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Lance's picture
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I would like to know what questions y’all have regarding the birth story of Jesus or Christmas in general. Thanks

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CyberLN's picture
None.

None.

Lance's picture
Maybe I should clarify. I

Maybe I should clarify. I really want to know what you would have trouble believing, what do you think Christians are stupid for believing etc.

Cognostic's picture
What would I have trouble

What would I have trouble believing!!! I have a response to that but it is on my home computer. I promise I will respond later today...

Cognostic's picture
Whew! Finally Home. Now..

Whew! Finally Home. Now... what was that question? Ahhhh yes.... "What would I have trouble believing.

@ Hey Lance!

I WOULD HAVE TROUBLE BELIEVING.....

1. The universe was created. Not only created, but created by a magical sky being existing beyond space and time that isn't contradictory to itself.

2. A magical flying sky daddy, miraculously impregnated a virgin and made a magical baby which turned out to be that same impregnating God who impregnated the virgin in the first place.

3. Dead people crawled up out of the ground and then walking around they convinced people they were still alive and no historian thought it was important enough to mention.

4. Praying to a magical man in the sky who has the ability to change the course of the seas he made, calm storms he caused, cure diseases he invented, ease pain he is responsible for, and stop suffering he uses to test people with, can lead the person praying to salvation.

5. A magical afterlife exists, where believers die and get to meet their dead loved ones once again; and everyone will be spiritually alive and happy together, not like they were in real life on this planet.

6. I would have trouble believing unconditional love is unconditional, as long as it is based on a threat of eternal damnation and the choice of believing that God who created the place of eternal damnation is loving.

7. Something called a spirit resides within the human body and is eternal. If this were true, after death, theists would get to keep on being the narrow minded bigoted assholes they are instead of simply dying and turning to dust like the rest of us.

8. The idea that ritualistic cannibalism and blood sacrifice that involves imbibing grape juice or wine that can magically be turned into actual blood or eating bread that transubstantes into real living flesh in a believers tummy (except when the rituals are symbolic), in remembrance of a flying sky daddy, is reasonably sane.

9. The creator God thing inspired the writing of a non-contradictory holy book that only appears to be full of contradictions that aren't really contradictions. I further have difficulty believing that faith and excuses make the contradictions suddenly go away.

10. The blood sacrifice on a cross of an ignorant first century Jew who cured blindness by spitting in people’s eyes and who was allegedly born of a virgin by fathering himself to become himself has anything at all to do with forgiving any of the terrible things I have done in my life. Instead, I believe I a fully and completely responsible for the deeds I have done.

11. Evil magical demons can take hold of a mind, or a person’s will, and force them to do terrible things. That if a person is not protected by the good and kind magical flying sky daddy and creator of the place of eternal damnation, they are subject to influence by these horrible demons.

12. The idea that Jesus had the power to spit in the eye of a blind person and cure them of their blindness. I also have trouble believing people could once fly, serpents and asses could talk, water could be changed into wine or that fish and bread could be magically multiplied to make more. I further have trouble believing that people could once walk on water, live inside big fish, live to be 700 years old or be seen in several places at once.

*** CALL ME ‘SILLY’ BUT THESE ARE JUST SOME OF THE THINGS I WOULD HAVE TROUBLE BELIEVING.***

Treehugger17's picture
I’m sending a virtual hi 5. I

I’m sending a virtual hi 5. I’d say AMEN to that but the religious connotation has dirtied the word.

Treehugger17's picture
Ironically, when I was

Ironically, when I was growing up as a Christian (secretly skeptical) I didn’t struggle with believing in the virgin birth... I think I was willing to accept that part as a “miracle” and it was one of the parts that sat well with me. Maybe because of the festivities of Christmas. I even have a little nativity scene that comes out for Christmas but my children know it’s just a story.. not real. Like Santa.
What about yourself?

CyberLN's picture
Why do you ask?

Why do you ask?

Lance's picture
I am a Christian, I’d rather

I am a Christian, I’d rather know what questions are out there than assume I know. I won’t even reply unless specifically asked to do so. Thx

CyberLN's picture
Why do you think folks who

Why do you think folks who identify as atheist have questions about your god?

Lance's picture
I assume, that’s why I asked

I assume, that’s why I asked

David Killens's picture
@Lance

@Lance

"I assume, that’s why I asked"

You assumed incorrectly. I don't waste my time thinking about hypothetical situations for imaginary beings. I don't waste brain cells wondering if Mini Mouse wore a training bra when young, I don't wonder if Bigfoot has to clip his toenails, and I don't wonder why a carpenter didn't bang his wife on their wedding night.

Lance, you were born a few hundred years too late, you would have excelled at debating on how many angels could dance on the head of a pin.

Please understand, most people don't waste much time pondering crap they don't believe in.

LogicFTW's picture
I have a question I would

I have a question I would like you to reply to Lance:

Why would a supposed "god" idea that is all powerful and all knowing, do the whole virgin birth, son of god (or is god depending on who you ask.) When I can personally brainstorm a dozen different ways of "saving humans" that are much faster, easier, more effective then the whole virgin birth / jesus christ story in just a few minutes?

Why did your all knowing "god" idea pick this way to do things? We all know how it supposedly turned out, (not well for this all mighty all powerful god!)

Why would such an almighty god heavily plagiarize the idea from religion/god concepts that came before it? Why "near" winter solstice like so many other god/religion ideas before it? (Back when 99% of the population had no idea exactly what day winter solstice falls on?)

Why pick a star that is only visible in certain parts of the world at that time?

I could probably come up with hundreds of questions like the above. Is "god works in mysterious ways" your answer to all of them?

David Killens's picture
@LogicFTW

@LogicFTW

"Why would a supposed "god" idea that is all powerful and all knowing, do the whole virgin birth, son of god (or is god depending on who you ask.) When I can personally brainstorm a dozen different ways of "saving humans" that are much faster, easier, more effective then the whole virgin birth / jesus christ story in just a few minutes? "

Not to mention that the concept was extremely high risk if one wanted to spread a powerful message. One dude and his gang of ruffians run afoul of the law, and he gets crucified. The odds that this tale would have become common public knowledge was incredibly low.

Now, if the son of a king suddenly started spreading the same message, a lot more people would have been aware of it, and the odds of this message becoming ingrained in the public consciousness would have had a higher probability of success.

Tin-Man's picture
@Lance Re: "I really want to

@Lance Re: "I really want to know what you would have trouble believing, what do you think Christians are stupid for believing etc."

I have a better idea. Why don't you tell us why we SHOULD believe? For instance, you do realize, I hope, that Christmas was originally a Pagan ceremony/celebration, and was "adopted" by Christianity as a means of appealing to the Pagan masses at the time. (Along with Easter, candles on birthday cakes, and a couple of other annual celebrations.) In other words, Christmas (in its Pagan form) was an annual celebration/ritual that was around looooooooong before Christianity was ever conceived. Hmmmm.... Perhaps YOU should be the one asking US about Christmas and Jesus.

Also (Speaking only for myself at the moment, as opinions around here vary greatly), I personally do not think Christians are "stupid" for believing. Misguided, perhaps. And most certainly brainwashed to a high degree in many cases. But stupid? Nah. You see, unlike a few of the more fortunate atheists on this site who never had to struggle to escape the stranglehold of religion, I grew up being taught all about God and the bible and all the burdensome baggage that goes along with it. Therefore, I can easily (although reluctantly) put myself in the shoes and mindset of those who are still stuck within their religious indoctrination. And I happen to know many highly intelligent people who still believe in all that nonsense. They are not stupid at all. However, when one is brought up from childhood to believe things taught to them by their parents and other respected family and adult friends, then trying to shake those beliefs can often be way more than some people can accomplish. Doesn't make them stupid. Simply makes them victims of a system that was specifically designed to control the masses. Believe me, the threat of hell and eternal torture can be a very effective motivating factor in keeping people in line. I know this from personal experience. And it took me over forty years to finally crawl out from under that smothering blanket.

Anyway, enough about me. What about you? What makes you think you are qualified to educate us lowly and decrepit godless heathens on anything having to do with the bible and related topics?

Lance's picture
Thanks for the honest reply.

Thanks for the honest reply. I would correct a couple ,e of things- I never (at least intended) to say I was educating anyone- simply asking a question. You asked me to tell you “why you should believe”, but I assume that’s happened until you are sick of it. Instead I am simply seeking to understand your beliefs. And I’m sorry if that’s the Christianity you were exposed to

Cognostic's picture
@Lance: RE: " Instead I am

@Lance: RE: " Instead I am simply seeking to understand your beliefs."

Beliefs are as individual as the person you ask. Atheism is not a system of belief. Calling Atheism a belief is like calling non-stamp collecting a hobby. People that do not collect stamps don't have a name. People that don't collect god ideas and hold them dear are Atheists, Heathens, Non-believers, Skeptics, infidel, and more. You and your ilk placed these labels on us. (My guess is that you did it out of retaliation as you were actually the original atheists, so called by the pagans. )

There are no "beliefs." in Atheism. There is a lack of belief in God or gods. THAT IS THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENT FOR ATHEISM. (A LACK OF BELIEF.) All you have to do to be an Atheist is "NOT COLLECT STAMPS."

Tin-Man's picture
@Lance Re: "Instead I am

@Lance Re: "Instead I am simply seeking to understand your beliefs. And I’m sorry if that’s the Christianity you were exposed to"

Hmmm... Okay, I'll play. For the moment I will give you the benefit of the doubt and answer as though you are genuinely and sincerely here to learn..... (for the moment). Be advised, however, if I (or any other of the atheists on here) start to detect any hint of ridiculous nonsense from you, it will be playtime, as far as I am concerned. Fun for me, but maybe not so much for you... *mischievous grin*...

For starters, you certainly do assume quite a bit. Just a friendly word of advise, but you might want to work on that. Anyway, as for your trying to understand my beliefs as though my answer will be speaking for any and all atheists, well.... I'm afraid you might as well go around asking random people on the streets what they believe. It would be about as effective. Every single atheist out there is totally unique in what he/she believes, and in their lifestyles, and in their educational levels, and in their cultures, and in their backgrounds, and so on and so on and so on. Sure, I could tell you everything I may or may not believe, but that will give you absolutely ZERO insight into atheists in general. So when you ask about what I believe, you might want to be a bit more specific. To put is simply, the ONLY thing I absolutely have in common with any other atheist is that I do not believe in any god(s).

As for my personal views on Christmas and Christianity in general, it is really not very complicated. Even when I was just a little kid of seven or eight years old, all the things I was taught in the Baptist/Methodist churches I attended, along with everything I was taught about God and Christmas by my Mom and other Christian family members never made any type of reasonable sense to me. There were simply too many inconsistencies and contradictions that always pestered my little child brain, but I did not have the knowledge nor experience to figure out why at that time. Plus, the answers I always got from the adults sometimes made things even worse for me. Unfortunately, by the time I was old enough, educated enough, and experienced enough to sort through all the muddled "teachings" of my childhood, the threat of Satan and hell had been firmly planted deep within my psyche. To put it mildly, that made for a few decades of mental torment and anguish as my logical/rational brain became stuck in a tug-of-war with my religious indoctrination. I finally managed to break that damn rope only within the last two years or so. Now, without that perpetual storm of doubt and second-guessing raging in my head, I think more clearly and see things in a MUCH better light than I ever have before.

Just curious, but why would you apologize for "the Christianity I was exposed to"? What difference would it had made one way or the other? Is YOUR Christianity somehow better than the one in which I was raised? If so, how? Wait... Come to think of it, how could you even make that statement without having a clue as to exactly which form of Christianity I was exposed? For all you know, it could be the exact sect/denomination to which you belong. (And in case you missed it, that right there SHOULD BE a rather GLARING neon sign indicator for you.) Truth be known, compared to other friends of mine during that time, and compared to some of the folks on here, my religious exposure/indoctrination was extremely MILD for the most part. So, while your sentiments are appreciated, they honestly do not make much sense.

Anyway, this should give you a few things to mull over for a bit. Please feel free to ask any other questions you might have.

Cognostic's picture
@Lance: RE: "Do you think

@Lance: RE: "Do you think Christians are stupid for believing etc." Stupid for believing what? Please be as specific as you can.

Lance's picture
What about the Christmas

What about the Christmas story do you find: hardest to believe, most unrealistic, can’t believe someone would fall for. I am sincerely trying to understand an atheist view of Christmas. From the responses I assume (I could be wrong) that there have been people on this site over the years picking an argument. I definitely have my beliefs, as do you. I just want to understand more about your point of view. If not Christmas, Christianity in general is fine. If I sound vague it’s because I’m trying not to lead you in a certain direction or preconceived ideas. I already see my use of “stupid” May have been a preconceived judgement

Cognostic's picture
@Lance: It is a Christmas

@Lance: It is a Christmas Story. You answered your own question. "Story." It was not written to be believed. Atheists DO NOT HAVE a view of Christmas. If you think wise men followed a star you have to prove it. If you think virgins can have babies by impregnation from a magical invisible god, you have to prove it. Which Christmas assertion are you making and how do you know it is true. I have never heard a person try to argue that there really were three wise men. Why don't you try that one?

How do you know I have beliefs? What beliefs do you think I have? Please share. Are you a psychic mind reader now? I would genuinely love to hear your version of my beliefs. Then I would have a reason to call you an asshole instead of just assuming you may be one.

You can not lead Atheists in a direction of preconceived ideas... Some of us like Christmas and some of us probably don.t. Some don't mind the Christians usurping the holiday for their God and others just ignore the religious elements. Each person gets to make up their own mind. THERE IS NO ATHEIST DOGMA. WE HAVE NO ATHEIST BIBLE. THERE ARE NO ATHEIST RITUALS. EACH PERSON WILL DECIDE FOR THEMSELVES WITHOUT SOME MAGICAL BEING OR RELIGIOUS DOGMA TELLING THEM WHAT THEY MUST BELIEVE OR HOW THEY MUST CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAY.

Tin-Man's picture
@Lance Re: "I just want to

@Lance Re: "I just want to understand more about your point of view. (Regarding Christmas)"

Hey, here's a bit of irony for you. I spent a majority of my adult life actually dreading and despising Christmas due to all the conflicting emotions and societal inconsistencies it dredged up into view. Even as a kid, there were always a few nagging little "barbs" that sat just within view of my peripheral vision. Naturally, though, as a kid, I never concerned myself much with such matters, because it was obviously all about the presents and food. But as I got older, all those things started coming into full view more and more, causing conflict between my rational mind and my religious indoctrination. Therefore, I simply (barely) tolerated the holiday and waited for it to end.

Nowadays, however, as an atheist I actually enjoy Christmas, and I happily celebrate it with my friends and family. By the way, at this point I should mention that my wife is Pagan. She and I met about 8 years ago, at which time she started opening my eyes to things I had never known before. As a result, the fog in my brain in regards to religion finally started to clear, and that gradually allowed me to see through and beyond all the bullshit that had obscured my vision since childhood. It was a slow, scary, and sometimes "painful" process, but it eventualy led me to realizing I am atheist. And (here's the irony) having been able to finally find that release from my religious indoctrination, I now thoroughly enjoy the holiday and celebrating happy times with my family and friends. No God required.

David Killens's picture
@Lance

@Lance

"What about the Christmas story do you find: hardest to believe, most unrealistic, can’t believe someone would fall for."

I take the entire story in, and decide whether it makes sense or is just a wild flight of imagination. The entire jesus story is full of BS and delusions. So when I conclude that the ENTIRE jesus story is nonsense, the first chapter, his birth falls under the microscope of examination.

A carpenter was a high value profession at that time, it does not make sense that a carpenter would be living in extreme poverty.

Why would a poor carpenter make such an arduous journey just to register for a census? Try that in real life. Approach a poor person and inform them that they must travel back to the place of their birth just for a census. I am willing to bet that over 90% would offer a healthy FU.

That brings into question another train of thought. A census indicates that the Romans were very diligent in keeping records. And on that point, I agree. But if they were so diligent in keeping records, then why the omission (on the Roman records) on the entire jesus story? Do you not see the obvious contradiction?

Why would any married man travel in such a haphazard manner with a very pregnant wife?

A married woman and still a virgin?

As far as Joseph, one reasonable explanation is that he was a raging alcoholic, who could not hold a job, was incapable of taking care of his wife, and was so drunk all the time that he didn't even bang Mary. But that assessment contradicts the simple fact that very few raging alcoholics obediently obey commands from the rulers and travel a long distance just to be registered for a census. Unless they offered free booze once registered.

Cognostic's picture
@Lance: What about the

@Lance: What about the Christmas story do you find: hardest to believe, most unrealistic, can’t believe someone would fall for.
I promise I will respond to this as soon as I get home this evening.

Lance's picture
Thank you

Thank you

Cognostic's picture
@ Lance: RE: "Atheist view

@ Lance: RE: "Atheist view of Christmas." Great holiday. I love the smell of fresh cut pine. I love having everyone over for dinner. Seeing the smiles on the kids faces as they open packages. You do realize that Christmas is a secular holiday don't you? There is no place in your Bible that orders you to celebrate Christmas. There is no place in your bible that tells you to combine the stories of the gospels into a fake nativity scene. The Bible says the exact opposite.

Jeremiah 10:1-5 says the following, "Hear the word which the LORD speaks to you, O house of Israel. Thus says the LORD: Do not learn the way of the Gentiles; do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven, for the Gentiles are dismayed at them. For the customs of the peoples are futile; for one cuts a tree from the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with nails and hammers so that it will not topple. They are upright, like a palm tree, and they cannot speak; they must be carried, because they cannot go by themselves. Do not be afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, nor can they do any good.”

Jeremiah 10:3-4 King James Version (KJV)
3 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax.
4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.

OBVIOUSLY THESE WERE NOT CHRISTMAS TREES (The Jesus Character was not said to be dead yet), but the festivals were so bright and cheery with gift giving and singing that the Christians adopted them as their own.

Lance's picture
You obviously know your Bible

You obviously know your Bible- I wish more Christians were as well read. Not sure a hermeneutical argument will help a whole lot other than just creating an argument with no end. If you don’t have questions, thanks for your time. I wonder if others do. I find that other points of view help me deepen my own understanding.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Lance

@ Lance

Not sure a hermeneutical argument will help a whole lot

Probably right. A bullshit claim reversed by another bullshit claim to prove a pre supposed outcome ( biblical hermeneutics) seldom "helps a whole lot"

Algebe's picture
Hello Lance:

Hello Lance:

My question is this. Why is Christmas in December?

Lance's picture
The short answer is

The short answer is convenience. If they coincided the celebration with pagan celebrations there was less chance of persecution. Not sure I agree with that reason, but it is what it is

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Lance

@ Lance

The short answer is convenience. If they coincided the celebration with pagan celebrations there was less chance of persecution. Not sure I agree with that reason, but it is what it is

And...your mark is WRONG!!! That is an F my friend. Nothing to do with persecution everything to do with Constantine and the merging of the new State Religion with the very popular Mithraic traditions.

Her is a question for you...Matthews version of the Nativity story differs markedly from Luke's narrative. Not only that but we know that at the turn of the 1st century versions of both Luke and Matthew do not contain the birth narrative. Why would that be?

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