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Jesus was just a guy (a mean, nasty guy)

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Simon Watfa

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Jan 31, 1994, 12:59:02 PM1/31/94
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Here is an interesting piece of email someone just sent me. I liked
it so much that I thought I'd post it. Enjoy.

====================================================================
WHY JESUS?

Who Is This Man Jesus?

Jesus has been held in high regard by Christians and non-
Christians alike. Regardless of whether he existed in
history, or whether he was divine, many have asserted that
the New Testament Christ character was the highest example
of moral living. Many believe that his teachings, if truly
understood and followed, would make this a better world.

Is this true? Does Jesus merit the widespread adoration he
has received? Let's look at what he said and did.

Was Jesus Peaceable And Compassionate?

The birth of Jesus was heralded with "Peace on Earth," yet
Jesus said, "Think not that I am come to send peace: I came
not to send peace but a sword." (Matt. 10:34) "He that hath
no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." (Luke
22:36) "But those mine enemies, which would not that I
should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before
me." (Luke 19:27). In a parable, but spoken of favorably.

The burning of unbelievers during the Inquisition was based
on the words of Jesus: "If a man abide not in me, he is
cast forth...and men gather them into the fire, and they are
burned." (John 15:6)

Jesus looked at his disciples "with anger" (Mark 3:5), and
attacked merchants with a whip (John 2:15). He showed his
respect for life by drowning innocent animals (Matt. 8:32).
He refused to heal a sick child until he was pressured by
the mother (Matt. 15:22-28).

The most revealing aspect of his character was his promotion
of eternal torment. "The Son of man [Jesus himself] shall
send forth his angels, and the shall gather out of his
kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be
wailing and gnashing of teeth." (Matt. 13:41-41) "And if
thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to
enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into
hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched." (Mark
9:43)

Is this nice? Is it exemplary to make your point with
threats of violence? Is hell a kind, peaceable idea?

Did Jesus Promote "Family Values?"

"If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother,
and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and
his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:26)

"I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and
the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law
against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of
his own household." (Matt. 10:35-36)

When one of his disciple requested time off for his
father's funeral, Jesus rebuked him: "Let the dead bury
their dead." (Matt. 8:22)

Jesus never used the word "family." He never married or
fathered children. To his own mother, he said, "Woman,
what have I to do with thee?" (John 2:4)

What Were His Views On Equality And Social Justice?

Jesus encouraged the beating of slaves: "And that servant
[slave], which knew his lord's will, and prepared not
himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten
with many stripes." (Luke 12:47) He never denounced
servitude, incorporating the master-slave relationship into
many of his parables.

He did nothing to alleviate poverty. Rather than sell some
expensive ointment to help the poor, Jesus wasted it on
himself, saying: "Ye have the poor with you always." Mark
14:3-7)

No women were chosen as disciples or invited to the Last
Supper.

What Moral Advice Did Jesus Give?

"There be eunuchs which have made themselves eunuchs for the
kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it,
let him receive it." (Matt. 19:12) Some believers,
including church father Origen, took this verse literally
and castrated themselves. Even metaphorically, this advice
is in poor taste.

If you do something wrong with your eye or hand, cut/pluck
it off (Matt. 5:29-30, in a sexual context). Marrying a
divorced woman is adultery (Matt. 5:32) Don't plan for the
future (Matt. 6:34), don't save money (Matt. 6:19-20), or
become wealthy (Mark 10:21-25). Sell everything and give it
to the poor (Luke 12:33). Don't work to obtain food (John
6:27). Don't have sexual urges (Matt. 5:28). Make people
want to persecute you (Matt. 5:11). Let everyone know you
are better than the rest (Matt. 5:13-16). Take money from
those who have no savings and give it to rich investors
(Luke 19:23-26). If someone steals from you, don't try to
get it back (Luke 6:30). If someone hits you, invite them
to do it again (Matt. 5:39). If someone forces you to walk
a mile, walk two miles (Matt. 5:41). If anyone asks you for
anything, give it to them without question (Matt. 5:42).

Is this wise? Is this what you would teach your children?

Was Jesus Reliable?

Jesus told his disciples that they would not die before his
second coming: "There be some standing here, which shall
not taste of death, till the see the Son of man coming in
his kingdom" (matt. 16:28). "Behold, I come quickly."
(Rev. 3:11) It's been 2,000 years, and believers are still
waiting for his "quick" return.

He mistakenly claimed that the mustard seed is "the least
of all seeds" (Matt. 13:32), and that salt could "lose its
savour" (Matt. 5:13).

Jesus said that whoever calls somebody a "fool" shall be in
danger of hell fire (Matt. 5:22), yet he called people
"fools" himself (Matt. 23:17).

Regarding his own truthfulness, Jesus gave two conflicting
opinions: "If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not
true" (John 5:31), and "Though I bear record of myself, yet
my record is true" (John 8:14).

Was Jesus a Good Example?

He irrationally cursed a fig tree for being fruitless _out
of season_ (Matt. 21:18-19, and Mark 11:13-14). He broke
the law by stealing corn on the Sabbath (Mark 2:23), and he
encouraged his disciples to take a horse without asking
permission (Matthew 21).

The "humble" Jesus said that he was "greater than the
temple" (Matt. 12:6), "greater than Jonah" (Matt. 12:41),
and "greater than Solomon" (Matt. 12:42). He appeared to
suffer from a dictator's "paranoia" when he said, "He that is
not with me is against me" (Matt. 12:30).

Why Jesus?

Although other verses can be cited that portray Jesus in a
different light, they do not erase the disturbing side of
his character. The conflicting passages, however, prove
that the New Testament is contradictory.

The "Golden Rule" had been said many times by earlier
religious leaders. (Confucius: "Do not unto others that
you would not have them do unto you.") "Turn the other
cheek" encourages victims to invite further violence. "Love
thy neighbor" applied only to fellow believers. (Neither
the Jews nor Jesus showed much love to foreign religions).
A few of the Beatitudes ("Blessed are the peacemakers") are
acceptable, but they are all conditions of future reward,
not based on respect for human life or values.

On the whole, Jesus said little that was worthwhile. He
introduced nothing new to ethics (except hell). He
instituted no social programs. Being "omniscient," he could
have shared some useful science or medicine, but he appeared
ignorant of such things (as if his character were merely the
invention of writers stuck in the first century).

Many scholars are doubtful of the historical existence of
Jesus. Albert Schweitzer said, "The historical Jesus will
be to our time a stranger and an enigma." No first-century
writer confirms the Jesus story. The New Testament is
internally contradictory and contains historical errors.
The story is filled with miracles and other outrageous
claims. Consisting mostly of material borrowed from pagan
religions, the Jesus story appears to be cut from the same
fabric as all other myths and fables.

Why is Jesus so special? It would be more reasonable and
productive to emulate real, flesh-and-blood human beings
who have contributed to humanity--mothers who have given
birth, scientists have alleviated suffering, social
reformers who have fought injustice--than to worship a
character of such dubious qualities as Jesus.

--------------------------------------------------------
This is Nontract #12.

(c) 1993 by Dan Barker. All rights reserved (Used with
permission).

Contact Freedom from Religion Foundation.

Box 750,

Madison, WI 53701.

&

Humanist Association of Ottawa,

Humanist Association of Canada,

P.O. Box 3736, Station C

Ottawa, Ontario K1Y 4J8

"Your friendly neighbourhood atheists"

/>::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::<\
| "Klopfte man an die graber und fragte die toten, ob sie wieder aufstehen |
| wollten: sie wurden mit den kopfen schutteln." -- Arthur Schopenhauer |
\>::::::::::::::::::::::::> bl...@andrew.cmu.edu <:::::::::::::::::::::::::</

les...@tigger.stcloud.msus.edu

unread,
Feb 4, 1994, 7:59:16 AM2/4/94
to
In article <CKI9y...@cpsc.ucalgary.ca>, wa...@cpsc.ucalgary.ca (Simon Watfa) writes:
>
>Here is an interesting piece of email someone just sent me. I liked
>it so much that I thought I'd post it. Enjoy.
>
>====================================================================
>WHY JESUS?
>
>Who Is This Man Jesus?
>
>Jesus has been held in high regard by Christians and non-
>Christians alike. Regardless of whether he existed in

Great material! I posted a similar collection of material myself, with
a very similar commentary. But I did not have as many verses or
incidents; nor was my post as well written as this! :)

Thanks for the posting!

I suspect that the author will be taken to task for "taking these
verses out of context." It is interesting the way that church members
attempt to explain away the shocking aspects of Jesus' words and the
more unattractive and immoral aspects of his behavior. One feels that
believers close their eyes to these things in order to be able to
remain church members. This blind behavior reminds me of the response
of families with an alcoholic or abusive parent, where the entire
family works very hard to protect that parent by excusing his
behavior, apologizing for him, enabling him, and generally denying the
reality of the alcoholism or the abuse. They hope that they that by
denial they can keep the family together. So it is with believers for
Jesus!

sincerely,
arn
les...@tigger.stcloud.msus.edu

Gordon Fitch

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Feb 4, 1994, 12:13:43 PM2/4/94
to
William Blake wrote something similar. While he didn't
cite chapter and verse, he did cover a lot of the same
ground, and not only that, his version rhymed. So what,
though?

--

)*( Gordon Fitch )*( g...@panix.com )*(

Lawrence Morales

unread,
Feb 4, 1994, 2:09:47 PM2/4/94
to
<*amusing* article deleted>

So....what's your point? :->

Moving on,
LM

P.S. Personally, I gave up trying to argue with
stuff like this long ago. Neither of us will
change our minds so that's why I'm "moving on."
^^^
|
(I'm speaking of the person who wrote the article,
not the poster - man it takes a lot of work to
avoid getting flamed)

JAMES GUSTAFSON

unread,
Feb 4, 1994, 5:35:12 PM2/4/94
to
In article <CKI9y...@cpsc.ucalgary.ca> wa...@cpsc.ucalgary.ca (Simon Watfa) writes:

>Here is an interesting piece of email someone just sent me. I liked
>it so much that I thought I'd post it. Enjoy.


This is the biggest bunch of Anti-Christian crap I've seen in a long time.


>
>Who Is This Man Jesus?

Lets get the key words here. Who is this MAN Jesus. As in, a man
with human passions, with human error and with human impulses.

>Jesus has been held in high regard by Christians and non-
>Christians alike. Regardless of whether he existed in
>history, or whether he was divine, many have asserted that
>the New Testament Christ character was the highest example
>of moral living. Many believe that his teachings, if truly
>understood and followed, would make this a better world.

I will not go into the arguments concerning the historical existance
of Jesus. Few scholars would deny this. I will not go into the arguments
against his divinity. Few scholars assert this. As for his moral system,
it has been interpreted in many ways, by many people. "...if truly
understood and followed" has absolutely nothing to do with Jesus moral
caracture, as does the moral system. If I offered the perfect moral system
and failed to practice it does that reflect on me or my moral system.

>Is this true? Does Jesus merit the widespread adoration he
>has received? Let's look at what he said and did.

Lets. And lets also look at the historical/political/
anthropological situation in which he lived. Lets be serious about our
Christology, shall we.


>Was Jesus Peaceable And Compassionate?

Jesus was a revolutionary. Is any revolutionary completely
"Peaceable and Compassionate?" He was often missunderstood by those who he
choose and who chose to follow him.

>The birth of Jesus was heralded with "Peace on Earth," yet
>Jesus said, "Think not that I am come to send peace: I came
>not to send peace but a sword." (Matt. 10:34) "He that hath
>no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." (Luke
>22:36) "But those mine enemies, which would not that I
>should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before
>me." (Luke 19:27). In a parable, but spoken of favorably.

Like I said, Jesus was a radical revolutionary. He brought about a
religous ideology that was completely alien. If you choose to ignore the
peace he attempted to spread, as well as the good things he said by pointing
out some of the negative things he said, ... well, that is simply poor
scholarship.

>
>The burning of unbelievers during the Inquisition was based
>on the words of Jesus: "If a man abide not in me, he is
>cast forth...and men gather them into the fire, and they are
>burned." (John 15:6)
>

Yes, and the saving of several thousand Jews during WWII by a small
Protestant town was based on the words of Jesus "Do unto others ..."
Yes, bad has been done in his name, but so has good. Do we blame
Einstien for Heroshima? You have to remember Jesus's fondness for
speaking in parables and metaphores.

>Jesus looked at his disciples "with anger" (Mark 3:5), and
>attacked merchants with a whip (John 2:15). He showed his
>respect for life by drowning innocent animals (Matt. 8:32).
>He refused to heal a sick child until he was pressured by
>the mother (Matt. 15:22-28).

And we have never looked at anyone "with anger?" What harm is there
in looking at someone in anger? I assume (my exact knowledge of scripture
is less than complete and I don't carry my bible to the Comp lab with me)
that the merchants attacked with a whip were the moneychangers in the
temple. If you considered something Holy, and saw something there
defileling it, would you remove the filth? As for his respect for life
shown with the drowning of innocent animals ... I guess you show your
respect for life by killing innocent animals everytime you eat a hamburger,
huh. Finally a healing. As I don't believe that Jesus had any
supernatural powers any of literally dozens of things could have been going
on here.


>
>The most revealing aspect of his character was his promotion
>of eternal torment. "The Son of man [Jesus himself] shall
>send forth his angels, and the shall gather out of his
>kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
>And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be
>wailing and gnashing of teeth." (Matt. 13:41-41) "And if
>thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to
>enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into
>hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched." (Mark
>9:43)

This in absolutely no way "promotes" eternal torment. I would accept
aknowledges eternal torment, or even prescribes eternal torment, but in no
way promotes eternal torment.

>
>Is this nice? Is it exemplary to make your point with
>threats of violence? Is hell a kind, peaceable idea?
>

You consider this a threat of violence, it is very plausable that
Jesus considered it a fact. He simply stated what he saw as a fact and
tried to get people to believe it.


>Did Jesus Promote "Family Values?"

O'Lawd! I want a quick reason why anyone should promote "Family
Values."

>"If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother,
>and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and
>his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:26)

Once again taken out of context and misinterpreted. Basically Jesus
is saying follow me and make my philosophy paramount in your life. Believe
what I say untill nothing stands between your love of God and you. This
doesn't mean you have to hate your father in order to be a disciple of
Jesus. This is so dumb. I absolutely hate literal interpretations. Do you
do this with everyone you meet?


>"I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and
>the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law
>against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of
>his own household." (Matt. 10:35-36)

Jesus wasn't stupid. He knew that what he was saying went against
everything the Jews had said. He knew that households would be broken over
ideologies. Look at our civil war, brother against brother. Does that mean
that the leaders of that time didn't promote family values?

>When one of his disciple requested time off for his
>father's funeral, Jesus rebuked him: "Let the dead bury
>their dead." (Matt. 8:22)

Forsake the past. Leave the past to take care of the past.



>Jesus never used the word "family." He never married or
>fathered children. To his own mother, he said, "Woman,
>what have I to do with thee?" (John 2:4)

There have been many interpretations of this line. I believe that
Jesus saw the messege he was bringing to people as more important than
anything else in the world.


>
>What Were His Views On Equality And Social Justice?
>

I am not even going to take these one at a time. Anytime you take people
out of social/historical context and look at thier views you are bound to
make the stupid mistake of judging by our standerds. Yes, his views on
Equality were wrong. He was just a man! He was just as much a product of
his society as Aristotle when Aristotle said some people were simply born to
be slaves, or when Jefferson wrote "all men created equal" but ment only
white upper class males. No, there were no women disciples. There have
also been no women presidents either. What does that say about our views on
Equality?
As for the question of poverty and the selling of the ointment, I
have a question for you. Why don't you sell everything you have and give
the money to the poor? Also, why don't you stop taking things out of
context. At the time when Jesus said this, he claimed that the woman was
annointing him for death: Tradition. While tradition may be wrong, we do
not blame people for following it. One more thing. What would selling the
ointment and giving the money away do? Should he give the money to one poor
person or spread it out over many? Finally, if you are going to acknowledge
his supernatural powers (Healing, proscribing Eternal torment) then you must
acknowledge his feeding of the multitudes as well.


>
>What Moral Advice Did Jesus Give?
>
>"There be eunuchs which have made themselves eunuchs for the
>kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it,
>let him receive it." (Matt. 19:12) Some believers,
>including church father Origen, took this verse literally
>and castrated themselves. Even metaphorically, this advice
>is in poor taste.

Ok, why is this "in poor taste?"

>
>If you do something wrong with your eye or hand, cut/pluck
>it off (Matt. 5:29-30, in a sexual context).

This was not in sexual context, and it was not ment to be taken
literally

>Marrying a divorced woman is adultery (Matt. 5:32)

This is a cultural moree of the time.

>Don't plan for the future (Matt. 6:34),

When you take things out of context you arrive at interesting little
quotes like this. What do you think he ment by this, and secondly, why is
it wrong not to plan for the future. I can think of several people I know
who live by the old "I'll burn that bridge when I get to it" philosophy.

>don't save money (Matt. 6:19-20),

Wow! Isn't this exactly what our country was telling us not too
long ago!

> or become wealthy (Mark 10:21-25).

There is absolutely no need to become wealthy. Wealth does you no
good when you die. You cannot take it with you. You can live very
comfortablly without being wealthy.

>Sell everything and give it to the poor (Luke 12:33).

You critizise him here for telling you to sell everything and give
it to the poor, but when a woman uses expensive ointment to annoint him you
critizise him for not doing enough to help the poor. Well, did he help the
poor or not.

>Don't work to obtain food (John 6:27).

This is taken out of context. I believe he says that you need not
work for food because God will provide for you.

>Don't have sexual urges (Matt. 5:28).

I do believe people still today press this as a moral principle.
Look at the case where a senetor gets caught with some woman. He suddenly
becomes distrusted and perverse in the publics eye. And this isn't just a
product of Judeo-Christian mindsets either, it shows up in other
philosophies and religions as well.

[Rest of out-of-context quotes deleted.]

Silly silly stuff.


>Is this wise? Is this what you would teach your children?

I do believe that you yourself would condone the cornerstone of
Jesus moral system. If you don't believe me, contact me via Email:

Gust...@agustans.edu

and I will try to convince you.

>
>Was Jesus Reliable?

Does this make a difference in the acceptance of his moral system?
Was Aristotle reliable? Was Epicuras reliable? Was Kant reliable? Was
Benthem or Mill reliable? Does this in any way relfect apon the reliability
of their moral systems?

>
>Jesus told his disciples that they would not die before his
>second coming: "There be some standing here, which shall
>not taste of death, till the see the Son of man coming in
>his kingdom" (matt. 16:28). "Behold, I come quickly."
>(Rev. 3:11) It's been 2,000 years, and believers are still
>waiting for his "quick" return.

... *sigh* This doesn't prove that Jesus was a liar unless you
grant that Jesus was the Son of God and will return. It only says that
Jesus believed himself to be something he wasn't, or the recorders of the
Gospels romantisized the man a bit. I vote for the latter.

>
>He mistakenly claimed that the mustard seed is "the least
>of all seeds" (Matt. 13:32), and that salt could "lose its
>savour" (Matt. 5:13).

*Head bangs against nearby wall in reaction to the most stupid
literal interpretation ever seen*

>
>Jesus said that whoever calls somebody a "fool" shall be in
>danger of hell fire (Matt. 5:22), yet he called people
>"fools" himself (Matt. 23:17).

What does this prove. Jesus made mistakes or Jesus was a liar? Or,
maybe that Jesus was trying to get a point across when he said those that
call others Fools shall be in danger of hell fire. Exaggeration in order to
get a point across.


>Why Jesus?
>
>Although other verses can be cited that portray Jesus in a
>different light, they do not erase the disturbing side of
>his character. The conflicting passages, however, prove
>that the New Testament is contradictory.

Duh. Let me ask you a question. Have the words "I am so mad I
could kill someone" ever fallen from your lips? "I wish you were dead"
maybe. Does this mean you have a disturbing side?
Jesus was a revolutionary. He was a man. He had many problems to
deal with. His disciples didn't understand him (has anyone?). He was
persecuted everywhere he went by anyone in authority. Yes, he got angry.
He may even have been driven to the brink of rash action once and awile (as
with the money changers.) This does not mean he had a disturbing character,
it simply means he was human.

>The "Golden Rule" had been said many times by earlier
>religious leaders. (Confucius: "Do not unto others that
>you would not have them do unto you.")

Even earlier Jewish religious leaders. What does this prove?

>"Turn the other
>cheek" encourages victims to invite further violence.

Sorry. "Turn the other cheek" does not INVITE further violence.

>"Love thy neighbor" applied only to fellow believers. (Neither
>the Jews nor Jesus showed much love to foreign religions).

Sorry, Love thy neighbor as applied to fellow believers is a
Christian Idea, not an Idea of Jesus. If you have some proof for this I
would like to see it. As for the Jews, what does that have to do with
anything? Jesus was a Jew, but he was also a visionary, a revolutionary.
What disrespect did he show for other reliegions?

>A few of the Beatitudes ("Blessed are the peacemakers") are
>acceptable, but they are all conditions of future reward,
>not based on respect for human life or values.

So? Do not do unto others what you wish them not to do unto you is
an unconditional moral principle.

>
>On the whole, Jesus said little that was worthwhile. He
>introduced nothing new to ethics (except hell). He
>instituted no social programs. Being "omniscient," he could
>have shared some useful science or medicine, but he appeared
>ignorant of such things (as if his character were merely the
>invention of writers stuck in the first century).

*giggle* Has anyone introduced anything new to Ethics in the last ... oh,
hundred years? Besides Kant, and possiblly Hume (but I would hold on him)
has anyone introduced anything new in Ethics since Jesus? He instituted no
social programs but he introduced an ideology that if implemeted whole-
heartedly would remove any discomfort. If I had something that you needed I
would gladly give it to you with the knowledge that if I ever needed
it back I could just ask you (or someone else) for it back and recieve it.
He was not "omniscient." And yes, the writers of the first century did
glorify the man quite a bit.

>
>Many scholars are doubtful of the historical existence of
>Jesus. Albert Schweitzer said, "The historical Jesus will
>be to our time a stranger and an enigma."

Few scholars are doubtful of the historical existence of Jesus and
your little quote here simply means very little knowledge of who the man
actually was can be factually known.

>No first-century writer confirms the Jesus story.

We have four Cannonical Gospels and literally dozens of fragments of
dozens of other Gospels to confirm the Jesus story.

>The New Testament is
>internally contradictory and contains historical errors.

So do most history books we bring forth from such "unenlightened"
time periods.

>The story is filled with miracles and other outrageous
>claims. Consisting mostly of material borrowed from pagan
>religions, the Jesus story appears to be cut from the same
>fabric as all other myths and fables.

*sigh* Most of the material was not borrowed from pagan religions,
but from actual historically factual evidence. Yes, now, there is a great
amount of Pagantry in Christianity. The early Church enveloped a great deal
of pagantry in order to convert many of the pagans to Christianity.
Finally, there is much that can be learned from a cultures myths and fables
as well. Fable, itself, being a type of story used to teach a lesson.

This was really dumb.

James Gustafson
gust...@augustana.edu

Trevor Hicks | Schlumberger Dowell (918) 250-4269, Tulsa Research

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Feb 4, 1994, 6:03:25 PM2/4/94
to
In article <gustafj...@augustana.edu>, gust...@augustana.edu (JAMES

GUSTAFSON) writes:
>In article <CKI9y...@cpsc.ucalgary.ca> wa...@cpsc.ucalgary.ca (Simon
Watfa) writes:

[Huge deletion]

>
>>The story is filled with miracles and other outrageous
>>claims. Consisting mostly of material borrowed from pagan
>>religions, the Jesus story appears to be cut from the same
>>fabric as all other myths and fables.
>
> *sigh* Most of the material was not borrowed from pagan religions,
>but from actual historically factual evidence. Yes, now, there is a great
>amount of Pagantry in Christianity. The early Church enveloped a great deal
>of pagantry in order to convert many of the pagans to Christianity.
>Finally, there is much that can be learned from a cultures myths and fables
>as well. Fable, itself, being a type of story used to teach a lesson.
>
> This was really dumb.
>
>James Gustafson
>gust...@augustana.edu
>

I suppose it seemed dumb to you because you rationalize the NT in terms of
Jesus's humanity. In this sense, the post was not directed at your
beliefs. In fact, I think the point of the post was that a "literal"
reading of the gospels leads to the very conclusion you reached: Jesus was
just a regular man. You are correct, a literal reading of the Bible or any
document of the period (or any period) is not wise. Unfortunately, there
are millions of people in America and around the world who insist on
treating Jesus as divine and the Bible as a work of scientific truth. Yes,
many people believe that the Bible SHOULD be read literally (and that it
should be taught as such in puclic schools, if you don't believe me I'll
send you my parents's address). That is the belief that the original post
was debunking.

I wish you would post more about your beliefs, I've never before run across
a Christian who didn't believe Jesus was divine. It sounds interesting, if
not a little strange, to me. But then, I was raised by raving rabid
fundies.

Trevor H. Hicks hi...@tulsa.dowell.slb.com
Contracting for:
Schlumberger Dowell (918) 250-4269
Tulsa Research (PCN) Software Engineering Products (SEP)

Schlumberger does not necessarily endorse any opinions expressed within.

Ng Boon Chong Joseph

unread,
Feb 7, 1994, 3:14:11 AM2/7/94
to
Simon Watfa (wa...@cpsc.ucalgary.ca) wrote:
(quoting D. Barker)
(plenty deletions)
: Was Jesus a Good Example?
(plenty deletions)
: Why is Jesus so special? It would be more reasonable and

: productive to emulate real, flesh-and-blood human beings
: who have contributed to humanity--mothers who have given
: birth, scientists have alleviated suffering, social
: reformers who have fought injustice--than to worship a
: character of such dubious qualities as Jesus.

Which concurs with C.S. Lewis's trilemma: Jesus cannot be called a good
man/example;
he's a madman, an archdeceiver, or what he claims to be, God.

Nonetheless, I am surprised to find that Jesus fits several of the "real,
flesh-and-blood human beings who have contributed to humanity" criteria:
"alleviated suffering, social reformers who have fought injustice." I
might also add several more: healing the sick, comforting the mourning,
dying in place of one's friends, staying humble, and reversing a natural
calamity (stilled the storm on Galilee).

Further historical, archaeological, or Biblical research may reveal how
close the true Jesus fits the Fundamentalists' description!

Joseph

Keith Justified And Ancient Cochran

unread,
Feb 6, 1994, 10:16:41 AM2/6/94
to
In article <burgess-040294130916@b_burgess.lisc.lims.lockheed.com>,
Bob Burgess <bur...@lims.lockheed.com> wrote:
>I rarely reply to any post, but when it comes to post that are so
>simple-mindedly yet deliberately and deceptively errant, I think it
>warrants a response.

You forgot to call Simon a nazi pagan.

>Watfa) wrote:
>> Here is an interesting piece of email someone just sent me. I liked
>> it so much that I thought I'd post it. Enjoy.
>> ====================================================================
>> WHY JESUS?
>>

>> [story deleted. If you want to read it, see the original post.]
>
>Gee, what an amazing story. Do you think you could do the same with the
>Bill of Rights and Consititution? I suppose when Jesus talked about
>"wolves in sheeps clothing" and "broods of vipers" he was really talking
>about people like Mother Theresa and Billy Graham? I suppose that by
>taking some liberties with history, we could also make Hitler look like an
>"angel".
>
>It's too easy to make snippets of written text and oral verbiage sound as
>if they mean the opposite of what they truly say. Before you waste your
>own and other peoples' time, make sure you take EVERYTHING IN CONTEXT. A
>good detective always observes and considers ALL evidence in context before
>presenting a conclusion. Try again, Sherlock...
>
>I challenge you to put aside your presupposition and take a look at the
>scriptures in context with an open mind. God gave you a mind. Try using
>it.

Sure, Bob. Here's the context:

Jesus/God is "all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful" etc etc etc. Emphasis
on the "all-loving" part.

Read Revelations.

Doesn't sound "all-loving" to me.
--
=kcoc...@nyx.cs.du.edu | B(0-4) c- d- e++ f- g++ k(+) m r(-) s++(+) t | TSAKC=
=My thoughts, my posts, my ideas, my responsibility, my beer, my pizza. OK???=
=I wonder if there's any reason why Marlon Shows (sh...@athena.mit.edu) feels =
=that raping a woman is a "blessing in disguise"? =

Barry O'Grady

unread,
Feb 7, 1994, 7:54:51 AM2/7/94
to
In alt.atheism JAMES GUSTAFSON wrote:

: In article <CKI9y...@cpsc.ucalgary.ca> wa...@cpsc.ucalgary.ca (Simon Watfa) writes:

: >Here is an interesting piece of email someone just sent me. I liked
: >it so much that I thought I'd post it. Enjoy.


: This is the biggest bunch of Anti-Christian crap I've seen in a long time.

It was rather good, wasn't it?

: >Who Is This Man Jesus?

: Lets get the key words here. Who is this MAN Jesus. As in, a man
: with human passions, with human error and with human impulses.

Let's get it straight here. Jesus Christ never existed. We know that he
was nothing more than an invention of the writers.

: >Many scholars are doubtful of the historical existence of


: >Jesus. Albert Schweitzer said, "The historical Jesus will
: >be to our time a stranger and an enigma."

There you go. There is no valid excuse left to believe that Jesus Christ
ever existed.

: Few scholars are doubtful of the historical existence of Jesus and

: your little quote here simply means very little knowledge of who the man
: actually was can be factually known.

: >No first-century writer confirms the Jesus story.

: We have four Cannonical Gospels and literally dozens of fragments of
: dozens of other Gospels to confirm the Jesus story.

They are just stories. They have no historical basis. They are mostly copies
of each other.

: >The New Testament is


: >internally contradictory and contains historical errors.

: This was really dumb.

Yes. Your whole message was really dumb. Why do you bother to give support
to something so pointless?

Gordon Fitch

unread,
Feb 6, 1994, 1:18:16 PM2/6/94
to
kcoc...@nyx10.cs.du.edu (Keith "Justified And Ancient" Cochran):

| Jesus/God is "all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful" etc etc etc. Emphasis
| on the "all-loving" part.
|
| Read Revelations.
|
| Doesn't sound "all-loving" to me.

It just depends on what you mean by "love."

A. Channing

unread,
Feb 7, 1994, 12:36:07 PM2/7/94
to
In article <1994Feb6.1...@mnemosyne.cs.du.edu>, kcoc...@nyx10.cs.du.edu (Keith "Justified And Ancient" Cochran) writes:
|> In article <burgess-040294130916@b_burgess.lisc.lims.lockheed.com>,
|> Bob Burgess <bur...@lims.lockheed.com> wrote:
|> >I rarely reply to any post, but when it comes to post that are so
|> >simple-mindedly yet deliberately and deceptively errant, I think it
|> >warrants a response.
|>
|> You forgot to call Simon a nazi pagan.
^^^^^^^^^^^
I hope you're not seriously equating these two? Nah probably not. I'm
just worrying over nothing as usual.

Sounds like John was on Mushrooms and decided to take the piss of organised
religion to me. I bet he wouldn't have written it if he knew no-one would
get the joke. Life of Brian was better understood as the pisstake it was.

|> --
|> =kcoc...@nyx.cs.du.edu | B(0-4) c- d- e++ f- g++ k(+) m r(-) s++(+) t | TSAKC=
|> =My thoughts, my posts, my ideas, my responsibility, my beer, my pizza. OK???=
|> =I wonder if there's any reason why Marlon Shows (sh...@athena.mit.edu) feels =
|> =that raping a woman is a "blessing in disguise"? =

Ant, A Wayward Son of Mother Earth #
# #
"DON'T let the art of # # ...except for
conversation die out, ################# the #!$@%*#
ALWAYS read a book BEFORE # # # # WOODPECKERS,
reviewing it, try and get ## ## of course."
POLLINATED once in a while # ## ## #
and NEVER forget that EVERY # ### # FLORYX the
life that lives is your # ## ## # Arborean
BROTHER or SISTER... # ## ## #
## ##

Peter T. Farrell

unread,
Feb 7, 1994, 2:12:48 PM2/7/94
to
Someone out there will find that this Jesus whom these humanists
are castigating and ridiculing is a person about whom it would
be wise to ask a simple question first:
What is at stake if I am wrong about this man?

If the humanists, whose funny articles you are enjoying, are correct,
then at best you have an intriguing phenomenon about how an ordinary
Jewish rabbi of 1st century Palestine became a figure revered throughout
most of western history and whose presence on the historical time scale
was seen sufficiently weighty as to divide all history before it from
all history after it.

If, on the other hand, the religious crowd against whom these
little arrows are apparently aimed, are right, then you are partaking
in the mockery of a man who was more than mere man and to whom all
humanity will one day give account for everything they have ever
said or done.

Enjoy yourself. But answer the question with care.

Hans M Dykstra

unread,
Feb 7, 1994, 2:33:36 PM2/7/94
to
In article <2j63rg$7...@explorer.clark.net>,

Peter T. Farrell <pet...@clark.net> wrote:
>Someone out there will find that this Jesus whom these humanists
>are castigating and ridiculing is a person about whom it would
>be wise to ask a simple question first:
>What is at stake if I am wrong about this man?

BPaging Mr. Pascal...Mr. Blaise Pascal, please pick up the nearest
white courtesy phone for an important message...

"Someone out there will find that this Mohammed (pbuh) whom these
Christians are castigating and ridiculing (and on whose followers
they have been known on occasion to make war) is a person about


whom it would be wise to ask a simple question first:

Can he write a sentence which is grammatically correct yet whose
meaning is utterly opaque?"

>If the humanists, whose funny articles you are enjoying, are correct,
>then at best you have an intriguing phenomenon about how an ordinary
>Jewish rabbi of 1st century Palestine became a figure revered throughout
>most of western history and whose presence on the historical time scale
>was seen sufficiently weighty as to divide all history before it from
>all history after it.

I, on the other hand, am celebrating the year 30 AHMD, though on a
cosmic scale that's not so damn important. But you must be aware
that this is 31416 BIPU (may Her Pinkness ever be praised)? That
is the date that really matters.

>If, on the other hand, the religious crowd against whom these
>little arrows are apparently aimed, are right, then you are partaking
>in the mockery of a man who was more than mere man and to whom all
>humanity will one day give account for everything they have ever
>said or done.

Everything? Is he really interested in the grimy little details
of my adolescent masturbation fantasies? What a sicko.

>Enjoy yourself. But answer the question with care.

Ham on rye, with swiss, mustard no mayo.

What, wrong question?

***
hmd


Gordon Fitch

unread,
Feb 7, 1994, 6:08:15 PM2/7/94
to
ba...@garion.it.com.au (Barry O'Grady):

| Let's get it straight here. Jesus Christ never existed. We know that he
| was nothing more than an invention of the writers.

Yeah, but which writers? Think of the royalties they could
be collecting!

Dave Batchelor, Space Phys. Data Facil. 301/286-2988

unread,
Feb 7, 1994, 8:31:00 PM2/7/94
to
In article <2j63rg$7...@explorer.clark.net>, pet...@clark.net (Peter T.
Farrell) writes...

>Someone out there will find that this Jesus whom these humanists
>are castigating and ridiculing is a person about whom it would
>be wise to ask a simple question first:
>What is at stake if I am wrong about this man?
>
The FAQ covers Pascal's wager, and shows that what is at stake is not
as simple as you imagine.

>If the humanists, whose funny articles you are enjoying, are correct,
>then at best you have an intriguing phenomenon about how an ordinary
>Jewish rabbi of 1st century Palestine became a figure revered throughout
>most of western history and whose presence on the historical time scale
>was seen sufficiently weighty as to divide all history before it from
>all history after it.

Jesus was uncommon, but not unique. Mohammed also became revered through
much of the world. So have many other deified men since the times of the
Egyptian dynasties, possibly some women, too, and don't forget Buddha
and Confucius. And while we're at it, there's the Dalai Lama, lots of
Hindu deities who were princes once upon a time, Bhagwan Bahubali (the
archetypical Jain holy man)..... No doubt many have been forgotten,
especially the bloody god-kings of the pre-colombian New World. There is
nothing unique about Jesus' deification to be explained. It happens with
some regularity, like other kinds of plagues of humanity. The dating
systems of many cultures have revolved around such figures in history.
You are holding a very parochial view, regarding long-term history.
1994 years are an eye-blink in time.

>If, on the other hand, the religious crowd against whom these
>little arrows are apparently aimed, are right, then you are partaking
>in the mockery of a man who was more than mere man and to whom all
>humanity will one day give account for everything they have ever
>said or done.

What if you died and found yourself in the presence of Marduk, the old
Babylonian god of the 2nd millenium BCE, who sounds a lot like Yahweh,
if you read his epic, the "Enuma Elish", in which he is praised
"Most exalted shall be the Son, our avenger." Marduk is acknowledged
by many biblical scholars as the model on which Yahweh in the OT was
based.

>Enjoy yourself. But answer the question with care.

It almost answers itself, if you read it carefully.

Regards,
Dave
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dr. David Batchelor Space Science Data Operations Office Mail Code 632
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt MD 20771 USA
batc...@nssdca.gsfc.nasa.gov * personal opinions only, not NASA policy *
Theorem: Consider the set of all sets that have never been considered.
Hey! They're all gone!! Oh, well, never mind...

J. Victor Kim

unread,
Feb 7, 1994, 9:38:13 PM2/7/94
to
I'm sorry if this sounds stupid, but I just couldn't help
but say the following about the ever-hyped jesus debate
that's going on here.
Shouldn't we be arguing not about jesus, but about the
man (yes, the mortal human being) who created Jesus and God?
I mean, isn't that where all these entities began their
existence?
This is just a comment, not really looking for a flame
war on _this_ particular subject, thank you.

-vic...@eecs.nwu.edu-

Jason D Corley

unread,
Feb 7, 1994, 10:21:27 PM2/7/94
to
In article <CKvwn...@eecs.nwu.edu>,

J. Victor Kim <vic...@news.eecs.nwu.edu> wrote:

>Shouldn't we be arguing not about jesus, but about the
>man (yes, the mortal human being) who created Jesus and God?
>I mean, isn't that where all these entities began their
>existence?


Well, what is there to argue about him?

He's about five-eight, has black hair and a "theeck" mustache. He
wears a very silly sombrero, and his paunchy stomach, thick with
curly black hair, protrudes from beneath his grimy shirt.
He wields the corzappa. He walks the dusty streets of Cojillo like
some waddling vision from a Warhol film. Roosters turn their heads
when he passes, in preparation for the mighty smell which wafts in
his wake.

COMMENTARY:
El Dupree still lives
Boring Jesus debate ends
Someone write stories!

--
************************************************************************
"You fall out of your mother's womb, you crawl across open country
under fire, and drop into your grave."-----------Quentin Crisp
Jason "cor...@gas.uug.arizona.edu" Corley could be, but probably isn't.

the Ferret-Meister

unread,
Feb 7, 1994, 10:38:30 PM2/7/94
to
And away we go again!!! Whee, I'm having more fun than I though would be
possible w/o the use of rubber toys or wesson oil!!! =)

Anyway, as a forward to my inane ramblings, I'd just like to say that I'm
certainly not advocating any particular viewpoint (especially <shudder>
Xtianity), but I am trying to point out a few things that some persons
may have overlooked in their attempts to convince.

I figured (mistakenly, apparently) that this would be fairly obvious,
especially given my last paragraph... but no, I was too subtle about it,
so here I have to go explaining my motivations outright, taking all the
fun outta finding the nuances of meaning... well, I hope you're all proud
of yourselves! =) =) =) =) =) =) =) =) =) =) =) =) =) =) =) =) =) =) =)

Oy yoy yoy... this is a long one, folks... apologies, apologies, mea culpa,
mea culpa...

Paul Wilson writes:
>In article <1994Feb7.103225.88940@yuma> ?? writes:

Geez, how'm I ever going to make it into the bigtime if you lose the damn
attribution??? =) It's "Ferret-meister," or Bill if you must.... geez,
some people's children... =)

>>Keith "Justified and Ancient" Cochran writes:

>>>Sure, Bob. Here's the context:
>>>Jesus/God is "all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful" etc etc etc. Emphasis
>>>on the "all-loving" part.
>>>Read Revelations.
>>>Doesn't sound "all-loving" to me.
>>

>>And, since we're looking at context, let's look at the book of Job 38:1-4...
>>(this is the KJ version, BTW, which flows better than the modern text, IMHO)...
>>"Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said, Who is this that
>>darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up thy loins like a man;
>>for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid
>>the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding."
>
>So God is bigger, stronger, and older than Job. That doesn't make him a good
>guy. And in fact the story of Job is pretty compelling evidence that your
>God is not a nice guy.

Firstly, where the heck did you get the "your God" stuff? Not my God, unless
by this you mean the cultural manifestation of the archetypal western God...
in which case he's your god too...

Now, as for God being bigger and stronger than Job, I don't think that's the
point. God is, in this belief at least, equiped with more knowledge than
Job (or humans in general) could ever have. Would you presume to explain
physics to Heisenburg or Feinman? (well, you might, but I certainly wouldn't).
They would laugh in your face. How can you, a mere student, dare to tell
these geniuses what their job is? Do you think that you understand the
workings of particles better than them?

Would you presume to try to correct William Shakespeare's grammar? (well,
I would, but I shouldn't think most other people would =). Who are you to
tell Scorsese that his cinematography needs work? We simply don't have the
qualifications to presume on these people. This is not to say that we can't
hold opinions, of course, only that certain opinions hold more weight than
others.

It's the same with Job and God. Job might be a nice guy, he might be clever
and a quick thinker, he might be honest and trustworthy, but there are just
certain things that he (read: we) doesn't know, and shouldn't presume to
know.

>>Job 40: 1-2, 7-9...
>>"Moreover the Lord answered Job, and said, Shall he that contendeth with
>>the Almighty instruct him? He that reproveth God, let him answer it.
>>...
>>"Gird up they loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare
>>thou unto me. Wilt thou also disannul my judgement? Wilt thou condemn
>>me, that thou mayest be righteous? Has thou an arm like God? Or canst
>>thou thunder with a voice like him?"
>
>So he's a bully. Bully for him. This is the kind of stuff most of us
>got past by high school. "You can't tell me I'm wrong, because I'm
>stronger and louder than you." Well, read my lips: your god is a jerk.

Again with the "your God"! At least 7 times in this one article! Golly,
I really guess I'm going to have to make myself pretty damn transparent
if I want to avoid this sort of thing in the future... =)

>>What does this say? It says that we mere mortals cannot possibly understand
>>the God of the Hebrew's ways. We are nowhere near his league, so we should
>>not presume to pass judgement on him as to what is right and what is wrong.
>>We speak without knowing what we speak of. Bad debate practice, if nothing
>>else... =)
>
>No, you and your god are the ones who are indulging in bad debating practice.

Define your terms... =)

>We know what right and wrong mean, to a first approximation, even if we

Do we? Could you send me a copy of your instruction manual for life? I
think I must have misplaced mine. =)

What does right and wrong mean, and how are these definitions not shaped by
culture, history, and philosophy? Is there some overhanging eternal one
true "GOOD" (shades of Plato's cave)? If so, how do we go about finding it?
In our hearts? But what about those people whose hearts honestly tell them
to go out and eat people? Is this evil? Who decides what is good and evil?
You? If so, then perhaps you need to be fitted with an Inquisitor's robe,
since this is the same feeling that the Inquisition had... we know what's
right, and you aren't it, so goodbye and good-riddence!

>may disagree over the details and argue endlessly about them. It's not
>kosher for God to come up with secret meanings for those words and expect
>us to give a shit. If a salesperson started selling you gold that wasn't,
>you know, GOLD, but was some "secret kind of gold", what would you do?

Gold is only valuable because we put value in it. It's a hunk of shiny
yellow metal otherwise, certainly not any good for making tools with.
No inherent value, really. Who is to say that morals ("good" and "evil")
aren't any different? Those who create or enforce or obey the morals.
No one else.

Unless you agree that there is some grand "overgood" that exists apart from
time and space and defines all things according to the agenda it imparts
as "good"... er, no, sorry, wait, that sounds quite a bit like the God
of the Christians to me... =)

>My understanding of God's notions of right and wrong are that they are
>often opposed to the real meaning of right and wrong. The bible is
>chock-full of God doing evil stuff. Playing with words is not going
>to change that. "Good" doesn't mean "whatever the biggest guy wants."

What's evil? What's good? how do we reach these definitions? Explain this.
Please. No? Explain our own system of morals and ethics, then. Morals
(according to some viewpoints) are the result of who wins the war. We
beleive what we believe because we are culturally conditioned to do so.
Caniballism is wrong, but there are tribes still in parts of the world who
believe it is right to eat the brains of their fallen enemy. Try to convince
them that the great Oversoul, or overlurking Ultimate GOOD doesn't agree.

>If we can't understand God's notion of morality, then we can't possibly
>know whether we would find it worthwhile if we had the God-like ability
>to understand it. Your God says "trust me" and proceeds to commit
>acts that are tremendously evil. I can't trust a guy like that, and
>anybody who would is dangerously amoral---they'll follow something
>they confessedly can't understand at all into doing things that would
>make any moral person sick.

I don't understand how a TV works, but I still enjoy the Simpsons every
week. I saw people slavishly addicted to CNN during the Gulf War
(something which few people understood). Oops, there I go again, begging
the question...

>So stop calling your god's preferences right and wrong---that's simply
>not what right and wrong are, period.

Who are you to presume to preach right and wrong? Are you God? If not,
then how do you know exactly what is good and evil? Who told you that
you could be arbiter of right and wrong? What if your definitions and
mine don't jive? Does that give you the right to destroy me as heretic?
We've seen what happens when people believe that they have all the answers,
and it's usually not pretty. What makes you think that your answers will
give us any better results?

>Right and wrong existed long
>before your religion, exist independently of it, and will exist long
>after it.

Seems to me that you are espousing part of the Christian beleif system:
that there is a greater good than we know, and that it exists independantly
of what we believe to be true, and that it is immortal and eternal, existing
outside of our time reference. Perhaps your beleifs are more in line with
Xtianity than you will admit to... =)

>Those of us who are not extremely gullible, like you and
>Job are, will not fall for people or gods twisting the meaning of
>right and wrong into something incomprehensible and repugnant.

...or else we'll fall for someone who has the definition of right and wrong
nailed down firm. Though I won't mention your name here. =)

And as for me being as "gullible" as Job is... <let's insert another quick
explaination here for the nuance-impared>... 'snot me. Just bringing up
a few arguments, sir, just delivering the message, trying to explain what
someone else believes, not actually advocating it mese'f, guv'ner. 'sat
make it any clearer for yas? =)

>You can't just "define" good and evil to be what God wants them to
>be, any more than you can define "gold" to mean sand. It just doesn't
>work that way. (Read up on "natural kind terms" in the philosophy of
>language sometime. You clearly don't know how words work.)

Speaking of language, all words are completely arbitrary. If we wanted
to, we could certainly define "gold" to be "sand." A rose by any other
name, y'know...

"I clearly don't know how words work..." it's good that you know so much
about me and my background. I was sort of wondering about it myself. Say,
after you're all done defining right and wrong, would you mind coming over
and explaining life to me? And while you're at it, you could always just
re-shape the world in your image... shouldn't take you more than, say,
6 days or so... =)

So I can't define good and evil to be what God wants them to be, but you
can define them to be what you want them to be? Am I getting this right?
Or could you explain further?

>>God may indeed be "all loving...." It's just that we humans don't know
>>what that means. Job is a good place to start.
>
>Yes. Have a look at Job. Your god is raving psycho. Job is his abject
>slave. It is thoroughly disgusting. See what your god does to his friends.

Here's a bit of cultural imperacism for you... You say that God is a raving
psycho (your exact words). What makes your judgement any better than
the British colonial's, who declared that the natives of India were heathen
superstitious savages?

We need to look at this from a cultural context. We need to see Job (as
well as most of the Bible) for the metaphor that it is. Declaring God
to be a disgusting psycho and ending the discussion is simply bad form...
certainly no better than those Fundies who declare the Bible to be the
one truth and ending the discussion there.

>If that's an "all loving" god, I think we're much better off without all
>that love.

So if you are abandoning the explainations in the book of Job, then how
do *you* explain the existance of suffering? Job says that there are things
out there that are beyond our ken, that suffering is a part of life, and
that it can't really be explained in human terms, so we have to live with
both the bad and the good. Do you have a better explaination?

>>Oh, dear! Stop me before I defend Xtianity again! =) You Athiests out
>>there, stop making it so damn easy for me! Arg! =) Read the damn Bible!
>>Don't be culturally illiterate like so many Fundies! Don't fall into the
>>same logical traps that they fall into! Convince me!!!!! =)
>
>You think we don't read the Bible? Some of us have, extensively, and
>think it stinks bigtime. Read my posting "The Bible is bad moral guide" in
>alt.religion.christian---I cite chapter and verse extensively to show
>that your God is evil.

I don't know your background, and I apologize for accusing you of not reading
the Bible. but a few quick points: Citing chapter and verse to show that
God is evil is the same thing as citing chapter and verse to show that
homosexuals are evil... it's taken out of context, it means nothing when
not placed in the proper cultural and historical timeframe. If your best
argument against Xtianity is to use the same faulty methods as the Fundies,
then your argument is equally invalid. I thought that the realm of atheism
was the realm of logic. Guess I was mistaken.

Second: When I first read the book of Job in high school, I too had the
same opinion as yours: "god is a complete and utter bastard!" But then
I read it again, looking at it as metaphor, and viewing it in its context.
If you look at it like this, you can see that it means much, much more than
"God is an asshole..."

>>Again, I stand nekkid before you. Annoint me with kerosine, baptise me
>>with your cleansing flames. I await.
>
>Damn, where did I leave my matches...

I don't know... I certainly haven't felt any heat yet... =)

Bill.

* Cry "Eek Eek," and let ******* Jrrrr-Lwsss *******
*** slip the Ferrets of War! ***** The Ferrotti from Hell *****
***** (with apologies to *** bke...@lamar.colostate.edu **
******* Wm. Shakespeare) * 14 feet of pure ferret fury. *

Roland Thomas

unread,
Feb 7, 1994, 10:47:42 PM2/7/94
to
Gordon Fitch (g...@panix.com) wrote:
: kcoc...@nyx10.cs.du.edu (Keith "Justified And Ancient" Cochran):


Why, "tough love", of course.

Roland Thomas

--
"A fit body, a sound mind, an untroubled soul."

Annette Dexter

unread,
Feb 7, 1994, 11:54:40 PM2/7/94
to
bke...@lamar.ColoState.EDU (the Ferret-Meister) writes:

>>>"Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said, Who is this that
>>>darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up thy loins like a man;
>>>for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid
>>>the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding."
>>
>>So God is bigger, stronger, and older than Job. That doesn't make him a good
>>guy. And in fact the story of Job is pretty compelling evidence that your
>>God is not a nice guy.

[...]

>Now, as for God being bigger and stronger than Job, I don't think that's the
>point. God is, in this belief at least, equiped with more knowledge than
>Job (or humans in general) could ever have. Would you presume to explain
>physics to Heisenburg or Feinman? (well, you might, but I certainly wouldn't).
>They would laugh in your face. How can you, a mere student, dare to tell
>these geniuses what their job is? Do you think that you understand the
>workings of particles better than them?

i can heartily recommend carl jung's "answer to job" for more
reading on this topic. jung's approach is possibly too 'intuitive' but
makes worthwhile comments on understanding a very complex component of
the christian bible.

the old testament deity is by any modern "christian" standards,
a morally highly ambiguous figure. christians don't like to talk about
him much: the deity who forced pharaoh to sin, who threatened a summary
execution to moses for not circumsizing his sons, who compelled genocide
of the inhabitants of canaan... undifferentiated malice and benediction
in the same figure.

jung's argument is that job 'won' the argument with this morally
questionable deity, in the sense that the composition of the book was a
crucial point in the development of hebrew ideas about their deity. from
this point onwards the malediction increasingly becomes personified in a
separate figure, satan (who was still in good with god in the job story),
who comes to play a important role later in the christian myths. in fact
jung argued later that the central symbol of christianity was in fact a
quatrain and not a trinity, the fourth figure being either mary or satan
depending on what the other three were taken to symbolize (good/evil and
male/female pairs), but all four representing essentially aspects of the
one deity. while i think some of jung's analysis was taken too far, it
is at any rate an interesting approach to understanding the dynamics of
the christian mythology, i hope i will be forgiven for going into this on
alt.atheism 8).

annette

Paul Wilson

unread,
Feb 7, 1994, 11:56:46 PM2/7/94
to
In article <2itvo7$o...@panix.com>, Gordon Fitch <g...@panix.com> wrote:
>William Blake wrote something similar. While he didn't
>cite chapter and verse, he did cover a lot of the same
>ground, and not only that, his version rhymed. So what,
>though?

Was it art? Was it good? If so, I'd like chapter and um, whaddyacallit,
VERSE, yeah, verse on that Blake stuff.
--
| Paul R. Wilson, Computer Sciences Dept., University of Texas at Austin |
| Taylor Hall 2.124, Austin, TX 78712-1188 wil...@cs.utexas.edu |
| (Recent papers on garbage collection, memory hierarchies, and persistence |
| are available via anonymous ftp from cs.utexas.edu, in pub/garbage.) |

KRESSJA

unread,
Feb 8, 1994, 1:13:00 AM2/8/94
to
In article <2j63rg$7...@explorer.clark.net>, pet...@clark.net (Peter T. Farrell) writes...

>Someone out there will find that this Jesus whom these humanists


>are castigating and ridiculing is a person about whom it would
>be wise to ask a simple question first:
>What is at stake if I am wrong about this man?

I've come late to this thread, and I notice that its being posted to
alt.buddha.short.fat.guy (one of the Usenet's finest), and I was wondering
if anyone had proposed an alt.jesus.mean.nasty.guy yet?

-Kressja
"ever eager to enlighten and clarify"
______________________________________________________________________________
| | |
| John Kress | "God is a gross answer, an indelicacy against us thinkers-- |
| | at bottom merely a gross prohibition for us: you shall not |
| | think!" |
| | -Nietzsche, Ecce Homo |
|______________|_______________________________________________________________|

WakuSen

unread,
Feb 8, 1994, 1:36:16 AM2/8/94
to
pet...@clark.net (Peter T. Farrell) ponders:

The TRUTH is, HERETIC, that ALLAH will come and SMASH all of you who have
desecrated His Word. It is YOU who are wrong, for you have maligned Jesus, the
great Prophet of the Lord, with your perversions of his Word. Do not spread
your heretical LIES to the world, for ye and all those who listen to ye shall
be DAMNED for eternity, while we who follow the one TRUE LORD will laugh
at you from Paradise. For this is the merciful way that Allah rewards those
who have been faithful, and punishes those wretched sinners who believe not
in Him.

--

"I need to get addicted to something."

Mike Renning

unread,
Feb 8, 1994, 3:35:54 AM2/8/94
to
In article <2j3c98$p...@panix.com>
Besides, Revelation was written by the apostle John while he was under
the influence of hallucinogenic mushrooms. At least that's what a friend
of mine suggested to me once. I think it's worth considering. One way
or another, you've got to admit it's a pretty riveting little bit of free
verse.

- Mike "once a Christian, now a revisionist" Renning

the Ferret-Meister

unread,
Feb 7, 1994, 5:32:24 AM2/7/94
to
Keith "Justified and Ancient" Cochran writes:
>Bob Burgess <bur...@lims.lockheed.com> wrote:
>>
>>I challenge you to put aside your presupposition and take a look at the
>>scriptures in context with an open mind. God gave you a mind. Try using
>>it.
>
>Sure, Bob. Here's the context:
>Jesus/God is "all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful" etc etc etc. Emphasis
>on the "all-loving" part.
>Read Revelations.
>Doesn't sound "all-loving" to me.

Not to be anal or anything, but it's Revelation, no "s" at the end. Lotsa
people don't know that... =)

And, since we're looking at context, let's look at the book of Job 38:1-4...
(this is the KJ version, BTW, which flows better than the modern text, IMHO)...

"Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said, Who is this that


darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up thy loins like a man;
for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid
the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding."

This continues for quite a while, so let's just skip ahead a bit... =)
Job 40: 1-2, 7-9...

"Moreover the Lord answered Job, and said, Shall he that contendeth with
the Almighty instruct him? He that reproveth God, let him answer it.
...
"Gird up they loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare
thou unto me. Wilt thou also disannul my judgement? Wilt thou condemn
me, that thou mayest be righteous? Has thou an arm like God? Or canst
thou thunder with a voice like him?"

What does this say? It says that we mere mortals cannot possibly understand


the God of the Hebrew's ways. We are nowhere near his league, so we should
not presume to pass judgement on him as to what is right and what is wrong.
We speak without knowing what we speak of. Bad debate practice, if nothing
else... =)

God may indeed be "all loving...." It's just that we humans don't know


what that means. Job is a good place to start.

Oh, dear! Stop me before I defend Xtianity again! =) You Athiests out


there, stop making it so damn easy for me! Arg! =) Read the damn Bible!
Don't be culturally illiterate like so many Fundies! Don't fall into the
same logical traps that they fall into! Convince me!!!!! =)

Again, I stand nekkid before you. Annoint me with kerosine, baptise me


with your cleansing flames. I await.

Bill.

DYER, ANGELA

unread,
Feb 8, 1994, 8:30:42 AM2/8/94
to
In article <1994Feb8.033830.106839@yuma> bke...@lamar.ColoState.EDU (the Ferret-Meister) writes:

snip...

>Anyway, as a forward to my inane ramblings, I'd just like to say that I'm
>certainly not advocating any particular viewpoint

Well then, what is the point? Perhaps you should figure out which viewpoint
you have and advocate it......

>(especially <shudder>
>Xtianity), but I am trying to point out a few things that some persons
>may have overlooked in their attempts to convince.

snip

>Paul Wilson writes:
>>In article <1994Feb7.103225.88940@yuma> ?? writes:


>>>Keith "Justified and Ancient" Cochran writes:

>>>And, since we're looking at context, let's look at the book of Job 38:1-4...
>>>(this is the KJ version, BTW, which flows better than the modern text,
>IMHO)...
>>>"Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said, Who is this that
>>>darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up thy loins like a man;
>>>for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid
>>>the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding."
>>
>>So God is bigger, stronger, and older than Job. That doesn't make him a good
>>guy. And in fact the story of Job is pretty compelling evidence that your
>>God is not a nice guy.

>Firstly, where the heck did you get the "your God" stuff? Not my God, unless
>by this you mean the cultural manifestation of the archetypal western God...
>in which case he's your god too...

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz wake me when there is a point.....

>Now, as for God being bigger and stronger than Job, I don't think that's the
>point. God is, in this belief at least, equiped with more knowledge than
>Job (or humans in general) could ever have. Would you presume to explain
>physics to Heisenburg or Feinman? (well, you might, but I certainly wouldn't).
>They would laugh in your face. How can you, a mere student, dare to tell
>these geniuses what their job is? Do you think that you understand the
>workings of particles better than them?

>Would you presume to try to correct William Shakespeare's grammar? (well,
>I would, but I shouldn't think most other people would =).

I wouldn't if I were you. For example, they last sentence in the previous
paragraph should read: Do you think that you understand the workings of
particles better than THEY?

>Who are you to
>tell Scorsese that his cinematography needs work? We simply don't have the
>qualifications to presume on these people. This is not to say that we can't
>hold opinions, of course, only that certain opinions hold more weight than
>others.

>It's the same with Job and God. Job might be a nice guy, he might be clever
>and a quick thinker, he might be honest and trustworthy, but there are just
>certain things that he (read: we) doesn't know, and shouldn't presume to
>know.

Geez, I really hate these, "Our puny minds are too small to understand things"
arguements.....

>>>Job 40: 1-2, 7-9...

snip

>>So he's a bully. Bully for him. This is the kind of stuff most of us
>>got past by high school. "You can't tell me I'm wrong, because I'm
>>stronger and louder than you." Well, read my lips: your god is a jerk.

>Again with the "your God"! At least 7 times in this one article! Golly,
>I really guess I'm going to have to make myself pretty damn transparent
>if I want to avoid this sort of thing in the future... =)

Give it a rest.

>>>What does this say? It says that we mere mortals cannot possibly understand
>>>the God of the Hebrew's ways. We are nowhere near his league, so we should
>>>not presume to pass judgement on him as to what is right and what is wrong.
>>>We speak without knowing what we speak of. Bad debate practice, if nothing
>>>else... =)

Speak for yourself.


>>We know what right and wrong mean, to a first approximation, even if we

>Do we? Could you send me a copy of your instruction manual for life? I
>think I must have misplaced mine. =)

>What does right and wrong mean, and how are these definitions not shaped by
>culture, history, and philosophy?

He didn't say they weren't shaped by these things. He said they weren't
shaped ONLY by religion.

>Is there some overhanging eternal one
>true "GOOD" (shades of Plato's cave)?

I don't think so.

> If so, how do we go about finding it?
>In our hearts?

I would hope the only thing in your heart is blood.......

> But what about those people whose hearts honestly tell them
>to go out and eat people?

Hearts don't tell people to do anything. Perhaps you should see a doctor.

>Is this evil?

Depends on a lot of things: are they dead? did they die naturally? is it an
accepted part of the culture?

> Who decides what is good and evil?

Usually, people can decide this on their own, for the most part.

>You?

I can decide for myself, yes.

> If so, then perhaps you need to be fitted with an Inquisitor's robe,
>since this is the same feeling that the Inquisition had... we know what's
>right, and you aren't it, so goodbye and good-riddence!

Non-sequitor. I didn't say I knew what was always right for all people in all
situations. Are you saying we shouldn't have any laws then???

snip...

>>My understanding of God's notions of right and wrong are that they are
>>often opposed to the real meaning of right and wrong. The bible is
>>chock-full of God doing evil stuff. Playing with words is not going
>>to change that. "Good" doesn't mean "whatever the biggest guy wants."

>What's evil? What's good? how do we reach these definitions? Explain this.
>Please. No? Explain our own system of morals and ethics, then. Morals
>(according to some viewpoints) are the result of who wins the war. We
>beleive what we believe because we are culturally conditioned to do so.
>Caniballism is wrong, but there are tribes still in parts of the world who
>believe it is right to eat the brains of their fallen enemy. Try to convince
>them that the great Oversoul, or overlurking Ultimate GOOD doesn't agree.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

>>If we can't understand God's notion of morality, then we can't possibly
>>know whether we would find it worthwhile if we had the God-like ability
>>to understand it. Your God says "trust me" and proceeds to commit
>>acts that are tremendously evil. I can't trust a guy like that, and
>>anybody who would is dangerously amoral---they'll follow something
>>they confessedly can't understand at all into doing things that would
>>make any moral person sick.

>I don't understand how a TV works, but I still enjoy the Simpsons every
>week.

I think that explains a lot.

> I saw people slavishly addicted to CNN during the Gulf War
>(something which few people understood). Oops, there I go again, begging
>the question...

>>So stop calling your god's preferences right and wrong---that's simply
>>not what right and wrong are, period.

>Who are you to presume to preach right and wrong? Are you God? If not,
>then how do you know exactly what is good and evil?

Hello????
You have no clue do you?

>Who told you that
>you could be arbiter of right and wrong? What if your definitions and
>mine don't jive? Does that give you the right to destroy me as heretic?
>We've seen what happens when people believe that they have all the answers,
>and it's usually not pretty. What makes you think that your answers will
>give us any better results?

>>Right and wrong existed long
>>before your religion, exist independently of it, and will exist long
>>after it.

>Seems to me that you are espousing part of the Christian beleif system:
>that there is a greater good than we know, and that it exists independantly
>of what we believe to be true, and that it is immortal and eternal, existing
>outside of our time reference. Perhaps your beleifs are more in line with
>Xtianity than you will admit to... =)

I doubt it.

>>Those of us who are not extremely gullible, like you and
>>Job are, will not fall for people or gods twisting the meaning of
>>right and wrong into something incomprehensible and repugnant.

>...or else we'll fall for someone who has the definition of right and wrong
>nailed down firm. Though I won't mention your name here. =)

snort

>And as for me being as "gullible" as Job is... <let's insert another quick
>explaination here for the nuance-impared>... 'snot me. Just bringing up
>a few arguments, sir, just delivering the message, trying to explain what
>someone else believes, not actually advocating it mese'f, guv'ner. 'sat
>make it any clearer for yas? =)

Why don't you stand up for what you really think. Get a spine.

>>You can't just "define" good and evil to be what God wants them to
>>be, any more than you can define "gold" to mean sand. It just doesn't
>>work that way. (Read up on "natural kind terms" in the philosophy of
>>language sometime. You clearly don't know how words work.)

>Speaking of language, all words are completely arbitrary. If we wanted
>to, we could certainly define "gold" to be "sand." A rose by any other
>name, y'know...

Changing the name of something, doesn't change the essence of the thing
though....

>"I clearly don't know how words work..." it's good that you know so much
>about me and my background. I was sort of wondering about it myself. Say,
>after you're all done defining right and wrong, would you mind coming over
>and explaining life to me? And while you're at it, you could always just
>re-shape the world in your image... shouldn't take you more than, say,
>6 days or so... =)

groan......

>So I can't define good and evil to be what God wants them to be, but you
>can define them to be what you want them to be? Am I getting this right?

no.

>Or could you explain further?

I could, but I don't really think you are interested.

>>>God may indeed be "all loving...." It's just that we humans don't know
>>>what that means. Job is a good place to start.
>>
>>Yes. Have a look at Job. Your god is raving psycho. Job is his abject
>>slave. It is thoroughly disgusting. See what your god does to his friends.

>Here's a bit of cultural imperacism for you... You say that God is a raving
>psycho (your exact words). What makes your judgement any better than
>the British colonial's, who declared that the natives of India were heathen
>superstitious savages?

Did he say that he looked up to these Colonials? I say, "

Paul Wilson

unread,
Feb 7, 1994, 9:42:34 AM2/7/94
to
In article <1994Feb7.103225.88940@yuma> ?? writes:
>Keith "Justified and Ancient" Cochran writes:
>>Bob Burgess <bur...@lims.lockheed.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>I challenge you to put aside your presupposition and take a look at the
>>>scriptures in context with an open mind. God gave you a mind. Try using
>>>it.

Some of us have read the scriptures with an open mind. It's not clear
that you have. Read the thread about the bible as a moral guide in
alt.religion.christian.

>>Sure, Bob. Here's the context:
>>Jesus/God is "all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful" etc etc etc. Emphasis
>>on the "all-loving" part.
>>Read Revelations.
>>Doesn't sound "all-loving" to me.
>

>And, since we're looking at context, let's look at the book of Job 38:1-4...
>(this is the KJ version, BTW, which flows better than the modern text, IMHO)...
>
>"Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said, Who is this that
>darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up thy loins like a man;
>for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid
>the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding."

So God is bigger, stronger, and older than Job. That doesn't make him a good


guy. And in fact the story of Job is pretty compelling evidence that your
God is not a nice guy.

>This continues for quite a while, so let's just skip ahead a bit... =)


>Job 40: 1-2, 7-9...
>
>"Moreover the Lord answered Job, and said, Shall he that contendeth with
>the Almighty instruct him? He that reproveth God, let him answer it.
>...
>"Gird up they loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare
>thou unto me. Wilt thou also disannul my judgement? Wilt thou condemn
>me, that thou mayest be righteous? Has thou an arm like God? Or canst
>thou thunder with a voice like him?"

So he's a bully. Bully for him. This is the kind of stuff most of us


got past by high school. "You can't tell me I'm wrong, because I'm
stronger and louder than you." Well, read my lips: your god is a jerk.

>What does this say? It says that we mere mortals cannot possibly understand


>the God of the Hebrew's ways. We are nowhere near his league, so we should
>not presume to pass judgement on him as to what is right and what is wrong.
>We speak without knowing what we speak of. Bad debate practice, if nothing
>else... =)

No, you and your god are the ones who are indulging in bad debating practice.


We know what right and wrong mean, to a first approximation, even if we

may disagree over the details and argue endlessly about them. It's not
kosher for God to come up with secret meanings for those words and expect
us to give a shit. If a salesperson started selling you gold that wasn't,
you know, GOLD, but was some "secret kind of gold", what would you do?

My understanding of God's notions of right and wrong are that they are


often opposed to the real meaning of right and wrong. The bible is
chock-full of God doing evil stuff. Playing with words is not going
to change that. "Good" doesn't mean "whatever the biggest guy wants."

If we can't understand God's notion of morality, then we can't possibly


know whether we would find it worthwhile if we had the God-like ability
to understand it. Your God says "trust me" and proceeds to commit
acts that are tremendously evil. I can't trust a guy like that, and
anybody who would is dangerously amoral---they'll follow something
they confessedly can't understand at all into doing things that would
make any moral person sick.

So stop calling your god's preferences right and wrong---that's simply

not what right and wrong are, period. Right and wrong existed long


before your religion, exist independently of it, and will exist long

after it. Those of us who are not extremely gullible, like you and


Job are, will not fall for people or gods twisting the meaning of
right and wrong into something incomprehensible and repugnant.

You can't just "define" good and evil to be what God wants them to


be, any more than you can define "gold" to mean sand. It just doesn't
work that way. (Read up on "natural kind terms" in the philosophy of
language sometime. You clearly don't know how words work.)

>God may indeed be "all loving...." It's just that we humans don't know


>what that means. Job is a good place to start.

Yes. Have a look at Job. Your god is raving psycho. Job is his abject


slave. It is thoroughly disgusting. See what your god does to his friends.

If that's an "all loving" god, I think we're much better off without all
that love.


>Oh, dear! Stop me before I defend Xtianity again! =) You Athiests out
>there, stop making it so damn easy for me! Arg! =) Read the damn Bible!
>Don't be culturally illiterate like so many Fundies! Don't fall into the
>same logical traps that they fall into! Convince me!!!!! =)

You think we don't read the Bible? Some of us have, extensively, and


think it stinks bigtime. Read my posting "The Bible is bad moral guide" in
alt.religion.christian---I cite chapter and verse extensively to show
that your God is evil.

>Again, I stand nekkid before you. Annoint me with kerosine, baptise me


>with your cleansing flames. I await.

Damn, where did I leave my matches...

Keith Justified And Ancient Cochran

unread,
Feb 8, 1994, 9:38:17 AM2/8/94
to
In article <2j63rg$7...@explorer.clark.net>,
Peter T. Farrell <pet...@clark.net> wrote:
>Someone out there will find that this Jesus whom these humanists
>are castigating and ridiculing is a person about whom it would
>be wise to ask a simple question first:
>What is at stake if I am wrong about this man?

Then he's still a murdering monster who is not worthy of respect, let
alone worship.

Keith Justified And Ancient Cochran

unread,
Feb 8, 1994, 9:40:50 AM2/8/94
to
In article <CKv7K...@sys.uea.ac.uk>,

A. Channing <u921...@radon.sys.uea.ac.uk> wrote:
>kcoc...@nyx10.cs.du.edu (Keith "Justified And Ancient" Cochran) writes:
>|> Bob Burgess <bur...@lims.lockheed.com> wrote:
>|> >I rarely reply to any post, but when it comes to post that are so
>|> >simple-mindedly yet deliberately and deceptively errant, I think it
>|> >warrants a response.
>|>
>|> You forgot to call Simon a nazi pagan.
> ^^^^^^^^^^^
>I hope you're not seriously equating these two? Nah probably not. I'm
>just worrying over nothing as usual.

Yep. I was expecting Bob to say something more along the lines of:

"I rarely reply to any post, but when a nazi-pagan-homosexual posts something
so deliberately and deceptively errant..."

I've just been dealing with too many "loving Christians" lately...

Jason Smith

unread,
Feb 8, 1994, 11:10:08 AM2/8/94
to
les...@TIGGER.STCLOUD.MSUS.EDU writes:
= >WHY JESUS?
= >
= >Who Is This Man Jesus?
= >
= >Jesus has been held in high regard by Christians and non-
= >Christians alike. Regardless of whether he existed in

= Great material! I posted a similar collection of material myself, with
= a very similar commentary. But I did not have as many verses or
= incidents; nor was my post as well written as this! :)

= Thanks for the posting!

= I suspect that the author will be taken to task for "taking these
= verses out of context."

Of course he will. OK it looks as if we need a little discussion on
"context" here. (Sheesh, no wonder shows like Hard Copy and Inside Edition
do so well - it's so much easier to point fingers and shake our heads
than weigh the claims of *both* sides) ...

I do *not* believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. I reject his
purported resurrection, nor do I give heed to any claims of divinity.

There. Now the world can quote me as renouncing some of the foundations of
my faith. Right there in black and white (at least those are the colors
here) I have said enough to get me excommunicated from most churches.

But is that the intent? What do I, Jason Smith, really believe, and what is
my point in saying so? Is there more to the story?

Anyone who knows me, or has spent corresponding with me, as you have Arn,
would suspect that such a disclaimer of faith is likely not what I truly
intended. So, the skeptical (and dare I say, "responsible seeker of truth")
reader reads on. And lo and behold, they stumble on this:

Let me inform you with all confidence that I indeed believe Jesus, son of
Mary, is indeed the Anointed one, Messiah, God with Us, and the hope of the
world. I believe that He was crucified, and died as a result. I also
believe that as He promised to those who loved Him, that rose again from
the dead, and now both sits at the right hand of the Father, and lives and
works through people even today.

So. What do we have? (My goodness - a contradiction, no less!)
How do we resolve such?

Well, of course there is always that silliness we call "context".

= It is interesting the way that church members
= attempt to explain away the shocking aspects of Jesus' words and the
= more unattractive and immoral aspects of his behavior. One feels that
= believers close their eyes to these things in order to be able to
= remain church members. [ ... ]
= They hope that they that by denial they can keep the family together. So
= it is with believers for Jesus!

Why assume as such. Could it possibly be that I and many others
have wrestled with, and faced these very problems and come to a very
different conclusion?

I reiterate a comment made by *you*, Arn, that one only sees what one has a
predisposition to, a fact that no party to this is innocent of. Might I add,
that to each side's shame, it is so rare that either takes the time to
investigate the other's evidence and testimony.

Friction is generally caused by *two* rough surfaces, donchaknow.

Jason.

--

Jason D. Smith | I'm not young enough to know everything.
1x1 | jas...@atlas.com

Jason D Corley

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Feb 7, 1994, 3:44:11 PM2/7/94
to
In article <2j63rg$7...@explorer.clark.net>,
Peter T. Farrell <pet...@clark.net> wrote:
>Someone out there will find that this Jesus whom these humanists
>are castigating and ridiculing is a person about whom it would
>be wise to ask a simple question first:
>What is at stake if I am wrong about this man?
>

More witches!


(Does Monty Python have Buddha-nature?)

Jason D Corley

unread,
Feb 7, 1994, 3:49:12 PM2/7/94
to
In article <2j652g$j...@titan.ucs.umass.edu>,

Hans M Dykstra <hdyk...@titan.ucs.umass.edu> wrote:

>
>BPaging Mr. Pascal...Mr. Blaise Pascal, please pick up the nearest
>white courtesy phone for an important message...

"This is Rene Descartes. Please hold for Mr. Success."

"Hi, Mr. Pascal. I am Mr. Success. I'd like to talk to you about
a little wager."

"A little Wagner?"

"No, that's a typo. A wager. A bet. A sporting proposition. A
gambling offer."

"All right. I accept."

"All right, you lose."

"Damn!"

"That's right."

[smell of brimstone]

"Did you get all that, Mr. Dupree?"

"Si, senor. Pliz do not keel me."

"Of course not."

Wayne Ohmer

unread,
Feb 8, 1994, 3:47:15 PM2/8/94
to
the Ferret-Meister (bke...@lamar.ColoState.EDU) wrote:
[...]

> God may indeed be "all loving...." It's just that we humans don't know
> what that means. Job is a good place to start.

This is exactly what I would expect a truly evil being to say. The best
con men are the ones that can make you believe that they are your friend
while they are screwing you. If you just assume god is good and ignore
the evidence then it is pointless to debate. I try to put more stock in
what I see than what people tell me. I don't get taken advantage of as
much that way.

> Oh, dear! Stop me before I defend Xtianity again! =) You Athiests out
> there, stop making it so damn easy for me! Arg! =) Read the damn Bible!
> Don't be culturally illiterate like so many Fundies! Don't fall into the
> same logical traps that they fall into! Convince me!!!!! =)

> Again, I stand nekkid before you. Annoint me with kerosine, baptise me
> with your cleansing flames. I await.

> Bill.

> * Cry "Eek Eek," and let ******* Jrrrr-Lwsss *******
> *** slip the Ferrets of War! ***** The Ferrotti from Hell *****
> ***** (with apologies to *** bke...@lamar.colostate.edu **
> ******* Wm. Shakespeare) * 14 feet of pure ferret fury. *

--

The Weapon (Part II of Fear)
--- ------ ---------------

Like a steely blade in a silken sheath
We don't see what they're made of
They shout about love, but when push comes to shove
They live for the things they're afraid of

And the knowledge that they fear is a weapon to be used against them...

Lee Rudolph

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Feb 8, 1994, 4:47:06 PM2/8/94
to
and...@zebu.cvm.msu.edu (DYER, ANGELA) writes:

>bke...@lamar.ColoState.EDU (the Ferret-Meister) writes:

>>Would you presume to explain
>>physics to Heisenburg or Feinman? (well, you might, but I certainly wouldn't).
>>They would laugh in your face. How can you, a mere student, dare to tell
>>these geniuses what their job is? Do you think that you understand the
>>workings of particles better than them?

>>Would you presume to try to correct William Shakespeare's grammar? (well,
>>I would, but I shouldn't think most other people would =).

>I wouldn't if I were you. For example, they last sentence in the previous
>paragraph should read: Do you think that you understand the workings of
>particles better than THEY?

I for one think I understand the workings of particles better than I
understand the workings of any physicist. And I'd never have thought to
think that if I hadn't gone back and taken the Ferret-Meister's sentence
at face value. And I wouldn't have gone back if I hadn't read this far
in DYER, ANGELA's critique.

Well, well, well.

Lee Rudolph

Lee Rudolph

unread,
Feb 8, 1994, 4:57:37 PM2/8/94