Happy Monday everyone.
Those who read this blog religiously have, I am sure, read the questions of Zapata. I am not going to re-post them here. No, the questions we have are more interesting, but before the questions something we might all agree with.
Everything for which we love and venerate the man Jesus becomes a bitter and absurd mockery when attributed to the Lord ChristJames Thomson, Satires and Profanities
Now the questions
- he went about doing good; if God, why did he not do all good at once?
- he cured many sick; if god why did he not give the whole world health?
- he associated with publicans and sinners; if god, why did he make publicans and sinners at all?
- he preached the kingdom of heaven; if god, why did he not bring the kingdom with him and make all mankind fit for it?
- he loved the poor, he taught the ignorant; if god, why did he let any remain poor and ignorant?
- he died for love of mankind; if god, why did he not restore mankind to himself without dying? and what great thing was it to seem to die for three days?
- he sent apostles to preach salvation to all men; if god, why did he not reveal it at once to all men, and so reveal it that doubt had been impossible?
- he lived an example of holiness to us all; if god, how can our humanity imitate deity
- why did he ever let the world get evil?
I hope to hear your responses and have a great week everyone.
I have been reading Albert Schweitzer’s autobiography and in there he talks about his book the quest for historical Jesus which if you have not read yet, I suggest you do. But that’s not what caught my eye. He mentions the works of J. M Robertson, William Benjamin Smith, James George Frazer, Arthur Drews as those who have contested the historical existence of Jesus.
It is not difficult to pretend that Jesus never lived. The attempt to prove it, however, invariably produces the opposite conclusion. In the Jewish literature of the first century the existence of Jesus is not attested to with any certainty, and in the Greek and Latin literature of the same period there is no evidence for it at all. Of the two passages in his Antiquities in which the Jewish writer Joseph’s makes incidental mention of Jesus one was undoubtedly interpolated by Christian copycats.[…. ] It still has to be explained when, where and how Christianity originated without either Jesus or paul; how it later came to trace its origins back to these mythical personalities; and finally for what curious reasons they, both Jewish, were designated as the founders of Christianity. To prove that the gospels and epistles are not genuine one has to explain how they were written without being authentic. Out of my life and thought: an autobiography
History is not about the knowledge of the events, it is about the ability to recognise the continuum of the resulting influences on our consciousness, carried through to the present day.
I have been reading a book, Civilised to death, recommended by my good friend, Mary and it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, the bible considered not as god speak but as a response to a changing a world. Consider the garden of Eden as the natural habitat of the first humans where they lived as hunters and gathers and the fall as the beginning of agriculture.
The many wars are not really about god’s chosen ones but intertribal wars over land and watering points.
The book of kings can then be seen as state formation with their rigid rules and demands. For example taxes and all. In this way, the author of kings is not writing about things to come but things already experienced.
Jesus, then represents the archetype of the socialist or anarchist opposed to big government (here I kid) but you see where this is going.
I think Schopenhauer, that pessimistic philosopher, already tried to give the bible a very generous reading. Devoid of the claims of god inspiration and what nots, the bible begins to make sense as a response of those living in the crescent to the changes in lifestyle from hunters ad gatherers to farming and all.
What are your thoughts? Am i making any sense?
I must say first that if you have time, pick this book by Robert A Heinlein and you will not fail to find something totally hilarious. In some place he writes
…justice is not a divine concept, it is a human illusion. The very basis of the judeo-christian code is injustice, the scapegoat system. The scapegoat sacrifice runs all through the old testament, then it reaches its height in the new testament with the notion of the martyred redeemer. How can justice possibly be served by loading your sins on another? Whether it be a lamb having its throat cut ritually or a messiah nailed to a cross and “dying for your sins”. Somebody should tell all of Yawheh’s followers, jews and Christians, that there is no such thing as a free lunch.Job, a comedy of justice
I thought we can revisit these questions from old and see what new answers theists have come up with.
And then a quote.
Theologians can persuade themselves of anything….. Anyone who can worship a trinity and insist that his religion is a monotheism can believe anything just give him time to rationalise it.Job, A comedy of Justice by Robert Heinlein
that it didn’t matter whether the gospels had mistakes? I know you didn’t but now you know. It is important for you to know that Jesus died for your sins but you are still going to hell for that tattoo or for the shrimp you ate.
I don’t think there are mistakes in the gospels; but even if there were, it wouldn’t affect the core of the Gospel: Jesus died for our sins, defeated death by rising again, and is coming back in glory to establish the Kingdom of God. Those truths stand firm forever!
I am glad we have this cleared up.
Thank goodness for apologists.
I don’t know who it is who said that as long as one person languished in hell, heaven would be a sad place or something to that effect.
I like this post on heaven especially this
I searched the scriptures even more zealously for God, but that just made things worse. The God who is described in the Bible is a terrible Being, one that deserves our fear, but not one that any decent person could possibly worship. His behavior is despotic—the Flood isn’t the half of it—and I eventually concluded that he could command no moral authority by which to judge the human race. I stopped believing in Hell altogether and hoped that God was actually much better than he was portrayed in his biography.”
I think I should read the book A brief eternity. I will look for an epub copy later.
Have a heaven free day, won’t you.
The link to the questions is here. I don’t think the questions are new but I will treat them as such.
- What is your religious background? Did you grow up in a religious home?
Catholic. Yes. In Kenya every stone you throw is likely to land on a religious person. And in some places, it may land on a church/mosque or an open crusade.
- Was there a time when you were open to Christianity or another religion?
Yes, the whole time I was religious.
Not that I recall. I just became clever. That’s all.
Christianity. Convinced my forefathers that what they were doing was the wrong way and left them confused.
Not supernatural but I was once so high I thought my bed was floating at an angle.
Before we were born, we didn’t exist and it wasn’t a bother, same with death. Life becomes more meaningful when you realize that all the shit you need to do can only be done here and now. Does it mean those who don’t have children or who have died sooner have not led meaningful lives because without an afterlife, it is all about the survival of the species?
I prefer right and left. I prefer to do the things my non existent cat approves of.
Sometimes. Especially when I make a bbq of Methodist babies.
Whenever this block suffers a dearth of posts, I go to that wormhole otherwise known as Quora to just stroll and see what questions people are asking. I like it for other things. The stories
lies people tell. And so today I saw this question
Imagine you died, and then you find out the afterlife and God are real. God presents himself to you, satisfying whatever proof you need to know it’s him, and he then asks you to explain your lack of faith. What would you say?
I can tell that this question is loaded with assumptions. I can bet, I didn’t bother to check, that the enquirer is a Christian. They tend to hog the god name with a capital G. So the first question would be of identity, which god are we talking about? The god of the philosophers who set the ball rolling and went to sleep, maybe even died, or the god of my forefather- indifferent. Or that of the Abrahamic faiths- petty, jealous and murderous?
Two, this god appears after I am dead. Isn’t that a wee bit late. The answer simply is you didn’t present yourself when it counted.
Thinking more about the question, it is a weaker version of Pascal’s argument. You are implored to just believe, without evidence because maybe this angry god might be waiting for you the other side of the grave. Not happening. Don’t fear death my friend, nor the gods. If they exist and love us, we have no reason to be afraid. If they exist and they are capricious, then worshiping them is no guarantee that you’ll be spared from their bouts of anger.
How will the religious voters cast their votes? It does seem the White evangelicals are tied to the hip with Trump. He has done a lot of what he promised them and could still achieve more if reelected. Whether these things benefit most Americans is for you to tell us.