Feedback/Notes

 

Latest Activity

Loren Miller commented on Sydni Moser's group Coffee Break
"After it was clear that the outcome of the OSU – Indiana game was pretty well settled, I…"
1 hour ago
Loren Miller commented on Loren Miller's group Quote Of The Day
"A Well-Informed Electorate Is a Prerequisite for Democracy. --Thomas Jefferson Very true ... but…"
2 hours ago
Mrs.B commented on Julien's group The Music Box
7 hours ago
RichardtheRaelian left a comment for Stephen Brodie
"Hi Stephen! My mom's favorite movie was Blade Runner as well."
9 hours ago
Stephen Brodie commented on RichardtheRaelian's photo
Thumbnail

My all time favorite movie!

""A year before the prophet Rael made first contact with the Elohim humanities ET…"
10 hours ago
Stephen Brodie commented on RichardtheRaelian's photo
Thumbnail

My all time favorite movie!

"I've always liked science fiction and the movie Silent running is a decent effort in showing…"
10 hours ago
Ruth Anthony-Gardner commented on RichardtheRaelian's photo
Thumbnail

My all time favorite movie!

"My favorite movie is The Lathe of Heaven."
16 hours ago
Mrs.B commented on Loren Miller's group Quote Of The Day
"Jumbled is the way I read it."
19 hours ago
Loren Miller commented on Loren Miller's group Quote Of The Day
"I dared, for the first and last time in my life, to express a theological conclusion: "But how…"
yesterday
Chris B commented on Sydni Moser's group AGING ATHEISTS
"Using that one, Ian! For when I'm older..."
yesterday
Mrs.B commented on Sydni Moser's group AGING ATHEISTS
"Yeah, those pesky numbers."
yesterday
Ian Mason commented on Sydni Moser's group AGING ATHEISTS
yesterday
RichardtheRaelian posted a photo

My all time favorite movie!

The movie Avatar expresses itself well from the movie made in 1972.A year before the prophet Rael…
yesterday
RichardtheRaelian left a comment for Sally
""Happy Birthday!""
yesterday
Mrs.B commented on Sydni Moser's group Coffee Break
"A lot of huge work! Good photo though."
yesterday
Stephen Brodie commented on Sydni Moser's group Coffee Break
"Found this picture of the early days of the Tube system at Charing Cross. I just thought you might…"
yesterday
Chris B commented on Sydni Moser's group Coffee Break
"Of course, that's the way that works."
yesterday
Mrs.B commented on Sydni Moser's group Coffee Break
"Exactly. It's the only sensible way to go! When we got the vaccines as children in the…"
yesterday
Ian Mason commented on Sydni Moser's group Coffee Break
"I've just finished re-reading Stephen King's '11-23-63' and found out that…"
yesterday
Mrs.B commented on Sydni Moser's group Coffee Break
"Good one Ian, just right."
yesterday

We are a worldwide social network of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and secular humanists.

The early days of Christianity were not especially pleasant for its participants, apparently.  The Roman authorities were not pleased that Christians were touting a new god that was alleged to override those they had invented, and the Jews who didn’t recognize this alleged Messiah weren’t having any that this new cult was selling, either.  It was Rome, though, that got particularly exercised over this emerging religion, though.  Consequences ranging from forced participation in gladiatorial games to literally being fed to the lions became regular punishments for these newly minted Christians, as a cruel incentive to go back to the old ways and abandon what was seen to be a threat to their rule.  Yet the martyring went on. 

Nineteen hundred years later, Christian apologists point to these challenges to their early believers as proof that Jesus actually existed.  They were being harassed from all sides, persecuted for their adherence to this new belief to the point of losing their lives, yet they remained steadfast in their faith.  Indeed, they would be part of the foundation which would allow Christianity to become dominant in the world in the current day.  Besides, would those people have sacrificed themselves on false pretenses?  Would they have died for a lie?

There are at least a couple different aspects which need to be considered to answer that question.  The first of these is understanding just WHO was dying in the first place.  My own suspicion is that those first believers were among the most oppressed of those under the heel of the Romans of that day.  They were the poor, the laborers, the least empowered of that social structure.  To them, any respite from Roman domination would have been welcome.  The promise of a second life, where the scales of justice would be turned in their favor and against their taskmasters, would have been a powerful inducement to joining a new church such as that.

But why believe?  To us, the stories related in the four gospels and the book of Acts don’t just strain credulity; they blatantly offend our skepticism and rational thought.  The idea of curing blindness with “magic mud,” feeding a multitude with a handful of loaves and fishes, healing at a distance, and then the truly big one, rising from the dead to live again, are absurd on their face.  Of course we reject such assertions, because they fly in the face of science, our understanding of how things work, never mind basic common sense.  We understand that these are little more than myths, tall tales with no basis in fact.

Two millennia ago, though, the situation was very different.  There was no science, no methodology, no accepted rational process by which such stories were evaluated by the common man or woman.  If someone you knew well spoke of a new rabbi who came to town, working wonders and speaking of a future life free of the perfidies of their oppressors, your attention was gotten, especially if you were one of those oppressed.  That some of the tales told were a bit unbelievable didn’t matter.  This was HOPE being offered in a time when hopelessness was a very common coin.  It was a narrative that played to their need and did so likely with a considerable degree of success.  That it may have been a lie didn’t matter, a factor that would be observed and understood many hundreds of years later:

All religions bear traces of the fact that they arose during the intellectual immaturity of the human race before it had learned the obligations to speak the truth.  Not one of them makes it the duty of its God to be truthful and understandable in his communications.
-- Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Put simply, to resist the impulse to die for a lie, one first has to know and acknowledge that one is being lied to.  Belief in the face of daily life bereft of any form of self-determination or promise of future betterment only makes the tall tales that much more attractive.  The question of whether they are based in fact gets summarily dismissed in favor of that magic word: Hope.  If that meant subjecting oneself to the tortures of their overseers, then so be it; the triumphant final outcome had been promised, and that was the goal to be focused on to the exclusion of all else.

In short, dying for a lie is easy … when you either don’t or won’t allow yourself to know it’s a lie.

Views: 28

Nice Comment

You need to be a member of Atheist Universe to add comments!

Join Atheist Universe

© 2021   Created by Atheist Universe.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service