Precisely why I've always held that religion is a form of mass-hysteria, a kind of shared delusion.
On the other hand... maybe atheism and materialism are forms of mass delusion.
Many people insist that their god talks to them. On the other hand, I and a lot of other people have never heard or seen this god talk to me or anyone else; ergo, these god-hearing people are mentally ill by their very own standards.
With all due respect, your logic is flawed. My friend Nancy has talked to me. My friend Nancy has not talked to you or a lot of other people. So everyone who has heard Nancy is mentally ill?
Christianity is just as dangerous to the health of bystanders as a maniac is to those around him. Think the Crusades, the Inquisition, the puritanical Witch Burnings, etc.
On the other hand, consider atheistic states like the U.S.S.R., China, North Korea, Cuba, etc, etc.
Precisely why I've always held that religion is a form of mass-hysteria, a kind of shared delusion.
Sweet! Very insightful. If I had any mod points, they'd be all yours. Except... then I wouldn't be able to reply... so.. um... nevermind...
The reason I ask this question is that if God's moral code is arbitrary, it makes sense to ask why we should follow it, other than fear of punishment. If God's moral code is necessary, then it seems as though humans could eventually arive at it through enough thought and experience...
Your question is very similar to one used by Socrates to befuddle poor Euthyphro. To paraphrase you (and Socrates) the question is, what's the cause/effect relationship between God and goodness. Does God will something because it's good or is it good merely because God wills it?
- The Good -> God's Will
- God's Will -> The Good
Option one leaves God subject to some higher power, which would defy his omnipotence. In this case, God would need to have the Ten Commandments hanging on his wall to refer too.
Option two makes God arbitrary and capable of issuing abhorrent commands, and making those commands "good." Which makes him indistinguishable from a tyrant.
Where I believe Socrates to be in error (if I may be so bold... he would consider it a service to be questioned) is his implicit assumption that The Good and God's will are different and related as a cause and effect. My answer (well, it's been around long before me, but I adopt it
- The Good == God's Will
God cannot do the logically impossible. And it is logically impossible for God to do the ungodly. So God cannot issue evil commands because he IS good. God's commands are good because they are always in accord with his own nature.
I don't even ask the question 'is there a god?' because I'm not in the least interested in the answer.
How very odd. If there is a God, he created you. He gave you a mind and a will. And he sustains your existence this very moment. It seems to me that this question should at least arouse your interest...
The big questions in my life revolve around _how_ to live my life, so that the world my young son inherits is a little better for my efforts than the one I came into, not who to live it for.
What exactly do you mean by "better?" Better implies that there is some "good" that you would like to world to move closer too. And a "bad" that you would like it to move away from. A Christian would say that there is a "good" defined by God's nature from which we can say whether the world is getting "better" or "worse." Without that set point of reference, there's no way to make the kind of judgements you're attempting.
Thanks for your response.
Imagining the first and only instance of soemthing is far more complex than simply imagining an additional instance of something we've seen a zillion times before (a person with a watch).
Fair enough. Then suppose instead of a watch you find a machine of unknown purpose, but with well defined orderly systems. Pressurized liquid travels through tubes, little ports open and close, etc. You're not sure what it is, but everything about it seems to have a purpose. I still don't think that you're going to believe that it washed up that way, even though you've never seen anything like it before. Whenever we see order and purpose we immediately assume design. Unless, for some strange reason, we're talking about ourselves.
But that counter is built upon the false premise that all suffering by innocents is caused by other people, and as my examples above show, clearly this is not the case.
Clearly there is a difference between moral evil and natural evil. However I believe that you are assuming a full understanding of events that you really don't possess. First of all, you seem to consider death to be a great natural evil. That is far from certain. If Christians are correct, it would actually be great good. But I do agree that natural evils exist, so I won't belabor that point.
Another understanding that we lack is the sum total of the effects of natural evils. A friend of mine had a young child that was running a dangerously high fever. When they went to the hospital, the staff rushed the child into a room, removed her clothing and plunged her into a tub of ice water. Naturally, the girl did not understand at all and starting screaming "mommy! mommy! no!" She was in a panic and felt completely betrayed. But she didn't, and couldn't, understand the seriousness of her situation or what this was happening to her. All she could see was the "evil" that was being done to her, not that she was being helped.
As an aside... my friend, who is a Christian, said that for the first time she really understood this concept. And also gained some small understanding of how God must be affected by watching his children suffer. And how he must be affected by having to allow it to happen or even cause it to happen.
Anyway, it is in this manner that the existence of an omnibenevolent and omnipotent God is not contradictory with natural evil. We could only make the claim of contradiction if we had full understanding, which we do not. Indeed, even with limited understanding, we can often see the good that comes out of evil. Someone loses a job and then starts a new life and is much happier. Someone has a heart attack, and then starts to appreciate his family. Someone has an unexpected death in the family, and old feuds are forgotten.
There are times when it is difficult to see how good does come from some evils. But this should come as no surprise, since we know we do not have perfect understanding. But the point is to demonstrate how God's nature does not logically conflict with the existence of natural evils.
Thanks for the post. Your conversation is thought provoking.
That is so wrong I don't know where to begin.
I'm sure you'll think of something...
There is MUCH MUCH MUCH more evidence for the existence of aliens, such as a single eyewitness account (actually, more than one, but one for aliens is more than the zero for God).
Actually, I've found plenty of people who claim to have seen or talked to God. It usually goes like this. "God spoke to me and he want you to do <SOMETHING>." Naturally this sort of nonsense gives Christianity a bad name. But guilt by association is still unjust. There are wackjobs in every group. I recognize that this wasn't your main point, but to extend your analogy. To judge all Christians by the weirdos would be like judging all astronomers by the weirdo "scientists" that appear on Art Bell. To address your main point. There are people who claim eyewitness accounts of God or the supernatural. Who can judge the validity of their claims without investigation... but likely they're about as reliable as the claims of people who see aliens.
The only reason you think it is reasonable is because you already believe, so it's not a stretch for you. You probably deny the existence of aliens, although I consider it a foregone conclusion. My beliefs have infinitely more evidence, but you'd call me a crackpot, and yourself a good person because you believe in faeries, while I believe in green/grey monsters.
Even though I have trouble convincing people of this... reason really did precede my faith. But I suppose I bear some responsibility for that, since I come on so strong. But, hey, this is
If anything, both of us are nuts.
A distinct possibility! Reminds me of the guy in the Hitchhiker's Guide who wanted to find the person who ran the universe... because he wasn't doing a very good job.
You can't wrap your mind around infinite complexity or infinite anything for that matter, so you call the infiniteness "God." You may be right, you may be crazy. I don't know.
I agree that we're working with very limited tools. Even if we understood this little planet perfectly, which we don't by a long shot, it's still less than a microscopic speck in the grand scheme. One reaction to that would be to become a skeptic and believe that we can know nothing worth knowing. I tried that, but it's got a logical flaw. How can we say that we know that we can't know anything? If that's true, than we know at least one thing. And if we know that, maybe there are other things that we can know. The other possibility is that knowing that you can't know anything is subject to it's own rule of being worthless knowledge. In that case it's self defeating by it's own definition. My conclusion (well, actually Thomas Aquinas' conclusion) is that we can know things. We've at least got to know that we exist and we perceive things. And from that foundation, limited tho it may be, we can begin to build.
If God is infallible, how could he create humans that are imperfect?
I would argue that he could only create humans that are imperfect. Suppose that you're God, sitting there all absolutely perfect, and you decide you want to create some free creatures. Part of your perfection is that you exist necessarily, you are eternal. And you are the only thing that exists necessarily... in fact you ARE existence. What really exists is you in timeless perfection. It is logically impossible for you to create a perfect being (yes, God cannot do the logically impossible). For to create a perfect being, it would have to exist necessarily (be eternal too), since to exist necessarily is more perfect than to exist contingently. So the best possible thing you could do is to create an imperfect being. At least imperfect in the sense of being contingent. But there's other limitations as well. If the being is created free, then it has the ability to make choices. Suppose it chooses to do things that conflict with reality (you). Suppose it decides to go off an kill some of it's fellow imperfect beings. Could you stop them? Sure! You could remove their freedom or remove them entirely. Either option effectively destroys them. But some of the beings are really trying. Some of them really are searching and trying to conform to reality. Is it better to wipe them all out, or to allow both to continue? However, the situation is more complex, of course, since the groups don't fall so neatly into place. We all, at various times, display traits of both groups. So the real option is whether to destroy everyone. But if that were the best course, you never would have created them to begin with. The sum total of good done is greater than the evil. I know this is really long, but I hope it gives you some flavor of how a perfect God can (must) create imperfect creatures.
You see a device created by man because you know what it is. If anything, a dog sees a shiny rock that has little insects or something in it.
I agree with what you say, but I don't think it's on point. In this case the limitation is with the dog. He's incapable of understanding the order that does exist in the watch. I'm certain that there are things in the universe which we are as incapable of understanding as the dog is the watch. Not to mention our ability to understand God. The only one who would understand all order perfectly would be God himself. But that's not what I'm talking about. We still recognize order at whatever level we are at. We can understand the order of the watch, and we can recognize the greater order of our bodily systems. The dog can understand order at whatever level he is capable. Perhaps that is only, "when the bell rings, I get food." But the existence of order itself is evidence of intelligence, regardless of the level at which we understand it.
ONLY if you are a Christian. If you do not already subscribe to your strict beliefs, God can be a friggin can of soup.
People can, and have, made gods out of all sorts of things. The Christian definition of God implies something truly supernatural. Not just "magical" but something totally above nature. The Christian concept isn't that God is the "coolest thing in creation" but that he is ultimately what exists. Everything else is mostly smoke and mirrors (or mostly space with a scattering of atoms). Any other definition of God really doesn't get to the heart of the matter of existence... because you'll always have an endless "cause and effect" chain hanging in mid air. Ultimately, something causeless needs to exist. And it is the definition of that thing that is of interest... to me anyway...
Please don't take this as an insult, but you seem to have thought too much about a topic that is unthinkable...
No insult at all. I wouldn't be on this site if I was too thin skinned. Part of why I do this is to test my conclusions. It's the closest I can find to talking to a modern age Socrates. I need people to show me what I haven't yet considered. You've contributed to that and I'm grateful.
I hadn't considered that I had thought "too much" about it. Although I would agree that "thinking too much" is possible. C.S. Lewis has a story about a man who declined to go to heaven because he would've missed a seminar about heaven.
Despite my "gung ho" Christian appearance, my faith is actually quite weak. If it were stronger, I would be less interested in shoring it up with philosophy, theology and logic. But I do strongly believe that we can know things that are worth knowing. If for no other reason (although there are better reasons) than to be consistent with how I actually conduct myself. I don't step out in front of a car, because I believe it better to not be hit by the car than to be hit by it. That implies that all sorts of things! That I exist. That the car exists. That we exist in some sort of relation to each other, that some things are "better" than others, etc. From that humble foundation, we really can know things worth knowing.
Keep in mind that much of the world disagrees with your assertions of fact.
Bring 'em on!
This has been a lot of fun! I'm sure you have plenty to say about this post. Conversations like this tend to grown exponentially.
Seeing as you're a born again Christian, I'm fully aware that no amount of evidence can convince you that your religion is based on lies.
If you insist on believing something which cannot be demonstrated, and frankly isn't logical, then that's your right...
even though mine is based on logic, and yours is based on faith...
You think there's a God, even though no evidence exists to support that claim.
You know... you actually have given me some insight. The assumptions you make about me are staggeringly inaccurate. And yet you are in active correspondence with me. Amazing. If you can be so wrong about someone you're actually conversing with, no wonder you're so wrong when dealing with 2000 year old writings.
But I can see that you want to end the conversation, so I'll try to end on a positive note.
I'm glad to learn that we both consider ourselves to be students of logic. You're such a bright guy, I'm sure you've noticed that many people think they know something about logic, but really don't. I was talking to someone just the other day. He kept talking about how he only believed in logic. So I asked him to define modus ponens and modus tollens for me. Can you believe that he couldn't do it! Imagine! There he was going on and on about logic, when he didn't even know the basics. Amazing! Needless to say he didn't know what a categorical syllogism or an analytic proposition was either. Wow. I sure am glad you're not that way. I'm sure you know all about that without even having to look it up. You wouldn't be talking about logic so much unless you really knew your stuff.
Of course, there's no way for me to know either way. Now that you have the terms you could just look them up and I wouldn't know the difference.
But you would... wouldn't you...
Thanks for the reply!
Those societies that behave as though there is a moral law, outperform (an an evolutionary sense) those who do not; i.e. a society that promotes the wwell-being of its fellow-members must increase in numbers more than one that doesn't.
An excellent point. I fully agree that we do possess various instincts that promotes our own survival as well as the survival of our community (herd). And that this instinct is probably purely natural.
However, I would argue that there is more at work here. For example, suppose that you look outside your window late at night and see a young woman being attacked. Immediately you'll be affected by at least two natural instincts. You'll have an instinct to protect the herd by intervening and helping the woman. But there is also danger involved. You'll likely feel fear at the possibility of being injured or killed if you intervene. So there's a herd instinct to help and a self-preservation instinct to not get involved.
But there's also a third thing in play. You know that you ought to help the woman. It's the right thing to do. There's something inside us that tells us which instinct should be encouraged and which should be suppressed. It judges the two instincts and assigns a moral priority. If you don't help the woman, you'll feel shame. And other people will view you with disgust.
If the moral law is nothing but instinct, and only those instincts are in your mind, then the stronger of the two instincts must win out. But very often the prompting of the moral law encourages us to choose the weaker of the two instincts. For example, you may want to be safe much more than you want to help a woman you don't even know. But at times like this the moral law is most visible, encouraging us to "wake up" or strengthen our herd instinct and suppress our survival instinct. The thing that is doing this encouraging cannot itself be the herd instinct. The herd instinct can't say "I'm asleep, wake me up!" It has to be something else, something that is not an instinct and is above instinct. And this thing I argue to be the supernatural moral law.
Thanks for the response.
Christianity is a sham from beginning to end. Jesus was at best a "Vegas Act"... a hoax, a showman, a "magician". He was fully aware of the Jewish prophecies and used it to it's fullest effect.
I'm afraid that's the bias you're bringing to the text. You assume that there is nothing supernatural going on, so you only have natural explanations for the events. If that is the case, than the most likely explanation is that Jesus was intentionally trying to fulfill the prophecies as you describe. However, if you are open minded enough to allow for the supernatural, it allows for the explanation that he actually did fulfill them and that the prophecies are real.
If you'll forgive me an observation, I think this is the fundamental area where we disagree. You seem to latch onto one or two passages in the Bible and then start building elaborate theoretical constructs on what "really happened" from a very naturalistic, skeptical point of reference. I would also observe that you seem to have completely disregarded any possibility of the divine guiding the events in question. So, our disagreement really isn't about these passages. It's about the existence of God and his relationship with history. His existence has been adequately proven to me, and it hasn't to you. Therefore we look at things from entirely different points of view. And we're not going to make any progress because of that vastly perspective.
Basically, you've been fed a lie, and in order to cover it up, and to perpetuate it, everything said and written is twisted and misinterpreted in order to serve that lie.
I would like to give this advice back to you. I accepted Christianity through reason and argument. It took about a year of near full time study, before I really dared accept that Christianity may be true. The lie that you've been fed is that materialism is all that's true or "provable" and that Christianity is illogical and for simpletons. I've been on both sides of the argument, and I can tell you for an absolute fact that this is a lie. I still have atheistic friends. The smartest among them have a deep respect for Christianity due to it's contributions to philosophy, literature, poetics and as the foundation for western culture. I don't mean this as a personal insult, but I'll be honest. Your obvious destain for Christianity leads me to believe that you really haven't studied it fairly.
Thanks for your reply. First of all, I'd like to rachet the tone down a bit. If you took offense at anything in my post, I apologize. It wasn't my intent. My intent is merely to discuss the nature of the universe. We're not likely to end up agreeing any time soon, but that's no reason not to enjoy the conversation.
Assuming Jesus The Christ was indeed an earthly human being, which has yet to be substantially proven. (And even the Bible-sans-Gospels is sketchy on this)
Why would we remove the Gospels from the conversation? That's like saying, "if you remove the evidence, there's no evidence!" In any event, the remainder of the New Testament clearly demonstrates that they are writing about a real person. A few small sample:
Romans 1:1 Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God...
...spirit of holiness through resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 Corinthians 2:2: For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
1 Corinthians 11:23: For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over...
1 Corinthians 15:1: But if Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how can some among you say there is no resurrection of the dead?
2 Corinthians 4:5: For we do not preach ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your slaves for the sake of Jesus.
Now, you don't have to believe in it. But I don't understand how you can say that the rest of the New Testament doesn't treat Jesus as a real person. I would argue that this is all that it talks about!
Oh really? Where? Give me sources, because other than some book that may-or-may-not have been written around then, I, and many others, can't find any.
By "some book" I assume you mean the Bible. The Bible is actually a collection of books that was assembled into a single volume sometime later. But I digress. I happily refer you to the writings of the early Church Fathers. Great reading!
Oh, and by the way, if you're a Christian, get the man's name right. It's Jesus The Christ, or The Christ Jesus.
LOL! I realize that. I'm impressed by your attention to detail. Tho... The term "Christ" has long since passed into common usage to refer to the man as a proper name. I trust that you're clever enough to figure out who I'm referring too...
We don't "misunderstand" Christianity. We understand it perfectly well...you on the other hand, can't even get the name of the person you worship right.
Wow! If that's true, I would be mightily impressed. I'm spending my life actively working to understand it, and I've only scratched the surface. If you already have perfect understanding, you must truly have a remarkable mind. You'll have to forgive me a bit of sarcasm. I too used to believe that I understood Christianity, and I too enjoyed poking fun at Christians. The reason I recommend that book is that it was the first book dealing with Christianity that I ever read with an open mind. And I was stunned at what I learned and how very little I knew.
First of all, that's a very well thought out post. I don't agree with a lot of it. But it's clear that you've thought a lot about the subject. Which makes sense, given your sig...
The difference is that I recognize that I don't actually HAVE the burden of proof here.
I believe the burden of proof is shared. It is true that the Christian must provide evidence for Christian doctrine. But I think that a default position of believing in God generically is very reasonable. If, for no other reason, than the presence of order. Imagine that you were walking down a beach and found a pocket watch. Would your first reaction be
- How marvelous. The natural forces of the tide and erosion formed this time piece. Look at how all the gears naturally evolved to keep time.
- Someone dropped their watch.
The default assumption is that the watch was manufactured by an intelligent being. Now if that is true for the watch, how much more so for the universe! Or even just our bodies. How much more ordered and designed are our repertory and circulatory systems than that watch. How much more designed are our brains, our eyes and our hands. It seems to me that it is the atheist that must prove why I shouldn't believe this to be the work of an intelligent God.
In order for your proposed thing to be relevant, it's got to actually AFFECT something about the universe, and that means evidence theoretically exists for it (but might not be found yet).
I would, and have, argued that there is evidence for God.
The only reason you can't disprove god is that the term is fuzzily defined.
The definition of God isn't fuzzy at all. God is:
- Necessary (can't cease to exist)
Now we could spend a lifetime investigating and discussing any one of those and only scratch the surface. The subject is vast, as it would have to be if we are really talking about God. But the being himself is well defined in general terms.
Thanks for the conversation!
Is it possible to prove the existence of a god, or another being not residing in the same dimension as us, with only evidence from this world?
Great question! Here's my take. Christians do believe in another "dimension", or realm, or whatever you want to call it. This realm is the "supernatural." Not in an eerie, ghost-like way. But simply "above nature." It is the realm of the divine, of ideas, morality, will and intelligence.
Your question of evidence is directly on point. As another response to your question observes; there are an infinite number of things to believe in, if you require no evidence. The evidence for this realm is within ourselves.
If you look at yourself, you can observe that you have a free will. You can choose to do, and not to do, a wide variety of things. If there is nothing above nature, from whence does this remarkable ability come? If we are nothing more than atoms and space, we should be nothing more than a ball rolling downhill. Our trajectory, speed and ultimate destination determined as soon as we began to move, determined by the physical laws that control all other matter. Yet we aren't that way. Even people who hold that they have no free will, don't behave that way in their real lives. Just take off with their wallet and see how quickly they believe in your free will and hold you accountable for it.
We also observe that we have morality. That's a word that carries a of baggage these days... I'm talking about large scale morality. Like, it's better to feed a million people than to torture them to death. However, morality itself depends upon a supernatural realm. If there is not a "good" defined and enforced by something higher than nature, then there is no "good" at all. And there is no "evil." If this is the case, than there really is no ultimate difference between Mother Theresa and Hitler. There's no difference between giving your kid a hug or pushing him down the stairs. Again, even people who deny the supernatural, don't really live their lives that way. If you try to do something evil to them, they (either themselves or through law enforcement) hold you accountable for what you do. They expect you to know the moral law and respect it, even while denying that there is a moral law.
There are more examples, but this is already getting really long. The point is this. There's something special about humans. We are matter, but we are free. We are animals, but we recognize morality. If there is nothing above nature, than those are illusions. And if they are illusions, than "humanity" is an illusion. We may as well murder, steal, rape and plunder, because it doesn't make any difference, and we're not in control anyway. But if you look at yourself, I believe that you know better. You don't know in a scientific manner. Science (the study of nature) is powerless to study that which is above nature. You know internally. You know in what a Christian calls "your heart." It's a part of you. And you'd have to work to suppress it.
And that's, IMHO, is the answer to your question. The evidence of God is in you. In your will. In your morality. The one place in all of creation where you have the "inside track." We don't know what it's like to be anything else but ourselves. And when we look at ourselves, we find evidence for the supernatural... or if we don't, we find what C.S. Lewis called the "Abolition of Man" if we deny the supernatural. For we have to deny all that makes us human.
Speaking of Lewis, he's was a former atheist, just like me. And a professor at Oxford, totally unlike me.
I strongly disagree. I mean no offense, but I'd guess that you're trolling. But, on the off chance that you're serious... you're building speculation on top of supposition on top of speculation.
This is most likely a mistake, or a misunderstanding due to faulty translation of the original text.
What evidence do you have that this is "most likely?" And what "text" are you referring too? The term "holy grail" does not appear in Scripture. The earliest mention of anything resembling "the holy grail" is in Helinandus' Gradale around 720 A.D. Most "grail" legend is from a relatively small period in the middle ages (1180 and 1240). So any "text" you're referring too is going to be very far removed from the events in question.
Since there is ample evidence to suggest Jesus was in fact the descendant of Solomon and David, and therefore he was true Royalty
This is true.
Which is exactly why they killed him (jews did not), if he was even killed, which is not even certain and cannot be proven.
This is not true. Pilate went out of his to try to set Jesus free. Fearing a riot, he finally acquiesced and had Jesus killed. As far as Jesus' death being "not even certain and cannot be proven," what standard of proof are you looking for? You seem ready to believe, and spread, all sorts of speculation on the flimsiest of evidence. Yet you're unwilling to accept the death of Christ, which is one of the most heavily documented events in the history of the world.
So if Royal Blood is indeed the proper translation of sangraal, and due to its inherent connection with Christianity then it most likely refers to Jesus' bloodline.
Again... the proper translation of what? You're constructing a house of cards...
As is generally believed, Mary Magdalen moved to the South of France after the crucifixion...
Actually, almost no one believes this. There is an 11th century legend of Mary Magdalen going to France, but it is utterly without foundation in fact. Most likely, Mary Magdalen retired to Ephesus with the Blessed Virgin as stated by St. Gregory of Tours.
There is also ample suggestion in the gospels of Jesus being married...
Now you're just getting strange. There's no evidence what-so-ever of this in the Gospels.
It is in fact a lie concocted by religious leaders trying to obfuscate the fact Jesus was a married man with a family; being married and having children was practically required at that time and it's unfathomable that he didn't.
Again, just plain wrong. You only have to look at the writings of St. Paul:
Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion. (1 Cor. 7:7-9)
But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.(1 Cor. 7:28)
I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord's affairs--how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world--how he can please his wife-- and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world--how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord. (1 Cor. 7:32-33)
The fact is that the Last Supper was a Passover meal. At a Passover meal there are four cups of wine consumed. Jesus lead the meal and had a cup which he shared. If the cup still exists, it's location is unknown. The legend of "the holy grail" is a product of middle age fiction. The "history" you're trying to build around it baseless.
Oh, and in case you were still wondering, I am an Atheist.
I used to be an athiest... or at least an agnostic. Here's a book by another former athiest that I recommend. Many people, especially on slashdot, gravely misunderstand Christianity. This is a book for intelligent people interested in what Chrisitianity really is... not what it is sterotyped to be.