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Old 26th October 2017, 12:15 PM   #81
Squeegee Beckenheim
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
If a person tells you that "Satan planted fossils to deliberately deceive us", I'm just not expecting any sort of rational explanation for that claim.
You didn't say that you were looking for rational explanations, you said that you were seeking to understand why people thought such things.

And you've now narrowed the criterion from all Christians to those few who believe a very specific, very limited set of beliefs.

Quote:
If you were me, what sort of question would you ask that person???
It would depend on what I was trying to get out of the situation. You say that you're trying to understand why such people think the way they do, so perhaps "why do you think that?" would be a good place to start?
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Old 26th October 2017, 12:30 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Hopefully you don't think my exchange with him there was a grilling.
No. I simply make the point that those on such journey may not be a cynical as you or I, and may not be as robust as you are I. The god-botherers are subtle as we well know, or sometimes bonkers as departed members well know.

It is easy to show an aggressive face to those emerging. Probably not a good idea. I know I have to hold back.
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Old 26th October 2017, 12:57 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
You didn't say that you were looking for rational explanations, you said that you were seeking to understand why people thought such things.
Indeed. I should have been more specific. I am in fact looking for explanations that are rational. Explanations that the average person would think were somewhat logical.

I'm really not interested in listening to folks who believe in something because their dog told them that it was true...
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Old 26th October 2017, 01:03 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
You are getting quite the grilling here, and I am unsure why that is. I know plenty who have taken a long time to reach rational atheism.
Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Hopefully you don't think my exchange with him there was a grilling.
The replies I'm getting on this thread give me a warm fuzzy feeling. I was on another forum discussing UFOs and ETs. I tried to explain that it was all just nonsense. The replies I was getting on that thread gave me a brain hemorrhage...
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Old 26th October 2017, 01:03 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Why do you think it'd be a problem if too many of them were in government?

I'm of the opinion that people with religious convictions can be a problem in positions of power. I think the reasons for this are obvious but will spell it out non the less.

- If you think God is in control then you aren't going to worry about global warming.

- If you think God hates fags you won't worry about gay rights.

- If you think there is a soul attached to the single cell at conception you are going to stop women having control over their own bodies.

- If you think there is something special about cows ........
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Old 26th October 2017, 01:13 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
And yet we're seeing the opposite happening in Canada. There was a recent dust-up in Ontario Canada where one of the local public school boards (Peel County) was fighting to preserve Islamic prayer service in their schools...

https://www.mississauga.com/news-sto...board-meeting/

I agree with you 100%. There is no place for prayer meetings, of any religion flavour, in public schools.

The problem often is the Christians want to maintain the Christian prayers but ban any other kind. This is discrimination but of course they can't see that, because they are so damn sure they have the right god.
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Old 26th October 2017, 01:18 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
I am glad that you have arrived, and I will happily discuss and debate whatever doubts may linger, because I have been that soldier long ago.
I consider myself to be a full-on-hard-right-full-stop Atheist. My replies reference an afterlife were purely FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY!

I am most certain that there actually is no afterlife or reincarnation of any sort...
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Old 26th October 2017, 01:33 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
I am in fact looking for explanations that are rational.
Rational explanations for why people believe such things? Or rational explanations for why there is a God? Those are two different things, and it looks like you're conflating the two.
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Old 26th October 2017, 01:53 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
Rational explanations for why people believe such things? Or rational explanations for why there is a God? Those are two different things, and it looks like you're conflating the two.
I'm looking for rational explanations for the latter. I've got an old copy of the DSM that should explain the former.

But consider also though that we are in a bit of a grey area here. If I understand correctly, the medical definition of a delusion is an "unsubstantiated, irrational belief that is NOT shared within one's community".

So by that definition, if I lived on a remote, isolated island somewhere and I believed that the Tooth Fairy was real, I would technically not be considered delusional if everyone else (or nearly everyone else) on that island shared that same belief.

This is how the medical community gives religion a pass...
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Old 26th October 2017, 02:02 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
I'm looking for rational explanations for the latter. I've got an old copy of the DSM that should explain the former...
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Old 26th October 2017, 02:17 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
This is how the medical community gives religion a pass...
Possibly because (aside from the placebo effect) the medical community regards religion in general as a null set?
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Old 26th October 2017, 02:51 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
I'm looking for rational explanations for the latter.
As you seem to have already decided that there are none, I question whether you're doing that at all. The rest of your post does give an indication of why you feel talking to people about their beliefs is less worthwhile than watching videos of atheists talking about how clever atheists are, or pointing and laughing at those who believe.
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Old 26th October 2017, 02:56 PM   #93
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
For the third memorable time, I am in complete agreement with The Big Dog.

And even the smaller dog's persistence here is apt. The smaller dog has detected the scent of insincerity and will grab hold and worry the source until it is eviscerated.
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Old 26th October 2017, 02:57 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
I'm looking for rational explanations for the latter. I've got an old copy of the DSM that should explain the former.
Then you misunderstand the DSM completely, most people hold beliefs of many natures that are irrational, based upon no evidence or that many disagree with, and most of them do not qualify for an Axis I or Axis II.

The belief in the existence of god or gods is not uncommon among many healthy people who do not qualify for Axis I or Axis II.

(Former mental health worker , 15 years and atheist pagan buddhist)
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Old 26th October 2017, 03:06 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I'm of the opinion that people with religious convictions can be a problem in positions of power. I think the reasons for this are obvious but will spell it out non the less.

- If you think God is in control then you aren't going to worry about global warming.

- If you think God hates fags you won't worry about gay rights.

- If you think there is a soul attached to the single cell at conception you are going to stop women having control over their own bodies.

- If you think there is something special about cows ........
I don't disagree with any of that, but that's the "risk" of freedom: it allows people of all types into the country (if they're not already there) and it risks putting nonsense into government. But the alternative sounds worse.
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Old 26th October 2017, 04:04 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
I consider myself to be a full-on-hard-right-full-stop Atheist. My replies reference an afterlife were purely FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY!

I am most certain that there actually is no afterlife or reincarnation of any sort...
Make no mistake, at one point, I was a hard ass almost evangelical atheist.

Then I got older.

It might well be that I am utterly wrong to be an atheist and there really is a god. So far, none has been proven to exist, and those proposed to exist to date are unworthy of worship in any shape or form.
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Old 26th October 2017, 04:09 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
As you seem to have already decided that there are none, I question whether you're doing that at all. The rest of your post does give an indication of why you feel talking to people about their beliefs is less worthwhile than watching videos of atheists talking about how clever atheists are, or pointing and laughing at those who believe.
As tempting as it might be to mock Theism it is (for me) more unsettling than it is humorous. It bothers me that we still have Theism in our world. I had started an earlier thread on this issue...
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Old 26th October 2017, 04:17 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
Then you misunderstand the DSM completely, most people hold beliefs of many natures that are irrational, based upon no evidence or that many disagree with, and most of them do not qualify for an Axis I or Axis II.

The belief in the existence of god or gods is not uncommon among many healthy people who do not qualify for Axis I or Axis II.

(Former mental health worker , 15 years and atheist pagan buddhist)
The point I was making is that (if the quoted medical definition was correct) the technical difference between being mentally healthy and delusional seems to depend on whether or not the "irrational, unsubstantiated belief" is commonly shared or not.

I don't think that I'm going too far out on a limb here to suggest that that is at the very least somewhat interesting...
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Old 26th October 2017, 04:45 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
As tempting as it might be to mock Theism it is (for me) more unsettling than it is humorous. It bothers me that we still have Theism in our world. I had started an earlier thread on this issue...
You said you found Religulous funny.
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Old 26th October 2017, 05:19 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
As tempting as it might be to mock Theism it is (for me) more unsettling than it is humorous. It bothers me that we still have Theism in our world. I had started an earlier thread on this issue...
I too wish to see the end of theism and ALL superstitions. I alsi wish that Trump wasn't elected and that I was a Rockefeller heir. Cultures take time to change. And it isn't a steady change.

Patience my friend. Check out this Louis CK video. Sort of talks a bit about how we expect so much these days. Funny as well.

https://youtu.be/dgEvjW1Pq4I
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Old 26th October 2017, 06:12 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
You said you found Religulous funny.
Indeed I did. I thought that it was very funny. But I also found it incredibly unsettling too. I think they call it 'dark humor' or something like that.

I'm thinking that Maher's presentation deliberately intended the issue to appear to be both humorous and unsettling. That is my take on it anyway...
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Old 26th October 2017, 06:26 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I too wish to see the end of theism and ALL superstitions. Cultures take time to change. And it isn't a steady change.
TBH, I'm not expecting things to change. Not for the better anyway. I just don't see it happening. As I had already mentioned earlier, human knowledge is now already far past the point where we need a supernatural explanation for anything. This is just what makes the whole issue (for me) even more unsettling...
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Old 26th October 2017, 07:08 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
TBH, I'm not expecting things to change. Not for the better anyway. I just don't see it happening. As I had already mentioned earlier, human knowledge is now already far past the point where we need a supernatural explanation for anything. This is just what makes the whole issue (for me) even more unsettling...
I am. I see it like Thomas Parker saw justice.

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
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Old 26th October 2017, 11:43 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I am. I see it like Thomas Parker saw justice.

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
I will go with that on the proviso that we all realise that it is a very, very long arc. It wont happen in my lifetime, nor likely my childrens.
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Old 27th October 2017, 02:50 AM   #105
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
Indeed I did. I thought that it was very funny. But I also found it incredibly unsettling too. I think they call it 'dark humor' or something like that.

I'm thinking that Maher's presentation deliberately intended the issue to appear to be both humorous and unsettling. That is my take on it anyway...
Well, then.
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Old 27th October 2017, 03:07 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Check out this Louis CK video. Sort of talks a bit about how we expect so much these days. Funny as well.

https://youtu.be/dgEvjW1Pq4I
I'm not sure that right now, in the midst of the Weinstein scandal, is the right time to be advocating for Louis CK.
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Old 27th October 2017, 06:53 AM   #107
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Check out this Louis CK video. Sort of talks a bit about how we expect so much these days. Funny as well.

https://youtu.be/dgEvjW1Pq4I
I'm not a huge Louis CK fan but that video was funny! Thanks for that. I really liked the 'telephone' bit.

It reminded me of a time at work when one of the younger guys found an old rotary dial phone in a storage closet. He asked me "How does it work"? I told him that "It is voice activated"...
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Old 27th October 2017, 06:59 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I too wish to see the end of theism and ALL superstitions. I alsi wish that Trump wasn't elected and that I was a Rockefeller heir. Cultures take time to change. And it isn't a steady change.
Nor is it irreversible.

What you and I find just and fair today may not be in 50, 200 or 6000 years.
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Old 27th October 2017, 02:52 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
The point I was making is that (if the quoted medical definition was correct) the technical difference between being mentally healthy and delusional seems to depend on whether or not the "irrational, unsubstantiated belief" is commonly shared or not.

I don't think that I'm going too far out on a limb here to suggest that that is at the very least somewhat interesting...
Interesting to say something polite, how ever there are always two issues to factor:

1. Functioning, if symptoms do not cause a major impacts in one of the areas of life functioning then a disorder is not really present

2. The crazy cultural/social belief clause , where is an irrational belief is commonly held in their social group, it may not be delusional.

IE believing in the resurrection or Noah's flood is different that believing your neighbor is Jesus.
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Old 27th October 2017, 04:11 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
IE believing in the resurrection or Noah's flood is different that believing your neighbor is Jesus.
Okay, I think I've got it now.

Believing in Zombies= Not Crazy

Believing Jesus lives next door= Nutters

Thanks for clearing that up. It might be a little awkward though when during the second coming JC actually does end up as your neighbor. I'm just guessing that he's gonna need to crash somewhere...
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Old 27th October 2017, 06:43 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
Interesting to say something polite, how ever there are always two issues to factor:

1. Functioning, if symptoms do not cause a major impacts in one of the areas of life functioning then a disorder is not really present

2. The crazy cultural/social belief clause , where is an irrational belief is commonly held in their social group, it may not be delusional.

IE believing in the resurrection or Noah's flood is different that believing your neighbor is Jesus.
Not really. None of the claims have any evidence. And the Noah story is particularly moronic. They couldn't convince me that was true in Sunday School when I was 6. The resurrection story is more plausible in that people thought to be dead have woken up. That the world was created in 7 days and that Jesus was Son of God/God/Holy Ghost is ridiculous. But people go with it to be culturally acceptable. Believing your neighbor is JC is ridiculous as well, but isn't socially acceptable.
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Old 27th October 2017, 06:52 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
And the Noah story is particularly moronic. They couldn't convince me that was true in Sunday School when I was 6.
Thanks for bringing that up! It was the EXACT same deal with me! This is the first time that I have ever heard someone else describe the same scenario. It was the Noah's Ark story in Sunday School that planted the seed of Atheism for me.

Even as a little kid I just couldn't really buy it. It kinda messed with my head thinking that the grown-ups did. Now I'm wondering if there are more of us with the same experience...
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Old 27th October 2017, 06:55 PM   #113
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Not really. None of the claims have any evidence.
100% totally agree. I wanted to say the same thing but I didn't want to rattle his cage...
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Old 27th October 2017, 07:06 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
The resurrection story is more plausible in that people thought to be dead have woken up.
IIRC Stephen King wrote a book using that as a theme. 'Pet Sematary'. It had something to do with zombie cats I think...
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Old 27th October 2017, 07:30 PM   #115
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
But people go with it to be culturally acceptable.
And there's the rub. We have countless EQUALLY ridiculous and absurd stories, myths and claims, some of which are accepted and some that aren't.

Who decides what is to believed and what isn't?

In the documentary 'The God Who Wasn't There', Dr. Robert M. Price claims that much of the biblical apocrypha was removed simply because it was considered too ridiculous to be credible. I'm thinkin' maybe they didn't go far enough...

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0455507/?ref_=nv_sr_1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ik7GRQ9hoVY
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Old 27th October 2017, 08:56 PM   #116
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
Thanks for bringing that up! It was the EXACT same deal with me! This is the first time that I have ever heard someone else describe the same scenario. It was the Noah's Ark story in Sunday School that planted the seed of Atheism for me.

Even as a little kid I just couldn't really buy it. It kinda messed with my head thinking that the grown-ups did. Now I'm wondering if there are more of us with the same experience...
That's it exactly.

I thought they were stories that grownups told to kids. Like Santa, or the Itsy Bitsy Spider or the Ugly Duckling or the tooth fairy. The other super stupid one was Jonah and the whale. These stories are a major insult to people's intelligence when they are insisted to be real. For a long time as a Christian I treated the stories as allegories or parables not actually true. I could accept them that way but not as literal truth.

I remember despising adults who insisted that God did all these things, well because he's God. I thought they were one of three things. Dumb, or con men and women, or people who found that their willingness to go all in one God elevated their stature in the church/community. The last one I was convinced was true with most of them. Most unbelievers in church never ever challenge the stories as it puts them on the outside of their group so they go through the motions either forever or until they just can't do it anymore.

I'm convinced what really needs to happen is non-believers must declare they are non-believers to create a safe space for more people to come out of the closet. Eventually it will reach a tipping point.
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Old 28th October 2017, 01:01 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I'm convinced what really needs to happen is non-believers must declare they are non-believers to create a safe space for more people to come out of the closet.
Maher says the same thing at the end of his 'Religulous' documentary. But I do not at all blame Atheists for staying in closet.

I see the vile hatred spewed against Atheists on other forums and that too is unsettling. Atheism is simply the acknowledgement of reality. To be so hated and despised just for something like that is very disconcerting...
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Old 28th October 2017, 01:32 AM   #118
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I remember sitting in church as a kid when the preacher just up and announced the birth of Christ likely really wasn't December 25th. It was another 'WTF' moment for me. I started thinking what else about this Christianity thing is B.S. that they're not telling us.

It was many years later that I figured out that what we now call Christmas was just a re-branding of the pre-existing Winter Solstice celebration and that Easter was actually a pagan fertility celebration of the god Eostre held during the Spring Equinox.

Things like Mistletoe, Yule logs, evergreen trees, Easter eggs and the Easter bunny are all symbols taken from pre-existing celebrations.

I really don't understand how believers today can accept that the birth and death of their Jesus just happen to coincide with the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox celebrations respectively. How does a supposedly rational mind accept this as just a coincidence?

How did an evergreen tree become associated with a little Jewish kid born in the middle of a desert? How did Easter eggs and rabbits become associated with the gruesome torture/murder/resurrection of some guy 2000 years ago. Even as a kid I couldn't help but wonder about this. Something just didn't seem right...
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Old 28th October 2017, 02:12 AM   #119
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
.....I really don't understand how believers today can accept that the birth and death of their Jesus just happen to coincide with the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox celebrations respectively. How does a supposedly rational mind accept this as just a coincidence?......
I think we have to be a bit careful with this. I'd warrant that outside of some particularly obsessive communities in the US, there would be very few christians who would actually believe that the dates they celebrate were the actual dates of the events they are supposed to be celebrating. I don't think it wise to judge any community by the views of their most extreme members. Given that these dates aren't in the bible, even biblical literalists (already extremists in my view) don't necessarily subscribe to the validity of christmas and easter dates.*



*Easter is a movable feast anyway. Is there anyone who does actually suggest that this is somehow temporally accurate?
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Old 28th October 2017, 04:38 AM   #120
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I'd also have thought that it's not hard to rationalise how two events - the birth and death of Jesus - could happen on specific pre-determined dates, when those events are explicitly supposed to be part of an infallible plan put in action by a being who is omniscient and omnipotent.
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