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Jesus - An enlightened spiritual teacher.

Tiel
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7/23/2011 3:31:45 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Topic: I would like to hear people's thoughts on Jesus being seen as a man who was an enlightened spiritual teacher, not God.
"Only the inner force of curiosity and wonder about the unknown, or an outer force upon your free will, can brake the shackles of your current perception."
Helium-Flash
Posts: 1
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7/23/2011 3:42:09 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Before you can discuss whether he was a spiritual teacher or not you have to establish that he actually existed. This is not as clear cut as many people would have you believe. There is no contemporary historical evidence for Jesus whatsoever, his first mention in history being around 50 years after he is supposed to have died. Along with the possibilities of son of God and enlightened spiritual teacher, there is the further possibility that he was pure invention.

Given the similarities the Jesus story has to much of the mythology of the period, coupled with a conspicuous lack of evidence for a person that is claimed to have caused major disruption to a ruling elite during an age of empire when bureaucracy was ubiquitous, it is very possible that Jesus is an entirely fictional character, or perhaps somebody based very loosely on one or more real people.
Tiel
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7/23/2011 3:49:04 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/23/2011 3:42:09 PM, Helium-Flash wrote:
Before you can discuss whether he was a spiritual teacher or not you have to establish that he actually existed. This is not as clear cut as many people would have you believe. There is no contemporary historical evidence for Jesus whatsoever, his first mention in history being around 50 years after he is supposed to have died. Along with the possibilities of son of God and enlightened spiritual teacher, there is the further possibility that he was pure invention.

Given the similarities the Jesus story has to much of the mythology of the period, coupled with a conspicuous lack of evidence for a person that is claimed to have caused major disruption to a ruling elite during an age of empire when bureaucracy was ubiquitous, it is very possible that Jesus is an entirely fictional character, or perhaps somebody based very loosely on one or more real people.

Reply: I agree. There is no way of knowing anything about the existence of Jesus and in my opinion people put far too much importance on it. Spiritual teachings are all around us right now in the present. The age of a teacher or teachings does not necessarily have great importance in itself. Spiritual teachings and teachers are everywhere and what matters is the information that is being learned or taught, not how it's learned or who teaches it. Your personal reality is the true School of God, the part of God that is You. The One is All and The All is One.
"Only the inner force of curiosity and wonder about the unknown, or an outer force upon your free will, can brake the shackles of your current perception."
ApostateAbe
Posts: 236
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7/23/2011 8:52:08 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I think that there is strong evidence that Jesus existed (i.e. Paul met James, the reputed brother of Jesus per Galatians 1:19). But, I do not believe that Jesus was an enlightened spiritual teacher. The closest modern analogies to Jesus are broadly regarded as psychopathic and creepy. Jesus was a doomsday cult leader who separated his followers from their families and told them that the world as they knew it would end very shortly.

I have completed an interesting debate on the subject against a fellow secularist here:

http://www.debate.org...

Here is a shorter debate on the same subject against a Christian that lays out all of the ancient evidence:

http://www.debate.org...
Tiel
Posts: 1,500
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7/23/2011 9:05:58 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/23/2011 8:52:08 PM, ApostateAbe wrote:
I think that there is strong evidence that Jesus existed (i.e. Paul met James, the reputed brother of Jesus per Galatians 1:19). But, I do not believe that Jesus was an enlightened spiritual teacher. The closest modern analogies to Jesus are broadly regarded as psychopathic and creepy. Jesus was a doomsday cult leader who separated his followers from their families and told them that the world as they knew it would end very shortly.

I have completed an interesting debate on the subject against a fellow secularist here:

http://www.debate.org...

Here is a shorter debate on the same subject against a Christian that lays out all of the ancient evidence:

http://www.debate.org...

Reply: There is nothing that you or anyone else could show me that would prove to me your words as being true. There is just no way for any human to verify any claims to who Jesus was and what he taught. Anybody can write anything down. It doesn't prove anything other than somebody wrote something down.
"Only the inner force of curiosity and wonder about the unknown, or an outer force upon your free will, can brake the shackles of your current perception."
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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7/23/2011 9:26:28 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/23/2011 9:05:58 PM, Tiel wrote:
At 7/23/2011 8:52:08 PM, ApostateAbe wrote:
I think that there is strong evidence that Jesus existed (i.e. Paul met James, the reputed brother of Jesus per Galatians 1:19). But, I do not believe that Jesus was an enlightened spiritual teacher. The closest modern analogies to Jesus are broadly regarded as psychopathic and creepy. Jesus was a doomsday cult leader who separated his followers from their families and told them that the world as they knew it would end very shortly.

I have completed an interesting debate on the subject against a fellow secularist here:

http://www.debate.org...

Here is a shorter debate on the same subject against a Christian that lays out all of the ancient evidence:

http://www.debate.org...

Reply: There is nothing that you or anyone else could show me that would prove to me your words as being true. There is just no way for any human to verify any claims to who Jesus was and what he taught. Anybody can write anything down. It doesn't prove anything other than somebody wrote something down.

Is there any way someone could prove to you that Julius Cesar existed? If so, what evidence would you accept?
ApostateAbe
Posts: 236
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7/23/2011 9:29:37 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/23/2011 9:05:58 PM, Tiel wrote:
At 7/23/2011 8:52:08 PM, ApostateAbe wrote:
I think that there is strong evidence that Jesus existed (i.e. Paul met James, the reputed brother of Jesus per Galatians 1:19). But, I do not believe that Jesus was an enlightened spiritual teacher. The closest modern analogies to Jesus are broadly regarded as psychopathic and creepy. Jesus was a doomsday cult leader who separated his followers from their families and told them that the world as they knew it would end very shortly.

I have completed an interesting debate on the subject against a fellow secularist here:

http://www.debate.org...

Here is a shorter debate on the same subject against a Christian that lays out all of the ancient evidence:

http://www.debate.org...

Reply: There is nothing that you or anyone else could show me that would prove to me your words as being true. There is just no way for any human to verify any claims to who Jesus was and what he taught. Anybody can write anything down. It doesn't prove anything other than somebody wrote something down.

OK, that works for some people. I prefer to make conclusions about the world in large part through written communication.
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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7/23/2011 9:40:36 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/23/2011 9:28:04 PM, Gileandos wrote:
I have met Jesus. What would you like to know about him?

Pics or it didn't happen.
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
Tiel
Posts: 1,500
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7/23/2011 9:50:01 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/23/2011 9:26:28 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 7/23/2011 9:05:58 PM, Tiel wrote:
At 7/23/2011 8:52:08 PM, ApostateAbe wrote:
I think that there is strong evidence that Jesus existed (i.e. Paul met James, the reputed brother of Jesus per Galatians 1:19). But, I do not believe that Jesus was an enlightened spiritual teacher. The closest modern analogies to Jesus are broadly regarded as psychopathic and creepy. Jesus was a doomsday cult leader who separated his followers from their families and told them that the world as they knew it would end very shortly.

I have completed an interesting debate on the subject against a fellow secularist here:

http://www.debate.org...

Here is a shorter debate on the same subject against a Christian that lays out all of the ancient evidence:

http://www.debate.org...

Reply: There is nothing that you or anyone else could show me that would prove to me your words as being true. There is just no way for any human to verify any claims to who Jesus was and what he taught. Anybody can write anything down. It doesn't prove anything other than somebody wrote something down.

Is there any way someone could prove to you that Julius Cesar existed? If so, what evidence would you accept?

Reply: Any proof would fall under the same pretense, but I personally would accept different written accounts from different people who believe different things, all who say something similar. That would be proof that I would personally accept.
"Only the inner force of curiosity and wonder about the unknown, or an outer force upon your free will, can brake the shackles of your current perception."
Gileandos
Posts: 2,394
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7/23/2011 9:50:12 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/23/2011 9:40:36 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
At 7/23/2011 9:28:04 PM, Gileandos wrote:
I have met Jesus. What would you like to know about him?

Pics or it didn't happen.

Pictures can be photoshop'd. Video's can be fudged. How about a personal introduction?
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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7/23/2011 10:00:44 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/23/2011 9:50:12 PM, Gileandos wrote:
At 7/23/2011 9:40:36 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
At 7/23/2011 9:28:04 PM, Gileandos wrote:
I have met Jesus. What would you like to know about him?

Pics or it didn't happen.

Pictures can be photoshop'd. Video's can be fudged. How about a personal introduction?

Pics and videos can be indeed be fudged to support false claims, a wise consideration, but long before pics and videos were being fudged, books, scripts and personal claims were being fudged, claims like God said such and such. Would you not agree ?

As far as your personal introduction, I have a suspicion that your being deceptive, you don't really mean a personal introduction in how people use that term in everyday language.

I have a suspicion that your personal introduction is a combination of the power of suggestion, religious dogma, and unfalsifiable claims repeated ad nasuem.

Can you allay me of these concerns ?
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
Gileandos
Posts: 2,394
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7/23/2011 10:37:17 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/23/2011 10:00:44 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
At 7/23/2011 9:50:12 PM, Gileandos wrote:
At 7/23/2011 9:40:36 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
At 7/23/2011 9:28:04 PM, Gileandos wrote:
I have met Jesus. What would you like to know about him?

Pics or it didn't happen.

Pictures can be photoshop'd. Video's can be fudged. How about a personal introduction?

Pics and videos can be indeed be fudged to support false claims, a wise consideration, but long before pics and videos were being fudged, books, scripts and personal claims were being fudged, claims like God said such and such. Would you not agree ?

As far as your personal introduction, I have a suspicion that your being deceptive, you don't really mean a personal introduction in how people use that term in everyday language.

I have a suspicion that your personal introduction is a combination of the power of suggestion, religious dogma, and unfalsifiable claims repeated ad nasuem.

Can you allay me of these concerns ?

Actually, I give far more credit to the ancient authors and myths than you would. As all Christians do , I also believe that the ancient Gods and powers they have are quite real. So I do not believe they were fudged as you suggest.

They are just little gods and not the Living God.

As to the personal introduction, What kind of introduction would you like? Jesus will not leave the Throne but you can be taken to him.

Also, you have met an Angel before or are uncertain if you had. Shall I ask for another with a message for you?
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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7/23/2011 10:48:04 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/23/2011 10:37:17 PM, Gileandos wrote:
At 7/23/2011 10:00:44 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
At 7/23/2011 9:50:12 PM, Gileandos wrote:
At 7/23/2011 9:40:36 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
At 7/23/2011 9:28:04 PM, Gileandos wrote:
I have met Jesus. What would you like to know about him?

Pics or it didn't happen.

Pictures can be photoshop'd. Video's can be fudged. How about a personal introduction?

Pics and videos can be indeed be fudged to support false claims, a wise consideration, but long before pics and videos were being fudged, books, scripts and personal claims were being fudged, claims like God said such and such. Would you not agree ?

As far as your personal introduction, I have a suspicion that your being deceptive, you don't really mean a personal introduction in how people use that term in everyday language.

I have a suspicion that your personal introduction is a combination of the power of suggestion, religious dogma, and unfalsifiable claims repeated ad nasuem.

Can you allay me of these concerns ?

Actually, I give far more credit to the ancient authors and myths than you would. As all Christians do , I also believe that the ancient Gods and powers they have are quite real. So I do not believe they were fudged as you suggest.

They are just little gods and not the Living God.

As to the personal introduction, What kind of introduction would you like? Jesus will not leave the Throne but you can be taken to him.

Also, you have met an Angel before or are uncertain if you had. Shall I ask for another with a message for you?

I see no reason to accept your assertion that I have met an angel.

"As to the personal introduction, What kind of introduction would you like? Jesus will not leave the Throne but you can be taken to him."

Take me to your leader.
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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7/23/2011 11:40:36 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/23/2011 9:50:01 PM, Tiel wrote:
At 7/23/2011 9:26:28 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 7/23/2011 9:05:58 PM, Tiel wrote:
At 7/23/2011 8:52:08 PM, ApostateAbe wrote:
I think that there is strong evidence that Jesus existed (i.e. Paul met James, the reputed brother of Jesus per Galatians 1:19). But, I do not believe that Jesus was an enlightened spiritual teacher. The closest modern analogies to Jesus are broadly regarded as psychopathic and creepy. Jesus was a doomsday cult leader who separated his followers from their families and told them that the world as they knew it would end very shortly.

I have completed an interesting debate on the subject against a fellow secularist here:

http://www.debate.org...

Here is a shorter debate on the same subject against a Christian that lays out all of the ancient evidence:

http://www.debate.org...

Reply: There is nothing that you or anyone else could show me that would prove to me your words as being true. There is just no way for any human to verify any claims to who Jesus was and what he taught. Anybody can write anything down. It doesn't prove anything other than somebody wrote something down.

Is there any way someone could prove to you that Julius Cesar existed? If so, what evidence would you accept?

Reply: Any proof would fall under the same pretense, but I personally would accept different written accounts from different people who believe different things, all who say something similar. That would be proof that I would personally accept.

So let's say I discover a hundred documents written at the time of Jesus' life, all from people with conflicting interests with Christians, that attests of a religious leader named "jesus."

There is nothing that you or anyone else could show me that would prove to me your words as being true.


That may be a bit strong.

Personally, I think there was some religious leader named Jesus, and over time whatever he was preaching morphed and at times incorporated themes from civilizations which were just being introduced to Christianity. That's where you get these connections with Osiris and Cupid, Christmas and Easter Bunnies, etc. etc.

However, I also think there were several other religiuos leaders wandering around the desert at the time with an equal claim to divinity.
medic0506
Posts: 13,450
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7/24/2011 10:55:41 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/23/2011 11:40:36 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 7/23/2011 9:50:01 PM, Tiel wrote:
At 7/23/2011 9:26:28 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 7/23/2011 9:05:58 PM, Tiel wrote:
At 7/23/2011 8:52:08 PM, ApostateAbe wrote:
I think that there is strong evidence that Jesus existed (i.e. Paul met James, the reputed brother of Jesus per Galatians 1:19). But, I do not believe that Jesus was an enlightened spiritual teacher. The closest modern analogies to Jesus are broadly regarded as psychopathic and creepy. Jesus was a doomsday cult leader who separated his followers from their families and told them that the world as they knew it would end very shortly.

I have completed an interesting debate on the subject against a fellow secularist here:

http://www.debate.org...

Here is a shorter debate on the same subject against a Christian that lays out all of the ancient evidence:

http://www.debate.org...

Reply: There is nothing that you or anyone else could show me that would prove to me your words as being true. There is just no way for any human to verify any claims to who Jesus was and what he taught. Anybody can write anything down. It doesn't prove anything other than somebody wrote something down.

Is there any way someone could prove to you that Julius Cesar existed? If so, what evidence would you accept?

Reply: Any proof would fall under the same pretense, but I personally would accept different written accounts from different people who believe different things, all who say something similar. That would be proof that I would personally accept.

So let's say I discover a hundred documents written at the time of Jesus' life, all from people with conflicting interests with Christians, that attests of a religious leader named "jesus."

There is nothing that you or anyone else could show me that would prove to me your words as being true.


That may be a bit strong.

Personally, I think there was some religious leader named Jesus, and over time whatever he was preaching morphed and at times incorporated themes from civilizations which were just being introduced to Christianity. That's where you get these connections with Osiris and Cupid, Christmas and Easter Bunnies, etc. etc.

However, I also think there were several other religiuos leaders wandering around the desert at the time with an equal claim to divinity.

What I find convincing is the fact that the Apostles, were willing to go to their death professing belief in Him. If they knew they were not factually honest, they would have feared death, and likely recounted their stories.
Gileandos
Posts: 2,394
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7/24/2011 12:11:21 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
@Illegal,
To get into the court of Heaven is a tough one (An angel would be an easier request if you feel incapable or unwilling to do the following)

First you will need to swear fealty to God.
You will have to recognize his soverignty over every area of your life.
You will need to commit to a personal relationship with Jesus and Him as Lord over your life.
You will then need to devote your life to Holiness as a Nazarite.

Then you personally will request an approach to Jesus.
You will be granted an audience before the King of kings and Lord of lords.
PARADIGM_L0ST
Posts: 6,958
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7/24/2011 12:34:01 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/23/2011 9:28:04 PM, Gileandos wrote:
I have met Jesus. What would you like to know about him?:

I met him too. He makes the best fish tacos in town!
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
Wnope
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7/24/2011 1:27:16 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/24/2011 10:55:41 AM, medic0506 wrote:

What I find convincing is the fact that the Apostles, were willing to go to their death professing belief in Him. If they knew they were not factually honest, they would have feared death, and likely recounted their stories.

Would that reasoning apply to everyone in Jonestown who committed suicide because they believed what their leader told them?

I wouldn't be surprised to hear that, if the Apostles were really going around talking about Jesus, they wholeheartedly believed whatever they were preaching.

The Branch Davidians all gave their lives under the belief that David Koresh was a holy man with knowledge of future events.
CosmicAlfonzo
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7/24/2011 1:41:43 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
People underestimate the human capacity for delusion.

As for Jesus, I think he was an intelligent guy. I like his stance on religious leaders, and I like a lot of other things he teaches. We'll never know what he was like, but I am fairly certain he wasn't God.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
ApostateAbe
Posts: 236
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7/24/2011 3:09:24 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/24/2011 10:55:41 AM, medic0506 wrote:

What I find convincing is the fact that the Apostles, were willing to go to their death professing belief in Him. If they knew they were not factually honest, they would have feared death, and likely recounted their stories.

We have early first-century records of Jesus and James, the brother of Jesus, going to their deaths because of their faith. The martyrdoms of all of the other apostles are late church myths, a few questionably from the second century, but most well after that. The online Catholic Encyclopedia contains complete historical details, so you can browse through that. Early Christians formed sects and named their churches after the apostles, and they were strongly interested in having their leading apostles die martyr's deaths. Of course, the general myths of apostolic martyrdom continue in apologetic circles.
ApostateAbe
Posts: 236
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7/24/2011 3:13:34 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
That series of YouTube videos is very informative. It really gives you a deeper understanding of how doomsday cults really work. Such cults have existed all over the world in all religions, and I believe that you can get an understanding of the probable historical Jesus by examining them.
Charles0103
Posts: 523
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7/24/2011 5:02:12 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/23/2011 3:31:45 PM, Tiel wrote:
Topic: I would like to hear people's thoughts on Jesus being seen as a man who was an enlightened spiritual teacher, not God.

The only hardcore evidence of Jesus existed is the New Testament. All of that points to Jesus being the Messiah. If you believe Jesus existed, you have to believe He was the Messiah or crazy. I can't stand people that say, "Oh. Jesus existed. He just wasn't the Son of God. He's a spiritual leader." Those people need to go back to smoking pot in their mother's basement and stay out of theological debates.
"And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened." Jesus in Luke 11:9-10
Gileandos
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7/24/2011 5:10:07 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/24/2011 5:02:12 PM, Charles0103 wrote:
At 7/23/2011 3:31:45 PM, Tiel wrote:
Topic: I would like to hear people's thoughts on Jesus being seen as a man who was an enlightened spiritual teacher, not God.

The only hardcore evidence of Jesus existed is the New Testament. All of that points to Jesus being the Messiah. If you believe Jesus existed, you have to believe He was the Messiah or crazy. I can't stand people that say, "Oh. Jesus existed. He just wasn't the Son of God. He's a spiritual leader." Those people need to go back to smoking pot in their mother's basement and stay out of theological debates.

Very well stated Charles.
I find that people who claim Jesus is not God tend to be out of their theological depth.
Wnope
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7/24/2011 5:22:02 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/24/2011 5:02:12 PM, Charles0103 wrote:
At 7/23/2011 3:31:45 PM, Tiel wrote:
Topic: I would like to hear people's thoughts on Jesus being seen as a man who was an enlightened spiritual teacher, not God.

The only hardcore evidence of Jesus existed is the New Testament. All of that points to Jesus being the Messiah. If you believe Jesus existed, you have to believe He was the Messiah or crazy. I can't stand people that say, "Oh. Jesus existed. He just wasn't the Son of God. He's a spiritual leader." Those people need to go back to smoking pot in their mother's basement and stay out of theological debates.

Are you claiming every secular historian who believes Jesus of Nazareth existed is a dope-smoking pothead?

Or are you claiming that anyone who says Jesus only defined himself as a spiritual leader and not a son of god is a dope-smoker?
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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7/24/2011 5:23:52 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/24/2011 5:22:02 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 7/24/2011 5:02:12 PM, Charles0103 wrote:
At 7/23/2011 3:31:45 PM, Tiel wrote:
Topic: I would like to hear people's thoughts on Jesus being seen as a man who was an enlightened spiritual teacher, not God.

The only hardcore evidence of Jesus existed is the New Testament. All of that points to Jesus being the Messiah. If you believe Jesus existed, you have to believe He was the Messiah or crazy. I can't stand people that say, "Oh. Jesus existed. He just wasn't the Son of God. He's a spiritual leader." Those people need to go back to smoking pot in their mother's basement and stay out of theological debates.

Are you claiming every secular historian who believes Jesus of Nazareth existed is a dope-smoking pothead?

Or are you claiming that anyone who says Jesus only defined himself as a spiritual leader and not a son of god is a dope-smoker?

Ignore the above.
ApostateAbe
Posts: 236
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7/24/2011 6:03:58 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/24/2011 5:02:12 PM, Charles0103 wrote:
At 7/23/2011 3:31:45 PM, Tiel wrote:
Topic: I would like to hear people's thoughts on Jesus being seen as a man who was an enlightened spiritual teacher, not God.

The only hardcore evidence of Jesus existed is the New Testament. All of that points to Jesus being the Messiah. If you believe Jesus existed, you have to believe He was the Messiah or crazy. I can't stand people that say, "Oh. Jesus existed. He just wasn't the Son of God. He's a spiritual leader." Those people need to go back to smoking pot in their mother's basement and stay out of theological debates.

There are a number of presumably-non-divine figures of ancient history who are attested to be divine by their earliest detailed accounts. They include Pythagorus, Alexander the Great, Vespasian and Apollonius of Tyana. You can (and must) very reasonably believe that they existed without believing them to be divine. This is the same thing that I tell atheists who believe that Jesus never existed. The common fallacy is the false choice between either believing or disbelieving ancient texts. The alternative is to infer probabilistic conclusions from the contents of the texts. That is what historians very normally do.

That isn't to say I disagree with you about smoking pot in my mother's basement. I would do so if she had a basement and if I could afford pot.
medic0506
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7/24/2011 6:30:33 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/24/2011 1:27:16 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 7/24/2011 10:55:41 AM, medic0506 wrote:

What I find convincing is the fact that the Apostles, were willing to go to their death professing belief in Him. If they knew they were not factually honest, they would have feared death, and likely recounted their stories.

Would that reasoning apply to everyone in Jonestown who committed suicide because they believed what their leader told them?

The Branch Davidians all gave their lives under the belief that David Koresh was a holy man with knowledge of future events.

Because there have been false prophets, Jesus didn't exist?? Comparison to these cult leaders seems inappropriate. There was absolutely no legitimacy to their claims, and you see how quickly their "religion" died after their demise. Yet the claims of Jesus live on almost 2000 years later.

I wouldn't be surprised to hear that, if the Apostles were really going around talking about Jesus, they wholeheartedly believed whatever they were preaching.

And would you just believe it because some crackpot walked up to you and said he was the son of God?? Of course not, and you certainly wouldn't go to your death. You'd require some type of proof, maybe a miracle or two, before giving that type of loyalty.
ApostateAbe
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7/24/2011 6:53:20 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/24/2011 6:30:33 PM, medic0506 wrote:
At 7/24/2011 1:27:16 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 7/24/2011 10:55:41 AM, medic0506 wrote:

What I find convincing is the fact that the Apostles, were willing to go to their death professing belief in Him. If they knew they were not factually honest, they would have feared death, and likely recounted their stories.

Would that reasoning apply to everyone in Jonestown who committed suicide because they believed what their leader told them?

The Branch Davidians all gave their lives under the belief that David Koresh was a holy man with knowledge of future events.

Because there have been false prophets, Jesus didn't exist?? Comparison to these cult leaders seems inappropriate. There was absolutely no legitimacy to their claims, and you see how quickly their "religion" died after their demise. Yet the claims of Jesus live on almost 2000 years later.

wnope has said that "Personally, I think there was some religious leader named Jesus, and over time whatever he was preaching morphed and at times incorporated themes from civilizations which were just being introduced to Christianity," and I think that is reasonable. Most cults disband or split and peter out after their founders die, but we know from history that some cults live on and evolve into religions well after the founder. A few examples would be Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Islam, Sikhism, Mormonism, and Rastafarianism.

I wouldn't be surprised to hear that, if the Apostles were really going around talking about Jesus, they wholeheartedly believed whatever they were preaching.

And would you just believe it because some crackpot walked up to you and said he was the son of God?? Of course not, and you certainly wouldn't go to your death. You'd require some type of proof, maybe a miracle or two, before giving that type of loyalty.

I think wnope's point about the Branch Davidians and the Jonestownians helps us to gain some perspective about the credulity of cult recruits. They tend to be not like most people, but they tend to be of an especially authoritarian nature. Sometimes, they really are willing to go to their deaths (or worse).