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Thread: How Do We Know Jesus Was Really Who He Said He Was?

  1. #31
    Moderator Resist's Avatar
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    Not why would they lie, but why would they endure torture and death for the sake of something they would have known was a lie in the first place. They would either have had to have strong reasons to believe what they knew was the truth (such as through direct eyewitness testimony) or be staunch fanatics (like those Muslim suicide bombers, who are ready to die for their faith). The latter are raised to be like that from childhood however, while the disciples weren't all blind followers (take the story of doubting Thomas, for example, who did not consider the eyewitness testimony of his fellow disciples satisfactory to convince him that Jesus was indeed alive after the crucifixion). So there is certainly a strong argument there, from a rational point of view. There are millions of reasons to lie and deceive, but how many of us would be willing to endure torture and death over something we knew was a lie, or even had the slightest doubt about? Martyrdom isn't a very attractive prospect when you are dead, particularly if you are uncertain of the possibility of an afterlife.

  2. #32
    aka Johan the Blind Goodman John's Avatar
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    Using the example of those martyred for their faith isn't quite as powerful an argument as one might think. In the case of the Apostles (and others through the years) they may have been absolutely convinced they were on the right track and willing to die for that belief. It's not so far-fetched- in more modern times we saw thousands of Japanese soldiers swarming American troops in WW2 being absolutely convinced that the Emperor was a living god and that their deaths would be rewarded. And, as you noted, we see modern-day suicide bombers absolutely convinced they are doing God's work by killing themselves and others- and many of these are not just some backwater farm kid; most of them are well-educated, politically aware, and religiously strong. And some of them are converts, not raised from birth in that mind set.

    How many died horrible, painful deaths for their absolute faith in Jim Jones back in the day? What was the body count of True Believers at Waco? Solar Temple? Heaven's Gate? I often write about the Cathars, but even their willingly, even happily, walking into the fire to their doom doesn't prove that their beliefs were correct- only that they had extraordinary faith in those beliefs.

    Just because you believe in something with absolute certainty does not always mean that what you believe in is automatically the absolute truth. And so it was with the martyrs back in the day- their faith, however strong it might have been, does not confirm that they were right.

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  4. #33
    Senior Member Ravenrune's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johan the Blind View Post
    we see modern-day suicide bombers absolutely convinced they are doing God's work by killing themselves and others- and many of these are not just some backwater farm kid; most of them are well-educated, politically aware, and religiously strong. And some of them are converts, not raised from birth in that mind set.
    ------------------------------------------

    And some of them had their families killed or their wedding party bombed by US(and allies) invaders. When that kind of thing happens , it's easy to see how they might become very focused on revenge and an understanding that the USA and western nations have been enacting destructive wars based on lies for 18 years now (and more in the past). Imagine having some foreign superpower destroy your family with a hellfire missile fired from a drone piloted by some guy in front of a screen somewhere. Wow this is the pinnacle of complete corruption when this is called "liberation" or "bringing *Democracy*" or any kind of helping. Not only that but it is the height of cowardice and non-attachment to action ... like playing video games . It's a disgrace to co-called "civilized" behavior to have people seated far outside harms way control a robotic machine to kill people where it's thought an alleged "terrorist" likely is located (regardless of how many innocent people are murdered by so-called "collateral damage". Sp really, I can understand why someone would fight the western world's military assaults.

    ---------------

    Anyway, regarding Jesus.

    I find the idea of Jesus does have different meanings depending on your ideas. To Christians , he is "THE" son of "God".

    I personally find that to be biased and distorted by the societal forces in the early centuries AD.

    There were many texts around at those times and over centuries with many meetings of people with religious authority (not to mention Roman Emperors such as Constantine wanting to solidify this new religion) they decided what texts were to be official and what to be rejected (eg. Gnostic texts rediscovered in Nag Hammadi in 1945 ~ interesting timing!) and how these texts should be translated and interpreted. Even the whole idea of the "Bible" containing texts of the Old Testament ad the New Testament texts was controversial and something to "decide by humans" (and fought against by others).

    However, in my opinion a lot of this is the work of humans and what conflicting agendas they wanted to put forth.

    So at the most basic level... who was Jesus (or at least what kind of person does that name represent). I feel he was basically a human who experienced being totally connected to "Reality" (whatever you call this is going to be biased because language itself is not able to describe these things). In some cultural language this might have been represented as 'One with the Father'. Someone else from another culture may call it 'oneness with Brahman'.

    In my opinion, the basic idea is a feeling of total connectedness to whatever this Universe is. I personally find that religious ideas of India and Asia approach this better that Abrahamic ones. Christianity is problematic for me because it makes Jesus into a special case as "The" only son of "God" (and some sources suggest the oldest Greek text for this should be "a" son (or child, or offspring) of "God". There is a huge difference between "a" and "the".


    In the centuries that followed after the official Christianity religion was produced by human beings, there were many people who also claimed to feel that connection and they were most often killed off as heretics! "How dare they suggest they are that ... only Jesus was that!" .... then again, they either crucified or attempted to kill Jesus for the exact same blasphemy of claiming to feel "One with Ultimate Reality".


    Some questions remain about whether Jesus had gone to India for so long before any mention of him later. Also some people question whether he did die on the cross (crucifixion tends to take longer than the Bible suggests. If the legs aren't broken, the person holds up their weight by the legs for much longer ... and obviously all those paintings and images of Jesus with wounds on the palms are false ... that would not hold your weight - the spikes were driven through the wrist bones!).

    Some people suggest that Jesus ended up surviving this and ending up in Kashmir. An interesting little shrine has a person referred to as Isa (leader of the healed) buried there with a plague of the feet with puncture wound marks on it!






    Unfortunately religion is a human construct with social control as a prime focus (perhaps that is necessary for the masses).

    People who experience this 'enlightenment' are really not part of these things. They are outside of human social and cultural constructs.


    There have been , are and will be many Buddhas, enlightened people .... but when a religion picks one and elevates them to be unapproachable as "the ONLY son of God" (ie, they are the only one to be able to feel that - and you are not permitted to be like that!) , that is a problem of that religion. It is a biased and distorted idea where the original enlightened person was not that at all.

    India has it better with Yogis (and of course there is always going to be fraud regarding claimed "enlightenment" too - you can gain followers and make money and wealth off this ...like giant churches full of gold!) with a goal of gaining this experienced connection ... moksha, enlightenment, satori, "I am One with the Father" are all basically pointing at the same thing.


    Well , there's my opinion to be agreed with or disagreed with.

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