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.

Comments (5)

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    I can’t imagine being able to find a court/judge in Italy that would not be hugely biased against his suit, especially in Rome, next door to Vatican City. I want to hear the outcome of this one.

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    If fundies can go to court and get Intelligent Design put into school textbooks, (or try to) this guy should be able to take the church to court. It’s only fair

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    You know this could actually backfire and set a precedent in their country. Hope he knows what he’s doing…

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    Ugh. Woe to the historical Jesus claim!

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    If I understand the courst there, Luigi is the person who must prove his case the church does not have to really prove anything.
    He will loose – period. The power base wins, the church is the power, again he looses.

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