I must confess I am blatantly using the cosmological argument as a model here. I actually take issue with my first statement. Something cannot come from nothing. There are three problems with this I see offhand.
1) I don't know that something can not come from nothing... given the fact that we don't know the origins of our time space continuum or multi-verse theorem...who knows if that is true. It appears to be true in our state of being but I do not know it is universally true.
2) The statement defeats the entire argument as the God of the gaps is always thrown in. The cosmological argument never explains how God came into existence from nothing, but rather states it could not exist in its first statement. This is self defeating.
3) The cosmological argument assumes that a God exists with no empirical evidence.
In order to answer the cosmological argument I wish to stay as close to it as possible for comparison...and my humorous delight. So I will accept the first statement as stated just for fun.
I do have one thing the cosmological argument does not, an abundance of physical evidence, but we will dig deeper into my butt hair later, for now let's lay out the argument.
1) Something cannot come from nothing.
2) The universe exist.
3) It is more likely that the universe came from something that exist than something that does not exist.
4) No God has ever been proven to exist ever.
5) My butt hair exist.
6) Therefore, my butt hair
A closer look ( at my butt hair)
My butt hair can be proven to exist by scientists. I am sure I have enough samples to meet their satisfaction and close examination. It is very difficult for matter to come into existence or be destroyed. Most if not all of the matter that hair is composed of, scientists will agree has existed since the beginning of the universe. So I have proven that my butt hair has more to do with the origins of the universe than mythical gods that cannot even be proven to be mythical before 10,000 years ago. So put that in your pipe and smoke it....or maybe not.
Dominic Crossan makes a good case for this in the past, he makes the case that the poor are a necessity in society not as a personal opinion,but rather it was an economic necessity. If everyone was wealth and thus survived and had large families at the time agriculture could not support the population.
The Press appears to make your case for today. Though I don't feel comfortable restricting it to the gop but to the ruling class throughout the world. The earliest writings of the words put on Jesus's lips are focused on rebellion against the ruling class. It is the later Pauline teachings that are about spirituality that we are familiar with today.
This is very true, Compelled, but actually the Pauline teachings are not later. They appear later in the bible but Paul wrote around 55 AD, never knew or met Jesus, but the church world takes Paul as an authority on spiritual things. The first gospel was Mark and was written around 70 AD. It influenced heavily on Matthew and Luke around the late 80's to 90 AD. and John (not a synoptic writing) came in later at around 100 AD. John was possibly an oral collection of stories from way earlier. You can see how confusing this all must have been.
As for Jesus and his teachings, he is said to have told people of his time "to give onto Caesar that which is Caesars." The modern Christians think Jesus was saying "be a good boy and pay your taxes" but no self respecting Jew of that era thought that Caesar had any claim to anything. This is possibly the rebellion that Jesus talked of secretly that came into full force in 70 AD with the destruction of Jerusalem.
Many theists think that the bible "prophesies" this coming destruction and use it as a "proof" of the validity of the bible, but how could this be when the gospels that speak of it were written after 70 AD?
Nobody that actually studies the bible can believe the "pie in the sky" nonsense without lying to themselves and also to everybody else. It's that simple.
You are correct I misspoke. The Pauline teachings are the earliest we have. I did intend to convey that the Jesus teachings predated the teachings of Paul who came later. The first writings are independent Paul from which Christian doctrine is actually based upon rather the Jesus himself. Thank you for the clarification.
Compelled, you knew what I was writing anyway. The only confusion here is that people in general tend to go by the order of the biblical books themselves, but it doesn't work that way. Revelation, for example, was added around 412 AD and fundamentalists today make such a big deal out of "how things are going to play out." It's insanity!
You bring up an important and misunderstood issue. There are many chronological orders of the bible. The common one we see today, the mythical chronological history of which "chronological" bibles attempt to do. And the one most important, which would certainly be the most useful. A bible that would attempt to put the writings in the order in which we can best tell they were written. Most Christians would be shocked to find Job at the beginning and genisis(the books of Moses) somewhere near the end of the old testament. Again they would be shocked to find the writings of Paul the and revelation at the beginning to ended with the synaptic gospels and then John. A reading in this order gives a much clearer picture of how Judaism and Christianity evolved.
Compelled... I agree that people believe for reasons other than reason. What are some of those reasons?
* Need for community
* Fear of the unknown
* Need for emotional comfort
* A way to avoid feelings of guilt & shame
As with a problem one wants to eliminate, the old habit needs to be replaced by a new habit.
How does one do that? The process has to come from the person, another can't do the necessary work.
* Understand that we need the habits we have to relieve anxiety.
* Identify the underlying anxiety.
* Grab the problem causing the anxiety and take care of it.
* Write down the problem with details of feelings and facts.
* Find a Buddy who has your interest in mind.
* Identify a goal
* Explore different options
* Identify one option and develop an action plan
* Put Plan A to work and set up a feedback loop with your Buddy.
* Evaluate your progress, if your old habit goes away, maintain a new normal.
* If the old habit remains, develop Plan B.
* Wash, Rinse, Repeat.
* Celebrate the change.
Gosh i think I have a crush on your brain.
Thanks, Michael, for the history and development of the myths. Surely, not a very valid reason to believe. You were wise and strong enough to recognize the fallacies.