Conversations With christians - Beth 5 - Around Again!

loljesus_children_go_to_hellHey everyone! Beth is back for more! I just got her email a bit ago, which is not really good timing. My parents are getting here tomorrow about the time that I get up, so I really don't have any time to reply in detail. But that shouldn't stop you from commenting or emailing replies to I'll be happy to incorporate your replies into the post as well as my reply to her. I feel like I'm on a merry-go-round here!

Here is the email in its entirety. She is replying to my statements (from Conversations With christians 4a) which are not in block quotes:
Whether you agree to the label or not is irrelevant. It doesn't make it any less true. What history and science resources are you looking at to come to these conclusions? How are you so sure that you are getting the whole story? Please give some of your resources. I am quite curious as to what you're reading to come to such wild opinions. For instance, name one contemporary document from Jesus' time that refers to him. Better yet, name one person who wrote about meeting him, outside of the gospels. You can't because no such documents or evidence exists. Since you insist that he existed, that he was magical and had special powers and rose from the dead, the Burden of Proof is on you, as you are making the positive claim. Please provide references. Simple inflammatory statements are baseless.
No, I do not agree to the label because your accusation that I am "cherry picking" is baseless in itself. Whether you want to acknowledge that or not is unimportant, however. It does not change the fact you are wrong.

I will gladly share my sources with you. One I use quite frequently is It has great articles that address many of the issues you appear to have with Jesus and the New Testament especially. Furthermore, I'd like to establish that while I do not doubt that Jesus once walked the earth that the rest, as far as him being the son of God, performing miracles, and being resurrected is all a matter of faith. I cannot prove that to you.

Why didn't jesus write anything down himself? He was a god-man after all. Why not document his life and teachings to share for future sheep to get his message accurately? Why rely on flawed men to write things down 40-80 years after his supposed death? This doesn't bother you in the slightest? You don't find it odd?
There are several reasons why Jesus may have not documented anything himself. 1.) His ministry was to teach and inspire. That does not include recording his own lectures. If you look throughout history, teachers such as Aristotle did not directly write about themselves. Their students did. 2.) The basis of a relationship with Jesus and his "father" was that you believe with little to no evidence available. Then of course, he would see that there was no need to write anything down. If people truly followed him they would do so out of faith.

Also, you should account for the possibility of evidence being destroyed. Do you honestly think everything involved in history is still around? And what about the fact there is time still for more proof to be discovered? I highly reccomend looking at the site I linked you to. Particularly to listen to this debate:{6F8A97D2-2B10-475F-B0DD-3D0A13E7F98B

I think it's time you explain in clear terms why the Jesus Myth is absurd. Making such claims without any kind of backup is groundless. You have a belief that jesus existed because you were indoctrinated into the mindset. You then look for evidence to support that belief and discard any and all history or science that may threaten such an idea. I have already linked you to HYPERLINK ""a great article that spells things out clearly and concisely, with references. I also recommend reading Bart Ehrman. Here is his Wikipedia page as well.
It is quite the assumption on your part to say that I disregard arguments against Jesus. I enjoy studying both sides and comparing and contrasting the two. I did not blindly make that statement. As far as I've researched there is nothing that points to him not existing historically. I have always welcomed any sources you have that suggest otherwise. The original article you sent was using the plagarism theory which is dead as far as I'm concerned. I plan on picking up Ehrman's book, "Misquoting Jesus" so thank you. I am very interested to see what I can learn from it. I also plan to see what critiques might be available on it.

Perhaps you should also look for them and offer your opinion. It would be to your benefit to not ignore challenges thrown in your direction as well. Because I seek the absolute truth looking at things from both angles is imparitive as I am sure you understand.

The Jesus Myth relies on biased research (those who contributed are atheist, diest, or against religion in general) and fails to account for the possibilities I listed earlier. Furthermore it includes the idea that Jesus was a plagarised figure which as we have discussed multiple times, is not even credible.

Again, your lack of documentation or references makes for a groundless argument. You provide zero resources, yet you attack everything that doesn't agree with your presuppositions.

Thomas Kuhn said in his book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, "The man who rejects one hypothesis without simultaneously proposing an alternative is rejecting science itself. He will be known to his colleagues as the carpenter who blames his tools."

Most myths and religions are far from pure, borrowing heavily from other stories and legends. For example, there is no concept of Hell in the old testament, yet the loving jesus talks incessantly about people burning in hell in the new testament. Where did that come from? It may have come from the Greek concept of Hades. Just because the details are changed a bit does not negate the fact that christianity is entirely borrowed or stolen from other myths dating before the time of jesus' supposed life to a few hundred years after. This is when Mithras really gained in popularity and they borrowed extensively from each other.

This might interest you. The Epic of Gilgamesh is the oldest known writing to exist. In it you have a child of god, prophet dreams, curses from god, a great flood, walking on water and a resurrection.

Or how about Horus from Egyptian mythology? This is a handy chart for easy comparison.
I apologize for not citing my sources for you, but as you can see, I am very willing to share them. I have given you a few already. When analyzing the plagarism theory I simply look up information on the gods that are referenced. That is done through a google search of the diety. According to what I have read the similarities are too minimal and require a huge stretch to draw any connections. Here are some sites I've found that do a great job of debunking that claim:

Once again, I do not discourage you from pointing out any flaws you can see with these arguments. I cannot stress enough that I am after truth, not fiction. I believe everyone has personal biases that can affect their judgement so I cannot lie and tell you I do not hope to be right there is a God out there, one similar to what Jesus described, but that does not mean I will ignore fact. However, until there is an authorized scientist or historian who says otherwise and offers solid evidence and examines the alternative possibilities I will not dismiss my faith.

Hell indeed is not conceptualized until Jesus arrives in the New Testament. It is mentioned a number of times in the Old Testament, but as you noticed, it does not go into full detail about it. I will look more into that as it never really bothered me before. I do not think it is very logical to automatically jump to the conclusion that because of that the plagarism theory has weight. God, in the OT did interact with his people and threaten them, but why would he need to be specific? Because he is God and proves it by using his power, what shouldn't he be taken seriously even if he isn't clear about everything? And if he had been asked it is possible he would have elaborated so I fault those who follow him more then he himself.

If god made the old testament laws why would he send his son down as a man to change those laws without clearly stating that? It makes no sense. Jesus doesn't clarify or rewrite the laws. He says himself (not that he existed) that he came to uphold the law, as I have quoted before. And that "one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law" until the end of time. That's pretty clear.

So since Jesus mentioned Moses, the old testament is good, but not the rest of the old testament? That makes no sense whatsoever, since Moses was around for a large part of the pentateuch, if I recall. In fact, didn't he supposedly write the first 5 books himself, inspired directly by god? I think so.

So you like the 10 commandments, but which set?

The first batch, which is never called commandments, or the second? Notice they are different. Which do you follow? I guess the second set would make more sense since it's later and god obviously changed his mind. Why then does everyone know the first batch and not the second? If they are still relevant even after Jesus, why wasn't god clear which batch was the right one?
Yes, it does make sense. You are looking at it from the wrong perspective. What if the law was interpreted incorrectly? Jesus can uphold the laws and show people how that is done properly. So yes, there was room for clarification. As for Moses, I said that he could have lived because of the existence of the ten commandments. It is not hard to distinguish which of the two batches is the one that should be the one regarded as the true set. Which did Jesus talk about in his parables? What you presented as the second ones appears to have similarities to the first. For example, look at 34:21 Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest: in earing time and in harvest thou shalt rest. That sounds like one of the original commandments: 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. It appears they added more and altered the phrasing of some of the first. I do not think God changed his mind, rather, if you look at what his son taught it is evident the first batch, whether officially called commandments or not, are from the Lord directly. (under the premise Jesus is his son)

There were multiple wise men, but they came bearing 3 gifts. It is probably safe to conclude they each had a gift. Not that it matters one bit since the story is completely fabricated. The first book of the gospels to be written was Mark, and there was no virgin birth story. It started with Jesus getting baptized by John the Baptist. The virgin birth was added decades later by whoever wrote Matthew, borrowing from the other myths as I have stated many times.

I am curious why you are having this (non)debate with me. What do you hope to gain from such discourse? You mentioned above that you can be right and it seems that proving me wrong is very important to you. Unfortunately you provide no evidence, documentation or proof of any sort for your arguments. They are simply your feelings and beliefs, which you have clearly shown to be immutable and inflexible. So what is the point of this exercise? I'd love to understand what you hope to get from this exchange.
Why does that have to be the case? That is very illogical. So there are multiple wisemen who brought 3 gifts, so that must mean they each brought one of the gifts. Nevermind the fact one of them could have come with two of the gifts and another with the last gift. Or any variation of the sort.

Please cite your sources. I cannot trust your own word in regards to what you said about the virgin birth story.

It is humorous to me that you feel that I spoke to you to start a debate and win it. I honestly have no other intention but to understand why you decided there is no God. It is interesting to have deep conversations with atheists because often times there is a subjective reason behind why they chose to stop believing in a diety. It is not all about the scientific evidence. It is unfortunate you view me as inflexible since I am very open-minded. It is just that you have not convinced me of your side. Nothing you've presented has not been countered to a degree by myself, including the sources I just linked you to. I do not care if you ever agree with me, but from my position, it looks like you very much want me to admit you are right.


One brief comment: So she doesn't want a debate? Why is she debating then? She doesn't want to win? She wants to find the ultimate truth? (I feel like I'm in a crazy fun house) She's open-minded and flexible in her thinking? (Am I insane?)

I have yet to reply back to her. Your input is invaluable, as always! Maybe she's right. Maybe I do want her to admit I'm right. Of course, that's because I am, especially with your help. LOL ...


  1. Damn GMN, pretty sure you just put her to shame...

    This conversation with Beth has been a huge eye opener. I myself have just made the conversion over to being a "skeptic" and it all started from me just wandering around on facebook. I saw how a couple of people became "fans" of God. Well, I looked at the profile, and I stumbled upon a discussion labeled "ATHEISM!!!!!!." I started reading it and I just became fascinated. And there was one guy who was just, you could say, "winning it." Well, I messaged him and he linked me to this site and I've been checkin it everyday, and learning a little more everyday. I'd have to say thanks to everyone here at HDC.

    I'm still not sure what to believe, but Christianity seems like the biggest fucking shithole to go by. (Excuse my language.) Thanks again!

  2. Wasn't Aristotle an invention of someone else? I seem to remember Hitchens absolutely thumping someone with that during a debate.

  3. There appears to be a little confusion on Aristotle.

    I assume that Beth meant to say Socrates, who indeed did not write anything down himself. This was the man who was executed by the state of Athens. If Hitchens ever made an argument that Socrates did not exist he would have a lot of sources to debunk in order to be effective: Plato, Xenophone, Aristophanes, and other fragments of works. If he said it was hard to get the true image of the man because all the writings were done by other people then I would agree.

    Aristotle on the other hand, did write his own works although most are now lost. He was a student of Plato who was himself a student of Socrates (likely where the confusion arose from) and founded his own school in Athens. Again, if Hitchens made the claim that Aristotle is a creation of someone else he would have to debunk a large number of references including Aristotle's own works, those of his students, as well as the historical records of his school and his tutelage of Alexander the Great, Ptolemy, and Cassander.

  4. You're doing an excellent job. Don't let her off the hook with "from what I've read", "as far as I know" and "it's my understanding". These all equal: "I believe this but have no evidence." It's sloppy thinking.

    Here's an excellent lecture on Hell by Matt Dilahunty from the Atheist Community of Austin and Atheist Experience TV Show. I'm planning on sending it to my Christian mother soon :)

  5. It's completely possible that they were made up. But all evidence points otherwise. Socrates is the only one without first person accounts. It's rather silly and pointless argument though.

    The existence of any of the philosophers does not actually matter. What they are known for, is their works. Somebody authored them. For example, we don't doubt that the writers of the Bible existed, see?

    The difference, is that their works aren't held as untouchable laws and rules and regulations and so forth. All of them can be criticized, they are only ideas.

  6. Oh hey, welcome, I remember you. I must say, that long debate (I stayed on for what, 80 pages?) gave me quite an advancement of my debating tactics.

    I'm quite sure Neece will be happy to hear your thanks.

  7. The site may be really helpful. I found it really helpful, because everyone there has some common experiences, and you can find someone to talk to while you figure out your beliefs. There are atheists, buddhists, pantheists, wiccaans, etc. on that site. These days I spend more time on but they're both excellent sites to help the deconversion process.

    HDC - It's cool I pimp these sites right?

  8. Beth's entire argument comes down to "you can't prove my claims are false therefore they must be true", which is the opposite of what a skeptical, rational person would say. Skeptical, rational people hear a claim and withold coming to a conclusion until they have reliable supporting evidence. Beth also seems quite enamored of nearly incoherent Christian apologetic sources as references, rather than serious Biblical or Christian scholars. She is obviously ignoring any references or evidence that contradicts her religious views and seeking out sources that confirm them.

    If Beth wants a debate, I recommend that she go to and challenge John Loftus on those points she clings to. I'd also recommend picking up his book Why I Became an Atheist for a very thorough and well-referenced and researched tearing down of Christianity and the Bible.

  9. I may have confused Aristotle and Socrates in this post... however, I believe that Beth originally confused the two as well. They all get a bit mixed up with me I must confess.

  10. Thanks GMN, you gave me a sackful of ammo. :)

  11. Excellent argument, Andrew. I especially like the aliens bit. :P

  12. Hey Billy,
    Welcome to HDC! Skepticism is awesome, isn't it? Ignorance is NOT bliss. Information is freedom.
    If you have any questions feel free to email or comment. We'd love to help a budding skeptic. :)
    Don't worry too much about the language. We all have our big people pants on. :) Of course, I try to keep a civil tongue though. :P

  13. That's an excellent point, GMN. Their works can be scrutinized and refined, kind of like science and all critical thinking. It's not real science unless you try to disprove it.

  14. Sure, Angie. We all benefit from sticking together and sharing in the budding atheist/freethinker community. :)

  15. Thanks Johnny. Again, excellent points, as usual. :)

  16. Excellent, Antimattr. Thanks so much. I agree completely.

  17. "If we took the bones out, it wouldn't be crunchy, would it?"

    If we had proof, we wouldn't need faith, would we? ;-)

  18. Well, faith is, by definition, belief without proof, so yeah. :D

  19. Actually, contemporary Catholicism ADMITS that itincorporates pieces of other cultures/religious beliefs in order to win people over. The premise is that other religions are incomplete versions of the "true faith". Which is why many evangelical protestants don't consider Catholics to be xtians. Convoluted thinking isn't it, since there wouldn't A bible without the rc church.
    Anyhow, the whole thing kinda drives me nuts! I applaud you, Neece, for doing this so consistently.
    I don't my Xianfriends praying for me because they are people who have stood with me during some tough times, and most of them believe that each person's journey thru life is THEIR journey thru life. We just provide emotional, physical, mental support to each other. In other words, we are friends, first and foremost.