For more information, see: Kersey Graves and The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviors by Richard Carrier
- THE most important lesson deducible from all the religious systems, commemorated in history, and noticed in this work, is, that all religious conceptions, whether in the shape of doctrine, precept, prophecy, prayer, religious devotion, or a belief in miracles, are a spontaneous outgrowth of the moral and religious elements of the human mind. And to assign them a higher origin is to ignore the developments of modern science, and insult the highest intelligence of the age.
- From the elevated scientific plane occupied by the most enlightened portion of the present age, there is no difficulty in finding a satisfactory solution for every event, every occurrence, and every performance recorded in any of the numerous bibles which have long been afloat in the world, and which have always constituted the sole basis for the claim to a divine origin of all the religious systems of the past; so that such a claim can be no longer vindicated by historically intelligent people.
- We have shown in this work that all the miraculous incidents related in the history of Jesus Christ as a proof of his divinity can find a more rational explanation than that which assigns them to divine agency. Some of them are now known to be within the natural capacity of the human mind to achieve, others are explained by recently discovered natural laws. Another class are now well understood mental or nervous phenomena. Other stories now regarded by the Christian world as referring to miraculous achievements, were probably designed by the writer as mere fable or metaphor. All the events in Christ's history, we have shown, are susceptible of a hundred fold more rational explanation than that which regards them as the feats of a God in violation of his own laws.
- We have also shown that the same marvelous incidents now found incorporated in the Gospel history of Jesus Christ were related long previously as a part of the sacred history of other Gods; such as being miraculously conceived and born of a virgin; born on the 25th of December; visited in infancy by angels and shepherds; threatened by the ruler of the country; being of royal lineage; receiving the same divine titles; performing the same miracles, &c.
In a word, we have shown that various heathen Gods and Demigods had, long before Christ's advent, filled the same chapter in history now reported of him in the Christian New Testament. All these stories of the heathen Gods prove as conclusively as any scientific problem can be demonstrated by figures, that the same stories related of Jesus Christ have no other foundation than that of heathen tradition. And will the Christian world, then, hereafter stultify their common sense by ignoring these facts of history so fatal to their claims? Past history points to an affirmative answer to this question, as we will illustrate.
In the early history of this country, several reports were published of showers of blood being seen to fall in some of the sea-coast states, which were regarded as a divine judgment. But the use of the telescope revealed the fact that it was the ordure of butterflies, as those insects were seen at the time in vast swarms. But the devout Christian, whose faith in his religion has always been proof against the demonstrations of science, would not give it up. He would not accept the butterfly explanation, but continued to teach his children that it came from God out of heaven as a manifestation of displeasure toward the sins of the people. And it now remains to be seen whether Christian professors at the present day will manifest a similar folly by standing out against the demonstrated truths and facts of this work.
- We here cite it as the last and most sorrowful lesson of history, that no facts, no proofs, no demonstrations of science can eradicate religious errors from the human mind, if instilled in early life, and never disturbed till the possessor arrives at mature age or middle life.