On Reading the Bible

As a counterpoint to Monday’s post about Genesis, consider this essay, by Craig Kanalley. He writes:

I felt I needed a shake-up in my life. And that’s what happened. I decided to make a career change, abruptly leaving my job at NBC News, and coming back to where I was happy in a prior phase of my life, The Huffington Post (thanks for allowing me back!).

It was risky. For one thing, you’re not supposed to leave a job after just three months. It was a period of transition. And with that transition, I wanted God to be with me.

So, I started reading the Bible. This is something I had tried to do many times before. I was raised Catholic, but I could never find myself to read the whole thing; it’s just so long, and I’m a slow reader.

But I felt my life was in a potentially perilous situation. What if going back to HuffPost didn’t work out like I hoped it would? I turned to prayer. And I told myself I’d read the whole Bible for 100 days. Easy enough with technology — I could track 1 percent of the Bible read per day through iBooks on my iPad. I decided to tell the world and update my progress each day with a Tumblr, so others could hold me accountable if they saw I stopped posting (I never did stop).

You can probably guess where this is going.

And the words I read in the Bible were so strong, so meaningful, and they spoke so loudly to me that they seemed to jump off the page. There were many “aha” moments, epiphanies of sorts. Feelings of, YES, I’ve felt this way before, or YES, I can relate with my own life. The fact that a book so many hundreds of years old can speak to someone like that in this modern world is really amazing, in my opinion.

I just want to thank God for somehow giving me this idea to read the Bible, cover to cover. It made me reflect a ton, learn a ton and I absolutely feel more spiritual, and more happy. As I’ve said, I also have strived to put myself secondary to the happiness of others, especially now that I’m happy myself.

The beginning of Kanalley’s story has a lot of resonance with me, since I went through something similar in graduate school. I, too, decided it was time to read the Bible in a serious, orderly way. In my case the issue wasn’t that I felt there was something missing in my life. It was that so many of my fellow graduate students were devout Christians, and really seemed to think there were truths of life-changing importance contained in the Bible. I thought that maybe I was missing out on something.

So I worked my way through the Bible and spent a lot of time praying. As you can imagine, my experience was very different from Kanalley’s. I could discern no effect at all from the praying. I have had people tell me that they prayed for God to come into their lives and they immediately felt a great weight lifted from their shoulders. Not me. I mostly just felt ridiculous. You might retort that I was praying from the perspective of an atheist, and that made it impossible for me to attain the right frame of mind. To which I can only reply that I prayed with every ounce of sincerity of which I was capable. If that is insufficient then I do not know what more I can do.

The Bible, on the other hand, had a big effect on me. I quickly came to loathe it. When it wasn’t flat-out horrifying it was so unbearably boring that many nights I could only manage to get through one chapter. There are a few good nuggets, but you have to wade through a lot of dross to find them. Page after page just screamed out to me that this was written entirely by human beings, with no guidance at all from a just and loving God. Just to pick one example, how can anyone read Leviticus, with its endless internecine rules for designing the preistly garments and constructing altars, and think these are the sorts of things the God of all creation would care about?

I spend a lot of time at this blog talking about the problem of evil. But there is another famous argument for atheism called the argument from divine hiddenness. Put in crude terms, it asks why, if there really is a loving God who seeks communion with his creatures, do so many sincere seekers never find any trace of Him? There are many Kanalley’s out there, but there are also many people just like me. Why would God speak so clearly to him but not to me?

Comments

  1. #1 kevin R
    June 21, 2012

    I was raised catholic in a predominately, evangelical bible belt area of the midwest. I read the bible as a teenager, in part to try and reconcile the differences between the beliefs of my catholic parents and the entirely different beliefs of my friends pentacostal and babtist parents.

  2. #2 Bob Carlson
    June 21, 2012

    Former pastor, Mike Aus, gave his take on the Bible starting at about the 5 min. point in this video. At around min. 14, he makes the point that if the Bible was inspired by God you’d think it would be the best book ever written and that you simply couldn’t put it down. Instead, he says, people who start reading the Bible usually lose interest somewhere around the middle of Leviticus.

  3. #3 Some guy on the interwebs
    June 21, 2012

    I have no idea why the problem of evil looms so large in theology. There is an obvious solution to the “problem” of “why bad things happen”, perhaps God exists but He is evil, or just indifferent. Why does He have to be good anyway? This was only ever an assumption in the first place. Meanwhile the problem of divine hiddenness is more devastating to traditional theology, but less talked about.

  4. #4 Bruce Gerencser
    http://brucegerencser.net
    June 21, 2012

    Simple Jason, you are not one of the elect. :)

    I am with you. As an Evangelical pastor for 25 years and a Christian for 50 years, I read and studied the Bible for thousands of hours. Since deconverting I have not read the Bible outside of research for a blog post. I find no comfort in its stories.

  5. #5 Savage
    June 22, 2012

    I know a lot has been written about indoctrination at a young age to be ever gripped by religion, but I think a lot is in the genes (or memes). I grew up in a very religious house and environment , but could not, since I was about 10 years old, accept that God could read every thought of humankind. This thought lead to the ultimate rejection of the existence of any god(s) when I reached puberty. When I read The Origin of Species, I then knew I was right and used Darwin as “proof” that the Bible was factually terribly wrong. Needless to say, I was thrown out of the Bible class for good. (I am South African and in the 60s we had a good dose of the Christian God at school and the churches rejected evolution and endorsed apartheid.) So why am I so different to a lot of my fellow school day friends with similar upbringings? Is it in the genes?

  6. #6 csrster
    June 22, 2012

    Personally I quite like the Bible, or at least parts of it. It is, after all, not so much a book as an anthology so there’s no reason why you’d expect it to be of uniform quality. I agree it has dull parts but then so does The Iliad or The Kalevala.

    I’m sure it helps that I’ve never, as an adult, believed a word of it (well Kings & Chronicles probably have some historical basis but you know what I mean) so I can approach it as “just another major piece of ancient world literature”.

  7. #7 Wow
    June 22, 2012

    Reading the bible with an open mind removes the faith that the god of the bible is true. The errors, contradictions and plain horrific snuff-filmic depictions within it preclude it being the word of God.

    It cannot be the word of God.

  8. #8 Wow
    June 22, 2012

    “I have no idea why the problem of evil looms so large in theology.”

    Because the theology of the god as most people who profess a belief in god is inconsistent with the existence of evil.

    If you claim God has attributes X, Y and Z, then if the observations of the results of their actions preclude those attributes then that claim for god is disproven.

  9. #9 Sen
    June 22, 2012

    I decided to sit down and read the Bible from cover to cover several times as a teenager.

    I don’t think I every got past all the begats in Genesis 5.

  10. #10 Wow
    June 22, 2012

    They were begat mad in them days…

  11. #11 Neil Rickert
    http://nwrickert.wordpress.com/
    June 22, 2012

    I have had people tell me that they prayed for God to come into their lives and they immediately felt a great weight lifted from their shoulders. Not me. I mostly just felt ridiculous.

    That sounds familiar. It was very much my experience. Praying seemed like talking to a brick wall.

    I spent a lot of time reading the Bible. And that cured me of religion. What I found striking, was that God was evolving (changing over time). And the explanation seemed clear. It was man that created God in man’s image. And as culture evolved, so did the nature of the God created by that culture.

    That was a long time ago. The Bible is one of the best arguments for atheism.

  12. #12 eric
    June 22, 2012

    csrster:

    It is, after all, not so much a book as an anthology so there’s no reason why you’d expect it to be of uniform quality.

    I think that’s part of Jason’s point. If it was god-given, you would expect it to be of a uniform, high, quality.

    Jason:

    why, if there really is a loving God who seeks communion with his creatures, do so many sincere seekers never find any trace of Him?

    And why do so many sincere seekers disagree with each other about the message? At some point, you have to just declare that God’s message is tautologically unclear: to fit the definition of ‘clear,’ a message can’t result in billions of people over 3,000 years disagreeing about what the message is.

    To put it in scientific terms, people tend to focus on the question of whether the bible is accurate – i.e., represents objective reality correctly. But there is also the issue of the bible-as-message being imprecise – i.e., giving different readings depending on who uses it. A very imprecise instrument sucks. Even if you later find out that its accurate, you can’t trust any given reading to be accurate. Maybe this instrument God has given us IS accurate. Maybe the scale does tell us our weight. But God should be able to do better than a scale that gives us our weight plus or minus 300 pounds. Which is what, analogously, the bible does.

  13. #13 JimR
    June 22, 2012

    An infamous Dear Dr. Laura letter, mis-attributed to a UVa professor, highlights some of the absurd rules in Leviticus.

  14. #14 Charles Sullivan
    June 22, 2012

    Jerry Coyne just posted about his current reading of the Bible. It’s hilarious.

  15. #15 eric
    June 22, 2012

    Charles beat me to it.

    First Jerry regularly posts on your articles, now you do a ‘reading the bible’ post just as he’s reading the bible. If you guys show up at a conference wearing the same shirt-and-tie combo, I’m gonna start suspecting something. :)

  16. #16 pap
    June 22, 2012

    That’s sad.

  17. #17 Comrade Carter
    June 22, 2012

    I haven’t read the Bible, seriously, since I was in my 30s. I am 52.

    I haven’t been a Christian (a Roman Catholic) since I was seven or eight year old boy in Hagerstown, Maryland.

    I don’t need it because it was never relevant. Not one bit. Nor did any of the Nuns who taught me find my aversion to it all that puzzling. It may have worked for them, but they were more concerned that I’d stay a liberal.

  18. #18 MIchael Bernard
    Los Angeles
    June 23, 2012

    I still participate in many “religious” activities for which religion works much better than atheism, like marriges, funerals, christenings, and bar-mitvahs. They have to be edited in my mind, just as reading the bible requirres. And that’s the point.
    We all cherry pick, especially the religous who call the bible “the truth” or “absolutely true, every word of it.”
    I once asked Souza at a talk he gave with Michael Shermer about religion and morality without god, “How is it any different for a believer and an antheist to get morality out of the bible? We both must as human beings decide what is true and what is false, what is moral and what is not in our reading of the bible.” He had no good answer other than faith.
    I’ve given up deciding things based upon authority a long time ago. In my childhood I never could understand how my relatives and so many in the Jewsih community could see God as good, after half our family was murdered in Eastern Europe during World War II. I’d have had to ignore a lot of reality to cling to the goodness of god. I couldn’t do it. Reading the bible was of not help either. I still had to cherry pick.

  19. #19 Jim Harrison
    San Francisco
    June 23, 2012

    The Bible is much easier to appreciate if you aren’t a believer and never have been a believer. As a lifelong reader of old books, I mostly prefer the Greek and Roman classics; but the Jewish scriptures have their moments from a literary point of view—Job, Jonah, the Psalms, Ecclesiastes, some of the narratives in Genesis through Kings—and you simply have to know something about the Bible to understand vast swatches of European literature and art. I understand why folks who have liberated themselves from oppressive churches at considerable personal cost are bound to find Bible reading a fraught experience, but I hope even the most fire-breathing new atheist will acknowledge that for a lot of us that just isn’t the case.

  20. #20 Wow
    June 24, 2012

    ” “religious” activities for which religion works much better than atheism, like marriges, funerals, christenings, and bar-mitvahs”

    Although there’s nothing wrong with having a religious ceremony for the reason of having a religious ceremony, in what way does religion work better for marriages, funerals and christenings?

    I went to a marriage between two people who aren’t christian but the family friend (a christian pastor) was officiating. And apart from two sentences about how it is lovely that they love each other, every single other sentence was about Christ, how he loves us, how he died for us and how we should let him in.

    ABSOLUTELY NAFF ALL to do with the marriage.

    That is just an example.

    I exclude barmizvah because I think that one may have a solely religious meaning, therefore tautological since you couldn’t in that case have an atheist one.

    But the question stands: in what way does a religious ceremony work better than an atheist one for them?

  21. #21 David Evans
    June 24, 2012

    I just took another look at Genesis 1, trying to visualize each verse. I got stuck pretty quickly:

    1:7: And God made the firmament and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament:

    1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
    1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

    So the Sun, Moon and all the stars are in “the firmament”. Somewhere above “the firmament” there is a significant amount of water.

    Where?

  22. #22 Lenoxus
    June 24, 2012

    David Evans, perhaps I can help.

    In the various cosmologies of ancient cultures in the Middle East, including those of Egypt, Canaan, and (a bit kater) Israel, the universe is assumed to be permeated with water rather than nothingness. So the answer to “where?” is “everywhere”.

    The usual creation stories go something like this: the water is by some means “separated” into the sky and land, which may themslves be deities. (Sometimes, prior to this, a deity has to defeat a sea monster before he can create anything. The pre-Biblical Yahweh was one of the deities who did this, and this feat of his is memorialized in one of the Psalms.)

    Ultimately, a complete world is formed: it is a flat disc covered by a hollow metallic half-sphere – the firmament – and surrounded above and below by water (or something very like water). The sun, moon and stars are somehow embedded in the firmament. On a twenty-four-hour basis, the whole sky becomes progressively darker and brighter; the sun is not the cause of this, which is why Genesis can say it was created after the first full day.

    Sometime after this, the gods decide to drown the world, so they poke holes in the firmament, filling the Earth with the waters from above and below. To this day, creationists have to produce geologically absurd speculations to explain “scientifically” what the Bible is talking about when it comes to the mechanics of the Flood. In reality, the whole thing is prescientific in a way obviously reflecting local beliefs.

    A decent source on all this is Wikipedia; look up Biblical cosmology, Middle-Eastern mythology, etc.

  23. #23 Lenoxus
    June 24, 2012

    oops, “kater” = later

    Meanwhile, a good hub Wikipedia article is the one on Panbabylonism.

  24. #24 Wow
    June 25, 2012

    Still doesn’t help because ‘everywhere’ doesn’t leave any room for it to be put BEHIND the firmament.

    The book is just basically incoherent.

  25. [...] Jason Rosenhouse posted his own experience with tackling scripture “On reading the Bible“, just the day before I wrote about the same thing.  Thinking he might be missing something [...]

  26. #26 Vincent Torley
    Japan
    June 25, 2012

    Hi Jason,

    Thanks for your article. For your interest, you might like to read a post I wrote for Uncommon Descent on Biblical morality last year, entitled: “Why morality cannot be 100% natural: A Response to Professor Coyne.” Here’s the link:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/why-morality-cannot-be-100-natural-a-response-to-professor-coyne/

    By the way, I have read the Bible through a couple of times. Here’s my advice for people who get stuck reading it: try the Contemporary English Version (CEV). Here’s the link:
    http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/

    Honestly, reading the Bible in the CEV is like a hot knife slicing through butter. It just makes the whole enterprise a LOT easier.

    Cheers.

  27. #27 Wow
    June 25, 2012

    “Why morality cannot be 100% natural”

    Strawman.

  28. #28 Jon S
    June 26, 2012

    Jason, I’m truly sorry you came to loathe the Bible. To me it’s very sad that anyone would feel this way about God’s Word. I’d suggest that what you see as horrifying is only horrifying due to the sinful nature and depravity of man. The Bible certainly isn’t sugar-coated, and it shows time and again how much God hates sin and will judge mankind. Of course this view doesn’t sound very uplifting or encouraging, does it? It is, however, the truth. But there’s more; in addition, it tells us how we can be saved by God’s grace, through his Son, Jesus Christ. This is why the Bible is called the Good News, because we can be saved and receive the crown of life if we put our hope and trust in Jesus.

    As for Leviticus, it’s obviously something that God cares about because it’s included in the Bible. Sure, it may be boring, but it also shows that God is concerned with details. Unfortunately our culture demands that anything which is not entertaining isn’t worth our time. Surely reading a book on mathematics or the Declaration of Independence isn’t very entertaining either, yet they have real value, as does Leviticus. It’s filled with regulations and focuses on the levitical priesthood.

    You do spend a lot of time talking about the problem of evil, but I’ve always maintained that there is no problem. The only problem is not accepting what the Bible tells us about evil. It tells us the origin of evil, why it persists, why God allows it to happen, and how he’s overcome it. As for the argument from divine hiddenness, I’d argue that God is not hiding at all. Not everyone will have the feelings that Kanalley had, and that can be a good thing, because such feelings can fade. Faith isn’t based on feelings, but is based on a real hope in Jesus Christ as our savior and Lord. I’d argue that those whose faith is not based on feelings will have a stronger faith than those who do, and that God has indeed spoken to you if you have read his Word.

  29. #29 Wow
    June 26, 2012

    “I’m truly sorry you came to loathe the Bible”

    So everything is a binary extreme for you?

    If you don’t like the bible, you MUST loathe it?

    Strawman again.

    “To me it’s very sad that anyone would feel this way about God’s Word”

    It isn’t God’s Word. This should make you happier about people who don’t like the bible.

  30. #30 M'thew
    June 26, 2012

    @Jon S:
    Sorry to burst the bubble, but Genesis is fiction -> there is no fall -> there is no (original) sin -> there is no need for salvation.

    By the way, talking about Leviticus: do you eat shellfish? Do you wear clothes made of mixed fibres? Would you have your son stoned to death for talking back at you, or your daughter for not being a virgin on her wedding night? Would you cure a leper by slaughtering one bird and sprinkling the leper and another bird with the blood?

    Why would we pay any attention at all to the OT, let alone the NT?

  31. #31 Xuuths
    June 26, 2012

    Wow, it isn’t a strawman for Jon S to accurately quote Dr. Rosenhouse’s comment that “I quickly came to loathe it.”

    As for it being “God’s Word” — that’s part of a quote from scripture that the scriptures are the word of god. He’s just parroting that. Much like when people talk about what Harry Potter said — except that everyone admits Harry Potter is fiction, and only non-theists admit the bible is fiction.

    Hopefully you will help Jon S by pointing out that even Dr. Collins of the Human Genome Project, a theist, has admitted that DNA evidence clearly proves there was no Adam & Eve. Jon S will then have to decide whether he has the intelligence to believe facts, or is going to turn off his brain and rely on ‘faith’ about things demonstrably untrue.

  32. #32 eric
    June 26, 2012

    JonS:

    I’d suggest that what you see as horrifying is only horrifying due to the sinful nature and depravity of man.

    Deutoronomy 16-17 (KVJ): “But of the cities of these people, which the Lord thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth: But thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee.”

    Utter destruction and the slaughter of noncombatant men, women, and children has absolutely nothing to do with sin in this case – it was a commandment by God. It is horrifying that God would command the slaughter of children without any regard for what they’ve done.

    The only problem is not accepting what the Bible tells us about evil. It tells us the origin of evil, why it persists, why God allows it to happen, and how he’s overcome it.

    The bible also tells us that God has done things we consider evil, and that God has commanded his worshippers do things we consider evil. He’s not allowing it to happen or overcoming it – he’s (at times) the source of it. He’s (at times) the one commanding we do it.

    I’d argue that those whose faith is not based on feelings will have a stronger faith than those who do, and that God has indeed spoken to you if you have read his Word.

    Lots of people have read the bible and not found God. I am not sure how you explain this obvious fact without resorting to the No True Scotsman fallacy (i.e. claiming anyone who reads the bible and doesn’t accept God didn’t really, honestly read it)

  33. #33 Wow
    June 26, 2012

    Well I missed it.

    But Jon had already managed three straw men in a row, so it’s hardly a stretch, is it.

  34. #34 Jon S
    June 26, 2012

    Hi M’thew

    I’m sure you do believe Genesis is fiction, but that proclamation doesn’t make it so anymore than my assertion that it’s nonfiction. The truth is that there’s more evidence supporting the Bible’s reliability than any other historical reading that you may accept as true. The Dead Sea Scrolls, archaeology, and other writings provide evidence to the reliability of scripture. We know that the writings we have match very closely the earliest writings ever discovered, hence we can have confidence that the Old Testament faithfully represents the words given to Moses, David and the prophets. You’d have to have some kind of omniscience yourself to know that Genesis is fiction, unless you admit your belief is based on hope and faith. Otherwise I’d suggest that these ancient writings are an accurate portrayal of real historical events.

    Yes, I LOVE shellfish! And yes, my clothes surely have mixed fibers. No, I wouldn’t stone my son to death for talking back to me (I would discipline him, however), or my daughter for not being a virgin on her wedding night (I’d be very disappointed, but would still love her). I also wouldn’t cure a leper by this method. Thankfully those rules and regulations were prescribed for the Israelites and I’m not bound by them. Nonetheless they were very important to those they were intended for at that time. We have more freedom today than the Israelites did then (1 Corinthians 10:23-31). Still Leviticus demonstrates just how serious sin is, which is a valuable for us today.

  35. #35 Jon S
    June 26, 2012

    Xuuths: “Hopefully you will help Jon S by pointing out that even Dr. Collins of the Human Genome Project, a theist, has admitted that DNA evidence clearly proves there was no Adam & Eve. Jon S will then have to decide whether he has the intelligence to believe facts, or is going to turn off his brain and rely on ‘faith’ about things demonstrably untrue.”

    Funny, I was just reading an AiG article stating that “In 2000 the Human Genome Project announced to the world that all humans biologically belong to one race. Although the people heading this project did not acknowledge it, they confirmed the Bible- that all people are descendants of Adam and Eve and all belong to one biological race.” The Bible teaches that all humans belong to one race, descended through Adam and Eve (And Noah’s family), and the Human Genome Project confirms that there is only one race.

    Of course Collins tries to tell us that the current population had to come from about several thousand or 10,000, but there’s no real evidence for this. His evidence comes from population geneticists who look at the facts about the human genome. But it seems that his starting population of 10,000 is merely assumed based on Mitochondrial Eve calculations. So the facts don’t add up to “no Adam & Eve”.

  36. #36 Jon S
    June 26, 2012

    Eric: Deutoronomy 16-17 (KVJ): “But of the cities of these people, which the Lord thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth: But thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee.”

    Utter destruction and the slaughter of noncombatant men, women, and children has absolutely nothing to do with sin in this case – it was a commandment by God. It is horrifying that God would command the slaughter of children without any regard for what they’ve done.

    Eric, you presented Deuteronomy 20:16-17, but neglected to include verse 18, which tells us that God did regard what was done in those cities. Verse 18 says “Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the LORD your God.” So while you may assume the children were “innocent” based on outward appearances, God judged the entire population because they were worshiping other gods and doing detestable things, including child sacrifice (I’m hoping you don’t agree with that either). So by putting everyone to death, this would assure that those practices would never continue. Yes, it seems harsh, but had anyone been spared then there would be a chance that one day those practices would resume within the Israelite culture, and that did end up happening when Israel disobeyed such commands. So God’s command absolutely did have to do with sin.

    The bible also tells us that God has done things we consider evil, and that God has commanded his worshippers do things we consider evil. He’s not allowing it to happen or overcoming it – he’s (at times) the source of it. He’s (at times) the one commanding we do it.

    If you really believe that then perhaps we should put God on trial and convict him… or did we do that already?

    Obviously what man considers evil doesn’t equate with what God considers evil. You don’t seem to think there’s anything wrong with worshiping other gods, but God finds this detestable; in fact the first commandment is that “you shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). God is holy and righteous, and there is no evil in him. Now that doesn’t stop man from condemning God. But being that God is just and loves us, he lowered himself, became a man, subjected himself to our judgment, and died on the cross for our sins. This demonstrates his compassion and love for all mankind. This is exactly what a loving and compassionate God would do, not what an evil god would do. You’re mistaking God with Satan, who is the real monster, full of evil and deceit, as demonstrated by your belief that God is evil. Satan plays the main role for bringing evil into the world, but most people totally dismiss him as you seem to have.

    Lots of people have read the bible and not found God. I am not sure how you explain this obvious fact without resorting to the No True Scotsman fallacy (i.e. claiming anyone who reads the bible and doesn’t accept God didn’t really, honestly read it)

    I’m saying that if anyone has read the Bible then they HAVE found God. Just because they didn’t have that “aha” feeling that Kanalley had doesn’t mean that they haven’t found him. Not only that, God tells us that his eternal power and divine nature can be clearly seen in his creation (Romans 1:20), so there’s really no excuse.

  37. #37 Wow
    June 27, 2012

    Jon, you neglect all the other verses. In fact xtians only include the bits of the bible that support their current intention ALL THE FREAKING TIME. Whether its to denigrate gays, support slavery, or refute either, there’s a verse in the Multiple Personality Disorder device that is the bible.

    Its why the bible as even a book of fiction has no worth.

    About the only thing you could do to save it is to do as Jefferson(?) did and cut outlook most of it and write a new one from the bits left behind.

  38. #38 Wow
    June 27, 2012

    The bible is PROVEN fiction by the combination of

    1- claims to be the actual word of god
    2 – is self inconsistent

    Which are mutually inconsistent unless you posit an insane god.

    Genesis is proven false by one thing: dinosaurs.

  39. [...] on the Bible bandwagon of Why Evolution is True, and, as it chances, of Jason Rosenhouse’s Evolution Blog. In a long series of lengthy comments someone from Australia, who at first called himself [...]

  40. #40 eric
    June 27, 2012

    Jon S:

    So while you may assume the children were “innocent” based on outward appearances, God judged the entire population because they were worshiping other gods and doing detestable things, including child sacrifice (I’m hoping you don’t agree with that either). So by putting everyone to death, this would assure that those practices would never continue.

    If I thought a 2-year old was being raised by a murderer to be a murderer, I would take the kid away from the murderer. I wouldn’t kill the 2-year-old. That’s insane.

    God is holy and righteous, and there is no evil in him.

    Just to be clear, God does not consider it evil to kill 2-year-oldsif/when their parents are raising them to be evil. Correct? And “raising them to be evil” in this case may just mean “worshipping other gods.” Correct? If a parent is bringing their 2-year-old to mosque, then, killing that toddler is okay with God. Yes?

    Holy, righteous – I do not think they mean what you think they mean.

    But being that God is just and loves us, he lowered himself, became a man, subjected himself to our judgment, and died on the cross for our sins. This demonstrates his compassion and love for all mankind.

    Well, all mankind except for Hittite, Amorite, Canaanite, Perizzite, Hivite, and Jebusite toddlers. Death to those 2-year-olds!!!

  41. #41 Uberjam
    San Antonio Texas
    June 27, 2012

    People hear what they want to hear. Why do you think there can be devout Hindus that “hear” and “feel” their gods and goddesses in just as direct a fashion as described by the author. When the writing is ambiguous enough people will see meaning it. It’s just just horoscopes. It’s nonsense but people will of course feel a weight lifted off them, or some kind of divine intervention, because they want to feel it.

  42. #42 Wow
    June 27, 2012

    Uberjam, the problem is the opposite: how can you tell if you’re WRONG.

    THAT is what proof is doing, and the original meaning of the word (else the saying the exception proves the rule would be nonsense).

    Testing to see if it is wrong or inadequate or mistaken.

    No matter how hard you “feel” the truth, the point is you CANNOT know you’re correct.

    That others just as devoutly feel their assumption shows you that just “feeling” something is right is inadequate. A Shinto faith is incompatible with Abrahamic or Australian aboriginal faith. Yet both have the same level of faith in its truth.

    You can’t ALL be right.

    So how do you find out if the one who is wrong is YOU?

    Proof.

    Test it to find out if it’s wrong. Prove it.

  43. #43 Lenoxus
    June 27, 2012

    Jon S

    Honestly, reading the Bible in the CEV is like a hot knife slicing through butter. It just makes the whole enterprise a LOT easier.

    Did they remove the really awful stuff?

    I’d suggest that what you see as horrifying is only horrifying due to the sinful nature and depravity of man.

    Then I hope I forever remain “depraved”. I never, ever want to change so much that something like sending bears to eat some young men alive, or reminding some soldiers to spare no villagers except female virgins to keep for themselves, is the height of justice for “sinners”.

    Thankfully those rules and regulations were prescribed for the Israelites and I’m not bound by them. Nonetheless they were very important to those they were intended for at that time.

    This sounds an awful lot like that “moral relativism” thing so many Christians seem to dislike and accuse atheists of. I, meanwhile, have this odd idea that the rules “given” to the Israelites were stupid both then and now.

    God judged the entire population because they were worshiping other gods and doing detestable things, including child sacrifice (I’m hoping you don’t agree with that either).

    If the Bible is correct about this (which I don’t think it is), then the Israelites destroyed entire towns frequently enough to constitute regular child sacrifice and then some. And you’re arguing that an all-powerful being had no better solution than the overt barbarism of repeat genocide.

    You’re mistaking God with Satan, who is the real monster, full of evil and deceit, as demonstrated by your belief that God is evil.

    How does one tell the difference? Surely you aren’t saying that we should determine whether or not an entity’s actions are evil by looking at the entity’s name? I mean, I honestly can’t think of anything Satan could do to be more evil than God, except perhaps send a couple more thousand people to Hell than God already does daily.

    Tell us, Jon: If you had a vision of Jesus telling you to kill a particular child, would you do it? If not, then why was it ever okay in history for anyone else to do it? How can you, or an ancient Israelite, tell whether you’re dealing with God, Satan (is satan capable of impersonating God? He is supposed to be the Father of Lies, so it shouldn’t be too difficult for him, yes?), or simple hallucination?

    On a different topic:

    Of course Collins tries to tell us that the current population had to come from about several thousand or 10,000, but there’s no real evidence for this. His evidence comes from population geneticists who look at the facts about the human genome. But it seems that his starting population of 10,000 is merely assumed based on Mitochondrial Eve calculations. So the facts don’t add up to “no Adam & Eve”.

    This is gibberish unless you can specify the assumptions in question and show why they may be invalid. You agree that mitochondria exist, right? How does the way you think they behave contrast with what geneticists believe? What alternative model is there?

  44. #44 Xuuths
    June 27, 2012

    Jon S, you should read where scripture clearly states that god repented of the evil he was going to do.
    Jonah 3:10 “And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.”
    1 Chronicles 21:15
    Jeremiah 26:13
    Amos 7:6

  45. #45 eric
    June 28, 2012

    This just occurred to me…
    JonS:

    God judged the entire population because they were worshiping other gods and doing detestable things, including child sacrifice (I’m hoping you don’t agree with that either)….

    Nope, I think human sacrifice is odious and – if god is truly benevolent – human sacrifice should have no power or magic to it.

    But being that God is just and loves us, he lowered himself, became a man, subjected himself to our judgment, and died on the cross for our sins…

    Didn’t you just get through telling me how human sacrifice is detestable?

    Was God ticked off at the Hittites because sacrificing people is wrong, or was he just ticked off because sacrificing people is something only God gets to do?

    Punishing people for human sacrifice and then sacrificing your own son sounds an awful lot like ‘do as I say, not as I do’ hypocrisy.

  46. #46 Jon S
    June 28, 2012

    Wow: Jon, you neglect all the other verses. In fact xtians only include the bits of the bible that support their current intention ALL THE FREAKING TIME. Whether its to denigrate gays, support slavery, or refute either, there’s a verse in the Multiple Personality Disorder device that is the bible.

    Wow, exactly what verses did I neglect that you’d like to discuss or dispute? You accuse Christians of an underhanded tactic, however atheists are guilty of the same tactics and are not without fault. If Christians intentionally distort verses or only include part of a verse in order to support their own personal gain, then I have a problem with that too. But if the verse is used to speak truth, independent of what the person wants, then there’s nothing wrong with including only the bit that’s relevant, as long as it’s accurate, honest, truthful and applicable.

    Its why the bible as even a book of fiction has no worth.

    But as a work of truth it has great value and leads to life.

    The bible is PROVEN fiction by the combination of
    1- claims to be the actual word of god
    2 – is self inconsistent
    Which are mutually inconsistent unless you posit an insane god.

    Genesis is proven false by one thing: dinosaurs.

    Actually the Bible is consistent, so therefore, by your own admission it would be PROVEN fact. If you disagree then please provide examples for us to discuss. I’d suggest that what you find to be inconsistent is merely your purposeful misunderstanding or ignorance of scripture. For example, you claim that dinosaurs are the one thing that proves Genesis wrong. But how is this so? Is it because, according to your limited knowledge the Bible doesn’t mention the word “dinosaur”? Of course if you’ve read the rest of the Bible you’ll find that the Bible does mention dinosaurs in several places. For some reason atheists and evolutionists consistently make this mistake regardless of how many times it’s been refuted. According to Job 40:15-24 the dinosaur is referred to as a behemoth. The term dinosaur wasn’t invented until 1842 by Sir Richard Own, so it’s dishonest to claim that the Bible doesn’t mention “dinosaurs” when it uses a different name for them. Not only that but the leviathan is described in Job 3:18, Job 41:1-34, Psalm 74:14, Psalm 104:24-26 and Isaiah 27:1-2. So now you’ll have to admit that Genesis is proven true because the one thing you claim that makes Genesis false has been proven to be true when examined closely.

  47. #47 Wow
    June 28, 2012

    The ones that Eric brought up.

    Anyway the bible is a load of tosh: your god told me himself.

  48. #48 eric
    June 28, 2012

    [Wow] The bible is PROVEN fiction by the combination of
    1- claims to be the actual word of god
    2 – is self inconsistent
    Which are mutually inconsistent unless you posit an insane god.

    [JonS] Actually the Bible is consistent, so therefore, by your own admission it would be PROVEN fact. If you disagree then please provide examples for us to discuss.

    Bzzzzt. You have failed symbolic logic 101. Please collect a copy of our home game on the way out.

    Wow made an argument of the form “If A then B.” (If not consistent, then baloney). You claim A is false, therefore B is false, but this is just very bad logic. Wow’s argument does not rule out the possibility that the bible is consistent AND baloney, his argument is just that if it’s inconsistent, it’s baloney.

    (Personally, I’d say Wow is forgetting the ‘god is wicked’ possibility. God doesn’t have to be insane to be inconsistent; He could just be a jerk.)

  49. #49 Wow
    June 28, 2012

    And the bubble isn’t consistent.

    Genesis 1.

    Vs

    Genesis 2.

    Differing order.

    God created all things and man in his image

    Vs

    Nephilim/land of Nod

    There is no God above me

    Vs

    I am the only God

    Bats are birds.

    Killed all animals by drowning. Fish by special dispensation?

    Global flood. Never happened.

    No dinosaurs.

    Pi=3

    Jerusalem

    Vs

    Nazareth

    No Census.

    Wrong city for Census.

    Joseph wasn’t JC’s dad, but JC was supposed to be of David’s line (Joseph not Mary)

    Completely missed out on the whole round earth thing.

  50. #50 Wow
    June 28, 2012

    Eric, the wicked god is not the god Jon is talking about, so that option is off the table.

    However, if his god went mad, the god described did once exist, so could be still a valid answer.

  51. #51 Jon S
    June 28, 2012

    Eric: If I thought a 2-year old was being raised by a murderer to be a murderer, I would take the kid away from the murderer. I wouldn’t kill the 2-year-old. That’s insane.

    Perhaps you find it insane, but God is a lot smarter than you, he’s the one who writes the rules, and we are subject to him, like it or not. Unlike you I trust God, even though I may not understand everything he says and does. My understanding of these hard passages is that, by wiping out the entire population, he’s protecting his people from sinning and ensuring that the evil practices would be ended. Further, God’s judgment is much harsher than man’s judgment. You’re admitting that you would be lenient on “innocent children”, but God sees the sins of the parents and includes the children in the judgment of the parents. This harsh judgment demonstrates how much God hates sin. Your leniency demonstrates how tolerant of sin you are, and how you aren’t able to look beyond outer and superficial appearances. God knows the heart and mind of those he judges while knowing future consequences. You are not able to see the consequences and affects of not putting the entire population to death. In other words it’s your shortsightedness and lack of understanding that allows you to condemn God’s actions and exalt yourself as a superior judge than God. Quite frankly I’d rather trust God’s perfect judgment than your shortsighted judgment.

    Just to be clear, God does not consider it evil to kill 2-year-oldsif/when their parents are raising them to be evil. Correct? And “raising them to be evil” in this case may just mean “worshipping other gods.” Correct? If a parent is bringing their 2-year-old to mosque, then, killing that toddler is okay with God. Yes?

    You’re grossly drawing unwarranted conclusions. This has nothing to do with what’s okay and what’s not okay. This passage has to do with being obedient to God. God commanded, and those he commanded were expected to obey. In your scenario God is not commanding us to kill anyone.

    Holy, righteous – I do not think they mean what you think they mean.

    The terms have some similarity. Holiness means to be pure, perfect and without blemish or defect. God is holy and is worthy of reverence, adoration and veneration. Even his anger and wrath is holy. Righteousness means goodness, clean and without guilt or sin, and doing right. These terms describe God’s attributes.

    Well, all mankind except for Hittite, Amorite, Canaanite, Perizzite, Hivite, and Jebusite toddlers. Death to those 2-year-olds!!!

    Actually these people did experience God’s compassion and love right up until he judged them. God could have had them wiped out much sooner. Instead he gave them many years to change before he raised the Israelites up to wipe them out according to his righteous judgment.

    Nope, I think human sacrifice is odious and – if god is truly benevolent – human sacrifice should have no power or magic to it.

    You’re right, human sacrifice has no power, and God is truly benevolent.

    Didn’t you just get through telling me how human sacrifice is detestable?

    Yes. But sacrificing yourself for the sake of others is commendable, not detestable. Human sacrifice is detestable. There’s a big difference.

    Was God ticked off at the Hittites because sacrificing people is wrong, or was he just ticked off because sacrificing people is something only God gets to do?

    Deuteronomy 20:18 explains why God was angry.

    Punishing people for human sacrifice and then sacrificing your own son sounds an awful lot like ‘do as I say, not as I do’ hypocrisy.

    Is it hypocritical when a father tells his child not to cross a busy street alone, and then the father proceeds to cross that same busy street alone? No, God was not hypocritical because he’s the ultimate authority. He was willing to sacrifice his son because of his love for us, not because of some detestable practice.

    On a side note, what is your stance on infanticide or population control? Is there an official evolutionist stance on this? I’d think evolutionary ethics on this would be fairly damning, or do you condemn Peter Singer and others who advocate it?

  52. #52 Wow
    June 28, 2012

    No, Jon, he isn’t.

    Eric knows, for example, that bats are mammals, not birds.

    Your god was too dumb to notice the difference.

    PS is it OK if I slaughter every man, woman, child and beast because you’re pissing me off?

  53. #53 Jon S
    June 28, 2012

    Wow: And the bubble isn’t consistent.
    Genesis 1. Vs Genesis 2. Differing order.

    There’s only one order. Genesis 1 and 2 are complimentary. Genesis 2 simply provides additional information and detail without contradiction.

    God created all things and man in his image Vs Nephilim/land of Nod

    God created man in his image, not all things (Genesis 1:27). There’s some debate over who or what the Nephilim are, but that doesn’t change or contradict scripture.

    There is no God above me Vs I am the only God

    This is not a conflict or contradiction. Both are true.

    Bats are birds.

    Bats are not birds, and he Bible doesn’t say bats are birds. I supposed you’re referring to Leviticus 11:13-19. The reason you see this as an apparent conflict is because you haven’t done your homework. This is simply a matter of translation. The Hebrew word for bird is “owph”, which means fowl, winged creature, to fly, or has a wing. Since a bat is a winged creature, can fly and has a wing, owph is the correct term, but the English translation of bird is not. The original Biblical writing is correct.

    Killed all animals by drowning. Fish by special dispensation?

    Again you haven’t done your homework. Where does it say that all animals were killed by drowning? Genesis 6:7 says “So the LORD said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth—men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air—for I am grieved that I have made them.” God specified which animals would be wiped out, and fish were not included.

    Global flood. Never happened.

    Yes it did. You’re denying all the scientific evidence presented in the geologic column.

    No dinosaurs.

    This was previously debunked (Job 40:15-24).

    Pi=3

    Bad argument again. You’re referring to 1 Kings 7:23. The passage doesn’t give “exact” measurements, although your implication is that it does, which is not the case. The numbers are rounded off, and that’s acceptable. Pi really is approximately equal to three, so the passage is correct. You’re wrong to claim that the passage is inaccurate or mistaken. When appropriate numbers may be rounded off, and I’m assuming at some point you’ve learned how to round off.

    Jerusalem Vs Nazareth

    I don’t see any contradiction. Perhaps the contradiction is in your mind.

    No Census. Wrong city for Census.

    The census listed in the Bible has been confirmed by Usher and Newton in their writings. Further, archaeology has provided a papyrus decree for the census that you claim doesn’t exist.

    Joseph wasn’t JC’s dad, but JC was supposed to be of David’s line (Joseph not Mary)

    No contradiction here. Jesus was from David’s line (See Mary’s genealogy in Luke 3).

    Completely missed out on the whole round earth thing.

    You missed reading Isaiah 40:22 where it mentions the round earth thing.

    You need to stop reading whatever sources you’re getting your information from because it’s badly informed. The next time you want to suggest there are contradictions in scripture you may want to do your homework to find out if these answers have already been addressed.

  54. #54 Jon S
    June 28, 2012

    Wow: Eric knows, for example, that bats are mammals, not birds.

    Your god was too dumb to notice the difference.

    And your ignorance and lack of research is profound.

    PS is it OK if I slaughter every man, woman, child and beast because you’re pissing me off?

    No, it’s not ok. How about you practice some self control and learn how to play nice and chill. If you don’t like conflict then avoid such divisive topics and conversations.

  55. #55 tomh
    June 28, 2012

    Jon S wrote:
    Perhaps you find it insane, but God is a lot smarter than you, he’s the one who writes the rules,

    And there’s the reason that it’s useless to argue with a fundamentalist. No matter how horrible the actions, God’s smarter than you and writes the rules, so it’s all good. God can do no wrong, end of story.

  56. #56 Wow
    June 29, 2012

    Jon, you’re thanking edited highlights out of the bibble and saying from that ‘it’s a great book without contradictions’.

    Except we are looking at the whole thing and seeing it for the snuff fantasy it is, along with all the incoherent self-contradictions.

    Stop reading only the bits you like to use when deciding if the bible is worth reading. Read the whole damn thing.

  57. #57 SLC
    June 29, 2012

    Relative to reading the bible, there’s a story about Winston Churchill’s son Randolph, which is apropos. Churchill fils, at the time, wasn’t much interested in religion so he had never read the bible, prior to entering military service at the beginning of WW 2.. While at basic training, he was challenged by another soldier to read the bible. Two weeks later, during a bull session with other soldiers, he was asked what his impressions were. His response was, “god really is a shit, isn’t he.”

  58. #58 Wow
    June 29, 2012

    Now, what’s REALLY the truth is that the bible is just a horrible snuff fantasy fanfic and NOT the word of God, that god DOES NOT AND NEVER HAS existed.

    But people like Jon worship not God, but The Bible. Indeed, his is the personality whose existence exemplifies the problems The Great God Om has in Terry Pratchett’s “Small Gods”.

    Not worshipping the entity, worshiping the religion.

  59. #59 SLC
    June 29, 2012

    Re Wow

    I like Richard Dawkins description of god.

    The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.

    http://dwindlinginunbelief.blogspot.com/2008/12/richard-dawkins-god-of-old-testament.html

  60. #60 Wow
    June 29, 2012

    And that’s the God people like Jon believe in. Not because they believe in that God but because they believe in the Bible that talks about a God like that.

    Faith in a book.

  61. #61 Jon S
    June 30, 2012

    Tomh: And there’s the reason that it’s useless to argue with a fundamentalist. No matter how horrible the actions, God’s smarter than you and writes the rules, so it’s all good. God can do no wrong, end of story.

    Isn’t it just as useless to argue with those who believe that they’re smarter and more moral than God? You’re smarter than God because you wouldn’t let things happen the way they are so therefore God doesn’t exist, end of story.

    Wow: Jon, you’re thanking edited highlights out of the bibble and saying from that ‘it’s a great book without contradictions’. Except we are looking at the whole thing and seeing it for the snuff fantasy it is, along with all the incoherent self-contradictions. Stop reading only the bits you like to use when deciding if the bible is worth reading. Read the whole damn thing.

    I’ve read the entire Bible twice, and I’m currently reading through it now, so your accusation it based on ignorance. I’ve never found any contradictions because I know how to research when I come across tough questions. Maybe you should learn to do likewise.

    But people like Jon worship not God, but The Bible. Indeed, his is the personality whose existence exemplifies the problems The Great God Om has in Terry Pratchett’s “Small Gods”. Not worshipping the entity, worshiping the religion.

    Another false accusation. But even if it were true, God has the right and authority to punish me as he chooses.

    SLC: I like Richard Dawkins description of god. The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.

    I wonder how Dawkins would describe Satan, and which one he’d rather spend eternity with.

  62. #62 Wow
    June 30, 2012

    Yes, tom is smarter than your god as shown by the fact he knows bats are not birds.

    He is more moral than your god because he doesn’t murder children.

  63. #63 MNb
    June 30, 2012

    I recommend to begin with the end, like I do with every bad novel, ie Revelation. Believers say it’s difficult, I say it’s hilarious. An example:

    Revelation 17:1-3

    “And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.”

    Horny already? No matter your answer, please read the rest. I wonder what kind of mushroom the author had eaten.

  64. #64 MNb
    June 30, 2012

    @Jon S

    “archaeology, …. provide evidence to the reliability of scripture”
    I’d love you to give me the archeological evidence of
    a) Moses wandering with 100 000′s of people through the Sinai for 40 years;
    b) Nazareth being inhabited during the lifetime of Jesus.

    You are invited.

    “Obviously what man considers evil doesn’t equate with what God considers evil.”
    Exactly. That’s why I don’t consider your god a good god. I prefer the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    “God is holy and righteous, and there is no evil in him.”
    So if your god tells you to kill me and my loved ones you will do it. Thanks for informing me.

    “You’re mistaking God with Satan.”
    Please do a body count the next time you read the entire Bible. Your god once almost wiped out the entire human species, or so does the OT tell us.

    “The numbers are rounded off”
    No, they aren’t. Or it would have read “slightly more than 30″. The OT is simply wrong here; the people from Babylon already were closer.

  65. #65 Kevin
    July 1, 2012

    “how can anyone read Leviticus, with its endless internecine rules for designing the preistly garments and constructing altars, and think these are the sorts of things the God of all creation would care about?”

    This question goes to the heart of Christianity, perhaps even of the Crucifixion itself. Possibly the greatest message of Christianity, after the revelation that Christ is God, is Christ’s message that sin is a matter of the soul, rather than external observance. Hence Christ said, for example, that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath, and that those without sin may “cast the first stone”. It is also the case that Christians do not observe the Mosaic dietary laws or the practice of circumcision.

    As hinted above, it has been suggested that this tension between Christ’s teaching and a purely formal approach to religious observance may have motivated Christ’s execution (as a matter of political envy).

    So, you are not alone in asking the question.

  66. #66 Anderson
    July 2, 2012

    Jon S:

    Here’s a long list of biblical contradictions. I await your comprehensive rebuttal.

    God specified which animals would be wiped out, and fish were not included.

    No, God said he would wipe out “every living thing” (Genesis 7:4). That includes fish.

  67. #67 Anderson
    July 2, 2012

    Jon S:

    My understanding of these hard passages is that, by wiping out the entire population, he’s protecting his people from sinning and ensuring that the evil practices would be ended.

    Then your understanding is obviously incorrect. The Flood did not cause people to stop sinning or committing evil practises. Sin and evil practises continue today.

    God sees the sins of the parents and includes the children in the judgment of the parents. This harsh judgment demonstrates how much God hates sin.

    How does punishing one person for the sins of another person demonstrate hatred of sin? Why isn’t such an act itself a sin? If we imprisoned one man for a crime committed by another, I doubt you’d have any problem seeing that act as an injustice. So why should anyone believe it’s not also an injustice when God does it?

    You seem to be taking the position that whatever God does is right by definition, no matter how much strongly it conflicts with any other standard of morality. You seem to think it’s right simply by virtue of the fact that God does it. But why should anyone believe that an act is right simply by virtue of the fact that God does it?

    Now that doesn’t stop man from condemning God. But being that God is just and loves us, he lowered himself, became a man, subjected himself to our judgment, and died on the cross for our sins. This demonstrates his compassion and love for all mankind. This is exactly what a loving and compassionate God would do, not what an evil god would do.

    Now you’re contradicting yourself. You just said we can’t judge God by human standards of morality (such as the moral principle that it’s wrong to punish one person for the sins of another). But here you’re appealing to human standards of morality to justify your claim that is loving and compassionate. You can’t have it both ways. Either it’s legitimate to judge God according to human standards of morality or it isn’t. Which is it?

  68. #68 SLC
    July 4, 2012

    Re Jon S

    I wonder how Dawkins would describe Satan, and which one he’d rather spend eternity with.

    Since Prof. Dawkins has seen no scientific evidence for the existence of god, the devil, heaven, or hell, he would have no opinion on the matter.

  69. #69 wow
    July 5, 2012

    And given god’s body count is vastly higher than Satan, that hellis created and maintained by god, and that god tempts people more often according to “his” book, I would think Satan afar nicer chap to meet.

    In a “which fictitious character would you like to meet” scenario.

  70. #70 Patrice
    NationWide
    July 5, 2012

    Looking for Evolutionist and Creationist to be on Wife Swap…

    If you are an evolutionist or creationist and you and your family have strong views and wan to be on hit ABS’s TV show “WIfe Swap” please contact me now @ patrice.starnes@zodiakusa.com or 424-214-4641..

    Casting NOW!!!!

  71. #71 Xuuths
    July 5, 2012

    Jon S, the bible clearly states there are unicorns (it appears many times in scripture), yet we know there are no unicorns — in fact, we know this is a specific example of a mistranslation, an error in scripture caused by mankind.

    How many other such specific translation errors occur? How would you be sure? Why would a ‘perfect’ god allow such errors, when they demonstrate fallability?

    I notice you didn’t respond to the scriptures pointing out where god admitted he was going to do evil — and as jesus is reputed to have said, if you thought about doing it, it is as sinful as doing it. Therefore, god admitted to committing sin. Several times.

    But, enough of this (and your) foolishness. Was it Hitchens who said “the fool has said in his heart, ‘there is a god’”?

  72. #72 Jon S
    July 11, 2012

    MNb: “archaeology, …. provide evidence to the reliability of scripture”
    I’d love you to give me the archeological evidence of
    a) Moses wandering with 100 000′s of people through the Sinai for 40 years;
    b) Nazareth being inhabited during the lifetime of Jesus.

    MNb, thanks for the invite.

    a) The Institute for Biblical & Scientific Studies provides archaeological evidence, such as Ugaritic Texts with Moses’ name. There are books providing such evidence, like Israel in Egypt by James Hoffmeier, Biblical Personalities and Archaeology by Leah Bronner, and Permission to Receive by Leib Keleman. The Ipuwer papyrus is also evidence.

    b) How about a news article in which Israel uncovers first Jesus-era house in Nazareth. “Israeli archaeologists said Monday that they have uncovered remains of the first dwelling in the northern city of Nazareth that can be dated back to the time of Jesus. The find sheds a new light on what Nazareth might have been like in Jesus’ time, said the archaeologists, indicating that it was probably a small hamlet with about 50 houses populated by poor Jews.”

    Exactly. That’s why I don’t consider your god a good god. I prefer the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    Has the FSM died for your sins and offer you eternal life? God did, and that’s why I consider him good.

    So if your god tells you to kill me and my loved ones you will do it. Thanks for informing me.

    Well, when Armageddon comes I hope you’re on God’s side with me.

    Please do a body count the next time you read the entire Bible. Your god once almost wiped out the entire human species, or so does the OT tell us.

    Yes, that was the consequence of man’s sin and Satan’s lies and deception.

    No, they aren’t. Or it would have read “slightly more than 30″. The OT is simply wrong here; the people from Babylon already were closer.

    You’re wrong, and the OT is right. Seriously, I hope you’re willing to rethink what you think about God and the Bible because he’s willing to forgive your sins and offer you the gift of eternal life where there will be no more pain or suffering.

  73. #73 eric
    July 11, 2012

    [MNb]So if your god tells you to kill me and my loved ones you will do it. Thanks for informing me.

    [JonS]Well, when Armageddon comes I hope you’re on God’s side with me.

    Wow. Jon, I hope we never meet in real life. I would not want my kids or other loved ones within a mile of you, lest God suddenly tell you to start the righteous killing.

  74. #74 NJ
    July 11, 2012

    Shorter version of all extant Jon S posts:

    “I am right because God said so. How do I know God said so? Because I am right!”

  75. #75 Xuuths
    July 11, 2012

    Jon S, you should read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ipuwer_Papyrus because you are confused about it.

    Your “Institute for Biblical & Scientific Studies” is a joke. Really. Not a source of stringent academic scholarship. More like a confirmation bias collection.

    Even the jewish scholars/archeologists do not claim to have evidence that Moses actually existed.

    Hoffmeier claims to have evidence in his books, but doesn’t present it. Here’s a “christian” response (from Dr. Wood) to his “Israel in Egypt” book:

    Hoffmeier promised much but delivered little. He stated that in his book Israel in Egypt he demonstrated that “the Egyptian archaeological evidence and the Biblical data converged at the 13th century date” for the exodus. He also said, “there is solid Biblical and archaeological evidence to support this date.” Such evidence was neither presented nor cited in his article. Instead, Hoffmeier attempted to negate a number of my criticisms of the 13th century model rather than producing strong evidence in support of the theory. Furthermore, he resorted to non-scientific stratagems such as appealing to the opinions of esteemed authority figures and like-minded colleagues, and arguments from silence.

    Your other “sources” are equally unreliable.

    The 1st century excavation at Nazareth — well, it is not universally agreed that the dates are right. In the article it lists the fragments as 1st or 2nd century. The date of 67 CE is based on presuming that one pit was “probably” one made during that date by some villages. Unless it wasn’t, and then it could have been 1 or 2 hundred years later. See? This isn’t the kind of rigorous standards we expect.

    Try this link for actual scholarship about this: http://www.nazarethmyth.info/ or general debunking like this one: http://vridar.wordpress.com/2010/01/01/that-jesus-era-house-in-nazareth-discovery/

    I notice that you didn’t comment on my previous post about when god sinned, or the mistranslation that has ‘unicorn’ appearing multiple times. Hard to argue those facts. Oh well.

  76. #76 wow
    July 11, 2012

    Worse, how does he know something is moral? If god did it, it’s moral.

    Scary, huh?

  77. #77 SLC
    July 11, 2012

    Re wow @ NJ

    Don’t you know, god talks to Jon S and he tells the world.

  78. #78 paul hill
    apollo bay vic australia
    July 12, 2012

    I reckon the whole lot of you are nuts. I just felt I had to say that.

  79. #79 paul hill
    apollo bay vic australia
    July 12, 2012

    My response to Are Religious People Better People on Religion and Ethics on the Australian Broadcasting Commission..

    I couldn’t agree more about religious people being vastly superior to atheist vermin in their kindness and compassion, especially toward the backslidden Christian, as I was many years ago. Terrible alcoholic as well for many years. In 1970 I had a horrific accident when I lost an abalone boat with the death of my deckhand. After 3 hours swimming we ended up on a rocky outcrop cut off from the shore and had to get into a volcanic hole to prevent ourselves being washed away. Waves broke over us almost continuously and at 11.30 he died from hypothermia and drowning. I became more than a bit unhinged at this as I blamed myself for being a backslider and figured that my deckie’s death was a firm indicator that I was gonna burn in Hell forever with no way out. ‘He who hardeneth his heart whilst being often reproved shall suddenly be cut off AND THAT WITHOUT REMEDY.’ Classic Billy Graham stuff. I was a ‘Dog turned unto it’s own vomit.’ The night dragged on with waves breaking over me trying to tear me out of the hole, numb from the waist down, no rescue party, no indication that anyone on Earth gave a rat’s arse, despite my car and trailer being parked under a light next to the boat ramp.

    I got picked up about eight o’clock when the roll went off. When I was finally safe and no longer struggling to remain alive I let go and lapsed into gibbering weeping psychosis. Despite having done everything humanly possible to keep my deckie alive I had murdered him by being a backslider. God had punished me by kill…letting him die. I wound up in hospital where I was kept for a fortnight because it was feared that I would suicide, but of course I couldn’t as I was gonna burn in hell forever with no way out and could tell noone about it. The atheist nurses bunged on a great act in pretending to be very kind and considerate.

    My atheist fellow alcoholic scum acquaintances brought me fruit, books and jokes, all superficial stuff done just to impress. Then a truly compassionate man came to visit me, the local Baptist minister. I’d gone to the Baptist church in Portland on and off, used to have a red hot bath Sunday morning with eucalyptus oil in the water and gargle Listerine to get the stink of booze, chunder and other sin off me, ponce up in a suit and with Bible under arm enter the Church disguised just like all of the others as one numbered among the righteous, sing Abide With Me with great gusto. Many saw me as filled with the Spirit. However, the manse was straight across the road from the pub and the minister had probably seen me staggering out of the pub on occasions blind drunk.

    Anyway, he marched up to my bed in hospital and without any ado said with flames coming out of his nostrils. ‘The reason you lost that boat and that young man died was because you turned your back on the Lord Jesus Christ’. What exquisite sensitivity!!!! The love of God manifest. This was just what I needed and just what Carlton United (Aussie Brewery.) and shareholders needed as was now burning in Hell and it needed a helluva lot of booze to dampen down the flames. To aid my recovery my Christian family didn’t ring me or correspond with me in any way as they knew that righteous indignation was the best thing for me and that I would deeply appreciate this one day. So I turned to drugs of all kinds, lots of LSD, magic mushrooms, mescal, nitrous oxide, daytura, Avil seasickness tablets, nutmeg anything to ease the agony of my existence.

    Finally one day the LSD, being a truth drug, enabled me to see the totally absurdity of the idea of a loving God who would burn someone in Hell forever for not believing something that was impossible to believe. Now I knew that righteous indignation was simply a phrase for pure hatred, although Christians cant see this as they are all suffering from undiagnosed schizophrenia. Now, no longer believing in God and Hell, the flames went out along with the booze and I can honestly thank that Minister and my family for standing firm not budging an inch, knowing full well that I had to descend into hell before I could ascend into Heaven.
    You know who saved me? The REAL Jesus, not the monster in the Bible compliments of Paul. What the REAL Jesus meant when he said that ‘He came to take away the sins of the world’ was that he would convince people of the absolute absurdity of any notion of sin, that it was totally and completely irrational. His Daddy was the Holy Ghost, which was the nickname for the High Priest, in this case PROVISIONAL High Priest, Zacharrias, father of John the Baptist. It’s in the Koran and the Holy Ghost angle is from Barbara Threiring, Aussie Dead Sea Scroll translator and interpreter. He came, just like everybody else, from a mommy and a daddy, to take away BELIEF in sin. But first he had to transcend his own belief in this gobbledygook.

    As this belief is responsible for a huge range of psycho-somatic disease because of the chronic stress it causes, once he convinced many of these sufferers, such as Legion who obviously was a Grand Mal epileptic, of this, they quickly recovered and the masses were so impressed they saw these cures as miracles. He cured me but I didn’t see it as a miracle as I began to study ALL of the disciplines of biology. However, the Australian Broadcasting Commission is extremely sceptical of this claim and are pulling out every stop to prevent ME from these bringing miracles to very ill listeners as it thinks I’m bonkers and trying to do harm instead. Lucifer in very thin disguise, the Antichrist maybe.

  80. #80 paul hill
    apollo bay vic australia
    July 12, 2012

    THE ‘CRUCIFIXION’.

    Readers of the NT will know that in none of the sightings of Jesus after his death was he at first recognized by his disciples. I would suggest that the reason for this was that the person was NOT Jesus but one or both of the following. The disciples were in a very frightened state as they too were fearful of arrest and crucifixion and thus hypersuggestable. Clutching at straws at being leaderless they felt extremely vulnerable and desperate for Jesus to be risen. Thus the individual who they ‘recognized’ as being Jesus, frightened of their hysteria, went along with the role until he could escape their clutches. The other, more probable reason is that the ‘recognized’ individual was in fact a Jesus look alike actor set up by the Romans to get the disciples to lead them back to their hiding place so that everyone there could be arrested as suspected insurgents ‘terrorists’. Many people, even Romans, believed that people could be resurrected but didn’t look exactly like their former selves. A clue here is when ‘Jesus’ said “Touch me not for I have not yet received my mortal body.” knowing that if anyone got that close and maybe hugged him they would realize that it was NOT him.
    The very last thing that the Romans would have wanted was a funeral cortage on the Day of the Passover, the day of Jewish ultra nationalism when tempers would have been at their hottest, with the possibility of riots that could have escalated out of control and even spread to other parts of the Empire. So they stole his body from the tomb and disposed of it. Jesus was primarily executed because they feared that he would lead such an insurrection, having planned it well before. The reason that he was whipped and bashed before being executed was to force him to reveal the whereabouts of the other disciples who had gone into hiding as there could be one or more alternate leaders among them. This was what Judas was most terrified of, hence swapping sides to curry favor with the Romans when he lost his leadership challenge at the Last Supper which was held in a secret location. There was reason for this suspicion by the Romans as Jesus’s Party was a Provisional Govt with a military wing as well as political. Simon the Zealot, who cut off the ear of a Roman soldier at Jesus arrest, was an example. This militarism was not something that Jesus wanted but what he inherited from his step father Joseph. Jesus, as peacemaker, was trying to negotiate a peaceful settlement between ALL of the insurgent groups and the Romans with a Roman withdrawal to follow and no barriers to trade along the Silk Road.
    Judas had other plans, with Jesus to be the bait to draw all of the Jewish leaders into a trap by coming to his trial to judge him. His rebels would surround the Little Sanhedrin, capture it and execute all of the leaders whilst Jesus would ‘accidentally’ be killed. Pilate and other Roman leaders would be executed simultaneously. A classic coup d’etat of the time. Jesus said “No thanks” to Jusas’ plan as the Romans were vastly more powerful than the Greeks that Jusas Macabee chucked out.

  81. #81 Wow
    July 12, 2012

    “paul hill
    apollo bay vic australia
    5:47 am

    I reckon the whole lot of you are nuts. I just felt I had to say that.”

    Probably the alcoholism talking again, paul.

  82. #82 Jon S
    July 12, 2012

    Anderson, I don’t have time at the moment to discuss all the contradictions on that site, but I may address a few to show how silly it is to think that there are any actual contradictions. But for now let me address a few of the issues you’ve raised.

    Anderson: “Then your understanding is obviously incorrect. The Flood did not cause people to stop sinning or committing evil practises. Sin and evil practises continue today.”

    That’s because man has a sinful nature that cannot be quenched, except by death, or Christ’s atoning sacrifice. My previous explanation was obviously not an exhaustive explanation, but was meant to be simple. God’s command also was to express his judgment upon sin, and his judgment is just. And in his timing he brought about their destruction.

    The flood, on the other hand, wasn’t intended to stop mankind from sinning or from performing evil practices, but was to impose his judgment upon mankind for their sin and rebellion. God knew Noah’s descendants would continue to sin, but he promised he’d never wipe out mankind again until the end times.

    God sees the sins of the parents and includes the children in the judgment of the parents. This harsh judgment demonstrates how much God hates sin.

    Anderson: “How does punishing one person for the sins of another person demonstrate hatred of sin? Why isn’t such an act itself a sin? If we imprisoned one man for a crime committed by another, I doubt you’d have any problem seeing that act as an injustice. So why should anyone believe it’s not also an injustice when God does it?”

    Because we can learn from such judgment. We should look at our own actions and understand that those we love can be subject to God’s judgment if we are wicked and rebel and perform sinful acts; and if we really love and care about them, then it would be best if we humble ourselves before God and seek forgiveness and repent. If not, then their blood is on our hands. In other words, instead of blaming God for his righteous acts of judgment, we should blame ourselves. Likewise, instead of blaming God for his judgment upon those rebellious cities, let your anger rage against those who committed those attrocities for bringing judgment upon themselves.

    So what I’m trying to explain is that your anger is misplaced when trying to blame God for the troubles of this world. Blame should be placed squarely upon our own heads.

    Lastly, God doesn’t sin; he’s holy and righteous. He is our creator, and we owe him complete loyalty. He’s allowed to do things he commands us not to do because he has all authority, much in the same way a parent has complete authority over his child and can do the very things he instructs his child not to do, such as crossing a busy road alone. A good parent will punish their child if they disobey because they love them and don’t want them to be harmed.

    Anderson: “You seem to be taking the position that whatever God does is right by definition, no matter how much strongly it conflicts with any other standard of morality. You seem to think it’s right simply by virtue of the fact that God does it. But why should anyone believe that an act is right simply by virtue of the fact that God does it?”

    Yes, I do believe that whatever God does is right and good because I also believe the God is righteous and holy.

    Now that doesn’t stop man from condemning God. But being that God is just and loves us, he lowered himself, became a man, subjected himself to our judgment, and died on the cross for our sins. This demonstrates his compassion and love for all mankind. This is exactly what a loving and compassionate God would do, not what an evil god would do.

    Anderson: “Now you’re contradicting yourself. You just said we can’t judge God by human standards of morality (such as the moral principle that it’s wrong to punish one person for the sins of another). But here you’re appealing to human standards of morality to justify your claim that is loving and compassionate. You can’t have it both ways. Either it’s legitimate to judge God according to human standards of morality or it isn’t. Which is it?”

    I’m actually trying to show that by your own standards God has already allowed himself to be judged. Even though we can’t judge God and condemn him to hell or jail, we, in effect, did judge him on the cross. Now, what man intended for evil, God intended for our good.

  83. #83 Xuuths
    July 12, 2012

    My comment from yesterday is still in moderation. Three links appears to overload the system.

  84. #84 wow
    July 12, 2012

    For what sins? What sacrifice? What love?

    And if he is judged by the actions in the bible, he has rightly been judged criminally insane.

  85. #85 NJ
    July 12, 2012

    Jon S @ 3:37:

    The flood, on the other hand, wasn’t intended to stop mankind from sinning or from performing evil practices

    The. Flood. Never. Happened.

    Until such a time as you can accept this simple geologic reality, you will never be taken seriously outside of a handful of cultists.

  86. #86 paul hill
    apollo bay vic australia
    July 13, 2012

    Actually grave digs at Ur of the Chaldees by Sir Charles Wooly in about 1913 showed a very thick sediment layer with more grave sites under it, over a very wide area. A Massey lecturer spoke about massive environmental degradation by tree felling, war, probably prolonged drought followed by torrential rain for many days. He said that the rivers ran like liquid concrete. If you were on a tell on the flood plain of the Euphrates you would not be able to see land in any direction.

    What I reckon happened was that a very astute farmer could see this coming and built a big reed boat with a long hawser on it tied to a good solid tree. I mean he couldn’t just jump into his truck and head for the hills. When the rain came he put his family, sheep and dog on it and rode it out.

    Later the story gets down the pub and is grossly exaggerated and has had 3,000 years in the bloody pub for vastly more exaggeration. His name. Probably Gildermesh. A very wise man for his time, watching all the dickheads who wouldn’t listen and who had put shit on him, floating past and out to sea screaming out ‘Help’. Noah’s bloody Ark. Give it a break.

    More profound wisdom from Paul the Blasphemer beloved of Lucifer.

  87. [...] Jason Rosenbaum’s post “On Reading the Bible” at NatGeo’s ScienceBlogs, commenter “Jon S” explains why we pathetic humans are not authorized to judge God: [...]

  88. #88 paul hill
    apollo bay vic australia
    July 13, 2012

    THE NEW TESTAMENT

    The New Testament was put together by one Bishop Arrenius of Rome in the 4th century AD. He was commissioned by Constantine who was about to, or already had, made himself both Emperor and Pope. Monarch and High Priest. Thus the NT was in every sense of the word his political and theological constitution which gave him unlimited power in both senses, a military sense to coerce his subjects physically but also in a theological sense to coerce them spiritually. That is threaten them with excommunication and eternal damnation if they were not obedient to the Church and therefore to him. Thus a resurrected Christ was mandatory to his power as well as for his own personal salvation a very important reason for his lust for power. What did Constantine have on his conscience? What had he done to gain such power?

    He would be the vicar, the sole vicar, of Jesus Christ on Earth so that ultimately all communications to Jesus and, by definition, the Father via the Holy Ghost. The Trinity was also presumably a concoction of Constantine as that too was mandatory to ultimate power, (in his subject’s interest of course). His subjects paying tithes to the Church was mandatory for salvation thus guaranteeing a good cash flow to build the physical power structure. Thus without Jesus having been resurrected from the dead Constantine’s power was limited to physical coercion, difficult when the military becomes divided and turns on itself, sides with the people etc. during an uprising. Torture AND Hell.

    From my readings there was very little idea of a resurrected Jesus before Constantine, especially among the Nazarene Church’s which moved to the East. However, there were thousands of documents to choose from portraying Jesus as every sort of individual imaginable, socialist, conservative, anarchist, homosexual etc. each one to justify the belief systems of the sect from which they came. Those that concentrated on a resurrected Jesus were obviously chosen and their major promulgator was Paul, 13 books by Paul who had a Helluva lot on HIS conscience, literally, having been the inquisitor working for the Romans and thus responsible for the death of thousands of Christian ‘terrorists’. ‘Who can rescue me from this body of death, oh wretched man that I am. All my righteousnesses are but as filthy rags.’ Hardly the outbursts of a man at peace with himself.

    How many words written by Jesus in the NT. NOT ONE SINGLE ONE. A bit odd considering that, being groomed for Monarch, he must have been literate, speaking 3 languages at least, Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. I suspect that what he had to say would have totally contradicted Paul and have been considered by both Jews of all sects and the Romans who said that even Caligula was God was considered blasphemous in the extreme and thus burned. He said ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself’ as a damn good idea, not a commandment as he didn’t believe in pushing people around at all.

  89. #89 paul hill
    July 13, 2012

    PAULIANITY. ON WOMEN

    Ladies, Hell is gonna have to freeze over before women are ever going to be allowed into the clergy. You see, to do this then 13, that’s right 13, epistles will have to be ripped out of the New Testament, all those of super misogynist Paul. That would gut it completely. Paul is the foundation stone of the Roman Catholic Church, not Jesus. It is a Paulian sect not Christian. With not one single word by Jesus in the NT, we are solely dependant for a character analysis of Jesus by Paul. Yet he never met Jesus and is his very antithesis in every possible way. Filled with self loathing, a thorn in his side, primarily because he was the inquisitor, the Adolf Eichman of early Christianity and couldn’t find peace no matter what, because of the blood on his hands. ‘In my flesh is no good thing’. ‘Who can rescue me from this body of DEATH’. Yet the most violent act that Jesus ever committed was to overthrow those money table of the currency ‘speculators.’ Jesus laid down his life in a horrific death rather than take up arms against Rome.

    When I was a Baptist I was told that to understand Paul’s Romans 7 was to reach some sort of transcendental state. Instead it literally drove me insane and backslidden, the worst sin of all, according TO PAUL. He says, ‘If any man be in Christ he is a new creature, old things pass away, ALL things are become as new.’ Now he couldn’t be more explicit than that. Then he says later, ‘That which I would do, I do not and that which I would not do I do. Oh wretched man that I am. All my righteousness’s are but as filthy rags.’ This is truly psychotic. Yet some Christians say that there is not one single contradiction in the Bible.

    Any reference to Jesus as a sexual being with a woman, especially an ex-prostitute, no matter how much he loved her just couldn’t be allowed. Any reference to him having been in jail, even as a dissident, would make him a criminal. ‘I was in jail and ye visited me not’. As to Paul’s conversion ‘Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me’, auditory hallucinations of paranoid schizophrenia then catatonic coma for 3 days, not blindness.

    ‘Women submit thyselves unto thy husbands’, classic Paul at his most chauvinistic. Yet Christian feminists, if there is such a thing, try to look for hidden meaning, that it’s not what it seems, taken out of context, he’s quoting someone else, translation problems etc. Or they search through Paul looking for stuff that most definitely supports women’s right, like cover your hair in church, don’t go into a church without a chaperone if you are single and under 60 or people might think you’re on the make. To us blokes he says it’s better we don’t marry, but if we can’t contain our lusts, it’s better to marry that burn. Better to eat a rotten fish than starve. Woman the wily temptress deliberately setting out to ensnare us poor innocent blokes, inflame our lusts to boiling point so it’s impossible to resist, then we burn in hell, forever or even more.

  90. #90 paul hill
    apollo bay vic australia
    July 13, 2012

    More fantastic blasphemy from Paul the Schizophrenic Blasphemer beloved of both Yaweh AND Lucifer. (Having a punt both ways just in case.)

    http://scienceblogs.com/evolutionblog/2012/06/18/is-the-genesis-creation-story-beautiful/

    http://scienceblogs.com/evolutionblog/2012/06/13/wright-and-ruse-on-creationism/

  91. #91 peter
    July 13, 2012

    @Jon
    Actually the Bible is consistent, so therefore, by your own admission it would be PROVEN fact.
    There are four mutually inconsistent account of the resurrection in the four gospels. So much for fact.

  92. #92 paul hill
    apollo bay vic australia
    July 14, 2012

    Listen you atheist mongrels. God does NOT have a super hyper mega ego. It’s actually quite miniscule in its natural state. It’s all of the grovelling and sniveling by religious people that inflates it. Hymns like How Great Thou Art, To God Be the Glory, To God from Whom all Blessing Flow all pump it up to gargantuan proportions. Can HE help that. This is what happened to poor Jim Jones. Imagine if that happened up in Heaven, a Mega Masda.

    Now listen very carefully because this VERY complex science. The Higgs Bosons are tiny little lumps of God’s Ego, hence the name the God particle. These lumps hold the Universe together. This is how God spreads himself around. If you bloody atheists keep putting shit on religious people they’ll either all commit mass suicide or stop believing. No more brown nosing by them and God’s ego will deflate, all the Higgs Bosons with vanish and the bloody Universe will vanish up it’s own asshole thus.
    Actually there are a huge number of assholes now. They are the black holes, hence the name. When the Higgs bosons disappear, the galaxies will collapse and get gobbled up by the black holes. With me so far. Then without galaxies to keep the black holes apart, their huge gravitation fields will pull them into one HUGE black hole, whose gravitational field will be so HUGELY, MONSTROUSLY MASSIVE that it will scrunch down into nothing, nill, zero kaput. God, Heaven, us, the Devil, Hell and whatever else is out there will just vanish. That’ll be a plus for all those poor bastards burning in Hell and all those bored shitless up in Heaven. But it doesn’t suit ME. So cut it out, alright.
    Actually there is a complication here. Too much prayer, which is essentially hot air is the major contributor to global warming. The methane in religious peoples farts is ten times more potent a green house gas than

  93. #93 paul hill
    apollo bay vic australia
    July 14, 2012

    atheists farts. So here we have a huge dilemma, getting the right balance between heating up the planet and buggering it completely, and us with it, vs imploding the frigging Universe. I will sort this out and am now scrunching the numbers in my demented brain. So you’d better to grovel to me now so I get it right, but don’t overdo it as I might bugger up if my ego, which is already monstrously massive, explodes.

    Paul the totally deranged Blasphemer despised of both God and the Devil

  94. #94 Jon S
    July 14, 2012

    SLC: “Since Prof. Dawkins has seen no scientific evidence for the existence of god, the devil, heaven, or hell, he would have no opinion on the matter.”

    That’s never stopped Dawkins from having an opinion in the past.

    Wow: “And given god’s body count is vastly higher than Satan, that hellis created and maintained by god, and that god tempts people more often according to “his” book, I would think Satan afar nicer chap to meet.”

    The Bible makes it clear that God doesn’t tempt anyone (James 1:13, 1 Corinthians 10:13, 1 Thessalonians 3:5, Hebrews 2:18); it’s Satan who does the tempting. Satan, in fact, has done a masterful job since you seem to prefer meeting him. Jesus, on the other hand, is the one who helps us when we’re being tempted.

    Xuuths: “Jon S, the bible clearly states there are unicorns (it appears many times in scripture), yet we know there are no unicorns — in fact, we know this is a specific example of a mistranslation, an error in scripture caused by mankind.

    The Biblical ‘unicorn’ was a real animal. It could have been a rhinoceros, or what we now call an elasmotherium, or some have said it was an aurochs. It’s not really a mistranslation- at the time it was translated as ‘unicorn’, no one knew the word would only be symbolized with a mythical animal by those wishing to ridicule Christianity. There’s nothing mythical about the historical ‘unicorn’. The real ridicule should be reserved for those who haven’t done their homework.

    Xuuths: “How many other such specific translation errors occur? How would you be sure? Why would a ‘perfect’ god allow such errors, when they demonstrate fallability?”

    Even if it were a ‘mistranslation’ (which it’s not), this only demonstrates that these current translations are not ‘God-breathed’ or infallible. It’s the original revelation from God that is infallible, not necessarily what we have now. We do, however, have a lot of evidence that our current translations have very few errors; we know this because the earliest manuscripts we find are nearly identicle. Any differences are minor and don’t have an impact on theology. We also know that those scribes who copied God’s Word throughout the ages were extremely careful to get every letter and word correct because they recognized it as God’s Word. God has actually preserved his Word throughout history.

    Xuuths: “I notice you didn’t respond to the scriptures pointing out where god admitted he was going to do evil — and as jesus is reputed to have said, if you thought about doing it, it is as sinful as doing it. Therefore, god admitted to committing sin. Several times.”

    God has never admitted to doing evil because he’s righteous, holy and without sin. In fact God cannot sin against himself. I say this because all sin is ultimately disobedience to God, and he cannot disobey himself. This is no different that a father who is not sinning when he does something he has told his child not to do (such as eat a cookie before dinner).

    Xuuths: “But, enough of this (and your) foolishness. Was it Hitchens who said “the fool has said in his heart, ‘there is a god’”?”

    It was God who said this in Psalm 14:1.

    eric: “Wow. Jon, I hope we never meet in real life. I would not want my kids or other loved ones within a mile of you, lest God suddenly tell you to start the righteous killing.”

    Eric, you have less to fear from me than I and my family have of you. If we have a war in this country, and you’re on the other side, then I’m not so sure you would spare me or my family if you were ordered by your commander to kill us. You’re trying to come across as self-righteous by playing a gotchya game, but you don’t have to fear that God is going to send Christians to kill you in this lifetime. Even if you’re my enemy, God has called us to love our enemies, and this means that you have less to fear from true Christians than from anyone else. As an atheist, you only have to fear God after you’re dead, not while you’re alive.

    NJ: “I am right because God said so. How do I know God said so? Because I am right!”

    No, if I’m right it’s only because God has revealed the truth to us in the Bible.

    Wow: “Worse, how does he know something is moral? If god did it, it’s moral. Scary, huh?”

    It’s only scary if you don’t trust and believe God. For those of us who have repented from our sin and have invited Christ into our heart, we have nothing to fear, and everything to gain.

    SLC: “Don’t you know, god talks to Jon S and he tells the world.”

    That’s true only in the sense that God has spoken through His Word, and I’m reading it and pointing out what he’s said. You could do the same if you were serious about wanting to know God.

  95. #95 Jon S
    July 14, 2012

    Wow: “For what sins? What sacrifice? What love? And if he is judged by the actions in the bible, he has rightly been judged criminally insane.”

    Christ died for the sins of the whole world- every sin against man and against God. He allowed himself to be a perfect sacrifice for our sin because the only judgment for sin is death, and he’s the only one who could pay the penalty for all mankind (John 3:16).

    NJ: “The. Flood. Never. Happened. Until such a time as you can accept this simple geologic reality, you will never be taken seriously outside of a handful of cultists.”

    You’re in denial, much the same way many have denied catastrophes in the past. The evidence is there, but you willingly choose to ignore it; either that or you have been deceived by those who told you otherwise. Just because you’re on the side of the majority doesn’t mean that you should be taken seriously; after all you could be seriously wrong.

    Peter: “There are four mutually inconsistent account of the resurrection in the four gospels. So much for fact.”

    They’re not ‘inconsistent’. They’re complimentary. They tell the same story from different points of view, and each is accurate. It’s true that they may focus on different details, but that doesn’t make any one of the accounts wrong.

  96. #96 paul hill
    apollo bay vic australia
    July 15, 2012

    I am fast coming to the conclusion that both atheists AND religious people are totally and irreversibly bonkers for carrying on with the same crap over and over again, if you don’t mind me saying so, stiff shit if you do.

  97. #97 paul hill
    apollo bay vic australia
    July 15, 2012

    Listen YOU Two. I’ve put this here to clarify the sisuation completely

    When God created the Devil he had to give him free will so that he could think for himself and thus be entertaining company for God right, but not too much free will because after all God was God. Some free will otherwise the Devil would be a boring dodo. But then the Devil got pissed off with getting pushed around by God and tried to foment a coup d’etat among the cherubims, seruphims, angels and archangels etc. But God, being omniescent and omnipitent, just like the Pope, knew that this was going to happen before he even created the poor bastard.

    Then God throws a mainspring and creates Hell and banishes the Devil into Hell as punishment for behaving precisely as he was predetermined to do whilst knowing it was gonna happen. God’s looking a tad irrational even at this early stage.

    Then he creates man and does precisely the same thing as with the Devil, gives man free will to choose, good or evil. the difference being very poorly defined. What FREE BLOODY WILL. He gives a bloke a pecker, pours gallons of pecker juice into him then says DON”T TOUCH IT, DON”T THINK ABOUT, LEAVE IT ALONE. But the only way one can do that is to be unconscious from the piss, too drunk to even have a nocturnal emission, which is also a no no. But by wiping himself out on the piss he is defiling the frigging temple of God and will burn in Hell for that as well.

    Now let’s take a gander at Hell. I read a book once written by a Catholic Priest. He says, “Remember what it was like when you burned yourself on the stove as a kid. Ah, eee, ahhh, AAAAHHHGH AAAAAAAHHHHHGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!
    Right now imagine that all over your entire body. Then multiply it a thousand times and it’s FOREEEEVER and EVER AND EVER AND EVER. Not good. By the usual standard this was a SANE priest.

    After 4,000 years, using bishop Usher’s highly scientific calculations, God get’s around to thinking he might have overdone it a tad. So he sends the Spook down to Earth (don’t know when he arrived) to impregnate a girl, a virgin just to keep things nice and clean and holy like. Enter Jesus to save man, from what? The wrath of God stupid. Eh? What? You see God cannot look upon sin but apparently Jesus has been configured by God to be able to. All the kid has to do is allow himself to be bashed and butchered and everything will be honkey dory and man has an escape route. God’s own kid!!! WHAAAAAT? Give it a break. Is God rational and reasonable. Of course not. You are using man’s concepts. It’s all about FAITH and faith is incompatible with reason. God is PROUD to be counter-intuitive. For by Faith are ye saved through grace. Ohhhh!

    God, it’s time for your ECT and medication. Come on don’t obfuscate.

    Shit, I’m gonna be in strife if there IS something up there.

    Paul the totally reformed ex Blasphemer.

  98. #98 wow
    July 15, 2012

    Nope, hasn’t died for any sin other than the one decided by himself to happen if, indeed, he isn’t as fictitious as Gandalf.

    Moreover, he didn’t die, he just stopped being mortal.

    And he risked nothing to do so, since he was going to let himself off and live in heaven anyway.

    So, no sacrifice whatsoever.

    And when I forgive someone, I don’t then demand eternal obesiance from everyone, unlike your narcissistic deity.

    And if we’d been forgiven, why are we still going to get sent to hell as punishment? Not really much of a forgiveness, really.

  99. #99 paul hill
    apollo bay vic australia
    July 16, 2012

    After reading ‘The Sacred Mushrooms and the Cross’ by Dead Sea Scroll interpreter and linguist John Allegro in which he said the Jesus story was just the code of a secret sect and that he never existed I copped that idea for a while.

    Then I began to construct a New Jesus based on a big variety of stuff who was almost the antithesis of the psychopath of the NT. Being illegitimate and for a variety of other reasons he became a really bad alcoholic and religious schizophrenic but because of a unique set of circumstance managed to find his way out the other side, having transcended his religion entirely but was not an atheist nor a pantheist. Spinoza is the only philosopher that I can think of who comes close in that he said that the Universe IS God and that we humans are the Godhead, the very consciousness of the Universe itself and it’s reason for coming into existence. No Universe no consciousness, no consciousness no Universe.

    When Jesus said ‘The Kingdom of God is in You’ he meant ‘You ARE the kingdom of God’. I couldn’t include Spinoza’s idea that religion is necessary for the masses for social cohesion, looking at this world today.

    LEGION.
    What if the miraculous cures that Jesus was supposed to have performed were not miracles at all but cures brought about by a psychological catharsis, rebirth if you like, based on his understanding of the placebo effect. Let’s say that these were disorders resulting from extreme persistent stress. Two major factors causing the stress, the horrific repression from both Romans, AND Jews upon each other, eg stoning. In 0004 a rebellion by one Judas of Galilee was put down by the Romans and he and 3,000 of his followers were crucified, with the crosses stretching all the way from Jerusalem to Damascus. Imagine the shock, arbitrary arrest and crucifixion being common. Now add belief in sin and with it demon possession.

    Now consider that when Jesus said that he came to take away sin he meant the BELIEF in sin, that it didn’t exist and thus that demons also didn’t exist. Lets take a case in point, Legion, obviously suffering Grand Mal epilepsy with schizophrenia, hence auditory hallucinations ie voices (of ‘demons’). The convulsion of Grand Mal epilepsy are so bizarre there has to be some bizarre reason for them, MANY demons, ie a LEGION of them. He cuts himself with stones to let the demons out. Normally NOONE would go near him lest the demons jump out of him and into those who get close. People feeding him would leave his food some distance away the take off quick. Thus his social isolation would be TOTAL.

    However, along comes Jesus with ‘disciples’ and is not afraid. But Legion is very frightened of these approaching strangers, thinking they are going to stone him to death. This fear induces a very severe fit and he falls to the ground thrashing around convulsing and cutting himself. He cries out “I am Legion for we are many.’ Jesus kneels down beside him, tears pouring down his cheeks at the horrific torment of this poor bastard. He’s had his OWN torment, years of it, before finding his own rebirth. Jesus says ‘It’s okay Legion, there are no demons, there is no sin’.

    Legion is overwhelmed with the rational of this that he cries out so loud that it frightens a herd of pigs which rush down into the river and drown, then he lets go and weeps, his body relaxing completely as he enters a profoundly euphoric state. Reborn. He looks into Jesus eyes and sees something he’s NEVER seen before, real love based on Jesus own personal experience of Hell.

    Love is understanding and thus having empathy. Love heals. ‘Perfect love casteth out all fear.’ Sin is fear and is illogical. Whether antisocial behaviour is natured or nurtured or BOTH one is NOT responsible for it, Sadam Hussein, Slobadan Malosovitch or Adolph Hitler.. It is a consequence of inequality and that arises from the illusion that wealth brings happiness. It doesn’t. It just creates inequality. INEQUALITY is the root of all ‘evil’ and without money there can be little inequality. I believe that a severed spinal cord can be regenerated naturally given the right conditions. No medical intervention whatsoever. First the ‘Sin’ has to go. Details are on Background Breifing
    http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/backgroundbriefing/2012-06-10/4053794

  100. #100 Wow
    July 16, 2012

    Paul, what the hell do you think you’re achieving here, other than a display of idiocy that is merely depressing?

  101. #101 paul hill
    apollo bay vic australia
    July 16, 2012

    Wow’
    Which model of Jesus would you prefer, the maniac of the NT, a religious nut case like Jim Jones or just an ordinary bloke. He did, after all, make the biggest impact of anyone else in history, so much so that our calender rotates around him. Thus there must have been something very special or different about him What were the so called ‘miracles’ really all about. I don’t think it’s possible that he didn’t exist. So give us your model, something constructive.

  102. #102 eric
    July 16, 2012

    JonS:

    Eric, you have less to fear from me than I and my family have of you. If we have a war in this country, and you’re on the other side, then I’m not so sure you would spare me or my family if you were ordered by your commander to kill us.

    I plan on disobeying any such hypothetical order. You don’t, if you think it comes from God.

    You’re trying to come across as self-righteous by playing a gotchya game, but you don’t have to fear that God is going to send Christians to kill you in this lifetime

    If God were good, I wouldn’t have to fear it in anyone’s lifetime, past, present, or future. That’s the point.

    But your book tells me God has sent pepole to slaughter entire populations in the past, and you seem happy to admit that, at least as a hypothetical, if he did so in the future you’d obey his command to kill. This tells me that your God is not good, at least in any normal sense of the word. He’s only good in a tautological, divine-command-theory sense of the word where anything He does is considered good because He’s the one doing it.

  103. #103 wow
    July 16, 2012

    Paul, coud you try that question again with more coherency and less insanity?

    Tks.

  104. #104 paul hill
    apollo bay vic australia
    July 17, 2012

    Wow,
    That’s a helluva big ask. What is wrong with insanity? Isn’t that normal. What I am postulating is a third option, someone who has gone through insanity and come out of the other side and thus UNDERSTANDS insanity, cause he’s been there. This is what RD Laing and the anti-psychiatrists talked about. So called normal society is not sane but unsane, (just listen to the news). If the contradictions of unsanity drive one bonkers and one manages to go through the hell of insanity intact, combined preferably with lots of substance abuse, one out because it is an extremely rare event, then one can be a guide through insanity for those unable to. You’ll understand alienation, being horrifically abused, vilified, ostracized, paranoid, alcoholism etc. You’ll also realize the absurdity of the idea of, not just sin, but all concepts of right and wrong. You’ll really want to bring others out of Hell so you’ll have someone to talk to who’s been through the same Hell as you and now sees things the way you do, ie sanely (insanely by a psychiatric definition.) Plus it would be a fun thing to do, hence my use of the pukey word love which does sound reminiscent of Christian type vomitus I must admit but I can’t think of an alternative word. (agape?). Will that do for now? Further clarification available on request.

  105. #105 Wow
    July 17, 2012

    “What is wrong with insanity? Isn’t that normal.”

    The problem is your insanity lives inside your head.

    I cannot answer questions that only make sense in your insanity. Therefore, if you wish to hear an answer, then non-insane mindset will be required.

    “thus UNDERSTANDS insanity, cause he’s been there”

    You haven’t exited yet.

    I respectfully decline to participate in your hallucination.

  106. #106 Xuuths
    July 17, 2012

    No, Jon S, you are wrong. The word “unicorn” is a mistranslation. Every legitimate language scholar acknowledges that fact, and every subsequent translation of the bible has a different word, the correct word. “The Interpreter’s Bible” (the size of the encyclopedia) is at your local library, and will show this to you. Your ignorance on this subject is sad.

    The bible makes it clear that god DOES tempt people:

    Genesis 22:1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.

    Deuteronomy 4:34 Or hath God assayed to go and take him a nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?

    You don’t seem to know the bible very well. So sad.

    As a professed christian, to YOU it is a sin to lie, yet you are lying when you state “God has never admitted to doing evil” when I gave you the specific scriptures stating otherwise. So sad.

    Put down your cross and follow us.

  107. #107 paul hill
    apollo bay vic australia
    July 17, 2012

    Wow,
    That’s what the shrinks say, that anyone mouthing a concept of ‘another side’ is simply manifesting a worsening psychosis and is DANGEROUS for saying so. Reading RD Laing, it is obvious that he has been through schizophrenia and come out the other side as he understand it so well. As you are an atheist I think you’d agree that religion is a form of psychosis. So that anyone coming out the other side of religion must have a far better understanding of religion and psychosis, same thing, than someone who has never gone through it. Unless you’d claim that there is some sort of subconscious residue of religion that it’s impossible to be rid off. You are only going to find out how rotten Christians can be to a backslider ie ‘A dog turned unto its own vomit.’, the REAL side of Christian “Love” if you become one. It’s is by copping that malice for long enough that you begin to see the absurdities of ALL religion. No good?

  108. #108 paul hill
    apollo bay vic australia
    July 17, 2012

    EXTREME INTRACTABLE DEPRESSION.
    I intrigues me, all the talk about genes and drugs in the treatment of depression as if there just HAS to be some inheritance factor involved. There are no shortage of things to get depressed about in this world today without bringing belief systems into the equation. This a story about horrific depression from which very few escape. It involves both a shrink and a patient, in both cases me. It’s a story that has to be told to reach out and offer escape to anyone else caught in the same trap.

    I find the use of surgical intervention for something like depression as appalling. Up until 1972 I suffered the most dreadful depression from early childhood with alcoholism commencing at 14. I contracted meningitis at just 9 months old, then at 28 suffered very severe bends with cerebral complications (as indicated by tunnel vision) as an abalone diver.
    However, there were plenty of environmental factors to depress me. I was brutalised by my father who came back from WW2 deranged. As well as bashing me he ridiculed and criticised everything I did.

    At 19, filled with self loathing, I went forward at a Billy Graham meeting and then committed the worst sin possible for a Baptist, I backslid, finally believing that I had been cut off with no possible hope of redemption. I was going to burn in Hell forever and this tormented me day and night. The only way I could cope was to drink myself into oblivion. I couldn’t commit suicide and I couldn’t be awake and I couldn’t talk to ANYBODY about it. Being unconscious was the only way out.

    Then in 1970 I lost TWO abalone boats with the death of my deckhand on each occasion, punishment by God I believed for my backsliding, and punishment by man by enormous stigma. The local Baptist minister visited me in hospital after I lost the first boat and was being treated for suicidal ideation. He said with great compassion, “The reason you lost that boat and the young man died was because you turned your back on the Lord Jesus Christ.” Jesus wept!!!

    What wonderful therapy. No good confiding in him, and this outburst only confirmed what I already believed. My drinking escalated accordingly. I was now COMPLETELY psychotic, with no help coming from ANYWHERE, just prejudice.
    Then in 1972 with the assistance of a lot of LSD I cured myself utterly and simultaneously stopped drinking. How? I STOPPED believing in God and sin and Hell as by now they all seemed so utterly absurd. The depression just vanished.

    I now believe that the above is a common syndrome in depression. However the individual cannot talk about it to ANYONE as he or she is desperately trying to drive it from their minds and with only venom coming from the clergy. He or she would probably accept implantation surgery as the only way of coping. I didn’t. I used an illegal substance that is supposed to drive one insane, no ECT, no lithium, no SRI’s, just a substance that strips away the illusions.

    I’d like to make the point that I DO NOT recommend the use of LSD for anyone in a clinical environment, i.e. labelled and drugged as this is a very paranoid environment already and could turn a lot more paranoid. I know of people who developed LSD induced schizophrenia. However, as RD Laing said they were pre-psychotic and all the drug did was accelerate the process. They are stuck half way. Once labelled and drugged they remain stuck, but can come out the other side as can anyone else as I’ve already hypothesised.

    As to anyone using LSD as a recreational drug, that’s their business. So it’s illegal, there are thousands of legal drugs which are deadly poisons. I don’t use any drugs now, legal or illegal, although I don’t hold that up as a badge of virtue as virtue is a word for the pious. Been there, done that.

    LSD is NOT a therapy. It is a TRUTH drug. It cuts through absurd contradictions like a God of limitless love would burn someone in HELL forever (even Adolph Hitler], or knowing the beginning to the end would create the Devil knowing that Nick would try to organise a coup d’etat against him, or burning the heathen in Hell simply because some slack arsed missionary didn’t go ram gobbledygook down their throats, or Paul saying one minute ‘If any man be in Christ he is a new creature, behold old things pass away, all things are become as new’ then next minute saying ‘Oh wretched man that I am, who can rescue me from this body of death. All my righteousness are but as filthy rags.’ The book of contradictions. Yet fundamentalist Christians say that there is NOT ONE SINGE CONTRADICTION in the Bible. Talk about double BLINDS.

  109. #109 wow
    July 20, 2012

    Paul, someone with a worsening psychosis would mouth continually more wild assertions about “another world”. And they’re the last ones to notice the problem.

    And talking about blind, why is it ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE that there be no creator?

  110. #110 paul hill
    apollo bay vic australia
    July 22, 2012

    You must have very selective filters over your eyes. Read it again. NO reference to a Creator whatsoever, none, zero, zilch, nil Creator. Fresh out of Creators. No sign of Creators. What I’m saying is that the Universe created itself and it’s ONLY consciousness is we humans, as appallingly behaved as we are. The Universe is God and we are the Godhead. It’s only a bloody word after all. NOT pantheism. Are you getting my drift. Noone on Earth abominates and blasphemes religion more than myself and that includes Dawkinism. He can’t get rid of God himself as he he has to find him, her or it in a blood y gene.

  111. #111 Jon S
    July 29, 2012

    Wow: Nope, hasn’t died for any sin other than the one decided by himself to happen if, indeed, he isn’t as fictitious as Gandalf.

    How can you be so certain? Aren’t you just rejecting the claims of Christ by mere assumption and hand-waving? Or have you studied his claims in detail and found empirical evidence to the contrary? There is, in fact, plenty of evidence to support the claims of Christ- from prophecies to miracles, eye witness testimonies, etc.

    Moreover, he didn’t die, he just stopped being mortal.

    Jesus died and rose from the dead. Not only that, but God created humans to be immortal as well. When our bodies die, our soul continues to live forever.

    And he risked nothing to do so, since he was going to let himself off and live in heaven anyway. So, no sacrifice whatsoever.

    Jesus sacrificed a great deal, leaving behind his kingdom in heaven. He made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, made in human likeness. He suffered and died, and did it willingly for our sake (Philippians 2:5-11).

    And when I forgive someone, I don’t then demand eternal obesiance from everyone, unlike your narcissistic deity.

    You’re a man, born in sin, so you are not worthy of such obedience; God, however, is worthy of praise (Psalm 96:4) and worship (Psalm 29:2), and when he demands obedience from us, he does so with righteousness (Psalm 7:17, Psalm 9:8); He doesn’t do it for His own selfish motives, but does it for our good (Romans 8:28).

    And if we’d been forgiven, why are we still going to get sent to hell as punishment? Not really much of a forgiveness, really.

    God has offered us the gift of salvation (Acts 4:12); he doesn’t impose it upon us. It’s up to you to accept the gift of life that he offers (Romans 6:23). It’s a gift worth more than any treasure.

  112. #112 Wow
    July 30, 2012

    I’m certain because the story is ludicrous.

    It’s in a book of fiction.

    And a bad bit of collected fairy stories at that.

  113. #113 Xuuths
    July 31, 2012

    No, Jon S, your ficticious jesus did not “sacrifice a great deal, leaving behind his kingdom in heaven.” Within the confines of your myth, the jesus part of the trinity existed for billions of years (and started the Big Bang). After the resurrection, he would be alive for the rest of all eternity. He was, in the story, away from his heavenly kingdom for only 33-ish years, and dead only 30-ish hours.

    33-ish years compared with billions upon trillions and trillions of eternity. Hardly a sacrifice.

    I notice you don’t tend to respond to posts pointing out the flaws in your scripture (like my posts).

    Your unreal deity claims to be worthy of praise — but so do some of the criminally insane. Hard to tell them apart. Oh wait, there is a simple way to tell them apart: the criminally insane actually exist!

    Sheesh! Put down your theism, Jon S . . . you know you want to. You know how tired you are of trying to make sense of the lunacy. You know how your head hurts from the cognitive dissonance theism requires. You know that your personal morality shudders at having to lie and pretend things that you know are not true.

    We will welcome you with open arms.

  114. #114 Jon S
    August 5, 2012

    Xuuths: No, Jon S, your ficticious jesus did not “sacrifice a great deal, leaving behind his kingdom in heaven.” Within the confines of your myth, the jesus part of the trinity existed for billions of years (and started the Big Bang). After the resurrection, he would be alive for the rest of all eternity. He was, in the story, away from his heavenly kingdom for only 33-ish years, and dead only 30-ish hours. 33-ish years compared with billions upon trillions and trillions of eternity. Hardly a sacrifice.

    Firstly, there’s no evidence that Jesus was fictitious. On the contrary, there’s more evidence for his existence than there is for Julius Caesar, Aristotle, or any other alleged historical figure. For this reason most secular people don’t question Jesus’ existence. So do you doubt the existence of all historical figures unless you’ve had a chance to personally meet them, interrogate them, and examine their driver’s license to verify their true identity? It’s absurd to suggest that Jesus didn’t exist, unless you wish to offer some indisputable evidence. By what standard do you acknowledge any historical figure?

    Secondly, Jesus did sacrifice a great deal by leaving his kingdom in heaven. If you’re a true king, and you voluntarily put all that aside to live humbly among the people in your kingdom for the sake of helping them, and you do so knowing they will put you to death, then that king is sacrificing a great deal, even if you choose not to acknowledge such a sacrifice. Nonetheless, Jesus left his kingdom freely and willingly, knowing there was something worth far more; he came for the salvation of man.

    Thirdly, while Jesus is eternal, existed before time and was only alive for 33 years, you’re downplaying the significance of what he accomplished. You’re trying to suggest that it’s meaningless for an eternal being to give up his kingdom for ONLY 33 years. However there is real significance because he made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness, and humbled himself to death on a cross (Philippians 2:5-11).

    And lastly, all humans are ultimately eternal beings as well. Once we have been created, we will continue to live forever (even though our earthly bodies will die), because our souls will continue to exist. So by your own logic, no sacrifice ever made by any human being should be of any significance.

    I notice you don’t tend to respond to posts pointing out the flaws in your scripture (like my posts).

    I’m not sure what posts you’re referring to. In fact I did respond to your posts claiming that there are flaws in scripture and rebutted them. But I’ll take another look to see if I missed any.

    Your unreal deity claims to be worthy of praise — but so do some of the criminally insane. Hard to tell them apart. Oh wait, there is a simple way to tell them apart: the criminally insane actually exist!

    When Jesus came there were many who claimed to be the Messiah before him, and many of them were put to death as well. But Jesus was the only one who performed miracles, spoke prophecies and rose from the dead.

    Sheesh! Put down your theism, Jon S . . . you know you want to. You know how tired you are of trying to make sense of the lunacy. You know how your head hurts from the cognitive dissonance theism requires. You know that your personal morality shudders at having to lie and pretend things that you know are not true. We will welcome you with open arms.

    I cannot do so because I love Jesus Christ with all my heart, mind, soul and strength, and will be with him in paradise throughout eternity. I’m hoping to bring others to this saving grace, while you’re mockingly trying to draw people away from Christ. I sincerely hope you do come to know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior so that you may have the gift of eternal life as well.

    Jon S, you should read where scripture clearly states that god repented of the evil he was going to do. Jonah 3:10 “And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.”
    1 Chronicles 21:15, Jeremiah 26:13, Amos 7:6

    Perhaps this is what you were referring to, however I didn’t take you seriously because your claims were embarrassingly flawed. Jonah 3:10 says that God had compassion on the people of Nineveh: “When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened.” God doesn’t need to repent because he doesn’t sin or do evil. You, on the other hand, are dishonest. Compassion does not equal repentance or an admission of wrongdoing. In these passages God chose to show compassion or relent from his wrath; he never repented of any evil or wrongdoing, nor did he need to. God is holy and just and is not answerable to anyone since he is the ultimate authority. Your rationale is unbelievably distorted and nonsensical. You seem to think that God doesn’t have the authority to put anyone to death and that such an action would be evil, yet God does have that authority, and when he exercises that authority he does so justly.

    You also dishonestly reported Genesis 22:1 and Deuteronomy 4:34. You deliberately distorted the text. You know very well that the verse says that God tested Abraham, not tempt. God makes it very clear that God does not tempt anyone (James 1:13). You and your claims have been very dishonest, and it would do you good to confess, admit your wrongdoing and repent… not just to me, but to God.

  115. #115 Wow
    August 6, 2012

    There,s plenty of evidence jesus is fictitious. For one, real people don’t walk on wter. Magic is how we can kbow Harry Potter is fiction, despite no proof he’s fictional.

  116. #116 Wow
    August 6, 2012

    In fact, there is little to no evidence of jesus, lots of evidence.for caesar and several clues thst this jesus guy is made up.

    Normal people, for example, don’t get born in two places at once, but the ‘evidence’ for jesus includes that ‘fact’.

  117. #117 Xuuths
    August 7, 2012

    Jon S., you need to apologize to me for lying about me, and then repent for the sin of lying. Bearing false witness, you know.

    I did not “distort” anything – just cut and pasted from the King James version of the bible. You seem to have a quarrel with their translation.

    Do pick one as an authoritative version so that we understand where you’re coming from, ok?

    And, no, you are terribly wrong. There is no sacrifice for spending 1/infinitieth of your existence away from your kingdom. (A 100 year old person is alive 3,155,760,000 seconds. There is no sacrifice for spending 1/1000th of a second doing ANYTHING.)

    Your fictitious jesus was just one of many stories of people who made prophecies, performed miracles and even rose from the dead. Your ignorance about history is not proof of either the existence of your jesus or of his divinity.

    If, just for the sake of a thought experiment, “all humans are ultimately eternal beings” … does it make sense to punish someone for billions and trillions of years for the crimes they did in only a few years on earth? Think about that. Does the punishment fit the crime? Is it justice? (Notice how claims of god’s justice fall flat.) Your fictitious god is supposed to be so much more loving, just, merciful and gracious than what humans are capable of being — so does it make sense?

    Claiming that god provided a gift of salvation only applies to those who heard it during their lifetimes. There are millions of people who did not. What about them? What is the just, moral, ethical thing for them? And why would an ultimate judge have multiple standards?

    No, your theology falls apart under the slightest scrutiny. It is historically inaccurate. It is mathematically inaccurate. It is medically inaccurate. It is scientifically inaccurate. It is internally inconsistent and contradictory (unless you lie to yourself/others about what it says). It is demonstrably evil in many many places.

    Please, stop wasting more of your life. This is all you get. Just these few years. Not eternity. No heaven, no hell, no purgatory, no limbo, no nirvana, no reincarnation, no Valhalla.

    You will feel so much better when you drop the burden of so much cognitive dissonance. The truth will set you free.