2011-11-13

Are Atheists Wrong?

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by Neil Godfrey

An online debate is hosted at http://www.abc.net.au/rn/bigideas/stories/2011/3361417.htm Anglican archbishop Peter Jensen, Tracey Rowland and Scott Stephens argue the affirmative and Dr Tamas Pataki, Jane Caro and Russell Blackford the negative.

The archbishop even claims that refusal to consider Jesus as the answer for your life is akin to being a flat-earther. I could single out some others, too, so unfortunately the quality of the debate is not uniformly high. But some may be interested in such a debate nonetheless.

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4 Comments

  • pearl
    2011-11-13 12:47:43 GMT+0000 - 12:47 | Permalink

    Thank you, Neil. Your readers also might be interested in a large list of podcast debates from Justin Brierley’s weekly show, “Unbelievable”.

  • 2011-11-13 20:17:11 GMT+0000 - 20:17 | Permalink

    Sounds like the supernaturalists are coordinating their talking points. Seems to me that other supernaturalists that you have talked with make this same flat earther argument. I think you are seeing, with the internet, more and more, lay interested people, starting to do good work on early christianity theories, and this is freaking out the supernaturalists. so, they are getting more and more shrill. Remember, they were once able to control not only what was said, but what others were allowed to hear. They simply killed people who they thought were dangerous to their propaganda mission. Now that they cannot do that any more, you are seeing the flood gates begin to open on actual historical research.

    Cheers! RichGriese.NET

  • 2011-11-13 16:03:34 GMT+0000 - 16:03 | Permalink

    On an unrelated matter (except it’s Australian and about Jesus and involves Peter Jensen – he was at the launch), this survey was published last week by an Australian church – http://web.archive.org/web/20150227210346/http://www.olivetreemedia.com.au/resources/Olive%20Tree%20Media/Apologetics%20Series/Reseach%20Summary-web.pdf
    They asked respondents whether they thought Jesus was a ‘real person from history?’ 17% responded ‘Jesus did not exist’.

    It seems that about 40% of respondents were Christians and I’m presuming that they all thought Jesus was a historical figure. So it could be that nearly a third of non-Christians in Australia are Christ Mythers!

    Neil, yours is the only Australian blog that I know of that discusses this issue. I know you don’t intend for it to promote Mythicism, but nonetheless it is obviously hugely influential!

    • 2011-11-14 09:06:56 GMT+0000 - 09:06 | Permalink

      Wow, that is interesting. I can’t believe my blog has anything to do with it, however. I did notice a few years ago, by chance, that one Australian university library where theology is a major area did order a copy of Earl Doherty’s book The Jesus Puzzle. That was one small indicator — alongside feedback I had noticed from a number of biblical scholars from elsewhere — that the idea Jesus did not exist is not forbidden from discussion altogether among academic circles.

      I don’t mind my blog “promoting mythicism” on condition it does so as a by-product of valid logical and historiographical principles. The search is for the best explanation for Christian origins. I do personally favour the mythicist conclusion, of course. But only as a conclusion and without closing one’s mind to alternative explanations.

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