Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


JESUS' EXISTENCE AND THE TURIN SHROUD

In the Cathedral of Turin what many people hold to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ is enshrined. The Shroud is around fourteen feet by three and a half feet. It is a sheet of linen. It looks like a big strip that covered the back and front of a man completely. Age seems to have turned it yellow. One would think God could preserve it better than that for the image it bears is supposed to be the imprint of the dead wounded and bloody body of Jesus his son. There are about forty other Shrouds supposed to be that of Jesus. What makes this one so special is the fact that it is so mysterious and superficially convincing and has baffled some scientists for decades and still continues to do so. The image on the cloth is faint but it is a negative like the negatives you have with a photograph. The image is very plain in the negative or the quasi-negative as I should say.

The Shroud of Turin seems to have sceptics up against a brick wall and unable to go any further. In fact, it is not the great challenge to scepticism and anti-religionism that it appears to be or is made out to be.

Did Jesus Really Exist? And What’s With the Shroud of Turin?
www.straightdope.com/classics/92_275.html


This page tells us that it was found to be possible that somebody lightly painted the image on and whatever substance they used made the fibres under the paint oxidise and age rapidly so when the paint was washed off a faded copy of the image was found underneath it. The objection to this is that this technique was not used until the 19th century. Joe Nickell claims it was used in the 12th century and anyway it could have been discovered by alchemists by chance. It could have happened to the Shroud by accident. The Shroud had been washed a few times to see if the image would come off which might mean that the original was a painting and what we see now is what was left when the paint came off.

Perhaps the paints were chemically altered over time and by the fires the Shroud had been exposed to and they created an inexplicable image. (That happened to a fresco in Assisi – page 57, The Turin Shroud is Genuine).

The Medieval people tested sacred pictures by washing them to see if the image would miraculously stay put. Nickell thinks ferric oxide was used to print the image on the cloth and when it was washed off it left the vague image caused by oxidisation that we presently observe on the cloth. This would mean that Bishop D’Arcis in the 1300's was right when he debunked the Shroud which had appeared in his diocese as a fraud and as a cunning painting - meaning it didn't look like an ordinary painting.

Piczek ridicules the idea of oxides being in medieval houses. But nobody is saying some ordinary person made the Shroud. It was probably made in a lab of some description.

She says that the Shroud shows no direction of light coming at it which suggests it is not a photo. But the image is faint and varies strangely in distinctiveness so you cannot be sure of that. If the Shroud were a photograph made with the help of sunlight the fact that clouds would be interrupting the sun and reflecting and changing the way it shines down could affect the signs of directionality anyway.