> One of the strongest attractions of
> Christianity is this appeal of being saved by
> this pure being that loves you regardless of
> your actions. This is one of the factors that
> makes the hero myth such a strong and
> continually active myth in cultures.
> Christianity, through the words of Paul, have
> brought that to one of its highest points by
> saying that God loves us so much that he even
> allowed his son to die for us - and, worse, our
> evil deeds is what killed him. Now, maybe
> that's ridiculous in our age of quantum
> electrodynamics and zero point energy, but
> that's what this religion (and specifically
> Paul) was focused.
Well said. It seems like what you're saying is Christianity has a message that is attractive. It's therapeutic. Fine, but that doesn't mean it's "true" (that Jesus really resurrected, that his atonement magically does anything for you eternally, that God loves you, etc.). It says that believing in the religion can make you happier. So can a belief in Santa among children.
As Zindler notes I think in
the belief in virgin-born crucified saviors was surprisingly common before 0 A.D. in various cultures in the area. Maybe one of the differences in Christianity is that it was the doctrine that it was man's wickedness that killed the savior, I don't know, but I suspect some of the other saviors were supposed to have died under related circumstances. Perhaps Christianity survived and these other myths did not for reasons unrelated to savior belief.
>> I've come to conclude that when someone kids
>> someone else with words like "You're ugly"
>> or "you're stupid" and then says "just
>> kidding" what they really mean is "I really
>> think you're ugly or stupid, but I don't want
>> you to react too badly to my words". I have
>> found that what people say in jest is largely
>> how they really feel.
> I think you're being a little silly in this
> belief John. Joking and prodding your friends
> is a way of perking up the conversation. I have
> had friends that objected to such light-hearted
> jokes, but the rest of us thought they held
> their feelings on their sleeves. Toughen up
I must admit that everytime I kid after I concluded this (which is virtually never now) I sometimes didn't mean it, but my own experience validates my belief that people usually aren't kidding when they say they are.
Your experience evidently is different. I wonder if a survey could help establish who's experience is more typical, yours or mine.
> I'm not trying to discount the speculation, I'm
> just trying to say that it is pointless and
> somewhat derogatory against homosexuals since
> it falls into line with the "he must be gay"
> thing. Our society should just chill out about
> who is gay and who is not and move on already.
> Who cares? I don't think it matters and it
> wouldn't bother me in the slightest if Paul was
> gay. It has no effect on me in terms of what I
> consider the wonderful things he wrote.
Good point about gays in society being a nonissue. I expect marriage rights and such things will be soon coming. I think scientific progress, not religious inspiration from God, will help this along.
I think if Paul was gay that could be significant from a religious point of view because it shows in another way the hypocrisy of homophobic Christianity.
>> Maybe you're right. Religious people don't lie
>> or exaggerate their stories for their religion
>> do they? Godfearing people by definition can't
>> be liars.
> Of course they do. The issue is how we catch
> people in their inconsistent or lying
> statements. We shouldn't use deceptive logic.
You're right. Deceptive logic does not strengthen anyone's cause. Perhaps I'm writing too soon after thinking.
>> Do you tend to automatically trust people who >> believe in a reanimated corpse and the
>> imminent return of the same to the Earth in
>> great power to destroy all wickedness? I tend
>> to consider outrageous claims like this
>> sufficient reason to consider their other
>> statements unreliable.
> Okay, you got me there. Although, I don't see
> speculation as a cure. Evidence is the cure.
> Evidence not speculation.
Good point. I agree. What Biblical "miracles" do you believe in and why? What is the evidence for what you do believe in? God? Afterlife? Atonement?