Help with understanding

by Doltologist 52 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Doltologist

    Please take pity on me someone and help.

    I was going to say that I suffer from Aspergers Syndrome but actually, I've come to rather enjoy it.

    No, seriously, I really do have Aspergers which is why my posts may seem a little odd to some of you. OK, they may seem bloody odd to most of you.

    My world exists in a binary frame. Things ARE or they ARE NOT.

    I know that in the "real world" things MIGHT BE or MIGHT NOT BE as well as ARE and ARE NOT. I can't cope with the MIGHT BE or MIGHT NOT BE concept too well. I've just have to remember that this is that way of the real world and accept and get on with it.

    In my world there is proof for, in which case, I believe, or there is proof against, in which case, I don't believe. I believe in where the proof takes me.

    Sometimes, there is proof predominantly on one side of the argument. In which case, that's the side I go with.

    I've never yet seen an argument equally balanced so I can't say what I'd do - blow a fuse probably - which would really hurt my brain.

    I also don't get hung up with that emotional crap that you humans are burdened, or blessed, with, depending upon your point of view. That makes my life much easier, I believe.

    Anyways - what about god and jesus and the bible yada, yada?

    My common sense tells me that god and jesus don't/didn't exist.

    Logic tells me that god and jesus don't/didn't exist.

    There is some historical evidence that god/jesus exist/existed but there's far more that suggests that they didn't/don't.

    On that basis, I am forced to reject the hypothesis that jesus and god exist/existed.

    In all honesty, no matter how I look at the hypothesis, I cannot come up with a convincing case that god/jesus exists. Moreover, I have listened to argument after argument from religtards and they have failed to convince. In fact, some were having difficulty convincing themselves at times.

    So, the question is:

    Given how obvious it is to me that jesus/god don't exist, how come so many people think they do?

    The big difference between them and me is that I'm not emotional. People who meet me have suggested that maybe I'd be happier living with the Borg (and maybe they're right). So, I guess that the question has to be: Is this belief in god/jesus an emotional response to the human condition or am I way off base here?

    Thanks in advance for any responses that you guys care to make.

  • cappytan

    That there was a dude named Jesus who had a following in the First Century, there is no doubt. It's nearly unanimous, even amongst critical scholars. (See this excellent article on the subject: )

    However, there exists no proof other than anecdotes that Jesus was anything but a charismatic teacher.


    Now, on to the subject of God.

    The lack of evidence of his existence is not proof that there is no God. However, it is also not proof that there is one either.

    So, in a case like that, how do you reconcile this issue with a black and white view of things?

    Good question and interesting perspective.

    As someone with Asperger's, how do you feel about just not knowing the answer?

    I have found that I'm okay with unanswered questions. It would be unrealistic for me to expect for all of my existential questions to be answered in my lifetime when much smarter individuals came and went over the centuries and they still had questions.

  • Doltologist


    I have read some of your posts and respect.

    You state that even among critical scholars it is thought that jesus existed. I thought that to be the case and this is what I believed until recently. Having read Richard Carrier, I'm now of the opinion that jesus didn't exist. There's some of his lectures on you tube. He is, as far as I am able to determine, a scholar with an independent mind. He seeks the truth rather than having a wish to see jesus dismissed to the WPB of history for no good reason. He even castigates those who would dismiss jesus without adequate proof. He puts forth some pretty convincing arguments such as what was happening to christianity between the so-called death of jesus and the writing of the gospels? because, according to written history, NOTHING was happening? It was as though christianity didn't exist between the so-called death of jesus and the writing of the gospels. Why was this? Why were the gospels written when they were? Why not sooner? The gospels were written by 4 people that we call Mathew, Mark, Luke and John but, in actual fact, the writings were anonymous. If the gospels were writing about the same 'facts', how come they differ so much? Why were the gospels changed after they were initially written?

    Mathew's gospel was written first and Mark, Luke and John were based on Mathew. Yet, Mathew appears to be an allegory rather that an accurate account of what happened. So, just how much can we rely on the gospels?

    Also, there are people who believe that only 4 gospels exist. Yet, many more were known to exist and, on what basis, were the 4 included and the remainder excluded?

    All but 7 of Paul's epistles were forgeries. Why? Paul's epistles (the real ones) are interesting in all sorts of ways. For example, they never actually suggest that jesus actually lived here on Earth.

    Richard Carrier also tells us about what was actually happening in the religious world at about the time that the so-called jesus was supposedly alive. He fully explains why it is that jesus may not actually have lived.

    I could go on but I'm afraid the existence of jesus isn't as watertight as people believe. I suggest that you take a look at Carrier and then review your decision.

  • cappytan

    Doltologist: I will take a look at Carrier's arguments so as to be open minded.

    However, the scholarly consensus is that there was a man named Jesus that existed in the first century. If he didn't exist, why do the contemporary critics of the first and second century not deny that Jesus existed? All their criticisms of Jesus were to discredit him as the Messiah, not to deny he existed in the first place.

    It seems that if a figure head of a Messiah cult never existed to begin with, that would be an argument that critics would put forth during the rise of the religion. However, this isn't the case.

    A handful of scholars and critics does not make an assertion true. That's like saying the handful of so-called scientists that deny Anthropogenic Climate Change deserve to be believed more than the overwhelming consensus.

  • Doltologist


    It sure as hell is nice to talk to someone who is logical and precise.

    I missed answering one of your earlier questions which was how do I feel about just not knowing? I'm OK with that. Well, sort of. If there's a way of me finding out, then I'm on it. If there isn't, then there isn't and I have to accept that we just don't know. I don't like it but I wouldn't make up an answer just because I don't happen to have one. My brain wouldn't allow me to do that.

    The thing I like about Carrier is that he provides a comprehensive answer taking into account all that is known about the subject. He doesn't leave any loose ends. I'm not sure that it's a definitive answer that he's come up with but there's not much in the way of wriggle room.

    The main question that I have about those times is that there are some inconsistencies that just don't add up if jesus actually existed but which do if, in fact, jesus didn't.

    It also seems that there was an awful lot of changing of documents and forging going on in those days and, an obvious question is why? For example, we know that the gospels received some serious 'updating' in the second century. We also know that all but seven of Paul's epistles were forged.

    I found Carrier's lectures fascinating. I hope that you find it similar.

    Carrier isn't the only scholar to dispute the existence of jesus but, he's one of the more credible.

  • disposable hero of hypocrisy
    disposable hero of hypocrisy

    Dolt and cap'n, thanks for this discussion. I'm not going to weigh in intellectually as I haven't got anything to offer, but I've been trying to listen to a lot of Robert M Price's analyses of who wrote what and when, including which myths came first, and who borrowed what from whom.

    I'm now going to check out carrier's work as I've been looking for a book on the dissection of the scriptures. If you have any further recommendations (specially cap'n regarding the consensus view), I'm all ears...

  • nelim
    Hello Doltologist. I assume you believe in evolution? I think the following article will be interesting for you:
  • Doltologist


    Please feel free to wade in - even if you have nothing to offer (which I doubt anyway).

    Carrier doesn't dissect the scriptures so much as dissects all that was going on before, during and after jesus supposedly lived. He puts the whole lot into context and dissects it as a whole rather than the piecemeal effort I read in a lot of books.

    I'm not saying Carrier is right but there's a lot that makes sense if one accepts that jesus never existed here on Earth.

  • Doltologist


    Of course I believe in evolution. I'll read the reference you posted and get back to you. I'm obliged.

  • steve2

    Doltologist, there is an old latin saying that, when translated, reads: "The world loves to be deceived".

    People embrace religious beliefs first and foremost, not because those beliefs are evidence-based or rational, but because those beliefs are consoling, comforting. Take that as your starting point, and you will save yourself wasted energy being astonished by the ridiculous things people believe. Without the need for comforting and offering hope people, religious beliefs would be dead in the water and the very same people who sincerely believe in talking snakes and chariots of fire would be incredulous they could believe such tommy-rot.

    Add to that "social" expectations of one's environment, and you have the necessary pressure that leads to people not only believing ridiculous things but also acting on them.

    All else is detail.

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