Are Atheists Hypocritical in Celebrating Christmas?

by Sea Breeze 68 Replies latest jw friends

  • cofty

    TD answered your question on page 3. It was the definitive answer so you obviously ignored it and carried on. Typical!

  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze
    neither accept nor deny that a preacher named Jesus might be the actual inspiration for the Bible character.


    Oh give me a break. So very cultic of you. So Bart Ehrman (and most all other scholars) calls you a mythicist if you deny Jesus' existence. For Jesus' deniers, that must feel weird to be called a mythicist by the top atheist bible critic representing their own worldview.

    The problem you have is that once you accept Jesus' historical existence, as have virtuall ALL historians, then you must accept some form of evidence for that belief. But it is the evidence itself that you claim you cannot accept! See the problem you have? Pure insanity.

    You are either a mythicist or a person employing suppression. Both of which are supposedly the antithesis of natual materialism.

    Why should anyone think that a mythicist or a person known for suppressing facts is living in reality?

    Look, I'm not picking on you personally. We have all had mental health issues after leaving WT. It is important to learn how to think loigically after having lived in insanity as WT subjects.

    One definition of insanity is doing the same think over and over and expecting a different result. There is no safety in mythicism nor suppression..... both of which was our daily diet as JW's in our previous lives.

  • Anony Mous
    Anony Mous

    @Sea Breeze: the evidence for the Jesus character as a real person is tenuous at best. It references real people in the scripture like Herod and Pontius Pilate (the latter who is villainized in the Western Christian tradition, but a saint in the Coptic traditions), but the timeline is off and different gospels have different storylines. Legally speaking, Jesus trial makes no sense and wouldn’t have happened given the situation at the time. It makes up things like the census that supposedly brought Jesus to Betlehem, it is anachronistic in many of its stories and borrows heavily from other prevalent Greek and Roman deities and religious scriptures.

    You keep bringing up a single scholar in Bart Ehrman, even though there are literally hundreds of scholars that do not share his viewpoints. You are cherry picking your evidence at best.

    I much more believe Jesus to be an amalgamation of characters and ideas, perhaps there was a rabble rouser named Yeshua back then but history seems to have largely forgotten him. Contemporary Roman writings have no evidence and even writers that came much later like Josephus don’t mention him as a real person (with the exception of a forgery) and many other Christian and Jewish writers of the time don’t mention him at all. Matter of fact, the majority of contemporary evidence, including gnostic Christian and Jewish writers would say that he wasn’t a person at all, the idea that he was a real human is both rather modern and very selective.

  • TonusOH

    SeaBreeze: The problem you have is that once you accept Jesus' historical existence, as have virtuall ALL historians, then you must accept some form of evidence for that belief.

    Those historians are referring to what they call historical facts. The standards of evidence are significantly eased to account for how difficult it is (in many cases, impossible) to prove that someone existed. Historians understand that if a person meets a number of specific criteria, it is reasonable to accept that they probably existed. That's it. When someone claims to prove a claim about a historical figure, or claim that such is undeniable, they're lying.

    In other words, one can create a list of 'minimal facts' for any number of ancient people, then try to use those to promote an unproven assertion about them. I bet that the same historians who accept that Jesus probably existed also consider it a historical fact that Vespasian existed. How many of those historians also believe that Vespasian cured a blind man with his spittle? My guess is none of them, because they recognize the dishonest switch being attempted.

    I get the impression that you think that if I accept that Jesus was a real person, I am also obligated to believe that he was resurrected from the dead. By that same reasoning, I must accept that Vespasian cured blindness and that Muhammad traveled via flying horse. Whether I accept that they did or didn't exist has nothing to do with the supernatural claims attributed to them.

    You can label me or speculate about my mental state, if you wish. But it doesn't address the problems with the links you posted, or the claims you're making, or the inferences you are trying to draw from insufficient data and a lack of real facts to go along with your historical facts.

  • jhine

    Cofty , who is your last remark addressed to ?

    Jan from Tam

  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze


    Those historians are referring to what they call historical facts. The standards of evidence are significantly eased to account for how difficult it is (in many cases, impossible) to prove that someone existed.

    Nonsense. There is far more reliable historical evidence for Jesus life, teachings, miracles, death, and resurrection than for any other historical figure of ancient times. Alexander the Great, who was born some 350 years before Christ, is based on two original biographical accounts of his life by Arrian and Plutarch, which were written some 400 years after Alexander died.

    The manuscripts of Virgil and Horace, both of whom lived within a generation of Christ, were written more than four centuries after their deaths. The copy of works by Livy and Tacitus on Roman history and the works of Pliny Secundus on natural history were written more than 500 years after the time of the original account.

    Yet no one doubts Alexander the Great, Virgil and Horace lived and authored great poetic masterpieces. Nor do we hear questions about the authenticity and accuracy of accounts of Livy and Tacitus in chronicling the events of the Roman Emperors Augustus, Claudius, Nero, or Tiberius.

    About 1,000 times more manuscripts preserve the deeds and teaching of Jesus in the New Testament (about 25,000 total) than there are preserving other classical ancient works of historic figures who lived at approximately the same time, with the exception of Homer, whose Iliad is backed by 1,800 manuscripts. But that is still less than one-tenth the number of ancient manuscripts that back the authenticity of the New Testament.

    The existence of Jesus is written about by his enemies, his friends, disinterested non-biblical sources etc. He is the most established figure in all of history.

    Using your standard, how could you know that anyone has ever existed, including The Dawkins?

    Famed Jewish archaeologist Eric Meyers, is emeritus professor in Judaic studies at Duke University. He is also the Bernice & Morton Lerner Professor at Duke University Meyers & has degrees from Dartmouth College, Brandeis University and Harvard University. He has served as President of the American Schools of Oriental Research. He says:

    “I don’t know any mainstream scholar who doubts the historicity of Jesus ... no one who is serious doubts that he’s a historical figure.”

    TonusOH, if what you (and Anony Mous) say is true, what would prompt the top atheist and non Christian scholars to lie to the public?

    Do you think that the way you "reason" has anything to do with the fact that Atheists are one of the most disliked groups in America? Only 45 percent of Americans say they would vote for a qualified atheist presidential candidate, and atheists are rated as the least desirable group for a potential son-in-law or daughter-in-law to belong to.

    Will Gervais at the University of British Columbia recently published a set of studies looking at why atheists are so disliked. His conclusion: It comes down to trust.

    Do you think that they way your mind works would engender or inhibit trust from others? Are you trying to replicate in your life a fringe sub-culture like the one you had as a JW? We were trained to be societal freaks, outcasts, undisirables.... and were proud of it. Do you think you might have adopted another similar subculture outside of your awareness, subconsciously?

    You can re-train your mind to function properly.

  • TonusOH

    SeaBreeze: Do you think that they way your mind works would engender or inhibit trust from others?

    Being skeptical and stripping away the obvious bias from arguments should engender trust from others, unless they're so deep into their beliefs that they refuse. For example, you again dodge the obvious issue that I brought up with your approach-- agreeing that any of these ancient people were real does nothing to corroborate any supernatural claims about them. So, let's ask all of these people who agree that Jesus existed-- how many of them believe he performed miracles? Was resurrected? Is god? How many among that group can prove any of those claims? Real proof, not 'it's right here in the Bible.' Misdirection is not an argument. It's dishonest. Why would I be concerned about trust from people who prefer that?

    I think my approach is better than being so committed to an unprovable presupposition that I would dismiss, avoid, or ignore the very real problems with my beliefs. One reason I stopped believing is because I couldn't get anywhere once I dropped the assumptions and tried to make sense of it without them. In other words, for many years I didn't allow my mind to "function properly." Now I do. You think that the issue is with the JW way of thinking. I am saying that the issue is a framework that requires you to avoid critical thinking about problems that would undermine your beliefs.

  • truthlover123

    No, its a holiday... do what they want. We always drove around in the nights to look at the lights against the snow. very pretty time of the year. It's just a date.

  • blondie

    Actually, many of the atheists I know have a Winter Solstice observance on December 21st, rewrite the songs to reflect atheist beliefs, trees were already part of this celebration long before Xmas, giving gifts and feasting.

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