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I grew up in Australia, in a loving, secular home, and arrived at Sydney University as a critic of “religion.” I didn’t need faith to ground my identity or my values.
I knew from the age of eight that I wanted to study history at Cambridge and become a historian.
One of the major influences on Christianity is that of Jews, obviously, including those mentioned in the New Testament, i.e., the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Ancient Jewish historian Josephus also mentions the sect of the Essenes, who are traditionally associated with Qumran, in a “by default” argument.
What about the child whose disabilities or illness compromises her abilities to reason?
Over the years, news items have circulated about how “hints” and “insights” contained in the original texts among the famous Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in caves near the ancient site of Qumran can be found in the Bible.
In other words, certain ideas in the scrolls also appear in the New Testament, meaning, of course, that the impression of Christianity as a “divine revelation” appearing whole cloth miraculously from the very finger of God is clearly erroneous.
There, I attended three guest lectures by world-class philosopher and atheist public intellectual, Peter Singer.
Singer recognised that philosophy faces a vexing problem in relation to the issue of human worth.