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?

 


PAUL'S HALLUCINATIONS OF THE "RISEN" JESUS?

The gospels say that a miracle healing man called Jesus Christ lived. They say he died by crucifixion and three days later he rose again. The tomb he was placed in was found wide open with the stone that had been across the entrance moved back and the tomb was mysteriously empty. His body was gone. Certain witnesses claimed that Jesus appeared to them as a resurrected being. Famously Jesus appeared to anti-Christian Paul and turned him into the main apostle!

The resurrection of Jesus is one of Christianity's core doctrines. It is essential. It is at the root of what Christianity is all about.

Christians claim psychiatry shows that the witnesses should not be suspected of suffering hallucinations.

Paul is the only person who wrote down his claim that he saw the risen Jesus. Paul in his writings showed signs of religious madness: "The appointed time has been winding down and it has grown very short. From now on, let even those who have wives be as if they had none. And those who weep and mourn as though they were not weeping and mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they did not possess anything. And those who deal with this world as though they were not absorbed by it and as if they had no dealings with it. For the outward form of this world (the present world order) is passing away" (1 Corinthians 7:29-32). The incoherence is plain. For example, he asks those who should be mourning not to do it and then expects others to mourn who should not be doing it. It is not like he considers mourning or not mourning to be a block when you are preparing for the coming of Christ to end the world. A man like that who predicts the end of the world as if it is just days away and who asks for bizarre behaviour in preparation for it is definitely mentally disturbed. His visions cannot be relied on or his reports of them cannot be relied on. He would not be giving a command like that and would not be able to get people to obey it unless he claimed he had been told all this in a vision of Jesus! Even if he really did have visions, the visions lied and so we are entitled to put them down as tricks of the psychic powers of the mind or indeed from Satan if we wish. It would be blasphemous to take his visions seriously for it would not be very dignifying for God if we did that.

Paul writes that fourteen years previous to writing he was taken up to the third Heaven and he does not know if he was in his body or out of it and was told things so great that he cannot tell them. What does this tell us about Paul? He was prone to boast and was able to hallucinate in such a way that he could not tell if he was physically in Heaven or not. He had physical illusions. He admitted to boasting. It is one thing to boast and give details about the wonderful things you have heard. It is another to boast that you have heard wonderful things and not give any details. That is what Paul did! He really embarrassed himself in front of a rebel section of the Church! So great was his ego! He boasted about this vision more than the one where he supposedly saw Jesus! He told us more about it which makes us wonder how reliable he was when he saw Jesus.

A mad apostle is looked up to by an eccentric Church. The Church should not be taken seriously.