Archive for December, 2007
On this week last year (December 31, 2006 to January 6, 2007):
- What was unusual about a report in which 40% of those questioned said they were bullied in Irish schools?
- Why was the adoption of Irish as an official working language of the European Union delayed?
- How many smuggled cigarettes did Irish customs officers seize in 2006?
- Why was a pub in Cork, the Joshua Tree, fined €4,000?
- In a radio interview, Richie Ryan said that his former Ministerial colleague Paddy Donegan was drunk in 1976 when he caused the President of Ireland to resign by calling him a ‘thundering disgrace’. Later reports suggested that Donegan had actually been more explicit. What might he have called the President?
Click here for answers: >>> (more…)
A second independent record of Jesus was written about 110 AD. Gaius Tacitus was a Roman Consul who turned his attention to writing in his forties. His first major work, the Histories, was written around 105 ad. It chronicled the Flavian dynasty that ruled the Roman Empire during the final third of the first century. His second major work, the Annals, was published about five years later. It covered the quarter century leading up to the Flavian dynasty, from the death of Augustus Caesar to the suicide of Nero. Here’s what Tacitus had to say about Jesus in the context of the spread of Christianity in 64 AD: >>> (more…)
Flavius Josephus, a Jewish historian, in his Jewish Antiquities of 93 ad, was the first independent historian to refer to the existence of Jesus. Josephus was a thirty-year-old Jewish rebel during the revolt of 66 ad who miraculously survived a suicide pact among his troops, then switched sides and became a Roman citizen. In 93 ad he published the Jewish Antiquities, a twenty-book history of the Jews. This allegedly contained this reference to Jesus:
Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.
Aside from not being contemporaneous, Jesus-mythologists have noted that this reference is weighted down with alarm bells. >>> (more…)
The preamble to the Irish Constitution begins with at least two untruths: that all authority of both men and States comes from a fictional being called ‘the Most Holy Trinity’, and that the people of Ireland have obligations to somebody called ‘our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ’. Here’s a thought, as we wind down from celebrating the invented birth-date of this supposed Divine Lord of Ireland.
Surely, if Jesus did so many amazing things, somebody at the time would have written about him? Well, actually, no. The first time Jesus is mentioned outside the Bible is sixty years after he supposedly died. By then, Paul had already spread the myth of a Jesus that he himself had never met, and the first gospels may have already been written. After these sixty years of silence, there are five ‘early’ independent reports that Christians most often quote: >>> (more…)
I’m trying to find out about well-known Irish atheists, by which I mean that they are well-known for whatever they do, but may not be well-known to be atheists. So far I have come up with five – Gabriel Byrne, Roddy Doyle, Bob Geldof, Neil Jordan and Cillian Murphy. Does anybody know of any more?
Here are quotes from the above five about their atheism: >>> (more…)
While we’re in Christmas cute mood, here’s our cat Jane watching the Garfield movie on telly today. We also have a ginger cat called Boris (because he looks like Boris Johnson), so Jane might have thought that Boris had got inside the telly.
Despite often heated debates as to whether Christmas is a Christian festival or a Christian appropriation of a pagan festival, the truth is that Christmas started in 1973 when Slade released this song:
Merry Christmas, everybody.