Atheism · Christianity

Discussions with an Atheist – Part 6


A long time ago, I was browsing my Facebook page when I came across a post that ridiculed Kirk Cameron’s efforts to sell an “Atheist” Bible.
A friend (who it turns out to be an atheist) seemed to think that Kirk was “uninformed”
Well I thought, lets discuss this issue, and what follows is a record of our discussion.
I really looked forward to his responses and enjoyed considering and responding to his concerns.
Some of my friends comments are a bit lengthy, and as I read them I found echoes of myself, seeking to defend a position simply by supplying a massive quantity of words, knowing inside that he quality of the argument was weak.
If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus, you may find encouragement, and some understanding of an atheist’s worldview.
If you are an atheist, I would encourage you to read and consider my responses.  I seek to understand your position, and if you see a fallacy in my thinking, please comment.  I only ask that you focus your position to one point at a time, in order that I may respond (if I can) without unnecessary confusion.
My comments and responses are in red.

-the avg life span of a human was approximately 40
I do not know where you got this data, but given the fact that infant mortality was extremely high during this time, the avg life span would have been definitely skewed. If a person survived the initial first years, “statistically” this person was, could it be said, an outlier, and very easily could live beyond the “avg” life span.
Be that as it may, average life span is not the issue.
The issue is the specific life span of the authors. Gospel writers are the issue, not the letters of Paul, or even the book of Revelation, since these books do not primarily record the historical life of Jesus.
Mathew, and Luke were working “stiffs” during the ministry of Jesus, so at the time of the writing of their gospels, they were somewhere in the upper 50’s / lower 60’s
Mark was a teenager during the ministry of Jesus, so his age at the time of his writing he also was in his 50’s
John was a teenager during the ministry of Jesus, and it is commonly thought that his gospel was written approx 85 – 90 AD. Therefore, he could have been as old as 70 yrs at the time of his writing.

Hey thanks for dropping by and reading my post, especially if you are an atheist friend.  I hope to hear from you and would appreciate a comment to begin a discussion.

Have a great day.

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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

4 thoughts on “Discussions with an Atheist – Part 6

  1. ” If a person survived the initial first years, “statistically” this person was, could it be said, an outlier, and very easily could live beyond the “avg” life span.”
    no, they would not be considered an “outlier” and their survival of childhood has nothing to do with their ability to live beyond the average life span. An outlier is something unusual, there was nothing unusual about the child mortality rates for that time nor unusual for a certain percentage to survive. I would recommend reading about how the term outlier is defined by statisticians.
    this might help you understand where your assumption fails:
    there is also this, which explains on how one gets to life expectancy and how a high childhood death rate becomes unimportant:
    “Victorian patterns and views of mortality were unlike our own. The relative swiftness of deaths from infectious disease in the mid-Victorian era (compared to today, when palliative medicine typically extends the dying phase by years) affected their perspectives: ‘Death came swiftly, as always in these cases [of infection], and in a day the child’s life ebbed away’.4 Infant mortality rates were unquestionably high, and around 50% of all infant deaths at all levels of society was due to infectious diseases.5 In 1856, Archbishop Tait lost five of his children in five weeks to scarlet fever. This was by no means exceptional. ‘I learn from the statistical tables that one child in five dies within the first year of its life; and one child in three, within the fifth’.6 Due to the impact of the infectious and epidemic diseases, mid-Victorians tended to regard death as an anticipated and a communal experience and, being a more religious age, such expectations of death were couched in terms unfamiliar today: ‘the Lord gives strength to bear death, and how good it is to feel that we have a family to greet us in heaven’.7 Today’s intensely personalized perspective is due to increased secularism and to the recent emergence of non-communicable diseases as prime causes of death.
    Once the dangerous childhood years were passed, however, Victorian contemporary sources (including regional variables) reveal that life expectancy in the mid-Victorian period was not markedly different from what it is today.1,8 Once infant mortality is stripped out, life expectancy at age five was 75 for men and 73 for women.9,10 The lower figure for women reflects the danger of death in childbirth or from causes that were mainly unrelated to malnutrition. This compares favourably with present figures:” “An unsuitable and degraded diet? Part three: Victorian consumption patterns and their health benefits” Judith Rowbotham and Paul Clayton
    You can find that paper on the National Library of medicine website.


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