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antiqueone
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July 18, 2009 10:05 pm  

Why not believe the Book of Mormon or the Qur'an?
“Joseph Smith said ‘that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book,’ (History of the Church, vol. 4, p. 461). Allegedly it was translated by the power of God. Nevertheless, it has some 4,000 changes in it. Some are mere spelling corrections, but others are significant changes. Why is this so if the book of Mormon was translated accurately by the hand of God? Why would the Mormon Church continue to change the work even after Joseph Smith's death.” Some of these changes are available at: http://www.carm.org/religious-movements/mormonism/some-many-changes-book-mormon

To me. Any book that has that many changes in less than 180 years raises considerable concern about its “Truth.”

As to Islam and the Qu’ran, the following website deal with the problems in that religion: http://www.apostatesofislam.com/
Elsewhere I discovered that Surah 12:20 tells us: They sold him [Joseph] for a miserable price, for a few dirhams counted out [darahima ma‘dudatin]; in such low estimation did they hold him! The problem? neither dirhams nor almost any other coin had been invented by Joseph’s time!

According to the Quran (Surah 18:89-98) Alexander the Great was a devout Muslim and lived to a ripe old age. Historical records however show that Alexander the Great died young at 33 years of age (356 - 323 B.C.), and believed he himself was divine, forcing others to recognize him as such. In India on the Hyphasis River (now Beas) Alexander erected twelve altars to twelve Olympian gods.
Once again the Quran shows errors in historical and religious fact.

If the Qur’an is God’s final testament to humans, why are even his simple statements historically inaccurate?


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rotorhead
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July 18, 2009 10:32 pm  

Antiqueone. I'm glad you cleared that up. I wasn't aware that the other two books were so flawed and the bible was perfect and had never changed.

Comments about the newly released copy of the Codex Sinaiticus the oldest known copy of the christian bible.

"Discovered in a monastery in the Sinai desert in Egypt more than 160 years ago, the handwritten Codex Sinaiticus includes two books that are not part of the official New Testament and at least seven books that are not in the Old Testament.

The New Testament books are in a different order, and include numerous handwritten corrections -- some made as much as 800 years after the texts were written, according to scholars who worked on the project of putting the Bible online. The changes range from the alteration of a single letter to the insertion of whole sentences.

And some familiar -- very important -- passages are missing, including verses dealing with the resurrection of Jesus, they said.

Juan Garces, the British Library project curator, said it should be no surprise that the ancient text is not quite the same as the modern one, since the Bible has developed and changed over the years."

Bible Errors and Contradictions..

Contradictions

2 Kings 8:26 says "Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign..."
2 Chronicles 22:2 says "Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign..."

2 Samuel 6:23 says "Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death"
2 Samuel 21:8 says "But the king took...the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul"

2 Samuel 8:3-4 says "David smote also Hadadezer...and took from him...seven hundred horsemen..."
1 Chronicles 18:3-4 says "David smote Hadarezer...and took from him...seven thousand horsemen..."

1 Kings 4:26 says "And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots..."
2 Chronicles 9:25 says "And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots..."

2 Kings 25:8 says "And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month...Nebuzaradan...came...unto Jerusalem"
Jeremiah 52:12 says "...in the fifth month, in the tenth day of the month...came Nebuzaradan...into Jerusalem"

1 Samuel 31:4-6 says "...Saul took a sword and fell upon it. And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead and...died with him. So Saul died..."
2 Samuel 21:12 says "...the Philistines had slain Saul in Gilboa."

Gen 2:17 says "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day thou eastest thereof thou shalt surely die [note: it doesn't say 'spiritual' death]
Gen 5:5 says "And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died."

Matt 1:16 says, "And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus..."
Luke 3:23 says "And Jesus...the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli"

James 1:13 says "..for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man."
Gen 22:1 says "And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham..."

Gen 6:20 says "Of fowls after their kind and of cattle [etc.]...two of every sort shall come unto thee..."
Gen 7:2,3 says "Of every clean beast thou shall take to thee by sevens...Of fowls also of the air by sevens..."

Luke23:46: "And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost."
John 19:30 "When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost."

Gen 32:30 states "...for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved."
John 1:18 states, "No man hath seen God at any time..."

Factual Errors

1 Kings 7:23 "He made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about." Circumference = Pi() x Diameter, which means the line would have to have been over 31 cubits. In order for this to be rounding, it would have had to overstate the amount to ensure that the line did "compass it round about."

Lev 11:20-21: "All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you." Fowl do not go upon all four.

Lev 11:6: "And the hare, because he cheweth the cud..." Hare do not chew the cud.

Deut 14:7: " "...as the camel, and the hare, and the coney: for they chew the cud, but divide not the hoof." For the hare this is wrong on both counts: Hare don’t chew the cud and they do divide the "hoof."

Jonah 1:17 says, "...Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights"
Matt 12:40 says "...Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly..." whales and fish are not related

Matt 13:31-32: " "the kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed which…is the least of all seeds, but when it is grown is the greatest among herbs and becometh a tree." There are 2 significant errors here: first, there are many smaller seeds, like the orchid seed; and second, mustard plants don't grow into trees.

Matt 4:8: " Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them." Unless the world is flat, altitude simply will not help you see all the kingdoms of the earth.


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antiqueone
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July 18, 2009 11:57 pm  

rotorhead: an admittedly simplistic response due to lack of time: re the Codex:The amazing thing isn't that there are a few verses missing, the shocking thing is what isn't. Pages and pages of texts with accurate translations passed from generation to generation. It's amazing. The "extra" books are in the apocrypha
The translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls, for example, was proof positive of a gap of 2000 plus years of passing on of texts that ended up completely unaltered.

As to the "errors and contradictions" I took just one, so far: 1 Samuel 31:4-6 says "...Saul took a sword and fell upon it. And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead and...died with him. So Saul died..."
2 Samuel 21:12 says "...the Philistines had slain Saul in Gilboa."
If you look at 1 Samuel 31:verses 1-3 (that is the preceeding 3 verses, you will see that Saul was hit by arrows and was (probably) dying, certainly unable to defend himself. He begged for his servant to finish him off, which the servant would not do, so he fell on his own sword.

I don't see the contradiction here. Perhaps later I will research the rest of your examples


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rotorhead
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July 19, 2009 1:19 am  

The translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls, for example, was proof positive of a gap of 2000 plus years of passing on of texts that ended up completely unaltered.

These are comments that I found about the changes between the Qumran manuscripts (Dead Sea Scrolls) and modern versions of the bible.
While some of the Qumran biblical manuscripts are nearly identical to the Masoretic, or traditional, Hebrew text of the Old Testament, some manuscripts of the books of Exodus and Samuel found in Cave Four exhibit dramatic differences in both language and content. In their astonishing range of textual variants, the Qumran biblical discoveries have prompted scholars to reconsider the once-accepted theories of the development of the modern biblical text from only three manuscript families: of the Masoretic text, of the Hebrew original of the Septuagint, and of the Samaritan Pentateuch. It is now becoming increasingly clear that the Old Testament scripture was extremely fluid until its canonization around 100 AD."

As to the "errors and contradictions" I took just one, so far: 1 Samuel 31:4-6 says "...Saul took a sword and fell upon it. And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead and...died with him. So Saul died..."
2 Samuel 21:12 says "...the Philistines had slain Saul in Gilboa."
If you look at 1 Samuel 31:verses 1-3 (that is the preceeding 3 verses, you will see that Saul was hit by arrows and was (probably) dying, certainly unable to defend himself. He begged for his servant to finish him off, which the servant would not do, so he fell on his own sword.

I don't see the contradiction here. Perhaps later I will research the rest of your examples

So what you are saying is that Saul was wounded and was afraid of being tortured by his enemies so he killed himself. And this is the same as if his enemies had killed him.

What I find the most amazing about this is how quick you are to try to point out flaws in the holy texts of other religions and how quickly you try to make excuses for flaws in your own holy text. I guess this is the nature of religious belief.

For example your story about Alexander the Great in the Qu'ran. Alexander the Great is never actually mentioned in the Qu'ran. There is a
character called Dhul-Qarnayn or Zul-Qarnain depending on your translation who some scholars speculate might be Alexander the Great based on similarities between some stories. Others speculate that this character is Cyrus the Great.

The bottom line is that all of the religious texts are flawed because they were all written by man not god. Religion is just a fantasy invented by man. The fact that these texts may be old and that bronze age men believed in them does not make them true. You cannot prove that the stories are true you can only prove that a cult calling themselves christians claimed that they were true.


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jogetz
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July 19, 2009 3:31 am  

Rotor, Rotor, Rotor,

You said:

I am sorry that the details of my resurrection stories didn't match the details of the christian resurrection story. I was simply pointing out that having your god rise from the dead (resurrection) was a common theme in many religions of the time. Virgin birth was another fairly common theme as the story of Dionysus demonstrates.

The DETAILS don't match? That's an understatement. The details show that these are simply NOT resurrection accounts. Just because you have the vague idea of a God coming back to life in some mythology (Osiris as an impotent spirit in the netherworld, and Dionysus being re birthed or better reincarnated through a series of women) hardly qualifies these stories as being the source of the early church's claim that Christ was bodily risen from the dead. Sorry there is no free pass here. You offered two invalid stories that you thought described resurrections, they do not. If you wish to point to these anyway and say "resurrection", you of course have every right to do so, but to do so and claim to be offering a reasonable and rational (let alone believable) source for accounts of the resurrection of Jesus, is to do so at your own folly. It is clear that there is nothing like the church's claim of the bodily resurrection of Christ in any mythology pre-dating Christianity. A zombified Osiris and a reincarnated Dionysus won't do much to challenge my earlier statement.

You said:

"The Tacitus story sounds like he is describing a religious cult. However as Sean mentions that only proves that there were cult members who followed Jesus it doesn't prove that any of their beliefs are true."

True the Romans did consider Christianity a cult. It was something quite different than anything the Romans had come into contact with in the past even though Greek and roman mythology had been around for quite a long time. Therefore, Tacitus' description is no surprise. However, you and Sean are both missing my point for providing Tacitus' statement. I never said this statement, by itself, proves that the beliefs of Christians are true. My point is that his statement proves these basic points:

1.) Christians derive their name from that of one “Christus” (a roman variant of Christ). This point serves to verify exactly who he is talking about here.

2.) The fact of Christ’s crucifixion (he really was crucified)

3.) The place of the crucifixion (Judea)

4.) The roman authority under which the crucifixion took place (Pontius Pilate).

5.) By default the time period during which the resurrection must have taken place (Pilate ruled Judea circa 26 to 36 A.D.).

Link: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/460341/Pontius-Pilate

6.) The fact that by the time of Nero's reign (circa 54-68 A.D.), Christians were present in large number in the city of Rome to the point that they had become targets of official persecution.

Link: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/409505/Nero

7.) By default, the time period during which Christianity had spread from the distant outpost of Judea to heart of the empire (the city of Rome itself) was approximately 30 - 35 years.

I submit that these seven points are clear from Tacitus' words. If you are ready to concede that Tacitus does indeed provide extra-biblical affirmation of these points, then I am more than ready to move on.

I also added the observation that Tacitus mentions the Christians as holding to "a most mischievous superstition". He then proceeds to follow this with descriptions of the willingness of Christians to be martyred for their claims. I stated that this "most mischievous superstition" is very likely a reference to the claim by the Christians that Jesus had been raised bodily from the dead, and to their understanding that they too would share in that resurrection as his followers. This belief is called "mischievous" because it made the Christians difficult to silence even by threat of death or persecution.

Now, let me make clear that this last point is simply an observation on my part and my offering of what appears to be possible and logical explanation of what Tacitus means by his phrase "a mischievous superstition". It is, however, only a speculation on my part (although a reasonable and plausible one). Therefore, I have added it only as an observation and not as a point I am asking anyone to concede since it is not absolutely verifiable that this is indeed what Tacitus was referring to.

You continued:

"Antiqueone keeps throwing in biblical references as if that proves something, every religion/cult has it's religious text but none of them are provable."

That's fine. Antiqueone can certainly add whatever Antiqueone wishes. However, please note that I have not appealed to the Bible for support of any of my 4 main points.

You proceed with this:

"JG, you have still failed to prove that a resurrection occurred. Do you believe everything that you read? The bible makes fantastic claims, none are provable, the only thing that you can prove is that there were people living back then who claimed to believe them.

Do you think that muslims believe what is written in the qu'ran? Does that make it true? Do you believe what is written in the qu'ran?

How about a more modern example of religious cults. The book of mormon. It is claimed that the Angel Moroni led Joseph Smith Jr to the golden plates which contained the text of the book of mormon. So as you can see it was divinely inspired just as the bible was, the stories may vary but both have their mandates from god. The mormons unlike the christians have sworn statements verifying their fantastic story.

"The Three Witnesses were a group of three early leaders of the Latter Day Saint movement who claimed in a statement of 1830 that an angel had shown them the golden plates from which Joseph Smith, Jr. translated the Book of Mormon and that they had heard God's voice testifying that the book had been translated by the power of God."

"The Eight Witnesses were the second of the two groups of "special witnesses" to the Book of Mormon's golden plates.
Unlike the Three Witnesses, the Eight testified that they both saw and handled the plates. Another difference is that the Eight testified they were shown the plates by Joseph Smith, Jr. rather than by an angel as had the Three Witnesses."

So here we have another holy book, it claims to be inspired by god and of course there are witnesses to its authenticity. Do you believe that the book of mormon is the word of god? If not then why, it has all of the necessary ingredients.

There are many many holy books which make fantastic claims, none are provable, at most you can prove that there are people who believe their claims. Do you believe everything you read? What does it take to believe one over the other?"

Nice try Rotor, but I have not appealed to the Bible to support my case. My 4 opening points can be proved quite apart from the Gospels. Granted, antiqueone has made appeals, but you should ask antiqueone to respond to this line of questioning, not me. Antiqueone is quite capable of answering your questions. As I said before I intend to support my 4 points almost entirely without reference to the Bible. Interesting, I, the Christian am not appealing to the Bible in my argument, but you the atheist are in a big hurry to move the discussion there. Please, lets leave our Biblical appeals to the minimum and concentrate on historical records by those unsympathetic to Christianity.

You conclude with:

"The most likely determinate of your religion appears to be the location of your birth and the religious affiliation of your parents. You were probably born in the americas which means that you are most likely christian. If you had been born in Damascus you would most likely be a muslim. If you had been born in Mumbai you would most likely be a hindu. Children rarely question what they are taught as fact in their formative years. You are probably familiar with the Jesuit motto "Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man" .

I would bet from Sean's views that his son will be raised free from these religious encumbrances. Though he will probably be exposed to this religious nonsense when not at home. Adults should not be allowed to brainwash children. Religion should not be taught until people are adults and can look at it more objectively.

So JG et al, Why don't you believe in the qu'ran, why not the book of mormon. When you understand why you don't believe in them then you will understand why I don't believe in the bible."

Location of birth and religious affiliation of parents are the most likely determinant of ones religion? Really? Then you have just begged a very interesting question. Christianity, the movement that mushroomed from the far flung outpost of Judea to the heart of the Roman empire in a mere 30 years (remember, no books, telephones, Internet or TV back then) was composed of those who were born either in a pagan society or a Jewish one. Exactly what would you propose as the reason that caused so many of them in such a short time to embrace a movement whose central truth claim of the bodily resurrection of their leader was quite easily verifiable? Apparently in their case your "likely" scenario did not hold true. Why?

To put it bluntly, your argument about birth location and parental religious affiliation actually argues IN FAVOR of the authenticity of Christianity's central truth claim and not against it.

RE Sean and his family, I can't speak for him. He will do what he supposes is right for his kids. However, I would be careful just yet to suppose what that will be. After all, our discussion has only begun. 😉

Finally, I am not asking you to believe the Bible. On the contrary, I am asking you to simply consider the historical evidence I am presenting for my 4 points. I understand you don't believe the Bible, and that is why I have not appealed to it as support for those points.

Let me close this post by saying that I did indeed accept the burden of proof for my points that you said was on my shoulders. That's fine. However, if I am to have the burden of proof then I also have the right to be the one who steers the discussion. That is only fair. I will not be responsible for defending objections that you bring that have nothing to do with the support I have pointed to. I don't need to do so.

So here is where we are:

You have offered 2 stories that you claimed were examples of resurrections from which the early church borrowed the idea of resurrection and assigned it to Christ. I have shown that there is no resurrection in either of them. Your comment that the details did not match ignores the fact that the unmatched details indicate the stories are of something quite different from the concept of a bodily resurrection as claimed for Jesus. it is quite fanciful to look into either of these stories and see a resurrection. As I said zombification and reincarnation will will not cut it. I therefore, consider this objection to have been duly and soundly answered.

I have offered Tacitus' testimony from the ranks of non-biblical literature. I have raised 7 points that I see as self-evident in his words. Do you or do you not concede the 7 points?

More later. (And be assured there is more.)

JG


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Lizard
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July 19, 2009 5:45 am  

Hey Rotor,
You have stated that more people have died in the name of religion. Maybe you can help me with this. Was it Science or Religion that made and perfected weapons of mass destruction? Was it Science or Religion that perfected whole sale abortion. Is it that Science wants to catch up with Religion or have they?


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rotorhead
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July 19, 2009 6:48 am  

My comments are in bold below.

You said:

I am sorry that the details of my resurrection stories didn't match the details of the christian resurrection story. I was simply pointing out that having your god rise from the dead (resurrection) was a common theme in many religions of the time. Virgin birth was another fairly common theme as the story of Dionysus demonstrates.

The DETAILS don't match? That's an understatement. The details show that these are simply NOT resurrection accounts. Just because you have the vague idea of a God coming back to life in some mythology (Osiris as an impotent spirit in the netherworld, and Dionysus being re birthed or better reincarnated through a series of women) hardly qualifies these stories as being the source of the early church's claim that Christ was bodily risen from the dead. Sorry there is no free pass here. You offered two invalid stories that you thought described resurrections, they do not. If you wish to point to these anyway and say "resurrection", you of course have every right to do so, but to do so and claim to be offering a reasonable and rational (let alone believable) source for accounts of the resurrection of Jesus, is to do so at your own folly. It is clear that there is nothing like the church's claim of the bodily resurrection of Christ in any mythology pre-dating Christianity. A zombified Osiris and a reincarnated Dionysus won't do much to challenge my earlier statement.
JG: You seem to think that I am the one who refers to the stories of Osiris and Dionysus and even Adonis as resurrections. That is not true. Every account that I have found referring to their mythology refers to them as resurrections. You seem to want to redefine the word resurrection to only mean the resurrection story of Jesus (excuse me, the bodily resurrection). The word resurrection simply means to rise from the dead. It has nothing to do with crucifixion or whether or not the body is whole or in pieces. There were stories of the resurrection of gods prior to the story of Jesus.

My point is that his statement proves these basic points:

1.) Christians derive their name from that of one “Christus” (a roman variant of Christ). This point serves to verify exactly who he is talking about here.
OK

2.) The fact of Christ’s crucifixion (he really was crucified)
The text says “suffered the extreme penalty”, you converted it to crucifixion.

3.) The place of the crucifixion (Judea)
You are the one who converted this text to crucifixion.

4.) The roman authority under which the crucifixion took place (Pontius Pilate).
Alleged crucifixion.

5.) By default the time period during which the resurrection must have taken place (Pilate ruled Judea circa 26 to 36 A.D.).
I didn't know that we had agreed that there was a resurrection.

Link: [www.britannica.com]

6.) The fact that by the time of Nero's reign (circa 54-68 A.D.), Christians were present in large number in the city of Rome to the point that they had become targets of official persecution.
Depends on what you mean by large numbers.

Link: [www.britannica.com]

7.) By default, the time period during which Christianity had spread from the distant outpost of Judea to heart of the empire (the city of Rome itself) was approximately 30 - 35 years.
OK

I submit that these seven points are clear from Tacitus' words. If you are ready to concede that Tacitus does indeed provide extra-biblical affirmation of these points, then I am more than ready to move on.
Well before we blow by this and accept this as proof of anything you should be aware that this manuscript is disputed by experts on several levels. So be aware that this may not be a factual account of what happened and you are building a proof on a shaky foundation.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacitus_on_Christ#Authenticity_and_reliability

I also added the observation that Tacitus mentions the Christians as holding to "a most mischievous superstition". He then proceeds to follow this with descriptions of the willingness of Christians to be martyred for their claims. I stated that this "most mischievous superstition" is very likely a reference to the claim by the Christians that Jesus had been raised bodily from the dead, and to their understanding that they too would share in that resurrection as his followers. This belief is called "mischievous" because it made the Christians difficult to silence even by threat of death or persecution.
I do not see where it states that they were willing to be martyred for their claims. The interpretation of mischievous superstition is yours and not supported by the text.

Now, let me make clear that this last point is simply an observation on my part and my offering of what appears to be possible and logical explanation of what Tacitus means by his phrase "a mischievous superstition". It is, however, only a speculation on my part (although a reasonable and plausible one). Therefore, I have added it only as an observation and not as a point I am asking anyone to concede since it is not absolutely verifiable that this is indeed what Tacitus was referring to.
It might be plausible to you but others might not make such a leap.

Nice try Rotor, but I have not appealed to the Bible to support my case. My 4 opening points can be proved quite apart from the Gospels. Granted, antiqueone has made appeals, but you should ask antiqueone to respond to this line of questioning, not me. Antiqueone is quite capable of answering your questions. As I said before I intend to support my 4 points almost entirely without reference to the Bible. Interesting, I, the Christian am not appealing to the Bible in my argument, but you the atheist are in a big hurry to move the discussion there. Please, lets leave our Biblical appeals to the minimum and concentrate on historical records by those unsympathetic to Christianity.
Agreed, I won’t mention the bible again if you won’t, sorry.

Location of birth and religious affiliation of parents are the most likely determinant of ones religion? Really? Then you have just begged a very interesting question. Christianity, the movement that mushroomed from the far flung outpost of Judea to the heart of the Roman empire in a mere 30 years (remember, no books, telephones, Internet or TV back then) was composed of those who were born either in a pagan society or a Jewish one. Exactly what would you propose as the reason that caused so many of them in such a short time to embrace a movement whose central truth claim of the bodily resurrection of their leader was quite easily verifiable? Apparently in their case your "likely" scenario did not hold true. Why?
You seem to think that the christian population exploded in a mere 30 years.
"According to the World Christian Encyclopedia (1982), it is estimated
that by A.D. 100 there were 1 million Christians in the Roman Empire
out of a population of 181 million. This means that by the end of the
first century less than 1 percent of the population (0.6% to be exact)
was Christian."

0.6% is greater than 0.

Islam spread even faster during its first 100 years.

To put it bluntly, your argument about birth location and parental religious affiliation actually argues IN FAVOR of the authenticity of Christianity's central truth claim and not against it.
I guess we will have to disagree on this conclusion of yours.

Finally, I am not asking you to believe the Bible. On the contrary, I am asking you to simply consider the historical evidence I am presenting for my 4 points. I understand you don't believe the Bible, and that is why I have not appealed to it as support for those points.
Agreed, we will not mention the bible.

Let me close this post by saying that I did indeed accept the burden of proof for my points that you said was on my shoulders. That's fine. However, if I am to have the burden of proof then I also have the right to be the one who steers the discussion. That is only fair. I will not be responsible for defending objections that you bring that have nothing to do with the support I have pointed to. I don't need to do so.

So here is where we are:

You have offered 2 stories that you claimed were examples of resurrections from which the early church borrowed the idea of resurrection and assigned it to Christ. I have shown that there is no resurrection in either of them. Your comment that the details did not match ignores the fact that the unmatched details indicate the stories are of something quite different from the concept of a bodily resurrection as claimed for Jesus. it is quite fanciful to look into either of these stories and see a resurrection. As I said zombification and reincarnation will will not cut it. I therefore, consider this objection to have been duly and soundly answered.
You have simply redefined the definition of resurrection to match your argument. I am not the one who calls the stories resurrections; the accounts of the mythology of the two gods mentioned refers to them as resurrections.

I have offered Tacitus' testimony from the ranks of non-biblical literature. I have raised 7 points that I see as self-evident in his words. Do you or do you not concede the 7 points?
I made my comments on each of your points above. As I also pointed out and gave a reference the Tacitus story’s authenticity is in question. To make this a valid proof you should first prove the authenticity of your source material. You have also drawn conclusions not supported by the text which you provided.

More later. (And be assured there is more.)
I look forward to it. I love discussing this stuff!
JG


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rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
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July 19, 2009 6:57 am  

Hey Rotor,
You have stated that more people have died in the name of religion. Maybe you can help me with this. Was it Science or Religion that made and perfected weapons of mass destruction? Was it Science or Religion that perfected whole sale abortion. Is it that Science wants to catch up with Religion or have they?

Scientists only add to the knowledge of mankind. The use and perfection of weapons of mass destruction and whether or not abortions are performed are political descisions. Did you ever read the letters from the Manhattan project scientists urging the president not to drop the bomb on Japan?

As of today there is only one atheist in congress, so I guess these political decisions are being made by our religious congress.

Are you suggesting that mankind just remain stupid and worship god?


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Lizard
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Posts: 1842
July 19, 2009 7:52 am  

Rotor,
Thanks for not answering the questions as presented. You're not very good at smoke and mirrors. Sorry I had to edit and correct that You're for your before Angela comes out of the woodwork to get me.


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antiqueone
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July 19, 2009 1:00 pm  

rotor et al: All those Biblical errors you pointed out are new to me. At least I haven't thought about them in a long time. Thinking about the one reference in the Samuels, I can see a man pierced by arrows, knowing he was dying but not yet dead and fearing capture might finish himself off with his sword...kind of like some of those Japanese in WWII. He wouldn't have dropped on his sword if he were not already incapacitated and unable to survive.
Anyhow, I'm going on vacation so I will leave you to Jogetz et al. I agree with him that leaving the Bible out of it is probably more sensible for this discussion. My faith does not rest solely on the Bible, nor should it, but any book that purports to be written by God should not have any appreciable errors in its original text Over the years, there might be some change, but it should not change the doctrines of the original texts. This needs to be true whether it's the Bible, the Qur'an, or the Sutras

Have fun while I'm gone! Cheers!


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rotorhead
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July 19, 2009 4:10 pm  

Rotor,
Thanks for not answering the questions as presented. You're not very good at smoke and mirrors. Sorry I had to edit and correct that You're for your before Angela comes out of the woodwork to get me.

Sorry you didn't like my answers. Maybe if you asked more intelligent questions...........


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Jim72
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July 19, 2009 7:21 pm  

rotarhead said

As of today there is only one atheist in congress, so I guess these political decisions are being made by our religious congress.

what is the percentage of atheist in the usa. polls say any ware from .5 to 7.5 % so percentage wise that would be about right. kinda majority rules


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trw
 trw
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July 19, 2009 7:38 pm  

Sinclair Lewis said back in the early 1900's that "when fascism comes to america it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross"


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rotorhead
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July 19, 2009 7:50 pm  

rotarhead said

As of today there is only one atheist in congress, so I guess these political decisions are being made by our religious congress.

what is the percentage of atheist in the usa. polls say any ware from .5 to 7.5 % so percentage wise that would be about right. kinda majority rules

Actually the percentage is higher and growing.

Based on their stated beliefs rather than their religious identification in 2008, 70% of Americans believe in a personal God, roughly 12% of Americans are atheist (no God) or agnostic (unknowable or unsure), and another 12% are deistic (a higher power but no personal God).
The challenge to Christianity in the U.S. does not come from other religions but rather from a rejection of all forms of organized religion.

Here is the link for the full report.

So by those numbers there should be 12 atheists in the Senate and 52 in the House. But we all know how prejudiced christians are against non-christians.

Also note:
A study has shown atheism in the west to be particularly prevalent among scientists, a tendency already quite marked at the beginning of the 20th century, developing into a dominant one during the course of the century. In 1914, James H. Leuba found that 58% of 1,000 randomly selected U.S. natural scientists expressed "disbelief or doubt in the existence of God" (defined as a personal God which interacts directly with human beings). The same study, repeated in 1996, gave a similar percentage of 60.7%; this number is 93% among the members of the National Academy of Sciences. Expressions of positive disbelief rose from 52% to 72%.

http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/news/file002.html

The conclusion is that the more intelligent you are the less likely you are to believe in god.


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trw
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July 19, 2009 7:52 pm  

WASHINGTON — A California Republican congressman wants to do a little writing on the walls of Washington's newest federal building. If Rep. Dan Lungren gets his way, Congress will spend nearly $100,000 to engrave the words "In God We Trust " and the Pledge of Allegiance in prominent spots at the Capitol Visitor Center .

Lungren's proposal drew only a whimper of opposition last week when the House of Representatives voted 410-8 to approve it. Now, however, Lungren finds himself tussling with a national atheists and agnostics group.

The Wisconsin -based Freedom From Religion Foundation Inc. sued this week to stop the engraving, accusing Lungren of trying to force his religious beliefs on as many as 15 percent of all U.S. adults. That comprises "atheists, agnostics, skeptics and freethinkers, none of whom possess a belief in a god," according to the lawsuit.

"It really is a Judeo-Christian endorsement by our government, and so Lungren is wrong," said Dan Barker of Madison, Wis. , a co-president of the foundation. "Lungren and others are pro-religious, and they want to actually use the machinery of government to promote their particular private religious views. That is unconstitutional, and that's what we're asking the court to decide."

The Senate has approved a similar plan introduced by Republican Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina . The congressional directive orders the Capitol architect to make the changes in the design of the $621 million center, which opened last December.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation , which has 13,500 members, sued in U.S. District Court in Wisconsin . It alleges that Congress is trying to make belief in God synonymous with citizenship and "discouraging nonbelief" among Americans, a contention that Lungren rejects.

Lungren said that the phrase "In God We Trust " had a long history and was consistent with the beliefs of America's founding fathers. He also said that the Declaration of Independence referred to rights given by a creator.

Lungren, a former California attorney general, said that while the proposed engravings incorporated religious references, they didn't violate the Constitution.

"What we're doing is making a specific historical reference to the beginnings of this republic," he said. "To ignore this or to forbid this statement or something like it to appear is to distort history. . . . We're not trying to change history. We're trying to enshrine history in the Capitol Visitor Center ."

Barker said history was better left to others.

"It's not the job of our government and our government buildings to do that," he said. "Historians can point out that many of our founders were indeed religious. But saying 'In God We Trust' in the visitors center of the Capitol is not just some historical reference. It's actually government speaking for all of us Americans."

Barker said the foundation had been waiting for the right case to challenge "In God We Trust ." He said government actions could be challenged on state-church grounds if they had specific religious agendas. In this case, he said, backers of Lungren's plan have provided "the smoking guns" by giving specific, overt religious reasons for doing the engraving.

Barker said that atheists regarded the phrase "In God We Trust " as rude, uncivil and un-American.

"Tens of millions of really good Americans don't believe in God," he said. "In fact, there's many more nonbelievers than there are Jews, and we wouldn't think of offending Jews on our national monuments. . . . Why is it wrong to offend a Jewish minority but it's not wrong to offend those of us who serve in the military and sit on juries but we don't believe in God?"

He said no hearing had been set.

Lungren is confident that a federal judge will allow the engraving to proceed.

"I never thought I'd see the day when someone would sue to stop us putting in the United States Capitol a statement of the national motto and the Pledge of Allegiance," he said. "Suggesting that the Pledge of Allegiance and the national motto is un-American in some way — talk about turning ideas on their heads."

MORE FROM MCCLATCHY


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dntw8up
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July 19, 2009 8:41 pm  

kinda majority rules

The rights of minorities do not depend upon the good will of the majority and cannot be eliminated by majority vote. The rights of minorities are protected because democratic laws and institutions protect the rights of all citizens. Further, the decreeing of an action by the majority does not in any way determine whether or not the action is constitutional, just, or even in the best interest of the country. The founding fathers were quite aware of the dangers of majority rule,and addressed that issue when they set up our government and allocated House of Representatives’ members according to population, while allocating equal numbers of Senators from each state.


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Jim72
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July 19, 2009 9:20 pm  

. 53 % of Americans say they will not vote for an atheist. So an atheist is could only get 47% of the vote. No matter where he stood, Figure dem, rep, independent whatever. they are not going to vote for him just because he is an atheist? Most vote there party, or what they stand for. it is a pretty slim chance. If the candidate want to take god out of everything, even slimmer. I think there are bigger things to deal with in this country, than the pledge,, and in god we trust., If you don't want to say one nation under god, just don't. And i can't remember the last time I read a dollar bill

I could give a darn what anybody believes in, Just treat them with respect.

I don't think 12% of 52 is 12? but what do I know. I am not that intelligent:S


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rotorhead
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July 19, 2009 9:27 pm  

. 53 % of Americans say they will not vote for an atheist. So an atheist is could only get 47% of the vote. No matter where he stood, Figure dem, rep, independent whatever. they are not going to vote for him just because he is an atheist? Most vote there party, or what they stand for. it is a pretty slim chance. If the candidate want to take god out of everything, even slimmer. I think there are bigger things to deal with in this country, than the pledge,, and in god we trust., If you don't want to say one nation under god, just don't. And i can't remember the last time I read a dollar bill

I could give a darn what anybody believes in, Just treat them with respect.

I don't think 12% of 52 is 12? but what do I know. I am not that intelligent:S

Duh! 12% of 100 senators is 12. And 12% of 435 representatives is 52. What country do you live in?
Oh. You explained it!

From Merriam-Webster Online dictionary.
Duh - used derisively to indicate that something just stated is all too obvious or self-evident.


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Jim72
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July 19, 2009 9:31 pm  

dntw8up
We were talking about an elected official. where do minorities come this. People vote, the one with the most votes wins. except for George bush. That's what I meant by majority rules.


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Jim72
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July 19, 2009 10:06 pm  

rotor head
I am from the virgin islands. 64 years. Where we do not get much of a say to what goes on in wash. So excuse me for not knowing how many congressman there are. again we are not that intelligent.

I have really enjoyed this tread, I learned allot from both sides. On the atheist side there have been some excellent post. But this debate will never be settled.

Rotorhead you should tone it down a bit. I have kept an open mind while reading this tread, and i do not think you do well for you cause.I am not going to respond anymore, so don't bother responding . Yes duh is an insult to me. I scold my grand kids when they say that


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rotorhead
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July 19, 2009 11:05 pm  

rotor head
I am from the virgin islands. 64 years. Where we do not get much of a say to what goes on in wash. So excuse me for not knowing how many congressman there are. again we are not that intelligent.

I have really enjoyed this tread, I learned allot from both sides. On the atheist side there have been some excellent post. But this debate will never be settled.

Rotorhead you should tone it down a bit. I have kept an open mind while reading this tread, and i do not think you do well for you cause.I am not going to respond anymore, so don't bother responding . Yes duh is an insult to me. I scold my grand kids when they say that

Jim72,

I'm sorry that I hurt your feelings. You jumped into this discussion and stated incorrect facts about the number of atheists in this country and the number of congresspeople we should have based on those numbers. I corrected the facts and included url's to the latest report data. You then corrected my math, I answered back in kind. I included the definition of duh above.

I do find it incredible that someone could be an adult in the US and not know how many congresspeople we have, I guess that is a reflection on our educational system.

I do not expect to settle this debate. The beliefs of the faithful will never be changed by the facts. I am just trying to let those sitting on the fence know that it is OK not to believe in false gods. If you don't believe in a god you are in good company.

The religious always tell me to tone it down. They don't like what I am saying or how blunt I am about saying it. On the other hand I have gotten many emails and PMs telling me to keep the discussion going. Can't please everyone, so you gotta please yourself.

John


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dntw8up
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July 19, 2009 11:11 pm  

Jim72,

We were talking about an elected official. where do minorities come this. People vote, the one with the most votes wins. except for George bush. That's what I meant by majority rules.

You stated "majority rules," and explained your assertion as, "People vote, the one with the most votes wins." I pointed out that the powers of the winner are explicitly limited, because under the U.S. flag the idea of majority rule is coupled with guarantees of individual human rights that, in turn, serve to protect the rights of minorities and dissenters — whether they be of a minority religion, race, or simply the losers in political debate.

I think there are bigger things to deal with in this country, than the pledge,, and in god we trust.

Matters that seem small often reflect dangerous thinking that can be very damaging, to individuals and societies. Rosa Parks was tired and didn't want to move to the back of the bus. There were bigger things to deal with in this country than where she sat on a bus, but her small stand on a relatively minor issue brought about change that made American society more inclusive. There are many examples that prove fighting the small stuff can bring about change in the big stuff, so I support every fight to promote inclusivity. Black/white, male/female, homosexual/heterosexual, christian/atheist, rich/poor, fat/thin -- everyone should have a voice, and no group should consider their greater numbers evidence of superiority.


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Jim72
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July 19, 2009 11:40 pm  

dntw8up
I agree with you 100%

Rotorhead
derisively= to mock or demeanor, abusing vocally, expressing contempt or ridicule


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no0ne
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July 20, 2009 12:05 am  

Porky Pig recites the Pledge of Allegiance correctly:

"Under God" was added to the pledge in 1954, and our money was also changed at some time around then.


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rotorhead
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July 20, 2009 1:45 am  

dntw8up
I agree with you 100%

Rotorhead
derisively= to mock or demeanor, abusing vocally, expressing contempt or ridicule

I don't think 12% of 52 is 12? but what do I know. I am not that intelligent:S

Duh! 12% of 100 senators is 12. And 12% of 435 representatives is 52. What country do you live in?
Oh. You explained it!

Jim72,
In this case it was ridicule. You came on to make a snide comment correcting my math when the real problem was that you did not know how many congresspeople we have. I usually try to check my facts before posting.

BTW Welcome back. Please don't be so sensitive and join in the discussion, just make sure that you can back up what you say.

John

I love the pledge of allegence, the way it was before the religious started their takeover.


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