Hello Fellow Atheists: So here's a question. It's been bothering me for some time now and I just want to get your perspectives. When I first became a believer I was handed the book "The Case for Christ" by Lee Strobel. I read it and at the time it made sense to me. I didn't question it much at the time. Now that I am an Atheist I'm curious what others think about it. There are only three options given in this book. Jesus was either a liar, a lunatic, or the true son of God. Of course I know some of you believe that he never existed at all, (I do not). So I want to explore this further.
Which is it?
Is it none of the above?
Why? (back yourself up with evidence)...
I hope this discussion can be educational in nature for those of us who are still learning. Thanks!
@Arch: I cannot produce eyewitness accounts for his existence any more than I can Socrates. Does this produce a stalemate between you and me?
I wouldn't call it a stalemate exactly, I just don't see how we can decide if a man was a liar or a lunatic without first demonstrating that he even existed. We may as well ask the same questions of Superman or Wonder Woman, or possibly Mickey Mouse - I've always had my suspicions about him, what with those beady eyes and running around with ducks with no pants, it's shocking!
Ok, I get it. I was just a little surprised by what seemed to be your position. In terms of better defining the issue it makes perfect sense.
Normally, my position is prone.
How about only a few guys getting together and concocting a story?
Why though? Can you predict the outcome of your lies?
Did Paul Bunyan exist, along with Babe, his big blue ox? If not, where did the story come from? The fact that he once walked along, dragging his giant axe behind him, and in the process, carved out the Grand Canyon is a perfect explanation - you can't make that kind of stuff up, can you?
And there's the railroad worker, John Henry, with his hammer, and Pecos Bill, who roped and rode a tornado - tide comes in, tide goes out, you can't explain that --
Then there's Davy Crockett, who rode lightening bolts and killed bears just with his terrifying glare (amongst other things). Oh, I forgot, he actually existed.
@Arch: Oral tradition was nothing to fool with back in the day. Many stories still in existence came from and have derived from Oral Tradition. Most of the time these stories developed from things that were in the natural world. The motive was never to lie and concoct anything but rather for teaching, morality, culture, legal enforcement, group solidarity, and protection.
Sorry to pick on your Arch. I really don't mean to.