One thing I find particularly frustrating  about having o deal with Christians is having to deal with the bible.There is nothing in it that can be confirmed to be actual true historical events. This leads to the conclusion that it could certainly be considered myth. From y studies i have come to the conclusion that it is myth with very few, very few facts thrown in. So here lies the problem. Christians believe this stuff to be true historical facts. The only way to deal with them is to debunk their "facts" when it is all myth.  I must actually take the approach that is could be fact in order to debunk it. Thus i actually qualify the myth as plausible.  

It simply is not reasonable to expect to bring someone to reason by at the outset saying "Its all bullshit myth" I must actually take their "reasoning" onto account so that they will listen to what I have to say about their false beliefs. It seems that even dignifying their beliefs with a response I am in a sense qualifying it as rational. So my premise is O.K. you have a valid belief and here is why it is wrong.  

Of course it is not a valid belief and it is wrong.So how do we refute their Myth without making it seem we in any way accept it as valid?

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I literally just got Nailed: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed at All, by David Fitzgerald.  I opted for that rather than Richard Carrier's On the Historicity of Jesus because the latter is over 700 pages, whereas Fitzgerald's opus is only 185, not including appendices and a bit easier to absorb.  I hope to read it in the next few days and learn more about the mythicist position.

Based on what I've heard over the past couple years, the mythicist stance is gaining ground, though whether it will ever dominate biblical scholarship is anyone's guess. For myself, the person of Jesus as represented in the bible is completely incredible, if only for the claimed miracles, never mind a resurrection which is biologically impossible. Whether the new testament came out of an amalgam of first century CE prophets and would-be messiahs or not, I don't know. I hope to learn something with Nailed, and it may be something you might want to check out as well.

I Certainly will check it out. Richard Carriers on the historicity of Jesus I consider a must read. He really makes the best case I have run into. He may seem a bit pompous at times but backs up his research. I don't know if there was indeed a historical Jesus. I am inclined to think it was indeed a made up myth. Either way it does not matter. Jesus was certainly not God. I make the case in my bog the historicity of Jesus who cares?

I totally wanna read both books, too bad the library doesn't care them (cough cough)

BenGee, put in a request for an interlibrary loan; you surely can get them. I want to read them also. 

Another option is to Google the authors. They very often write articles on the topics. That is what I just did. There seems to be a growing body of well researched articles and books on that topic. 

Sadly, it won't influence the "true-believers" but at least we can have access to more information that is based on evidence. 

He actually did they are not in the entire state system in California. When he told me about this he inspired The Secular Library Project. A program designed to remedy that. The outline for it is on under the heading The Secular Library Project.

Lol yup, that's why I added caugh caough at the end, it was an inside joke to Compelled, we talked at length on this topic over the phone a few weeks ago.

But thank you Joan :) and your other suggestion sounds like a good idea too. I've looked for every talk Richard Carrier has given on the topic. At least all the ones I could find on YouTube.

I have found that book "Nailed"online, Loren, and I want to read it. Looking it over I have found the timeline for eyewitness claims about Jesus to all be in the 2nd and 3rd century. That would be like me telling you about George Washington or Ben Franklin.

Cu, as I once did and perhaps as you once did, they base their lives on their myths so when you invalidate their myths you invalidate them.

I would get Socratic and ask questions that bring out the cognitive dissonances they have compartmentalized.

On church-state separation, Matthew 6:6(?) about praying in closets is easy, but dependence on myth doesn't immediately end so I have to hope that like a seed the thought will grow.

I successfully used a US Supreme Court ruling saying the pledge of allegiance is intended to bring children into the political culture, and then Paul's "giving up childish things", to persuade a Toastmasters club to quit opening meetings with the pledge. I've told the members I'm an atheist and even spoke on the six kinds of atheist reported by a Univ. of Tennessee study.

My membership-challenged AMVETS post stopped opening meetings with a prayer after I told its probably agnostic commander that when members pray they get the idea that they don't have to do anything.

That's great thank you. I am learning from Joan about how to ask questions. She is quite good at it don't you think?

Tom, I like the Socratic method as well because I want to stimulate doubt. Perhaps a little spark may occur.   

How does the pledge of allegiance bring children into the political culture? Is it a prayer? The words, "under g-d" may imply prayer.  

Thanks for the lead to the 6 types of atheist.

Six Types of Atheists

Intellectual Atheist/Agnostics, 37%

Activist Atheist/Agnostics, 22%

Anti-theists, 15%

Ritual Atheist/Agnostics, 12%

Seeker Agnostics, 10%

Non-theists, 10%

~ Chattanooga by Christopher F. Silver, a doctoral candidate, and project manager Thomas J. Coleman III, in a study conducted at the University of Tennessee, polled 1,153 American non-believers and personally interviewed 59 people for qualitative measures.

I agree with you, Tom, that prayer implies inactivity. When people said they would pray for me when I was bald from chemo, and burned from radiation, I implored them to contribute money to research on cancer, or volunteer to help patients undergoing the rigors of treatment. When I was sitting each week and each day, depending on what stage I was in treatment, loving and compassionate people brought me blankets to keep me warm, or cups of juice, or sat and chatted with me. I will  be forever grateful for their tender care. Prayers offered me no comfort. I knew there were a lot of people thinking of me and wanting me to be well, but what I wanted was actions to put an end to cancer, not the inaction of prayer. 


"How does the pledge of allegiance bring children into the political culture? Is it a prayer? The words, "under g-d" may imply prayer."

I googled "scotus on pledge" and found the 1940 and 1943 rulings about JW children who for religious reasons refused to pledge.

In the 1940 case (14 years before those two words were added) a judge wrote of the pledge's use to politicize children. Much anti-JW violence followed. The 1943 case reversed the 1940 ruling and includes a stirring talk by J. Robert Jackson who in 1945 organized the WW2 Nuremberg trials.

There's a lot of analysis of those two cases if you don't want to read lawyer prose.

OH Dear! I have been able to decipher legalese, so I will skip the read and I think I get the idea. Thanks for the clarification!


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