What's the Purpose of the Apetivist Website?

What's the Purpose of the Apetivist Website?
Preface:



Hello to all. You can call me "Ape" (It's okay, I don't mind as I happen to be one.) I hope you get something useful from my website. I will explain more about myself below too. Now on to the purpose of this site.




First, let's get this basic Q&A stuff resolved before we continue:
Q. Do I mean to attack believers?

A. No, I am only addressing beliefs not the people who hold them.

Q. Do I think I'm more intelligent than believers?

A. No, intelligence is not the cause for my blog here at all. Intelligence is rather evenly spread throughout groups of people.

Q. Do I hate believers?

A. No, I was once a believer, and I have many in my present life whom I love dearly.

Q. Do I hate God(s)/God/gods?

A. No, it’s hard to hate what you don’t believe exists. If one or many existed, it would have no bearing on my points as I will point out later in the site.

Q. Do I have a personal ax to grind?

A. To be honest, yes, I do. I think it’s unfair to indoctrinate children before they’re grown up enough able to come from a background of understanding to know what if any evidence supports the claims and whether they have good enough reasons to accept them.

Q. Do I have questions to ask for believers about their beliefs?

A. Yes, I do. Stay tuned! More than this page is soon on the way!

Q. Do I wish for everyone to leave their belief?

A. Not always, depending on the faith and how it manifests I have little issue at all with people holding to faith if it isn’t an inflexible Literalist belief.

Q. Do I wish for some believers to become less literal in their beliefs and become more flexible and open-minded about life?

A. Yes, I think this is the goal of many believers too.

Q. Do I wish for some believers (as well as other unbelievers) to become less judgmental of others?

A. Yes. We are all in the same boat together and unless we play kindly and treat each other with a reasonable measure of respect we’re just making life worse for ourselves and others.

Q. As a bonus, do I hope to show why all believers can accept the efficiency, effectiveness, and findings of the scientific method?

A. Yes. There are many religious people who see the value in the sciences.

Q. As a bonus, do I wish believers desired to have a deep understanding of Philosophy?

A. Yes. If anything, it will help you understand your beliefs even better.


Okay, here we go:

About me: As a former believer and minister (c. 31 years ago) of the Southern Baptist flavor of Christianity (and even before my deconversion), I became interested in Philosophy primarily introduced to me through studies in Theology and Christian Apologetics.  This led me to the basic principles of Critical Thinking (by accident, of course and I found myself startled that this was such a foreign concept to me as I thought thinking about important stuff was "critical thinking") and as a by-product of applying it toward the claims of my faith I decided (through a great amount of research and investigation) that my beliefs based upon the Christian faith were no longer tenable. As a side note, please understand that Critical Thinking isn't divorced from us humans being emotional and takes it into account and allows for it in the process.

This wasn't a happy discovery! I became very sad and resulted in me leaving not just the belief but also the ministry and church. This all led me rather rejected by many close friends and even some family members yet eventually led to even greater happiness and fulfillment in my life (by saying this I am not saying the same results happen for other people). As a result of this discovery, I understood that I should think critically about important claims and not accept anything on faith, appeals from authorities, or appeals to my emotion. this was a process and still is and I admit I wasn't even nominally good at it until 2012-2013. This doesn't make me an unfeeling Spock (Star Trek character) that only "logics" his way through life. 🖖 I am a Humanist at heart, people who know me can see that I care for others, no matter their beliefs (we can all be correct or incorrect in our views and beliefs about different subjects) and I wish that we all could live in a peaceful and caring society.

Religion is proliferating throughout the world and has done so for possibly 400,000 years ago up to 40,000 years ago and comes in thousands of forms, many which are lost to prehistory and history. Depending on where you live you may see one religion more prolific than another. Why is this?

Here are some basic questions popularized by author John W. Loftus known as The Outsider Test for Faith. I will use the acronym "OTF" throughout to abbreviate the term. This is a basic summation of OTF, yet I highly suggest reading Lotus' entire book for greater details and nuance. Religion is proliferating throughout the world and comes in thousands of forms. In North America you will see Christianity as the predominate religion, in Saudi Arabia you will see Islam as the predominate religion, in India you will see Hinduism as the predominate religion. Also, there is no such thing as a singular monolithic belief system within the above-mentioned religions but up to thousands of variations of the religions that we can call major sets and subsets. With all this in mind how can people know with reasonable certainty they are born into or talked into the "one true religion"?

Are we all fated byaccident of birth to make our way through life while there is only one true religion that is indicative of the Creator(s) true plan for us and must riffle through the pages of every religious claim to make sure we are in the 'one true religion"? If we hear or see this "one true religion" how can we distinguish it from other less true or false religions? What method do we use to make this determination? If you're a believer in any god(s) or subscribe to any religious views have you ever asked yourself these questions? If not, please ask yourself why this is? Do your beliefs prevent you from examining the religion? Are you told that doing research or even critically examining your faith is a bad thing? If it's the 'one true religion" why wouldn't the leaders or experts wish you to do this research? If not, what are they afraid you'll discover?

Now ask yourself why is there religious diversity at all? If there were one true Creator(s) then wouldn't there be only one religion? Wouldn't a responsible Creator(s) make sure that everyone understood the plan? Why do religions blame humans for a poor plan that doesn't seem to do what God intended it to do? If the plan is that all people be saved then why aren't all people saved? Does an engineer blame those that walk on a bridge they built for its failure to hold up those people? Shouldn't the blame, if there be any, go to the engineer or designer of the bridge itself? Many legal experts would reply with an emphatic,"Yes!"  So, why is it that deities that supposedly have knowledge and abilities beyond humans not responsible for their design or plans backfiring? Oddly, many religious people will talk all about the value of personal responsibility but will excuse their deity(s) from taking personal responsibility. Why the double standard?

I wish to expose readers to various thoughts and ideas that may aid them in answering these questions and many others that I plan to present. If a person indeed has the one true religion or the proper relationship with the one true Creator(s) of the Universe then they should not feel challenged at all by these questions and should easily answer them as they have "special knowledge" (enlightenment, spiritual wisdom, insight) that others who believe differently (and by differently I mean 'wrongly") than they do? Let's see. Please, read on and subscribe to the blog to get new posts if you wish. Please leave comments below yet also be civil as uncivil comments will be deleted. Feel free to email me at apetivist@gmail.com.

Thank you for your readership and please understand all I'm doing is asking questions. I am doing this to not only challenge theists and their claims but also to invite others to consider how they come about any belief and how they can prove it with well-reasoned answers. Please, especially with more than mundane claims, question everything!

I finished the book "Educated: A Memoir" by Tara Westover, PhD. Wow! Amazing story!


From Amazon:
Educated: A Memoir

Number-one New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Boston Globe best seller

Named One of the Ten Best Books of the Year by The New York Times Book Review

One of President Barack Obama's Favorite Books of the Year

Bill Gates's Holiday Reading List

Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle's Award in Autobiography

Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle's John Leonard Prize for Best First Book

Finalist for the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award

Named one of the Best Books of the Year by: The Washington Post O: The Oprah Magazine Time NPR Good Morning America San Francisco Chronicle The Guardian The Economist Financial Times Newsday New York Post theSkimm Refinery29 Bloomberg Self Real Simple Town & Country Bustle Paste Publishers Weekly Library Journal LibraryReads BookRiot Pamela Paul, KQED New York Public Library

An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University

Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education and no one to intervene when one of Tara's older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she'd traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

"Beautiful and propulsive.... Despite the singularity of [Tara Westover's] childhood, the questions her book poses are universal: How much of ourselves should we give to those we love? And how much must we betray them to grow up?" (Vogue)

"Westover has somehow managed not only to capture her unsurpassably exceptional upbringing, but to make her current situation seem not so exceptional at all, and resonant for many others." (The New York Times Book Review)

©2018 Tara Westover (P)2018 Random House Audio

Excerpts from “THE CHRIST: A Critical Review and Analysis of the Evidences of His Existence” by John E. Remsburg


John E. Remsburg.jpg

Excerpts from “THE CHRIST: A Critical Review and Analysis of the Evidences of His Existence” by John E. Remsburg

Published 1909 by The Truth Seeker Company, New York.

 Chapter 2: Silence of Contemporary Writers.

(Note from Apetivist: There is just one contention I have with Remsburg.  The title of this chapter should have been "Contemporary Writers During and Shortly After the Time of Jesus and some additional writers that have Nothing Whatsoever To Do With the Subject.".  Nonetheless, his points are quite on spot and the fact remains; zero contemporary writers during the time that this supposed Jesus lived wrote a single sentence about the man.  Also note that I place the approximate date of birth of each person and additional names the writers are known by- at the time Remsburg did not know that one writer had a different name or that writings of one was finally afterwards associated with the writing of another by historians.  I also use the term BC instead of BCE and CE instead of AD.  I get all my information for this fact checking/cross-referencing from Wikipedia, Encyclopedia Britannica, and www.attalus.org).

pgs 24-25


The following is a list of writers who lived and wrote during the time, or within a century after the time, that Christ is said to have lived and performed his wonderful works:

Josephus (c. 37 CE), Arrian (c. 86-89 CE), Philo-Judaeus (c. 30 BCE to 50 CE) , Petronius (c. 27 CE), Seneca (c. 4 BCE), Dion Pruseus (c. 40 CE note this is the person known as the writer below mentioned “Dio Chrysostom”), Pliny the Elder (c. 23 CE also known as Gaius Plinius Secundus), Paterculus (c. 19 BCE also known as Marcus Velleius Paterculus), Suetonius (c. 69 CE also known as Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus), Appian (c. 95 CE also known as Appian of Alexandria), Juvenal (c. 1-100 CE also known as Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis), Theon of Smyrna (c. 100 CE), Martial (c. 38-41 CE also known as Marcus Valerius Martialis) , Phlegon (c. 200 AD also known as Phlegon of Tralles), Persius (c. 34 CE also known as Aulus Persius Flaccus), Pompon Mela (all that’s known is he died c. 43 CE), Plutarch (c. 46 CE also known as Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus), Quintius Curtius (c. early 1st Century and his actual known person has been posited to be unknown), Justus of Tiberius (c. 50-70 CE), Lucian (c. 125 CE also known as Lucian of Samosata), Apollonius (c. 15 CE also known as Apollonius of Tyana), Pausanias (c. 110 CE), Pliny the Younger (c. 61 CE also known as Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus), Valerius Flaccus (c. 45 AD also known as Gaius Valerius Flaccus), Tacitus (c. 56 CE also known as Publius Cornelius Tacitus), Florus Lucius (c. 70 CE), Quintilian (c. 35 AD also known as Marcus Fabius Quintilianus), Favorinus (c. 80 CE also known as Favorinus of Arelate), Lucanus ( c. 39 CE also known as Marcus Annaeus Lucanus), Phaedrus (c. 15 BCE known for Latinizing Aesop’s fables), Epictetus (c. 55 CE), Damis (1st to 2nd Century and also some doubt he may have been a real person and he may have been a creation of Philostratus c. 170 CE), Silius Italicus (c. 26 CE also known as Tiberius Catius Asconius Silius), Aulus Gellius (c.125 CE), Statius (c. 45 CE also known as Publius Papinius Statius), Columella (c. 4 CE also known as Lucius Junius Moderatus Columella), Ptolemy (c. 100 CE also known as Claudius Ptolemy), Dio Chrysostom(see Dion Pruseus above as they are the same person), Hermogones (c. 1st Century also known as Hermogenes of Tarsus) , Lysias (Who is this?  Clearly not the logographer from Greece in c. 459 BCE, otherwise I can find no other reference.  Does anyone else know who Remsburg may be referring to here?), Valerius Maximus (c. early 1st Century), Appion of Alexandria (c. 95 CE).

Enough of the writings of the authors named in the foregoing list remains to form a library.  Yet in this mass of Jewish and Pagan literature, aside from two forged passages in the works of a Jewish author, and two disputed passages in the works of Roman writers, there is to be found no mention of Jesus Christ.

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Think about it, this information was known and available to believers even in 1909.  Yet, now in The Age of Information aka The Internet and/or other forms of mass communication this is still relativity unknown and was kept from me by my Academic superiors at Liberty University.  Why?  Why wasn't this information provided for my consideration?  Why was it kept hidden or unavailable to the LU library?  Surely, if they have so much confidence in their beliefs, they would've proudly presented this information and shown why it was fallacious.  It would have been another winning blow by the marvelous minded Christian Apologists that they had on and off their site?  😒

Read the book here:  
https://archive.org/details/christcriticalre00rems/

Final Note (?): I may do follow up on other possible writers that would have been withing the time and/or vicinity of the 1st Century. I am running up against a brick wall as there were so many minor writers of the time but tracking them down is very difficult and Remsburg must have been going off of memory or some other form of list from where he derived the names of these writers.

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