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(Yahoo)   Archeologists may have discovered clay jars that Jesus used to turn water into wine; other team of scientists still looking for Santa's workshop and Easter Bunny's lair   (news.yahoo.com) divider line 657
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16493 clicks; posted to Main » on 21 Dec 2004 at 10:42 PM (9 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2004-12-22 02:18:38 AM
All things in moderation, including moderation.

Who said that?
 
2004-12-22 02:18:52 AM
jars are really not that interesting...
 
2004-12-22 02:19:30 AM
q, your statement that I have a philosophy doesn't sit well with me. Your statement: 'Do you believe what your senses show you is real? ' Here goes. Wait, let me quote you again: "funme

Tell me why you think I exist and I'll tell you who I am."

I told you why I think you exist and you didn't tell me who you are.

You are being coy. And you think you know what you are talking about. Q, you don't. Look down at your feet. Unless you are sitting in a high chair or something, they are on the ground. Your feet are, you aren't. The fact that we are talking here, now, to each other on a fark quorum bespeaks volumes that you are unable to admit or are too pseudo-intelligent to cop to. Dadgum, q,here we are. Aren't we?
 
2004-12-22 02:20:55 AM
probably_from_texas


Most people dont have the strength or conviction to be good. So, they cop out and say God doesnt exist, and, live thier life any way they please.

the same could be said from the other side of the fence.

to me, the only cop out is acting like you *know* all the answers. (either way)

belief is cool. whatever it takes to drag your ass thru a day is kosher by me. but acting like your beliefs are somebody elses answers that they are just ignoring... is silly.
 
2004-12-22 02:22:56 AM
TemperedEdge

Here's a problem.

I do not deride Christians, or any other religion for that matter, unless they are taking an active role in trying to disrupt my life and the lives of others.

Morals shouldn't be absolute law. Morals should be an individual belief.


For the sake of simplicity, I'll only deal with religious morality here.

1. People accept religious beliefs which include morals.
2. Morals are an integral component of the way people act towards others.
3. People act towards others based (partially) upon religious beliefs which include morals.
4. An act upon another is an interference in their autonomy.

Therefore, religious people will interfere whether their beliefs are private or not. Thoughts?
 
2004-12-22 02:23:44 AM


/obligatory
 
2004-12-22 02:23:59 AM
Probably_From_Texas or anybody for that matter.

...He died, so we may live...

What exactly is that supposed to mean? After being raised Catholic, the reason I abandoned Christianity was that I questioned what those trite sayings mean: Jesus "died for our sins," or "died to save us," or "died that we may live."

I know it involves Original Sin, so let's start there. Adam and Eve sinned [well, Adam actually; Eve's actions didn't count because she was only a woman, right?]. Then the rest of the human race supposedly inherited the "stain" of that Original Sin. God, a supernatural being intelligent enough to create the universe in all its complexity, decided for some reason to hold you and me and the entire human race responsible for an act committed by someone else, long before any of us we were even born. But anyway he's willing to forgive us, not because we didn't actually do anything, but because some Romans murdered his son.

Feel free to explain how this makes any rational sense whatsoever.
 
2004-12-22 02:24:09 AM
And this has been fun. Or I wouldn't have offered my seminal thoughts for all to disemmilate. That's right, disemmilate. thank you, q, err, etc
 
2004-12-22 02:25:51 AM
zappaisfrank


Christian groups have been trying to get porn banned for years because THEY think it's wrong. However, they seem to have this attitude that they are somehow God's personal messengers on a mission to rid the world of something they don't care for, and they are using God's name to give their crusade not only a sense of legitimacy, but a sense of being "untouchable" and above criticism because they think they are going "Gawd's work!"


pretty much my take.

if god's got laws on spanking the monkey to sweedish scat porn, drinking beer on sunday, having a mate of the same sex... etc. etc. etc.... i think he can enforce them himself. if you think he'd be upset at you for doing any of the above.... don't do it....but leave the rest of us the hell alone. you don't see non-religous people lining up to close churches because we don't like them.
 
2004-12-22 02:26:33 AM
It seems like this thread keeps going.

OK, I dont like those people who thought that an alien race were going to pick them up after they committed suicided in purple sneakeris in Califonia. They were supposed to be iding behind the moon.
 
2004-12-22 02:27:23 AM
wow, i can't believe i read through all of that. it's crazy to see people go back and forth.

/i'll stick with shinto
 
2004-12-22 02:27:55 AM
My bologna has a first name, it's O-S-C-A-R
My bologna has a second name it's M-A-Y-E-R
I love to eat it every day
and if you ask me why I'll saaay:
'Cause Oscar Mayer has a way with B-O-L-O-G-N-A.


The above is the extent of theology that I'm comfortable with the truth of, a least as regards bologna-ravenous young children.
 
2004-12-22 02:31:36 AM
serutan:
Feel free to explain how this makes any rational sense whatsoever.

Well, if people's beliefs had anything to do with rationality, religion would be extinct.
 
2004-12-22 02:32:07 AM
funme

I told you why I think you exist and you didn't tell me who you are.

You never satisfactorily explained how you could reconcile a blief in only what you saw with the belief that I exist. Still, I'll answer if you will. What do you mean by "who are you?" It is a rather vague question, I'm afraid. I could tell you my name, but that wouldn't help much. You could check out my profile, you can infer a fair bit from that.

You are being coy. And you think you know what you are talking about. Q, you don't. Look down at your feet. Unless you are sitting in a high chair or something, they are on the ground. Your feet are, you aren't.

Actually, my feet are on a footstool, btu I get your point. I do think I know what I'm talking about, actually, I've studied it quite intensively. Care to talk about the fatal flaw in Descartes' Epistemelogical argument that he uses to escape full disbelief? How about a quick sidetrip to Berkeley's idealism for a different take on pure skepticism?

The fact that we are talking here, now, to each other on a fark quorum bespeaks volumes that you are unable to admit or are too pseudo-intelligent to cop to. Dadgum, q,here we are. Aren't we?

I've never denied that we are here talking to one another, I find that quite reasonable. What I don't find reasonable is how you can think that you're talking to a living person if it is true that you don't believe in anything outside your (immediate? or do you believe that the past exists?) sensory perceptions.
 
2004-12-22 02:34:29 AM
Quadriplegic
TemperedEdge
Here's a problem.
I do not deride Christians, or any other religion for that matter, unless they are taking an active role in trying to disrupt my life and the lives of others.
Morals shouldn't be absolute law. Morals should be an individual belief.
For the sake of simplicity, I'll only deal with religious morality here.
1. People accept religious beliefs which include morals.
2. Morals are an integral component of the way people act towards others.
3. People act towards others based (partially) upon religious beliefs which include morals.
4. An act upon another is an interference in their autonomy.
Therefore, religious people will interfere whether their beliefs are private or not. Thoughts?
_____________________________________

I think that if Christian people want to live a life according to their own moral standards, fine. The problem is that Chrstians have this irritating inability to "mind their own business". They think that because they have "the answer" that everyone needs to live the way they do! That's why you see these Christian moralists running for public office all the time...so they can get into government and start making all these changes based on their own bible-enriched moral beliefs.

Freedom of religion also means freedom FROM religion! The bible thumpers don't see it that way, and "disruption of the lives of others" ensues. They also have this pious attitude that because they are doing what they perceive to be God's work that they are somehow exempt from any sort of reproach or criticism. I say Bullshiat!
 
2004-12-22 02:34:42 AM
quadriplegic

i can't quite determine if you are concentrating more on the semantic or the pedantic.

not that it matters, of course.
 
2004-12-22 02:35:09 AM
serutan:

I know it involves Original Sin, so let's start there. Adam and Eve sinned...

While he's at it, he (or anyone so inclined) can answer this one. When Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the tree at the center of the Garden, they became aware of good and evil. If they didn't know what was good and what was evil before they ate the fruit, how can you punish them for making an evil choice?
 
2004-12-22 02:41:52 AM
Q-
1. People accept religious beliefs which include morals.
2. Morals are an integral component of the way people act towards others.
3. People act towards others based (partially) upon religious beliefs which include morals.
4. An act upon another is an interference in their autonomy.

You didn't listen to me, did you? You didn't really understand what I was saying.
Your beliefs and your suppositions about life and people lead me to believe that you assume that your understanding of morals and your reasoning about motivations of human life will lead you to a fulfilled and intelligent
outlook of human endeavors. And to a realization of everything that comes to play in our short existance here on this planet. In short, you are of the mind that you should, and possibly could, figure things out. Good luck, amigo. Good night.
 
2004-12-22 02:45:43 AM
zappaisfrank

I really don't see any way to stop the influence of Christianity (or any other religion) without destroying it. After all, followers are bound by their morals to vote and make law and affect the rest of us. (Of course, any person with a set of ethics must do the same, but at least man-made systems are usually more reasonable)

Do you think it is possible to be a good moral agent and not act the way your morals tell you that you should?

heap

Eh. I enjoy it, either way.
 
2004-12-22 02:46:32 AM
Quadriplegic:

zappaisfrank
summed it up pretty good. Those are my thoughts.

And you can extend it to Militant Muslims as well, since one of their (little-known) goals of their campaign is to establish a hardline Islamic state in the Western Hemisphere, specifically somewhere within the current borders of the USA.

Forcing your beliefs on others is wrong, whether it's "God's Work," "The Will of Allah," or whatever...
 
2004-12-22 02:46:57 AM
The life of Jesus is a historical fact. Submitter is an uninformed dousche.
 
2004-12-22 02:51:58 AM
funme

Er, that italicized bit wasn't directed at you.

I think I did understand what you were saying, it's just that you held a set of mutually incompaitble beliefs. Your beliefs and suppositions about life and people lead me to believe that you are suffering from cognitive dissonance, and are likely quite confused; though a decent human being.

Good luck to you, thanks for the discussion, and good night.
 
2004-12-22 02:52:21 AM
alteredbeat: Historical fact according to who?
 
2004-12-22 03:04:50 AM
TemperedEdge

Go to the library and find out.
 
2004-12-22 03:07:12 AM
alteredbeat

Oh man, that's classic. Make a claim, and then when asked for proof, refuse to give it. I'm surprised you didn't ask TemperedEdge to prove that Jesus didn't exist.

Beautiful.
 
2004-12-22 03:13:40 AM
JOSEPHUS: (37-101 A.D.)

Josephus was born in Jerusalem only four years after Jesus' crucifixion. He was an eyewitness to much of what he recorded in the first century A.D. Josephus mentions many events and people from the Gospels. Josephus was an Orthodox Jew who was commissioned by the Romans to write a history of the Jewish people and Rome up until that point.

Mentions Jesus: Antiquities, Book 18, ch. 3, par. 3.

Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.

Mentions John the Baptist and Herod: Antiquities, Book 18, ch. 5, par. 2

"Now some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod's army came from God, and that very justly, as a punishment of what he did against John, that was called the Baptist: for Herod slew him, who was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, both as to righteousness towards one another, and piety towards God, and so to come to baptism; for that the washing [with water] would be acceptable to him, if they made use of it, not in order to the putting away [or the remission] of some sins [only], but for the purification of the body; supposing still that the soul was thoroughly purified beforehand by righteousness."

Mentions James, the half-brother of Jesus: Antiquities, Book 20, ch. 19.

"Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned: but as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done."



TACITUS: (55-117 A.D.)

Cornelius Tactitus is regarded as the greatest historian of ancient Rome. Writing on the reign of Nero, Tacitus alludes to the death of Christ and to the existence of Christians in Rome.

"Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular."



PLINY THE YOUNGER: (112 A.D.)

Governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor, Pliny wrote a letter to the Emperor Trajan regarding how to deal with Christians who worship Christ. These letters concern an episode which marks the first time the Roman government recognized Christianity as a religion separate from Judaism, and sets a precedent for the massive persecution of Christians that takes place in the second and third centuries.

"They (the Christians) were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble to partake of foodbut food of an ordinary and innocent kind."



BABYLONIAN TALMUD: (Completed in the 6th Century A.D.)

The Babylonian Talmud is a Rabbinic commentary on the Jewish scriptures (Tanach: Old Testament). They are a look into what a hostile source was saying about Jesus. They couldn't deny his miracles so they claim that it was sorcery rather than admit to what was a known fact. They also admit that Yeshu (Hebrew for Jesus) was hanged (Crucified: Luke 23:39, Galatians 3:13).

"On the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, "He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery (an admission of his miracles) and enticed Israel to apostasy. Any one who can say anything in his favor, let him come forward and plead on his behalf." But since nothing was brought forward in his favor he was hanged on the eve of the Passover!"

The Babylonian Talmud, vol. III, Sanhedrin 43a.



LUCIAN: (120-180 A.D.)

A Greek satirist that spoke scornfully of Christ and Christians, affirming that they were real and historical people, never saying that they were fictional characters.

"The Christians, you know, worship a man to this daythe distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account....You see, these misguided creatures start with the general conviction that they are immortal for all time, which explains the contempt of death and voluntary self-devotion which are so common among them; and then it was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws. All this they take quite on faith, with the result that they despise all worldly goods alike, regarding them merely as common property."

Lucian, The Death of Peregrine. 11-13.



LETTER OF MARA BARSARAPION: (73 A.D.)

Mara Bar-Serapion was a Syrian who lived in the first century A.D. He wrote a letter to his son Serapion that mentions the Jews who killed their King. The letter is now in the possession of the British Museum.

"What benefit did the Athenians obtain by putting Socrates to death? Famine and plague came upon them as judgment for their crime. Or, the people of Samos for burning Pythagoras? In one moment their country was covered with sand. Or the Jews by murdering their wise king?...After that their kingdom was abolished. God rightly avenged these men...The wise king...Lived on in the teachings he enacted."



Thallus: (52 A.D.)

One of the first secular writers that mentioned Christ. Thallus wrote a history of the Eastern Mediterranean world from the Trojan War to his own time. Unfortunately, his writings are only found as citations by others. Julius Africanus, a Christian who wrote about AD 221 mentioned Thallus' account of an eclipse of the sun (Luke 23:44-45).

"On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun."

Julius Africanus, Chronography, 18:1.



PHLEGON: (1st Century)

A secular historian wrote a history named, "Chronicles." This original work has been lost, Julius Africanus preserved a small fragment in his writings. Phlegon mentions the eclipse (Matthew 27:45) during the crucifixion of Jesus.

"During the time of Tiberius Caesar an eclipse of the sun occurred during the full moon."

Africanus, Chronography, 18:1.



SUETONIUS: (69-140 A.D.)

A Roman historian and annalist of the Imperial House under the Emperor Hadrian. He refers to Christ and Christians and the "disturbances" caused by them, namely not worshipping idols and loving all, including their tormentors.

"Because the Jews at Rome caused constant disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus [Christ], he [Claudius] expelled them from the city [Rome]." Acts 18:2, which took place in 49 A.D.

Life of Claudius, 25:4.

In another work Suetonius wrote about the the fire which devastated Rome in 64 A.D. under the reign of Nero. Nero blamed the Christians and exacted a heavy punishment upon them, among them covering them with pitch and burning them alive in his gardens.

"Nero inflicted punishment on the Christians, a sect given to a new and mischievous religious belief."

Lives of the Caesars, 26.2



TOLEDOTH YESHU: (6 Century)

This is a derogatory version of the life of Jesus, growing out of the response of the Jewish community to Christianity. The tradition presented here is most commonly dated to approximately the 6th century CE. The text it self is closer to the 14th century.

Mentions the empty tomb and that the Jewish leaders found it empty. That Jesus was crucified on the eve of the Passover and that He claimed to be God. That Jesus performed sorcery, he healed, and that he taught Rabbis. All of this from a hostile source, with the references above it is a historical fact that Jesus did miracles. His enemies could not refute it, rather they explained it away as sorcery!



CELSUS: (2nd Century)

Criticizes the Gospels, unknowingly reinforces the authors and the content, he alludes to 80 different quotes in the Bible. Admits that the miracles of Jesus were generally believed in the 2nd century.



JULIAN THE APOSTATE: (332-363 A.D.)

Emperor of Rome mentions the Gospels, miracles and other facts about Jesus. Julian had struggled to end the power of Christians in the Roman Empire. Since the day fifty years earlier that Constantine conquered in the sign of the cross, Christian influence had steadily grown. As Julian lay dying from a mortal wound he made the following remark:

"As he bled, the dying emperor groaned, "You have conquered, O Galilean," referring to Jesus Christ.



CLEMENT OF ROME: (100 A.D.)

Clement affirms the Resurrection, Gospels and that Jesus was sent to earth by God to take away our sins.

"Clement was the fourth bishop of Rome, the first being Peter. Did he know Peter and Paul? It is completely possible that those two Spirit-filled men taught him. Clement even wrote a letter to the Corinthian church that echoed the teachings of the apostles."



Ignatius of Antioch: (50-107 A.D.)

Disciple of the apostles Peter, Paul, and John, who was martyred for his faith in Jesus. He was obviously convinced that Jesus really had lived and that Jesus was all that the apostles has said He was.

"...nearness to the sword is nearness to God; to be among the wild beasts is to be in the arms of God; only let it be in the name of Jesus Christ. I endure all things that I may suffer together with him, since he who became perfect man strengthens me...We have not only to be called Christians, but to be Christians."

While the emperor Trajan was on a visit to Asia Minor, he arrested Ignatius. When the bishop confessed his faith in Christ, the Emperor sent him in chains to Rome to die. He was hustled to the arena at once and thrown to two fierce lions who immediately devoured him.



QUADRATUS: (125 A.D.)

Bishop of Athens and a disciple of the apostles. Church historian Eusebius has preserved the only work that we have from Quadratus.

"The deeds of our Saviour were always before you, for they were true miracles; those that were healed, those that were raised from the dead, who were seen, not only when healed and when raised, but were always present. They remained living a long time, not only whilst our Lord was on earth, but likewise when he had left the earth. So that some of them have also lived in our times."

Eusebius, IV, III



EPISTLE OF BARNABAS: (130-38 A.D.)

Mentions the Resurrection, miracles, content of the Gospels and the crucifixion of Jesus.



ARISTIDES: (138-161 A.D.)

Aristides was a second-century Christian believer and philosopher from Athens. This portion of his defense of Christianity was addressed to the Roman Emperor Antonius Pius, who reigned from 138-161 A.D.

"The Son of the most high God, revealed by the Holy Spirit, descended from heaven, born of a Hebrew Virgin. His flesh he received from the Virgin, and he revealed himself in the human nature as the Son of God. In his goodness which brought the glad tidings, he has won the whole world by his life-giving preaching...He selected twelve apostles and taught the whole world by his mediatorial, light-giving truth. And he was crucified, being pierced with nails by the Jews; and he rose from the dead and ascended to heaven. He sent the apostles into all the world and instructed all by divine miracles full of wisdom. Their preaching bears blossoms and fruits to this day, and calls the whole world to illumination."

Carey, "Aristides," 68.



JUSTIN MARTYR: (106-167 A.D.)

Justin Martyr is regarded as one of the greatest early Christian apologists. He was born around 100 A.D and was beheaded for his faith in Jesus in 167 A.D. He mentions as facts many things about Jesus and Christianity, such as: The Magi (wise men who brought gifts from Arabia), King Herod, His crucifixion, His garments parted among the Roman soldiers, the apostles leaving him on the night of his arrest, his fulfilled prophecies, His resurrection and His ascending into heaven among many others. These quotes can be found in his debate with Trypho the Jew.



HEGESIPPUS: (2 Century)

Eusebius draws the conclusion that Hegesippus was a Jew that wrote five books called, "Memoirs." Only fragments remain of his original work in the writings of Eusebius. They show that Hegesippus traveled extensively trying to determine if the stories of Jesus and the apostles were true. He found that they they were accurate, even in the troubled church in Corinth.

"The Corinthian church continued in the true doctrine until Primus became bishop. I mixed with them on my voyage to Rome and spent several days with the Corinthians, during which we were refreshed with the true doctrine. On arrival at Rome I pieced together the succession down to Anicetus, whose deacon was Eleutherus, Anicetus being succeeded by Soter and he by Eleutherus. In every line of bishops and in every city things accord with the preaching of the Law, the Prophets, and the Lord."

Eusebius, The History of the Church, 9.22.2.



TRAJAN: (53-117 A.D.)

Trajan is a Roman Emperor who wrote a letter [see letter] in response to the Governor of Asia Minor, Pliny the Younger. Pliny needed advice in dealing with "Christians" who renounced their belief in Jesus due to fear of torture and execution.



MACROBIUS: (4th-5th Century)

Pascal (Pensees) mentions a quote of Augustus Caesar as an evidence to the murder of the 7-20 male babies (this is based on the population of Bethlehem in 4-6 B.C., which was 700-1,000 people) by King Herod in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:16).

King Herod heard that a king was to be born and his fear and mental instability caused him to kill these male children under two years of age. King Herod killed his Wife, mother in law, and three sons. This is in character with his life of murder and paranoia. King Herod's reign was described by his enemies as, "He stole to the throne like a fox, ruled like a tiger, and died like a dog."

Saturnalia, lib. 2, ch.4.



HADRIAN: (106-167 A.D.)

Justin Martyr quotes this Roman Emperor's letter to Minucius Fundanus, proconsul of Asia Minor. This letter deals with accusations from pagans against the Christians.

"I have received the letter addressed to me by your predecessor Serenius Granianus, a most illustrious man; and this communication I am unwilling to pass over in silence, lest innocent persons be disturbed, and occasion be given to the informers for practicing villainy. Accordingly, if the inhabitants of your province will so far sustain this petition of theirs as to accuse the Christians in some court of law, I do not prohibit them from doing so. But I will not suffer them to make use of mere entreaties and outcries. For it is far more just, if any one desires to make an accusation, that you give judgment upon it. If, therefore, any one makes the accusation, and furnishes proof that the said men do anything contrary to the laws, you shall adjudge punishments in proportion to the offences. And this, by Hercules; you shall give special heed to, that if any man shall, through mere calumny, bring an accusation against any of these persons, you shall award to him more severe punishments in proportion to his wickedness."

Justin Martyr, The First Apology, Chapters, 68-69.



JUVENAL: (55 AD-127 AD)

Juvenal makes a reference of the tortures of Christians by Nero in Rome.

"But just describe Tigellinus and you will blaze amid those faggots in which men, with their throats tightly gripped, stand and burn and smoke, and you trace a broad furrow through the middle of the arena."

Satires, 1, lines 147-157.



SENECA: (3 B.C.-65 A.D.)

Seneca mentions the cruelties that Nero imposes upon Christians.

"The other kind of evil comes, so to speak, in the form of a huge parade. Surrounding it is a retinue of swords and fire and chains and a mob of beasts to be let loose upon the disemboweled entrails of men. Picture to yourself under his head the prison, the cross, the rack, the hook, and the stake which they drive straight through a man until it protrudes from his throat. Think of human limbs torn apart by chariots driven in opposite directions, of the terrible shirt smeared and interwoven with inflammable materials, and of all the other contrivances devised by cruelty, in addition to those which I have mentioned!"

Epistulae Morales, Epistle 14, "On the Reasons for Withdrawing from the World."



HIEROCLES: (AD 284-305)

A quote by Eusebius preserves some of the text of this lost work of Hierocles, Philalethes or Lover of Truth. In this quote, Hierocles condemns Peter and Paul as sorcerers. Again, their miracles could not be denied, rather they claimed that they used sorcery.

"And this point is also worth noticing, that whereas the tales of Jesus have been vamped up by Peter and Paul and a few others of the kind,--men who were liars and devoid of education and wizards."

Eusebius, The Treatise of Eusebius, ch. 2.



ANTONIUS PIUS: (86 AD to 161 AD)

A letter from the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius to the general assembly in Asia Minor. This letter says that the officials in Aisa Minor were getting upset at the Christians in their province, and that no changes are to be made in Antoninus' method of dealing with them.

"The Emperor Caesar Titus AElius Adrianus Antoninus Augustus Pius, Supreme Pontiff, in the fifteenth year of his tribuneship, Consul for the third time, Father of the fatherland, to the Common Assembly of Asia, greeting: I should have thought that the gods themselves would see to it that such offenders should not escape. For if they had the power, they themselves would much rather punish those who refuse to worship them; but it is you who bring trouble on these persons, and accuse as the opinion of atheists that which they hold, and lay to their charge certain other things which we are unable to prove. But it would be advantageous to them that they should be thought to die for that of which they are accused, and they conquer you by being lavish of their lives rather than yield that obedience which you require of them. And regarding the earthquakes which have already happened and are now occurring, it is not seemly that you remind us of them, losing heart whenever they occur, and thus set your conduct in contrast with that of these men; for they have much greater confidence towards God than you yourselves have. And you, indeed, seem at such times to ignore the gods, and you neglect the temples, and make no recognition of the worship of God. And hence you are jealous of those who do serve Him, and persecute them to the death. Concerning such persons, some others also of the governors of provinces wrote to my most divine father; to whom he replied that they should not at all disturb such persons, unless they were found to be attempting anything against the Roman government. And to myself many have sent intimations regarding such persons, to whom I also replied in pursuance of my father's judgment. But if any one has a matter to bring against any person of this class, merely as such a person, let the accused be acquitted of the charge, even though he should be found to be such an one; but let the accuser he amenable to justice."

Justin Martyr, The First Apology, ch. 70.
 
2004-12-22 03:13:51 AM
What was my set of mutally imcompatible beliefs? And congnitive dissonance is a copout. It only means I don't believe in what I said. I believe in everything I said, point out where I didn't. You are still believing in some kind of supreme understanding of life or ultimate definition of life or almost religious belief of why we are here. I profess to believe in the simple facts of life. And death. Can you really argue with the fact that our parents farked, we were conceived, we make a living and love our family, enjoy some enjoyments and we die? IF WE ARE LUCKY? If not, we suffer. Worse, we suffer, and suffer and then we die. Ain't much more to it than that. Or there shouldn't be. I vote for that. And I accept my share of cognotive dissonance. Do you?
 
2004-12-22 03:13:57 AM
Religious threads on Fark.com are like good Scotch - bittersweet and intoxicating. The coolest part is seeing how the participants start out with a (relatively) calm statement and gradually heat up, losing much of their rational argumentation in the process and ending up just jabbing each other.

I suspect there are at least a few dozen sociology and psychology students on Fark, cackling to themselves as they write their papers on group behaviour right now and the empirical data just keeps gushing in...

/wonders under what marker will be assigned to his his poste
 
2004-12-22 03:15:31 AM
*sigh*

that would be "/wonders what marker will be assigned to his post"
 
2004-12-22 03:15:48 AM
jebus, man...
 
2004-12-22 03:29:16 AM
jebus, yourself...xebeche_tzu, man
 
2004-12-22 03:32:20 AM
alteredbeat: We all realize that the ability to use CTRL-C and CTRL-V is within your powers. You should link a source that long so that it doesn't clog up the thread. Like this.

Also, none of the sources you mentioned are proof of Jesus' historical existence. They simply prove that Jesus was mentioned in contemporary accounts, which is not surprising since it is recognized that Jesus was quite a phenomon at that time. None of those accounts is even a firsthand account of meeting or seeing Jesus; all they prove is that Jesus was being talked about.

The accounts of Jesus' life are evidence, and evidence only - they no more prove that Jesus existed than Le Mort d'Arthur proves that Arthur and Galahad existed.
 
2004-12-22 03:35:38 AM
One can imagine a sane, healthy, cheerful human society based on no more than the principles of common sense, as validated each day by work, play, and living experience. But this remains the most utopian and fantastic of ideals

Edward Abbey
 
2004-12-22 03:53:40 AM
michaeltrout

How do you prove any historical figure's existence then? You should know that if surmounting evidence of their life exists, then it is generally accepted that they existed.

Also, the disciples of Jesus saw and knew Jesus and recorded their experience. But somehow, their record isn't valid in the secular world because "they're in the Bible" so I didn't mention them.
 
2004-12-22 03:57:22 AM
http://groups.msn.com/AskanAtheist/general.msnw


No unreason
No illogic
No superstitions
Bo religeon
 
2004-12-22 04:04:57 AM
funme

Statement 1. You don't believe in anything not perceivable by the senses (I am unclear whether you include anything not currently perceivable, i.e. history)

Statement 2. You believe that I exist.

Are those correct? It seems to me that if you follow statement 1, you can't follow statement 2, and vice versa. Yet you claim to follow both - cognitive dissonance. Either that or willing hypocrisy.

You are still believing in some kind of supreme understanding of life or ultimate definition of life or almost religious belief of why we are here.

Am I? When did I ever say that? Now you're just making things up.

Can you really argue with the fact that our parents farked, we were conceived, we make a living and love our family, enjoy some enjoyments and we die?

No, and I never did. I just said that you couldn't believe that and still be a solipsist. Denying the existence of the external world while accepting the existence of the external world is a pretty obvious logical blunder on your part. I can't believe I've taken the past two hours to explain it to you.
 
2004-12-22 04:06:23 AM
alteredbeat,

I think you may have missed the point of some of the posters here. They were saying that Jesus could very well have existed as a person, they were objecting to him being considered the son of God and a miracle man.
 
2004-12-22 04:08:38 AM
What's fascinating is that our whole culture (well at least white anglo-saxon culture) here in North America is based on christian ideas and principles. I mean, why is murdering another person wrong? We atheists might say "It just is" but that doesn't explain where that particular concept came from.

Accept it as fact: Religion is a foundation of culture.
 
2004-12-22 04:13:30 AM
Palisade_hacker

Wrong. It's hard to miss the fact that the submitter grouped Jesus with the mythical figures Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. And this farkers post.

nytyper
There isn't any mention of Jesus in an historical source outside the Bible. So yes, you can deny that he existed.

That is what I'm contending. So no, I didn't miss the point.
 
2004-12-22 04:15:29 AM
alteredbeat,

Oh, OK, you were arguing with the crowd who says he didn't exist. My bad.
 
2004-12-22 04:17:50 AM
MadSkillz

Accept it as fact: Religion is a foundation of culture.

True, but that doesn't mean that it should continue to be a foundation of culture.

I mean, why is murdering another person wrong? We atheists might say "It just is" but that doesn't explain where that particular concept came from.

Here are a few, just off the top of my head. Any society which condones wanton murder will not survive, therefore laws and ethics against murder are necessary for the survival of societies. Of course, we can question why the survival of society is good, but it doesn't matter. Evolution doesn't give a short shiat about good and evil, just what works.

It is likely that other human beings operate in the same way that I operate. I do not want to be murdered. Therefore, I should not murder other human beings.

Murder causes great pain to a single individual, and unless it is balanced by also causing a greater happiness is detrimental to the happiness of the population, therefore it is usually wrong.

A prime attribute of humans is the ability of autonomy, it is what allows us freedom. Murder is the total removal of autonomy, and is therefore wrong.
 
2004-12-22 04:22:40 AM
Ok, q and for all your readers, here is the Merriam-Webster definition of solispist:

a theory holding that the self can know nothing but its own modifications and that the self is the only existent thing

1st half of definition: true about me
2nd half of definition: What? THAT is a definition of my views?

q- quit playing with words... I DO feel that something or someone exists besides me....duh. You are guilty of misappropriating definitions and being obnoxious. Sorry, you have failed the fark test of being truthful, knowledgable and farkworthy. And you have lost my trust. And the trust of your followers, I would suppose.
 
2004-12-22 04:25:35 AM
Quadriplegic,

WHile I agree with every single point you make, I feel a little tickled to pick on your arguments (it's 11.30 AM here and I'm feeling fresh :). Call me a devil's advocate in this case (I crack me up).

When you say:
It walks very close to a religious statement. Evolution knows what works and what doesn't. I'm sure you mean that evolution is the process that eliminates factors that are invalid and preserves factors that are valid or something to that effect. But it comes across as a solemn statement about the wisdom of Evolution. :)

/I keed, but it's fun to nitpick...
 
2004-12-22 04:26:53 AM
Goddang typos!

The part:

" Evolution knows what works and what doesn't. I'm sure you mean that evolution is the process that eliminates factors that are invalid and preserves factors that are valid or something to that effect. But it comes across as a solemn statement about the wisdom of Evolution. :)

/I keed, but it's fun to nitpick..."

should not be in italics...
 
2004-12-22 04:27:24 AM
alteredbeat: How do you prove any historical figure's existence then?

Well for some it's rather simple. Alexander we know existed because of the historical evidence scattered all around the known world at that time - we know enough to surmise that that person was Alexander. Same goes for other historical figures: the Eygptian pharoahs, Julius Caesar, and so on; but Jesus is quite a bit different, isn't he?

He left no great monuments, was not a leader of a nation, left no writings - nothing in the way of hard evidence. All we really have are accounts written probably 30 years after his death. And the mythology surrounding Jesus was common in those days - the virgin birth was nothing new, nor was the idea of a wise man who performed miracles and cured the sick, nor was the messianic Israelite, nor was the idea of a deity in the form of a Trinity. So there's some evidence that points to Jesus, but not enough to really declare it as fact.

You know, the same goes for Socrates - no one is really sure whether or not he existed either. Just goes to show that no one randomly chooses to be more skeptical with regard to Jesus than any other historical figure (as far as existence is concerned).

Moreover, the disciples themselves did not record their experiences. If you're going to accept archaelogical evidence, you also must accept that the very earliest date anyone puts to a Gospel is Mark, around 50 CE. More conservative estimates place the writing in 70 CE. Either way, it's at least 15-20 after Jesus' death at the latest.

And on the topic of the Gospels, even us secular people consider the Gospels evidence - no one writes them off simply because they're in the Bible. But placing them in their proper historical context is important, and that's what seems to be the burr in side of Christians.

And for the record, I do believe an historical Jesus existed, although (obviously) I don't believe he is at all accurately reflected in the New Testament.
 
2004-12-22 04:28:19 AM
Final correction:

I'm talking about the sentence:
Evolution doesn't give a short shiat about good and evil, just what works.

by Quadriplegic.

/looks like someone needs another cup of tea to properly wake up.
 
2004-12-22 04:29:18 AM
alright, solipsist.....same thing :/ ;}
 
2004-12-22 04:32:27 AM
MadSkillz: "I mean, why is murdering another person wrong? We atheists might say "It just is" but that doesn't explain where that particular concept came from."

I would say that it first came from pragmatism. Groups of people that don't believe murder is wrong get smaller... and smaller...

Right now there is some basic human kindness behind atheist morality, but I think you're (reading between the lines here) right that it mostly comes from our Christian culture.

But I'm not really afraid to say that we might need God to give us morality. Let's allow it. It's the noble lie. God does not exist just because our society may need him to keep order. (But it is a good reason for lots of people to pretend.)
 
2004-12-22 04:34:19 AM
Q said: Evolution doesn't give a short shiat about good and evil, just what works?

damn, Q, join the team! Sorry to argue. Or am I?
 
2004-12-22 04:40:28 AM
Moreover, the disciples themselves did not record their experiences.

Last time I checked, John was a disciple and also wrote the Gospel of John.

even us secular people consider the Gospels evidence

Check with your secular friends again. Most people discount the Bible because they believe it was written by Jesus fanboys who somehow made up the figure of Jesus.

Obviously you want to split hairs with me on the credibility of the evidence of Jesus' existence so I will leave you with this.

I can't think of a more convincing proof of a man's existence then the fact that over 2 billion people claim to follow his teachings which are 2000 years old. It's not even possible for that to happen if that man didn't exist. NO OTHER HISTORICAL FIGURE has had that kind impact on earth. Period.
 
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