Wow, I just finished your story, and I'm amazed. It seems us atheists from the north have the worst luck in the world... I don't have a full story as you do, just a brief overview in the comments on "Whose life sucks and why? Give me your perspective!" Also, just for clarification, I'm from Michigan, but right now I'm stuck in Arkansas for a little while. Glad to make your acquaintance, and I hope your problems work themselves out well. ~Maggie
Thanks for reply Joann: Well, you are a very good writer, and you could do it if the situation was ever right. I hope that things are better with your family; but if not, its more their loss. Buy the way, that's my constant little buddy, BeBe, in my picture. Glad to mke a friend, I'm new here. Rob
Thanks for your story on the "My Story" thread. It's quite different from mine (ardent skeptic before teenage) but very interesting! (I agree that it would make a great book!) There is more than one pathway to enlightenment. And hey, we're all swimming upstream to get there! Rob
research? lol. you have no idea. :) when i sink my teeth into a subject i don't let go until i'm satisfied that i haven't missed anything.
as for the scholarship on Jesus as a myth, you'll find this interesting i think. i wrote that post on the movie Zeitgeist that offers many of the similarities between Jesus and Mithras as evidence that Jesus never existed. it turns out that the claims regarding the similarities between Mithras and Jesus are tenuous at best and some of them are simply false. though we know that there was some influence from earlier mystery cults on the development of myth and legend in early Christianity it is problematic to say the least to point to Mithras, Horus, Krishna, Dionysus, etc and say THIS is where the traditions surrounding Jesus come from. if you check out that post i linked to you'll find a bunch of links, this one in particular that explain why it's so difficult to make those comparisons.
but really, even if we could, without difficulty, point to the earlier mystery cults and say that that's where the traditions surrounding Jesus had come from all it would prove is that the myths and legends that developed in early Christianity had been influenced by the mystery cults. it is going way too far beyond what the evidence would say to then go on to suggest that the influence of the mystery cults on the development of early Christian tradition indicate the Jesus was made up out of whole cloth. it just doesn't follow that since the traditions that developed later with influence from the earlier mystery cults that necessarily then Jesus never actually existed.
but i absolutely agree that many Christians do not care about the evidence regarding the historical Jesus for their belief is not based on evidence to begin with. that the scholarship of the last 200 years shows that Jesus' teachings bear little resemblance to the teachings that are attributed to Jesus in the gospels and discussed in church doesn't matter to Christians. the Christian religion is based on the Christ of myth and legend and not the historical person of Jesus.
so you don't believe that a Galilean Jew named Jesus existed at all? are you of the opinion that even the existence of the man was made up out of whole cloth?
be careful with that quote. it's a highly disputed one attributed to Pope Leo X. the simple fact is that we have no evidence that he ever actually said it. the quote apparently first appears in a polemical work called Acta Romanorum Pontificum by John Bale in 1558 and was translated into English in 1574 as The Pageant of the Popes. trouble is, Pope Leo X himself died in 1521. not only is there no evidence that Leo X said it but our earliest sources for it appear in a polemical work written 37 years after Leo died.
but getting back to Jesus now... it seems to me that there's evidence enough from the New Testament that a Galilean Jew named Jeshua did indeed live, was an itinerant preacher in the area, was arrested for treason against the Roman state, and was executed for that offense. of course the problem becomes one of how to pick apart the historical reality from all the myths and legends that are in the New Testament. but it can be done. we've developed techniques to be able to do just that. in fact scholarly opinion is that Jesus the man did exist. Jesus-Myth theory is very much on the fringe and not at all taken seriously by the very great majority of scholars.
from what i've read from your post i think it would make a compelling book. you should really pursue that.
i found that i had a lot in common in your story with how you began to look into early Christianity and the historicity of Jesus only to find out that the official story is entirely false and that scholars have known it's entirely false for something like 200 years.
i was never a member of a religion, never believed in gods, but the revelation that pretty much none of it is true- not just that there was no evidence for gods but that really none of it is true- was still startling because of the shock involved in finding out so many people believe so deeply in something that's just plain false.
just wanted to let you know personally that i really appreciated you sharing your story with the rest of us. it must have been cathartic to write that all out and post it.
i'll repeat the offer i made in my response to your blog post; if you want to chat just drop me a message.
welcome to the community Joann. glad to have you with us.
I wanted to send you a PM, but I can't until we're friends :). Your blog was extremely moving and struck a personal chord with me. It's amazing how similar our stories are. Thanks for posting that. If you PM me your address, you can have a free Learn to Think Atheist bracelet if you want it!
Sure thing. First, use cut-and-paste to copy your post into notepad or the like on your system, so you'll have it handy. Next, mouse over the 'Blogs' entry on the menu bar at the top of the T|A page, and choose 'Write a Blog' from the dropdown list. This'll take you to the Add a Blog page. Type in a title, like 'My Conversion Story' or whatever you like, then cut-and-paste your post into the Entry section. Finally, click on Publish Post, and you're done.