Jesus: Fact or Fiction?

Into statistics? Curious what everyone else thinks? Then start a poll here.

What are your opinions about Jesus?

He never existed
9
19%
He was just a man
22
47%
He was a prophet
2
4%
He was God incarnate
14
30%
 
Total votes : 47

Postby whoosanightowl » Mon Mar 20, 2006 8:17 am

Paul was there when Stephen was stoned, and he gave approval to it. Paul also asked for a letter to find out who in Damascus was a Christian so he could go arrest them. It also says Paul imprisoned many Christians.

Who made these claims? Paul?
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Postby spongebob » Mon Mar 20, 2006 1:20 pm

koin4life wrote:There was an interesting quote in a book I read that was attributed to a former director at NASA. I am paraphrasing here because I don't have the book in front of me. Science has been denying religious thought in hopes they would come to a naturalistic conclusion that is against the biblical creation. When science finally climbed the mountain of discovery to determine how the universe was created, they only realized that it was in line with biblical creation, and that the theologens were sitting on top of the mountain for centuries.


I don't doubt there's a quote like that somewhere, doesn't surprise me a bit, sounds like Christian rhetoric. The fact is, "science" is actually a verb, not a noun. But if you are refering to the collective body of scientists around the world and for the past 1,000 years, then you would be happy to learn that refuting Biblical claims and denying the existence of god has never been a objective. Describing the known universe in observable language is the point of scientific endeavor. Now, in the process of deconstructing the universe, scientists have been able to explain many aspects of existence that were once relegated to religion or the supernatural. Lightning, earthquakes, ancient earth and universe, the workings of biology and evolution, all of these things have conflicted with dogmatic religious beliefs at one time or another. So isn't it rational and expected that someone reject a worldview based on facts that have been proven to be wrong?
Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.
~Bertrand Russell

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Postby koin4life » Mon Mar 20, 2006 1:34 pm

SpongeBob, I agree with your comments (I think). I was just trying to use the quote I had read. I think the person was talking about scientists as individuals rather than science as a whole. I would almost agree with you completely that science as a whole does not care about religion. The only part that I would disagree is that science tries to find a natural answer for everything, where as religion often times takes faith. But, what good would science be if it didn't try to explain things naturally. I just thought the quote was interesting. Thanks for the input.
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Postby Atheist37 » Mon Mar 20, 2006 5:23 pm

koin4life wrote:I think denying Jesus existence really damages the rest of your claims. The reason is because many historians during that time period have left accounts of Jesus.

I have yet to find a single contemporary of Jesus that left any kind of reference. Maybe I missed something, please let me know if that's the case. But my point remains the same.

Here is a modern analogy. Do you believe the Book of Mormon is authentic? Use the 3L's on the book (writings of a lunatic, writings of a liar, or writings inspired by the lord). Well that's the wrong question. You really need to ask the question of Joseph Smith. No matter what you think of the guy, we was clearly a skillful leader who has fathered one of the world's largest faiths. In my mind, there is an obvious and substantial parallel between Joseph Smith and the Apostle Paul. You need to apply the 3L's to these guys, and not to Jesus (whether or not he was an actual historical person).
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Postby spongebob » Tue Mar 21, 2006 11:13 am

koin4life wrote:The only part that I would disagree is that science tries to find a natural answer for everything, where as religion often times takes faith. But, what good would science be if it didn't try to explain things naturally. Thanks for the input.


Well, you're exactly right on that note. Science is about observing the natural world and drawing conclusions about those observations, then testings those conclusions. It is incumbent upon the scientist to limit his conclusions to only those which he can test. NO scientist worth his salt would be caught dead postulating that "I conclude by scientific observation that there is no god" because the statement is not testible. Now, he might state (as I do) that he sees no objective evidence to support said god, therefore, in his opinion, no god exists.
Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.
~Bertrand Russell

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