DIY Faith News

As Americans disengage from religion, a California institution encourages questioning

Indian philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti in 1968. Photo by Mark Edwards. Copyright Krishnamurti Foundation Trust

OJAI, Calif. (RNS) — They come by the dozens, making their way past groves of orange trees and converging on a low-slung white house with a gnarled pepper tree in the front yard.

Three Saturdays a month, people from all over Southern and Central California gather in this small town east of Santa Barbara to ask fundamental life questions: How can humans control their emotions? Is it possible to live without fear? What does it mean to be “whole”?

They’re here because of Jiddu Krishnamurti, an Indian philosopher, speaker and writer who made Ojai his home and left this property to the Krishnamurti Foundation of America after his death on Feb. 17, 1986.

Today, the complex is one of eight educational centers around the world where Krishnamurti’s followers, drawn by his message to question established doctrine, hope to change the way people think about their religious beliefs. And using a network of schools, youth programs and dialogue groups, the foundation is working to diversify its reach to include a younger audience.

Krishnamurti was born in 1895 in southern India and was raised as a Theosophist — an esoteric religious group that drew inspiration from Buddhism and Hinduism. Though he was groomed to be a leader in the movement, Krishnamurti eventually rejected Theosophy and began traveling the world, speaking to groups of young intellectuals about his denial of organized belief systems.

He eventually made Ojai, which he first visited in 1922, his base, drawn to its serenity and mild climate.

A tractor is parked among orange trees at the Krishnamurti Foundation of America in Ojai, Calif. RNS photo by Diana Kruzman

The KFA does not consider itself a spiritual organization — though Krishnamurti himself was a “deeply religious, spiritual person,” said Michael Krohnen, the librarian of the foundation. Instead, Krishnamurti encouraged his followers to question the reasons behind their beliefs and come to their own conclusions about their faith.

“It has a great rational element,” Krohnen said in a recent interview with Religion News Service, surrounded by books by Krishnamurti and those who knew him. “Belief means you accept something that you don’t really know, that you don’t have proof of. But at the moment people start questioning these things, Krishnamurti speaks to them.”

Krohnen first met Krishnamurti in 1975, as a young student from Germany. “I saw Krishnamurti as a modern-day Buddha,” he said. “There seemed to be a real presence there, a sense of nonhurriedness about him.”

He and many others were drawn into Krishnamurti’s orbit. The philosopher’s house in Ojai played host to frequent discussions about the nature of consciousness and religion and hosted visitors from around the world, including Aldous Huxley, Jonas Salk, D.H. Lawrence and Jackson Pollock.

Today, Krishnamurti’s message fits into a growing trend of disengagement with religious establishments, said Richard Flory, a sociologist who studies religious and cultural change at the University of Southern California.

“Religion is becoming more personalized and internalized,” Flory said. “People are customizing what they believe and practice to make it fit into their lives, rather than fitting their lives into the religion.”

More than a quarter of Americans now identify as “spiritual but not religious,” according a 2017 Pew Research Center study — up from 19 percent in 2012. As growing numbers of people become disillusioned with organized religion, groups like the KFA offer a chance to examine one’s true beliefs without the burden of orthodoxy.

“It’s another option out there for people,” Flory said. “There’s a marketplace of religious thought out there, and those who are interested will seek it out.”

Jiddu Krishnamurti in 1972. Photo by Mary Zimbalist. Copyright the Estate of Mary Zimbalist

At the eight centers across the United States, India and the United Kingdom, children are already exposed early on to Krishnamurti’s “inquiry-based” form of education. But, recognizing that the current climate is favorable to questioning, the Krishnamurti Foundation has recently begun sending members to visit high schools and universities including UCLA, UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz and Golden West Community College to engage students in discussions about self-improvement.

Older seekers tend to fill up the Saturday Dialogues at the center in Ojai, which serve as an introduction to Krishnamurti’s teachings for those who never cottoned to religion in the first place. For this mature demographic, Krishnamurti’s teachings provide an opportunity for self-reflection — and the chance to meet other followers of his method. Ojai resident Kevin King, 53, said he has been coming to Saturday Dialogues for the past several years “for the people.”

But others are drawn to Krishnamurti precisely because they’re looking for a deeper meaning that religious practice can’t provide, said John Duncan, a facilitator for the Saturday Dialogues.

“People are being pulled away from religion to begin with — that’s happening on its own,” said Duncan, 55. “You wouldn’t come here if you were already a Christian and that was working for you.”

Krishnamurti’s central philosophy, Krohnen said, is one of negation — pointing out what one knows to be false, while not clearly offering any answers to replace it.

“Krishnamurti doesn’t really give a method,” Krohnen said. “Except to be observant, but don’t judge. There’s no end to it, really — it’s something that goes on for the rest of one’s life.”

About the author

Diana Kruzman

130 Comments

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  • To save yourself a trip, simply go with The Great Kibosh of All Religions:

    Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten
    seconds: Priceless !!!

    As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism,
    Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism,
    Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on
    Buddhism.

    A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings
    (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups
    calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    “The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early
    philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a
    shooting star; carried in his mother’s womb for eighty-two years; and born a
    full grown wise old man. “

  • Interesting because I see many young people, alienated from their childhood region, usually Catholicism or Assembies, embracing “City Churches,” Evangelical churches that emphasize personal transformation, service to the poor, intimate house churches/study groups as well as Sunday teaching/worship churches. These churches avid the hot button issues of same-sex relationships and abortion, neither condemning nor endorsing. Out of curiosity I attended an Easter service. It wasn’t mush about the Biblical Resurrection but about the “resurrection” people experienced in their lives as a result of joining this church (videos of some of them were shown),. The music was Emo. There was nothing of the glory favored by the more traditional churches.

  • ““Belief means you accept something that you don’t really know, that you don’t have proof of.” This describes atheists.

  • Jesus is one of the best attested figures of the ancient world. His resurrection is also one of the best attested events of the ancient world.

    Atheism has no facts to support it. Its a total fantasy.

  • How would you know what an atheist believes or does not believe?

    All you do is attack them over made up points.

  • Atheism=knowledge claim about reality that no gods exist.
    As you know there are no facts for this. Just speculations.

  • Hardly. He wrote nothing himself that we know of and is not described in any writings allegedly contemporaneous with his life outside of the Gospels.

    We know far more about Julius Caesar, Plato and Xenophon than we ever would about Jesus. Rule of thumb, when people have written their own works or had unflattering or insulting views written about them during their lifetime, it means they most likely existed. Not so much when one has supernatural and allegorical elements written about them.

    Even if Jesus existed, there is little to no way objectively credible evidence will exist anymore due to the passage of time.

  • Atheism = Absence of belief in god(s).

    Anything else you impute to the belief is purely defamatory nonsense.

    Its not like you even bother to ask atheists what they believe. Being a rude obnoxious toad, you simply make stuff up about it.

  • Vlad: hey DonnieBoy, this Mark Connelly (Bob Arnzen) he do good work now for me and my Research Academy. He makes up good lies just like you. You teach him at Trump University haha??

    Donald TRump: Pootie Baby I got more problems at home. I have to make up national emergency to build my monument, I mean, my wall. Maybe I have to borrow money from China. Big Nancy Pelosi beat me again and Mitch Frowner McConnell not help much. He almost like Russian, look dour all the time, so maybe we can use him in new Russiamerica??

  • You don’t understand atheism. Atheism is not about your subjective preference of not wanting a god not to exist but it is a knowledge claim about reality that no gods exist at all. For that claim to be true, you need facts that prove it true. Since there are none, its nonsense.

  • You are not an atheist. You are too rude to even bother speaking to one and asking them what they believe. You make crap up about atheists to troll them.

    Something about fundies gets in their heads that they can speak of other religions and beliefs they are too rude and tone deaf to find out about, and expect to be taken seriously. Know nothings who always claim to be know it alls.

    For a claim to be true, you must provide evidence to support it. Despite the best efforts of religious believers for thousands of years none exists. For faith, you need nothing.

    More importantly, why do you despise faith so much?

  • Don’t need to be an atheist to understand what atheism is. What i don’t know is how the atheist lives without hope or purpose. That has got to suck.

  • All three of those people wrote their own accounts. There are far more than 4 eyewitness accounts to Julius Caesar. Many many accounts. He was from a powerful and well chronicled family. Many accounts were not flattering.

    Plato also not only wrote prolifically, but is mentioned by many sources and criticized constantly in his lifetime. Xenophon is the father of military historical writing. Plus he and Plato had a poisoned pen relationship with each other.

    Jesus had stuff written about him nearly a century after the fact that involved allegory and supernatural events. Hearsay at best.

  • You keep making these claims and they don’t appear to be based on anything. Where are you getting your information.

  • How do you know these are eyewitness accounts? These could have been stories past down orally before they were written.

  • You obviously don’t understand atheists. We all have hopes and purposes. You were either taught or came to the conclusion that this particular religion is your source of hope and purpose. Good for you. Other people find it in different religions and philosophies. Your problem is in assuming that yours is the only valid source.

  • Question, by all means. Be courageous in your questioning. Be tenacious. If the representatives of a belief system become defensive in the face of your questioning, then they deserve neither your respect nor your time.

    But also know this. There is more to belonging to a religion than what can be supported by empirical evidence, especially when it is an ancient tradition. It can be the difference in one’s life between digging one three foot hole after another and never drawing water, and plumbing the depths of a bottomless well.

    I post here partly because I enjoy conversations with people of different perspectives and I want to show that we have nothing to fear from one another. I wish more felt that way.

  • “How can humans control their emotions? Is it possible to live without fear? What does it mean to be “whole”?”

    A little more detail about these questions, please. The first and the last particularly.

  • I’m not an atheist because I pretend to know there is no God. I am an atheist because I don’t to pretend to know there is one.

  • Again, you make a statement that has absolutely no basis in fact: your belief, not in any sense a fact, that an atheist lives without hope or purpose.

  • Tell that to Dawkins who understands atheism better than you:
    . “In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”
    ― Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life

  • I know there is a God and billions of others do. Many know because to the evidence that is all over creation.
    You have to pretend it doesn’t exist to justify your atheism. You know as well I as do that there are no facts that support the idea that no gods exist.

  • The great atheist Richard Dawkins proves otherwise:
    “In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”
    ― Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life

  • Matthew and John were disciples of Christ which makes them direct eyewitnesses while Mark wrote down what Peter told him to and Luke interviewed the eyewitnesses.

  • Historians. Take Luke:
    Luke in his gospel and Acts gets 84 historical details correct.
    Classical scholar and historian Colin Hemer chronicles Luke’s accuracy in the book of Acts verse by verse. With painstaking detail, Hemer identifies 84 facts in the last 16 chapters of Acts that have been confirmed by historical and archaeological research.
    As you read these 10 of the 84 historical details, keep in mind that Luke did not have access to modern-day maps or nautical charts. Luke accurately records:
    1. the natural crossing between correctly named ports (Acts 13:4-5)
    2. the proper port (Perga) along the direct destination of a ship crossing from Cyprus (13:13)
    3. the proper location of Lycaonia (14:6)
    4. the unusual but correct declension of the name Lystra (14:6)
    5. the correct language spoken in Lystra—Lycaonian (14:11)
    6. two gods known to be so associated—Zeus and Hermes (14:12)
    7. the proper port, Attalia, which returning travelers would use (14:25)
    8. the correct order of approach to Derbe and then Lystra from the Cilician Gates (16:1; cf. 15:41)
    9. the proper form of the name Troas (16:8)
    10. the place of a conspicuous sailors’ landmark, Samothrace (16:11)

  • Why do some evangelical atheists like to cruise religious websites casting aspersions, making judgements and condemning all sorts of other people’s beliefs and rational conclusions about this life? What is their motivation? They offer no hope, no light, nothing except a pitiful display of their own supposed superiority. While not defending Krishnamurti per se, it seems that his message was to question your own beliefs without judging others. To me, judging here means condemning. While people may not be believers (of any particular religion) men like Thomas Jefferson and MLK had much in common and much to offer even though they did not share the same beliefs.

  • Papias in the mid 2nd century tells us who wrote the gospels.
    The 4 gospels always have the names we know them always associated with them.

  • We have a fairly involved geneology (meaning his own family)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julio-Claudian_family_tree

    He WROTE HIS OWN BOOKS
    Cicero, Augustus Caesar, Cato the Younger, Marcus Crassus all have written accounts of his actions.

    Their writings are all over the place. Cicero and Augustus were the most prolific. I suggest you start there.

    Most importantly, is there any work outside the Gospels where even the writers of them are mentioned? Its far easier to determine an ancient figure existed when they were nobility (their birth and death would be recorded by mundane records), wrote their own books, and were criticized by contemporaries. None of which exists for Jesus.

  • You don’t speak for atheism and what it means. You just pronounce your preference that you prefer God not to exist despite the evidence. That is called self deception.

  • I don’t know why it would be surprising that geographical and societal/cultural details are correct but that it no way means the theological statements are.

  • JP, many atheist started off as Christians and are well versed in the gospels/Bible. Just because you find proof in the Bible, many others don’t.

  • You don’t speak for anyone. You just lie about what people believe. That is about as rude as one gets. Only fundies are offensive bigoted and tone deaf enough think such actions are remotely acceptable.

    You don’t actually want to speak to an atheist and ask what they believe, you just want to attack them.

    Most importantly you are showing me what kind of immature belief you have. You are too scared to admit faith as the basis of your belief. So you lie to everyone and claim it is not necessary.

    Poor thing.

  • You need to read Dawkins. He grasps what the implications of atheism are:
    “In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”
    ― Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life

    You should put this on your refrigerator so that every time you get a beer you are reminded of this. It will make your day.

  • So is it your god, the Jewish god, the Muslim god, the Hindu gods, the Buddhist gods, Zeus, Odin, mithra, kanaloa? Which?band what is YOUR evidence?

  • Perhaps the evidence for God’s existence isn’t as strong as you think it is. Your Dawkin’s quote on the other hand provides an argument for why there might not be a God.

  • The Gospel names are part of the Christian tradition, why would they change? From what I’m reading, modern historians are not all in agreement with how to interpret Papias’s statements about the origins of Mark and Matthew.

  • Dawkins was stating what he believed and an argument for atheism. You’ve been looking for one and you provided it.

  • I agree that Krishnamurti’s message was to question one’s own beliefs without judging others. On the other hand, what is wrong with questioning others on a public board meant to promote religious discussion? That’s not always judging.

  • Dawkins is entitled to his opinions. But I am absolutely certain you have read any of his works. More likely than not someone described his alleged views to you.

    He is hardly an authority whose views need to be taken seriously beyond personal tastes. Being that atheism is a lack of a given belief, not one itself.

    The sort of thing one would know if they were not rude offensive trolls looking to simply attack people who do not share the same views as themselves.

  • Where can I see the 4 eyewitness accounts to Julius Caesar? Who were these eyewitnesses and when did they write?

  • These are all very famous people. You should have no problem looking in the history section of any book store or library to find works to that effect with copious notes, citations and references to sources. There are entire college courses and libraries devoted to the history of Ancient Rome and the Julio-Claudian dynasty.

    Now that we got that squared away, name one work written about Jesus or the Apostles in their lifetimes other than the Gospels.

  • Too bad none of that is actually true. Biblical Archeology is not an academically vigorous or respected field. Generally it is too hell bent on confirmation bias than objective research.

    Geographical Errors Within The New Testament
    https://www.bismikaallahuma.org/bible/geographical-errors-new-testament/
    “In fact, one of the reasons why many scholars doubt that the anonymous author of Mark was a Jewish individual and a native of Palestine is precisely due to the presence of a number of geographical errors, mistakes and confusions in this gospel. If the author was a native of Palestine and a Jew, then how was he so ignorant regarding the region’s geography?”

  • The geographic, societal and cultural details are not even correct. Biblical archaeologists are notorious for making claims that Biblical statements are confirmed but seldom actually do credible work.

  • Pick up a modern biography of any of them. Your average one will have literally hundreds of citations and sources to point to that satisfy that.

  • Its not “Biblical Archeology” but archeology that proves Luke was correct at least 84 times in mentioning correctly people, names, cities and events.

  • Dawkins is a genius in biology. He comes off like a drunken uncle you invite to Thanksgiving out of family obligations on every other subject.

    Again, its not like you actually read any of his works anyway. So your opinion here is of no consequence.

  • They would not change if the early church had good reasons to believe those 4 wrote those gospels.
    Modern historians hardly agree on anything.

  • Why would I do a thing like that. There are entire university history departments which support such things. As with any modern biography on these people. Face it, your argument stinks and you are too ignorant to be able to support it. Its nothing but trollery.

    Christian religious belief can do far better than supporters like you. Liars too spineless to admit their trust faith as the basis of their belief.

  • Dawkins has never refuted an argument for the existence of God with any facts.
    The existence of God provides a foundation for a lot of things.

  • The only God that exist is the God of the Bible who appeared as a man in Christ. The life of Christ proves that God exist.

  • Of course it is.

    Actual archaeologists don’t do work to confirm existing beliefs. They draw conclusions based on the evidence they find. Its not like you were bothering to cite the source of your cut and paste anyway.

  • Funny. The Muslims say the same thing. There is no god but allah. They have as much evidence as you do…

    None.

    All you have is your belief. And you accuse me of doing what you are doing.

  • I heard Krishnamurti speak in person many times. You’re woefully misinformed. Read one of his books. You may learn something.

  • ROFL! I swear, Tater, every time you venture into something like this you put your foot in it — bad.

    JP is discussing Luke, not Mark. The author of Mark at least partly Jewish but was NOT a native of Palestine. He was a native of Antioch in the Roman province of Syria, part of modern-day Turkey. You’d know that if you ever opened an actual bible instead of whatever random garbage that google turns up for you.

    You remind me of another ignoramus I encountered on a board like this, arguing ever so learnedly that the gospel of Mark was inauthentic because it “clearly” originated in Syria and its author was “clearly” a person educated in Greek.

    Yup — pretty much like the biblical Mark. 🤣

  • I at least bothered to cite a source about the various geographic mistakes in the NT. Obviously you did not bother to read it.

    All you are doing is flinging poo. Whatevs. It’s not like you doing anythIng to support JP’s unattributed cut and paste.

  • I try to rein myself in. I am retired and never had the time to delve into religion, politics and philosophy. I enjoy discussions and arguments – and I have learned a lot by being regularly corrected and challenged. I am not an evangelist as I have no desire to convert anyone. Nothing wrong with challenging what one considers bad ideas or having my ideas challenged. I have changed some since I’ve been posting and reading on this site. I remember this scripture from my days as a JW:

    Peter 3:15, NIV: “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,”

    You failed to mention the religious folk (and atheists) who forget the gentleness and respect part.

  • It was irrelevant to JP’s point. No partial credit, sorry.

    You cited one useless online source, a few books that you never read but simply harvested off Wikipedia or somesuch, “libraries” out there somewhere which I very much doubt you’ve ever seen the inside of, and pretend you’ve made an argument.

    Stick to movies and profanity, Tater. That’s your niche.

  • Nothing wrong with that. I’m saying here that sometimes judging is equivalent to condemning. We all make judgements, decisions about what to do, how to act and how and what to think. But in this case since there is no clear cut answer we all need the freedom to come to our own conclusions without being condemned for them.

  • There is no historical evidence that Allah appeared in history. There is for the God of the Bible.

    The atheists has no facts or evidence for his atheism. NONE.

  • Sure it is, There are facts for God’s existence. The life of Christ is one of them.
    Without God as your foundation you have no ultimate meaning for your life nor a foundation for morality.

  • That is how the universe works. But we humans each have to find a meaning and purpose to our lives. Whether Dawkins is an optimist or pessimist matters not to me. His is just one viewpoint among many.

  • So? He was a physcian. He was likely educated and knew geography. There was a lot of travel in those thanks to Romans. His geographic accuracy has nothing to do with the accuracy of what he wrote regarding Jesus and the early church.

  • So, you’re joining the Church of Julius Caesar?

    Won’t that require your renouncing your membership in the Church of Liberace?

  • There is zero reason to engage in gentleness and respect with trolls.

    Read the Gospels.

    Jesus switches gears from gentleness to a knotted cord and overturned table depending on the audience.

  • Are you Jesus? Can you go into a false church or temple today and do what he did? No. The scripture didn’t have a disclaimer and if YOU read the gospel you’ll see how Jesus wants us to behave. Very few here follow that.

  • Vlad: hey DonnieBoy, this Mark Connelly (Bob Arnzen) he do good work on knees now for me and my Research Academy. He makes up many good lies just like you. You teach him at Trump University haha??

    Donald TRump: Pootie Baby I got more problems at home. I have to make up national emergency to build my monument, I mean, my wall. Maybe I have to borrow money from China. Big Nancy Pelosi beat me again and Mitch Frowner McConnell not help much. He looks almost like a Russian, dour and deep frown all the time, so maybe you can use him in new Russiamerica??

  • Vlad: hey DonnieBoy, this Mark Connelly (Bob Arnzen) he do good work on knees now for me and my Research Academy. He makes up many good lies just like you. You teach him at Trump University haha??

    Donald TRump: Pootie Baby I got more problems at home. I have to make up national emergency to build my monument, I mean, my wall. Maybe I have to borrow money from China. Big Nancy Pelosi beat me again and Mitch Frowner McConnell not help much. He is almost like a Russian, looks dour all the time and frown like someone pulls his mouth strings down, so maybe you can use him in new Russiamerica puppet government??

  • Vlad: hey DonnieBoy, this JP he do good work now for me and my Research Academy. He makes up good lies just like you. You teach him at Trump University haha??

    Donald TRump: Pootie Baby I got more problems at home. I have to make up national emergency to build my monument, I mean, my wall. Maybe I have to borrow money from China. Big Nancy Pelosi beat me again and Mitch Frowner McConnell not help much. He almost like Russian, look dour all the time, so maybe we can use him in new Russiamerica??

  • If lead your life conditionally, if you think one idea is as good as another, you’re living a falsehood.

  • The article mentions that Krishnamurti discussed the question “How can humans control their emotions?” However the article does not give details. By any chance do you know more?

  • Umm, yes it does, especially when Luke’s accuracy regarding geography, is combined with his accuracy on political titles of the time and the region, plus his spot-on knowledge of events and peoples.

    In other words, you’ve got an entire phalanx of accuracies to deal with, not merely geography. Rational people don’t get to blow off this level of historical reporting about Jesus and the early church. Gotta have your refutation in hand, or you gotta let it stand. Just that simple.

    By the way, the general emphasis on info-gathering from eyewitnesses, fact-checking, and reliability that is described in Luke 1:1-4, is what’s routinely expected for daily newspaper stories by degree-carrying reporters.

  • Just as a side note, I have come to believe that many of the skeptics and theological liberals are getting a little fearful.

    Especially in the Internet Age where Christians can, for example, find out how to briefly and accurately defend the historical accuracy of the Gospel of Luke (or any of the other three Gospels), without having to camp out for a year in a seminary library. Or dispose of the standard alleged “biblical contradictions”, or even poke holes in the proud religion of Darwinism.

    It’s honestly an exciting time where a little homework and a little love can go a long way. And now the homework is finally available to poor people and rich people alike, all kinds of people with or without degrees. That’s a development I truly appreciate.

  • Just say “I’m an atheist” in a plain manner, like the late physicist Stephen Hawking. Just directly say “There is no God” like Hawking did, unless you believe that specific statement is not true.

    If you’re a atheist, then say it. If you are an agnostic, say so. Don’t play shell games with the readers.

  • So indeed, if any human is needing to find meaning and purpose in their lives, it will NEVER be found within Atheism itself. Dawkins’ paragraph precisely explained why, and you have now agreed with Dawkins’ explanation.

  • Indeed, Floyd. I’ve known for quite some time that the “Jesus-mythers” are mostly motivated by fear. They’ve made their choice against Christ, and can feel far more at ease with their choice if they can convert nice themselves that Ge never existed at all.

    Problem is, they have to keep on and on convincing themselves…

  • IF A BABIES-ABORTING ADULTERER who happened “to question established … religious beliefs”, is your Cup of Tea these days, then go for it – and drink this all up for your edification:

    “[In] his biography called Star in the East by British author Roland Vernon … in 2000 … [Jiddu Krishnamurti’s] long sexual affair with Rosalind Williams, wife of his close associate Rajagopal, is discussed with rationality and in conjunction with K’s teachings. … In 1933, he told Rosalind that he would like to take responsibility for her and Radha [Sloss, whose father was Rajagopal], which would have meant bringing the relationship into the open and braving a public scandal. They both shrank from the idea, and the clandestine affair continued. The year 1935 brought a bigger problem when Rosalind found she was pregnant. An abortion was performed, illegally, by a friend—an osteopath rather than a doctor. Rosalind had two more pregnancies with one ending in an early miscarriage and the other terminated again by a covert abortion.”

    Source: Deepan Joshi, “J. Krishnamurti: A Star In The East – Part I” Times of India, May 13, 2015.

  • CORRECTION 1: “Belief means you accept something that you [DO] really know, that you [DO] have proof of.”

    CORRECTION 2: There are “[NO] growing numbers of people … disillusioned with organized religion”. According to The Economist on May 16, 2018, “the number of people who acknowledge no religious affiliation (known as religious nones) … is not necessarily the same as being atheist. … [For of] the proportion of Americans who call themseles ‘unaffiliated’ … [ONLY] 3% of the total population … call themselves atheists and [ONLY] 4% … identify as agnostic.”

  • I’ll leave it up to you Christians in particular and you religionists in general to play the shell games, as Tired Catholic just did. Maybe you can have a nice religious war over it.

    I’m neither atheist, in your personal definition of it, or in the general sense, though that is closer to it, nor agnostic.

    As I have said to you before, I don’t think the question means very much, nor does the answer matter very much. My deity is Koschei the Deathless, Who Made Things As They Are. For, as Koschei says…

    “What are your beliefs about Me to Me, Who Made Things As They Are?”

  • The part you left out from the same article…..”One survey by Pew Research showed that the proportion of Americans who
    call themselves “unaffiliated” jumped from 16% in 2007 to 23% in 2014.
    That second figure includes 3% of the total population who call
    themselves atheists and 4% who identify as agnostic.”
    It’s not that people are rejecting religion, it’s just that fewer of them are accepting the authority of organized religious traditions.

  • Nones-sensicals know nothing, boast in nothing and, therefore, they are just that – even according to Pee-ew’s own self-serving projectile:

    According to Michael Lipka and David McClendon (in Pew Research Center, April 7, 2017, “Why people with no religion are projected to decline as a share of the world’s population”):

    “In coming decades, the global share of religiously unaffiliated people … which includes atheists, agnostics and those who do not identify with any religion in particular … is actually expected to fall, according to Pew Research Center’s new study on the future of world religions. … [Their] growth is projected to occur at the same time that other religious groups – and the global population overall – are growing even faster. … [And so] people with no religion will make up about 13% of the world’s population in 2060, down from roughly 16% as of 2015. This relative decline is largely attributable to the fact that religious ‘nones’ are, on average, older and have fewer children than people who are affiliated with a religion … [and because] the number of deaths will begin to exceed the number of births to unaffiliated mothers by 2030 [in Asia and] by 2035 … in Europe … [And because] the Christian population in China is rising while the religiously unaffiliated population is falling … – religious ‘nones’ could decline as a share of the world’s population even more than the Pew Research Center study projects.”

  • The article you quote from the Economist is in reference to the American population. The article by Lipka and McClendon is in reference to world trends.

  • Truth is still the truth, even if you’re disappointed and discouraged by it. There’s The Myth of Nones Bug going around. It’s contagious and Pee-ew, always up to something, is where it all started. You’ve been played, is all.

  • I’ve read the book. In fact, I’ve read just about all the biographies. People will draw their own conclusions. It’s obvious you want to ensnare everyone into the cage you’re trapped in. That’s your business. Krishnamurti said it best…”We have to be a light unto ourselves, not seek light from another. We are not candles to be lit by any savior.”

  • A BABIES-ABORTING ADULTERER who just wanna “be a light unto [him]sel[f]” and “le[ave] a residue of influence that is incalculable”: WHO CARES. God & Jesus don’t, but you do.

  • JP, he was a first rate historian because he named some geographical locations correctly? That certainly sets the bar low.

  • And that’s just the 4 Gospels. You also have the hostile-against-Jesus sources like the Babylonian Talmud (which confirm that Jesus existed even while trying to oppose him). Rationally Impossible to claim that Jesus never existed.

  • “Based on his accurate description of towns, cities and islands, as well as correctly naming various official titles, archaeologist Sir William Ramsay wrote that “Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy… [he] should be placed along with the very greatest of historians.”[32] Professor of Classics at Auckland University, E.M. Blaiklock, wrote: “For accuracy of detail, and for evocation of atmosphere, Luke stands, in fact, with Thucydides. The Acts of the Apostles is not shoddy product of pious imagining, but a trustworthy record… it was the spadework of archaeology which first revealed the truth.”[33] New Testament scholar Colin Hemer has made a number of advancements in understanding the historical nature and accuracy of Luke’s writings.”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luke_the_Evangelist

  • Neither of them are actual historians though. They are theologians. Both rely on the Gospels as the sole source of contemporaneous information on the subject. Theologians are not in the business of researching historical fact. They study religious belief and expressions of it. They assume he was real.

    The truth of the matter is the passage of time has wiped out any possible evidence one is likely to find about the historical existence of Jesus. He was not a figure of power and fortune who would have the attention of the Roman controlled government. He did not write his own works. It is merely assumed and accepted there was a Jesus.

  • Actually, Crossan does cite multiple sources including the messed-up Gospel of Thomas (which ain’t no gospel at all and doesn’t read like one). But even THAT literary mess, help shows that Jesus existed.

  • Gospels are not historical records. They were never written as them, nor intended to be used as them. None of that is evidence other than Jesus was believed to have existed, by Christians, several centuries after the fact.

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