insulting religions

(990 Posts)
IneedAgoldenNickname Mon 07-Jan-13 00:39:04

Hi, I've never posted on this topic before, I tend to hang out in aibu, but don't want to start a bun fight!

So, I am a liberal Christian. I firmly believe that everyone had to right to believe (or not) whatever they want, provided that belief doesn't hurt anyone else.

Earlier today I posted a lighthearted status on Facebook, which had led to me being called mindless, stupid, stuck up, thinking I'm better than everyone else. I've been told God is a c**t (sorry I hate that word so much I won't type it) and that the Bible is only God for loo roll!

I'm just really angry that people think its ok to insult me/my religion like that, when I haven't once preached or insulted others.

Obviously the easy solution would be to delete them off of Facebook, but they are people I get on with other wise.

Don't really know the point of my post, just hoping id feel better writing it down. grin

MadHairDay Sun 20-Jan-13 14:33:07

Thankyou to you too Ellie for the discussion. We must have that chat about the historicity of Jesus sometime smile

Looks like the thread is coming to an end, it's been fun.

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Sun 20-Jan-13 15:00:17

Sunflowers: I've read all the Merrily Watkins novels and most of the ones he did before that series (Crybbe, December, etc). I've read the Bones of Avalon and it was OK, but I have to say I prefer his contemporary stuff. But then I am not that much into historical fiction. Lamp Of The Wicked is probably the bleakest of the lot. I quite like To Dream Of The Dead, and The Smile Of A Ghost.

EllieArroway Sun 20-Jan-13 15:26:25

Hello Mad - hope you're still getting better and keeping warm in this lovely weather we're having.

We could have the historicity of Jesus debate but it would be a short one. I don't accept that the conflicting accounts of foreigners who a) had never met a living Jesus or anyone who had b) never met each other c) probably never set foot in the country they're writing about d) were unlikely to have even been alive at the same time as Jesus and e) have had their accounts faffed about with to an extraordinary degree over the past two millennia comes anywhere close to meeting the criteria we require usually demand of "evidence". Throw in some vague, throw away lines from a few non-Christian sources that a) were not born until after the death of Jesus and b) don't actually talk about him anyway - they just mention Christians. Josephus, of course, is an outright forgery which even Christian scholars acknowledge.

There isn't any evidence that Jesus existed, so what is there to discuss?

And I think you're wrong to dismiss the similarities to other myths angle, I'm afraid. I agree that far too much has been placed on the alleged similarities to Mithras (largely due to a very stupid film called Zeitgeist) - but that's not to say that many of Jesus's supposed characteristics don't show up somewhere amongst the many, many, many other god myths of the time. They do.

So - in a debate about the existence of God, with most Christians insisting that their faith is based on evidence, the evidence presented amounts to....

* Some books being moved around a study (ignoring the other piece of evidence that person tried to present)

* A warm feeling while standing by a window

* A recovery from a serious illness that was almost certainly down to modern antibiotics anyway

* Quotes from a very old series of books & letters written by extremely primitive people who thought the stars were pinpricks in a celestial curtain

This is not evidence of anything at all. Surely you can see that. This is "faith" in action - and "faith" cannot be relied upon. If you're a Christian then you necessarily believe that all other faiths are wrong. You might try to be nice about it, but that's actually what you must think. If there's one God and it happens to be yours (out of the 10,000 plus others humanity has worshipped) then the Hindus are wrong when they "feel" Lord Vishnu. The Muslims are wrong when they "feel" Mohammed. The ancient Greeks were wrong when they "felt" Zeus.

They can all be wrong, but you're right?

Faith is the strongest of hopes & desires mistaken for knowledge. And it makes a mockery of our ability to reason and think. It stops people thinking & questioning and pretends that it has all the answers. It has precisely none as this thread has shown.

"God helped me through a terrible time". That was nice of him given that he was the one that actively planned out in advance that you'd have that terrible time. That's like me smacking someone over the head with a brick and then being kind enough to hold their hand while the paramedics came.

I was an atheist for 15 years. Yeah, right. You viewed reality with healthy skepticism, acknowledged the need for evidence, applied reason & common sense to your beliefs but a warm feeling standing by a window caused you to abandon all that and decided to believe a lot of nonsense? If that's true, you were never really an atheist to begin with. Atheists don't spend much time wondering whether Christian beliefs might be true, we already know they're not.

I don't think all Christians are stupid - but the reasoning behind the belief manifestly is. It's ludicrous & doesn't deserve respect. People, however do, which is why the OP who started this thread (and is probably regretting it) had every right to get upset at the crap that was written on her FB page and, hopefully, will block any numbskulls that try anything like that again.

May the Flying Spaghetti Monster be with you all. I know he's real, by the way, because he gave me a warm feeling while I was standing by the window looking at the pretty snow. And that's all the evidence I need wink

MadHairDay Sun 20-Jan-13 15:28:09

Just had a look at Merrily Watkins novels and downloaded one to my kindle, couldn't rest the combination of single mum vicar, deliverance ministry and the Malvern Hills! Will share my verdict when read smile

EllieArroway Sun 20-Jan-13 15:29:50

Oh - and could very weird name-changing Christians not PM me any more? It's tedious. Thanks.

MadHairDay Sun 20-Jan-13 15:50:45

Ellie, if you want to have a short historicity discussion, well OK smile

We could have the historicity of Jesus debate but it would be a short one. I don't accept that the conflicting accounts of foreigners who a) had never met a living Jesus or anyone who had b) never met each other c) probably never set foot in the country they're writing about d) were unlikely to have even been alive at the same time as Jesus and e) have had their accounts faffed about with to an extraordinary degree over the past two millennia comes anywhere close to meeting the criteria we require usually demand of "evidence". Throw in some vague, throw away lines from a few non-Christian sources that a) were not born until after the death of Jesus and b) don't actually talk about him anyway - they just mention Christians. Josephus, of course, is an outright forgery which even Christian scholars acknowledge.

The gospel accounts - the thing is, you cannot make definite statements about the writers never having met Jesus. Many scholars still debate the Matthean authorship, likewise the book of John. Matthew is referred back to in a number of early writings as being the apostle who originally wrote in Hebrew. Scholars discount this due to there being no extant manuscripts, but there are no extant Greek manuscripts. I'm not advocating Matthean authorship - it doesn't matter a great deal to me - but trying to put across the picture of there being no definitive answer. Though some scholars will have you think so (especially some late 19th century German theologians, but let's not go there) grin As for Mark and Luke, it's usually thought Mark is recounting Peter's account, and that Mark accompanied Peter, and that Luke accompanied Paul and was a historian. Paul was converted a very short time after the beginnings of Christianity.
Most scholars agree on the dating of the gospels - from AD60 or thereabouts - hardly out of Jesus' lifetime.

There is little evidence of the accounts being faffed around with, especially 'to an extraordinary degree'. Christianity is quite unique in terms of the sheer amounts of early manuscript material we have. Thousands and thousands of fragments, both in original Greek and in early translations into contemporary languages. The manuscripts show an incredible consistency with each other, with later manuscripts showing unprecedented similarity to the earliest. The differences are a matter of minor grammar and spelling errors, in general, with the very odd exception in the King James version . The multiplicity of material far, far surpasses any other records we have of ancient writings from the period and before.

The 'vague, throwaway lines' from other sources are actually excellent sources of evidence. Tacitus wrote as a hostile witness, still mentioning Christian belief and practise. The part in Josephus to which you refer is not unanimously agreed upon as being fake. It is thought that parts of it may be later interpolations, but that there is some substance there from the original, as it is consistent with his writing. He mentions James as the brother of Jesus and mentions his execution. There is of course the accounts of Pliny and Thallus, and then the shedload of early Christian writings (which of course cannot be used in a historical evidential manner, but they are there)

All the points to which you refer have counter arguments. I maintain that there is a robust intellectual view whereby there is consistent evidence for the Jesus Christians follow now.

But I suspect we're not going to come to any agreement - and that's fine smile

How's the toothache by the way? I'm feeling much better thanks, not venturing into the beautiful weather much, it has to be said grin

amillionyears Sun 20-Jan-13 17:35:50

Nice to see you back Ellie.smile

Can I just confirm that it wasnt me who pmed Ellie. Thanks.

amillionyears Sun 20-Jan-13 17:41:02

Actually, realised if the people have name changed, you may not know who they were.
If you do wonder if it was me, I am happy to ask MNHQ to clarify that it wasnt.

DioneTheDiabolist Sun 20-Jan-13 18:01:17

Higher power? Energy? God? I don't know what it is. But I know it's there. And I am challenged and comforted by it.

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Sun 20-Jan-13 18:09:15

Ellie, if someone is sending you PMs that you don't like, inform MNHQ and they can administer a kick up the fanjo telling off.

Dione: sounds to me like something akin to a mild form of psychomotor epilepsy (the thing that causes some people to believe they are being abducted by aliens). Harmless but natural rather than supernatural. It's no more proof that something 'external' exists than a person's deep phobia of buttons is proof that buttons are dangerous.

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Sun 20-Jan-13 18:09:42

BTW, anyone going to start a new thread?

amillionyears Sun 20-Jan-13 18:19:04

I wasnt. I think I may bow out for the time being.
Nice talking to everyone.

DioneTheDiabolist Sun 20-Jan-13 19:57:30

Ellie, I never abandoned anything. I am still the rational evidence seeking person I was. I continuously seek understanding, knowledge and evidence. I didn't spend anytime wondering if Christianity was true. I had barely given it a thought since leaving school. Where did you get that idea?

I would also like to second the others who suggest contacting MNHQ if you are getting messages.

SGB I don't claim that my experience is proof of anything. I don't really understand it, so I don't expect you to. As for the epilepsy thing, it, along with brain tumor were discussed at the time when I came out to my friends (I also brought it up a few years later when I had an MRI, no tumor). I think that the only thing it proves, if it proves anything at all is that you can't convert someone.

To date, my experience has not lead me to religion, but my search for answers has lead me to my career.

GrimmaTheNome Mon 21-Jan-13 09:22:33

Just catching up after a weekend IRL smile

amillion 'But the thing, I didnt know for sure was does God know about everything that is happening to non Christians.
And I dont think He does.'

I know that was way upthread, but how is that compatible with matt 10:29? Your bible claims God knows every time a sparrow falls, so surely he would know about every human?

amillionyears Mon 21-Jan-13 09:36:05

Hi
I think I have covered that down through several of my posts since.

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