The Book of Mark (not Mark's writing, obviously, just entitled that) is widely known as the first Gospel.

 

But what if it's a work of fiction?  At the time, certain Hero Myth books were common and popular.  Similarities to the Hero Myth books (Oedipus, the Iliad, etc.) include the third person narrative, son-of-god credibility, miracles, magic, ghosts, witches, followers, alleged wisdom, fall and redemption, and resurrection.

 

Mark's original book did not include the last twelve verses.  Curiously, those verses are the ones that tell Uncle Mortimer that it's OK to handle snakes and drink poison.  Those verses were added hundreds of years later.  Mark's book ended with an empty tomb, and some frightened women who ran away and told no one about their find.

 

Quite the cliffhanger, is it not?  And could the other three Gospels and further books simply be sequels?

 

Without Paul of Tarsus, there would be no Christianity, of this much we're certain.  Some scholars surmise that Paul's writings predate the Gospels.  For instance, Paul never mentions Jesus' miraculous birth or his miracles, nor does he mention the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 BCE.  The Gospels say that Jesus foresaw the destruction.  What is more likely is that the Gospels were written after the destruction.

 

So... what if a Greek scholar was familiar with the Pauline myth of Jesus, yet had no history of the man?  What is he to do but write one, using the familiar hero myth components that Greeks had come to expect of important mythological people?  Add in a few prophetical satisfactions, and voila!  Athens Times Best Seller!

 

I'm not saying it happened this way, but it's not the least plausible explanation of the situation we've heard.

 

DF

Make time for great justice.  Expect us.

Original Post

Hi Deep,

As usual, you throw out a smoke screen, copy/pasted from one of your atheist gurus/gods -- Dawkins, Hitchens, et al -- and give zero references where you found it.  Why?  Are you afraid it is too easy to refute your sources?

Deep, you postulate, "The Book of Mark (not Mark's writing, obviously, just entitled that) is widely known as the first Gospel.  But what if it's a work of fiction?. . . Mark's original book did not include the last twelve verses."

While both religious and secular writers tell us that Mark and the Gospel he wrote are not fictional nor fabricated -- I will agree that, most likely, verses 9-20 of Mark 16 were not written by Mark.  It does appear that a scribe, or scribes, added this at some later point in time.   However, this does not, in any way, change the message and theme of the book:  Jesus Christ, the Servant Son.

Actually, you will find that each of the four Gospels has a specific theme or focus.  Much the same as sports writers who report Alabama football games will find a unique focus for their stories.  One may focus on the offense and the running game; another may focus on the skills of the quarterback; another may focus on the awesome Alabama defense (as Arkansas discovered this past  week); while a fourth may focus on the coaching.

All are writing about Alabama football -- but, each with a different focus.  Thus, we, the readers -- get a more complete picture of the game by reading the stories of all four sports writers.  The same is true when we read the four Gospels -- we get a more complete understanding of Jesus Christ and His earthly ministry.

Viewing the four Gospels:

Matthew's Gospel sees Jesus Christ at the King -- because he is writing primarily for the Jews.

Mark's Gospel sees Jesus Christ as the Servant Son -- he is writing for the Gentiles.

Luke's Gospel pictures Jesus Christ as the Perfect Man.

John's Gospel -- the fourth Gospel, the Gospel written by the apostle John -- has more of a theological emphasis, focusing on the deity of Jesus Christ -- the preexisting Son of God, God the Son.

Same game, different focus.  Same Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, seen from four different points of view.  


Four Gospels!  One Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ -- the overall theme of the entire Bible.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SHOULD MARK 16:9-20 BE IN THE BIBLE?
Got Questions Ministry -- GotQuestions.Org
http://www.gotquestions.org/Mark-16-9-20.html


Question:   "Should Mark 16:9-20 be in the Bible?"

Answer:  Although the vast majority of later Greek manuscripts contain Mark 16:9-20, the Gospel of Mark ends at verse 8 in two of the oldest and most respected manuscripts, the Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus.  As the oldest manuscripts are known to  be the most accurate because they were copied from the original autographs (i.e., they are copies of the originals), and the oldest  manuscripts do not contain vv. 9-20, we can conclude that these verses were added later by scribes.

The internal evidence from this passage also casts doubt on Mark as the author (of verses 9-20).  For one thing, the transition between verses 8 and 9 is abrupt and awkward. . . .  The author should be continuing the story of the women based on the word  “now,” not jumping to the appearance to Mary Magdalene.  Further, for Mark to introduce Mary Magdalene here as though for the very first time (v. 9) is odd because she had already been introduced in Mark’s narrative (Mark 15:40, 47, 16:1), another evidence that this section was not written by Mark. . .

While the added ending offers no new information, nor does it contradict previously revealed events and/or doctrine, both the external and internal evidence make it quite certain that Mark did not write it.  In reality, ending his Gospel in verse 8 with the description of the amazement of the women at the tomb is entirely consistent with the rest of the narrative.  Amazement at the Lord Jesus seems to be a theme with Mark. . . . Some, or even one, of the early scribes, however, apparently missed the thematic evidence and felt the  need to add a more conventional ending.


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

GOSPEL OF MARK
Got Questions Ministry -- GotQuestions.Org
http://www.gotquestions.org/Gospel-of-Mark.html

 

Author:   Although the Gospel of Mark does not name its author, it is the unanimous testimony of early church fathers that Mark was the author.  He was an associate of the Apostle Peter, and evidently his spiritual son (1 Peter 5:13).  From Peter he received first-hand information of the events and teachings of the Lord, and preserved the information in written form.

It is generally agreed that Mark is the John Mark of the New Testament (Acts 12:12).  His mother was a wealthy and prominent Christian in the Jerusalem church, and probably the church met in her home.  Mark joined Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey, but not on the second because of a strong disagreement between the two men (Acts 15:37-38).  However, near the end of Paul’s life he called for Mark to be with him (2 Timothy 4:11).

Date of Writing:  The Gospel of Mark was likely one of the first books written in the New Testament, probably in A.D. 57-59.

Purpose of Writing:   Whereas Matthew is written primarily to his fellow Jews, Mark’s gospel appears to be targeted to the Roman believers, particularly Gentiles.  Mark wrote as a pastor to Christians who previously had heard and believed the Gospel (Romans 1:8).  He desired that they have a biographical story of Jesus Christ as Servant of the Lord and Savior of the world in order to strengthen their faith in the face of severe persecution and to teach them what it meant to be His disciples.

Brief Summary:   This gospel is unique because it emphasizes Jesus’ actions more than His teaching.  It is simply written, moving quickly from one episode in the life of Christ to another.  It does not begin with a genealogy as in Matthew, because Gentiles would not be interested in His lineage.  After the introduction of Jesus at His baptism, Jesus began His public ministry in Galilee and called the first four of His twelve disciples.  What follows is the record of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.

Mark’s account is not just a collection of stories, but a narrative written to reveal that Jesus is the Messiah, not only for the Jews, but for the Gentiles as well.  In a dynamic profession, the disciples, led by Peter, acknowledged their faith in Him (Mark 8:29-30), even though they failed to understand fully His Messiahship until after His resurrection.

As we follow His journeys through Galilee, the surrounding areas, and then to Judea, we realize what a rapid pace He set.  He touched the lives of many people, but He left an indelible mark on His disciples.  At the transfiguration (Mark 9:1-9), He gave three of them a preview of His future return in power and glory, and again it was revealed to them who He was.

Connections:   Because Mark’s intended audience was the Gentiles, he does not quote as frequently from the Old Testament as Matthew, who was writing primarily to the Jews.  He does not begin with a genealogy to link Jesus with the Jewish patriarchs, but begins instead with His baptism, the beginning of His earthly ministry.  But even there, Mark quotes from an Old Testament prophecy regarding the messenger -- John the Baptist -- who would exhort the people to “prepare the way for the Lord” (Mark 1:3;  Isaiah 40:3) as they awaited the coming of their Messiah.

Practical Application:   Mark presents Jesus as the suffering Servant of God (Mark 10:45) and as the One who came to serve and sacrifice for us, in part to inspire us to do the same.  We are to minister as He did, with the same greatness of humility and devotion to the service of others.  Jesus exhorted us to remember that to be great in God’s kingdom, we must be the servant of all (Mark 10:44).  Self-sacrifice should transcend our need for recognition or reward, just as Jesus was willing to be abased as He lay down His life for the sheep.

 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Deep, my Friend, your Tag Line reads:  Nothing is worse than ignorance with conviction.

I would change that to read:  Nothing is worse than bold statements made -- with nothing to support them.  This makes them look like horses with no legs!   

My Friend, be careful riding horses with no legs!   You end up with saddle sores -- and get nowhere!

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill

Lots of errors in the original post, including faults with the hero myth comparison. I'll skip all of those and just focus on the main error.

 

There is no "original book" of Mark. When dealing with ancient documents, historians have to go with the earliest manuscripts which are handwritten copies. Many times they are fragmented and incomplete, so these are used to compare with other copies to verify accuracy.

 

Mark 16:9-20 is included in many manuscripts, but left out of the two oldest ones. A few manuscripts actually have a different ending. This fact has been in dispute among Bible scholars for centuries and will always be in dispute.

 

This dispute does not discredit the entire book or automatically make it a work of fiction. To jump to that conclusion is not academic and not rational.

 

 

 

Greeting my friend Not Shallow Not Slim. Yes, I agree the book of Mark is not divinley inspired.  In fact, none fo the books of the new testament are inspired by God bu by men.

While my faith does put some creedence in what you may call the Old Testament, there is only one true Word of my G_d Allah and it is clearly from Holy Quran.  

 

It is an established, undeniable fact that the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, was unlettered. Whereas the Quran, which he brought, has challenged all mankind with all their literary geniuses and scientists, from the first day of its revelation to the Last Day, to produce a like of it or even a single chapter of it:

 

" If you are in doubt concerning that which We have sent down onto Our servant (Muhammad), then produce a chapter of the like thereof, and call your witnesses, supporters, who are apart from God, if you are truthful. (al-Baqara, 2.23)"

 

This is indis****ble. 

There was nothing wrong with my statement to begin with.

 

I've met several former atheists besides myself. If there was no evidence, no argument, and no reason to believe that a higher authority exists, then there would be no former atheists.

 

Those who choose not to seek will never find.

I've met several former atheists besides myself. If there was no evidence, no argument, and no reason to believe that a higher authority exists, then there would be no former atheists.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Oh really? Then explain why there are so many former christians/believers?  Many that were once preachers, priests etc.

Originally Posted by NashBama:

There was nothing wrong with my statement to begin with.

 

I've met several former atheists besides myself. If there was no evidence, no argument, and no reason to believe that a higher authority exists, then there would be no former atheists.

 

Those who choose not to seek will never find.

 

I question anyone who calls themselves former atheists. What evidence can you provide to other atheists to convince them a God exists that actually gives a crap about what happens on this insignificant little rock when looked at on the grand scale of the universe?

Originally Posted by Loki:
Originally Posted by NashBama:

There was nothing wrong with my statement to begin with.

 

I've met several former atheists besides myself. If there was no evidence, no argument, and no reason to believe that a higher authority exists, then there would be no former atheists.

 

Those who choose not to seek will never find.

 

I question anyone who calls themselves former atheists. What evidence can you provide to other atheists to convince them a God exists that actually gives a crap about what happens on this insignificant little rock when looked at on the grand scale of the universe?

___________________________________________________________________________

I have said many times on this forum, and I truly believe, there will NEVER be ANY evidence for God. He wants us to love Him on FAITH. If you have evidence, you don't NEED faith. If you have FAITH, you don't need evidence.

 

If He gave us evidence, that would be like giving students a test, but handing them the answer sheet at the same time. There would BE no atheists if there were evidence. Evidence is a physical thing. Faith is from the heart. The two are not compatible.

 

Now, THIS is what I am talking about when I say that we have GIVEN you the answers to many of your questions, but you deny those answers. You keep on asking for evidence, even when you have been told that there IS none. You guys all agree there is none, right? So I guess the part you WON'T accept is that we have FAITH.

 

Well, you can deny that answer all you want, but it is the truth - we don't want or need evidence because we have faith. You may not like it, but it IS the answer.

 

Originally Posted by O No!:
Originally Posted by Loki:
Originally Posted by NashBama:

There was nothing wrong with my statement to begin with.

 

I've met several former atheists besides myself. If there was no evidence, no argument, and no reason to believe that a higher authority exists, then there would be no former atheists.

 

Those who choose not to seek will never find.

 

I question anyone who calls themselves former atheists. What evidence can you provide to other atheists to convince them a God exists that actually gives a crap about what happens on this insignificant little rock when looked at on the grand scale of the universe?

___________________________________________________________________________

I have said many times on this forum, and I truly believe, there will NEVER be ANY evidence for God. He wants us to love Him on FAITH. If you have evidence, you don't NEED faith. If you have FAITH, you don't need evidence.

 

If He gave us evidence, that would be like giving students a test, but handing them the answer sheet at the same time. There would BE no atheists if there were evidence. Evidence is a physical thing. Faith is from the heart. The two are not compatible.

 

Now, THIS is what I am talking about when I say that we have GIVEN you the answers to many of your questions, but you deny those answers. You keep on asking for evidence, even when you have been told that there IS none. You guys all agree there is none, right? So I guess the part you WON'T accept is that we have FAITH.

 

Well, you can deny that answer all you want, but it is the truth - we don't want or need evidence because we have faith. You may not like it, but it IS the answer.

 

You also don't need a brain to have faith.

As far as not liking it, a reply or an answer, there are plenty of Christians that try and attempt to give you first hand personal experiences with God.    Stories from former atheist, non-believers, Christians from all over the world who through faith did put their trust in Christ and afterward was rewarded by the gift from God of God's Holy Spirit dwelling inside along with their created spirit.  Thousands if not millions who testify of personal miraculous changes to their lives caused by the presence of God's Holy Spirit.   Yet those testimonies are met with unbelief, statements that these people are deluded or don't know what they are talking about.

 

Fact is that these Christians experienced something that an atheist or non-believer never will and that is God's presence which dramatically altered their existence.  It makes total sense, though, that they would deny God would exist or claim such testimonies are delusion as it didn't happen to them so it has to be false.  For some that denial is an external one for within the inner spirit/mind they feel the tug of God's Spirit's conviction.  Conviction from something that they claim doesn't exist and cannot exist so, for some, they continue to deny it until one day that inner call totally disappears.  I personally believe God has patience on each of us but that there is a point when God stops speaking and calling unto someone.  My personal prayer is that when God is calling that one that they yield to God and His Calling in their own silent way.  I truly believe that is why some are here, on the forum today, they are seeking answers the real answers to questions only they know and that I believe only God, their own spirit's creator, can answer and fill that void that is there.


In the end when it's all over and done everyone comes to the point of physical death and afterwards the undeniable answer.  Cry Pascal's wager all you want but that is just an attempt to ease the realization that if you make the wrong decision and find out you were actually wrong then you will be facing the very real realization of what your fate will be, facing a deity that was once reaching out to you and knowing that you were cold hearted to God's one communication with you, a conviction and invitation to reconcile with the creator.  Sometimes i wonder who certain ones who protest the most are trying to convince, Christians or their own selves, their own conscience?

 

Through history Christians have gave their lives for a reason that was more than just faith or hope but because they knew something to be real and valid.  These were not people fighting a jihad or Spiritual war but gave their lives instead in peace instead of renouncing their faith in God or their testimony in Christ/God.  There was some real reason they were willing to die and that reason was the Holy Spirit of God.

Acts 5:38-42 (CEV)
{38} So I advise you to stay away from these men. Leave them alone. If what they are planning is something of their own doing, it will fail.
{39} But if God is behind it, you cannot stop it anyway, unless you want to fight against God. The council members agreed with what he said,
{40} and they called the apostles back in. They had them beaten with a whip and warned them not to speak in the name of Jesus. Then they let them go.
{41} The apostles left the council and were happy, because God had considered them worthy to suffer for the sake of Jesus.
{42} Every day they spent time in the temple and in one home after another. They never stopped teaching and telling the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.  


For Christians who suffer ridicule and demeaning realize that vs 41 applies to you also!


Romans 8:6-11 (CEV)
{6} If our minds are ruled by our desires, we will die. But if our minds are ruled by the Spirit, we will have life and peace.
{7} Our desires fight against God, because they do not and cannot obey God's laws.
{8} If we follow our desires, we cannot please God.
{9} You are no longer ruled by your desires, but by God's Spirit, who lives in you. People who don't have the Spirit of Christ in them don't belong to him.
{10} But Christ lives in you. So you are alive because God has accepted you, even though your bodies must die because of your sins.
{11} Yet God raised Jesus to life!God's Spirit now lives in you, and he will raise you to life by his Spirit.

Our inner sinful nature is hostile toward God and therefore the Spirit's conviction. There are only two ways to silence God's call, the Holy Spirit's conviction.  One is to yield to it and repent, put your faith in Christ and yield to God.  The other is to wait until God stops dealing with you.  It is up to each individual to make their own choice and then to live, and physically die, with that choice.

quote:   Originally Posted by SeniorCoffee:
Faith is believing in something you know is a lie..Mark Twain

Hi Senior,

 

Based upon your post, let me say the I most emphatically BELIEVE in YOU and your statement!

 

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

 

Bill

Originally Posted by Bestworking:

I've met several former atheists besides myself. If there was no evidence, no argument, and no reason to believe that a higher authority exists, then there would be no former atheists.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Oh really? Then explain why there are so many former christians/believers?  Many that were once preachers, priests etc.

Easy. My first doubts began while sitting in church.

 

Poor examples set by those who are claim to be Christians. Churches that have poor leadership. Lack of learning, community, and negative environment within churches. People who are told what to believe and discouraged from questioning. There are lots of reasons.

 

For those who asked, I could explain why I changed my mind. I met a guy just last week who was an atheist in college, then he also found something that changed his mind. Now he teaches seminars for a Christian organization. I've met several former non-believers at my church. All of our stories are very similar.

 

I won't explain what it is that changed our minds. For the reason why, look up 1 Corinthians 1:18.

 

So that means there are only two reasons why a non-believer would post in a forum about religion. Either they are truly looking for something or they are only here to mock others. So that might be a question to ask yourself. Why are you posting here? Are you really seeking or are you just here to make fun?

At this point in my life, I'm trying to make christians understand atheists are as good as they are and have just as many rights as they do. I want to see the silly laws they create eliminated. I'm fought against religious prohibitions for decades. Thanks to Wal Mart we no longer have Sunday Blue Laws in the Shoals.
Originally Posted by NashBama:

So that means there are only two reasons why a non-believer would post in a forum about religion. Either they are truly looking for something or they are only here to mock others. So that might be a question to ask yourself. Why are you posting here? Are you really seeking or are you just here to make fun?

 

______________________________________________________

 

OR, we just want to discuss the topic of religion. I actually have a few reasons why I post here. None of them are the 2 you listed above. What is it about some of you here on the TD forum not wanting us atheist to have any say what so ever on the subject of religion? If we do then we are "looking" or as GK puts it "fighting a inner calling" or just here to be mean and mocking.

 

Why are you here Nash? Are you unsure of your faith and belief? Do you need to have others support to be able to keep believing in something that is so unbelievable? Maybe you are here because you just want to judge the atheist as less than you and lost. Maybe you see what the atheist post and it makes you question everything you believe and it makes you angry and you feel compelled to defend your weak stance.

 

Am I WAY off on my analysis of why you or others might be here posting?

 

If so, then that would make two of us....

 

So that means there are only two reasons why a non-believer would post in a forum about religion. Either they are truly looking for something or they are only here to mock others. So that might be a question to ask yourself. Why are you posting here? Are you really seeking or are you just here to make fun?

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Good morning nash. No, there are plenty of reasons to post here. Your argument is just one of the standard that christians use. I'm not here "seeking" anything, but yes, it's hard not to poke fun at some.  I've explained how I lost my belief, I've heard and read from hundreds of others about how they lost their belief and it had nothing at all to do with poor examples of christians in their or my life or mistreatment by them then or now.

One reason I started posting here was to do just that, explain how I came to my non-belief and why others do. I was honest, I was not insulting or impolite, I honestly thought christians would be interested because they ask. Immediately I was attacked, told I chose not to believe, accused of worshipping satan, told I left the church to chase after "worldly things" and basically live a sinful life that I couldn't live if I was still in a church, or that all atheists want to kill babies in the womb, and my favorite, I worship myself.

None of that is true but it didn't stop the christians from claiming and still claiming that. I just posted to gb that one reason to post here is to give opposing views and the truth about some of the things christians claim. It's not making fun or seeking to tell someone that they cannot oppress people because they believe their lifestyle or beliefs are wrong. It's not making fun or seeking to want a decent president and to watch plenty that would be excellent for this country pushed away because of religion. It's not making fun or seeking to post here against claims that atheists want christians killed, or that atheists want religion outlawed and wiped off the face of the earth. It's not seeking or making fun to dispute false information. It's not making fun or seeking to take on an insane *** that calls atheists animals, *****, and all sorts of other nastie names. In other words it's not seeking or making fun to come in here and stand up for yourself.

Now if you want to talk about "making fun" of people we can. You see yourself the cartoons some post and how some of the so called christians yuk it up about them. I finally decided that if that was the way they liked to express themselves I could do the same for them. Why show respect for them if they have zero respect for me?  Go to the atheist forums, look at all the christians posting there. Now tell me why they feel they have the "right" to go to atheist forums but atheists should never post on religion forums. What are the christians seeking when they go there? Do you think for one second that bill and a few others don't go to the atheist forums? Before the change the title of this forum was "Religion" and the description said, "discuss your beliefs OR practices". It did not say "for christians only", and it still doesn't say that.

Nash, even you prove what I just posted. Say what you will but it comes back to that standard "claim" that atheists are seeking or lost or whatever. I honestly thought you were above that.

It's important that you read the next sentence.

 

I'm not judging or condemning anyone here. I do not consider anyone less than myself regardless of belief.

 

Please know that to be true.

 

As for the rest of the post, I have no problem with atheists posting on this forum. It's a free and public forum and anyone abiding by forum rules can post here. I don't think anyone should be discouraged from voicing their opinion.

 

I honestly can't come up with any other reason as to why an atheist would spend time posting in a forum on religion. So if I'm wrong, help me out and let me know the third reason that I missed.

 

I post here because I've seen a lot of misconceptions about what Christianity is. I'm just explaining what I know and hope to present a different view that people may not have considered. I'm not unsure at all.

One reason I started posting here was to do just that, explain how I came to my non-belief and why others do. I was honest, I was not insulting or impolite, I honestly thought christians would be interested because they ask. Immediately I was attacked, told I chose not to believe, accused of worshipping satan, told I left the church to chase after "worldly things" and basically live a sinful life that I couldn't live if I was still in a church, or that all atheists want to kill babies in the womb, and my favorite, I worship myself.

I can assure you I don't agree with any of that. It's that type of attitude that I am trying to counter by posting here. I grew up in an environment where I heard things like that all the time. That's what led me to not believe.

 

I can understand the reason that atheists post here because they simply want to express their views. I guess I have a hard time understanding that is because when I thought God was nothing more than a Santa Claus story, I had absolutely no interest in religion.

 

So if my post was offensive, I apologize. I based that opinion on the examples I've given. So I'll stand corrected.

IF I had doubts or "inner callings" I have plenty of places I could go and plenty of real true good chirstians I could discuss it with. I sure as heck wouldn't be looking to the likes of bill, gb, and a few others here. This forum has a little clique and if you kiss the right *** you can say or do anything and you won't be attacked. I never thought much of cliques in school and I still don't, especially on a newspaper forum.

I can understand the reason that atheists post here because they simply want to express their views. I guess I have a hard time understanding that is because when I thought God was nothing more than a Santa Claus story, I had absolutely no interest in religion.

 

====================================================================

 

Sorry but that's another standard argument christians like to use. Religion is nothing at all like someone not believing in santa. Wars aren't fought in santa's name, politics aren't decided in santa's name. Not believing in santa doesn't get you attacked, insulted, and someone trying to force you to believe in santa or be considered an outcast with no rights or say in your government and the way your country is run. People aren't oppressed because of a non belief in santa or in his name. No one wants schools to teach your children they have to believe in santa. I could go on but I'm sure you get the point.

Originally Posted by O No!:
Originally Post by Loki:

 

I question anyone who calls themselves former atheists. What evidence can you provide to other atheists to convince them a God exists that actually gives a crap about what happens on this insignificant little rock when looked at on the grand scale of the universe?

___________________________________________________________________________

I have said many times on this forum, and I truly believe, there will NEVER be ANY evidence for God. He wants us to love Him on FAITH. If you have evidence, you don't NEED faith. If you have FAITH, you don't need evidence.

 

If He gave us evidence, that would be like giving students a test, but handing them the answer sheet at the same time. There would BE no atheists if there were evidence. Evidence is a physical thing. Faith is from the heart. The two are not compatible.

 

Now, THIS is what I am talking about when I say that we have GIVEN you the answers to many of your questions, but you deny those answers. You keep on asking for evidence, even when you have been told that there IS none. You guys all agree there is none, right? So I guess the part you WON'T accept is that we have FAITH.

 

Well, you can deny that answer all you want, but it is the truth - we don't want or need evidence because we have faith. You may not like it, but it IS the answer.

 

 

How's that faith work for ya in a court of law? Oh wait it doesn't. That's why evidence is important.You're making a claim that something exists. You need to have the evidence to back that up. 

 

The two will never be "compatible" because one is based on fact derived from evidence gathered using logic and reason. The other is based on beliefs that people have because it makes them feel better about life, thinking someone is watching over them and helping them through tough times when they need it, and it serves as something to comfort them about death, because they view it as the beginning of another life instead of what it really is, the end of your existence. If more people realized you get one life, one chance, make it count, we would be a much better society because of it. With religion, many people believe they can fumble through their time on this rock till they die, then their true life will start. 

 

The "truth" my friend is based on fact that requires (it's not optional) evidence. You don't need evidence because you are gullible and believe in something a few men wrote less that 2000 years ago. I know exactly what your faith consists of, and if you took the time to read your holy book and think for yourself, you too would see through the fallacies that are contained within it. The burden of proof doesn't lie upon us to disprove the existence of your god. The burden of proof lies upon anyone who believes in this God to prove he exists. 

Originally Posted by SeniorCoffee:
I don't care what anyone believes. I don't care what silliness anyone says they believe. I only care how a person behaves. Unfortunately, most religious people behave in ways prescribed my their "Holy" books.

Actually the Scriptures (or the one Holy Book for Christians as you want to point to books) is but one way how Christians get instruction from God or that God communicates with those who are His.  It is God's Holy Spirit which lives within each Christian's body along with their inner created spirit that leads Christians in their daily lives as well as reveals the truth in Scripture and what God's specific message is to each Christian.  Christians being human, living in the flesh, are capable of any sin or doing anything that anyone else is including being discourteous but what a Christian is doing is reflection of whether they are living in the Spirit or Living in the Flesh.  This duality of life is described and highlighted in Romans 8 by Paul.

 

Originally Posted by SeniorCoffee:
At this point in my life, I'm trying to make christians understand atheists are as good as they are and have just as many rights as they do. I want to see the silly laws they create eliminated. I'm fought against religious prohibitions for decades. Thanks to Wal Mart we no longer have Sunday Blue Laws in the Shoals.

Not all atheist behave in the same way or have the same attitudes or behavior toward people.  This forum is ripe with evidence of how Christians who have attempted to discuss their beliefs get ridiculed and demeaned all the time.  Often when we start discussing a topic and mention the Bible we are force fed atheistic opinions about how false our Bible (Holy Book) is and how dumb we are to believe in it, how it's filled with fables.  Pardon me but there is plenty of examples of atheistic forced preaching, thumping, their opinions at us without us asking for that and all in a forum where we come to discuss it because it is titled a Religion forum so that's where any rational, respectful, person would assume you would find such being discussed.  As Americans no one is trying to say you don't have the same rights as we do but over the years our own rights to worship as we would are being infringed upon and taken away.  I'm not talking about blue laws either as I don't agree with them and I am a Christian.   What many of us Christians are speaking up against is the disrespectful actions of some of your fellow atheist who are apparently here only to agitate, demean anyone who claims to be Christian, heckle, and ridicule.  Look at the majority of post made where this is happening.  There isn't any advancement of atheist doctrines or reasons why atheist belief is superior but the attack is personal against the Christian believer, the attack is against the Bible, a book we consider Holy the word of God and our lunacy for believing in it, there is no debate or dialog just demeaning ridicule and then running back to claim you want debate, discussion.  Some of you may but evidence (a word many of you like to use so often) indicates it's just a demeaning series of heckling going on so as to prevent any of us from actually coming here to discuss our beliefs, among others who may either believe likewise or are interested in discussing it.  If the Religion forum is not the place to do that then where is, and what is the Religion forum for?

 

Originally Posted by SeniorCoffee:
It is because of the willing ignorance promoted by religion that this country is in such rapid decline.

Ignorance ( as in the following definition: "lack of knowledge or information")  You, and others come here feeling you have all the right answers.  We are either deluded or somehow confused about what we believe.  You fully believe there is no valid basis to base our beliefs on because there is no God.  Well there is no God because as far as your experience and as far as you know you have never met or experienced God so therefore God must not exist.  Problem is that God is not physical or restrained by Physical properties.  God is Spirit and His Holy Spirit is how God communicates with those that are HIS.  God gives the Holy Spirit, His Holy Spirit, to dwell/live within our physical bodies along with our inner created inner spirit and that is something so profound, so magnanimous that it profoundly changes and alters the Christians life and existence.   Other than to verbally say so or testify to what happened we cannot prove it to you.  It isn't proof until it happens to the Christian.  It never will happen to an atheist or non-believer for it cannot.

1 Corinthians 1:18-19 (CEV)
{18} The message about the cross doesn't make any sense to lost people. But for those of us who are being saved, it is God's power at work.
{19} As God says in the Scriptures, "I will destroy the wisdom of all who claim to be wise. I will confuse those who think they know so much."

Of course it appears as we are crazy or deranged to you.  Unless you have come to a relationship with God you know not God.  Still though you, and others, go on acting as if you are without any possible fallacy or error.  God cannot exist because I don't see Him, I don't feel Him, He isn't alive or real to me therefore He doesn't exist.

 

I hate to break it to you but there are millions of others, including myself, who say He does exist, He does live, He is real and He dwells within my physical body today manifesting Himself and guiding me daily, every second.  I often live in the flesh and do not abide by the Spirit's leadership but when I do I pay the price in a loss of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-25), Love, Joy, Peace, Happiness, Gentleness etc. 

 

What is frustrating to many Christians is being told we don't know what we are talking about, we aren't really feeling and experiencing what we know we are and worse suffering ridicule from those others who make those accusations all the time because they don't experience what we are because they made their decision and are only experiencing the results of their own decision.  God isn't real to them because they have shut God out, they deny and reject God so how can one expect to know and experience God once they have willingly rejected Him.  No, God IS REAL, God IS ALIVE.

 

Remember it was Christian principals that our Country was founded upon and, for the most part, Religious and Christian people you owe your freedoms to and that set the standards for this Country.  Religion is not the reason for the decline but the loss of morals in Godless people who lose respect for their fellow person as a specially unique creation of God, it is the loss of respect for human life as something specially created by God but rather thought of as an accident and no more special than a tree or an insect scurrying across the floor.  That is what is precipitating the decline and will continue to do so as the nation removes itself from God.  We are and have never been a theocracy nor should we be but as our former leaders declared and were proud to pronounce to the world "IN GOD WE TRUST".  As we lose that we lose the blessings of a very REAL and LIVE GOD and that results in noticeable decline.  That's my opinion.

For all you atheist who claim such a noble reason for being here to clarify the atheist position, although in the same vein you say you are not here to preach or indoctrinate by any means.  Why is so many atheist spending so much time in ridicule of Christians, God, and the Bible we hold as Holy?  Why is so much effort and time spent in attacking the person or what we believe rather than explaining the atheist position or why you are an atheist.  You may reply that you do this or have done this but the overwhelming EVIDENCE demonstrates that most post, by atheist, are more bashing Christians and Christianity than promoting your own position or the merits of your own position. 


You are so keen on evidence so why is it that the evidence doesn't back up why you say you are here.  You aren't here to indoctrinate, actively preach or ridicule yet how many of your replies, regardless of content, so often demean Christians either by calling us some demeaning name or replying to us in some demeaning way rather than respectful as in respectful disagreement.  

 

I'm sure your reply will be something along the line of "you get what you give", you are judgmental, you condemn us to some eternal torment or the like.  Judging another is wrong and Christians should not do it, God will Judge one day and I, as well as many other Christians, will be judged as well.  Judgment we also believe will have consequences for our own acts and actions and disbelief and the Bible speaks of eternal torment for some but it isn't up to a Christian to say who or specifically judge. 

 

Quite often it is you, atheist and non-believers who judge also.  You judge us to be idiots or make judgments against us and proceed as if you should be able to do so without being called on it.  Hypocrisy.   So the original question stands:

 

For all you atheist who claim such a noble reason for being here to clarify the atheist position, although in the same vein you say you are not here to preach or indoctrinate by any means.  Why is so many atheist spending so much time in ridicule of Christians, God, and the Bible we hold as Holy?  Why is so much effort and time spent in attacking the person or what we believe rather than explaining the atheist position or why you are an atheist.

For all you atheist who claim such a noble reason for being here to clarify the atheist position, although in the same vein you say you are not here to preach or indoctrinate by any means.  Why is so many atheist spending so much time in ridicule of Christians, God, and the Bible we hold as Holy?  Why is so much effort and time spent in attacking the person or what we believe rather than explaining the atheist position or why you are an atheist.

 

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How many times do people have to post and tell you why before it sinks into that thick head of yours? It's been posted a hundred and one times why we post here. Why do you post here? Why do you keep making post after post saying the same whining things? Why do you spend so much time attacking atheists?

Originally Posted by Loki:
Originally Posted by O No!:
Originally Post by Loki:

 

I question anyone who calls themselves former atheists. What evidence can you provide to other atheists to convince them a God exists that actually gives a crap about what happens on this insignificant little rock when looked at on the grand scale of the universe?

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I have said many times on this forum, and I truly believe, there will NEVER be ANY evidence for God. He wants us to love Him on FAITH. If you have evidence, you don't NEED faith. If you have FAITH, you don't need evidence.

 

If He gave us evidence, that would be like giving students a test, but handing them the answer sheet at the same time. There would BE no atheists if there were evidence. Evidence is a physical thing. Faith is from the heart. The two are not compatible.

 

Now, THIS is what I am talking about when I say that we have GIVEN you the answers to many of your questions, but you deny those answers. You keep on asking for evidence, even when you have been told that there IS none. You guys all agree there is none, right? So I guess the part you WON'T accept is that we have FAITH.

 

Well, you can deny that answer all you want, but it is the truth - we don't want or need evidence because we have faith. You may not like it, but it IS the answer.

 

 

How's that faith work for ya in a court of law? Oh wait it doesn't. That's why evidence is important.You're making a claim that something exists. You need to have the evidence to back that up. 

 

The two will never be "compatible" because one is based on fact derived from evidence gathered using logic and reason. The other is based on beliefs that people have because it makes them feel better about life, thinking someone is watching over them and helping them through tough times when they need it, and it serves as something to comfort them about death, because they view it as the beginning of another life instead of what it really is, the end of your existence. If more people realized you get one life, one chance, make it count, we would be a much better society because of it. With religion, many people believe they can fumble through their time on this rock till they die, then their true life will start. 

 

The "truth" my friend is based on fact that requires (it's not optional) evidence. You don't need evidence because you are gullible and believe in something a few men wrote less that 2000 years ago. I know exactly what your faith consists of, and if you took the time to read your holy book and think for yourself, you too would see through the fallacies that are contained within it. The burden of proof doesn't lie upon us to disprove the existence of your god. The burden of proof lies upon anyone who believes in this God to prove he exists. 

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Loki, you are missing the POINT. No, faith does not apply in a court of law. Evidence is vital when it comes to day to day life in this world. Evidence is the basis of science. Evidence is a physical, concrete thing.

 

Faith is NOT of this world, it is not physical, and no, it is not scientific.

 

But faith DOES play a part in the emotional, and for Christians, spiritual life, of almost all human beings. We have faith in our friends. We have faith in our spouses. We have faith in ourselves. There is no amount of evidence that can PROVE that faith is justified. Yeah, so your spouse has never cheated on you - there is no way you can PROVE that will never happen in the future though. So your friends have always helped you in the past. That doesn't mean that they always will. So you have always made it through no matter how tough it was at times. That doesn't mean you will NEVER fail.

 

All of those times past that your faith in these things HAS been born out is simply anecdotal evidence and would be rejected by science. Does that mean you can no longer have faith in these things?

 

Faith in God cannot be justified by evidence either, but it is real to us. And THAT'S what I mean when I say it is the truth - not that YOU have to accept that our faith is justified, but that to US it IS. The TRUTH is that we believe for what is to us, very good reasons. The truth is, you don't. But to keep asking us WHY we believe in spite of the lack of evidence is so redundant.

 

GOD WANTS US TO LOVE HIM THROUGH FAITH, AND FOR THAT REASON, THERE WILL NEVER BE EVIDENCE.

 

It is NOT true, however, that Christians feel OK about fumbling their ways through life. A true Christian wants to do God's will in all things, and that means sometimes going against our instincts to do what is RIGHT, rather than what we secretly, selfishly want. Being a GOOD Christian is hard work! It means denying our own wants and needs sometimes, in order to work for the good of others.

 

I'm not saying there aren't atheists who do the same thing, but to say that Christians have it easy, or to imply that we don't have to "get it right" in this life is so very far from the truth!

 

Originally Posted by Bestworking:

I can understand the reason that atheists post here because they simply want to express their views. I guess I have a hard time understanding that is because when I thought God was nothing more than a Santa Claus story, I had absolutely no interest in religion.

 

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Sorry but that's another standard argument christians like to use. Religion is nothing at all like someone not believing in santa. Wars aren't fought in santa's name, politics aren't decided in santa's name. Not believing in santa doesn't get you attacked, insulted, and someone trying to force you to believe in santa or be considered an outcast with no rights or say in your government and the way your country is run. People aren't oppressed because of a non belief in santa or in his name. No one wants schools to teach your children they have to believe in santa. I could go on but I'm sure you get the point.

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Jennifer, I wish that for one moment, you and I could discuss something in a civil way. I'd like to ask you a couple of questions, and I in no way mean to be "snarky".

 

The other day I asked you about the potential conflict between pulling churches tax exempt status, and letting them keep it just so that they CAN'T have prayer and Bible clubs in schools. You said if they had to pay taxes, they would be allowed to do that. I asked which you thought would be the better choice. You never answered because it was me asking, but I wasn't asking to be insulting. I'm genuinely curious.

 

I also see a conflict in your wanting to keep religion out of government, and your right wing political beliefs. You and DA have touched on that, but I still wonder how you can vote for Repubs for their FISCAL beliefs, when it is the Repubs who want to bring God back into the schools and other "secular" places.

 

I'm curious, and believe me, I am NOT being disrespectful. I'm just wondering if your FISCAL beliefs trump your ATHEIST beliefs when it comes to voting, and why.

 

I know that there are times when I STRONGLY disagree with my party's stance (such as on gun control). I vote Dem. most of the time because on MOST things I agree with them. There are times I vote for someone I don't totally agree with because of my priorities.

 

You said you come here because you want people to understand your reasons for believing the way you do. As someone who IS intelligent (as you have proved here), I'd really be interested in your reasons on these two topics (taxing churches vs. letting them pray in school, and voting for fiscal vs. religious reasons.)

 

Thanks.

 

Originally Posted by NashBama:

It's important that you read the next sentence.

 

I'm not judging or condemning anyone here. I do not consider anyone less than myself regardless of belief.

 

Please know that to be true.

 

As for the rest of the post, I have no problem with atheists posting on this forum. It's a free and public forum and anyone abiding by forum rules can post here. I don't think anyone should be discouraged from voicing their opinion.

 

I honestly can't come up with any other reason as to why an atheist would spend time posting in a forum on religion. So if I'm wrong, help me out and let me know the third reason that I missed.

 

I post here because I've seen a lot of misconceptions about what Christianity is. I'm just explaining what I know and hope to present a different view that people may not have considered. I'm not unsure at all.

 

I seriously doubt that there are any atheist here that come to this forum because they are conflicted or fighting the inner calling. Most people become atheist by education and reason. Some, who were born atheist, have remained so. If you are atheist by education and reason, you have already gone through the stage of seeking and wondering which is the right answer. God or no God.  If you are raised with out the indoctrination then the whole thing is no different than any other myth from history. I don't necessarily have a hard on for religion, other than the fact that it is always there. I could probably count at least 20 churches on my route from home to work and I live about 15 minutes from work. For every 50 people I meet, maybe 5 are atheist, or agnostic. So, I find it interesting that so many people are so caught up in and believe so strongly in something that appears to me as a myth. I have not looked at religious text and history with the mind of a believer, but as purely academic. If you take the emotion out of it , there is nothing whats so ever compelling or believable.

 

So I like to discuss the ideas and doctrine of religion.

 

 I also come to expose myself to other atheist in my community. It is getting easier to connect with those that are like minded, but our numbers are WAY fewer than believers and we are more spread out. So this is a good place to meet those people (Hi Best, NSNS, Unob, RP, A. Rob etc,,,)

 

And finally I come here to discuss the political side of religion. THAT is truly my real passion when it comes to the topic of religion.  I am a strong supporter of SOCS and the Constitution. I love this country and what it stands for. I care deeply that there are those that would change it into something akin to Iran if given free reign to do so.

gb writes: Fact is that these Christians experienced something that an atheist or non-believer never will and that is God's presence which dramatically altered their existence.

 

Plenty of atheists have experienced god moments.  They just came to realize that god moments are a human psychological phenomenon.  Buddhists experience Buddha moments, Baha'is experience Baha'i moments, etc.  It's a matter of geography, mostly.

 

Shall I bore you with examples of atheists who were formerly dyed-in-the-wool Christians?  Let me know if that's necessary.

 

In times of need, we all want to believe that someone is taking care of us.  It ain't necessarily so.  I've known plenty of Christians who had god moments, and none of them was at the top of his/her game at the time.  It's a crutch, an out, a way of discharging life's unpleasantness onto someone who can't be disproven, and therefor is beyond a certain reproach.  If that gets you through the night, go for it.

I'll stick with reality.  And the reality is, there is no god.  This is not unpleasant.  It answers more questions than it presents.  Why does god let bad things happen to good people?  He does not, since he does not exist.  No challenge there.  Why are there so many interpretations of the gods?  Because humans made them up.  Again, no challenge.

 

It's so easy, I wonder why you haven't seen this.  Perhaps you will.  Write me if you do.

 

DF

NSNS & DA,

Your last two comments were great!  I might disagree, I might counter with a point of my own or counter point but the point here is those two replies expressed intelligent responses without condemnation of anyone of the opposing view or was not demeaning in any way.  Those are exactly the type of replies I wish all non-believers or atheist would make. I can also accept DA's reason expressed for being here.  As I said before in my own hypothesis or theory it was addressed or targeted at no specific person.  If it seemed I had you targeted DA because of potentially falling in placement after one or more of your post then I apologize for that, although I can understand where you might draw that conclusion I assure you it was not targeted at you or anyone for it would be impossible to know it was the case with anyone.  Still it could hold true for some, everyone has different reasons and with the vast numbers of people that come in and out it potentially could apply, that is if you believed in God and that God works in those ways.  If you don't then you don't believe it could be a valid theory.

 

Some have accused me of wanting to make this a Christian forum, wrongly I might add.  I welcome comments as these two whether they agree or disagree with part or all of a former post I made or a topic at hand.  What I have railed against is when post get personal and don't really address the topic or are just there to be critical and heckling (my word choice).

 

As for "God experiences", NSNS, you know the patented response that we, Christians, will give to that, it's #2 which is "they were never really Christians but in name only".  They never had that real life altering relationship with Christ/God.  Actually that is a judgment call.  I'm not anyone's judge but of my own actions, so I will not make that assertion and judgment in reply to your statement. 

 

Just as you could list countless numbers of examples though I could also say we could find and document examples of atheist who found Christ/God and transformed their lives or of "Christians" who many, after years in Church(es) and believed they were Christians found one day a transformation and actually met God's Holy Spirit and then said all along they weren't Christians.  I know that's redundant or close to patented answer #2 but never the less there are many Christians that have that very testimony to say.

 

In the end we are only responsible for our own selves.  We can share our own experiences, beliefs and stories but when it comes down to it each person is the only one responsible for themselves.

 

Some have accused me of wanting to make this a Christian forum, wrongly I might add.  I welcome comments as these two whether they agree or disagree with part or all of a former post I made or a topic at hand.  What I have railed against is when post get personal and don't really address the topic or are just there to be critical and heckling (my word choice).

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First of all you want this to be a christian only forum or you would stop whining and asking why atheists are here. Even when you've been told why we're here you still whine and keep asking. Secondly it's not up to you or anyone else to "welcome" comments. People are free to post whether or not you welcome it. Thirdly you take any opposition to your comments as attacks or heckling. You get plenty of intelligent opposing posts yet you call them attacks against you and christianity. There is only one atheist that posts here only to "heckle" christians and that's jimi. There are others that post only to "heckle" atheists but that's OK with you. You whine that people owe you apologies when they don't, and when you lie and it's pointed out you pull a bill and ignore it. We have plenty of debate and discussion on this forum but you don't consider anything that goes against your thoughts as debate. You need to "man up", put on your big boy shorts and stop crying. If you can't do that then you need to stop reading posts from people that "upset" you.

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