Virgin Birth

The importance of Mary's virginity

Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. In Christianity, Jesus is believed to have been born to a virgin woman, named Mary. The fact that Mary was a virgin means that Jesus was born without "original sin," which is the sin that all people automatically carry as descendants of Adam and Eve.

Because Jesus was a human being who nevertheless arose from supernatural origins (i.e. the Holy Spirit), instead of human origins, he is therefore the perfect human being, Christians believe.

He was a person, but unlike any other person, he is not genetically connected to Adam, and therefore does not suffer from original sin. Moreover, Jesus' perfection is related to his exclusive ability to save humanity from original sin--and all sin--and reach salvation. Thus Mary's virginity plays an essential role in the Christian religion, as essential as Jesus' resurrection from the dead.

The caption says "we love you, Maria"
The caption says "we love you, Maria"

The importance of female virginity

It is impossible to discuss Mary's virginity without discussing the context of female virginity in general. In the ancient Jewish culture that Mary and Jesus lived in, virginity was considered central to a woman's value as a person. This mentality, and vestiges of it, live on in modern society, and virginity is often considered to be an important part of a young woman's identity.

In the ancient world of Mary, if a woman was discovered to not be a virgin on her wedding day, there were severe consequences for her honor, and her life:

“If any man takes a wife, and goes in to her, and detests her, and charges her with shameful conduct, and brings a bad name on her, and says, ‘I took this woman, and when I came to her I found she was not a virgin,’ then the father and mother of the young woman shall take and bring out the evidence of the young woman’s virginity to the elders of the city at the gate... Then the elders of that city shall take that man and punish him; and they shall fine him one hundred shekels of silver and give them to the father of the young woman, because he has brought a bad name on a virgin of Israel. And she shall be his wife; he cannot divorce her all his days.
“But if the thing is true, and evidences of virginity are not found for the young woman, then they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones, because she has done a disgraceful thing in Israel, to play the harlot in her father’s house. So you shall put away the evil from among you. [Deuteronomy 22: 13-21, emphasis mine]

The fact that the man's worst possible punishment was a fine (payable not to the woman, but to her father), and the woman's was death, indicates the obsession with female virginity and sexuality, and the fact that cultural ideas (such as shame, honor or disgrace) trumped an individual's life.

Needless to say, if a woman only had value insofar as she was a virgin or a mother, then Mary's ability to retain virginity even after conceiving and giving birth would render her extra valuable. Like Jesus, she enjoys a special status in the human family as far as Christianity is concerned.

A search of the entire New King James Version of the Bible for the word "virgin" or "virginity" returns 71 results, using "virgin" or "virginity" in a number of different contexts, indicating how important the concept of virginity in general, and female virginity in particular, was to these ancient cultures. For comparison, the term "chaste" occurs 30 times, "young woman" appears 29 times, "marriage" occurs 28 times, and "girl" occurs 28 times.

The virgin birth of Jesus Christ

Jesus' virgin birth is fundamental to the Christian faith, but it is by no means unique among world religions. Dozens of mythical births, virginal or otherwise fantastic, have been documented among pre-Christian belief systems. One example is the Greco-Roman god Dionysus: in one piece of Roman literature written close to the time of Jesus, Dionysus is born to a virgin named Semele.

This precedence for miraculous births lends credence to the idea that the virgin birth of Jesus is simply another in a long line of myths. Moreover, there is a reasonable expectation for Mary and/ or her friends and family to lie if indeed she had had sex outside of marriage, given the severe and fatal consequences she would otherwise face.

Whatever the exact circumstances, a combination of ignorance, deceit, mythical precedence, exaggeration and fuzzy memories on the part of diehard Jesus followers and New Testament authors surely explains the generation of the virgin birth myth.

Nevertheless, science indicates that a human virgin birth is not totally impossible. Parthenogenesis (the technical term for virgin reproduction) is observed in a number of animal species, some of which normally reproduce sexually.

In addition, some have proposed that Mary may have suffered from extremely rare hormonal and genetic conditions that enabled her to give birth to a male child asexually, which normally would be impossible (in order to reproduce asexually, her child would have to be a girl).

"The" Madonna
"The" Madonna

The truth is hanging by a hymen

Perhaps in the upcoming holiday season, Christians should celebrate the fact that their religion has managed to survive for over 2,000 years on the say-so of a very imaginative horny young woman in ancient Palestine.

For non-Christians, late December offers a chance to ponder the fact that the fundamental beliefs of a third of humanity depend on the integrity of an obscure adolescent's pussy. Now there is a feminist triumph if I ever saw one.

Christopher Hitchens on virgin births

And a (flawed) Christian perspective

More by this Author


Comments 72 comments

Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Hello S10! Well, virgin births are not only possible, they occur fairly frequently! There is a misconception by the general public that the hymen closes off the vagina and that parthenogenesis is the only way to get pregnant with an intact hymen.

Any good medical text will tell you that if menstrual blood can flow out of the vagina, unblocked by the hymen, then sperm can certainly swim up the vagina and enter the fallopian tubes to fertilize an egg. This can and does happen and hymens have been ruptured by the passing of a baby through the birth canal.

It's hardly a myth or a legend. There are documented births where the hymen is intact. Some women have even denied they were pregnant at all!

So girls, if you are making out with your panties on, it's a lie that you can't get pregnant!

I don't know how many times this "myth" of the virgin birth has been debunked, yet the Christians still insist that it means Jesus was "conceived" by the "holy spirit". After all, the bible says so and it can't be wrong.

Does that mean that all children of "virgin" mothers are the son or daughter of God?


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

P.S. Don't google "virgin births", use "intact hymen and pregnancy" instead. The first search will just bring you millions of Mary stories. The other phrase will drill down to medical cases.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Interesting stuff, Austinstar. A woman can get pregnant without having intercourse. Hence a "virgin birth." Haha, love it.

I should think it's pretty rare, and even rarer back then. I just can't imagine a lot of guys stopping just short of penetration--so close and yet so far away--especially in those demented and barbaric days where it was pretty much required.

Since we're getting technical, I'll also note that an intact hymen does not necessarily mean a woman is actually a virgin--i.e. that she has not had intercourse. The hymen can stretch and remain intact during intercourse.

Still, when Mary is referred to as a "virgin" it's not just technical virginity, in the ancient Jewish world it referred to "purity" and the fact that "she had never been with a man" and such. In other words, she had never been in a sexual situation.

Clearly, though, she was probably not as "pure" as they think!

I have a pet theory that Mary's traits of independence, flouting society's conventions, and generally bold action (which she likely had if she chose to be in a sexual situation outside of marriage) were passed along to Jesus, and hence Jesus' bold, unusual actions and claims. He was probably a little nuts, too. But anyway, that's another topic.


Manna in the wild profile image

Manna in the wild 5 years ago from Australia

This is bold, interesting and humorous writing.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Thanks, Manna!

I took a few risks with this one, but I think it's a smart take on things.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa

I really enjoyed this Hub. Well written and well-informed!

Love and peace

Tony


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Thanks Tony! Good to see you, glad you enjoyed it.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

You are quite correct, Sec10. A woman can have intercourse and the hymen will stretch to accommodate instead of break. Then there are also men with very small penises that never rupture the hymen, or the hymen can also be shoved to one side or the other and not tear.

The opposite is also true. A woman can still be a virgin even if the hymen has previously ruptured due to something other than sex. Sometimes an injury occurs to the vagina. There are also cases of sexual abuse on young girls with various objects that will tear the hymen. These abuses can come from other women or even a Mother.

The definition of a virgin depends on who is doing the examination and making the requirements, of course.

Aztec women were known to insert a small bird's egg with a reddish yolk, so that when the priest or whoever looked and did the "test" the "hymen" would rupture and they would be certified as virgins.

The "condition" of virginity proving the conception of the son of God as her son, the proclamation of being a virgin is basically meaningless. Who did the test? What kind of test was it? What were the expectations of the test? Why did anyone suspect that Mary was a virgin in the first place? She was engaged to Joseph at the time and engagements during those days were tantamount to marriage anyway.

Did the midwife declare Mary a virgin? Who declared it? And why would being a pregnant virgin not cause someone to question the "holiness" of Mary. I should think she would most likely be called a liar.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Yeah, those are good questions, Austinstar. I don't know what the narrative is on those. I do know that God had to send an angel to Joseph to tell him that this was the work of God (otherwise he probably would have killed Mary with his own bare hands).

I think it's more reasonable to think that the whole idea of a virgin conception and birth was just made up after the fact--after Jesus had lived his life and become a big charismatic prophet/ deity for his followers. Again, by the time the Gospels were written, there was plenty of precedent for miraculous birth myths.

We can easily imagine some rumors about Mary being recalled by the authors after Jesus' death, and them making the connection that she was a virgin when Jesus was born.

Perhaps Mary had sex with a traveling man in the dead of night, whom nobody in the community was aware of, and later when it came out that she was pregnant, that guy was long gone, making her pregnancy seem miraculous (since it couldn't be traced to a man in the small community). Then, in hindsight, when the New Testament authors were writing about Jesus' early days, they would have remembered the unusual circumstances of Jesus' birth and Mary's pregnancy, and voila, the creation of the virgin birth.

Or better yet--instead of consciously having sex, perhaps Mary was drugged and raped by someone, and her hymen remained intact after intercourse. Then when she awoke the next morning, he was long gone, and she didn't notice any change in her body.


Rad Man 5 years ago

Very interesting hub and comments. I find it interesting that so many people believe in the virgin birth just because it was written about 2000 years ago. I would be laughing if a friend came to me with the same story today. His fiancée is a virgin but pregnant by god. Imagine the chuckle we'd have? I think Joseph and Mary got carried away and didn't know how to explain it or most likely when Mark was writing the first gospel he included the virgin birth as a way of making Jesus more god like.

I particularly like secularist10 pet theory of Jesus inheriting Mary's mental instabilities. Thats funny. But I can see how it can upset some.

http://hubpages.com/hub/The-Role-of-Women-in-the-C...


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Rad Man, thank you for visiting.

A virgin story like that would definitely produce a few laughs nowadays. Sounds like a great plot line for an obscure adult film.

But back then, ignorant and illiterate people (exactly the kind of people who became early followers of Jesus) were quite gullible.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Well, you know aside from the virgin birth thing, Jesus actually made a great deal of sense of things and presented them in an entertaining way. His story reminds me of a modern time guest speaker who travels around and gives philosophical "talks" and magic shows that people can actually understand. I mean, you gotta admit, the old testament was incredibly obtuse about things.

I can see where Jesus became a folk hero and people embellished his birth and life to try and accommodate the "prophesies" from the ancients. I'll be willing to bet that Jesus was quite charismatic!


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Oh, you bet! Everybody knew about him, he was quite a rockstar. That helps to explain why many people had visions of him after his death, just like Elvis. Imagine all the thousands of people around the world in the last few decades who have seen Elvis. Perhaps in a few hundred years writers and historians will take these documentations as evidence that Elvis rose from the dead!

The problem is that rather than look at him as an interesting historical personality with some interesting moral and philosophical ideas, too many look at him as divine, completely obscuring all rational thought about the man.

He was probably one part David Blaine, one part Tony Robbins, one part Jim Jones/ Mel Gibson, and one part Sarah Palin.

A little magic, a lot of charisma, a dash of insanity, some controversial political and religious views, and a love of the spotlight all around.

Like I said, I think he was a provocative troublemaker who had just enough psychosis to get off on poking a stick in the eye of tradition.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

I think you're right! Sums it up nicely. I especially like the "part Sarah Palin"! That's funny...


JMyste 5 years ago

I am glad people like you who have a sense of humor will be in hell to entertain me. I hope you can smile in flames.

JMyste


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Ha, I'll do my best, JMyste. See you down there!


Jane Bovary profile image

Jane Bovary 5 years ago from The Fatal Shore

~Hell for company..Heaven for climate~

Very stylishly written secularist.I guess virginity is valued so highly historically because of man's primitive urge to ensure his seed is the ONLY seed that survives. Breaking the hymen is like staking a claim...this is *my land*.

If Jesus was such a rockstar how come there's no contemporary accounts of him?


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Thanks Jane.

That's a great point about virginity and staking claims. Now that you mention it, it actually has a real basis in evolution and biology, not just sexism and male social dominance: if a man can somehow ensure that only his semen is within the woman, then he has a much greater likelihood of reproducing, because semen from multiple men can compete inside the uterus, and the stronger or healthier semen will be the one to fertilize the eggs.

There is also the sexual appeal of "going where no man has gone before," which plays a role.

"If Jesus was such a rockstar how come there's no contemporary accounts of him?"

One possible explanation off the top of my head is that the governing authorities (both Jewish and Roman) were so threatened by him and his followers that they destroyed any secular records of his life, which doesn't strike me as very hard to do, since we're talking about a pretty small geographic region under total political domination.

But aside from that, I think there is a good argument to be made that the earliest authors of the New Testament were talking about a real person, embellished and deified though he was. I think the New Testament and the Old Testament, and all ancient religious texts do serve as legitimate primary documents to a point, since they do tend to include references to certain people that are confirmed elsewhere in the historical record.

But I am intrigued by the notion that Jesus the person never existed.


Jane Bovary profile image

Jane Bovary 5 years ago from The Fatal Shore

Secs,

G A Wells goes into this in a big way. I find him a very credible scholar..his conclusion was that there is scant evidence for an historical Jesus:

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/g_a_wells/e...


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

I read the article, very interesting stuff, to be sure.

"I have argued that there is good reason to believe that the Jesus of Paul was constructed largely from musing and reflecting on a supernatural 'Wisdom' figure..."

I would say this perspective is onto something. But we cannot discount projection--the projection on the part of Paul or others of "Wisdom" or whatever deity/ concept onto a real person. [Incidentally, this is also a possibility vis-a-vis Socrates, for whom there is no direct evidence, but nevertheless we can imagine at least Plato observing a real person and creatively projecting certain qualities and ideas onto him, inspired by that person's pugnacious and critical style, for example.]

This would resemble the literary-historical approach taken by ancient people all over the world toward famous kings, emperors and generals. Ancient Egyptian pharaohs were considered gods, Japanese emperors were considered gods, etc.

From a modernist perspective, of course the whole damn thing is absurd. But from their ancient perspective, the supernatural and the natural were joined into a single thing; gods really did exist, spirits really did exist, etc. So it was not nearly as ridiculous as it is today--especially in the absence of modern standards of evidence and literary consistency--to take a charismatic person and blow him up into a demigod.

The basic problem I see with his perspective in general (at least as it is presented in the article) is that it really does not require us to come to the conclusion that Jesus was not a historical person. We can still believe that Jesus was a historical person even if we believe the origins of Christianity are in the Greek-speaking Diaspora instead of the Aramaic-speaking Palestine, for example.

There are many possible conclusions one could draw, precisely because the actual primary documents in question are so fuzzy. So at best one could say that the evidence for Jesus as a historical person is on par with the evidence for Jesus as an idea in somebody's head. But there is real evidence there.

I'm not in the habit of citing Christian scholars (haha), but I could cite a bunch that provide a pretty compelling argument that Jesus was a real historical person.

It's important to remember the vastly different style and mentality and evidentiary standards that were used in the ancient world, relative to today. That can blur things a bit, making things seem less concrete than they actually were.


Jane Bovary profile image

Jane Bovary 5 years ago from The Fatal Shore

"But from their ancient perspective, the supernatural and the natural were joined into a single thing; gods really did exist, spirits really did exist, etc"

Well that's true..the Roman Emporers were always making themselves Gods.

The lack of contemporary documentation is still an issue and this was at a time when a great many things were being recorded. You'd think such a significant figure who had so many followers, had he existed, would not allude some earnest scholars attention. Where's the record of the crucifixion for example? All records destroyed? Maybe, but that's a bit convenient isn't it?

Of course if Jesus didn't exist, the Virgin Mary probably wouldn't have either.

"I'm not in the habit of citing Christian scholars (haha), but I could cite a bunch that provide a pretty compelling argument that Jesus was a real historical person."

I'll bet. Wells has torn down a fair few.

In the end it's probably a non-issue - there's no evidence of a miraculous Jesus. Perhaps he did exist as a man but I think Wells is right, that the universal assumption that he was, isn't really grounded in too much real evidence.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

"All records destroyed? Maybe, but that's a bit convenient isn't it?"

It is convenient. But stranger things have happened.

I agree the scant documentation is an issue, and it's a major reason why I'm intrigued by this debate.

Another thing to keep in mind is the dynamic soup of new religions and cults that was bubbling in the Mediterranean world at this time. This was the immediate historical context of the development of Christianity. So perhaps intellectuals of the day didn't take much notice of yet another oddball religious community centered around a prophet, since there were so many at once.

In hindsight, Christianity was the only religion to emerge triumphant from that soup, of course. So today it seems so obvious that all scholarly eyes should have been on Jesus' cult. But perhaps at the time, it was very unremarkable amidst the milieu.

Accordingly, I came across this little tidbit of information (http://www.religionfacts.com/christianity/history/... ):

===================================

"The pagan mystery religions, named for their focus on secret knowledge and rituals available only to initiates, met the need for personal religious devotion that the state cult could not.

"Mystery religions had become quite widespread by the time of Christ, but their characteristics are not entirely known due to their secretive nature and the lack of writings associated with them. What is known of the mystery religions has primarily been deduced from artwork, remains of temples and other archaeological discoveries.

"A variety mystery religions were practiced throughout the Empire, but most of them held in common a heavy element of secrecy, the use of syncretism in their belief and practice, and a focus on the death and resurrection of a savior-god.

"Though some similarities are clear between these religions and Christianity (death and resurrection of a god, a ceremonial meal, etc.), scholars differ as to the level of influence the mystery religions exerted on early Christianity. Part of the difficulty is that the bulk of our knowledge of these pagan religions dates from the second century onward, and the mystery religions may have been influenced by Christianity by then. Also, the two religious movements flourished in the same cultural context, so it is possible their similarities are best explained not by dependence but in terms of parallel development."

==================================

I am a firm believer that Christianity was influenced by this religious climate. If it was common for these new groups to focus on experience and dialogue, as opposed to carefully recording things, that might explain some stuff. And then later on, a century later or so, some later followers had some new spiritual "insights" and decided to codify things.

It's worth noting that Muhammad's little cult also began in a purely verbal existence, and only later was the Quran actually written down and codified (which obviously demolishes the whole "God's word" nonsense but that's another issue altogether!)


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

If Jesus really did exist, who was his heir? He really can't have gone all the way to 30 or so without getting married in those days, right? Hopefully he married a virgin. Maybe she stayed that way.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Haha, maybe virginity ran in the family?

I think The Da Vinci Code indicated that Mary Magdalene was actually Jesus' wife. So take that for what it's worth.

Since there was all sorts of religious craziness going on at the time, maybe he took a vow of chastity like officials in other religions? Maybe he was so delusional with his god complex that he thought his divine seed was unfit for a mortal woman? Maybe he was gay (some have argued that)?

Maybe he thought it was best for his public persona to not get married like everybody else and remain "cool" and unusual? Maybe he was really a playboy, like other cult leaders--having sex with lots of women in his flock, but never actually taking an official wife?

There's no end to this stuff. Actually now that you mention it, Austinstar, this would make a great question for the forums.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Well, we will just never know about Jesus the man, will we? But I like your questions! It would explain why so many religious leaders think it's ok to have indiscriminate sex with women, children, men or goats. Maybe they know something we don't?


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

"Maybe they know something we don't?"

Like how all those rules and regulations don't really mean anything, and are just intended to keep people busy until the next prophet comes along? Could be... :)


Jane Bovary profile image

Jane Bovary 5 years ago from The Fatal Shore

Jesus did speak very highly of celibacy...

Secs,

I can't believe I wrote allude for elude..my grammar is crap. Anyway, Jesus was supposed to have had thousands of followers, a huge amount for those days, and he was crucified , which must have caused a ruckus, so even allowing for the potpourrie of religions it is odd.

Wells does acknowledge the Jesus of Q, an itinerant preacher of Galiee but stresses that the Jesus of Paul and the early Christians was not the same as Jesus of Q. The Q Jesus would have been unremarkable in the climate you mention.

"The Jesus of the religion of Christianity, the one who was crucified for our sins and resurrected, is the Jesus of Paul and, according to Wells, mythical. Mark attempted to fuse this Jesus with an itinerant Jesus of Galilee who left teachings in Q. Matthew and Luke incorporated those teachings in their gospels. But Christianity was widespread quite independently of any Q teacher, and the Q followers always remained a minority sect until their extinction."

So far as I can tell, that Q Jesus was the only tangible glimmer of an historical Jesus. I'm no Biblical scholar of course, but I'd be more inclined to put my faith in Wells than Christian scholars who have a vested interested in establishing an historical Jesus.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Jane, this is kind of a fun topic. I am a grammar Nazi, but since I like you, I won't make fun of you too much :)

The crucifixion itself was unremarkable, because in the centuries just before and after year 1 (which is the rough era that Jesus probably lived), many thousands of people were being crucified.

It would have drawn attention from Jesus' most enthusiastic followers and his most enthusiastic enemies, but other than that, probably not much. Especially if there was a lot of oppression going on of other religious groups.

I don't know about thousands of followers--who can trust the Biblical authors on exact numbers. Maybe a hundred followers give or take. But I don't think it's difficult to imagine many people hearing of him and his message, but very few permanent records actually being made.

For example, let's take another famous Roman personality: Julius Caesar. My quick research on Google and Wikipedia tells me there are maybe 15 to 20 actual primary sources for Julius Caesar (either his own writings or those of others).

Now, by the standards of the ancient world, that is A LOT of primary sources, but in absolute terms it's really small. If, for the sake of comparison, we take out Caesar's own writings (since Jesus didn't author anything himself--probably illiterate), we have maybe 10 to 15 actual primary sources.

Now, who would write primary sources? First of all, recall that almost no one was even literate. The actual authors would be historians, scholars, and other intellectuals--precisely the kinds of people who were not following Jesus.

These scholars were mostly working for the state, especially for the ruler/ king of their time. So naturally the kings and emperors would get outsize coverage. After them would come generals, governors or the historians themselves.

But it's worth noting that new religious/ cult leaders, musicians, actors or businessmen really never had a significant presence in primary documents in the ancient world, with some exceptions. History tended to revolve around the kings and generals.

This helps to explain why basically no one with the ability to read and write would actually be interested in Jesus' life, EXCEPT the ones who were his followers. So after all these adjustments, we can see that we're down to maybe 2 or 3 primary documents maximum for Jesus, and that includes Paul himself.

If he wasn't an actual follower, why would a Roman historian or scholar be interested in a random carpenter leading *yet another* crazy religious movement among the unwashed masses, and getting into fights with the Jews?

"Wells does acknowledge the Jesus of Q, an itinerant preacher of Galiee but stresses that the Jesus of Paul and the early Christians was not the same as Jesus of Q."

Well, of course the Jesus of Paul didn't exist, because the Jesus of Paul performed miracles that didn't happen and rose from the dead, which didn't happen.

What I'm saying is that Jesus probably existed as a man, performed magic and captured many people's imaginations, etc, and was later mythologized by those early followers like Paul.

I agree with the danger of a vested interest from Christian scholars, but unfortunately everyone has a vested interest--either Christians who wish to legitimize Jesus or non-Christians who wish to delegitimize him.


Jane Bovary profile image

Jane Bovary 5 years ago from The Fatal Shore

Your points make sense secularist. I'm not sure about the number of followers either. In one sermon there were supposedly 5000 in attendance and in another 4000 or something like that. But yeah, who knows?

It's all pretty complicated and hard to sort the wheat from the chaf. I guess there were a number of Christ communities and each had their own take on Jesus. The letters of Paul predate the gospels so this does suggest the Q Jesus somehow got fused with the metaphysical Jesus and once the Christ communities developed they needed a biography to give Jesus a context. Needless to say the biographies are sometimes contradictory.

"I agree with the danger of a vested interest from Christian scholars, but unfortunately everyone has a vested interest--either Christians who wish to legitimize Jesus or non-Christians who wish to delegitimize him."

Well, I guess that's true but reasonable doubt is always a better starting point for research than conviction.. Trying to arrive at the truth is not partiality.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

"Well, I guess that's true but reasonable doubt is always a better starting point for research than conviction.. Trying to arrive at the truth is not partiality."

I agree. But it seems to me the thinkers today that are genuinely interested in the truth, as opposed to defending or attacking some proposition, are few and far between. And yes, that includes the agnostic and atheist camp.

In other words, just because someone is an agnostic/ atheist does not mean his is a truly "reasonable" doubt.


Jane Bovary profile image

Jane Bovary 5 years ago from The Fatal Shore

You're right of course but at least in Wells' case, I really do believe he is concerned with the truth of the matter. Perhaps that's my own bias in action.

The impartial position: Here are the facts. What conclusion can we draw from them?

The biased position: Here is the conclusion, what facts can we gather to support it?

The believer must always start from the second position whereas the non-believer need not.


lone77star profile image

lone77star 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Secularist10, outrageous, irreverent and quite entertaining. You make some good points and educate us at the same time. And good pix, too!

Logically, though, your arguments are a bit overreaching. They're good, but you claim too much. While it's true that the entire Bible is riddled with logical holes, your list of reasons does not "surely explain" the generation of the virgin birth myth. While it is true that these could very well be reasons behind the Christian myth, the word "surely" is a bit strong when there are still so many unknowns. A time machine would come in real handy in cases like this. A time traveling virginity cam would be the only real way to know for sure. Come on! You gotta admit that. Anything else is just interesting and plausible guesswork.

And this idea of tying Mary's virginity to "original sin" may be completely wrong. Not your mistake! Christians! You pointed out, quite nicely, how important virginity was to the culture. Perhaps there was some embellishment back then. But then again, if there is some truth behind a virgin birth generated by divine intervention, then so what? If God exists (and I know that in some circles that is debatable), then He would have no trouble impregnating one teenage virgin. Come on! You gotta look at that universe. It's huge! If one invisible being created all of that, He'd have no trouble dinking around on one tiny planet in a small star system in the outskirts of a moderately large galaxy.

On the subject of the Big Artist, he may not show Himself to everyone on this planet for a very good purpose. Our escape from mortality may depend on our pulling ourselves up by our own bootstraps (self-boot, if you will). This is not something the razzle dazzle of fancy miracles can cure. Our mortal egos would love that kind of power.

Personally, I don't think "original sin" had anything to do with sex. And the Forbidden Fruit was not an apple, as some Christians moronically think. I don't feel particularly defiled after eating so many pippins, delicious and grannies, but that's just me.

Perhaps too many of the religious have minor intelligence and have to take their interpretations by spoon. Certainly, there are many exceptions to this, but even 10% of 2.2 billion is a large number. Their interpretations are certainly not the only ones, and just because they believe them certainly does not make them right or "holy."

What was "original sin?" What was the Forbidden Fruit? Genesis tells us that Adam and Eve would die on the day they ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. But did they literally, physically die? Hardly! Both of the guilty ones were escorted out of the Garden and Adam supposedly lived for 930 years, long after the incident with the serpent. So, what really happened? God said they would die, but they didn't physically die.

They died spiritually. They lost their connection to God. They fell spiritually asleep--the long sleep of immortal death. And isn't that an oxymoron? You bet it is. Immortal, but as good as dead--spiritual catatonia. The only consciousness we enjoy is through our physical hosts (these mortal, Homo sapiens bodies).

Original sin was ego. That's the root of all evil. It's not money, sex, religion, George W. Bush, or Barack Obama. Ego is what keeps us asleep to our birthright—not as temporary Homo sapiens bodies, but as non-physical, spiritual and immortal sources of creation. Some "born again" Christians are really born again in ego, rather than of the spirit. Big difference there. They make such a big deal of their own righteousness and rubbing other people's noses in it. Me? I just have a lot of ego, period! I wouldn't mind offloading it, though.

Most Christians are missing out on the real punch line. Genesis 1:26 was talking about Man being created in God's image, not the other way around. This is the spiritual half--the "baby gods" talked about in Psalm 82:6 and John 10:34. Ego is the false self we have to kill before the real us can awaken. This was the real lesson of Christ's sacrifice. It had nothing to do with virgin birth, and everything to do with giving up our attachments, and ego is the biggest attachment of all.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

lone77star,

Thanks for coming, and I'm glad you enjoyed the article.

Of course, nothing is truly 100% "certain," not even the existence of the sun. We can never know something without any possible doubt whatsoever. But with some reasonable assumptions (i.e. let's assume that a person cannot become pregnant without some sexual behavior--I think that's a pretty safe assumption), it becomes pretty darn certain.

I completely agree, if God exists as he is defined in Christianity and other religions, then surely impregnating a virgin woman would be a piece of cake. But (1) of course the existence of God is not proven (another whole discussion), and (2) even if God did exist, this is no guarantee that he would perform a virgin miracle like this.

So assuming God exists, even though it's very easy for God to do it, it doesn't mean it actually happened. Even though it's very easy for me to go to school and study to become an engineer, does not mean I actually will, for example.

I don't see how my definition of original sin is flawed. In Christianity, sex is the means by which sin is transferred from one generation to the next, all the way back to Adam, but the sex itself is not the sin. The original sin is disobeying God, which is basically what you said as "ego."

That disobedience and guilt by Adam is then transferred to all humanity. But the reason Jesus is a perfect person is because he is not a part of that transference, he is not genetically linked to Adam. So Adam's sin doesn't apply to him.

The reason Jesus is not affected by that original sin is because he was not conceived through the means that other people have been conceived. If Mary was not a virgin, then she had sex, and if she had sex, then Jesus is connected to Adam. That's why Mary's virginity is essential, and why it prevents original sin from being transferred to Jesus. That's Christian doctrine, anyway.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

"A time traveling virginity cam" Whoa! What will they think of next? That's entertainment!


lone77star profile image

lone77star 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Yeah, Austinstar, I couldn't help but chuckle over that one. Entertainment, indeed!


lone77star profile image

lone77star 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Secularist10, yes, I enjoyed this article greatly. Good stuff. And I enjoy debating the points with you. Most of your points (here and elsewhere) have great clarity, compared to some others' attempts. I appreciate that.

Pregnancy from sex? Yes, that's a pretty safe connection, under ordinary circumstances. Was there ever a "divine" pregnancy (woman + the "touch" of a god or God)? I have no idea. No evidence, except the heresay evidence in the Bible and elsewhere. But the possibility remains.

Guarantee? Who said anything about guarantee? And yet, if we are inherently "baby gods" (see Genesis 1:26), and God wants his children back (awakened spiritually), then the divine+virgin connection makes a certain amount of sense, particularly with the cultural biases prevalent at the time. With so many possibilities and so little proof, all we can do is speculate.

Secularist10, you said, "I don't see how my definition of original sin is flawed." But I didn't say that! Come on, cut me some slack. I made a point out of saying "Not your mistake! Christians!" You're poking some very deserved holes in Christian dogma. Bravo!

My point is that "sex" is the perversion of some Middle Ages Christians who probably couldn't get any. What does "original sin" really mean? I happen to think there is a gold mine of wisdom in the Bible and most Christians are dinking around in superficial, lazy (literal) interpretations that don't mean squat.

Disobeying God is part of the "original sin," yes, but taking up the Matrix of physical universe dichotomies (good-evil, right-wrong, generous-selfish, compassion-indifference, victim-perpetrator, etc.) as our new "master" (ego), was what shut off our lights. Why do I say "our?" Because, it seems from my research, that the Adam and Eve in the Garden (not a physical place, by the way), were us -- literally you and me and everyone else on this planet. Not the physical bodies, please! Just the immortal "soul" -- the true self within.

Why do I make such a big deal of all this? For one, it's fun. For another, I've experienced a few miracles which prove (at least to me) that I'm not this temporary, Homo sapiens body. And like Galileo with his telescope, I can't get enough (so sue me for my enthusiasm).

You're right about the prevalent Christian take on sin, Adam and transmittal. But I don't buy it. I think the "original sin" is ours because we ourselves did it. There is no need for transmittal, because we carried it with us. Many (not all) Christians have it all wrong, and that makes everyone a little crazy on the subject.

Believing trash doesn't do anyone any good. And a lot of the religious believe garbage because it's traditional garbage. Emperor Justinian helped make the garbage, to solidify his political power base. The pope at the time wouldn't have anything to do with Justinian's power plays. In fact, Pope Vigilius had been under arrest for 6 years when the ecumenical council was held. After Justinian got what he wanted, the pope was allowed to go back to Rome, but he never made it there alive. Justinian's power plays murdered the real -- the spiritual -- Christianity.

The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross was merely a symbol for what we all need to do. Some might take that too literally and climb up on a cross. Yikes! That would be dumb. No, it means that we need to sacrific our ego-self, and that's not easy. It's not easy to tell the difference between the two selves in our conscious thoughts. Usually, we have ego blaring away, but occasionally, when things are really quiet, we may hear the whispers from within of our own true self trying to awaken.

Secularist10, I've been outside this physical body and seen the world around me without the use of human eyeballs. That's pretty cool. And no, it didn't require physical trauma or drugs -- nothing to induce hallucination. I've created miracles. That doesn't make me more important or talented. Heck, we can all do it. You just have to know how. You gotta exercise that muscle.

Again, "virgin birth" may have solved a local, cultural problem, but it does not seem to have had anything to do with the real issue -- awakening God's slumbering children (us).

For decades, it puzzled me how the usually mild, "turn-the-other-cheek," peace-loving rabbi could get so rowdy in the temple and whip the money lenders. Such anger and violence! It seemed to go counter to so many of the other teachings. But if you had children trapped in a cave, and men were bulldozing the side of the hill, threatening their lives, wouldn't you step in forcefully? The only time God became "violent" and the only time Jesus became "violent" was to remove things which jeopardized the reawakening of these sleeping immortals -- to wash away the poison of the forbidden fruit (the matrix of conceptual dichotomies).

And today's Christians are so attached to their dogma, they don't see the real purpose of their own religion. And the very ego Jesus was cautioning them against, is what pollutes their ability to let go of that dogma.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

"Guarantee? Who said anything about guarantee?"

The Christians, for one. And probably the Muslims, too. So that's most of humanity, if I'm not mistaken.

"With so many possibilities and so little proof, all we can do is speculate."

Ummmm... I don't think so. You're only paying attention to the possibilities Christianity has chosen to entertain. There is also the possibility that aliens impregnated Mary, that God took a physical form and had intercourse with her, that the whole thing is a big myth and neither Mary nor Jesus ever existed, that this reality we see is all just a big scam on the part of some inter-dimensional businessmen to trick us into buying their products... lots more possibilities than what you mentioned. Doesn't mean we have to speculate. It's reasonable to toss out some explanations and ideas.

"You're right about the prevalent Christian take on sin, Adam and transmittal. But I don't buy it."

Well neither do I. So we're even. At least on that one.

"Believing trash doesn't do anyone any good. And a lot of the religious believe garbage because it's traditional garbage."

Well that may be true, but your beliefs you're describing here aren't any more concrete or reasonable. Just another take on a Bible and a religious tradition that is no better or worse, no more or less legitimate, than any other, at the end of the day.

"For decades, it puzzled me how the usually mild, "turn-the-other-cheek," peace-loving rabbi could get so rowdy in the temple and whip the money lenders."

Yeah, see personally, I don't take any of it that seriously, so I really don't care. :)

Anyway, I think you're barking up the wrong tree with all this stuff. Sounds like your message would be better received in a church or theological seminary. To me, it's all the same.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

"Many (not all) Christians have it all wrong, and that makes everyone a little crazy on the subject."

At last count, there are 38,000 or so interpretations of the bible. Well, that's from Wikimedia which may or may not have any credibility. But the point is that there is probably as many interpretations of the words in the bible as there are people on earth.

Secularist10 is coming up with some really amusing interpretations I must say. You have quite the imagination there guy. It must be fun to sit around and have discussion with you :-)

I think Shakespeare said it best when he said that "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy".

Keep coming up with these thoughts, Sec. Maybe one of them will actually be the correct one! But we'll probably never know which one which is sad.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

"Keep coming up with these thoughts, Sec. Maybe one of them will actually be the correct one! But we'll probably never know which one which is sad."

Well, we might if we had a time-traveling virginity cam. Better get to work on it, Austinstar. With your knowledge of virginity and virgin births, I bet you could really accomplish something with that. Good old American ingenuity.

Oh, anybody can exercise their imagination like that, Austinstar. Just watch science fiction movies and read about ancient myths and legends. You realize that people have created so many ridiculous notions about how nature works and the world was formed, that anything is "possible"!

God taking a physical form to have intercourse with Mary I believe has roots in the Mormon religion, BTW.

One of my favorites is the idea that a god named Bumba vomited the world into existence. Another one masturbated and ejaculated the world into existence. Fun stuff. Hmmm, suddenly virgin births start to make a lot of sense...


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands

Interesting :)


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

I'm still wondering about the universe in a fingernail hypothesis. If we are in a universe that is present on God's fingernail, perhaps when he wipes away a tear it causes the Earth to flood. But then you have to wonder, what exactly would cause God to cry?

Vomiting, ejaculating, spontaneous pregnancies? Here's more:

The Egyptian Cat God coughs up a hairball (earth)

The Hawaiian God, Pele pours out a lava earth

The Aztec God, Tonacatecuhtli (a male god) gives birth to the earth, or maybe he's taking a dump, hard to tell

The Gods are playing a game of marbles (with the planets)

Like you say, the possibilities are endless!


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Thanks, Trish! Glad you like it.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day." (Genesis 1: 1-5)

"In the beginning, Chaos, an amorphous, gaping void encompassing the entire universe, and surrounded by an unending stream of water ruled by the god Oceanus, was the domain of a goddess named Eurynome, which means "far-ruling" or "wide-wandering".

She was the Goddess of All Things, and desired to make order out of the Chaos. By coupling with a huge and powerful snake, Ophion, or as some legends say, coupling with the North Wind, she gave birth to Eros, god of Love, also known as Protagonus, the "firstborn".

Eurynome separated the sky from the sea by dancing on the waves of Oceanus. In this manner, she created great lands upon which she might wander, a veritable universe, populating it with exotic creatures such as Nymphs, Furies, and Charites as well as with countless beasts and monsters.

Also born out of Chaos were Gaia, called Earth, or Mother Earth, and Uranus, the embodiment of the Sky and the Heavens, as well as Tartarus, god of the sunless and terrible region beneath Gaia, the Earth." (Source: http://www.pantheon.org/articles/g/greek_creation_... )

What is interesting is that the Genesis account has a certain elegant simplicity--God did this, and God did that, and that's that. Whereas the Greek version goes into much more detail--Eurynome couples with a snake, dances on the waves of the ocean, etc.

Perhaps this is one reason why the Genesis version has proven so long lasting. It is much less contrived and complicated than other creation myths. So it is, in a way, immune to the changes in attitudes, whims and imaginations that typically produce such myths.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Any yet, today's readers do not understand that Genesis is a book full of myths and legends based on other myths and legends.

There's that darn snake again. But I like dancing on the waves of the ocean :-)

Oh wait, Jesus did that too!


Baileybear 5 years ago

there's a cartoon I saw in the forums that would suit this hub. It was of Joseph & Mary lying in bed facing away from each other. It said something like, "God was a hard act to follow."

I see someone asked in the forums whether Jesus ever had an erection. It was a hard one to answer - pun intended! Jesus is made out to be asexual, but in a way, he has to be, because he said about thinking lust is same as doing it; and the whole argument he was tempted but didn't even think it, means he wasn't a man


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Well, those women did cover their selves up to the max. I suppose Jesus never saw a stray boobie poking out or anything erotic except barnyard animals. But didn't he hang around with a prostitute?


Jane Bovary profile image

Jane Bovary 5 years ago from The Fatal Shore

Derek and Clive (Peter Cook and Dudley Moore) have an interesting theory about Jesus's sexuality. Warning/ offensive language.Not recommended for Christians:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AgJgQYPXyk&feature...


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Hilarious video, Jane! Definitely not recommended for Christians. Or Muslims either for that. They think Jesus was some sort of prophet from God too.

I loved seeing Dudley Moore in his younger handsome days. He was a funny dude. Hope he didn't die a virgin, but I suspect not.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Baileybear--that's a great point. This raises the possibility that perhaps Jesus had some kind of disorder that made him unable to get an erection or sexually dysfunctional in some way. After centuries of marrying their cousins and second cousins, for example, some European monarchs and lords in the late middle ages were infertile/ sexually dysfunctional in this way. So maybe Jesus was so down on sex because he really didn't experience the urges in question.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Austinstar, actually Mary Magdalene wasn't a prostitute. It turns out that was a slander created some medieval pope. But Mary Magdalene is described a number of times as Jesus' closest follower, that he loved her more than any other follower, etc. So maybe there was some kind of semiplatonic romance between the two of them. Or maybe they were secretly having sex all the time unbeknownst to anyone else.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Jane, "the human bit stopped at the navel"--makes sense! Haha.


Jane Bovary profile image

Jane Bovary 5 years ago from The Fatal Shore

"Hope he didn't die a virgin, but I suspect not."

@Austin..are you talking about Jesus or Dudley Moore? Lol. Dudley was a real ladies man, so no chance of that...;)


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

I was talking about Dudley ;-) And do you know this from personal experience? hehehe

Now if Jesus really was a Demigod (half god, half human) he could have been sterile like the offspring of horses mated with donkeys to produce a mule which is sterile. I don't know if that would have made him less randy though. But he could have had less testosterone than most males.


Darkness to Light. 5 years ago

"For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths."- 2 Timothy 4:3-4


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Darkness to Light,

I could not agree more.

Many Christians will not put up with sound doctrine--i.e. that the virgin birth myth is a story created by the kinds of circumstances I mentioned. Instead, to suit their own desires for their mythical beliefs to be true, they gather around a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They turn their ears away from the truth, as indicated by science and reason, and turn aside to myths, such as the virgin birth.

So glad that we agree.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

hahahaha! I love your diplomatic skills, Sec! It's amazing to me how religionists insist that their version of the myths and legends are truth.

We still need that virgin cam, don't we?

I thought itching ears meant someone was talking about you. Itching hands mean you're going to get some money. Itching noses mean it's allergy season again. I'm off to throw some salt over my shoulder.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Some good diplomatic jujitsu is always in season :)

Be careful not to hit a black cat with that salt.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

This hub is now my most-viewed, beating the previous record holder ("Secular Morality and Secular Rights"--view here: http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Secular-Mo... ) by a wide margin. This hub has gone from relative obscurity to a top position in less than 2 weeks.

Does the image at the top have anything to do with it? I think it's a safe bet. Safer than the virgin birth, in any case.


Jane Bovary profile image

Jane Bovary 5 years ago from The Fatal Shore

Sex sells secs...


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Yep, pretty girls get the views! And then you said something about VIRGINS! Everyone seems to be looking for one of those!


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

I came across this article about artificial insemination for virgin women. Seems topical

http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/parenting/the-contr...

The controversy they describe about it seems pretty cooky and contrived.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Oh, that poor woman. She wanted a child, but didn't want a penis or the attached man. I wonder just how many turkey basters have actually been used to get pregnant with? There are gay women from birth, just like there are gay men from birth. They do not ever want to have sex with the opposite sex! Restricting IVF to married women has got to be the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard of.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Virginity is back! This time, in the form of a "test" that the post-Mubarak Egyptian police were applying to female protestors. Along with a healthy serving of torture, of course.

http://jezebel.com/#!5784793/the-virginity-tests-forced-on-egyptian-women-protesters

Evidently the women, after being arrested, were warned that if they were not a virgin, they would be charged with prostitution.

How's that revolution going, then? Backward lunatics.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

I also read one controversial book exposing the possibilities about Mary's virgin birth, like being raped and Joseph, her fiancé covered for her so as not to expose such shameful episode in her life.

Whereas, the Bible related the incident that an angel appeared before her and told her about God's Plan in using her as the earthly mother of Jesus, the Word made flesh to save us from sins.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Right, travel man, there are countless possibilities and reasonable explanations that must be exhausted before entertaining the idea of a miracle. Especially given the scant records of the whole episode and that whole period. It really is amazing that so many buy into the most complicated, forced narrative imaginable, given the circumstances and the context.


somethgblue profile image

somethgblue 5 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee

If one learns to trust ones heart for the determination of the truth then Mary conceiving a child without the need for sexual intercourse is easily believed.

Jesus simple needed a vessel to hold him to allow him to achieve the ultimate human experience, hence the miracle everyone talks about.

Humans for the most part have a very narrow and limited perspective of the world they live in, mostly self imposed. Until we open our minds to all possibilities and learn a new way to determine the truth, our own self imposed limitations will hold us back as a species.

Considering his birth does his supposed death make any sense to you?

Does A One Wing Duck Fly In A Circle?


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Hi Something Blue:

"If one learns to trust ones heart for the determination of the truth then Mary conceiving a child without the need for sexual intercourse is easily believed."

Not if you're a Hindu. If you are a Christian, sure, your heart tells you that. But there are millions of people of other religions whose "hearts" tell them otherwise. So who is right? You? Why is your heart special?

More importantly, "trusting one's heart" is fine and dandy in love. But it has a pretty crappy track record in identifying physical laws and explaining natural phenomena.

My heart says the sun goes around the earth. My brain says the opposite--that the earth goes around the sun. My heart says the earth is flat because when I look out the window, the landscape is flat. But my brain says the earth is round. And so on.

We need to stop using our "hearts" for questions the heart is no good at answering.

For purpose, love, beauty, etc--yes, by all means, listen to your heart. But when it comes to understanding and explaining the natural world, your heart will not help you. It never has.

Is this too "narrow" for you? Believe what you will, but some beliefs have evidence and logic backing them up, and others don't.

We have two options on the table. We can trust a rigorous system that uses reason, rational skepticism, verifiable evidence and repeatable experiments (as well as good old common sense when applicable) for answering questions.

Or we can trust the ridiculous stories and ignorant musings of ancient people who knew nothing about the natural world, and who had the understanding and the temperament of modern day first graders.

I know where I'll put my loyalty.


brotheryochanan profile image

brotheryochanan 5 years ago from BC, canada

amazing humanist drivel.

"Like Jesus, she enjoys a special status in the human family as far as Christianity is concerned".

Catholicism. Christians do not put any special attributes to Mary. Mary never retained her virginity that is a catholic doctrine to appease "the mother of heaven" worshipers.

"Zeus rescued the fetal Dionysus by sewing him into his thigh. A few months later, Dionysus was born on Mount Pramnos in the island of Ikaria, where Zeus went to release the now-fully-grown baby from his thigh".

The Greek gods were considered human and had 'affairs' with earthly women via intercourse. This virgin birth you wrongly claim is not a virgin birth at all.

Jesus' atonement had nothing to do with original sin. It was just for sin, past and future for everyone's personal sins. Original sin is a nothingness concept.

"Thus Mary's virginity plays an essential role in the Christian religion, as essential as Jesus' resurrection from the dead"

Not true, virgin or not, jesus would still have been jesus, BUT, God chose mary because she was an upright person

Luke 1:28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly FAVORED, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

Luke 1:30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found FAVOR with God.

God would not choose someone who did not measure up to standards, so, by appropriate assumption - Mary was indeed a virgin, again, virginity not uncommon at that time in that jerusalem.

As for deu 22:13-21 you neglected to mention so many pertinent details, so i will skim a few for you. The man was punished (whipped) and fined when he was found to be lying about the womans virginity. If the parents of the woman lied about the womans virginity etc. General rules for virginity lost.. the man had to marry the woman - for life. And the good reason for all of this, null promiscuity, unwanted pregnancies and Gods intention of people experimenting and enjoying sex as newbies together - dooable.

"This precedence for miraculous births lends credence to the idea that the virgin birth of Jesus is simply another in a long line of myths. Moreover, there is a reasonable expectation for Mary and/ or her friends and family to lie if indeed she had had sex outside of marriage, given the severe and fatal consequences she would otherwise face."

GOD is not fooled. He chose to use her, with her permission.

Luke 1:38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

"Nevertheless, science indicates that a human virgin birth is not totally impossible. Parthenogenesis (the technical term for virgin reproduction) is observed in a number of animal species, some of which normally reproduce sexually.

In addition, some have proposed that Mary may have suffered from extremely rare hormonal and genetic conditions that enabled her to give birth to a male child asexually, which normally would be impossible (in order to reproduce asexually, her child would have to be a girl)".

LOL. Herein is the biggest trap. People can apply anything they want anywhere they want, like your Dionysus virgin birth which is wrong. Its never a question of what if or what could God do, it is always a question of what DID God do. The bible plainly tells us that the power of the almighty overshadowed her... God a spirit, no penis, no penetration = virgin. No need to speculate at all. Christian Logically speaking why would God need to pick a woman with an extremely rare case of asexual probability.. God simply and logically, would not. He has the power, obviously and God does is always true to his standards, he never lies.

All you have managed to do here is slobber out your own opinions, based loosely on stupid criteria. Perhaps you should wonder why Christianity has lasted for 2000 yrs.

Bullshit hub full of humanist, carnal crap.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City Author

Brothery:

"amazing humanist drivel... Bullshit hub full of humanist, carnal crap."

Well, coming from an erudite thinker such as yourself, that is quite a compliment! Thanks!

"Original sin is a nothingness concept."

Guess today is the day for sweeping statements. Obviously your views differ from most of Christianity.

You got the Dionysus thing wrong. I was referring to a specific myth regarding Dionysus that was accepted among many. I am aware of that Zeus thigh myth, but there were other myths of his birth as well, which you would see if you followed the links to my sources.

On Deuteronomy, I don't quite understand what you're saying there because of the grammar mistakes. You just dragged in some irrelevant points (like the desire to avoid unwanted pregnancy), while ignoring my main point: the psychotic sexism of these savages, their pathologies surrounding the vagina, meant that the woman could be tortured to death while the man only had to pay a fine. He also gets the lovely parting gift of having complete control over this woman for life (i.e. marriage) if he doesn't like her. Nowhere is there a tittle of concern for the desires or the humanity of the woman.

How anyone with half a conscience can defend these horrible barbarians escapes me. You may as well be an Iranian Ayatollah.

I don't need to wonder why Christianity has lasted 2000 years. It is you who should wonder why you devote your life to a pathetic set of irrational myths forged by superstitious savages, who were among the most sex-obsessed culture to ever live.

They built a freakin religion on the hymen! Talk about carnal.

All you have managed to do here is slobber out your own opinions, based loosely on stupid criteria.

You have successfully demonstrated an inability to form a coherent argument, a lack of critical thinking skills, and a vulgar emotionalism. See you in Tehran.


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland

Ha! Do you ever write about something of which there is not a strong opinion one way or the other? Your hubs are very thought-provoking...and I am not quite sure where I stand with you and your topics. I suppose I am off to Follow so I can figure it out ;) And when I form an opinion I will let you know so you can argue the points with me :D

I am leaning towards devil's advocate - but then one must believe in the devil for that to be a true statement, yes? Much love!


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 4 years ago from New York City Author

Haha, thanks Ardie. I recently decided to "diversify my portfolio" of hubs, so to speak, into other, less hot topics. But I am indeed fascinated by controversy on big issues. So rest assured, I will continue to blabber out my opinions on everything for some time to come! You're welcome back any time.


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland

I saw your newest hub and I loved it! You wont get nearly the commentary but it's sure easier for ME to comment :) Too much controversy in my day to day life so I come to writing and HubPages for some fluff and fun ;)

But I am also going to read your Hub on gender identity and atheism...

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