Episode 101: Is God a Liar?

Numerous passages in both the Old and New Testaments depict God as a being who actively engages in deception but apologist Joel Furches claims that these passages, seen in their proper context, reveal a God that never deceives–He simply allows sinful people to reap the consequences of their own lack of faith. A careful examination of the Bible, however, shows a God that is willing to use deception as an instrument for advancing his plan on earth. For this episode’s installment of God Thinks Like You we examine more evidence that links religious faith to an intuitive style of thinking while skepticism correlates with an analytic style of thought. We also take a look at politics in Egypt in the wake of the Arab spring and find that, while the overall picture looks grim, there may still be reason for hope. Remembering that women have the most to lose from an Islamic theocracy in Egypt, we close the episode by recounting the mythology of Egypt’s powerful goddess Isis–the subject of this weeks Polyatheism.

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Episode 101 Links:

Islamists rise to power in Egypt is scaring other Egyptians
Muslim comedian charged with insulting Islam
National Geographic article on Egypt
Foreign Policy editorial on “War on Women in Middle East”
Joel Furches‘ article “Is God a Liar”



  1. slc1 says

    Well, Einstein is quoted as saying, “Subtle is the Lord, but malicious He is not.”

  2. Woodbine says

    Link given is for the Live episode.

    Serves you right for calling God a liar!

  3. Caffiene says

    I think there was a problem with the “Jake” question in the analytical vs intuitive section. Something seems screwy there…

    The question was phrased such that it was asking “What is the probability of Jake being a doctor given that Jake has been randomly selected?”

    In this case, the chances of Jake being randomly selected are independent of the chances of him being a doctor. They have nothing to do with each other. Where two events are independent P(A|B) = P(A).

    So the probability of Jake being a doctor is still equal to the prior probability of him being a doctor, and the whole selection part is just a red herring. The probability of being a doctor can be based only on the background history, not the population demographics… By definition, his chance of being a doctor can only be related to the population demographics if the selection wasnt random.

    It seems like the question got confused between either asking the chances of Jake being randomly selected, or the chances of a random selection being a doctor, or something, but instead ended up asking something different.

  4. says

    I couldn’t find a specific reference to what you said about the Salafi party, but “Islamic Golden Age” caught my ear. I believe disentangling that history is an important step toward understanding fundamentalism today. It sounds like the Salafi are abusing history, similar to David Barton’s work in the US. In that golden age (750-1258), the collection of knowledge was encouraged regardless of the culture or religion it came from. Granted, the motivation was that they believed they would take over the world, but the promotion of research, including government funding and the creation of cross-cultural centers for learning, led to the Book of Optics by Ibn al-Haytham, considered the first modern scientific work.

    Using the principle that ideas stand on their own, we can learn from the good ideas from this time and acknowledge their positive results.

  5. CompulsoryAccount7746 says

    Since you referenced having covered Ra earlier, I compiled an index.
    PolyAtheism Segments
    101: Isis
    100: Oya / Trickster Top 10
    097: Lugh
    095: Huitzilopochtli
    092: Valkyries
    090: Ra
    089: Baal (Marduk/Hadad), El
    087: Zeus
    086: Guan Yu
    085: Ixtab
    084: Ragnarok
    083: Tammuz
    081: Prometheus
    080: Aengus
    079: Enki
    077: Atum
    [Segment begins here]
    * I think I got em all. I skipped around near the end of each to check.

  6. bahrfeldt says

    Those who create their gods in their own images, those who make up what their gods say to forward their own agendas, those who select or invent random real or fabricated quotes from real or fabricated sources to forward their own agendas, those who say their gods have chosen, selected or directed them to do what they intended to do anyway, these are the liars. And the flocks get fleeced for the profits.

  7. Steve says

    As I recall, Jesus also failed to return within the lifetime of his followers, as he said he would (Matthew 16:28). If he was part and parcel of an omniscient deity, then he was fibbing. If he wasn’t fibbing… well, you get the idea. To be fair, though, maybe Jesus didn’t lie. It could be Matthew’s author bending the truth. In either case, something funny is going on.

  8. says

    I got hooked on you guys when I was looking to hear some crazy “creationist podcast”. It has really been a not-Godsend to find you guys. I’m enjoying the back episodes quite a bit, but I also wanted to comment on this latest one.
    I am a “fan” of some of the craziest of the crazies on the right-wing fundamentalist Christian side (Southwest Radio Ministries, Brannon Howse, Chris Pinto, Olive Tree Ministries, etc.). I highly recommend them to all three of you, from a “know thy enemy” standpoint. In any case, listening to this episode on the Arab Sprint, you fellows really have some common ground with Howse and Brother Noah Hutchings (of SWRM) in your fear of a fundamentalist Islamic state. The difference of course being is that they are just fine and dandy with the atrocities going on in Uganda. But hey, perhaps the Muslim Brotherhood can be the The Judean People’s Front common ground for all parties. Keep up the enlightened, and enlightening, work.

  9. YouGuysRCool says

    @CompulsoryAccount7746: Thank you for doing this!

    I came here to tell the guys that I think a section on youtube of all the PolyAtheism segments would be great.

  10. CompulsoryAccount7746 says

    Or a blue tab at the top, like Pharynula has for About/Dungeon/Mollies.

    Even a text-only [Ep#, Name, Pantheon(s)?, Wikipedia] table would be good.

  11. GPC says

    I’m curious about the analytical versus intuitive thinkers. Plenty of religious people have careers that require them to be analytical thinkers. Are these people analytical about everything but religion? Or are analytical thinkers simply more likely to be atheists but still mainly believers?

  12. says

    I got into that a bit over a Hezekiah Ahaz blog.

    Warning: That guy is really far gone. Just read some of his other posts.

    I heard him on Fundamentally Flawed. He’s just plain nuts. Not to mention that he suffers from the common apologist disability of being unable to answer straightforward questions.
    Hard as it is to believe, they said he was even crazier in writing.

  13. says

    I’m curious about the analytical versus intuitive thinkers. Plenty of religious people have careers that require them to be analytical thinkers. Are these people analytical about everything but religion?

    I think this may relate to being raised with religion. If religion gets in early, before you learn to think rationally, it just lies there as an unexamined assumption.
    Then, as the guys mentioned, your analytical mind goes to the task of defending the assumption, rather than examining it and you get the spectacular rationalizations that we sometimes hear from believers.

  14. Supertroy says

    Can a brother get a version of the power point presentation + audio from the 12/15/10 RDextra episode Which Jesus? Up on the you tube page?

  15. felixmeister says

    @CompulsoryAccount7746, @YouGuysRCool:

    This youtube channel, it must be animated.

  16. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Supertroy #21:

    Can a brother get a version of […] Which Jesus?

    Video: CFI – Which Jesus

  17. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @stupid handle #24:
    I’m pretty sure Supertroy was requesting a video version that combined them, rather than requesting each part separately.

    presentation + audio […] up on the youtube page

  18. Supertroy says

    Yes, Sky captain is right. Putting up a video of the PPS with the audio track from the show would make a good edition to the YouTube page, IMHO. I’m not sure of the technical aspects here or if it’s even possible, but if it could happen it would make a much better offering on the YouTube page than is currently there.

    Which isn’t to say that the current offerings are lacking, just that this would give the viewer something to look at in addition to listen to.

  19. Supertroy says

    That Vimeo link is exactly what I was thinking about. Thanks for the link, SkyCaptain.

    Guys, you should get permission to put this up on the YouTube page.

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