Feedback/Notes

 

Latest Activity

Mrs.B replied to Loren Miller's discussion God Comes Out as Pro-Choice (Betty Bowers) in the group Freethought and Funny Bones
"Would have been something else......"
7 hours ago
Mrs.B commented on Sydni Moser's group Coffee Break
"Exactly the same here, Kurt. We've had several disastrous fire seasons, as well as…"
7 hours ago
Andy Stout replied to Loren Miller's discussion God Comes Out as Pro-Choice (Betty Bowers) in the group Freethought and Funny Bones
"If only Mary had an abortion..."
8 hours ago
Davy commented on Sydni Moser's group Coffee Break
"Ian what you are witnessing is the reasons why cultures that form civilisations based upon…"
9 hours ago
Ian Mason commented on Sydni Moser's group Coffee Break
"Extreme weather but mediocre government and inadequate responses. Nobody wants to be bold, except…"
13 hours ago
Loren Miller commented on Loren Miller's group Quote Of The Day
"Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it. -- Christopher Hitchens Our forebears…"
13 hours ago
Kurt Neuleuf commented on Sydni Moser's group Coffee Break
"Summer in Australia is going to be fun. extreme firestorms and flooding has been forecast  for…"
13 hours ago
Mrs.B commented on Sydni Moser's group Coffee Break
"Equipment & the personnel to run it. "
18 hours ago
Chris B commented on Sydni Moser's group Coffee Break
"Yes, but your enormous country is harder to monitor, I'd think, and to get the equipment and…"
18 hours ago
Mrs.B commented on Sydni Moser's group Coffee Break
"But we're loaded with lakes & rivers."
18 hours ago
Chris B commented on Sydni Moser's group Coffee Break
"This is a small country with plenty of open water, so fires are much easier to contain. Canada…"
18 hours ago
Mrs.B commented on Sydni Moser's group Coffee Break
"A worry, nonetheless."
20 hours ago
Ian Mason commented on Sydni Moser's group Coffee Break
"Correction: the rain MIGHT start today, in some places, perhaps. Temps at 30c again might start…"
20 hours ago
Mrs.B commented on Sydni Moser's group Coffee Break
"Big, small or otherwise, fires are frightening."
20 hours ago
Chris B commented on Sydni Moser's group Coffee Break
"The first drop of rain has yet to fall, but the clouds look nice. Fires are going on but not on a…"
20 hours ago
Mrs.B commented on Sydni Moser's group Coffee Break
"How is your fire situation there?"
20 hours ago
Stephen Brodie commented on Sydni Moser's group Coffee Break
"We are due some thunder and lightning with perhaps some heavy showers by Wednesday. "
20 hours ago
Ian Mason commented on Sydni Moser's group Coffee Break
"Long may it rain, Chris. We're due to get some in DK about Thursday."
20 hours ago
Ian Mason commented on Sydni Moser's group Coffee Break
"Born-to-money indifference, Stephen. And as long as the stupid proles of the world keep slogging…"
20 hours ago
Mrs.B commented on Sydni Moser's group Coffee Break
"A spokesperson for the BC Wildfire Service says 80 per cent of the 212 new fires sparked across the…"
20 hours ago

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: 47

Nice Comment

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

Join Atheist Universe

© 2022   Created by Atheist Universe.   Powered by

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