I've divided my responses into pieces for fear that the editor wouldn't let me write the whole thing.
> See, you have to understand, Jesus is the role
> model of Western society for no insignificant
> reason. It's irrelevant whether he lived or
> not, whether he said the things he is supposed
> to have said or not, whether he was the son of
> God or just an impostor, what Christians really
> like about their religion is the spirit of the
> ideas. That's the true force behind it, a force
> that has resisted all sorts of assaults, not
> only from science but also from within the
> Church itself.
Interesting. To me it mattered whether Jesus really lived. My mother said that historians called him the "red-headed bastard" because he was red-haired and claimed he didn't have an earthly father. I believed her, that evidence for His historicity was strong.
I'm red-headed. My grandfather had dreams in which he was told that he was a descendant of Jesus Christ through his two wive's Mary's and Martha's four children. Red hair was supposed to be a sign of the lineage of Jesus and Abraham. I thought I was special. If I had realized then that good evidence for the historicity of Jesus was lacking I might have become an atheist years earlier.
> The battle between atheism and religion seems
> new but it's actually as old as civilization
> itself, perhaps even older. That's what most
> atheists miss, they think it's just a matter of
> explaining a few things to a bunch of ignorant,
> superstitious people. It isn't.
The battle may be old, but the rules have changed. In the past theist leaders could banish (e.g., Aristotle) or execute (Socrates, and others during the Middle Ages) the religious detractors or atheists. Today it's different. Finally an important part of the world has become independent enough that atheists can speak their minds reasonably freely. Finally, the "old battle" between reason and superstition can be won by those who have always been right, but not powerful enough to survive.
Women are finally becoming free of the shackles of male-dominated society. Atheists too, now have their chance to free society of the religion-domination that has controlled acceptable ideas for so long. It's a good time to live.