Jesus as fiction, Geraldo vs Bigfoot, Science vs Religion

September 12, 2018

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Do you believe Jesus ever lived? I heard a lot of atheists say he didn’t…
George L.

 

There are some pretty decent scholars (Robert Price, Bart Ehrman, and Richard Carrier come to mind) who make a good case for Jesus being purely fictional. They point out that many of the stories and attributes that are supposedly about Jesus easily predate the period when he was to have lived and were recycled into the New Testament. This list of similarities is pretty substantial and should be eyebrow-raising for any believer. The documentary The God Who Wasn’t There makes a pretty compelling case as well. (Correction: I should point out that Bart Ehrman isn’t with Price and Carrier in believing Jesus was made up, though he finds some of the New Testament stories and quotes unreliable. 9/13/18)

I think they all make a pretty good case, but  it just doesn’t matter.

If there really was a guy named Jesus running around in the 1st Century, he almost certainly did not have the super powers.

How do I know that? The same way I know that no one today has super powers: deduction. We at the Independent Investigations Group test and investigate extraordinary claims people make from all over the world. Most of these claims (healing, for example) have a similar ring to many New Testament “miracles.”

Here’s the rub, Jesus fans: One hundred percent of the people we tested were NOT able to demonstrate their alleged ability under reasonable, mutually agreed-upon test conditions. This .000 batting average suggests that maybe the prescientific writers of the bible might have gotten it wrong too.

And surprisingly, none of them were trying to fake it! They all sincerely believed they had a supernatural ability, and many of their friends and family believed in their abilities as well. If these modern people can believe and be wrong, why couldn’t the folks 2000 years ago be in the same boat?

My (18+ years of) experience with these claims and these people tells me that a sincere claimant and those around him or her can deeply hold a supernatural belief that is demonstrably wrong… and tell their friends… and their friends… and so on. That’s how myths gets started.

Sound familiar?

 

Were you at the Bigfoot festival this year in NC?
Roland Kiel

 

Damn, I missed it. And I was shocked and appalled  to learn that the TV show Finding Bigfoot will end on its 100th episode – without having found anyone in an ape suit.

I did call this in the L.A. Times in March of 2012…

How do you shoot 100 episodes of a no-chance search and keep people interested? Remember in 1986 when Geraldo aired The Mystery of Al Capone’s Vaults. It was a colossal bust, and people were pissed they wasted time watching. Watching 100 episodes of Finding Bigfoot would be like watching Geraldo another 99 times after getting burned the first time.

Is this memory lapse? Masochism?

Why, people? Why?

 

Hello , May I ask a question.  Is science the root of evils? Since the achievements of science, tanks and bombs, hydrogen and nuclear, and the use of toxic gases, warplanes, and spy devices?    
Zainab

 

I’m pretty sure there was evil before science came along. While it’s true that technology has made it easier to kill more people at a time than in the past, the decision to kill is made by individuals and societies.

If this is one of those Science:Bad/ Religion:Good discussions, I can rant until the cows come home about the pain and suffering religion has wrought upon innocent humans (and animals, for that matter!) over the last 3000 years.

And let’s not forget that science has also accumulated a wealth of knowledge that has cured disease, purified food and water, removed drudgery from our lives, and so on. The list of scientific advancements that improve human lives grows every day.



See if you grumble about science the next time an ambulance whisks you off to a modern ER to patch you up…(I hope such options are available to you.)

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