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True2Ourselves Forums   > Community Topics > Theology  > Sincere interest in atheist and or other belief perceptions on the story of Jesus.

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  #1  
Old 12-21-2010, 06:57 PM
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Default Sincere interest in atheist and or other belief perceptions on the story of Jesus.

I notice atheists at this site in general analyze, research and objectively discuss their points of view on subjects mostly without negative emotion other than sometimes cynicism. Usually humorous cynicism.

Therefore I wish to start this thread not only for atheists but agnostics, Pagans, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindu, New Age Spiritualists or any of you visiting this site of any belief. There may be some who have had infliction by proclaimed believers that cause severe negative disbelief also to be included.

Let us say it is irrelevant that Jesus walked this earth and look at his story as pure fiction.
What are your thoughts from this perspective?
What does his story represent to you and society as you see it?


I will confess honestly that I have an agenda. I believe that the breath, the seed of God is within all and the presence of this Holy Spirit can bring to realisation the truth about Jesus. After proper evaluation this realisation will be made known at some time even if it comes with your last breath.

My agenda aside, I am not questioning from any denominational perspective as I have no experience in such, but a sincere interest in your thoughts and beliefs or non belief be it may.

Believers are as much welcome to contribute and I trust in the spirit as Jesus intends.

If you feel prompted in any way, please contribute.
Heretics beware there are obscenity filters so don't allow your perception to be dismissed through lack of some discipline.

Last edited by CinderAsh : 12-30-2010 at 11:30 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-30-2010, 11:27 PM
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Default Re: Sincere interest in atheist and or other belief perceptions on the story of Jesus

C'mon atheists c'mon c'mon!
You going to let this one slip through to the keeper without taking a swing at it?
Surely you can get an innings out of it?

Last edited by CinderAsh : 12-31-2010 at 03:30 AM.
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  #3  
Old 12-31-2010, 03:02 AM
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Default Re: Sincere interest in atheist and or other belief perceptions on the story of Jesus

Maybe they're all just taking a break from the internet in order to better reflect on Christ's life and what it means over this Christmas holiday.
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Old 12-31-2010, 06:03 PM
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Default Re: Sincere interest in atheist and or other belief perceptions on the story of Jesus

Yeah, been taking a bit of a break, so I missed this when it was first posted.

I'm not really sure what the question is? Are you asking how things would have turned out if Jesus hadn't existed?

If He did exist (and I personally believe that he was an historical figure), then you're putting all your eggs in one basket by claiming his divinity. Would it be possible to maintain a belief in God if Jesus was shown to be nothing than a mere mortal?

You can't have Christianity without Christ, but can you still have God? The Muslims seem to think so.
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Old 01-01-2011, 02:22 AM
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Default Re: Sincere interest in atheist and or other belief perceptions on the story of Jesus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad View Post
Yeah, been taking a bit of a break, so I missed this when it was first posted.

I'm not really sure what the question is? Are you asking how things would have turned out if Jesus hadn't existed?

If He did exist (and I personally believe that he was an historical figure), then you're putting all your eggs in one basket by claiming his divinity. Would it be possible to maintain a belief in God if Jesus was shown to be nothing than a mere mortal?

You can't have Christianity without Christ, but can you still have God? The Muslims seem to think so.
I guess I am asking do you believe in his divinity or how did he exist as a historical figure.
Did Jesus speak and do the things written about him or do you see him as some kind of mere mortal hero figure exaggerated about?
How did you come to your conclusions?
Basically your thoughts on Jesus and God if you wish to add.
I suggest you are right in saying that I am putting all my eggs in one basket.
Are there other eggs or other baskets you could point out?
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Old 01-01-2011, 06:19 PM
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Default Re: Sincere interest in atheist and or other belief perceptions on the story of Jesus

Well I obviously don't believe in His divinity. But there's been enough written about Him (albeit after His death) to make an argument that He didn't exist a tough call.

But the majority of Christians, even if they don't take the bible literally, will accept the most amazing claims from the flimsiest of evidence. Even to the point of debating the exact meaning of the words that He is meant to have spoken.

I had a discussion with someone on another forum who knew that Jesus had risen from the dead because literally hundreds of people had seen Him after the event. How could you argue with that! Except that that fact is only mentioned in passing in Corinthians which was written over fifty years after the death of Jesus.

But the guy was convinced that there were over 500 eye witness accounts. He probably still believes it.

And once you start to realise that what is being accepted as fact is nothing of the sort, you begin, quite rightly, to doubt everything. It's like a court case where the barrister casts doubt on a witness's credibility in one area in order to cast doubt on the whole testimony.

This is where the eggs in the basket analogy comes from. And this is where my atheism ultimately began and this is where your faith begins, because you have to have faith in order to accept all this.

All Christians have to accept some of the stories as apocryphal or allegory or parable. But the difficulty is when to stop. Genesis? Pass on that one. Animals two by two? Nah, probably not strictly true. Talking trees and donkeys? Well...not sure. Five hundred eye witnesses to the resurection? OK, I'll go with that one. That one could be true because He did rise from the dead, didn't He.

Which is where my chum at Rapture Ready started using non-existent evidence to back up something he'd already decided was true. If you start off with the premise that Jesus was divine, then you'll have no problem in justifying that from any number of sources. But if you look at the available evidence in the cold light of day and use it to reach a conclusion based on the facts, then you end up in my position.

I'm reasonably certain there was a King Arthur at some point in Medieval time (the Welsh like to claim him as their own - we're very romantic in that way). But I don't read Mort d'Arthur as fact. I wouldn't place any credence on any words that he may have spoken. And why grant the feeding the five thousand with any more validity as the story of the sword in the stone. And Arthur lived less than a thousand years ago.

Last edited by Brad : 01-01-2011 at 06:37 PM.
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  #7  
Old 01-01-2011, 08:52 PM
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Default Re: Sincere interest in atheist and or other belief perceptions on the story of Jesus

[
Quote:
QUOTE=Brad;105309]Well I obviously don't believe in His divinity. But there's been enough written about Him (albeit after His death) to make an argument that He didn't exist a tough call.
Then you consider his existence a strong possibility?


Quote:
But the majority of Christians, even if they don't take the bible literally, will accept the most amazing claims from the flimsiest of evidence. Even to the point of debating the exact meaning of the words that He is meant to have spoken.
That would come from faith and seeking to understand.

In my case some mystical events in my life and wishing to understand why I have a conscience of what is right and wrong.
Why everybody has some kind of moral judgment. Also a social conscience and why the world is so messed up.
Why the world is somewhat contrary to what is projected in morals by those in power to in every day individuals.

I note you have a similar questioning nature.

Quote:
I had a discussion with someone on another forum who knew that Jesus had risen from the dead because literally hundreds of people had seen Him after the event. How could you argue with that! Except that that fact is only mentioned in passing in Corinthians which was written over fifty years after the death of Jesus.
Apparently the earliest dated manuscripts are merely scraps of paper and we have to trust man has included all and deciphered them correctly.
It is recorded he appeared to some consistently and by the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, this is taken to be true.

Many speak and document of encounters with spirits so it would be easy to conclude Jesus could appear as such.

I wonder if you or someone you know have had any experiences of so called super natural occurrences.

I use to pick up disconnected foxtel equipment and some were from deceased estates and my inquisitive nature would ask the spouse of the deceased if they ever feel the presence of the person and ALWAYS I would get a yes response and they would talk of the experiences and experiences of relatives or others who visited. I have asked this of others and still haven't received a no.

Quote:
But the guy was convinced that there were over 500 eye witness accounts. He probably still believes it.
Can't comment on this but accept he has a deep conviction to belief.

Quote:
And once you start to realise that what is being accepted as fact is nothing of the sort, you begin, quite rightly, to doubt everything. It's like a court case where the barrister casts doubt on a witness's credibility in one area in order to cast doubt on the whole testimony.
But hopefully the jury gather ALL the facts, diligently analyze them and make a true and proper judgment and are not persuaded by a barrister casting doubt.

Quote:
This is where the eggs in the basket analogy comes from. And this is where my atheism ultimately began and this is where your faith begins, because you have to have faith in order to accept all this.
This is where some religious can learn something of great value from atheists such as you.

Quote:
All Christians have to accept some of the stories as apocryphal or allegory or parable. But the difficulty is when to stop. Genesis? Pass on that one. Animals two by two? Nah, probably not strictly true. Talking trees and donkeys? Well...not sure. Five hundred eye witnesses to the resurection? OK, I'll go with that one. That one could be true because He did rise from the dead, didn't He.
Personally I can read the gospels about Jesus and discard the miracles and gain an insight into Jesus that still brings me to the same conclusion of his intent.
The message is more important than the relevance of his existence tho I believe in such.
It makes it clear why powers that be can swear an oath on the bible, proclaim God and quite the contrary results.
Why mankind finds it difficult to get along as nations, religions, communities to family and spouses.
Why it takes great disasters for our human charitable spirit to come together only to fizzle due to life circumstances.

Quote:
Which is where my chum at Rapture Ready started using non-existent evidence to back up something he'd already decided was true. If you start off with the premise that Jesus was divine, then you'll have no problem in justifying that from any number of sources. But if you look at the available evidence in the cold light of day and use it to reach a conclusion based on the facts, then you end up in my position.
I hope your conclusion based on facts doesn't come based from the premise of those like your Rapture Ready chum?

Quote:
I'm reasonably certain there was a King Arthur at some point in Medieval time (the Welsh like to claim him as their own - we're very romantic in that way). But I don't read Mort d'Arthur as fact. I wouldn't place any credence on any words that he may have spoken. And why grant the feeding the five thousand with any more validity as the story of the sword in the stone. And Arthur lived less than a thousand years ago.
[/quote]

I can only say that many mysterious occurrences have been experienced and documented, super natural, natural and mere mortal, unexplainable to our understandings scientific or otherwise.

Have you read any of the gospels accounting Jesus?

Mark is the shortest.

Mark 1 - Passage*Lookup - New International Version, ©2010 - BibleGateway.com
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Old 01-02-2011, 02:30 AM
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Default Re: Sincere interest in atheist and or other belief perceptions on the story of Jesus

Quote:
Originally Posted by CinderAsh View Post
Then you consider his existence a strong possibility?
No, not a strong possibility. But a possibility nevertheless. As much as Arthur perhaps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CinderAsh View Post
That would come from faith and seeking to understand.
This in answer to me saying Christians 'will accept the most amazing claims'. But faith and the search for answers are to me antithetical. If you're searching for answers, then you, by definition, don't know the answer. Faith skips a few of the processes that someone like me goes though and moves directly to belief.

As Linsinbigler pointed out in a recent post, the Greek for faith and belief are practically interchangeable. Faith is often classed as belief without evidence. But it can also be described (at least by me) as using evidence to back up an initial belief.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CinderAsh View Post
In my case some mystical events in my life and wishing to understand why I have a conscience of what is right and wrong.
Why everybody has some kind of moral judgment. Also a social conscience and why the world is so messed up.
Everyone has 'mystical events' in their lives. I'm no exception. If you want to put them down to a god that you've already been told about (as opposed to another god if you'd been born somewhere and sometime other than here and now), then go for it.

I have a conscience as well, and without trying to be rude, I get really ticked off when people put that down to their faith. You need religion to be a moral person? Gimme a break...

Quote:
Originally Posted by CinderAsh View Post
Apparently the earliest dated manuscripts are merely scraps of paper and we have to trust man has included all and deciphered them correctly.
I'd rather you didn't use the inclusive 'we'. You have to trust that it's so because it would class doubt on your belief if you didn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CinderAsh View Post
It (Jesus's appearance after the resurrection) is recorded he appeared to some consistently and by the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, this is taken to be true
By you and other Christians. But why? Because it must be true? Here are your eggs again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CinderAsh View Post
I wonder if you or someone you know have had any experiences of so called super natural occurrences.
If I had, why would I put them down to the existence of a particular god?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CinderAsh View Post
Personally I can read the gospels about Jesus and discard the miracles and gain an insight into Jesus that still brings me to the same conclusion of his intent.
The message is more important than the relevance of his existence tho I believe in such.
If you want to believe in a story that brings comfort to you, then how can I argue against that? If you think that the message is more important than the actuality of His existence (and therefore the existence of God), then I'd agree with you.

There are very many examples throughout history and literature that will give both of us the same message. They don't require a belief in your God.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CinderAsh View Post
I hope your conclusion based on facts doesn't come based from the premise of those like your Rapture Ready chum.
I try not to start with a premise. It's too easy to find evidence to back it up. Best to start with the facts, as best you can determine them, and see were they take you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CinderAsh View Post
Have you read any of the gospels accounting Jesus?
More eggs..?
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Old 01-02-2011, 05:01 AM
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Default Re: Sincere interest in atheist and or other belief perceptions on the story of Jesus

Quote:
Originally Posted by CinderAsh View Post
I notice atheists at this site in general analyze, research and objectively discuss their points of view on subjects mostly without negative emotion other than sometimes cynicism. Usually humorous cynicism.
Thanks for noticing - not everyone does.

Quote:
Let us say it is irrelevant that Jesus walked this earth and look at his story as pure fiction.

What are your thoughts from this perspective?
I donít have a reason to doubt that Jesus the person existed, itís the Son of God part that I donít buy into. If you take away the miracles, he was just a decent guy giving out good advice. He wasnít the first person to tell us to be nice to each other, and he wonít be the last.

Quote:
What does his story represent to you and society as you see it?
I want to answer this, but Iím not sure what youíre asking. Do you mean, me as part of the larger society, or me and society separately? I think Iíd probably have different answers for each one.
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Old 01-02-2011, 08:13 AM
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Default Re: Sincere interest in atheist and or other belief perceptions on the story of Jesus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad View Post


Quote:
This in answer to me saying Christians 'will accept the most amazing claims'. But faith and the search for answers are to me antithetical. If you're searching for answers, then you, by definition, don't know the answer. Faith skips a few of the processes that someone like me goes though and moves directly to belief.
By definition true, I don't know the answers but gain understanding.
What processes do you suggest I would skip?
But do you skip some processes as well?

Quote:
As Linsinbigler pointed out in a recent post, the Greek for faith and belief are practically interchangeable. Faith is often classed as belief without evidence. But it can also be described (at least by me) as using evidence to back up an initial belief.
In my case I had evidence from events and through researching gained more evidence that reaffirmed the events and led to belief. Kind of like a calling.



Quote:
Everyone has 'mystical events' in their lives. I'm no exception. If you want to put them down to a god that you've already been told about (as opposed to another god if you'd been born somewhere and sometime other than here and now), then go for it.
The thing is I didn't put them down to God. I am not asking you to either but I see you acknowledge them.(mystical events)
At a time in my life I found myself around people talking about spirituality and being spiritual and a thought came to mind that being of spirit is of being dead. So I wondered what it would be like if I was dead and found myself looking at the world and how we lead our lives quite differently and empathetical y. I dare say a process most if not all would skip.


Quote:
I have a conscience as well, and without trying to be rude, I get really ticked off when people put that down to their faith. You need religion to be a moral person? Gimme a break...
I am not suggesting anybody needs religion to be a moral person or faith is the reason we have a conscience. Just that we have one and I wish to understand why.
What is it within us?
Where does it come from?
Why do some with high morels just shrug it off when they don't adhere to them.
As a dead person you just look back and say yeah whatever. Wait till you get to see it from this perspective. Check out the mess in your wake. No religion, no faith just a hard reality.
An eternal view.


Quote:
I'd rather you didn't use the inclusive 'we'. You have to trust that it's so because it would class doubt on your belief if you didn't.
No, I was meaning there could be many more manuscripts with much more information that may of not been found or perhaps destroyed and we can only go by the pieces discovered and interpreted.

From John 21:

25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

Perhaps there were many more things written down.



Quote:
By you and other Christians. But why? Because it must be true? Here are your eggs again.
Touche' and thank you for bettering my grammar.


Quote:
If I had, why would I put them down to the existence of a particular god?
I am not suggesting you put them down to a particular God but acknowledge that they could come from a realm unexplainable by ours.
But are you skipping over that possibility of a particular God?



Quote:
If you want to believe in a story that brings comfort to you, then how can I argue against that? If you think that the message is more important than the actuality of His existence (and therefore the existence of God), then I'd agree with you.
Believe me, the story didn't bring comfort to me but gave me as much sorrow and heartache as it does joy.
And I will take that point of agreement as you have now recognized that there is a message. An important message.


Quote:
There are very many examples throughout history and literature that will give both of us the same message. They don't require a belief in your God.
Valid point on God.
What is this message that there are many other examples of?



Quote:
I try not to start with a premise. It's too easy to find evidence to back it up. Best to start with the facts, as best you can determine them, and see were they take you.
Very sensible and wise.
I will admit I don't know where this will take us but as I outlined in my OP I trust the Holy Spirit will bring about the truth of Jesus at some time.


Quote:
More eggs..?
Quite possibly but you don't have to skip over them for fear of fragility. Eggs are know to be rather strong and finely engineered. Some wonderful life can be hatched from them.
You do research diligently for other threads in gaining insight.
It is not a difficult read.

Mark 1 - Passage*Lookup - New International Version, ©2010 - BibleGateway.com
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