If a hoax were to endure 2000 years it would arguably be a necessary characteristic of said hoax. No?
Christianity is a bit different when it comes to hoaxes, however. It is based upon the ressurection of one man that no one can be sure ever existed. So the question of 'hoax' was more in this context than in a general question about all religions being hoaxes. Many religions are based on a completely transcendant God concept, an overall way of living, or a real historic person's teachings.
You seem to be claiming that by being based on even less evidence than some other religions ("those based on a real historic person's teachings") Christianity is somehow more believable?
Isn't this a slightly absurd position?
People can just be wrong
Quite. And in the absence of any evidence to show that they are not just wrong are the supernatural elements of Christianity not all but certainly nonsense?
Who was it that said "The bigger the lie the more people will believe it"? Nixon?
All of this dismisses the power of people desperately wanting to believe in supernatural and comforting things. That could well be the reason for the incredible durability of all the different religions regardless of their basis in truth or otherwise. Incredibly successful hoax or strong desire to believe the unbelievable would have the same result.
That would explain why they all keep on going despite the fact that (according to most of them) there can only be one that is actually true.
[qs]Not certainly nonsene, no, any more than the supernatural elements of any other belief are certain nonsense. That part is up to you./qs Well in the absence of ANY evidence for the supernatural components of ANY of the main religions and with no way to ascertain which of those that claim to have the exclusive truth actually does - The only rational decision would seem to be to have a healthy scepticism to them all and go where the physical evidence leads.
I am not sure that supernatural things are all so comforting or that wanting really plays a big part in what you believe.
Not all but religious ones tend to have a high element of that. Afetrlife, some sort of entity that loves YOU etc. etc. Comfort and inspiration seem to be widely cited reasons for religious convictions.
I don't know if I 'wanted' to be a Hare Krishna, if I could jsut snap myself into believing it.
I am sure you could not. But abandoning beliefs that you have been raised with and that provide comfort and security in times of crisis would be difficult even if all the evidence suggested those beliefs were totally unfounded. No?
Can the physical evidence lead to the supernatural?
There is a long history of physical evidence debunking supernatural explanations. Fire, weather, fertility, gravity etc. etc. etc. have all been attributed to the supernatural at one point or another. If anything it seems that this debunking trend is likely to continue.
In the event of their being genuinely supernatural phenomenon (e.g. Gods) then it would require that they leave physical evidence of their existence I guess (no idea what that ould be). Hence the whole 'science cannot disprove God......' thing that leads to forums such as this and discussions such as this one.
Well isn't that what IDists and the like are attempting with irreducible complexity etc. etc?? Aren't supposed miracles held up as physical evidence of Gods existence by the Catholic church?
If we could observe supernatural entities undertaking tasks that leave physical effects (creating universes, forming life, turning water into wine, raising people from the dead - you know the kind of thing) then that would indeed constitute physical evidence of their existence would it not?
I know of no other religion that professes an entity that loves us. Even the christian Entity would still send us to hell.
Not all Christians believe in hell. Many that do would claim it only applies if you are really bad and do not seek forgiveness and repentance. I have yet to meet anybody who considers themselves a bad person and all mainstreams religions reward 'good' people.
To say religion does not tell people what they need to hear at times is to deny one of the main reasons for it's enduring appeal in all it's various forms.