Now is the end, perish the world »« Non-Prophets episode 10.11

“They’re the crazy ones, not us!”

Harold Camping’s May-21-Rapture nonsense is so ubiquitous that there’s no point in doing anything other than rolling with it at this stage. American Atheists will be holding Rapture parties in several cities. Matt is attending one in Oakland, in fact. Meanwhile, Tracie and I will be on the show Sunday, holding down the post-apocalyptic fort and taking calls from our far-flung global correspondents (i.e. you) reporting on the Rapture’s impact on your own towns and countries. How many Christians have vanished in your area? None? But since the 21st is absolutely and without question the day of the Rapture, won’t that mean that Christians have been worshiping a false god all this time…?


“Boy, won’t my face be red!”

Someone else isn’t pleased about this little media circus, however, and that would be the folks at the Christian Worldview Network. The CWN is Brannon Howse’s House of Paranoia, basically, and they’re a funny bunch, because they disdain other “loons” on the right-wing fringe — they absolutely cannot stand the “deceptive” teachings of Glenn Beck and Rick Warren — while at the same time embracing no end of fringe lunacy themselves. I think at various points in time they have accused Obama of being a communist, a socialist (actually, Howse prefers the term “Fabian Socialist” because it makes his flock think he’s really read up on the subject), a Marxist, a terrorist, and possibly even a reptilian space invader. They’re birthers too, which, compared to all the rest of it, is fairly tame.

In an article in their most recent newsletter with the weary title “Will This Ship of Fools Sink May 22?”, Jan Markell minces no words. Camping is totally cuckoo-for-cocoa-puffs, and she’s upset that he’s given us annoying atheists such fuel for mirth.

There’s going to be a party given by “heathens and skeptics” and I hope you have no desire to attend it. They intend to get together to mock the rapture. After months of enduring the unnerving dogmatism of Harold Camping’s billboards, signs, cars, radio commercials and bumper stickers heralding the end of the world as we know it on May 21, American Atheists have announced that they are planning “rapture parties” in Oakland, Houston, and Fort Lauderdale on May 21-22.

The atheists boast of their own billboards which state, “The Rapture: You KNOW it’s Nonsense. Learn the Truth at our Party.” The billboard is designed to knock two millennia of false predictions that the world was about to end. So, they are having a party to celebrate another rapture that wasn’t. And the atheists will be more accurate than the Christians because they are going after the date-setters.

Catch that last bit? See, what’s wrong with Camping is that he was incautious enough to set a date. And that’s what makes Christians look stupid. Because you can only control people effectively through nonsensical, superstitious prophecies of future events if you leave them vague and nebulous. Even Vito Corleone knew the psychology involved in keeping people wondering: “Someday — and that day may never come — I may come to you for a favor.”

Markell wants Christians to be clear on one point: there totally is going to be a Rapture. We are in the “end times,” and the clock is ticking. Naturally, she’s just making this up no less than Camping is, but she’s leaving herself endless wiggle room. “We cannot know!” But Jesus is coming. For realz. Just…whenever.

Markell sees a lot of negative fallout when May 22 rolls around, and the world (yay!) and all its Christians (sigh) are still here.

What can we know for sure will result from Camping’s prediction?

  • He will be proven wrong.
  • He will put all who long for the Lord’s return in a bad light.
  • This will push many more away from considering end-time issues as they will not want to be lumped into such a questionable category.
  • Church pulpits will grow even more silent on this topic right at a time when a countdown has truly begun and it is nearing midnight.
  • The mockers and scoffers will grow stronger and more vocal.

As to that last, of course we will, because all of this is pants-on-head, paste-eating stupidity, and when grown adults exhibit this sort of thing, mockery and scoffing is the absolute least it deserves. What Markell can’t see is that she is sailing, if not on Camping’s same “ship of fools,” in the same fleet. What exactly gives her eschatology any more basis in reality than Camping’s, apart from the fact that Camping’s will be decisively proven to not have happened when there’s no global earthquake this Saturday? The Bible is the Big Book of Multiple Choice, and while Camping can play with interpretations to work out that the end will come May 21, and Markell clings to Matthew 24:36, there is also Matthew 24:34, in which Jesus makes it clear he expected the end times to begin in the lifetimes of his disciples. (And I guess he was wrong, which would make the Son of God Himself one of the “false prophets” the rest of Matthew 24 warns against, eh?)

Markell worries that “Jesus is coming again! But thanks to Harold Camping and friends, on May 22, more may be laughing and scoffing than anticipating.” The lesson Markell ought to take from this, but won’t, is that as long as she devotes her hopes and wishes and goals towards a vague promise of future divine salvation, instead of breaking away from the shackles of such irrational nonsense and embracing reality, and real solutions to real-world problems, then her ship of fools will itself keep sailing on…right over the edge.

Comments

  1. says

    It will be awesome when they find out that MY* god is destroying the world on friday the 20th.I didn't even put any work into letting anyone know, that would make all their work even more* pointless.Either way, Camping's got the date wrong! XD

  2. says

    still… any excuse for a party will do, eh?i hope harold has been asked in an interview if he has sold all his assets to help fund the publicity for his predicted day – and if not why not? perhaps lack of faith ;)

  3. says

    May 21st… I wonder if we can anticipate mass suicides from the Camping Rap-tards? After all, they've been fantasizing over this shit for ten years, and Cthulhu only knows how neurotic some of them may be at this point.

  4. says

    Setting a date was pretty idiotic of them, but as we all know, they'll have some response like, "god had mercy on us or some other bullshit like that. god!!! why wont these religious freaks just vanish. pun was probably intended.

  5. says

    Although I live in a city that has a lot of religious organizations and a lot of people I know claim to be religious (or at least, don't deny being such), the topic of religion rarely comes up. So, whether or not there are people in my city that think that the world is ending this Saturday, I have no idea. I hope it doesn't, because (in Canada anyway) this is a long weekend coming up! ;)

  6. says

    >byMartin: But since the 21st is absolutely and without question the day of the Rapture, won't that mean that Christians have been worshiping a false god all this time…?<Well actually … come May 21, it'd mean that those particular Christians and they alone, made the mistake. Dobbie@ http://skepticvsbible.blogspot.com

  7. says

    Funny, I got called by a 'liberal christian', judgmental and paternalistic for my criticism of the Family Radio nuts. Sure, she thought their claims were batshit too, but nope, I deserved to be called out for noticing. No words, however, for the rapture nuts proclaiming that me and almost everyone I know and love will be tribulated for 5 months before enduring an eternity being tortured by their loving god. The hypocrisy got cranked to 11 when she criticized me for being critical…because it was useless as no one ever changes their mind. Also, somehow I was curtailing their free speech (I guess by exercising my own?)

  8. says

    Just to clarify…at TAE, we aren't "really" taking the position that the Christians left behind were not chosen by god. Just to remind people–we actually _don't believe_ in god. It's all in fun. We're just _pretending_ that this is the real deal, and there is no argument about it. It's backlash to the "It didn't happen." Rather than "It's going to," or "It didn't"–we're saying "OK, this is it–the real deal." Along the lines of this article in Daily KOS:http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/05/15/976385/-God-deems-entirety-of-humanity-UnworthyRapture-will-Occur-5-21,-but-ZERO-will-be-RapturedThe reports submitted should be real events/happenings with as much post apocalyptic spin as you can put on them.Here is how I promoted it on Facebook, just as an example:>And in an unprecedented event, I will be unlocking my Facebook wall on (Austin time) Saturday at 8:00 a.m. in order to allow desperate atheists in Vladivostok to begin posting the happenings and events of what will be the start of “PA-1”—Sunday, May 22, 2011 (midnight) on this Earth. [Addendum: I've been told it starts 6 p.m. Saturdays, and that New Zealand is the start of the day. This means opening my wall at 1 a.m. on Friday.] For those of you around the globe, please check in as your day dawns on the start of PA-1. Report on any missing friends or family members—anyone you haven’t seen since the day prior (“My friend was supposed to call me at 3:00…but it’s now 3:05…and still nothing?!”). Keep us posted about any problems with transportation (“I got up to grocery shopping today, and my car wouldn’t start—it just keeps making this grinding noise, but won’t turn over.” Or “It’s chaos on the roads—it’s unsafe to drive—some freak ran a stop sign—right in front of me! He just slowed down—didn’t actually technically STOP”). Let us know about any looting or violence in your areas (“Some kid on a skate board punched another kid in the arm—and nobody even tried to intervene to help!?”). But please, please don’t exaggerate. (Fun spin on reality, YES, insane ravings about fantasy happenings—NOT FUNNY.) I don’t want posts about zombies or skyscrapers falling—unless you’re really confronted with zombies and skyscrapers falling. (“Good Lord! My partner just woke up walked into the kitchen. I wish you could see what I see: the disheveled hair, the pale skin, the dark circles…and s/he’s going RIGHT FOR THE COFFEE?! COFFEE ZOMBIE!” Or “this crack in my ceiling looks bigger this morning—I think my house may collapse?!”). Feel free to post photos of odd or unusual events or empty beds or anything you’re enduring. We’re here for you. We’re your outlet. TAE will continue to be your hub of sanity in a world gone mad, ready to try and help however we can. Just letting others know you’re out there—alone, abandoned, besieged. We’re there for you!We hope to hear from as many of you as possible. We encourage you to be creative and have a good time with it.

  9. says

    Wow Michael. Sounds like you got the full script, unedited. She just read down the list of "here's what you're supposed to say when someone is critical of religion…"

  10. says

    @tracieh — my thoughts exactly. When Sam Harris says moderate believers can sometimes provide cover for the extreme fundamentalists, it's almost like I got the exaggerated textbook example today.

  11. says

    Are there any Reality Day (May 22) parties happening in Winnipeg, Canada? Unfortunately I don't know many self-professed atheists and those I do know, don't 'celebrate' their atheosity.I think that we should get a prize pool going on what Harold Camping's excuse is for when nothing happens. Place bets on answers like, "It was only a test. To test the faithful." "I forgot to carry the one; the real rapture is . . . " and "What rapture? You are taking what I said out of context."

  12. says

    If I were Harold Camping I would disappear on the 21st, lay low, then show up on my radio show two weeks later and say I’ve been to heaven. If he did that Camping would be an instant messiah. That probably won’t happen, but I’ll tell you what will. A few people will be reported to the police as having gone missing (as happens every day). Some Christian group is going to latch onto those reports and say those people were raptured. That I guarantee.

  13. says

    May 21st is my mom's birthday. So the apocalypse is just going to have to wait a day so I can have an ice cream with my mom. I have spoken.

  14. says

    @Thomas F. Bourque;Probably not, but who are Christians to say that it's not since none of them will even acknowledge Matt. 5;17-25. May 22, in conjunction with Matt. 24;34 may just be a death-blow to Fundy cults everywhere.

  15. says

    Matthew 24:36 "Of that day and hour knoweth no man. How foolish then to be figuring out the time of the Lord's coming."Most Christian's already know the prediction is false simply due to the above statement. Most all Christian's aren't concerned about this lone wack job tainting their religion.

  16. says

    It's amazing to me that this is such a big deal in America! I live in the UK and if it weren't for the fact that I watch this show I would have no idea whatsoever that the world's meant to end this Saturday. It better not, it's my birthday on Monday… double celebrations then!

  17. says

    Thomas…EXACTLY. Thanks for reiterating it. I can't seem to stress it enough. It's a gag. It's a very well publicized idiot Christian prophecy–bus ads, billboards, etc. They've chosen to make a public spectacle of themselves. Fine, then they'll get public ribbing. And they should get at least as much public ridicule as they put forward publicly to promote–which is quite a lot.

  18. says

    Wonderful post Martin. "Because you can only control people effectively through nonsensical, superstitious prophecies of future events if you leave them vague and nebulous" This was very awesome to point out. Even one of my own family tells me that the bible is true because it predicted Jesus's resurrection and therefor also believes that when it predicts the return of christ, it's really going to happen. He's the non-date setter so I can't debunk him. I guess those kinds of people just die waiting… /owned

  19. says

    You fools! Don’t make any claims about god that are TESTABLE!I am still amazed so many people do not seem to realize that all religious claims fit neatly into either “un-testable” or “dis-proven”. It is a really childish trick in my opinion.

  20. says

    Hey I really feel bad for these people, has anyone notice this person/christian on th photo does not look mentally healthy, we "Atheist" have a moral responsiablity to elavate above this nonesense and try to do something for people who seemed mentally unstable and religious sect praving on their fears and insecurity the government pretty much has to stay out due to the laws, but we don't…

  21. says

    We need an "Interfaith" event to be held a bit past the rapture time – preferably at an atheists house or something so we can fake up that the atheists got raptured. Apart from the atheists obviously no turning up to the event perhaps we could leave piles of clothes to look like we disappeared without them?

  22. says

    Martin in the blog post says that the rapture nonsense is ubiquitous, but the only place I've heard anything about it is in the atheist and skeptical interwebs places I visit. In meatspace, I've heard zero about it.Is the general public even really aware of the WCN cult's foolishness?

  23. says

    I just finished a cross-country drive and decided to listen to Christian radio the entire way. None of them were taking the Camping thing seriously and several took the same approach as Markell – the date is entirely unknowable, but boy howdy it WILL happen!I've never braved the wilds of any Christian medium. I grew up in a non-religious (not even atheist) home. God (or lack thereof) wasn't even on our radar. So after 2200+ miles of Christian radio, I'm totally convinced… Christianity (and religion in general) is a mental illness. What they say with complete conviction sounds absolutely INSANE.

  24. says

    I'm declaring Markell just as much a hypocrite as those who claim to believe in the rapture date yet hold onto their Earthly possessions. Why? Because she claims that the event *will* happen, that date can't be known (citing Matt. 24:36), but that it *won't* happen on or before 5/21/11.How does she know that? It's a textbook argument from ignorance. "This quantity is unknown, therefore we know it can't be X." If she truly believed the event were inevitable and the date unknowable, she would expect it to happen *at any time.*

  25. says

    "Meanwhile, Tracie and I will be on the show Sunday"Quick questions: What happened to the show for May 15, 2011? There is usually an announcement on the site if a show is cancelled, but was nothing posted this time. If it was announced in the May 8th show I didn't notice.Also, why are shows that are not produced given an episode number anyhow? I've heard AE announcers talk about how many shows they've done based on the episode number, but that's misleading if not an outright lie. It seems strange that a show that tries to expose false claims is actually making false claims of their own.

  26. Martin says

    Curt Cameron: There's this remarkable online tool called "Google," and through it you can find just how much coverage the May 21 nonsense has gotten from the mainstream media. There's CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, USA Today, plus you'll probably pull up a surprising amount of stuff simply by doing a search for "May 21 doomsday" at Google News. Go ahead, give it a shot. The intarweebs are truly amazing.There are billboards dotting highways across the country, and even on my recent trip to New Jersey I saw a van covered front to back with May 21 slogans in a supermarket parking lot. Yeah, it's out there. I guess you've just been lucky enough to have missed most of it.Terry: There was a studio preemption, which happens now and again, and we didn't find out till late. As for the episode numbers, I understand they're done by weekend-since-premiere, and not the actual show number. It's not how I'd do them personally, but I didn't make the decision. Still, I hardly think our method for numbering shows should constitute the sort of "false claim" you need to get your panties all bunched about, compared to, say, "the world's going to end on Saturday" or "evolution is a hoax."

  27. says

    What Martin said… How you number the shows are up to you, but it is a different matter if during broadcast the announcers claim that the current show is the nth episode when it clearly isn't. It's a minor issue to be sure, but why mess with the show's credibility in any way?

  28. says

    To be fair, Obama is a terrorist. He has given orders resulting in civilians (in the tens of thousands) dying as a result of war. This fits the definition of terrorist. He is worse than Osama by a long shot.Also if he was a communist, socialist and a marxist…that would be great :)

  29. says

    The process of using one group of misguided Christians as a representation of all Christians is as repugnant as using one group of misguided Muslims as a representation of all Muslims. I visited the American Atheist website – purported to be a site for all 'Free Thinkers' and could not comment on what was posted there unless I joined. I guess only atheists are free thinkers?

  30. says

    @TerryIt's not a question of "Messing with the credibility". The numbering system is not intuitive, and on top of that, since the show airs most Sundays, it appears to follow the wrong model. Some hosts/cohosts weren't aware of this quirk of the numbering system, and thus made a mistake.They've never claimed to be flawless or perfect. The difference between us and them is our willingness to actually acknowledge when we're wrong, and correct that, based on reality, logic and evidence.

  31. says

    I'd be interested to know how many of the supposed "believers" out there actually buy into this. Is it just a lunatic fringe, or are the numbers much larger? Too bad they haven't done a poll……..

  32. says

    @Wee Spookeez DesignI'm not sure a majority of the people who say they really believe it, believe it. If you really believed it then you would have no problem giving your money and possessions away to the poor. I don't have any data one way or the other as to whether or not people who believe in this aren't giving their money/possessions to the poor, but those who get asked and refuse to do so make me question how strongly they believe in this prediction.

  33. says

    I caught a bus just outside a local church this morning and the church has a sign, "Jesus is coming back, but not on Saturday." (This is Winnipeg, Canada)Hmmm, do they mean 'any' Saturday, or just this Saturday? Either way, HOW do they know?

  34. says

    when the christians vanish? will they only leave behind their clothing? what about fillings from their teeth? what about pace-makers? if they are in the middle of eating a pizza, will the pizza in their tummies go to heaven, or fall to the floor half digested? for that matter, what about the almost completely digested sandwich from the day before? "i was looking around for grammy but couldn't find her anywhere!… I checked the bathtub but all i found was an artificial hip and some poop!"all apologies for the poop joke

  35. says

    I have a serious question for you fellow atheists….If in fact Christianity is the most unreasonable faith filled with lies, fairy tales, unscientific, and out of touch with reality like you all claim that it is…….Why do Atheists spend SO MUCH time trying to attack it? Specially Christianity seems to be the focus of Atheists mocking and refuting. If it is all just a mindless joke of a religion…why not just brush it off and stop wasting your time? And I realize that the common response to this specific question will be: "We don't want other people getting sucked into this huge lie!" "We stand for evidence that can be tested and applied." "We are intellectuals!" I challenge you to respond honestly and differently to this question. If Christianity is as bogus as you all believe…does it REALLY pose a threat to mankind? Wouldn't honest intellectuals like yourself be able to see it for what it really is? Why do you have to form any arguments against it if it's all a lie?

  36. says

    "But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong." (1 Cor. 1:27) Does the cross of Christ seem foolish to you? Yes! Does the Bible seem foolish to you? Yes! Well then, God chose these things to shame the wise! Hear me out: "No one can achieve salvation by his/her own intellect!" God shares it with the humble in heart and willing that are able to see God as God..and man as man.

  37. says

    Doesn't it seem logical…that if God wanted to bring glory to Himself and magnify His power..he would choose the weak of the world to show forth his power the most? That's not to say that intellectual, powerful people can't be saved….but that God delights in transforming the most unlikely people in the world…the outcasts, unlearned, of society. Again..this is not to say that being intellectually gifted is wrong…but who are the most 'willing" to come to God? Those who have a NEED? or those who think they have no NEED for GOD?

  38. says

    Obama was mentioned in the original post"I think at various points in time they have accused Obama of being a communist, a socialist (actually, Howse prefers the term "Fabian Socialist" because it makes his flock think he's really read up on the subject), a Marxist, a terrorist, and possibly even a reptilian space invader."Not having read the post you are commenting on seems more troll like to me. Just sayin'

  39. Martin says

    rippster: If it is all just a mindless joke of a religion…why not just brush it off and stop wasting your time?Because beliefs don't exist in a vacuum. They have followers. Some of those followers are nice folks. But some quite often do foolish, malign, intolerant, dangerous, and even violent things in the name of their beliefs. We'd love not to have to waste our time combating religious foolishness, believe me. But the problem is the religious community won't let us brush it all off. Barely a day goes by without hearing some news of theocratic incursions upon free society. When creationists attempt to get religious myths taught in science classes, or when homophobic organizations that claim to defend the concept of family wish to deny marriage rights to gays and lesbians, then those of us who believe in fairness, human rights and equality have to stand against it. There's no way we can't.Doesn't it seem logical…that if God wanted to bring glory to Himself and magnify His power..he would choose the weak of the world to show forth his power the most?Only if your God were himself weak, and needed fellow weaklings to help him hide from his insecurities. Seriously, if your God is so intimidated by human intellect and wisdom, why would he have bothered creating it? A God who wanted to impress me would have no trouble respecting my mind and addressing me directly, intellect to intellect, as I do any of my other friends. Your religion really needs a story editor.

  40. says

    rippster: If it is all just a mindless joke of a religion…why not just brush it off and stop wasting your time?Because i don't hate the religious.I hate religion and what it does to good people.When I look upon seamen, men of science and philosophers, man is the wisest of all beings; when I look upon priests and prophets nothing is as contemptible as man.Diogenes Born: 412 BC Died: 323 BC

  41. says

    rippster: "Does the cross of Christ seem foolish to you? Yes! Does the Bible seem foolish to you? Yes! Well then, God chose these things to shame the wise! Hear me out: "No one can achieve salvation by his/her own intellect!" So rippster is basically saying Christians are stupid and only stupid gullible can become Christians. I'll pass thank you very much.I see man as man, yes, but I don't see (your) god as god, because why should I? I don't have any reason to believe he exists and I'm not going to pretend otherwise until evidence is provided for it by those who claim he's real and therefore have the burden of proof, because that would be mighty dishonest of me. And if your god is real he wouldn't want me to lie to myself or to him or to you, now would he? So I'm sticking with 'I don't know if god exists but he looks like mythology' and because disbelief is default when it comes to such extraordinary claims, I'll be an atheist and I'm an anti-theist because religious dogma poisons minds and hearts, divides nations and stagnates civilizations. Faith/gullibility will lead the sheeple to the butcher's.

  42. says

    >"Does the cross of Christ seem foolish to you? Yes! Does the Bible seem foolish to you? Yes! Well then, God chose these things to shame the wise!Is it just me, or does this sound like Emperor's New Clothes to anyone else? Wasn't the claim that only very refined people of impeccable class and character would see the clothes–not the mundane, ordinary folk?So, if you can't see god, well, you just don't have the right stuff…it doesn't mean it's not actually there. Just because you can see the Emperor's wang doesn't mean there's no pants…just that they're pants you can't see because you just don't have the proper attitude and refinement. Riiiiiggghhhhhhttttt.

  43. says

    Martin touched on it, but let me just say that there's a very good example of WHY religion in the U.S. should not be ignored, but criticized and combated every chance we get, going on right now in Bastrop LA. A young man was just sequestered by his family and is likely to have to move from the town due to death threats after he said that a graduation prayer at his high school ceremony was not legal. He was 100 percent correct, too. But the reaction to him from god-fearing Christians was a barrage of death threats and scaring his family to death. THIS is why it's an obligation for people who see it's a load of hogwash to speak out against it. If it wasn't inciting so much hate, division, and ugliness in people–if it truly was benign, who would care. It's the toxicity of it that people need to start acknowledging. Anyone who doubts should look up the video where a student speaker went on to flagrantly disobey not only the law but the school's request to NOT have the illegal, rights trampling, prayer–and she was cheered and applauded for her hatefilled bigotry and disgusting open and proud display of her prejudice. Go Louisiana!When an whole town can cheer this sort of hate and violent response, because, by god, they love their god…then I claim a fair right to not only criticize their religion and beliefs in this hate mongering concept they've created and promote–but to denounce it and call people to recognize it as the harmful delusion it actually is. These aren't fringe wingnuts ala Phelps–they're a town full of people in every-small-town USA.

  44. says

    @rippster4christI personally feel a need to speak out against religion because I care about other people. When I see someone being manipulated and basing decisions on ideas that are completely made up I want to help them. When I see someone selling everything they own and giving no thought to the future because they think the world is going to end tomorrow, it bothers me. I want to give them the tools to distinguish for themselves what ideas are reflective of reality and which ones are not.I have found the only people who demand silence from the opposition are those who are unable to defend their beliefs.I feel no need to make less powerful creatures reflect my power; it makes no sense to me. If I were to create an ant farm and start punishing or rewarding ants for worshiping me, people would rightfully label me insane. Explain why an all powerful god requires worship or would want to "bring glory to himself" with beings so relatively insignificant to him. It is anything but logical.

  45. sans_Dieu says

    To all people who believe this end of the world stuff: Sell your house and quit your job – why not? Spend your savings, you won't need them.My question is what these people say if nothing happens. And I mean the followers.

  46. says

    Thanks for posting this, Martin. Really, when it comes down to it, is it so much crazier to believe in a rapture with a specific date than to believe in a rapture with an unspecific date?

  47. says

    Thank you all for you comments to my questions.I truly understand your disgust with the hypocrisy that goes on within the Christian faith. Unfortunately, there are people who claim to be Christians, but are not genuine Christians. And sometimes, even true believers do stupid things. BUT, I don't think this should steer you away from the very things Jesus himself taught. We are sinners and will all mess up! No on can perfectly represent Christ. But we try through His strength.John K you said: "Explain why an all powerful god requires worship or would want to "bring glory to himself" with beings so relatively insignificant to him." The problem with that statement is that we are NOT insignificant to the God of the Bible! He loves us and longs for us to come to repentance from our wicked ways! The fact that he came down from glory and became a man, so he could pay man's penalty for sin…should show you that we are very significant to Him!!!

  48. says

    so he could pay man's penalty for sinWhere else in reality is substitutionary atonement valid? How does someone else being tortured somehow un-guilt me for bad things I've done?How did this action actually fix anything? Couldn't God just have forgiven us?Why couldn't Jesus have committed himself to a million years of community service? He could have accomplished this bizarre substitutionary atonement AND done a lot of good too. But apparently your god loves the smell of blood instead of actually doing something useful.Of course, all this is just a red herring. It's about as relevant to me what Jesus supposedly did for us, as what Spiderman did to save us from Dr. Octopus.

  49. says

    JT, Despite whether you think it's relevant to you or not…I'm going to respond to those questions. "How does someone else being tortured somehow un-guilt me for bad things I've done?How did this action actually fix anything? Couldn't God just have forgiven us? ANSWER: Despite what many believe…as horrible as Jesus' torture was…it was the full wrath of God towards man's sin that was poured upon His only Son (Jesus) on the cross, that paid the penalty for sin and took away our guilt. (Not the physical scourging) Hence: "My God, My God was have you forsaken me?" This action fixed the problem of sin, by paying in full, the debt that sin brings us all! Jesus said: "It is finished." or in other words: "Paid in full!" Could God just have forgiven us? Maybe…but to do so..would be against His very nature. The characteristic of His Justice would betrayed! Sin demands punishment and Justice requires it! For Justice to be met…Jesus had to die for that very penalty. God is holy and just..and CANNOT let sin go unpunished. (It would be ludicrous to let a guilty murderer go free in our court system would it not?) But we CAN be forgiven and set free from the penalty our sin deserves by placing our trust in the atonement! Why would anybody reject that? Jesus took our sin…and we get His righteousness credited to our account. It's called the great exchange. We are in right standing before God..because He sees Christ's righteousness credited to us! ( 2 Corinthians 5:21)And this can only be credited by our faith in his substitution death on the cross on our behalf!

  50. Martin says

    Rippster: First allow me to acquaint you with the No True Scotsman fallacy. You should probably be aware that the people you are saying are not "genuine Christians" would say the same thing about you.And you still didn't answer JT's question as to how substitute punishment is ever just. It's true we do not leave murderers unpunished, but the difference is, we punish the murderer for his crime and not someone else. To do business the way your God does it, we'd have to have a system in which we arrest a murderer, find out he was born in some small town in Kansas, and imprison every person in that town for his crime.Which kind of reinforces how it's a really good thing that God doesn't actually exist.

  51. says

    Hey, so i just thought I'd report from Alice Springs, Australia. its now 1:00pm CST on the 21st of May 2011 and still no earthquakes death or petulance…@rippster4christ:(It would be ludicrous to let a guilty murderer go free in our court system would it not?)But its not ludicrous to let the guilty murderer go free in our court system if he believes the judge exists and is his personal saviour? If god and sin actually do exist (which I don't for a second think they do) you haven't answered JT's question at all like you claim.What you've written was really just a roundabout way of reiterating that god sacrificed himself, to himself, to open a loophole in a law he created himself, because a snake told a lady to eat an apple. And if you believe all that crazy nonsense without evidence, maybe he'll decide not to torture you forever in the afterlife… which there is also no evidence for…If god is just going to forgive people for the sole reason of believing this kind of nonsense without evidence, why couldn't god just cut the bullshit and forgive everyone or maybe change the way sin apparently works, without the incredibly longwinded roundabout way of self flagellation. Also you seem to be making some fairly unwarranted assumptions (or perhaps even just making shit up that suites you. Hey I guess you are religious after all so….). Where is your evidence that this is the case:it was the full wrath of God towards man's sin that was poured upon His only Son (Jesus) on the cross, that paid the penalty for sin and took away our guilt. (Not the physical scourging) Hence: "My God, My God was have you forsaken me?"I mean, you have no evidence for that assertion. If you went out and got some crazy guy from a metal hospital that thought he was the son of god and nailed him to a cross, what do you think he would mean if his last words were something like this? Isn't it far more likely that the "My God, My God why have you forsaken me?" quote was really just Jesus realising that he was a crazy fuck, that there was no god, and that he was really just about to die? I have no evidence either, its all speculations, however my speculation doesn't break any of the know laws of reality or require unproven supernatural forces such as “full wrath of God” whatever the fuck that is…

  52. says

    In all this I've yet to hear anybody mention that 40 years after Jesus ostensibly stands in the middle of the temple complex and warns that someone is going to come along and smash the whole place, somebody comes along and does precisely that.There is an obscure branch of Christianity who take this as proof of Jesus' divinity. I think they are the most perceptive of Christians, although still deluded. What I wonder is why the disbelieving world doesn't think to consider that this is the whole point of the gospels. To sin is to rebel against Rome, and the sins of the wicked generation were harshly punished. I think that by being aware and making it common knowledge that Christianity is merely a cynical Roman invention, a replacement theology for militant messianic Judaism, we can rid ourselves of it soonest.

  53. says

    rippster4christ:For Justice to be met…Jesus had to die for that very penalty.So, just to be clear, Jesus is dead. He no longer exists. Do we agree on that point?rippster4christ:God is holy and just..and CANNOT let sin go unpunished. (It would be ludicrous to let a guilty murderer go free in our court system would it not?)Would it be ludicrous to let a guilty murderer go free and punish someone else in his/her place? As long as someone is punished, it doesn't matter who, do I have that right?

  54. says

    The vicarious punishment of Jesus is in no way or shape mercy, forgiveness or justice. It's torture. It's scapegoating. It's sick. It does not absolve you of all responsibility nor magically erase any bad you may have committed in the past.It's emotional blackmail. Yahwe's telling you you have offended him with some imaginary crime (which automatically makes you on equal level with the worst mass-murderer ever, even if it was just stealing a cookie from the cookie jar when you were 5) and so you deserve to be punished with eternal torture (an infinite punishment for a finite crime, is that justice? The entire concept of hell is offensive and disgusting) but he'll murder his own son in your stead, something we did not ask for or wanted and would've stopped if we were there.'Look at what you made me do!' is what god's essentially yelling at you like a mad stalker with blood on her hands. 'now you need to worship me because of what I did or I'll send you to hell anyway!' Nice.And if you want to take the original disobedience of adam and eve into account, your god's essentially punishing someone for the sins of their ancestors. And Jesus didn't even die. Your god lent us his son for three days which he planned, both knowing in advance he wouldn't really die nor suffer the actual punishment intended for sinners.An unnecessary sado-masochistic performance art to please himself, because it really was unnecessary. He could've just forgiven us, or even those he knows in omniscience to be good, alas the entire system is rigged from the start and no man born can be good; only god can be good. In the Christian faith we are all created ill and commanded to be well. It's disgusting, offensive and sick. Gladly there's no reason to believe any of it actually happened or this god is real. That's a relief.And Christians would tell me atheists have no basis on proclaiming superior morality. I tell them: A cured man has every right to tell a sick man he's more healthy.

  55. says

    @Thomas F.BourqueThat video was excellent. I've actually thought about doing a similar animated short myself. However this version does leave out the part at the end of the first section where Ms Thompon (the rape victem) also gets set to Guantanamo Bay to be tortured for the rest of her life without chance of appeal because she questions/rejects the judge's methods of justice.

  56. says

    It's now after 6pm Australian CST and a disaster of biblical proportions has occurred. I forgot my wallet when i went to the shops for a six pack of beer just now…

  57. says

    Despite what many believe…as horrible as Jesus' torture was…it was the full wrath of God towards man's sin that was poured upon His only Son (Jesus) on the cross, that paid the penalty for sin and took away our guilt.1) A penalty that god himself created, and could drop if he wanted.2) He could make more sons.3) Jesus is in hell now right? I mean, going to heaven would have been the lamest excuse for a "sacrafice" ever, amiright? 4) How does being punished take away one's guilt? If I murder someone, and do 50 years, I'm still guilty of murdering that person. You see, a real justice system has more practical functions than simply satisfying the thirst for blood from an invisible deranged frothing-at-the-mouth dictator.1) Punishments on one individual deter others from doing similar crimes. Your model says you can do whatever you like, pretty much, and get a get-out-of-jail-free card, with no personal responsibility of your own.2) Removes dangerous individual from society. We wouldn't want a murder to simply pay a fine and then roam free. Your model does nothing to mitigate this.3) Can rehabilitate the person, so that he/she/it can be returned to society.This action fixed the problem of sin, by paying in full, the debt that sin brings us all!I'm still not clear on how it fixes anything. It only does so if it's based on some being's arbitrary decision that this is how it should work.Could God just have forgiven us? Maybe…but to do so..would be against His very nature.Then he's evil. His nature is to be evil. He apparently seems to pick the most evil ways to solve things.Hell, even Jesus would have something to say about this… about forgiving people, even those who have wronged you. Apparently God didn't get the memo. Satisfying God's murderous rage is not a requirement of reality. The characteristic of His Justice would betrayed! Sin demands punishment and Justice requires it! For Justice to be met…Jesus had to die for that very penalty. God is holy and just..and CANNOT let sin go unpunished.That's the point. This has nothing to do with justice. Sin is what we do that's against god. It would be like some sociopath across the street deciding that I'm wronging him by looking at him, and it's thus justice to torture his dog to pay for my "sins" against him.We already have a system in place to deal with crimes. If you park in a handicap spot, you get fined. When you pay the fine, you're cleared. We don't need an invisible guy in the sky to approve. To torture someone forever for illegally parking would not be justice. At that point, it's just fulfilling some sadistic person's frothing urge for revenge. Thus, infinite punishment for finite crime (hell) is wrong. (It would be ludicrous to let a guilty murderer go free in our court system would it not?)Yes. But that's not your model. Your model is punishing the judge's son for the murderer's crime, and then setting the murderer free. No one would consider that justice. Well, except lunatic Christian doctrine.But we CAN be forgiven and set free from the penalty our sin deserves by placing our trust in the atonement! Why would anybody reject that? 2) Because a god has yet to be proven3) Since no god has yet to be proven, the concept of "sin" is irrelevant – only our own justice and morality.Jesus took our sin…and we get His righteousness credited to our account. It's called the great exchange. We are in right standing before God..because He sees Christ's righteousness credited to us!And that's the screwed up substitutional atonement we're talking about. Where else in reality is this even remotely valid?How many murders can the judge forgive on the behalf of other people, if he tortures his only son, to atone?

  58. says

    @JTI'd like it allot more if blogspot (and facebook etc) gave you unlimited comment space since long winded arseholes like me just end up splitting the same content over several posts anyway…Nice post by the way. Much more concise than me and the last few commentators.

  59. says

    "Could God just have forgiven us? Maybe…but to do so..would be against His very nature."So it's not in his nature to be forgiving? Is he not merciful? Killing someone else, especially someone claimed to be innocent, in your stead isn't mercy. What your god created is the ultimate scapegoat for all the crimes of everyone in the world and then he drove it into the desert to die, taking all the 'evil' with it…an ancient tradition going all the way back to Ancient Syria.This is not the justice system of a omnipotent omniscient all-loving god. This is more something to be expected from the Bronze Age desert nomads who wrote the Bible in the first place.

  60. says

    How's everyone else enjoying the Rapture? I'm having a wonderful sunny day. Not a shake, not a hitch.Oh, man, I wish I could see the look on Harold Camping's face.

  61. says

    @MurphyDon't encourage me! We're not assholes. We're passionate about the topic.I think most of us have our hobby topics. Matt's, for instance, is secular morality. Mine is evidendiary theory and, increasingly, the core of Christianity – the "sacrifice" and resurrection of Jesus.I'm glad to have a christian to hash it out with, because it's one of the more nonsensical and immoral concepts I've heard, and he's helping me hone my understanding/explanations as to why.

  62. says

    Datacable, You said: "So, just to be clear, Jesus is dead. He no longer exists. Do we agree on that point?" I don't agree! Question: What kind of evidence do you have, that this is true?

  63. says

    farmboy, You said: "And Jesus didn't even die." and "the Bronze Age desert nomads who wrote the Bible in the first place." What kind of evidence do you have that this is true? How did you come to that conclusion?

  64. says

    JT, "Your model is punishing the judge's son for the murderer's crime, and then setting the murderer free. No one would consider that justice. Well, except lunatic Christian doctrine." I have to admit…it does seem crazy! IF you don't understand that it was GOD himself being punished! Justice was served because the very punishment for sin that you and I deserved…was paid for. Love was served because was actually WILLING to do this on our behalf. He could have very easily said: "They ain't worth restoring…damn them all." BUT,he provided a way. To say that he even provided a way is amazing! Now it's up to you: Allow the penalty for your sin to be put on Christ and be forgiven and gain everlasting life…or pay for sin's penalty yourself separated from God forever. Any Christian that has been forgiven tries to live the rest of their lives for Christ out of appreciation for what He has done!! It's not a free pass to do whatever we want! We want to obey Him, His love compels us!! If someone knew you were in financial debt and you were about to lose everything….and then that someone came and paid for all your debts and set you free…..wouldn't you have a great appreciation for that person?

  65. says

    @rippsterI have to admit…it does seem crazy! IF you don't understand that it was GOD himself being punished!No, actually, that makes it more nonsensical. Now you've just switched from the judge punishing his son, to the judge punishing himself. If you want to mix the idea in that he IS his own son, then it makes even less sense on top of all that.The point here is that an actual reality-based justice system punishes the person who is responsible. We've repeatedly asked you for legitimate examples of substitutional atonement that exist in reality. We've gotten no examples, as of yet.Justice was served because the very punishment for sin that you and I deserved…was paid for.…by an arbitrary and nonsensical system you call "justice".Love was served because was actually WILLING to do this on our behalf. He could have very easily said: "They ain't worth restoring…damn them all." BUT,he provided a way.Love would have been to simply forgive us, instead of a round-about convoluted process of death and carnage. To say that he even provided a way is amazing! Now it's up to you: Allow the penalty for your sin to be put on Christ and be forgiven and gain everlasting life…or pay for sin's penalty yourself separated from God forever. Now it's up to me to inquire whether there's any merit to the claims you've made, before I consider them anything more than laughable. So far, the tally is unambiguously zero.If someone knew you were in financial debt and you were about to lose everything….and then that someone came and paid for all your debts and set you free…..wouldn't you have a great appreciation for that person?Sure, but this discussion isn't about debt of money. Does God need money back? If I'm in debt, it's because I borrowed from someone and I owe them that money back. If that money is repaid by a friend, they don't care, because they now have their money back.What we're talking about here that I've done something like murder a person, and the judge decides to torture himself to atone for my crime, and let me go. Of course I'd appreciate that. But, oh boy, is the family of the victim going to be pissed, as justice has, in no way shape or form, been served. I'm not going off onto other loaded analogies that aren't compatible. I'm sticking right with the idea that a crime is committed, and how atonement is achieved.

  66. says

    I had to clean up moldy poop that my cat left for me in my cellar. He scratches me when I try to bring him inside. I wakes me up way too early. Me meows so often it drives me nuts.I, apparently, had this amazing power to forgive him, understand that he's imperfect, and without having to torture myself just let him live with me, and take care of him. I'm not keeping track of how many "sin points" he's racking up that someone must be held responsible for.I, apparently, can do what your god cannot.

  67. says

    You said: (1)"And Jesus didn't even die." and (2)"the Bronze Age desert nomads who wrote the Bible in the first place."What kind of evidence do you have that this is true? How did you come to that conclusion? (1) I'm only referring to the dogma of Christian beliefs that Jesus supposedly left his tomb after three days to become Ruler of the Cosmos. At least when Elvis died for my sins he stayed dead. Jesus did not die or endured the actual punishment for all sinners as indicated in the bible. He chickened out. He cheated. We're supposed to believe three days in heaven is somehow a punishment? Or was it the crucifixion? Many a mortal man has suffered a worse fate. Not to mention the fact that god/jesus knew in advance that he was coming back. So in what way was this a sacrifice? What did god give up? His right to punish us? What makes you think he has a right to punish us? Supreme executive power comes from a mandate from the masses, the people's consent. Who voted for god? Oh, he's supposedly the creator is he? Can you prove he did? Either we're children, sheep or property. Pick. Which one's okay kill without remorse?The Ancient Greeks had it easy. They had multiple gods for multiple roles and functions and capacities. You want your god to be creator, king, general, father, policeman, accuser, judge, jury and executioner, and then I'm not even mentioning the father, son and holy ghost. while at the same time have ultimate mercy, love, forgiveness and justice wrapped in excusable genocide.(2) The Gospels were written by man. Men living in the desert. (Superstitious and scientifically illiterate.) Do you deny this? The approximate date of the actual writing took place some 50-70 years after the supposed crucifixion of Jesus, in the Iron Age (which makes the older Old Testament as having been written in the Bronze Age). Do you deny this?We don't have the originals, or know the actual names of the writers, but that only hurts your cause, not mine.Speaking of evidence, do you have some for Jesus actually having existed at all? Fine, I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt on the existence of a man named Jesus, but can you prove his supernatural nature? Can you prove to me that the zombie uprising in Matthew 27:52-53 actually happened? Or talking crafty serpents?How did you come to the conclusion that Jesus's sacrifice constituted either mercy or justice or good? Because the Bible told you it was?What makes you think hell is a justified punishment?What makes you think this god is real to begin with?

  68. says

    By “know laws of reality”, I refer to all our cumulative scientific understanding of reality up to this point in time (science, in my perhaps rough definition, being a method for the systematic observation, repeatable testability, as well as a thorough peer review process of the world around us). In this case I'm referring to (I assume, unless you also buy into scientology) the fact that we can all agree crazy people do in fact exist (hell, I work with a few of them :P ), however we have no tangible, observable, verifiable, testable evidence that anything resembling the “full wrath of God” exists. Whatever the fuck the “full wrath of God” may be. Is that being burned in hell for all eternity (or the measly 1.5 days in Jesus' case) or just the equivalent of some cosmic spiritual knee to the balls? Can you clarify for me what you mean by that and show some kind of testable verifiable evidence? (hint: obscure bible verses don't count as evidence because you would first have to prove the validity of the bible. To a non believer like me, the bible currently holds no more evidentiary weight than Lord Of The Rings fanfiction)As I said, i'm not claiming that my speculation is true (far from it. I'm actually one of those people that doesn’t even think there is enough historical evidence to say Jesus existed as a living breathing man at all. I was only tentatively granting that presupposition for the sake of argument) What I was getting at, was that my speculation doesn't hinge on the invocation of some external supernatural force that is currently unproven to exist at all. You speculation does. Occam's razor would therefore stipulate that my speculation is far more likely than yours, as yours relies on many more unknown variables, and (as the bastardised version goes) all things being equal, the simplest answer is usually the correct one.Think about it like this: In the same way we both know crazy people exist, we also know that a fruit called apples exist. The evidence (and by logical extension, the existence) of god and fairies on the other hand are allot more vague and shortcoming. Hypothetically lets say I handed you a closed wooden box. John guesses that there is an apple in it. Mark guesses that there is a magical fairy in it. Of course they could both be wrong. The box could be completely empty, or contain something entirely different like a peach or pigeon. But all things being equal, which is the simplest answer, apple or magical fairy? Knowing what we do about reality, who's statement do you think is more likely to be correct? Be honest… Sure you don't know if it has an apple in it, but do you think it equally likely that the box contains a magical fairly?As such, whats more likely? That this Jesus guy was just a little bit crazy, and quickly coming to that realization after being flogged and then nailed to a big wooden cross?Or that as well as the crucifixion pain he was also experiencing some invisible unproven undefined force called the "full wrath of god" which even in the context of your own unproven premises, doesn't explicitly appear (to my knowledge) anywhere at all in that section of the bible?If you're interested in probability like this, and enjoy reading, I'd highly suggest “Innumeracy” by John Allen Paulos or “Demon Haunted World” by Carl Sagan. They probably explain the rules of logic and the idea of unnecessarily compounding unknown variables allot better than I just have and both books are engaging easy reads. In fact they're two of my favourite books and I've read them many times respectively. Each time I read them I pick up on something new I missed the last time I read them.I hope all that made sense. Sometimes my ramblings seem allot clearer in my head than when they're put down on paper for other people to read :P Ps sorry if this ends up being a double post. i think the first one got eaten by the spam filter

  69. JJR says

    I'll be spending the evening with friends playing the Scion RPG, which is ironically about player-characters who are modern day children of the gods of human mythology…sort of a "superhero" RPG for anthropology geeks & history/ancient lit majors.

  70. says

    farmboy, Before I answer your many questions..you have to answer my question first: "What kind of evidence do you have that this is true? How did you come to that conclusion? You are only making assertions. "We don't have the originals, or know the actual names of the writers, but that only hurts your cause, not mine." No, it actually hurts your cause. I want to see the evidence first! Just as you require this evidence of me.

  71. says

    JT, "Love would have been to simply forgive us, instead of a round-about convoluted process of death and carnage." JT, you are failing to understand the crime that has been committed against God himself! He can't just simply forgive us. He would be violating our ability to choose. We have to choose to repent and turn to Him B4 he can forgive us! Have you ever told a lie? Have your ever lusted? Have you ever taken God's name in vain? I suspect that you have. I know I have. What does that make us? GUILTY! Guilty of breaking God's moral laws. Our own conscience tells us this! If he were to judge us based on those laws…we would not be innocent…but guilty. Therefore…the crimes have been committed and the law has been broken! God demands a punishment. He is HOLY (without sin)! THE PROBLEM: We can't pay for our sin by ourselves. We have fallen short and could never make it up to God! We are in a bind! BUT GOD……and you know the rest of the story

  72. says

    Ripper4Christ: Could God just have forgiven us? Maybe…but to do so..would be against His very nature. The characteristic of His Justice would betrayed! Sin demands punishment and Justice requires it!So God is not omnipotent, and is not the author of morality. Whatever defined God's sense of justice and sin must be the author of morality then, right? Otherwise, why does God follow those arbitrary rules? What defined the nature of God? For Justice to be met…Jesus had to die for that very penalty.And as often gets said, what a sacrifice that was. Jesus died for a whole weekend after enduring a day's worth of pre-medieval torture, and then he got to be God for eternity. If you proved to me that I could be part of the godhead if I suffered a nasty death, then I'd sign right up too. But then, we have no reason to believe that any of this happened, any more than we have reason to believe that an invincible warrior named Achilles fought in the Trojan War. God is holy and just..and CANNOT let sin go unpunished. (It would be ludicrous to let a guilty murderer go free in our court system would it not?)It would be ludicrous to let a guilty murderer go free in our court system–unless they've already received what the court system has deemed an appropriate punishment for their crimes. I guess the U.S. courts are more powerful than God. You know what's more ludicrous? Punishing an innocent person because someone way back in their ancestry committed murder. You know what's even more ludicrous? For the judge to say "the defendant has clearly been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and so I'm going to sentence my own son to a weekend in a hard-labor solitary-confinement federal prison as punishment and allow the defendant to go free."And again, what's the force/entity/whatever that defined these rules that even God cannot break? Why do we even care about God, when clearly God is just the muscle-man for this more powerful entity?

  73. says

    IF you don't understand that it was GOD himself being punished! Justice was served because the very punishment for sin that you and I deserved…was paid for. Love was served because was actually WILLING to do this on our behalf. He could have very easily said: "They ain't worth restoring…damn them all." BUT,he provided a way. To say that he even provided a way is amazing!Let me get this straight, and please correct me if I get any of your particular theology wrong; since you haven't expounded on it, I'm drawing from mainstream Christianity here. So God, who is basically omnipotent, creates an entire universe, along with two people who, at first, have no concept of good or evil. He puts these two people in a garden that he created, along with two trees that he inexplicably created, the fruits of which would confer knowledge of good and evil, and immortality/godhood. God tells them not to eat from either tree, falsely threatening them with same-day death if they do. Later, another talking entity tells one of these people who have no concept of good and evil to eat from the tree that provides that concept, and that they won't die if they do. These people, who have no knowledge of good or evil, and thus have no way of knowing which talking-garden-entity is good or evil, nor no way of knowing that "disobedience" to either one is considered evil, then eat from the tree, and the second entity is proven correct, since neither of them dies that day. God then, fearing that these people will become gods like him, casts them out of the garden and punishes them for what is, ultimately, his own colossal screw-up (why create the trees in the first place? Why not create humans with intrinsic knowledge not to listen to talking snakes?) and insecurity (they were cast from the garden because God wanted a monopoly on the whole god business). Flash forward a few books. God's got a son, who is himself, and fatherhood has mellowed him out. He decides to stop punishing all humanity for something their distant ancestors did as a result of his own lack of foresight, and so he comes to Earth and allows himself to be tortured for a few hours and dead for a day or so, after which he becomes God again. By doing this, he closes a loophole that, for some reason, he couldn't close otherwise, and now allows some people to be able to get into Heaven. Rather than closing this loophole for everybody, though, God decides it only counts for the people who believe in him and his son, who is him, and worship them both. The others still get to be punished for something they didn't do, but was done by their distant ancestors, who had no understanding of right or wrong. I don't see justice and love there. I see a god who screws up and lies, refuses to take responsibility for his mistakes, and is so insecure that he can't bear the thought of anyone else being as powerful as him. I see a god whose act of "love" is just another ploy to shore up his own insecurity, a way of blackmailing people into showing him their adoration and ignoring his obvious faults and screw-ups. I see a god who, even if he did exist (and despite your laughable queries about evidence, you have not provided any to suggest that your God is real or that the Bible is any more accurate than a Harry Potter book) would be a bumbling asshole worthy of pity and derision, not worship. You're not following some wise and sagely ancient being. You're worshiping Homer Simpson.

  74. says

    @rippster"Love would have been to simply forgive us, instead of a round-about convoluted process of death and carnage." JT, you are failing to understand the crime that has been committed against God himself! He can't just simply forgive us.Of course I understand. I already addressed this with my cat example. My cat has "sinned" against me many times. I forgave him out of whole cloth and loved him anyway. No punishment needed. If I have to take any action, it's usually try to mildly discipline him towards being a better cat, or to stop/prevent him from doing something wrong. Again, I don't have to torture myself and/or a clone of myself that's actually me, in order to overlook the cat's actions.I am thus superior to your god in this regard.He would be violating our ability to choose.How would my forgiving my cat, without torturing someone to atone, prevent him from choosing?We have to choose to repent and turn to Him B4 he can forgive us!Have you ever told a lie? Have your ever lusted? Have you ever taken God's name in vain? I suspect that you have. I know I have. What does that make us? GUILTY! Guilty of breaking God's moral laws.Again, none of this matters until you can prove he exists. Until then, I don't care what bizarre "moral" rules Spiderman has decided to enforce on everyone, in return for protecting us from Dr. Octopus. Our own conscience tells us this!Maybe yours. My conscience tells me I am responsible for my own actions, and that I shouldn't let someone else be tortured to atone for something I did. I am responsible to real people, and society around me. Not a figment of someone's imagination. If he were to judge us based on those laws…we would not be innocent…but guilty. Therefore…the crimes have been committed and the law has been broken! God demands a punishment. He is HOLY (without sin)!I beg to differ. Have you read the Bible? The god of the bible is the #1 most atrociously evil character I have ever read about. If he does exist, he has yet to be brought to justice for his crimes. If we can be punished forever for simply not believing in him, then by golly, infinite punishment has nothing on his sentence.THE PROBLEM: We can't pay for our sin by ourselves.Yes, we can. I can be jailed. I can be fined. I can even apologize, depending on the crime. The important point is that we're atoning to something real.

  75. says

    Hm…post seems to have vanished. Maybe it was raptured. If it shows up twice, that's okay, I'll just torture the other one forever. Rippster4Christ: You are only making assertions. "We don't have the originals, or know the actual names of the writers, but that only hurts your cause, not mine."No, it actually hurts your cause. I want to see the evidence first! Just as you require this evidence of me.You're the one making positive claims, Rippster, so the onus is on you. You obviously didn't ask your pastor for the evidence of God and Jesus's existence or that the Bible was accurate, or you could offer it in return. As for the authorship of the Bible and when it was written, try reading it. And not just the archaic bits, but the foreword and footnotes. I just cracked open my NRSV (signed by Matt and Russell! Thanks, guys!) to the introductory section that talks about the translation process. It's actually quite fascinating, but here's a relevant passage:"Occasionally it is evident that the text has suffered in transmission and that none of the versions provides a satisfactory restoration. Here we can only follow the best judgment of competent scholars as to the most probable reconstruction of the original text."Tell me, Rippster: is that something which would be a problem if we had original copies? Earlier in the section, it talks about how we've discovered a lot of texts since the publication of the King James Version that are older and better than the ones used to write the KJV, and that we've learned a lot more about the ancient languages involved. If we had original copies, would that be possible? Have you ever told a lie? Have your ever lusted? Have you ever taken God's name in vain? I suspect that you have. I know I have. What does that make us? GUILTY! Guilty of breaking God's moral laws.God's laws are stupid. Here in the real world, we write laws based on crimes that do actual, demonstrable harm to actual, demonstrable people, and we periodically review those laws to ensure that they are fair and not outdated. If I lust after someone, no one is harmed. If that upsets God, then he needs to get over it. See, I really dislike people who use the word "hung" when they mean "hanged." It grates on my grammatical senses. But people who do that aren't actually doing me any harm. They're not guilty of anything but violating my personal sensibilities. As a mature adult, I recognize that I don't have the right to torture that person for their silly offense. So add "immature" and "egocentric" to your God's list of Homer Simpsonesque traits. And let's hit that lust thing one more time: your God supposedly created humans with the urge to mate and produce offspring, giving them the capability to do so all the time, not just during an estrus cycle like so many other mammals. And then, he makes looking at someone with lust a crime? He makes lust a component of human survival, even though it's a horrendous crime to him? And you worship this thing? At best, it's seriously stupid, and at worst, it's draconian evil. Either your God didn't see the obvious contradiction, or he was looking for excuses to torture everyone for eternity.By contrast, the serpent is looking better and better. How do you know that your God is the good one, Rippster?

  76. says

    You are only making assertions. "We don't have the originals, or know the actual names of the writers, but that only hurts your cause, not mine."No, it actually hurts your cause. I want to see the evidence first! Just as you require this evidence of me. Well, if wikipedia and its listed reference sources ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authors_of_the_bible ) are too much of a liberal communist gay atheist conspiracy for you to accept as viable evidence, you could always just open to the title pages of almost any NIV bible.This is what my own NIrV says about Matthew:Matthew was also called Levi and was a tax collector. He was one of Jesu's 12 disciples. An early church tradition says he collected many sayings of Jesus in the Hebrew language, which formed the basis of this gospel. It is therefore hard to say exactly when it was written in the form we have it now. Some think it was the first gospel to be written (dating it before AD60) but most put it after Mark, later in the first centuryI've seen NIV title pages that flat out say that it wasn't written by Matthew at all. But even in this wishy-washy abstract from my happy go lucky NIrV bible, it's basically just speculating based solely on tradition (ie oral storytelling)So according to the title page in one of the most popular modern translations of the very book you're arguing from, Matthew is some guy that might have existed, who claimed that another guy called Jesus existed, then anywhere between 30 to 70 (AD60 to the end of the first century) years after the events alledgedly took place. This book appears and may have originally been based on some collected sayings.At best, what we have here to support your argument is a 2000 year old he said she said situation.Coming from copies of your own holy book, if that doesn't qualify as the evidence you're asking for then I don't know what will. If you do find the topic interesting, you really should have a look at wikipedia.org or ironchariots.org. There is a ton of good information on there…ps, I wrote you a response about your question for me and posted it twice, but the spam filter keeps eating it. Guess it will have to wait for martin to digitally regurgitate it tomorrow.

  77. says

    @rippster4christ"Therefore…the crimes have been committed and the law has been broken! God demands a punishment."…and his punishment is ETERNAL, NEVER-ENDING TORTURE for a "crime" that was FINITE. There is no crime that ANYONE has EVER committed that deserves INFINITE punishment. In this respect, most people are more moral than your god.P.S. — I asked before; have you watched this video? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWAUhadJzTk) P.P.S — Blogspot really needs an "Edit" feature.

  78. says

    I am basing my conclusions on the words that were actually written down by men, rippster (do you deny this?) and chosen and compiled by men (do you deny this, rippster?). There is no reason to think it was either divinely inspired, because the text is laughably archaic and an accurate reflection of the morals of the writers and the times they lived in, which is something one would come to expect from a document written by men, not gods, in those days.It is not my job nor my burden to disprove the hypothesis that a god exists or that he had writing ambitions.Unless you can prove that your god does exist and the bible is an accurate representation of him I have every right to assume the bible's just another book of mythology, like all the other books you yourself dismiss to be hogwash.Disbelief in extraordinary claims, like supernatural claims is the default position.With for instance slavery, which was widely accepted in Bronze Age Israel for example, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the writers of the Bible in those days write of slavery in the bible without condemning it, even giving guidelines and instructions on how to seize a city and capture its citizens and to make them slaves. That makes sense.But to see this as the instructions of an omnischient god who would by definition know that slavery is bad (or at least that humanity would comdemn it in the future and get rid of it with the help of non-believers) does not make sense and still requires a hell of a lot of bullshitting and excuses in the form of Christian apologetics to this day.

  79. says

    I don't agree! Question: What kind of evidence do you have, that this is true?Your own statements. You said Jesus died on the cross. Death is a permanent condition. Once he died, he was, is, and always will be dead. Do you dispute this?If someone knew you were in financial debt and you were about to lose everything….and then that someone came and paid for all your debts and set you free…..wouldn't you have a great appreciation for that person? I assert that you owe me 10 billion dollars. If my son, who is me, paid me what I have just asserted you owe me, would you have great appreciation for my son… who is me?Have you ever told a lie? Have your ever lusted?Lying and lust are not prohibited by Biblical law.Have you ever not stoned a disobedient child child to death? (Deuteronomy 21:18-21)Have you ever not executed someone of a different faith? (Exodus 22:20, Psalms 79:6, Luke 19:37, etc…)Have you ever beaten a slave with a rod so severely that it took them less than 2 days to die? (Ex. 21:20-21)He is HOLY (without sin)!He, purportedly, both ordered and personally committed countless murders.

  80. says

    datacable: "Death is a permanent condition. Once he died, he was, is, and always will be dead. Do you dispute this?" Of course I dispute this! You didn't answer my question nor give me any evidence that they found his body!! Since he is God….he can conquer death! That's why he died…to rise from the dead…so that when believers die…we can conquer death too!!! "both ordered and personally committed countless murders." It is not murder! Murder is unrighteous judgment upon people! Killing is righteous judgment upon people. God was delivering judgment on wicked evil people who would not repent!! I would not accuse God of sin!!! That's not a good position to be in!

  81. Mamba24 says

    Ripster said.."Of course I dispute this! You didn't answer my question nor give me any evidence that they found his body!!"-So you think that the only conclusion by not finding a dead body, is that it rose from the dead? LOL Okay you have just made a positive claim, please show the evidence for this. And what question did the others not supposedly answer?

  82. says

    "-So you think that the only conclusion by not finding a dead body, is that it rose from the dead? "Indeed, by this logic Mozart is god!Rippster is really dishonest, tricking us into making positive claims and then asking for evidence while constantly spouting positive claims himself without providing any evidence for it. You have the burden of proof rippster, not us. [Extraordinary] Claims asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.What made you believe dead people can rise again? A certain book perhaps, compiled in the first century C.E.?

  83. says

    Rippster is really dishonest, tricking us into making positive claims and then asking for evidence while constantly spouting positive claims himself without providing any evidence for it. I thought about that, and didn't mind. Some things we DO make positive claims, and I don't think it's necessarily bad to aggressively tackle those issues – like secular morality.On one hand, we have someone claiming that morality MUST exclusively come from an unproven fantasy. On the other hand, we can readily observe people interacting with one another, coming to agreements about issues, and essentially establishing little mutual defense pacts or treaties, all without consulting a bible or any kind of religious material.. just on their own intellectual capacity of diplomacy and negotiation and honor…. and yet we're supposed to cast aside reality, plunge deep into his fantasy world, and accept the former as true.

  84. says

    "rippster: Killing is righteous judgment upon people.You're a deeply immoral person, Rippster. "Agreed… This is why we have a problem with religion, rippster. Do you think the group of children that made fun of the prophet also deserved to die, brutally mauled by a bear called forth by god? Where they righteously killed? (2 Kings 2:23-25)I cant imagine how you can see this as a good and moral being. Your god is a relentless monster, and you have become that as well.At this point im not sure wether rippster is a poe or not though. Some of his comments are just so blatantly fallacious and inviting flamewar.

  85. says

    At this point im not sure wether rippster is a poe or not thoughHe has an entire blog of this type of stuff. I think he's legit. He hasn't said anything terribly trollish. It's just your typical non-critically thinking christian.

  86. Mamba24 says

    Ripster is desperately trying to shift the burden of proof by fallaciously claiming we need evidence to disbelieve in his god/savior/holy book. But when no evidence is present to support those three things, then I am justified in not believing them to exist/be historically true or accurate. The default position to hold on an extraordinary claim that has no evidence whatsoever…..is to not believe it. Ripster, we don't believe things because there isn't any evidence to prove said thing doesn't exist, we believe them when we have evidence to prove they do exist. Otherwise you would be putting yourself in a position to be believing everything that hasn't been proven to not exist. So by your logic, invisible unicorns exist because no one has proven that they don't exist, or bigfoot exists because no one has proven that he doesn't exist, or the Koran is literally true and accurate because no one has proven that it isn't…That's not how sound logic works, and it's not how we determine truth and fact about our reality. So stop the goal post shifting already.

  87. says

    "both ordered and personally committed countless murders." It is not murder! Murder is unrighteous judgment upon people! Killing is righteous judgment upon people. God was delivering judgment on wicked evil people who would not repent!!Abraham heard God talking to him, and so he brought his son to the top of a mountain with the intention of sacrificing him, something he believed God would command. Moses heard God talking to him, and led the Hebrews to slaughter the Midianites, including the children, keeping the virgin girls for their slaves. Deanna Laney heard God talking to her, and bashed in her sons' heads.Rippster, the pressing question: which, if any, of these people were righteously killing and meting out God's judgment, and which, if any, of these people were unrighteously murdering? And how can you tell the difference?

  88. says

    @martinMan that spam filter is annoying. Me and I a think Tom Foss had a few posts chewed up last night (well, last night for me. I don't know what part of the world Foss is from) In comment threads that move as quickly as the ones on the AE blog, if the posts don't show up immediately they may as well not show up at all. Post that show up half a day later somewhere in the middle of the thread are just going to go unnoticed and be ignored by the other people in the discussion.I'm sure the spam filter has block lists for terrible trolls, can you not have an allow list for regular or semi regular commentators so their posts bypass spambot101 and the line of discussion doesn't get all messed up?Sorry to be a whinny little bitch, but its terribly frustrating if you write a page long response that gets quarantined.

  89. says

    Let me clear up the "righteous killing" thing! I am in no way saying that it is right for us to kill!!!!! One of the Ten Commandments says: "Thou shalt not kill!" When I talk about righteous judgment…it is God declaring judgment on wicked people! You atheist must not know any "genuine" Christians!

  90. says

    Under the New Covenant…..which we are in…Christians have no basis for killing. Only self-defense. We are here to love God and our neighbor….and lead people to the Savior! We do not endorse rape, slavery, or ethnic cleansing. I'm sorry you have such a twisted view of Christians. But Christ NEVER taught these things!

  91. says

    @rippsterYou didn't clear anything up? Was Mosus righteous when he was killing the Midianites on god's orders?Furthermore you haven't really explained why god should have the right to kill but people don't. At best you could make the tired old "god giveth god taketh away" argument, but there is no logical reason inherent in that argument why it couldn't apply to the relationship between human parents and children… and i think (i hope) we can agree that parents killing their kids is wrong

  92. says

    @rippsterWe do not endorse rape, slavery, or ethnic cleansing. I'm sorry you have such a twisted view of Christians. But Christ NEVER taught these things!I'm sorry to have to point this out, but he never spoke against them either!Fact: these things are explicitly in your bible. (Mostly in the old testament but there are a few verses in the new testament as well, some spoken by jesus himself)Fact: Not only did Jesus not say anything against the laws that allow slavery and rape, he went on to say that not a letter of the law would be changed mathew 15:3-9 mark 7:9-13 luke 16:17 john 1:17 John 7:19 john 10-34-35

  93. says

    @rippsterAlso, where does the gleeful endorsement for eternal pain and torture for simply not being a part of your little club fit into this hippy love fest for "God and our neighbor" nonsense?

  94. Mamba24 says

    "We do not endorse rape, slavery, or ethnic cleansing. I'm sorry you have such a twisted view of Christians. But Christ NEVER taught these things!"-Actually your god specifically endorses these things in the old testament, he specically endorses slavery(exodus 21) and commands moses and Joshua to kill off entire tribes of people. So if Jesus is God, then it's safe to assume that Jesus actually did endorse slavery and genocide…maybe not in the texts of the gospels, but he did if he is in fact supposed to be god in human form.

  95. says

    @ rippster"You atheist (sic) must not know any "genuine" Christians!"Did you bother to read (or even skim) the page that Martin linked to about the No True Scottsman fallacy or the link to the video that I've posted four times now in this thread (three of which I urged you to view it)?I'm beginning to question whether or not you are open to reasoned argument or if you are just here to preach that we are wrong. If it is the former, then you should pay more attention. If it is the latter, then I submit that you are unreasonable and I take my leave of you.

  96. Martin says

    Guys, I'm doing what I can to monitor the spam filter and admit legitimate comments. Sorry some of you have gotten snagged.

  97. says

    Let me clear up the "righteous killing" thing!I am in no way saying that it is right for us to kill!!!!! One of the Ten Commandments says: "Thou shalt not kill!" When I talk about righteous judgment…it is God declaring judgment on wicked people!So, does God still declare judgment on the wicked and ask his followers to enact that judgment, as he apparently did in the Old Testament? You know that the "Thou shalt not kill" thing is in the same part of the Bible as all the times God commanded people to kill, right? It's even part of a set of laws that specifically tells you to kill people for various transgressions.You atheist must not know any "genuine" Christians! I know that every Christian considers themselves and whoever agrees with them "genuine" and any Christian who disagrees "not genuine." And I have no way of telling the difference.Under the New Covenant…..which we are in…Christians have no basis for killing. Only self-defense. We are here to love God and our neighbor….and lead people to the Savior! We do not endorse rape, slavery, or ethnic cleansing. I'm sorry you have such a twisted view of Christians. But Christ NEVER taught these things! Well, Christ specifically taught that not one jot or tittle of the old laws–the old laws that specifically endorse slavery and ethnic cleansing and have laughably soft punishments for rape–should be changed until the end of time, essentially. He also said he came "not to send peace, but a sword," introduced and endorsed the unjust system of eternal punishment for finite offenses, compares God favorably to a violent slave-owner, and threatened lots of cities with destruction. So, what of Deanna Laney, then, Rippster? Did God command her to kill, the way he did to Moses and Abraham? If not, how can you tell?

  98. says

    You didn't answer my question nor give me any evidence that they found his body!My statement was not based on any claim of a found body, but solely on your words: "Jesus died on the cross." Are you now retracting that claim? Are you stating that Jesus didn't die on the cross?That's why he died…to rise from the dead…If Jesus is not now, presently, dead, what was his ultimate sacrifice? This concept of substitutionary atonement, that an innocent can be justly punished in place of the guilty, is ludicrous enough, but it makes even less sense when the innocent is barely punished, if at all. To use your own example, this would be letting a guilty murderer go free, and in his place sentencing an innocent man to serve three days in prison.God was delivering judgment on wicked evil people who would not repent!!So, all the children and infants whom YHWH sentenced to death via flood or angel of death or rampaging Israelite armies were judged to be wicked and evil?I would not accuse God of sin!!! That's not a good position to be in!One can hardly accuse fictional characters of anything.I am in no way saying that it is right for us to kill!!!!! One of the Ten Commandments says: "Thou shalt not kill!"Please quote for us what your benevolent savior says in Luke 19:27.We do not endorse rape, slavery, or ethnic cleansing.Ephesians 6:51 Timothy 6:1-2Luke 12:47-48

  99. says

    "Martin said… rippster: Killing is righteous judgment upon people. You're a deeply immoral person, Rippster."Quoted for accuracy.

  100. says

    I hope all the American atheists take advantage of the non rapture to shame the gullible Christians.Make sure they feel so stupid that they question all the beliefs they hold which are based on silly old men and silly old books.But be quick because it won,t take long for the witch doctors to get there claws back in them.

  101. says

    Thomas F, All that video proved, was that you get a kick out of blasphemously portraying what us Christians hold dear to us. Not only that, it shows your complete lack of understanding about the cross of Christ. I can only pray for you man! I won't stoop to that level. Regardless, of your enjoyment in those types of videos….God does love you! His offer of forgiveness is still on the table for you or anyone who comes to understand their sin.

  102. Mamba24 says

    "Not only that, it shows your complete lack of understanding about the cross of Christ. I can only pray for you man! I won't stoop to that level. Regardless, of your enjoyment in those types of videos…."-So basically you don't really have a response, all you did was just brush it off saying it doesn't really represent Christians beliefs, way to avoid actually responding to the question."God does love you! His offer of forgiveness is still on the table for you or anyone who comes to understand their sin."-Yes you are just spewing out more unjustified and baseless assertions which have no evidence at all to support them. Looks like a cop out to me Rippy.

  103. says

    Family Radio's website is back up. It's gotten a facelift; they are still taking donations, and still have up the rapture propaganda. They did add a section where you can request free crap though. I ordered all that they allow [something like 600 tracts, bumper stickers, and a few other things]; let camping pay to mail his tripe :D@rippsterI am also curious about what that video got wrong about your theology. It places the core belief of substitutional atonement [jesus' "sacrifice"] into a real world context where the obvious flaws in it are shown. Please, I know that many of us are waiting with baited breath for your detailed and reasoned explanation about how Christianity is different than what was portrayed [note: this does not include making baseless assertions or merely preaching stuff that we all have heard ad nauseum].

  104. says

    "I have a serious question for you fellow atheists….If in fact Christianity is the most unreasonable faith filled with lies, fairy tales, unscientific, and out of touch with reality like you all claim that it is…….Why do Atheists spend SO MUCH time trying to attack it?"Same reason people who love bad movies spend so much time watching them. There's such a plethora of wrongness and stupid to comment on and with new examples being produced every day I don't think we're in danger of running out.

  105. says

    @RippsterAll that video proved, was that you get a kick out of blasphemously portraying what us Christians hold dear to us. Not only that, it shows your complete lack of understanding about the cross of Christ. Ok buddy, I think this has gone on for long enough. We've all been very patient and forthcoming with answers and evidence in long expositions whenever you've asked/demanded them, but you've failed to even attempt answering a single question we've asked you yet.Are you now going to start addressing the questions and logical implications on your religion which we've posed to you? or are you just another one of those pathetic wannabe apologists who's only real response to serious questioning is “nah ah!” Because if its the latter, i'm out. You've wasted enough of my time already by ignoring my responses and subsequent questions to you.

  106. says

    @JTYeah, I've had relatives of mine try and pull that Ray Comfort "first you must open your heart" crap on me personallytranslation: "you can believe whatever bullshit nonsense we tell you, but only if you give up on all logic, reason and rationality first"

  107. says

    "All that video proved, was that you get a kick out of blasphemously portraying what us Christians hold dear to us. Not only that, it shows your complete lack of understanding about the cross of Christ."Oh look…It's Godwin time"All that video proved, was that you get a kick out of blasphemously portraying what us Nazis hold dear to us. Not only that, it shows your complete lack of understanding about the struggled of Hitler."Not a good argument.

  108. says

    @rippsterA few things:1) Without the Old Testament (specifically the Fall), Jesus was not required.2) The OT god was completely cool with genocide, rape; and goofed on multiple occasions, including:i) The Fall itself, unless he wanted it to happen – in which case he's a git.ii) The flood – I mean, the only solution to a problem with your favourite species is to drown the entire world?iii) Tower of Babel – What was he afraid of? Or was he just being petulant?iv) The creation of the entire universe – if god was already "perfect" he wouldn't need anything extra, yeah?v) etc3) The Law was passed to man by God in the OT (Leviticus). I assume as a Christian you hold to the 10 Commandments. What about all of the others? Especially as Jesus preached that he wasn't going to change the law.i) The law also has rules about great stuff like slavery, stoning children, not wearing clothes of mixed weave, etc. Why don't you follow this? Not being subjective, are we?Rippster, you and all other Christians have to own the Old Testament god. The god that was a real ass to a lot of people (Job, anyone? Where, btw, is the sadness for Job's original family who were killed for a bet??) is exactly the same god as the New Testament…If he isn't, then Jesus is irrelevant. No Fall, no foul.If he had a change of heart, then that doesn't excuse him for his other crimes.And finally, hell only gets introduced in the NT. And you're trying to sell god as merciful? Especially if this supposed "mercy" is something that we inherited from a screw up of his own in the distant past?If we assume that the Bible is true, we'll be worshiping a juvenile psychopath.Before we get here, however, you need to demonstrate that:a) supernatural existsb) gods can existc) only one god does existd) that god created the universee) that god cares about humanity in particular (is personal)f) that god can interact with the universeg) that god has "spoken" to mankindh) that god chose the ancient Semitic tribes as his reps.i) That the Bible is in any way inspired…That's just the start. If you can't then we have no reason to believe you. ;-)

  109. says

    @Datacable>> >>That's why he died…to rise from the dead…>>If Jesus is not now, presently, dead, what was his ultimate sacrifice? This concept of substitutionary atonement, that an innocent can be justly punished in place of the guilty, is ludicrous enough, but it makes even less sense when the innocent is barely punished, if at all. To use your own example, this would be letting a guilty murderer go free, and in his place sentencing an innocent man to serve three days in prison.I might add that on release the innocent man is then made vice-president of the entire world, with authority to overrule any future judgement. For ever.

  110. says

    I wonder where those bewildered believers who thought that they could physically ascend to Heaven thought they were going to? The vacuum of space the moon or like Peter Pan, 3rd star on the right and straight on till morning. With that Camping guy flapping his giant ears to build up speed.

  111. says

    The Christian's are already adapting and rationalizing."the bible doesn't say the world will End, just 'the world as we know it' will end, then a new millenium of existence is supposed to occur-a heaven on earth type thing. But yes if those people had read the bible for themselves instead of just listening to that guy, they would have seen the scripture where Jesus is quoted as saying – no man knows the hour [when the rapture or 'end' occurs]."

  112. says

    To tell you the truth, the last bit isn't entirely accurate.It'd be more like one of the judge's former employees set up the torture chamber in the basement, and made it so everyone goes there, and the judge knew all this was going to happen, and the judge has some bizarre protocol about loving him after he beat up his son, before saving you from going to the basement.The overarching premise also has an issue that the judge isn't following morality or enacting law, so much as he's decided to enforce his own made up set of laws that have to do with how much people offend him.. which makes it that much less an example of justice.Murder is considered a "sin", but it's also a "crime", and the two aren't the same thing.

  113. says

    I responded to a post on rippy's blog and asked why he hadn't responded. I got this back:"rippster4christ said… Apostulous, … The reason I haven't responded on the Atheist blog is because it will go no where if I do respond. May 24, 2011 5:43 PM " [only relevant part left in]So, it seems that he knows it wont go anywhere, yet I doubt he understands the reason why. I responded to that post, only to have it removed. Apparently that ultimate truth theists have isn't true enough to shut up a few internet atheists and show us where we are wrong.

  114. says

    @Thomas F. Bourque Thank you for that link i was very surprised to find my self agreeing with him when he said ,"i'm not a genius."

  115. says

    JT: "It'd be more like one of the judge's former employees set up the torture chamber in the basement, and made it so everyone goes there"The devil is not the creator of hell, nor its warden or boss, in fact he has nothing to do with it or the way humans will be sent to it apart from the fact that Christians have told me the devil is -supposed to be- in hell, but god won't yet put him in there for some mysterious reason and just lets him run around freely hurting his creation and they have faith that in the future god will put the devil in hell. It really doesn't make a shred of sense.You'd think if the devil is in charge of hell he'd make it a great place so that people would really want to go there: promising eternal torture isn't exactly the best way to start your recruitment drive for your armies that are supposed to fight god.Yahwe is the one sending people to hell, not the devil. Or excluding people from heaven because they are created ill and don't live up to the command to be well.

  116. says

    Have you ever wondered where the feeling "akward" comes from when it hits you in a possibly good successful moment and makes you crap out? Or when everyone in your family is nearly dead and your not even 30 years old. I say it's the devil or the opposing force trying to break good people. If no man knows the exact hour i would say a female is gonna have something to do with the end of the world then. If there was no god why can everyone for themselves see so many trying to tear down the belief of god if there is no god why would anyone else care what the next man believes in? There is a god and jesus. One day when you get into a situation where it is life and death ask yourself now who will you ask for help cause you can't ask a nobody.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>