Sheesh. Phat, there are no moral or ethical observations or recommendations or commandments in the Bible stories that did not also appear even earlier in other religions and social systems.
Study the writings of Mencius or Confucius or the sayings of the Buddha or Taoism or any of the thousands of religions that existed before Christianity
You could claim that Hammurabi's law preceded the Biblical commandments but all the rest you list didn't appear until the fifth to seventh centuries BC. Moses died in the 13th century BC. Christianity builds on the Old Testament.
There are plenty of MORAL similarities, which only shows that the universe is in fact governed by moral law, which both the Bible and Buddhism maintain. I'm not sure about the others but my guess would be they all acknowledge a universal moral law. But Christianity is about our salvation from the consequences of that moral law, which is absolutely unique.
Since it is extremely rare, if it really occurs at all, for a person to be able to undo his own moral debt, or karma as it is called in some religions, and therefore has to go to that religion's version of Hell, or get reincarnated as a cockroach or other animal form through many lives until he finally figures out how to undo his karmic debt, I would think there might be a little gratitude for God's provision of a way out of all that.
You've referred to the story of Thomas a few times recently as an example of Jesus' giving evidence of His resurrection. Quite right. It's meant to persuade all of us, not just Thomas. Any explanation why it doesn't?
If it wasn't evidence of his resurrection it wasn't evidence at all for Thomas or anyone. But if it was evidence of the resurrection for them then it is evidence of the resurrection for us too and that was the whole point of the story, just as it is the point of the whole Bible, to show us the reality of God. Those who discredit it destroy their own hope of knowing God.
What spurious reasoning. In other words you can never believe anything anyone ever tells you about something you haven't seen. I guess you don't want to come right out and say they're lying or the story was made up since you do claim it was evidence for THEM, however crazy such an idea is if it isn't also evidence for us.
This is an interesting old thread started by Buzsaw. I just read his OP, about a couple of people who had supposedly lived well over a hundred years and never ate or drank. One of them was a Hindu and the other a tribal witch. A missionary suspected the witch was demon possessed and fasted and prayed to cast out the demon, and when he did that the possessed person fell down dead. This suggests the idea that demons can possess dead people and give them some semblance of being alive.
I've certainly heard of living people being possessed by demons, and had one experience of such a thing, but this was new to me. Makes me think of "zombies." They are considered to be real in voodoo religion I think. Maybe something to look up. (Later: Did look it up but there are too many conflicting ideas about it for me to spend the time sorting it out.)
The thread immediately got lost in the usual concern about whether there is any evidence for the stories Buz told, and it seems to be continuing along the same lines. The thing about demons, however, is that the only evidence is people suspecting certain people are possessed by them, noticing certain phenomena assocated with their presence, then of course noting the results of attempts to cast them out. Jesus cast out many and the result was freeing the person of their often violent influence.
The only evidence would be witnesses. Phat on this same thread tells of his own witnessing of a person apparently suffering from demon possession, with red eyes and many voices seeming to speak from him. Immediately of course Phat is suspected of having a mental problem that caused him to hallucinate this event. That's the first thing skeptics think of. There was no evidence in the story of that being the case, or suggested by Phat himself in retrospect. Seems like it wouldn't be hard to verify such a suspicion but there was nothing to verify it. Phat's description remains consistent, and he's told it more than once.
The irrational thing is that people attribute such stories to an irrational frame of mind although there isn't any reason whatever to think that. The person saw what he saw and the story doesn't change and he doesn't appear to have any kind of mental disorder. Nevertheless this irrational idea persists. The obvious rational explanation that the person did indeed witness the phenomena of demon possession is not considered. THAT is what is irrational.
Again the only evidence of such phenomena would be the witnessing of it, or possibly the personal experience of it. Maybe we could bring a person we think is demon possessed to the skeptic and let him try to figure it out?