By Dan Merica, CNN
Washington (CNN) – Forty years after the Supreme Court protected abortion rights in Roe v. Wade, a new survey finds that white evangelicals remain the only major religious group that supports overturning the landmark ruling, even though most such groups find abortion morally wrong.
Slightly more than half (54%) of white evangelicals, according to the Pew Research Center study, favor completely overturning the 1973 Supreme Court decision that affirmed a woman’s right to have an abortion. No other religious group, including white mainline Protestants, black Protestants and white Catholics, agreed with completely overturning the ruling.
In fact, substantial majorities of white Protestants (76%), black Protestants (65%) and white Catholics (63%) say the ruling should not be over turned, the survey found.
But support for keeping Roe v. Wade intact does not mean these religious majorities believe abortion is morally acceptable.
A majority of every religious group sampled – white evangelicals (73%), black Protestants (58%) and Catholics (58%) and a plurality of white mainline Protestants (36%) – responded that abortion was morally wrong. Those respondents who find it morally wrong are also overwhelmingly likely to support overturning the law, compared with keeping it intact – 85% to 5%.
"What is interesting about this aspect of abortion attitudes is that while many people find abortion to be problematic, they may either personally feel it is wrong or favor greater restrictions. Overturning Roe v. Wade is not nearly as supported an idea," said Michael Dimock, director at the Pew Research Center. "The vast majority of evangelicals say they see abortion as morally wrong, but barely a majority say that they want to see Roe v. Wade overturned."
Dimock points out that while more than 70% of white evangelicals find abortion morally wrong, only slightly more than 50% say the ruling should be overturned. "There is somewhere in the neighborhood of 20% of evangelicals who are personally opposed to abortion but don’t want to see this precedent changed," Dimock said.
The religiously unaffiliated were the only group in which more people say they find abortion morally acceptable rather than wrong. Twenty-four percent of the group said it was acceptable, compared with 20% who said it was wrong. Nearly half (43%) said it was not a moral issue.
White evangelicals (64%) are also the most ardent that abortion should be illegal in “all or most cases.” Mormons (63%) and Hispanic Catholics (53%) are the only other two religious groups where more respondents favor illegality in all or most cases.
“By contrast, nearly nine in 10 Jews say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, as do about seven in 10 Americans with no religious affiliation and 63% of white mainline Protestants,” the survey reported. “Among both black Protestants and white Catholics, 54% say abortion should be legal in all or most cases.”
The establishment of a woman’s constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy has been controversial in the four decades since the Supreme Court decision. The court’s ruling was not close, however. Seven of the nine justices voted in favor of making abortion a fundamental right under the Constitution.
Anti-abortion rights activists have demanded the ruling be repealed, a move that would likely allow states to decide whether to allow abortions or not. With the judiciary becoming more conservative during George W. Bush's presidency, some observers said the court under Chief Justice John Roberts would be anti-abortion activists best opportunity to relitigate Roe v. Wade.
"Roe v. Wade certainly did engage the pro-life movement by being so symbolic of an issue, but I don’t think the level of opposition to abortion has really shifted that much over time," Dimock said. "For a very contentious ruling, the public's view on it has remained fairly stable."
Frequency of religious services attendance is also an indicator of whether a poll respondent wants Roe v. Wade overturned. According to the survey, people who attend weekly or more support overturning the decision by 55% to 44%.
That number is substantially different among respondents who attend church less often. According to the survey, 76% among those don't support overturning the ruling, compared with 17% who do.
The Pew Research Center results are part of a study released with the 40-year anniversary of Roe v. Wade in mind. The telephone survey of 1,502 adults was conducted from January 9 through Sunday, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9%.
I have listened to four different courses by Bart Ehrman. My take away was that Ehrman believes (i) JC did exist; (ii) he was an apocalyptic Jewish prophet who expected the world to end imminently; (iii) he was executed as a common criminal; (iv) Christians later changed his preaching, so that Christianity gradually became a religion ABOUT Jesus, not the religion OF Jesus.
For the first 1,000 years after the Bible was compiled, material was stil being added to and subtracted from the various books of the New testament, sometimes inadvertently, sometimes deliberately.
People who claim to know about Jesus based on nothing more than what they learned in Sunday school tend to be woefully ignorant of the Bible, who wrote it, when it was written and how it made its passage down the centuries from Greek to Latin to English. And yet they cite it for the most extraordinary of supernatural claims.
@ Colin: you're obviously willing to study. So, read Ehrman's opponents, like Richard Bauckham's "Jesus & the Eyewitnesses" or NT Wright's "The Resurrection of the Son of God." Ehrman's time line does not make sense (Paul writes within 15 years of Jesus' death; people were still alive who could attest or even contradict Paul's account), nor does the interwoven nature of Jesus' teaching about himself as central to everything (again, not only is the timeline problematic, but the *multiplicity* of authors with the same preoccupation with Christ), nor are ANY of the textual variants substantive (there's been no loss of content over 2000 years).
Seriously, go check it out. A renaissance man in pursuit of truth should be willing to engage his opponents' best logic. So, if you take the scholarship seriously, read them.
What evidence do you reference regarding the altering of the preachings of Jesus? The letters of Paul are dated no later than 65 CE, and the last Gospel (John) in mid 90 CE.
Russ, regardless of what scholars can trudge out and state their take on what is at best very stale, maybe 2000 year old material, why can't your purportedly omnipotent "god "creature do a better job of getting its message out , and why can't it do so in a modern way by pushing some tweets out, or even get with the last decade and do its own website or blog, or even do more direct cerebral cortex communications? Or is Christian god one of those less-than-omnipotent ones?
Any fair and reasonable deity can only expect reasonable doubt (at best) from reasonable people, if all he has us go on to "believe" in him is such crusty old material.
My question applies to you, too, Anglican. How do you respond?
@ Bob: consider what you're saying...
1) 'God must reveal himself on my terms and/or by methods I approve.'
Why? Doesn't that violate the notion of a transcendent being?
2) "do a better job getting its message out..."
2 billion Christians on the planet... and counting... and that's not including people who are merely *aware* of Jesus.
seems to me you underestimate the boldly effective simplicity.
3) "crusty old material."
if the resurrection happened (i.e., is a historical event & not a myth), then there is nothing crusty or old about it. it's a preposterous, ridiculous claim. but if it's true, if it happened, it's the hinge point in history.
again, read NT Wright on this. he virtually exhausts every angle (philosophical, historical, theological, practical, etc.).
"do a better job getting its message out..."
If God exists and wanted to get the message out, all he needs to do is to take FIVE SECONDS and announce to the world "This is God. Follow my Bible".
FIVE SECONDS and BILLIONS of souls would be saved. Too busy watching football games to do it? FIVE SECONDS and it's all resolved for all the people following the WRONG religions. Guess he doesn't care about them.
I love how god is supposed to be transcendent, metaphysical being beyond our comprehension, and yet christian cultists can claim to not only be on friendly speaking terms with it, but also know and represent its moral preferences.
@ Observer: consider what Christianity is claiming...
33 years God walked the planet as a human being. he lived the perfect life (something we couldn't). he healed the lame, served the poor, called out the religious right for their hypocrisy, challenged the left for not believing, spoke the truth to everyone, and performed many miracles, even raising several people from the dead. then, he was wrongfully accused, arrested, tortured, and murdered. then 3 days later, he rose from the dead. then he spent 40 days teaching his disciples and proving to them this was not a dream. then he went back to heaven.
now, either it happened or it didn't. Christians believe it happened. so, please recognize this much:
*IF* it happened... how ludicrous is it to tell God, "hey, do it my way instead. all I'm asking is 5 seconds of MY way"?
if it didn't happen, Christians like me are the most deluded idiots to walk the planet (as Paul says in 1 Cor.15).
so the real question is not: "why not 5 seconds of my way?"
the real question is: "did the resurrection happen?"
@ Gir: yes, it's that ridiculous. so why claim it? because it's what happened to them. it's why they call it Good NEWS, not just good teaching or advice or commands, etc. none of them dared to claim to speak FOR God, but they couldn't stop speaking about what God himself had said & done – which they experienced firsthand.
Check out what these guys all said:
SUM: "here's what we saw/heard/touched/felt/etc. this happened. this happened to us." and then they went and died for what they claimed to have seen/heard/touched/felt/experienced firsthand.
but don't take my word for it, just read it: Luke 1:1-4; 1 Jn.1:1-3; 1 Cor.15:1-3; Acts 4:20; Jn.20:24-29; etc.
again, read Richard Bauckham's "Jesus & the Eyewitnesses."
During the 40 days that Jesus became alive again, what did he say about Good Friday and Easter Day? What was it like to die?
Personal experience is the flimsiest form of evidence. That fact is not helped even if the person arguing from that position is willing to die for his beliefs. Any vice can be justified if the person arguing for it got up, thumped their chests and said "GOD TOLD ME TO DO IT LAST NIGHT," and what do ya know, that's exactly what religionists have been doing for millenia.
Give us evidence that doesn't require the absurd assumption that the person providing it is speaking from a universal perspective, or that the person is not prone to the same visual and mental lapses that we all are.
Helen recognized Aphrodite when the goddess saved Paris from the battle at Troy and brought him to Helen's chamber. It's recorded in the Iliad. That must mean that Aphrodite is real.
@Talulah, why yes, of course! There really WAS a city called Troy. I've been there. There's some evidence that it was destroyed in a battle. Hence ALL of the Iliad is literally true, including ALL the miracles and gods and goddesses listed therein. Isn't it wonderful? lol.
@ Observer: read the accounts. It's clear that Jesus' primary concern was not conveying the experience of death, but the reality that he conquered death and the implications of that victory for all of existence. instead of addressing curiosity (a particularly morose curiosity at that), he dealt with the overarching historical problem: how will all that is broken with the world be fixed? his answer: me. this. my life, death & resurrection. and he spent forty days driving the point home. note especially Lk.24:27 & 44: he's claiming all the promises of God (the entire OT) is about him. instead of driving home a vision of the horror we were being saved *from* (death), he gave a vision of the joy we were being lifted *to* (heaven/him).
the implications are much more far reaching. as I've posted here before...
@ Gir: the existentialist would argue there is no other sort of evidence. all of the history you *believe in* has come to us through firsthand accounts – even the scientific evidence you read about in text books.
but to your point: check the evidence...
here's a brief overview of the reliability of the text (in comparison with other ancient manuscripts):
for a more exhaustive review of the eyewitness accounts & their implications, read Richard Bauckham's "Jesus & the Eyewitnesses."
for an extensive review of the resurrection (historical, philosophical, theological, practical, etc.), read NT Wright's "The Resurrection of the Son of God."
@ tallulah & jasmine: point noted – circ.umstantial evidence is merely that. which is why what the eyewitnesses are claiming is so essential.
In 1 Cor.15 (written within 20 years, if not 15, of Jesus' death), Paul notes (by name) several to whom the resurrected Jesus appeared, and then goes on to claim that he appeared to over 500 people. Remember: the Roman Empire allowed for easy travel & correspondence. And the tight knit Jewish community that spread across the Hellenized world certainly allowed for checking such sources. Out of 500 people, even 20 years later, *many* would still be alive.
Point being, Christianity does not get off the ground if there were not many such eyewitnesses. There is no way to account for its inception without it. And that's your problem: how do you account for the beginning of Christianity without these events? (note: "the disciples made it all up" argument does not deal with the reality of corroborating eyewitnesses within their lifetime, who would certainly have debunked their fabrications otherwise. as i said above, NT Wright is rather thorough here)
Russ, your statements really don't answer my questions at all, and to me, they make the case for your deity even worse, both re its supposed omnipotence and re its claimed loving and fair nature:
First, now the latest is that you are claiming that your "loving" deity is going to judge us by standards that we can't possibly grasp. That makes our "job" of pleasing him impossible, and frankly, personally, I won't bend before such a jerk of a god. I think that anyone who does is simply a coward.I really mean that.
Furthermore, as to your claims re marketing, why isn't the number of adherents 100%, and again, why the use of such a questionable book, since so many of us clearly do question many aspects of it?. And look here; adherence is sub-50% and declining:
That really does bring your god's marcomm skills into question, yet again.
So, again I ask,
1. Given that your "god" apparently knows our capabilities, why the use of such a stale, questionable text to get its message out, and the use of standards that we may not comprehend? A frequently retranslated text from 2000 years ago that is contradicted by our modern understanding of the world should not be accepted as certainty by any thinking person.Again I say, reasonable doubt is more than justified.
2. Why is it that your "god" can't get with the past decade and produce his own website (no, religious shill sites don't count), or even push some tweets out? Even the pope can do the latter, as can most children.
Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
Only firsthand accounts that are corroborated by contemporaries and/or by historical landmarks are admissible. There is no physical evidence of jesus' existence, and no writings from contemporaries. (Surely some Roman historian would have written about a Jew who was allegedly leading a mass rebellion popular enough to attract the attention of the Roman government.) The bible doesn't even provide firsthand accounts. None of the books of the new testament were written during christ's lifetime, and so those books are merely accounts of firsthand accounts, not actual firsthand accounts in their own right.
There is a 'Methods' section in EVERY scientific paper, so that the reader doesn't have to just sit there and assume that the writer is telling the truth, but can go out and TEST the writer's hypothesis, or read the works of experimental scientists that have tested it, and critically evaluate the methods used and conclusions reached against sound scientific standards. THEN acceptance or rejection of the claims made can be done. Religious ideas are incompatible with this sort of evaluation.
The link you gave posits a very debatable explanation of how the writings could have remained unchanged, but does not address the validity of the original manuscript. Also, the earliest manuscript they have is from 100 AD. Certainly, it was not written by any of jesus's contemporaries, and cannot be a firsthand account. The problem of multiplicity of sources is not addressed, since all the available manuscripts are merely copies of the same source.
@ Gir: as I said, that was a brief overview. if you want to be exhaustive, read the books. as the article said (and evidently you missed), there is an "embarrassing wealth of resources" compared with any other such ancient texts. in other words, your standard (historically speaking) is hypocritical. are you going to discount all the other events and accounts that come to us exponentially less attested?
as for 100 AD, that is the earliest *extant* manuscript (copy), not the date of the original. as i said before, virtually no scholar debates that Paul was writing 1 Corinthians within 15-20 years of Jesus' death – easily within the lifetime of most eyewitnesses. while some of the texts of the NT have heavily debated dates, others do not. It's a multiplicity of authors attesting to a singular event from multiple perspectives. Again, read the passages I listed above.
And read Richard Bauckham's book. There is even *new* mathematical evidence that secondarily attests to the veracity of these accounts (both in time & location based on the use of names). here's a lengthy video on that very point...
you are responding as though there isn't already an entire scholarly field on this issue. let me GIVE you your best asset on the question: Bart Ehrman (one of the most liberal biblical scholars out there) – and notice: EVEN HE is debunking your position. here's the introduction from his new book "Did Jesus Exist?"
Every week I receive two or three e-mails asking me whether Jesus existed as a human being. When I started getting these e-mails, some years ago now, I thought the question was rather peculiar and I did not take it seriously. Of course Jesus existed. Everyone knows he existed. Don’t they?
But the questions kept coming, and soon I began to wonder: Why are so many people asking? My wonder only increased when I learned that I myself was being quoted in some circles—misquoted rather—as saying that Jesus never existed. I decided to look into the matter. I discovered, to my surprise, an entire body of literature devoted to the question of whether or not there ever was a real man, Jesus.
I was surprised because I am trained as a scholar of the New Testament and early Christianity, and for thirty years I have written extensively on the historical Jesus, the Gospels, the early Christian movement, and the history of the church’s first three hundred years. Like all New Testament scholars, I have read thousands of books and articles in English and other European languages on Jesus, the New Testament, and early Christianity. But I was almost completely unaware—as are most of my colleagues in the field—of this body of skeptical literature.
I should say at the outset that none of this literature is written by scholars trained in New Testament or early Christian studies teaching at the major, or even the minor, accredited theological seminaries, divinity schools, universities, or colleges of North America or Europe (or anywhere else in the world). Of the thousands of scholars of early Christianity who do teach at such schools, none of them, to my knowledge, has any doubts that Jesus existed. But a whole body of literature out there, some of it highly intelligent and well informed, makes this case.
These sundry books and articles (not to mention websites) are of varying quality. Some of them rival The Da Vinci Code in their passion for conspiracy and the shallowness of their historical knowledge, not just of the New Testament and early Christianity, but of ancient religions generally and, even more broadly, the ancient world. But a couple of bona fide scholars—not professors teaching religious studies in universities but scholars nonetheless, and at least one of them with a Ph.D. in the field of New Testament—have taken this position and written about it. Their books may not be known to most of the general public interested in questions related to Jesus, the Gospels, or the early Christian church, but they do occupy a noteworthy niche as a (very) small but (often) loud minority voice. Once you tune in to this voice, you quickly learn just how persistent and vociferous it can be.
Those who do not think Jesus existed are frequently militant in their views and remarkably adept at countering evidence that to the rest of the civilized world seems compelling and even unanswerable. But these writers have answers, and the smart ones among them need to be taken seriously, if for no other reason than to show why they cannot be right about their major contention. The reality is that whatever else you may think about Jesus, he certainly did exist.
Serious historians of the early Christian movement—all of them—have spent many years preparing to be experts in their field. Just to read the ancient sources requires expertise in a range of ancient languages: Greek, Hebrew, Latin, and often Aramaic, Syriac, and Coptic, not to mention the modern languages of scholarship (for example, German and French). And that is just for starters. Expertise requires years of patiently examining ancient texts and a thorough grounding in the history and culture of Greek and Roman antiquity, the religions of the ancient Mediterranean world, both pagan and Jewish, knowledge of the history of the Christian church and the development of its social life and theology, and, well, lots of other things. It is striking that virtually everyone who has spent all the years needed to attain these qualifications is convinced that Jesus of Nazareth was a real historical figure. This is not a piece of evidence, but if nothing else, it should give one pause. In the field of biology, evolution may be “just” a theory (as some politicians painfully point out), but it is the theory subscribed to, for good reason, by every real scientist in every established university in the Western world.
Still, as is clear from the avalanche of sometimes outraged postings on all the relevant Internet sites, there is simply no way to convince conspiracy theorists that the evidence for their position is too thin to be convincing and that the evidence for a traditional view is thoroughly persuasive. Anyone who chooses to believe something contrary to evidence that an overwhelming majority of people find overwhelmingly convincing—whether it involves the fact of the Holocaust, the landing on the moon, the assassination of presidents, or even a presidential place of birth—will not be convinced. Simply will not be convinced.
And so, with Did Jesus Exist?, I do not expect to convince anyone in that boat. What I do hope is to convince genuine seekers who really want to know how we know that Jesus did exist, as virtually every scholar of antiquity, of biblical studies, of classics, and of Christian origins in this country and, in fact, in the Western world agrees. Many of these scholars have no vested interest in the matter. As it turns out, I myself do not either. I am not a Christian, and I have no interest in promoting a Christian cause or a Christian agenda. I am an agnostic with atheist leanings, and my life and views of the world would be approximately the same whether or not Jesus existed. My beliefs would vary little. The answer to the question of Jesus’s historical existence will not make me more or less happy, content, hopeful, likable, rich, famous, or immortal.
But as a historian I think evidence matters. And the past matters. And for anyone to whom both evidence and the past matter, a dispassionate consideration of the case makes it quite plain: Jesus did exist. He may not have been the Jesus that your mother believes in or the Jesus of the stained-glass window or the Jesus of your least favorite televangelist or the Jesus proclaimed by the Vatican, the Southern Baptist Convention, the local megachurch, or the California Gnostic. But he did exist, and we can say a few things, with relative certainty, about him.
Russ, I'm not suggesting that the past be thrown away, but rather, partly that it needs to be given appropriate weighting, particularly in this case given the age of the questionable document and events being referenced. Furthermore, the apparent inability of the "omnipotent" being to produce more recent information is highly suspect in regard to the existence of that being. You can go on with more and more lengthy posts about the subject matter, but I will haul you back to this every time:
...even the most staunchest of christians, when they read and hear that "JESUS CHRIST" did NOT exist (just once), they will never be the same again! If they choose to believe in this fairy-tale, they are lying to themselves and in the back of their mind, they will always have doubts! Just keeeeeeeeeeeeeeep believing! Maybe you can read Marcus Aurealius' "Meditations"
Practical thinking for the Age of Reason!
Age of Reason,
If the Holy Spirit deals with your heart and mind for just a few seconds you will never be the same!
Age of Reason,
After your first experience with the Holy Spirit it takes no effort to believe. No strain involved. You know Jesus is the truth.
Actually, as an atheist I tend to think there was some Yeshua guy who made an ass of himself and got the inevitable outcome of running afoul of the Romans. Most of what he supposedly did and said are the accertions of fabricated tall tales invented after his death.
He definitely was not a god, and even his family thought he was insane and tried to come get him (funny thing for a family that has experienced virgin birth and magi and having a deity around for 32 years before he suddenly goes for the spotlight.
Even the disciples didn't believe – they scattered like cockroachs when he got busted.
Jesus was the David Koresh of Judea, and it's only the exaggerations and gossipy lies early Christians told each other that mutated him into a fantasy god.
Robert after you experience Buddha"s truth you will know your are following a false god.
"If the Holy Spirit deals with your heart and mind for just a few seconds you will never be the same!"
While I don't agree with @Age of Reason's assertions (and he should be ashamed of using that name, btw), if what you say is true, then why doesn't the Holy Spirit intercede?
'Free will', you say?
Then why would he/it intercede at all? Why would you have "felt the spirit", if doing so interferes with your free will?
'You must believe to experience ti', you say?
But that defeats the whole point of using it as evidence for belief, does it not? (i.e. subjective confirmation bias)
so called reasoning has brought this world into the shape it is in now, what solutions to the horrible things that are happening do you propose, or do you prefer to let it continue. you or any other form of government, philosophy, gurus, have the answer. every thing has been tried, it is only getting worse, now your god free world has brought untold misery, killing innocent children is what your world has to offer, meditate on that.
" now your god free world has brought untold misery, killing innocent children is what your world has to offer, meditate on that."
If you read about your god you would know it killed innocent children, meditate on that. Plus many of those killing innocent children today are Christians, just ask George W.
I don’t know if the Holy Spirit will intercede. I have heard testimonies from people who say that they did not believe and then the Holy Spirit did intercede. I haven’t personally experienced that. I believed before God dealt with me.
I think we have limited free will.
If you believe there is, or could be a God, I think that would make it easier for you to have your own personal experience with him. What evidence could be more compelling than your own experience?
you have no idea why, you jus pick & choose. you dont want to know, continue in your sad course, no hope. picking apart so you feel justified. you still offer no solutions, sad indeed.
"so called reasoning has brought this world into the shape it is in now..."
"...now your god free world has brought untold misery, killing innocent children is what your world has to offer, meditate on that."
Wait a second, there is more freedom now than any time in history.
Life expectancy is longer than ever.
The standard of living is higher than ever.
The first is primarily due to rational thinking.
The last two are primarily due to science.
"What evidence could be more compelling than your own experience?"
The objective kind.
I know that I can make mistakes, but the more testing, verifying, and reproducing of results, the the less likely it is false.
Arguments about feeling some fuzzy-wuzzy feeling from the "holy spirit" is a really poor argument. Even if there is a feeling when you think and feel a certain way, that's not proof of anything. Emotional arguments only "work" to a very limited degree on those who are convinced by other methods and are abusing their reason by allowing confirmation bias and poor logic to overrule their intellectual integrity.
Sorry that was meant for @Robert Brown.
"If you believe there is, or could be a God, I think that would make it easier for you to have your own personal experience with him. "
I guess my point wasn't that I want'ed the experience, but that an experience with the "Holy Spirit" seems contradictory to the free will that is supposed to be the whole point.
So, if you did it and several others who had no contact with each other, did it, it would be more compelling?
science has also been part of millions of deaths due to modern weapons, do you know how many military hawks are so ready to try their new toys? do you think the terrorist would use fertilizer or planes if they had a nuclear bomb? can you sleep at night when 22 children are slaughtered, millions of children starve while the wealthy stuff their faces, yea great world here. still havent heard any solutions. guess we can expect more until enough is enough.
There is still a great deal of debate over free will and predestination.
"So, if you did it and several others who had no contact with each other, did it, it would be more compelling?"
I guess I'm not sure what "it" is here, but I suspect that "it" is still a subjective experience which is susceptible to suggestion, imagination, delusion, hallucination, etc.
Not that multiple experiences are less reliable, but, by themselves, they are not more reliable either.
Many people have dreams, and very similar dreams, but they are still not real.
It seems pretty stupid of god to allow people to do evil in his name.
"There is still a great deal of debate over free will and predestination"
Debate, really? I can't see how anyone can logically hold a viewpoint where these two ideas coexist harmoniously.
If you are one of the elect, either you have free will and can do as many naughty things as you want with impunity (which really isn't fair) or you are destined for salvation and your 'fate' is to behave 'properly', ergo you really don't have free will.
Emotion seems to be the leading theory for people who have never experienced the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does have an effect on the physical body. Some people are emotional, some are not. I think part of the reason that “emotion” comes to mind when people try to describe the Holy Spirit is because people do describe it at times as a feeling. I have tried to think of words to describe the Holy Spirit, but it is difficult. Emotion or feeling just don’t really do it justice.
@not a GOPer,
Perhaps he meant free will vs determinism, not necessarily Calvinism.
Let’s say “it” is multiple experiences with the Holy Spirit and many people have them, still imagination, delusion, etc?
There is absolutely NO method for a person to verify whether he has experienced the Holy Spirit or not or whether another person has experienced the Holy Spirit or not. AND people who claim to hear the Holy Spirit's voice and know what god wants from the power of the Holy Spirit many times disagree.
With no way to verify that the Holy Spirit is doing something for the subject or that the Holy Spirit exists, then it is all just feeling. You feel you have the Holy Spirit in the same way the Muslim mystic feels he understands the will of Allah. It's just personal belief and faith, regardless of you claiming "you'd know it if you felt it!" (By the way, I used the same 'argument' when I was a believer for many decades and I fully believed it as you do now. Unbiased study of the bible is what led me to atheism.)
@moby, that is exactly one of the problems, doing all that in god's name. only those who claim to serve god would do those hideous things. hypocrites. love your neighbor is the bottom line. you cant love your neighbor & drop bombs, you cant love your neighbor and shoot them. the world is sick and i have not seen any suggestions on how to stop someone from coming into your home and doing harm. jus cont believing in nothing, cont pretending you have no accountability, cont cutting remarks at those who want to do good to their neighbors, cont to put trust in science and worldly reasoning, all the best!
You misuse the term emotional argument. Any time that someone has no verifiable proof but insists that you will know it if you just experience they are using the emotional argument. If I claim to have an invisible and undetectable space ship in my garage, but it's invisible and undetectable, but I tell you if you'll just believe it for a few days eventually you'll sense that the space ship is there as strongly as I sense its presence and so know it's there, I'm using the emotional argument. ---It doesn't mean that there's emotions involved, it just means that the argument is appealing to emotion instead of verifiable reasoning and evidence.
"Let’s say “it” is multiple experiences with the Holy Spirit and many people have them, still imagination, delusion, etc?"
Still entirely possible, yes.
In addition, with the lack of any evidence supporting anything supernatural, e.g. the Holy Spirit, I would lean towards likely.
Unsound reasoning, of which religion is symptomatic, is what causes conflict, not science.
And what is this talk of god-free worlds? The vast majority of the planet still adheres to some religious cult. No wonder the world is in disarray.
I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV,
There are demoninations that believe you can accept Christ as savior, then at some point go back to your old sinful ways, disobey God, etc, and be lost again. The way you go down at the end determines your eternal home, ie freewill Baptists.
There are those who believe once saved always saved and you pay for your sins in the flesh, or in this life, but you still go to heaven.
I think that we all are predestined to be saved, because it is not his will that any perish, but he will not in most cases force you to believe or be saved, but rather he gives you enough faith to make a choice, for the grace of God has appeared to all, freewill?
Multiple experiences of "holy spirits" are just numerous subjective experiences. That sort of evidence still lacks EMPIRICISM, and adds the problem of whether all experiences of the "holy spirit" are the same.
I agree. We need to quit believing in stupid gods who are so invisible and undetectable that it's irrelevant if they actually exist or not and start insisting that people behave properly. You said it. Preach "love your neighbor" and let the debates begin over who is "neighbor" and what is "love" and how to best enact it. Forget this stupid god bullsh!t where people who believe in all different ones and have different opinions about his will all manage to agree on the facts of chemistry and math. If god wanted us to believe something about him he'd be at least as obvious as math.
Good point, I equate the word "predestination" as a specific tenet of Calvinism.
Ok, I guess it is an emotional argument if you call all personal experience, emotional arguments.
"I think that we all are predestined to be saved, because it is not his will that any perish"
Then why the notion of hell at all?
And as always, it ignores the countless millions over time and geography who never had 'the chance' to embrace a Christian mindset.
So if you have multiple experience, I do, and millions of others do, then we are all imagining them?
Robert, the whole premise of your god sacrificing to "save" us that you keep spouting about is absurd out ot the gate. This core tenet of Christianity that the death of the son of god would have been any kind of "sacrifice" and was required to deal with "sin" is utter nonsense. This is a supposed omnipotent being that we are discussing. Think this through a bit: how come your 'omnipotent' creature couldn't do all that supposed saving without the loony son sacrifice bit? And for that matter, how was it a sacrifice at all, when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time it wants with less than a snap of its fingers? Pretty feeble god it is that you've made for yourself there. Give that some thought and maybe it will help you leave your delusions behind. You will remain a laughingstock otherwise, and the more you dwell in your silly delusion and ancient myths, instead of keeping up with advances in medicine and technology, the more America slips downward relative to the rest of the world in science and other fields.
Just because people don't believe your asserted cause doesn't mean they think you're imagining it. It is easy to misattribute very normal feelings, especially when your in an environment where people are constantly reinforcing your preconceptions of what the cause should be.
I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV,
I can only speak from “personal experience,” but here goes anyway. When I experienced conviction of sin I resisted. Ultimately, after resisting several times I accepted Christ as my savior. Could I have continued to resist and rejected God? I don’t think I could have, but I have no idea what someone else could do.
Hell is God’s judgment on sin. It is reserved for those who do reject him.
I believe that those who have never had the opportunity will be considered the same as an innocent child by God. I also believe heaven is and will be filled with innocent children.
Robert Brown, I'm calling you out now on your claims. Describe this "personal experience" that you had that convinced you of the existence of your sky fairy.
After weeks of your nearly non-stop drivel and your unsupported, specious claims, we are still waiting for that. Put it up or shut up, already.
We are hard wired at birth for hope !!!
"I believe that those who have never had the opportunity will be considered the same as an innocent child by God. I also believe heaven is and will be filled with innocent children."
Fair enough, so someone raised as a Muslim and living in a Muslim society will go to heaven then?
Yes we are.
I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV,
God made provision for the children Ishmael (muslims) as well as the children of Issac (Jews).
I don’t know if it means the same heaven that Jesus has prepared for believers, but he promised to bless them.
Personal experience is NOT emotional argument. When there is nothing but unverifiable personal experience to support your position, but yet you claim that this nonverifiable "feeling/state-of-being/experience" is evidence to those who believe first, then believe it is what you claim, then discount any logical arguments that it might possibly be something else--that's emotional argument.
fair enough. Thanks for answering me directly.
@moby you should be more of a gentleman and wash the filth out of your mouth. that is not what i said at all. your math isnt worth beans, you couldnt land a spacecraft on mars by accident, you had to use the universal laws that were in place before humans poluted this planet. go to the atheists bolg & play your who is greater there, oh wait you cant because there is no blog!
i built a house & told everyone no one built it, how ridiculous you say, & yet the universe is so much more complex then your flea infested home & oh yea it got here by itself, maybe some slime gathered & built my home. or wait maybe a lightening hit & your house came into existence. all homes are made by someone, this home you live on gives you food, water gardens & life you waste. oh but it got here by accident. what a joke.
If I describe an experience and claim it is God and not anything else that is emotional argument?
So to really believe I would need to go off by myself and have an experience without anyone else around?
I have posted my personal testimony on here before, I am sorry you missed it. Somehow I don’t believe you really are interested in reading it. I think you just want me to post it again so you can ridicule. Are you really interested in God or just in mud slinging?
now I have to eat my own crowshit
Robert, it's just that any experience you claim to have with God that involves nothing outside yourself can't be verified.
What a surprise, Robert Brown dodges again. Robert, present your personal experience. We're waiting.
Tom, Tom, the Other One,
I think I understand that part, but what if you had a similar experience and we compared notes and decided they were very similar?
Tom, Tom, the Other One,
And then others did the same and so on, and on… At some point wouldn’t we give some weight to these experiences?
Faith speaks to faith, I've heard. But Robert, what can it mean to any of us who've never had such an experience and don't see any reason to even imagine it?
Tom, Tom, the Other One,
Wouldn’t the volume of witnesses at least give you reason to wonder?
Would it give you enough reason to want to find out for yourself?
@r.brown...there is no hell where souls are tormented, not in harmony w/ other scrip.. it is symbolic for no more life, what happens when you burn something? it goes away, the hell fire is a false doctrine, this is one reason that turns people away from the truth. no burning hell, gehhena (greek word for hell) a place where trash was burned, used to illustrate what happens to wicked, no more life. when god condemned the israelites for putting their children through the fire, a baal practise, he said it was not what was in his heart. so no hell fire, no trinity, no killing in the name of god, no fornication, opps did i offend someone, too bad, this fornicating, violent world is discusting, anyone putting their faith in it has no hope.
I don’t think it serves any purpose to argue whether or not hell contains fire. The scriptures are in revelations, the second death, lake of fire, etc. The point is it is a separation from God, for example read the parable of the rich man and the beggar.
Perhaps 100 million people will bathe in the Kumbh Mela festival for reasons best known to them – I think it is for cleansing oneself from sin etc. Shall we join them? That's a lot of people. Pretty persuasive.
That is a classic argument from incredulity. The fact is, there is evidence to back the accepted theory of the origin of the universe, regardless of whatever unfounded claims of improbability you make. Yes, there is more evidence for "lightning striking" and creating the universe than for your invisible sky buddy.
Where is this god-free world that people are seeing when religion and religious reasoning have been the DOMINANT political force on the planet till now? Blame the innocent children on you and your fellow irrational thinkers, religionists.
Tom, Tom, the Other One,
I guess if I knew what in the heck that was and knew a bunch of people who attested to it’s worth I would probably see no harm in at least trying a bath.
lionlylamb has already confessed that he has no incentive to care for his fellow man because:
a) he is looking forward to an afterlife of heavenly bliss
b) the people of the world do not conform to his definition of morality and therefore need to roast in an eternal barbacue.
When will Kirk1 and Robert throw in the towel?
I do look forward to eternity.
No one can conform to God’s definition of good.
I am not ready to give up on you guys yet.
@ r.brown...this is not a literal account but is an illustration, consider this: Is hell literally within speaking distance of heaven so that such a real conversation could be carried on? Moreover, if the rich man were in a literal burning lake, how could Abraham send Lazarus to cool his tongue with just a drop of water on the tip of his finger?
you would be a horrible person if you put your childs hand in a fire to teach a lesson, how could anyone do that? read the scriptures, jesus spoke in illustrations.
Ahh but what would you be expecting as well? Feelings, and the interpretations of the causes is not so simple a thing. There is an entire branch of science dedicated to the way people think and interpret things, and the very simplistic answers have never born out. The mind is incredibly complex, and an entire lifetime of reinforcement of a single idea can affect a decision years later. This is why critical thinking, standards of evidence, and demonstrable causal relationships are so important.
I work for food sign is more suited for those bums
this has the assumption that ones self-worth is far superior to others. A false sense of pride. Foolishly believing that everyone is inferior to you, looks up to you, and should bow down to your graces. Keep it to your selves, perhaps getting a life and helping others, or do you prefer the world the way it is. Probably never had anything good to say to anyone, what sad people here.
@kirk: the world's just fine. If yours is so bad, you have choices to improve it.
Jesus did in fact exist. He was the Big Lebowski of Judea, a slacker who would rather bowl than work. But there was a major shortage of bowling alleys in Jerusalem, so he did the next best thing.
Heck, the proper translation of "Messiah" is "The Dude". Thee only reason he went around saying strange stuff, murdering fig trees and tossing over tables at the temple was that Kahlua had not been invented for White Russians yet. Indeed, Russia had not been invented yet either, so that drink was just noy going to be there to chill the Dude.
Yours is a far better myth than the one the christian cult believes in.
I approve of this interpretation.
...stop invoking this "jesus christ"! Jesus NEVER existed!
"No one knows if this Jesus christ existed, and if he did, NOTHING is known about him!"
" Why I am not a christian" Bertrand Russell 1928
These christian cultists merely project their own idiosyncrasies onto their imaginary friend named jeebus, and then try to tell the rest of us that those idiosyncrasies are really jeebus' moral preferences.
“It may seem incomprehensible that a globe-spanning religious movement could have been triggered by a nonexistent person dreamed up as the ancient equivalent of a marketing device, given the ranks of incontestably real people who have tried and failed to found faiths.”—Gregg Easterbrook, Beside Still Waters.
Hmmmm…. Let’s see, Millerites, Church of Scientology, Mormonism, and the list goes on.
You mean like Mohammad and Buddha?
Only for the new members of this blog:
From Professors Crossan and Watts' book, Who is Jesus.
"That Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate, as the Creed states, is as certain as anything historical can ever be.
“ The Jewish historian, Josephus and the pagan historian Tacitus both agree that Jesus was executed by order of the Roman governor of Judea. And is very hard to imagine that Jesus' followers would have invented such a story unless it indeed happened.
“While the brute fact that of Jesus' death by crucifixion is historically certain, however, those detailed narratives in our present gospels are much more problematic. "
“My best historical reconstruction would be something like this. Jesus was arrested during the Passover festival, most likely in response to his action in the Temple. Those who were closest to him ran away for their own safety.
I do not presume that there were any high-level confrontations between Caiaphas and Pilate and Herod Antipas either about Jesus or with Jesus. No doubt they would have agreed before the festival that fast action was to be taken against any disturbance and that a few examples by crucifixion might be especially useful at the outset. And I doubt very much if Jewish police or Roman soldiers needed to go too far up the chain of command in handling a Galilean peasant like Jesus. It is hard for us to imagine the casual brutality with which Jesus was probably taken and executed. All those "last week" details in our gospels, as distinct from the brute facts just mentioned, are prophecy turned into history, rather than history remembered."
See also Professor Crossan's reviews of the existence of Jesus in his other books especially, The Historical Jesus and also Excavating Jesus (with Professor Jonathan Reed doing the archeology discussion) .
Other NT exegetes to include members of the Jesus Seminar have published similar books with appropriate supporting references.
Part of Crossan's The Historical Jesus has been published online at books.google.com/books.
There is also a search engine for this book on the right hand side of the opening page. e.g. Search Josephus
See also Wikipedia's review on the historical Jesus to include the Tacitus' reference to the crucifixion of Jesus.
"One of the greatest historians of ancient Rome, Cornelius Tacitus is a primary source for much of what is known about life the first and second centuries after the life of Jesus. His most famous works, Histories and Annals, exist in fragmentary form, though many of his earlier writings were lost to time. Tacitus is known for being generally reliable (if somewhat biased toward what he saw as Roman immorality) and for having a uniquely direct (if not blunt) writing style.
Then there are these scriptural references:
Crucifixion of Jesus:(1) 1 Cor 15:3b; (2a) Gos. Pet. 4:10-5:16,18-20; 6:22; (2b) Mark 15:22-38 = Matt 27:33-51a = Luke 23:32-46; (2c) John 19:17b-25a,28-36; (3) Barn. 7:3-5; (4a) 1 Clem. 16:3-4 (=Isaiah 53:1-12); (4b) 1 Clem. 16.15-16 (=Psalm 22:6-8); (5a) Ign. Mag. 11; (5b) Ign. Trall. 9:1b; (5c) Ign. Smyrn. 1.2.- (read them all at wiki.faithfutures. Crucifixion org/index.php/005_Crucifixion_Of_Jesus )
Added suggested readings:
o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.
2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
– a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–
30-60 CE Passion Narrative
40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
50-60 1 Thessalonians
50-60 1 Corinthians
50-60 2 Corinthians
50-90 Signs Gospel
50-95 Book of Hebrews
50-140 Gospel of Thomas
50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
65-80 Gospel of Mark
70-100 Epistle of James
70-120 Egerton Gospel
70-160 Gospel of Peter
70-160 Secret Mark
70-200 Fayyum Fragment
70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
80-100 2 Thessalonians
80-100 Gospel of Matthew
80-110 1 Peter
80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
80-130 Gospel of Luke
80-130 Acts of the Apostles
80-140 1 Clement
80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
80-250 Christian Sibyllines
90-95 Apocalypse of John
90-120 Gospel of John
90-120 1 John
90-120 2 John
90-120 3 John
90-120 Epistle of Jude
93 Flavius Josephus
100-150 1 Timothy
100-150 2 Timothy
100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
100-150 Secret Book of James
100-150 Preaching of Peter
100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
100-160 2 Peter
3. Historical Jesus Studies, faithfutures.org/HJstudies.html,
– "an extensive and constantly expanding literature on historical research into the person and cultural context of Jesus of Nazareth"
4. Jesus Database, faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html–"The JESUS DATABASE is an online annotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."
5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
6. The Jesus Seminar, mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria
7. Writing the New Testament- mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/testament.html
8. Health and Healing in the Land of Israel By Joe Zias
9. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.
..Sir Edward Gibbon (The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire 1778) was the world's foremost expert on ancient Greek and vulgar Latin, an expert on antiquities! He stated that there is absolutely NO evidence of the existence of "JESUS CHRIST"!
@Age of Reason- most historians say that Jesus did exist.
Your appeal to authority fallacy is also noted.
..can you read the above statement on Sir Gibbon? Bertrand Russell was a famous mathematician, historian and philospher of the 20th century (1874-1970)! Napolean, Thomas' Jefferson and Paine, Friedriche Nietzche, Francois Voltaire, Sigmund Freud et al., ALL stated that "jesus" did not exist! Therefore, HE DID NOT NOT NOT NOT EXIST!
"can you read the above statement on Sir Gibbon? Bertrand Russell was a famous mathematician, historian and philospher of the 20th century (1874-1970)! Napolean, Thomas' Jefferson and Paine, Friedriche Nietzche, Francois Voltaire, Sigmund Freud et al., ALL stated that "jesus" did not exist! Therefore, HE DID NOT NOT NOT NOT EXIST!"
Age of Reason commits argumentum ad verecundiam (Argument from authority). No evidence, just a bunch of famous people said something and therefor it must be true.
Bart Ehrman, one of the most liberal biblical scholars on the planet (i.e., if you had an ally here, it'd be him), has a new book out: "Did Jesus Exist?" Here's his introduction...
* * *
Every week I receive two or three e-mails asking me whether Jesus existed as a human being. When I started getting these e-mails, some years ago now, I thought the question was rather peculiar and I did not take it seriously. Of course Jesus existed. Everyone knows he existed. Don’t they?
I can just see Age of Tantrum stomping his feet shouting ""NOT, NOT NOT" LOL
There is good historical reason for thinking JC existed. Historians work in probablitieis and when we are abcak this far with virtually no non-Christian writings about him from the first 100 years after his death, it is not altogether crazy to think he didn't exist. But, most scholars agree he did exist.
But, that is very, very different to believing any of the supernatura nonsense -born of a virgin, survived his own death, performed miracles etc. There is no reason to think any of that happened.
Nice recovery by the way Fallacy
I accept the Gospel at face value. That is what some call faith but I do not. I call it lack of incredulity. What I can faith is taking the Gospel and applying it to my life in action. The odd part is, the more I act, the more credible I find the Gospel.
"But then something else happened. Some of them began to say that God had intervened and brought him back from the dead. The story caught on, and some (or all – we don't know) of his closest followers came to think that in fact he had been raised." – Bart Ehrman
"For some reason, however, the followers of Jesus (or at least some of them) came to think he had been raised from the dead." -Bart Ehrman
"I think there is a good deal to be said for the idea that Christians did indeed shape their stories about Jesus in light of other figures who were similar to him." -Bart Ehrman
""The Gospels … do indeed contain non-historical materials, many of which are based on traditions found in the Hebrew Bible" -Bart Ehrman
"The gospels … were based on earlier written sources that no longer survive. But they obviously did exist at one time ..." -Bart Ehrman
"Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth [Hardcover]
by Professor Bart D. Ehrman (Author)
Large numbers of atheists, humanists, and conspiracy theorists are raising one of the most pressing questions in the history of religion: "Did Jesus exist at all?" Was he invented out of whole cloth for nefarious purposes by those seeking to control the masses? Or was Jesus such a shadowy figure—far removed from any credible historical evidence—that he bears no meaningful resemblance to the person described in the Bible?
In Did Jesus Exist? historian and Bible expert Bart Ehrman confronts these questions, vigorously defends the historicity of Jesus, and provides a compelling portrait of the man from Nazareth. The Jesus you discover here may not be the Jesus you had hoped to meet—but he did exist, whether we like it or not."
If you don't want to spend the $18 for the book, check out the previous references as Professor Ehrman uses most of these in his book.
Some added references free of charge in most cases as they are posted on the internet as are many of the previous references:
10.The Gnostic Jesus
(Part One in a Two-Part Series on Ancient and Modern Gnosticism)
by Douglas Groothuis: equip.org/free/DG040-1.htm
11. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission
Presented on March 18, 1994
12. The Jesus Database- newer site:
13. Jesus Database with the example of Supper and Eucharist:
14. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:
15. The Journal of Higher Criticism with links to articles on the Historical Jesus:
Bill, it is quite literally impossible to accept "the gospels" at face value, simply because they contradict each other in so many areas. You may take one gospel at face value, but that means rejecting any of the other three to the extent the contradict your chosen author.
One is free to take an ancient writing at face value, but one is then left to ponder what one knows of the author and why one would give them instant credibility. So, what do you know about the authors of either M,M,L or J? Anything? Who were they? Did they write anything else? What gives any of them such credibility in your eyes?
Second, are you confident you know what they even wrote about 2,000 years ago? How does it compare to what you read in English today?
16. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/
17. Diseases in the Bible:
18. Religion on Line (6000 articles on the history of religion, churches, theologies,
theologians, ethics, etc.
19. The Jesus Seminarians and their search for NT authenticity:
20. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT ntgateway.com/
21. Writing the New Testament- existing copies, oral tradition etc.
22. The Search for the Historic Jesus by the Jesus Seminarians:
23. Jesus Decoded by Msgr. Francis J. Maniscalco (Da Vinci Code review)jesusdecoded.com/introduction.php
24. JD Crossan's scriptural references for his book the Historical Jesus separated into time periods: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan1.rtf
25. JD Crossan's conclusions about the authencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the conclusions of other NT exegetes in the last 200 years:
26. Common Sayings from Thomas's Gospel and the Q Gospel: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan3.rtf
27. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by t-itle with the complete translated work in English :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html
28. Luke and Josephus- was there a connection?
29. NT and beyond time line:
30. St. Paul's Time line with discussion of important events:
31. See http://www.amazon.com for a list of JD Crossan's books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.
32. Father Edward Schillebeeckx's words of wisdom as found in his books.
33. The books of the following : Professors Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.
34. Father Raymond Brown's An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY, 1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.
35. Luke Timothy Johnson's book The Real Jesus
and yet, your jeebus never existed...
Summarizing: (only for the new members of this blog)
The Apostles'/Agnostics’ Creed 2013: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)
Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??
I believe there was a 1st century CE, dirty, sometimes sick, Jewish, simple,
preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)
Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,
He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.
(references used are available upon request)
"and yet, your jeebus never existed..."
It should be stated your Jesus might have existed but it doesn't prove he was actually the son of a God.
I can't speak for other non-religious people, but the problem I have with religionists is not their beliefs. I could care less about your idiosyncrasies. Take your bible at face value all you want.
What I don't understand is how these people can recognize the flimsiness of their faith-based, "I feel it in my heart so it must be true" convictions, and yet still feel confident enough to present arguments based on those beliefs in public discussions, and try to use them to influence public policy. What do you people take the rest of us for? Fools? Why would you think anyone would accept that kind of evidence? Why must you disrespect your audience in such a fashion?
Colin, I tend towards acceptance of most proposals at face value. For instance I believed some things early in life which turned out faulty, others that have not. It may turn out that following Jesus in the 21st century will result in a dead end except for some contra-indicators which include, the traditions of the Catholic church, the magisterium of learned and faithful men, the revelation of Scripture from my own study, the weight of western history as influenced by Christianity and lastly, as I pointed out the elevation of my own consciousness as I trod the path. While it may be useful to suspect the authors in order to adhere to skepticism of the Gospel, I no longer need concern myself there. Personal experience has taught me that what they report is accurate to a reasonable enough degree to validate experimentation. That has proven fruitful. Perhaps I will suffer a crisis of conscience and become an apostate but I kind of doubt it.
It's called "confirmation bias." You're ignoring all incoming evidence that would cause cognitive dissonance and elevating the value of all incoming evidence that appears to support your a priori position. Most believers use that tool, and some are quite good at it.
Bill Deacon, what you do in accepting gospel at face value without examining it critically is what more capable minds would consider to be a case of extreme gullibility.
Those cheeks of yours must be pretty red and sore now. The case you've been trying to dump on us is taking a real asswhacking today, not that you had a real case to make.
Let's put abortion on the ballot nationwide, and tell whoever loses to shut up!
Civil rights are granted by the gov't, not by referendum.
The Government gets its power from the consent of the governed.
The vote is already been taken:
Once again, all the conservative votes in the country did not help the "pro-life" presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, in 2012 as the "Immoral Majority" rules the country and will be doing so for awhile. The "Immoral Majority" you ask?
The fastest growing USA voting bloc: In 2008, the 70+ million "Roe vs. Wade mothers and fathers" of aborted womb-babies" whose ranks grow by two million per year i.e. 78+ million "IM" voters in 2012.
2008 Presidential popular vote results:
69,456,897 for pro-abortion/choice BO, 59,934,814 for "pro-life" JM.
And the irony:
And all because many women fail to take the Pill once a day or men fail to use a condom even though in most cases these men have them in their pockets. (maybe they should be called the "Stupid Majority"?)
The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill and male condom have led to the large rate of abortions ( one million/yr) and S-TDs (19 million/yr) in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or condoms properly and/or use other safer birth control methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.
i.e. IF THE PILL AND MALE CONDOMS WERE USED PROPERLY, ABORTION WOULD NOT BE AN ISSUE AND OBAMA WOULD NOT BE PRESIDENT.
Oops, make that "the vote has already been taken".
The American gov't receives permission to act on behalf of the people, not defer to them on every issue. Especially not basic human rights.
Ah, I think I see where you are coming from. I don't disagree.
This doc-umentary states it has the smoking gun. Jan 9 2013
PBS Nova Decoding Neanderthals doc-umentary
It is in public schools in the US already !!!
Why is this not in the bible ? The smoking gun!!!
Only for the new members of this blog:
The reality of se-x, abortion, contraception and STD/HIV control: – from an agnostic guy who enjoys intelligent se-x-
Note: Some words hyphenated to defeat an obvious word filter. ...
The Brutal Effects of Stupidity:
: The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill (9 % actual failure rate) and male con-dom (18% actual failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions (one million/yr) and S-TDs (19 million/yr, CDC data) in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute. Unfortunately they do not give the statistics for doubling up i.e. using a combination of the Pill and a condom.
http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_contr_use.html, published in 2012 (e.g. See the table listed as
"First-Year Contraceptive Failure Rates
Proportion of women who will become pregnant during their first year of use, by method"
I believe that this world is not of God's kingdom domains for it is so written in the Gospel therefore it is to be taken as being truth. Where then does lay the real and righteous places for God's kingdom domains if our world is not of God's kingdom domains?
We are freed up to make and follow our own legislative rules and laws being that this world is not of the Godly kingdom domains. Therefore destroy any or even all life yet to be born if one and all want to so do! Why should I care what this world does to its yet to be birthed children whose only wrong is a naturalized will to be born and soulful wanting to have a life to be so lived? Go ahead and destroy each and many of the unborn! I could care less!
I responded to your post yesterday on
Human have a choice, gift of our LORD, truth absolute, human are subordinated to truth absolute, having no power to over ride truth absolute constant. One may think himself to be the LORD, rest assured man has no power to over ride truth absolute, there is no better word to define human capacity, but the word of WORD OF THE UNIVERSE, MOUT, death meaning , END OF CHOICE. STOP YOUR DEATH, END OF CHOICE, IF ONE CONSIDERS HIMSELF TO BE THE LORD IN HIS HINDUISM, IGNORANCE.
I believe that this world is not of God's kingdom domains for it is so written in the Gospel therefore it is to be taken as being truth."
Well, good for you. Live your beliefs
you and your friends who believe "this world is not of God's kingdom domains", but you folks don't seem to be in hurry to leave this planet either, you sneeze and run to doctors scared, why Lamb why?
lionlylamb. Hey Chucky Milton! How you been boy? Taking your meds? Did you come down off that mountain? Still claiming to be a Marine combat vet? I got you on another blog, I'll get you here. Be gone, you phony and troll.
I went to our prior posts and responded
lionlylamb. Hey Chucky Milton. why aren't you answering my questions? Are you still the leading authority on physics and religion?Are you still the Supreme Priest of all Wiicans and Witches? Come on boy, speak up.
There! Finally! An honest admission of apathy toward his fellow man from a religionist because of expectations of a blissful life in a fictional heaven. And yet these people who are CLEARLY and ADMITTEDLY DETACHED and UNCONCERNED about you or me want to dictate our civil rights to us.
Unwanted yet unaborted children become a nightmare for society.
Our prisons are overflowing already. Hundreds of un-aborted children rot in foster homes their whole childhood, and then graduate to prison.
If one tenth of the Bible thumpers understood the realities of the situation, they might change their tune.
The sad truth is we already have more than we can feed or educate properly.
Plus the church’s stance against birth control only aggravates this further.
The real solutions we need require far less humans, not far more.
On top of your excellent points William, why do religious groups feel that the life of an unborn is more important than the lives that they willingly send off to war to kill and be killed? What happened to Jesus saying, "turn the other cheek?" If these "religious groups" want to practice real christianity they would stop the killing by refusing to go to war LONG before they would worry about a fetus that hasn't even been named yet.
Please christians, consider the value of a life already half lived to that that has never even breathed.
@what the – because war involves guns, which they love. Plus, war is often against brown people who practice the wrong religion. White christian babies are sacred; everyone else is cannon fodder.
BE A INSAAN, HUMAN, NOT A HINDU, INSANE, DO NOT PLAY, IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO PAY. MURDER IS NOT OF HUMAN, BUT OF HINDU IGNORANT ANIMALS.
@ISLAM – no one asked you. Take your kinky fantasies about hindus somewhere else.
One wonders why those who feel humans are a burden on the Universe just don't help out the situation by committing hari-kiri?
Truth ruled the word, and allowed hindu filthy Lucifer secular to be god of hindu's, secular human for the time being, go away hindu ignorant son of hindu Lucifer, secular, only one to go away is a hindu ignorant and his god Lucifer. secular, denier of truth absolute, claiming himself to be the god.
No need for hari-kiri.
The motto of the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement sums it up nicely: "May we live long and die out".
Just stop breeding!
Help control the people population – have your children spayed or neutered.
the church always lags behind social issues. this is no surprise. they value women about as much as a good cart, useful and best when it's working in silence. the church generally lags about 30 years behind he public.
"ALWAYS" lags behind? I suspect the good reverend MLK jr. might have some issue with that statement.
MLK was only 1960 years or so behind helping get rid of the slavery originally condoned in the bible and expected from your god.
may be they should stand there with display cards showing how many clinics they bombed in last 40 years !!
hindu's murderers deserve punishment nothing less than their hinduism, crime.
Hindu's, fools of followers of hinduism, corruption of truth called religion's will hind, abuse their own mothers, sisters and daughters, if they are commanded by their hindu sanantans, crook shamans, having no knowledge or will of of their own, but hindu gentile's, ignorant slaves. They profess to follow truth absolute, but deny truth absolute with their hindu criminal deeds, follow their own hindu soul , greedy desire like a hindu hungry dog, having no strength to stand up for truth absolute if taken to the task, deny essence of existence, LORD AND CREATOR OF THE WORLD. TRUTH ABSOLUTE, ROCK OF AMERICA, FOR THEIR OWN SAKE.
ABORTION IS MURDER OF LIVING BEING, DESERVING NOTHING LESS THAN PUNISHMENT FOR MURDER FOR ANOTHER HUMAN BEING. HELP THOSE WHO CAN NOT HELP THEMSELVES.
Human are blessed with eye’s, but contrary to popular belief in hind, ignorance, human have no capacity to see things physically but only through spirituality, enshrined in program of his or her ruh, spirit. Eyes are nothing more than a medium, such as a scanner, a medium for a processor to recognize matter already programmed in data base, in human case, the brain. Quantified as Noor, light, or recognition to be alive or functional.
By quantum physics, everything is dependent on dark matter or program, otherwise known as Spirit, truth of human to be in physical form. Spirit, programs appears in male body after reaching age of puberty by will of Allah, certain matter from blood of man is attracted to spirit on 125 volts. produced by function of human body, after attachment of matter to spirit, matter takes form of a sperm, a living being, transferred to woman's body to grow into human form according to spirit, program, otherwise known as seeded, not physically but spiritually way programmed. Woman has no other function in human life but to mother a child, a greatest service, man cannot do without, reason for a children to carry their fathers name. Heritage of person is physically attached to man's linage, not a woman.
PLEASE VISIT limitisthetruth.com to learn more.
Dar, how have you been?
I have been on another web site, THE NATION, PAKISTAN NEW'S PAPER, as yakobi, my original screen name. visit it some time in comment section.
Do you make as little sense over there as you do here?
@ Dar, don't ignite the nuclear war over there !! lol
Their choice, not mine.
Hey you regulars, a couple of your offspring showed up on the previous page. They're gonna get a paternity test.
I think the look on that guy's face might cause abortion.
It looks like he has the love of Jeebus inserted way up his rectum...
Worldwide, there are 19 million unsafe abortions a year, and they kill 70,000 women (accounting for 13 percent of maternal deaths), mostly in poor countries like Tanzania where abortion is illegal, according to the World Health Organization.
Yeah, let's ban abortion again. The death toll of young women is too low in this country.
"Luk 12:48 .................. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required:..................."
@lol?? – that means nothing. Plus, I don't remember the book of Luk being in the bible.
Luk be a lady ...
This isn't a big surprise. Or it shouldn't be to most. Most Americans understand the idea of freedom and making their own choices. While many do not agree with abortion, most of those understand it's a personal choice that does not directly effect them.
It merely adds credence to my hypothesis that most people are better than the religion they follow.
americultians have lost their freedoms, here a little, there a little. It adds up.
There are damn few humans who would invent a system of morality as evil, cruel and mentally unbalanced as the one God created in the Old Testament.
It was only the worst leaders in history who created concentration camps to perennially torture people who disagreed with the regime.
Most people have a better morality than God. Few are equally as cruel and hate-filled and demanding of toady loyalty.
To murder is not part of freedom, but hindism, illegality, justified with none other than their hindu soul, filthy desire of hindu Jew's, criminal secular's.
"There are damn few humans who would invent a system of morality as evil, cruel and mentally unbalanced as the one God created in the Old Testament. "
Yet, humans are precisely who invented this system of immorality
"It merely adds credence to my hypothesis that most people are better than the religion they follow."
I cannot agree with that. An important part to remember is that our nation was founded by a population that was majority Christian. They decided (in some cases before the 1700's) that individual freedom was a better route than a govt making it's population follow a specific religion or dictating how a religion should operate.
The real reason is that all of the consti tuants had so many different views about which version of "christianity"was correct, they realized legislating religion would never be fair to all. Better to not ever do it, than get it wrong. Considering all religion is made up by men, they made the right decision.
Ah, but Swain, as you well know, it was not religious values that were the basis of America; it was Enlightenment values, long detested by the religious. And the Founding Fathers were mostly Deists, which is really more of an "Atheist Lite" than Christian.
The "Christian Nation" shtick is just so bogus. Religion failed to create a just and livable nation for 1750 years, and thereafter they try to claim the work of Enlightenment as their own. Pretty sleazy pool.
it may be simply asking too much to hope a religious person wold be enlightened about The Enlightenment.
@Get couther.- "as you well know, it was not religious values that were the basis of America; it was Enlightenment values, long detested by the religious."
Cannot exactly agree with that. Such ppl like Martin Luther tried to invoke societal change with reforms. We also should note that those "Enlightenment" values also brought about the Reign of Terror in France. That and the values of the nation reside with the population and not the ruling class.
"Religion failed to create a just and livable nation for 1750 years, and thereafter they try to claim the work of Enlightenment as their own. Pretty sleazy pool."
Eh...if one looks at the Catholic Church after the fall of the Roman Empire, they help keep society more together than if their was none. The Islamic Empire brought science and advancement in mathematics and they were a religious nation.
End Religion- "it may be simply asking too much to hope a religious person wold be enlightened about The Enlightenment."
Enlighten yourself with a typing class..."wold".
".. if their was none" should be "... if **there were** none".
Guess you'll join us in typing school – or at least spelling class.
Be careful stepping off that soap box.
@Aldewacs- I suggest you actually read everything going on before commenting. I didn't start this with a ad hominem, someone else did.
Pray to end abortion...hows that working out for you? If you're against abortion, how about actually doing something about it.
Better yet, just keep praying and let the country focus on it's real problems.
Don't give them any ideas. They might start blowing up clinics and shooting docs again.
Question for the Christians: if your god is so all powerful and all knowing, why does it allow abortions to be possible and legal?
oh that's easy. It's because we 'sinners' have 'free will' and turn away from God, (who doesn't give a crap what we do, at least until we die, because then he will punish us for eternity in a lake of sulphur because he loves us).
Because we took prayer out of school!
Prayer has not been taken out of schools. Organized prayer and forced prayer yes...all prayer, no.
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.