Saul of Tarsus wrote his letter to the Romans in the early-to-mid 50’s in the first century, and indications are that he was preaching for about 10 years before that.
If you date the alleged Jesus’ death to ~30 A.D., that’s not a long span between when it happened and when people started talking about it. If it didn’t happen at all, you’d think that people would notice.
But I agree with @simonize – the claim that there was a wandering religious teacher at the time is far from extraordinary. That there should be supernatural claims made about him is also not hard to believe. The idea that these claims are both literally true and the most significant events in history is more difficult to swallow. I’ve had people ask me what evidence would convince me of the literal truth of the whole Bible, and particularly the claims about Jesus. I don’t even know where to start, as the question itself presupposes that this is all some kind of untested hypothesis. I generally answer by saying something like “I don’t know. A lot more than claims like that doctors wouldn’t lie or that people wouldn’t lie to continue a cult when their life is on the line, or that people couldn’t mistakenly believe something that becomes a world religion. Something that isn’t routinely disproven by observing many cults nowadays, at the very least.”
As for questions about the existence of some guy called Jesus who is loosely the basis for the Gospels, I don’t think it matters too much whether he did or didn’t exist, or whether the stories were actually based on many people, the sun god or anything else. There’s enough time since the alleged time of death for myths to develop (which they do even with living cult leaders), and I find it easier to believe that someone existed to hang these myths onto. Who knows though – it’s not like the information we have is particularly reliable.
Trump, no doubt thinking OK, OK, Can we get this shit over with? King me already.
Flanked on either side by Pastor and Pence, eyes devoutly shut.
Omarosa’s face contorted in piety.
Smirking assistant in the background.
All I can think is that:
Trump is literally what all the right-wing paranoids have accused Obama of being for 8 years.
EDIT: As for “what Trump is and what the Right accuse(d) Obama of being”: No, I was going for neither “atheist” nor “Kenyan Communist Crypto-Muslim.” Rather: a would-be tyrant, with no respect for the law or anything but himself, an ignoramus, an angry mass of spleen, a preening arrogant fool, someone who might indeed change the country as we know it (and not in a “great” way), someone who might greatly weaken (or even harm) our country, both domestically and in relation to other countries.
Christianity has always cherry-picked whatever it wanted from Torah and the apostolic accounts of Christ. I grew up in an “academic” evangelical household and have heard every possible version of their bullshit. As always, once religion grows beyond the faith of the individual it becomes a caustic and cynical form of groupthink.
It is really fun to have the ability to out them with their own god’s words, though.
I think they both are. I think a lot of politicians are atheist and agnostic, probably a greater proportion than in the electorate, but they have to stay deeply in the closet because atheist politicians are viewed extremely unfavorably.
all of them, most notably Trump himself. Which is either irony, cynicism, or an actual disorder of personality. I doubt the first and hope for the second. And I just keep coming back around to the third, time after time.
Or the more direct approach: in British naval tradition, when sewing up the sailcloth shroud for a sea burial, it was customary to put the last stitch through the nose of the deceased, just to see if they twitched.