Welcome Skeptical Visitors

9 December 2005

We are currently undergoing major upgrades to the website and it may take a day or two to move all the content over. Please be patient with us and leave any comments. Really though, leave a comment because we’re quite excited about all these new features. For example, comments.

  1. I enjoy your site very much.
    Donald Swain    Jul 22, 12:11 PM    #
  2. hope you don’t mind me having a link to your site on my web page :)


    Matthew Ribau    Dec 15, 08:54 PM    #
  3. Nice website, I really like the way its organized. I enjoy reading different viewpoints on God and religion. Personally I am agnostic and learning how Christians rationalize reality is one of my favorite pastimes. I have on issue with your website however; you refer to Christianity as being a religion based on historical truths. That is quite a dubious claim. While I concede that much of the New Testament is based on SOME historical facts, much of it is a compilation of information. The Bible’s authority has been undermined by the men who compiled the books and cherry picked what information they wanted. What other sources besides the Bible actually PROVE the resurrection took place? Saying that Christianity is based on historical truth is a stretch at best, a blatant lie at worst. I enjoy reading these sites because I like the arguments you propose, and I would actually love to be convinced. But by only using the Bible as your source of authority, your argument is fatally flawed. Just because the Bible is the most read book on the planet does not mean it was written by God, inspired by God or protected by God. All it means is that it is a popular book by which people gain a sense of identity, belonging, and purpose from. While I commend the Bible for teaching people to live good lives and be good people, there is no way that everything in it is truth at all. I would love to hear a good argument for this claim, and like I said, I WANT to be convinced! Thanks for your time.


    Gary Sanchez    Jan 10, 03:24 AM    #
  4. Hi Gary. I do understand your hesistancy to accept the Bible at face value. However, when I claim that Christianity is based on historical truths, I am simply pointing out that the truth of Christianity is dependent upon a historical event (the resurrection) that MUST be true for Christianity to be true. So, whether or not there are any good sources, it is still true that Christianity, pretty much by definition, is based upon a purported historical event. Now, we must be very careful when analyzing the Bible in order to provide a cogent argument for Christ’s resurrection due to the possibility of bias, corruption, etc. However, there are several interesting lines of evidence for the resurrection that are on extremely solid foundation despite being mentioned only in the Bible. These lines of evidence are passages or doctrines that the Bible supports but were (in ancient times) actually extremely damaging to the appeal of the Christian message. For example, the Bible reports that women were the first to encounter the risen Jesus. However, in the ancient culture where Christianity first was being spread, women were considered to be of very low value. In fact, they were not even allowed to serve as witnesses during court! The male writers of the Bible, not to mention the disciples, would have been extremely embarrassed of this fact. Thus, it is unlikely they would report it unless it were true. This is just one example, but a close look at the passages dealing with Christ’s resurrection and message reveal many similar scenarios- embarrassing, irrelevant, or counterproductive reports. This is one solid way to analyze the Bible and separate possible fiction from confident fact. I will soon be uploading a speech that I gave on Christ’s resurrection discussing this and other lines of evidence for the resurrection. Just something to think about. Thanks for leaving comments, and feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss the issue further.


    Kyle Deming    Jan 12, 01:28 PM    #
  5. Gary,

    You wonder why Christ’s miracles were not written anywhere else. But, I ask you, why would we expect them to be? The vast majority of people during the time of Jesus did not have the ability to write, and even if one could, writing materials were generally expensive (not to mention that distribution was very difficult- no printing presses available). Thus, only a select few people ever wrote. Historians were generally interested in big events, it is not very likely that they would have their attention aroused by someone as “boring” as Jesus. From their perspective, He was just another messianic pretender who was no real political or military threat. Who exactly would be interested enough in Christ to write about him?

    You also seem to claim that Christ’s followers might have hallucinated these things. However, this theory is on very shaky ground. Firstly, I wonder how it is that the women’s supposed hallucination of Jesus (even if they did in fact merely hallucinate) would have inspired Christ’s followers to apparently have similar hallucinations. I have already mentioned that women were held in low regard, and thus the disciples would not have believed the women’s fanciful story. And though it is true that “people” (the disciples and close followers of Jesus) may have wanted Christ to be the Messiah, their hopes were dashed when Christ suffered a humiliating and shameful death.

    However, by far the biggest problem for the hallucination theory is that it doesn’t explain why Christ’s followers believed Him to be risen. First of all, in the eyes of the Jews, the Messiah was supposed to defeat Israel’s enemies and reestablish the throne of David, not die a disgraceful death. Furthermore, Jews (such as Christ’s disciples) already had a pre-conceived notion called “assumption”- which was the transfer of a human to heaven. If they were to hallucinate Christ, they would have assumed that He had been assumed to heaven, they would NOT assume that He had risen bodily. The idea of the Messiah dying was odd enough, but the idea of Him rising bodily from the dead was simply out of the ballpark. So the hallucination theory cannot possibly prove anything, because even if the disciples did hallucinate they simply would not have ended up thinking that Christ was raised from the dead.

    Sincerely, Kyle.


    Kyle Deming    Feb 8, 09:31 AM    #
  6. Excellent site; keep up the good work. I think a rebuttal to Brian Holtz’s http://humanknowledge.net/Correspondence/Kyle/2004-08-24.htm is warranted.


    Will    Feb 9, 08:37 AM    #
  7. Hi!

    The new website is awesome! I love it. I’m glad you finally got around to updating it, and I look froward to exploring more soon!

    In His Grip~

    Nicki


    Nicki    Feb 14, 05:19 AM    #
  8. Your site looks great—love the Blues Brothers quote. I’m actually writing a novel where a woman is defending her intelligent faith by claiming that quantum fluctuation is not a true first cause as it would need to be brought into existence itself before it could start popping particles into and out of existence…I found your site via Google while digging for background information.

    I was a lifelong agnostic, but I have had a problem with the big bang since I was seven years old. Sure, it was a potential theory for how the universe developed, but it explained 0% of the reason for its existence. And I never found the reason, not after 26 more years of reading. Over the last year I, even to my own surprise, developed faith in God.

    Keep up the good work!


    chris    Feb 14, 11:10 PM    #
  9. Will- thanks for the heads-up on Brian Holtz. He sent me a rebuttal a long time ago and I had forgotten about it. In any case, I will soon have a response of him in the Correspondence Section. Best.


    Kyle Deming    Feb 25, 05:57 PM    #
  10. Hi, I was reading the discussion, between Gary and Kyle,and just wanted to point something about what gary said, quoting him: “with the fact that only people who wanted to believe in a savior saw him”, well Saul of Tarse was hunting down the christians at the time, he didn’t believe that Jesus Christ was the savior at all, and that was right after the Jesus’s crucifixion. But Then, Jesus appeared to him on his way to Damascus, so was he and the men with him hallucinating too? What was the probability of a jew becoming a converted christian, Paul, after Jesus’s death, and then write 14 of the New Testament Books? Just wanted to leave my 2 cents.. =)

    Rodrigo


    Rodrigo    Mar 7, 05:39 AM    #
  11. Very nice site, I love it. I love the perspective! Do you mind if I have a link to it on my blog side bar?


    Tim    Mar 31, 08:04 AM    #
  12. No problem Tim. By the way, your site is looking very good as well.


    Kyle Deming    Mar 31, 11:08 AM    #
  Textile Help