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5.4, part 2 of 6: The Evolution of the Afterlife

The evolution of the afterlife.
STAGE ONE: the 37 out of 39 Old Testament books that either don’t mention, or even deny, an afterlife.
STAGE TWO: the 2 Old Testament books that say there IS an afterlife.
STAGE THREE: the New Testament, in which the afterlife, complete with Judgment Day & Heaven & Hell, becomes one of Christianity’s main selling points.

By Todd Allen Gates, author of “Dialogue with a Christian Proselytizer.”

This video series is also posted on the Rational Response Squad site, where there’s no word/character limitation on the Comments section: see http://www.rationalresponders.com/the_evolution_of_the_afterlife_from_the_early_old_testament_books_to_the_later_ot_books_to_the_new_testament

An overview of whole series:

1 of 7: a brief description of videos 2 through 7.

2 of 7: a description of the Socratic Method.

3 of 7: the ground premises that the skeptic needs to establish with the Christian in order (a) for the Socratic Method to work, and (b) to focus on the issue at hand, which is “Are there valid reasons for me to believe that the Judeo-Christian Bible is the Word of God?”

4 of 7: the skeptic and the Christian read through scriptures and stories from non-Christian religions. Both agree that the following three characteristics are strong clues that a religion was not created by an Omniscient Wisdom, but just made up by people: (1) a cluelessness about the true layout of the universe, (2) senseless prejudices, (3) the borrowing of ideas & stories from pre-existing religions.

5 of 7: the skeptic and the Christian read through the Judeo-Christian Bible, and examine it by the same critical light just held up to non-Christian religions.

Science, Religion, and “truth” vs. “Truth”: An explanation of how science and religion are opposites of each other when it comes to how permanent each considers its own knowledge to be–why religion spells its truths with a Capital T, and why science uses the lowercase t. This discussion is a continuation of a topic brought up in Video 5, but as my notes for this tangent issue grew longer and longer, I decided to give this 3-part series a separate title.

5.1 — 5.4: Further details on the origins of the Judeo-Christian bible–how many of its ideas & stories can be found in religions that pre-date the bible by centuries.

5.1 explains why many of the baffling details within the tale of Noah & the Ark make sense once the story is read as a monotheistic version (in which God is said to be Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Benevolent) of a story that was originally polytheistic (in which the gods were none of the above).

5.2 discusses the pre-Christian religious stories from the Greeks, Romans, and Zoroastrians about unions between gods & mortals, miraculous virgin births, and offspring that were both human and god. It also covers the “Satanic pre-plagiarization” explanations from early Church Fathers Justin Martyr and Tertullian on how the pagans knew about these phenomena centuries before the time of Jesus.

5.3: Richard Dawkins refers to the Christian premises behind the belief that Jesus/God sacrificed Himself to appease Himself as “barking mad.” This video looks at each of those premises–Divine Anger, the need for sacrifice, the use of a scapegoat–from the perspective of comparative mythology. A subtitle for this video would be “Richard Dawkins meets Joseph Campbell.”

5.4: the evolution of the afterlife. Stage One – the 37 out of 39 Old Testament books that either don’t mention, or even deny, an afterlife. Stage Two – the 2 Old Testament books that say there IS an afterlife. Stage Three – The New Testament, in which the afterlife, complete with Judgment Day & Heaven & Hell, becomes one of Christianity’s main selling points.

6 of 7: a discussion of an abbreviated form of using the Socratic Method with proselytizers.

7 of 7: a discussion of why my approach focuses on skepticism of so-called revealed religions rather than skepticism of a Creator.

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