1. God says

    Just as I knew, this was a dud episode. You guys say you care about science, but you never have science-minded guests. You have plenty to choose from, whether it be Ray Comfort, Sye Ten Bruggencate, Eric Hovind, Ken Ham, or Kirk Cameron. I knew they’d all be glad to come on your show.

  2. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    Wait, “science-minded”? What? Those guys?
    Actually, Ray Comfort called in once or twice. I remember one with Russell and I think another with Matt.

    But Ray Comfort? Science-minded? Kirk Cameron? KIRK CAMERON!?!?! Have ye actually heard any of those dudes speak before? Or is this the Introduction to the Opposites? (There have to be people who remember You Can’t Do That On Television here, right?)

  3. John David Balla says

    @God Says. Either I’m extremely naive or you have a great sense of humor.

  4. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @John David Balla:

    I’m going with sense of humor, but hey: I’m no theopsychology specialist. So you’ll have to draw your own conclusions.

  5. sayamything says

    If God says isn’t a parody, I don’t even know what to say anymore.

    But since I’m assuming they are a parody, I wll say this:

    Barbara’s “I knew more than adults” thing probably does seem impressive to a lot of folks, but Matt is right. More than just Matt being right, I became disillusioned with religious leaders really fast when I started asking questions and found that a lot of them didn’t even know the passages I was referencing. Not as in “I don’t know the exact wording,” but in that they didn’t seem to know these stories were even in the book they were preaching from.

    I’m sure there are plenty of religious figures who know the Bible (at least one version of it) pretty well, but I found it troubling that I went to different sects with questions and almost none of them knew what I was talking ab out, let alone had answers.

    I was 12. These were adults who were authorities. I wasn’t going into this to try and stump them, either. I had been brainwashed by family and was trying to reaffirm what I was told must be true because reasons. But even so, as intellectual meetings go, this should have been like an egg hitting a freight train. Over and over.

    The best answers I got, interestingly enough, were from a couple of Rabbis. Not only were they better versed on the OT (expected), but at least one of them (I can’t remember which discussions I had with which Rabbi) knew the NT better (possibly necessary in ‘Murrica).

  6. God says

    I called too, AXP episode 405. Russell and Don were talking about The Matrix. I offered to give Russell his hair back if he repented, but no dice. There’s a clip, the title is “A surprise caller… It’s God on The Atheist Experience.”

  7. HappyPerson says

    very interesting call with Barbara with perhaps some missed opportunities.

    a) Seth made the great point that there may be an alternative explanation to Barbara’s drowning story (e.g. the ghost of a dead relative helping out). this completely flew over her head and it didn’t help that Matt steered the conversation elsewhere to the idea that she lacks sufficient evidence and that it doesn’t make sense that only some people are ‘helped’ by God.
    b) she said that God speaks to her spiritually. no followup question was made, although we’d probably get some vague answer.
    c) matt made a powerful point about how it doesn’t make sense for God to set up Barbara’s scenario to make her do something that doesn’t have a good chance of succeeding. Barbara’s retort was that perhaps she wasn’t meant to convince Matt et al. A lesson on ad hoc explanations should have been made here.

  8. bluestar says

    Matt appeared to be driving the conversation to skepticism. I know he is a fervent skeptic, I have heard him state that many in the atheist community are not skeptical enough. But during the Barbara call and the Muslim call Seth was presenting questions to the callers asking them to demonstrate why their book or interpretation thereof is correct and all the others wrong. Matt cut this line of questioning off at the knees 2x. I would have enjoyed watching Seth’s approach play out. The holy writings are a very strong objection I have and I think it makes for a more interesting discourse trying to find out why someone believes in a particular ancient writing.

  9. t90bb says

    #1 and #8….GAWD

    Curiosity killed the cat so I went back and played your call. What stuns me is that apparently you are proud of the call. You were not insightful or funny. That was the best you could do in a effort to be clever?? Comedy aint your forte. You sounded pitiful. Life must be pretty empty. Littering the blog to say…”look how stupid I am” is rather pathetic. Next time you call prepare something that is actually funny you dunce!

  10. Anders says

    My standard for “prophecies” are the ones in the Aeneid. These were written with actual knowledge of what happened, so they are what we would expect from a prescient being. Not only are they more accurate than the ones in the Bible (they actually name characters and places), they are also better written. How is it that people like Virgil and Shakespear can write better than the Creator of the Universe?

  11. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ HappyPerson #9 – Yes, I think there was also a missed opportunity in not asking Barbara about what she “knows” about the Bible. When I was in high school, I was in a Bible study group which was basically “go find some stuff in the Bible, which is a giant book full of vague passages and metaphor and poetry and all kinds of stuff, and find some way to make it relevant to your life, and then report back to us what you came up with and we will all marvel at it.” So you could go find some random vague verse or story and say that you read it and felt the Holy Spirit helping you interpret it and you found some profound lesson about life, like that God will always rescue you if you rely on Him in times of difficulty. Then everyone would nod their heads in agreement and laud your careful and diligent study. We would repeat this week after week and then be so proud of where our “walk” was taking us and how much we were learning. From the way Barbara was talking, I would bet that this is kind of “knowledge” her youth leader was applauding her for.

  12. HappyPerson says

    @Wiggle Puppy #12
    Sounds similar to the ‘forer effect’ that convinces many people to think that astrology works where people fill in details about their own life to fit a vague astrological descripton ‘tailored’ to fit them. scary how already believing in something can distort our perception and interpretation of the world.

  13. gattomonstrosis says

    Denying science when not outright misusing or misrepresenting it is not being science minded, sure it’s what being an apologist is all about but that has never had anything to do with any science other than the Jennifer Aniston shampoo commercial kind where you use impressive sounding words to bilk people too intimidated to pick up a dictionary.

  14. uglygeek11 says

    Congrats for 1000 shows!
    About the last caller, I totally agree with the hosts that it is better to convince believers that they have no reasons to believe, even because of all the harm religion does.
    As an atheist I would like to ask a somewhat related question though: do you think that it is moral to have children, to create new lives? I am not sure… With a religious mindset of course yes, the more the merrier, right? But with an atheistic mindset?
    After all life – for everybody – contains more pain than pleasures. Even the few who may have a particularly nice life end up suffering a lot in the final years. For a lot of people life is a sequence of tragedies interspersed with senseless boredom. If this life is all what there is, is it not immoral to have children and cause them so much pain? Let’s be clear, I am in no way promoting suicide, which causes even more pain to even more people. It is the creation of new life that is questionable to me, in fact I will never have children if I can avoid them.
    What do you think?

  15. tommyr says

    FYI, Earth’s magnetic field has flipped its polarity many times over the millennia. It causes us no real problems at all. Perhaps some of these religious folks would like to do a little “googling” every now and then for some real facts. Or is that asking too much?

  16. StonedRanger says

    I don’t remember anyone telling me that life was going to be a picnic and i surely didn’t tell my kids that. I am sorry for you if your life contains more pain than it does pleasures, but that isn’t the case for everyone. And the suffering a lot in the final years, again, not true for most people I’ve known in my short 63 years. Do bad things happen to people? Sure they do. But not to the point where you seem to be at. And if youre bored, that’s on you, get off your ass and do something. Everyone has the choice to make to have kids or not, and i wouldn’t choose to judge anyone for their choices on that matter. But unless you live in a war zone or some place of overbearing poverty, i just don’t see your point of view on this. Ive been hearing this whole the world is a horrible place to bring children since the 60’s and just about every one of the people I know who had this mind set as young adults are now grandparents. In fact my sister in law is childless by choice. But not because the world is a ‘horrible’ place to raise children. And how this should relate to not believing in any gods is beyond me. If people don’t have children then we humans as a species will go away. I don’t think that’s going to happen just yet, even though it seems that all through history that wiping out the human species seems to have been a goal for some.

  17. Monocle Smile says

    I’m with StonedRanger on this. I can’t fathom how you’ve gotten into that headspace. I don’t agree at all that life for everyone contains more pain than pleasures. This sounds more like a “you” problem.

  18. uglygeek11 says

    I am a little surprised by your answer. I have never said that *I* had a particularly unhappy life, actually I consider myself relatively lucky. I have a good job, My close relatives are still alive (besides one who died many years ago), I am in very good health, a very good job, I travelled a lot… It is true that I happened to spend three months in a hospital a few years ago, taking care of a person I love who had a serious health problem, now solved, and that experience (seeing several people die) may have made my view of things more sour.
    But mine was more an existential, philosophical question. It seems to me that even in “good lives” there is much more pain than pleasure. Parents who lose young children, people who suffer for years through ferocious illnesses, people who see their loved one in pain and with no hope to recover… Plus lives suddenly distraught by an accident or a sudden illness. Plus *if we are lucky* the final years, sometimes quite a number of years where our body disintegrates and we are plagued y any kind of illness
    And this is all the unavoidable pain, then there are the pains we could avoid but that cause countless people starving to death or living in utter misery.
    But it’s really an existential condition, just think of the lives of wild animals, living as if they were in constant fear for their lives.
    So is it really true that creating new lives is a moral act? Is it an egoistic action maybe? And is our judgement in this matter clouded by some sort of “existential bias” that brings us to continue life in our descendents?

  19. paxoll says


    It seems to me that even in “good lives” there is much more pain than pleasure.

    were true than there would be much more suicide in the world. Did you suffer greatly when someone who was suffering died? While many people who suffer greatly do not want to die because it will cause others to be sad, most know that no one wants to see someone else suffering and having their suffering end is good for everyone. But that is a specific and rare case, if the overwhelming choice of those who are alive is to stay alive, than using it as a reason to not bring them into existence is an irrational conclusion for antinatalism. To hold the idea that every day living is unnecessary suffering, I don’t see how you could not view suicide as the rational choice (it also prevents you from having children). Now, antinatalism so you won’t have feelings of responsibility for whatever suffering that person experiences, is a reasonable conclusion, in so much as you can rationalize blaming parents for anything. But we know feelings aren’t necessarily rational so not having children for your own selfish well being is a perfectly reasonable position to have, and that belief in responsibility makes it a moral decision for you. I would have to have a strong fore-knowledge of my offspring necessarily having an unbearable existence for me to consider it immoral. But feel free to look up antinatalism on youtube, plenty of folks out there will happily confirm your feelings.

  20. says

    I was very impressed with Barbara in conversation with Matt and Seth. Let me say right off, I have no reason to support her in that I myself am a skeptic and agnostic and have left my own faith behind years ago. I listen to this show every week and am used to the hosts demolishing the poor theistic souls who are foolish enough to proclaim their poorly thought-through suppositions buzzing around in their heads.

    But Barbara was different. Here was this 14 year-old unpretentious girl who was running circles around her to grown up manly opponents who have practiced rhetorical skill unlike few others. They desperately threw at her one unrelated clique after the other, all their atheistic tricks which they gathered over the years, usually successfully. One after the other, her weird answers threw them off track. After each desperate question, I waited expectantly, wondering what unabashed answer she would come up with this time. She didn’t disappoint, she reminded me of young Jesus in temple leaving the scribes shaking their heads with astonishment.

    Matt and Seth, I was really disappointed with your defensiveness, of letting this girl beat you at your own game. So rarely do you ever get a theist guest who is so interesting. Instead of so heartlessly trying to put her down, you should have praised her for the remarkable person that she was. You might well have despised everything she believed, but if there has to be Christians in this world, let’s hope there might be more like her. Her “testimony” was so genuine and without guile, it is the kind that a weary world is waiting to hear, facts and evidence be damned.

  21. John Chilton says

    Absolutely amazing Episode – sooooo happy (yes I know it is not spelt this this … but it should be!) to have watched this. However …

    1. Seth – I really like Seth (as much as you can ever tell without actually meeting someone), but I get the feeling he is trying to work out just what is going on with the callers – boy, some of them are just stupid, and wonderfully, his face shows it all.
    2. Barbara – really! Do we have such stupid people – who really think that they have been ‘touched’ by god because they have had a lucky escape. I am so happy that she did not die, but she needs to wake up and stop believing the crap she talks about – or was it a crank call??
    3. Seth’s (back to Seth) questions were more invasive of the callers ‘mo’ than Matts – this is I think, because Matt knows from experience, that the line of reasoning goes no where. What does this tell me – Seth needs to do more of these shows!!!

  22. John Chilton says

    Sally – this seemed more of an advert – or am I being awful?? I did not believe this – someone who is an atheist and is skeptical but believes in their ‘ability’ to link to the things she is talking about is silly.
    She has let go of every other bit of faith … apart from the part that lets her be ‘special’, with an agency that makes her … special.

  23. StonedRanger says

    Uglygeek #18 My apologies if my reply was upsetting. Your post #14 was worded such that it sounded as if you were talking about yourself. But I will still stand by my reply.

  24. Michae says

    Honestly I think that Barbara’s call may be a prank. It was a standard call up until she admitted that her god was crazy, then you could hear her laughing and the rest of what she was saying had an odd vibe to it. If it was genuine then I’d like to point out one other thing. She presented herself to be an expert on the Bible, but when she was confronted about this “women can’t preach” thing she said something about queen Sara, mixing up two stories from the book. So I guess she’s not as much of an expert as she thinks she is. But I’d never would’ve said that she was stupid (unless this was the prank call after all), you could hear that she was at least listening to Matt’s and Seth’s replies unlike so many other callers, you know, thoe ones where the host’s points don’t ever get acknowledged by them and who often have ready scripts and just want to preach.

  25. Michae says

    Sorry about duplicate comment but I wrote the former one after listening to a clip and now I watched the whole episode and have a few more thoughts about the other caller, Nermin. I find that the Muslims have always the biggest difficulty to wrap their head around the fact that someone believes different things than them, being it beliefs other deities or the atheist stance. They always (in my experience) come into the discussion with the weakest, not really well thought out arguments and probably expecting to get this “gotcha” moment. They often have this “I’m offended by your different opinion” attitude and are dumbfounded that you don’t find their weak-ass answers obvious. It just never ceases to amaze me.

  26. uglygeek11 says

    @24 Michae
    You should not be surprised, every religion has always tried to enforce blasphemy laws, but Muslims are the only ones who are still effectively enforcing them in many places (also in part of Europe) in the XXI century.
    There is nothing specially different about Islam in this aspect besides the fact that it’s a very strong religion today while other religions have lost ground. Then it’s not so strange that Muslim struggle accepting the possibility that somebody could have different ideas.

  27. says

    Interesting point, Michae. My view was that this was a rare moment of refreshment from a theist. But I can see now that maybe you are right.

  28. john worden says

    so this is gonna be unrelated to the topic at hand, and I hope that’s ok because I just wanted to say that the Atheist Experience helped me so much in developing my skepticism, and has helped me to start taking an intellectual look at my held beliefs. I’ve been an atheist for a quite a while now, but the way you guys address the questions is so succinct that asking the same question to address my own beliefs helped me to understand the point at which I was using apologetics and circular reasoning to hold on to my beliefs. This was one of the catalysts that showed me that you can’t just blindly accept anything, and that putting faith in things can be very dangerous and stifling if you are unwilling to accept the faults therein of just blindly using faith.

    I sincerely thank all of you for helping me understand myself a bit better when I was in highschool because you absolutely helped me to grow as a reasonable person to not be so staunch in my ways, and it helped me to understand my own faults, including my trouble with being too confident in anything I say even if it may be complete bullshit. I’ve become more open to discussion, and learning and understanding in a way that I just wouldn’t have considered before. Now that I’m 24 and still trying to figure life out like any reasonable adult, I have begun to love debate and conversation geared towards civility and in attempts to gain an understanding of the opposing view point.

  29. oldman says

    What I don’t like hearing is the Abraham and Isaac story. Not only Atheists, but Christians have also misunderstood that story. If you look at the context of Genesis, God didn’t tell Abraham to kill Isaac, God was asking Abraham to trust him. God had already promised Abraham that Isaac would have children. God also kept reminding Abraham of his promise that Issac would have children before the story where God asks Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. First off, why would a God promise Abraham that Isaac would have children and then tell him to kill him? If I were Abraham, I know that I would be asking God why he was asking me to sacrifice my son when he had already promised me that my son would live.

  30. Monocle Smile says

    Yeah, it’s almost like the story is entirely fictitious and the characters are literary tools used to convey a fucked-up message instead of real people. Strange, that.

  31. oldman says

    @ Monocle Smith I think that you don’t understand my point. I believe the Abraham and Isaac story. It is just that people have misunderstood that story for thousands of years. Christians believe in whatever story they have learned in whatever churches they attend. I have not been to church in over 20 years, because religion is stupid. I still read the bible though and have been free from religious bondage, which is awesome. I hope that Christians learn to be free from religious bondage.

  32. Monocle Smile says

    All you’ve done in these threads is demonstrate that you’re a total slave to dogma and willing to believe completely nonsense.
    I’m done engaging.

  33. LGriffith says

    There are two kinds of people:
    1. Those who know because they believe thereby making a connection to reality optional.
    2. Those who believe because they know thereby making a connection to reality mandatory.

    There is so little common ground between them, a meeting of the mind is highly unlikely.

  34. StonedRanger says

    So, is this going to be the new game that the theists are gonna play when they come here oldman? Everyone who reads some part of the bible is doing it wrong except for you, huh? If you believe in the bible then you aren’t free from religion because there are so many religious sects all over the planet that use it as the basis for their religion. How do you know what is in the mind of god? How do you get to decide what god was doing when he told Abraham to kill his son? Sounds like it doesn’t need interpretation to me, but even if we go with your interpretation of Abraham and Isaac it still makes god look like a total dick. He told Abraham to sacrifice his son, and that is fucked up no matter what the final outcome is/was. Then to tell him, just kidding? Douchebag move on gods part. And if you think that is a good thing for some reason, then you are messed up too.

  35. oldman says

    God did not tell Abraham to kill Isaac. You see, this is why I view Christians and Atheists as stupid, they don’t look at the context of the Bible. God already promised Abraham that Isaac would have children. If you don’t believe that, you can look it up in the Bible.

  36. oldman says

    @ Monocle Smile I am not a slave to dogma. Did you not read what I posted? I am no longer part of religion. When I was part of religion, I had the same view as other Christians who attend church and want to be told what to believe from leaders or pastors. I no longer believe the same things as people who go to church.

  37. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @oldman #26:

    God didn’t tell Abraham to kill Isaac, God was asking Abraham to trust him.

    @oldman #31:

    God did not tell Abraham to kill Isaac […] you can look it up in the Bible.

    Genesis 22:2,9-10:

    Then God said, “Take your only and beloved son Isaac and go to the land of Moriah. Offer him there as a burnt sacrifice on one of the mountains I will show you.”
    When they reached the place God told him about, Abraham built an altar, and on it he arranged the wood.
    Then he tied up his son.
    And he laid him on top of the wood on the altar.
    Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to kill his son.

  38. indianajones says

    Actually, scratch that, don’t care.

    But if I am reading you correctly it goes: God tells Abraham that Isaac will have kids. Then tells him to something something, but not kill, Isaac. Abraham gets all worked up and gets within seconds of actually killing Isaac before god jumps out and says ‘No no no! That’s a silly Abraham! That’s a naughty Abraham!’. And therefore silly everyone but you for not getting it. Is that about right?

    Also, a bible believing non christian. That’s gotta be a rare duck indeed…

  39. oldman says

    You can read Genesis chapter 17 verse 19 in which God promises Abraham that Isaac will have children. Unless you have proof other than Genesis chapter 22, that God told Abraham to kill Isaac, then you have no proof, I have just provided you with proof that God did not tell Abraham to kill Isaac. This is what I hate about Atheists and Christians, they cherry pick verses out of a chapter to prove their point without looking at the context of the Bible. If I wanted to cherry pick, I could point out a verse in Genesis chapter 22 which shows that Abraham does not think that he is going to kill Issac. However, I won’t do that, because I prefer to go by the context of what the Bible says.

  40. says

    Oldman, you are blatantly incorrect. Gen 22:2 very clearly has God commanding Abraham to kill Isaac. You can say that there was a hidden meaning behind the command, but the command is there regardless.

  41. indianajones says

    b’sides, you are not answering my question. Do I have the ‘silly everyone but you’ interpretation of your view about right?

  42. oldman says

    As I have said, Atheists and Christians will cherry pick to try to prove their point. God was not asking Abraham to kill Isaac, but to trust in him. It is not my interpretation that God did not tell Abraham to kill Isaac, it is in the Bible. However, Christians and Atheists will point out Genesis chapter 22 to prove their point. Again, you can read Genesis chapter 17 verse 19 in which God promises Abraham that Isaac will have children. Unless you have proof other than Genesis chapter 22, then you have no proof.

  43. oldman says

    Christians and Atheists love to interpret Genesis chapter 22 as God telling Abraham to kill Isaac, they don’t like to look at the context of what the Bible is saying. I think it is sad for both Christians and Atheists to do that.

  44. Theisntist says

    Oldman is saying any Christian who believes God would tell someone to have a son just so that son would die is crazy, and for once I agree!

  45. Michae says

    oldman Repeating your point doesn’t make it stronger. Try to answer some questions that are asked, that may at least further the discussion. As for the verses I must say that “Offer him there as a burnt sacrifice on one of the mountains I will show you.” sounds like an order to kill Isaac. Or do you say that God meant a nice burning, the kind that doesn’t do any harm?

  46. oldman says

    Atheists don’t like to look at the context of what the Bible is saying. Thank you Michae, for proving my point. Atheists love to cherry pick a verse out of the Bible to try to prove their point. If I wanted to, I could cherry pick a verse out of Genesis chapter 22 in which Abraham says that he and Isaac will return after they worship the Lord. However. I don’t cherry pick. I go by the context of what the Bible is saying.

  47. Michae says

    oldman Tell me the context then. When “Go and burn your son.” means “Don’t burn your son.”? Give us a lesson, an extensive answer, instead of saying “I am right and everyone else is wrong”. And tell us also why should we bother with what the Bible says in the first place?

  48. oldman says

    If you look at the context of the Bible, God did not tell Abraham to kill Isaac, he was asking Abraham to trust him. Why would God tell Abraham to kill Isaac when he already promised him that Isaac would have children?

  49. oldman says

    It is sad that Atheists and Christians don’t think for themselves when it comes to the Bible.

  50. Michae says

    Yes, why would he? You could flip it, why would he tell him to kill his son if he promised that he’ll have grandchildren? Bravo, you found the contradiction. So tell me, what was the point of all that then? Why did Abraham try to kill Isaac? Why did God have to make him do this trust sharade? What’s the point of all of that and what lesson do we learn?

  51. oldman says

    It is also sad when we go in circles with people interpreting a verse to prove their point without looking at the context of what the Bible is saying. I guess that Atheists and Christians didn’t read other parts of Genesis.

  52. Michae says

    Actually we do think, that’s why we don’t believe it. 😉 I have no reason to bother with the Bible, as I have no reason to bother with other holy books. You always fail to show what in your eyes sets it apart from other books. I’ve read better.

  53. oldman says

    The lesson that we learn is that Abraham did trust in God. Isaac was not going to be killed.

  54. oldman says

    I think that if people read and understood the context of the Bible and what it is saying, there would be a different view. It is stupid to interpret a verse in the Bible without looking at the context of what the Bible is actually saying.

  55. oldman says

    I do consider myself to be different in that my views of the Bible are different from Christians and Atheists.

  56. oldman says

    It would depend on if you promised your neighbor that his son would have children. If you did not promise your neighbor that his son would have children, then yes, you have told your neighbor to kill his son.

  57. oldman says

    @ Michae The Bible is a history book of things that have already happened that we can learn from.

  58. oldman says

    Well, since Christians and Atheists will not be able to prove that the Bible is right or wrong, we can still learn from the Bible.

  59. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @oldman #56:

    It would depend on if you promised your neighbor that his son would have children.

    Your neighbor, the 90 year old incestuous half-sister wife? The infertile one, who had ‘volunteered’ her slave as a surrogate to get children, then got mad and abusive about it and blamed it all on her husband for impregnating said slave? That neighbor?
    Or her 100 year old rapist husband, who later would bind that son and make the child think he was gonna be stabbed and set on fire?

  60. oldman says

    First off, Sarah did not get abusive and she did not blame Abraham for sleeping with Hagar. I would like to know where you come up with this stuff.

  61. oldman says

    Also, Abraham did not rape Hagar. It is really sad when I see how Atheists view the Bible. Atheists don’t think there are any good stories in the Bible, they only think it is about slavery, murder and rape.

  62. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @oldman #62,63:

    Sarah did not get abusive and she did not blame Abraham

    Genesis 16:2-6

    And Sarai said to Abram, “Look, Yahweh has prevented me from bearing children, so have sex with my slave-girl. Maybe I can build a family through her.”
    Abram did what Sarai said and had sex with Hagar.
    And Sarai said to Abraham, “This wrong done to me is your fault! I gave you my slave-girl, and now she regards me with contempt. May Yahweh judge between you and me!”
    Abram said to Sarai, “Your slave-girl is under your command. Do with her as you see fit.”
    So Sarai treated her harshly, and Hagar ran away from her.


    Also, Abraham did not rape Hagar


  63. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @oldman #63:

    Atheists don’t think there are any good stories in the Bible, they only think it is about slavery, murder and rape.

    Judges 19 – Gang rape and dismemberment of a concubine

  64. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    @ SkyCaptain – 65
    The story of the Levite and his Concubine always struck me as among the most “What the Fuck!?!” stories in the Bible. It’s a fucking horror show of a story and I couldn’t crack the “lesson” behind it. I think at my last reading I was like “wait, is the moral of the story that God allowed all that horrible shit because he wanted the people to learn that they shoulda come to him first?” But admittedly it’s been a wee while since I’ve read it. I might find a different motivation for it now.

  65. Baby Ben says

    Smoking. Why should she quit smoking? It comforts her and calms her down when she’s stressed out. Not EVERYONE gets cancer from smoking, in fact, that’s a lie told by anti-smokers. Smoking is actually healthy. When I grew up, 4 out of 5 doctors recommended and smoked Marlboro themselves! She doesn’t FORCE her smoking on everyone around her. Second hand smoke isn’t a real thing. She CHOOSES to smoke. She can quit when she wants to. She ENJOYS smoking. If you took her cigarettes away, she would suffer immensely. She would be miserable. Without the nicotine, she’ll become extremely sick, and you Don’t want her to be sick, do you? You don’t KNOW that she’ll be healthier if she quit smoking. Can you really PROVE all those people wouldn’t have gotten cancer if they didn’t smoke? If smokers have been everywhere for so long, and second and third hand smoke exists, then how can non-smokers still call themselves non-smokers? Your public smoking laws are oppressing smokers! How DARE you FORCE your views on everyone else? If you can teach that smoking is dangerous in schools, I should be able to teach that smoking is safe and healthy, because we can both present studies supporting our views.

  66. bluestar says

    @Oldman #41

    I robbed a bank. I got arrested and went to court. I plead not guilty. The Prosecutor showed the jury the video tape with my face, my body, holding a gun in my hand and taking the money the teller put on the counter. My defense was “other than that video, what proof do you have that I did it?” I’ll see ya when I get out in 7 years.

  67. john worden says

    @oldman #64: First off atheists don’t view only the bad parts, but if you were reading a book that someone based their morals and ideas on and that book condoned rape, murder, slavery, and not even for morally reprehensible things, then why should they be taken seriously? Why should the book be taken as any kind of moral authority? If hitler wrote a book about moral principles and said people should follow it and told people to read it because there are some good parts do you think it would be morally right to, or logical to follow such a person? Also, who are you to be an absolute authority on this? how can you understand it better, what makes you more qualified than others to speak as an expert on the topic? Is it because you’ve read it once or twice? because most of us have as well.

  68. StonedRanger says

    Id like to know why oldman thinks the creator of the universe cannot change its mind? Saying you will have children is not saying that he cant change his mind and ask Abraham to kill his son. Knowing he said that the son will have children and then telling the father to kill him to demonstrate trust is still a dick move. Its not like we don’t understand the bible, its pretty clear. But the fact that you think that sort of behavior is okay because god did it is just wrong. You keep repeating what you say but you wont engage anyone. This is getting to be like listening to sye ten bruggencate ask ‘how do you know?’ over and over and over. It doesn’t get anyone anywhere.

  69. Theisntist says

    The Bible is like a screeplay written by countless writers who haven’t cross checked each other’s work, leading to numerous plot holes and contradictions – and each of those contradictions leads to countless interpretations as people find imaginative ways to reconcile those contradictions. Each of those interpretations essentially becomes another offshoot of Christianity. Right now Oldmanism only has one follower, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a religion. It’s no less logical than the other ones, but no more so either.

  70. Ada Wong says

    Im Barbara. And my call wasnt a prank nor am i stupid for believing in God. But thats your thoughts.. But only mine matter about myself.

  71. III says

    @oldman, you really need to pay attention.

    NEVER accuse CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain of pulling something out of his ass. He will read your Bible right back to you and it won’t be in Billy Dee Williams’ voice.

  72. oldman says

    I would like to clear something up. There is no evidence that Abraham raped Hagar as someone has said. Another thing, since Sarah did give Hagar to Abraham as a wife, she was not really blaming him when Hagar was pregnant, she was telling Abraham that he was responsible because of the way Hagar was treating Sarah.

  73. StonedRanger says

    Oldman, i guess it needs spelling out for you because your bible has you so blind. When you have sex with a slave, its rape. Because the slave is powerless to refuse. Now, that wasn’t so hard to figure out, was it? Okay, you got me. If its in the bible, it must be okay. See, that’s the problem here. You are so blinded by your dogmatic belief in the truth of the bible that you cant see the morally repugnant acts of your god because you have given it carte blanche in your head that whatever it says or does must be good. Same goes for the people in the bible. I feel very sorry for you that you cant see the forest for the trees.

  74. oldman says

    How do you know that Hagar did not want to be married to Abraham? there is no proof that she did or did not, so you don’t need to say that she was raped.

  75. paxoll says

    1) she was a slave, not an indentured servant, not a charity, A SLAVE. A morally reprehensible act that has NO excuse what so ever especially if there is an all knowing, all powerful moral entity communicating with you
    2) As property, whether a slave or a wife since they both had no power, he could have sex with her any time he wanted. Being a wife changed nothing except giving her male offspring legal inheritance. As noted above, in an environment where a woman had NO power, all sex is rape. Which is the same reasoning behind statutory rape. Do you want to argue that sex with children is ok if they want to have sex?
    3) you cannot say because of scripture x, scripture y does not mean what it says. You say god didn’t tell abraham to murder issac because he said issac would have many children….the exact same reasoning says god didn’t tell abraham that issac would have many children because he said to murder him. You don’t get to pick and choose what scripture is true or means something other then what it says. Jesus said “For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” This is a very clear call for to keep the laws, yet christians take it out of “context” as you say, and pretend that Jesus’s death and ressurection is what needed to be “accomplished” nullifying everything else he said. The ridiculousness of the Bible is apparent to anyone with a brain and not bias.

  76. oldman says

    I think it is sad that Atheists think that servants mean the same thing as a slave. There is no difference between a servant and a slave, they both mean the same thing.

  77. indianajones says

    Also, citing proof from a fictional story of that same fictional story using interpretation not backed up by anything in that fictional story as real and credible historical evidence for the same story being a thing that happened in real life. I mean, are you for fucken realsies?

  78. oldman says

    Since servant and slave mean the same thing, I guess that means that Abraham forced all of his slaves to be circumcised, is this correct?

  79. indianajones says

    Well oldman, to answer that last of yours, its all about where Sky Captain quoted ‘have sex with my slave girl’. Now, having cleared that up, are you fer ferkin realsies or what?

  80. oldman says

    I assume that Atheists also think that those who sold themselves into slavery as well as those who sold their children into slavery were just as bad as those who owned slaves, is this correct?

  81. StonedRanger says

    Stop assuming oldman. Youre just showing yourself for the asshole you are every time you say that. If you want to sell yourself into indentured servitude (which is not the same as slavery AT ALL. AT ALL.) that’s up to you. If you sell your children in to slavery or indentured servitude, then yes, that makes you just as bad as those who own slaves. Why is this so hard to figure out? And stop putting words into the mouths of atheists. If you want to know something about us, fucking ask and stop with the passive/aggressive bullshit ‘I assume”.

  82. III says

    Seeing coercion/lack of consent can be a stumbling block for people who grew up theist (see this whole thread as proof) as God has a pretty big stick (Hell) that he insists is really the Miracle of His Love. And not understanding consent/coercion comes in many forms. If you did not grow up reading the Bible and if you haven’t had it hammered into you that it is a pure and holy miracle to inform a frightened tween that God WILL be impregnating her… it… doesn’t read that way. (side note: It also seems a little gratuitous. God does not need to impregnate anyone to make a human. He can poof them out of a handful of dust.) But in any case, if this is your context, then it makes perfect sense to assume that a slave girl would welcome being passed along to endure the sexual attentions of an octogenarian.

  83. Itsmerrydeath says

    Hi! Sorry to revert to a previous topic, but I just had a comment about the Abraham/Isaac story.

    A few months go, I asked my extremely Roman Catholic mom if she would kill me if God told her to. I think I was looking for “signs of life” and maybe a reason to finally cut the cord. I don’t know. The convo went something like:
    Mom: “God wouldn’t ask me to do that”
    Me: “It’s in the bible, the Abraham-Isaac story”
    Mom: “Well, how could I know if it was really God, it could be the devil?”
    Me: “Let’s say you knew it was God”
    Mom: “A lot of times people hear things that aren’t there, I would have to talk to my priest”
    Me: “Okay, so you go to your priest, he says, yup it’s God”
    Mom: “Well, then…. yes I would.”

    Two weeks later, I get an email from her. It says that she has changed her mind and her answer is that she wouldn’t kill me, because “you shouldn’t respond to a right with a wrong”.

    For me, the answer was clear the minute she took longer than a second to answer the original question.

    Just curious if anyone else with really religious parents have asked them what they would do if God commanded them to kill their child? What did they say?

  84. LGriffith says

    Arguing for the existence of god using the odd or even number of blades of grass argument as part of the “proof” of the existence of god is a categorical error of logic. For the blades of grass in a yard to be odd or even, there first must be blades of grass in that yard. Similarly for there to be an odd or even number of gods, the gods must first exist. However, the argument is stated that either god exists or he does not. Odd or even is not a consideration. It is the state of existence that is the point of the assertion. The argument of odd or even makes no contribution to the argument except changing the subject in order to avoid having to offer a genuine proof.

    Now, I have had yards without grass and with grass. It was the same plot of ground in the desert. Don’t water it and there is no grass. Seed it, water it, and there will be grass. If there is no grass, the answer is neither. If there is grass, the answer is one or the other. All one need to do is count the number of blades of grass and you will be able to answer the question without ambiguity. This is a clear and quite doable experiment that can demonstrate the proposition.

    Change the word “grass” to “god”, you have a serious series of problem. Especially since the proposed god is said to be the creator of all things. No god seed, no god dirt, no god water. Hence no god will grow. We are left with: *I believe*! Poof – god exists. Well…not quite. This is largely because he is said already to exist. The problem presented to the believer is that the attempt to consider ANY matter concerning a god or gods without proof of existence would be to commit the logical error of assuming what you are trying to prove (aka circular reasoning or begging the question). Which if not addressed leaves only *I believe*!

    Good for you. You *believe* in god. What does that have to do with proving that god exists? Exactly nothing. It is not only not a good reason, it falls far short of being a bad reason. It has such little connection to what is, it is truly not even false.

  85. Hypatia Atheiria says

    re – ‘the book of Revelation makes no sense’
    actually it does – once you realise that the text is describing the rising and setting of the constellations of the zodiac/night sky over the course of the night.
    [I devote a whole chapter to this in ‘Musician of the heliopause’]

  86. ecostarr says

    Just because two people have the same understanding of a book doesn’t prove that the contents of that book are objective facts. For instance, two people agreeing on the origins of the Green Lantern or Galactus doesn’t mean either actually exist.

  87. efersept says

    I agree 100% with Matt that, in an effort to assuage the natural fear or uncertainty surrounding our imminent deaths, religion has only unnecessarily added to those fears and uncertainties.
    I grew up in a deeply religious, christian family that was very involved in the church and the ministry. From the moment I can remember the whole Christian narrative was presented as assumed fact. When I was young i did not think much about it but as I got closer to my teenage years i began to ask questions like “how can i know if i will go to heaven?” or , more importantly, “how can I be sure I won’t go to hell?”. My parents and other religious leaders would always reference some variation of some nebulous feeling or knowing that a “real” christian has. I, of course, never had a feeling or knowledge of this and was terrified that I wasn’t doing something right.
    This was all coming to a climax around the time that I went with the youth group and many of the church leaders on a trip that, among other things, included playing in a river. Now I was not a strong swimmer and stuck to an area that was mostly current free but some how I was caught in a strong enough current that I was not able to overcome and almost drowned. I remember being terrified that I was about to go to hell because I wasn’t, apparently, a good enough christian to have the right “feeling”. Fortunately my dad was able to reach me in time and pull me.
    Later that day the youth pastor pulls me aside and tells me that he didn’t think I was a real Christian because I “looked scared” when I was drowning and a real Christian would have known they were going to be in the presence of jesus and felt peace or at the very least trusted jesus to save them. My response to this was that jesus didnt save me, my dad did. He then proceeded to try and coerce me into praying the sinners prayer again like it maybe didn’t take the first time or something.
    This was not the beginning of the end of my relationship with christianity (that has only just started in my late 30s) but I remember the whole experience being unnecessarily cruel, painful, and potentially traumatizing.

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