What do athiests think happened 2009 years ago?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Principessa, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. Principessa

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    Someone asked this question on another forum which I frequent but I didn't like the answers because most of the people over there are conservative, right-wing whackadoos. :tongue::mad: I don't want to get into a name calling thing. I am seeking to understand something about which I know next to nothing.

    Do atheists not believe in Christianity as a whole or is it the virgin birth of Jesus that gets stuck in your craw? Do you believe in God but not Jesus, or Jesus but not God?

    I can understand why you don't have your own calendar. After all 2009 is a lot easier to write than 6,540,002,009 :smile:

    IMO, History has proven that Jesus the man lived. Jews and Muslims both admit Jesus the man lived. Muslims even honor him as a prophet but not the son of God, nor is Muhammed a son of God to them. There is no God, but God to them. Jews also say no God, but God.

    Now here is where I contradict myself. :redface: I'm an art historian and I have no problem with the cave drawings at Lascaux in France. Clearly, these existed before the birth of Jesus Christ. Was God the Father just experimenting? I have to admit to me God has always been an omnipotent, ethereal, mystical being, yet because of my upbringing I have never doubted his existence.

    Some people follow the teachings of Christ yet believe he was only a man because his teachings make sense to them: love, honor, respect etc. One need not be religous for many of the 10 commandments to make sense.

    On the bright side, I don't think you'll ever see an atheist going door-to-door saying, "Hi, I'd like to talk to you about Charles Darwin." :biggrin1:


     
  2. crossy

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    I believe possessing a symmetrical but short thick penis is proof enough for me to believe that I was created by God in her image in my ma's womb and Satan (the fallen angel) caused my folks to have me circumcized instead of having an intact, albeit Christ Like, stinky dick.
     
  3. lucky8

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    i'm not atheist, but I am agnostic. 2009 years ago, a guy named Jesus was born...maybe. 10 Christ-like Figures Who Pre-Date Jesus - Listverse There are a lot of similarities between the events that 'occured' with the birth and life of Jesus and other godly figures that came before him, including, oddly enough, the date December 25. I don't really know if there is or isn't a god, so I just live by my own moral code and don't worry about it. In the end, I don't really think, if he/she/it exists, that god gives a damn whether you're a Christian praying to God, a Muslim praying to Allah, or a Buddhist praying to Buddha, because in the end, everyone is acknowledging the same 'being' or 'singularity' that lead to the creation of everything, the only difference is each religion's interpretation of what god wants and expects from us, if anything at all...which, if I were god, really wouldn't bother me that much being that most religions have much more in common than they do differences. ie: every religion preaches pretty much the same general morals, ethics, and rules to live by, so why worry about the petty differences that are dividing our planet?

    In short, I'll believe it when I see it. All current religious organizations have all but destroyed their original religious texts, so, in my opinion, they bare little value except for providing essentially aesop's fables to help teach people about morals and values.

    I also believe that religion is not something that should be handed down from generation to generation. I think forcing children to go to church isn't very healthy for the development of true spirituality, and that people should discover for themselves whether or not organized religion is something that has meaning to them. I feel that most people who are raised in the church refuse to look at both sides of the issue, whereas someone like me, who never had to go to church growing up, looks at both sides of the issue, then makes a rational decision (choice) about what could be and what is. Religion nowadays seems to be more about forming an identity than it is following 'god's word'
     
    #3 lucky8, Apr 18, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2009
  4. midlifebear

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    2009 years ago there was a Roman Empire. There were slaves. There were some great Chinese poets cranking out art the hard way by painting ideograms. There were earthquakes. It snowed a lot in the far northern and far southern hemispheres. Sometimes people experienced rain. The Gauls were pissing a lot of people off. What we now recognize as Polynesia was expanding as fast as its people could row (and sail). And pre Pueblen residents of the cliff dwellings in what is now called the Southwest of the USA were growing corn, squash, hunting wild animals, making hand-coiled pottery and some damn fine woven baskets. For some it was the best of times. For others it was the worst of times. Which shows you can never please everyone all of the time.
     
  5. AquaEyes11010

    AquaEyes11010 Active Member

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    Actually, Jesus wasn't born 2009 years ago. I can't remember who tried to do the math, but he was off a few years. I think I remember that the closest approximation was that Jesus was "probably" born in the year 4 c.e. (using the term "common era" in lieu of the Christian Latin term for "the year of the lord"). I do believe that the person called Jesus probably existed, though as with many other myths and legends, his story has been embellished.

    I myself am just a smidge from a true Atheist, as being such would go against scientific reasoning. Huh? I'll explain. While current scientific evidence would lean heavily towards there not being an omnipotent being, there isn't actual proof of its non existence. Calling myself a true Atheist would mean I would refute any hard evidence should it ever arise (though it has yet to do so), which would be just as logical as denying evolution despite overwhelming evidence.

    Myths and legends have existed through all cultures as means of explaining the unexplainable, offering stories with lessons to be learned and to provide a responsibility to "something" that is beyond our own abilities. I gather from your question that you are a Christian yourself. What would you answer if a Buddhist asked you what happened the year Buddha was born, or a Muslim the year Mohammed was born, or anyone else of any other religion regarding the year his calendar began? Just because Christianity spread like wildfire does not make it any more true than any of the others. It merely implies better marketing.
    :)
     
    #5 AquaEyes11010, Apr 18, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2009
  6. kalipygian

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    Jesus had his fourth birthday 2009 years ago. It is unlikely that anyone tried to sell the virgin birth story to to folks who were present.

    Athiests don't believe that there are gods, so that rules out believing in a lot of unlikely stories that have grown up around a particular one.
     
  7. AquaEyes11010

    AquaEyes11010 Active Member

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    Ah, so I guess I was correct in remembering 4 years, but in the wrong direction. Thanks for clearing that up. Oh, and the virgin birth thing exists in many other non-Christian legends. I remember that several of the Roman/Greek gods came about from non-sexual unions as well.
    :)


     
  8. dolfette

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    actually, i don't think about it all that much.
    yeah yeah, there will be christians who ask how i can deny there's a god without going back and disproving all the evidence.
    i would respond with, 'have you studied and disproved islam? zen? hinduism?'

    my reply is...what happened 2009 years ago?
    no idea. don't really care.
     
  9. midlifebear

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    One last thing: 2009 years ago there were a Hell of a lot more parking spaces than there are now.
     
  10. AquaEyes11010

    AquaEyes11010 Active Member

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    One thing I always wondered about religion is why must we make prophets into something "more" than mere humans? Can't we just accept their wisdom without worshiping them as deities? Doesn't calling Jesus the "son of god" because of his insight infer that we as human beings are unable to ever be as wise? Does this not lessen our faith in our own abilities as mere mortals? And why haven't other wise people become gods? Current western civilization owes a lot to many great people throughout history, but we do not pray to Socrates, Da Vinci, Pasteur or others like them.
    :)
     
  11. Drifterwood

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    Pecker cracked his first joke.
     
  12. julian32

    julian32 New Member

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    when about 7 years old, sat in church at harvest festival time with the school it sort of struck me that this god, jesus, miracle thing didnt make any sense at all.

    So from that point, big tunrning point in my life, I decided that belief in god wasn't for me.

    Consider myself a committed athiest and always will be.

    I find that most of my fellow UK countrymen feel exactly the same way, I dont know a single person that believes in god.

    It had its place a long time ago in a different age, that time has passed never to return and I think that 'belief' will continue to drop and become less of an influence in society in the future.

    Having visited the deep south in the US for work on numerous occiasions I found the hardline chritian way of life a little worrying, seemed extreme in a way that other extremists from other religions have been mesing up various regions of the world.

    But having said all of that if someone firmly believes in god and jesus, or whoever they believe in, it is not may place to tell them they are wrong, if its right for them then best of luck and I am happy for the fact they have found what works for them in life.......

    Just not for me.

    I got told by a muslim once that it was impossible not to believe in a god, simply impossible and that I should adjust my attitude and way of thinking to become a good person again.

    That I found hard to take as someone was telling me I was wrong which is something I would never do to anyone.

    You dont have to believe in god to be a good person and using religion as a reference how can you possibly use that yard stick to judge someone else who has different ideas???

    Find religion and everything that goes with it bizzare.

    But again thats my own opinion.
     
  13. D_Fiona_Farvel

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    Someone passed on their folklore to a new community, which adopted it - 2,009 years of war, persecution, and nonsense later, we're still discussing something that is highly improbable, but also highly taboo to discuss in terms of substantiation.

    There's probably a kernel of truth to some of the stories from this period, the rest I'll explain away as syncretism of various ancient mythologies.

    *before anyone that knows me personally mentions it, yes, my crucifix has burst into flames* :yup:
     
  14. midlifebear

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    I spent far too much time in the city library of the little mormon town I grew up in. There was something about the major religion in my home town that sort of spooked me and I found sanctuary among the tall wooden stacks filled with books. It took years to pin that spookiness down, because on the surface all of the people in my community were very very nice. Nothing was ever wrong. Eisenhower was President and mom had a new Buick every couple of years. Family, food, and fun were the three F's or the era. Anyone who disagreed and spoke up was a trouble maker. If you spoke up and too often you were branded a Communist. Very easy peasy.

    One day I found copy of Joseph Campbell's The Hero With a Thousand Faces stuck down on a bottom shelf without a Dewey Decimal mark on it. It was crammed in among a bunch of Rosicrucian books that one uncle of mine we were never supposed to talk about had donated to the library along with material from the Jehovah Witnesses, The Daily Torah, and the works of Bertrand Russel. These were all uncataloged, but put out of the way on a shelf that no one would notice. My aunt who was one of the city librarians told me the books were all gifts from local crack pots and were about odd things that offended people, but had to be kept on an open shelf because it was the law. And they had been conveniently made less accessible because they had not been officially cataloged therefore no one could check them out.

    It took me two weeks of going to the library for a couple of hours from 6:00 to 8:00 PM to finish The Hero With a Thousand Faces. I was 13 years old. I worried for a while that I must be a crack pot, because Campbell's seminal work on comparative mythologies made a lot of sense to me. I was a big fan of Aesop's Fables, Greek Mythology, The Brothers Grimm, and Hans Christian Anderson. And I had been "exposed" to the way mormons interpret the King James Version of the Bible so I wasn't completely out of the loop. I especially liked the stories in the Old Testament. Lots of wars, raping and pillaging, and begetting people who begat endless strings of other people, and on and on. And Bethsheba, hey . . . what a babe!

    Well, I guess that's when the ill winds of my adolescents began to blow. My aunt had called mother to let her know what I was reading. Fortunately, my mother was basically clueless about most things. After all, she got a new Buick every two years and was pretty damn pleased with what people believed and how they behaved in a place that even devout mormons still, in 2009, snidely refer to as "Happy Valley." Factoid: More prescriptions are filled for Prozac in Ewetaw County than any other county in the State. It's true. It's a government statistic.

    By the time I was 14 I pretty much had it figured out and realized that if I wanted to survive mentally, emotionally, and physically I'd better pull the best grades I could and maybe in 3 years I could get a scholarship to Northwestern, Stanford, or some other non Ivy League school where I might have a chance. Being able to develop personal opinions and begin to self actualize one's identity was not acceptable in Happy Valley. In Happy Valley identity is bestowed upon you. It was and still is sort of like living in the old Body Snatchers movie from the 50's. If you didn't comply you were socially culled and forced out of town by 17 or 18 -- or earlier.

    I finally got into college, despite a detour of a few years living on the streets turning tricks until I was old enough to work in bars and make a legitimate living (about the only thing a gay teen could do with fake ID). Imagine my surprise and relief to discover when I took my first comparative literature class that the first book on the reading list was The Hero With a Thousand Faces. Not only was it the first thing on my reading list, but it's considered pretty much the book that touches all the bases when in comes to understanding the stories in all cultures that we tell and retell to difine ourselves as human beings in our various cultures. Great book. I recommend everyone pick up a copy if you haven't already read it.

    About the only people I know who really detest Jospeph Campbell are those who cannot or refuse to open their blinders to broaden their scope of understanding human culture. These are folks afraid that it will "test" their faith in a way that will harm them. It won't. Nor will any of Campbell's books "destroy" one's faith in whatever one might or might not believe. But it will certainly help reduce the silly posturing by people of all religions to think twice before asking stuff like "What do atheists think happened 2009 years ago?"

    And if you've read The Hero With a Thousand Faces, go read it again just to make sure. :wink:
     
  15. Jovial

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    I don't see how being an atheist goes against scientific reasoning, and I'm not sure how you can even bring science into it at all. How can you make a hypothesis out of god? What sorts of predictions can you make based on a theory that god exists? It seems the very nature of science is to come up with non-god explanations of all our observations, and these explanations (theories) make predictions that are correct on repeated experiments.

    The statement "there is an omnipotent being" is not falsifiable so I don't see the use in even considering it. The only use of claiming to not be a "true atheist" is to avoid arguments with people that claim you are not being open-minded about the question of god. :tongue:
     
  16. D_Fiona_Farvel

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    Thank you, MLB, I love anthropology and will add this book to my summer reading.

    I think Aqua's is the "absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence" argument. :shrug:
     
  17. Gillette

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    So true.
    You could park your ass just about anywhere.
     
  18. Principessa

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    Interesting. :yup: It seems there are as many types of atheists and/or reasons for being atheist as there are grains of sand on the beach. Not sure why that surprises me but it does. I guess I thought atheists were sort of an anti-religion group with core beliefs which were not God, Yahweh, Allah, or Buddha centered.
     
  19. Calboner

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    Midlifebear, thanks for the fascinating narrative.

    I found the Web site in question. That line got the following reply:

    I see what you mean by "whackadoos." People who make fantasy a basis for belief are not likely to feel constrained by historical evidence. "The idea that Charles Darwin recanted his scientific work is comforting to me; therefore, it actually happened." Wankers.
     
  20. slurper_la

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    please tell us how and when.
     
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