Who is Jesus and why does he matter?

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Tin-Man's picture
@Winston Re: "I know many

@Winston Re: "I know many atheists believe the Bible is irrelevant but it is also a historical book. It was written over the span of 1400 years and has over 40 different authors from 3 different continents and it all portrays a unified and cohesive storyline."

Uhhhh.... *cough-cough*... "...unified and cohesive storyline..."??? You're joking, right? Trying to spread a little humor to lighten the mood? Wow... Alrighty then...

For starters, while there actually may be some atheists out there who consider the bible to be irrelevant, so what? What do you think about the Quran? Is that irrelevant to you? What about the Shreemad Bhagavad Gita? The Tripitaka? The Hebrew Bible? (and the list goes on and on and on...) How much thought do you give to those holy texts? And the people who read and follow the teachings of those holy scriptures believe the god(s) portrayed in them are just as real as you believe your god to be. Oh, and many of them likely think YOUR god is the false god, just as you believe their gods are false. To put it another way, if I do not believe the bible itself to be some type of "divinely inspired" book of truth, then why on Earth would it possibly matter to me what it says about Jesus? Because as others have already said, even IF Jesus was a real person during that time period, how does that even remotely prove he was the son of some type of all-knowing/all-powerful magical mystical being?

And just so you know, I was raised in a Christian household (Baptist and Methodist), by a Christian family, surrounded by a small town Christian community, immersed in a Christian society in the middle of the Bible Belt. Even baptized (TWICE) during my life. First time when I was about 8, and the second time in my early twenties. And guess what.... All the things I was taught about God and the bible over all of those years never made any sense to me from the time before my first baptism on up until I was a fully grown and fully independent adult. As a result, I spent many miserable years of my life with my mind caught in a debilitating conflict between what my logical and rational mind was telling me vs. what I was taught to believe according to my religious indoctrination. Took me over forty years of my life to finally escape the insidious grasp of that dogma and rid my mind of that conflict. And since that time, my life has never been better. Not to say it is perfect by any stretch of the imagination. Life still goes on and is often full of little surprises. NOW, however, I am able to think more clearly and more rationally/reasonable without the burden and handicap of what some type of imaginary sky-daddy might think of the decisions I might make. As such, I make far better decisions and choices with far more ease. And as a bonus, I noticed I treat people MUCH better now than I did in the past, regardless of their race, gender, or sexual preferences.

So, hey, if religion is the only thing that helps keep you on the straight-n-narrow and gives you a sense of comfort and keeps you from "plunging into the abyss", then - by golly - stick with it. Do what you have to do to keep yourself happy and functional. But, please, do not be so arrogant as to presume that you know how your preferred religious beliefs will be such a fabulous benefit to myself and others. I was TORMENTED most of my life because of my religious upbringing. Now that I am free of it, my mind is lighter and more clear than it has ever been. To modify a bit a phrase I heard elsewhere on this site (Sorry, can't remember who it was who first said it...), "Religion is like a penis. Just because you have one does not give you the right to wave it around in everybody else's face and shove it down their throats."

watchman's picture
@ Winston …..

@ Winston …..

No other 1st century evidence then …?

"Jesus certainty existed"

No.... there is no certainty...

The Bible is not a history book....

The Bible does not portray " a unified and cohesive storyline"

Much of it is an easily proved fabrication.

...and there you go.....muttering off into the realm of fantasy and wishful thinking...…

my appologies….. for a moment there I thought you might have something "extra" ….

but no....just the usual

Cognostic's picture
Josephus (37-101AD) - OH

Josephus (37-101AD) - OH FUCK - You didn't really go there.... a known forgery inserted into the writings of Josephus by Christians of the time. Seriously? Do you think we are all stupid? Josephus never met Jesus. You think he began writing as an infant? Please tell me you can bring something better to the table. You can not conclude SHIT from Josephus.


Thallus (52AD) - Hold my head in a fucking toilet and tell me it's Kool-Aid. Come on - you can not be that fucking lame. 52AD. Jesus died in 32AD. We know next to nothing about Thallus or his works. We don't even know if he wrote only one book or several, even his name, comes entirely from Christian apologetic sources beginning in the late 2nd century. Scholars since the 18th century have even invented facts about him. You can not make a single assertion from the writings unless that assertion is, "we have no idea."


Seriously, Why don't you just do a little HISTORICAL research and stop playing with the Theists.

algebe's picture


Here we are in the age of TV, computers, and photography, yet we still don't know the full story of John Kennedy's death. Our "knowledge" of the life and death of Jesus is based on second- and third-hand accounts written nearly two millennia ago and decades after the supposed events. Strangely, the later the story was written, the more detail it seems to provide about JC. You see the same pattern with conspiracy theories about JFK, the Moon landing, and 911. As time goes by, the stories grow legs and run in all sorts of directions.

Conspiracy theories are started by people with an agenda. Some of them have a political axe to grind. Some of them just want to get 15 minutes of fame. And some of them, including a rather nasty man called Paul, wanted to start a world religion.

boomer47's picture


Being an atheist means a person does not believe in gods. NOTHING ELSE IS IMPLIED OR MAY BE INFERRED. There is no such thing as an atheist position on Jesus or anything else.

I will outline my own position, but do not claim to speak for anyone else.

Until quite recently I have taken an historical perspective on the historicity of Jesus. Over decades, this was a belief without any real foundation. Latterly, my position has been largely informed by Bart Ehrman.

Where I am right now:

That AT BEST it may be claimed that:

(1) There MAY have been a wandering rabbi called something like Yeshua/Yoshua bar Yussuf in first century Judea. Not uncommon in that place and time as far as I can tell.

(2) He MAY have founded a small Jewish sect, say a bit like the Ebionites*

(3) He MAY have been crucified by the Romans for sedition. Not an uncommon fate for a Jew in first century Judea. The Roman crucified perhaps thousands of Jews during their occupation.

(4) That the poor little rabbi had little or anything to do with the sect which [out of dozens] became the religion we call christianity.

I have recently come across the work of Dr Richard Carrier and others but so far only by YouTube lectures.

Dr Carrier is a mythicist who does not believe in an historical Jesus. He claims that Christianity is synthesis of Judaism and Greek Mystery religions. Although I find him a bit glib, his lectures have made me think. I have not yet changed my position, but think I probably will eventually.

As for further discussions. Many people here have a reasonable to erudite knowledge about the history of Christianity. Speaking for myself only; I do not accept the bible as authoritative about anything. In my opinion, The Old Testament is the mythology of Judaism. The New Testaments is the mythology of Christianity.

If you are sincere you will enter any discussions from an informed position. IE you will have actually have done some study apart from the Bible. An argument from faith and bible study won't do it here.



Ebionites (Greek: Ἐβιωναῖοι, Ebionaioi, derived from Hebrew אביונים ebyonim, ebionim, meaning "the poor" or "poor ones") is a patristic term referring to a Jewish Christian movement that existed during the early centuries of the Christian Era.[1] They regarded Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah while rejecting his divinity and his virgin birth[2] and insisted on the necessity of following Jewish law and rites.[3] They used only one of the Jewish–Christian gospels, the Hebrew Book of Matthew starting at chapter three; revered James, the brother of Jesus (James the Just); and rejected Paul the Apostle as an apostate from the Law.[4] Their name suggests that they placed a special value on voluntary poverty. Ebionim was one of the terms used by the sect at Qumran who sought to separate themselves from the corruption of the Temple. Many believe that the Qumran sectarians were Essenes.[5]"



I urge you to watch the lecture linked below. It is a short lecture (33 minutes) by Dr Richard Carrier on the historicity of Jesus. I do not suggest this in an attempt to change your mind about anything . Rather to provide an introduction to a perspective with which you may not be familiar .


MTheory's picture



Yale Divinity has launched a Free Public Bible Study. Professor Joel Baden was instrumental in implementing this project.



*Spoiler Alert*. There is absolutely nothing divine about the Bible.

Professor Elaine Pagels is the head of Religion and Theology at Princeton Divinity. In the attached 8 min video she states that belief in Jesus as The Son of God has been overemphasized. She obviously does Not believe in Supernatural Jesus either.


Religion is what flies planes into buildings.

PLEASE, walk into any Pediatric Oncology Dept. God is either evil or impotent. Either God can do nothing to help these beautiful children or doesn’t care to.

Cognostic's picture
Elaine Pagels is AWSOME We

Elaine Pagels is AWSOME We need an influential female. Her book "The Origins of Satan" is great. I hope to see more of her work.

Whitefire13's picture
Winston... “ If we are all

Winston... “ If we are all honest, the world we live in is deeply troubled, unless we refuse to accept reality or we live in a bubble (which in a sense is refusing to accept reality in some ways).”

Jesus fuck, I don’t even know where to begin with this mess. Life is life. Societies are societies. Deeply troubled?!?! Lol. Life in general has greatly improved for mankind over the past hundred some odd years - people today, even the poorest in western countries live better than many of the “wealth” from centuries before. Medical advancements, food production, water treatments, energy production, technology, prison and debt systems, human rights issues...I could go on... what are you comparing our “troubled” times against to know they are so troubled?

...and “My pursuit of happiness and satisfaction in life through drugs and drinking left me in a dark and empty place. Everything I tried to find fulfillment (drugs, alcohol, money, status) left me more empty and unsatisfied with life. ”

Sorry. Can’t relate. Not a path I took. And I don’t live in a “bubble” (nice try, though).

You can keep your outlook and wrap yourself in myths and an invisible sky daddy...

I prefer to enjoy this life, this time on earth while I’m here and leave it a touch better than how I found it (just a smichen’). I don’t have as dire an outlook as you.

Keep the “Jesus’ saved me testimonials” for your group... hallelujah

boomer47's picture


From my experience it's common for recovering addicts of all kinds to discover religion. They simply substitute one form of fantasy if for a new one. A new addiction of you will. People say the same thing about AA . That's fine, obsessively attending AA won't kill you. Continuing to drink will, 100%/--so, replacing drugs with god is a pretty safe thing to do. Unless of course you are an ultra orthodox Muslim, just about anywhere.


Location: Suicide bomber's training camp.

Instructor to trainees ;" Now lads, I want you to pay close attention. I'm only going to show you this once"

Whitefire13's picture
Oh god Cranks - there’s a

Oh god Cranks - there’s a whole “indoctrination, manipulation” set up for those on the suicide missions.

Do you have any idea what it must take mentally to get yourself to “that place” - fuck... don’t ever wish to experience that... like any journey, one step at a time. I don’t think any of them just wake up one day thinking “hmmm, today I feel like taking out a block in the name of Invisible sky daddy”....

The Japanese Kamikaze...

All for a “higher cause” ... and the atheists are the “odd balls” because of one simple requirement - evidence for claims.

dogalmighty's picture


Well...It is truly sad to see this type of delusional plea every couple months on here. I mean, why even come to an atheist site? Without the doubt in your own mind, you wouldn't be here. Hate to not support your cognitive dissonance bias, but reality needs objective evidence, and cheesus has none. Cripes, even the subjective evidences you put forth, are debunked.

I fully understand the personal need in your life for something to cling onto, as a purveyor of normalcy, in a life otherwise fucked up by poor choice on your part...I hate to point it out to you, but, you are using non-existent things as a springboard to emotional stability. You need to be asking yourself, why you believe in something that never existed in reality, and look for something to bolster your emotional needs that is based in reality...otherwise you will be effecting yourself and others with the same failure in reason, that got you in trouble in the first place. The truth actually is, that it is actually you, that has improved your own life, not your belief in some myth.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
As most of you know normally

As most of you know normally I would leap into this discussion with historical guns blazing however, you all have done a magnificent job in putting Winston right...as far as his one eyed view will accept.

@ Winston

There is NO contemporary (to his alleged life) evidence for a Jesus figure as described in the gospels. NONE.

If you have any, claim your Nobel prize for history.

I cannot believe anyone in the 21st century would present the first entry of Josephus "Antiquities", or Tacitus, or the mythical Thallus, or even Pliny as any kind of evidence of anything but a christian's ability to deceive themselves. All those sources claimed by apologists have been debunked for years.

Ehrmann argues for a very HUMAN jesus figure as a source of the much later gospel stories. A HUMAN jesus that did not resurrect is just another dead Messiah figure,history is littered with them. All dead.

The whole point of Christianity is the Jesus figure, which we have established you cannot prove existed as a man or even more unlikely, the son of/part of a three headed god.

I am happy that you found the strength to throw off your addictions and continue with your daily struggle to stay off the bad shit. However that is only evidence of your fortitude and your very human brain's way of not facing extinction by grasping on to an idea of an outside cause of your change of behaviour. It helps you, but understand, it is NOT real.

No serious HISTORIAN accepts the stories of the gospel Jesus as being true, I supect you are confusing Theologians with the study of fables as their core mission, with Historians, Historiographers ands Archeologists who are much more concerned about accuracy and historical fact.

Have a nice day.

Mutorc S'yriah's picture
@ Winston

@ Winston

Who is Jesus and why does he matter?
Well it makes no sense to me, to say who IS Jesus, but more sense to say who WAS Jesus? If there ever was a Jesus, the man died, so Jesus is no more. It matters, because a lot of people hold beliefs about the Biblical Jesus, and their beliefs affect many other people, including us non-believers. Those believers would like to enact laws which are rooted in the Bible, and the teachings of Jesus, for which we, (I), hold no particularly high regard, if any.

Furthermore, believers have gone to war for their beliefs - and that matters. That latter statement is not meant to relieve others, those non-believers, both atheist and from other religions, who may act in an unethical or immoral; or bellicose way. But I don't see the justification in having to stick to a moral or legal code, laid down by a system, rooted in a god-cum-Jesus belief, in which I have no investment.
@ Winston

With all that said, I am seeking a good friendly debate about the historicity and reality of Jesus Christ. What do atheists believe about Jesus? Most atheistic debates I've heard circle around the existence of God type of arguments but I have not heard many about Jesus, who he is, why he has made such an impact on the world (whether you think that is positive or negative), and why his claims were so shocking to so many people.
If you are not interested in bringing the existence of your god into the question, then I can't help you. Obviously, if we atheists cannot accept the existence of any gods, then it totally affects out thoughts about who the guy Jesus was and what the guy did. All the miracles, and the whole basis for Christianity cannot be accepted, if neither can "God" be accepted.

If you could convince any of us of the veracity of your god, or if we could assist you in dropping your faith, then it would significantly change the content of any discussion.

Basically, I see no need for a debate about the historicity and reality of Jesus, any more than I see the need for a debate about that of any other religious leader of antiquity, or more recent times. For that matter, we could discuss the evidence for the historicity of ANY other person of note in history, especially ancient times, and it would matter to me, as much as it would to you, ie. probably not much.

Of course you are interested in what YOU are interested in, but I'm not.


Grinseed's picture
G'day Winston.

G'day Winston.

A lot of us here are ex-Christians, very familiar with the points you have raised for a historical Jesus. Some, who were not raised as Christians, have also gone to great lengths to research the validity of theist claims in general. At the very least we have established you can not prove Jesus historical or divine.
You are only one of many who have come to this forum to prove Jesus is real and you have not presented any line of argument or evidence that we have not already dealt with, in detail.

The Bible; many writers and many editors with agendas; many languages and opportunities for misinterpretation; three continents (sounds huge) but all centred around the one small sea, the Mediterranean; centuries of history, interwoven with myth and legend. But most importantly a long uninterrupted and shared culture that still did not avoid contradictions or disputes of interpretation which questions divine authorship.

As an atheist I accept there was an itinerant 'rabbi', who wanted a simpler, more humane, interpretation of Mosaic law for the Jews. It would have been an attractive, popular and widespread idea at the time as it seems to be today. We would all like peace and tranquility but not necessarily with the religious floss that was added later by mean vengeful minds. The Jews were living in more uncertain, brutal times than we do today. Nothing in Matthew's Sermon on the Mount, is original. Yeshua is depicted merely expressing the desires every human has ever wanted throughout history and a lot of that is already recorded in the OT.

Independent writers living at the same time as Jesus record nothing of him because he simply wasn't important or outstandingly different.
Philo of Alexandria, a contemporary Jew who outlived Jesus in Palestine, in a detailed contemporaneous history of the governorship of Pontius Pilate, never mentions what should have been an outrageous sacrilege; a Sanhedrin-sanctioned execution of a fellow Jew, during the holiest of Jewish observances, the Passover. Josephus' history of Pilates' intolerance of Jewish observances fails to record this event too. Had it happened he would have been duty bound as a Jew to record it with heart felt horror.

The crucifiction eclipse could not have happened; it was invented. NASA's record of eclipses of the 1st century show none occurred in the first half of that century or anywhere near Jerusalem for that matter. OK you might claim it a miracle, I insist you cant prove it happened.

No Christian writer before Eusebius 324 AD mentions the reference to Jesus in Josephus's history, despite all of them referring and quoting from it. Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, Origen, Tertullian, and others never mention Josephus's reference to Jesus, although they quote from Josephus regularly in the arguments against Greek and Roman pagans. It is widely accepted Eusebius himself, who supported lying for god as a Christian deed, inserted the passage and possibly the other forgeries related to Jesus, and then declared their discovery.
I could go on, but the point is that it is an impossible task for anyone to conclusively prove the historicity of Jesus or to prove the claims to his divinity.
Jesus became a product of the Christian church and its world view. A divine role model, the pinnacle of the 'good man, the worthy life', impossible to emulate because it is a fiction, an inspirational hope, which is not a bad thing in itself until the concept of eternal punishment emerges and the pious begin to legislate their own brand of morality to force on others, without the faithful patience to at least wait on the expected divinely-promised workings of their ineffable Holy Spirit.

I suggest that as a Christian, the only way to prove your biblical religious historical Jesus existed and was a god, is to prove his promise to you, of sharing his supposed miraculous powers, and start restoring sick and handicapped people and emptying hospital wards.
I bear you no grudge for your faith, I merely reject your assertion that you can prove it objectively. Evidence provides knowledge which is not faith. I recall "witnessing" was a matter of how you lived your life rather than how well you could dispute history.

algebe's picture
Grinseed: crucifiction

Grinseed: crucifiction

LOL. Nice one.

Grinseed's picture
Glad you pick that up, it was

Glad you pick that up, it was fully intentional. :)

dogalmighty's picture
@maskedone fuck'ln brilliant.


fuck'ln brilliant.

algebe's picture
@Winston: I was using these

@Winston: I was using these substances to try and suppress the pain, anxiousness of this world and try to find an "escape" from reality.

It sounds to me like you've replaced one form of escape with another. This world is not just pain and anxiety. It's full of wonder and opportunity, things to see, things to learn. There is fulfillment in discovery, in trying to make the world better, in trying to make yourself better. Religion and drugs replace those things with a meek surrender to make-believe.

Human life is precious and valuable precisely because it is finite. Your wishful fantasy about an eternal afterlife devalues life. Have you ever marveled at cherry blossoms in spring? Is their beauty diminished because it's transient? Would you enjoy the blossoms more if they were always there?

PatsNation's picture
Good evening friends,

Good evening friends,

Thanks for your comments and posts. You all did a great job reminding me that I am not a historian haha. I’m sure other people on here probably had better arguments than I proposed earlier. Through inductive reasoning I still tend to believe that their is More than enough evidence to believe in God and that Jesus was God incarnate. Whether they are “concrete” enough for you is for you to decide. You all have probably done more research than I have as well. You all seem to be pretty intelligent and articulate which I can respect and appreciate. But even if there was all the evidence in the world available for the existence of God, it seems like most of you would still choose to disbelieve it due to the way you feel towards Christian beliefs evident through some of your responses and remarks.

I didn’t get much response back about my own curiosities about atheism in regards to ethical behavior. Take what is happening in the world now with racial injustices (@White, this is what I’m talking about regarding the world being deeply troubled. I wasn’t talking about advancements in our societies, I’m talking about moral decline and troubled souls which is abundantly clear, just watch the news). If atheism is true, where does this sense of justice come from? Why such an outrage if everyone is just a subject of random processes with a mentality of survival of the fittest? Why are thousands, maybe millions of people protesting in the world to right something that was wrong? From an atheist perspective, is anyone truly ever “wrong” if atheism doesn’t allow to have a fixed ethical standard? There’s a sense of justice that’s not simply about who’s in power, but a transcendent sense of what is right and wrong.

How does an atheist account for things like justice, love, purpose behind our lives, beauty, and truth?

algebe's picture
@Winston: Take what is

@Winston: Take what is happening in the world now with racial injustices

Are you suggesting that these problems would all go away if we'd just follow Jesus?

Human beings have an innate moral sense that comes from our evolutionary heritage as social apes. That natural morality is refined into empathy as we grow up in our families and society. If you want moral absolutes, look inside yourself.

The "absolute" morality that religions pretend to offer is a perversion of our core morality as human beings. Religious "morality" has been the driving force for persecution, slavery, inquisitions, pogroms, holocausts, and ethnic cleansing right up to the present day.

dogalmighty's picture


"Through inductive reasoning I still tend to believe that their is More than enough evidence to believe in God and that Jesus was God incarnate. Whether they are “concrete” enough for you is for you to decide."

Ummm no. There are two types of evidence, subjective, and objective evidences. To determine existence in reality, you need objective evidence. I would suggest you start by understanding the functional differences between the two. Human decision is either right or wrong, defined by objective evidence...not defined by personal choice or belief.

"But even if there was all the evidence in the world available for the existence of God, it seems like most of you would still choose to disbelieve it due to the way you feel towards Christian beliefs evident through some of your responses and remarks."

Ummmm no. Atheism is defined as a lack of belief in a god or gods. We can add...".because of lack of evidence"...to this sentence, and sometimes do when its needed. If miraculously, unequivocal objective evidence presents itself defining a specific god as existing...I would believe...because of that objective evidence. Most all atheists would. It is your lack of understanding, and your dogmatic mythology belief, that defines you. You are parroting that dogma without thinking critically...try thinking for yourself and being critical, instead of portraying a thoughtless mythology fanboy drone, like so many others.

"I didn’t get much response back about my own curiosities about atheism in regards to ethical behavior."

That's because ethical behavior, is human behavior...irreverent of beliefs.

" I’m talking about moral decline and troubled souls which is abundantly clear, just watch the news). If atheism is true, where does this sense of justice come from?"

That sounds like you believe that your specific religious doctrine is the director of human morality. LOL. If atheism is true? LOL...please understand that atheism is not a belief, nor does it have a dogma, a direction or doctrine behind it...as it is not a belief...it is a disbelief...a disbelief in your claim of a god, period. Please try and understand this. Morality is innate, our moral precepts are housed in specific neuronal groups in the prefrontal cortex of each of our, and our ancestral species, brains. See my avatar? That is two chimps that have never read the buybull, displaying a main tenet of morality, called empathy. Again, critical thought will help you understand atheists disbelief in your claim of a god.

"Why are thousands, maybe millions of people protesting in the world to right something that was wrong?"

...and not all of those people are theists...they are both theists and atheists...which explains why all humans have the same moral actions, as they have the same moral precepts.

"How does an atheist account for things like justice, love, purpose behind our lives, beauty, and truth?"

Maybe you should ask the same question of your beliefs, because your beliefs are based on a non-objectively evidenced supernatural immoral deity...where in fact, justice, love, purpose behind our lives, beauty, and truth are all quantifiable by answers based in reality.

Whitefire13's picture
@Winston ... first, a quick

@Winston ... first, a quick address of this assumption on your part “ all the evidence in the world available for the existence of God, it seems like most of you would still choose to disbelieve it due to the way you feel towards...”

Firstly, I would welcome real evidence of god’s existence. According to some Christian
interpretation, Satan knew “he”(god) was “real” and still made his own choice - sooo, I don’t have an issue with knowing, via evidence that god exists and then “making a choice” - BUT as is stands, most religious folk ask for “faith and belief” in “something” and back it by “personal experience” .... not enough for me - too much bullshit in the world (perhaps not on purpose by the bullshit purveyors...but the sincerity of a lie doesn’t make it any less a lie).

Second... “the news” sells fear and draws attention to what is “news-worthy” (depending on audience, ownership of said news outlet, etc) and for myself, only used to draw my attention to something I will investigate further on my own (I try to leave their spin out of it)

So here is what my local environment shares with me: devastating fire in Fort Mac, Alberta https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Fort_McMurray_wildfire

I volunteered in the aftermath, as did thousands... as the event was happening though- locals to the North who found out what was immediately happening, drove out to the highway (it’s a long isolated road before you reach civilization again) with tires, gas, water, food, children supplies, tow trucks - you name it (they thought of it)

When a local mosque was vandalized, holy fuck, we as a community let the “fucker” know that was not OK! “Rednecks” out there cleaned up the mess and apologized on behalf of the asshole (which of course, our Muslim community said wasn’t necessary, but was deeply appreciated [they felt safe and welcome]). Why did this “person” feel he could treat a fellow human in a derogatory manner? Read the news and find out...


Now, my area isn’t perfect, fuck, we have and have had our “problems (lol -)” ... but my experience and exposure “here” has been one where I see people naturally coming together to help one another or coming together to support one another.


You also said “ moral decline and troubled souls which is abundantly clear,”

When has the “moral decline” happened? Lol...was it “allowing” gays to marry and adopt children? Or the option, myself including, of having sex with a consenting adult for just one night? Is it how “children” lack respect and don’t
“obey” their parents? Hahahahaha
Or the “legalization” of pot? Oh, I know -
the “pre-birth termination” that’s so sinful (pro-lifers)?
Where exactly is the “decline” and “when” did it start?

Ahh, the “good old days” when pa would sit near the fire and read to his children from the “good book” while ma knitted in the rocking chair...

David Killens's picture
@ Winston

@ Winston

"But even if there was all the evidence in the world available for the existence of God, it seems like most of you would still choose to disbelieve it due to the way you feel towards Christian beliefs evident through some of your responses and remarks."

I was raised in a christian family, my father a mason, my mother Eastern Star. I left organized religion before the age of twenty because IMO churches did not bring me closer to my god, but rather just injected distractions. For more than the next forty years I searched for and sought for this "god". I did not want to disprove a god, I wanted to find one.

Even today, I am open to a god, but ... I need proof, not just wishy washy feel-good pleas.

For the remainder of your post questioning morality and such, I repeat, you need to open a new thread to deal with that one subject. Because that is one huge can or worms.

I really really want to respond to that subject, but it will open the floodgates for many posts.

David Killens's picture
@ Winston

@ Winston

"How does an atheist account for things like justice, love, purpose behind our lives, beauty, and truth?"

I apologize to all for posting a video I posted yesterday, but I am a huge fan of Feynman, and his words ring true for me.


Grinseed's picture
@ Dave, don't apologise,

@ Dave, don't apologise, thanks for the link. Now looking at all 20+ of the Feynman Series, a very profitable use of my time.

David Killens's picture
@ Grinseed

@ Grinseed

Feynman is more than a hero to me. He was absolutely amazing in his intellect and outlook on life.


David Killens's picture
@ Winston

@ Winston

OK, since you did not create a separate thread discussing morals, here we go.

I assume you "take" your morals from the bible. What does the bible tell us to do to insolent and disrespectful children?

Proverbs 30:17 English Standard Version (ESV)
The eye that mocks a father and scorns to obey a mother will be picked out by the ravens of the valley and eaten by the vultures.

Proverbs 13:24 (ESV)
Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.

Deuteronomy 21:18-21 King James Version (KJV)

18 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:

19 Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place;

20 And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.

21 And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

Wow, what a great way to parent. But hey, that is the bible's morality.

For myself, I recognize that a child will grow up, develop, and probably have a full life. I also understand that the teens are at an age where everyone is rebellious. This is when they are transitioning from the simple world of a child to the confusing adult world. Just like the age of three when every word that came out of their moth is "why", teens are embarking on another plateau of learning.

I also recognize that we are social animals, we must be able to live together. And this is where I start my morals, I have established a moral reference point. And that is the well being of others. If I steal from another I am making a negative impact on their well being. Therefore stealing is morally offensive.


Many years ago I was working on a military base, and was on my way to work. I was standing at the bus platform at a subway stop, standing behind a lady in uniform. I knew her from the military base, a meek and mousy little person who worked as a supply technician. As we were standing there, this guy came in from the street, and went nose-to-nose with this lady, shouting offensive anti-military vulgarities.

As she recoiled back a few steps, I slid sideways, up, and positioned myself in his face (actually more like face to chest because I am above average in size), making sure that the lady was fully behind me and fully protected. I never made a sound. I just made a wall of myself. He soon left. I Then stepped aside and allowed the lady back into her position at the front of the line. I never said a word. I did not expect any praise I just did what I deemed as the right thing. She never said a word, we did not communicate in any way. But over the coming months, as we had our chance encounters on the base, she always gave me a warm smile, something she did not grant to others.

Was I performing a moral act? I believe so. My actions were not driven by a fear that if I messed up I would go to hell, but her well being. Is there any rule in the bible to instruct anyone to do the same thing?

IMO morals are decided on a case-by-case basis, each a subjective experience.

David Killens's picture
@ Winston

@ Winston

"I didn’t get much response back about my own curiosities about atheism in regards to ethical behavior. Take what is happening in the world now with racial injustices (@White, this is what I’m talking about regarding the world being deeply troubled. I wasn’t talking about advancements in our societies, I’m talking about moral decline and troubled souls which is abundantly clear, just watch the news)"

Can we agree that the practice of slavery is a major contributing factor to US racism?

Do you understand that religion enabled slavery? The bible advocate slavery, and many slavers used the bible to rationalize owning other human beings.

There is a saying, you are either the solution or part of the problem.

You don't call an arson to put out a fire.

Cognostic's picture
@I didn’t get much response

@I didn’t get much response back about my own curiosities about atheism in regards to ethical behavior.

Ethical behavior is a byproduct of human evolution. From clans to tribal communities to hamlets, townships, and cities, human beings have found ways to get along for the preservation of all.

A single human in the wild is nothing more than a walking hamburger. He does not have speed, size, armor plating, flight, climbing ability, swimming ability, venom, teeth, claws, or even thick fur. We survive by forming communities and caring for one another. A human baby takes 8 to 10 years to even reach a level of maturity to recognize danger. Unlike animals that are born with instincts, we are born stupid. We must learn to survive in the world around us and we must be taught. Much of this teaching is about how to fit in to a culture, society, tribal community or clan. Not fitting in would mean banishment and death. As the human societies became more complex and our ability to think became more complex so did our ethics and moral behavior. Justice, Love, Morality, beauty and perceptions of truth are all directly linked to survival.

boomer47's picture


"I didn’t get much response back about my own curiosities about atheism in regards to ethical behavior."

All I can say is you either didn't read what was posted or did not understand. I'll try again:

An Atheist is simply a person who does not believe in god(s), period.No ifs or buts.

There is no such thing as an atheist ethical position or philosophy. Nor any any other subject 'as an atheist'

Please tell me if there is something here you don't understand or with which you disagree.

Having said that, OF COURSE atheists have positions on a range of issues including but not limited ethics and morality .

A little on the history or morality and ethics:

The Greek Platonist philosophers were arguing about ethics in the fourth century bce.

Siddartha Gautama, called 'The Buddha' was teaching an exquisite form of morality and behaviour in the seventh century bce. Buddhism has been accurately described as 'an atheistic religion' because it has no god or gods,.

Around the same time,Master Kung (Confucius)was teaching his code,based on the family

The ancient Egyptians had a code of order called M'aat, from ca 2400 bce .:

"Maat or Maʽat (Egyptian mꜣꜥt /ˈmuʀʕat/)[1] refers to the ancient Egyptian concepts of truth, balance, order, harmony, law, morality, and justice. Maat was also the goddess who personified these concepts, and regulated the stars, seasons, and the actions of mortals and the deities who had brought order from chaos at the moment of creation. Her ideological opposite was Isfet (Egyptian jzft), meaning injustice, chaos, violence or to do evil."


THIS atheist does not need Christianity or any religious teachings to be good or to do good. Nor to love and feel love , nor to have keen sense of social and legal justice. Nor to appreciate the sublime beauty of a beloved's face nor of the natural world.--there's much, much more to me than that,as there is to you and every human being. (with the possible exception of Donald Trump)


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