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This is for the Atheists?

My question is this. The Roman empire put Jesus to death for claiming to be the son of God. The Romans then persecute the Christians putting them to death. The same empire turns around and accepts that he is the son of God and makes Christianity the official religion of the empire. This in turn becomes the begin of the end for the Romans because it takes away from the power of Emperor for he is not longer a god himself. Why would the strongest empire in the world give its power up so willing if this was nothing more then just a story? By the way unfolded only a few short year ago during this time period.

15 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    It's summed up in the phrase, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em."

    The Christians were a problem to the Roman Empire that they couldn't resolve, and that was causing a lot of dissension in their territories. So, rather than sit back and allow the empire to be fractured by this, the emperor declared that Christianity would be the state religion, thereby giving the appearance of taking back control of the situation. In reality, this still didn't work, and the empire fell anyway.

  • ?
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    First, let's deal with the little problem of you "story" not being accurate.

    There's really no evidence an actual "jesus" even existed, or that he was put to death at all -- so claiming that as a "fact" is a bit silly.

    Second, even if there was, he wasn't put to death by "the Roman Empire," but by a governor of the Judean province, egged on by the locals. "The Empire" knew nothing about it.

    Third, "the empire" didn't accept that he was the son of god. Constantine, whose mother had converted, decided to use christianity for political reasons (he didn't even "convert" and get baptized himself until he was on his death bed). He simply considered the spreading religion useful as a way to quell dissent in his empire, since christianity at the time preached obedience to secular leaders.

    And fourth, Constantine and Tertullian (who made christianity the state religion) *thought* christianity could be used as a tool to control an unruly populace. For a while they were right. But what really brought down the Roman Empire wasn't christianity (although the east-west church arguing had something to do with it) -- it was internal corruption and an inability to properly administer their far-flung empire.

    Finally, your claim that this unfolded "only a few short year ago during this time" is completely false. Constantine didn't begin to use christianity for at least 350 years after magic jesus supposedly lived, and the empire didn't lose its power for hundreds of years more.

    So basically, your question shows an ignorance of history, dishonesty, and lack of critical thinking skills -- it does not show what you seemed to think it does. And even if it did, it would still be a fallacious argument from personal incredulity.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    >>The Roman empire put Jesus to death for claiming to be the son of God.<<

    No, the Romans crucified Jesus because that's what the Jewish authorities wanted, and Pilate was afraid of a full-scale riot/revolt.

    >>The same empire turns around and accepts that he is the son of God and makes Christianity the official religion of the empire.<<

    Again no, Constantine "accepted" that and forced the religion (at the point of the sword) on the rest of the nation.

    >>This in turn becomes the begin of the end for the Romans because it takes away from the power of Emperor for he is not longer a god himself.<<

    Again no, the ultimate power just left the Emperors, and transferred to the Vatican & Pope.

  • 8 years ago

    Please read Edward Gibbons, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire vacillated between Paganism and Christianity for years. Christ was probably killed because he was a trouble maker. The Romans killed both Christians and Pagans depending on which religion the current emperor belonged to. History tells that early government and religion were often one and the same. Today it is suggested that Islam is seeking to merge government and their religion.

    Source(s): Reader
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  • Aggy
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Constantine was about 360 AD and by 450 Christianity had become established. It coincided with the decline of the Roman Empire. So your "few short year" are about 500 years from Christ. Emperors do what is expedient politically.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    The Roman empire was already weak by the time they took up Christianity.

    They took it up as there main religion because it had just one god and Constantine the first thought that one god would unite the empire better and thus making them stronger.

    But internal rivalry was just too great and that's why the empire fell.

    Source(s): Atheist and a European historian.
  • 8 years ago

    Your distillation misses a lot of important points. Just a few to start

    The empire was already in decline when Constantine changed religions

    They did not give up power willingly. Constantine still thought he was chosen by god to be emperor.

    While not gods, monarchs ruled by divine right after the fall of the RE.

    You have filtered out any counter evidence to support your point rather addressing that evidence that does not fit your belief.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    The fall of the Roman Empire had nothing to do with religion so it can't prove or disprove anything in that matter. Although, accepting Christianity and then falling would prove something you wouldn't like, more than the thing you would like it to prove.

    The fall of the Roman empire happened because of politics, economics and military + barbarian invasions.

  • 8 years ago

    The same empire, not the same emperor.

    Don't forget the 300 years in between, for Constantine to observe what a useful myth the story of Jesus has become.

    Rome conquered much of Europe with this story, to this very day the Vatican still wields enormous power across the world and possesses much wealth.

  • 8 years ago

    And when did you imagine this transfer took place dear, the whole organisation of the catholic church is pure unadulterated Roman Empire. The Emperor did not surrender his semi divinity, the Pope Still has it.

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