'When the facts change I change my mind' and so should you.

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Posts tagged with Bible

What would you do as a judge in a court trial in which you have conflicting testimony from eye witnesses? One thing you certainly would not do is assume that each witness is 100 percent correct. Someone—or everyone—is getting some information wrong. The trick would be to figure out who is wrong and who is right—if anyone is right.

Bart D. Ehrman - on Christians who begun with the assumption that all discrepancies in the Bible can be reconciled from his book Jesus, Interrupted

reblogged from showntheway

askepticsjourneythroughthebible:

“[T]he believer in the inspiration of the Bible is compelled to declare that there was a time when slavery was right—when men could buy, and women could sell, their babes. He is compelled to insist that there was a time when polygamy was the highest form of virtue; when wars of extermination were waged with the sword of mercy; when religious toleration was a crime, and when death was the just penalty for having expressed an honest thought. He must maintain that Jehovah is just as bad now as he was four thousand years ago, or that he was just as good then as he is now, but that human conditions have so changed that slavery, polygamy, religious persecutions, and wars of conquest are now perfectly devilish. Once they were right—once they were commanded by God himself; now, they are prohibited. There has been such a change in the conditions of man that, at the present time, the devil is in favor of slavery, polygamy, religious persecution, and wars of conquest. That is to say, the devil entertains the same opinion to-day that Jehovah held four thousand years ago, but in the meantime Jehovah has remained exactly the same—changeless and incapable of change.”

— Robert G. Ingersoll - from The Christian Religion

So, I am asking as a Christian, where in the Bible does it talk about women selling there babies, and polygamy and all these evil acts were condoned? (and not taken poorly out of context?)  If you’re going to make a statement about God, it would be helpful for you to show everyone where your information comes from, as appose to using a mans quote as Truth. 

I would also like to say though, that I do appreciate you and the other Atheists who reblogged this post.  and by that I mean, that you give yourself and name and an identity when you post your doubts about God, not just anonymously message someone regarding them.  Thank for seeking Truth, and I pray you find it the ONLY person who claimed to be Truth; Jesus Christ.

God Bless!

I’m sorry if I’m the first person to break it to you but unless you have never read much of the Hebrew Bible you call the Old Testament these actions should not come as a surprise to you. Exodus 21:1-11 gives explicit instructions for keeping Jewish slaves who are normally only to be kept for six years but the passage gives more than a hint of how to trick them into becoming permanent slaves and a few verse later there are rules given on how severely such a slave could be beaten. Leviticus 25:44-46 makes it very clear that you can have non-Jewish slaves which remain slaves permanently and whom you can pass down to your children as property. Exodus 22:20 explicitly says those who sacrifice to other gods shall be “utterly destroyed,” Numbers 25:1-9 shows an example of this and Deuteronomy 13:6-10 tells you to stone your own family to death if they try to convert you to a different religion other than Judaism. As for killing people for thought crime well you can see the above mention of having a different religion or you can take Exodus 21:17 or Leviticus 24:16 which are for cursing one’s parents and for blasphemy respectively. This is all part of the law from which the ten commandments arose and I am certain none of it is out of context because I’ve read it all myself multiple times and heard many explanations for why it’s there. As with all of the actions above genocide is constant in the OT but during the conquest of Canaan under Joshua alone dozens towns and cities are named as being completely destroyed including killing ever single man, woman and child, taking their cattle and gold and often then burning the town to ashes. Here are two examples:

They utterly destroyed everything in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword. - Joshua 6:21

Thus Joshua struck all the land, the hill country and the Negev and the lowland and the slopes and all their kings. He left no survivor, but he utterly destroyed all who breathed, just as the LORD, the God of Israel, had commanded.- Joshua 10:40

This is to say nothing of the deaths attributed to Moses, Samuel or any of the other leaders of the Israelites who frequently did the same in the OT. With regard to polygamy Jacob, Solomon, Gideon and many more I could list all had multiple wives and often times also had female sex slaves. There are many reasons I didn’t list all but the fact that these behaviors were endorsed by Yahweh in the OT is widely known, including by Christians (that’s why Ingersoll made the statement) is of most importance. I’m also not in the business of listing sources for every single word of every quote I post both because that’s inefficient and I am careful in what I post so that I know the words are a misrepresentation of what a religious group believes.

This is also not “a statement about god,” it’s a statement about the Bible and Christians, neither entity is considered god by Christianity at large (unless of course in your belief system one or both are). Moreover I know you likely mean well but it is very condescending to claim atheists need your god to define ourselves. Despite what your experience seeing anonymous messages from atheists on Tumblr may lead you to believe I assure you we don’t. And I accept your compliment for seeking the truth, I honestly try, but if you care about seeking the truth I will at least tell you Jesus is hardly the only person to claim to be the truth as there are dozens of documented people just from that area and time period like Appolloinus of Tyana. Lastly I’ll say if you’ve never honestly considered if you are wrong and studied the positions of those who don’t agree with you in their own words then only think you are seeking the truth.

(Source: archive.org)

"The Inerrant Word of God"

It’s often stated by Evangelical Christians that the Bible is the inerrant word of God,” that the words of the book were inspired by god and that it contains no mistakes. Ignoring for a moment that there’s no evidence for this god, that we know of many factual errors and contradictions in the Bible, there’s still a huge problem: We don’t have any original copies of the bible for any books. We don’t even have copies of the originals or copies or copies of the originals.

In fact the texts we do possess are made much later, several decades or centuries after the original texts were composed, and every copy we have contains copying mistakes some of which were inadvertent and others intentional. Every version of the Bible in circulation is based on these error-filled texts and the older versions like the King James Version were based on merely a handful of particularly bad texts. In other words even if the Bible was literally inspired by god we don’t have those words. Moreover unless you speak Hebrew, Greek  and Latin you don’t even have those significantly altered versions but rather committee rendered translation of these texts. Simply put if you don’t have the original text you don’t have those words which were said to be inspired and hence it’s pointless to claim that the originals were inspired.

Besides this obvious problem with not having the original text the only reason that it would make sense for a god to inspire the words of the Bible was if that god intended on people having those actual words, which we do not, and as Bart Ehrman says of God in his popular book on textual criticism of the New Testament Misquoting Jesus:

[I]f he really wanted people to have his actual words, surely he would have miraculously preserved those words, just as he had miraculously inspired them in the first place. Given the circumstance that he didn’t preserve the words, the conclusion seemed inescapable to me that he hadn’t gone to the trouble of inspiring them.

So let’s now reexamine the claim that the Bible is the inerrant word of God: It is a bald assertion about a collection of texts we no longer possess in their original form and this assertion doesn’t even make sense in light of the very fact we no longer have the original texts.

Seems legit.

CSI: Old Testament

43Alley explains the proper way to investigate a mysterious murder according to Deuteronomy.

"Matthew 27:52… and nowhere else"

and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.

Credit goes to AronRa for the idea as this joke was featured in his 3rd Foundational Falsehood of Creationism video. I recently watched that video and I just couldn’t stop laughing so I stopped the video and made this.
Happy Blasphemy Day

"Matthew 27:52… and nowhere else"

and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.

Credit goes to AronRa for the idea as this joke was featured in his 3rd Foundational Falsehood of Creationism video. I recently watched that video and I just couldn’t stop laughing so I stopped the video and made this.

Happy Blasphemy Day

What is God?

For there to be meaningful discussion about the existence of god there must a clear ontology for this proposed being. Nevertheless when it comes this question most people, self-described theists and atheists alike, almost always overlook this issue. There are many different gods in which people profess belief and many different descriptions supplied which allegedly define god but these are illusory. Some define gods in terms of particular attributes: Omnipotence, omniscience, omnibenvolence, etc, but such a list of attributes merely defines what god can do not what god is and reveals nothing about the “it” these traits are supposed to be assigned to.

Others define god with secondary relational qualities: Creator, loving, father, first cause, etc, but these too give no hint at what exactly these qualities are supposed to be assigned to. This becomes apparent if you attempted to define a person by solely listing such features: Mother, sister, boss. A person is not these relational qualities but rather a certain pattern of matter (if you must be specific a temporally continuous specific pattern of matter which is distinct from the outside world and so on…) to which those secondary characteristics are applied to.

Still others define gods in terms of what god is not: god is non-physical, atemporal, ineffable, supernatural. Saying what something isn’t is not a coherent description just as saying a person is non-conceptual does not tell you what a person is. Moreover merely describing something in undefined terms or as the “unknowable” itself adds nothing to the coherent description of this entity. Additionally if god is defined as ineffable then what are we talking about? How can believers say nonbelievers fail to believe in “the indefinable?”

Lastly there are those who describe god as love, energy, the universe, etc. but these are mere equivocations. We already have words for these terms and unless something additional is implied it is nonsensical and redundant to just call that entity god. If some additional trait or quality is implied then not only is god not love, energy, etc, but those traits need to be clearly stated and defined, a task yet to be accomplished.

In no other area of discourse is it acceptable to present arguments for an entity before it is even defined with a comprehensible positive ontology yet theists have for millennia been presenting arguments for this yet unspecified entity and skeptics, myself included, have been refuting these arguments. These discussions are about god, but what is god? Apparently no one knows but if the subject at hand can’t be defined there is nothing to debate and hence the discussion is over before it can even begin. If anyone, no matter your religious views, has an explanation for why this isn’t the case and can show me what, if anything, I am missing I’d like to hear it.

_____________________

Last Edited 5/9/12

All that is necessary, as it seems to me, to convince any reasonable person that the bible is simply and purely of human invention—of barbarian invention—is to read it. Read it as you would any other book; think of it as you would any other; get the bandage of reverence from your eyes; drive from your heart the phantom of fear; push from the throne of you brain the cowled form of superstition—then read the holy bible, and you will be amazed that you ever, for one moment, supposed a being of infinite wisdom, goodness and purity, to be the author of such ignorance and such atrocity.

Robert Ingersoll - from his lecture The Bible

(Source: manybooks.net)

God Mockers Are Double-Damned

Every time you godless atheists mock our loving creator, you’re digging a deeper hole for yourself. So stop mocking God now. Or else.

Edward Current

*Context
I’ve read these passages in context several times and I’m well aware that he was speaking to Greeks in Acts 17 but more broadly in Romans 1 but that in no way changes the problem. In Romans Paul says everyone knew and as a result would be accountable, in Acts Paul says some are ignorant and that this ignorance has been overlooked. This has nothing to do with the punishment once you are aware of Christianity but rather or not everyone was always innately aware of the truth of Christianity.
Moreover I agree with waskommenmag who replied:
Since Barth’s Romerbrief, very few Protestant theologians actually agree  with Paul’s words in Rom. 1. Unfortunately, very few Protestants read  Protestant theologians. They instead like to argue on the internet.
One reason to disregard Paul in Romans is to say otherwise is to postulate that everyone is who isn’t Christian is essentially insane. If you really think, as you’ve said, that I secretly know that Christianity is true, and that I’ll be punished (presumably) eternally for not following it, but that I deny it for any reason you have assumed that I am literally insane. As The Rationalizer once put it:

I’m sorry, but anyone who thinks I know there is a man with a gun to my head but I deny it so that I can go down the pub and have a bacon sandwich is being very silly!

Lastly, I didn’t feel as though I was being overly dismissive but just because we are entitled to our opinions does not make them all equal. Respect is for people not opinions as it is obvious that some opinions are closer to the truth and supported by more evidence than others. I still await this evidence you say think I’m denying that demonstrates Christianity is true. If you have this evidence I’d honestly love to see it.

*Context

I’ve read these passages in context several times and I’m well aware that he was speaking to Greeks in Acts 17 but more broadly in Romans 1 but that in no way changes the problem. In Romans Paul says everyone knew and as a result would be accountable, in Acts Paul says some are ignorant and that this ignorance has been overlooked. This has nothing to do with the punishment once you are aware of Christianity but rather or not everyone was always innately aware of the truth of Christianity.

Moreover I agree with waskommenmag who replied:

Since Barth’s Romerbrief, very few Protestant theologians actually agree with Paul’s words in Rom. 1. Unfortunately, very few Protestants read Protestant theologians. They instead like to argue on the internet.

One reason to disregard Paul in Romans is to say otherwise is to postulate that everyone is who isn’t Christian is essentially insane. If you really think, as you’ve said, that I secretly know that Christianity is true, and that I’ll be punished (presumably) eternally for not following it, but that I deny it for any reason you have assumed that I am literally insane. As The Rationalizer once put it:

I’m sorry, but anyone who thinks I know there is a man with a gun to my head but I deny it so that I can go down the pub and have a bacon sandwich is being very silly!

Lastly, I didn’t feel as though I was being overly dismissive but just because we are entitled to our opinions does not make them all equal. Respect is for people not opinions as it is obvious that some opinions are closer to the truth and supported by more evidence than others. I still await this evidence you say think I’m denying that demonstrates Christianity is true. If you have this evidence I’d honestly love to see it.