Italian atheist suing over Jesus’ existence
Here’s a bit of weird news: an Italian atheist is suing a parish priest for repeatedly claiming Jesus Christ was a historical figure. Luigi Cascioli is a 72 year old lifelong non-believer who has grown tired of Italians blindly accepting the notion of the literal existence of God, and has decided to involve the courts.
It’s a fairly amusing tactic, but since the burden of proof is on Cascioli to disprove the existence of Jesus, it’s likely he won’t win (just try disproving the existence of fairies why don’t you?). Rev. Enrico Righi has already pulled out the “Josephus and Tacitus” card, claiming these two historians, who lived decades after the supposed death of Jesus, wrote vaguely about a ‘Christus’ figure, therefore somehow proving his existence. As to the supposed God like powers of the guy, there’s no mention of it.
I’ve always argued that although someone may have existed by such a name, it’s unlikely the person identified in the New Testament ever existed at all. The fact none of his supposed miracles are ever mentioned outside the Bible should tell you it’s about as accurate as Homer’s The Odyssey. Is it surprising that people who exaggerate or confabulate stories in order to make it more thrilling? Have you never watched a movie “based on a true story” before? They usually don’t stick very much to the source material, if you know what I mean.
At the same time, I don’t like the idea of courts getting involved here. I admire Luigi’s tenacity and sheer gumption, but I don’t feel it is necessary for a court of law to decide whether or not priests are allowed to make historical claims about their deities. It smacks me as very totalitarian to force conformity through the mechanism of law. It’s best that people come to their own conclusion that all religions are bullshit.