In a ridiculous piece at the Patheos Atheist Channel, this is one of the “arguments” made:
If Manson lived 2,000 years ago, we might have churches worshiping him now. So it was easy for me to imagine a completely fraudulent scamming huckster named Jesus.
. . . along with the following charming observation:
[T]here are only two possibilities: Jesus was either an ignorant 1st century charlatan and cult leader heavily exaggerated like Robin Hood, or he’s a completely imaginary legendary figure like Hercules.
Atheists obviously have a strong internal network and are simultaneously reading a lot of the same garbage. The numbers for this post, which went up just a week ago, are astronomical: 17,000 likes and 53,400 Facebook shares. On my page, I am fortunate if I get over 1,000 likes (only a few times in three months). So were talkin’ over 15 times the exposure of my best piece, and I have been online, writing away for 19 years.
This seeming exponential growth can’t help but be of great concern to Christians who are concerned for souls and for our culture. Atheism is trendy and fashionable, and spreading like wildfire. It’s with us for good now, as the fruit of the ever-creeping secularism that has dominated our culture these past 50 years.
Atheists now are more confident, zealous, and ready to proselytize than they have ever been. They get together with back-slapping comrades (greatly facilitated by the Internet), confirming each others’ skeptical beliefs, and think their numbers are larger than they actually are. In any event, unbelief is growing rapidly.
I’ve estimated (from long personal experience) that 85-90% of online atheists are of the ultra-insulting, snarky, obnoxious type. I don’t bother with them, and ban them from my page as soon as these traits are manifest. I’ve written about this.
I’ve also acknowledged that atheists are often treated atrociously by Christians as well, and have cause for legitimate complaint.
The minority faction are cool, and stimulating to talk to, and I count several of them as my friends. I know them in real life, and I see that in real life, behavior is vastly different (which is true of Christians as well). As in all areas, the online types are significantly lower quality than the same group “in real life.” Nevertheless, the image projected by most online atheists is atrocious and scandalous. That can hardly be disputed. A ludicrous article like this confirms that far better than any observation I might make. The folly is evident to one and all (i.e., except for those foolish enough to believe such inanities and fathomless imbecilities).
The atheist ascendancy should come as no surprise. Christians have failed in our task to spread our faith and to communicate why we believe what we believe (my field: apologetics). We’ve yielded our formerly at least nominally Christian culture up to the forces of relative morality, non-belief, and secularism. These dominate education and academia, the media, entertainment, even half or more of the churches. So why would anyone be surprised at the fruit that we now see more and more, all around us?
The sad (and also humorous and ironic) thing is that a good proportion of these supposedly superior, super-smart individuals (so they always tell us ignorant Christians) believe in a bigger, more ludicrous myth and legend and fairy tale (that Jesus never existed) than anything they chide us for being gullible in believing. There are few people in history as well-attested (or influential) as Jesus of Nazareth. Of all persons to deny existence to . . .
But if you repeat a lie or a myth enough times, folks will believe it. It’s a sort of Groupthink thing. People are sheep and clones. They don’t think for themselves. I’ve done my part to counter it, though it will have but a small effect (since unreason and propaganda and mere sloganism are scarcely affected by reasonable argument). I’ve collected many scholarly resources that blow this nonsense out of the water. Hence I wrote on the thread for this pathetic post:
This is a ridiculous position; intellectual suicide; held by virtually no scholars who would be in a position to know. I never bother arguing it with anyone (just as I don’t waste time on equally silly geocentrist or flat-earth arguments), but I have collected many refutations of the position from scholars:
[second section: “Jesus: Historical Support”]
It was obviously a timely thing to collect these resources, so I could give the thousands who eat up this nonsense the “other side of the coin” (should they be open-minded enough to examine it).
Speaking of resources, I have also compiled several hundred good scholarly articles related to philosophy of religion and skepticism / atheism, regarding science and Christianity, Theistic Arguments, and Atheism and Atheology.