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The Jesus debate: Man vs. myth
Does Easter celebrate a man, a savior, or a myth? Some say Jesus never existed and was a myth created by early Christians.
April 7th, 2012
08:32 PM ET

The Jesus debate: Man vs. myth

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN)– Timothy Freke was flipping through an old academic book when he came across a religious image that some would call obscene.

It was a drawing of a third-century amulet depicting a naked man nailed to a cross. The man was born of a virgin, preached about being “born again” and had risen from the dead after crucifixion, Freke says.

But the name on the amulet wasn’t Jesus. It was a pseudonym for Osiris-Dionysus, a pagan god in ancient Mediterranean culture.  Freke says the amulet was evidence of something that sounds like sacrilege – and some would say it is: that Jesus never existed. He was a myth created by first-century Jews who modeled him after other dying and resurrected pagan gods, says Freke, author of  "The Jesus Mysteries: Was the ‘Original Jesus’ a Pagan God?"

“If I said to you that there was no real Good Samaritan, I don’t think anyone would be outraged,” says Freke, one of a group of mythicists who say Jesus never existed. “It’s a teaching story. What we’re saying is that the Jesus story is an allegory. It’s a parable of the spiritual journey.”

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

On Easter Sunday, millions of Christians worldwide mark the resurrection of Jesus. Though Christians clash over many issues, almost all agree that he existed.

But there is another view of Jesus that’s been emerging, one that strikes at the heart of the Easter story. A number of authors and scholars say Jesus never existed. Such assertions could have been ignored in an earlier age.  But in the age of the Internet and self-publishing, these arguments have gained enough traction that some of the world’s leading New Testament scholars feel compelled to publicly take them on.

Most Jesus deniers are Internet kooks, says Bart D. Ehrman, a New Testament scholar who recently released a book devoted to the question called “Did Jesus Exist? The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth.”

Your comments on Jesus deniers

He says Freke and others who deny Jesus’ existence are conspiracy theorists trying to sell books.

“There are people out there who don’t think the Holocaust happened, there wasn’t a lone JFK assassin and Obama wasn’t born in the U.S.,” Ehrman says. “Among them are people who don’t think Jesus existed.”

Does it matter if Jesus existed?

Some Jesus mythicists say many New Testament scholars are intellectual snobs.

“I don’t think I’m some Internet kook or Holocaust denier,” says Robert Price, a former Baptist pastor who argues in “Deconstructing Jesus” that a historical Jesus probably didn’t exist.

“They say I’m a bitter ex-fundamentalist. It’s pathetic to see this character assassination. That’s what people resort to when they don’t have solid arguments.”

 The debate over Jesus’ existence has led to a curious role reversal. Two of the New Testament scholars who are leading the way arguing for Jesus’ existence have a reputation for attacking, not defending, traditional Christianity.

Ehrman, for example, is an agnostic who has written books that argue that virtually half  of the New Testament is forged. Another defender of Jesus’ existence is John Dominic Crossan, a New Testament scholar who has been called a heretic because his books challenge some traditional Christian teachings.

But as to the existence of Jesus, Crossan says, he’s “certain.”

He says some Jesus deniers may be people who have a problem with Christianity.

“It’s a way of responding to something you don’t like,” Crossan says. “We can’t say that Obama doesn’t exist, but we can say that he’s not an American.  If we’re talking about Obama in the future, there are people who might not only say he wasn’t American, but he didn’t even exist.”

Does it even matter if Jesus existed? Can’t people derive inspiration from his teachings whether he actually walked the Earth?

Crossan says Jesus’ existence matters in the same way that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s existence mattered.

If King never existed, people would say his ideas are lovely, but they could never work in the real world, Crossan says.

It’s the same with an historical Jesus, Crossan writes in his latest book, “The Power of Parable: How Fiction by Jesus Became Fiction about Jesus.”

“The power of Jesus’ historical life challenges his followers by proving at least one human being could cooperate fully with God. And if one, why not others? If some, why not all?”

The evidence against Jesus’ existence

Those who argue against Jesus’ existence make some of these points:

-The uncanny parallels between pagan stories in the ancient world and the stories of Jesus.

-No credible sources outside the Bible say Jesus existed.

-The Apostle Paul never referred to a historical Jesus.

Price, author of “Deconstructing Jesus,” says the first-century Western world was full of stories of a martyred hero who is called a son of God.

“There are ancient novels from that period where the hero is condemned to the cross and even crucified, but he escapes and survives it,” Price says. “That looks like Jesus.”

Those who argue for the existence of Jesus often cite two external biblical sources: the Jewish historian Josephus who wrote about Jesus at the end of the first century and the Roman historian Tacitus, who wrote about Jesus at the start of the second century.

But some scholars say Josephus’ passage was tampered with by later Christian authors. And Price says the two historians are not credible on Jesus.

“Josephus and Tacitus – they both thought Hercules was a true figure,” Price says. “Both of them spoke of Hercules as a figure that existed.”

Price concedes that there were plenty of mythical stories that were draped around historical figures like Caesar. But there’s plenty of secular documentation to show Caesar existed.

“Everything we read about Jesus in the gospels conforms to the mythic hero,” Price says. “There’s nothing left over that indicates that he was a real historical figure.”

Those who argue for the existence of Jesus cite another source: the testimony of the Apostle Paul and Jesus’ early disciples. Paul even writes in one New Testament passage about meeting James, the brother of Jesus.

These early disciples not only believed Jesus was real but were willing to die for him. People don’t die for myths, some biblical scholars say.

They will if the experience is powerful enough, says Richard Carrier, author of “Proving History.”

Carrier says it’s probable that Jesus never really existed and that early Christians experienced a mythic Jesus who came to them through visions and revelations.

Two of the most famous stories in the New Testament – the conversion of Paul and the stoning death of Stephen, one of the first Christian martyrs - show that people seized by religious visions are willing to die, Carrier says.

In both the Paul and Stephen stories, the writers say that they didn’t see an actual Jesus but a heavenly vision of Jesus, Carrier says.

People “can have powerful religious experiences that don’t correspond to reality,” Carrier says.

“The perfect model is Paul himself,” Carrier says. “He never met Jesus. Paul only had an encounter with this heavenly Jesus. Paul is completely converted by this religious experience, but no historical Jesus is needed for that to happen.”

As for the passage where Paul says he met James, Jesus’ brother, Carrier says:

“The problem with that is that all baptized Christians were considered brothers of the Lord.”

The evidence for Jesus’ existence

Some scholars who argue for the existence of Jesus says the New Testament mentions actual people and events that are substantiated by historical documents and archaeological discoveries.

Ehrman, author of “Did Jesus Exist?” scoffed at the notion that the ancient world was full of pagan stories about dying deities that rose again.  Where’s the proof? he asks.

Ehrman devoted an entire section of his book to critiquing Freke, the mythicist and author of “The Jesus Mysteries: Was the ‘Original Jesus’ a Pagan God?” who says there was an ancient Osiris-Dionysus figure who shares uncanny parallels to Jesus.

He says Freke can’t offer any proof that an ancient Osiris figure was born on December 25, was crucified and rose again. He says Freke is citing 20th- and 19th-century writers who tossed out the same theories.

Ehrman says that when you read ancient stories about mythological figures like Hercules and Osiris, “there’s nothing about them dying and rising again.”

“He doesn’t know much about ancient history,” Ehrman says of Freke. “He’s not a scholar. All he knows is what he’s read in other conspiracy books.”

Craig A. Evans, the author of “Jesus and His World: The Archaeological Evidence,” says the notion that Paul gave his life for a mythical Jesus is absurd.

He says the New Testament clearly shows that Paul was an early enemy of the Christian church who sought to stamp out the burgeoning Jesus movement.

“Don’t you think if you were in Paul’s shoes, you would have quickly discovered that there was no Jesus?” Evans asks.  “If there was no Jesus, then how did the movement start?”

Evans also dismissed the notion that early Christians blended or adopted pagan myths to create their own mythical Jesus. He says the first Christians were Jews who despised everything about pagan culture.

“For a lot of Jewish people, the pagan world was disgusting,” Evans says. “I can’t imagine [the Gospel writer] Matthew making up a story where he is drawing parallels between Jesus’ birth and pagan stories about Zeus having sex with some fair maiden.”

The words of Jesus also offer proof that he actually existed, Evans says.  A vivid personality practically bursts from the pages of the New Testament: He speaks in riddles, talks about camels squeezing through the eye of a needle, weeps openly and even loses his temper.

Evans says he is a man who is undeniably Jewish, a genius who understands his culture but also transcends his tradition with gem-like parables.

“Who but Jesus could tell the Parable of the Good Samaritan?” Evans says. “Where does this bolt of lightning come from? You don’t get this out of an Egyptian myth.”

Those who argue against the existence of Jesus say they aren’t trying to destroy people’s faith.

“I don’t have any desire to upset people,” says Freke. “I do have a passion for the truth. … I don’t think rational people in the 20th century can go down a road just on blind faith.”

Yet Easter was never just about rationale.

The Easter stories about the resurrection are strange: Disciples don’t recognize Jesus as they meet him on the road; he tells someone not to touch him; he  eats fish in another.

In the Gospel of Matthew, a resurrected Jesus suddenly appears to a group of disciples and gives them this cryptic message:

“Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

And what did they see: a person, a pagan myth or a savior?

Albert Schweitzer, a 20th-century theologian and missionary, suggested that there will never be one answer to that question.  He said that looking for Jesus in history is like looking down a well: You see only your own reflection.

The “real” Jesus, Schweitzer says, will remain “a stranger and an enigma,” someone who is always ahead of us.

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Art • Belief • Books • Church • Culture wars • Easter • Easter • Faith • History • Jesus • Uncategorized • Virgin Mary

soundoff (8,773 Responses)
  1. JD

    G.K. Chesterton's book The Everlasting Man is probably the best argument for the historical Jesus as any I've heard of. It is certainly the best I have read. C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien embraced the idea of the "true myth of Jesus Christ". Chesterton was a catalyst for this idea. I wish the idea's put forth by these great minds of myth, fiction, and fantasy, as well as philosophy, would have been discussed in this article.

    April 11, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • Cq

      "the story of Christ is simply a true myth; a myth working on us in the same way as the others, but with this tremendous difference, that it really happened, and one must be content to accept it in the same way, remembering that it is God's Myth where the others are men's myths" C.S. Lewis

      Oh yes, this is a great spin on why the gospels share so many similarities with the classical mythologies; it's God's mythology, and that classical, pagan mythology writer's somehow "sensed" the themes that would later become manifest historically in Christ. That's why Jesus so closely resembles other mythic heroes.

      Honestly, I can't believe that people bought that load. They're like a couple of Twilight fans trying to argue that Dracula is actually a cheap copy of Edward.

      April 11, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
  2. Voice of Reason

    How old is the earth?

    April 11, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • JD

      Really really old. If you want to refute fundamental Christianity and literal interpretation of Genesis, just point out the creation order in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2. In Genesis 1 man is created after animals and in Genesis 2 animals are created after man. Which one is it?

      April 11, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • JA

      hold on there JD. You should go back and read those chapters again. Genesis 1 is a chronological account of creation. Genesis 2 is more of a recap of what happened. Notice that it is written what happened each day in Genesis 1. "on the first day, on the second day" etc....Genesis 2 just tells you what happened without a chronological reference. just plainly "this happened, and this happened and this" etc......If you really that nit picky, you should go and fix all the errors in the const!tution. Im sure there are plenty there.

      April 12, 2012 at 9:02 am |
  3. Muneef

    To believe in GOD unseen...
    --–
    This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah -2:2

    Who believe in the unseen, establish prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them,2:3

    And who believe in what has been revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what was revealed before you, and of the Hereafter they are certain [in faith].2:4

    Those are upon [right] guidance from their Lord, and it is those who are the successful. 2:5
    ---–

    And We had already given Moses and Aaron the criterion and a light and a reminder for the righteous 21:48

    Who fear their Lord unseen, while they are of the Hour apprehensive. 21:49

    And this [Qur'an] is a blessed message which We have sent down. Then are you with it unacquainted? 21:50

    --–
    And no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. And if a heavily laden soul calls [another] to [carry some of] its load, nothing of it will be carried, even if he should be a close relative. You can only warn those who fear their Lord unseen and have established prayer. And whoever purifies himself only purifies himself for [the benefit of] his soul. And to Allah is the [final] destination. 35:18
    --

    You can only warn one who follows the message and fears the Most Merciful unseen. So give him good tidings of forgiveness and noble reward. 36:11
    --–

    We have already sent Our messengers with clear evidences and sent down with them the Scripture and the balance that the people may maintain [their affairs] in justice. And We sent down iron, wherein is great military might and benefits for the people, and so that Allah may make evident those who support Him and His messengers unseen. Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might. 57:25
    --–

    Indeed, those who fear their Lord unseen will have forgiveness and great reward. 67:12

    April 11, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • Cq

      So we should trust the Qu'ran because it tells us to trust it, like the Bible does of itself? Do you trust what the whole Bible says?

      April 11, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • Muneef

      Cq.

      I trust the what the Quran says...but I am not sure about the bible since the original form of the Holy Books that became before the Quran are no longer can be found and these present Holy Book are all prepared translated from generation to generation by men therefore they are eligible to have been sprinkled with salt and paper through the ages..
      You may find more details here;
      http://wikiislam.net/wiki/Corruption_of_Previous_Scriptures_(Qur'an_2:79) 

      April 12, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  4. JM

    http://www.rzim.org/resources/watch.aspx

    April 11, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
  5. Pipe-Dreamer

    Education= nationalized moorings to keep the masses not only inline but to conglumerate masses into the exciting world of jobs to do for capitalist's sakes! Long Life to the edumacated crowds! Live prosperously in the here and now for tomorrows picture does ever lokk glim!

    April 11, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • matt in NW

      Sorry Pipe....

      the Sciences are universal ....no nationality required.

      April 11, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      matt in NW,,,,

      Where in my above post do I even mention "science"? Education is not science dolby matt! Maybe the psychiatric or psychosociological meandering for the taught structuring of education might be used psuedo-scientifically to bring the better part of the masses inline via on's failures to become enlightened by education's bewildering dramas of wanton educative needs of needless classes?

      April 11, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      matt in NW,,,,,,

      Sorry matt,,, I have been posting much too long today,,,,, I started out early and it is now evening time,,,, Gotta go to the market soon,,,, need food and the likes,,,, Signing off at least for a few hours,,,, :-)

      April 11, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • matt in NW

      Well Pipe....

      I dont have the mental wherewithall to grasp what you are saying there.... maybe after i eat something myself......:)

      April 11, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • rsqdvr911

      Pipe~

      Apart from human consciousness does God or better yet do Gods of all the different religious denominations exist? And why?

      April 11, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
  6. mandarax

    Robert Brown and others say that you have to "have faith to know," or as I said you have to "believe to believe."

    That is a pretty clear way to differentiate between what is real or imagined. Real knowledge is true whether you believe in it or not. Take antibiotics for example. You don't have to believe in science for them to to work. They cure your infection regardless of your beliefs. That's how real medicine is distinguished from placebos – they work no matter what you believe.

    Anytime someone is trying to convince you that you have to believe in order for something to work is playing on the placebo effect. Things that are real work regardless.

    April 11, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Sorry, had stuff to do. Anyway, let me explain further. There are levels of faith. You will need a little faith, or a measure to obtain more. If you are interested in how to get a little. Let me know. Thanks.

      April 11, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • Cq

      Robert
      Any way you slice it you still have to start trusting that God is real before you can build that into full-blown faith, which only goes to prove that there isn't anything logical, or rational about it, right?

      April 11, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      I can't speak for anyone else but it is logical and rational to me. Are you interested in obtaining a little faith?

      April 11, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Robert Brown –

      I can't say I'm interested in "getting a little faith", but I am truly interested in what you think is needed to "get some". Do tell, please.

      April 11, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • momoya

      Robert I am down for a go if you can just explain what you mean by "a little faith.". thanks.

      April 11, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Ok, you know faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. You might be able to obtain a little by reading the word. But, you really need to hear the gospel preached to experience the power of God. Hearing the word preached can give you a little faith. Give it a try.

      April 11, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • momoya

      Robert, I'm going to need a better definition of "a little faith," to try stuff I already did for almost 50 years.. Tell me what it is..

      April 11, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • WASP

      @momoya: "getting a little faith" means for getting all logic and rational thought. lmfao

      April 12, 2012 at 7:03 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Here are the references for little faith, Matthew 6:30, 8:26, 14:31, 16:8, & Luke 12:28. You should probably read a few verses before and after each references to get the context. As far as defining little faith I don't know if I am qualified for that, but I will give it a try. Little faith is belief with a hint of doubt, or not completely certain faith.

      April 12, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • momoya

      Robert, those references don't help me to understand what "little faith" is.. If you can't define it in useful terms, I can't know what it is I'm going for.. You need to answer questions like: How will I know when I have it? What will it be able to do? How will I know if I only think that I have it, but don't really have it?

      April 12, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • Robert Brown

      You will know when you have little faith because you will be able to say something like, I believe there is a God and while I hope He can, I am not absolutely sure He can or will do all He says. Once you have a little faith He can show you that you are a sinner in need of a savior. I don’t think your third question really applies to little faith because with little faith there can still be a hint of uncertainty or doubt.

      April 12, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • momoya

      @Robert

      Robert, I can say things like that right now.. In fact, this afternoon or tomorrow I could go back into a pattern of believing and experience the exact same feelings of hope and joy.. It has to do with how are brains work and how memory functions.. So me being able to say something or feel something strongly or believe in a god doesn't prove anything at all about faith or god or the supernatural–it says something about how the brain works with patterns..

      You're not defining "a little faith," and you're not saying how I can test to know if I actually have it or don't or if I am deceived.. If you can't define it, and if you can't explain a method to verify its presence, then we don't even know what it is we're talking about.. Please provide me with a definition and a method of measuring its presence.. (If faith is only an emotion or can only be verified by emotion, please let me know now, so I can quit wasting my time).

      April 12, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • momoya

      how "our" brains work..

      April 12, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Momoya,
      What you described in your first paragraph sounds like little faith to me. I have defined little faith as best as I can. Is it the words I am using that you think don’t define it? Try this, it is a questioning faith. Here are some dictionary definitions which may help,
      Believe – to accept as true. To have faith.
      True – consistent with fact or reality
      Faith – firm belief in something for which there is no proof
      Fact – the quality of being actual
      Reality – the quality of being real
      Real – occurring or existing in actuality
      Actuality – quality of being actual
      Actual – existing in fact or reality
      Know – to be aware of the truth or factuality of or be convinced or certain of

      Here is the biblical definition of faith,-Hebrews 11:1, Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

      While the feelings and emotions of an individual can be powerful they will definitely vary depending on the individual. I am sure faith can cause feelings and emotions but I don’t think that is what we are discussing. I think what we are discussing is what we believe and what we know.

      I am not sure testing, verifying, or measuring little faith is necessary. At this first level of faith we have already established that some doubt or uncertainty exists. That would cause the little faith to fail tests, verification, or measurement at times. You would need to move to the next level before the faith would be tested. The testing of the faith at the next level grows the faith, or improves it from a questioning belief to a firm belief.

      April 12, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • momoya

      Robert, my apologies.. i thought you had something we could really discuss meaningfully, but you can't define faith in a way that allows its presence or absence to be verified.. It sounds to me that the type of faith your are discussing is what I call "a reasonable as.sumption.". Reasonable assumptions are just quick guesses that we 'have a little faith" that something will probably be a certain way.. (I might have this sort of faith when returning to my home, I assume the doors and windows will probably be where they were when I left a few hours ago).. I use that sort of faith all the time–if that's what you mean..

      If you can come up with a definition of faith that allows us to see its process or evaluate the level to which it does or does not do a certain thing, we can establish some test to verify its presence or absence–and go from there.. Looking forward..

      April 12, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  7. matt in NW

    There is no proof at all, none.... lets see, All powerful Creator, no mention of chemistry, mathemathics, medicine , biology not even the the basics....

    im sorry but if I can will a universe into existance, the set of instructions i leave for people ive created are going to a bit more advanced than the bible.

    now if im coming from a scientifically ignorant culture, the bible might be something id come up with,,,though my version would be more consistant......

    April 11, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • JM

      Scientifically ignorant? We know next to nothing...now...and yet people like to imagine we are so advanced.

      We are going to die...and then what?

      I'm sure you will say: that's it.

      How do you know that? Have you scientifically proven that there is nothing after death? That there isn't a creator.

      People weren't aware that DNA existed...at one point. It did.

      April 11, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @JM,
      But DNA didn't want us to worship it.

      April 11, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • JM

      I assume you left home at 12 since you didn't see why you had to obey your parents?

      April 11, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • mandarax

      We are going to die...and then what?
      I'm sure you will say: that's it.
      How do you know that?

      Well, maybe. I suspect most non-believers would say they don't know, but that's probably it. You guys are the ones spinning very specific, detailed, and outlandish tales of exactly what will happen and who will be there and how you will be judged and by whom, and what will happen next, etc. etc. etc. We're both working from the same knowledge base (zero), and yet you have detailed magical stories - and you're asking me "How do I know that?" Ridiculous.

      April 11, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • matt in NW

      @JM

      truely... we have alot of work ahead of us.... but what we do know is advancing all the time, certainly far in excess of what they knew in 30 to 40 AD when the Bible was written.

      as for life after death.... pretty sure my body with break down just like everyone elses.... i ll feel nothing (no brain, nervous system ect = no way to perceive anything)

      Even a blow to the head can change the game....

      are Ghosts real to you? what gives you the idea that there is anything after death.... how could there be????

      April 11, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Cq

      JM
      The ancients who wrote the Bible knew far, far, far, far less than we do about the universe, which is why they had to invent a story. Besides, Genesis wasn't meant to be a scientific explanation; it was meant to illustrate points of faith like why Jews rested on the Sabbath, and why God's creation has it so rough these days. Take a look at other mythologies; they do the exact same thing.

      April 11, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @JM
      "I assume you left home at 12 since you didn't see why you had to obey your parents?"
      Was this a response to me? About worshiping DNA?

      What does children obeying their parents have to do with worshiping DNA?

      April 12, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  8. Pipe-Dreamer

    Voice of Reason wrote on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at 3:41 pm, stating, "Reality and dignity are worth fighting for, day and night. You morons perpetuate evil, you're disgusting to people with an intellect and critical thinking. If it wasn't for people like us you just might have polio now you freak. Use you mind, educate yourself and learn about the life you have."

    What really is the terminology behind "Reality"? Is it not a reality that people see and do view God as being of realistic

    April 11, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Oh, my... Pipe-Dreamer on reality... this should be interesting.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      What really is the terminology behind "Reality"? Is it not a reality that people see and do view God as a Being of reality? Is not God worthy of those who see the realities of God's virtures to be mimicked by the humanities of many humanisms? Why do many scratch and claw away at the principles of Godliness and want to bring down to their levels of ungodliness stigmatations? Who among us are to be found fully worthy of standing with God's treasures and who among us are deemed worthy of other's praises in light of Godliness? Barren do the fields of the common atheists revel in and parlor about and generate no good works! Mind you, I said "common" atheist!

      April 11, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Nonimus

      "levels of ungodliness stigmatations" ~ priceless

      April 11, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • FreedomFromReligion

      Religion begins where reality ends...there is no proof that religion is even real, all made up myths.
      jesus never even existed, let alone is going to save our souls. Save our souls from what, I might ask?

      April 11, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Cq

      FreedomFromReligion
      Where reality, what we know, ends the unknown begins. There are two responses to the unknown: You can either accept that you don't know the answer, and may never know it, or you can speculate what the answer may be. Sometimes a speculation becomes regarded as "truth" because it is appealing in some way. It becomes dogma, and an obstacle to actual truth when it comes around. Religion falls within this second response.

      April 11, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
  9. Milton W.

    Ok Mr. Causation (HawaiiGuest)... everything in the universe works together because.... 1. God 2.Humans 3.Aliens,4.Mother Nature 5.Gravity 6 Space monkeys...... pick one that makes the most sense to you... your Eternal life is in the balance of your answer.

    April 11, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      It sure cannot be #1 because you cannot prove it.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Milton W.

      You cannot look at all of creation and say that there is no creator? Everything is just by accident? God had an argument with a scientist one day and the scientist said to God that he could create a living thing out of nothing but dirt... God said... OK use your own dirt!

      April 11, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Milton W. says:
      "You cannot look at all of creation and say that there is no creator?"

      Why not?

      April 11, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Milton W.

      I can't... maybe you can. My faith brings me Hope and Joy... I wish you the same in your beliefs.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Milton,

      Try a little experiment with yourself. Think to yourself that there is no god and you have a life to live and that's it, you just die. Give it a try, you might find out something about yourself.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • Milton W.

      The alternative is not and acceptable option for me... If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, but I will have lived a fruitfull, loving life with no regrets.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Voice of Reason,
      "It sure cannot be #1 because you cannot prove it."
      Hate to say it, but that is just wrong, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, however unlikely #1 is.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      The answer that makes the most sense to me is that the universe works the way it does because if it worked in another way, as far as we know, it would not be conducive to continuing existence. That being said, the fact that it does work, does not give credence to it being created by anything, nor does it give credence to any scientific explanation. There are a few theories out there, with the science to back it up to some degree, but there is no evidence to support that it was created by your god. I have no problem saying that I don't know for sure, and that I'll reserve saying that I know until there is sufficient evidence to warrant that thought.

      April 11, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Milton W.
      "The alternative is not and acceptable option for me... If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, but I will have lived a fruitfull, loving life with no regrets."
      Then it's a choice for you. That's fine, but don't claim it to be reality just because you can't accept more harsh and unredemptive reality.

      April 11, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      Milton W.,,,,,,

      You must forgive those who do scratch at and claw unerrendingly upon those of us who believe in God and the Godly virtues He does give freely to all of humanism thru the Spirit of Holiness which keeps ever lit the tendering natures of Godliness within the very fabric of all humanities. For in times of intrepidations is all of humanisms found out to ever be.

      April 11, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Cq

      Milton W.
      "The alternative is not and acceptable option for me.."
      Since when do we get to dictate everything about what our reality is? Wishing that you get to live on forever doesn't make it so, it just settles your fear of dying a little.

      April 11, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • WASP

      @milton: " no other religion has a Savior that said he would rise from the grave and did so just as he said. " ever heard of king arthur? it is stated that he was to rise again to lead his followers to conquer the world and start a new age. there are quite a few that have made that "i'll be back" claim. just look up aztec belief in their god. he states he will return as well.

      April 12, 2012 at 7:18 am |
    • sam stone

      milty: how do you make the logical leap from a creator to a being that judges "sin"?

      April 12, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  10. Milton W.

    And the universe just happened one day?.... of course it did!... just one big perfect accident! And then all the gravitational pulls of the planets, just keep everything in perfect harmony... all this is an accident? No... God does exist and someday you will stand before him... just sayin...

    April 11, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Why does there have to be a god?

      April 11, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Well then prove your assertion. Causation does not equal the existence of god. Filling gaps in our knowledge with "god did it" is a "god of the gaps" argument, which holds absolutely no weight.

      April 11, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Milton W.

      Ok.. so God is not in control... so how or what explains the universe and perfect balance of the planets in your little world smart guy?

      April 11, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      You are the one making the assertion that god exists, so the burden of proof is on you. I'm pointing out that you can't fill in a gap in knowledge with god and all of a sudden say "I AM CORRECT".

      April 11, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Milton W. says:
      "Ok.. so God is not in control."

      Would you agree we live in a physical environment? Then educate yourself. Get your head out of god's a.s.s.

      April 11, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      You asked me to read the bible, I did. I asked you to read about science and evolution and you won't. Makes perfect sense to the fundamentalists only.

      April 11, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Voice of Reason,

      Do you know there is no God, or do you just not have faith in God?

      April 11, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Milton W.

      So... a physical environment explains everything.... I'm sure glad you educated me on this once and forever! Your just like the democrats... you don't like my idea and have no other alternative, so you critisize and belittle other people that don't agree with you.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Robert Brown asks:
      "Voice of Reason,
      Do you know there is no God, or do you just not have faith in God?"

      Prove there is a god and then I'll know.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      I wish that I could prove God to you and everyone else, but I can't. God will only find you if you have faith.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • mandarax

      @Robert Brown – hmmm, so you will only believe if you already believe. Interesting. I suspected as much.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Robert Brown

      If you really believe in god, and (I'm just assuming on this one) if you believe that prayer actually works, then go pray for god to reveal himself to each individual non-believer in the way that will allow them to believe. If your definition of god is the same as most christians, then he will apparently know what it would take, since he supposedly knows everything about us.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      believe to believe? kind of, but not really. More like faith to know.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • noktulo

      Just because we can't explain something doesn't mean God is the cause. Think back to when we didn't know what caused many diseases–now we know about germs. Even if it's something where we can't know the cause, it makes logically as much sense to say that it was aliens or a giant panda as it does to say it was God.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • FreedomFromReligion

      Milton W. neither you nor I will stand before anything one day. Religion is fake, it just is not so......just sayin'....

      April 11, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Cq

      Milton
      You see "perfect harmony" where the reality is that the vast majority of the universe is just empty space and completely inhospitable. We just happen to be living on a life-supporting planet, a mere speck in the grand scheme of it all. The myth of a god creating everything made some sense when we all understood "everything" to be the Earth, with some lights, fixed and moving, up in the sky. The Bible writers had no inkling of "space", "galaxies", or what stars and other planets actually are. They had a small view of what the true reality actually is and their explanation, a creator god, is a small explanation to fit that view.

      April 11, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • TR6

      Milton W.:” No... God does exist and someday you will stand before him... just sayin...”

      Typical christian, when they realize their position has no logic or evidence to support it, they like to pull out the “you’re going to burn in hell” card

      April 12, 2012 at 3:29 am |
    • TR6

      Milton W.:” so how or what explains the universe and perfect balance of the planets in your little world smart guy”

      Typical small minded christian, the universe is not in perfect balance. For example stars explode and entire galaxies occasionally smash into each other. It only looks in balance because your view is so limited. If you only look at the planets in our solar system and you only look for the tiny fraction of time that man has existed does it seem in balance.

      April 12, 2012 at 3:40 am |
    • WASP

      @milton:"Your just like the democrats... you don't like my idea and have no other alternative, so you critisize and belittle other people that don't agree with you."
      ummmm i'm certain democrates do come up with ideas to get things done. i've watched the republicans chanting "make him a one term president" that isn't a plan to fix our economy. i've watched republicans care more about how to control females right to choose, than making a plan for how to get our economy running again. i've watched republicans block almost everything the president tried to pass, just because he was a democrat. i've heard everything come out of republicans mouths, except for a plan to help america. let's not forget it was a republican run government that got us into 2 pointless wars, blew the budget to hell and aided in the collapse of the housing market by ignoring problems on the homefront. it took a democrat president to go in and kill bin laden, where was your republican solution ten years ago?

      April 12, 2012 at 7:26 am |
    • just sayin

      The replies by just sayin have been brought to you by a fraud. When seeking just sayin make sure that you only acknowledge the original 100% pure just sayin. I am just sayin and I approve this message. God bless

      April 12, 2012 at 7:27 am |
    • sam stone

      milton....spend a lot of time on your knees, do you?

      April 12, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  11. Voice of Reason

    Education = no god

    April 11, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • Milton W.

      What a pitifull, hopeless life you must live! My hope is in The Lord Jesus Christ! Don't you want this hope? When you die, they will put on your tombstone the dates of your birth and death with a dash in the middle... is this all there is for us is the dash between the dates?

      April 11, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Milton W. says:
      "What a pitifull, hopeless life you must live!"

      Well actually Milton, that's exactly how I view you. I have worked hard to have what I have, live a wonderful full life without god and I look forward to learning new and exciting discoveries in science. I will not have a tombstone as I will be cremated.

      Looking back, the only regret I have is not becoming godless sooner. I, as you, was a believer but no longer. I have been reborn into the world of truth and wonderment!

      April 11, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Mikey

      Ya, forget all those catholic universities....only uneducated ignorant idiots go there.....

      April 11, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Mikey
      Ya, forget all those catholic universities....only uneducated ignorant idiots go there.....

      Don't they teach the god gap theory?

      April 11, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      The god of the gaps theory is very popular among all religious people. WHat you might want to look at is the "Transendental Argument for God" AKA TAG. It still doesn't hold up to it's own assertions, but to catch it requires knowing and understanding the 3 laws of logic, as well as understanding the difference between physical and conceptual, and physical and non-physical.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @HawaiiGuest
      "The god of the gaps theory is very popular among all religious people. WHat you might want to look at is the "Transendental Argument for God" AKA TAG. It still doesn't hold up to it's own assertions, but to catch it requires knowing and understanding the 3 laws of logic, as well as understanding the difference between physical and conceptual, and physical and non-physical."

      So its still a bunch of mumbo jumbo.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • UncleM

      Milton – why do you think the lives of unbelievers are empty? We marvel at the universe, live this life to the full, and base our decisions on reason. Whereas your life is based on a delusion. You'll be just as dead as us in the end.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Mikey

      It's taught as a theological theory that is circulating....along with other theories both scientific and theological. It's always important to think in context of the times, The creation story is no different. Try to explain plate tectonics to someone thousands of years ago...it would be comical. Gen. may be the written explanation of something the Jews didn't/couldn't comprehend. Evolution is the only viable explanation of our history; this is recognized by catholic universities, but generally not by conservative evangelical colleges.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Milton W.

      UncleM.... I have no problem living my life as a Christian and then dying with nothing beyond that, but what if your wrong????

      April 11, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Voice of Reason

      The difference is, if you don't know a few of the logical fallacies in depth, and the differences I pointed out, it would sound like something that is completely logical. TAG sounds like it's convincing, but it falls apart under in depth scrutiny.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Milton W.

      What your saying is an example of Pascal's Wager. So then how do you know that some other religion isn't right? How do you justify only 1 religion out of thousands on this planet?

      April 11, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @HawaiiGuest
      "The difference is, if you don't know a few of the logical fallacies in depth, and the differences I pointed out, it would sound like something that is completely logical. TAG sounds like it's convincing, but it falls apart under in depth scrutiny."

      Could you provide an example?

      April 11, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      For instance, the difference between guilty, not guilty and innocent.
      The same can be applied to something either being physical, conceptual, or non physical.
      Do you understand the differences with those?

      April 11, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • Milton W.

      HawaiiGuest... I've answered your question in a previous post.... no other religion has a Savior that said he would rise from the grave and did so just as he said. Mohammed and Joseph Smith didn't do this... Show me another person that did what he did and proclaimed what he proclaimed and we'll have something to talk about.

      April 11, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      What does any of that have to do with proving your claim that there is a god? All of the assertions you have just brought up came from a single (unreliable) source.

      April 11, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • just sayin

      Milton W.

      ........ no other religion has a Savior that said he would rise from the grave and did so just as he said. ....
      >
      Um, what is your independent 3rd party source? If you are relying upon words of the bible then you simplly have faith in the men who wrote and created the words of your God. It is not fact, rather wishful thinking and hope. There is a reason why there is no evidence of any God and no God in the history of mankind has proven themselves.....hint it is why all gods that man writes about requires "faith" aka wishful thinking in hopes that they are real.

      April 11, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Milton W.

      Charles Colson (Watergate Fame) came to his faith in Christ because he reasoned that no logical person would loose their life for a lie. He came to this conclusion because the Watergate players wouldn't even risk jail for a lie. His conclusion was that the disciples were killed for their faith in Christ.. so Christ and his teachings were not a lie to die for. Would you die for a lie? Joseph Smith died in a bar fight over a woman... not much a testimony.

      April 11, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • just sayin

      Milten,

      Well there we have it...because of Charles Colson's perception we should believe as he did. Disregard that mena nd women die daily believing in delusions. lol

      April 11, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Milton W.

      The reality of a lie and the belief of wether a lie is true or not are two completely different things. Just because someone would die for a belief does not make that belief true. If that were the case, you would need to say that the suicide cults were spot on, since not only did they die for their belief, they willingly went to death. Are you giving these people the same logical conclusion?

      April 11, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • Get Real

      Milton W.

      Would about 900 people die for and with Jim Jones if he weren't telling the truth? Would 76 people die for and with David Koresh if he weren't telling the truth? Those are just a couple of instances over the years of this type of thing.

      Here are 23 pages of people who died for Allah - would they do this if it weren't the truth? Not even to mention the large number of Muslim suicide bombers:

      "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Muslim_martyrs

      April 11, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Milton W. – regarding, "Charles Colson (Watergate Fame)..." and dying for one's beliefs.
      That is simply a silly argument. Throughout history people have died for their beliefs, As an obvious example, both the crusaders and the Muslims who opposed them, died for their beliefs. For more recent examples, why not Google "Jonestown" or "Heaven's Gate"? Sheesh! You guys make this way too easy.

      April 11, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • Cq

      Milton W.
      You make it sound like Jesus Christ is the only hope anyone can have.

      April 11, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • rsqdvr911

      When you push logic it becomes illogical. Having said that, I do believe in GOD.......the ORIGINAL COMEDIAN ;-)

      April 11, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • just sayin

      Fraud alert. The original 100% pure Just sayin is not the just sayin in these replies. Insist upon original just sayin posts for better clarity, quality and spelling. I am just sayin and I approve this message. God bless

      April 12, 2012 at 7:31 am |
    • just sayin

      @cq Jesus Christ IS the only hope anyone can have. God bless

      April 12, 2012 at 7:34 am |
    • Cq

      just sayin
      "Jesus Christ IS the only hope anyone can have."
      Without actual proof of this all you're doing is repeating Christianity's advertising slogan. The 7-UP company calls it's product the "real" Thirst-Quencher, and Christianity calls it's product, Jesus, the "real" Sin-Remover. Better than what the other companies (religions) can offer, right?

      April 12, 2012 at 8:17 am |
    • sam stone

      "UncleM.... I have no problem living my life as a Christian and then dying with nothing beyond that, but what if your wrong????"

      What if there is a god, but not the god of the bible. You will be as $crewed as you imply non-believers.

      April 12, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
  12. Time is precious

    How much time do atheists spend thinking and talking about God?

    An entire day, some of these handles day in and day out tirelessly advocating whatever it is they are advocating ;)

    It is almost as if God is center of their life in a very ironical way.

    April 11, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Reality and dignity are worth fighting for, day and night. You morons perpetuate evil, you're disgusting to people with an intellect and critical thinking. If it wasn't for people like us you just might have polio now you freak. Use you mind, educate yourself and learn about the life you have.

      April 11, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Rick

      Hey,It must those retirees who have nothing else to do in life besides being cranky!

      April 11, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Mikey

      Interesting.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Voice of Reason,
      "Reality and dignity are worth fighting for, day and night."
      This, I agree with, but the rest is crap. You're almost as bad as, today, as some of those fundamentalists.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Nonimus says:
      @Voice of Reason,
      "Reality and dignity are worth fighting for, day and night."
      This, I agree with, but the rest is crap. You're almost as bad as, today, as some of those fundamentalists.

      You sound like my wife! They are evil, they perpetuate delusion, they force their morals and beliefs into our schools and government. At least they try to, but with the 1st amendment (thanks to some very bright individuals) they have been beaten down over and over again in the court of law. I really could care less what they believe as long as they keep their evilness away from impressionable young people and government. Let the children alone, to grow and learn and then make a decision about belief. Also, their evil towards women, slavery, genocide, etc... Yeah, they're evil ones for sure.

      April 11, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Voice of Reason,
      "They are evil..."

      ?

      April 11, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • Cq

      Time is precious
      "How much time do atheists spend thinking and talking about God?"

      How much time do teachers spend thinking and talking about ignorance?

      How much time do doctors spend thinking and talking about disease?

      How much time do judges spend thinking and talking about injustice?

      April 11, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • TR6

      “It is almost as if God is center of their life in a very ironical way”

      Typical of christians, you make a false assumption; I am not bothered by and spend almost no time thinking about your imaginary god. On the other hand religion is real and I am bothered by all the evil it causes in the world and especially to the US.

      April 12, 2012 at 4:32 am |
    • Nonimus

      @Cq and @TR6,

      Well said! Both of you.

      April 12, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Robert Missoni

      Cq- Teachers/Lawyers and Judges get paid doing what they do. Do you?

      April 12, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • Robert Missoni

      Add doctors to that paid list above..

      April 12, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  13. Voice of Reason

    There is no god, there never was and there will never be. You are born, you live and you die, that's it, so what? Why can't you handle that? You're a bunch of selfish little minded people that are afraid of what they do not understand. Your intolerance to having an open mind is more destructive than a nuclear bomb.

    April 11, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      Voice of Reason,,,,,

      The "allness of humanism" will never be a "Come Together" society! For the "masses ever differentiating cultures will not ever allow for humanists to be as a "collective hive". With God and His scriptures are made every different person's cultivations, ideas and viewpoints. With no one willing to say write about or hear of Godly euphanisms, would humanists attribute this all knowing Nature of Relativisms to be and become humanists; catch22?

      April 11, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Pipe-Dreamer says:
      "With God and His scriptures..."

      Prove there is a god.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      "With God and His scriptures are made every different person's cultivations, ideas and viewpoints."

      Quit your cutting and splicing my WORD to suit yourself! If you but cannot see in my words even just a small sensation of truthfulness then pitty you I do and must!

      April 11, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  14. Charles

    The question is not wether Jesus of Nazereth existed, but wether or not that Jesus of Nazereth is the Son of God? Christianity is a good religion. True faithful Christians won't lie, steal, cheat, murder, be lewd, rude, disrespectful, curse, gamble, smoke, drink, do drugs, commit adultry, fornacate, sodomize, party, fight, destroy property, and such likes. Tru Christians are kind. gentle, patient, suffer wrong, meek, helpers of those in need, givers, caring, loving, controled tempered cool, collective, peaceful, mild, and such like. Faith comes in to such things. It takes faith to believe that my car will start when I turn the key. It takes faith that when I apply the breaks the my car will stop. Either you have faith to believe that Jesus can forgive you of sins and that He is the Son of God. Choice you this day whom you will serve, if the Lord be God then serve Him,if the world be your god then serve your god. As for me I will serve the Lord in faith.

    April 11, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      You do not need a god to be a good person. Serve whomever you like brother but keep your BS away from our children and our government.

      April 11, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Steve

      "The question is not wether Jesus of Nazereth existed"

      Of course that is the question raised by this blog post. Even though most NT scholars agree that the historical Jesus most certainly existed, some fringe groups are trying to debunk his existence entirely. Which, of course, is absurd.

      April 11, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      Charles,,,,,

      This world's humanisms regarding true Christians may well number into but a few hundred maybe a bit more,,, say 144,000? Just punning around I AM! :-)

      April 11, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      Voice of Reason wrote on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at 3:30 pm, stating,,, "You do not need a god to be a good person. Serve whomever you like brother but keep your BS away from our children and our government."

      Your opening was appreciative words but they went Sout,,,,, Just who the HELL do you think you are saying and speaking for OUR children and OUR government? Last time I checked Big Brother left boy's town and He took with him all OUR Goodies! Dope-on-a-rope,,,,,,,

      April 11, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • TheyNotHim

      @Steve

      The question of his existence is not settled, hence this debate.

      Please cite one primary source that indicates that this man existed. The bible is not a primary source. The Romans do not mention him. His contemporaries do not mention him. The archaeological record is silent on this. There is in fact no evidence to suggest that he is not a myth perpetuated by early elites attempting to counter the power of pagan groups of the day.

      The question of his divinity is irrelevant, since he is merely a myth.

      April 11, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • Cq

      Charles
      Unless you have a real clunker it doesn't take faith to try starting your car. It's started before, right? It probably starts most times you try, but if it's never started in the 2000 years you've tried to start her, and you keep on trying, that takes faith.

      April 11, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • TR6

      “True faithful Christians won't lie, steal, cheat, murder, be lewd, rude, disrespectful, curse, gamble, smoke, drink, do drugs, commit adultry, fornacate, sodomize, party, fight, destroy property, and such likes. Tru Christians are kind. gentle, patient, suffer wrong, meek, helpers of those in need, givers, caring, loving, controled tempered cool, collective, peaceful, mild, and such like.”

      Apparently there are no “true faithful Christians” in the world; or at least I’ve never met one and in fact have never even heard of one. Although Ted Haggard comes to mind for some reason

      April 12, 2012 at 4:51 am |
    • Cq

      Charles
      “True faithful Christians won't ... gamble, smoke, drink, do drugs, ..."
      Jesus did, however, drink and quite a bit according to the gospels, and it wasn't unfermented gra-pe juice like some fundamentalists like to claim.

      "For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, 'He has a demon.' The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners."' (Luke 7:33-34)

      He also ate bread, but he probably didn't eat enough to become obese, right? Over-eating's a vice too, so would Jesus have tolerated people eating to excess?

      April 12, 2012 at 8:09 am |
  15. Pipe-Dreamer

    mandarax,,,,,

    Who just exactly are those who willfully pander in exhumations' filthiness sayings and cited convulsions of liberalessness?

    April 11, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • mandarax

      Why, they are the cosmologenetic enshriners of delightened misanthropecines, of course.

      April 11, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      mandarax,,,,,

      And thusly the melodramadairian does quarterly scholastics while ever lookingly to be the apprehensive of s solitudinal devotee! :-)

      April 11, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  16. DJR

    As always, 2 Peter address' all of the mystics claims. Written by Peter, surviving thousands of years. Reasons and why, the historical Jesus, and the patience of time and scoffers to the truth. I simply choose JESUS as my advocate and thus owner of my soul, the day I am called before the GREAT I AM. My accuser will be there too, he who is the father of lies, deceit and destruction. Build up? Or tear down? I thank GOD for having mercy on flesh.

    April 11, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  17. Milton W.

    Athiests have a lot of faith... faith in themselves,faith in their own knowledge, faith in other non-believers. I used to have faith in the Easter bunny too, but a guy that can raise himself from the grave and proclaims himself as my Saviour... now that's someone I can have faith in!

    April 11, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      Milton W.,,,,,,,

      In order for Humanism to "carry on" into our futures,there must come divisive unity and complacent divisioning within socialisms to be as an harmonious union. God must take the back seat in humanisms' onward quests. He must be a theosophy of mythological acceptance within all mannerisms of God lovers and God fearers and God haters.

      April 11, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • FreedomFromReligion

      Milton, you truly are delusional. How does it feel? jesus ever talk to you?

      April 11, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • momoya

      Milton, I use faith were necessary, but i don't in any matters concerning any god or belief in one.. I can think of no reason why I should..

      April 11, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
  18. Milton W.

    No other religion has a Saviour that rose from the grave after death and was seen alive after death (on the cross) by over 500 people. Mohammad and Joseph Smith (to name just a few) didn't rise from the grave after death, so why would I believe in them to teach me how to get into Heaven? Jesus did just as he said he would do. He also said that I am the way, the truth and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me. Who or what do you put your faith in?

    April 11, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Barnes Timothy

      The only Prophets that had a word from the living God are those prophets that are in the Bible. The rest who proclaimed they have a word from their god were contradicting the word of GOD as revealed in the Bible.

      With regards to Jesus Christ the Bible is very clear as to his divinity. Jesus Christ is Lord. John 1:1. No ambiguity or doubts as to who Jesus said he is and he is the great I AM.

      April 11, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • momoya

      Most atheists don't have a use for much faith unless it's of the variety of assuming your car will be where you left it parked.. Faith is used by believers as the reason for believing in strange ideas and stories that can't be evidenced.. All religions and god beliefs use it because they must, but no god believer who insists faith is necessary can explain why faith is a good tool for his own religion but a bad tool for a religion he doesn't agree with..

      Jesus (whichever one out of the 70 or 80 miracle-working prophets wandering judea claiming to me the messiah) referenced stories of events that never occurred (the flood / jews in egypt), and so he was either lying or didn't know the truth.. Added to that is the fact that the god of the bible has multiple personalities, plans, and paradoxes, and there's just no reason for a sensible person to keep believing.

      April 11, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      Milton W.,,,,,,,,

      Were not we humanists bred from God's Husbandry means? Do we humanists not labour together with God and His Kind? Are not our bodies but structured building for the benefits and wellfares of the Godly orientated?

      1Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.

      April 11, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      "I AM?" Just what AM I? I AM WHOM? WHOM AM I?,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

      Only upon the inner workings of Life itself do Gods and their Kinds' exist! Structurally, we are but buidings created by the most minutest of Gods, these elemental gods or better still, the Sons of God's wisdomnomics! People tend to "Look Upwards" to see God but even in scripture we are told that God is INSIDE US!

      1Cr 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.

      Luke 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is INSIDE you.

      April 11, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • just sayin

      I missed the 500 statements stating they were witnesses. Unless you are basing this on heresay? Actually, there is a prior history of the Jesus tale. It is a borrowed story. Your opinion is flawed and based on the biased word you quote as the basis of your belief. Quite funny if you ask me LOL Some people really dont realize how foolish they actually sound. LOL Is there any basis outside of the authority you quote??? lol It is true because a man wrote it and said it was true. lol

      April 11, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Know What

      Milton W. "was seen alive after death (on the cross) by over 500 people."

      Or so said super-salesman and PR expert, Paul of Tarsus. You mean you haven't heard the pitchmen say stuff like, "More doctors choose blahbitty, blah!" (They don't do it so much any more, since people are not quite as gullible and demand facts - Paul had none.)

      April 11, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Madtown

      Milton, if you happened to be born into Egypt, how do you think you'd worship, and to whom?

      April 11, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • TR6

      Why is the 500 only mensioned in 1 of gospils. You'd think that something that important (if it were true) would be mentioned in all of them... just saying...

      April 12, 2012 at 5:32 am |
    • just sayin

      Fraud alert. The just sayin post is not the original 100% pure just sayin. For wholesome God centered comments by just sayin always look for the union label. I am just sayin and I approve this message. God bless

      April 12, 2012 at 7:37 am |
    • WASP

      @milton: "No other religion has a Saviour that rose from the grave after death and was seen alive after death (on the cross) by over 500 people. Mohammad and Joseph Smith (to name just a few) didn't rise from the grave after death, so why would I believe in them to teach me how to get into Heaven? Jesus did just as he said he would do. He also said that I am the way, the truth and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me. Who or what do you put your faith in?"

      there are quite a few beings that have cliamed the "i will return" bit. second were you there to see him rise? if not, then i'm a huge silver dragon that breathes fire and loves marshmellows. you have to believe me because it was written. lmao. i believe in the ability of humans to fix our own problems that we humans created and as long as we keep passing down a drug induced dream as reality and the cure for everything; we won't make it very far as a species. christians look forward to death, i look forward to life and making it better for my child.

      April 12, 2012 at 7:42 am |
  19. Milton W.

    Mr. Voice of Reason.... Someday you will stand before God and be judged... not by me or anyone else. You will be judged by the creator of the universe (he created you too!).... How will you argue you're way into heaven? Why should a Holy and Righteous God let you into his holy place (Heaven). If there is re-incarnation, I'll have another chance my salvation, but if there is only one shot at salvation, I'll take my chances on Jesus. Hebrews 9:27... a man dies once and then he is judged.

    April 11, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • just sayin

      Your faith is in men and their writings. Good luck with that. I have yet to find a God created by men worthy of believing or worship. The Gods can introduce themselves without the aid of men. Since not one God can speak on their own behalf or talk in the history of man, I am not sweating it.

      April 11, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • mandarax

      At least you realize you are taking your chances, because every other major religion is just as certain and has just as much evidence that you will burn in hell for not following their path. Good thing you just happened to be born into the right one, huh?

      As Sam Harris has said, every Muslim is just as certain as you are that their way is the Truth, and that to deny it is to resign yourself to eternal suffering in hell, And yet I doubt you have ever even lost a night of sleep over it. Your threats hold no more weight than theirs, and is just as trivial.

      April 11, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      Milton W.,,,,,

      Your words do prophess one's Faith! From the simplest of mindes are carried the 1st fruited beliefs of God and His Sons and God's Brethren! Study well the words of Truth and rightly divide it!

      April 11, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • preacherman

      You must believe exactly as I do or an invisible magic being will punish you forever when you die! I swear it.

      A desperate attempt at coercion. A pathetic last-ditch plea by someone who has no good argument and no good evidence.

      April 11, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • just sayin

      ps if you are "taking your chances with Jesus" then you realize your faith is in men not a God so it really doesnt matter. If you wish to let men from thousands of years ago dictate your life, have fun with that. lol

      April 11, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      just sayin,,,,,

      The coldest of all measures are of absolutes and have been found out and yet may be tested to be a false consideration by humanists who dabble and dawdle about in their panterings ever more. As the base elements of humanists' sciences parlor on, their minds ajar, elementally told are these atoms to be but elemental gods as in times of old once did proclaim!

      We, the bodies, are elemental gods' buildings. Nothing more and nothing less!

      1Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.

      April 11, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      just sayin,,,,,,

      The patternizational conditioning of the humanist brain yards are in the absolute inbred conditionings of wanton word labels and wordless emotionalisms,,,,, These 2 characterizations of humanists' psychic emulations give socialisms their culturalistics. As a pearl in an oyster's body does exist so does atheisticalizations.

      April 11, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • just sayin

      Pipedreamer,

      Hey that is great, you quoted man. Its fun, how about this:

      "A person's a person, no matter how small."
      Dr. Seuss

      April 11, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      just sayin,,,,,,,,

      Size regarding the most smallest of small issues does praytell upon one's importance of logistical squares!

      April 11, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      Why would anyone WANT to enter a place run by an as shole like that?

      April 11, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • just sayin

      Fraud alert. For 100% pure God centered just sayin posts always seek out the original just sayin. I am just sayin and I approve this message. God bless

      April 12, 2012 at 7:39 am |
  20. JM

    If I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible that main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: 'Men had forgotten God; that is why all this has happened.'
    – Alexander Solzhenitsyn

    "A little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion." – Francis Bacon

    "To sustain the belief that there is no God, atheism has to demonstrate infinite knowledge, which is tantamount to saying, "I have infinite knowledge that there is no being in existence with infinite knowledge." – Ravi Zacharias

    April 11, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • mandarax

      So, unless you are omniscient you can't question the existence of god, despite the frailest of evidence. But even from a standpoint of ignorance you can dismiss the very foundations of biology (evolution) without hesitation, despite mountains of evidence. Seems like you are using two very different yardsticks to evaluate ideas....

      April 11, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • momoya

      The first quote assumes a cultural context and definition that cannot be assumed because of the wide variety of god beliefs throughout the ages.. The second quote is by a corrupt man who worked with the occult and became a national disgrace.. The third quote uses a strawman (misrepresentation of 'atheism') and so is irrelevant..

      How about some proof for your claim that god exists? Anything to offer?

      April 11, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • JM

      What mountains of evidence: evolution?

      Proof of God. Try praying. Just say: "I don't believe in You; but, if you exist, show me." I believe you already said you've read the Bible.

      I have seen God at work in my life and in the lives of others: that is why people believe.

      April 11, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • mandarax

      If you can ask "what mountains of evidence?" with a straight face, then you are displaying that same willful ignorance I described earlier. It can't be helped if you are unwilling to use your eyes and your brain.

      April 11, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • momoya

      JM

      You've seen BELIEF work for you and others.. Evolution is re-confirmed thousands of times a day in hundreds of labs across the globe.. Why do you discuss your disbelief in a process that you don't understand in the slightest?

      April 11, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      JM,,,,,

      Only the godless do in their mind's essence throw pebbles and spit at and towards Godliness fidelities.

      April 11, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Cq

      JM
      The most henious and the must cruel crimes of which history has record have been committed under the cover of religion or equally noble motives.
      - Mohandas K Gandhi

      We are here because one odd group of fishes had a peculiar fin anatomy that could transform into legs for terrestrial creatures; because the Earth never froze entirely during an ice age; because a small and tenuous species, arising in Africa a quarter of a million years ago, has managed, so far, to survive by hook and by crook. We may yearn for a higher answer - but none exists.
      - Stephen Jay Gould

      Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
      - Thomas Jefferson

      My earlier views of the unsoundness of the Christian scheme of salvation and the human origin of the scriptures, have become clearer and stronger with advancing years and I see no reason for thinking I shall ever change them.
      - Abraham Lincoln

      No amount of belief makes something a fact.
      - James Randi

      If some good evidence for life after death were announced, I'd be eager to examine it; but it would have to be real scientific data, not mere anecdote.... Better the hard truth, I say, than the comforting fantasy.
      - Carl Sagan

      Faith is believing what you know ain't so.
      - Mark Twain

      If they are good workmen, they may be of Asia, Africa, or Europe. They may be Mohometans, Jews or Christians of any Sect, or they may be Atheists.
      - George Washington

      Yes, I think I use the term “radical” rather loosely, just for emphasis. If you describe yourself as “atheist,” some people will say, “Don’t you mean ‘agnostic’?” I have to reply that I really do mean atheist, I really do not believe that there is a god; in fact, I am convinced that there is not a god (a subtle difference). I see not a shred of evidence to suggest that there is one ... etc., etc. It’s easier to say that I am a radical atheist, just to signal that I really mean it, have thought about it a great deal, and that it’s an opinion I hold seriously.
      - Douglas Adams

      Myth was regarded as primary; it was concerned with what was thought to be timeless and constant in our existence. Myth looked back to the origins of life, to the foundations of culture, and to the deepest levels of the human mind. Myth was not concerned with practical matters, but with meaning. Unless we find some significance in our lives, we mortal men and women fall very easily into despair. The mythos of a society provided people with a context that made sense of their day-to-day lives; it directed their attention to the eternal and the universal.
      - Karen Armstrong

      April 11, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.