An event in London on October 19th was announced by some of my Facebook friends, and by the leftwing website TruthDig as “breaking news.” Here it is, a talk that featured an explosive new revelation that Jesus was invented by Roman aristocrats:
According to the news release, a guy named Joseph Atwill “asserts that Christianity did not really begin as a religion, but a sophisticated government project, a kind of propaganda exercise used to pacify the subjects of the Roman Empire. ‘Jewish sects in Palestine at the time, who were waiting for a prophesied warrior Messiah, were a constant source of violent insurrection during the first century,’ he explained. ‘When the Romans had exhausted conventional means of quashing rebellion, they switched to psychological warfare. They surmised that the way to stop the spread of zealous Jewish missionary activity was to create a competing belief system. That’s when the ‘peaceful’ Messiah story was invented. Instead of inspiring warfare, this Messiah urged turn-the-other-cheek pacifism and encouraged Jews to ‘give onto Caesar’ and pay their taxes to Rome.’”
Okay, come on, guys. Guys! That’s so ridiculous. What did the scheming Roman psychological warfare strategists use to convince the Jewish populace to believe in their invented Jesus? A sock puppet? Why would an oppressed populace fed up with Roman rule follow a non-existent construct when they had any number of fierce preachers in the square to articulate their discontent?
And then there’s Paul of Tsaurus, writing his endless letters to early Jesus followers around the Mediterranean, struggling with complex spiritual experiences like the “peace that passeth understanding.” Who was he, this Paul guy? A clever Roman aristocrat hired by HQ to pen meditations on love, and equality, and proto-democracy, and basically all the other constructs that led to the Christianization of Rome and its move to Byzantium and the advancement of Judeo-Christian ethics? Uh-oh. The psy-op was too successful!
This shouldn’t have been making the rounds on my Facebook page, much less being posted as breaking news by Truth Dig. It’s as fringe and as silly as Creationism. And I have tried but failed to track any press response whatsoever in the aftermath of this much-anticipated press conference. Nothing.
My Facebook friends are all educated people. So, maybe it’s time to talk about that. Maybe we need to have a conversation about how credulous the hardcore atheists have become about the origins of human spiritual and religious experience. Because you don’t want to come across as being as dumb as the American evangelical Christians who refute evolution. But you’re getting there.
People love to post jokes and posters, for instance, from a site called “I Fucking Love Science,” as if Science were a rock star, or…erm…a God. What are you doing? It’s a switch of allegiance, from faith in one thing to faith in another. Stop that. Science is a method of inquiry. It’s like a measuring cup. You don’t say, “I fucking love measuring cups,” and compare them to people who have had mind-blowing romantic experiences that they can’t find the words to describe. Why would you do that? It’s just disorienting.
Science isn’t an Ism.
There are plenty of reasons that humans would have come to understand the world as spiritual, as being beyond material, as being transcendant from the here and now. They didn’t need to have a Roman aristocracy scheming to manipulate them. They could have come across magic mushrooms on the ground. They could have encountered altered states through fasting, and prayer and trance states. I mean, we know this. It’s common sense. It’s anthropology and religious history. Humans have been entering altered states of consciousness forever. What those states tell them, we can’t verify, but to lean in the entirely opposite direction and act as if they could ‘only’ believe in a ‘specially manipulated’ God idea by sociopathic political puppet masters is totally and utterly dumb. It’s illiterate.
We may well be into the age of “political marketing,” but it wasn’t always so. People came to their beliefs by other means, before the ‘age of persuasion.’ And, indeed, they still do.


15 Responses to “When atheists become conspiracy theorists, I feel a need to call a time-out”

  1. Lewis says:

    Science is an ism. Materialism.

  2. Hello again Patricia. I am really enjoying your site, very interesting things and I like your style of writing. What is a conspiracy theory and what is absolute truth? As long as the world is run by and mainly for the benefit of two or three per cent of its population the vested interests will seek to undermine community because people getting on with each other is a threat. The left and the right work together for the same end but pretending to be enemies and the end is, division. There is no need for conflict between religions or atheists, the views of any group or individual should be respected and allowed to be expressed without penalty, but that would not create fear and distrust of our neighbour and without that we may all wake up and realise that we are being robbed and controlled. Now is that a conspiracy theory or is the evidence all around us? Best wishes. Cameron.

  3. GeoCosmos says:

    Here is the problem for atheists and the Roman invention idea, and perspective. Ages and ages of Biblical writings wherein there is the thread of Messianic writings running through, which are validated by finds like The Dead Sea Scrolls. Here is the better idea for the atheists to percieve. That, the Wachowski’s blockbuster hit in 1999, The Matrix, is more than just great entertainment. That Physics since Einstein supports the ancient spiritual teachings, and the Wachowski’s concept. Lose you’re inurement. Life is more than the sensual and temporal realm.

  4. I have to wonder when people claim that their ancient religions promoted a proto-democracy when in fact democracy didn’t come about until almost two thousand years later and not as a result of those religions.

    The ancient Athenians might be able to claim that they had a proto-democracy which notably wasn’t a religious institution but, really, can anyone else? I don’t think so.

    As for loving science, I don’t think it’s the same as religious faith. Science, as you say, is a method of knowing that includes very consciously the possibility of debunking what was previously believed to be true. And debunking is the opposite of religious.

  5. seo Enfield says:

    Way cool! Some vrry valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up and also tthe rest of the site is also very good.

  6. Aubrey says:

    You can do better than this. You’re not really taking on the substance of this theory. It’s a very plausible theory if you know anything about the utter lack of historical evidence for the real Jesus. Or rather, if there was a real person, he was utterly fictionalized beyond any recognition, and so therefore never really existed in any meaningful sense. Indeed, all roads do lead to Rome after all.

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  12. Patricia says:

    There are a couple of interesting Facebook Groups. One I belong to is called “the human consciousness project.”

  13. Patricia says:

    Thanks. A friend of mine designed it a few years ago. Not a paid topic, although I sometimes republish things here that I’ve already published elsewhere.

  14. David says:

    Atheists are intellectually dishonest hypocrites.
    They cannot disprove God nor come up with an alternative explanation of the origin and nature of existence, the finely balance particles/forces that give rise to suns, life etc (infinite universes still needs an origin) consciousness and the overall ‘why there is something rather than nothing. In fact a God is a more elegant answer to the origin of existence than ‘everything came from nothing’ because it gives a purpose and addresses consciousness while of course avoiding the something cannot come from nothing problem.

    Atheists also believe religiously in ideologies tending toward the left wing.
    They claim to love science yet blindly believe in the debunked man made global warming hypothesis when all the evidence supports the skeptics. They don’t look into the science but merely make extremely unscientific statements like “I trust government scientists” and ” there’s a consensus”, along with “even if it’s not true, it’s still helping isn’t it?”


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