Statement #1: Considering the story of the New Testament has been told many times before Jesus even existed makes me think, "Yea, this is fiction and a really popular story."
Huh? In your opinion, what is "the story of the New Testament?"
Statement #2: I don't think that calling faith "blind faith" is really an insult. I mean when it comes to Christianity and religion as a whole that's the only faith you have. Other than a book (I am referring to the Christian Bible), depending on what chapters and which version you deem true, is the only real hard evidence you have but even that is questionable. So calling faith "blind" is not as much of an insult as it is just a fact, because you have no real evidence to believe other than you just do. Take what you will from that statement, I am not insulting your intelligence. It's a very bold move to believe something that has no real evidence whatsoever so here is my pat on the back to all you theists. Just remember though I am not insulting you, yet your "God" makes the metaphor to call you sheep, an unintelligent farm animal, following blindly.
Oh Lord, where do I start with this?
When you say "hard evidence," what do you mean? It's a written (or rather a collection of) account(s) taken from several human authors over several hundred years, which includes history, law, prophecy, correspondence, instruction, songs, poetry... I'm not sure I'd go so far as to call any of that "hard evidence." There is
ample evidence to suggest correct translation and preservation of the various books of the Bible from the original texts and oral histories. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls showed us its textual
As to the events mentioned in both the Old and New Testaments, there is a glut of archaeological evidence, and written histories contemporary with the writing of the events of the four Gospels (Jewish historian Josephus, for example,) which mention certain events and people, including Jesus of Nazareth.
That evidence aside, however, the biggest proof I find of the truth of the Bible comes in the accounts and histories of the people of the early church. There exists not a single historical account of one of Jesus' followers breaking down under torture or threat of death and admitting that "that whole resurrection thing was a lie." Not one. You'd think that SOMEONE would have been eager to live rather than die protecting a lie.
Also, why is there no mention in Roman or Jewish histories of someone exposing "that whole Jesus hoax?" As much face (not to mention life) that Roman soldiers and officials in Judea stood to lose... why, with the full power of the Roman Empire behind them, were they unable to provide evidence that Jesus' resurrection and subsequent appearances to his followers were no more than a hoax?
I, in turn, mean you no offense, Nosebleed (or any of the other atheists reading this.) Don't be so quick to assume that no evidence exists simply because there's nothing there to quantify. A God that could be measured would soon become just another fixture of nature, like a maple tree -- something to admire, certainly... but not to be worshiped in a spirit of free will and surrender.
By the way, the sheep thing? It's not a picture of blind following. It's a metaphor for comfort, trust, security, safety -- all the things a sheep receives from its shepherd.Afterthought:
Would it be fair to call you a "blind atheist?" Given the complexities of the universe, and the immense mathematical probability of a planet like the Earth even existing with the correct combination of conditions present to support and encourage the development of life from inorganic materials into increasingly complex forms of life, doesn't that require a bit of blind faith on your part to believe, against all probability, that there is NOT a higher power behind it all?
Fodder for another thread, I know...