Atheists vs christians: does it have to be war?

December 1st, 2012

Argument

Disagreements between christians and atheists seem to have heated up in the last decade or two. Whether it is because atheists have become more convinced of the evils of religion, or there are just more of them these days, or whether it is because christians are feeling more under threat, I don’t know. Or perhaps it’s just another outcome of the impersonality of the internet.

But I do know that things can often get unpleasant or even downright nasty, and that there are those on both sides who argue this is a justifiable and even necessary tactic.

But here’s one commentator who pleads for a little more tolerance and humour. (I saw this piece some time ago, but only now got around to posting about it.)

10 Things Christians and Atheists Can (And Must) Agree On

Five years ago David Wong at Cracked listed 10 Things Christians and Atheists Can (And Must) Agree On:

1. You Can Do Terrible Things in the Name of Either One
2. Both Sides Really Do Believe What They’re Saying
3. In Everyday Life, You’re Not That Different
4. There Are Good People on Both Sides
5. Your Point of View is Legitimately Offensive to Them
6. We Tend to Exaggerate About the Other Guy
7. We Tend to Exaggerate About Ourselves, Too
8. Focusing on Negative Examples Makes You Stupid
9. Both Sides Have Brought Good to the Table
10. You’ll Never Harass the Other Side Out of Existence

What do you think?

I think I agree with all of them except #5. I would prefer to re-phrase this as “They are likely to find your point of view offensive”, for I don’t think we should take offence unless views are expressed in an insensitive and deliberately nasty and personal manner (which unfortunately happens often enough).

But I can imagine some christians may question #2 & #9, while some atheists may disagree with #2 & #10.

But I’d be interested to see comments after people have read the original article. Also whether you would be willing to try to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

29 Comments

  1. I read the article.
    There is no ‘solution’ as there isnt really a problem.
    Human nature will evolve to the point where it will realise that religion is primarily myth and legend, and is ulimately not neccessary for the well being of humankind.

  2. People have been predicting that for centuries, but it hasn’t happened yet – but I guess you can keep on hoping! Thanks for visiting.

  3. Me, hope? LOL Do you truly think I care that much?

    What are a few centuries?
    If you consider the scientific advancements in the last century alone it should give you, as a Christian, pause for thought.
    One tends to forget how ‘enlightened’ this past 100 years has become.
    Wasn’t so long ago that Catholic Mass was only read in latin.

    Was only a few centuties ago that the reformation took place.
    Your religion was still merrily vivisecting non believers to find their soul and making bar-b-ques out of dissenters in the name of your god. Ah…good times, eh?

    The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered less than 100 years ago.
    Computer technology while bringing religion and your god to a wider audience and also allowing some folk access to airplanes and tall buildings has also opened the doors for science and those same people who you would love to see worshipping your god are now asking questions that simply cannot be be brushed away with a simple, “Because God says so,” or “Allah be praised”
    Religion has virtually stagnated. while science marches on, and in the field of theology and biblical study science will reveal what the church has truly known all along .
    The only thing religious texts lack are the words, “Once upon a time….”
    You and I wont likely see it, Unklee, but it will happen.
    Imagine a Middle East where there was no fighting because of religion?
    That alone would be worth getting shot of it all once and for all.
    On this, I might hope, yes.

    As an aside.
    It’s a shame your only regular visitor is a hard core atheist.
    It would be great if more christians visited. Maybe they’d be able to shed some light on the more touchy subjects?
    Your blog is very well put together (layout, choice of topic, ease of navigation etc.) considering that many Christian sites are little more than doctrinal diatribe.
    I just wish one could edit comments It would help my often appalling grammar and spelling.

    And it might be interesting to read your take on the Moses issue.
    Reckon I might just give you a run for your money on this topic 😉

  4. “If you consider the scientific advancements in the last century alone it should give you, as a Christian, pause for thought.”
    Most of them don’t make any difference to christian faith, except to allow me to live longer. But some of them (the big bang, the fine-tuning of the universe) give good support to God-belief. That certainly gives me food for thought!

    “Your religion was still merrily vivisecting non believers to find their soul and making bar-b-ques out of dissenters in the name of your god.”
    Some nasty things have been done in the name of religion, just as some nasty things have been done in the name of irreligion. But some of what you think you know may actually be wrong – check out these:
    Does religion cause wars?
    Does religion cause terrorism?
    Belief vs unbelief
    Christianity has always opposed science, hasn’t it?
    Galileo and historical myths

    So you, along with John Lennon, can imagine on, but much of what you say is urban myth.

    “It’s a shame your only regular visitor is a hard core atheist.”
    Not at all. I have two blogs, the other one is aimed at christians, and this is aimed at non-believers, so you are my target audience! But you are far from my only visitor, just one of the few commenters. I get thousands of visitors to the combined website and blog – 26,500 different people so far this year.

    “Your blog is very well put together (layout, choice of topic, ease of navigation etc.)”
    Thanks. I have worked hard at it.

  5. The links you provide in no way detract or refute from what I wrote.
    Besides, did not I say religion causes war, terrorism etc.
    Again, you want to argue semantics. Such atrocities were/are committed in the name of religion, so indirectly yes, religion does cause wars. The attempted extermination of the Albigeneses is a good example.

    The on going Middle East conflict is another.
    No body ever woke up and said, let’s commit genocide in the name of non religion.
    I did not say christianity has always opposed science. But yes, it has on occasion.
    The Galileo link is a bit misleading and somewhat vague.
    Galileo was turned in to the inquisition and did spend the last eight years of his life under house arrest. What is there to dispute?

    I did not realise this blog was aimed at non-believers. Odd that you would then post a comment suggesting that we had nothing left to discuss!
    🙂

  6. “The on going Middle East conflict is another.
    No body ever woke up and said, let’s commit genocide in the name of non religion.”

    Unfortunately, this appears to be your own fiction, and not based on the evidence. The Department of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford is qualified to investigate these matters, and it concluded that the Middle East conflicts had a religious component, but were not primarily religious, but nationalistic. Why do you not accept their conclusions?

    “I did not realise this blog was aimed at non-believers. Odd that you would then post a comment suggesting that we had nothing left to discuss!”

    We have plenty to discuss, but when you present views without evidence, and even contrary to the available evidence, there is no basis for discussion. All that can result is frustration and two people talking past each other. But you are still welcome to read and comment, and we can still discuss matters that are not based on evidence or on which you accept the evidence.

  7. “…and it concluded that the Middle East conflicts had a religious component, but were not primarily religious, but nationalistic. Why do you not accept their conclusions?”
    Well, firstly I haven’t read their conclusions so I can’t accept or deny.
    Got a link?
    Secondly, when did the occupation of Palestine *Canaan) become a (Primarily) nationalistic ideal rather than a religious one? I was always under the impression that the Jews ( the November 1947 partitioning of Palestine etc notwithstanding)
    believed it was their god given rioght to be there – or there abouts?
    I certainly don’t recall reading anything about nationalism in Joshua’s liquidation of the inhabitants of Canaan.
    And we are not talking about secular Israelis here, btw. And I don;t want to get into a big conflab about Ben Gurion, Christian Zionists etc either, btw.

    I do (in principle) accept the ‘consensus’ view of scholars – er, not christian scholars, of course, but genuine historians who have no axe to grind.
    You never put forward evidence re: your supernatural beliefs, merely opinions that carry no weight or conviction whatsoever, other than to reaffirm your faith -which is fine by me – but is nothing more than that.
    And I have no gripes with what you believe (the Biblical supernatural stuff), up to the point where you would have it treated as fact.
    Then you must step up to the plate. Bit like show and tell at school.
    At this point you shouldn’t hide behind the consensus of christian scholars. Well, you can, of course, but then you risk all your efforts to convince being laughed out the room.

    And as you have stated this blog is for non- believers, (which most definitely includes me) then this is a tacit invitation, is it not?
    The onus is therefore on you. So far you haven’t produced a single thing that has even remotely made me reconsider my point of view. And believe me, I am not one of those hardline New Atheists, or whatever they’re called.
    In fact, compared to someone like Nate or even Richard Carrier I am a pushover.
    So, what you holding in your hand, Unklee? Should I call your bluff or raise?
    Your call…..

  8. “Well, firstly I haven’t read their conclusions so I can’t accept or deny. Got a link?”

    The link is on the page, but I’ll give it to you here – GOD AND WAR: AN AUDIT & AN EXPLORATION.

    “Secondly, when did the occupation of Palestine (Canaan) become a (Primarily) nationalistic ideal rather than a religious one? I was always under the impression that the Jews ….. believed it was their god given right to be there – or thereabouts?”

    I think the key phrase here is “I was always under the impression”. It is easy to get impressions on the internet, as people make unsubstantiated statements and others repeat them and believe them. I’m sure I have done it myself. But that makes it all the more important to check our impressions against the evidence and the conclusions of those who have undertaken competent studies. When I have done this, I have sometimes been surprised.

    That is why a lot of my website and blog consists of the results of my investigating things: historical Jesus, the conflict thesis, neuroscience, cosmology, epistemology, contemporary culture, etc. And when I investigated this matter, I was surprised.

    Conflict is a complex matter, and there may be many contributing causes. The authors set up clear criteria for determining what were the principal causes, and the Middle east conflict turned out to be more about land than religion. (For a start, I think most Jews these days are secular. And secondly, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is clearly about land, and even if both states were Muslim, the conflict would still be as sharp.)

    So either we accept the evidence, or we find contrary evidence that is more compelling, or we just keep on going with our impressions. That one is “your call”.

    “You never put forward evidence re: your supernatural beliefs, merely opinions that carry no weight or conviction whatsoever”

    Well I do put forward evidence, but it is up to you to assess it. You might like to check out the following:

    Truth and evidence
    Why believe?
    Philosophical arguments
    Healing miracles and God
    Two stories
    Jesus
    I still keep to Jesus this night
    Heart startinh action
    Philosophy is not enough

    “The onus is therefore on you. So far you haven’t produced a single thing that has even remotely made me reconsider my point of view.”

    No, the onus isn’t on me. I refuse to allow these important matters to become mere debate for the sake of winning an argument – that’s why I walk away from some discussions. It is not a competition. It is your life and your choice, and it would be presumptuous of me to tell you what you should believe. I will present you with the facts as I can best ascertain them, and I will offer my reasons for believing, but then I will leave it to you to decide.

    So if you haven’t remotely re-considered your view, then either you haven’t read all I have written or there is nothing more I can do. But I remind you that you have in the past accused me (wrongly) of being unwilling to reconsider my own views. It is up to you (not me) to decide whether you should consider that yourself.

    Thank you again for reading and engaging. Please feel free to comment on what you read. (There is a small discussion forum for discussing the contents of the website pages that don’t have comment boxes like the blog does. You are welcome to use that if it is convenient.) Best wishes.

  9. Thinking about this list off the top of my head, I think I mostly agree with all of them except #3 and #5. I have lived far too long as a Christian to find them or their beliefs in any way offensive. I rarely if ever call or consider myself an atheist, but I suppose I am close enough for most people. With that said, I do not think any of my religious acquaintances find me personally offensive. Except for maybe one person.

    Perhaps the one you would be surprised I disagree with is #3. Time and again I am stunned by how radically different my thought process is from nearly every religious person I know. Off the top of my head, they place huge, and in my opinion unwarranted, emphasis on authority and tradition in how they act in both sacred and secular aspects of their lives. Little critical though goes into important decisions, but deference is made to both authority and tradition. I am not talking about religious decisions or opinions. I am talking about decisions in our recent political elections and important scientific decisions that affect policy like vaccines and global climate change. In the US we recently had a very religious political candidate who claimed that women who were raped had bodies that could somehow spontaneously prevent themselves from becoming pregnant, provided the rape was ‘legitimate’. This made headlines in my country and the religious people on my job bent over backwards defending this ignorant buffoon. Why? Religious tradition, authority, ignorance and lack of critical thinking. They believe what they are told from the pulpit, even if it is at the expense of women, the climate, our economy, or even people in society less fortunate than themselves. Yeah, with respect to the Christians I know, I definitely disagree with #3.

  10. Thanks for your explanation HiS. We are agreed about #5, and I think I agree with you to some degree about #3 as it applies to the christians you describe. I too am aghast at some christian thinking about climate change and politics. It is much less true of the christians I mix with here in Australia, no more true of them than it would be of many secular people I would think. I can’t help feeling that whatever is the dominant culture gets most of the unthinking and the “rednecks” – christianity in the US and secularism here in Australia. Thanks again for your insights.

  11. The Jewish occupation of Palestine is today, very much a secular issue and I believe i did not state my case clearly. My own fault.
    I did mention the Zionist movement in my previous comment but I was trying to stress the original cause of the conflict which goes back to Joshua’s liquidation of the Canaanite population as a result of ‘God’ instruction and His reserving this land for the Jewish people.
    The Arab/Israelis wars of the 20th century have very much been about territory. I apologise for the confusion.

    I have browsed through the supplimentary links you posted, and I realise I have read all of them, admittedly, some I skip-scanned as they represent a more theological or philosophical pov or in the case of the surgeon/heart/prayer/ post are somewhat vague(for me) to arrive at the answer you were seeking.

    It is fair to say that we have reached some sort of consensus re: an historical Jesus; at least that a figure may well have existed during the specified period.

    The difficulty I have have with your presentation of the supernatural aspects is that you tend to muddy the waters with numerous links that sidetrack rather than address the issue at hand in a direct manner.

    How do you justify the belief in the supernatural aspects of Christianity – the ressurection in particular -when you would dismiss out of hand similar supernatural claims of other religions?
    To illustrate – and if you are prepared to offer a direct answer it would go a long way to furthering meaningful dialogue
    If you heard of miracles attributed to Ganesh (a Hindu god) or Hachiman (Shinto) or Sumatinatha (Jain), would you accept that as readily as who won Sunday’s football game?
    The facts that we start with are the text of the gospels and the historians’ evaluation of the quality of that evidence. We must find the best explanation for this. We don’t start with a Christian presupposition. That the gospels are legend is quite plausible given how we see stories evolve in our own experience.
    What’s the likelihood that Odysseus met a Cyclops, Beowulf killed Grendel.

    Using the above what is the honest likliehood that Jesus returned from the dead?

    .

  12. I would disagree with #5 as well. I’m not personally offended with atheism for denying Heaven and I’d find it odd if some atheists find your or my version of Christianity offensive as we don’t believe they’ll spend eternity in Hell.

  13. With “denying Heaven”, I mean “denying the existence of Heaven”. I do believe atheists exist, after all, unlike some other Christians.

  14. “I can’t help feeling that whatever is the dominant culture gets most of the unthinking and the “rednecks” – christianity in the US and secularism here in Australia.”

    A mischievous question maybe, but are bogans the Australian equivalent of rednecks?

  15. G’day Akenaten, I will try to answer all your questions.

    “It is fair to say that we have reached some sort of consensus re: an historical Jesus; at least that a figure may well have existed during the specified period.”
    I have chosen not to argue further on this, but I will point out that your “consensus” is short of what the majority of scholars say. Most believe his existence is as sure as that of most historical figures (read the quotes here again) and that we can know more about him than you are willing to admit.

    “How do you justify the belief in the supernatural aspects of Christianity – the ressurection in particular -when you would dismiss out of hand similar supernatural claims of other religions?”
    I do not dismiss out of hand the supernatural claims of other religions. But what supernatural claims do you know that any believable religion makes comparable to the resurrection? I don’t know of any.

    “If you heard of miracles attributed to Ganesh (a Hindu god) or Hachiman (Shinto) or Sumatinatha (Jain), would you accept that as readily as who won Sunday’s football game?”
    I don’t accept alleged christian miracles as readily as that! But I have no difficulty in principle believing that miracles may be experienced by believers in other religions. It all depends on evidence.

    Let me say again what I believe here. There are many reports of miracles (healings, visions, etc) by believers in many religions. I have little doubt that many reports are urban myths, mistakes, exaggerations, coincidences, etc, and in most cases I haven’t investigated enough to know which ones fall into these categories and which ones might be genuine. But there is good evidence that some of them are probably true (i.e. natural explanations are not obvious), and on a statistical basis, I conclude that it is highly unlikely that they are all false.

    I therefore believe these reports point beyond the natural world for anyone open to the possibility.

    “That the gospels are legend is quite plausible given how we see stories evolve in our own experience.”
    A legend is a story that develops over time. But these stories (e.g. miracles and the resurrection) don’t read like legends, there are too many independent sources, and the experts generally say they were believed right from the beginning and the time periods involved are too short for legends to develop – it is hard to make a plausible hypothesis that allows legends to develop independently and simultaneously in less than a lifetime, while non-believing eyewitnesses were still around to contradict.

    “What’s the likelihood that Odysseus met a Cyclops, Beowulf killed Grendel.”
    The comparison you’ve used shows how poor the legend argument is. Where are the multiple independent sources written as biography and history for these legends?

    “Using the above what is the honest likliehood that Jesus returned from the dead?”
    Everyone of us has to make up their own mind. But I would say that if I have good reason to believe God exists, and if I have good reason to believe Jesus was a manifestation of that God, then I have good historical basis for believing it actually happened, because other explanations are not very plausible. I note that (by general consensus) William Lane Craig wins most of his debates including an argument from the resurrection, Gary Habermas won his resurrection debate against Anthony Flew when Flew was an atheist, and Internet Infidel JJ Lowder said both belief in and disbelief in the resurrection were rational.

    A comment is too brief to fully answer your questions, so I will post on the question of evidence and faith – watch this space!

  16. “I would disagree with #5 as well. “
    It seems like this is where several of us disagree with the author.

    “are bogans the Australian equivalent of rednecks?”
    Of course both definitions are fluid and blurry, and generally used in a fairly non-specific and pejorative way. But I would say the two sets are overlapping but not the same. They have much in common, but a redneck may be more rabid and forceful than a bogan, while a bogan may be more daggy, gauche or immature than a redneck.

    I used “redneck” as a shorthand for someone more fundamentalist and rabid and less thoughtful.

  17. “any believable religion makes comparable to the resurrection? I don’t know of any.”
    I did not say anything about comparable to the resurrection. You immediately put conditions, why?
    What is a believeable religion? Adherents of Hinduism believe their religion but think Christianity is unbelieveable.

    “…while non-believing eyewitnesses were still around to contradict.”

    There are no contemporary accounts for either side, so this is a moot point.
    And there were several different versions of christianity early on. The strongest sect won, that’s all and then set about removing dissenters. There was also disenting literature – not extant – but we are aware of from other sources.

    What witnesses to to the resurrection? There are only claims.
    And the original source matierial – Mark – does not reveal a resurrected Jesus and was subject to later tampering.

    The evidence is also conflicting. The 500 ‘witnesses’ etc.
    The accounts difer.

    So to say there were witnesses is erroneous.

  18. “I did not say anything about comparable to the resurrection. You immediately put conditions, why?”

    But you did indeed say that – you said: “How do you justify the belief in the supernatural aspects of Christianity – the ressurection in particular -when you would dismiss out of hand similar supernatural claims of other religions?” Note the “similar supernatural claims”. ‘Comparable’ and ‘similar’ have similar or comparable meanings, wouldn’t you say?

    So I ask again, what similar or comparable claims of other religions are you referring to?

    “There are no contemporary accounts for either side, so this is a moot point. ….. What witnesses to to the resurrection? There are only claims.”

    Whatever happened, whether Jesus’ tomb was empty or his body was still there, whether his disciples saw visions or saw nothing, whether they immediately preached resurrection or they never spoke for 3o years, as long as people were around to remember what happened, legends would have a hard time growing. Whether we have any accounts now is irrelevant to that matter.

    I don’t think you have satisfactorily responded to any of what I wrote, but let’s wait until I write a more complete post.

  19. “I therefore believe these reports point beyond the natural world for anyone open to the possibility.”

    So as you include other religions in this,whose adherrants worship diferent deities who/what is responsible for these miraculous events?

    “The comparison you’ve used shows how poor the legend argument is. Where are the multiple independent sources written as biography and history for these legends?”
    There are no biographical or historical accounts of Jesus either, and certainly no ‘multiple independant witnesses’,so what is the point you are making, please?

    “A legend is a story that develops over time. But these stories (e.g. miracles and the resurrection) don’t read like legends, there are too many independent sources, and the experts generally say they were believed right from the beginning and the time periods involved are too short for legends…”

    The story of jesus DID develop over time. It took centuries before a fixed canon came about. During this period there were MANY competeing stories. Paul’s version of C hristianity won the day and the Jewish Christians and all theothers faded away – or were liquidated.
    They might not read like legends to you, because you believe in the supernatural. We all believed in Santa Claus at one point. You don’t now, do you? And why not?

    Re” Similar”.
    Sorry, you are correct. I must always remember that you interpret things literally when it suits so I must try to word my responses as carefully as possible.
    Of course, the word ‘similar’ merely meant other supernatural claims rather than literal messianic claims of resurrection.
    But in all honesty, I feel you knew that, didn’t you and were just trying to point score. Whatever.
    Let me try to another approach.
    Christianity to a large degree hinges on belief and acceptance of the resurrection story. Without it, Jesus is pretty much just another eschatological preacher.
    Islam also hinges on a ‘miraculous’ ( Note: no ‘similar’ or ‘comparable’. I hope the word miraculous is acceptable for the purpoe of this comment?) event – Gabriel’s revelation to Mohammed.

    There are no witnesses to either event yet both events have been crucial to the formation of two ‘great’ monotheistic religions.

    Islam readily acknowledges Jesus but claims that Mohammed is the last prophet.

    Islamic claims are as valid as Christian ones so why do you not accept this?

  20. I reread the part and found it quite interesting.

    Whatever happened, whether Jesus’ tomb was empty or his body was still there, whether his disciples saw visions or saw nothing, whether they immediately preached resurrection or they never spoke for 3o years, as long as people were around to remember what happened, legends would have a hard time growing. Whether we have any accounts now is irrelevant to that matter.”

    It is only irrelevant “(to youamnd other Chrisitians )because the belief in the resurrection is now firmly established Christian Dogma..
    All this means is it is an accepted theological viewpoint.
    Not historical. In fact , there is nothing historical (including evidence of any kind) that can be attributed to this event whatsoever.

  21. G’day. Thanks for your several replies. As I will be doing a full post on some of this, I will only make a couple of minor comments now.

    http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jeff_lowder/empty.html

    The reference I used came from < href="http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jeff_lowder/jesus_resurrection/chap5.html>here, final paragraph. You may also be interested in the final paragraph of this.

    It is only irrelevant “(to youamnd other Chrisitians )because the belief in the resurrection is now firmly established Christian Dogma.

    No. I was not referring to my belief in the resurrection, but to whether legends could have grown up. Check back and you’ll see that is what I was saying.

  22. I KNOW you were referring to your belief in the resurection, I was merely drawing your attention to the fact that it too could quite easily be considered legend in the way it developed, which has similar legendary characteristics.

  23. Your link to Lowder I have read before – you posted the link on a previous post. All he is saying is based on the (Biblical) evidence you can believe it or not.

    So, answer me this. Do you think the Bible is inerrant? A simple yes or no will suffice.

    For what it’s worth, there is not a single non canonical pagan source that even MENTIONS the resurrection for at least 80 years after the death of Jesus. You would think that as a miracle worker, Messiah and saviour of mankind he sure would have made a bigger impact.
    Well, apparantly not. Go figure?

  24. I was merely drawing your attention to the fact that it too could quite easily be considered legend in the way it developed

    I don’t know about “quite easily”, but of course it could be considered a legend. If you recall, the resurrection first came up on this thread because you asked me how I could accept the supernatural in christianity but not in other religions, and I answered you. I have never denied that the resurrection could be a legend, simply that (1) there is reasonable historical evidence for it, (2) the main objections are not historical but a priori metaphysical objections, and (3) I find metaphysics works in favour of the resurrection, not against, but I recognise others think differently. So I think we have resolved that matter.

    So, answer me this. Do you think the Bible is inerrant?

    The Bible never claims that so I don’t claim it either.

    there is not a single non canonical pagan source that even MENTIONS the resurrection for at least 80 years after the death of Jesus. You would think that as a miracle worker, Messiah and saviour of mankind he sure would have made a bigger impact.

    There isn’t a pagan source that mentions Jesus at all until Josephus, and everyone knows why. Roman historians were interested in the Empire and Jewish historians were interested in their own country, and no-one thought Jesus worth a mention at first. None of the historians mention other Messiah figures either. The first you’d expect to mention Jesus is Josephus and he does. This argument is old and has been long since thrashed out.

    Perhaps we can put this discussion to bed, do you think, as it seems to have wandered off topic and into areas we have already discussed without progress, OK?

  25. 1) there is reasonable historical evidence for it,
    There is NO historical evidence for it. NONE. There is only theological evidence. Several conflicting reports based on Mark’s gospel whose account is a later addition – agreed upon by consensus.

    Belief in the resurection is based solely on one’s own interpretation of the gospel accounts. Based on everything we know of the world resurrection is not possible.
    In all likliehood the resurecction story was a later addition to ensure Jesus achieved the first stage of godhood.

    It is as simple as that.

  26. “You’ll Never Harass the Other Side Out of Existence”

    Of all the points this is the most astute.
    As you have stated this blog is for non-believers, ergo, ‘me’ I wish to understand your view/basis of Christianity.
    To this end I want to explore the essence of this statement:

    “The Bible never claims that so I don’t claim it either.”

    The New Testament would generally be reckoned by all but the most obtuse observer (Marcion? :)to be rendered prety much irrelevent without the Old. It is considered the fulfillment of prophecy and by extension, the establishment of the New Covenant.

    Based on your acknowledgement that the Bible is not inerrent I would like to ask these simple questions:

    Which of these, as described in the Bible,do you consider actual historical events:

    1. Talking serpent in the Garden of Eden (I know you are not a literalist, this is just for context)

    2. The Global Flood (Noah)

    3. Jonah and the Whale

    4.The Exodus

    5. Samson

    6.The time frame (as written)of the Creation

  27. The majority of scholars say that there is evidence for a number of facts relating to the resurrection (and I could quote the statistics and the scholars), but you say there is none without offering any evidence. We can’t go anywhere with that denial, so I won’t even bother trying. Best wishes.

  28. Akenaten, I have decided it is time to take stock.

    I have been involved in many internet forums and blogs, and I have become very clear in what I am trying to do and avoid. I want to promote thought and discussion where people can share their views in a courteous environment, all the time respecting and taking an interest in contrary views.

    To this end, I am trying as much as possible to provide clear and unbiased information, and comment based on my own beliefs. I try to respect all viewpoints and all people even when I disagree with them. And I am totally determined to avoid, as much as I can, getting into insults or adversarial, fruitless discussions.

    I have several times asked you to respect the ethos of this website as I have explained it to you. While I gratefully recognise that you have moderated your insults a little, I have seen little change in terms of unfounded allegations about my motives or a willingness to engage in a friendly exchange of views based on evidence. It is all now taking up too much of both our times with no tangible result.

    So, reluctantly, I am now asking you to cease commenting on either of my two blogs, and I have removed a few of your recent comments. I am sorry it has come to this, but I feel you can easily find a forum where your approach is more acceptable.

    Thanks for taking so much interest in my websites, and I wish you well.

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