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Old 02-10-2014, 12:29 AM   #22
Buster Bluth
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Question #1- Is there a God?
Impossible to tell. The furthest we can get to is that the Big Bang happened billions of years ago, but where did all of that stuff come from?

Atheist or religious, you are either placing your faith in a god creating matter or matter existing permanently. That's the part of the universe that is so fascinating: what is permanent? What is the beginning? How can there even be one, in a physical creation of matter sense?

We simply don't know, and there is nothing wrong with that. May I present Buster's Razor: It's possible for a god to exist and for a religion to properly explain the truth of the universe, but that religion does not currently exist.

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Question #2- Is the Bible reliable? (That is historically)
The Bible is not reliable historically or morally; it's nothing short of repulsive. In Mark Twain's words, "It's not the parts of the bible I don't understand that scare me, it's the parts I do."

If a god wrote the bible, then he condones slavery, women being second-class citizens, incest, arraigned marriages, racism, xenophobia, murdering your children, etc etc etc. The god of the Old Testament is a piece of shit. To convince the Pharaoh to release the Jews...he kills the first-born of every family in the empire? WUT. Sounds like a keeper.

The Bible for me is like the sewer system of a city that's been around for thousands of years, each generation builds on top of it and overtime parts disagree with other parts, gets exponentially confusing, and simply doesn't make sense from an outsider's perspective. I believe that the Bible is a collection of ancient stories that the Jews either created or gathered from their time in Babylon, it was written in different languages and translated into Hebrew and Aramaic. Then the Christians took the words and built a new belief right on top of it, with a ton of it disagreeing with the previous entrees. They translated the Aramaic and Hebrew into Greek and Latin, and a millennium later Europeans translated that into English/German/French/etc. We know for a fact that they weren't very good at these translations. Hell I just read the other day that in Hebrew letters and numbers are the same thing and it's ultra confusing (I mean Latin does work the same way...) and that's why we have totally batshit numbers in the Old Testament (e.g. Noah was like 600 years old, the Jews wandered around Sinai for 40 years, etc).

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Question #3- Who is Jesus? (Real person? Fairy tale?)
Jesus may have been a real person, and a fantastic pacifist, but he wasn't god. I find his entire life to be rather illogical, and laughably inefficient. To prove to people that he is the son of god, he's going to cure a few fellows of a disease and perform some miracles... and then ask you to tell all of your friends. WHAT? He shows up in Saul's dream and converts him to Christianity and now-Paul tells people they need to convert Gentiles too? Seems like there is an easier way to show everyone "the way." Here's an idea: show up in everyone's dream, simultaneously, with the same message. Then it's undeniable. The sheer inefficiencies in getting the message out were the first signs something was up. If you're God, use a little of it and tell us you're the one truth yadda yadda yadda follow me etc etc.

I can remember asking a priest in sixth grade, after 9/11 happened and they explained to us that Muslims actually have a very high opinion of Jesus (to try and mitigate the xenophobia), "Soooo...they think Jesus was lying about being the Messiah and was just a prophet? Why would a prophet lie and why would you have such a high opinion of a liar?" And he gave me a pretty crappy answer of "History = his story. They lied on that one.." But in Eighth Grade I transferred to the nonreligious Maumee Valley Country Day and had Muslim classmates and I asked them the same question and they said "The apostles and such took Jesus' message of pacifism and drastically altered it. He didn't mean that he was THE son of God, but that we are all God's children and should be peaceful." That blew my brain for a while, and sure enough the Christians in the first few centuries didn't have their message together AT ALL. It took until ~325 AD, and a Roman emperor demanding it, for some of them to settle on the idea that Jesus was indeed the one and only son of God and that all other beliefs are blasphemy and should be killed... (how Jesus-like).

Jesus seems like a fantastic guy to listen to, if you grade on a curve, but he wasn't god.

Last edited by Buster Bluth; 02-10-2014 at 03:40 AM..
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Old 02-10-2014, 12:32 AM   #23
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No
No
Debatable. I think no, as there are other Jesus-esque figures in religions that predate Christianity. Had he been real, I don't think he created miracles as the religion goes, nor was he the son of god as he doesn't exist...

Just my outlook!
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Old 02-10-2014, 12:32 AM   #24
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The whole son of god dogma was well established in Christian doctrine pretty early...
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Old 02-10-2014, 12:39 AM   #25
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I think "Is the Bible historically reliable" is a tough question because it's not a history book. Some stuff is very reliable IMO. Stuff about the powers in the Middle East at the time are probably very accurate. However, Genesis and Exodus are iffy. Noah did not get millions of animals in twos onto an ark because the world flooded. Difference in languages did not happen because people built a multistory building. As much as I enjoy the Bible's story because the people in it are interesting, especially the story of King David, it's not a textbook nor is it the perfect moral code.

As for God and Jesus, I do not really care about religion.
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Old 02-10-2014, 12:43 AM   #26
Buster Bluth
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For me to believe in a religion, I either have to understand it or trust the entity that is promoting it. I do not understand Christianity, and I certainly do not trust the Church. The history of the Catholic Church is contemptible. All you need to know about is Martin Luther and the whole story comes crashing down. The guy was a Catholic Priest who wanted the members of his Parish to have a closer relationship with God, and that ultimately lead to his excommunication. His biggest transgression was... translating the Bible from Latin to German? WHAT THE FUCK?

Consider for a moment that back in Martin Luther's day only like 5% of people could read, and only a fraction of those people could read Latin. That is fascinating to me. Here's a situation where 19/20 people have to listen to your sermon and take your word for it--but wait, your sermon and whatnot is in a dead language (Latin) and they can't understand any of it! (Side story: Here are these serfs (read: slaves) working the land for the 1%, and they start to complain that other Dukes/Counts/etc are willing to pay them more for their service and the Catholic Church comes in and says "Ohhh no no, God brought you into this word as a serf at X castle and here are XYZ passages that back this up. It is now illegal for you to switch bosses." That is disturbing!)

So anyway people like Martin Luther start saying that people should be able to read the Bible and have their own relationship with God (basically the fundamentals of Protestantism) and as soon as the Church got word they would kill them! One after another. Those crazy heretics and their wanting to know more about God!

The printing press changed all of that and allowed Martin Luther to get his message out faster than the Catholic Church can put it out, and once he had German political backing (they were pissed at the Pope for living like a, well, Roman Emperor...which he basically was) he was safe and the rest is history. If the Catholic Church is God's Church, stuff like that doesn't happen. Nor does the Spanish Inquisition, etc etc etc. There are thousands of examples that I could point to but the Martin Luther was shows most clearly, for me anyway, that the Church was basically enslaving all of Europe.
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Old 02-10-2014, 12:56 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by PerthDomer View Post
The whole son of god dogma was well established in Christian doctrine pretty early...
I am certainly open to correction, but I believe it wasn't "settled" until the Council of Nicaea. The eastern Christians weren't really on board with him being, without question, the son of god. Of course, they didn't fall in line with the new state religion either.

The council was in 325 AD. He died in ~30 AD, right? That's three centuries of not being sure. That's longer than the United States has even been around.

And if I remember correctly, they had to come back and over the centuries come up with extremely confusing views on the Holy Trinity because there are so many holes in that too. Like come on, if Jesus is god...who is he praying to in the garden before the Romans come get him? Himself?
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Old 02-10-2014, 12:58 AM   #28
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