What Do Un-Believers Not Believe?
one word: ransom.
jesus, on earth, was merely a perfect human, that is to say, a sinless human.
he had to be that and nothing more, nothing less. otherwise the ransom wouldn't have been paid.
adam = perfect man
adam sinned, so sin spread to all his offspring.
jesus = perfect man
jesus died as that same perfect man, thus repurchasing or ransoming all of adam's offspring.
if jesus was anything other than a perfect sinless human, his sacrifice would have been applaudable but wouldn't have repurchased anything.
There are serious doubts that "Jesus" ever existed. There is no secular Roman record of his "execution", there is no mention of him in the secular Roman records of the time when he is supposed to have lived...
On the other hand, there ARE secular Roman records of OTHER so-called "Messiahs" who were preaching in various areas of the Roman Empire, around the same time that "Jesus" supposedly lived...
Another thing - it turns out that there were a LOT of people with the names of Jesus, Joseph, and Mary - those were very popular names in the First century A.D....
An interesting old thread Ziddina, to take it off course a little, but agreeing with what you say in your post above, I would like to answer the thread title in a rather literal way.
I am an unbeliever, or more accurately, a Non-believer, I do not "believe" in anything, "belief" being in the sense of faith, trusting something is true with no testable, scientific, forensically satisfying proof.
I therefore do not give credence to the Jesus of the Bible, even if that Jesus is based on an historical figure, anymore than I give credence to the Robin Hood as depicted in the films of Hollywood.
I only trust in things that have solid proof, beliefs are for the simple minded.
To believe or not believe . . . is that really the question?
I mean . . . people can "suspect" something is true based on "available evidence" . . . and thus say "my current belief is such-and-such" without making it a foundation upon which everything else stands or falls.
Belief to me now . . . is just a hypothesis of sorts which trots along slightly ahead of what I know to be true . . . sort of like a questionable conclusion that has to remain intellectually agile enough to change direction at a moments notice. It's an intermediary relay runner between imagination and fact . . . which occasionally drops the baton. The divinity of JC has a very loose hold on it at present . . . and is falling off the pace.
Interesting thread BTW . . . thanks for bumping it (whoever that masked man was)
I agree that it is possible to have beliefs that may prove to be true in the future. The scientific community makes progress because of their belief that something may be the case spurs them on to research it, to gather supporting facts, form a hypothesis etc, eventually because of this use of imagination, science moves forward.
But I was using the word "Belief" in the sense that fundamentalist religionists do, they equate their beliefs with proven truth, which they plainly are not.
I do not hold such beliefs, or see any valid intellectual reason to do so.
I am not closed-minded, but simply wait for satisfactory proof before I will trust something as true.
It appears we have a similar take wobble . . .
The great tragedy of fundamentalism is that by it's very nature, it demands that you forfiet the scientific process in favour of faith (belief without solid evidence as you describe above). This faith is by another name is simply credulity. Fundamentalist thinking (rather cleverly) holds such faith up to be a laudable, desirable and very necessary possession, where in fact it is nothing of the sort. It's simply a door opener for mind-control.