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?

Patrick H
Gormley


TAKE THE POSSIBLE THEFT OF JESUS FROM HIS TOMB SERIOUSLY

Why was Jesus' body not in his tomb on Sunday morning?

John's gospel says Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead four days after his decease. Lazarus stone was rolled back without the authorities or without anybody knowing for sure that Jesus could raise him. Why did the Jews not guard his tomb if they knew Jesus had supernatural abilities? The story does not fit the alleged legal and cultural taboo about touching tombs.  John never hints that Jesus' own tomb was guarded.  That shows we need to consider the possibility that Jesus was stolen. 

Matthew's gospel takes body-snatching of Jesus' tomb seriously for he dedicated a lengthy confused argument against it.

The 1878 tablet which is now in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris reads in Greek

An order of Caesar.  It pleases me that graves and tombs, whoever has made them as a religious act for forebears or children or household members, that these remain undisturbed forever. But if any should show that someone has either destroyed or in any other way cast out those buried there, or has with evil deception removed them to other places, no an injustice for those buried there, or has removed the monument or the stones, in such a case I command that there be a trial, as if pertaining to matters of the gods, for the benefit of the religious duty of men. For it shall very much be required to honour those who have been buried.   Let no one move them for any cause. But if someone does not comply, it is my will that he suffer capital punishment on a charge of robbing tombs.

Caesar might be Tiberias who reigned when Jesus died. Or Claudius who reigned from 41 AD to 54 AD. Grave robbery in the Jesus case should be seriously considered as a possibility.

The notion that a Roman seal was put on the stone means it was very dangerous to violate it. If it were a Jewish one then it was a religious matter pertaining to the Temple Guards. They could report it as a public order offence to the Romans. We don't know what seal it was. And the seal was not needed anyway if there were enough guards there. Surely the seal would prompt an expectation that Jesus might return! It was too much like a pro-Jesus advert! The area could be sealed! Why would it have to be the stone? The seal on the stone is a fantasy.

The seal was supposedly broken when the soldiers were there and when women were nearby coming to the tomb.  None of them were hauled before the law about it which shows it is a lie.  Why did nobody look for the men in white supposedly seen at the tomb?  Mark gives no hint that they were angels.

Eleazar the bandit was active when Jesus was supposedly entombed. Josephus is clear that this man was the scourge of the countryside and had his partners in crime everywhere. Surely they raided tombs too?

Christians say that the apostles and others died as martyrs mainly because of their faith that the risen Jesus was with them. They are contrasted with Islamist Suicide bombers who die for a cause they cannot be sure is true or of God. But the latter believe in a way that is passionate and need psychological intervention. But the apostles dying for Jesus because they knew he was alive is compatible with them doing so for pathological reasons or because of some cognitive/psychological maladaption. There is no parallel with the suicide bombers. They are in no position to know whether or not the cause for which they die is true. They simply believe it passionately and pathologically. To die for what you believe to be true is one thing; to die for what you know to be untrue is quite another.