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The Resurrection of Jesus
Keeping in mind, we cannot prove that there is a god or that there is not a god. So if a god raised Jesus from the dead, we are already starting out with something we can’t prove, caused something else to happen. That, right there, ends it for me. You can’t use something you can’t prove to prove something else. That would be a lack of evidence, twice. But I will go on, because you my friend, never actually said that a god raised Jesus from the dead, even though many do say that. So, let me work on your 5 points that I found used numerous times during my research. I will also be putting a common myth in italics and attempting to show how these arguments work for something we can both agree certainly does not exist.
1. Jesus died by crucifixion
2. The first followers believed that Jesus appeared
3. The conversion of Paul who was an enemy of Christians
4. The conversion of James, the skeptical brother of Jesus
5. The empty tomb of Jesus
Number 1 : I have not heard of any physical evidence of a cross being recovered containing blood or DNA being traced back to this one person. I have yet to believe Hercules was a real son of Zeus in this same fashion. We have this kind of evidence for all kinds of people of importance in history (Egyptian Kings, Presidents, graves of all kinds, and so forth…) Did a person named Jesus die from crucifixion? As I have stated before, it was a very popular name at that time and that is one possible outcome of death for someone of those times. Just because you could calculate the odds of it happening does not make it fact that it happened. It is still just a “could a” happened. (BTW, we would need to know the number of crucifixions and the number of people named Jesus in that area, during that time frame, to even have a guess. I doubt very much that the odds would even be significant.)
We have all kinds of stories on what unicorns like, dislike, where they live, and so forth, but it does not make living, breathing unicorn, a fact.
Keep in mind, I will gladly read evidence of testimony of who saw what and when it was written, but it does not make it fact. It does make it a testimony, but to prove it really happened, I still need hard evidence, not assumptions. Criss Angel walked on water, many people saw it, and will swear he did it. But I hope, we all know it was just a trick.
Number 2 : The followers BELIEVED he appeared. That does not tell me anything. The thought he did? They think he did? I don’t want to beat you up over the word “believe”. We both know that believing something does not make it true. So, for the sake of argument, let’s say they saw Jesus for real (and negate they “believed” they saw him.) There are many times in our history where people think they saw something amazing and when it is investigated, it is either left unexplained for lack of evidence or it is explained by proving what it really was. I am just trying to demonstrate how this is not enough to hold up as evidence. There are tons of people saying they saw some really amazing stuff. People say they saw the Loch Ness Monster, Sasquatch, UFO sightings, Criss Angel and the many other magicians who have fooled many into thinking they are doing real feats of magic. (I know magic, and can tell you without a doubt, it is all a trick.) So believing you saw something “no matter what it was” only tells me you think you saw.
There are lots of unicorn believers out there and some will tell you they think they saw one once.
Number 3 : Paul’s conversion. People are convinced all the time to change religions or opinions. I know an atheist who converted to Christianity. What does that mean? It means people change their minds. (By the way I have never reasoned with this person, because deep down I suspect it was out of environment and having the right person around when something odd happened. Any of us could join any group if the conditions were right. Anyway...) Hitler tried to build a strong country and then decided that his Christian beliefs (or used that as an excuse) pushed him to killing Jews like the bible suggests. I’m glad that Christians stopped doing that by the way. Maybe that is for another discussion. My point is I was a huge believer and now I am looking to reality and facts for my life. I am probably an enemy (kind of harsh, but whatever) of religion now. I believe in being kind to humans. I flat out changed my mind. It means nothing except that I changed my mind. Christians make this conversion thing out to be a bigger deal than it is. Many people convert with hardly really caring that they are. How many people of 2 religions fall in love and one converts to their loved one’s religion? It happens all the time. It is just people accepting something different or changing their mind.
By the way, you ever know of anyone that believed in unicorns and now does not, I have.
Number 4 : Number 3 is the same reflection and argument.
Number 5 : Empty tomb. I really do not understand this as evidence. How can an empty tomb mean anything except that there is nothing in there now. What blood/DNA evidence do we have that…oh just refer to Number 1 on that stuff.
Someone says, “I saw a unicorn right there, but it is gone now.”
Empty is empty is empty. That is all it means. I know you can thing of hundreds of ways a body, if put there in the first place could have been removed. Detected or not, it makes no difference.
What is more likely:
A human being was beat beyond recognition (this alone should make you question whether it was even Jesus on that cross), crucified on a cross, died, placed in a tomb, and became a walking dead person, then disappeared not to be seen again…
That all of this happens to just be a good story that people repeated so often, you became desensitized of the unbelievable parts, and people started thinking it really happened?
Other examples of this kind of thing are urban legends, folklore, myths, incorrect facts that sound right, and false-fact (or spun) news reporting’s.
I have to tell you something that some atheists find funny. It amazes us how all the sects of Christianity are against each other, but they love to group together at other moments. It always looks like a bunch of two-faced friendships from the outside looking in. I think they like to say Christianity, because they have one thing in common for sure and it makes it seem like a bigger group of people. But deep down, you still hear others going through the Baptists say this and Catholics say that and that group over there is a cult and those guys are crazy and those weirdoes use poisonous snakes and so forth. It is kind of humorous to be honest. If they would just give up their personal religion, they’d be atheists. LOL
Last thing to mention here is that this is not a new story or something special just for Christianity: In 1500 BCE there were inscribed cuneiform tablets that told the story of Inanna (or Ishtar), she was a Sumerian goddess who was crucified, resurrected, and escaped the underworld.
So, Let it be written…Let it be…bah, I still need proof.
Hanging from a hook doesn't equal crucifiction. Putting criminals to death by crucifixion began with the Persians (c. 7th-6th century B.C.) and was followed by the Greeks and Romans at the time Jesus lived.
I really do believe Romans 1:18-32 applies here to these responses.
No offense is met here, but I will wait for Olorin.
I am guessing that you read only one side of this debate. I have read both religious books and articles and atheist/scientific stuff. The problem with only reading only one side, is that you never know who is telling the truth and end up with a bias opinion. I have read tons of stuff by christian writers, that are either flat out lies or just don't know any better (creation museum is perfect example). I have also read stuff on both sides who try to stretch things to mean something I really couldn't be the intention. I have read stuff that claim to be atheist/scientific, that later I found that they are not really valid. So, what I am saying is until you read a bunch of atheist books and so forth, hearing from just the christian authors, is not going to hold water with me. I want to be informed, that means learning both sides with real drive. If you want to have this discussion, I will be glad to do it in another thread. I will listen.
Thanks for all of the time you put in to doing research and writing up your response.
I want to let you know that you've convinced me!! Even after researching the resurrection of Jesus for over 30 years I no longer believe that it happened, so I'm abandoning my faith, as I said I would.
That means that I'm quitting my job in ministry, I've stopped going to church, and I most certainly no longer give any money to Christian causes. I look forward to having more time to play disc golf on Sundays.
Now I only hope that I can be as zealous an evangelist for atheism as Apothecary is. Just think of the billions of deluded people who actually think that there is a god! The kindest and most loving thing I could ever do for these people is to help them see true reality. If one way to make up a purpose for living in a random and meaningless world is to love people then I should do all I can to help those poor people. These few years are all we've got then we're just dust in the wind. On the other hand, I've only got a few years here so I'm just going to do all I can to maximize my own pleasure and minimize my own pain. Wait... I guess I'm confused, but I bet Bertrand Russell or Richard Dawkins can straighten me out. Those guys are way smarter than I am.
Have a happy Thanksgiving! I guess we should just be thankful to the people around us, though, for the good things in our lives... since there is no god to be thankful to.
Nah, I was just kidding!
On Thursday I'll still be giving thanks to my Creator for all of His blessings!
Donovan, I truly am thankful to you for all of the time you took to research and write up what you did. I'm also thankful for all of my DGCR friends.
Have a happy Thanksgiving, one and all!
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