Posted in Tell Me!

Tell Me! Non-deistic God?

I’m not going to explain this one too much, just looking for opinions.

Do you think it’s possible to have a non-deistic God entity? That is, a God that is not a pre-existing spirt or ‘supernatural’ entity (you can get better definitions of ‘deity’ from other online sources). I won’t say any more, as I don’t want to give away my own position.

So, what do you think?

If ‘no’, why not.

If ‘yes’, what form do you think it would take?

Insight and longevity.

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I'm a writer, publisher, digital artist and web designer. As chief editor of Utility Fog Press I've been responsible for the publication of three anthologies.

6 thoughts on “Tell Me! Non-deistic God?

  1. That’s one interpretation, of course. However, (1) there are many Christians that don’t believe the bible is the literal word of God, hence quoting passages doesn’t really support a religious argument. And (2) I was intending God in a broader, non-denominational sense. Perhaps I should have used ‘god’ instead to denote the difference.

      1. I don’t mind you asking at all. Dialog is the only way we move forward. My own views are as follows:

        I’ve not seen enough evidence to convince me that Jesus was a real person, and the coincidences in his story with, say, other mythological figures, or his acts with those of street performers of the time, are too great. Considering that almost none of Jesus’s story can be corraborated by independent historical sources of the time (and there are many) seems very strange for someone who should, by bibilical accounts, have been making big waves in the regional politics and religion. Are we expected to believe that they wrote him out of history, only to write him back in several hundred years later?

        However, if I consider Jesus as a real person, then I believe he was the first of several siblings, and was born out of wedlock, which made him a very bitter person. Hence his leaving home (in Mediterranean countries it was quite rare not to live and work near your parents, and even was until recently) and telling his followers to leave everything, including their parents and families, to follow him. Preaching that the meek shall inherit the Earth would be natural, as he was largely creating a following among the uneducated, superstitious, ‘unwashed’ masses because no one else would listen. Likewise, these same people would be the only ones to fall for his parlour tricks.

        And that’s about all. There’s fairly strong evidence that parts of the story must have been embelished (nailed to the cross, for example –> it’s known that a human body can’t support that kind of weight with nails where they were supposed to have been located, something writers of 300 AD wouldn’t have known, since it had undoubtedly never been tried). Likewise, medical knowledge was hardly good enough to be confident that he was dead after the crucifixion, so arising after three days doesn’t need to be attributed to any miracle if he had devoted followers who kept checking on him (makes you wonder how many who were crucified at the time may have been buried alive).

        Anyway, that’s just my opinion. It’s likely one of those issues that can never be fully resolved. We can’t say, definitively, whether Jesus was real or, if so, that he was the son of God, any more than we can say the same for Hercules.

  2. Hello. Thank you for your reply. Since you posted your opinion, if you don’t mind, please allow me to post mine.

    “Considering that almost none of Jesus’s story can be corraborated by independent historical sources of the time (and there are many) seems very strange for someone who should, by bibilical accounts, have been making big waves in the regional politics and religion.”

    There are actually a few common misconceptions here. Well firstly, Jesus is mentioned by Tacitus, Lucian, Josephus, Pliny the Younger, and the Babylonian Talmud. The fact that He was mentioned by those guys is a miracle. In New Testament times, illiteracy was very high. Only the wealthy historians would write about something, and it usually included the politics of the day. The Romans simply wouldn’t care what some homeless Carpenter was doing with a crowd of Jewish peasants. Any accounts of miracles would have been treated with extreme skepticism by the historians, and would not have wasted the papyrus. If the Roman historians had to worry about anything, it would have been the Jewish Zealots.

    “Likewise, these same people would be the only ones to fall for his parlour tricks.”

    Well the highly educated Pharisees of the day witnessed His miracles first hand, and they hated Him for doing it on the Sabbath. (Mark 2:7)

    “nailed to the cross, for example –> it’s known that a human body can’t support that kind of weight with nails where they were supposed to have been located.”

    Archeologists have discovered the body was usually tied with rope, and 7 inch spikes were driven through the wrists, as well as the feet. Crucifixion is a historical reality, and the victim would have died of asphyxiation.

    “Likewise, medical knowledge was hardly good enough to be confident that he was dead after the crucifixion, so arising after three days doesn’t need to be attributed to any miracle if he had devoted followers who kept checking on him.”

    Not at all. First, before Jesus was crucified, He was scourged. And if you are familiar with Roman scourging, you know they used the flagellum. A wooden handle with whips of metal ball and bone shards attached. Many historians report the beatings were so bad that spine would have been exposed. This most likely caused Jesus to go into hypovolemic shock, from severe loss of blood, which would explain why Jesus was weakened and had to have Simon of Cyrene finish carrying His cross. After this, a crown of thorns would have pierced His scalp. Finally, His bloodied back would have been put on the cross, and seven inch spikes driven through His hands, as well as His feet.

    If this wasn’t enough, Jesus was pierced through the pericardium with a spear. (John 19:34)

    And finally died of severe blood loss, asphyxiation, and a pierced pericardium. (The sack of water that protects the heart.)

    This combined with the fact that there was a Roman guard at His tomb, (Matthew 27:62-66) the disciples could never have checked up on Him.

    The fact that the Jews attested to the empty tomb, and tried to make up a story to cover it up, (Matthew 28:13) shows something really did happen that third day. After all, if Jesus was not risen, why didn’t the Jewish high court produce a body to silence the disciples? And why would the disappointed disciples risk their lives trying to fight of a Roman guard, move a 2 ton stone, steal the body of a dead man, and then spend the rest of their lives perpetuating a hoax, only to be beheaded, stoned to death, and martyred years later?

    And who did Paul see on the road to Damascus that forever changed his life, from a persecutor of the church to the greatest missionary who ever lived….if not Jesus?

    It was nice talking to you.

    1. I feel a few bits of clarification are neccessary on interpretation of the information you’ve posted.
      (1) Regarding historical sources: Tacitus, Lucian, Josephus, Pliny the Younger, and the Babylonian Talmud
      None of these sources are contemporary to when Jesus was supposed to have lived. Therefore, all are written in regards to the rising of Christianity, and hence none are observational sources of the ‘man’ himself. The only exception could be the Talmud, written by Rabbis not historians. However the Talmud has gone through so many revisions since the time of Jesus (not to mention Papal attacks) as to make it invalid as a historical account. Incidentally, Lucian is considered to have been a satarist, meaning any account he would have written is like to be satirical and therefore having a laugh at Christianity.

      (2) Medical supposition: it’s impossible to comment meaningfully on what ‘could have been’. This is pure conjecture and is not even described in the bible in such detail. Even if true, however, it still doesn’t provide confirmation that he was dead, or if so, that someone else didn’t remove the body.

      (3) On the cross:
      John(19:34, King James version) does not say he was pierced through the pericardeum, simply that he was speared in the side. There’s a big difference. Especially as there is a large matter of the rib cage getting in the way, and the bible specifically says “For these things were done, that the Scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken” (John 19:36).

      Interestingly, I’ve found no description of the cruxifiction in the King James version (Mark, Mathew, John, or Luke — typically John 19 — read it yourself if you like) that actually says Jesus was ‘nailed to the cross’. Let alone that they were 7-inch spikes. As nailing a person to a cross would, seemingly, have been quite a strange event (not to mention that it’s been made much of by modern Christians), I would have thought the reference easy to find. Yet I’ve even done word searches on the relevant passages and found nothing. There is, of course, reference to nails in John 20:25, which reads
      “The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
      However, it should be noted that, while he Thomas mentions the notion of putting his hand ‘into his side’, he only mentions putting a hand ‘into the print of the nails’. To me, this suggests that the hands are not nailed, but rather the nails go through the ropes that tie the arms to the cross and are located behind the hands. Because the person is on the cross for several days, there is then an imprint of the nails on the back of the hands (the hands having been pressed against the heads of the nails for all that time). This is what Thomas is talking about.

      So, I suggest the modern view of the crucifixion is largely fiction (even by biblical standards) embellished by the vast number of modern movies and plays that reinforce this new version. However, if you believe otherwise, please send me the biblical reference.

      Finally, people don’t die of asphyxiation when crucified. They tended to die of dehydration, starvation, or exposure to the elements.

      (4) The empty tomb:
      It’s easier to believe that a man came back from life and rose, bodily, into a mystical land in the sky, rather than, perhaps, the Roman soldiers desicrated his grave, removing and disposing of the body out of spite? There’s a reason, I think, that one such as Jesus would have plied his magic act on the uneducated masses of Israel and not the more worldly Romans or Egyptians.

      Likewise, nowhere in the bible does it state there is a 2-ton stone in front of the tomb. Keep in mind, it had to be rolled there in the first place — so it could, therefore, be removed. All that was said is that it was a ‘great stone’.

      (5) The Road to Damascus:
      Conjection is not evidence. Paul could have met any number of people, or simply dreamed something. Or just made up a story. Who’s to say?

      ==> Thank you for these questions. Had I not been forced to look through the bible for answers, I never would have discovered the depth to which the modern crucifixion story has been — shall we say — greatly embellished, from what is actually written in the bible.

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