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The Problem of the Supernatural and Jesus

By Wertbag ~

Believing in the Christian God isn't a single belief but comes with a whole range of other fantastical elements that need to go hand in hand. All of these elements have not been proven to exist after several thousand years of believers trying. We cannot show God, angels, demons, Satan, heaven, hell, souls, miracles or even that Jesus himself existed. It is not just a case of saying God doesn't exist, but saying Christians cannot provide evidence for any facet of their supernatural claims.

What even is a soul? What does it do? Do animals have a soul? If it contains our personality or memories, then how come physical effects like brain damage, alcohol and drugs can affect those things?

A naturalist will point to all of the physical events in our world that have at times been claimed to have a supernatural origin. From celestial bodies, to tides, seasons, disease, pregnancy, mental illness and lightning. Yet for every such claim we've managed to research and learn the actual cause, and every single time there has been a natural explanation. Nowadays the religious will point to the very fringes of our knowledge with questions about where life comes from or the start of the universe. While we do not currently know the answers to these questions, with a track record of 100% natural and 0% supernatural, where should we be looking for answers?

The Problem with Jesus

While the common belief amongst unbelievers is that Jesus most likely did exist but was just one amongst many preachers who grew a small following and was eventually executed, there is a fair argument that can be made for mythicists to say Jesus never existed at all. We have no writings from Jesus, and the writings we have about him are not eyewitness, often being third hand even before the scribes and translators became involved. We have no body, nothing physical that he owned, no confirmed tomb, no mention of his life from age 1-30. We do know there were many people by the name Jesus, and many apocalyptic preachers, so the potential that different people's stories are being blended together exists.

We have several stories which the authors were not present for, from Jesus's birth, his discussions with Satan, even his execution, but while they could not have possibly known what was said and done, they speak as though they were there. This is seen when the Jewish authorities talk to Pilate about Jesus's execution, and this private meeting is reported word for word, when it cannot have been known and dictated. Knowing that the authors are embellishing the stories leaves us unable to know if any single word attributed to Jesus ever left his mouth. Once you bring in the gap of decades before the stories were written and then having those copied by scribes and translated through multiple languages, it is nigh on impossible to know what, if any, facts claimed of Jesus are true.

Even if we grant Jesus was as claimed to get us to his purpose, we are left equally bewildered by the point of his sacrifice. As the famous saying goes "He sacrificed himself to himself so that he would forgive you for the laws he set". Why does an all-powerful God need a sacrifice at all? To be all-powerful means there is nothing He can't do if He wants, so why go through the ritual when He could choose to forgive sin and offer mercy if He so chose? Does Jesus's sacrifice even count as a worthy exchange, when he was fully aware that after a few hours of torment he would regain all his infinite power and live in heaven forever? What does he lose? He is immortal, so He can't die and therefore His sacrifice is a mere annoyance. As some wit put it "He was mildly inconvenienced for your sins".

Originally posted in the Reasons for Disbelief thread on Ex-Christian.Net