5th March 2012

“An uncommitted but well-informed observer would conclude that Jesus was probably one of the many apocalyptic prophets of ancient Palestine, and that his life was heavily mythologised in the gospels, which were written well after his death. The ancient books traditionally ascribed to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were based on oral traditions that soon became embroidered with fanciful stories which are not even consistent with each other.”

Russell Blackford

5 Responses to “5th March 2012”

  1. Capt'Z Says:

    Or that he possibly didn’t exist at all. There were lots of Roman historians active in the area at that time and strangely none felt this guy merited a mention. I’m guessing Jesus was some sort of composite, at best.

  2. Atheist MC Says:

    I’m guessing Jesus was some sort of composite, at best.

    Wow! You mean like Kevlar or Carbon Fibre? Well, that would explain the super powers.

  3. The Heretic Says:

    The fact that the Romans didn’t mention him with all of their record keeping is phenomenal. If he did exist, his legend made him into to more than what he was. If he didn’t……than he probably was a composite of many handed-down stories. What about Mary Magdalene, Mary and Joseph (most famous cuckold ever), Peter or John the Baptist? Can recorded history account for some of them? Or were they all just characters in a legend?

  4. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    What astonishes me is the hold religion has in today’s world. I suppose that is arrogance, I guess me looking at religion and thinking “this is absurd nonsense without any merit on any level” just makes me an overbearing prideful crazy person with a superiority complex.

    I’m willing to look inward and call into question this outright rejection of religion as some sort of snobbery on my part. My view that most people are just so gullible for embracing religion, for not rejecting it, has simply got to be evidence that it is me that has something wrong with himself and not the mass uninformed populace.

    I would be lying to you if I were to say I’m not having the hardest time trying to convict myself but, and perhaps I’m so inclined or suffer from the obvious bias, I can’t see it. I just can’t see religion and its pursuit as anything more than Voodoo, witchcraft, shrunken heads, incantations and similar kinds of ancient tribal silliness.

    It seems to always work this way for me. For Instance: My niece was in a gymnastics event held at a nearby casino over the weekend. In between the individual competitions my brother and I would step out of the mega giant ballroom where the meet was being held and into the casino to get a drink. (The bar was in the casino).

    The casino was a horrific scene, cigarette smoke haze, cheap flimsy decor, dark, the murmur of slot machine sound effects, and the most vile and disgusting dregs of humanity filled every video blackjack table. My brother remarked that it looked like a penny arcade for adults. I was similarly astonished, to the way I mention being astonished above, about the hold gambling has on these people.

    Similarly I felt “am I just some kind of snob” but it is clear that nothing good was coming to these people. The compassionate sense in me was driving this disgust.

    I have said of myself politically that I’m a Republican and as such I think I need to support an individual’s right to do with their lives as they see fit but for these people I hardly feel I was viewing the natural exercise of free will.

    I feel that same sense with regard to religion: It isn’t a natural exercise of free will.

    I’m familiar with Sam Harris’ new book calling into question whether or not people even have free will and those who have come to know me here know I like Sam Harris, but I’m not yet convinced that free will doesn’t exist at all.

    Although those addicted to religion and gambling are an incredibly powerful argument for Mr. Harris assertions.

  5. reytBob Says:

    I struggle to comprehend how a modern, intelligent mind can believe the blatant myths and fabrications of the New Testament.

    It must take some serious effort to simultaneously accept, even in part, the stories of magic and conjuring, while existing in the real world and being confronted by the actual historical evidence (or lack of) for those stories.

    I was hoping our resident theologian might explain how he does it.