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Old 12-11-2002, 01:56 PM   #1
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Religion is fiction

What if it is?

What if long ago, very long ago someone decided to make up the 'fact' that Jesus was a person?

What if the did the same for the prophet Mohammed.

How about Moses?

How do we know those people EVER existed?

When you answer me with "faith", well, what if your faith is faith in a story someone made up during the time when camels roamed the earth and clothing was optional.

Hmmmm...
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Old 12-11-2002, 02:05 PM   #2
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interesting...
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Old 12-11-2002, 02:22 PM   #3
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How do I know you exist?
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Old 12-11-2002, 02:22 PM   #4
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good questions, but theyre easily answered.

christians dont "know" for fact anything happened, rather we have "faith" that they did, and what we "know" is true.

its as simple as that for myself. it all comes down to believing.

how do you know the earth is round? how do you know pluto exists?

people put faith into other peoples "facts" and im no exception. its just a matter of what you decide to believe in, as i believe in christianity.

hope this makes sense.
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Old 12-11-2002, 03:12 PM   #5
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Faith by very definition is belief in something that can't be proven. Most intelligent Christians, at least, are aware of the arguments against Christianity and choose to place a higher premium on their faith--knowing that they will be rewarded for this choice in the next life. (I guess most other religious persons feel that way too, though I'm not really clear on what Muslim, Jewish, etc. eschatological beliefs are).

What if religion is fiction? Well, so what if it is? If the story of Jesus is false, then I don't care, because my beliefs have inspired me to consistently strive to be a better person, to be good to other people, and to have hope for the next day. And if it's true, then I'll be remembered for that when I die. I believe that my faith has given me benefits both in the here-and-now and in the time to come.

Religion is dangerous in the wrong hands, too. But remember that some people would be much more dangerous without religion. The key is to remain flexible and open-minded in one's beliefs (or, as Rufus in Dogma might have put it, "ideas") without allowing them to turn to mush. I've changed my beliefs on a few things--I've realized, for example, that both the death penalty and abortion on demand are inconsistent with my faith. But at the end of the day, I think I can still call myself a Christian.

I think my answer to ouizy's question is this: if it's a good religion, it doesn't matter.
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Old 12-11-2002, 03:16 PM   #6
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There are several historians from around that time that acknowledge his existence as a person, including Josephus, Clement, Suetonius, and Tacitus.

But gosh, that was so long ago, something surely must have been made up, altered, switched, inserted, etc into their accounts since then.............

I don't really intend to sound sarcastic but there are sooooooooooo many things in this world that we just trust and yet have no proof.
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Old 12-11-2002, 04:20 PM   #7
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Would I say it is possible that much of religion is fiction? Yes I would, and that mostly has to do with the evolving nature of philosophy. The idea of historical accuracy and preservation is a 20th century ideal, mostly, and prior to that, those in power had no care in the world about inventing things--the ends justified the means. It is unsurprising, thus, that there are distinct differences between the Dead Sea Scrolls and later "original documents."

If I had to give the main reason why I am still Christian, despite my very rational and (post)modernist leanings, it would have to do with the idea of intuition and faith. Sure, I may disagree with specific details, such as creationism (to me, it is an ancient creation myth that is no different than other myths fostered by ancient peoples), but my faith in God has remained unwavered.

From a postmodernist perspective, though, all history is irrelevant, because it is impossible to be able to look back and assess what has already occurred. Arguably, I would have to agree with this sentiment: history, in all forms, is subjective, and attempts to garner accurate "truth" from history--not only religious history, but even events from a few days ago--is folly. In day-to-day life, we all make leaps of faith, and one's religious (or atheist) beliefs are no different.

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Old 12-11-2002, 04:30 PM   #8
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But what is a "fact" really?
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Old 12-11-2002, 04:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by RavenStar
But what is a "fact" really?
fact

n.

1. Knowledge or information based on real occurrences: an account based on fact; a blur of fact and fancy.

2. a.Something demonstrated to exist or known to have existed: Genetic engineering is now a fact. That Chaucer was a real person is an undisputed fact.
b.A real occurrence; an event: had to prove the facts of the case.
c.Something believed to be true or real: a document laced with mistaken facts.

3. A thing that has been done, especially a crime: an accessory before the fact.

4. Law. The aspect of a case at law comprising events determined by evidence: The jury made a finding of fact.


Does that help? maybe not




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Old 12-11-2002, 04:58 PM   #10
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I think it is reasonable to believe that Jesus, Mohammed, and the Buddha did exist.
Many things attributed to them probably never happened.

Adam and Eve existence is very dubious to me.

Many today want to deify the founders of America and that was only some 200 years ago. We are lucky there is not only one record of their lives.

It is interesting that many doubt the existence of Wm. Shakespeare and he lived? only a few hundred years ago and was a very public person.

It has been said there are no history books only biographies.
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Old 12-11-2002, 05:26 PM   #11
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Interesting thoughts, especially that which stated that events are folly.

Looking back I think I may have changed this post to History is Fiction because it need not specify religion.

I find it very interesting that modern religion places its trust in many pieces of ancient literature, whereas many historical events are unknown, misunderstood, and sometimes clearly wrong.

How can such a mass of people put such devoted faith in a book like the Bible (not God, and furthermore either Testament), but not truly understnad, or believe what happened on this planet hundreds of years later (perhaps the plight of the Native Americans...)


just really thinking out loud here


kudos to those with faith, and kudos to those who question it.

we will only truly know the answer when we leave this planet.













(maybe)
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Old 12-11-2002, 05:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by ouizy
Interesting thoughts, especially that which stated that events are folly.

Looking back I think I may have changed this post to History is Fiction because it need not specify religion.

I find it very interesting that modern religion places its trust in many pieces of ancient literature, whereas many historical events are unknown, misunderstood, and sometimes clearly wrong.

How can such a mass of people put such devoted faith in a book like the Bible (not God, and furthermore either Testament), but not truly understnad, or believe what happened on this planet hundreds of years later (perhaps the plight of the Native Americans...)


just really thinking out loud here


kudos to those with faith, and kudos to those who question it.

we will only truly know the answer when we leave this planet.

(maybe)
Okay.

If I say that the resurrection of Christ (as described in the Bibles currently being printed) really happened, is that an uninteresting statement?

I'm not a historian, but I am told that there are around 500 manuscripts of the New Testament that date to AD 500 or earlier. (In comparison, there are about 50 copies of the Iliad that date to 500 years or less after its origin.)

Up until the Edict of Milan in AD 313, Christians in the Roman Empire were generally subject to derision and/or persecution. Since worshipping Christ was contrary to worshipping the Emperor, and since the Jewish leaders in Palestine saw Christ as a heretic, it seems extremely unlikely that the early Christians would have been able to fabricate the tale of Jesus's resurrection had it not really happened.

So which miracle happened: the invention of the fable of the resurrection of Christ, or the resurrection of Christ?

You decide.
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Old 12-11-2002, 05:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by speedracer


Okay.

If I say that the resurrection of Christ (as described in the Bibles currently being printed) really happened, is that an uninteresting statement?

<---not really sure what this is about, but I did find your post interesting. Yes, it is possible that the resurrection occurred, and yes the Christians were persecuted (like most other religions have been some time in history), but isn't the posibility there that it was fabricated?

Who is to say that if I start telling a story about a miracle I saw yesterday on my way to the deli, it won't be spread throughout the country, and who is to say that in 500 years it won't be worshipped form the book it is written in? What if I fabricated the whole thing...

I just think the possibility exists...
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Old 12-11-2002, 06:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by ouizy
Yes, it is possible that the resurrection occurred, and yes the Christians were persecuted (like most other religions have been some time in history), but isn't the posibility there that it was fabricated?
The Apostles were willing to be killed by the authorities for their beliefs. Do you think they were willing to die for something they knew was not true?

Ouizy - you post an excellent question. I doubt I could give you a proper answer is a short post on a forum. The apologetics responding to your inquiry are quite lengthy.



Bottom line - we will be accountable to answer the question "Who do you say Jesus Christ is?"
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Old 12-11-2002, 06:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by ouizy



<---not really sure what this is about, but I did find your post interesting. Yes, it is possible that the resurrection occurred, and yes the Christians were persecuted (like most other religions have been some time in history), but isn't the posibility there that it was fabricated?

Who is to say that if I start telling a story about a miracle I saw yesterday on my way to the deli, it won't be spread throughout the country, and who is to say that in 500 years it won't be worshipped form the book it is written in? What if I fabricated the whole thing...

I just think the possibility exists...
Okay...but the other 100 people who were walking along the same street would refute your story if it never happened.

If the resurrection were a fable, the Jewish and Roman authorities in Palestine probably would have gotten Jesus's body out of the tomb and put an end to the whole thing.

The early Christians probably would have recanted the story of the resurrection under penalty of death instead of perpetuating it, if it were false, as nbcrusader noted above.

If a non-Christian honestly believes that the resurrection couldn't have happened, then I cannot fault him for that...but he should be sure he knows what that means.
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