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Mar 19 2013

Faux News – Atheism Cannot Be Religion

This is well known enough that Johnnie Moore (A Liberty University Professor) should know about it considering this conundrum can be solved by a quick “google”.

For a theist there’s nothing quite like watching an atheist get an intellectual walloping from a preacher. There’s just something apocalyptic about it, and it most easily occurs when the atheist tries to chop up religion to irrelevancy without realizing that he is himself awfully religious.

A religion is a belief in a god. I have no gods. Not my old million or so gods, not your ironic carpenter god. There have been millions of gods out there all created by mankind and not one of them has proven to be real or even has a mild basis in reality. Just as a child believes that the fantastic presents received on Christmas come not from the logical source of the parent who happened to read the letters you wrote and mailed them for you but from the mystical entity that is Santa Claus, the adult believes in gods, attributing to him (It’s invariably a him for most people) responsibility for the good that happens in your life. In some cases we may even create another entity responsible for the terrible things that happen in life.

A god is as irrelevant as the fairies, the Loch Ness Monster or Santa.

It happened again recently at the Cambridge Union debating society when former Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams took on the best known name in contemporary atheism, Richard Dawkins. They were debating whether religion has a role in the 21st century. 

Dawkins said it didn’t. 

Williams said it did. 

Except religion has repeatedly shown to be nothing but a staid entity that cannot change with the times and has repeatedly placed itself sorely in the path of progress be it in humanity, charity or science. 

In the end, Williams was handed a decidedly strong victory with more than two times as many votes from the audience as the infamous atheist, Dawkins. It was a triumphant day for the faithful and a shameful one for the irreligious.

Except it’s a polarised issue and no religious person would ever vote for a world without religion so your options are reduced. If we filled the audience with atheists then Dawkins would have won. Debates are a stupid way of deciding the utility of religion.

But here is the thing with religion.

Just because you win a debate doesn’t mean your gods exist. I could win a debate that Leperchauns exist doesn’t mean that they actually do.

But actually no one really is irreligious.

This world beats to the rhythm of religion in a thousand ways, and absolutely everyone is religious — including atheists.

Of course not. Religion is heavily entrenched in culture however you can separate culture and religion.

Just like we separated the religions of the gods that we name the days of the week after.

Religion certainly includes an idea of a God under whom man is inherently subservient, but religion also governs the belief system undergirding the way people think about, and live, their lives.

Gods. The third biggest religion on the planet is Hinduism. And unless Islam and Christianity got together to believe in the same god they arguably believe in two different religions.

Religion actually just provides blinders that prevent you from seeing how the world works because you think the zenith of human endeavour was some 2000 year old book written by people who would call us gods because our technology is pretty much “magic” to them.

It tells them who their authority is and it informs their values and behavior. It gives them their sense of morality and goodwill, and it guides them in the way they treat themselves and others. Religion does nothing less than construct one’s view of the world.

Which authority? Dharma? Jesus? Allah? Cargo?

Except that people who believe in a god have repeatedly demonstrated a complete values dissonance that has affected their moral stances in negative ways.

Christianity claims to be the universal moral code that all human existence is based on (despite being a good 3000 years younger than my old faith). Yet the Bible doesn’t treat rape as a horrific crime against humanity that we do but as a crime against property. The Bible doesn’t say “Slavery is an Anathema to Humanity” it says “GO FOR IT – SIgned Big J”.

Atheists are, in fact, some of the most religious people.

First, they have a functioning God under whom they are subservient (normally it’s science or rationality, but mainly themselves), and that idea of God informs the way they live and interpret their lives. It informs their biases and determines their values, and governs any sense of morality or ethics they adhere too, or ignore.

What? That is a highly stupid argument. You cannot claim to be a professor of anything and say something this stupid and expect to not be called out on such a stupid argument.

Science isn’t a god. It exists.

If we took the sum total of scientific knowledge and the sum total of Christian knowledge and erased both of them from the earth. Humanity would redevelop all the science it lost (In quite a short order especially if we keep to the scientific method) and learn precisely the same things that we know today.

Religion would look completely different. The difference is that our belief in science isn’t based on the supernatural but the understanding of the functioning of the universe we live in and the utilisation of such knowledge for our own benefit.

Once that’s all settled all that’s left is the preaching.

And they preach all the time. 

This new breed of atheists is obsessed with the idea of God. They write books, deliver speeches, comment-bomb the evangelical blogosphere and generally rant on ad nauseam about the ills of believing in God.

Yes and why not? We live in a world where we deny people the right to freedom to be happy or bodily autonomy based on the statements of imaginary beings. Of course we would speak out against it.

We live in a world where people who don’t believe in a god are routinely ostracised and even killed. To speak out for them is basic humanity.

And we speak out against gods. The Christian’s god is as bullshit as the gods the Christian believes are fake.

Honestly – comically – some atheists must type the word “God” on the Internet five times more often than most Christians I know and they do it with the fury of a fire-and-brimstone zealot!

Maybe no one invokes the name of “God” more than they, and they are doing so in more and more virulent ways such as the shocking moment when Dr. Dawkins recently told Al-Jazeera television that he believed being raised Catholic was in itself even more psychologically damaging than being abused by a priest!

Actually. Dr. Dawkins was abused by a priest. He stated that to him personally the abuse he faced was less damaging than religion.

Which is fine. It was his abuse and how he dealt with it is his methodology. He never spoke out against the abuse faced by the thousands of people who were abused by organised religion.

Instead of just ignoring God, or the idea of God, atheist preachers feel somehow compelled to rid the Earth of him; so they argue endlessly that theists can’t prove God exists without confessing that they can’t prove he doesn’t either.

In the interest of scientific veracity you cannot disprove ANY negatives. You cannot disprove the existence of Dragons.

You can however comment on the unlikeliness of their existence due to the various laws of nature they break such as aerodynamics.

We cannot disprove the existence of any god.

We can however comment on the unlikeliness of their existence due to the fact that a god would entirely have to be reliant on breaking all known laws of existence and therefore have to be entrenched in “total magic”. And by this logic the Christian cannot disprove the existence of Shiva or Allah and so is intellectually dishonest by claiming their religion is the “one true path” to Heaven.

However if we are to accept the existence of Jehovah we have to accept the equal existence of Moloch and Tlaloc and Shiva and Allah and Wotan and Superman. After all, you cannot disprove the fact that Superman doesn’t exist and hasn’t saved the word repeatedly from the machinations of Darkseid.

Occasionally, some of them discover that they do indeed worship a God, but it is an insufficient one. 

They worship a God that loses his car keys when they are in his hand, or that misplaces the glasses on his face – a God filled with flaws and inadequacies, and a God (themselves) whose probability of helping them supernaturally is absolutely zero.

No. You see, we aren’t that laden with hubris. We may think we are the most intelligent creature in the known universe but we know how utterly insignificant we are on a Solar Systemic scale let alone a galactic or universal scale.

If you wish to call us a god then fucking fine! You may mock our short term memory about our car keys but that’s also fine too. But here is the deal.

Everything you possess as a human being from the shoes on your feet to your longevity to the laptop and the Internet on which you make your stupid claim that the world is 6000 years old was made by humans.

The probability of us helping you supernaturally is zero. We don’t have any supernatural powers.

We don’t NEED supernatural powers because the natural ones we have seem to exceed your nearsighted creation of a god. We may forget where we placed our glasses but all of human endeavour has created the paradise that people like Johnnie Moore live in. It is not prayer that killed Smallpox or put a man on the Moon or made the Internet.

It’s people who scratch their arses and pick their noses and fart. It’s people who fall in love and people who throw tantrums when other people fail to put a ball into a specific zone. It’s all these imperfect people who have made the world what it is today.

Not Jehovah. If we prayed rather than did we would still be scared of the dark and the terrors that it hid from our ape ancestors rather than having touched our moon.

Everyone needs and everyone has a “God.” That’s why we’re so religious.

It’s a matter of which religion is yours.

One of the nice things about the Christian God is that he seems to be as concerned about those that do not believe as those who do.

So does Dumbledore but you don’t see me running around demanding a moratorium on the Dark Arts.

And Jehovah’s concern for those who don’t believe is not healthy. Because if you don’t believe in him he will torture you eternally.

Because he Loves you deeply. The only reason he hits mankind is because he is worried about us.

Right?

Or as one skeptic-turned-believer has said of the Him, “a young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere – God is, if I may say it, very unscrupulous.”

He knew it well.

If you wish to be an atheist then read all religions and then revel in the variation of superstition.

For C.S. Lewis, the iconic British scholar, was himself a convert from the religion of the atheism to the religion of Christianity because, as he later said: “atheism turns out to be too simple.”

No… Atheism says that there is no god. It means we have to explain how the world functions not through the use of a deus ex machina of “magic” and “miracle” but through science.

It’s a lot lot easier to be a priest than it is to be a scientist. Atheism may be simple but what it implies is that we are responsible for thinking about what our actions mean and how the world works around us.

Your Bible is looking awfully small. Maybe if you got it in Large Print?

Your Bible is looking awfully small. Maybe if you got it in Large Print? (PS. Now I have to carry all those books back! And these aren’t ALL my books)

Above is the price of actually knowing how to treat a human being and not relying on the Supernatural interference of a god.

Still think atheism is easy? It means accepting you know absolutely nothing and there are more things on earth and in the heavens than dreamt of by our ancestor’s religion. That the knowledge you acquire is hard.

Each one of those books is bigger than the Bible. Each one of them helps me understand the human body better. And that’s just the human body. I would need libraries worth of books to collect all of human knowledge and you are telling me that none of that human endeavour means anything compared to your single, tiny book which tells us that slavery and rape aren’t as bad as we think it is?

C. S. Lewis is right. Atheism is easy.

Being a human is not.

Oddly enough, atheists often accuse theists of being the simple ones. We are “anti-intellectual,” they say, and in so doing they become exactly what they accuse us of being.

It must be an unfortunate plight to be both anti-intellectual and religious!

God help them.

Of course you are anti-intellectual. When the world proves that the Bible is incorrect the Fundamentalists of the Liberty University instead retreat behind their fantasy and declare the world to be incorrect. When the world proves us correct we will change our tune but for now?

There are no gods. Any person who claims to have been in contact with one or who claims that you should do as their god says is doing so not out of a position of knowledge but a position of deepest, darkest ignorance.

The world is more fantastic than C.S. Lewis or Liberty University’s esteemed alumni could ever understand. And to understand how amazing the world and the universe is you need to stop using your religion as a security blanket to cover yourself whenever you are challenged by things that you don’t understand. The world doesn’t need to be complicated. Rainbows aren’t less real because they are a product of the splitting of white light into component wavelengths rather than the immortal covenant of a god who drowned an entire planet. While one may be inherently a more lofty and meaningful gesture it doesn’t change the fact that white light refracted causes rainbows. All the beauty of a rainbow (even a double one) isn’t ruined by knowing that it’s natural rather than divine.

There are no gods, humanity is responsible for it’s actions. It’s just that simple.

23 comments

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  1. 1
    Alverant

    “We cannot disprove the existence of any god.”
    Sure we can, it’s easy just follow two simple steps!

    1) Define the entity in question. Check to see if the definition makes sense. If it contradicts itself (ie claiming to be perfect yet is clearly imperfect) then the entity as defined does not exist.

    2) Check to see if it lives up to the hype. For example if it makes claims to be loving yet tells its followers to commit genocide then we come up with the non-existance of the concept.

    Basically what it comes down to is making sure the PR image is either legit or an illusion.

  2. 2
    kagekiri

    Oddly enough, atheists often accuse theists of being the simple ones. We are “anti-intellectual,” they say, and in so doing they become exactly what they accuse us of being.
    It must be an unfortunate plight to be both anti-intellectual and religious!
    God help them.

    Ooooh, ooh, I can do that too!

    “Oddly enough, Christians often accuse atheists of being the evil ones. We atheists don’t have “moral absolutes” they say, and yet they stick to horribly outdated and regressive morals and choose to be exactly what they accuse us of being: moral relativists and apologists for evil acts (see: Christians defending slavery, rape, genocide, punishing children for the sins of their parents, and child abuse in the Bible).

    It is an unfortunate situation, to be both part of an immoral religion and self-righteous about it. God won’t help them, he doesn’t exist.”

    Oh wait, I guess I included more directed accusations that actually hint at specifics…I guess I’m doing the whole “self-righteous prattling” thing wrong.

    I mean, seriously? Anti-intellectual is a false accusation?

    I remember very specifically being told NOT to question God in the Bible. I remember shutting down doubts by mental force and self-rebuke/abuse when I was Christian, during my own readings of the Bible and during group Bible studies when someone brought up contradictions or confusion about the justice of God’s actions in a story. Paul even says not to use logic in regards to the Bible, but to go with the Holy Spirit (read: your intuition and emotions).

    Christianity fights against thinking, and conservative US Christians are the ones saying that “experts” don’t know anything and that higher education is a liberal ploy.

    I want to huck a dictionary at this guy, and try and see if he even knows what that word even means. Hell, what ANY words even mean.

    No, having a world-view does not mean you have a religion. Most Christians don’t even believe that. Christianity may be a world-view for some (that stupid “it’s not a religion, it’s a lifestyle” crap), but for others, it’s just rote part of culture. I know, because as a former religious snob, we used to look down on this lukewarm, half-assed Christians or “Sunday-only Christians” or “attends only on holidays and special occasions” bad Christians.

  3. 3
    rationalthinker

    There are far to many things wrong with this blog to even begin to point them all out. It would be like trying to nail jello to the wall the way your arguments change to get around your horrible arguments. Everything you stated regarding what the Bible says was ALL WRONG. You claim to be intellectual thinkers but you don’t even have the foresight to see the gaping holes in your logic. Science and religion are not at odds as you seem to very adamantly stick to no matter what common sense and logic says. Water boils at a specific temperature today, which we know because of the laws of nature, that we are certain it will boil tomorrow tomorrow at the same temperature. We don’t think some magical god that sits inside that pot making the water get hot and bubble!! Science is a way of explaining how things work. God gave us a great gifts of free will and creativity, it’s that creativity that allows us to see how he put things in order, how they were built, how they operate. It’s THAT very sam free will that allow us to reject what he says and what he’s given us. Need I remind you the fact that science was born from christian scientists using the bible as inspiration to discover the grandeur of the universe that God created for us. The very creation of the modern Western World was based on Christian ethics, and biblical inspiration. The article referenced hinduism ,take India for example. It was steeped in Buddhism for a century then ruled by the hindu religion. It taught that one does not have any value that we need to free our minds of clutter and that thoughts and truth get in the way of real knowledge, the knowledge of nothingness or to reach Nirvana. That is repressive and that is why India spun it’s wheels and currently struggles moving forward as a country. The west was born from ethics and ideals of the Bible, that spawned us to learn about how things work. With that said NOT all religions are the same, christianity itself isn’t even a religion, it runs counter to what religion means!! I’ll leave it at that for now, I’m sure you’ve all got a lot to say on my brief thesis.

  4. 4
    debbaasseerr

    @3 – Gish galloping ghost. Your “brief thesis” is a salad of assertions stacked on top of each other, all striving mightily to not engage with the actual content of the OP.

  5. 5
    rationalthinker

    And by assertion you mean FACT. And I quote ” The Bible doesn’t say “Slavery is an Anathema to Humanity” it says “GO FOR IT – SIgned Big J”. No where does Jesus say go for it with slavery, that’s absurd! That goes counter to the whole bible message!! I know at this point your thinking this guys crazy, and I would say you need to actually study the bible to understand it, not just pick a verse and give it context, that is the real madness. Secondly you should all do some research on slavery in the first century. American style slavery was much different then slavery in the first century. American style slavery was ruthless and awful, and the bible is what helped cure racism and slavery in the America’s. If you owed a debt in the first century you could put yourself into slavery to pay it off, if there was something you needed but couldn’t afford it, you could put yourself into slavery to pay for it. There were regulations believe it or not regarding the treatment of “slaves” in the first century. Again this is something people don’t take the time to research and understand, they swallow and perpetuate myth due to their laziness, not intellect. The bible condemns slave traders and puts them in the same category as murderers, liars, adulterers, and perverts. (1 Timothy 1:10).

    So with that said I don’t understand where assertion comes into play? This is one point of many that are to be made of this article. I welcome all the questions in the world. I know the attitude I say this with isn’t the greatest but I’m trying to be kinder! :)

  6. 6
    debbaasseerr

    No, assertion was the right word. You can churn out another mental gymnastics floor routine, but only people who’ve been born more than once will be impressed.

    You might not realize this, but your entire routine has been seen before.

  7. 7
    rationalthinker

    Yes, but your not saying anything other than “your wrong just because!!” Give me a reason to think other wise. That’s the underlying point of why i’m even responding to this stuff. This article got people talking which is great, but a logical dialogue is what’s important. I see no mental gymnastics in my response, just historical FACT. You may not like it, but it’s not assertion that’s for sure. Give me a point where I have gone wrong and we’ll hammer it out. If the same people read these blogs everyday and aren’t actually interested in logical reason, then of course nothing can be said to appease your mental view. All I’m trying to do is show you where your arguments fail, because they only get perpetuated by yourselves with no outside source checking what’s being said. There’s a perfectly logical answer for everything that was said in his article.

  8. 8
    Heretical Ryan

    “rational” thinker

    You claimed “There’s a perfectly logical answer for everything that was said in his article.”

    By all means share those answers with us.

  9. 9
    Heretical Ryan

    PS.. If you really think that Biblical slavery is somehow more enlightened than pre-Civil war era slavery, read this.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/nonstampcollector/2013/01/30/bible-slavery-totally-different/

  10. 10
    debbaasseerr

    One of the points in the OP was”The Bible doesn’t say “Slavery is an Anathema to Humanity” it says “GO FOR IT – SIgned Big J”

    rational thinker took issue with it, but maybe that’s because it was a joke. Its true though! Look at Leviticus 25 – god just wants you to own slaves the right way. And that fits in with the context of the vast majority of versus in the bible. Neither god or Jesus ever say anything like “Slavery is wrong”.

  11. 11
    rationalthinker

    We’ll start with the first few paragraphs. The author continuously asserts that God does not exist no more than fairies, or Santa. The thing with fairies and santa is we KNOW from life experience that they do not exist, nobody doubts this. We KNOW from life experience, that God does indeed exist, you just choose to ignore the information in front of you. I’m guessing as how nobody took issue with my HISTORICAL argument on how science only helps the christian world view that no more needs to be said about the universe we live in. Secondly NOT all religions are the same. Sam Harris himself even says you cannot lump christianity in with buddhism, islam, hinduism, etc, because they are NOT all equal. The bible has been demonstrated through historical FACT to be reliable. You can twist and turn and read all the vague blogs you want by all these pail faced pseudo intellectuals who absolutely refuse to conform to secular opinion on the bible. Yes secular scholars agree the people, places, and particulars are all true with regard to the bible. Secular historical sources such as Pliny the unger, Justin the martyr, josephus, tacitus, thallus, the jewish talmud, even by ponteous pilate himself, in the acts of pilot, refer to the birth, life, death and most important resurrection of Christ. Using only secular information, which scholars have done, it is totally congruent with the bible. The reason the bible seems so confusing and crazy, is because you have to know how to read it! Like I said before you can’t just pick a verse and make a case around it. The bible was written by men who were inspired by God, therefore the information in the bible is reliable. 66 books written and all them the same message. It should be difficult to read. You should read a passage then sit there and ponder what it means. You’ve read what it said now you must think long and hard what it is that the bible trying to communicate to you. Everything in the old testament points towards the new testament and the fulfillment through Christ. I say this as a back story to bring it back to the slavery argument. Like I said before in 1 Timothy the bible puts slave traders in an awful category and are looked down upon. I don’t know how you keep sticking to blatant untruth! The bible teaches that man has intrinsic value and is worth something, that you are special. That’s the over all message in the bible this is what you DO NOT seem to understand. This is where I can’t understand how you keep saying outright contradictions on the view of slavery in the bible. (And i’m sure that this is NOT the reason you don’t believe there is a creator is because of slavery….right? :) Besides it’s not the bibles view of slavery as you all keep pointing out, it was the 1 century view on slavery, which happened to be when those sections of scripture were written so they are working within the guide lines of their time. WHICH STILL DOES NOT CONDONE SLAVERY!! You CANNOT take what we know as a society now and look back 5000 years and say the bible is awful because “look what they were doing!!!” On a side note, I don’t believe the bible says the earth is 6000 years old or whatever was said. I believe it is potentially billions of years old. This is a secondary issue among christians. The over all message of the bible is the same whether christians agree with how old the earth is.
    So we’ll start there. That takes us a few paragraphs in. On topic I believe. Thoughts?

  12. 12
    rationalthinker

    i read that article that Heretical Ryan posted. It’s so absurd it’s not worth mentioning. It proved my point exactly. He DOES NOT understand the bible. The little monologue about Leviticus was hilarious. There’s a point to Leviticus that people don’t get. It’s to point out that the law is so strict that NO MAN can keep to it, only Christ can keep the law perfectly, because he created the high standard in the first place. Therefore we can all know christ in whom those old ceremonial laws were fulfilled.

  13. 13
    Avicenna

    We’ll start with the first few paragraphs.

    The author continuously asserts that God does not exist no more than fairies, or Santa. The thing with fairies and santa is we KNOW from life experience that they do not exist, nobody doubts this. We KNOW from life experience, that God does indeed exist, you just choose to ignore the information in front of you.

    You mean Jehovah? How droll…

    I’m guessing as how nobody took issue with my HISTORICAL argument on how science only helps the christian world view that no more needs to be said about the universe we live in. Secondly NOT all religions are the same. Sam Harris himself even says you cannot lump christianity in with buddhism, islam, hinduism, etc, because they are NOT all equal.

    No. The Bible’s historical veracity is repeated by Hinduism’s veracity and Buddhism’s veracity as the Last Avatar and the Founder of the faith was a historical figure too. Just because “Whitey didn’t care” about my culture you know nothing about it.

    I know about yours though. This is because I educated myself. I would like to see this Sam Harris quote.

    Hinduism is just as historically verified and the existence of Ishwara is just as strong as your Jehovah.

    The bible has been demonstrated through historical FACT to be reliable. You can twist and turn and read all the vague blogs you want by all these pail faced pseudo intellectuals who absolutely refuse to conform to secular opinion on the bible. Yes secular scholars agree the people, places, and particulars are all true with regard to the bible.

    You mean like Siddartha Gauthama and Bodhgaya? Or Ayodhya? Or Thirupathi? Or Allahabad?

    And dear Christian. It’s physically impossible for me to be pale faced. Not unless I take up mime.


    Secular historical sources such as Pliny the unger, Justin the martyr, josephus, tacitus, thallus, the jewish talmud, even by ponteous pilate himself, in the acts of pilot, refer to the birth, life, death and most important resurrection of Christ.

    Yawn… no they don’t. And if you had an ounce of brain you wouldn’t be arguing with an ex-hindu who can happily pull out the same sources. Because if we just look online I have plenty of sources that collaborate the existence of Wizards. London exists does it not? And there are plenty of authors who aren’t J.K. Rowling who support the existence of wizards.

    You mean we should assume that the all the biblical sources are accurate for no apparent reason that a bunch of white people believe in them but assume brown people’s beliefs aren’t equal? You do realise your argument smacks of the arseholery of Empire where “Indian literature” was considered pointless and where libraries were destroyed because they didn’t matter. You frankly know absolutely nothing about Hinduism apart from what your priests tell you and they know even less.

    And mentioning the Acts of Pilate? A piece of work known to be a forgery? Very amusing…

    Using only secular information, which scholars have done, it is totally congruent with the bible. The reason the bible seems so confusing and crazy, is because you have to know how to read it!

    Non Timidus Messor…

    I read the vulgate. Your Bible is based on the one I read when I was younger. Oh if you want to be proper impressed?

    Bismillah, Al Rahman al Rahim,
    Al Hamdullalah Al-Ameen
    Al-Rahmani Al-Raheem
    Maliki yawmi addeen
    Iyyaka Naabudu Wa-iyyaka Nastaaheen

    I can recite the Quran too. Well I used to. Now I have to read the damn thing. You picked the polyglot of FTB.

    I have read the three biggest religion’s books in the languages they are meant to be read in. And they are all equally bullshit.

    Latin/Arabic/Sanskrit. I don’t speak them well but I can speak them enough to know what I am reading is bullshit. Oh and BTW? Mohammed is just as historical a figure with a well documented history as Jesus but the same rule of “White Guys Only Count” applies here.

    Like I said before you can’t just pick a verse and make a case around it. The bible was written by men who were inspired by God, therefore the information in the bible is reliable.

    Except we totally can.

    If the Bible was inspired by Jehovah who claims to be a moral god then he would have had a stance that condemned slavery, genocide and rape. Yet the book contains lines where Jehovah exhorts his followers to enslave, rape and commit genocide. At no point does the book say “No. These things are bad”. In fact the Bible spends more time banning you from eating owls than it does from banning the ownership of human beings or the elimination of a group of people based on their ethnicity. And this is as a whole.

    66 books written and all them the same message. It should be difficult to read. You should read a passage then sit there and ponder what it means. You’ve read what it said now you must think long and hard what it is that the bible trying to communicate to you.

    Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever. – Leviticus

    Leviticus is the transcribed word of an allegedly (Judges 1:19 says otherwise) almighty god who is allegedly (clearly not) the source of all that is good and honest and decent and moral…

    That seems like instructions on how to own people. As Slaves. Ponder what you like. Leviticus is a “Do and Do Not List”. This is not moral. This is immoral.

    Now here is the thing. You either have to accept that Jehovah is not the source of all morality and that you are more moral by throwing away the stupid laws of your god.

    Or you have to accept the fact that your god is a slaver.

    And if you knew anything about the History of the Bible you would know that the message in the books is roughly the same because it was compiled by a group of people and edited. It’s the same reason why a Novel or a Newspaper fits nicely together. Editors…

    Everything in the old testament points towards the new testament and the fulfillment through Christ. I say this as a back story to bring it back to the slavery argument. Like I said before in 1 Timothy the bible puts slave traders in an awful category and are looked down upon. I don’t know how you keep sticking to blatant untruth!

    You mean the same Timothy (6:1) that exhorts slaves to stay slaves?

    Yet it says absolutely nothing about NOT OWNING SLAVES. Here’s a hint? Know why Muslims and Jews don’t eat Pork? Because their book explicitly says “no Pork”. The Bible doesn’t explicitly say no Slaves but infact accepts slavery as normal and a good thing and even tells you who to enslave. The problem with Christians is that they forget that we have read their book too. And we read it with the same eye we read science. Especially since Leviticus is the word of your god after all…

    The bible teaches that man has intrinsic value and is worth something, that you are special. That’s the over all message in the bible this is what you DO NOT seem to understand.

    No. The Bible teaches you that you are inherently sinful because you don’t match up to the alleged perfect standard of a slave holding, rapist and ethnic cleanser…

    Trust me your Bible doesn’t claim you have any intrinsic value. And you aren’t special because a magic man says so. You are special because you are human and are potentially capable of amazing things.

    We did more amazing things because we stopped believing in “magic” and started actually explaining how the world worked. We did more amazing things when we stopped people doing things based on how much they believe in a god and instead on what would make the world better. Your faith is part of the method by which the west raped and pillaged the third world. Your initial history lesson is terrifyingly bad.

    Hinduism is the oldest continuous religion on the planet. It predates Judaism. Some of it’s gods are stone age deities. Buddhism is very new compared to Hinduism and Buddhism is about as old as Judaism. However India was ruined because India was never a unified country in it’s history and over the 300 odd years the British were around India tore itself apart through the collapse of it’s dominant power resulting in power struggles and fractured states that allowed it’s take over.

    Not because of Hinduism. Oh and learn a little about the world. Hindus had a heliocentric solar system with a leap year system. They were very strong astronomers and indeed very strong mathematicians. Want to know why?

    Because you use their numbers. You call them Arabic Numerals. The Arabs call them Hindu Numerals. The decimalised system is a hindu invention. Modern science couldn’t take place without it.

    Oh and western destruction of Hindu culture means that a lot of Indian technology is denigrated or unknown. A good example of this was Bose who was not given a Nobel prize for his achievements despite his theories being the reason we build the Large Hadron Collider.

    Why? Einstein thought his work was good. I can even tell you the tale of Ramanajum who any mathematician here would squee over (A self taught math prodigy who died young but whose mathematics were considered sublime and elegant.)

    Remember Gandhi never won a peace prize. A man considered the epitome of peace never won one. Because at the time people were rather racist. Brown people rarely won stuff. And keep that in mind when you wonder why there were no “Indian Scientists”.

    This is where I can’t understand how you keep saying outright contradictions on the view of slavery in the bible. (And i’m sure that this is NOT the reason you don’t believe there is a creator is because of slavery….right?

    I don’t believe in your particular god because you have provided no evidence of it’s existence what so ever.

    Not one atom of proof has been submitted from any religion about the existence of their god. Your bible doesn’t count because I will submit Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone as a reason to fear Voldemort.

    If we took the sum total of science and your Christianity and wiped both from humanity. Then humanity would redevelop science to the exact way we know the world to work today while whatever you come up with will not be the same as Christianity but will be an entirely different superstition.

    And remember. We are both Atheists here. I just don’t believe in one more god. The way you think “Shiva” is fake is the way Muslims think your Jehovah is fake and is the way I think all three gods are not real.

    Besides it’s not the bibles view of slavery as you all keep pointing out, it was the 1 century view on slavery, which happened to be when those sections of scripture were written so they are working within the guide lines of their time. WHICH STILL DOES NOT CONDONE SLAVERY!! You CANNOT take what we know as a society now and look back 5000 years and say the bible is awful because “look what they were doing!!!”

    Your mathematics is a bit faulty there (probably all those Hindu numbers you keep using) but mosaic law dates back to at the earliest 1200 BC which makes it 3000 years old rather than 5000 years old. But back on topic…

    Actually you can. Your entire claim is that Jehovah is “perfect” and that he is the source of all morality. This is a repeated claim by Christians and is integral to their doctrine. It accuses people like myself (who are atheists) of moral relativism (or you know “thinking about our actions”. )

    You claim that 3000 years ago everyone thought slavery was okay so your particular god in his infinite wisdom supported it. And then suddenly they didn’t and everyone ignored the bits where Jehovah exhorts you to own slaves. Then what is the point of your morality and your Bible if you claim to be the gospel word of a perfect being but then make the claim that you couldn’t know better because no body else did?

    Then what are you for? You have just proved that the Bible is woefully inadequate as a moral guide despite claiming to be the zenith of possible morality. All you have done is proven that humanity has exceeded the Bible’s grasp and understanding. All you have done is proven it’s irrelevance as a moral code and as a guide of any sort.

  14. 14
    Heretical Ryan

    Thanks Avicenna! You rock!

  15. 15
    rationalthinker

    First off, well done. It’s nice to see commitment like this. :)
    I’ll go point by point as you did, but with your responses.

    1) “You mean Jehovah? How droll…”

    Yes I mean Jehovah. And again this is PROVEN when Christ came to earth died and more importantly rose from the dead. It’s not a hard thing to think if there’s an all powerful all knowing creator of the universe who is timeless, spaceless, ageless, changeless, that he could lay down his life and pick it up again, which was demonstrated in the bible and other historical documents.

    2) “No. The Bible’s historical veracity is repeated by Hinduism’s veracity and Buddhism’s veracity as the Last Avatar and the Founder of the faith was a historical figure too. Just because “Whitey didn’t care” about my culture you know nothing about it. I know about yours though. This is because I educated myself. I would like to see this Sam Harris quote.

    Hinduism is just as historically verified and the existence of Ishwara is just as strong as your Jehovah.”

    That’s just it! I have no doubt other founders of religion lived, that’s not my issue, it’s that they DIED and stayed dead! Christ rose from the grave thereby demonstrating he IS God. (and John lennox was in a debate with sam harris when harris conceded not all religions are equal.) “Religion is a term like sports. There are sports like badminton, and there are sports like Thai Boxing, and they have almost nothing in common apart from breathing.” -Sam Harris
    Again this just proves my point of Christ, he laid down his life and picked it up again, that legitimizes his claims to be God, unlike any other religion. (christianity goes counter to “religion” that’s for another day. :)

    3) “You mean like Siddartha Gauthama and Bodhgaya? Or Ayodhya? Or Thirupathi? Or Allahabad?

    And dear Christian. It’s physically impossible for me to be pale faced. Not unless I take up mime.”

    This point I agree with you! Yes those are literal places, as are the places and tribes in the bible. I brought this up because myth is constantly perpetuated that the people never existed or certain place that’s mentioned in the bible didn’t exist or what have you. And I chuckled at your mime quip :)

    4) “Yawn… no they don’t. And if you had an ounce of brain you wouldn’t be arguing with an ex-hindu who can happily pull out the same sources. Because if we just look online I have plenty of sources that collaborate the existence of Wizards. London exists does it not? And there are plenty of authors who aren’t J.K. Rowling who support the existence of wizards.

    You mean we should assume that the all the biblical sources are accurate for no apparent reason that a bunch of white people believe in them but assume brown people’s beliefs aren’t equal? You do realise your argument smacks of the arseholery of Empire where “Indian literature” was considered pointless and where libraries were destroyed because they didn’t matter. You frankly know absolutely nothing about Hinduism apart from what your priests tell you and they know even less.

    And mentioning the Acts of Pilate? A piece of work known to be a forgery? Very amusing…”

    Firstly I could care less if you are an ex hindu, this isn’t about race. It never has been. The bible is clear on this. The only race mentioned was by Paul in the new testament and that was in context of running the race of life. So don’t try and throw the race card in to prop up your arguments, let them speak for themselves. It’s not about beliefs being equal either, it’s about which ONE can demonstrate ultimate authority. Hence what we see today, there are many beliefs, and they all contradict each other. One of them has to be true. I’m not claiming to be an expert on hinduism either, it was a demonstrated point, which very much served it’s purpose. If the Acts of pilate are a fake then we’ll substitute another roman. Seutonius, he was a chief secretary of a roman emperor. How about thallus or Pliny the younger? Justin the martyr who was a roman administrator? josephus? How about the jewish talmud? there are a handful of other sources outside the fore mentioned, that were huge critics of Christ BUT they serve a purpose. Even though they bad mouthed early christians they still point out facts about Christs life that are in perfect harmony with the bible.

    5)”Non Timidus Messor…

    I read the vulgate. Your Bible is based on the one I read when I was younger. Oh if you want to be proper impressed?

    Bismillah, Al Rahman al Rahim,
    Al Hamdullalah Al-Ameen
    Al-Rahmani Al-Raheem
    Maliki yawmi addeen
    Iyyaka Naabudu Wa-iyyaka Nastaaheen

    I can recite the Quran too. Well I used to. Now I have to read the damn thing. You picked the polyglot of FTB.

    I have read the three biggest religion’s books in the languages they are meant to be read in. And they are all equally bullshit.

    Latin/Arabic/Sanskrit. I don’t speak them well but I can speak them enough to know what I am reading is bullshit. Oh and BTW? Mohammed is just as historical a figure with a well documented history as Jesus but the same rule of “White Guys Only Count” applies here.”

    Well done on the languages. But this doesn’t change the fact that the big 3 are NOT equal!! AGAIN the bible has been demonstrated to be true, therefore Christ’s claims to be God are verified. Just because you have read the bible in latin doesn’t mean you understand what has been stated to you! which you continuously keep pointing out by your arguments that you’ve read the bible but you didn’t READ the bible!! It’s as if you were driving to a party but never get there. Your friend would ask you where are we going? You would look over and say I’ve read the map. Then your friend says where do we go? You would then say I don’t know? Your friend in turn, and rightly so would respond, BUT YOU READ THE MAP! Mohammed was a historical figure, but he died and stayed dead. There is more known about Christ than any other person in history! Julius Caesar included. FACT

    6) “Except we totally can.

    If the Bible was inspired by Jehovah who claims to be a moral god then he would have had a stance that condemned slavery, genocide and rape. Yet the book contains lines where Jehovah exhorts his followers to enslave, rape and commit genocide. At no point does the book say “No. These things are bad”. In fact the Bible spends more time banning you from eating owls than it does from banning the ownership of human beings or the elimination of a group of people based on their ethnicity. And this is as a whole.”

    See, this proves my point again. If you’ve read the bible in latin then you would know God’s stance on slavery. SLAVERY in the time of the old testament context was an economic reality at the time, as I pointed out earlier, which you conveniently keep looking away from. What do you make of verses like Exodus 21:20!!! “when a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod and the slave dies under his hand, he shall be avenged.” They even protect woman, which at the time were worthless in that society. There’s another clue on how the bible shows that people have value. How about Exodus 21:27 “If he knocks out the tooth of a slave, male or female, he shall let the slave go free because of his tooth.” What does that say to you??!!!! It doesn’t get any clearer!!
    Now for RAPE. Deuteronomy 22:25 “But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man FORCE her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die.” What does that say to you???!!! Go for it! NO that’s pretty harsh language for rapists under penalty of death!!
    GENOCIDE. THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ETHNICITY!! WHERE ARE YOU GETTING THIS!! It was about their wickedness. The Canaanites is what assume your referring to? The Canaanites were a wicked people in the eyes of God. The Canaanites were a terror to the people around them. They exhibited rampant idolatry, incest, adultery, child sacrifice, homosexuality, and bestiality, what God commanded of them wasn’t genocide it was capital punishment for their wickedness. He saw the hearts of the Canaanites and saw that there wasn’t any who would turn from their ways or heed the warning. Anyone with the practices of Sodom and Gomorrah were under penalty of death. Even Israel didn’t learn the lesson and they fell into sin as well time after time after time after time. This is the lesson taught through out scripture, that man IS inherently sinful and God has a system of judgement for ALL who disobey, as well as forgiveness and salvation for anyone who will freely except it. But you already knew that cause you’ve read it in latin…. ;)

    7) “Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever. – Leviticus

    Leviticus is the transcribed word of an allegedly (Judges 1:19 says otherwise) almighty god who is allegedly (clearly not) the source of all that is good and honest and decent and moral…

    That seems like instructions on how to own people. As Slaves. Ponder what you like. Leviticus is a “Do and Do Not List”. This is not moral. This is immoral.

    Now here is the thing. You either have to accept that Jehovah is not the source of all morality and that you are more moral by throwing away the stupid laws of your god.

    Or you have to accept the fact that your god is a slaver.

    And if you knew anything about the History of the Bible you would know that the message in the books is roughly the same because it was compiled by a group of people and edited. It’s the same reason why a Novel or a Newspaper fits nicely together. Editors…”

    SERIOUSLY MAN!! I’m beginning to think you haven’t even read the bible!! Your quote of Leviticus is grossly mis quoted!! AGAIN you don’t understand the culture at that time. People could sell themselves into slavery to pay a debt. If you want to understand what that whole section of leviticus is saying try reading it from verse 1 not jumping in at verse 44. This was an economical reality at the time, if you took a slave so he could repay his debt to you, you were to treat him with respect until his payment was fulfilled then release him. You were helping a “poor brother”. Not buying somebody to whip or beat, as I know the myth perpetuates. It’s like calling yourself a car cause your sitting in one. I call total Red Haring. Your case for slavery has been utterly decimated.
    God wanted to commune with his people that’s why he set out Leviticus. I know it get’s heavy at times cause reading it we wonder what the heck any of those weird things have to do with any thing today? The Israelites were to be with God, but they had to follow rules. As Leviticus plainly points out, the rituals they had to perform outwardly in the old testament are mirrored by what Christ’s sacrifice did in the New Testament so we are to be mindful of our life within us. Through Christ the old law was fulfilled. We don’t need to adhere to such strict governance for we’re forgiven through Christ. That’s the real point of Leviticus not to cherry pick a bunch of random verses to prove a twisted point.

    8) “You mean the same Timothy (6:1) that exhorts slaves to stay slaves?

    Yet it says absolutely nothing about NOT OWNING SLAVES. Here’s a hint? Know why Muslims and Jews don’t eat Pork? Because their book explicitly says “no Pork”. The Bible doesn’t explicitly say no Slaves but infact accepts slavery as normal and a good thing and even tells you who to enslave. The problem with Christians is that they forget that we have read their book too. And we read it with the same eye we read science. Especially since Leviticus is the word of your god after all…”

    No i mean Timothy (6:1)
    “All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered. 2 Those who have believing masters should not show them disrespect just because they are fellow believers. Instead, they should serve them even better because their masters are dear to them as fellow believers and are devoted to the welfare of their slaves.” As in if somebody found themselves in slavery to pay a debt, AS WAS THE CUSTOM AT THE TIME, you should be a respectful and good servant. And the problem with Atheists is I have read your books as well, with the very same eye I read science with. As for food, Yes they don’t eat pork, but Judaism also denies the New Testament and Christ’s fulfilment so they’re stuck under Levitical law. If they flipped over to the New Testament they would read how all the prophecies of the old testament, ALL OF THEM, were fulfilled in Christ. In the New Testament Peter get’s a vision that shows pork is ok along with shell fish and a variety of other foods.
    Then again in Mark 7. “Are you thus without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?”

    9) “No. The Bible teaches you that you are inherently sinful because you don’t match up to the alleged perfect standard of a slave holding, rapist and ethnic cleanser…

    Trust me your Bible doesn’t claim you have any intrinsic value. And you aren’t special because a magic man says so. You are special because you are human and are potentially capable of amazing things.

    We did more amazing things because we stopped believing in “magic” and started actually explaining how the world worked. We did more amazing things when we stopped people doing things based on how much they believe in a god and instead on what would make the world better. Your faith is part of the method by which the west raped and pillaged the third world. Your initial history lesson is terrifyingly bad.

    Hinduism is the oldest continuous religion on the planet. It predates Judaism. Some of it’s gods are stone age deities. Buddhism is very new compared to Hinduism and Buddhism is about as old as Judaism. However India was ruined because India was never a unified country in it’s history and over the 300 odd years the British were around India tore itself apart through the collapse of it’s dominant power resulting in power struggles and fractured states that allowed it’s take over.

    Not because of Hinduism. Oh and learn a little about the world. Hindus had a heliocentric solar system with a leap year system. They were very strong astronomers and indeed very strong mathematicians. Want to know why?

    Because you use their numbers. You call them Arabic Numerals. The Arabs call them Hindu Numerals. The decimalised system is a hindu invention. Modern science couldn’t take place without it.

    Oh and western destruction of Hindu culture means that a lot of Indian technology is denigrated or unknown. A good example of this was Bose who was not given a Nobel prize for his achievements despite his theories being the reason we build the Large Hadron Collider.

    Why? Einstein thought his work was good. I can even tell you the tale of Ramanajum who any mathematician here would squee over (A self taught math prodigy who died young but whose mathematics were considered sublime and elegant.)

    Remember Gandhi never won a peace prize. A man considered the epitome of peace never won one. Because at the time people were rather racist. Brown people rarely won stuff. And keep that in mind when you wonder why there were no “Indian Scientists”.

    The first part of your sentence was good then you trailed off. I completely agree that the bible continuously demonstrates that man is inherently sinful, THAT’S THE POINT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT!! Christ fulfilled the law so we can have our rest and forgiveness in him. This is something that your just refusing to recognize for what ever reason. It’s right there in scripture. AGAIN all over the bible it teaches that people have value. A ton my previous comments regarding slavery show just that. Slaves were to be treated fare, woman were to be respected and treated as equal. Which was unheard of at that time. As for your rant on Indian technology……where did that come from?? Christians have NEVER said we don’t know how the world works and that it’s magic. ” I don’t know what makes water boil, so it must be magic.” Don’t be ridiculous. My history is just fine considering I got it from an Ex hindu as well. Vishal Mangalwadi is his name. The people who held biblical values allowed them to break out of the intellectual mould of the time and make something. They knew that God had given creative power so they did just that, create. Water and wind powered mills to grind grain, the wheel barrow, a myriad of other things which allowed them not to toil over the land but to rule over it. That is what propelled their technology to great things, changing a mind set creating a whole new way of living. Creating wealth and health. And Lay off the race card already.

    10) “I don’t believe in your particular god because you have provided no evidence of it’s existence what so ever.

    Not one atom of proof has been submitted from any religion about the existence of their god. Your bible doesn’t count because I will submit Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone as a reason to fear Voldemort.

    If we took the sum total of science and your Christianity and wiped both from humanity. Then humanity would redevelop science to the exact way we know the world to work today while whatever you come up with will not be the same as Christianity but will be an entirely different superstition.

    And remember. We are both Atheists here. I just don’t believe in one more god. The way you think “Shiva” is fake is the way Muslims think your Jehovah is fake and is the way I think all three gods are not real.”

    Firstly your contradicting the original authors objection to Atheism being a religion. You just plainly stated that between you me and a muslim, all we have is belief whether it be in something or nothing it’s still belief. Couldn’t agree with you more on that.

    As for you writing off the bible, that’s why I gave secular accounts of the life, death and resurrection of Christ. I was trying NOT to use the bible, to show you CANNOT escape it’s truth or it’s claim. You can’t blindly reject a reality that is in front of you and substitute your own. Even in not using the bible, the sources I sighted all collaborate with the bible, demonstrating again that at the very least there must be something to it. God’s greatest gift to us is freedom of choice. I choose to believe in God because there was a man named Jesus who claimed to be God, died then got up again!! This is again a point you keep missing. Allah did not die and get up again with evidence, the characters from harry potter didn’t leap off the pages and run around London, this is what separates Christianity from everybody else. Our divine claim to know the one true God, which logically then renders all others impostors due to their inability to back their claim of deity, and land in the history books with a legitimate reality pointing towards their divine claim.
    I’m not even going to touch your “IF” the world was this way then. That’s how you end up in the back of the patty wagon my friend. It’s the equivalent to a little kid crossing his arms “hmm” in an exasperated tone, stomping one foot.

    11) “Your mathematics is a bit faulty there (probably all those Hindu numbers you keep using) but mosaic law dates back to at the earliest 1200 BC which makes it 3000 years old rather than 5000 years old. But back on topic…

    Actually you can. Your entire claim is that Jehovah is “perfect” and that he is the source of all morality. This is a repeated claim by Christians and is integral to their doctrine. It accuses people like myself (who are atheists) of moral relativism (or you know “thinking about our actions”. )

    You claim that 3000 years ago everyone thought slavery was okay so your particular god in his infinite wisdom supported it. And then suddenly they didn’t and everyone ignored the bits where Jehovah exhorts you to own slaves. Then what is the point of your morality and your Bible if you claim to be the gospel word of a perfect being but then make the claim that you couldn’t know better because no body else did?

    Then what are you for? You have just proved that the Bible is woefully inadequate as a moral guide despite claiming to be the zenith of possible morality. All you have done is proven that humanity has exceeded the Bible’s grasp and understanding. All you have done is proven it’s irrelevance as a moral code and as a guide of any sort.”

    Yes we do claim that Christ is perfect in every way, and is the true source of morality. The other alternative, your view, is that people like Stalin and Mao and every other cereal killer out there are not bad people but they’re actually the only sane ones because their just exercising their natural, random, unguided, DNA!!! That is truly scary. Jehovah does NOT exhort us to own slaves for the hundredth time, and you know it. (Exodus 21:20 and Exodus 21:27, 1 Timothy) Christianity doesn’t claim to be full of perfect beings, as you put it. Again, God gave us choice and we chose to disobey, therefore we had consequences to deal with and to this day deal with our sinful nature. BUT and there’s a big BUT, because of what Christ did that is HOW God brought us back to communion with himself. Through Christ we are sinless in God’s eyes. As CS Lewis put it “we are but snow covered dung.” That doesn’t give a license to run around killing and raping and saying “I’m a christian so it’s ok” that’s not true salvation. Once you have come to truly know Christ, it’s out of a place of humility, understanding and thankfulness that we follow his word, to love him, love others as ourselves, NOT to rape or to commit adultery, etc.

    I would like to apologize if I offended anyone with my retorts. It’s not my intention. I know most atheists have a thick skin, so I jest with you knowing you might get a chuckle, but I hope it doesn’t harden your heart toward God because of what some stupid sinful man wrote on the internet. (me) I love this exchange and look forward to continuing. Thanks for reading!

  16. 16
    Xanthë, Amy of my threads

    How nice of you to comment again, but you are really distorting the 1st century and early 2nd century Roman sources such as Pliny the Younger, Tacitus, and Suetonius to assert they ‘support’ the New Testament gospels, letters, or apocrypha. They don’t. They don’t give a single fact about who Christ was, how he died, anything of relevance or importance. The most any of them say is that there was either a Jewish figure called ‘Chrestus’ or a Jewish group called ‘Chrestiani’ that is associated with uprisings under the reigns of Claudius or Nero, and which has been taken by historians (by assertion mind you, without the slightest whiff of proof whatsoever) as being equivalent with Christus / Christiani. Big deal. That doesn’t confirm anything about the truth of such an account, since it’s still hearsay – and it is especially unconvincing since if Christ was a historical figure (and there’s minimal proof for that apart from hearsay) then the era of his crucifixion would have been while Pontius Pilate was governor in Syria under the reign of Tiberius. Does any first century Roman ever mention Christ in relation to Tiberius’ reign? No. Does any first century Roman ever mention Pontius Pilate in relation to Tiberius’ reign? Yes, Philo of Alexandria – and he has nothing to say about Christ at all. Wow, so much for all of this convincing sources being in ‘perfect harmony with the bible’. You’re drawing a long bow there.

  17. 17
    Carol Lynn

    @ Rational Thinker – who said

    ” There’s a point to Leviticus that people don’t get. It’s to point out that the law is so strict that NO MAN can keep to it, only Christ can keep the law perfectly, because he created the high standard in the first place.”

    Excuse me while I roll around on the floor giggling for a while. Talk about “not getting it.” No, RationalThinker – and a sadder misnomer I have never seen – I’m very sure the guys who made up and wrote down Leviticus really did expect the right people to follow every one of those laws, or took pleasure in stoning them if they didn’t. Just because it would be silly and awkward to follow them now does not mean they are impossible of achievement for mere men. Try harder and maybe you’ll “get it” right someday.

  18. 18
    rationalthinker

    Xanthë, chronic tuck
    history lesson for you.

    “How nice of you to comment again, but you are really distorting the 1st century and early 2nd century Roman sources such as Pliny the Younger, Tacitus, and Suetonius to assert they ‘support’ the New Testament gospels, letters, or apocrypha. They don’t. They don’t give a single fact about who Christ was, how he died, anything of relevance or importance. The most any of them say is that there was either a Jewish figure called ‘Chrestus’ or a Jewish group called ‘Chrestiani’ that is associated with uprisings under the reigns of Claudius or Nero, and which has been taken by historians (by assertion mind you, without the slightest whiff of proof whatsoever) as being equivalent with Christus / Christiani. Big deal. That doesn’t confirm anything about the truth of such an account, since it’s still hearsay – and it is especially unconvincing since if Christ was a historical figure (and there’s minimal proof for that apart from hearsay) then the era of his crucifixion would have been while Pontius Pilate was governor in Syria under the reign of Tiberius. Does any first century Roman ever mention Christ in relation to Tiberius’ reign? No. Does any first century Roman ever mention Pontius Pilate in relation to Tiberius’ reign? Yes, Philo of Alexandria – and he has nothing to say about Christ at all. Wow, so much for all of this convincing sources being in ‘perfect harmony with the bible’. You’re drawing a long bow there.”

    No this is, yet again, your own interpretation that some other ill informed member of the populace has espoused to you. We’ll start with Tacitus. The following FACTS have been written by Tacitus himself. These facts come from the book “The Complete Works of Tacitus” (New York Random House) Pages 9, 13 and 14.
    I put that EXACT information so you can’t sit there as always and come up some other ridiculous story to try and skirt the issue, and for others to read in hopes you can look it up for yourself.
    1) Christians were named for their founder, Christus (latin)
    2) who was put to death by the roman procurator Pontius Pilate
    3)During the reign of TIBERIUS (AD 14-37)
    4) His death ended “superstition” for a very short time
    5) But broke out again especially in Judea where it’s origins came from
    6) The message is carried to Rome
    7)When the great fire destroyed a large part of the city during the reign of Nero (AD 54-68)
    8) Tacitus reports this group was hated for their abominations
    9) Christians were arrested
    10) convicted for hatred against man kind
    11) tortured and “nailed to crosses”
    12) because of this the people had compassion for the christians
    13) Tacitus therefore concluded that such punsihments were not for the public good but were simply “to glut one man’s cruelty”

    This is just Tacitus, every other source I gave has the same backing and I can give books and page numbers where the references are found. These are none biblical sources, that speak of a man who was called “christus” who was spreading his own gospel and claimed to be God. He was put to death on a cross and there WERE subsiquent sightings of this man after his death. By many.
    “while Pontius Pilate was governor in Syria under the reign of Tiberius. Does any first century Roman ever mention Christ in relation to Tiberius’ reign? No.”
    In fact YES. I can’t see how you don’t see this??!!
    Just for fun I’ll throw in Pliny the Younger

    These FACTS come from Pliny’s letters called “letters” (as luck would have it)
    volume 2, X:96
    1) Christ was worshiped as deity by early believers
    2) Pliny refers late in his letter to the teachings of Jesus and his followers as “excessive superstition” and of both Tacitus and Suetonius
    3) Jesus’ ethical teachings are reflected in the oath taken by Christians never to be guilty of a number of sins mentioned in the letter.
    4) Pliny references their communion with Christ. Accusations followed of christians drinking blood.
    5) he refers to the act of sunday worship
    6) Pliny states that true believers could NOT be MADE to worship other gods.

    So, this is why I am perplexed. One argument after other get’s thrown out there as the final nail in the coffin, followed by a “told you so you stupid christian” comment, yet EVERY SINGLE ARGUMENT put forward is assertion propagated by myth!!! You need to look at this stuff honestly and put your bias aside. At some point the evidence has to hit you. These are none biblical sources that confirm what is said in the Bible. This is known as “corroboration” by secular scholars for the legitimacy of the Biblical account. Just look at it honestly and the FACTS speak for themselves. thanks.

  19. 19
    rationalthinker

    Carol Lynn

    “Excuse me while I roll around on the floor giggling for a while. Talk about “not getting it.” No, RationalThinker – and a sadder misnomer I have never seen – I’m very sure the guys who made up and wrote down Leviticus really did expect the right people to follow every one of those laws, or took pleasure in stoning them if they didn’t. Just because it would be silly and awkward to follow them now does not mean they are impossible of achievement for mere men. Try harder and maybe you’ll “get it” right someday.”

    This yet again proves my statements that you have pointed out. You are completely missing it. God is the supreme law giver, and moral compass of humanity. He has such strict moral code that NO MAN and I mean NO MAN could keep. This is why he sent Christ. The people of the old testament were covered by Christs Sanctity. This is something I don’t think people understand. When Jesus died he died for EVERYONE for all time. God is outside time, as lane craig points out, he’s timeless, changeless, spaceless, etc. So when Jesus was sent to die he died for all for all time. He’s outside time from adam and eve till he comes back. When you become a christian you are forgiven for everything you’ve done and will do. I know it’s hard to wrap your head around, it’s taken me some time too. I’ve been studying this stuff for years and years.
    Now you may ask if the people of the old testament were saved by Christ then why did they need such ridiculous laws in the first place? Because God needed to have standards of moral conduct of an outer nature for the good of his people knowing they’ll be saved by Christ, revealing an inner reality of sanctity. That’s how the old testament points toward the new testament. Thanks

  20. 20
    George Romero

    Interested points all around. Just wanted to mention the New Testament was written in Koine Greek, and the Old Testament was written in Hebrew. I think it was very wrong for Rational Thinker to assume that India is “spinning it’s wheels” because of Religion, or anything for that matter. There are too many factors involved in that particular case, and I agree that India’s contributions to the worlds collective knowledge is impressive (not that I pretend to know half of the contributions). However I would love to see Avicenna/Rational Thinker/everyone else post with a less hostility. Why must the Internet be a place of such rage and condemnation? I enjoyed reading both points but was disappointed with the attitudes. I realize this is an open blog, and that I probably know nothing, I just hope for a day that I can read blogs/forums with less venom. I have a dream! ;)

  21. 21
    rationalthinker

    Well said George. I do apologize for my hostility in my responses. It would be nice to have a civil “online” conversation. The “spinning it’s wheels” comment might have not been the right way to portray my thought. I read a great book by an ex hindu gentleman named Vishal Mangalwadi, and it was in that book that he out lined life in India as a child being raised like everybody else, to his conversion to christianity, to what he saw the Christian world view do for western civilization and it’s battle with his own culture. Again I apologize for the tone or lack of patience in explaining, which you have pointed out, a VERY complex set of many intricate factors. thanks for reading this stuff though!

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  1. 24
    A Response to Rationalthinker » A Million Gods

    [...] has come to dispute my stance on Fox News Atheism Post. And so I have a proper response both here and in the comments to his latest [...]

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