Monday, May 02, 2011

No answers but lots of hate - from the loving christians...

This is a reprint of a conversation that happened on FaceBook several weeks back. I am highly annoyed by the faithful who will not provide any proof for what they think the believe. Highly.

I didn't make up these myths, so I don't have to provide proof for them; the religious, however, who do make up these myths, CAN'T provide any proof of or for them and so they resort to mud-slinging and platitudes instead of providing links to resources of any kind. 

Some of my resources are these:
www.richarddawkins.net
www.evilbible.com
www.exchristian.net
www.dailyhitchens.com
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula
http://howgoodisthat.wordpress.com/
www.zeitgeistmovie.com (the first 30 minutes deals specifically with christianity)

I encourage you to go find your own - there are hundreds and hundreds. 


The key feature of the religious' arguments is their unbending unwillingness to challenge their paradigm. In the words of one idiot, who is employed as a pastor (he's not actually an idiot; I'm just really annoyed by him), I know it is all true because of my life experiences. Seriously?

Anyway, here you go.... it's long. Really, Really long. My comments, added later, are in bold/italics.

LS And I, being Catholic, was entirely educated in the public system, for the simple reason that that was where the bus took me ;)
09 March at 08:49 ·

ME Nothing makes an atheist faster than a good read of the bible....
09 March at 09:12 ·

WOLF Julie, most Atheists will disagree with you.
09 March at 09:16 ·
(My point, which this person missed but which is a commonly-held opinion, is that a thorough reading of the bible will make an atheist out of the reader because the bible readily disproves itself)

ME Really Joshua? Most atheists disagree that a full reading of the bible is the best way to become a non-believer? Seriously, back your statement up. The bible is an utterly human, fallible, terroristic work of social control that advocates for rape, blood sacrifice, infanticide, slavery and war.
09 March at 09:18

ME Religious schools have no place in a secular society first of all and, more importantly, adults have NO right to brainwash children with fear-based, coercive stories.
09 March at 09:19

WOLF Most atheists rely fully on the laws of science and nature and established their beliefs based upon that (Partially true: atheists do rely on the laws of science and nature; however, "belief" doesn't apply here because "belief" exists in the absence of facts, as is quite fully proven by the following discourse) . You're suggesting that the bible creates atheism. You probably find nobility in Islamic literature though, am I right?
09 March at 09:20 ·

You make several assumptions here, which is deadly to argument; these comments also indicate you have done little research into your argument prior to making it.

Why would you make the presumption I would find nobility in Islamic literature...?
 09 March at 09:21 · (The writer did not reply to this)

WOLF Come on Julie, be a good atheist and pick on all religions, not just the ones who won't bomb your house.
09 March at 09:21 ·

WOLF Julie, you are correct. I'm not shuffling through wikipedia to find justification in what I'm saying to you. I'm making assumptions (assumptions are not observations, nor are they researched)  based on my countless hours of observing an elementary level of atheistic rage (whatever this means is unclear) that manifests in its selective application of scrutiny.
09 March at 09:23 ·

‎@Wolfgang: please point out in my comments here where I was picking on a specific religion; and, because it seems unclear to you, I am wholly opposed to any religion and particularly opposed to brainwashing children with fear-based stories that have political and social control as a basis for their existence.

You used the word "assumptions." What do you mean by "selective level of scrutiny?"

Might I also point out that you are also an atheist: I take it you believe in one god, but you DON'T believe in hundreds of others, for which, in many cases, there is much 'historical' and other 'documentation.' Until you understand why you do not believe in all those other gods, you cannot understand why we believe in none at all.
09 March at 09:36 ·

LW I wouldn't personally attack you, Julie--would love to chat sometime.
09 March at 09:40 · Like (This person never returned to the conversation)

WOLF YOU ASSUME I BELIEVE IN ONE GOD. I ASSUME YOU BELIEVE IN SCIENCE AS YOUR GOD (Not sure why this person resorted to digital yelling and very interested in the sly insult);

THE BRINGER OF LIGHT AND KNOWLEDGE. I AM POINTING OUT YOUR HYPOCRISY. What say you of that, feral heathen? (Behold, the source of my new T-shirt slogan. Also not at all sure where this person pointed out my hypocracy. Science, which is observable, replicateable and most importantly falsifiable cannot be confused with 'god' for which there is no evidence, proof, replicateable anything or means of disproof. In fact, believers go to astounding lengths to remove any means of disproof, usually with the trite "god is unknowable.")
09 March at 09:41 ·

And, because it seems this is the direction you're attempting to lead me in, I am not an apologist for any religion; I do, however, have a very good knowledge of christianity for several reasons: 10 generations of my family have ministers -

If you wish to challenge me on ANY point, I suggest you quickly arm yourself with research rather than opinion and assumptions because I guarantee you I will poke holes in anything you postulate in terms of religion being anything other than the most destructive force on the planet followed by only millimetres by love-of-money and pursuit-of-power - although those are both significant characteristics of religions....
09 March at 09:41 ·

PM  A) It's a 20-minute bus ride for those folks to the nearest secular school, about the same distance they currently are from the Catholic School.

B) Julie, the Supreme Court ruled quite convincinngly (sic) some years ago that religion is a part of a secular society because a secular society is by definition inclusive of all segments of society. That is, unless you are promoting a secular society that excludes people on the basis of their most deeply-held beliefs. (This is a very interesting point and it is also a convolution of the truth: The Canadian Constitution protects people from discrimination on the basis of what they believe and that INCLUDES those of us who have no beliefs; secondly, the Canadian Constitution firmly establishes a separation between church and state. Finally, at no point does the Canadian constitution protect religious organisations from being questioned. This writer seems unaware that, in this country, we do not live in a theocracy.)

C) the writing of the Bible is of course human and fallible but as for advocating for slavery, rape, etc.: you are just making that up. (Ah, no, I am decidedly not. This person has not read their bible or they would know that the old testament absolutely does advocate for slavery, rape, child murder, infanticide and human sacrifice and the new testament - the figure of christ in particular - confirms that the old law remain in place and shall not be altered one iota -in Matthew).
09 March at 09:43 ·

The existence of ministers in your family tree doesn't build your ethos with me. I know more atheists that came out of religious households than didn't (thereby confirming my statement that religion fosters atheism).. They attributed their beliefs to the science and its irrefutable evidence. Not one of them claimed that they were driven to it by the bible. (perhaps not but the obviously didn't find the answers to their logical questions in the bible so sought elsewhere).

You're not pointing anything out to anyone here that isn't already well known. I'm sorry, but again, your rudimentary grasp of atheist logic (insults will get you nowhere...) isn't in question here, it's how all of you seem to play it safe by picking on people who won't blow your house up.

You can lie to me all you want, but we both know you and your colleagues (my colleagues???) do so often :)
09 March at 09:45 ·

WOLF Nothing angers a devout atheist more than when you respond to their wall of text within seconds. (not sure what 'devout' has to do with atheism: devotion generally applies to things spiritual, which atheists have nothing to do with. I'm not sure one can have a devout belief in nothing....)
09 March at 09:47 ·

‎@Peter: I am absolutely NOT making that up. Please have a very good read of this site: www.evilbible.com. This is just one of many and I hope, Peter, as a good newspaperman, you will do appropriate research. I do take offence to your "making that up" comment in light of my family culture and my six or so years of specific study....

I do appreciate the constitutional structure of this country....See more
09 March at 09:48 ·

WOLF BUT YOU DIDN'T SEE MY CRITICAL THINKING!!!
09 March at 09:48 ·

WOLF ‎..and then they use a credible and objectionable source called "evilbible". (on cannot object to sources based on their name; that is essentially judging the book by its cover. That said, there are hundreds of print and on line resources around for anyone who wishes to do some study).
09 March at 09:48 ·

WOLF Hey, now that morals and behavioural standards have been well rooted and established, we don't need to give credit where it's due.
09 March at 09:49 ·

‎@Wolfgang; What is your goal here and please take advantage of my requests that you back up your arguments here. Also, please define "devout atheist."

Until you back up your statements with research and until you are able to define your terms - and you stop making personal attacks, you are flailing, not arguing.
09 March at 09:49 ·

PM You are cherry picking the way all fundamentalists do.
09 March at 09:50 ·  · ...

ME Peter, who are you directing that comment at?
09 March at 09:51 ·

You spent six years studying what exactly? The best you can come up with is a link to a website called evilbible? I made my argument, and you came back at me without addressing any of the points I made. This is textbook juvenile debate. It ...might sound mean, but you're presenting nothing that is worth of analysis here. I can find everything you're saying on an internet forum.

Again, where did you study, and what did you study?
09 March at 09:52 ·

WOLF ‎*worthy
09 March at 09:52 ·

Point backed up #1: Most atheists rely fully on the laws of science and nature and established their beliefs (not beliefs; understanding) based upon that. You're suggesting that the bible creates atheism. (I fail to see how this point backs up anything).

Point backed up #2: They attributed their beliefs to the science... and its irrefutable evidence. Not one of them claimed that they were driven to it by the bible. (ok, so this guy has read absolutely nothing but suggest he knows all atheists. Cool.)

So... like a toddler, I'll keep providing you with sound and logical rebuttals, and you'll keep telling me I'm not backing my point up. You sound like a bit of an dunce, truthfully (and he's back to attacking me personally)
09 March at 09:55 ·

LW Wolfgang--I'm with you, but you can't lead an athiest (sic) to evidence and make them think. Best site for athiests (sic) to view is www.creationontheweb.com (this site, for the record, is insanely debunkable).
09 March at 10:00 ·

WOLF Thanks Lyndon, I should add, no one sees some of the illogical human elements of religious scripture more than me. I'm just not a fan of bandwagonry (sic).
09 March at 10:01 ·

JG Julie, do you sincerely believe that the evilbible website is a reliable and impartial site on which to base objective opinion? Just asking. ( At NO point did I say, suggest, intimate that www.evilbible.com is the one and only reliable source; however, most believers will wage a to-the-death war that the bible is the one and only reliable source).
09 March at 10:04 ·

Fred Causer And so contless (sic) young men and women are lying slained (sic) on the battlefields of religion. Who cares what one man thinks over another as to how life came about on this planet and who has the highest accendancy (sic) it is far more likely that we are an Alien hybred (sic) and our "Gods" are actually from another World. Wars are fought on the grounds of religion why cant we all just respect each other and live in peace? (why indeed. Probably has something to do with appalling spelling/grammar)
09 March at 10:09

JG Sounds good, Fred
09 March at 10:12 ·

MH I'm with Fred. I'm an atheist who has no interest in arguing with believers. Let's just agree to disagree on that subject and concentrate on those things we do agree on.
09 March at 10:16 ·

Sid Helischauer No town needs two school boards
09 March at 10:26 ·

RD I think between Government and Religion, it has and will forever be a war on mans concepts for lost Soul seeking to find their way.
09 March at 10:41 ·

‎@John, do you seriously believe that a book based on war, torture, rape, infanticide, subjugation and slavery and an invisible man is impartial and bears enough proof on which to base an objective opinion?

Please quote my comment that states I think that site (www.evilbible.com) is unbiased and reliable.....

Have you read anything on that or any other site?

Have you read all of Sam Harris: Letter to a Christian Nation; Richard Dawkins: The Blind Watchmaker, the Selfish Gene, the God Delusion; Christopher Hitchens: God is Not Great?

Do you subscribe to www.exchristian.net or ANY other blog of similar goal?

Do you come from ten generations of church-building, fire-breathing evangelicals?

Have you spend literally six years reading everything you can get your hands on related to your religious tradition?

Do you participate in any forums, conversations, groups on a daily basis?

Do you appreciate that a book that people defend as the infallible word of 'god' has more than 400 contradictions (http://www.project-reason.org/bibleContra_big.pdf) - and if you do appreciate that, please explain why this omniscient being makes so many mistakes.

Also please explain to me why this all powerful, loving 'god' allows millions to starve and please explain to me why, if this being will grant any prayer why he/she/it will NOT answer the prayers of amputees, who surely pray for their limbs to grow back; or the prayers of parents of sick children - parents who will pray and let their children die rather than access medical help; or why thousands are .... oh fuck.. useless.

If you wish to engage me, please come armed. I support this country's constitution and its protection of religious freedoms - which by the way also protect freedom FROM religion; however, those of you who put a biblical story up as reality - and particularly those of you who are journalists - must subject your story to the basic principles of good journalism: eye witnesses, corroboration, replication, proof. In my most basic journalism classes, THREE real, live I-was-there sources are required. If not, your story has no more truth and weight as anything written by Jayson Blair (I hope you know who this is) or any other journalist of like standards.

If you won't apply basic journalistic standards to what is the most significant story relating to humans - all humans and all life on this planet - it throws into question to what extent you apply those principles on much lesser stories.

Those of you who call atheists "fundamentalists" and allege atheists have beliefs will please support that allegation with FACTS and EVIDENCE of those beliefs. Give me my so-called 'code of conduct.'

And please do not ask me to provide proof for the MYTH you hold up. If you say it is true then give me the FACTS and the EVIDENCE and the EYE-WITNESSES to corroborate that which YOU say is true. Otherwise, my allegation that there are pink unicorns running the world is equally viable because I have an equal amount of verifiable, replicate-able proof and FAR less proof to the contrary. See more
09 March at 10:41 ·

RD This is a logical thinking format searching for answers without ever finding a solution to actually fix anything. The sheep shall follow---who in the hell is the leader?
09 March at 10:44 ·

This is not the best format for a discussion requiring depth. I think we can agree that any Holy Book, whether it is the Bible or Dawkins (Dawkins holds two honours PhDs in biology and I think philosophy and seeks constantly to better his understanding of the world - quite different from the religious standpoint of "don't dispel my mythology), is available to be interpreted in fashions that affirm the subjectivity that we bring to it. (another journalist rule broken; use plain language)

The slavery accusation is popular but utter nonsense. If such was the case, how could that same Bible have been the very vehicle used for the emancipation movement, led by evangelical William Wilberforce, who began a tradition that continued to inspire Martin Luther King? (I could write an essay here on both of these men. This writer seems not to realise that the southern states absolutely used the slavery verses in the bible to support the continuation of that abominable time).

And, yes, many crimes and wars have taken place "in the name of" religion. More no doubt will follow. But many wars and crimes have also been committed in the name of other things - economics, trade, property, power and other ideological offsprings (sic).

Even love (Helen of Troy) has inspired war. But that does not make trade, or economics, or love inherently evil (many would dispute this idea; but again, all these are verifiable things, replicatable and having witnesses to them. The bible, not so) any more than it makes religion evil.

Our behaviours and ideas, even our beliefs, can be used for good and they can be used for evil. (pretty sure there are no atheists killing people for no belief). They are in some sense merely tools and, yes, the OT has some pretty grim stuff in it. But the OT is only the historical foundation of Christianity; it is the NT that carries the over-riding message of love, mercy, forgiveness, and the imperative to love one another. (yes, and the NT ALSO has many references to the OT - that NONE OF THE old laws shall be altered in any way until the return - assuming you believe the christ person existed at all - of the messiah).

 That can be said of humanism, theistic and atheistic, but few if any other non-faith based philosophies. Moderation, tolerance and the ability to empathize and not demonize, are the keys to a healthy and truly rich secular society and all of those find their foundations in the Judeo-Christian tradition. (That is bullshit. Humans are innately moral and that has been tested and tested and tested. Religion is inversely related to morality. Case in point: In the US, where states report the level of religiosity, the higher the number of religious, the higher the crime. Yes, I have several sites to reference for this) And that's all I have to say about that. 09 March at 12:20 ·  · ...

Peter, would you accept unsubstantiated, non-verified speculation for print?

If not, please apply the same journalistic standards to information that people claim affects the entire human race. I will consider ANY proof of the veracity or '...holiness' of these text that you wish to provide. Until then, however, it is mythology that deserves no more or less respect that the stories written about Thor, Zeus or Harry Potter.
09 March at 13:06 ·

Also, please confirm that you are indeed saying

1.The old testament has no relevance
2. You believe the OT does not carry over into the NT.

...If you confirm this, I am going to instantly prove you wrong.
09 March at 13:08 ·

ME May I also point out here that not one of you has risen to any of my entreaties to support your arguments, substantiate your claims, tell me what my 'beliefs' are to put teeth in any statement you've made.
09 March at 13:10 ·

PM Julie. That is not at all what I said. I very clearly referred to the OT as a foundation (see above). And I offered (also above) some support for my arguments. (actually, the writer offered opinions, which, considering the writer is a known journalist, totally chaps me. Also said journalist did not respond to my question at 09 March at 13:08) As also noted, this sort of forum is not well-suited to this type of debate and there are no end of points upon which rational people may in good faith (pardon the pun) disagree. I have my beliefs, you have yours. (I do not have beliefs, as I've said several times here)

 I have no wish to deny you yours. If you wish to deny mine to me, you are free to do so and I shall just turn the other cheek. Slap away.
09 March at 13:45 ·

Re your suggestion (erroneous) that the OT is merely a foundation, please refer to Matthew 5:18-19 RSV, where the Christian central character makes a very firm remark on what passed previously and its application presently.

If one says the ...bible is divinely inspired word of god and therefore infallible, one must than accept the point of Matthew 5:18-19 RSV.

Therefore the instructions on slavery are still in place. http://www.evilbible.com/Slavery.htm
(I use this site as it is succinct - but there are MANY other references to this material)

As to your suggestion that I am denying anyone's beliefs, that is not at all the case. Two points: as I have said and will say again, I absolutely support this country's constitutional right to religion (or no religion, as the case may be); secondly, since when does giving the religious every opportunity to provide support for their statements constitute "denying?" I am not denying anyone's believe. I am asking for a good, solid, verifiable reason - with corroboration - to believe.

Explain to me what you mean when you suggest I have a religion/beliefs that you have no wish to deny, and what you think those beliefs are. Atheism, for the record, is an absence of belief.

Finally, please show me where and how I wish to deny you your religion and why you suggest that this conversation is in any way related to slapping.

In this conversation, I have been accused of
Having atheistic rage (with no reference or quote to back this up or any suggestion as to what atheistic rage is)
Of believing in science as god (with no clarification as to what that could possibly mean)
Of being a hypocrite
Of having a belief system (which the writer refuses to define)
Of having a rudimentary grasp of atheism
Of lying
Of playing it safe (?!)
Of being angry
Of having dubious moral and behavioural standards
Of denying people their religion (by asking them to support their postulations).

I think I have turned cheek several times here.
09 March at 14:47 ·

Relax. Of course slavery is referenced in the Bible. (to note, this writer previously said I was making this up)

 So is being turned into a pillar of salt (how can an adult belief such a ridiculous story!?) and, like I said, all kinds of other nasty stuff. It is a book of its time. It is a book of stories of its time speaking to people in the language... (thanks to the writer for this one moment of honesty: the bible is just that; a book of stories of its time, speaking to people in the language of their time - 2000+ years ago) and the culture of its time and, honestly, how realistic was it for a dozen guys from Palestine to take on the entire cultural and political order and still get their message - one which they believed transcending the cruelties of this earth - across?

Anyway, the writing of Wilberforce and King and the emancipation movement are better qualified to expand on the expansive meaning of the Word rather than phrases cherry picked to support a particular worldview. Chill.
09 March at 14:57 ·

ME OK. Chilled. Still explain to me how any of it applies now.
09 March at 15:20 ·

ME The thing is Peter, that large groups and organisations STILL cherry pick - and in the current sphere I note the ridiculous Tea Party and its cherry-picking of all sorts of juicy bits to support their racist-ness and homophobic-ness. But they're christians all right....
09 March at 15:22 ·

PM Agreed. Cherry picking is bad in all its forms. And homo- or atheo- or christo- or islamo- phobias are bad too. We are all human beings and are all, by nature, flawed or broken. We all find redemption in our own way. Peace.
09 March at 15:36 ·

Charley VanderGriendt ‎'Father, forgive them for they know not what they do'/say
10 March at 09:42 ·

MH Wow, this discussion is still on going...I'm with Peter. As the kids say these days, Peace Out. (I've always wanted to do that...my children will be sooooo grossed out).
10 March at 09:48 ·

I suppose this video might light this all up again but it makes a great point. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVuw1wEuaAQ

To the -phobias, I will stick to my guns here and ask again why ANY mythology that has no basis in fact, cannot be proven, bears on stories that are not verifiable and have no eye-witnesses, should be given respect, let alone tax breaks.

SOMEONE please tell me why they don't believe in Thor or Zeus. EVERYONE is an atheist. Many of us just take that one logical step further.

Signed, Feral Heathen (with thanks to the false-named WJ...)
10 March at 20:14 ·

MH It occurs to me that this is how wars start....
10 March at 20:45 ·

FC Exactly Markham unfortunatley (sic) most of them dont (sic) stand shoulder to shoulder with us soldiers on the fields of battle. Remember too no matter what or even if their religion is there are no atheists on a battle field when lying in a fox hole being shelled.
11 March at 07:38 ·

Fred, I personally know many soldiers who are absolutely atheist and who have, to a man, seen at least two tours in Afghanistan. I also know personally many veterans, people I see at least weekly, who have seen battle - several times in many cases and one who was POW for four years - who are also atheists.

Your "no atheists in fox-holes" is an oft-repeated but colloquial (meaning unverified) statement.
11 March at 08:59 ·

Hey, I'm talking peace and I'm not the atheist in the conversation. Look, if there was scientific "proof," people wouldn't call if faith. (exactly!)

I can't prove God exists anymore than Julie can prove God doesn't exist.(also exactly, except I am not claiming such a thing exists; therefore the burden of proof is not on me!)
 I'm not trying to save anyone's soul here or even change anyone's mind, just bringing some reason to some of the things that are said. The reason religions such as Islam, Judaism, Christianity and others still survive is that unlike Julie's "mythical figures" the central characters were real people who walked, talked, ate, lived, loved and died. (proveitproveitproveitproveit!!)
King David, Solomon, Moses, Jesus of Nazarath (sic), Pilate, all of the apostles, Mohammad, etc. are all people who walked this earth and who are part of its history. (THAT IS AN ASTOUNDING STATEMENT! there is NO proof of any of those people.)
To suggest, as Julie does, that no basis in fact exists is not only absurd, it is irrational. You can debate the sufficiency of the facts, their sanity; you can debate their divinty (sic) but you can't debate that Mohammad changed his world or that 11 previously unimportant guys from Palestine and Paul, a later convert, travelled the world as they knew it and passionately spread the message of their leader. (these are unsubstantiated stories and to say they are categorically true is a stretch. There is LITTLE proof for the existence of any of these people, Mohammed incuded - and if he lived, he was a crazy hermit living in a cave.)
 They were imprisoned, executed and in some cases tortured to death. There is no documentation (nope, you're right there) from their oppressors indicating any one of them broke. We are all entitiled (sic) to our own opinions and are free to debate the meaning of facts. But some facts, inconvenient as they are, are facts. Peace.
11 March at 14:30 ·

There is every reason to question the existence of Mohammed and Jesus. Particularly in the case of Jesus, who's life story is nearly identical to Horus and for who there is NO first century corroboration, (from any of the 35 or so historians of the time) one cannot say with any certainty such a person existed. There is much, much research to say he did not.

Also importantly, the four biblical gospels, upon which christianity is based were ALL written at least 60 years after the central figure had died (if he lived at all), so the writers themselves had no first-hand or even near knowledge of the person they were promoting. Even the origins of said gospels is unknown. As such, the existence of this character is NOT a fact. Presumed to be a fact is not a viable detail.

In the case of Mohamed, if he did exist, he was certainly mentally ill, similarly to Joseph Smith. I find it difficult to swallow that educated people believe that a man who spent seven years as cave-dwelling hermit rode to 'heaven' on a flying horse and then came back. Seriously Peter, that sounds rational to you?

It is no more rational to believe a man who is his own father was tortured to death but then revived whilst being ensconced for three days in a cave and that this abused person recovered at all but recovered enough to push away a stone the size of which is indicated in the bible. It defies reason. Especially the part where said person then simply rises up into the sky and disappears. That is as ridiculous as a talking snake or a man-eating fish - or a flying horse.

To your comment about peace, Peter, all religions are based on death: the key element of christianty is death and then life after, all based on a set of constantly shifting, immensely interpret-able 'rules' and threats. "You're fine just how you are" is NOT a feature of christianity or any other religion, frankly, as any behaviour that can be unappreciated is quickly termed a sin, including with christians, the fact of being born - christianity makes babies sinners because they are the result of a purely natural, biological act. That, my friend, is not peace.
11 March at 14:56 ·

Like I said, you can question the facts as you are doing now but my point was that you can't go off saying "there's no basis in fact" for any of these things. The depth of your faith (MY emphasis; not one offer of "please explain my 'faith'" was accepted) is such that I can't imagine there is anything that could... be put in front of you that could possibly change your mind.

There was, is and ever shall be enormous debate within and without the church. Suffice to say the NT, given the references to Herod and the census, put Jesus birth somewhere between 4 and 6 A.D. Pilate ruled between 26 and 36 AD and Paul's letters to the Corinthians are dated at, say 55 AD, give or take. (Why are there NO references to 'christ' by ANY first-century historian/scholar? UNANSWERED by this writer)

The Gospels are certainly dated later and many scholars argue whether most of them were cribbed from John (the youngest of the bunch). Has the story been altered or perverted over the years? Absolutely. Does it have "no basis in fact?" No. (Writer, notably does not provide links to any such 'facts').

You can believe if you wish that he didn't exist, but that's an article of faith. (Exactly. Faith, not proof/evidence: but I'm not alleging he did exist, so it is not my 'burden' to prove).

What's the alternative? That a bunch of guys sat around drinking too much wine and decided "hey, I know how we can really piss off the Romans! Why don't we make up this story that won't make us rich or powerful but will keep us poor and persecuted and will end with us all getting (sic) tortured and executed. You guys in?"

Seriously, while certain facts are certainly in dispute, it seems to me it takes a lot more "faith" to believe the whole thing is a running scam that has run for 2,000 years than it does to go to church. (well, yes, but then indoctrination in our time and fear of being burnt at the stake, or killed by any number of methods for heresy in other times does help with the coercive part of religion. Y'know and the irrational fear of burning for ever).
As I said, you are firm in your faith. (the religious love to tell us faithless people - what they call us most of the time - that we have faith... but in nothing...). The reason I and most of the other people at my church seem to show up is that Christianity is primarily about Love (sic) and how each of us is equal in the eyes of God, (really? well, women aren't equal, or are slaves)...  how the meek will inherit in the earth and how the peacemakers are blessed. (of for shite's sake... )

We are taught that no matter the state of our lives, no matter how lonely we are or how much we hurt sometimes we are always loved. If it was otherwise (and there is no doubt that it has been taught otherwise by some) it would never have succeeded.

You obviously have a different experience and, yes, there have been times when human beings have terribly distorted these things and done awful things. On your last note, the church I go to which I expect you would assume is a haven of insanity teaches young people that sex is a great part of life. Peace.

11 March at 15:40 ·
ME Peter, you assume too much about me.

I am ever curious about this 'faith' you say I have. PLEASE define it for me.
11 March at 18:20 · (I have asked this question several times but have had no answer ever, from any participant here or elsewhere in the digital world).

PM This is not the medium for such a lengthy discussion. Lets just call it one of the mysteries of faith, agree that beauty will save the world and enjoy the weekend!
11 March at 18:31 ·

MH Are you two still at it?
11 March at 18:47 ·

ME ‎@MH, yes: I don't go in for "I don't understand it all and don't need any verification, therefore God,' whereas Peter is much less in need of proof.
11 March at 18:56 ·

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