Taken from my blog:

Later this week my religion class is going to be "debating" whether or not Jesus was born of a virgin. I of course am going to say he wasn't, and as practice thought I'd run through my reasons here.

What I think it comes down to is probability. Which is a more probable explanation for crop circles?

A) Aliens with super advanced technology that allows them to travel MILLIONS of light years flew all the way to earth to secretly make patterns on farmer Joe's field and leave without making official contact in broad daylight

B) Somebody is playing a prank on farmer Joe and made the crop circle like this.

Naturally, B is more probable, so what about the explanation for the "virgin birth of Jesus?"

A) An invisible being that created the entire universe decided to zoom in on earth, single out Mary, and send an angel to tell her that he had magically impregnated her with his son right before she was to be married

B) Mary became pregnant the same way everyone else always had, through sexual intercourse, right before her marriage, and knowing that the punishment for such an act was death by stoning decided to claim that god did it.

Again, B is more probable. Occam's razor states that one should not make more assumptions than the minimum needed.

This is the point where I expect the christians in the class to pull what they believe to be the ultimate trump card, "Anything is possible through god!"

Let me ask you something. Is it possible that ships float because invisible mermaids hold them up? Yes, it is possible. But then we have two competing explanations for the same result, on one hand invisible mermaids, and on the other the entire field of ship design and science of buoyancy, which is observable and testable. "Anything is possible with god" is a slipper slope to all forms of ridiculous bullshit. Yes, ANYTHING is possible with god, but not PROBABLE. It's possible that unicorns exist. It's possible that all pigs could grow wings overnight and fly, it's possible that there won't be a sunrise in the morning, but none of these things are at all probable.

This is where I assume the argument ends, yet there is something else I might come up against. One of the christians might become so desperate as to try and say that we can't trust observation as a way of gaining information. For example, they might say that we can never KNOW for certain that a ball will fall if we drop it. They will admit that a ball has always fallen when dropped, and that the theory of gravity explains this, but we can't 100% KNOW it will happen again in the future.

Basically this person is advocating that since we can't know anything to absolute certainty, we should just believe something stupid, regardless of the amount of supporting evidence the opposite side has. There is a really good/short video that explains this here

One should also take into consideration that there is precedent for Mary's claim. The Pharaoh Amenkept III, Ra, Perseus, Romulus, Mithras, Krishna, Horus, Melanippe, Auge and Antiope all claimed to be born from virgins. Plus, Mary, being Jewish, would have know the prophecy about Immanuel in Isaiah 7:14. What's more likely?

Yet I expect some people to say "well it's a matter of faith, and I choose to believe it." Well fine, as long as you acknowledge that you're purposely believing in something that has been demonstrated to be ridiculous in impossible, and to that extent you should not be considered a rational adult, nor be taken seriously as such.

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Comment by Jack Russell on October 24, 2009 at 8:56pm
A lot more on this kind of topic in my blog http://bit.ly/jackrussell8888
Comment by Jack Russell on October 24, 2009 at 8:51pm
This discussion was a little old but I love the topic. Matthew 1:18 is a lot of fun. How about Option E. You let the story be true, but look at all the fun you get.
1. A 6000 year old being that statutory rapes a 16 year old.
2. A non-human impregnates a human (God was not a human right?)
3. Mary only had X chromosomes, where did the Y chromosome come from? Not mary.
4. Jesus was a chimera. Half his chromosomes came from Mary, the rest were synthetic or non-human.
5. Jesus's genetic father did not have a belly button.
6. Mary had not yet been married or been with a man. She was taken by another man before her wedding night to bear his offspring. Called Prima Nocta, where lords would sleep with some woman before her wedding night with her husband (think Braveheart).
7. Jesus was a bastard or love child
8. Bible never says that Joseph adopted Jesus

There are lot of moral lessons here that God teaches.
1. It is good to take another mans wife before he sleeps with her.
2. non-humans are supposed to make offspring with humans
3. Statutory rape is ok if the offspring will be a god
4. Jesus genetic father never provided care for his bastard child, left his care to another man to marry the woman and raise the child.

I will bet you can come up with some interesting morals too. What else can you think of if you play along with the story being true. Not saying it is true, having fun with the "what if".

Comment by unholyroller on March 5, 2009 at 10:39pm
Drawing on my own research and reading, I rather agree with Daniel. However, bear in mind,.....it's almost impossible to reason with blind, dumb faith.

Maranda, I salute you for being able to think at all in such an environment.
Comment by Maranda on March 4, 2009 at 7:56pm
I agree with this 100%... I go to a catholic highschool and my religion teacher pressures us into devoting our lives to this.. I think its pointless! if you try to argue with him, he just says, THE CHURCH IS RIGHT, YOUR WRONG.. Hes feeding us false information, I have researched many things online.
Comment by Jennifer W on March 2, 2009 at 8:47pm
I heard something pretty recently that stuck in my mind about the "Virgin" Mary.

Take all religious context out of this question: If any woman you personally know claimed to be pregnant by immaculate conception, would you believe her?? No! You would believe she is coming up with the worst lie a human being could ever possibly conceive.
Comment by FreeThinker on March 2, 2009 at 7:10pm
There is also Option D (which I just made up): Mary was bi-sexual. She had a 3-way with Joseph and a female friend. Joseph "spills his seed" in Mary's friend, then Mary's friend fellates Mary with Joseph's seed in her mouth. Mary gets pregnant, despite having an intact hymen (there have been cases in which women have gotten pregnant while the hymen is still intact). There you go...technically a virgin birth.

I think Option C is still the most logical.
Comment by Adam Steele on March 2, 2009 at 4:23pm
If you look around, you should be able to find some articles that actually talk about how the word "virgin" was badly translated and through the various languages and actually simply meant "young" or something like that.
Comment by Mark A. Siefert on March 2, 2009 at 2:01pm
Then there is Option C: Mary and Jesus are mythological characters that never existed in the first place.



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