ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN

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ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN

We debate origins of the Universe, life, Earth, humans, religion, atheism, using common sense, evolution, cosmology, geology, archaeology, and other sciences, to repel biblical creationism and other religious beliefs.

Location: Oxford University, England
Members: 4192
Latest Activity: on Monday

The portrait is Charles Darwin, age 31, in 1840

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Discussion Forum

The evolution of work

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Joan Denoo Jul 12. 61 Replies

Has man evolved?

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by John Elder Jun 18. 5 Replies

The Probability Of Being

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by John Elder Jun 11. 4 Replies

Johns Hopkins Receives $125,000,000 to Fight Cancer

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by John Jubinsky Apr 1. 2 Replies

A new theory explaining the origins of life?

Started by Donald L. Engel. Last reply by Donald L. Engel Mar 31. 5 Replies

Map of Archaic Ancestry

Started by Qiana-Maieev. Last reply by Joseph P Mar 29. 5 Replies

Homo Erectus food processing

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joan Denoo Mar 19. 1 Reply

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Comment by Tony Davis on November 18, 2010 at 3:54pm
Mike - No worries. Easy enough to do!

Joseph - Sorry buddy, not following ya. Can you explain a bit and help me out? :-)
Comment by Joseph P on November 18, 2010 at 3:33pm
What about Mary? She completes the trio.
Comment by Tony Davis on November 18, 2010 at 12:36pm
Forgive my ignorance guys, but aren't we confusing Peter with Paul? It was Saul of Tarsus, great persecutor of Christians, who was struck blind by a great light, who became Paul, later St. Paul and the most influential person in Christianity (even more influential that Christ himself if you study it historically)....

Or did Peter also have epilepsy? ;-p
Comment by Gregg Deering on November 18, 2010 at 12:20pm
Mike, Acts dated later than the Gospels, even Christian theologians stay away from using Acts to prove anything. There was no Peter. Some one may have to break the news to Christopher....?
Comment by Gregg Deering on November 18, 2010 at 9:18am
It’s always struck me as weird, if the discussion was who has a better chance of being real Odysseus or Robin Hood, would there be a heated argument, and I doubt it.

A – Jesus was in Jerusalem, and according to the Bible had hundreds of followers. We have more information on many lesser individuals at the time. The info we have on Jesus by Romans is probably forged by later Christians. What we have is a Messianic claimant in the center of the Middle East and no one noticed?
B) But if Peter the Ditch Digger became the savior of humanity would we be having this debate? Wouldn’t it be easier to make this Peter up? By the way read about Paul – he had no interest in finding anything about the “real” Jesus. He knew nothing about him; he must have been the least curious person in history. Yet – he’s considered an authority?

To find out about Peter, the Brother of the Lord and a lot of cool things try (if you are the academic type) to take a look at this site, there are intelligent people on both sides of the Historical/Myth fence
http://www.freeratio.org/forumdisplay.php?f=60

My major problem is with people playing “I think” or “just so” ideas without evidence is that it’s little more than “feel good-ism”. It’s the last reality lifeline we throw Christians, “He must have been a very wise man.” But find that man? He’s a god, in a book about a god’s story and we can not forget that. Could you strip away the legend of Santa Clause to find the real St. Nick - or even a plain Nick witha long white beard an a weight issue? Even Jesus’ last words on the cross were lifted from the Psalms - the oldest OT writing we have. Again, we don’t even know if his name was Jesus, if it was a “him” of course.

Oddly this is the only case I am aware of where wide variants of a story about the life and teachings of an individual spread across Africa and Asia minor and Europe and this mass is narrowed through power struggles (in the 4th century) – and that this “Life” gets whittled down to 4 books (ok 4-6 plus letters). Those in control these books do their best to destroy the other 99% of available Christian information. Generally it works the other way, a simple story is embellished my many cultures and spreads as it becomes embellished and mythologized. Oddly with Christianity just the opposite happened.
Comment by Tommy on November 18, 2010 at 5:57am
My guess would be that there was a man named Jesus. Can you imagine the impact of a Jim Jones or David Koresh 2000 years ago. We have had many people that have claimed the title of the son of god and if, in this day in time people are stupid enough to fall for this can you imaging how gullible people a couple of centuries ago would be. I am most interested in the brain washing affect religion has on people. It is absolutely amazing to me that otherwise intelligent people taught to believe from birth can almost tremble at the thought that their god might not exist. My son who is now in college told me yesterday he was jumped in school (8th grade) for being an atheist. The teacher told him he deserved it. I think its because people are afraid of atheist and realize that if they were forced to think about it they could not believe any longer. I have heard that the bible was originally used as a way to control the people and if this is true the bible is the most powerful brain washing weapon of all time. Its like a virus of the mind. Rather Jesus actually existed I doubt if we will ever know for sure. We do know the bible exist and was the grandest scam in human history.
Comment by Dr. Cowboy on November 17, 2010 at 10:16pm
No, the bible is no more credible as a historical document than Homer's Odyssey is an accurate description of what it was like to sail the seas of ancient Greece. However, even with no evidence it's not impossible that both Jesus and Odysseus were based on actual people. The reason there's no contemporary mention of Jesus is most likely because A) if he existed it's unlikely that he or anybody that knew him could write and B) probably the same reason that nobody wrote about Peter the Ditch Digger. He probably just wasn't that important at the time.
I've heard intriguing rumors that Jesus might have had a brother (also of virgin birth maybe?) and that he took over his ministry after Jesus died. I have no idea if there's any truth to it at all, but it does suggest a way for the stories about him to have begun to become exaggerated to mythical proportions. Oral tradition has a way of doing that.
At any rate, I feel that whether he actually existed or not in unimportant. Even if there were an actual person on whom the stories are based, it's unlikely the stories are an accurate reflection of him by any stretch of the imagination.
Comment by Gregg Deering on November 17, 2010 at 9:43pm
I don't think archeology can ever tell us anything about Jesus. He's a literary invention. What would we expect a Jesus coin? Up to this point what has archeology told us about Jesus, noting, what has it told us about the Exodus - it never happened. Mind you I don't think we could prove Jesus did not exist, but we can show (not conclusively) that there is not historical core. For instance stories of Jesus have origins in the Old Testament - and specifically the Greek translation of the OT at that.

The Bible, particularly the NT are religious books, are not histories and would not be seen as histories by the readers at the time, in fact that's why the Gospels were called "Good News" not Histories. Unlike Histories of the period - the four Gospels (or several dozen Gospels) are all anonymous.

Remember that Peter Pan can tell us a lot about turn of the Century London, but that does not mean Peter Pan existed. Maybe Sherlock Holmes wold be a better example?
Comment by Gregg Deering on November 17, 2010 at 9:17pm
There is not historical or archaeological evidence that backs up the NT. We know for sure that there was a mythical Jesus but - we don't know for sure that there was a human Jesus. And there is no agreement on what sort of person this Jesus was. Indecently historical Jesus believers don’t even know his real name - when he was born or died.

Absence of evidence certainly is absence of evidence - for Jesus and unicorns.

There is absolutely no way to take the God and impossible bits out of the Gospels and find a real person. It’s a subject that cries out for real historians instead of wish fulfillment.
Comment by Dr. Cowboy on November 17, 2010 at 8:42pm
It's entirely plausible that Jesus actually existed. However, considering that the gospels were written around 100 AD or so, it's unlikely that he even remotely resembles the person (or persons, rather) portrayed there. There's an interesting documentary on the Gospel of Judas (available via Netflix streaming if you have it). It turns out there were something like 35 gospels floating around before the church decided to whittle it down to 4 and declare the rest heresy.
 

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