Faith Does Not Equal Proof Of Your Beliefs...

An atheist friend of mine posted a facebook status asking anyone who thought they could to offer proof for the existance of jesus as a historical figure. At least seven people have jumped in with their "proof" or god and/or jesus based on everything from Roman historians to personal experiences to bible verses. *facepalm* How hard is it to understand that you can't use the bible to verify the bible. That would be like me writing an essay and using my own essay as a reference.
The latest "proof" offered is that first century believers were so willing to die for their faith. Why would they do that if it wasn't true?! And who could ever invent such a story as the bible?? -- I guess they've never read the Bhagavad Gita or the Quran or any of the Greek epics or Beowulf. No, humans have no capacity to create sensational stories...

Of course, I could not resist replying to that comment. Thought I would share my respose:
"Having the conviction to die for your religion is not something unique to Christianity. Of the more than 2500 deities that have been or are still being worshipped on Earth, there have been many with followers devoted enough to die for their beliefs. All you have to do is turn on the news to know that many muslims will gladly sacrifice themselves for their convictions. Buddhist monks have set themselves on fire. For generations, Hindu women committed Sati, spurred on by religious motivation. The vikings enthusiastically threw themselves into battle and death believing that was the only way they could reach Valhalla.

I defer to Mr. Neitzsche's more eloquent phrasing: “A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything...Every true faith is infallible. It performs what the believing person hopes to find in it. But it does not offer the least support for the establishing of an objective truth. Here the ways of men divide. If you want to achieve peace of mind and happiness, have faith. If you want to be a disciple of truth, then search." Believing something, even to the point of death, is not proof of the validity of those beliefs."

Questions, comments, or commiserations?
Teasaidh Teasaidh
26-30, F
8 Responses Sep 11, 2012

Jesus is Horus.

Happy Thursday!

If I may, you need to update your info: http://bit.ly/17mOwug

The God described in your bible was one major ****** up *******! He\'s omnipotent, but lets children in Syria die. He killed his son, and told another guy to kill his son too. He insists that you WORSHIP him and only him. He could easily prove his existence and help you with your argument, instead he doesn\'t help you at all. He allows his representatives to kill in his name, hate in his name (gays), and rape in his name (priests, pastors, etc). If I were God, I\'d do the opposite of all these things so that people with their eyes open wouldn\'t think I was one hell of a ****** up *******!

@4Fun

You\'re oversimplifying my friend: http://bit.ly/11EyvgO

@Kylie

Since you keep bringing up Santa, here's scientific evidence which clearly disproves his existence: http://bit.ly/185Tf1D

Now, go and do the same for God.

I'd only like to point out that there is more historical evidence for the resurrection of Christ than there is for evolution.

In his book "The Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus", Michael Licona provides a list of scholars who deem the resurrection of Christ a historical fact such as Ackerman, Barnett, Barrett, Bostock, Brodeur, Collins, Conzelman, Fee, Gundry, Harris, Hayes, Hèring, Hurtado, Johnson, Kistemaker, Lockwood, Martin, Segal, Snyder, Thiselton, Witherington, and Wright.

Concordantly, British scholar N. T. Wright states, "As a historian, I cannot explain the rise of early Christianity unless Jesus rose again, leaving an empty tomb behind him.” (N. T. Wright, “The New Unimproved Jesus,” Christianity Today (September 13, 1993)), p. 26.

Even Gert L¸demann, the leading German critic of the resurrection, himself admits, “It may be taken as historically certain that Peter and the disciples had experiences after Jesus’ death in which Jesus appeared to them as the risen Christ.”(Gerd L¸demann, What Really Happened to Jesus?, trans. John Bowden (Louisville, Kent.: Westminster John Knox Press, 1995), p. 80.)

These are just a minute sampling from the massive throng of scholars who all attest to the historicity of Christ’s resurrection - http://amzn.to/13MQiTE

Prominently, in his book, “Justifying Historical Descriptions”, historian C. B. McCullagh lists six tests which historians use in determining what is the best explanation for given historical facts. The hypothesis “God raised Jesus from the dead” passes all these tests:

1. It has great explanatory scope: it explains why the tomb was found empty, why the disciples saw post-mortem appearances of Jesus, and why the Christian faith came into being.

2. It has great explanatory power: it explains why the body of Jesus was gone, why people repeatedly saw Jesus alive despite his earlier public execution, and so forth.

3. It is plausible: given the historical context of Jesus’ own unparalleled life and claims, the resurrection serves as divine confirmation of those radical claims.

4. It is not ad hoc or contrived: it requires only one additional hypothesis: that God exists. And even that needn’t be an additional hypothesis if one already believes that God exists.

5. It is in accord with accepted beliefs. The hypothesis: “God raised Jesus from the dead” doesn’t in any way conflict with the accepted belief that people don’t rise naturally from the dead. The Christian accepts that belief as wholeheartedly as he accepts the hypothesis that God raised Jesus from the dead.

6. It far outstrips any of its rival hypotheses in meeting conditions (1)-(5). Down through history various alternative explanations of the facts have been offered, for example, the conspiracy hypothesis, the apparent death hypothesis, the hallucination hypothesis, and so forth. Such hypotheses have been almost universally rejected by contemporary scholarship. None of these naturalistic hypotheses succeeds in meeting the conditions as well as the resurrection hypothesis.

Heres a fun FACT for ya The executioner of Neisse in Silesia invented an oven in which he roasted to death 42 women and young girls in one year. Within 9 years he had roasted over a 1000 people, including children 2 to 4 years old. In Wurzburg many children were burned, some no older than 9 years.in the name of Christ

@Gaund

What\'s the point of your factoid?

The catholic church is just as bad as Hitler. and the bible is just a conglomeration of myths stolen from others. the Bible is not a book of facts

@Gaund

What is your evidence the Bible is not historical in any way, shape or form?

What is your evidence that it is? Besides the bible itself.
Or biased scholars

Christians and Muslims are well known for indoctrinating children with the holy spirit of bs and bulldozing their beliefs into anyone they can

@Gaund

I asked first. Show me your argument is more than just specious argumentum assertio so that I can take you seriously.

Dont worry about taking me seriously.
Since I never take a religious argument serious. being its nothing more than a dispute about a imaginary friend

And I don\'t take delusional people seriously.

Exactly god is a delusion.
Im glad you understand now.

You misapprehend. It is you who is suffering from the delusion.

“To sustain the belief that there is no God, atheism has to demonstrate infinite knowledge, which is tantamount to saying, “I have infinite knowledge that there is no being in existence with infinite knowledge”
― Ravi Zacharias

@Kylie

Hardly. Jesus was recreated, as it were. This fact alone makes the existence of God anything but implausible.

The God described in your bible was one major ****** up *******! He\'s omnipotent, but lets children in Syria die. He killed his son, and told another guy to kill his son too. He insists that you WORSHIP him and only him. He could easily prove his existence and help you with your argument, instead he doesn\'t help you at all. He allows his representatives to kill in his name, hate in his name (gays), and rape in his name (priests, pastors, etc). If I were God, I\'d do the opposite of all these things so that people with their eyes open wouldn\'t think I was one hell of a ****** up *******!

10 More Responses

Well said. People have laid their lives on the line for innumerable causes including religion from time immemorial. Fanaticism and blind allegiance to baseless beliefs is a instant motif in human history.

"Here the ways of men divide. If you want to achieve peace of mind and happiness, have faith. If you want to be a disciple of truth, then search."

Wow, that's so well put. Good man for an aphorism, that Nietzsche. You've got to wonder if constantly having to spell his own name gave him a hatred of redundancy...

Faith IS believing what can not be proven. If it could be proven, it would be fact and not faith. I am a born again Christian. I believe what can not be proven because I choose to, based on my own experiences and convictions. Belief can not be forced and it can not be stopped. I have prayed for atheists and other non-Christians. Some are offended, some appreciate the gesture, if nothing else. People can disagree and even love one another. If someone of another religion offered a prayer to their god, who I consider a false god, on my behalf out of genuine concern for me, I would not be offended. I may have no faith in the act, god, or religion of that person and in fact may even pray myself for them as well, but yet appreciate their concern for me. I mean, they took time and effort for me, showed compassion for me. Does what I am saying make sense? Anyway, have a good day all.

I wrote an essay called "I Hate The Hellfire Doctrine" I wanted to put the fire out since many hate a God who could burn his progeny. I didn't know where to put it, so I sent it to
"I Love Intrigue and Unrevell Truth in Solving Puzzles. Maybe no one wants to know the answer. Boshie

There is some evidence to suggest that a person who was known as Jesus existed and that he was a priest/rabbi/teacher at the time. It may be that some of the teachings in the Bible reflect some of the things he said. However, we must also remember that the written gospel accounts emerged during the period between 60 AD and 120 AD in their final form - 30 years or so after the events they describe. As far as is known the writers of the gospels were not first hand eye witnesses to any of the accounts they describe - they ba<x>se their written account on stories told to them by people claiming to be first hand eye witnesses.<br />
<br />
Early gnostic versions of the gospels in rough form (unedited) suggest the earliest versions of these stories were what we call "sayings gospels" - i.e. a series of sayings, teachings and parrables attributed to Jesus. What these early versions appear to have lacked was any reference to a) miracles, b) cruxification stories & coming back from the dead etc, c) any real narrative on the life of Jesus/his disciples.<br />
<br />
It would seem very likely that miracle and resurrection stories evolved later, some time after Jesus death. Most likely they were folk stories that evolved amonst some of Jesus followers who were so desperate to believe in a messiah that got carried away with their own religious fervour. Maybe some of them imagined the saw visions of Jesus and took this one step further to speak of a physical resurrection etc. Indeed one or two gnostic gospels describe the resurrection as spiritual and not physical - i.e. people received visions of the spirit of Jesus and did not see him in the flesh. In fact one of them says he was not actually killed & survived the cruxification because the Romans did not think it was necessary to have him killed - i.e. the cruxification was a sham to appease the fanatical jewish Priests who wanted Jesus dead.<br />
<br />
All in all I think these stories are ba<x>sed around a real person who preached / taught in around 20-30 AD but that is as far as it goes. The miracle stories and the resurrection are all later additions and embelishments.

Very nicely put! Actually pretty similar in ideas to my first comment on this status. I was trying to refrain from posting again because most of the people commenting weren't really going to listen too me. Then someone posted that nonsense about how being willing to die for your faith proved your beliefs were true. I am more than willing to believe there was a teacher know as Yeshua Christus, or some variation thereof that lived in the early first century. Do I believe he was god? No, but I won't say it's impossible he existed. The question my friend asked was pointed towards someone offering tangible proof Christ was a real person and that he did what the Bible says he did without referring to the Bible as "proof."

Aside from the Bible there are gnostic religious texts (also Christian but of a heretical kind - but nevertheless dating back to the period 60AD-150AD in the main). These other sources present various versions of the cruxifiction story ranging from:

1) don't mention it at all

2) a version similar to the biblical one

3) claim Jesus survived the cruxifiction

4) claim Jesus ressurection was not physical but spiritual &amp; people saw his spirit in visions rather than his body in the flesh.

The really independent references then come later from Roman sources. Tacitus, for example, gives this account:

"Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus"

That's it. That's literally all Tacitus had to say. He was writing at around 100AD so his account is as contemporary as, for example, the gospel of John.