or go to another clinic in town to get their abortion. A week later, they’re back on the picket line.

          Y’see, their circumstance was different (broken condom, things got carried away just once, etc.). They’re not a thoughtless slut like those other women.

        • Grimlock

          That’s a pretty extreme example of that. You wouldn’t happen to have any statistics on how often something like that happens? It strikes me as the sort of story that is particularly susceptible to being anecdotal.

        • Stats would seem impossible to get, but these anecdotes might be helpful. Here’s the source I was thinking of:
          http://www.prochoiceactionnetwork-canada.org/articles/anti-tales.shtml

        • Grimlock

          Thanks! I read through it. The article cites a couple of relevant studies as well. Very interesting.

        • Wile F. Coyote

          I must take issue with one portion of your comment, sir. I noticed when visiting Muslim countries that 5 times a day, every day, religion interferes in the life of everyone — Muslim or not — out and about in the public sphere (there may be exceptions in places here and there, from time to time, depending upon the national political climate du jure, and the ideological nature of mullahs and national/local political leaders [assuming they are not one and the same] calling the shots at a given time).

        • MR

          Yes, you’re absolutely correct, of course. That portion of my comment was meant somewhat flippantly as you probably guessed. Some people even in Christian countries put in more than a Sunday morn. But, my point, I think, still stands. Even in the Muslim countries I found people who were both good and bad, just like every other place I’ve ever been, home and abroad.

        • Wile F. Coyote

          I absolutely agree with you that people everywhere are alike in that we all are comprised of an amalgam of every trait present in humans, varying as individuals in the strength/weaknesses of each trait and in how we, as individuals, manage those strengths/weaknesses. And I should have added a snark symbol to my comment, intended not to condescendingly lecture but only as humor.

        • MR

          Not taken that way so no worries. 🙂

        • Ignorant Amos

          The Christian religion effects the lives of everyone here in this part of the world to in a negative way…perhaps not everyone all the time, but it is still a huge pain in the arse all the same.

        • Greg G.

          Yes, but they have an imaginary friend who forgives them, so it’s OK.

        • Pofarmer

          I’m probably a bigot, but I tend to distrust very religious people, especially in business deals. They have too many ways to justify screwing you over, IMHO.

        • Otto

          Well I kinda agree. In my experience if the person is just a Christian that has Christian books and stuff around the office but never says anything about it unsolicited they are probably fine. I have never had an issue with someone like that. If however, everything thing they say is peppered with Jesus, etc….watch the fk out, they are trying too hard for a reason imo.

        • Pofarmer

          There’s a certain seed company (Becks Seed) that finds it necessary to put a note from the company Chaplin on every newsletter they send out. The make a big deal out of praying at company meals and how patriotic they are, etc. They are about the most dishonest, marketing based seed company there is. I wouldn’t do business with them on a bet.

        • Otto

          My accountant is a Seventh Day Adventist…he has books and stuff all over, Chuck Colsten, etc. (yuck) I have done business with him for 15 years, he has never said one religious thing to me and he has no idea of my opinions on the matter. He is honest to a fault.

        • That’s possibly a sign of overcompensation. If people have to wear this on their sleeve, it may be to cover up their sordid actions. Show, don’t tell, applies here.

        • epicurus

          I’ve several long time evangelical friends and one guy who is always looking for investment windfalls has been fleeced 3 times over the decades by people in his own church. I keep saying don’t just assume they are are honest because they claim to be Christian but it falls on deaf ears.

        • Doubting Thomas

          In the south, we have lots of businesses (especially HVAC and other service companies) that purposefully advertise their Christianity. I avoid those companies. I mainly do so due to the idea that when companies advertise they use descriptors like honest, on time, friendly, etc., because the opposite of those descriptors (dishonest, late, mean…) would be bad. If they think that not being Christian is a bad thing, then they won’t be getting any of my business.

        • Otto

          I never saw that type of religious marketing for business where I grew up in the midwest, but now it seems to be all over and getting more popular.

        • al kimeea

          Fluke Transport – if delivery is on time, its a Fluke!!

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          That’s just as bad as seeing atheists as immoral

        • Pofarmer

          Yeah, problem is it’s due to experience.

        • Tommy

          You’re a private eye? Nice!

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Like anything, it all depends on how you practice. Just saying you’re a guitarist doesn’t mean you’ll sound great.

        • Ignorant Amos

          We have a Christian on this blog that claims that Christians don’t practice very well at all…he says you are all hypocrites…which is a form of dishonesty.

          hypocrite: : a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion

          I can’t disagree with him.

        • Otto

          The Bible is a Rorschach test…you see what you want to see.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Do try and stay on topic

        • Otto

          So referring to the Christian ‘sheet music’ (the Bible) is just not allowed in a discussion using a music analogy…you sure do make up rules as you go.

      • Cozmo the Magician

        Bash those babies against the rocks… but don’t you DARE have an abortion after your father rapes you.

  • Zeropoint

    “Sciapods”? Nice try. I know a Dufflepud when I see one.

  • If you think their science was bad, wait till you see their history!

    In college, my thesis was on the Arthur legend, so I read Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Britain. The Arthur part was probably made up out of whole cloth (and subsequent writers had no problem mutating the story, so the version you’ve heard is quite different), but the most implausible part to me was the bit where he claims Britain was founded by a Trojan refugee named Brutus. Basically he was copying the Aeneid, but for England.

    If 1000 years after Christ, the dominant model of history was “make stuff up and pass it off as history” — because it isn’t written like mythology, it’s written like Geoffrey actually KNOWS this stuff, though he doesn’t give a source — how do we know the gospels themselves are any better? To say nothing of saint stories (like the stories of the apostles’ martyrdoms) and any other claims of the church’s “tradition.”

  • Ctharrot

    “Admittedly, it’s not like Europeans had a lot of options.”

    That reminds me of a counterfactual I occasionally ponder–what if there
    hadn’t been an influential Christian Church in late antiquity, and there had been no missions, no abbeys, no network of lettered clergy across Europe?

    Literacy and philosophy weren’t much valued among the Celtic and Germanic peoples that occupied the vacancy left by the Empire Formerly Known as Roman. Say what you will about Christianity’s flaws, its personnel and infrastructure were a civilizing influence, at least insofar as they preserved and spread the written word for several centuries. Nerds among jocks, clerics (etymologically related to “clerk”) wielded the quills from which the overwhelming majority of medieval writings poured.

    • Greg G.

      It’s true that maintaining the ability to read Greek and Latin for almost a thousand years so they could take advantage of ancient Greek and Roman knowledge was important but it is unfortunate that they were so focused on religion that they couldn’t see the value of understanding and maintaining the knowledge itself throughout those centuries.

      • Ctharrot

        Yeah, unfortunately (but also unsurprisingly) the preservation/copying of pre-Christian works wasn’t a big priority, unless the Church specifically thought the material useful. Copious records of antiquity were lost–sometimes temporarily, but often forever.

        One kinda interesting quibble with your comment. Literacy in Greek was actually atrocious in the medieval Catholic Church for many centuries. Perhaps surprising to us now, but it makes sense when we consider that Latin was the language of church documents, of the official Vulgate, etc.

        • Luckily many of the Greek works the monks lost wound up being saved by Muslim scholars.

        • Pofarmer

          And then Thomas Aquinas got hold of them and twisted them into A/T metaphysics.

        • Pofarmer

          Not only did they not preserver works, but they actively copied over scientific and mathematical works. The true extent of it is not really clear, but it certainly happened.

    • Michael Neville

      Until the 1720s in Britain legal evidence that one was a cleric was literacy in Latin.

    • Lark62

      Yes every so often historians find a parchment with fabulous Greek knowledge. They find it because modern scientific techniques allow them to read what was on the parchment before monks scraped it clean to write down a prayer.

      • Ignorant Amos

        Indeed. Palimpsest.

  • Dave Armstrong

    I wrote about bishop Nicole Oresme and Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa (who foresaw heliocentrism in key respects) at length in my 2010 book, Science and Christianity: Close Partners or Mortal Enemies?:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2010/10/books-by-dave-armstrong-science-and.html

    Nicholas Oresme (c. 1323-1382; bishop) Oresme conceived the idea of employing what we should now call rectangular co-ordinates . . . and thus forestalls Descartes in the invention of analytical geometry. . . . In opposition to the Aristotelean theory of weight, according to which the natural location of heavy bodies is the centre of the world, and that of light bodies the concavity of the moon’s orb, he proposes the following: The elements tend to dispose themselves in such manner that, from the centre to the periphery their specific weight diminishes by degrees. He thinks that a similar rule may exist in worlds other than this. This is the doctrine later substituted for the Aristotelean by Copernicus and his followers . . . But Oresme had a much stronger claim to be regarded as the precursor of Copernicus when one considers what he says of the diurnal motion of the earth, . . . He begins by establishing that no experiment can decide whether the heavens move form east to west or the earth from west to east; for sensible experience can never establish more than one relative motion. He then shows that the reasons proposed by the physics of Aristotle against the movement of the earth are not valid . . . [source: Catholic Encyclopedia: ”Nicole Oresme”] He wrote influential works on mathematics, physics, and astronomy. In his Livre du ciel et du monde Oresme discussed a range of evidence for and against the daily rotation of the Earth on its axis. From astronomical considerations, he maintained that if the Earth were moving and not the celestial spheres, all the movements that we see in the heavens that are computed by the astronomers would appear exactly the same as if the spheres were rotating around the Earth. He rejected the physical argument that if the Earth were moving the air would be left behind causing a great wind from east to west. In his view the Earth, Water, and Air would all share the same motion. As to the scriptural passage that speaks of the motion of the sun, he concludes that “this passage conforms to the customary usage of popular speech” and is not to be taken literally. He also noted that it would be more economical for the small Earth to rotate on its axis than the immense sphere of the stars. [source: Wikipedia bio] His work provided some basis for the development of modern mathematics and science. Oresme brilliantly argues against any proof of the Aristotelian theory of a stationary Earth and a rotating sphere of the fixed stars and showed the possibility of a daily axial rotation of the Earth. He was a determined opponent of astrology, which he attacked on religious and scientific grounds. He states – more than 300 years before Robert Hooke (1635–1703) and Newton – that atmospheric refraction occurs along a curve and proposes to approximate the curved path of a ray of light in a medium of uniformly varying density, in this case the atmosphere, by an infinite series of line segments each representing a single refraction. [source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy bio] In the whole of his argument in favor of the Earth’s motion Oresme is both more explicit and much clearer than that given two centuries later by Copernicus. He was also the first to assume that color and light are of the same nature. He asserted methodological naturalism: “there is no reason to take recourse to the heavens, the last refuge of the weak, or demons, or to our glorious God as if He would produce these effects directly, more so than those effects whose causes we believe are well known to us.” [source: Wikipedia: ”Science in the Middle Ages”] He also showed how to interpret the difficulties encountered in “the Sacred Scriptures wherein it is stated that the sun turns, etc. It might be supposed that here Holy Writ adapts itself to the common mode of human speech, as also in several places, for instance, where it is written that God repented Himself, and was angry and calmed Himself and so on, all of which is, however, not to be taken in a strictly literal sense”. Finally, Oresme offered several considerations favourable to the hypothesis of the Earth’s daily motion. In order to refute one of the objections raised by the Peripatetics against this point, Oresme was led to explain how, in spite of this motion, heavy bodies seemed to fall in a vertical line; he admitted their real motion to be composed of a fall in a vertical line and a diurnal rotation identical with that which they would have if bound to the Earth. This is precisely the principle to which Galileo was afterwards to turn. He adopted Buridan’s theory of dynamics in its entirety. [source: Catholic Encyclopedia: ”History of Physics”] “Most of the essential elements in both his [i.e., Copernicus’] criticism of Aristotle and his theory of motion can be found in earlier scholastic writers, particularly in Oresme.” [source: Thomas Kuhn, The Copernican Revolution (New York: Vintage Books / Random House, 1959), p. 154] [pp. 64-66 in my book]

    [ . . . ]

    Nicholas of Cusa (1401–1464; cardinal) Nicholas anticipated many later ideas in mathematics, cosmology, astronomy, and experimental science while constructing his own original version of systematic Neoplatonism. In Book II of On Learned Ignorance he holds that the natural universe is characterized by change or motion; it is not static in time and space. But finite change and motion, ontologically speaking, are also matters of more and less and have no fixed maximum or minimum. This “ontological relativity” leads Cusanus to some remarkable conclusions about the earth and the physical universe, based not on empirical observation but on metaphysical grounds. The earth is not fixed in place at some given point because nothing is utterly at rest; nor can it be the exact physical center of the natural universe, even if it seems nearer the center than “the fixed stars.” Because the universe is in motion without fixed center or boundaries, none of the spheres of the Aristotelian and Ptolemaic world picture are exactly spherical. None of them has an exact center, and the “outermost sphere” is not a boundary. Cusanus thus shifts the typical medieval picture of the created universe toward later views, but on ontological grounds. The natural universe itself, as a contracted image of God, has a physical center that can be anywhere and a circumference that is nowhere. [source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy bio] Cusanus said that no perfect circle can exist in the universe (opposing the Aristotelean model, and also Copernicus’ later assumption of circular orbits), thus opening the possibility for Kepler’s model featuring elliptical orbits of the planets around the Sun. He made important contributions to the field of mathematics by developing the concepts of the infinitesimal and of relative motion. He was the first to use concave lenses to correct myopia. His writings were essential for Leibniz’s discovery of calculus as well as Cantor’s later work on infinity. [source: Wikipedia bio] The astronomical views of the cardinal are scattered through his philosophical treatises. The earth is a star like other stars [spherical], is not the centre of the universe, is not at rest, nor are its poles fixed. The celestial bodies are not strictly spherical, nor are their orbits circular. The difference between theory and appearance is explained by relative motion. [source: Catholic Encyclopedia bio] “Copernicus . . . had probably at least heard of the very influential treatise in which the fifteenth-century Cardinal, Nicholas of Cusa, derived the motion of the earth from the plurality of worlds in an unbounded Neoplatonic universe. The earth’s motion had never been a popular concept, but by the sixteenth century it was scarcely unprecedented.” [source: Thomas Kuhn, The Copernican Revolution (New York: Vintage Books / Random House, 1959), p. 144]

    • Otto

      Yes Christians do science, and they do it very well as long as their theology does not get in the way. But pointing out that Christians do science really is no more interesting than if they happen to enjoy golfing or long strolls on the beach.

      • Cozmo the Magician

        Dija know they even…. HAVE SEX?

        • Michael Neville

          But do they enjoy it or is it just to have children?

      • Doubting Thomas

        Christian doing science shows nothing since one big plus of science is the way it tries to remove confirmation bias. What would be impressive is if a Christian used science to test their religious beliefs. I wonder why they don’t do that?

        • Greg G.

          What would be impressive is if a Christian used science to test their religious beliefs. I wonder why they don’t do that?

          I think that is kind of what they were doing. They could see the value in the advancements of thought and naively assumed these insights would prove their religious beliefs. But they found many beliefs about the universe were wrong. When they stopped trying to factor God into the science, science took off by leaps and bounds.

        • Pofarmer

          I’m still of the opinion, unverifiable and unearned, that what became the scientific method probably arose, at least in part, as a mechanism to protect scientists from the Church. ” Look , we dotted all our I’s and crossed all our T’s and this is what we got! ” It may have been encouraged by the need to protect skin.

      • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

        I sense a dating profile in the offing…

        😉

    • Lark62

      Holy shit. How pathetic.

      First you ban Bob from your site, apparently because you cannot bear speaking with him. This is after you used his words to create a blog post.

      And you’ve banned a number of people here. We were just laughing about it yesterday. And most of us were banned after you used our words to create several blog posts. And you have so little integrity you don’t even notify the subjects that you are using and twisting their words.

      Then you come to Bob’s site and post links back to your site, inviting us all to come read your unadulterated sludge. Ooh, but we mustn’t comment there. Someone might hurt your weak and delicate feefees.

      In the immortal words of The Bandit, addressing Buford T. Justice, “Do the letters F.O. mean anything to you?”

      It is quite amazing and truly memorable to see cowardice, absolute lack of integrity, and mean spiritedness combined in a single package. Go look in the mirror and armire yourself.

      P.S. Please tell me all about Jesus, cuz I want to be a cowardly, cheap, mean spirited and dishonest Christian just like you. In your wet dreams.

      P.P.S. Don’t bother to reply. I don’t have a ban hammer, so I’ve merely blocked you. Bye bye asswipe.

      • Andrea Fitzgerald

        Lark62 Here, here!

      • Greg G.

        Buford T. Justice: Give me a diablo sandwich, a Dr. Pepper, and make it quick, I’m in a god-damn hurry.

        One of my favorite scenes. Jackie Gleason was great. He was so different than the Jackie Gleason Show or the Honeymooners.

        http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-dWcd3c9TwmA/VacOVLrWvDI/AAAAAAABEJ4/jDuqh4_GpAM/s1600/Alice.jpg

        • Otto

          LOL…one of the radio shows I listen to uses that clip in its opening.

      • Kevin K

        I blocked him ages and ages ago. Nice to see that my powers of discernment over who is an gigantic asshole are still sharp.

    • Damien Priestly

      Paragraph breaks exist for a reason !!

      • Dave Armstrong

        Good point. Lemme edit . . .

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      Still whoring for page views…

    • Venavis

      Christianity has been opposing science since the first church was formed. It is still actively opposing education and science, as anyone who takes a look at American politics can see. Most of these ‘discoveries’ you are claiming had already been discovered by other cultures and then later destroyed by Christians. The Mayans had known that shit for centuries, then along came Christianity to burn all their texts. Most of ‘Christian’ discoveries were simply rehashing things other people already knew before the Christians came along to burn their shit.

  • Dave Armstrong

    Bob specifically requested that I take on one of his anti-Christian posts. More than happy to oblige:

    Rebuttal of Seidensticker’s Anti-Christian Science “History”

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2018/08/rebuttal-of-seidenstickers-anti-christian-science-history.html

    • Lark62

      Did he request this before or after you used him as the subject of a blog post despite banning him so that he cannot reply?

      • Dave Armstrong

        He did last night in the midst of the maniacal 300-post + frenzy of hatred against me. He can reply to THIS new post of mine on his web page (as I explained last night). I would then post all his words and my replies in another new post. That way, he is heard on my page, and my rules of civil discourse are also maintained at the same time. Capiche?

        • Otto

          You are just a schmuck, don’t confuse hatred with just pointing out your jerkish behavior. You aren’t that important, but I have no doubt you really want to believe it is hatred for the sake of you ego.

        • A little intellectual back and forth? Some sharing of ideas? Some thoughtful give and take?

          That’s a pleasant but outdated idea.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          You *obviously* know he did it, or you wouldn’t reply as you did.

          Why keep confirming to us that you’re determined to act like an asshole?

          It’s not like there’s ANY doubt around here.

          And come down off your ‘cross’…the carpenters need the wood.

        • LastManOnEarth

          Oh the irony.

        • What a shame that I don’t have time to wallow in Dave’s incisive and loving critique.

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      Still whoring for hits, are you?

      What about blocking anybody who shows what a brainless, vain, thin-skinned prat you are?

  • epicurus

    Speaking of wild maps, check out the map the guy uses for the flat earth convention just held in my city.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/edmonton-flat-earth-conference-1.4780226

  • Dave Armstrong

    Bob is exhibit #1 of what C. S. Lewis called “chronological snobbery” and what G. K. Chesterton has written about:

    “[T]here is something odd in the fact that when we reproduce the Middle Ages it is always some such rough and half-grotesque part of them that we reproduce. But why is it that we mainly remember the Middle Ages by absurd things? Few modern people know what a mass of illuminating philosophy, delicate metaphysics, clear and dignified social morality exists in the serious scholastic writers of mediaeval times. But we seem to have grasped somehow that the ruder and more clownish elements in the Middle Ages have a human and poetical interest. We are delighted to know about the ignorance of mediaevalism; we are contented to be ignorant about its knowledge. We forget that Parliaments are mediaeval, that all our Universities are mediaeval, that city corporations are mediaeval, that gunpowder and printing are mediaeval, that half the things by which we now live, and to which we look for progress, are mediaeval.” (Illustrated London News, “The True Middle Ages,” 14 July 1906, when Chesterton was still an Anglican, not yet a Catholic)

    “It was perhaps the one real age of progress in all history. Men have seldom moved with such rapidity and such unity from barbarism to civilisation as they did from the end of the Dark Ages to the times of the universities and the parliaments, the cathedrals and the guilds.” (The New Jerusalem, 1920, ch. 12)

    “The medieval world did not talk about Plato and Cicero as fools occupied with futilities; yet that is exactly how a more modern world talked of the philosophy of Aquinas and sometimes even of the purely philosophic parts of Dante.” (The Spice of Life and Other Essays, “The Camp and the Cathedral” [1922] )

    “I have never maintained that mediaeval things were all good; it was the bigots who maintained that mediaeval things were all bad.” (Illustrated London News, “Mediaeval Robber Barons and Other Myths,” 26 May 1923)

    “They started by saying that mediaeval life was utterly miserable; they find out that it was frequently cheerful; so they make an attempt to represent its cheerfulness as a wild revolt that demonstrates its misery. Every impossibility is possible, except the possibility that the whole assumption about the Middle Ages is wrong.” (Illustrated London News, “More Myths, Mediaeval and Victorian,” 2 June 1923)

    • Damien Priestly

      OK, giving you a “like”– because it seems you are not on this OP for entertainment and boredom. See that, an angry atheist — in chill mode!

      However, we already know medieval was not all bad…just a shame that Western religion and theology was still holding us back…e.g. the examples in the OP (map with Jerusalem in the center)…compared with an otherwise steadily improving culture described here…

      http://www.slate.com/blogs/quora/2015/01/15/medieval_history_why_are_the_middle_age_often_characterized_as_dark_or_less.html

      • Dave Armstrong

        Kudos. My faith in atheist humanity is preserved . . .

    • Lark62

      Bob, if you are so inclined, kindly ban this pathetic asshole.

      • Otto

        No, I guarantee that is exactly what he is angling for so he can then run to his blog and proclaim we are just as bad as him.

        Besides…he is a hoot.

        • He is definitely angling for that, but it doesn’t matter what we do or don’t do; he’ll spin anything so that he comes out on top.

          I’m getting closer …

        • Otto

          Well there is that..

      • He is a waste of space, isn’t he? Thanks for the input. I’m hoping he’ll remove himself, but if that doesn’t happen I’ll follow your suggestion.

        I marvel at how he comes back despite it being clear that he has only hatred to offer. At the moment, he amuses me.

      • Done.

    • Otto

      Not everything in the middle ages was bad….in other news dog bites man.

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      TL;dr “I’m not getting any traffic to my site, so if I piss off the crowd here, maybe SOMEBODY who I haven’t *ALREADY* banned will come over and increment my hit counter.”

      No?

      • Lark62

        Methinks you nailed it.

      • Greg G.

        That was my suspicion which is why I refused to click any of his links.

    • Tommy

      How about you fuck off?

    • True, universities, etc. are medieval but in some cases at least were product of a church that wanted them as a way to form priests. I doubt, however, had Enlightment not appeared, we’d have gone so far (and I’m thinking not on Christian scientists but in Church-endorsed scientific research in those times)

      • Pofarmer

        And those “universities” didn’t do anything like scientific research.

        • epeeist

          And those “universities” didn’t do anything like scientific research.

          The Trivium and Quadrivium before you got onto the real meat, theology.

    • eric

      We forget that Parliaments are mediaeval

      In name, yes; in function, not really. A king with divine right of rule calling on nobles, bishops, and representatives of townships to give him advice is not a representative form of government.

      • Ignorant Amos

        We’ve got the house of lords here in the UK ffs….don’t get me started on the democracy on NI political democracy vis a vis there that is the feckin the US is a feckin’ ….we just have to suck it up until the day things are right.

  • tyler

    i thought i’d drop this link here really quick. no particular reason, just feels like it might be useful on this thread for some reason

    Logical Fallacy Referee Gallery

    • Greg G.

      Ed Hoculi for the win.

  • This is hardly unique to Christianity: You ever read Natural History by Pliny the Elder, a Roman pagan? It contains tons of nonsense and mythical creatures. By the 1500s however they were finally on the cusp of the Scientific Revolution. I don’t know whether that can be credited to Christianity (though many Christians think so) but it did happen on their watch, and the majority involved then were of course Christian. So yes, things did improve under Christian rule. Whether that was owed to them is more the issue.

    • Greg G.

      Some of the spoils from the Crusades were ancient Greek and Roman writings that had been kept and copied by the Muslims. When the Christians, who could at least read Greek and Latin, read these writings from more than a thousand years earlier, their science advanced.

      • I’ve heard that, and the Muslims had their own beginnings of a scientific revolution earlier (sadly it wilted after the Mongol rampage over them). These writings remained around in the Byzantine Empire, but they didn’t have this (perhaps too busy fighting off Muslim invasions?).

    • Yeah, some of those same critters were in Pliny. I often use them as an example of why we cannot take any written work from the far past at face value. Pliny was a brilliant, discerning, educated individual … but he was still credulous enough to fall for legends like these. As were the Christians who came later.

      • Some appear to have been more discerning. Many though just passed on any tale they heard it seems.

        • Yup. And there’s no way to tell the difference. Which is why archaeology and related historical fields of study are far more important than any written word from ancient days.

        • Well you can tell to a certain extent, if their work matches logic or scientific facts. Of course, there is much we can’t decide either way. So a huge grain of salt in needed in a lot of areas.

      • Tommy

        The Catholic Church must be credited for perpetuating the scientific errors and myths of the Greeks and Romans by blindly copying their writings and taking their info at face value without further investigation. Hell, they treated the musings of Aristotle et al as if they were inherent scripture. Just like the Thomists at https://strangenotions.com.

        PS: inerrant, not inherent. Freudian slip.

        • Pofarmer

          Which really demonstrates just how badly they had stagnated.

    • I have higher expectations for a society that is the pet of the creator of the universe.

      • True, but that’s another issue. In their case it seems they don’t expect much at all. Or perhaps God being eternal means a thousand years is nothing to him, as they say. He’ll get to all that in his own time.

    • Foxglove

      Those mythical creatures are found in Herodotus. So no telling how old they really are.

      • That’s true. Probably centuries or millennia old by his time.

  • Cozmo the Magician

    Kinda hard to do science when disagreeing with a big book of bullshit would get you killed.

    • Ignorant Amos

      Which is why a lot of the doing science at the time was done on the QT…or being done by Muslims and others in the East.

  • Ctharrot

    Coincidentally, I see that Tim O’Neill, an atheist history gadfly of sorts, recently discussed the “Dark Ages” here: https://historyforatheists.com/2018/08/history-for-atheists-on-the-non-sequitur-show-3-the-so-called-dark-ages/

    Very much worth a listen, even if you don’t agree with everything he says. Indeed, especially if you don’t agree. 🙂

    If nothing else, it’s great to hear an Australian accent that isn’t Ken Ham’s.

    • Is he actually an atheist?

      • Ctharrot

        Yeah, as far as I know.

        • Pofarmer

          He argues like an apologist.

        • Ctharrot

          🙂 I imagine he gets that a lot.

      • Ignorant Amos

        Yes he is, but he makes it a past time to attack atheists in the belief he is only seeking the truth.

    • Ignorant Amos

      He was banned off here a while back.

      • Ctharrot

        Really? Okay, that’s kinda funny. Perhaps not too surprising, I suppose. He seems to be rather prickly, especially in writing.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yip, really…and a number of other atheist sites I know of, but that farce of a place called Strange Notions like him though.

          He is a sanctimonious and condescending arsehole.

        • Ctharrot

          Okay, just found an old thread here and looked at a few of O’Neill’s remarks. He raised a number of reasonable historical points, but they were dressed in gratuitously sneering rhetoric that didn’t exactly invite thoughtful disagreement. When you make things personal, people take things personal. Not a great way to persuade someone to re-evaluate their thinking.

        • Ignorant Amos

          He was also wrong on some points, but was so far up his own arse and his own air of authority that it was beneath him to concede said points to a lesser mortal.

        • epeeist

          He was also wrong on some points

          Especially on science, its history and philosophy.

        • Pofarmer

          Small things.

        • Otto

          Do you have a link?

        • Ctharrot
        • Otto

          Thanks

        • Ignorant Amos

          Jaysus…a didn’t think it was that much of a while back.

        • Ctharrot

          I hear you, brother.

          Middle Age: Nature’s Time Machine.

          BAMF! We just slid two years into the future.

      • Pofarmer

        Dang, I must have missed that.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ya seen him in action elsewhere…just much of the same here.

        • Pofarmer

          You guys must not have shown him due deference.

  • Otto

    This from Dave’s blog….

    That’s why the Catholic Church produced modern science…

    I sure would like a citation for exactly when and how the Catholic Church was solely responsible for modern science…but what he offers instead is a list of people that did science and were Catholics.

    • Tommy

      Hehehe. Under that logic, Islam produced alcohol, Arabic numerals, Algebra and modern astronomy.

      • ThaneOfDrones

        And what did Hindus produce? Nothing

        Which; ironically, was a huge contribution.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          The Hindus produced modern numerals and mathematics.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Did they?

          It is a bit more complicated than that I’d say….but I’v been drinking so a might be a be bit belligerent chum, but as far as numbers go, humans did it…YahwehJesus didn’t…circle tech and all thar….useless cunt.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          I meant the believers, not any hindu ‘god’s

          Sorry for any misunderstanding.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Don’t meither about me…I was imbibing at the time of commenting.

        • Right–Arabic numerals came through Arab countries but originated in India (if memory serves).

        • al kimeea

          iirc, the concept was opposed by VatiCorp “thinking”

    • Jim Dailey
      • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

        Trollin’ for clicks!

      • Otto

        No, you misunderstood my request. I would like a citation for the claim, not a link to a religious apologist making the claim. Just because Dave likes to refer to his blog posts as ‘papers’ does not make them an academic exercise.

        I know you are one just to take Dave at his word but I have interacted with him enough to know he has a tendency to cut out relevant information and twist the information he does present dishonestly.

        You got anything on an academic level that gives his claim that the Catholic Church is solely responsible for modern science any credibility?

        • Jim Dailey

          You clearly did not read the link provided – which was embedded in Dave’s response, and which I extracted for you.

          I don’t have time for your bullshit.

        • Otto

          I did read the the link and it does not give evidence for the specific claim Dave made. For instance one of the secular scientists that was quoted gave credit to the general Christian culture in Europe, he did not give credit specifically to the Catholic Church… but regardless is it the general consensus among historians of science that modern science was produced by the Catholic church? If it is I would think you could point to mounds of scholars that agree with it…not just some guy on a blog that has that opinion based on quotes…especially when the guy providing the quotes is a biased Catholic apologist well known for cherry picking and leaving out information that does not agree with his preconceived conclusion.

          >>>”I don’t have time for your bullshit.”

          Aww gee Wally…I don’t give a shit…no one here solicited your opinion.

    • Saw the above link. I very much doubt the church, had first Renaissance and later on Enlightment not appeared, would have developed the current scientific knowledge.

    • epeeist

      but what he offers instead is a list of people that did science and were Catholics.

      In other words, the best he can do is correlation and possibly a spurious correlation at that.

      There are a fair number of requirements for a causal warrant, Mill’s methods are a good starting point.

    • Benjamin Muller

      1500 years of crap art and little innovation. Classical Greek Philosophy is reintroduced in the west after centuries of suppression by the Catholic church, and the art rises to the level the Greeks and pre-Christianized/pre-fall Romans had attained over a thousand years previous . Shortly after the scientific revolution begins, which, rather than consulting scripture or asking the church for answers(walking by faith, not by sight), involves observation and reason to find answers(trusting sight over faith).

      But yeah, sure, the Catholic Church produced modern science. And that oil smudge on the window is an apparition of Mary sent by God.

      • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

        “Crap art”? Mate, can you hear yourself? Philistinism seems so often to go with anti-religious dogma.

        • Well, compare prerromanic and romanic paints, architecture, etc. with what came next. Maybe calling it crap is an exaggeration, yes, but there’s an improvement and does not happen just on religious one.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Improvement? Mate, you seriously need to do some basic art courses. The whole idea is just ridiculous.

        • Do you seriously think I’ve not seen paintings of those eras?. All I know of are of religious nature, flat, and rather simplistic next to what came after it.

          You don’t need to be an art major to note that, even if the reasons why it changed may be open to debate.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Mate, have fun there in such abject philistinism.

        • And other who gets a block. Mate, good work, never had blocked two persons in the same day.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Can’t handle views other than your dogma then I see

        • Ignorant Amos

          When the moderator hasn’t got around to banhammering your vacuous arse…blocking is the only option in order to maintain some modicum of sanity.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Yeah, vacuous – anything you can make up to try and resist facing up to your own tightly-clung-to dogma. .Sorry, mate, you don’t get to control us all, and your accusations are simply laughable and pitiable .Grow the fk up.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Bwaaahahahaha…

          Grow the fk up.

          Now that’s what I call being “triggered”…you’re a gift.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Not triggered at all, I say it again – grow the fk up. .I say it calmly and advisedly (that’s just how we talk here in Australia – we don’t take crap from silly people).

        • Ignorant Amos

          Bwaaahahaha…yeah…whateva…

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          It’s just we don’t pussyfoot around here in Australia – we see nincompoopery and call it what it is

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yeah…that’s how us Irish roll too…the fuckwittery is yours, and has been since ya got here…but keep going, we love the odd train wreck around here from time to time.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Your foolish defensiveness is fooling no one

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Crap art he said, crap art it is.

          It’s figurative, rather than realistic…which was reflective of the mindset of religion that life is just a way station to eternity, so why strive.

          So it’s crap art

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          So medieval art is crap? How can you live with such boganity as that view?

        • Greg G.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fb65acf8f2773beb8c94672af51d984106861bc84ec7d77f8611276ead13d0a3.jpg

          Are you saying one of these paintings has no better craftmanship than the other?

        • I’d prefer to see as I suggest a romanic/prerromanic comparison VS either gothic or renaissance. All I can think of, of the former, is flat and rather simplistic next to the latter.

        • Greg G.

          They seemed to have needed to learn perspective from the ancient Greeks.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          So you judge all art on craft? Perhaps it’s time for you to enrol in an “Art 101” class or somesuch.

        • Greg G.

          No, but thanks for the tacit admission that you recognize that the later painting has superior craft.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Sure it does, in a certain sense – but there are thousands of other criteria to consider when evaluating art. You don’t, I hope, dismiss say Micronesian art as inferior because it lacks perspective?

        • Greg G.

          I delight in all manisfestations of the Athenian goddess.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Me too

        • KenderJ

          They are both obviously created by masters. Personally, I prefer the Pere Serra as being more visually interesting. The colors are great and I love the pattern on her dress. The doll-like quality of the child is evocative, like a grown man who was shrunken to child-size. It has a kitchie quality that I enjoy. The Raphael is well done, but not as interesting. The colors are too muted and the background is rather blah. the child’s proportions seem off. The “Madonna” does not look loving, she looks like she is annoyed at this squirming urchin in her lap.

        • al kimeea

          not craftsmanship, realism vs metaphor. I enjoy both, but prefer realism. Although in this case, either is bound to “real”.

        • Greg G.

          But if one is forced to do metaphor because one cannot do realism because one cannot do perspective, it is a lack of craftmanship.

        • al kimeea

          I don’t think realism is necessarily better, other than being more accurate. It’s just another style to me. For all its craftsmanship, the realistic one is less visually appealing imho – even when excising all but the mum & baby from the gothic.

    • Seeing it was a Catholic theocracy that ruled Europe by extension its scientists were Catholics- surely you can connect the dots……..or not?

      • Otto

        Ummm…no.

        Yes there were Catholics that did science, yes the Catholic Church did help people do science through supporting the people that did the science and helped in making institutions of learning that did science.

        None of that connects the dots to the claim that the Catholic Church was solely responsible for what is now modern science, i.e. that without the Catholic Church modern science would not exist.

        • Pofarmer

          But……there’s always a but……..weren’t those scientists also forced to do theology and wasn’t their science generally expected to conform to Church Doctrine?

        • Otto

          Hey…didn’t you get the memo about how all the credit goes to God and his institutions but anything negative is the fault of something other than the religion they adhere to?

        • Pofarmer

          Even the negative stuff helped push them along apparently.

      • Greg G.

        Copernicus sat on his findings for a few decades and published when he was on his deathbed for fear of how the Catholic Church would react.

  • Tommy
    • Tommy

      If Christians advocate putting the Ten Commandments in all public buildings, it’s enshrining America’s Judeo-Christian values. If Muslims advocate putting the same Ten Commandments in all public buildings, it’s instituting Sharia Law and that has no place in American society. So, if you want Ten Commandments monuments off of public property, then get groups of Muslims to demand the Ten Commandments be put on all public buildings across America. LOL.

      • Ignorant Amos

        A doubt very much they’d wanna put their heads that far above the parapet with the sort of Christian fuckwits there are roaming the US these days.

      • epicurus

        And as Bob has posted on other occasions, they should use the Ten Commandments in Exodus 34 that were given to Moses as a replacement after he broke the first tablets. Although different and boring, the TC in Exodus 34 are the final authorized version.
        I’d love to see these on the side of a building or whatever.

        • Lark62

          Boring, except for the command to kill every firstborn from every womb, unless it is a donkey or a son.

    • Maybe because so few actually understand the beatitudes or appreciate its a description of God’s coming Kingdom on earth not some bug eyed utopian fantasy.

      • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

        That’s not in the black-letter text, now is it?

      • Greg G.

        Paul thought it was coming in his lifetime, in his very near future. He was wrong.

        • Paul is disingenuous in his writings.

          I’m Chris Hansen and we’re doing a special on…

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1FA3IQHBvI

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yeah…there’s yer problem ya dopey fuckwit. Try and think it through ya moron….sorry, idiot…giving too much credence ffs.

        • Greg G.

          I enjoyed the dead parrot skit but I didn’t see anything on Paul.

          Paul makes a big deal of going where the Lord sends him and not by human authority, yet he sends people to places by his own authority, he was a hypocrite, too.

        • I am the Lord – Paul says some nice things but there’s enough terrorist propaganda that his writings are probably best left ignored but for academic/historical purposes.

          The Jewish book was written to impersonate/parody/mock/obfuscate/usurp theology on this planet by taking advantage of the fact that the gods/godhead never stop murderers from murdering, idiots from idioting, iconoclasts from iconoclasting, liars from lying, etc..

          If you don’t like being told you’re a sinner – just write your own book in God’s name that authorizes you to sin! Bloody genius.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAahIFApISs

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          More useless bilge from you.

          Hoping eventually you get bored…because you’re boring the fuck out of all of us.

      • Tommy

        Like @disqus_a9H6kflDom:disqus was saying, the fact that Christianity still exists is proof that it’s false. Y’all were supposed to “meet the Lord in the air” two thousand years ago according to Paul! LOL.

    • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

      The dude was way off, though he did write one or two good novels

      • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

        How?

        Why do you think so?

        Be specific, and show your work.

      • Otto

        What makes what he said ‘way off’?

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Way overgeneralised.

        • Otto

          You have a way of saying nothing.

      • Greg G.

        Are you saying that Christians don’t put up the Ten Commandments in public places? Look up Judge Roy Moore if you doubt it.

        Or are you saying that Christians put up the Beatitudes instead of the Ten Commandments in courthouses? Where?

        Or are you being an intolerant Philistine literature critic?

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          He is way overgeneralising of course. I’m not intolerant except of intolerance (eg the wildly spreading hate that is anti-religious dogma).

  • Otto T. Goat

    When atheism was in charge, this is what we got:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moqnU48R-zA

  • LeekSoup

    That arch analogy is quite brilliant. I will be borrowing that. It also explains why kicking away at the supernatural stuff doesn’t bring the religion down.

  • It does not help either that some centuries later a Martin Luther said reason is the greatest enemy of faith/the Devil’s whore.

    Sagan said without this we’d have space colonies, not just being stuck in LEO. While I think he went too far, he had a point after all.

    The sad part is not that these beliefs are still around, even if science has demolished them (no Exodus, no Adam and Eve, no global flood, etc.) and some critical thought shows they’re not so pretty, is that some people want them imposed in others. Like it or not.

    • ThaneOfDrones

      not just being stuck in LEO

      Oh c’mon; you’re not going to try to tell us that Sagan believed in horoscopes. Besides, he was a Scorpio.
      /jk

  • David Hughett

    You made some excellent points! Thanks for sharing.

  • ThaneOfDrones
    • I went to a YEC lecture where they said that medieval paintings of dragons were also evidence.

      One response is laughter. Here’s a biological response: the paintings all show dragons with two legs, two arms, and two wings–6 limbs. But here on earth, everything has 4 limbs–either 2 legs + 2 wings or 2 legs + 2 arms or 4 legs.

      Remember the movie Avatar? those animals all had 6 limbs, just like Earth dragon paintings. But the Navi people had four limbs, like a human (more visually appealing, I’m sure). That’s not how the biology would work–they would’ve shared a common ancestor with other animals, so the big animals would all have 6 limbs.

      A dragon on earth with 6 limbs? Nope–the biology prevents it. All the way back to the first land animals, they had 4 limbs.

      • There’re wyverns, who have just two legs and two wings, but not only European dragons are that way, creationists should explain why dragons, especially oriental ones, look more like a hodgepodge of different animals than a dinosaur.

  • Milo C

    I like that quote from John Piper. I wonder if he’s been told he’s implying god’s utmost purpose and effort is a form of masturbation.

  • What a lot of prejudiced hogwash- Ever heard of the Renaissance- or rebirth- not only were magnificent Cathedrals built the concept of university education was born and even the sciences had a reawakening. Why do you repeat the same false rubbish ad nauseum. Oh wait it ties in with your rabid anti Christian agenda so lying has to be your number one default strategy ..

    • Benjamin Muller

      Ever heard of the reintroduction of Greek Philosophy that triggered the Renaissance? You ever see the 1500 years of absolute crap artwork produced by Christians that suddenly went up to the quality of pre-christian Rome and Greek artists after the reintroduction of Greek Philosophy? Probably not, Christian “educators” are liars and don’t tell the truth about history.

      • It’s strange how lying liars always accuse others of doing just that.

        • Benjamin Muller

          What did I lie about? What do you dispute about what I said? about 1500 years of the dark ages(or if we’re being Christian brand Politically Correct, we call it Middle ages now in order not to hurt religious feelings), Greek philosophy is reintroduced in the west and then things suddenly start moving… the Renaissance happens, Scientific Revolution begins which was people doing the exact opposite of what Christians had been preaching for 1500 years previously – trusting one’s own sight and leaning on one’s own understanding.

          But somehow we’re supposed to credit the Christian faith with that, we’re supposed to pretend that these Christian principles that allegedly gave rise to these things, were just somehow latent for 1500 years and that it was just a big happy coincidence that these things occurred on the heels of the reintroduction of Greek philosophy. Yeah right.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Well, per ‘blogcom’, the church was *nice* enough to stop SLAUGHTERING people for having heretical ideas (I believe Martin Luther and the Reformation weakened the RCC, so there’s that, too).

        • Greg G.

          Do you know why the Christians had no significant advancement but suddenly took off in the 12th century? It was because they started getting material written a thousand years earlier by the ancient Greeks from the Crusades taking it from the Muslims. Even Copernicus was inspired by the ancient Greeks to come up with the idea that the earth moves around the sun.

        • eric

          Do you know why the Christians had no significant advancement but suddenly took off in the 12th century?

          The renaissance was 14th-17th centuries. IIRC one theory has it that the black plague had a lot to do with it; Europe retained all the infrastructure they’d built up but suddenly only 2/3 of the population it was built up to support. This left lot’s of ‘space’ socially, economically, and politically for people to try out new things.

        • Greg G.

          I have heard that, too. Also, many experienced and knowledgeable priests died. Their replacements lacked experience, knowledge, proper training, and probably wouldn’t have been selected anyway.

          The plague raised a lot of questions the church couldn’t answer, like, “What are we doing wrong that God would allow this?”

    • Would you mind to explain what happened before, especially before the XIII century when the Crusades brought back Muslim-conserved knowledge, and why they let so many pagan works be destroyed?

    • Ignorant Amos

      You are a tit.

    • It’s rude for people to question your beliefs–is that it? If so, ask yourself why your beliefs are so fragile.

      I respond to the idea that the modern university has much in common with whatever it was that the church sponsored here:
      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2016/01/yeah-but-christianity-built-universities-and-hospitals/

      • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

        Why do anti-religious dogmatists get so upset when people point out their ignorance and sloppy thinking?

        • epeeist

          Why do anti-religious dogmatists get so upset when people point out their ignorance and sloppy thinking?

          Why do people like you post content-free one liner’s that address nothing of the post they are responding to?

          Oh, sorry. No, your posts are not content-free, as far as I can see they consist purely of ad hominens.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Because we are sick to the back teeth of your pathetically anti-intellectual hate speech. Grow up and get educated and stop throwing around your anti-intellectual bile thanks. I’m not going to argue it – I just note it with disgust

        • The post actually makes an argument. You’re welcome to point out flaws.

          Your comments, by contrast, are bordering on hateful. Maybe look in the mirror. Alternatively, shove your hatred up your ass and actually give us some thoughtful comments. Are there problems with the post? Point them out.

        • Susan

          I’m not going to argue it.

          Then, you’ll understand why we disregard your opinion.

          I just note it with disgust

          *shrug*

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          You can disregard it if you like but I can state it and disregard your shrugs and defensiveness

        • epeeist

          Grow up and get educated and stop throwing around your anti-intellectual bile thanks.

          I don’t usually mention my education, but in your case I will make an exception.

          I am going to take a punt, I would guess my Ph.D. outranks your educational achievements by quite some measure.

          As for “anti-intellectual bile”, I am not the one whose posts solely consist of abusive ad hominemns (and yes I do know what the term means given that I was actually taught logic).

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Mate, I supervise award-winning PhDs, so you struck out there. I haven’t made any ad hominems, I’ve attacked very poor writing and generalising. That is not ad hominem, it is just called having standards.

        • epeeist

          I supervise award-winning PhDs

          OK

          I’ve attacked very poor writing

          Now I said that I had a Ph.D. and you responded by saying that you supervise people with Ph.D’s.

          You will note that this says nothing about your educational qualifications, in other words poor composition on your behalf.

        • Pofarmer

          Lemme Guess. Religious studies.

        • epeeist

          Got to wonder what an “award winning” Ph.D. is.

        • A kiss on the forehead from his teacher-mom?

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          One can’t supervise PhDs without a darned good PhD of your own. I have an award-winning PhD myself, of course, and can see through poor scholarship.

        • epeeist

          One can’t supervise PhDs without a darned good PhD of your own

          Nonsense, I have certainly seen people without doctorates supervise Ph.D. candidates in academia. I have also seen the same thing in industry too.

          and can see through poor scholarship.

          But seemingly not poor logic.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          That doesn’t go on in Australian sandstone universities – a PhD supervisor has to have a pretty danged good PhD. I can see through poor logic – that’s why I have such low patience for the inanities of anti-theist dogma displayed here.

        • epeeist

          That doesn’t go on in Australian sandstone universities

          Ah, you took once instance and generalised to everywhere else.

          I can see through poor logic

          But seemingly you are unable to avoid making a hasty generalisation.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          No, I was talking about my own situation

        • epeeist

          No, I was talking about my own situation

          Hmm, no:

          One can’t supervise PhDs without a darned good PhD of your own

          Nothing about “your situation” or “in Australia”, just a completely unqualified statement.

          What are we to conclude, someone who can’t write with precision or someone who doesn’t know the difference between ‘A’ and ‘I’ propositions?

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          We conclude someone (you) who is determined to troll

        • epeeist

          We conclude someone (you) who is determined to troll

          And yet I seem to be the one making reasoned arguments…

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          You are clutching at straws, trying to trip me up on trivialities. The material point is I have an award-winning PhDs, as do many of my former students, so the claim that I was ill-educated is rather weak.

        • epeeist

          You are clutching at straws, trying to trip me up on trivialities.

          Well Thomas Moore comes to mind:

          Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man.

          Strange that when someone with an “award-winning Ph.D” makes mistakes in their posts these are “trivial” but when it comes to other posters here you condemn them for “very poor writing and generalising”…

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Mate, when I’m writing seriously I am careful. When I’m shooting the breeze it’s like being down the fuckin pub.

        • epeeist

          Mate, when I’m writing seriously I am careful.

          So when posting here you aren’t writing seriously, got it.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Definitely not! I’m shooting the breeze, as I said, like being down the fucking pub having a fucking beer mate!

        • epeeist

          I’m shooting the breeze, as I said, like being down the fucking pub having a fucking beer mate!

          So we can treat your posts as though they were from someone who has had a few more beers than he should have done.

        • we can treat your posts as though they were from someone with an award-winning PhD who has had a few more beers than he should have done.

          FTFY

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          If that suits you but it doesn’t make me any easier on the whole clutch of control freaks and deniers such as religious hierarchies, Islamophobes, Christianophobes, climate deniers, creationists and others in that category

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Oh and I didn’t make mistakes – there was simply a misunderstanding, as I was talking about my own situation (Oz universities), as I explained

        • What would be sadder–being a troll in a windowless room with nothing better to do than annoy atheists or having a doctorate with an aware-winning dissertation (I assume that’s what you meant) but having nothing but small talk and invective to offer in a forum after being repeatedly encouraged to provide thoughtful content?

          Either way, pretty sad. Or is “pathetic” the word I’m looking for?

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Mate, I’m just wasting some time on the fucking internet – that’s not sad, though, that said, I am getting off here now as life is too short to waste on such tomfoolery – there’s no serious discussion to be had here that’s for sure.

        • Then your course of action is clear.

        • Otto

          ffs you haven’t said anything for days…how the fuck would you know…

          ‘Gosh guys I am a PHD and you people write stupid stuff…I am smart…trust me”

          Go martyrbate somewhere else.

        • so the claim that I was ill-educated is rather weak

          How?? You’ve given no evidence to back up your claim!

        • Pofarmer

          Where the hell do these people get their ideas, and how stupid do they think the rest of us are? The guy running Climate Corp, for what used to be Monsanto, had a bachelors in ag business. He’s managing scores if PH’ds. I have a friend a working for Dupont that is the same story. With his overinflated sense of importance has to he some branch of biblical or religious studies.

        • epeeist

          I have a friend a working for Dupont that is the same story.

          I have worked at Unilever and the technical arm of ESA, same thing. I have also worked for the research council that looked after science and engineering here in the UK. Same thing again.

        • alverant

          “One can’t supervise PhDs without a darned good PhD of your own.”
          Evidence please.

          ” I have an award-winning PhD myself, of course”
          Suuuure you do.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Indeed I do. How bizarre that you would make up fantasies about me.

        • I have an award-winning PhD myself, of course

          What’s next–bragging about how big your dick is?

          Tip: let your discourse convey your expertise. “Oh yeah?? Well, I’ve got a PhD! No–three PhDs! Award-winning, too! And I’ve got a black belt in something really cool, so I could kick your ass!” That’s kinda how someone who doesn’t have a PhD sounds.

          All I’ve seen from you so far is bluster. How about impressing us with some of that wisdom instead? If you don’t, you’ll get banned for assholery.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Mate, read the discussion – some dude accused me of being ill-educated, and held up his bloody PhD as making him more educated than me. He was blowing wind out his arse, and so are you cobber.

        • alverant

          “I supervise award-winning PhDs”
          Why should we believe you when you lied about other things?

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          where do you claim I lied? Should be entertaining seeing you try to wriggle your way out of this one…

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Because you just throw around assertions rather than presenting EVIDENCE.

          But DO try again, please…

        • Ignorant Amos
        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Where’s your evidence mate? Why cast your poo about without anything to back you up? The sloppy thinking is on display in this post – if that’s not obvious to you, I worry about your education level.

    • epeeist

      Ever heard of the Renaissance- or rebirth- not only were magnificent Cathedrals built the concept of university education was born and even the sciences had a reawakening.

      The Renaissance happened as much as anything because scholars in the West started translations from Greek, Arabic and Persian of material that hadn’t been available before (you might want to look at Gerard of Cremona’s opinion about the “poverty of the Latins”.

      University education? So which is the oldest university? You might also want to look at why Charlemagne issued his edict starting monastery and cathedral schools (hint – it wasn’t because they were centres of educational excellence).

      Cathedrals? The Greeks built temples as did the Egyptians, the Incas built ziggurats. And then of course there is this:

      https://lonelyplanetwp.imgix.net/2016/01/angkor-wat-with-water.jpg?fit=min&q=40&sharp=10&vib=20&w=1470

      even the sciences had a reawakening

      So they had been dormant everywhere before they reawakened in the Christian West?

    • Sophotroph

      Oh wow. A Christian who doesn’t know anything about the history of his religion!

      Don’t all crowd around now. I know you almost never see one of these, but we don’t want to scare him off!

      • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

        Oh wow, an anti-religious activist who knows nothing about the middle ages. What a surprise.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Again, show data to support your thesis.

          Just throwing insults is poor form, and unconvincing.

        • Greg G.

          Rob don’t tolerate intolerance seems to tolerate his own intolerance.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The dickhead could be right about our communal lack of knowledge…but how would we know, the knob does nothing to demonstrate the veracity of his claims. That leads me to believe he is the fuckwit that knows fuck all about the subject.

        • Greg G.

          Is Robdti a Dave Armstrong sock puppet or a Dave Armstrong clone?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Certainly possible with these rhubarbs…but looking at the commenting history, I doubt it.

        • Greg G.

          I had a look. I agree with you. I am easy to convince with evidence.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Where’s your data to support the wild assertions being made in this babyish post?

    • Damien Priestly

      So why didn’t that rebirth start eight hundred years earlier around 500 AD when Christianity first overtook the Mediterranean region and Europe from those pesky pagans? The Renaissance essentially was a movement away from dogmatic Christianity….

      The Mongols had just opened up Silk-road trade and communications from Asia and China, through which knowledge traveled to Europe. That helped kick off the Renaissance as much as anything.

      • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

        Wow, mate – go and read some books on the middle ages .Seriously.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Better still…why don’t you provide some points to support your thesis rather than merely impugning interlocutors.

        • Ignorant Amos

          These types don’t do that.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          It’s beneath my notice, tbh. Like telling a creationist to go and read some biology – come back when you have the first clue and can think outside hate speech and fundamentalist dogma.

        • Damien Priestly

          I’ve read plenty about the middle ages….the earlier Greco-Roman classical age, and modern history too !!

          Is there something you have to offer other than reading recommendations?

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          I offer my assessment of this post as anti-intellectual tripe. Reading will help anyone who is stuck in the bizarre notion that religion poisons everything. Such ignorance is easily healed by intellectual work and education.

        • alverant

          You first.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          I have

        • Winning repartee! You’re so much fun to read.

          Now contribute to the conversation or get banned.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Ban my arse if you can’t cope dear

    • Ignorant Amos

      You’re another shite for brains commenting here I see…we’ve been having a glut of religious imbeciles around here lately…I wonder is it something in the holy water.

      • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

        Actually the brainlessness is in the unbelievably low standard of writing in the article, and now I see extreme bigotry in the anti-religious commentary .The internet has a lot to answer for, and extremist haters (such as anti-religious bigots) are a prime example.

        • The same can be said of religious bigots. When you sow BS and hate, either on Internet or outside it, don’t expect nice replies.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Sure, any bigotry is vile. I don’t sow BS, I just don’t tolerate ignorance and intolerance and hate speech. In Oz, we don’t take crap like that.

        • Otto

          You live in your own Oz all right.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          We love it in Down Under

        • Khanhminh Nguyen

          Then leave American atheists alone.

          I’m not an atheist, and I have yet experienced any bigotry or even hate speech from atheists. People who did that to me have been Christians.

          I don’t like to see battle between atheists and religious people, but in American context most of the time, Christians are the ones who butt in other people’s business with their “personal relationship” with their deity.

          I always admire Australian people for their kind manners. You don’t have that at all. I don’t have to be an anti-theist to see that.

          Very good job representing your people, Mr Australian. Now I begin to understand why my uncle chose America to immigrate instead of Australia when he escaped Vietnamese communist government.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          I’m not talking about atheists – I’m talking about anti-religious bigots.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Oh and I’ll feel free to lay into Trumpland any time I like. When the US stops messing up the rest of the world, I’ll leave them alone.

        • Khanhminh Nguyen

          You talk about my 2nd home as if it is the only power that wants to control the world. You forget that it is the Evangelical Christian politicians who have that desire. The rest of us just want a peaceful life.

          Your people are not exactly innocents, either. Do you remember what Tony Abbott said about team Australia? I don’t think he was wrong about Islam. However, under your criteria of hate speech, your former minister did exactly what you have accused the atheists here.

          The difference is your guy has political power while people in this blog don’t. Who is the dangerous one here?

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          That’s why we fought tooth-and-nail against the mad monk Abbott, and indeed he was very dangerous. He was incredibly wrong about Islam, along with the other anti-Islamic bigots. Good on Julia Gillard for standing up to him.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Oh and I’ve not accused atheists of anything. Perish the thought. I am talking about anti-religious nuts, not atheists. Most atheists are not anti-theist bigots.

        • What is an “anti-theist bigot”? Which of the commenters here are in that category? Presumably more than zero, otherwise you’d leave.

        • Khanhminh Nguyen

          I admit that anti theism is a strong stance. I am spiritual, so I know that anti theists will find my belief as silly as a Christian’s.

          As bigoted as you make anti theists seem to be, none of them ever want to lay a finger on me. They only express their opinion. I am secured enough not to be offended.

          In contrast, Christians are the ones who try to butt in other people’s business.

          Have you seen AronRa speak with the preacher in your country? What was that preacher’s faith? Christianity.

          It seems like evangelical Christians and radical Muslims rise at a similar rate as anti theists. I don’t see people from other religions have desire to confront atheists or Christians.

          If anti theists are bigots, so are evangelical Christians.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Good on you mate

        • Khanhminh Nguyen

          Thank you.
          I wonder if evangelical Christians in Australia are as scary as the ones in the US.

          If they were cool and nice, I can understand why you think American atheists are aggressive. It is a push back against fundamentalist Christians.

          Maybe when evangelical Christians learn to coexist with non Christians, anti theists will be nicer. At the moment, I think they are justified for ridiculing those Christians’ beliefs, which are harmful and hurtful to people who belong to a different religion.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          You’d have to ask evangelical Christians

        • Khanhminh Nguyen

          Well, you live in Australia. You know them to some extent, correct?

          American Evangelical Christians are barbaric theocrats. No need for argument. I don’t know how Australian evangelical Christians are. You are quite argumentative, and you are not evangelical, I assume. This makes me think evangelical Christians in Australia may be just as nuts as their American brothers and sisters.

          Is my speculation incorrect?

        • A thoughtful and polite not-an-atheist? Refreshing! Thanks for your input.

          What are your religious beliefs?

        • Khanhminh Nguyen

          Under religion label, I am a Unitarian Universalist. As for personal belief, I am a transcendentalist.

        • The UU church is hard to get annoyed at.

          Transcendentalist like Emerson and Thoreau?

        • Khanhminh Nguyen

          Correct. Something like that.

        • Greg G.

          Chau Anh!. My wife is Vietnamese and we visited Melbourne and Sydney in January with her brother and his wife. Our hosts in Melbourne were my brother-in-law’s best friend from Vietnam and his family plus my sister-in-law’s cousin. We saw the Vietnamese side of Melbourne.

          In Sydney, our hotel just happened to be between Chinatown and Koreatown. They hired the waiter from the pho restaurant to be a guide for a day to see the Little Saigon areas. I think he enjoyed it as much as we did.

          The beef in Australia was wonderful and it made some of the best pho tai I have ever had.

        • Khanhminh Nguyen

          You married a Vietnamese woman? Does she live up to your expectation as a traditional woman?

          How do you live with her as an atheist?

          Vietnamese people are usually religious or superstitious, but it is rare that they are fanatic. I hope you two have a happily-ever-after life.

        • Greg G.

          You married a Vietnamese woman? Does she live up to your expectation as a traditional woman?

          Yes, she is very traditional. I didn’t know what to expect. I met her at work and we hit it off. We didn’t get married for eight years because her family had seen many failed marriages between an American and a Vietnamese. Half was OK with it and half sided with whatever her mother said. Then a sister-in-law asked her if she wanted to see her get married and that changed her mind. The family met me and liked me. They were surprised that I could eat with chopsticks.

          How do you live with her as an atheist?

          The monk gave her a book with Vietnamese on one page and English on the other that talked about how each person should be able to have their own religion. It seemed that the problem was with Vietnamese marrying Christians that forced them into Christianity.

          She loves to visit Buddhist temples wherever we go. I think it is good for them to get together to maintain their culture. She puts fruit in a bowl over the oven so Buddha can lick them or something.

          Vietnamese people are usually religious or superstitious, but it is rare that they are fanatic. I hope you two have a happily-ever-after life.

          We are very happy.

          We had a couple of girls from Vietnam stay with us at times when college was not in session. They were going to move closer to campus when school started but the brother of one got permission to come to the US for school so they waited for him before they looked for a new place. We had met their mother a year earlier and had lunch with the girl, her mother and her brother earlier that year in Saigon. Their parents had divorced ten years earlier and because of that experience, he wanted no part of marriage. But after spending two weeks with us, he changed his mind.

          Then on another trip to Vietnam, we were staying with the kids’ mother and a (divorced) woman she had been friends with since high school happened to be visiting from the US. We all went on a trip to the west coast of Vietnam. She said that we had her reconsidering the idea of marriage.

          A year later, I was sent for work to her city in Texas. We went out for a bowl of pho. She called our friend in Vietnam and handed me the phone to surprise her with my voice. This year, when we were in Vietnam, our friend called the lady in Texas and handed me the phone to talk to her.

          Best of all, her family likes me. Especially her niece, nephew, and mother.

        • Khanhminh Nguyen

          That is so cool.

          I used to devote myself into Buddhism, so I understand why Buddhists usually have no issue with interfaith marriage. The goal in Buddhism is enlightenment. Buddhist practitioners are expected to achieve Nirvana or reincarnate into the land of bliss operated under buddha Amitābha.

          If you ask a monk, he will say that karma in your past life and your wife’s past life binds you two together. When you resolve this karma, you will not become a couple again in your next life unless you make a pledge to each other. Of course, it is discouraged because love causes attachment, which keep people in the loop of the wheel of samsara. Therefore, romantic love does not last when your karma is due.

          As an atheist, you are all right with that view, aren’t you?
          Divorce is prohibited in Christianity because Yahweh made you two for each other.
          Divorce is allowed in Buddhism because your karma is paid in full.

          Christians tend to enforce their Bible to match the physical world. Buddhists tend not to.
          Hence, I think Buddhism is compatible with human issues although it may not provide all the answers.

        • Greg G.

          Therefore, romantic love does not last when your karma is due.

          As an atheist, you are all right with that view, aren’t you?

          Yes. Accepting that life ends permanently makes every second all the more meaningful. That may even be more Zen than Buddhism, that one must live in the moment rather than to work off some karma, to hope for something better in the next life, or to reach Nirvana. Life is just the border between the eternity that came before you and the eternity that comes after you. I just make the best I can out of it while I have the chance.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Pointing out that someone is an imbecile is not extreme bigotry…identifying them by their in-group label is categorizing for identification purposes.

          Some times we get an atheist imbecile on these pages. Being atheist doesn’t get them off the hook and not get called out on their imbecility.

          Anti-religious…yep, I’ll own that…all religion that wants to interfere with how I go about my life is fair game.

          Extremist haters? The irony is dripping off that one.

          I may hate religions, but unless I know the religious person, hate them is a bit much. I have grown to hate certain online religious individuals, but it ain’t because they are religious, it is because of some other obnoxious trait they’ve demonstrated.

          As for the “unbelievably low standard of writing in the article” demonstrating “brainlessness” here…when you can support that assertion with substance, then you will be in a better position, until that time I can dismiss you nonsense as the ravings of a typical dolt.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          I see a hell of a lot of ignorant and ridiculous hate speech against religious people, made out of extreme intellectual laziness and ignorance. That your hate speech receives upvotes from fellow haters is very telling. It’s easy to descend into hate and laziness in the internet age. Much harder to get off your arse and actually think and read. Pity you have chosen the lazy and destructive way and live in an ugly fantasy world. Dolt? Yeah right – tell yourself that if it gives you comfort. We can see through your defensive games very easily, and your hating tactics are useless. Haters gonna hate, but it’s a pity you are in such a pitiable state.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Repeating your fuckwittery doesn’t get ya to where you’d like to be. None of what you have wrote makes a blind bit of difference to the nonsense you are spewing.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          No mate, you are simply making stuff up about me, and merely pretending it’s “fuckwittery” is not persuasive in the least. Nonsense? Yeah right, pull the other one. You are not convincing. It’s not a bad idea to face facts instead of blustering your denial.

        • Ignorant Amos

          No mate,…

          Don’t kid yerself…there’s an example of your fuckwittery right outta the stalls.

          …you are simply making stuff up about me, and merely pretending it’s “fuckwittery” is not persuasive in the least.

          Nope…it’s fuckwittery, pure and simple.

          https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/fuckwittery

          Nonsense? Yeah right, pull the other one.

          It’s nonsense because it can be demonstrated as such. Atheists who are fuckwits get called out here in equal measure to religious fuckwits…your assertion of bigotry is refuted ya fuckwit.

          You are not convincing.

          Not convincing who about what?

          It’s not a bad idea to face facts instead of blustering your denial.

          Deny what facts about what? I’ve denied nothing you have said that is accurate, which admittedly hasn’t been very much.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Whatever you reckon dude – if you want to make up crap, go ahead, but you are not persuading me

        • You gotta give us more than that–we’re all just stupid extremist haters, remember? Saying that this post is brainless tells us precisely nothing except that you don’t like it. (Of course, it does hint at quite a bit about you, but I’ll just let that go for the moment.)

          So what in particular is your concern?

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          It says nothing about me except that I have standards about writing dealing with history – or what are you implying?

        • You’re concerned about insults? Let me encourage you to first focus on the big issue: your precise concerns with the post. “Brainless” doesn’t help. Be specific. You got any actual thoughts on this, or is this just a Driveby for Jesus®?

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          The extreme oversimplification would be dispelled by some basic training or reading in history. That’s why we need the humanities – to avoid such clangers. “Driveby for Jesus” – nope, I just stumbled on the article and was dismayed at its low standards.

        • Yeah, I get it. You give it a low grade.

          Are you going to actually improve it? You got anything more valuable to say than “You suck!”?

    • swbarnes2

      So much nonsense.

      If Christianity was so wonderful, why was a rebirth from a millennia and a half of its wonderfulness needed? This rebirth consisted largely of being open to non-Christian thought and ideas!

      Universities started before the Renaissance. The Enlightenment happened after. And if the Enlightenment was so plainly Christian, why didn’t it take place in the centuries of religious orthodoxy? And why didn’t the Enlightenment arise in say, very Christian Russia?

      • The rebirth was in stark contrast to that period known as the Dark Ages- nothing to do with a rebirth from a millennia and a half of Christianity as you claim.
        Also you must have missed the fact the Renaissance occurred under a Catholic Theocracy- so much for non-Christian thought and ideas what ever you consider that might be. .
        Whether you like it or not the Renaissance introduced the concept of university aka higher learning. The Enlightenment ended the Catholic Theocracy and kicked off secular government in Europe and elsewhere with the only Christian thing remaining was its heritage,

        • The Christian church was largely in charge in Europe for 1000 years. Are you pleased with that millennium of Christian rule? Seems to me that an omniscient deity could’ve ruled (or guided or nudged) society a helluva lot better than that.

    • alverant

      The only reason why the sciences had a reawakening is because the muslim world kept the sciences alive. Why did you choose not to mention that?

      • Rubbish!

        • Universities were around even before the Renaissance era, unless you’re refering to the first Renaissance in the XIII century, and it’s quite telling how little if anything was produced before that time. I suspect in fact quite a number of pagan texts were destroyed as monks saw them as useless.

          EDIT. Even accounting for the fact the Middle Ages being dark eras with no innovation, etc. was a myth spreaded by Renaissance and later Enlightment people, it’s clear that in the collapse of the Roman Empire most works were lost forever (guess who destroyed pagan libraries, etc) and that, if I’m not wrong, classical authors were so much respected as they more or less agreed with the stuff present of the Bible that views considering their ideas wrong were considered heretic.

        • You say that because it would make you sad for that to be true? Or do you have evidence?

  • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

    Depressing that this kind of ignorance keeps being spouted. Please go and read some books.

    • Ignorant Amos

      Spoiiiinnng!

    • Otto

      Any chance you are actually going to bring up a point that can be discussed or is your main thrust just to tell us how ignorant people are here and complain about the bigotry without so much as actually establishing anything you assert?

      • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

        Not worth it tbh – it’s just depressing to see such anti-intellectual crap. I won’t bother arguing – I just note the incredibly low level of thinking. I’m not trying to persuade you, I just note your depressingly low level of discussion. Up to you if you want to cling to such crap or not – not up to me to demonstrate it.

        • Otto

          >>>” it’s just depressing to see such anti-intellectual crap.”

          Says the guy who hasn’t offered one intellectual thought

          >>>”I just note the incredibly low level of thinking.”

          As opposed to your ‘high level’, though yet to be determined, thinking.

          >>>”I’m not trying to persuade you”

          We KNOW that…you haven’t said anything ffs.

          >>>”I just note your depressingly low level of discussion.

          You said that already…apparently wasting your time saying nothing twice IS worth it.

          >>>”Up to you if you want to cling to such crap or not – not up to me to demonstrate it.”

          Yes…again we heard you already, you natter away more than my teen daughter.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          I am not obliged to offer intellectual thoughts – I’m giving my critique of lazy writing. .I’m not wasting time, I’m sick of the tide of low-standard anti-intellectual hate speech from bigots against religious people.

        • Otto

          You haven’t offered a critique…all you have done is called people stupid…and yes that IS lazy. Bigotry is the intolerance of differing creed, belief, or opinion…the only person in this ‘lack’ of discussion that is showing themselves to be intolerant of an opinion is YOU…i.e. to this point you are the bigot.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          No, I’ve criticised a sloppy bit of overgeneralised, historically misinformed opinion .That is my right I’ve seen a heck of a lot of anti-religious bigotry in the comments too – and no, I’m not a bigot, I just don’t tolerate bigotry and anti-religious hatred based on ignorance (very evident on this board).

        • Otto

          No…you have called people stupid…calling people stupid is not a critique.

          And to this point you are a bigot. Bob has offered his opinion and your only response are invective’s…that is definitively what bigots do.

          >>>”That is my right”

          If you actually offer something to talk about Bob is more than happy to have your opinion. I have seen people that staunchly disagree with most everything Bob says be welcome here for years….but if you just act like a bigot and never offer anything substantial to discuss your time will be short.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          No I’ve called writing stupid not people

        • Otto

          So you say…

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          I say it because it’s a fact.

        • Otto

          You behavior gives off a different attitude.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          I would disagree with you there

        • Otto

          I have no doubt. Self awareness does not seem to be your strong suit.

        • Why are you still here? You’re a mental nudist–you’re running around with your brains flapping around, and we can all see what you’ve got. I’d tuck it back in if I were you–either it’s cold out or you’ve got very little to brag about.

        • Imagine if you were charged with some crime and the prosecuting attorney gave an argument like you give here. You’re giving conclusions, not evidence and surely not an argument.

        • Yeah, yeah, we got it. We’re all hateful.

          Is that it? Are you done? If so, leave. Or if you actually want to be an adult and contribute to the conversation, that’s another option.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Not all, only those who hate like their similar bedfellows racists and climate deniers

        • So then you don’t have anything thoughtful to add to the conversation. OK, you might as well leave then.

    • Damien Priestly

      Nobody here requires any instructions about reading…from a troll.

      All of the sudden there is a troll invasion on CE. They need to go back to their caves.

      • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

        Troll? Not me dude. Caves? That’s where bigots (eg. anti-religious activists) belong. Those of us who reject such anti-human and anti-intellectual tomfoolery and nincompoopery are fine in the light thanks.

    • Tell us what we’d find.

      What you’d expect to find–a God-guided society swiftly moving from a primitive past into a society based on equality and humanity, with technology helping food production, sanitation and health, and on and on. But of course you’ll be disappointed if that’s what you expect.

      • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

        You’d find that this representation is wildly oversimplified. There are of course countless factors that must be considered in understanding how a culture operates.

        • So your argument is “Nuh uh!!” Got it, thanks. You can leave now.

  • Widuran

    Without Christ you are lost

    • Ignorant Amos

      Platitudinous bullshit.

      • Widuran

        Without the Christ your life is garbage

        • Ignorant Amos

          Whatever…ya dopey fuckwit…save yer preaching mindwankery for someone who actually gives a shite.

        • Widuran

          I see you are master of cowardly name calling

        • Ignorant Amos

          Well, since you’ve offered nothing of substance, but preaching mindwankery…there remains nothing but ridicule and mockery left to say.

          Master? You are easily impressed, but then religitards usually are, aren’t they?

          What makes it cowardly?

        • Widuran

          Oh dear more cowardly name calling. You are indeed a master of disaster

        • Susan

          Oh dear more cowardly name calling.

          You’ve told people their lives are garbage.

          Without justification.

          Without punctuation.

          Do you have any idea how sick and obnoxious that is?

          If some people here call you names for doing so, are you surprised?

          Don’t act like an ass and people won’t treat you like one.

        • Widuran

          I say what I like. I only care about what God thinks and not what cowardly name callers think.

          You are another one acting like an ass

        • alverant

          That’s some weapons-grade projection you have there.

        • Widuran

          I only care about what God thinks not what you think

        • Susan

          You are another one acting like an ass.

          Not in this discussion. I didn’t tell you your life was garbage.

          I simply made an effort to explain to you how sick and obnoxious your unsupported claims are.

          You seemed to be offended that some of us here (not most) called you names.

          I was trying to explain how to avoid that in the future.

        • Widuran

          God says without him ones life is garbage. This is fact

          John 15:1-6 1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

        • Susan

          God says

          A human says in a book.

        • Widuran

          God says in a book

        • Susan

          God says in a book.

          No. A human says in a book.

          Until you demonstrate that someone other than a human put it in a book.

          You’re not going to do that because you feel no responsibility to support any of your bare assertions.

          Why are you here?

        • Widuran

          2 Timothy 3:16

          All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

          God says in the Bible.

        • epeeist

          God says without him ones life is garbage.

          Drug dealers have a similar pitch.

        • Widuran

          I used to do drugs and know drug users even now and your point is incorrect

        • Otto

          And God thinks it is OK to hurt people that don’t think the right things.

          I also find it funny you think you know what God thinks…any chance you could be wrong? No…that couldn’t happen could it.

        • Widuran

          So you have proved you have no morality. Everything goes eh?? Perhaps anyone can take from you without asking and hurt you and your family

        • Otto

          Anything goes? Where did you get that out of what I wrote?

          I will ask you again…justify hurting people based on what they THINK.

          Do you know what a ‘Thought Crime’ is? Tell me why thought crimes are morally good?

        • Widuran

          So you do have some kind of morality. Where does it come from? Why is your morality correct?

        • Otto

          I asked you a question…I will gladly answer your question if you answer mine first.

          Why is it OK to hurt people based solely on what they THINK?

        • Widuran

          Thoughts of evil lead to harm in the end. This is why God says we are all condemned. But we do not need to earn salvation we can be saved through faith in Christ

        • Otto

          That isn’t an answer…try again

        • Widuran

          That is an answer. You just do not like it. That is your problem.

        • Otto

          That isn’t an answer to the question…you are so ingrained in your cult thinking discourse is impossible.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Like I said. That’s all that can be done with your fuckwittery…mockery and ridicule…and you’ve yet to explain what makes it cowardly. You think if you were preaching your nonsense into my face in meat world I wouldn’t be telling you to go take your dopey fuckwit head for a shite? Dream on.

          If ya can’t stand the heat, move away from the fire.

        • Widuran

          More name calling and filthy talk. You are indeed triggered. Don’t damage the keyboard.

        • You’ve got nothing better to do than share small talk? Give us something constructive or leave.

        • Widuran

          Why are you encouraging name calling and filthy talk?

        • Stop deserving the name calling–say something useful. Or leave.

          Would banning help? Because that’s an option, too.

        • Khanhminh Nguyen

          Without atheists, I would not know Christians like Widuran actually exist in this country. Thank goodness I did not know about people like him one year after I immigrated in this country.

          It is scary to picture what a non Christian immigrant’s life would be like if 90% of politicians are like this Christian.

          Don’t ban him, Bob. Don’t respond to him, either. Let the world see Christians’ true color. People with a deep sense of compassion would never degrade humans the way Widuran does.

        • Thanks for your perspective.

        • Widuran

          Why do you support name calling? Why are you threatening me with a ban with no good reason? Do you not like the asian man responding to the white atheist?

        • Why do you support name calling?

          Huh? I don’t support it; I tolerate it.

          Why are you threatening me with a ban with no good reason?

          I have a good reason, and I’ve explained it to you several times. Why are you ignoring my request? Do you normally ignore the host’s request when you visit someone?

          Do you not like the asian man responding to the white atheist?

          Playing the race card—nice one! Irrelevant, but you get points for inventing a variant of Godwin’s Law.

          How could I have possibly known that you were Asian? If “Widuran” is obviously an Asian name in some circles, it’s not in mine. All I know is that you’re near London.

        • Widuran

          You are clearly tolerating name calling so stop lying

          You demand rules of me (wonderful host) but do not meet them yourself. You are a hypocrite and prejudiced

        • Ah, more critique of tone. Helps you avoid making actual arguments, eh? You’re smart.

          You are clearly tolerating name calling

          That’s exactly what I just said, moron.

          You demand rules of me (wonderful host) but do not meet them yourself.

          Wrong again.

        • Widuran

          You are tolerating name calling and demand rules on me which you don’t meet yourself stop lying

        • Why are you here? What do you expect to accomplish?

          Looks to me like you want to be an asshole. Did I get that right?

        • Otto

          You are worried about name calling but think threatening people with harm is OK.

          You are pathetic

        • Widuran

          Stop lying I am threatening no one

        • Otto

          Yes you did…multiple times.

        • Widuran

          Yuo keep lying. I am not threatening anyway.

          I am repeating Gods word. It is definitely not me. Stop with the blatant lies if you can help it!

        • Otto

          Proxy threats are still threats

        • Widuran

          What is meat world?

        • Michael Neville

          I see you are a whiner as well as a bumpersticker-style preacher.

        • Widuran

          Sounds like you a whining like a piggy

        • I see you are the master of empty platitudes.

          Give us evidence–evidence of any of your nutty claims: Resurrection, God exists, heaven, and so on.

        • Widuran
        • “Case for Christ: the Movie”?? Oh, please. I respond here:

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2017/04/case-christ-now-movie/

        • Widuran

          Oh please yes I have read the article now

        • alverant

          Says the person who calls people “garbage”.

        • Widuran

          I said without God your life is garbage. Stop lying

        • Tommy

          Christ IS garbage.

        • Widuran

          That is your call but the truth is without Christ your life is Garbage despite your protests

        • Tommy

          So without garbage my life is Garbage? Good to know.

        • Widuran

          No without God your life is garbage. I assume you struggle with reading

        • alverant

          “No without God your life is garbage.”
          You repeating the same lie doesn’t make it true.

        • Widuran

          It is not a lie but you clearly lie when you say I call people Garbage

        • Tommy

          Since Jesus is God to Christians God is also garbage.

        • Widuran

          Sounds like your life is going the garbage route and you need God.

          Psalm 14:1
          The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”

          Do not continue in the ways of garbage (Satan) and follow Christ

        • Tommy

          Why do you keep offering me garbage? You believe in garbage based on a book of garbage. What’s wrong with you?

        • Widuran

          No your life is garbage without God

        • Tommy

          God doesn’t exist.

        • Widuran

          incorrect

        • Tommy

          Correct.

        • Widuran

          Incorrect again

        • Tommy

          Totally correct.

        • Widuran

          Christians were the ones to get rid of slavery first.

        • Tommy

          Too bad trolls like you didn’t get rid of.

        • Widuran

          eh?

        • epeeist

          Christians were the ones to get rid of slavery first.

          They were? I think there might be a few Japanese out there that would disagree.

        • Widuran

          The Chrisitians were the first to abolish slavery this is a fact

        • Widuran
        • Tommy

          YOU watch it and enjoy.

        • Widuran

          Yes you are scared

        • Tommy

          You wish.

        • Widuran

          you are scared to look at the video. LOLOL

        • Tommy

          Sure, whatever you say.

        • Widuran

          Chicken

        • Tommy

          Troll

        • Widuran

          Yes you are a troll as you are too scared to look at videos which disprove your points

        • Widuran

          Correct

        • Tommy

          Great, you finally agree it’s correct that God doesn’t exist.

        • Widuran

          Nope God exists. If you say God does not exist it means you are incorrect

        • Tommy

          Yes God doesn’t exist. If you say God does exist it means you are incorrect.

        • Widuran

          No I am correct

        • Tommy

          No, you are a troll.

        • epeeist

          No, you are a troll

          He is the kind of preacher you see outside shopping malls, bible in hand proclaiming the love of Jebus. The kind of preacher that people cross the road in order to avoid.

        • Widuran

          No you are the troll

    • Otto

      Religious glurge…

      • Greg G.

        With Christ, you are doomed to wander the internet for eternity, posting unpunctuated drivel.

      • Widuran

        Nope not following Christ is garbage

        • Otto

          I can’t follow someone who is dead.

        • Widuran

          Christ is well and truly alive

        • Otto

          Talk is cheap…pictures or it didn’t happen.

        • Widuran

          https://www.ancient.eu/Jesus_Christ/

          Historically he existed.

        • Otto

          Ummm…I never said he didn’t exist, I said he wasn’t alive now. Are you really that dishonest?

        • Widuran

          I am stating facts I never made a claim on what you said. You have proven your dishonesty.

        • epeeist

          I am stating facts

          You gave a reference to a film, hardly something that counts as “facts”.

        • Widuran

          A film based on facts.

          I wonder if you are brave enough to look into Jesus like the former Atheist did…..

        • epeeist

          A film based on facts.

          So hearsay built upon hearsay. You have a strange definition of facts.

        • Widuran

          You do not believe biographies then. That is strange

        • epeeist

          You do not believe biographies then.

          Believe? No, I provisionally accept them based on a number of factors.

          But your film isn’t a biography, as I said it is hearsay built upon the hearsay of the gospels.

          If you want to make the claim that the bible is biographical and historical then the same claim can be made about other “holy books”.

        • Widuran

          No the film is based on an atheist looking to disprove Christ through evidence and God converting him to becoming a Christian.

        • epeeist

          No the film is based on an atheist looking to disprove Christ

          So it’s a story, not factual, As I said, you have a strange idea as to what constitutes fact.

        • Widuran

          It is factual. You clearly do not like biographies as I have proven

        • Ignorant Amos

          Saying Jesus is well and truly alive is the lie…you are the dishonest one.

        • Widuran

          Nope it is not a lie at all. No one can find the body!

        • Ignorant Amos

          Nope it is not a lie at all.

          Until you can demonstrate that someone can live for 2 millennia, not only are you lying, you are being a dopey fuckwit.

          No one can find the body!

          Hardly surprising, given that he was just a character in a story book.

          There are 72,337 names of WW1 service men on the Thiepval Memorial near the Somme, names of those whose bodies can’t be found, and that is only the tip of the iceberg…I guess given your befuddled logic they must all still be alive? Wise up ya clown.

        • Widuran

          Jesus is alive. I am not a liar

          https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/jesus-christ-alive-and-with-us-to-the-end

          And as proven no one can find the body

          The fact you have resorted to name calling again proves you are ignorant army amos

        • Ignorant Amos

          Jesus is alive.

          Repeating the same fuckwittery makes it no less fuckwittery.

          I am not a liar

          You’re either a liar, intensely stupid, or both…which is it?

          https://www.desiringgod.org

          Yeah…I get it…there are other gullible eejits that believe the same nonsense that you do…not all that impressive though.

          In other news…more gullible eejits…

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_flat_Earth_societies

          And as proven no one can find the body

          Like I said, not very impressive…when we can’t find the bodies of people that are known to have really lived, finding the body of one that might well didn’t, ain’t very surprising.

          In other news…as proven no one can find the body of Dionysus…

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dionysus#Death_and_Resurrection

          I guess Dionysus is alive and well somewhere too…Dime Bar.

          The fact you have resorted to name calling again proves you are ignorant army amos

          That you don’t even see the irony in that comment demonstrates how much of a dopey fuckwit you are ffs.

          We are not impressed by dopey fuckwits that have nothing but tone trolling to add to the debate.

          I fully admit to being ignorant about most things, my moniker is what it is for a reason. Dopey fuckwits like you usually take a wee bit longer to get hooked, line and sinker on it. Kudos for being even more of a dopey fuckwit than I previously believed.

          I might be ignorant, but ignorance can be alleviated, you’ll always be a dopey fuckwit while believing nonsense.

        • Otto

          You are stating a fact as a response to something I never disputed…quit being an asshat

        • Widuran

          Oh dear now you resort to name calling. Shows you have lost the debate.

        • Otto

          There is no debate…you haven’t said anything other than made threats on behalf of the ‘loving’ God you have created in your mind. You HAVE acted like a jackass…and that is plainly evident.

        • Widuran

          Oh dear you lose the debate and call me names as you do not like what I say. It is evident that you have acted like the jackass

        • Otto

          I never threatened you on behalf of a god…you don’t get much worse than that.

        • You pray to Jesus with that mouth?

        • Widuran

          Yes but the fact you support name calling means you have proven your moral hypocrisy. One rule for me and another for others who you agree with

        • No, the same set of rules. You want to call names? Go ahead. But of course that won’t help the actual problem, which is you not making meaningful arguments.

          Do you not understand what this is? This is a blog that critiques Christianity. The readers value intellectual discussion. I start the conversation off with a post, and then they can agree or disagree, they can point out evidence and argument that supports my point or that attacks it. It’s not just Christians who disagree with me; the atheist commenters are quick to point out errors or different interpretations, and that’s great.

          “Jesus is alive” or “You’re going to hell” adds nothing. See the problem?

        • Widuran

          You are the one calling names and encouraging name calling when you are a so called debate blogger. LOL

        • Greg G.

          You started it with your vacuous comments and tacit threats while never attempting to debate. When asked for evidence, you provided an article that does not provide evidence and doesn’t pretend that Jesus was historical either.

        • Widuran

          Stop lying and saying I am making threats.

          You are not attempting to debate but rather lie and slander. Perhaps this is your style of debating but it belongs in the playground.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Christ is alive – look up what Christ means.

        • Otto

          Christians believe Christ is alive

          …these are not the same things

        • alverant

          Christ isn’t a person, it’s a title. Look it up.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Exactly

        • So did Joseph Smith. Does that mean Mormonism is correct? If Mohammed existed, does that mean that Islam is correct?

        • Widuran

          There is no evidence of Jesus appearing in America so Mormonism is incorrect.

          You are correct Mohammaed did exist. Is Islam correct. Read the Quran and see for yourself. In fact I will help you. Is this all correct?

          10 reasons why the Quran is not from Allah / God

          #10
          Verse 27:91 reads “For me, I have been commanded to serve the Lord of this city.” If these are the words of Allah, then it would mean that someone is ‘commanding’ him to serve another god. The verse only makes sense if Muhammad is speaking from his own perspective.

          (This would also explain why “Allah” takes an oath to Allah in no fewer than seven other verses).

          #9
          According to the sahih (authentic) hadith, Muhammad believed that the sun set each day in a spring of water. As the creator, God would know the truth.

          So… whose version made it into the Quran? Muhammad’s, of course! (see verse 18:86) He was the one who wrote the Quran – not God.

          #8
          So much of the Quran is devoted to redundant claims and threats about Muhammad’s status as a prophet, yet there is not a single original moral value. Nowhere does it tell men not to rape women or refrain from sex with children. In fact, it gives men permission to rape their slaves and implies that sex with children is permissible (verse 65:4).

          Wouldn’t a perfect book teach perfect morality?

          #7
          Despite being a relatively small book, the Quran contains unnecessary repitition. Moses is mentioned 136 times. Some passages of misquoted Bible stories are nearly word-for-word identical (eg. Suras 20 & 26).

          Why would God waste space saying essentially the same thing about something obscure when he could have offered clear moral principles about peace, tolerance (or a law against sex with children)?

          #6
          The Quran confuses Mary the mother of Jesus with Mary the sister of Aaron (and Moses) in Sura 19.

          Despite tortured apologetics, the simplest and most obvious explanation is that Muhammad was mistaken. This would also explain why the Quran that he narrated erroneously states that Christians worship the Virgin Mary as a god (5:75, 5:116) when they never have.

          #5
          The Quran tells Muslim men that they may have sex with women captured as slaves. Even worse: the passage is repeated in four different places. By contrast, there is not a single verse that tells Muslims that they are to pray five times a day.

          #4
          The Quran says that it is “clear”, but then says elsewhere (3:7) that only Allah understands the meaning of some verses (which begs the question of why they are there). It says that it explains “all things” (16:89), but then tells Muslims to follow the example of Muhammad (33:21) – without saying what that is.

          In practical terms, it is impossible to understand the Quran without references to external sources such as the Hadith and Sira (usually laid out in voluminous footnotes). Yet these sources are often contradictory and almost never agreed on.

          Even in the Quran, devout Muslim scholars infer dramatically different meanings from the same verses. For example, most interpretations of 38:33 say that Solomon slashed at his own horses, severing their legs and necks. However, some contemporary translators, including one of the most respected (Yusuf Ali) say that Solomon really just passed his hand over their bodies in a loving way.

          More alarming (and unfortunately more typical) are verses like 5:33, which mandates crucifying those who “wage war on Allah”… without really explaining what this means.

          #3
          Unlike the Old Testament prophets, Muhammad narrated petty defenses of his claim as a prophet (and even his own sanity) that are remarkably redundant.

          For example, no fewer than 8 passages (83:13, 27:68, 46:17, 16:24, 6:25, 26:137, 25:5 and 23:83) say that “Allah’s messenger” is accused of repeating “tales of the ancients,” but that anyone who doesn’t believe him will burn in Hell. Why wouldn’t Allah just say it once and then use the remaining space for something more edifying?

          Isn’t this more of what one would expect from an overly-defensive poseur than from an eternal revelation of God to man?

          #2
          The Quran says that written copies of the Bible (Torah and Gospel) existed at the time of Muhammad (29:46, 3:3, 3:78) and a great many verses “confirm” that those copies are true (even if the Jews and Christians were later accused of misinterpreting them “with their tongues”). Parts of the Quran obviously rely on the Bible for completeness and many verses insist that the Word of God cannot be changed or corrupted.

          Here’s the problem:

          There are hundreds of New Testament manuscripts that pre-date the time of Muhammad, all discovered at different times and different places by different people. There are hundreds more of the Torah. All agree almost perfectly with the modern version of the Bible, which contradicts the Quran.

          At the same time, not a single copy or fragment of either the Torah or Gospel from any era has ever been found which deviates in a way that agrees with the Quran.

          How is that the “true” Bible – the one that supposedly confirms the Quran – never survived in any form, while so many “corrupted” copies did?

          Isn’t it more likely that Muhammad simply made it up as he went along and later accused Christians and Jews as a cover story for his own mistakes?

          #1
          As mentioned, despite being a small book, the Quran is supposed to be the timeless, unchangeable word of God. Why would God use precious and valuable space on the personal life of one man – the same one who happens to be narrating the “revelation”?

          Consider verse 33:53:
          O you who believe! Enter not the Prophet’s houses, except when leave is given to you for a meal, (and then) not (so early as) to wait for its preparation. But when you are invited, enter, and when you have taken your meal, disperse, without sitting for a talk. Verily, such (behaviour) annoys the Prophet, and he is shy of (asking) you (to go), but Allah is not shy of (telling you) the truth.
          That has to be immortalized on a tablet in heaven?

          Substantial portions of the Quran (particularly suras 33 and 66) are equally self-serving and address the sex, money or respect from his wives to which Muhammad is entitled. Moreover, several such passages are repetitive.

          Couldn’t Allah have thought of a more important message for mankind than telling us (several times over) that Muhammad may sleep with an unlimited number of women?

        • alverant

          “There is no evidence of Jesus appearing so christianity is incorrect.”
          FIFY!

        • Widuran

          You are still incorrect

        • Ah, so you’re a man who follows the evidence. That’s great. Now read some of the other posts at this blog. I suggest you click on the All Posts tab at the top and browse to find arguments that intrigue you.

          Apply some of the same critical thinking that dismissed Islam and Mormonism to your own worldview.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Nah…he might not have, so a statement not in evidence.

        • Widuran

          You ignore historical facts due to your bias

        • Ignorant Amos

          You’ve presented no historical “facts” though, so pah!

        • Widuran

          oh dear. You are indeed triggered

        • Widuran

          I have you ignore it army boy

        • KenderJ

          Prove it.

        • Widuran

          Just have here is more

          https://www.allaboutjesuschrist.org/historical-and-scientific-proof-of-jesus-faq.htm

          It is interesting that when people seek historic and scientific proof of Jesus, they immediately discount the Bible as a reliable source.

          If we look at the Bible simply as a historic document, it should be among the most reliable on record compared with others.

          Historians routinely cite Herodotus as a key source of information. He wrote from 488 B.C. to 428 B.C. and the earliest copy of his work comes from 900 A.D. (1,300 years later). There are only eight known copies of his work.

          By contrast, the New Testament of the Bible (with all its information about Jesus) was written between 40 A.D. and 100 A.D. The earliest known copy is from 130 A.D. and there are 5,000 known copies in Greek, 10,000 in Latin and 9,300 in other languages.

          Still, to put to rest the notion that there is no historic and scientific proof of Jesus outside the Bible, we may look to Jewish historian Flavius Josephus and to Roman historian Carius Cornelius Tacitus – both well known and accepted.

          Josephus, in the book Jewish Antiquities” wrote:

          “At that time lived Jesus, a wise man, if he may be called a man; for he performed many wonderful works. He was a teacher of such men as received the truth with pleasure. . . .And when Pilate, at the instigation of the chief men among us, had condemned him to the cross, they who before had conceived an affection for him did not cease to adhere to him. For on the third day he appeared to them alive again, the divine prophets having foretold these and many other wonderful things concerning him. And the sect of the Christians, so called from him, subsists at this time” (Antiquities, Book 18, Chapter 3, Section 1).

          Tacitus, in writing about accusations that Nero burned the city of Rome and blamed it on Christians, said the following:

          “. . .Nero procured others to be accused, and inflicted exquisite punishment upon those people, who were in abhorrence for their crimes, and were commonly known by the name of Christians. They had their denomination from Christus (Christ, dm.), who in the reign of Tibertius was put to death as a criminal by the procurator Pontius Pilate. . . .At first they were only apprehended who confessed themselves of that sect; afterwards a vast multitude discovered by them, all of which were condemned, not so much for the crime of burning the city, as for their enmity to mankind. . . .” (Tacitus, Annals, 15, 44).

        • MR

          He went from “well and truly alive” to “historically he existed….” We seem to be moving in the wrong direction! I mean, if you have to point to a story 2,000 years ago for someone who supposedly is “well and truly alive today,” well…, you’ve kind of already admitted defeat.

        • Pofarmer

          Soon, you’ll be to “more than likely he existed” Then wellllll………..

          The funny thing is, Tom Harpur thinks that a Christianity that focuses on the spritual Jesus is much better off than the one focused on the literal, walking around Jesus. And he thinks Jesus is a myth. Much like Fr. Thomas Brodie, who remained a Catholic Priest even after he figured out that the figure of Jesus was a myth.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Dopey fuckwit.

        • Widuran

          Yep you have been triggered by the truth

        • Ignorant Amos

          You wouldn’t know the truth if it jumped up and bit ya on yer arsehole, ya Dime Bar.

        • Widuran

          Oh dear mr army triggered is using insults yet again

        • Ignorant Amos

          Triggered? You are definitely a wee bit special. Time to give the home schooling a pass, it is obviously detrimental to your ability to think.

          If my making a truthful observation is insulting, then the truth hurts, best ya grow a thicker skin or fuck off.

          In the meantime, you admit that you’re just here trolling?

        • Widuran

          No it is you who is trolling. You are triggered by the truth and the fact I wont let a pretend army boy ( but keyboard warrior) bully me. LOL

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          If there was ever an angry little troll, it’s you mate – that’s so obvious. It seems something has triggered you and you get all defensive when anyone doesn’t fit into your little dogmatic view of the world. Reality is a bit more complex than that old sport

        • Ignorant Amos

          Supervise award winning PhD’s, my arse.

          If there was ever an angry little troll, it’s you mate – that’s so obvious.

          Nope…something you continually fail to demonstrate ya fucktard.

          While you two fuckwits have fulfilled the criteria of troll to a tee.

          It seems something has triggered you…

          The regulars here will attest to this being the usual me…no triggering being done.

          …and you get all defensive when anyone doesn’t fit into your little dogmatic view of the world.

          I’ve no need to get defensive because I don’t have a “little dogmatic view of the world”…that’s you fuckwits.

          What I will hold my hands up to is attacking the imbecilic religious mindwankery of religitards who pitch up here spewing there nonsense…and vacuous trolls who also come along with nothing.

          Reality is a bit more complex than that old sport

          Hmmmm…Well we’ll not get much of that complexity from you as you’ve offered nothing worthwhile so far. But the optimist in me is ever hopeful.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Ooh, someone got upset when they didn’t get to control someone else I see – sorry to have made you feel sad and grumpy because I didn’t lay down at your feet and grovel in obedience.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Bwaaahahaha…so you’ve still got nothing…go sit at the children’s table until you can think of something constructive to say ya dopey Dime Bar.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          Amos, sounds like you need to go and have a lie down, or chat with a friend – maybe a hug.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Nah…am good.

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          And yes, my PhD students have created award-winning PhD theses. If you can’t handle facts, you should probably not try and handle a computer.

        • Ignorant Amos

          An assertion is not a fact…so pah!

        • Rob don’t tolerate intolerance

          It’s a fact, dude. Check for yourself.

        • Widuran

          Lol you are a comedienne

        • alverant

          Prove it.

        • Widuran

          I know him and we cannot find the body and many died for the faith. Why die for a lie

        • Who died to protect the good name of Jesus? Be specific, and tell me how you know.

          Or was this just meant to be a meme that you repeat mindlessly without knowing if it’s justified?

        • Widuran

          Even now atheists and muslims and other faiths are killing Christians.

          https://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/8380/double-the-number-of-christians-killed-worldwide-last-year

        • You’re changing the subject. You’re talking about people persecuted today, which tells us nothing about the reliability of Christianity’s claims. You had been arguing about the disciples dying to defend Christianity’s claims, remember?

          I respond to that argument here:
          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2015/01/who-would-die-for-a-lie-another-weak-christian-argument/

        • Widuran

          You threaten to ban me yet beg me to read your articles. How strange

        • You make pointless small talk and schoolyard taunts and yet you ask me why I would possibly want to ban you.

          After I make clear several times what I’m looking for, you ignore me. You don’t even respond directly to what I’m asking for.

          When I serve up for you a simple way for you to engage thoughtfully–since you’d brought up “Why would they die for a lie?” I gave you my response for you to critique–you ignore it.

          How strange. Maybe this isn’t the blog for you.

        • Widuran

          You are the one making schoolyard taunts and supporting others doing the same. You ignore me and have blatant double standards due to your prejudice.

          You demand me to not post links as evidence and then post links yourself. This is your double standard and prejudice all based on bigotry. There can be no other explanation for such blatant hypocrisy and double standards

        • No, another explanation comes to mind–your stupidity.

        • Widuran

          Yes you are bigotted

        • Susan

          Maybe this isn’t the blog for you.

          It’s not. He is here to preach. Not to discuss. Please ban him.

          He is contributing nothing to discussion.

        • Otto

          ’87 strikes and your out’ rule.

    • Damien Priestly

      Everybody has GPS on their phone now !!

      • Widuran

        Lost spiritually. Without Christ when you die you end up in hellfire

        • Otto

          Ohhh…A Proxy Threat!

          Is your big brother going to beat us all up too?

          Most people grew out of that type of behavior by the time they are 12…

        • Greg G.

          I grew out of it months ago.

        • Otto

          You turned 12 months ago?

        • Greg G.

          Yes, I even turned twelve seconds ago… nearly 50 years worth of seconds.

        • Otto

          Nearly 50 years…I got at least a year on you. Whippersnapper

        • Greg G.

          I hope to live a long life but to never catch up with you.

        • Widuran

          I am repeating what God says. It is not MY threat. Insults get you nowhere

        • Sophotroph

          You’ve made it your threat by repeating it.

          This is all tiresome. Atheists won ages ago. We challenged Christianity to demonstrate its claims. It failed. It has failed every single time without exception for two thousand years.

          You had your chance to convince us, you had nothing, and now you’re being replaced by a wiser and freer kind of people.

          Christianity’s feeble attempts to force us to join them have only guaranteed its eventual destruction.

        • Widuran

          It is Gods views not mine so stop with the dishonesty

          You mean atheists like ao Tse Tung sure sure

        • Otto
        • Widuran

          Name calling by you means nothing.

          What Christ says about me!

          Matthew 5:11 “How blessed you are when people insult you and persecute you and tell all kinds of vicious lies about you because you follow me!

        • Otto

          Ah yes…another Christian that just LOVES to think they are being persecuted…we haven’t seen that one before.

        • Damien Priestly

          But I’m dead…what if I’m already cremated? Hellfire only going keep the already charred ashes, hot.

        • Widuran

          You are clearly not dead so you are talking porkies

        • I was on the fence, but once you bring up Jesus’s most loving invention, roasting people forever in hellfire, you won me over!

          I’m a sucker for the love of Jesus.

        • Susan

          I’m a sucker for the love of Jesus.

          Me too.

          Call me sentimental but…

          Who can help getting a warm, mushy feeling on the inside

          about warm, excruciating torture on the outside?

          For infinity?

          Widuran’s got me all teared up.

        • Widuran

          If your Father tells you to not jump in a river because you cannot swim and you ignore your father and jump in a river and drown the fault is yours not the Father.

        • I could say the same to you about your foolishly ignoring the wisdom of the Prophet. Or Joseph Smith.

          You’ll be sorry.

        • Widuran

          So you have nothing

        • In the argument for religions, yes, I have nothing. My argument was a parallel version of yours, which is also nothing.

        • Tommy

          Hellfire was put out when drunk atheists kept urinating on it.

        • Widuran

          Drunk atheists would be destroyed so would not be urinating on anything

        • Tommy

          So you’ve been in Hell to verify this?

        • Widuran

          Nope but I believe God not a random boy/man/girl/woman on the internet

        • Tommy

          A random boy/man/girl/woman wrote the Bible.

        • Widuran

          God wrote the Bible through humans

        • Tommy

          God doesn’t exist.

        • Widuran

          Yes he does

        • Tommy

          No he doesn’t.

        • Widuran

          You are wrong again

        • Tommy

          I stand correct.

        • Widuran

          You are incorrect again

        • Tommy

          God is as real as Batman.

        • You’re giving us theology. We want evidence.

        • Widuran

          You are threatening to ban me so why should I give any evidence you demand?

        • Is this a trick question? Because if you move from random theological claims to thoughtful arguments, I won’t have cause to ban you!

        • KenderJ

          What were these guys smoking when god wrote the bible through them? Was it the same stuff Joseph Smith was smoking when he “translated” the golden plates?

        • Widuran

          The Holy Spirit not a smoke

        • So God is all love and wants us everyone to be saved, but if we do not accept him (and there’re a number of reasons, one of them apologists like you who come here attempting to convert skeptics that way) we’ll forever burn in Hell. This is not love at all and is much more like North Korean propaganda, nor gives purpose at all to have “free will”.

          Do you have, by the way, other sources than the Bible to support these claims?. Have you bothered to read what has the Bible to say about the “eternal life” God offers, that is now is not so pretty as it looks?

          Maybe you could also explain why the book has not received upgrades in so many centuries, and why there were so many gospels -and the inconsistences among the four of them that were selected-.

        • Widuran

          oh dear what a poor statement.

          So if you cannot swim and you father tells you not to jump in a swimming pool as you would drown. If you do jump in and drown and die it is the fathers fault because you ignored your father.

          The same is true with God.

        • That father does not create a Hell to send those who ignore him, nor at the same time claims to be omnibenevolent. Try better with less faulty arguments.

        • Widuran

          My arguments are excellent. I assume you think everyone should go to heaven no matter what they have done and no matter if they believe their real father or not.

          No your arguments are very faulty

        • No, yours are the faulty ones. There’s just to begin with a subtle difference between punishing someone an eternity and just for a time. Not even Hitler, Pol Pot, or Stalin deserve an eternity of suffering. Maybe you could research what’s the Problem of Evil, what’s Zoroastrism -where some of those ideas come from but at least were more proportionated there-, and how things were different in the OT.

          Maybe that “real father” could also bring better arguments of its existence than a book and people like you attempting to convert others who have reasons to have turned back with just threats.

        • Widuran

          Actually the Bible says Hellfire is a second death everlasting destruction. Ie cessation

          Revelation 21:8 l: “The cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars – their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

        • So you’re an annihilationist?. Yeah, God is all-loving and does not try better to save people of someone who has created himself.

          Maybe you’d also read in more depth that part of the Bible and see who’s sending all that destruction (ie: is supposed to be all-loving and back in Exodus hardened the Pharaoh’s heart to be harsher against Israelites and ordered the slaughtering of entire communities)

        • Widuran

          People send themselves to Hellfire by ignoring their true father.

          Some Bible teaching on your good question on Pharoah from Got questions

          Question: “Why did God harden Pharaoh’s heart?”

          Answer: Exodus 7:3-4 says, “But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt he will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my people the Israelites.” It seems unjust for God to harden Pharaoh’s heart and then to punish Pharaoh and Egypt for what Pharaoh decided when his heart was hardened. Why would God harden Pharaoh’s heart just so He could judge Egypt more severely with additional plagues?

          First, Pharaoh was not an innocent or godly man. He was a brutal dictator overseeing the terrible abuse and oppression of the Israelites, who likely numbered over 1.5 million people at that time. The Egyptian pharaohs had enslaved the Israelites for 400 years. A previous pharaoh—possibly even the pharaoh in question—ordered that male Israelite babies be killed at birth (Exodus 1:16). The pharaoh God hardened was an evil man, and the nation he ruled agreed with, or at least did not oppose, his evil actions.

          Second, on least a couple occasions, Pharaoh hardened his own heart against letting the Israelites go: “But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart” (Exodus 8:15). “But this time also Pharaoh hardened his heart” (Exodus 8:32). It seems that God and Pharaoh were both active in one way or another in the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart. As the plagues continued, God gave Pharaoh increasingly severe warnings of the final judgment to come. Pharaoh chose to bring further judgment on himself and his nation by hardening his own heart against God’s commands.

          It could be that, as a result of Pharaoh’s hard-heartedness, God hardened Pharaoh’s heart even further, allowing for the last few plagues and bringing God’s full glory into view (Exodus 9:12; 10:20, 27). Pharaoh and Egypt had brought these judgments on themselves with 400 years of slavery and mass murder. Since the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), and Pharaoh and Egypt had horribly sinned against God, it would have been just if God had completely annihilated Egypt. Therefore, God’s hardening Pharaoh’s heart was not unjust, and His bringing additional plagues against Egypt was not unjust. The plagues, as terrible as they were, actually demonstrate God’s mercy in not completely destroying Egypt, which would have been a perfectly just penalty.

          Romans 9:17-18 declares, “For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: ‘I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.’ Therefore God has mercy on whom He wants to have mercy, and He hardens whom He wants to harden.” From a human perspective, it seems wrong for God to harden a person and then punish the person He has hardened. Biblically speaking, however, we have all sinned against God (Romans 3:23), and the just penalty for that sin is death (Romans 6:23). Therefore, God’s hardening and punishing a person is not unjust; it is actually merciful in comparison to what the person deserves.

        • Read Exodus 7:3 and see how in Exodus 1:9 how the Pharaoh recognizes they’re more and mightier. Maybe you could also explain why God lets the Egyptians kill so many people and does not act earlier on. Odd from an omnipotent deity.

          Maybe you could also respond to my questions why an all-loving deity would kill someone or create Hell. Same to what happens in the BoR.

        • Widuran

          We are not Robots controlled by God. Do you want to be controlled? That isnt a father child relationship

          We all deserve Hell. That is the point but through faith in Christ we get saved

        • Keep hammering the same BS. A so called all-loving deity would at worst put a proportionated punishment, not stuff that lasts an eternity, something you’re showing not to understand, as not responding to some points I left above.

          If we’re deserving to Hell is God’s fault. An omnipotent deity would have done things much better back in the Garden of Eden putting a friggin’ tree in the middle of it knowing sooner or later Adam and/or Eve would fall to the trap.

        • Widuran

          You do not like facts so you call it BS. The only BS is what you are coming up with as you think you are a sinless wonder. You think you are better then God.

        • Nope, I think you are sprouting nonsense attempting to justify something full of holes. Face it.

        • Widuran

          Nope you are sprouting nonsense as you think your morality is better than Gods

        • That same God who kills in the Bible far more people than the supposed bad guy, Satan, and in Job appears to be friends with the latter?. In that case, yes.

        • Widuran

          No Satan is the murderer.

          John 8:44 New International Version (NIV)
          44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

        • You do not explain what happens with God and Satan in Job, nor who has the highest frag count in the Bible. Does it mean that book is wrong?.

        • Widuran

          Got questions again is best

          uestion: “Was it unfair for God to allow Job to suffer over what was basically an argument between God and Satan?”

          Answer: A surface reading of the book of Job usually evokes a reaction such as “Why is God making a ‘bet’ with the devil? God is being unfair to Job!” If we are honest and not just trying to defend God, He seems at first like some kind of cosmic ogre. God not only wagered Satan over the outcome of Job’s trials, but He actually provoked the bet (Job 1–2). To make matters worse, Job never finds out why he was afflicted in the first place. This is very disturbing for those who hope to see God as just, gracious and loving and not just “playing” with us as if we were pawns on a chessboard. So, in a way, the story of Job puts God on trial. To really understand what is going on in Job, we need to evaluate how this “trial” is litigated in the book’s argument.

          On the surface, when God finally “testifies” in Job 38–42, the way He “grills” Job may seem to suggest that God is “against” Job rather than “for” him. The God-speeches are notable for their deep sarcasm, as if God were simply highlighting Job’s cluelessness (Job 38–39). However, a deeper look reveals a more redemptive dynamic in this trial: first, Job’s friend Elihu actually serves under the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, both as Job’s advocate before God and God’s advocate before Job (Job 32–37); second, we find that God indeed did express His love to Job, both in His speeches (Job 38–41) and in finally vindicating Job. God confirms that Job had spoken “what was right” about Him, whereas his first three friends had not (42:7).

          As Job and his friends debate God’s fairness, it becomes apparent that all of them basically believe in the doctrine of “retribution theology”—every act receives just punishment or reward in this present life, so we should be able to tell who is righteous or wicked by whether they are visibly blessed or cursed on earth. This is a false doctrine, but Job thought it should be true and went on the offensive, charging God with injustice and calling for a trial (Job 29–31). Surprisingly, God condescends and agrees to be put on trial. The speeches in Job 38–41 actually consist of God’s testimony in His own defense. In the “trial” we see that Job has no legal standing to convict God. Job cannot demonstrate how God runs the universe, so he cannot present any evidence of injustice (chapters 38–39). Also, God establishes His absolute right to act as He sees fit. As proof, He points to two creatures—behemoth and leviathan—that mankind has no control over whatsoever and that answer only to God.

          Even before God shows up, Elihu makes the same points and argues that God is deeply redemptive in His dealings with man in spite of man’s notorious tendency toward self-destruction (32–37). Since God validates Elihu’s points (38–41), the adversarial tone in God’s answer to Job makes even more sense: throughout Job’s dialogue with his friends (4–27) and in his formal complaint to God (29–31), Job had assumed that God was unaware of what happened to him or that He was deliberately persecuting him or that Job had inadvertently sinned and God was not willing to tell him what the problem was. Job thought he was being punished entirely out of proportion to any conceivable offense he may have committed. In fact, Job questions God incessantly throughout the dialogue. His protest climaxes in a direct indictment of God on the charge of injustice (29–31).

          So what did Job “get right” (42:7)? The upshot of the trial is that Job finally sees that God’s governance of the universe is much more wonderful than he could have imagined, and he openly concedes this (42:2-5); so this is what Job spoke about God that was “right” (42:7). Now, it is absolutely crucial to note the sequence of events at this point: it is only when Job obeys God and intercedes on behalf of his three friends—who had now become his enemies—that God actually blesses Job with a twofold inheritance (42:8-17). This “reward” was not at all some kind of “consolation prize” for Job’s unfair treatment; rather, it was the inheritance God promises to all who serve faithfully as redemptive agents of the Creator (cf. Daniel 12:3). Job obeyed God and was rewarded for his obedience.

          In the end, God’s wager with Satan actually achieved an incredible coup: He harnessed evil and turned it to good (cf. Genesis 50:20), and He transformed Job into the most effective servant of all, one who took on God’s own redemptive character and loved his enemies. And this, in fact, is our take-home lesson from Job.

        • You do not reply to why God and Satan appear there as good pals, but knowing how Satan in Judaism is a quite different figure than in Christianity is easy to guess why you do not bother to. Nor to the question of who has the highest frag count there, in the book and that a reply you gave above gives the impression of said book being faulty and a work of the Devil

        • Widuran

          God and Satan are not good pals that is your poor reading

          The Satan in Judaism and Christianity are the same it is clear you are making things up

          Highest frag count is a joke. How many insects have you killed?

          The Bible is not faulty and it is not the work of the Devil. Do you believe in Satan then? You are saying something is the work of the Devil. If so what are your plans to escape the devil?

        • How many insects have you killed too?. I’ve at least grow past the epoch of killing/torturing small animals for fun.

        • Widuran

          I dont kill animals for fun. I have no idea.

          How many insects have you killed?

        • How many you too?. Don’t evade the question, as I’m pretty sure I’ll have killed much less insects than people killed by your God. And insects are thought not to feel pain, unlike persons.

        • Widuran

          I have said I do not know.

          Your turn. How many insects have you killed?

        • Considerably less than the persons (and presumably insects, etc. as collateral damages) your friend has killed or ordered to kill according to that book.

        • Widuran

          So you have no answer yet you want me to count how many God has killed compared to Satan. You have no idea

        • That is in the Bible. You’re the one who’s clueless.

        • Widuran

          You are clueless. You do not know the Bible

        • Whatever you say. Blocked and go trolling elsewhere, moron. I’ve had too much patience with you.

          Sorry about the mess.

        • Widuran

          Oh dear running away after losing an argument. YOU are the troll

        • And this is the conversation you bring. You’re a waste of space.

          Convince me that I shouldn’t ban you.

        • Widuran

          You lie about me and threaten me with banning just because I bring facts and a different view. And you justify name calling

        • Facts? A different viewpoint? Sure, bring them. You haven’t so far. The schoolyard argument isn’t helpful.

        • Widuran

          I have but you still deny it

        • BlackMamba44
        • Widuran

          oh dear

        • BlackMamba44

          Yeah. You should be questioning your god’s omnis.

        • Widuran

          He is God! Praise him !

        • BlackMamba44

          No thanks. I prefer reality.

        • Widuran

          God is reality. He has even answered some prayers for me today!

        • BlackMamba44
        • Widuran

          Insults by pics. cute

        • BlackMamba44
        • Widuran

          you have been busy. I assume you agree that abortion is murder?

        • BlackMamba44
        • Widuran

          Is abortion murder? Do you allow babies to live?

        • BlackMamba44
        • Widuran

          Psalm 14 English Standard Version (ESV)
          The Fool Says, There Is No God
          To the choirmaster. Of David.
          14 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
          They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds;
          there is none who does good.

          2 The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man,
          to see if there are any who understand,[a]
          who seek after God.

          3 They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt;
          there is none who does good,
          not even one.

          4 Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers
          who eat up my people as they eat bread
          and do not call upon the Lord?

          5 There they are in great terror,
          for God is with the generation of the righteous.
          6 You would shame the plans of the poor,
          but[b] the Lord is his refuge.

          7 Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
          When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people,
          let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.

        • Matthew 5:22:

          But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

          Remember who came here without being invited and with prepotence.

        • Widuran

          Yes I am not not angry. You on the other hand sound triggered ie angry. Jesus condemns you. Repent before it is too late!

        • Too late for what?. The Sun will not go red giant until seven billion years in the future.

        • Widuran

          Hell is real but perhaps cessation is attractive to you in the afterlife

        • Certainly more than the alternatives -both- you offer.

        • Widuran

          It is God not me

        • God or rather those who claim to be their middlemen using as justification one book?. There’s a big difference.

        • Kevin K
        • Repent? Why? You’re not repenting of the offenses you’ve made in front of Allah.

          You go first.

        • Widuran

          I already have. Your turn

        • I don’t believe you. Show me that you’ve properly repented to Allah.

          Be careful–it sounds like you’re a member of the Liars for Christ club.

        • Widuran

          I have just repented again this morning for sins last night (nothing to do with posts here)

          Prove your allegations. Otherwise you are a liar for the atheists club

        • I have just repented again this morning

          To Allah?

          Prove your allegations.

          What allegations?

        • Widuran

          That I have lied about repenting. How have I lied?

        • Widuran

          No holes at all

        • BlackMamba44

          I am better than your god. I would stop a child from being raped.

          Your god either can’t, which means he isn’t all powerful…

          Or he won’t, which means he’s sadistic.

          Fuck your god.

        • Widuran

          You keep bsing

        • Widuran

          Done but the politically correct people have warned my response as spam

        • alverant

          “the Bible says”
          So what? That doesn’t make it true.

        • Widuran

          Yes it does it is Gods word

        • KenderJ

          A good father wouldn’t take a child who couldn’t swim to the pool and then tell the kid to stay out of the pool. If a father actually did as you say, and stood there while his child drowned, he would most certainly be held responsible. Your analogy is not how a good parent behaves.

        • Widuran

          A good child would not ignore his father so my analogy strands

          The Father is not taking his child to the pool but cannot stop the child finding a pool.

          My analogy is exactly how a good parent behaves

        • alverant

          Evidence please!

        • Widuran

          Search him and you will find him

        • Kevin K
      • I don’t have a smartphone. Too much battery guzzlers -I prefer a simple Nokia dumbphone with juice for almost two weeks-.

    • Michael Neville

      There are large numbers of Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and other assorted unlost people who disagree.

      • Widuran

        They are all wrong

        • Damien Priestly

          Muslim Hell is actually worse than Christian Hell. You with Christ…that’s where you are going. It’s written in the Qurran…direct revelation from Allah.

          Advice…bring lots of Aloe-Vera and skin moisturizer.

        • Widuran

          Islam is a religion of Satan

          Ten Obvious Reasons Why
          Islam is Not a Religion of Peace

          #1

          18,000 deadly terror attacks committed explicitly in the name of Islam in just the last ten years. (Other religions combined for perhaps a dozen or so).

          #2

          Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, had people killed for insulting him or for criticizing his religion. This included women.

          Muslims are told to emulate the example of Muhammad.

          #3

          Muhammad said in many places that he has been “ordered by Allah to fight men until they testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is his messenger.” In the last nine years of his life, he ordered no less than 65 military campaigns to do exactly that.

          Muhammad inspired his men to war with the basest of motives, using captured loot, sex and a gluttonous paradise as incentives. He beheaded captives, enslaved children and raped women captured in battle. Again, Muslims are told to emulate the example of Muhammad.

          #4

          After Muhammad died, the people who lived with him and knew his religion best immediately fell into war with each other.

          Fatima, Muhammad’s favorite daughter, survived the early years among the unbelievers at Mecca safe and sound, yet died of stress from the persecution of fellow Muslims only six months after her father died. She even miscarried Muhammad’s grandchild after having her ribs broken by the man who became the second caliph.

          It was this same caliph, Umar, who ordered the death of the first convert to Islam at Medina, an elderly leader who became a close companion to Muhammad and proved his worth in battle. Sa’d ibn Ubadah was killed after a failed bid to be caliph.

          Fatima’s husband Ali, who was the second convert to Islam and was raised like a son to Muhammad, fought a civil war against an army raised by Aisha, Muhammad’s favorite wife – and one whom he had said was a “perfect woman.” 10,000 Muslims were killed in a single internal battle waged less than 25 years after Muhammad’s death.

          Three of the first four Muslim rulers (caliphs) were murdered. All of them were among Muhammad’s closest companions. The third caliph was killed by allies of the son of the first (who was murdered by the fifth caliph a few years later, then wrapped in the skin of a dead donkey and burned). The fourth caliph (Ali) was stabbed to death after a bitter dispute with the fifth. The fifth caliph went on to poison one of Muhammad’s two favorite grandsons. The other grandson was later beheaded by the sixth caliph.

          The infighting and power struggles between Muhammad’s family members, closest companions and their children only intensified with time. Within 50 short years of Muhammad’s death, even the Kaaba, which had stood for centuries under pagan religion, lay in ruins from internal Muslim war…

          And that’s just the fate of those within the house of Islam!

          #5

          Muhammad directed Muslims to wage war on other religions and bring them into submission to Islam. Within the first few decades following his death, his Arabian companions invaded and conquered Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist and Zoroastrian lands. A mere 25 years after Muhammad’s death, Muslim armies had captured land and people within the modern borders of over 28 countries outside of Saudi Arabia.

          #6

          Muslims continued their Jihad against other religions for 1400 years, checked only by the ability of non-Muslims to defend themselves. To this day, not a week goes by that Islamic fundamentalists do not attempt to kill Christians, Jews, Hindus and Buddhists explicitly in the name of Allah.

          None of these other religions are at war with each other.

          #7

          Islam is the only religion that has to retain its membership by formally threatening to kill anyone who leaves. This is according to the example set by Muhammad.

          #8

          Islam teaches that non-Muslims are less than fully human. Muhammad said that Muslims can be put to death for murder, but that a Muslim could never be put to death for killing a non-Muslim.

          #9

          The Quran never once speaks of Allah’s love for non-Muslims, but there are hundreds of verses that speak of Allah’s cruelty toward and hatred of non-Muslims.

          #10

          “Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!”
          (The last words from the cockpit of Flight 93)

        • Damien Priestly

          Didn’t read…Ugh, are you for real?

        • Widuran

          I read and I have told you that Islam is of Satan and therefore Islam Hell does not exist. Are you for real?

        • epeeist
        • Widuran

          Taking info from other sources is not lying. Why do you lie about others? Is this your tactic. If that is so you have no argument and have been rumbled.

        • epeeist

          Taking info from other sources is not lying.

          You will note that I said you stole from another site.

        • Widuran

          Using evidence is now theft. You are a joker

        • epeeist

          Using evidence is now theft.

          I am currently reading this book.

          If I were to copy large chunks of it and put it on a website as though it was my own work do you think the publisher would accept it or would he be likely to have me arraigned for copyright-theft.

          You copy-pasted material from someone else’s website, thereby committing theft and you provided no attribution, essentially claiming it as your own, this is lying.

          This makes two broken commandments.

        • Widuran

          Nope you are the liar and do not like looking at evidence. Your prejudice is obvious and you are clearly triggered by the facts I present.

        • epeeist

          Nope you are the liar and do not like looking at evidence.

          So first you steal and lie and then you try to avoid taking responsibility for your actions.

          I thought you Christians were supposed to be more moral than us atheists.

          Oh, and I see you also avoided answering the question I put to you.

        • Widuran

          You continue to lie and slander with no evidence and then you deny evidence is evidence.

          You have proven you have no morality and are a hypocrite accusing me of things you yourself are doing

        • epeeist

          So first you steal and lie, then you try to avoid taking responsibility for your actions then you make accusations against me when found out. I thought Matthew 5:22 had something to say on this front.

          And I see you have still avoided the question as to whether the publisher of a book would arraign me for copyright-theft.

        • Widuran

          I have not stolen or lied. You cannot prove your accusations which makes you a liar.

          You have proven you are a dishonest hypocrite.

        • epeeist

          I have not stolen or lied.

          I suggest that you look up the term “copyright theft”.

          Now I am a minor author having had small number of scientific papers and other articles published. The pre-prints always contain something like:

          Copyright © [Year] [Publisher]

          All rights of reproduction in any form reserved

          Which means that nobody can take my work, copy it and pass it off as their own.

          I am also a photographer and make sure that all my images are similarly marked with copyright and rights statements. That way in the unlikely case of someone copying my work then I have legal recourse.

          This is exactly what you did, you copied material from a website without permission (which is theft) and pasted it here without attribution, in essence passing it off as your own (which is lying).

          Having been caught out in this you are now attempting to claim this isn’t theft, which is another lie, and insulting the person who pointed out your transgressions. According to Matthew 5:22 this makes you “liable to the hell of fire”.

        • Widuran

          You are joke now using evidence and citing the source is theft.

          Posting links is theft.

          Basically you cannot debate anything using your crazy and dishonest logic.

        • Widuran

          Oh dear you are a liar and hypocrite

          YOU can use sources but not me.

          I just went with the quote, “the population of Germany was approximately 67% Protestant and 33% Catholic; while the Jewish population was less than 1%.”
          And once more you lie, what you said was:

          So, pre-Nazi Christians were 100%, and six years later they are 94.5%- a net loss.
          Not only do you drop the “approximately” from the source but you also miss the “better source needed” marker at the end of the sentence.

          You are not racist are you? As in you can use sources as the white man but I am not allowed… you know being called widuran and all….

        • epeeist

          YOU can use sources but not me.

          Oh anyone can use sources, you just aren’t allowed to copy the whole of them and pass them off as your own.

          You will note that a) I don’t do either of the above and b) I provide a link to the actual sources that I was using.

          However you thrash around it is still the case that you still stole material from somebody’s web site and passed it off as your own.

          You are not racist are you?

          Ah, whataboutery at its finest.

          As in you can use sources as the white man but I am not allowed… you know being called widuran and all

          Frankly I don’t care what colour, race, nationality or gender you are. My only concern is whether your arguments stand up to scrutiny or not, so far anything that you have presented that looks vaguely like an argument it is an abject failure in this department.

        • Widuran

          OH dear now you have been exposed you are not only lying but changing the rules. Where have I claimed this is my own? First lie

          Link or actual narrative is no difference it is clear you have double standards so why are you allowed but not me? Are you racially biased? The white man is allowed to do what he likes but the man with a foreign name must do what the white man says. Yes you are indeed racially biased. Unless you have other reasons for your blatant double standards?

          Your last para may or may not be true but the evidences shows you are telling porkies.

          So why do you have double standards?

          Why are you allowed to post evidence but not me?

        • epeeist

          Where have I claimed this is my own?

          You copied it, you did not acknowledge that you had copied it from someone else.

          Are you racially biased?

          So, you have no defence against your theft and dishonesty so you attempt to slur me as a racist. Once again I think Matthew 5:22 covers this.

        • Widuran

          You keep lying.

          Exodus 20:16

          “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

          Stop with your lies. Why do you lie and apply double standards? It must be because you do not like people with foreign names. You have to lie and apply double standards due to your prejudices. Shame on you!

        • epeeist

          You keep lying.

          I see desperation setting in.

          It must be because you do not like people with foreign names.

          I am coaching tonight (so I will be away fairly shortly). In my junior class I have two Muslim girls, a Hindu girl and a Chinese boy from Hong Kong. So you can take your baseless slurs and stuff them where the sun don’t shine.

        • Widuran

          You are the one blatantly lying by saying I stole articles and then you do the same thing yourself in other posts. It is clear you have double standards and it must be because you do not like people with foreign names.

          “Coaching” sure you are this is probably another of your blatant lies.

        • epeeist

          You are the one blatantly lying by saying I stole articles and then you do the same thing yourself in other posts.

          You really don’t have a clue do you. Try reading any paper published in an academic journal (this one will do). In it you will find short passages from the works of Karl Popper, each passage being marked as to where it came from. What you will not find are whole chapters from Popper’s work presented as Irzik’s own.

          You committed (copyright) theft by copy-pasting the whole of a web page without attribution effectively passing it off as your own. In other words, theft and lying.

          “Coaching” sure you are this is probably another of your blatant lies.

          If you had look carefully at my profile picture you will see that I am wearing a fencing coach’s plastron. Now this doesn’t prove I am a coach but if you want to come down to the Manchester Fencing Centre then you will find me coaching there. Either that or taking photographs of competitions there.

        • Widuran

          You do not have a clue I have proven I am correct but yet you continue to spread falsehoods

          I have no reason to stalk you. Are you now coming onto me?

        • epeeist

          You do not have a clue I have proven I am correct

          So where did you actually “prove” this. To be frank I doubt that you know what this implies.

          I have no reason to stalk you. Are you now coming onto me?

          More silly accusations, you really are desperate to avoid admitting that not only did you break two of the ten commandments you also broke the injunctions in Matthew 5:22.

        • Widuran

          You are the one making silly accusations. I am responding in kind

        • epeeist

          And once more we have a content free post from you.

        • Widuran

          Says the one who posts content free posts

        • Widuran

          Islam is a religion of Satan

          Ten Obvious Reasons Why
          Islam is Not a Religion of Peace

          #1

          18,000 deadly terror attacks committed explicitly in the name of Islam in just the last ten years. (Other religions combined for perhaps a dozen or so).

          #2

          Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, had people killed for insulting him or for criticizing his religion. This included women.

          Muslims are told to emulate the example of Muhammad.

          #3

          Muhammad said in many places that he has been “ordered by Allah to fight men until they testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is his messenger.” In the last nine years of his life, he ordered no less than 65 military campaigns to do exactly that.

          Muhammad inspired his men to war with the basest of motives, using captured loot, sex and a gluttonous paradise as incentives. He beheaded captives, enslaved children and raped women captured in battle. Again, Muslims are told to emulate the example of Muhammad.

          #4

          After Muhammad died, the people who lived with him and knew his religion best immediately fell into war with each other.

          Fatima, Muhammad’s favorite daughter, survived the early years among the unbelievers at Mecca safe and sound, yet died of stress from the persecution of fellow Muslims only six months after her father died. She even miscarried Muhammad’s grandchild after having her ribs broken by the man who became the second caliph.

          It was this same caliph, Umar, who ordered the death of the first convert to Islam at Medina, an elderly leader who became a close companion to Muhammad and proved his worth in battle. Sa’d ibn Ubadah was killed after a failed bid to be caliph.

          Fatima’s husband Ali, who was the second convert to Islam and was raised like a son to Muhammad, fought a civil war against an army raised by Aisha, Muhammad’s favorite wife – and one whom he had said was a “perfect woman.” 10,000 Muslims were killed in a single internal battle waged less than 25 years after Muhammad’s death.

          Three of the first four Muslim rulers (caliphs) were murdered. All of them were among Muhammad’s closest companions. The third caliph was killed by allies of the son of the first (who was murdered by the fifth caliph a few years later, then wrapped in the skin of a dead donkey and burned). The fourth caliph (Ali) was stabbed to death after a bitter dispute with the fifth. The fifth caliph went on to poison one of Muhammad’s two favorite grandsons. The other grandson was later beheaded by the sixth caliph.

          The infighting and power struggles between Muhammad’s family members, closest companions and their children only intensified with time. Within 50 short years of Muhammad’s death, even the Kaaba, which had stood for centuries under pagan religion, lay in ruins from internal Muslim war…

          And that’s just the fate of those within the house of Islam!

          #5

          Muhammad directed Muslims to wage war on other religions and bring them into submission to Islam. Within the first few decades following his death, his Arabian companions invaded and conquered Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist and Zoroastrian lands. A mere 25 years after Muhammad’s death, Muslim armies had captured land and people within the modern borders of over 28 countries outside of Saudi Arabia.

          #6

          Muslims continued their Jihad against other religions for 1400 years, checked only by the ability of non-Muslims to defend themselves. To this day, not a week goes by that Islamic fundamentalists do not attempt to kill Christians, Jews, Hindus and Buddhists explicitly in the name of Allah.

          None of these other religions are at war with each other.

          #7

          Islam is the only religion that has to retain its membership by formally threatening to kill anyone who leaves. This is according to the example set by Muhammad.

          #8

          Islam teaches that non-Muslims are less than fully human. Muhammad said that Muslims can be put to death for murder, but that a Muslim could never be put to death for killing a non-Muslim.

          #9

          The Quran never once speaks of Allah’s love for non-Muslims, but there are hundreds of verses that speak of Allah’s cruelty toward and hatred of non-Muslims.

          #10

          “Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!”
          (The last words from the cockpit of Flight 93)

          From religion of peace website

          Notice I say from religion of peace website. I have not stolen anything. If you had any integrity you would apologise for lying and slandering me with no evidence.

        • Widuran

          Oh and why are you lying about me?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Jaysus fuck…I’ve seen it all now.

          You’re a racist because you call a Christian fuckwit out for being dishonest when he’s being dishonest.

          How the fuck are you meant to know the skin colour, or anything else for that matter, of an online interlocutor, unless they tell you…and even then they could well be lying? As these fuckwits tend to do.

          I Googled “Widuran”, because I’d no idea what relevance it has…seems it is Indonesian.

          The depths of depravity Christians will sink to, never ceases to amaze me.

        • Widuran is commenting from southern England.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Plenty of Indonesian expats living in southern England.

        • Yes, perhaps he is Indonesian. That’s the implication from his charge of racism, that I’m pushing back against the Asian challenging the white man.

          Somethin’ new every day, eh?

        • Ignorant Amos
        • epeeist

          You’re a racist because you call a Christian fuckwit out for being dishonest when he’s being dishonest.

          The copy-paste of the whole web page was a gift, he really, really doesn’t like it being pointed out that this is theft.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ya triggered him.

        • My understanding is that in the US (not sure how Europe works), laws are very pro-creator. If you simply create a written piece (or perhaps any creative anything), the copyright protecting you is implied. That doesn’t mean that it’s not smart to label it as such (a lawsuit will likelier go in your favor if you do), but that defines the default.

        • epeeist

          Again my understanding, but Europe is pretty similar.

          In this case he copied the whole of the web page without attribution. That definitely isn’t covered by “fair use”, it is copyright theft.

        • Yep, agreed.

        • Ignorant Amos

          When you do nothing to delineate the copied piece from your own i.e. blockquote it, italicize it, underline it, embolden it, parenthesis it, cite the source, provide a link to the source…then you are plagiarizing it as your own…which is a form of stealing.

          You did nothing to delineate the text you copy and pasted from your own text, that is plagiarizing…you stole it.

          You are the thieving joker. Baby Jesus is crying.

        • Widuran

          Nope you are too thick to understand reality or even read posts. You are definitely trolling triggers keyboard warrior ROFL

        • Ignorant Amos

          You are a thieving, lying for Jesus, imbecilic, wankstain, and have been pwn’d…own it ya fuckwit.

        • Widuran

          Nope you keep with your lies and slanders with no evidence. You nor the other joker I am debating with have even read my evidence and post which you claim is “stealing”. And the fact you are swearing shows you are still triggered by me destroying your arguments on the other thread.

          You my friend are a triggered keyboard warrior. I should really pray for your salvation. My bad!

        • Ignorant Amos

          Bwaaahahahaha…dopey fuckwit.

        • Widuran

          oh dear the triggered keyboard warrior gets big with the insults.

          Glad you are not repeating the boring lies

        • Ignorant Amos

          And you are still a dopey tone trolling fuckwit…so pah!

        • Widuran

          yawn you still triggered…

        • alverant

          Taking from sources who lie is still lying.

        • Widuran

          No lies

        • Ignorant Amos

          Islam is as peaceful as Christianity was 600 years ago…did ya know Islam is about 600 years younger than Christianity?

          Are you saying all Muslims are not peaceful?

          Not all Christians are peaceful either. So by your twisted logic, Christianity is not a peaceful religion…ergo it is a religion of Satan.

          You are demonstrating some of that bigotry your fellow religious chum Rob is keen to point out.

        • Widuran
        • Ignorant Amos

          Nowhere did I state that there were no bad Muslims and that those bad Muslims are bad not because of their religion.

          You are not very bright, are ya? And you struggle with reading for comprehension…a trait very noticeable among the knuckle-dragging Christians we seem to get around here.

          Religion poisons everything, that includes your religion. People in glass houses shouldn’t through stones.

        • Widuran

          No you are not very bright and did not even read my post. Oh dear maybe you cannot read certain words

        • Ignorant Amos

          You wrote… “Islam is a religion of Satan”

          Based on the logic you used to support that assertion, Christianity is a religion of Satan too.

          Satan is as imaginary as YahwehJesus and Allah btw.

        • Widuran

          Islam encourages killing non believers so yes it is of Satan. Convert to Islam or die. I imagine you converting to Islam if threatened.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Funny…they say that about Christians…all 45,000+ different flavoured cults of it.

        • Widuran

          who are they? And why should I care

        • Ignorant Amos

          They are all those in all the other religions in the world and all those with none. And I give zero fucks whether a fuckwit like you cares or not. I’m just pointing out that you are as wrong as all the other religions…and lots of your own religion think you are wrong too.

        • Widuran

          Oh dear more naughty words LOL

        • alverant

          And you’re wrong too.

        • Widuran

          Nope

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yep

        • Widuran

          Yes keyboard warrior

    • rationalobservations?

      Present non biblical actual original, 1st century originated historical evidence of the existence of “Jesus” and then we can discuss how an ignorant long dead Jew could save anyone from anything?

      • Widuran

        https://www.ancient.eu/Jesus_Christ/

        one of many many articles

        All reputable historians agree Jesus Christ did exist.

        • Damien Priestly

          You kidding? A frickin online encyclopedia?

          Encyclopedias also have entries for dragons and goblins.

        • Jim Dailey

          Ok tough guy. For a SERIOUS examination of your claim – go here:

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2018/08/seidensticker-folly-4-jesus-never-existed-huh.html

          I just skimmed it, but from what I can see, “Jesus didn’t exist” has one crackpot historian and the Soviet encyclopedia.

          Armstrong lines up a formidable array of historians who think the assertion that Jesus didn’t exist is something that a boob would say.

        • Damien Priestly

          Maybe he existed, maybe not…doesn’t matter.

          No, I’m not following your links — troll elsewhere.

        • Greg G.

          What evidence do they base those opinions on? How many have actually investigated it? How many could say otherwise and find employment in the field?

          Ehrman researched that and couldn’t find anyone who had done so. He used imaginary documents to make his case for the historical Jesus.

        • ildi

          I was just reading about that: https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1053&context=imwjournal
          Intermountain West Journal of Religious Studies, Volume 6, Number 1 Spring 2015, Questioning the Plausibility of Jesus Ahistoricity Theories—A Brief Pseudo-Bayesian Metacritique of the Sources, Raphael Lataster, University of Sydney
          “Before critiquing the sources, it is worth identifying what scholars do not have access to. There are no primary sources (contemporary and eyewitness sources) for the life of the historical Jesus.12 Primary sources are vital to historians, not only as they provide direct evidence, but also serve as the benchmark by which secondary sources are measured.13 Unfortunately, biblical scholars do not have access to primary sources, arguably rendering all of their conclusions about the historical Jesus as susceptible to doubt. That there are no primary sources for Jesus is generally accepted by ardent historicists.14 Bart Ehrman acknowledges the relative historical silence on Jesus: “What sorts of things do pagan authors from the time of Jesus have to say about him? Nothing.”15
          Possibly as a response to this problem—and potentially accentuating it—biblical scholars have come up with a novel solution, the creation of early hypothetical sources. Ehrman provides the perfect example, in that he apparently solves the problem of having so few early sources on Jesus, by noneyewitnesses long after the events in question, by simply inventing as many early sources as he desires. He claims that the canonical Gospels stem from “numerous” earlier written sources (from about the 50s CE), and an “enormous” amount of yet earlier oral traditions.16 Ehrman divides the book of Acts, claiming that it provides two independent witnesses.17 He believes that any time there is a different (in a later Gospel as compared to an earlier Gospel) or paraphrased story, he has convincing evidence of an earlier and independent account (which is assumedly reliable and trustworthy), which “obviously” must have even earlier sources behind them that go right back to Jesus. He overlooks the possibility that the same story is evolving over time, or that later writers are merely repeating the stories in their own words (and inventing details as they go along), and seems quite content to make such assertive claims using non-existent sources. Ehrman’s brand of historical methodology, heavily reliant on non-extant sources, provides no certainty on the historical Jesus.”

        • Jim Dailey

          Go to the link I provided. You can read about the whole thing there.

        • Pofarmer

          Tell ya what Jim. Do some legwork for me. Cull out all those from shit for brains list who have degrees in Theology, or Divinity. Then go Through and cull the ones who are primarily “biblical scholars” not historians. Then go through and cull the ones who are believing Christians. Let me know how many you have left.

        • Jim Dailey

          I note you have the Soviet encyclopedia supporting your side. Pretty unimpeachable source there.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Which nobody is citing as a source, which makes you a bit of an arsehole for bringing it up.

        • Pofarmer

          So, no?

        • Jim Dailey

          Michael Grant. End of story.

        • Pofarmer

          Sry no. Michael Grant only looked at the Gospels, apparently, and apparently tried to harmonize them to create a consistent story. What Michael Grant didn’t do, and, in fact, what exceedingly few people have done, is ask the question, “What if the Gospels are simply fiction?” He doesn’t interact with the letters of Paul, which would have created more questions than they answer, for instance. It’s no different than trying to determine which of Hercules works are historic, for instance.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You wish.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I just skimmed it, but from what I can see, “Jesus didn’t exist” has one crackpot historian and the Soviet encyclopedia.

          Demonstrating to one and all, that you know nothing on the subject.

        • Widuran

          You deny basic history look and the other responses and the linked articles.

          Jesus Christ existed. This is a historical fact, You are denying the truth.

        • Jim Dailey

          FYI – I already sent Damien here, but just so you are aware:

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2018/08/seidensticker-folly-4-jesus-never-existed-huh.html

          Armstrong is making a boob out of Siedensticker. You may enjoy it!

        • Otto

          Armstrong’s rebuttals are a joke.

        • Jim Dailey

          Actually I did get a pretty good chuckle out of it. That Michael Grant is quite a card!

        • Otto

          We have free will but there is the boogeyman that is out to undermine it and God lifts his protection from those that are not in his favor…and really all that is the fault of humans….yeah that is quite humorous that a grown intelligent adult would argue that with a straight face…and that you think doing so makes BOB a boob…you guys…lol

        • Yes, but they’re stated so energetically that I’m compelled to accept them.

          Or I would, if it were Opposite Day.

        • Otto

          Catholic apologists like to think Catholicism is oh so intellectually superior to every other religion…and then they talk about how the Devil is at work, and that things that they can’t explain in their own religion are chalked up to ‘mysteries’, etc. as if doing so is not the least bit childish.

        • I rather see that on Evangelicals. Catholics (the Church, I mean) at least tend not to be so literalists as them and do not see the Devil everywhere, nor practice spiritual warfare at the very least at their level.

          As an aside, why is so difficult to have religious people who is not rude and have arguments coming at places like this?. Most I know of are the opposite.

        • Otto

          I don’t view Evangelicals as being as ‘intellectual’ ….they don’t have to be since they tend to be far more literal. If most everything is to be taken as literal there isn’t much need for thinking.

        • Yes, that’s what I meant to say. The problem are the extremes to which that literalism has arrived -basically creationism-.

        • Otto

          Catholics like to point out how they accept science (well most of it) and how much thought went into their belief…which I agree to some extent. But they still believe in a Devil and so many other silly concepts that really have little reasonable thought behind them. If you point that out they get really pissed…which is telling.

        • Damien Priestly

          Get lost.

        • I suspect someone is looking like a boob, but are you sure it’s me?

          I can’t imagine I’m missing much by not reading it.

        • MR

          Taunts instead of substance. This is what Christianity has to offer?

        • Susan

          Taunts instead of substance. This is what Christianity has to offer?

          It’s all Jim Dailey has ever had to offer.

        • Pofarmer

          Jim just seems to be a cheerleader for whomever he thinks has a winning argument against the bad atheists.

        • Susan

          Jim just seems to be a cheerleader for whomever he thinks has a winning argument against the bad atheists.

          Having a winning argument doesn’t seem to be a priority for Jim.

          He’s a chronic drive-by.

        • epeeist

          He’s a chronic drive-by.

          He’s a chronic coat holder, always offering to hold the coat but never getting his hands dirty by fighting himself.

        • Grimlock

          Quick question.

          I seem to recall a response you gave to John MacDonald a few days ago, essentially saying you’re not into mythicism. Which seems to me to imply rather heavily that you are, in fact, not actually a mythicist. Is that correct?

        • Otto

          I am curious what you think on the subject?

          I tend to be agnostic as to the question, to me there are some mythicist arguments that seem to fit the information pretty well. The one piece I can’t figure out is if Paul wrote first about Jesus why was none of Jesus’ sermons talked about? Why was none of the parables mentioned? It seems like a lot of stuff Paul argues about with other Christians could have been informed by the Gospel accounts of his life, and yet Paul and the people he is arguing with act like they have never heard any of it.

          It doesn’t matter to me one way or another…I just find it to be an interesting subject.

        • Grimlock

          I’m a bit ambiguous about it, to be honest. Currently, I’m inclined to consider there to be an historical figure at the core of the Jesus stories. A core that it’s rather tricky to actually determine, and I am aware of no compelling reason to find very similar to the Jesus of the gospels.

          The gospels strike me as mostly made up to suit whatever (theological) goals the particular author had, such as to make Jesus more palatable to Roman’s (Luke, I think).

          Many of the appeals to Jesus’ historicity are to me obviously strained (e.g. Thallus), and some claims (e.g. comparisons of the material for Jesus and Tiberius) are downright dishonest and/or sloppy scholarship. There is an obvious self-selection going on in Biblical scholarship (most interested in studying the Bible academically are Christians) that makes me skeptical of appeals to consensus.

          It should be noted that I am in no way an expert on the subject, but rather an occasionally interested layperson.

        • Jim Dailey

          I take it you did not read the Armstrong post?
          Armstrong cites eminent serious historians on the topic.

          I, like you, am an amateur on the subject, but Armstrong’s line up of historians that agree the evidence for Jesus existence is compelling clearly shows that those who would assert otherwise are dishonest or stupid.

        • Grimlock

          Why should I read anything by Armstrong? I see no compelling reason to do so.

        • Pofarmer

          Yep.

        • Doubting Thomas

          To watch the slow spiral into insanity?

        • Jim Dailey

          I think the article will cause you to reasses your feeling that the historicity of Jesus is “strained”. It may provide a valuable data point and round out your layperson knowledge.

        • Doubting Thomas

          And maybe you’ll reasses your feeling that Gary Habermas is a reputable historian. Maybe not.

        • Jim Dailey

          And maybe you’ll reassess your feeling that Michael Grant is a reputable historian. Maybe not.

        • Grimlock

          Obtaining valuable information and knowledge are certainly things to strive for.

          But that doesn’t mean I will be getting that from reading the article to which you linked. Why should I think the article will provide valuable information? That’s more what I had in mind when asking, though I didn’t phrase myself very precisely.

          Let us also note the distinction between “the historicity of Jesus is strained” and “many appeals to Jesus’ historicity is strained”. What I’d hoped would be clear from the example I provided is that I was thinking of how many (as opposed to all) arguments made in support of Jesus’ historicity is strained.

        • Jim Dailey

          Ok. Don’t read the article.

        • Grimlock

          Does that mean you don’t think I will get valuable information from reading that article, or that you don’t want to try to justify why I should read it?

        • Pofarmer

          You might note that Jim Dailey never provides an argument. He’s just a cheerleader. If that.

        • Grimlock

          Oh, you know, eternal optimism and whatnot.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The extra-biblical evidence is definitely strained for sure.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Nah…not that dross, it won’t.

        • Pofarmer

          I think it’s possible that there was an historical Jesus. The problem is, that Jesus is so remote to us we can’t know anything about him. There is literally nothing that’s universally agreed upon that is genuinely “Jesus.” Robert M. Price documents this. The main problem is that there’s nothing in any of the stories that “requires” a Jesus, and nothing that we’d expect to find if some dude actually existed. No Church dedicated to him, no shrines. No real records of actual early students. What we get is a record of later followers like Paul and Cephas and James that ALSO don’t indicate they actually knew the really alive dude, and then plotholes, lot’s and lot’s of plotholes. And absence from ANY historical record AT ALL. It’s just all very weird if there was some walking around preacher. Nah. The beginning of Christianity is ultimately Paul, and what exactly he knew or believed good luck even figuring that out, as we don’t actually have any untampered works of HIS either. Everything was put through the ringer of councils of councils culminating in Nicea.

        • I’m sure there was a kernel of truth in this even if it’s probably lost for the ages. That said, the supernatural events are a very different animal and when one sees the background (how the events described in the OT -Genesis that way, Adam and Eve, Flood, Exodus- never happened, Zoroastrian influence on Judaism, and archeological figinds) it’s quite hard to take this seriously when all presented proof is a book. One would expect much more from an omni*** deity.

        • Otto

          And I agree with you, but the more that is looked at the less that seem to be there.

        • Pofarmer

          There is a very good series on Youtube called Excavating the Empty tomb, that makes a pretty strong case for mythicism, IMHO. I think it’s 16 parts or something. In the end, it’s not the evidence for the historical Jesus that convinced me, it’s all the inconsistencies in the “real world” that don’t add up and also all the things we would expect out of a real person, if he existed, that we simply don’t have, and it’s a very long list.

        • Otto

          I have been through that a while back…it was pretty good from my memory. I need to see it again. It gets pretty deep in scholarship and of course I am just a layman.

          And I agree, the more I have looked at the information the less there seems to be.

        • Pofarmer

          So, something just struck me, and I’m sure it’s not that great an epiphany. But our interlocutors here want to argue that there was a Jesus that certainly existed, and they’ll list this or that whoever that is for the minimal historical Jesus. (I note that none of these scholars ask the relevant question, “Can we rule out the Gospels as fiction?” But I digress.” But if there was this minimal historical Jesus, that ain’t the Jesus the worship. They worship the Jesus of the triumphal entry. They worship the Jesus of the virgin birth. They worship the Jesus tempted in the desert 40 days by Satan. They worship the Jesus who healed lepers, etc, etc. So, if they ain’t worshiping the minimal dude anyway, what’s the big deal?

        • Otto

          It is the same as the teleological or ontological (etc) arguments for god, they seem to want to smuggle in the other stuff about their specific god on the coat tails without doing the work.

          I am happy to concede there could be a Jewish rabbi that rocked the boat until they figured out how to kill him, but they still have all the work to do to make that case. They think if we accept that he was real we are conceding everything was true. I would concede it because it makes no difference in my rejection of Christianity.

          But if there was such a guy that caused so much trouble for EVERYONE…why are there no contemporary accounts of him? He entered Jerusalem as a huge pop star to throngs of locals…and then he was killed shortly after…and yet no one took the time to write anything down. He was so popular he was known wide and far…but he was so unknown only Christians took notice. It seems like a bit of a razor edge to walk.

        • Sample1

          I think it’s related to why there are Catholics giving philosophical arguments that at best might describe a deistic god or a pantheistic god.

          As long as they are talking and people are listening or interacting they achieve relevance. The devout Catholic doesn’t believe in their own ability to convert. That’s the magic of the Paraclete or what should be called the Paradox, the third person of the Trinity. Keep them engaged, plant seeds, and let the Gardener water them or so they think.

          Susan and I and others have discussed the merits of engagement, giving a platform to nonsense essentially. It’s similar to why Dawkins won’t debate certain people “it looks fine on their CV, not so much on his.” It’s a teeter totter of a subject with pros and cons. I used to disengage and still do on a case by case basis but overall our stories are better than theirs and without engagement it’s hard to complain when they make strides against values and morality.

          If believers didn’t have an impact outside the walls of their cathedrals then perhaps the willingness to engage them would drop off steeply. How many of us engage the Quakers or sects of Thor? Because believers nominate justices, hinder science, and sometimes seriously affect people outside their membership they’ve brought any resistance to themselves. Lastly, many of us were in their shoes and have the knowledge of their own trickery to push back. It’s like chess or checkers. Someone from a camping trip pulls out a board and we say oh yeah I remember how to play that. And so we do.

          My .02

          Mike

        • The big deal in my mind is that when an atheist says, “Anyway, Jesus didn’t even exist,” they can jump on that with a fairly reasonable argument, citing a broad consensus and Bart Ehrman as an atheist scholar who agrees with them. Avoiding the Jesus myth claim keeps things a little more on track, but if someone wants to jump into that fight, I’ll happily watch. Greg G and others have made a great defense of mythicism, for example.

        • Pofarmer

          The funny part about Ehrman, is up till “Did Jesus Exist” he actually makes some of the very best arguments for mythicism. And I mean, sure, I know there’s a broad consensus, but it’s a very biased consensus, and I have yet to see anyone at all answer the key question, “How do you know it’s not 100% fiction?” No one. Even the atheist scholars addressing it assume that there’s some kernel of truth in the story. What would happen if the approached Dionysus or Hercules the same way? And, I agree, one way or the other Christianity and all it’s supernatural claims are bunk. There are probably better arguments. This one, to me, as a former believer though, is really central, I guess. It strikes at the heart as just one more thing that we were deceived about. I suppose up until the time they come up with some concrete archeological reference, the question won’t be answered one way or the other. I do find it interesting, however, that theologians like Fr. Thomas Brodie and Tom Harpur, who dedicated their lives to studying Jesus, came to the conclusion ultimately that he was a myth. I don’t think this is really a hill to die on, but I certainly don’t think it’s some slam dunk lock like some would try to have you believe.

        • Otto

          >>>”It strikes at the heart as just one more thing that we were deceived about.

          Exactly. Every time I tried to anchor some part of Christianity the foundation was nothing but sand. I am not convinced Jesus was made up, but considering every other anchor point up to this question was a big fat nothing, I see no reason why this one is somehow going to be different. Maybe it will…but what reason is there to think so?

        • Pofarmer

          Look at the “Jewish History” in the first. place. Abraham? yeah, probably not. Exodus? yeah, no. Daniel? Well, maybe, but not anything like the glorious kind Daniel, etc, etc. Almost everything about their origin story and history were myth. There are competing thesis for why this is . But why should the Theological advancement/hybridization that was Jesus be any different? God is certainly made up, but not his Son? Really? Of course, Dave and his cadre don’t think God is made up either. So I guess there’s that.

        • Otto

          I don’t know about Dave in particular but I think quite a few Christians realize that large parts of the OT was myth but still think the NT as historical…I had certainly rejected that anchor point long before rejecting Christianity, which in the end I realized made the whole NT absurd, though for awhile I stupidly didn’t have a problem with…I think mostly because I had compartmentalized it.

        • Susan

          I don’t think this is really a hill to die on, but I certainly don’t think it’s some slam dunk lock like some would try to have you believe.

          I agree.

        • Great points. Ehrman seems to have made this a big deal such that he’d have an embarrassing time walking back his position, and I don’t know why. Does he just have a thing against Price or Carrier?

          I know there’s a broad consensus, but it’s a very biased consensus

          But move from NT scholars to religious scholars, and now you’ve brought in Muslims. They’re just as confident that Jesus existed, but they’ll universally deny that he resurrected. The scholarly consensus evaporates if you make it an unbiased sample. Pull back even farther from religious scholars to historians, and you’ve now lost any miracles for Jesus.

          Your “How do you know it’s not 100% fiction?” is a nice way of focusing the question. Popular Christian apologists try to lampoon the idea, but methinks they doth protest too much.

        • Pofarmer

          Great points. Ehrman seems to have made this a big deal such that he’d
          have an embarrassing time walking back his position, and I don’t know
          why. Does he just have a thing against Price or Carrier?

          I think it partially relates to his standing within the “scholarly” community, for one. And, remember, he went to some very conservative Bible colleges. And, I think that Carrier wrote his book, at least in part, as an answer to Ehrman, as well as others. If I remember correctly, Carrier quotes Ehrman quite a bit in “Not the impossible Faith.” But, there’s certainly been some heated back and forths generally since Carriers book came out. I’m still a member of Ehrman’s site, but I pretty much quit reading him after he was obviously reading the Gospels back into the epistles and I called him on it and he basically responded that that’s how it was done. This, when his whole schtick is that we should read the Gospels seperately to get their independent messages and history. It bothered me.

          Your
          “How do you know it’s not 100% fiction?” is a nice way of focusing the
          question. Popular Christian apologists try to lampoon the idea, but
          methinks they doth protest too much.

          I know I’ve related this before, but I once asked Jame McGrath that very question. I just asked him, point blank, “Before you started analyzing the gospels, how did you rule out they weren’t fiction.” His response was “Isn’t that putting the cart before the horse?” Apparently it had never occurred to anyone that what they were working with might simply be another ancient version of Hercules. Which is why I use the example of Gone with the Wind. It’s a modern story with historical elements but totally fictional characters. I see literally nothing which precludes this from being the case with the Gospels.

        • Agreed. Bob Price (Carrier, too?) has ticked off examples of fiction of the time. How do we know there wasn’t some or complete overlap of the gospels with that genre?

          People laugh at the idea of Gone with the Wind as being history, but then it’s never categorized as anything other than fiction. Remove the cover and title page, and how would you know? Now compare that with the gospels, with all their magical nonsense. Now which one looks like fiction?

        • I found that video series on YouTube here. 37 videos? Wow–that’s a lot of content. I wish there were an easier way to absorb it than sitting in front of a computer screen and watching. But thanks for the tip.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jOzCMy9e5E&list=PL1D58C69D194384D2

        • Pofarmer

          I think I listened to it all one spring while planting.

        • Otto

          I just listened to it on my phone with earbuds…the video doesn’t matter much.

        • Short answer: I haven’t read enough to have an informed opinion, so no, I’m not a mythicist.

          I’m sympathetic to the mythicists’ arguments, and I own the relevant books by Carrier and Price, but I haven’t read them. As a result, I don’t want/need to engage with those arguments.

          For my purposes (showing the foolishness of Christianity), mythicism isn’t a useful tool. I’m sure that if I read those books, I’d have yet more information that would be useful, but the main argument is just a tangent. Getting into that morass simply allows the Christian to say, “Well, Bart Ehrman says you’re wrong, so whaddya gotta say about that??” and so on.

        • Grimlock

          Thanks for the elaboration on your view. It sounds eminently pragmatic!

        • Ignorant Amos

          As a hobby, it’s good fun…and it doesn’t half get some Christians goat right up…and that’s a bonus.

          As I note, finding a “smoking gun” tomorrow that the yarn is based on an actual person, won’t effect my atheism one iota. Harry Potter was based on a real person too.

          But if a “smoking gun” was discovered that demonstrated that the yarn was made up as per some mythicists arguments, a whole lotta Christians will have some soul searching to do if they want to remain honest with themselves.

          1 Corinthians 15:13-15 springs to mind…

          13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised.

          Of course there are loads of Christians for which the Resurrection is just a story. A quarter of British Christians among them…

          https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/ECA8/production/_95148506_chart_resurrection_birmingham.png

          But for the likes of Dave, and his fanboy Jim…it grips their shit…and for me, that’s were the fun lies.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I don’t think Bob is a mythicist per se, but I don’t think he waves away the arguments off-hand either. I think he believes the debate is far from over and the issue is settled…in favour of one side or the other.

          Perhaps an agnostic along the lines of Raphael Lataster.

          https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Raphael_Lataster

          But I could be wrong.

        • Grimlock

          Sounds like a pretty accurate assessment to me. Matches quite well with Bob’s answer: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2018/08/when-christianity-was-in-charge-this-is-what-we-got-2/#comment-4041741969

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ah…thanks…a thought a was close enough for jazz…thanks.

        • Paul Vinci

          You should read it . He definitely made a boob out of you

        • Damien Priestly

          No, nobody should read it — if it sent idiots like you here talking about boobs. Then its probably a waste of time.

        • Jim Dailey

          If you want to look like a boob in future comment boxes by advancing the argument that Jesus never existed, by all means, skip the article.

        • Doubting Thomas

          I don’t recall Bob ever arguing that. I’m guessing it’s just Dave contorting some snippet that Bob said then beating up a strawman.

        • Jim Dailey

          Go to Dave’s article. All cites and link provided.

        • Doubting Thomas

          So I was right.

          Dave quotes a part of a sentence, cutting words from both before and after the quoted portion. Dave quotes Bob as saying “[T]he evidence for the very existence of Jesus is paltry . . . ”

          This isn’t even an arguing for Jesus mythicism. It’s just showing how bad the historical record is of Jesus.

          Here’s the quote in context:

          “The Christian wants to compare our evidence of Jesus with that of
          figures like Julius Caesar or Alexander the Great. But this confident
          comparison withers when we consider the coins and busts with the
          likeness of Julius Caesar. Or the more than a dozen cities across the
          Ancient Near East named after Alexander. We have nothing comparable for
          Jesus.
          No, the evidence for the very existence of Jesus is paltry, let alone evidence for the incredible supernatural claims in the gospel story.”

          How pathetically dishonest of Dave.

        • Pofarmer

          Dave needs reported to the powers that be at Patheos and censured, buy I have absolutely no faith that that would happen.

        • epeeist

          How pathetically dishonest of Dave.

          Oh come on, you know very well that if you are Lying for Jesus™ it doesn’t count as dishonest.

        • These things are the ones that bother me most of proselytizers, their hypocrisy and contempt for others as well as their close mindness.

          I respect believers who respect others. I tip my hat to those who help others as well as the ones who attempt to make this a better world. I hate those who attempt to impose their views in others, especially with threats hollow or not.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And then we have these boob’s advising us all to go read Armstrong’s screed of dross in order to come away with some kind of an epiphany moment.

          I’m too well versed on the pathetic arguments for historicity…Armstrong’s effort is not even up to the level of pathetic.

        • Doubting Thomas

          So now that I posted more context to the snippet that Dave used, do you think Bob was arguing for Jesus mythicism or that he was rebutting the idea that other figures (Caesar, Alexander, etc.) have less evidence for their existence than Jesus? Which one of the two options does Dave present as Bob’s argument?

        • Otto

          Dave has now been proven to have intentionally been dishonest about his characterization of Bob’s position…I mean it is not like there is a rule in your religion bearing false witness or anything at least…boy that would be embarrassing.

        • Paul Vinci

          Damien you should definitely read it , otherwise calling me an idiot has no merit .

        • Why read it? He has no credibility. Posts like that are the equivalent of The National Inquirer or Weekly World News.

        • Pofarmer

          Is there any way that you could report Dave to the powers that be at Patheos in a way that would actually make something happen? He’s apparently being over the top dishonest and petty.

        • One problem is his blog’s popularity. Patheos may not rock the boat if whatever nutty thing he’s doing is bringing eyeballs to the ads.

          They might agree that he’s being petty, bullying, and childish, but I don’t know that that would even merit a warning in their mind (I don’t know their mind well, of course). And what would Dave do with a warning? He’d see it as another sign that he was making the dark forces uncomfortable (or whatever nutty stuff goes on inside his head).

          My vote is to let him be a dick. I have no interest in visiting his blog anymore, and if it becomes a cesspool of thoughtless yes-men, then that’s Dave’s loss. Every now and then one of his dittoheads might come over here, and we can show them how their logic stands up in the real world.

        • Pofarmer

          You’re probably right. I just see his behavior as highly dishonest and unethical, but, hey, I’m an atheist, I have standards about that sort of shit.

        • Susan

          I just see his behavior as highly dishonest and unethical, but, hey, I’m an atheist, I have standards about that sort of shit.

          Being an atheist doesn’t give you those standards.

          Dave’s behaviour is indeed highly dishonest and unethical but I know too many christians personally who would agree with you about that.

          He’s a dick. That doesn’t mean theists are all dicks.

        • Pofarmer

          Being an atheist doesn’t give you those standards
          I know, but those standards are, at least in part, why I’m an atheist.

        • Susan

          Armstrong is making a boob out of Siedensticker

          Never heard of him.

        • Paul Vinci

          I am enjoying it very much . Dave has completely destroyed Sidensticker on this one . I feel embarrassed for Bob

        • Jim Dailey

          I also feel embarrassed for Bob.

          I actually think Bob has made good arguments for skepticism/atheism.

          Why he throws drivel like arguing whether Jesus ever even existed into his portfolio is like seeing a huge turd in the middle of a buffet.

        • Pofarmer

          Because, yeah, admitting that the Character of Jesus just might be a myth, is much more irrational than believing that God impregnated a Virgin with himself to make himself a sacrifice to himself for-something or other that’s unclear.

          Y’all are dishonest morons. I’m sorry. You can’t see past your own braindead biases to at least have a discussion.

        • zeddicuskotor

          The dumb thing about christianity is that their primary miracle isn’t miraculous. You can totally get a virgin pregnant. Impregnation doesn’t require penetration.

        • Pofarmer

          You just had to go there. Mary doesn’t seem so angelic anymore. Lol.

        • The really dumb thing is that there is no prophecy in Isaiah 7 about a virgin birth. It’s just 3 verses–read it yourself–and it says nothing about a miraculous birth. I summarize the problems here:

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2013/12/virgin-birth-of-jesus-fact-or-fiction/

        • Using the Bible as proof of the Bible… well. Not to mention it would not be surprising at all if those texts had been modified to make them looking as if they were refering to Jesus.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The Hebrew word almah doesn’t even mean virgin…that was Matthew’s mistranslated balls up.

          The Hebrew word for virgin is betulah.

          Both words are translated into the Greek XII as parthenos…and the whole thing went tits up from there.

          The Septuagint version of the Old Testament renders both Hebrew words almah and betulah as the same Greek word parthenos. The term occurs nine times in the Hebrew Bible.

        • zeddicuskotor

          Christian’s also get the turn the other cheek thing entirely wrong. Back then Roman citizens were permitted to strike non citizens, but only with their right hand since the left hand was used for wiping your butt.

          So, if you got striked in the cheek, you can show defiance by turning it away, so if they wanted to strike you again they would need to use their left hand. Which wasn’t permitted. The passage is a lesson on civil disobedience not empathy.

        • I’ve never argued that Jesus never existed.

          Pro tip: taking what Armstrong says at face value can embarrass you when it blows up in your face. He has a tenuous grasp on the truth. You need to fact-check whatever he says.

        • Otto

          I would think there would be enough to take issue with in what you write without Dave needing to make stuff up. But he likes to paint his opposition in the worst light possible and if that involves a little deceit…oh well.

        • Pofarmer

          I think he’s looking for “defeaters” even if he has to invent them. He has to find a way to summarily dismiss his opponents or their arguments without actually engaging them.

        • Otto

          That would be like if Bob dismissed Dave’s arguments because Dave believes in Transubstantiation.

          Dave is a great reminder as to why I am happy not to be involved with the Catholic Church.

        • Pofarmer

          Yeah, except Dave does believe in transubstantiation while Bob doesn’t believe in mythicism. So Dave is willing to lie about what Bob doesn’t believe so he can dismiss what he does.

        • Otto

          Good point

        • KenderJ

          They just published the catholic priest kiddie diddle report today:

          https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/14/us/catholic-priests-pennsylvania-church-jury.html

          You needed another reason not to be involved in the Catholic church?

        • Otto

          Nope, I never went back after I found out back in the early 2000’s that the Church hierarchy hid the abuse…that was the last straw.

        • epeeist

          I found out back in the early 2000’s that the Church hierarchy hid the abuse

          That’s the critical bit isn’t it. Any organisation with privileged access to children is going have problems with paedophiles. If the church had admitted to the abuse then the only criticism would have been the quality of its safeguarding procedures. Instead it attempted to protect its reputation and systematically cover the whole thing up, to my mind this is the greater crime.

        • Otto

          It is a far greater crime, to me it is THE crime of the Church. My thinking at the time was statistically speaking if you take any group of people there are going to be pedophiles, therefore when I first heard about it I was not surprised. But when I found out the Catholic Church KNEW about it I was disgusted. How could I take moral teaching from an organization that would DO such a thing? Now when I listen to Catholics make excuses it is appalling and does not make any sense. What I am told is that; sure the Church did that…but really they knew better and that is not what they TEACH. Ummm…ok. So if I buy a defective boat from a company and the company knew all along it was selling defective boats…am I going to accept the answer that ‘well we actually KNOW how to make boats really well we just didn’t do that, but now you can be assured we are going to do it right’…? First I have no idea if they do know how to make boats better, and second how am I going to trust that they will do that?

          It didn’t get me out of religion but I was a lot closer than I realized at the time.

        • Jim Dailey

          You never argued that Jesus existed?

          Hmmm… okay…..

          Is that because the evidence collected thus far is sufficient that anyone who argues that Jesus never existed is ignorant of all the data, or is misinterpreting the data?

        • Doubting Thomas

          How about you go read Bob’s article that Dave quoted and you tell us what Bob was arguing. Then you go tell Dave how he was misrepresenting Bob’s actual argument. If you’re lucky, Dave won’t block you.

        • Susan

          Hmmm… okay…

          I notice you haven’t acknowledged that Armstrong misrepresented Bob.

        • Pofarmer

          Note what Jim did there with his first sentence. He really is a dishonest douche.

        • BlackMamba44
        • Presumably these are historians of the 1st century who could’ve written about the son of God visiting the earth (noteworthy, you’d think) but didn’t?

        • BlackMamba44

          Yep. Every last one…silent

        • Ignorant Amos

          What is it with Christians and their fucked up reading comprehension?

          I’ve never argued that Jesus never existed.

          Is not the same as…

          You never argued that Jesus existed?

          Bob accepts the consensus because…Short answer: I haven’t read enough to have an informed opinion, so no, I’m not a mythicist.”

          https://disqus.com/home/discussion/crossexamined/when_christianity_was_in_charge_this_is_what_we_got_98/#comment-4041741969

          Is that because the evidence collected thus far is sufficient that anyone who argues that Jesus never existed is ignorant of all the data, or is misinterpreting the data?

          Nope.

        • Grimlock

          Let’s turn this around a bit. Do you disagree with any of these lines of thought, and if so, where?

          1. Biblical scholarship has a huge self-selection bias in favour of Christians selecting that academic track.
          2. Christian beliefs are often held very strongly.
          3. Discarding beliefs we hold dear are really hard, due to how our brains are wired. (E.g. confirmation bias.)
          4. A knowledgeable mind and intelligence doesn’t in and off itself compensate for bias. It simply makes us better at rationalizing existing positions.
          5. Much of Biblical scholarship is located at religious institutions, some of which has faith statements to which the scholars must adhere, creating incentive to (consciously and subconsciously) toe the party line.
          6. It is reasonable to assume that Biblical scholarship as a whole suffers from a bias that favors historical reliability of the Bible.

          How about this second line of thought?

          There is a huge difference between saying
          1. There was no historical figure at the core of the gospel narratives.
          2. There existed an historical figure at the core of the gospel stories, that is the source of the Jesus of the gospels.
          3. The Jesus of the gospels is pretty much entirely an accurate report of true events.

          Of these, you can make a solid historical case for (2), a rather unpopular historical case for (1), and an utterly wretched and laughable historical case for (3).

          Third line of reasoning…
          1. I require little evidence to be convinced that common things happens. If you tell me you own a red car, I require very little evidence to believe it. You telling me is probably enough evidence.
          2. I require a bit more evidence to be convinced that you won the lottery, because while it could happen, it’s not very common. You telling me won’t be enough, and I’d expect some further evidence.
          3. I require a lot of evidence if you tell me you’ve been to space. Very few people have done so, after all. You’d probably need to provide a lot of evidence, such as a live video chat along with official video clips from space. (Verified from official sources.)
          4. I require a lot of evidence if you claim that you can levitate, transmute materials, and resurrect from the dead after being dead for the last three days. A lot of evidence. Some people saying it happened ain’t close to being enough.

          The Bible is like that. At its core its just a few people claiming stuff. It hardly seems sufficient to convince me someone is an astronaut, much less a supernatural being.

          Thoughts?

        • You never argued that Jesus existed?
          Hmmm… okay…..

          I’ve never argued either way. What’s your reluctance? Are you remembering all those posts where I argued the question? Point them out to me. Oh wait–I have a stalker who hangs on my every word. Maybe you could ask him. But be sure to get links to the quotes because he has a hard time with reality.

          Is that because the evidence collected thus far is sufficient that anyone who argues that Jesus never existed is ignorant of all the data, or is misinterpreting the data?

          What’s hard to understand here? “Jesus never existed” is an argument that doesn’t help me. It’s a tangent. I have far more useful arguments if I were to argue against Christian claims.

        • Jim Dailey

          “Jesus never existed” is an argument that doesn’t help you?

          I really cannot think of a single thing that would help you more.

        • Susan

          You still haven’t acknowledged that Bob was misrepresented.

          Lying doesn’t seem to bother you one bit.

          All your Gates of Hell rhetoric means nothing.

        • Susan

          I really cannot think of a single thing that would help you more.

          Really? Why not?

        • Pofarmer

          Rev. Tom Harpur actually argues that Christianity is better served by a mythical, celestial Jesus.

          You don’t believe in the itinerant nobody preacher Jesus anyway.

        • Then you are clueless about my position and what tools I use to argue it.

        • Jim Dailey

          Apparently I am clueless about your position.

          You mind providing a link to your position?

        • If you’re asking about my position on Jesus mythicism, I haven’t written about it. I’m not a Jesus mythicist, remember? There you go–there’s my position.

          “Jesus never existed” and “Even if there was an actual dude named Jesus who jumpstarted Christianity, I reject the supernatural claims of Christianity” are identical for my purposes, except that the former gets into lots of tangential entanglements. Are you beginning to understand why that route is uninteresting to me?

        • Greg G.

          Apparently I am clueless about your position.

          That’s because you accept what Dave Armstrong says without checking facts.

        • Pofarmer

          Which would be the standard Catholic thing to do.

        • Paul Vinci

          So Bob you never argued either way . Thats a a bit weird considering we have the following comment from you

          “Jesus could appear to you, but he doesn’t. He appeared to Paul after he died, so it’s not like he hasn’t done it before. He could appear to give you advice for a tough decision, give you comfort in person like a friend would, or just assure you that he really exists. He doesn’t. . . .

          “How do we explain the fact that Jesus has never appeared to you? Jesus is imaginary.”

          http://www.patheos.com/blog

        • epeeist

          http://www.patheos.com/blog

          This page appears not to exist.

        • Paul Vinci

          Probably been deleted

        • Probably not. That URL points to nothing interesting in my blog and never has.

        • Greg G.

          You didn’t copy the entire URL.

        • Susan

          “How do we explain the fact that Jesus has never appeared to you? Jesus is imaginary.”

          You seem to be finding this difficult.

          The claim that a human once existed is not the same as the claim that a godman walked the earth.

        • MR

          Seriously, can cognitive dissonance force fields be so powerful or are they all dishonest? I just shake my head.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Thick as pig shite is why there is a difficulty.

        • Greg G.

          The Jesus that appears to people in the 21st century is imaginary. That does not say that the 1st century Jesus was imaginary, except for the magic parts.

        • Paul Vinci

          And yet another on 8-16-18:

          The big deal in my mind is that when an atheist says, “Anyway, Jesus didn’t even exist,” they can jump on that with a fairly reasonable argument, citing a broad consensus and Bart Ehrman as an atheist scholar who agrees with them. Avoiding the Jesus myth claim keeps things a little more on track, but if someone wants to jump into that fight, I’ll happily watch. Greg G and others have made a great defense of mythicism, for example.

        • Say, I’ve got an idea! Since you’re so obsessed with this Bob guy, why not ask him point blank, accept the answer, and then move on? Sound reasonable? Cuz at the moment, it sounds like stalking.

        • Paul Vinci

          Well Bob , why don’t you just lay it out straight …

          Did Jesus exist or not ????

          If he did then why all the huff and puff and correlating the existence of Jesus to that of superman
          HERE ;
          “I can’t prove Santa doesn’t exist. Nor can I disprove leprechauns, Russell’s Flying Teapot, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or God.
          The thoughtful person goes where the evidence points rather than accepting only the evidence that supports his preconception .”

          Do any of those things exist Bob …..?? No .. Then its reasonable to deduct that you also do not believe that Jesus exists or existed since all of those are fictional characters

          . And why state as you have that you find the Jesus myth as a reasonable proposition . It just doesn’t make sense Bob
          HERE :
          “The big deal in my mind is that when an atheist says, “Anyway, Jesus didn’t even exist,” they can jump on that with a fairly
          reasonable argument, citing a broad consensus and Bart Ehrman as an atheist scholar who agrees with them….”

          AND HERE :
          “Reading others’ comments have made me consider the Christ Myth theory more favorably,”

          So Bob If you say he doesn’t exist then all your minions have greatly erred in saying that Dave made a strawman of your arguments..

          If I were to read any number of your posts , I would find nothing that would suggest that you believe in any Jesus of any kind , historical or otherwise

        • epeeist

          Did Jesus exist or not ????

          Putting in multiple punctuation symbols doesn’t make your question any stronger.

          You are confusing two things:

          1. The existence of Jesus; this is binary, either he did exist or he did not exist. There are no other possibilities.

          2. Can we show that Jesus existed? This obviously requires evidence, the more independent corroborating sources we have the better the evidence is. However even multiple lines of evidence are only going to give us a probability of Jesus existing.

          It should also be said, even if you could demonstrate the existence of an itinerant Jewish preacher from an apocalyptic sect who was executed for sedition at the time of Passover by the Romans this doesn’t give you the “son of god”, this requires considerably more work on your part.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Putting in multiple punctuation symbols doesn’t make your question any stronger.

          Could be worse…could be multiple emoji’s ffs.

        • Greg G.

          Hold your cards, folks! We have a Ringo!

        • Grimlock

          Consider the following three positions:
          1) The stories about Jesus does not have a historical individual (“Jesus”) at their core.
          2. The stories about Jesus have a historical individual at their core.
          3. The stories in the gospels, miracles and bad plot devices and all, are historically accurate.

          One can easily criticize (3),without therefore adhering to position (1). In fact, from a historical point of view, I’d say that (3) is by far the less credible position.

          Anyways, my point is that if you keep this distinction in mind, Bob’s remarks seem very much compatible with merely criticizing (3), but in order to be a mythicist he’d have to criticize (2).

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ah..the logical approach…good luck with that with this numb-nuts.

        • Hey, this is great! I was wondering how I’d waste time today. You, too?

          1. I’m talking about the existence of God. This will shock you, but I find no evidence for God.

          2. This makes clear why “Jesus never existed” is not a helpful argument for me. I’m glad you understand my position now.

          3. This one speaks for itself.

          So, yes, Dave made a strawman argument. If I accepted the Jesus Myth theory and found it useful, you’d know it. Since I’ve made clear my position, that makes you just a stalker. Got nothing better to do than pore over my every word, looking for hidden meanings? You can do that when I become a cult leader but not yet. I’ll let you know.

          “Minions”? Look in the mirror to check yourself before you make that accusation again. You’re part of Dave’s zombie army, here to defend his (nonexistent) good honor.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You’re a Flat-earther too Bob…I don’t care what YOU say about the matter…I know different…some fuckwit elsewhere on the internet says so…*fingers in ears* laa-la-la-la-laaaa-laa- laa…am not listening.

        • Oh, great. Another fire I have to put out …

          I just hope no one finds my autographed photos of Stalin and Marx–I’d never hear the end of it.

        • Otto

          Those are arguments against ‘magical Jesus’…not ‘itinerant Jew’ Jesus. You guys really have a hard time wrapping you head around that.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The dumb shite has been told that ad nauseam, but lying bastards for Jesus are just too stupid to separate the the magic god-man Jesus in the gospels, from the minimal Jesus ordinary human rabbi who convinced a small group of people that he was a wee bit special and who pissed off the authorities for being a feckin’ nuisance, ending up getting hoist for it. Even some of those details are tenuous.

        • Pofarmer

          I don’t think it actually makes any difference what you argue. They believe in the magical Jesus, atheists don’t. Why should it matter that we don’t believe in the walking around Jesus either? It should make no difference.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Do any of those things exist Bob …..?? No ..

          Why do you believe none of those exist? Evidence? Got any?

          Then its reasonable to deduct that you also do not believe that Jesus exists or existed since all of those are fictional characters.

          You’re not the sharpest tool in the box, are ya soft boy?

          Evidence for the existence for Santa, Leprechaun’s, Russell’s Venus Orbiting Flying Teapot, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or any gods is exactly the same. That is, none you’d accept. The 3 in 1 multi-omni supernatural god-man Jesus of the gospels has the same evidence for his existence.

          An ordinary guy called Jesus…Bob gives zero fucks about evidence for that guy…he’s not important.

          Jesus was the 6th commonest name at the time…ordinary guy Jesus’s were common as muck apparently.

          Archaeologists have unearthed the tombs of 71 Yeshuas from the period of Jesus’ death.

        • Otto

          Archaeologists have unearthed the tombs of 71 Yeshuas from the period of Jesus’ death.

          How many were empty?

        • Paul Vinci

          Ignorant Amos , AKA Potty Mouth . I didn’t ask you a thing , did I .

          Is your name Bob ?

          You are not the sharpest tool in the shed are you Potty Mouth … Ar you having an identity crisis ?

          Are you seriously asking me for evidence of a flying teapot ? Which we both know do not exist .. It is a reasonable deduction to infer the Bob also doesn’t believe Jesus exists or existed ..

          An ordinary guy called Jesus ..well Bob gives two fucks about that guy !!!

          Well I didn’t ask him if he gave a fuck about him , I asked Bob if he believed Jesus existed , historical or otherwise …

          Your name isn’t Bob , so quite frankly I couldn’t give a toss what you think Bob cares about

          Bob can speak for himself

        • And Bob is delighted to have others participate in the conversation. Sure, I’d love to keep all your wisdom to myself. It’s such good stuff, who wouldn’t? But I must share.

          If anyone else wants to treat you like a chew toy or a punching bag or a smear of dog shit on the bottom of their shoe, it would simply be selfish if either of us got in the way of that.

          Party on!

        • Greg G.

          You are posting to a public forum. That means anybody can respond. If you don’t want anyone else to respond, don’t post in a public forum. There are ways to communicate privately.

          Do you get a rush from calling someone a potty mouth or something? Are you eight years old?

          Bob has spoken for himself. Dave Armstrong got it wrong.

        • Paul Vinci

          Excuse me Greg , but Potty Mouth has called me a cunt , a fuckwit and a troll . Ask him if he is eight years old . Ask him if gets a rush a from the insults he has hurled at me

        • Susan

          Well I didn’t ask him if he gave a fuck about him , I asked Bob if he believed Jesus existed , historical or otherwise …

          So, Dave misrepresented Bob, you guys showed up to crow about how embarrassed you were for Bob.

          It turns out that Bob never claimed that there was no historical Jesus.

          Rather than note the correction, you double down, pretending that Bob not accepting supernatural claims is the same as Bob denying a historical claim.

          Again, rather than acknowledge the misrepresentation, you keep going.

          Bob explained his position to you and again, rather than acknowledge your error and especially Dave’s error, you persist and ask Bob if he believes that a Jesus existed “historical or otherwise”.

          Dave was wrong. Obviously wrong.

          Why not just admit it and move on? That’s how honest dialogue works.

        • Susan

          The big deal in my mind is that when an atheist says, “Anyway, Jesus didn’t even exist,” they can jump on that with a fairly reasonable argument, citing a broad consensus and Bart Ehrman as an atheist scholar who agrees with them

          Yes. He’s not a mythicist.

          Avoiding the Jesus myth claim keeps things a little more on track

          Well, yes. Because you and Jim and Guadalupe and Dave and all the other christians claim a a godman walked the earth. A preposterous and unsupported claim.

          An itinerant preacher in the 1st century isn’t such a big claim. There were tons of them.

          Sort of like claiming Paul Bunyan was based on a real lumberjack isn’t a big deal. But the stories about him and his blue ox sound like.. stories.

          if someone wants to jump into that fight, I’ll happily watch. Greg G and others have made a great defense of mythicism, for example.

          That is not the statement of someone who claims Jesus didn’t exist.

          But we can look at your claims. And the claims of Jim and Guadalupe and Dave and all the rest.

          That Jesus was a godman who lived and preached, who performed miracles, who resurrected from the dead, who will judge us all (only humans, despite the fact that he created life forms for hundreds of millions of years, most of whom were tortured to death by natural selection, and that somehow, without explanation, we will be rewarded or punished, even though, there is no evidence that there is an “us” once our brains have deteriorated into dust.)

          No historian can support that claim. Not using the historical method.

          And the people who claim it provide no method (except special pleading) to support it.

          So, you and JIm and Guadalupe and Dave are pointing at imaginary squirrels.

        • Greg G.

          Who said it? What is the context? Where is the link? What are you trying to say?

          If that is supposed to be Bob saying “Jesus didn’t even exist”, it is a hypothetical quote of a hypothetical atheist, not his opinion. The key to what the author of the statement is saying would be the “I’ll happily watch.”

          You and Jim Dailey have been after this for days but you can’t show where Bob has actually argued that historical Jesus was a myth.

          All you will find is Bob saying there was no magic Jesus.

          If you want to show where I or Ignorant Amos or Pofarmer has made the argument that Jesus is a myth, it would be much easier.

        • There’s nothing I like better than to have a stalker whine about the nuance in one sentence and then make me find an actual working URL. Sure, no problem—let me do your work for you.
          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2018/01/10-questions-christians-must-answer/

          To your point: Yes, I did say, “How do we explain the fact that Jesus has never appeared to you? Jesus is imaginary.” What I meant was, “Jesus as a god who could do magical things, like appear to people, is imaginary.” Since the Christ Myth theory is something I don’t talk about, the nuance of Jesus as a man vs. Jesus as a god isn’t something I usually worry about.

          Thank you very much for bringing this opportunity for a slight clarification to my attention. But if you have any more trivia to share, please keep it to yourself.

        • Otto

          You guys not only think Jesus WAS real…you think everyday around the world certain special people can assist in turning unleavened bread and wine INTO Jesus…and then you eat him.

          Yeah that’s rational…

        • Ignorant Amos

          Well a straw man is a whole lot easier to destroy. isn’t it?

          I feel embarrassed for fuckwits carrying the torch for Dishonest Dave.

          He’s making a cunt out of the both of ya for repeating his nonsense.

        • Paul Vinci

          What strawman would you be talking about exactly ???????? There simply isn’t one

          Your potty mouth belies poor argumentation

        • Ignorant Amos

          Your potty mouth belies poor argumentation

          Your tone trolling is duly noted. Now fuck off and take your head for a shite.

        • Paul Vinci

          When you were commenting on Daves Blogs you were doing what ????

          You facile name calling is water off a ducks back ..

          You’ve called me a fuckwit …and troll … and indirectly a cunt as well ..,. Your’e a beautiful human being … I want to be just like you , coz that how all the smart people talk …right !!!!!!

        • Ignorant Amos

          When you were commenting on Daves Blogs you were doing what ????

          Whaaaa? I wasn’t and I won’t. It would be giving a modicum of justification for his bullshit ballix.

          You facile name calling is water off a ducks back ..

          Obviously not apparently.

          You’ve called me a fuckwit …

          Fuckwit:- a stupid or contemptible person

          ..and troll …

          Tone trolling…don’t quote-mine…it’s fallaciously disingenuous and a dishonest cunts trick.

          Tone trolling:- Tone policing (also tone trolling, tone argument and tone fallacy) is an ad hominem and antidebate appeal based on genetic fallacy. It attempts to detract from the validity of a statement by attacking the tone in which it was presented rather than the message itself.

          ..and indirectly a cunt as well ..,.

          Cunt:- an unpleasant or stupid person.

          Your’e a beautiful human being …

          Why thank you. I try my best.

          I want to be just like you , coz that how all the smart people talk …right !!!!!!

          Well some scholars think so.

          http://time.com/5115683/swearing-is-good-for-you-emma-byrne/

          But I like Stephen Fry’s attitude…and if you think Stephen Fry isn’t smart, then you really are not very smart…

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_osQvkeNRM

          But anyway, you’ll never be as smart as me while you think all that mumbo jumbo you believe in is true and happened

          As to water off a ducks back…yeah…I think not.

        • Paul Vinci

          HI Potty Mouth
          YOU SAID ” But anyway, you’ll never be as smart as me while you think all that mumbo jumbo you believe in is true and happened ” >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

          I am already smarter than you by virtue of the fact that I am not an atheist .

          Thanks too for the three definitions ( CUNT < FUCKWIT < TROLL ) because a dumbshit like me didn't know what they meant , so I thank you from the bottom of my heart for teaching me and spending your your very valuable time on such dumb cunt like me .

        • Ignorant Amos

          I am already smarter than you by virtue of the fact that I am not an atheist .

          Yeah…dream on…and Muslims because the believe in flying horses…and Hindus because they believe in multi-armed elephant headed snakes…and Raelians because they believe in Earth visiting aliens…and Christians because they believe in a 3 in 1 dying and rising man-god who isn’t 3 nor 1 and regenerates from bread and wine in the mouth…and children who believe in Santa Claus who leaves presents for good little boys like you who pretend to behave themselves…bwaaahahaha…yeah, your all dead smart…NOT!

          And there ya go, proving I am smarter than you by thanking me for educating you…which was obvious since it was apparent you didn’t know what they meant….and you are still doing it ya arsewipe…the term I used was Tone Troll…there is a difference ya dopey clown…pwn’d again.

        • When you were commenting on Daves Blogs you were doing what ????

          Good one! You’ve convicted Amos for willfully using words. I know Dave hates that.

        • Paul Vinci

          Aren’t you carrying a torch for Bob ????????

        • Susan

          No. Amos provides his own arguments.

          What do you have but “Yay Dave.”?

        • Paul Vinci

          Are you carrying a torch for Amos ??????

        • Susan

          Are you carrying a torch for Amos??????

          Do you buy question marks in bulk?

          No. Again, you ignore the point.

          IA provides his own arguments.

        • Ignorant Amos

          By carrying a torch in the context here, I mean defending an others honor.

          Paul and Jim are defending the lies of that fool Armstrong.

          I’m defending Bob by showing Armstrong is a lying bastard and those two are eejits for cocking and crowing about his lies.

          But ya knew that already.

          Armstrong’s article is still a loada ballix regardless though.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yip…I didn’t say there was anything wrong with carrying a torch…try reading for comprehension and see if you can work out why I feel embarrassed for fuckwits who carry one for Dishonest Dave? Soft boy.

          I’ve even given ya wee clue.

        • Grimlock

          I am enjoying it very much . Dave has completely destroyed Sidensticker on this one . I feel embarrassed for Bob

          As has been pointed out a few times in this combox now, Armstrong attacked a straw man of Bob’s views. Will you now do the mature thing and retract your statement?

          See, for instance,
          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2018/08/when-christianity-was-in-charge-this-is-what-we-got-2/#comment-4041632339
          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2018/08/when-christianity-was-in-charge-this-is-what-we-got-2/#comment-4042532025

        • Paul Vinci

          The mature thing to do is to retract that statement ???

          Please explain to me what the strawman was … I have heard it said but no-one has actually said what the strawman is exactly . I have read both and i don’t see where the strawman is .. I will retract nothing until it has been demonstrated .

          Secondly your first link doesn’t actually work

        • Susan

          Please explain what the strawman was.

          Bob Seidensticker never denied a guy named Jesus existed.

          He did not deny that there might be a guy named Jesus on which all the supernatural hooey is based.

        • Paul Vinci

          Oh really , then please explain this comment

          Bob wrote on 6-11-14: “[T]he techniques Christian apologists use to conclude that the Christ story is historical would also lead historians to a similar conclusion about Superman.”

          Let me explain it to you this way .. Bob both concludes that a historcal Jesus is
          A. fictitious
          B. is as credible as believing in superman

          That is an outright denial of the existence of any Jesus …period . This idea that Bob was only talking a christian Jesus is meaningless

        • Ignorant Amos

          Your reading for comprehension skills are typical of the Christians we’ve been getting here recently…they’re shite.

          Let me help…

          Bob wrote on 6-11-14: “[T]he techniques Christian apologists use to conclude that the Christ story is historical would also lead historians to a similar conclusion about Superman.”

          Using those same techniques would lead historians to conclude Superman was real…that’s not the same as saying Jesus wasn’t real ya dolt.

          That is an outright denial of the existence of any Jesus …period .

          To a dumb fucker like you perhaps, but that is your problem, not Bob’s…idiot.

        • Paul Vinci

          Thanks for replying Potty Mouth .

          But here’s the really dumb thing . How do you explain Bobs other comments like this one :

          “Jesus could appear to you, but he doesn’t. He appeared to Paul after he died, so it’s not like he hasn’t done it before. He could appear to give you advice for a tough decision, give you comfort in person like a friend would, or just assure you that he really exists. He doesn’t. . . .

          “How do we explain the fact that Jesus has never appeared to you? Jesus is imaginary.”

          http://www.patheos.com/blog

          So who’s really the idiot here . hmmmmmmmmm

          Did you see that . or are your reading and comprehension skills so inept that you didn’t get that

          Bob said ” Jesus is imaginary ”

          You still carrying that torch for Bob

        • epeeist

          http://www.patheos.com/blog

          Gives a 404 error.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Your link doesn’t work…but I remember the thread anyway, because there was another Christian fuckwit giving it large there too.

          That fuckwits trope was that Jesus doesn’t do the appearing thing anymore and no Christians today expect it of believed he has appeared to them. Of course, presenting the evidence of Christians that he has “appeared” to demonstrating the contrary, means nothing to lying bastards for Jesus of course. Jesus appearing to Christians is imaginary.

          But here’s the really dumb thing . How do you explain Bobs other comments like this one :

          You rally make this very easy soft boy.

          “How do we explain the fact that Jesus has never appeared to you? Jesus is imaginary.”

          The Jesus that appeared to Paul was imaginary. Paul even tells us it was so. He was a construction of scripture and revelation in Paul’s imagination.

          The NT Jesus of Faith is imaginary. That’s a fact. The only folk that believe the NT Jesus isn’t imaginary are Christians…and not even all of them. And of the Christians that have believed in the NT Jesus that don’t believe he was imaginary, they have believed in a whole plethora of different Jesus’s.

          Most of the people in the world believe the Jesus of the NT is imaginary, even if most of them believe he was based on a real person. You seem to be really confused about this, but then ya aren’t very smart at all.

          Will The Real Jesus Please Stand Up?

          Apologists love to parrot the old lie that “no serious historians reject the historicity of Christ,” but fail to realize (or deliberately neglect to mention) that the “Historical Jesus” that the majority of historians do accept is at best no more than just another first century wandering preacher and founder of a fringe cult that eventually became Christianity – in other words, a Jesus that completely debunks their own.

          For your average atheist activist, all this should be more than enough to settle the matter. But the truth is, the issue isn’t even that cut and dry. What about this “Historical Jesus” at the core of all this legendary accretion? Can we actually know what the real Jesus of Nazareth really said and did?

          So who’s really the idiot here . hmmmmmmmmm

          It’s still you. Bob is not a mythicist. On the balance of probability, he believes there was a guy preaching around the Palestinian Levant that it was “claimed” could do miracles and could have been put to death for sedition. All that other jazz claimed about him is in the imagination of others…and Paul had a vision, i.e. he seen an imaginary Jesus.

          Did you see that . or are your reading and comprehension skills so inept that you didn’t get that

          Oh I seen it it alright…I’m not the dumb cunt with comprehension skills. The comments below that OP are littered with my interaction. It’s you that don’t get it, but then you are so invested with Armstrong’s lie at this stage ya can’t get out of the hole you’re in.

          Bob said ” Jesus is imaginary “

          Indeed…like millions of other non-mythicists around the world. But what Jesus are they all talking about?

          I bet I could show a Jesus that Christians have believed in that you would say was imaginary? Because if ya didn’t, you be a heretic.

          You still carrying that torch for Bob

          Certainly. When scumbag lying bastards for Jesus have to tell lies in order to slander him…yer damned right.

          I’ve been visiting this site for a number of years now. In all that time, when this subject is broached, Bob has been on the historical Jesus side. There are a number of others who are of the same bent, though they are sympathetic to the mythicist arguments. There are a number of regulars here who would come down on the mythicist side of the debate too. Bob isn’t one of them. So give up the lie youse cunts are peddling, you are embarrassing yerselves.

          Btw…I’m hopeful that once Bob gets around to reading the material and arguments for mythicism he’ll be even more sympathetic, but he has already stated that is just a distraction he doesn’t need.

          Magic dying and rising NT Jesus of Faith is imaginary, and there is absolutely no evidence to the contrary. So suck it up soft boy.

        • Greg G.

          So who’s really the idiot here . hmmmmmmmmm

          Maybe the person who links to a comment but can’t copy the whole URL.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And the eejit who posts sources that actually support my citation. Ya couldn’t make it up ffs.

        • Susan

          That is an outright denial of the existence of any Jesus

          Of course it isn’t. The “Christ story” is about a god man wandering the earth for a few decades performing supernatural feats.

          The existence of a “Jesus” is another thing.

          Trying to conflate the two is dishonest.

          Please provide a link to the comment in case I missed something.

        • Grimlock

          My first link works for me. But I see Susan pointed it out for you anyways.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Perhaps you don’t know what the Straw Man Fallacy is? Certainly seems so.

          A straw man is a common form of argument and is an informal fallacy based on giving the impression of refuting an opponent’s argument, while actually refuting an argument that was not presented by that opponent. One who engages in this fallacy is said to be “attacking a straw man.”

          Armstrong also quote-mined in order to make his straw man…that’s also fallaciously dishonest.

          The jest of the comment at the link you claim doesn’t work…it does, so your either lying, or doing something wrong…

          That dickhead Armstrong spent a whole blog post attacking a straw man ffs. That is irrational and fallacious ta boot.

          T]he evidence for the very existence of Jesus is paltry . . .

          Normally, I simply ignore this belief that is called “Jesus mythicism”…

          Bob, as far as I’m aware, is not a mythicist. One can believe in an historical Jesus and think the evidence supporting that belief is still paltry…plenty of scholars agree that it is paltry…and it is paltry. Just how paltry is debatable.

          The evidence for an historical Jesus being paltry and mythicism, are not synonymous. Scholars who believe Jesus was an historical figure, both Christian and not, have no problem acknowledging the evidence is paltry. So declaring that someone who asserts the evidence for an historical Jesus is paltry is also a mythicist is a lie. It was not the argument Bob was making. Labeling Bob a mythicist in order to argue it down in order to try and make Bob a “boob”, is a disingenuous straw man fallacy.

          It’s a cunts trick, anyone supporting it is also a cunt by association.

        • Paul Vinci

          If want to see stawmen , then just read Bob rediculous caricatures of catholicism .. His entire article was full of it and Dave adequately dealt with Bobs nonsense ……. Will Bob now retract his comments

        • Retract my comments? Sure–point out where I’ve made an error and I’ll take a look.

        • Widuran

          Yes he is so biased he is blind to the truth the man existed

        • Huh? Who do I deny existed?

        • Widuran

          So you accept that Jesus Christ existed. Great I was wrong my bad

        • Wrong again. I don’t deny that Jesus existed.

        • Otto

          You may not want to look on Dave’s blog…

        • Dang! I keep forgetting that I get my marching orders from Dave. Every day he tells me what bullshit I’m supposed to believe.

          Thanks for the reminder.

        • Pofarmer

          Armstrong is making an ass of himself.

        • Jim Dailey

          Armstrong is making Bob look irrational.

        • Pofarmer

          I’m sorry. I’m not gonna read his dishonest drivel.

        • Pofarmer

          It’s kinda rich, being schooled on what is rational, by folks who believe a cracker and wine turns into the literal blood and literal body of their God. Holy shit folks. Don’t lecture me on irrationality. Boobs indeed.

        • Ignorant Amos

          That dickhead Armstrong spent a whole blog post attacking a straw man ffs. That is irrational and fallacious ta boot.

          [T]he evidence for the very existence of Jesus is paltry . . .

          Normally, I simply ignore this belief that is called “Jesus mythicism”…

          Bob, as far as I’m aware, is not a mythicist. One can believe in an historical Jesus and think the evidence supporting that belief is still paltry…plenty of scholars agree that it is paltry…and it is paltry. Just how paltry is debatable.

          https://www.atheists.org/activism/resources/did-jesus-exist/

          You are tying your flag to the mast of a dickhead.

        • Jim Dailey

          “Just how paltry is debatable”

          Well, I will accept Michael Grant’s assessment of the evidence. You should as well.

          Do what you like. I am sure who is advancing dickhead ideas.

        • Grimlock

          It seems appropriate that you now concede that the source you linked to attacked a straw man. Will you do that?

        • Doubting Thomas

          I’m guessing you’ll get nothing but silence from Jim. I got the same when I asked him about the blatant strawmanning from his hero, Dave.

        • Jim Dailey

          Absolutely not.

        • Otto

          Taking responsibility wouldn’t be the Catholic thing to do… right Jim?

        • Grimlock

          Why not? It’d certainly be the mature and honest thing to do. Refusing to do so makes you look somewhat childish.

        • Pofarmer

          Michael Grant only based his assessment on the Gospels, and, as pretty much everybody else does, fails to ask the simple question, “What if the Gospels are fiction and if they are how would we know?”

          The complete picture, if you look at the formation of the Jesus charchter through our earliest sources, including things like the didache. Doesn’t agree.

        • Jim Dailey

          Meh. Grants opinion on the matter carries more weight than Pofarmer.

        • Pofarmer

          Meh. If you use the same flawed methods, you are going to get the same flawed results.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Historian Michael Grant termed the hypothesis that Jesus never lived an “extreme view.” He charges that it transgresses the basics of historiography: “if we apply to the New Testament, as we should, the same sort of criteria as we should apply to other ancient writings containing historical material, we can no more reject Jesus’ existence than we can reject the existence of a mass of pagan personages whose reality as historical figures is never questioned.” Grant summarizes, after referring to Wells as an example: “modern critical methods fail to support the Christ-myth theory.” These positions have been “annihilated” by the best scholars because the critics “have not succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary.”

          The problem with what Grant says, is that the basics of historiography and criteria used in the quest for the historical Jesus by scholars transgresses the norm for history.

          Historians know this, even esteemed Christian historians.

          “Donald Akenson, Professor of Irish Studies in the department of history at Queen’s University has argued that, with very few exceptions, the historians of Yeshua have not followed sound historical practices. He has stated that there is an unhealthy reliance on consensus, for propositions which should otherwise be based on primary sources, or rigorous interpretation. He also holds that some of the criteria being used are faulty.

          He says that the overwhelming majority of biblical scholars are
          employed in institutions whose roots are in religious beliefs. Because of this, he maintains that, more than any other group in present day academia, biblical historians are under immense pressure to theologize their historical work and that it is only through considerable individual heroism that many biblical historians have managed to maintain the scholarly integrity of their work.”

        • The story I’ve heard is that Moses mythicism was in the same camp in the fairly recent past, but it’s held as a very plausible view now, if not the consensus of scholars. The anti-Jesus mythicists might want to focus on the argument and tone down their shrillness just in case posterity turns against them as well.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The story I’ve heard is that Moses mythicism was in the same camp in the fairly recent past, but it’s held as a very plausible view now, if not the consensus of scholars.

          Indeed…Tommy Thompson was castigated for it by the academy, and made a pariah in the scholarly community.

          Thompson is closely associated with the minimalist movement known as The Copenhagen School (other major figures include Niels Peter Lemche, Keith Whitelam, and Philip R. Davies), a loosely knit group of scholars who hold that the Bible cannot be used as a source to determine the history of ancient Israel, and that “Israel” itself is a problematic concept.

          Phillip Davies also takes a similar approach.

          https://vridar.org/2012/08/30/did-jesus-exist-for-a-minimalist-and-another-jesus-process-member/

          The anti-Jesus mythicists might want to focus on the argument and tone down their shrillness just in case posterity turns against them as well.

          I don’t think there is any shrillness. I’ve not read in any work where the author has claimed that new evidence would not change their position…that’s not the case for the historical Jesus proponents.

          Even Carrier had to be coerced into even looking at Docherty’s research. He was firmly in the historical Jesus camp until he reluctantly began to look into the hypothesis. What he uncovered, and which is stuff not contested in scholarly circles, began to paint an altogether different picture to his preconceptions. Preconceptions most of us have about the Jesus story being built upon the frame of an historical human being.

          Like I said, Jesus, whoever he was, wasn’t the guy in the NT. Finding out that there was really someone whose name was seconded for the story, won’t interfere with my atheism. Like most mythicists, I am agnostic on the subject, but agnosticism isn’t 50/50.

        • Pofarmer

          The anti-Jesus mythicists might want to focus on the
          argument and tone down their shrillness just in case posterity turns
          against them as well.
          I don’t think there is any shrillness.

          I think you’ve misread Bob, here.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Aye…certainly looks that way.

        • Pofarmer

          Finding out that there was really someone whose name was seconded for the story, won’t interfere with my atheism.

          I’d even guess that, if there were a historical “Jesus” his name was probably “Fred” or some such. “Loosely based on historical events.”

        • Ignorant Amos

          Apparently Jesus was the 6th most popular name at the time.

          Alexander Jannaeus did a bit of crucifying 100 years before the setting of the gospel Jesus yarn and an executed Jesus has been connected to that period.

        • Pofarmer

          Have you read much by Fr. Thomas Brodie? I think at least some of his stuff has been pulled down. I have the Tom Harpur book “The Pagan Christ” and think he suffers some from “parrallellomania” Even though there certainly are an awful lot of parallel themes with Jesus and other mythical Gods.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Nope…and I don’t think any hypothesis is flawless either. But then the other sides hypothesis has a lot more flaws imo.

        • I don’t think there is any shrillness. I’ve not read in any work where the author has claimed that new evidence would not change their position…that’s not the case for the historical Jesus proponents.

          I think we’re saying the same thing. I was concerned about shrillness in the Bart Ehrman camp, the “Of course Jesus existed, and anyone who says otherwise is a dolt!” camp.

          Pofarmer made a good point today, that a reasonable research question should be, “How do you know Jesus isn’t 100% fiction?” I’d put the emphases on the “How do you know?” I’m happy with a Christian scholar saying that Jesus 70% existed or even 90% existed, but the popular attitude seems to be, “Oh, please. Only a hack would even dream to suggest that Jesus didn’t exist as a real person.”

          That position may be embarrassing 20 years from now, if trends continue.

        • Otto

          >>>”I’m happy with a Christian scholar saying that Jesus 70% existed or even 90% existed”

          Even the mythicist scholars give it a probability and do not definitively claim Jesus did not exist. Carrier has said that he puts the best chances at around 1 in 3 that he did exist. Price has said he thinks Jesus probably didn’t exist but that it wouldn’t take much to change his mind if something new came up. I think the people like Dave and Kim just like to pounce on the issue to try and show how irrational an atheist can be.

          I stipulated to Jim that Jesus existed but then asked what good evidence showed he was born of a virgin, etc. He thanked me for admitting Jesus existed and ignored the rest.

        • It seems odd that they would make much of a distinction between “Jesus didn’t exist” and “There may have been a guy named Jesus who jump-started Christianity in some way, but all the supernatural claims are nonsense.” The net effect is the same.

        • epeeist

          The problem for the Christian scholar is that for them Jesus must necessarily exist, otherwise they have nothing to build a Christ upon. Hence they react like Victorian ladies having their honour impugned if you suggest that there is anything but certainty when it comes to the existence of Jesus.

        • Ignorant Amos

          There are a few Christian scholars that are the exception to the rule.

        • Pofarmer

          Ok. that was funny.

          “Get me to the fainting couch” Lol.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Soz….mea culpa.

        • Pofarmer

          The anti-Jesus mythicists might want to focus on the argument and tone
          down their shrillness just in case posterity turns against them as well.

          It almost shows a certain desperation to not be questioned.

          Should we go searching for the Historical Paul Bunyan, perhaps? The historical Rhett Butler?

        • A Creationist friend of mine brings up quasicrystals as an example of someone bucking the scientific consensus but eventually winning (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Shechtman#Work_on_quasicrystals ). Schechtman, the originator of the idea, said about the process:

          I was a subject of ridicule and lectures about the basics of crystallography. The leader of the opposition to my findings was the two-time Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling, the idol of the American Chemical Society and one of the most famous scientists in the world. For years, ’til his last day, he fought against quasi-periodicity in crystals. He was wrong, and after a while, I enjoyed every moment of this scientific battle, knowing that he was wrong.

          And then Schechtman won a Nobel prize himself.

          This may serve as a cautionary tale for the anti-mythicists.

          [My Creationist friend wants to take this example and say, “See? The consensus is sometimes wrong. Therefore I’m entitled to believe the Creationists.” That’s bullshit, of course. I’m simply saying that the consensus can be wrong, so fight upstart ideas with evidence and argument, not vitriol and hysteria.]

        • Jim Dailey

          Donald Akenson sure can make assertions all right.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Indeed he can…but I see the point flies right over your head as usual.

          Donald Akenson is an esteemed historian and he is a Christian…so he has no bias in the game for his criticism.

          And like I said, he isn’t the only lone Christian voice in his honesty about the abuse of the methods used in Jesus studies.

          The historical analysis techniques used by biblical scholars have been questioned, and according to James Dunn it is not possible “to construct (from the available data) a Jesus who will be the real Jesus.”

          According to James Dunn, “the ‘historical Jesus’ is properly speaking a nineteenth- and twentieth-century construction using the data provided by the Synoptic tradition, not Jesus back then and not a figure in history.” (Emphasis in the original). Dunn further explains that “the facts are not to be identified as data; they are always an interpretation of the data.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_Jesus#Criticism_of_Jesus_research_methods

        • Pofarmer

          Raphael Lataster has presented at at least one Australian Historian’s conference on this same topic. It will be interesting to see if the view gains any headway, but, of course, it is going to face stiff headwinds from the “consensus”.

          And like I said about Grant. If you uses the same flawed methods he’s going to get the same flawed results.

        • Correct–I’m not a mythicist. But since when did inconvenient facts get in the way of the Armstrong juggernaut?

        • By making shit up? Yeah, I guess that’s one way to do it.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Lying for Jesus and Pious Fraud…it’s what they do.

        • rationalobservations?

          Fewer and fewer people merely assume a man named Yeshua actually existed.
          All honest historians admit there is no authentic and original, 1st century originated historical evidence of the existence of Yeshua/”Jesus”.
          No such evidence exists and the legends and propaganda that started to appear centuries after the time in which the “Jesus” legends are set are not evidence.

        • Widuran

          https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/12/jesus-tomb-archaeology/

          You are wrong. Jesus who called himself Christ existed.

          The only propaganda is the refusal of accepting the evidence

        • alverant

          “Jesus who called himself Christ existed.”
          There are no first-hand accounts of that. Nor is there evidence that he WAS a christ in the first place. Calling yourself a christ doesn’t make it so.

        • Widuran

          There is evidence if you actually look

        • rationalobservations?

          Present that evidence or prove yourself a liar.

        • Widuran

          I am not a liar

        • rationalobservations?

          No evidence indicates that you are a liar.
          You even lie that you are not the liar the absence of evidence proves you to be.

        • Widuran

          No evidence indicates I am not a liar and that you are the liar

        • Greg G.

          Present your evidence or stop saying there is evidence. RO2 and I both know everything Xtians call evidence. The extrabiblical evidence is too late to be reliable and they only give evidence that comes from the Gospels. The gospels are fairy tales. The early epistles talk about Jesus a lot, but the only things they say come from the Old Testament, not from first century information.

        • Widuran
        • rationalobservations?

          Your infantile denial is devoid of evidence and is just another of your pathetic and transparent lies.
          You are correct that there’s no evidence that you are not a liar.
          Only your dishonesty appears to exceed your ignorance and gullibility.

        • Widuran

          So you ignore the evidence this makes you the liar

        • rationalobservations?

          You claim there is evidence but cannot present any. That proves you to be a liar.

        • Widuran

          No I gave evidence and you deny it and then say I did not give evidence. This means you are the liar

        • rationalobservations?

          I have read through and studied the article you linked to in case previous study missed some actual evidence within it but all it contains is the fact that folk believe in “Jesus” based only upon the diverse and contradictory legends written centuries after the time in which they are set.

          A key sentence is:
          “Excavations at and around the Church of the Nativity have so far turned up no artifacts dating to the time of Christ, nor any sign that early Christians considered the site sacred.”

          I KNOW people believe in myths and legends of which no evidence corroborated. That is unquestioned. As is the total absolute, utter and complete absence of a single shred of evidence of the existence of “Jesus” – as the article you kindly link to CONFIRMS.

        • Jim Dailey

          You sound exactly like someone who denies the existence of dinosaurs.

        • Doubting Thomas

          If you read closer, he actually just sounds like someone who doubts the evidence for the existence of Jesus. There’s no mention of dinosaurs to be found in his post.

        • Jim Dailey

          I assume you have read arguments from people who deny the existence of dinosaurs.

          RO’s rhetoric is astonishingly similar.

        • Susan

          RO’s rhetoric is astonishingly similar

          Then show the similarity.

        • Pofarmer

          I think what Jim means is that it’s similar to someone pointing out that there are no Homo Sapiens skeletons in the Cretaceous period, or that the Holocaust, wasn’t caused by the murder of Archduke Ferdinand.

        • rationalobservations?

          More straw men burn..

        • rationalobservations?

          Evidence of dinosaurs abounds.
          Evidence of “Jesus” is nonexistent.
          Another feeble straw man burns.

        • Greg G.

          Have you ever noticed that the early epistles speak of Jesus a lot? Have you noticed that everything the early epistles say about Jesus comes from the Old Testament? No information about Jesus comes from the first century. Those are the earliest writings about Jesus and they are evidence that Jesus was thought to have existed in their ancient past.

        • Jim Dailey

          Internet Infidels – atheist website description

          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Infidels

          Jeffrey Lowder – founder of Internet Infidels:
          http://www.biblicalcatholic.com/apologetics/ShatteringChristMyth.htm

          “There is simply nothing intrinsically improbable about a historical Jesus; the New Testament alone (or at least portions of it) are reliable enough to provide evidence of a historical Jesus. On this point, it is important to note that even G.A. Wells, who until recently was the champion of the christ-myth hypothesis, now accepts the historicity of Jesus on the basis of ‘Q’.” (“Josh McDowell’s ‘Evidence’ for Jesus”)

        • Otto

          >>>”who until recently was the champion of the christ-myth hypothesis, now accepts the historicity of Jesus on the basis of ‘Q’.”

          So he accepts the historicity of Jesus based on a hypothetical document…well if that isn’t rock solid I don’t know what is.

        • Greg G.

          There were many people in first century Judea by that name. Some might have been itinerant preachers. Some may have been crucified (though there are some crucifixions mentioned following Herod’s death but the next crucifixions in Judea mentioned in historical writings are the middle of the first century.) That is not inherently unlikely.

          But the early epistles are not about any of them. They only refer to Jesus in terms of the Old Testament. They are not about a first century person. The epistles are fantasy based on creative readings of scripture. The gospels are fantasy fiction.

        • Jim Dailey

          Give it up. Not even Bob is giving your bullshit any credence.

        • Otto

          I would easily put the odds of Jesus having never existed to be much higher than the ‘Jesus as portrayed in gospels is real’.

          Talk about bullshit…it is not even close.

        • Greg G.

          You haven’t provided any evidence for Jesus being a first century person. You have only given a few opinions without evidence.

          G. A. Wells accepted Q but it’s hypothetical evidence. Q is supposed to explain the similarities between Matthew and Luke without having to explain the differences. The evidence is stronger that Luke used Matthew. Luke probably had to write a new genealogy because Matthew couldn’t count. Matthew made a big deal about there being three sets of 14 generations but he omitted 4 generations in one and counted the Exile as a generation in another. Luke may have objected to the baby killing in Matthew’s nativity account and had to change that.

        • Be careful, Greg! He’s not using logic!

        • Greg G.

          There I go with my defective sensus divinitatis, again.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Not even Bob is giving your bullshit any credence.

          Now you are contradicting yourself…the lies of fuckwits knows no bounds.

          And even then, you still misrepresent Bob on this matter you disingenuous arse-hole.

        • Jim Dailey

          Perhaps you missed Bob back peddling from the “Jesus never existed” argument.

          A bunch of you acolytes should take a cue from your oracle.

        • Grimlock

          Dude. Bob didn’t back away. Armstrong tried making Bob argue for a position he didn’t actually express. Get over it. Or even better, try to deal with the lines of reasoning I gave you yesterday.

        • Ignorant Amos

          What? And admit he fucked up and that his arse wipe pal is a lying toerag…not a chance of it. Easier to join the ranks of all the liars for Jesus.

        • Susan

          Perhaps you missed Bob back peddling from the “Jesus never existed” argument.

          An argument he never made. Yet, you are dishonest enough to double down.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Perhaps you missed Bob back peddling from the “Jesus never existed” argument.

          You are one lying bastard. Bob has nowhere made that argument. And neither you, or that other Catholic cunt Armstrong can demonstrate anywhere that he did.

          Perhaps you missed where I told you where you were lying about this?

          Your dishonesty is without refrain.

          You were bigging up that scrot Armstrong’s blog post about a position Bob has never taken. It was a straw man and a lie. But even when that was pointed out…did you rescind your ballix and admit your fuckwittery? Nope, you repeated the lie.

          But when it serves your purpose to be a fucking hypocrite, which is a form of lying, you misrepresent Bob’s position on this issue yet again. Because that is the sort of lying oxygen thieving bastards youse are. It wouldn’t surprise me if you are complicit in your institutions pedophilia. It’s par for the course.

          There was no backpedaling. You’re lying for Jesus and it’s all there for all to see.

          A bunch of you acolytes should take a cue from your oracle.

          Dumb shite coming from a dumb shite. You’ve been told what the only thing atheists have in common, yet you continue to be the dumb fucker you are, all the same…Christians? Honesty? Ave shit’em.

        • I missed it. Show me where I declared that Jesus never existed.

          Are you also a proud member of the Liars for Jesus® Club? Or are you just a Liar for Dave?

        • Jim Dailey

          6-11-14: “[T]he techniques Christian apologists use to conclude that the Christ story is historical would also lead historians to a similar conclusion about Superman.”

          12-9-11 “Jesus and Santa: a Parable on How We Dismiss Evidence”

          I can’t prove Santa doesn’t exist. Nor can I disprove leprechauns, Russell’s Flying Teapot, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or God. The thoughtful person goes where the evidence points rather than accepting only the evidence that supports his preconception.“

          12-9-11“Jesus and Santa: a Parable on How We Dismiss Evidence”
          Reiterating on 12-8-17, Bob in his infinite wisdom advises us: “Be careful about dismissing the existence of Santa, because that reasoning may demand that you dismiss Jesus as well.”

          12-18-17
          “Be careful about dismissing the existence of Santa, because that reasoning may demand that you dismiss Jesus as well.”

          I am tired of copying and pasting…

          You egg the morons here on with hints of what you mean, but leave them to face the embarrassment of being schooled when they say stupid shit. Your double-speak fools a few hysterical dopes. Congratulations.

        • Greg G.

          It looks like you did a thorough search but none of those are Bob saying Jesus never existed. I have never seen Bob say whether Jesus existed or didn’t.

          Are you going to give up or admit you were wrong.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I have never seen Bob say whether Jesus existed or didn’t.

          I’ve seen him say that he believed he probably did, but that the evidence ain’t as copper fastened as the historicist likes to think it is…with MNb for one, if iirc.

        • Yes, MNb was curiously, almost passionately anti-mythicist. I never figured out why.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Many are…but then he refused to even look at the subject, which I thought rather odd for a skeptical.

        • Greg G.

          He gave me three reasons once. He didn’t buy my refutations. I remember one involved Polycarp being a disciple of the Apostle John. I said I accept that John was real because he is mentioned in Galatians 2:9 but that doesn’t mean John was an actual disciple of Jesus.

        • Pofarmer

          I’m sorry Jim. The last one doing any schooling here is you.

        • Otto

          You do realize those arguments are made against the ‘magical Jesus’ and not some poorly defined historical Jesus… right?

          Nah you would either never be honest enough to admit that difference or are too stupid to understand it.

          Schooled…yeah you could use some of that.

        • Pofarmer

          Keep in mind, jim believes in the magical jesus too.

        • Otto

          That would fall under ‘too stupid to understand it’.

        • Pofarmer

          Obviously, the Superman story is the evidence of a real life Clark Kent.

        • Greg G.

          There is simply nothing intrinsically improbable about a historical Clark Kent. Clark is not an uncommon given name and Kent is not an uncommon surname. Being a journalist is not an uncommon occupation. Wearing black rim glasses is such a powerful disguise that nobody could possibly distinguish Superman’s facial features if he wore them.

        • BlackMamba44

          You were homeschooled! LOL!

        • Pofarmer

          The way this whole thing is playing out is just bizarre, isn’t it? I mean, they believe that they are partaking of ritual cannibalism of their God, and that’s not irrational, or weird at all. I mean, it’s just a mystery. But question literally anything and suddenly you are being “schooled” by one of their apologists and called a moron. Especially if you question any of the particulars of their Earthly not so godlike Man/God, which they don’t believe in anyway. They won’t tell you what they use to separate the actual from the imaginary, other than that they rely on “experts” or “historians” who happen to sometimes include some “atheists” who, it seems, are using the same bad methods all them other dudes are using and never asking any questions actually pertinent to the story, or looking at the history of the Hebrew religion of, simply, ya know, making shit up out of whole cloth. And they’re doing it in bad faith anyway, ’cause they believe in the divine guy, not the ordinary walking around guy, so what’s the big deal here? Do they actually believe it and have to suppress it? I I mean, deep down inside do they understand that their Jesus is just as historical as Hercules? People need to get a grip.

        • Susan

          All this is about godman Jesus.

          It doesn’t deny the existence of an itinerant preacher in the 1st century upon whom the legends were based.

        • And that sounds to you like “Jesus never existed”? Y’know, if I thought Jesus never existed, I’d probably say something like, oh I dunno, maybe “Jesus never existed.” Or, if you really, really cared so much about what I think, you could just ask me.

          What a moron.

          Reading others’ comments have made me consider the Christ Myth theory more favorably, but (as I tried to explain to you) it is not useful to me. So it’s me following the interesting ideas of the commenters, not vice versa.

        • Otto

          Nuance is a foreign concept to Jim.

        • Phil

          As far as I am concerned, as there is not a shred of evidence for the existence of a god, any god, there can be no evidence for this Jesus being the son of a god. Therefore as Jesus cannot have been the son of a god, the bible and Christianity has no basis in fact whatsoever. Jesus may or may not have been a real, historical person. So what, he is irrelevant.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Dumb cunt…it’s others here that are mythicist, not Bob.

          Nothing you’ve copied and pasted changes the situation.

          What Jesus do you believe Bob is talking about ya fuckwit?

          Here, let me help ya out ya simpleton.

          6-11-14: “[T]he techniques Christian apologists use to conclude that the [NT god-man] Christ story is historical would also lead historians to a similar conclusion about Superman.”

          12-9-11 “[NT god-man] Jesus and Santa: a Parable on How We Dismiss Evidence”

          I can’t prove Santa doesn’t exist. Nor can I disprove leprechauns, Russell’s Flying Teapot, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or God. The thoughtful person goes where the evidence points rather than accepting only the evidence that supports his preconception.“

          [That the supernatural NT god-man Jesus doesn’t exist]

          12-9-11“[NT god-man] Jesus and Santa: a Parable on How We Dismiss Evidence”

          Reiterating on 12-8-17, Bob in his infinite wisdom advises us: “Be careful about dismissing the existence of Santa, because that reasoning may demand that you dismiss [NT god-man] Jesus as well.”

          12-18-17
          “Be careful about dismissing the existence of Santa, because that reasoning may demand that you dismiss [NT god-man] Jesus as well.”

          Any clearer for ya? Or will you continue with making a cunt of yourself and being idiotic Dave’s wankstain?

        • Jim Dailey

          You have demonstrated yet again what a stupid sycophant you are. Anybody with half a brain who is willing to think can see exactly what Bob is saying.
          You are a boob.

        • Otto

          So you are saying you don’t have half a brain and are not willing to think? OK…I can buy that…but I am not sure why you would go public with that info.

        • Greg G.

          Anybody with half a brain who is willing to think can see exactly what Bob is saying.

          Which indicates you are operating with a quarter of a brain.

        • Ignorant Amos

          No matter how much you try and twist it, you cannot make it say what you wish it said…but then that’s lying pedophile supporting Catholics for ya.

        • Jim Dailey

          Listen shitball – I personally witnessed pedophile sexual assault – in a public (secular) school as a child.

          Guess what – the guy who perpetrated it and the school that allowed it will never be called to account. You know why?

        • Ignorant Amos

          I give zero fucks for your non sequitur. Adults in secular schools don’t claim to be the epitome of moral bastions on Earth and Gods representatives…so pah!

          And I think you are lying again anyway, so go take your head for a shite.

        • Jim Dailey

          The pedophile was a gym coach – he also coached the wrestling team.

          Our school – which was for kids in 7th and 8th grade (12-14 year olds) had an indoor swimming pool.

          The boys took gym separately from the girls. The coach forbade swim suits for the boys for “hygienic” reasons. (Although the girls were given swim suits).

          Anyway, before he let us in the pool, he would select a boy or two, and charge them with some offense. He would then make the rest of us sit in bleachers, and bend the boy(s) over and paddle them with kick boards until they screamed in pain.

          After, he let us in the pool unsupervised while he retired to his office to do “paperwork”.

          I guess that is all ok with you? “Pah!”

        • Ignorant Amos

          Was he claiming he was a cleric doing God’s work? No…then your wee yarn is irrelevant, so fuck off.

        • Jim Dailey

          I am clear on where you stand on pedophilia. Good to know.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I very much doubt that, you haven’t been clear on anything since you got here.

          And I really couldn’t give a fuck about what you think you know, because you’ve demonstrated already that you know jack shit about anything.

          Handy for me that there are plenty of witnesses here that actually do know….so on you go ya pedophile supporting arse wipe.

        • Jim Dailey

          You are the guy who doesn’t care about pedophilia if a secular teacher is doing it you creep.

        • Susan

          You are the guy who doesn’t care about pedophilia if a secular teacher is doing it you creep.

          Really? You don’t think IA cares about child rape?

          Again, I’m going to beg you to for once to show that your thinking has any bearing in reality.

          Amos isn’t harbouring child rapists, protecting people who cover up child rape and using all his political and financial power to blame raped children and to protect child rapists and those who cover it up.

          You don’t seem to be very good at understanding obvious distinctions.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yeah, you keep telling folk on this site what they believe and don’t believe…some special powers ya got there Jim, NOT, because you fuck up at every hands turn.

          What I care about pedophilia and secular offenders is irrelevant to the point I’m making ya imbecile…try applying a bit of reading for comprehension, it’ll save you looking embarrassing dickhead.

          That point being, your Roman Catholic Club “claims” to be a band of YahewJesus’s representatives on Earth. They claim that everyone gets their “objective morality” from YahhwehJesus and they are the teachers and arbiters of that morality. They are making a fucking pigs memory curd of the whole shebang, because the dirty bastards can’t keep their cocks in their cassocks. While many others in the institution are helping to facilitate the dirty bastards not keep their cocks in their cassocks.

          Now either YahwehJesus doesn’t give a fuck for the suffering his agents on Earth are getting away with (not omnibenevolent), or he is powerless to do anything about it (not omnipotent), or the RCC are not his agents and this is his way of letting you dickheads know (not omnipotent), or he really doesn’t exist. Either way, you are a member of the Pedophile Supporters Club and are giving succor to the debauchery going on in that club…deal with it.

        • Greg G.

          That is horrible. Was the gym coach Catholic?

          In the Pennsylvania case, a boy had to stand on the bath tub while the priest was bathing and the priest would beat the kid.

        • Jim Dailey

          You seem to be very knowledgeable.

          Tell me, how many public school cases of abuse were reported as occurring in the six months prior and the six months after the government decided to focus on the Catholic Church?

        • Otto
        • Greg G.

          I do not know how many.

          It is harder for a school to guilt parents into not reporting sex abuse than it is for a church. They can’t leverage the soul.

          There are 3.2 million teachers in the United States which is about 8 times the number of priests world-wide. There are about a million male teachers in the United States. There are about 37,500 Catholic priests in the United States. That’s about a 28 to 1 ratio.

        • Susan

          Nothing like the stench of tu quoque from a catholic.

          https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/11/Ad-Hominem-Tu-quoque

          You know why?

          Why?

        • Bob himself has told you his views, and you can’t see what Bob is saying.

          Who’s the boob?

        • Susan

          Anybody with half a brain who is willing to think can see exactly what Bob is saying.

          Exactly.

        • Pofarmer

          Petard, meet hoist.

        • Put Greg in his place–use evidence to argue that Jesus must’ve existed as an actual human.

        • Pofarmer

          And yet, there is a growing group of scholars who doubt Q

        • rationalobservations?

          There is no authentic original, 1st Century originated evidence of the existence of “Jesus”.

        • rationalobservations?

          Evidence of dinosaurs can be found within the world’s natural history museums.
          There is no authentic and original, 1st century originated historical evidence of the existence of “Jesus”.

        • Jim Dailey

          Except dinosaur deniers claim the evidence is insufficient to convince them, despite the consensus of experts.

        • Otto

          Who cares if Jesus was real? How do we get from there to he walked on water or magically made food or any of the other silliness? Fine…Jesus was as real as Abe Lincoln…you still have all your work in front of you.

        • Jim Dailey

          Thank you Otto.

          “Jesus was as real as Abe Lincoln”

        • Otto

          Why am I not surprised you ignored the point.

        • rationalobservations?

          Except there IS evidence of the existence of dinosaurs, Jim.
          There is no evidence of the existence of “Jesus”.

        • rationalobservations?

          There is evidence of dinosaurs
          There is no evidence of “Jesus”.
          Your straw man continues to burn.

        • Kevin K

          Where are the Jesus fossils, then?

          Using your standard of evidence, you declare these two beliefs to be exactly equivalent. OK, then. Jesus fossil, please.

          Or any other verifiable, objective piece of tangible evidence that a neutral third party or skeptic can hold and analyse. I can take someone to the Field Museum or hundreds of other places and show them tangible evidence of dinosaurs. Whether or not they choose to believe in that evidence, the fact remains that I can actually put a dinosaur bone in their hands.

          What tangible piece of evidence exists for Jesus?

        • Jim Dailey

          What would a dinosaur-denier say if you showed him the fossil? He would come up with an implausible (implausible to rational people anyway) reason it was insufficient evidence.

          Which is precisely what you ahistoric Jesus types do when shown corroborating evidence that Jesus existed.

        • Kevin K

          Non-responsive. You said there was equivalent evidence…which means empirically based.

          Put up or shut up. Where’s the Jesus fossils?

        • Otto

          OK you think there is sufficient evidence for anyone to conclude that Jesus actually existed…would you like to talk about how you believe that guy did magic and it therefore proves he was God incarnate? I bet not.

        • Kevin K

          Still waiting on those Jesus fossils.

        • Kevin K

          Hit-and-run, then? You declare that I would reject your Jesus Fossils™, but fail to produce them. Not fair, I think.

        • Kevin K

          So, it’s pretty clear that Jim here has abandoned the field, therefore conceding that there is no empirical evidence of Jesus’ existence that can be examined today.

          I’m quite sure that he’s just aching to use writings of dubious provenance like Josephus instead of empirical evidence. But here’s why I reject that type of evidence as not being responsive or nearly authoritative enough to meet the level that he himself set in this thread. Using fossils.

          We know “Lucy” is a genuine fossil and Piltdown Man is a hoax. Why? Because we have the artifacts, we know where and how they were “discovered”, and we can actually-and-really hold them in our hands, examine the dig sites, and all the rest of what paleontology does.

          If I were to accept mere writings about Piltdown Man from the era in which it was “discovered”, I would be forced to accept that Piltdown Man was a real fossil. Because it was only decades after it was presented that the paleontology community definitively rejected it, declaring it to be a hoax. Because of the thing itself … not the mere writing about the thing.

          So…writings are not empirical evidence, no matter how much you want them to be. If you declare to me that you have empirical evidence in favor of something, you had better bring empirical evidence.

        • Greg G.

          Dinosaur deniers are not aware of all the evidence of dinosaurs. Jesus mythicists have looked at all of the evidence for Jesus. The best evidence is better evidence that Jesus was made up.

        • Kevin K

          There are dinosaur fossils aplenty.

          Verifiable evidence of Jesus? Not so much.

        • alverant

          “All reputable historians agree Jesus Christ did exist.”
          All used the same biblical claims.

        • Widuran

          Nope they also use non biblical sources too. Keep up

        • rationalobservations?

          Please describe the evidence you claim exists and the location in which it’s conserved and available for authentication.

        • Widuran

          I suggest you use google national geographic has some info

        • rationalobservations?

          I am very familiar with the article you reference and it contains NO evidence of anything other than the fact that some folk still believe in the myths and legends written centuries after the time in which they are set but from within which no evidence originated.

        • Widuran

          incorrect

        • Greg G.

          Did you read the article? It specifically does not even rule out that Jesus is the greatest literary hoax of all time.

        • Widuran

          It proves he existed

        • rationalobservations?

          Denial is not rebuttal.
          Your lies catch you out.

        • Widuran

          It is you who is lying

        • “Google National Geographic”? That’s your proof that Jesus existed?

        • Widuran
        • 1. “Nat Geo says Jesus existed so therefore Jesus existed” isn’t an argument.

          2. Show me that Nat Geo is saying that (give me a quote, not a link).

        • Widuran

          You prove my prejudice against foreign people by demanding I do not use links but use them yourself.

        • Greg G.

          I have given you a quote from the article that shows that it does not prove a historical Jesus. The article does not rule out that Jesus was a literary hoax. It says that specifically.

        • Widuran

          The article gives evidence of Jesus existing.

        • Which is quite a step down from what you originally said that it proved.

          You just going to let that error sit there? Or are you going to correct yourself and put it behind you?

        • Widuran

          Now you are using deception tactics

        • Yeah? How so?

          You said, “At least Jesus Christ has been proven to exist historically” and then you gave the National Geographic link. What did you mean by this except that that article proved that Jesus existed??

          If you’re saying that that comment embarrassed you, I understand that. That’s why I suggest you clarify what you should’ve said and put it behind you.

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2018/08/when-christianity-was-in-charge-this-is-what-we-got-2/#comment-4041282248

        • Wrong.

          You misunderstand, but I don’t have the crayons or the patience to explain it to you.

        • Widuran

          So you are a bigot

    • Joe

      It’s fine, I have GPS.

      • Widuran

        Sure sure

    • I prefer Mielikki, goddess of the forests, or Eldath, goddess of waterfalls, springs, and peace.

      • Widuran

        This “Goddess” does not exist

        • Whatever. Both appear in books (Mielikki is also a Finnish goddess of nature), so are as likely to exist as similar characters that only appear in other.

          Do you prefer the Cassini probe instead?. She gave us knowledge about Saturn and its moon for thirteen years and was sacrified by NASA to save the lifeforms that may exist on Enceladus and Titan.

        • Widuran

          Oh dear how comical

        • Same your arguments. Maybe you could explain why his promises of coming back while their followers lived were not fulfilled or why there’re no records of the Sun going black, darkness enveloping everything, or basically zombies popping up.

        • Widuran

          At least Jesus Christ has been proven to exist historically.

          https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/12/jesus-tomb-archaeology/

        • Even if there’s some historical truth, what I concede, there’s an abyss between a hystorical Jesus and the Gospel’s one.

        • Widuran

          The Gospel truth backs up the history it gets more tricky when he rises from the dead but I believe the eye witness accounts which were recorded

        • The issue with the Gospels is that there’re many of them, including in all likelihood some lost forever, and the fourth chosen as “official” have both inconsistences and gaps. It’s difficult to call them “truth”.

        • Widuran

          There are very few inconsistencies and as evidence it all follows. Like in a court no two witnesses give exactly the same accoun

        • Grimlock

          Like in a court no two witnesses give exactly the same accoun[t]

          Working off this, I take it you concede therefore that both Luke and Matthew copied directly from Mark?

        • Widuran

          Nope. Luke used a lot of similar evidence

        • Grimlock

          So… If something is identical, then it’s nota sign that it’s from the same source? In confused.

        • Ficino

          If the accounts are not identical, they are all true. If they are identical, they are all true. Checkmate, atheist.

        • Widuran

          Those Gospels are not identical but Luke may use some of the same sources.

        • Grimlock

          I never claimed they were identical, though I see that my phrasing was ambiguous.

          Rather, Luke and Matthew copied directly large parts of Mark. Do you dispute this?

        • Widuran

          I believe Luke went to the sources of info and I doubt he would have copied anything directly. Matthew was an eye witness account I believe so I dispute the claim.

        • Grimlock

          That is an interesting position to take. Might I suggest that you quickly skim the Wikipedia article on the synoptic gospels?

          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synoptic_Gospels

        • Widuran

          I will read but the synoptic gospels were not written inspired by the Holy Spirit

        • Why the others were?

        • rationalobservations?

          Where are these original and authenticated eye witness accounts conserved?
          All I can find are confused and contradictory myths and legends written centuries after the time in which they are set.

        • al kimeea

          A very wide abyss

        • Yeah? Give us the proof. (A link isn’t proof.)

        • rationalobservations?

          There is not one scrap of evidence of the existence of Jesus within the article you kindly link to.

        • Greg G.

          That article does not support your claim. It says “By far the most important—and possibly most debated—of those traces are the texts of the New Testament, especially the first four books: the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.” But the Gospels are the best evidence that Jesus was made up. The article doesn’t rule that out either, as it says “Whoever Jesus Christ was or is—God, man, or the greatest literary hoax in history…”

        • Widuran

          The article proves he existed and that is a fact

        • Otto

          So what?

        • Widuran

          Glad you agree

        • Otto

          Alexander the Great existed…now what

        • Widuran

          Triggered

        • Otto

          Huh?

        • Greg G.

          The statement “Whoever Jesus Christ was or is—God, man, or the greatest literary hoax in history…” is a direct quote from the article. The article does not rule out that Jesus was a hoax. Didn’t you even read the article? Did you just take it on faith that it said what you assumed? That’s why you should never rely on faith.

        • Widuran

          I read the article and it proves he existed. You clearly did not

        • Pofarmer

          Isn’t it amazing that the first texts we have aren’t the best evidence for an historical Jesus? We’ve got to wait an indeterminate number of years for unknown people in unknown locations writing to unknown groups for unknown purposes to give us the best evidence?

        • alverant

          Neither does Christ.

        • Widuran

          Yes he does

        • rationalobservations?

          Present the historical evidence of the existence of Jesus?

        • Greg G.

          He has an article that mentions tradition. It doesn’t even rule out that Jesus might be “the greatest literary hoax in history.”

        • rationalobservations?

          I know.
          I have pointed out that the article (like the oldest/first founding business of Christianity – the RCC “church) confirm that there is no historical evidence of the existence of Jesus.

        • rationalobservations?

          Bad use of terminology, alv.
          There are a few “Messiah/Christ” claimants recorded in history between Circa 6 BCE and Circa 140 CE. No one named Yeshua/Jesus is among them.
          Simon Christ (Simon bar Kochbah) even had coins struck in his honour showing him outside the temple under the messianic star.
          The first primitive legends of “Jesus” appear centuries later.

        • KenderJ

          How do you know?

        • Blocked him and his BS, so I cannot see his replies, but maybe Widuran, that I did not even know was a name, could explain why an all-mighty/knowing/whatever deity, that in origin was a war god according to archeological findings and part of a pantheon -Asherah wants to come back- chose an insignificant insignificant nation of goat herders of the Middle East, or why is more realistic than the THOUSANDS of gods who have been venerated all across the world.

        • Brianna LaPoint

          Wildrun lives in sri lanka. a mostly buddhist country, it has a lot of gall to act like christianity is good, since, christians basically invaded a buddhist country and killed the natives.

        • Widuran

          You cannot spell my name.

        • Widuran

          Christ is real

        • Otto

          DO you believe that Jesus will judge people based on what they believe spiritually?

        • Widuran

          Yes

        • Otto

          Than you worship an asshole. Your god is a dictator who will hurt people based on nothing more than what they think. I wouldn’t
          treat my worst enemy the way you think your GOD is going to treat billions of people. I feel sorry for you.

        • Widuran

          More name calling

        • Otto

          No…a being that hurts people based on what they think is an asshole.

          Do you think that is positive behavior? Do you think it is OK to hurt people because they THINK the wrong thing?

          I would seriously like to see you morally justify that.

        • Greg G.

          More tone trolling.

        • Widuran

          Sounds like you are trolling by justifying name calling

        • Greg G.

          Have you never heard the childhood rhyme:

          Sticks and stones
          may break my bones
          But names will never hurt me.

          Nobody is hitting you with sticks or hurling stones at you. Ignore the name calling and present an argument that is convincing.

        • Widuran

          Why should I engage with name callers when all they do is name call when they are provided with evidence.

        • Susan

          More name calling.

          Again Widuran, when you threaten people with violence, let alone eternal violence, without providing any justification whatsoever, you are bound to get called names.

          Sticks and stones…

        • Widuran

          I have not threatened anyone so stop lying

        • Brianna LaPoint

          Your Jesus doesnt exist. Or it is evil. take your pick

        • Widuran

          Jesus exists and is not evil

      • KenderJ

        I honor the god/esses of my forebears who were the Nordic Pantheon.

    • Kevin K
    • KenderJ

      I’m not lost, I have Google Maps on my phone.

      • Widuran

        If one does not accept Christ as Lord Saviour and God they are spiritually lost

        • KenderJ

          If one forsakes the gods of their forebears (ex. the Nordic Pantheon if you are of Nordic descent) they are spiritually lost. If they follow a theology “stolen” from an oppressed people, they are morally lost.

    • Sample1

      Perhaps, but only if one is searching for heaven. Unless you don’t mean lost as in finding a destination?

      Morally lost? Not in evidence. Without happiness? Not in evidence. Loveless? Not in evidence. Lacking reverence? Not in evidence.

      Mike

      • Widuran

        Lost spiritually

        • Sample1

          Hey thanks for the clarification. What are the consequences of lost spirituality?

          Mike

        • Widuran

          Hellfire in the end

        • Sample1

          Hellfire in the end

          Well, jalapeños affect me that way but I just avoid them. So I’ll be avoiding spirituality too because reason informs me that health can be attained without peppers or what one might call complimentary and alternative philosophies.

          Fear is always a terrible reason to believe that something is true.

          Thanks for helping me understand where you are coming from. I hope you have a moral, happy, loving and reverent future. I do mean that.

          Mike

        • Greg G.

          You are not supposed to eat all the sour cream when you have jalapenos. Save some for a salve.

        • Doubting Thomas

          I ate some really hot wings one night menacingly dubbed Braveheart. The next day in class I heard an audible grumble from my stomach and immediately broke out in a perfuse sweat. I could tell danger was imminent and made a hasty retreat for the restroom. I reached the throne just seconds before my ass did its best flame thrower impression. The hellfire that came out of my end was somehow worse than the heat I had consumed the night before. If I had known that what I left in the toilet was my lost spirituality, I would’ve admired it longer before flushing.

        • Widuran

          Love not fear

    • Brianna LaPoint

      I disagree, with christ youre a self serving jerk with a massive ego problem.

      • Widuran

        1 Corinthians 15 3-8

        For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas,[b] and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

        Name calling does not distract from the truth

        • Greg G.

          Where it says, ” according to the Scriptures,” do you know which scriptures?

        • Widuran

          The Bible

        • Pofarmer

          Yep. He received “revelations” of Christ “according to the scriptures”..

          I realize this is tricky.

        • Widuran

          No it is simple

        • Pofarmer

          I agree it’s simple. But you demonstrate it’s tricky for you, because you have to ignore Paul’s plain writing.

        • Widuran

          So now you resort to personal insults. Oh dear…

        • Greg G.

          Can you be a little less specific? I knew you couldn’t say.

          Have you even read the Bible? Is the Bible just an End User License Agreement to you where you scroll to the bottom and check “I Agree”?

          The “died for sins” comes from:

          Isaiah 53:5 (NRSV)5 But he was wounded for our transgressions,    crushed for our iniquities;upon him was the punishment that made us whole,    and by his bruises we are healed.

          The “buried” part comes from:

          Isaiah 53:9 (NRSV)9 They made his grave with the wicked    and his tomb with the rich,although he had done no violence,    and there was no deceit in his mouth.

          The raised on the third day comes from:

          Hosea 6:2 (NRSV)2 After two days he will revive us;    on the third day he will raise us up,    that we may live before him.

          Paul quotes from Isaiah 25:8 and Hosea 13:14 again back-to-back further down in the same chapter at 1 Corinthians 15:54-55. Romans 9:25-29 has a series of quotes from Hosea and Isaiah, too.

        • Widuran

          Praise the Lord

        • Greg G.

          All of the early epistles that give some information about Jesus get if from the Old Testament, not from first century knowledge. They never spoke a first century Jesus. They never mention an itinerant preacher/teacher from Galilee who got crucified. They decided the OT had some prophecy and made up some prophecies to validate their assumption. It is the same prophecy of a coming Messiah that led the Jews to war with Romans and kept them from surrendering during the siege of Jerusalem. The early Christians seem to have added the bit of the Suffering Servant being an actual person who died for sins centuries earlier.

        • Widuran

          Depends on whose “history” you believe

        • Greg G.

          You believe what can be distinguished between reality and imagination. It takes evidence. An ordinary claim barely takes evidence. Extraordinary claims require better evidence to be accepted.

          If you say you wear shoes, I will take it on face value. If you say you wear a red cape, wear your underwear outside of your pants, are bulletproof, and can fly without technology, I will doubt you. But provide sufficient evidence that you are bulletproof and can fly, I would have no choice but to be convinced.

          That is how we survive in the world. Why give religion a set of rules that tend to lead one to false and ridiculous beliefs?

      • Pofarmer

        Nail, meet head.

    • Brianna LaPoint

      Not all who wander are lost.

      • Widuran

        Without Christ one is lost

        • Bruce Gorton

          Lost is another word for free.

        • Widuran

          Free to sin without salvation and end up in hellfire in the end yes

        • BlackMamba44
        • Widuran

          yes free to sin and end up in hellfire

        • Susan

          There you go threatening people again.

          Without basis.

        • Widuran

          I am not threatening anyone. God has given his laws and word we can either choose to obey or not. If you have an issue then argue with God.

        • BlackMamba44
        • Widuran

          Oh dear. You getting excited?

        • BlackMamba44
        • Max Doubt

          “Free to sin without salvation and end up in hellfire in the end yes”

          I don’t sin. It’s one of the luxuries of being an atheist.

        • Widuran

          So you are perfect and never hurt or upset anyone or broke your own moral codes?

        • Max Doubt

          “So you are perfect and never hurt or upset anyone or broke your own moral codes?”

          On the issue of sin, yes, I am without sin. If that means I’m perfect, I’ll humbly accept the descriptor. It’s pretty certain I never will sin, too. That seems to bother you at least a little. Are you jealous?

        • Widuran

          Divine law exists whether you believe it or not.

          I am not jealous. I know I will not end up in Hellfire when I die.

        • Do you mean God is going to strike us with an AGM-114 “Hellfire” missile?. Quite overkill, but from an all-mighty deity I expected more. Something like an anti-matter bomb.

        • Widuran

          Obey Jesus Christ and be saved

        • I like much more the goddess Mielikki, as I said you before. Remember how if you prefer to venerate an unexisting deity the Wall of the Faithless is awaiting you.

        • Widuran

          Jesus it is all about him

        • Well, the Wall of the Faithless has a nice gap waiting for you.

    • rationalobservations?

      Without religion we are more peaceful and prosperous.
      The best educated, most peaceful and prosperous nations are the least religious nations.
      The good news is that education and free secular democracy is proving to be the antidote to the poison of religion.

      • Widuran

        Incorrect. Atheists have killed millions

        Fascism and communism – both of which were atheist ideologies – murdered more than 150 million people in the 20th Century alone.

        • rationalobservations?

          You accept the crimes against humanity of brutal and totalitarian religion but assert that the crimes against humanity of similar brutal and totalitarian politica regimes were marginally worse? Apart from the absence of evidence for this, do you think this indictment negates the case against the poison of religion?

        • Widuran

          Religion has caused problems of course. I have evidence but you keep ignoring the evidence so why should I give you any more. You have bias by the bucket load!

        • rationalobservations?

          What “evidence”?
          You lie that evidence of Jesus exists but cannot present any evidence because there is none.
          Testimony is not evidence.
          Opinion is not evidence.
          Legends written centuries after the time in which they are set are not evidence.
          Propaganda regarding those legends is not evidence.
          There is no evidence.

        • Widuran

          Jesus existed I provided evidence and you deny it as it means you need to change your views. So the liar is you

        • rationalobservations?

          You have never presented evidence because there is none.
          Your pathetic lies are exposed.
          Claiming evidence is not presenting evidence.

        • Widuran

          No. Your pathetic lies have been exposed.

        • rationalobservations?

          Hahahaha.
          Not by you or anyone else my deluded and dishonest friend.

          You claim evidence exists.
          PROVE IT!
          …or have your lies confirmed.

        • Widuran

          You are the dishonest ones. Crying prove it when it has been proven shows your bias

        • Max Doubt

          “Jesus existed I provided evidence and you deny it as it means you need to change your views.”

          It’s likely you are unable to objectively differentiate between what you believe is a god and any other figment of your imagination. It’s also likely you don’t have the honesty or courage to admit that. And since the god you imagine is indistinguishable from any other figment of your imagination, it’s most reasonable to describe it as, yep you guessed it, a figment of your imagination. Outside your own head there is nothing your god can do that I can’t do, and many things I can do that your god clearly can’t. Out here, in objective reality, your god is utterly powerless.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/018d9075880fa729e0a61595800a6b259c3a2af784920b918da65f10a38caecc.png

        • Widuran

          There are 20,0000 biblical manuscripts proving Christ

        • Max Doubt

          “There are 20,0000 biblical manuscripts proving Christ”

          You’re lying. But just for shits and grins, how about you embarrass yourself a little more by showing us how you’re unable to cite a few hundred.

        • Widuran

          Nope you are the liar

        • Widuran
        • Max Doubt

          “copy paste link”

          You seem to have difficulty reading and writing in English. Maybe you can get someone to help you then try again.

        • Greg G.

          What do thousands of copies tell us that one copy doesn’t? It only tells us that a set of Christians produced several thousand copies by hand a thousand years after the story was supposed to have taken place. Only about 6000 are in Greek and the oldest are scraps no bigger than a credit card with pieces of a few verses on one side and other pieces of other verses on the flip side. One famous one has some missing text that had some missing text, because the hole isn’t big enough to have had the whole verse.

          Just admit that you have no valid evidence. You are embarrassing yourself and all of Christianity with this.

        • Widuran

          No it shows us there is plenty of evidence

          You embarrassed yourself with your bias

        • Greg G.

          It doesn’t matter how many times you watch Star Trek, it is not any more true than the first time you watched it. There are lots of copies of Harry Potter books, too. That does not make them true.

          That you have to use the number of late manuscripts as a substitute for evidence is telling that you have no reasonable evidence. No two of the manuscripts are identical which shows they are not the same as the original. At least all of the Harry Potter books with the same title agree.

        • anne marie hovgaard

          Fascism was not atheistic, Mussolini gave the Catholic church a lot of power (as did Franco in Spain). The Vatican “state” exists because of a treaty between the Fascist government and the Catholic Church.

        • Widuran

          The definitions leave little room for people who worship God. But yes the fascists worked with the Catholic church in those areas

          Fascism

          often capitalized : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition
          2 : a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control

          So I am correct

        • anne marie hovgaard

          😀 no, “not officially theocratic” is not the same as “atheistic”.

      • Widuran

        More lies it is clear as we move away from faith there is more problems fighting killing rapes etc

        • epeeist

          More lies it is clear as we move away from faith there is more problems fighting killing rapes etc

          You do have evidence for this do you?

          Oh wait, you haven’t provided evidence for anything that you have said here have you.

          You might want to try reading something like Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature, this shows your assertion to be false. Alternatively you could look at the Human Development Index, once again it shows the more secular countries are better educated, have better health outcomes and gross national income per capita. So once again, your assertion is false.

        • Widuran

          Those biased websites do not look at the facts. Educate yourself with reality

        • epeeist

          Those biased websites do not look at the facts.

          Ah, the standard religiot response, if the evidence contradicts the dogma then the evidence is wrong.

          Personally when it comes to this sort of thing I tend to give more weight to a professor and the UN development programme rather than someone is a thief and a liar.

        • Widuran

          Society is getting far less religious. Yes morality is getting worse according to most people including atheists. So yes I am correct

        • Pofarmer

          You like the morality of the Taliban then?

          Get a grip.

        • Widuran

          Nope but the way the EU is going we will be under Sharia in the next 20 years!

        • Pofarmer

          So, religion is the problem, then?

        • Widuran

          Islam is a problem

        • Bruce Gorton

          Lower rates of teen pregnancies, violent crime is at record lows, world hunger is far more manageable than it has been in centuries and it is only in the more religious states where it is still a major issue.

          Not only that, but in terms of immorality – Donald “Grab them by the pussy” Trump was elected on the back of the religious vote, clear majorities of white Christians voted for the man who bragged that he was smart because he stiffed his contractors, essentially stealing their labour.

          According to your Bible you are supposed to show hospitality to foreigners. The judgement of the sheep and the goats specifically cites how you treat strangers in your lands, and you religious guys voted for Trump on the basis that he’d be less hospitable to them.

          Don’t come and tell us to believe when it is clear that you don’t.

        • Widuran

          You mean more babies being killed then ever before. There is more murder now then ever before.

          Not sure why you are banging on about Trump.

          You do not even understand what the Bible says. Here is some teaching on immigration as this is your thing

          Question: “What does the Bible say about illegal immigration?”

          Answer: Note: We wholeheartedly believe that Christians are called to be compassionate and merciful toward immigrants (Exodus 22:21; Leviticus 19:33–34; Matthew 25:35). We also believe that the United States should have a more compassionate and merciful immigration policy. However, that is not the question at hand. The question at hand concerns illegal immigration—whether it is wrong to violate a nation’s borders and transgress its immigration laws.

          Romans 13:1–7 makes it abundantly clear that God expects us to obey the laws of the government. The only exception to this is when a law of the government forces us to disobey a command of God (Acts 5:29). Illegal immigration is the breaking of a government’s law. There is nothing in Scripture that contradicts the idea of a sovereign nation having immigration laws. Therefore, it is rebellion against God to unlawfully enter another country. Illegal immigration is a sin.

          Illegal immigration is definitely a controversial issue in the United States (and some other countries) today. Some argue that the immigration laws are unfair, unjust, and even discriminatory—thus giving individuals justification to immigrate illegally. However, Romans 13:1–7 does not give any permission to violate a law just because it is perceived as unjust. Again, the issue is not the fairness of a law. The only biblical reason to violate a government’s law is if that law violates God’s Word. When Paul wrote the book of Romans, he was under the authority of the Roman Empire, led by Emperor Nero. Under that reign, there were many laws that were unfair, unjust, and/or blatantly evil. Still, Paul instructed Christians to submit to the government.

          Are the immigration laws of the United States unfair or unjust? Some think so, but that is not the issue. All developed countries in the world have immigration laws, some more strict than the USA’s, and some less strict, and all have to deal with illegal immigration. There is nothing in the Bible to prohibit a country from having completely open borders or to have completely closed borders. Romans 13:1–7 also gives the government the authority to punish lawbreakers. Whether the punishment is imprisonment, deportation, or even something more severe, it is within the rights of the government to determine.

          Illegal immigration is a complex issue. The vast majority of illegal immigrants in the United States have come for the purpose of having a better life, providing for their families, and escaping poverty. These are good goals and motivations. However, it is not biblical to violate a law to achieve a “good.” Caring for the poor, orphans, and widows is something the Bible commands us to do (Galatians 2:10; James 1:27; 2:2–15). However, the biblical fact that we are to care for the unfortunate does not mean we should violate the law in doing so. Supporting, enabling, and/or encouraging illegal immigration is, therefore, a violation of God’s Word. Those seeking to emigrate to another country should always obey the immigration laws of that country. While this may cause delays and frustrations, it is better than acting illegally. A frustrating law is still a law.

          What is the biblical solution to illegal immigration? Simple—don’t do it; obey the laws. If disobedience is not a biblical option, what can be done in regards to an unjust immigration law? It is completely within the rights of citizens to seek to change immigration laws. If it is your conviction that an immigration law is unjust, do everything that is legally within your power to get the law changed: pray, petition, vote, peacefully protest, etc. As Christians, we should be the first to seek to change any law that is unjust. At the same time, we are also to demonstrate our submission to God by obeying the government He has placed in authority over us.

          “Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God” (1 Peter 2:13–16).

          Christianity is not about being a limp wristed liberal saying anything goes

        • Bruce Gorton

          Actually abortion rates hit an all time low in 2017.

          https://www.vox.com/identities/2017/1/18/14296532/abortion-rate-lowest-ever-because-birth-control

          You can’t go one line without lying.

        • epeeist

          Actually abortion rates hit an all time low in 2017.

          I think he must get his data from something like “Fox and Friends” and “Jihadwatch”.

        • Pofarmer

          What a fucking moron this one is. Holy cow.

        • Widuran

          Depends which country. So killing babies is ok by you as the numbers are low?

        • Greg G.

          There is nothing in the Bible to prohibit a country from having completely open borders or to have completely closed borders.

          Leviticus 19:33-34 (NIV)
          33 “‘When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. 34 The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.

          Deuteronomy 10:18-19 (NIV)
          18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. 19 And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.

        • Widuran

          The Bible talks about obeying laws,

          Answer: Note: We wholeheartedly believe that Christians are called to be compassionate and merciful toward immigrants (Exodus 22:21; Leviticus 19:33–34; Matthew 25:35). We also believe that the United States should have a more compassionate and merciful immigration policy. However, that is not the question at hand. The question at hand concerns illegal immigration—whether it is wrong to violate a nation’s borders and transgress its immigration laws.
          Romans 13:1–7 makes it abundantly clear that God expects us to obey the laws of the government. The only exception to this is when a law of the government forces us to disobey a command of God (Acts 5:29). Illegal immigration is the breaking of a government’s law. There is nothing in Scripture that contradicts the idea of a sovereign nation having immigration laws. Therefore, it is rebellion against God to unlawfully enter another country. Illegal immigration is a sin.

          Illegal immigration is definitely a controversial issue in the United States (and some other countries) today. Some argue that the immigration laws are unfair, unjust, and even discriminatory—thus giving individuals justification to immigrate illegally. However, Romans 13:1–7 does not give any permission to violate a law just because it is perceived as unjust. Again, the issue is not the fairness of a law. The only biblical reason to violate a government’s law is if that law violates God’s Word. When Paul wrote the book of Romans, he was under the authority of the Roman Empire, led by Emperor Nero. Under that reign, there were many laws that were unfair, unjust, and/or blatantly evil. Still, Paul instructed Christians to submit to the government.

          Are the immigration laws of the United States unfair or unjust? Some think so, but that is not the issue. All developed countries in the world have immigration laws, some more strict than the USA’s, and some less strict, and all have to deal with illegal immigration. There is nothing in the Bible to prohibit a country from having completely open borders or to have completely closed borders. Romans 13:1–7 also gives the government the authority to punish lawbreakers. Whether the punishment is imprisonment, deportation, or even something more severe, it is within the rights of the government to determine.

          Illegal immigration is a complex issue. The vast majority of illegal immigrants in the United States have come for the purpose of having a better life, providing for their families, and escaping poverty. These are good goals and motivations. However, it is not biblical to violate a law to achieve a “good.” Caring for the poor, orphans, and widows is something the Bible commands us to do (Galatians 2:10; James 1:27; 2:2–15). However, the biblical fact that we are to care for the unfortunate does not mean we should violate the law in doing so. Supporting, enabling, and/or encouraging illegal immigration is, therefore, a violation of God’s Word. Those seeking to emigrate to another country should always obey the immigration laws of that country. While this may cause delays and frustrations, it is better than acting illegally. A frustrating law is still a law.

          What is the biblical solution to illegal immigration? Simple—don’t do it; obey the laws. If disobedience is not a biblical option, what can be done in regards to an unjust immigration law? It is completely within the rights of citizens to seek to change immigration laws. If it is your conviction that an immigration law is unjust, do everything that is legally within your power to get the law changed: pray, petition, vote, peacefully protest, etc. As Christians, we should be the first to seek to change any law that is unjust. At the same time, we are also to demonstrate our submission to God by obeying the government He has placed in authority over us.

          “Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God” (1 Peter 2:13–16).

          So you want 100% open borders. Will you let a stranger live in your house?

        • Greg G.

          When the Bible has conflicting commands, you let your prejudice decide.

          Will you let a stranger live in your house?

          Yes, but not for long because they become friends. (My wife is an immigrant, if that is what you are trying to imply.) We have had as many as four unrelated people stay with us at once. Two times one of the people was someone I had never met. Three of the four have remained in contact with us and we visit often.

        • Widuran

          Someone complained about my post and it is nw spam

          Well done for welcoming strangers. Not many do

          So these strangers can stay with you forever if they want I assume

        • Greg G.

          So these strangers can stay with you forever if they want I assume

          What strangers? They were strangers when we met. Now they are friends.

          One of the girls asked me if it was possible that when my wife and I retire, we could live with her. My wife suggested it, too, if it was i a warmer climate.

        • Widuran

          I see

        • Bruce Gorton

          Reading through the rest of your response- that doesn’t cut it, because in the same bit of the Bible I’m referencing Jesus talks about being a prisoner – AKA a criminal.

          Not only that but you are responsible for the government you elect, the whole point to representative democracy is that the laws are made by the representatives of the people.

          Saying “well they’re illegal immigrants” doesn’t cut it when you are partially responsible for immigration laws via your representatives, and you voted for representatives that make them harsher.

          It isn’t complicated at all. When it comes time to put your money where your mouth is – you put your money and votes behind xenophobia in clear contradiction to what it says your God wants in your Bible.

          You don’t believe in that God any more than I do.

        • Widuran

          So I assume unless you support 100% open borders you are a xenophobe. Interesting

          Will you allow a stranger to live in your house?

        • Kevin K

          The US had open borders until 1875, when laws were put into place to limit the number of forced Chinese laborers (and later Chinese immigrants altogether). Yes, the first immigration laws were racist and xenophobic.

          Aside from that specific prohibition of Chinese immigrants, by 1882, the only other people not permitted to enter the country “were any convict, lunatic, idiot, or any person unable to take care of him or herself without becoming a public charge.”

        • Widuran
        • Bruce Gorton

          There is a big difference between reasonable border controls and the rhetoric Trump was spouting on the campaign trail.

          That said – its not my holy book. I’m an atheist so I get to be a little more flexible on this issue – you on the other hand? It is your holy book. It leaves you no wriggle room on this one. You can say it is impractical, but then you’re saying your God is impractical.

          And that means he isn’t perfect is he?

          Unless you are willing to throw out the Bible as a source – but then you can’t demand we treat the Bible as authoritative and what are you left with? You can’t expect us to believe it, if you don’t.

        • Widuran

          What “rhetoric” he is correct. Although I am not sure the wall is the best way of doing it but he is correct on immigration.

          I have given you biblical evidence that Christians do not need an open border we obey the laws

          Border controls can stop potential evil like what happened to this man. THIS is Christian

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SEZ8CHjaUY

        • Bruce Gorton

          If you want to obey your God – you’ve got to vote for open borders. Your God specifically likened how you treat the least amongst you – that includes criminals, the poor and foreigners, to how you treat him.

          And your video – well here’s the thing, for all of your wish to pull at our heartstrings – well Jesus also preached forgiveness. If you go not forgive, you do not get forgiven and blaming all illegal immigrants for the crimes of a few, that is not forgiveness.

          That’s actually one of the things I strongly disagree with in the Bible as being a particularly toxic teaching, but yeah you can’t get around that doctrine of forgiveness.

          It doesn’t matter what the Democrats think on the issue, it doesn’t matter what I think.

          This is your Bible. You claim to believe in that God – you claim the book about that God contains his divine word, and yet this is the government you voted in, the government you support specifically on its cruelty to illegal immigrants.These are your laws, part of being in a Democratic Republic means you are responsible for this.

          This isn’t some royal decree, you got a say in those laws and what did you say?

          For all of your talk, you don’t actually believe your Bible. You engage in the precise actions which Jesus laid out in the Bible as being those which would get you rejected from salvation. Be not as the hypocrites and all of that.

          You want to claim the rest of the world is immoral, and your Bible gives you an objective morality that tells you right from wrong, but do you act like that’s the case? When push comes to shove – you show me a video of a man whose child was killed by illegal immigrants.

          You claim your morals come from God, and here you are referencing the suffering of a human being in order to justify your position just like any atheist would. Where do your morals really come from?

        • Widuran

          You pick and choose to agree with and disagree with the bible to suit your prejudices even when you do not agree.

          The video is correct and shame on you for crying heart strings. shame on you!

        • Greg G.

          You pick and choose to agree with and disagree with the bible to suit your prejudices even when you do not agree.

          Figuring out the basics of how to deal with people is not hard but the Bible gets the part about enslaving people wrong. We figure things out. It is remarkable how similar basic morals are whether the culture was influence by Christianity or not. We don’t base our reasoning on the Bible. If the Bible happens to agree with us, fine. If it doesn’t agree with us, we disagree with it.

          How is that any different than you? You disagree with slavery. We disagree with slavery. The Bible says who it is just fine to enslave until they die and how to screw indentured servants into becoming slaves until they die by using family values against them.

        • Widuran

          No you pick and choose to condemn

        • Bruce Gorton

          I don’t have to agree with your holy book, I can agree or disagree with bits of it as I choose. To me it is so much paper, it isn’t any more sacred than any other work of fiction.

          You on the other hand do hold it as being sacred, so you do have to agree with it. You are a Christian, you don’t get to pick and choose.

          And lets be clear here – you’re a hypocrite as defined by your Bible. You support policies which go 100% against the very God you claim to worship.

          You go against what you define as objective morality – and you have the cheek to accuse the rest of the world of being immoral. See to that forest you’ve got growing in your eye before talking about splinters in everybody else’s.

        • Widuran

          No I am not a hypocrite at all and you do not understand the Bible.

          I have given evidence which you continue to ignore.

          The massive forest is in your eye. Ironic you use Jesus sayings

        • Bruce Gorton

          You are very definitely a hypocrite, in exactly the manner which your Jesus speaks of hypocrites as being. You’re publicly pious, proclaim we’re all lost without God, and when it comes time to vote – well suddenly “its complicated”.

          It is only complicated because you don’t want to act in a way that is consistent with your Bible. That is all your apologists amount to – they’re not evidence of anything except your wish to find excuses.

        • Widuran

          No you are the hypocrite who pretends to understand the Bible but not caring what it really says.

        • Widuran

          I never used the word complicated. You are now lying and putting words in my mouth. You are the hypocrite

        • epeeist

          Society is getting far less religious.

          Some societies are getting less religious.

          Yes morality is getting worse according to most people including atheists.

          And while I provide a reference to an 800 page book analysing statistics from a large number of sources and an index from the UN aggregating data from a large number of countries you provide what? Nothing but your own opinion. So besides theft and lying you also commit the deadly sin of arrogance.

        • Widuran

          Now you resort to personal attacks oh dear. Clearly you are trolling

        • epeeist

          Now you resort to personal attacks

          Nope, statement of fact. As we have seen before you steal and lie. Now you dismiss the work of others in favour of your own unsubstantiated opinion, hubris and arrogance.

        • Widuran

          Your statement of facts are in reality personal insults and not factual at all. Oh dear. You have lost the debate

        • epeeist

          You have lost the debate

          There hasn’t been a debate, if there was each side would have presented evidence for their position. I have presented data that shows that societies are getting less violent and that less religious societies have a better human development index. If you want I can present even more data showing that high religiosity is correlated with social dysfunction.

          While you have offered what in favour of your position? Your personal and unsubstantiated opinion.

        • Widuran

          You deny all evidence presented and claim personal opinions. What a joker

        • epeeist

          You deny all evidence presented and claim personal opinions.

          You are right, the evidence you have presented is far stronger than mine.

          Oh, wait you haven’t actually presented any evidence whatsoever.

          What a joker

          Better a joker than a compulsive liar.

        • Widuran