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13 years ago @ St. Eutychus - Things not to say to a... · 0 replies · +1 points

For me, and perhaps for most atheists, it's a waste of time to try to convince me that Jesus was the son of God because I don't believe in God. Even if the original manuscripts of the gospels were on display at the Vatican, and scientists agreed they were written within a few years of Jesus' death (or as early as their stories allow), I would not convert to Christianity. (Similarly, if Joseph Smith's golden plates were on display at the Mormon Tabernacle I don't think many Protestants or Catholics would convert to Mormonism.)

Once an atheist can be convinced that it made sense for people living before Jesus to believe in God, then there is a chance he might believe more of what the believers wrote in the first or second century.

13 years ago @ St. Eutychus - Thoughts and resources... · 0 replies · +1 points

"The same questions regarding Islam and LSD are no doubt interesting, but not particularly relevant to C1st Palestine."

I agree, especially for those who do not want to entertain the notion that Christianity might be another religion started by one or more people who made up stories about a supreme being, and then convinced some followers that the stories were true.

13 years ago @ St. Eutychus - Thoughts and resources... · 7 replies · +1 points

Considering there were at least three resurrections of mere mortals in the Hebrew Bible (1 Kings 17, 2 Kings 4, and 2 Kings 13), I have to think the possibility of resurrection wasn't all that foreign to those who believed the Hebrew Bible before Jesus' time. Given that, it's no great leap of faith for them to believe the son of God was resurrected.

Regarding the question of how the idea of Jesus' resurrection came into existence and became accepted, I have the same questions about the Qur'an and Joseph Smith's golden plates. (Their respective growth rates may be different, but I don't consider that a relevant point since they occurred centuries apart.)

13 years ago @ St. Eutychus - Thoughts and resources... · 9 replies · +1 points

"our faith is not predicated on rejecting the scientific method and human knowledge of the world – but on accepting the resurrection of Jesus and . . ."

I'm going to disagree with that, in a roundabout way. Accepting the resurrection of Jesus typically means accepting what was written by people who believed in God during the first or second century, when scientific knowledge of the world wasn't quite where it is today. If a person living before the birth of Jesus had today's knowledge of the natural world, and had not been indoctrinated into Judaism as a child, I suspect he would be difficult to convert. When Calvin says Moses wrote in simple terms for his audience so as not to go over their heads, I instead think it's more plausible that Moses wrote based on his own observations and filled in the rest to create a good story, never once dreaming that science would be able to debunk most of it some day.

If you don't think people who believe in God can make up stuff and get a large following, then please explain Islam and Mormonism.