Monday, August 16, 2010

Christianity is a superstition

What is indoctrination and how is this relevant to the teachings of religious beliefs or other superstitions? Let's first begin by defining indoctrination in its proper context as is relative to this post; according to wikipedia indoctrination is the following: Indoctrination is the process of inculcating ideas, attitudes, cognitive strategies or a professional methodology (see doctrine).[1] It is often distinguished from education by the fact that the indoctrinated person is expected not to question or critically examine the doctrine they have learned. In this definition there is one very vital word that sticks out and that is to inculcate, According to my sage dictionary it means: to teach and impress by frequent repetition and admonition.

Now let's put this into perspective as it applies to religious beliefs. As I stated in my previous post religious beliefs are taught, and not only are they taught they are passed down from generation to generation within a society. What is being taught? The former superstitions of ones ancient ancestors before they even understood what science was and how the world and particularly nature functioned. God was created in the imagination of a primitive mind with limited understanding and resources about the various phenomena of nature.

Roman and Greek mythology are the perfect examples of this premise in that their deities all were named for various functions of nature and human sentiments. Zeus was the god of lightning, Poseidon the god of the seas, Eros the god of love or cupid etc. There pretty much was a god representing every aspect of nature and human sentiments. Religious beliefs were all by definition superstitions according to the Webster dictionary: 1 a : a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation b : an irrational abject attitude of mind toward the supernatural, nature, or God resulting from superstition
2 : a notion maintained despite evidence to the contrary

Notice that in this definition two concepts stand out as being the result of superstitions; ignorance, and fear of the unknown. All religions that believe or rely upon deities to direct the affairs of men fall perfectly under the parameters of this definition. Christianity is no exception, those that the “truth” or the one and only revelation of God are just as deluded as their ancient ancestors that worshiped many gods. There is no difference Christianity is a religion that is not based on facts but on faith alone, there is no evidence for the existence of their God nor any evidence in any of the scientific disciplines to validate the fairy tales told in their so called holy and divinely inspired book.

Despite the fact that Christianity is nothing more than yet another superstition, its believers insists on its truths as facts. No amount of evidence is ever enough to satisfy the deluded mind of a believer, they will twist your words and use the many prescribed biblical responses to the absurdities of the bible. Despite the fact that the story of Christ is nothing new and that it has been proven to be prevalent in pre-christian myths they insist that those previous versions were “dupes of Satan” to mislead the faithful. They deprive themselves of enjoying their lives to the fullest in order to please him that they believed had called them to be his ministers to the world.

In summation basing myself on the various definitions given on superstition, I have come to conclude that all religions regardless of origin are superstitions. They are taught and impressed upon you from an early age as facts, they are repeated and passed down from generation to generation, they do not rely on reason but rather on the concept of faith which is not in and of itself a reliable source of knowledge.

There is no valid way of proving the existence of Jesus since he conveniently ascended back to heaven leaving no trace of his existence here on Earth. The sooner you realize that religion is nothing but superstition the sooner mankind can move forward and continue to progress.

20 comments:

  1. ChatPiliot,

    Interesting article, flawed, but good. Here's how I see it's flawed.
    From the outset you thesis states the the difference between indoctrination and education involves the lack of critical examination and question. I think this is more your personal experience and less accurate. If you read the Bible from back to front, people questioned God all the time and most of the time, God didn't get made for it. Furthermore you fail to recognize that one factor in the diverse Christians beliefs has to the fact Christians allow room to question doctrine. I think you've been so removed from Christianity that you don't know how big of an issue this become in Christian circles called (the emergant movement) You also fail to recognize that most Bible Colleges are accredited by the state which means they do have to force the criticalness that comes with academic. I came from a Bible college that forced us to question what we believed and defend it. So right away by your definition, lots of Christians are "educated" and less "indoctrinated" (by your definition) Right away that less weight the superstition thesis. Christians are taught to question all the time. So I think this more your personal experience than fact, most Christians are taught to question.

    2) You argue that because there have stories like Jesus' it is not original and therefore not valid. I think this is a weak argument because the it assumes alot. Just because the idea has been thought of before make it any more or less true. Make makes it true is if it actually did happened. Could imagine if you took this argument outside Christianity vs. Atheism's and applied this line of reason to any other art/ science. It wouldn't hold up.

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  2. Whether or not you believe in Jesus, the number of religious writtings that are not Christian should at least tell you someone existed who named Jesus.Plus you have the Bible itself which even if you don't believe a word of it was written around a man named Jesus.


    Here's my point. You may not believe that Jesus is who Christians say they are, but you can't not say that there was some man named Jesus. Lots of atheists and scholars who don't believe in Christianity would attest to that as seen. This people have given careers to this study and professional. Even Atheists attest to the idea Jesus may existed through the search for the historical Jesus: Jesus Seminar http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_Seminar

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  3. Nice try Dan lol but no cigar. Outside of the bible there is no evidence for Jesus existence and the scant evidence in writings is dubious at best. The church is known for lying and manipulating historical documents in favor of their beliefs. Nothing new there it is the norm.

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  4. You'd have to define you qualify as evidence. If you are implying that there is mention of Jesus in books surrounding date of the creation of the bible then you would be wrong.
    The Gnostic Gospels are dated to be around the same time as the Bible itself. These documents surround Jesus but aganontistc to what the church taught, in fact if you study your church history and the history of the cannon it was because of other writings that prompted the church to bind writings they thought were authentic. So you see there is mention of Jesus in ancient religions that go against what the church taught.
    There is also Josphesus too mentioned the existence of Jesus. Jospesus never claimed that Jesus was who Christians said he was.
    So you'd be wrong to suggest there is no mention of Jesus outside the Bible. Now, if you don't qualify that as evidence of Jesus' existence then you'd have to be more specific as to what would qualify as evidence for you

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  5. The mention of Jesus in Josephus is believed to be an interpolation that was later added by the church. The gnostic gospels never names Jesus as the savior, it speaks of a savior. Most so called evidence of a secular nature regarding Jesus is now known to have been manipulated by the church and are interpolations within the original text.

    It is a possibility that since gnosticism predates christianity that they stole alot of their concepts and ideas.

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  6. I never said they mention Jesus as a Saviour. I just said they mentioned Jesus. I am arguing for the existence of someone named Jesus. Not who he Christians say he was (Even though I do believe he the Christ, in this argument I am arguing for his existence regardless of people say who he was) Why would they introduce Jesus in Teachings which went against the church Given the violent history of the church caused by the Marcion controversy introducing Jesus into Gnotisic texts didn't work out well to give them control. (if I thats what you're saying, I'm not sure) Nor has it really worked today given the interest in an alternate view of Jesus, popurlaitez by the Da Vinci code. On top of that, most of the Gnostic Gospels are still being or just recently being finished translated, at Trinity Western University, in Langely, BC. This means that there is a significant time in which those Gnostic writings were close to lost, and not helpful for the church to control people through doctrine.
    My point is this, it works against your thesis to state the church wrote mentions of Jesus in writings outside the bible to make it seem like Jesus was real. 1)It caused division in the Marcison movement 2) Mention of Jesus in other texts today has actually fostered a sense of distrust of the church today

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  7. 3)There really is no such thing as secular historical account prior to the enlightenment. Almost every on the fact of the planet during the dates surround Jesus and centuries after believed in some-sort of supernatural spirituality. Any historical account you have of anything will be through the lens of the historians own religious lens. Any account will be through Roman, Greek, Jewish, or Islamic spirituality. So if you discount the mention of Jesus in extra biblical ancient writings BECAUSE its not "secular" you'd have to discount all Roman History, all Greek thought, all Native India History for the same reason. I'm trying to help you here ChatPiliot, its not your conclusions i take issue with, (well it is) but I am more concerned with HOW you get there, then the fact that you got there. I
    I haven't read all your writings but if you want to argue for the non existence of Jesus here's what I would do:
    1) Take an ancient religious Historical figure around the time of Jesus that everyone agrees existed.
    2) Ask what academic evidence is required to validate that historical figure's existence.
    3)Apply those to Jesus' circumstance

    then argue your thesis.

    Here's why I would take that approach. It's less Biased, less emotional and more rational. Right now your thesis hinges on a huge distrust of the church. In order for your argument to work correctly you'd have to prove that ever since its conception as a Jewish sect, it's motive as always been to control people and they were always power hungry. This is where you Thesis falls, because you can't argue that always been the case. Which means as some point church leaders believed what they did about Jesus with a sincere and authentic heart. There is no denying the fact that there is a large period where they were power hungry, but you'd have to argue its been constant since its conception. This would be hard to prove since in its infancy church leaders were murdered for their beliefs under Nero. While other leaders left an easy life for for a much harder one. This seems to suggest a different motive to lead than being power hungry. Also after the Reformation, many churches developed a separation of church and state in their doctrine statements. This also suggests a desire of churches not be in political power, again suggesting a motive other than power. Its not very good to hinge your arguments on your mistrust of church. Even if your conclusion is right they way you get there is weak, you need to be more stotic, and air tight.
    As a Christian, I'm more likely listen to and give more thought to you if argue like this than arguing from your mistrust. The reason is lots of people have an opinion on who Jesus was or even if he existed, but can't agree on it. Even Atheists can't agree on the existence of Jesus, some do, as seen through the search for the accaemeic endeavor called the search for Historical Jesus. The only thing they can agree on is that the church is wrong, but thats it. They can't agree on who he was or even if existed. It seems extremely illogical for everyone to agree that the church got it wrong but can't agree on the correct view, don't you agree? You do accuse Christians of having differing doctrines from the same source and yet among Atheists they agree that the church got wrong but can't agree on whether or not Jesus existed. The same premises should lead to a similar conclusion, based upon the laws of Deductive Reasoning. This is why I would argue your thesis differently than you are.

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  8. Check this article out
    http://www.christian-thinktank.com/copycat.html

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  9. The word Jesus is the Latin form of the Greek Iesous, which in turn is the transliteration of the Hebrew Jeshua, or Joshua, or again Jehoshua, meaning "Jehovah is salvation."
    The word Christ, Christos, the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew Messias, means "anointed." To save time and space I have copied and pasted these definitions from the Catholic encyclopedia online. As you can see if this Jesus Christ existed obviously his name must have not been Jesus Christ since Christ is a title and Jesus in its original Hebrew form means Jehovah is salvation or Joshua, Jeshua, or Jehoshua. So putting these two names together what you are left with are a description and a title not a proper name. As you may already know back then last names were not common, people were identified by either their place of birth or by their parents for example Jesus the son of Joseph. This system makes it impossible to track Christ down through historical records. He is a ghost pretty much, The church endured lots of persecution during its inception but once it got the support of Rome it rose to power rapidly and violently. It's no secret that they have manipulated historical documents to favor their religion throughout history. The church has even censored books that opposed their beliefs and have gone as far as burning books they deemed heretical.

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  10. But you can't use your mistrust to agrue that. You still need to argue differently, less emotionally more empirically. Remember Most people think the church got it wrong but they can't agree on what the right. So as a Christian, it makes it confusing to chose who is right. Let me explain
    Search for Historical Jesus - Made up Athiets, Agnotitcs and some Christians Scholars-
    Attitude towards Church - The church Manipulate Historical Documents
    View of Jesus - He existed but only 7% of what he said in the Bible is historically true

    You -
    Attitude Towards Church - Mistrustful
    View of Jesus - He didn't exist

    Da Vinci Code fans
    Attidude towards church - Church Manipluated Documents
    View of Jesus: Spiritual guru who was married to Mary

    The list can go on. Do you understand where I'm coming from here? All there schools of thought are united in their mistrust of church but all have a different view of Jesus. So which one is accurate?

    This is why if you can't argue the existence based on church mistrust - the conclusion is not unified even though the premise is. I won't accept an arguement based on church mistrust because at least 2 of the 3 conclusions are wrong. I need something more air tight.

    What I would love to see that would help me is if you took the whole name thing about Jesus and applied that methodology to people we know who are religious historical figures that existed and constintantly prove that this is method is suffiecenty in proving people existed

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  11. I don't think that's a lot to ask btw...

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  12. Dan aside from my personal feelings I think that the historic evidence just isn't there nor the little that we have is sufficient to support the authenticity of an historical Christ. Don't you find it odd that considering all the attention that the bible alleges Jesus brought to himself with the authorities and the multitudes that followed him around that not one historian of his day even bothered to write a single word about him? Check out this short article on this link http://www.holysmoke.org/sdhok/jesus5.htm

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  13. Good article,

    Not enough though. I liked it but its largely an argument from silence. The problem with arguing anything from a lack of is this: Silence could be caused by anything. I used this similar methology on my profs and I always was knocked down for it
    2) If you are correct you have a huge issue to deal with about the origin of Christianity. Something started Christianity and it must had something to do some sort of relgious teacher, otherwise it would of died out
    2) Its really easy to say Jesus didn't exist when you discount the mention of him in Historical accounts like Josehues. If you can't trust him on that, you might as well not trust anything he wrote but there is significant evidence to show that the document is tampered with. Check this out

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  14. roduction

    Jesus lived His public life in the land of Palestine under the Roman rule of Tiberius (ad 14-37). There are four possible Roman historical sources for his reign: Tacitus (55-117), Suetonius (70-160), Velleius Paterculus (a contemporary), and Dio Cassius (3rd century). There are two Jewish historical resources that describe events of this period: Josephus (37-100?), writing in Greek, and the Rabbinical Writings (written in Hebrew after 200, but much of which would have been in oral form prior to that time). There are also sources (non-historians) writing about the Christians, in which possible mentions are made (e.g., Lucian, Galen).

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  15. Of these writings, we would NOT expect Velleius to have a reference to Jesus (i.e. the events were just happening OUTSIDE of Velleius' home area), and Dio Cassius is OUTSIDE of our time window of pre-3rd century. Of the remaining Roman writers--Tacitus and Suetonius--we have apparent references to Jesus (discussed below), even though the main section in Tacitus covering the period 29-32ad is missing from the manuscript tradition. If these are genuine and trustworthy 'mentions' of Jesus, then we have an amazing fact--ALL the relevant non-Jewish historical sources mention Jesus! (Notice that this is the OPPOSITE situation than is commonly assumed--"If Jesus was so important, why didn't more historians write about Him?" In this case, THEY ALL DID!).

    Of the Jewish resources--Josephus and the Rabbinical writings (e.g. Talmud, Midrash)--BOTH make clear references to the existence of Jesus (even though the details reported may be odd). So ALL the Jewish sources refer to Him.

    I

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  16. Let me also just mention something about the Josephus issue. Every now an then I get an email about someone abjectly 'dismissing' the data from Josephus, without even interacting with the data and the positions of solid scholars. This is inappropriate. By far and away, the bulk of modern scholarship accepts that Josephus makes two independent references to Jesus--to argue otherwise requires the objector to dismantle the historical consensus, and this requires argumentation instead of simple assertion (and disallowance of Josephus as a witness!). One of the leading scholars, translators, and commentators on Josephus is Steve Mason. In his book on Josephus and the New Testament (Hendrickson:1992), he discusses the two references to Jesus in Josephus' writings, and concludes that "if it were needed", they would provide independent testimony to the existence of Jesus. He writes:

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  17. "Taking all of these problems into consideration, a few scholars have argued that the entire passage (the testimonium) as it stands in Josephus is a Christian forgery. The Christian scribes who copied the Jewish historian's writings thought it intolerable that he should have said nothing about Jesus and spliced the paragraph in where it might logically have stood, in Josephus' account of Pilate's tenure. Some scholars have suggested that Eusebius himself was the forger, since he was the first to produce the passage…Most critics, however, have been reluctant to go so far. They have noted that, in general, Christian copyists were quite conservative in transmitting texts. Nowhere else in all of Josephus' voluminous writings is there strong suspicion of scribal tampering. Christian copyists also transmitted the works of Philo, who said many things that might be elaborated in a Christian direction, but there is no evidence that in hundreds of years of transmission, the scribes inserted their own remarks into Philo's text. To be sure, many of the "pseudepigrapha" that exist now only in Christian form are thought to stem from Jewish originals, but in this instance it may reflect the thorough Christian rewriting of Jewish models, rather than scribal insertions. That discussion is ongoing among scholars. But in the cases of Philo and Josephus, whose writings are preserved in their original language and form, one is hard pressed to find a single example of serious scribal alteration. To have created the testimonium out of whole cloth would be an act of unparalleled scribal audacity." (p.170-171)

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  18. "Finally, the existence of alternative versions of the testimonium has encouraged many scholars to think that Josephus must have written something close to what we find in them, which was later edited by Christian hands. if the laudatory version in Eusebius and our text of Josephus were the free creation of Christian scribes, who then created the more restrained versions found in Jerome, Agapius, and Michael? The version of Agapius is especially noteworthy because it eliminates, though perhaps too neatly, all of the major difficulties in the standard text of Josephus.

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  19. (a) It is not reluctant to call Jesus a man. (b) It contains no reference to Jesus' miracles. (c) It has Pilate execute Jesus at his own discretion. (d) It presents Jesus' appearance after death as merely reported by the disciples, not as fact. (e) It has Josephus wonder about Jesus' messiahship, without explicit affirmation. And (f) it claims only that the prophets spoke about "the Messiah," whoever he might be, not that they spoke about Jesus. That shift also explains sufficiently the otherwise puzzling term "Messiah" for Josephus' readers. In short, Agapius' version of the testimonium sounds like something that a Jewish observer of the late first century could have written about Jesus and his followers." (p.172)

    "It would be unwise, therefore, to lean heavily on Josephus' statements about Jesus' healing and teaching activity, or the circumstances of his trial. Nevertheless, since most of those who know the evidence agree that he said something about Jesus, one is probably entitled to cite him as independent evidence that Jesus actually lived, if such evidence were needed. But that much is already given in Josephus' reference to James (Ant. 20.200) and most historians agree that Jesus' existence is the only adequate explanation of the many independent traditions among the NT writings." (p.174f)



    Letter from Pliny the Younger to Trajan (c. 110)
    Tacitus (Annals, c.115-120) [The best current discussion on this passage is in my friend JP Holding's site]
    Suetonius (Lives of the Caesars, c. 125)
    Lucian (mid-2nd century)
    Galen (c.150; De pulsuum differentiis 2.4; 3.3)
    Celsus (True Discourse, c.170).
    Mara Bar Serapion (pre-200?)
    Talmudic References( written after 300 CE, but some refs probably go back to eyewitnesses)
    There are other references to "Christians" in this period, but I am not concerned with those--although some would offer supporting evidence for someone named 'Christ'. For example, Marcus Aurelius (Meditations 11.3) calls the believers 'Christians', but Epictetus (Discourses 4.7.6) calls them "Galileans".

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  20. thanks for share.

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