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This focus on belief is not characteristic of all religions.

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In the ancient Near East, the birthplace of Christianity, pagan religions placed little emphasis on belief. Research on psychiatric disorders and brain injuries shows that humans have a feeling or sense of knowing that can get activated by reason and evidence but can get activated in other ways as well. Once triggered for any reason, the feeling that something is right or real can be incredibly powerful-- so powerful that when it goes head-to-head with logic or evidence, the feeling wins.

Nonetheless, it is a healthy mistrust for our sense of knowing that has allowed scientists to reach beyond everyday life to detect, predict, and produce desired outcomes with ever greater precision. It is a curious thing that most of us ardently believe that we solved the ultimate question of the universe before we even learned how to tie our shoelaces. If philosophers, theologians, and scientists have struggled with the concept of existence for millennia without arriving at a definite solution, our naive assessment from childhood that a divine entity simply wished it were so certainly requires a reevaluation.

Study after study demonstrates that prayer has no effect on patients when they are unaware that they are being prayed for. If an intelligent, rational group of people who were never exposed to the idea of religion were asked to become experts in the history of the ancient Near East, the unanimous consensus of the group would be that the Bible is bunk. Petty and Cacioppo point out that people with low self-esteem are more likely to accept messages that confirm an initial viewpoint, and less likely to be persuaded away from it.

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It's not possibility that matters, it's probability. So until you give me a good reason to think that my belief is not just possibly false, but probably false, I'm not changing anything about what I believe or what I think I know. A possibility is not a probability. The inference does not follow.

The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails – A Philosophia Christi Review of John Loftus’ Book

It's a huge non sequitur. Today, scholars from both Catholic and Evangelical Protestant backgrounds agree that ancient Near Eastern views of creation shed considerable light on descriptions of creation found in the Bible. Babinski The Cosmology of the Bible. The text of the Code of Hammurabi was redacted for 1, years, and is considered the predecessor of Jewish and Islamic legal systems.

Most medieval theologians follow the lead of the Bible and church fathers and claim with certainty that waters lay above the planets and stars. Indeed, there is now so much contrary evidence against the historical accuracy of the Bible that the term "biblical archaeology" has been discarded by professional archaeologists and Syro-Palestinan archaeology has been suggested by some practicing in the field as a more appropriate term.

Archaeological discoveries have shown that the story of Noah's ark and the Flood wasn't even an original Hebrew tale.

God Is A Delusion that FAILS - Christianity is a Fairy

Genesis , , and include the use of domesticated camels in the story of Abraham and of Joseph. The archeological evidence shows us that camels did not become domesticated until the eleventh century BCE, well after the time of Abraham and Joseph. Many of the popular deities were born of virgins.

For example, in the Greek myth, Perseus was born of the virgin Danae, by Zeus who took the form of a shower of gold to impregnate her. Phoenician mythology claimed that Adonis to be born of the virgin Myrrh. Parthenogenesis was also the explanation for the birth of the Phrygian deity Attis from his mother Cybele. The Romans have never been known to initiate any census in their client kingdoms. One of the most commonly used passages by evangelicals to "prove" biblical inspiration is this one: "Every Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness" 2 Timothy Yet this passage is almost certainly the work of a forger.

There are harsh sayings about hating one's parents that cultists have used in brainwashing their young converts, since they seek to separate rebellious youths from parental oversight Matthew , ; Luke We find the virtues of faith to be more important than reason in the NT too Mark , 1 Corinthians , which has lead many believers into some bizarre fatal doomsday cults. So great was the loss of life from this war [The Thirty Years' War] that estimates show one-third of the entire population of the Germany was killed.

Outside of Germany nearly one-third of the Czech population died as well. It was only after the secularization of the West, and after the erosion of biblical authority, that we moved away from slavery and toward greater civil rights for women. If we followed Ephesians or 1 Peter , we might still have slavery.

Jason Berggren Book Review: The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails-Pt. 1 of 2 - Jason Berggren

For most of biblical history, Yahweh was not against child sacrifice per se, but rather against child sacrifice to other gods. What does not exist has no value relative to what does exist. What cannot be proven to exist should never be place above what does exist.

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  • If we value life, then you should never trade something that exists, especially life, for something that does not exist or cannot be proven to exist. That is why it would always be immoral to ever take a human life on the basis of faith claims. It is that simple. They [Boyd and Eddy] follow Bruce Metzger p. Some dying and rising god cults we know for a fact were earlier, so this borrowing can't have gone the other way around as they pretend anyway. So there as no need to go to paganism for the ressurection doctrine myth.

    It was homegrown in earlier Israelite polytheism. Curiously absent from the record are any actual eyewitness accounts of what Jesus said or did, either in life or at his resurrection, any records of events by historians or authorities or correspondents from the same time and place, any inscriptions erected or documents composed by the earliest churches, any neutral or hostile accounts from outsiders observing the originating events of the Christian religion, any court documents from the many early trials reported in Acts, or anything written by Jesus himself--or in fact any of his disciples, since hardly any scholar today believes Peter's Epistles are authentic and none believe his Gospel is authentic , and no other document in the NT claims its author was a disciple--not even the Gospels, contrary to common assumption.

    We don't really know how Christianity began. We can't trust our sources, and we have no idea who their sources were or how faithful they were to them. We have no eyewitness accounts, and the only author we can definitely place near the faith's origin tell us almost nothing about how or why it began. So, if Jesus was an apocalyptic prophet, then he was a failed one, just like every other doomsday prophet in history--before and after him.

    In light of the nearly two thousand years and no return of Jesus in sight, Christian eschatological theories are in a major crisis. This is not to assert that animals have full-blown "morality" any more than they have full-blown language. It is to assert that, just as some prehuman beings have "linguistic" capacities, some prehuman beings also have "moral" capacities.

    We have proved that Christianity is not the only basis for morality, since religion of any kind is not required for morality nor is humanity even required. Let the silly and biased claim never be uttered again. Some dying and rising god cults we know for a fact were earlier, so this borrowing can't have gone the other way around as they pretend anyway. Another case of transforming agnosticism into fideism concerns the Mythic Hero Archetype to which the life of Jesus in the Gospels conforms in its entirety, with no incidental, "secular," or genuine biographical detail left over.

    The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails

    Boyd and Eddy point out the obvious: that sometimes known historical figures actually live up to the archetype p. Of course: that is why Joseph Campbell and others have made so much of it. The problem is that the more completely people's life stories conform to the mythic-literary form, the less likely it becomes that their stories are genuinely historical. At such a point they risk becoming lost behind the stained glass curtain, unless they have left a trail of historical "bread crumbs.

    It is especially ironic that Boyd's favorite example of a real-live archetypal hero is Scot William Wallace, whose exploits came to the screen in the film Braveheart. Boyd likes to make Wallace a real-life Jesus, implying that the Gospel Jesus could have been just as real p. It does not occur to Boyd that we actually have a great deal more historical evidence for Wallace, including actual documents of the period, thus proving my point: like Augustus Caesar, but unlike Jesus, we can independently confirm some historical facts about him from more reliable, nonmythical information.

    We have no such information about Jesus. All we have are the myths.

    The Christian delusion : why faith fails

    And as every Wallace historian agrees, the mythical narratives about Wallace, which come closest in form and content to the Gospels, are often wildly inaccurate and invent a great deal, such that if we didn't have any independent way to check their claims, we would have no idea what to trust in them. That's exactly our situation for Jesus. But these are weird times.

    We live in an age of science and reason, and yet millions of people still seriously believe the world's dead will rise again when an immortal superman flies down from outer space to destroy the earth. I'll be honest with you: people who believe things like that scare me. But I have to deal with them every day, and one thing I've learned is that they get very angry and indignant when we close the door on them, telling them to go away without having examined all their many papers and books. Then they pontificate proudly that because we didn't give their bizarre claims a fair shake, clearly we're just biased, and we deserve the worst of all eternal tortures as punishment for our lazy audacity, and thank goodness superman will kill us from outer space soon.

    Did I mention scary? To put an end to this pompous rhetoric, I've given them far more than they're due, extensively researching their claims to the very core, learning the ancient languages, studying the relevant histories and cultures and documents, and examining their best arguments. Which is all generally more than they ever do in return. Now, with all that, and a PhD in ancient history to boot, they can't say I don't know what I'm talking about.

    When Mark says the Roman governor Pontius Pilate had a custom of releasing a prisoner on the annual holiday, and the Jews cried for Barabbas, and to crucify Jesus in his place Mark , what we surely have is myth, not fact. No Roman magistrate least of all the infamously ruthless Pilate , would let a murderous rebel go free, and no such Roman ceremony is attested as ever having existed. But the ceremony so obviously emulates the Jewish ritual of the scapegoat and atonement, in a story that is actually about atonement, that its status as myth is hard to deny.

    Barabbas means "Son of the Father" in Aramaic, yet we know Jesus was deliberately styled the "Son of the Father" himself. Hence we have two sons of the father, one is released into the wild mob bearing the sins of Israel murder and insurrection , while the other is sacrificed so his blood may atone for the sins of Israel.