No Bible = No God?

by menrov 113 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Finkelstein

    I dont believe the Jesus god was real in a actual sense but I do believe that this god had influencing effect onto humanity's social awareness in supporting appreciative humanistic values.

  • Anders Andersen
    Anders Andersen


    My point is: if you're going to argue that eye witness accounts are trustworthy, why reject Mormonism (or any of the many other religious claims for which eye witness accounts exist) and accept only the 'eye witness reports' for the claims about Jesus?

    I don't think the Mormons have a resurrection account that in anyway mirrors what happened in Israel with Jesus.

    It's not about whose miracle is greater. It's about whether the accounts of such miracles can be trusted.

    For Joe Smith's claims 3+8+1 eye witness accounts were written down by themselves.

    For claims about Jesus, we could refer to the gospels but these were written decades after Jesus lived, by people who weren't eye witnesses themselves. The first written claim about Jesus being resurrected was written 20! years after the alleged event, by someone who wasn't an eye witness himself. Time and opportunity enough to have the stories turn into mythical narratives, as often happens when beloved leaders die.

    Scholars, both conservation and non-believers place the events of the resurrection exactly where they are purported to be.
    Scholars also know Joe Smith was a real person, and he lived right there were he claims the miracles took place. In many novels and books of fiction (large) part of the story take place in real cities, refer to historical events....but that doesn't mean all of such a story is true, does it?
    Lots of other people have suffered died for their belief in something, true. But almost no one suffers & dies for something they KNOW to be a lie. This would have been the case in the 1st century.

    Some people perpetuate a lie to gain power or money. Some people believe their own lies. Some believe other people's lies. Some believe because of ignorance. Some believe because they want something very badly.

    Many people afflicted by the above would die for their beliefs.

    Not too long ago I (and many others here) would have died for my JW beliefs. Now I know them to be false. Still 8 million JW would probably die for their mistaken beliefs. Does that mean the JW claims are correct?

    Of course, to each their own...but I'm not really into accepting mythical stories as historical fact. Especially not given the rest of the book in which these stories are collected.

  • redvip2000
    The LDS church has written documents containing eye witness testimony to Joseph Smith's claims. The names of these eye witnesses are even recorded!
    Do you believe the LDS Church / Mormon claims that the Book of Mormon was delivered on golden plates by an angel and translated by the power of God?

    Notice he didn't answer. It's the typical special pleading you see with xtians. They first assume that the bible is truth, and thus everything in it must be truth as well.

    But when it comes to other religious books, all of the sudden they turn to tables, now they first look at the veracity of the content (as they should), to be able claim the book is false.

  • sparky1

    Finkelstein................just a 'shout out' to you for your your very pithy comments!

  • Finkelstein

    Thanks Sparky1

  • Perry

    There are a lot of evidences; I think most of them by themselves would come up short. But, put them all together, and it creates quite a portrait.

    The one that I personally can't get past is believing that hundreds of people would choose persecution, family rejection and many of them death for something they knew to be a lie. Ordinary, common people just don't up and do that, especially in large numbers. You simply can't compare this to people choosing the same for a belief. Totally different.

    The notion that all this was made up over decades is discredited by modern scholarship from the bulk of both liberal non-believer & conservative scholars.... as the previous gary habermas clip shows. That is beyond dispute in my opinion. There he detailed the "minimum facts" argument. This is reasoning that only uses facts that most liberal non-believing scholars agree with. These facts place the witnesses at the right place at the right time.

    So, skeptics are stuck with the problem of why many, many people:

    1. chose persecution,

    2. chose to give up their previous religion that had been inculcated into them from birth

    3. chose to be shunned by family

    4. chose death over recanting

    ... All this for something they KNOW to be a LIE.

    Comparing this to a belief is apples and oranges. Dying for something you believe to be true vs. dying for something you know to be a lie.... are completely different things.

    So far, Anders is the only one to offer a couple of relevant possibilities within the framework of accepted scholarship from liberal and conservative consensus:

    1. Some people perpetuate a lie to gain power or money.

    The general view of the first Christians were that they "shared all things in common" and they were taught to treat others as more important than themselves, and to be a servant rather than a traditional-style leader. So, I think this possibility falls pretty short.

    2. Some people believe their own lies.

    Again, the issue is not whether or not people believe their own lies or anything else for that matter. The issue to grapple with here is why large numbers of people were willing to suffer and die for something they KNOW to be a lie.

  • cofty
    The one that I personally can't get past is believing that hundreds of people would choose persecution, family rejection and many of them death for something they knew to be a lie.

    Except they didn't.

    You are creating a false dichotomy between actually seeing the risen christ or deliberately lying about it. Human psychology is more nuanced than that.

    They believed Jesus was still with them in some sense. It is a common phenomena when somebody close has died and even more so when all of their hopes had been dashed by Jesus' death.

    These men had walked out on their families to follow Jesus. Their emotional investment was as great as any of the millions who have died for religious delusions.

  • Anders Andersen
    Anders Andersen


    As cofty explains, these people didn't necessarily all lie, they may very well have truly believed Jesus rose from the dead.

    Strong emotions can make people 'experience' weird things.

    Strong beliefs can make people 'experience' weird things as well.

    Combine the two, and quite strange stories may result.

    Could it be that the women actually saw the gardener, not a ressurected Jesus? Could it be that the gardener decided to play along a little bit, for whatever reason (maybe simply to comfort those women)? Could it be that the other disciples were so much influenced by the words of the women and their own emotions and desires that they too perceived the gardener as being a ressurected Jesus? Could it be that the gardener took off once things went too far, and the his disappearence became a mythical ascension when the stories were written down decades later?

    It's all quite plausible. To me more so than someone being raised from the death.

    Countless other events might also explain the stories.

    People are known to be highly susceptible to suggestion and delusion.

    (Some very nice examples can be found here: )

    Regardless, the stories about all this were written decades after the alleged facts, by people who by then had a belief system completely depending on the story being true. They might have added some elements here and there. Just a tiny claim about how many people witnessed an event. Just a tiny anecdote about Jesus entering a locked room or showing his stigmata. Just a story about angel Moroni and his golden plates. Just a story about seeing a cross and In Hoc Signo Vinces in the sky.

    All that is not unheard of. People are known to sincerely misremember events that happened long ago. They are known to embellish stories about their country, their religion, their leader.

    What is really the difference between some of the extraordinary claims collected in the Bible, and similar extraordinary claims made by others?

    Why believe one, not the others?

  • Fred Franztone
    Fred Franztone

    Perry isn't clever enough to be worth arguing with

  • Finkelstein

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