Wednesday, March 29, 2006
On the existence of Jesus
Of what aspects of the life of Jesus may we be certain? Stephen Spignesi's "The Odd Index" lists sixteen crucified saviors other than Jesus Christ. Examples of Christ legends appear to predate Christianity. Note that:
- There are many mythological heroes and gods -- such as Hercules, Osiris, Bacchus, Mithra, Hermes, Prometheus, Perseus, and Horus -- that have much in common with Jesus. All were said to have gods for fathers and virgins for mothers and births announced by stars. All were born on the 25th of December (solstice), had tyrants trying to kill them when they were infants, met with horrifying deaths, and rose from the dead.
- Statements exist in the New Testament that allude to several New Testament Jews, such as Theudas and Judas, who, just prior to Jesus, claimed to have received revelations and miraculous powers from God and who were killed and their followers scattered. (Acts 5: 36-37) Similarly, the false Jewish prophet Bar-Jesus of Paphos is mentioned in Acts 13: 6. Paul, while filled with the Holy Spirit, strikes Bar-Jesus blind.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
A Scientist Reflects on Religious Belief
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Free Will and an Omniscient God
Theologians like Maimonides (Moses ben Maimon, 1135-1204), St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430) and St. Thomas Aquinas (1224-1274) believed that God is outside of time and can see all history at once. It is from our own limited perspective that we are making choices. But still, they are choices. However, if an omniscient God sees all time at once, does the future exist even now for him, and do you think our decisions are truly free?