The Atheist Debater's Page
last update: 9/30/2000
If you are a freethinker, welcome. I hope you can get some valuable information from this page. You are the first major reaon this page exists. From these answers you can gain insights into your own thought processes, find resources, and construct your own arguments.
If you are a religionist, then you are the second major reason this page exists. You have contacted me via email and offered some argument for your theistic beliefs. I have debated over a hundred people who wished to condemn me for my opinions. So constant were these intrusions that I found myself dealing with long letters from theists nearly every day, and in my effort to be thorough, I consistently spent 3-4 hours per day dealing with these letters. I rarely choose to engage in these debates, due to the amount of time it requires. I would rather spend my precious time in more constructive pursuits.
In dealing with theists, I found myself confronted with the same old statements over and over again. I wound up re-using some of my same replies. I decided, in order to save time, to compile the most common questions and statements, and my replies to them. In doing the compiling, I amassed over 200 pages of text. As you can imagine, this page is a work in progress, and will take some time to complete.
I owe much to the works of other great freethinkers for this information. Most notably, the "Great Agnostic", Robert G. Ingersoll. In some places I will quote him. I also made much use out of the material available through Reasonworks.com. I suggest that you explore these other resources.
If you feel that there is a question that I have not included in my list, then feel free to send it to me. But do not expect a personal answer... you may or may not get one.
If your statement or question is regarding evolution, you will find the answer on my evolution website: The Evolution Education Resource Center. I am preparing a page just like this one on the subject of evolution.
Common Statements/Questions, and My Answers
These are actual questions and statements that I have received, and my actual answers to them. In many cases, these are direct quotes from my opponents.
The bible is reliable and perfect. The bible is a revelation. The bible is the inspired word of God. The bible is the perfect source of morality. You can't be moral unless you are a believer. Suffering in this world is the fault of Man. The bloody atrocities in the bible are not the direct action of God. It's like God was saying, "If you walk into a busy street, you will get hit by a car". It's more like a prediction. You have willfully chosen to reject God's gift, and are turning your back on his goodness. Aren't you worried about going to hell? You can't prove that God doesn't exist Why are you leading people away from God? To be an atheist, you have had to search the whole universe to be sure that there is no God, and you couldn't have done that! The complexity of life requires a designer. The human eye could never have gotten here by chance. Don't the fulfilled prophecies in the bible prove it's true? Historians have verified the life of Jesus. Many people, including the Apostles, were willing to die for their belief in Jesus. They would not recant their beliefs. Why would they die for something they did not believe? God often instructed the Israelites to kill the children of their enemies to prevent mass vengeance when they all grew up. We are relieved of the Old Testament laws by the sacrifice of Jesus. We should not condemn the violence of the Old Testament, because that has all been washed away by the Blood of Christ. All the evil in the world is a result of the absence of God's goodness. God did not create evil. It doesn't matter how good you are, you are only saved by accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savior. There is no predestination in Christianity. It doesn't matter if you believe in Christ per se, as long as you are a good and honorable person, you will be saved. God judges you on your choice of freewill, on whether or not you believe. It is by freewill that you are saved or damned. The bible, and the 10 Commandments, are the basis of the U.S. Constitution. This is a Christian Nation, Under God. The presence of Evil does not contradict a good God. There is an absolute moral standard, and it comes from God. If you would only open your heart to Jesus, and you really, sincerely ask Him to reveal himself to you, you will come to know him personally. We know God is here because we can see the effects. We see God in the beauty of Nature. Science can't give you a meaning to life. The bible is in accordance with the facts of science. What would convince you that God is real? How can you believe everything came from nothing? Just say, what if you're right, and I am wrong, nothing happens after death. Now, lets say I am right and you are wrong, you have a one way ticket to Hell, and I go to Heaven. Read the bible yourself, not only will you blessed, if you got saved, but it will also be a REVELATION to you! The Bible says goods works will be evidence of your faith, so they go hand in hand. The Bible says if you believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God and accept his death on the cross as atonement for your sins, you will be saved. If you don't you are bound for Hell. The choice is yours. What an extremely cynical way of looking at things. What's it like looking at life in such a miserable way? What about electricity? You can't see it, but you know it's there. You don't know how a TV works, you have faith that it does. You have faith that the sun will rise tomorrow, don't you? You have faith that your spouse will stay faithful. You have FAITH. God created man and woman as equals. You spent a lifetime trying to debunk the Bible, and in doing so, probably swaying a lot of people. If you chose not to believe, you could have done it quietly. It is rational to believe the Bible. It takes more faith NOT to believe. The children killed in the Old Testament were killed to allow them into heaven. If God were to take them now, they would all be saved, otherwise they would grow up and all be lost. Faith is not unreasonable. I have a reasonable faith that my Dad will help me out if I'm in trouble.. is that unreasonable? Faith is simply believing in something yet to happen. I have faith that I am going to receive my paycheck next month. Clocks, gasoline powered engines, refrigerators, etc., are all machines. And the sum total of science and engineering knowledge confirms that all machines are the result of purposeful design by an intelligent source. You believe that all life got like it is purely by chance. I just can't believe that! You're going to Hell weather you believe it exist or not. You're on a sinking ship, and I hope you reconsider your position. The time to be forgiven is now, when you are in a position to be forgiven. After you die, the decision will have been made. You will have made it. The bible is misinterpreted, no doubt, has been and will be. You ask, "Why did God create us if he knew we would choose to disobey Him?" Say that your wife was completely loyal to you. She does everything you command, and she sits around and worships you all day. She would basically be a robot. What fun would it be to be married to a robot? A blind person cannot see the sky. They must trust me when I say "It is blue." They do not know what blue is. Are they in a position to say the sky is not blue? Are they in a position to say the sky does not exist? The same is true for the atheist. If I made the statement "there is gold in China" it would not be hard to prove. I could just go into a jewelry store and show you some, case closed. But if I said "there is no gold in China" it would be a little harder to prove. I would have to search every inch of the country making sure there was no piece of gold jewelry in the country. Therefore you cannot prove there is no God.
1) The bible is reliable and perfect.
That so-called perfect book is a jumbled collection of contradictory, vulgar, morally bankrupt myths of an ancient race of savages, no more reliable than any other sacred writings of primitive people (which is to say, not at all). It is a blend of ancient history, Jewish law, and fantastical mythology.
For example, who wrote the New Testament? Nobody knows. Many manuscripts have been found containing portions of the New Testament. No two of these manuscripts agree. Nobody knows who wrote these manuscripts. They are all written in Greek. None were signed. The disciples of Christ, as far as we know, knew only Hebrew or Aramaic. No one has ever seen one of the original Hebrew manuscripts.
Nobody ever saw anybody who had seen anybody who had heard of anybody that had ever seen anybody that had ever seen one of the original New Testament Hebrew manuscripts. The New Testament manuscripts are written in what are called capital Greek letters. They are called Uncial manuscripts. The New Testament was not divided into chapters and verses until the year 1551. In the original the manuscripts and gospels are unsigned. The epistles are addressed to nobody; and they are signed by the same person. All the addresses, all the pretended ear-marks showing to whom they were written and by whom they were written are simply interpretations, and everybody who has studied the subject knows it. In the Epistles of James and Jude, no reference is made to any of the gospels, nor to any miracle recorded in them.
You must never forget one thing. Christ never wrote a solitary word of the Gospels-- not one word. Jesus never told anybody to write a word. He never said: "Matthew, remember this. Mark, do not forget to put that down. Luke, be sure that in your gospel you have this. John, do not forget it." Not one word. And it has always seemed to me that a God coming from the spiritual realm, with a message of infinite importance to mankind, should at least have verified that message by his own signature. Is it not strange that not one word was written by Christ? Isn't it strange that he gave no orders to have his words preserved -- words upon which hung the salvation of the whole human race?
Why didn't anyone write anything at the time? The reason is that they expected the world would end in a few years. That generation was not to pass away until the heavens should be rolled up as a scroll, and until the earth should melt with fervent heat. That was their belief. They believed that the world was to be destroyed, and that there was to be another coming, and that the saints were to govern the earth. The New Testament, such as it is, was not written for hundreds of years after the apostles were dust. Jesus himself said that there were some who were standing there listening to him speak that would not die until his Second Coming. It is clear that Jesus was talking about events that were going to happen in the first, not the twenty first, century.
What we know as the "canonized" bible was not assembled in it's present form until the 3rd century by a council of bishops. They chose which book should be included in the bible, which books were inspired by god, by vote. (Imagine that some books missed out on being The Word of God by one vote.) What about the Gospels according to Thomas, Jade, James, Peter, and the Gospel of the Hebrews, of the Egyptians, of Perfection, of Judas, of Thaddeus, of the Infancy, of the Preaching of Peter, of the Shepherd of Hermas, the Epistle of Barnabas, the Pastor of Hermas, the Revelation of Peter, the Revelation of Paul, the Epistle of Clement, the Gospel of Nicodemus and of Marcion? They were all not considered inspired (or inspired enough). They did not get voted in. There were also the Acts of Pilate, of Andrew, of Mary, of Paul and Thecla and of many others. If the bishops at the Council of Nicea had voted differently, millions of Christians would have believed differently.
Even the Protestants did not agree as to what books are inspired until 1647, by the Assembly of Westminster.
What we have come to know as the bible was not in a solid form until the Gutenberg printing press was invented in the 15th century. Before that, the bible was copied by hand, onto scrolls and parchments, which could be easily altered to fit the needs of those in power. It was malleable, easily altered-- no one could hinder the early Church from adding or subtracting verses at their will. No one will ever know just how much of the biblical text was alterned, deleted, and re-written while it was in handwritten form.
For instance, here is a rather obvious insertion. In the 28th chapter of Matthew is an account to the effect that the soldiers at the tomb of Christ were bribed to say that the disciples of Jesus stole away his body while they, the soldiers, slept. This account was clearly added in later centuries. It is a break in the narrative.
The 10th verse should be followed by the 16th. The 10th verse is as follows: "Then Jesus said unto them, 'Be not afraid; go tell my brethren that they go unto Galilee and there shall they see me.'" The 16th verse: "Then the eleven disciples went away unto Galilee into a mountain, where Jesus had appointed them."
The story about the soldiers contained in the 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th verses is an insertion-- an afterthought -- long after. The 15th verse demonstrates this. Fifteenth verse: "So they took the money and did as they were taught. And this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day."
There is no way this account could have been in the original text, and certainly the 15th verse was not written by a Jew. No Jew could have written this: "And this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day." UNTIL WHAT DAY? Anyone with a brain can see this problem. These verses were added hundreds of years later.
Mark, John and Luke never heard that the soldiers had been bribed by the priests; or, if they had, did not think it worth mentioning. So the accounts of the Ascension of Jesus Christ in Mark and Luke are interpolations. Matthew says nothing about the Ascension. Certainly there could never have been a greater miracle, and yet Matthew, who was present and saw the Lord rise, ascend and disappear, did not think it worth recording. Hmmm. In fact, the last words of Christ according to Matthew contradict the Ascension: "Lo I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." John, who was also present, if Christ really ascended, says not one word on the subject. As to the Ascension, the gospels do not agree.
If Christ rose from the dead, why didn't he appear to his enemies? Why didn't he call on Caiaphas, the high priest? Why didn't he visit Pilate? Why didn't he make another triumphal entry into Jerusalem? If he really ascended, why didn't he do so in public, in the presence of his persecutors? Why should this, the greatest of miracles, be done in secret, in a corner? It was a miracle that could have been seen by a vast multitude, a miracle that could not be simulated, one that would have convinced hundreds of thousands. After the story of the Resurrection, the Ascension became a necessity. They had to dispose of the body.
How can ANYONE claim that the bible is the unchanging, inerrant, eternal word of a god? Even the fact that there are so many different translations (thousands of them throughout history) denies this claim.
The bible is full of contradictions and errors. I have devoted a whole other page to that subject. Click here to find out what I have to say on biblical reliability. But, with much pious effort and the ability to suppress reason, it is possible for the True Believer to ignore all the contradictions and absurdities, if one reads the bible only for it's emotional impact, and has no real interest in reconstructing a truthful account in order to determine the logical likelihood of the story as a historical incident.
2)The bible is a revelation.
Thomas Paine said it best, 200 years ago. He contended that it is a contradiction in terms to call anything a revelation that comes to us second-hand, either verbally or in writing. He asserted that revelation is necessarily limited to the first communication, and that after that it is only an account of something which another person says was a revelation to him. We have only his word for it, as it was never made to us. This argument never has been, and probably never will be, answered.
Revelation means that something was communicated to someone who did not know it before. Therefore, anything that humans have done or seen themselves does not fall within the scope of the word revelation. This amounts to most of the bible. Think about it. All those accounts of bloody battles, building of temples, rapes and murders, wanderings through the desert, conversations and parables, are all things that people could have done themselves or seen done. It is not proper to call the bible a revelation.
The bible is not a revelation. It is, at best, second-hand hearsay. I am under no obligation to believe fantastical and miraculous accounts that come to me by way of hearsay. If god wants to give me a revelation, he can do so anytime...
Religionists use the bible, a self-proclaimed "perfect" source of absolute truth, and revelation, and imagined "personal relationships" as support for their beliefs (that they'll live forever and are watched over by some protective father figure). It's all wishful thinking. Atheism is formed from the observation that there is neither evidence of a god, nor the need for a god as an explanation of anything.
3) The bible is the inspired word of God.
Just what does that mean, inspired? The words were certainly written (and re-written) by human hands. But what reason do we have for supposing that it did not come from the mind of man? Is it a book that no person could have written? Why not?
The claim is made that the bible is the word of God because no one in their right mind would believe it otherwise. The stamp of inspiration is made on the words so that they might be enforced. The bible is claimed to be true because it is the word of God. It is claimed to be the word of God because God says so. Priests and ministers say it is so because of revelation. The basis of the revelation is the book itself which is claimed to be inspired. And so on, round and round in a circle. (It's called circular logic).
To prove that a book is inspired you must prove the existence of God. You must also prove that this God thinks, acts, has objects, ends and aims. This is somewhat difficult. It is impossible to conceive of an infinite being. Having no conception of an infinite being, it is impossible to tell whether all the facts we know tend to prove or disprove the existence of such a being.
God is a guess. If the existence of God is admitted, how are we to prove that he inspired the writers of the Bible? How can one man establish the inspiration of another? How can an inspired man prove that he is inspired? How can he know himself that he is inspired? There is no way to prove inspiration, any more than one can prove he had a particular dream. The only evidence is the word of some man who couldn't possibly know anything on the subject.
What is inspiration? Did God use men as instruments? Did He cause them to write His thoughts? Did He take possession of their minds and destroy their wills? Were these writers only partly controlled, so that their mistakes, their ignorance and their prejudices were mingled with the wisdom of God? What does all this mean? What is it all worth?
How are we to separate the mistakes of man from the thoughts of God? Can we do this without being inspired ourselves? If the original writers were inspired, then the translators should have been, and so should be the men who tell us what the Bible means. How is it possible for a human being to know that he is inspired by an infinite being? How can we be certain that it wasn't all in their heads? But of one thing we may be certain: An inspired book should certainly excel all the books produced by uninspired men. It should, above all, be true, filled with wisdom and beauty -- perfect. It is claimed that the bible is the inspired word of god. It's obvious that it is not... that it is only the work of uninspired, flawed humans. I could write a better book than the bible.
Throughout history, some 40 "holy books" from different religions from all over the world have claimed to be "divinely inspired." What makes any one of those books legitimately inspired, and the rest impostors?
4) The bible is the perfect source of morality.
This statement can only come from one who has not read and comprehended the bible.
Was it god, or the devil, who said: "I will strew your flesh upon the mountains, and fill the valleys with your carcass. I will drench the land even to the mountains with your flowing blood..."
Was it god, or the devil, who said: "Therefore fathers shall eat their sons in the midst of you and sons shall eat their fathers...I will send famine and wild beasts against you and they shall rob you of your children; pestilence and blood shall pass through you; and I will bring a sword upon you."
Was it god, or the devil, who said: "Behold, I will corrupt your seed and spread dung upon your faces..."
Was it god, or the devil, who said: "Pass through the city after him, and smite; your eye shall not spare and you shall show no pity; slay old men outright, young men and maidens, little children and women..."
Was it god, or the devil, who said: "...I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the light of this sun."
Was it god, or the devil, who said: "Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man by lying with him. But all the young girls who have not known man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves."
Was it god, or the devil, who said: "Samar'ia shall bear her guilt, because she has rebelled against her God; they shall fall by the sword, their little ones shall be dashed in pieces, and their pregnant women ripped open."
Was it God, or the devil, who killed every man, woman, child and animal on earth because he lost his temper with them? Was it God, or the devil, who killed 50,000 of his children for merely looking into the ark of the covenant?
Obviously, it is Jehovah who did all of these atrocities. But I ask you, under similar circumstances, what would the devil have done? Allow yourself to think about that. Could a devil have done worse?
Would you torture and kill someone because of their opinion? Arrest them in the middle of the night and drag them off to a hidden prison, torturing them with fire and blades, and shooting them in the back of the head? That is something you might expect from Hitler or Saddam Hussein. You probably would not agree that this is a moral way to deal with people. You also probably think that I have a right to my opinion, just as you have. I wonder then, why you follow a god who would damn me to eternal torture, infinite revenge, for my honest opinion. Are you better than the god you follow? Are you more civilized? More fair? More humane than your god?
5) You can't be moral unless you are a believer.
This is the most insulting and offensive of arguments, and one of the most common. I would ask you how many nonbelievers you know personally. Usually, people who make this claim simply don't know any atheists or agnostics. The philosophy of Humanism is far more moral than any version of Christian doctrine that I have ever seen.
Moral behavior is based upon empathy.
History is full of important Freethinkers (those who reject the claim that the bible is a revelation), and they have made substantial contributions to the well being of the world. A partial list is: Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison, George Washington, Ulysses S. Grant, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, Carl Sagan, Albert Einstein, Andrew Carnegie, Albert Schweitzer, Issac Assimov, Ralph Waldo Emerson, George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain.... on and on... Here are more.
I would say that belief or nonbelief makes little or no difference in one's morality. If you are a good person, it is irrelevant what your religious beliefs are. You can be incredibly wicked and be a fervent believer, or truly virtuous and be an atheist.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons state that among prison inmates, about 83% are Christians. About two tenths of one percent are atheists.
"Note that atheists, being a moderate proportion of the USA population (about 8-16%) are disproportionately less in the prison populations (0.21%)" Here is the website: http://www.holysmoke.org/icr-pri.htm
6) Suffering in this world is the fault of Man.
How does one answer this? This is just twisted. Disease, starvation, hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, floods, airplane, car and train accidents, a little child falling down a well... all of these are the result of actions of bad people?
Please tell me, what evil has a 5 year old child committed to deserve the suffering of leukemia?
Starvation is not god's fault? Do you thank god before a meal for the food on your table? If so, why?? He did not put it there. If you say "Thank the lord for this food", you are stating that he had responsibility in putting it there. Therefore, if he gives food to you, why does he withhold it from others? If you think he does not withhold it from others, then you better not thank him for the food you have.
Another way to think of it is this way. You might say "Praise the lord that those 80 people survived that plane crash." But you don't blame the lord for those 20 people died in the plane crash... Believers are more than happy to praise their god during the good events, yet they never blame him for the bad... See this also.
7) The bloody atrocities in the bible are not the direct action of God. It's like God was saying, "If you walk into a busy street, you will get hit by a car". It's more like a prediction.
Untrue. Many, if not all, of the incidents in question involve god giving direct orders of action to his followers. Did God really tell Moses in the 30th Chapter of Exodus that if someone copies God's recipe for hair oil, that he should be put to death? Did God really order his followers to rip open the bellies of pregnant women? To kill children and babies with the edges of their swords and the heels of their boots? Remember Moses' command to Joshua upon entering the Promise Land? Spare no one, man, woman, child and infant. Show no mercy to them, and make no treaties with them.
Thinking that God's bloody proclamations are merely predictions of future events would make it easier to bear, I imagine. But that's not the way it really reads in the bible. God instructs his people very directly on how to massacre. Even IF it were a prediction, that makes it simply a fulfillment of God's Will. Try this one on for size... The story to which I refer is found in 1st Samuel chapter 15 and takes place in the days of Saul, Israel's first king. It is summed up very well on reasonworks.com.
In this story God has once again spoken to Samuel, only this time God tells him to instruct King Saul to exterminate a group of people known as the Amalekites. Beginning with verse 3 we read:
"Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants ..." 1st Samuel 15:3, NIV
Anxious to please God and Samuel, Saul assembled an army of 210,000 men and set about the grizzly task of doing God's bidding. Unfortunately, God's bidding very often involves the murder of children. That was most certainly the case here. For clearly, if we accept the Bible as a true book, then we must also be willing to accept that God has just ordered his people to murder a bunch of babies! "Children and infants" to use the Bible's exact words.
The Bible doesn't tell us exactly how many people died in this particular attack, but I would imagine the number would be quite staggering in light of the fact that Saul felt the need to assemble an army of nearly a quarter of a million to accomplish the task. The casualties no doubt numbered in the hundreds of thousands. After all, how many women and children do you think one well-armed soldier can kill ... especially when he has god on his side?
As you read through this story, you might find yourself wondering what on earth these Amalekites had done to deserve such a pounding. The answer to this question is found in 1st Samuel 15:2 and Exodus 17: 8-16. It seems that about 400 years earlier, the Amalekites' distant ancestors had attacked the Israelites during their 40 years of wandering through the desert with Moses. This attack so infuriated God that he vowed to one day wipe the Amalekites completely off the face of the earth. God finally makes good on this promise in 1st Samuel 15.
I don't know about you but I have a real problem with this. The Amalekites who originally attacked Moses and the Israelites had been dead for hundreds of years. If the Lord was so bent on punishing those guilty of attacking Israel in the desert, then why didn't he do just that? If God had the power to part the Red Sea, to turn a man's wife into a pillar of salt, to make a donkey talk, and to destroy every living thing on the planet with a flood -- then neutralizing a band of desert hoodlums ought to be a piece of cake. Right?
In other words, why didn't God simply take out his wrath against those individuals responsible for the attack in the first place? My moral compass tells me that it is patently immoral to murder thousands of "children and infants" whose only crime was that of being the distant relatives of some group of people who had attacked another group of people hundreds of years earlier.
Wouldn't that be a bit like the United States - in the 1990's - dropping a bunch of atom bombs on Great Britain because the British - in the 1770's - had attacked the American colonies? Is that reasonable? Is it justice?
8) You have willfully chosen to reject God's gift, and are turning your back on his goodness.
While religionists accuse atheists, agnostics and deists of willfully turning our backs on God, rejecting Him like spoiled and rebellious children, we have in fact made an informed decision, based on a careful skeptical scrutiny of all the available evidence. But they accuse us of willfully rejecting God because we want to live our lives with no moral constraints. This is probably the most common accusation.
Well, this is what they WANT to be true... they don't want to consider that we have actually thought about the idea. We have gone through a rational process to form an honest opinion. Belief is not a matter of choice. We do not believe as we want, we believe as we must. Atheists do not willingly withhold our belief. We cannot just suddenly choose to believe the opposite, like some religious conversion. We cannot convince ourselves that the naked emperor is wearing new clothes. I could no more stop my brain from thinking than I could stop my heart from beating. I could, for example, proclaim that "I believe in God", ten times every day, but I would be lying-- and any god that DID exist would know that. My opinions are not a matter of choice. I cannot help believing as I do. If you wish to convince me that there is a god, then provide the evidence that will change my mind. If you insist that your god will punish me with infinite, eternal torture because of my honest opinion, you will receive nothing from me but my contempt.
Can you believe in Zeus? Can you believe in Santa Claus? Why not?? Because your reason tells you they are not real. Try real hard. Say to yourself... Santa is real... that's the reason there are presents under the tree... Can't do it? Why not? If you can choose to disbelieve, you should be able to choose to believe. But you can't choose to believe, can you? It's not a choice, is it? You just don't believe in Santa, no matter how hard you try...
I haven't "rejected God." I have rejected the concept, the belief of a god-- all gods.
9) Aren't you worried about going to hell?
No. You are not worried about getting struck by a lightning bolt from the finger of Zeus. You cannot fear what you do not believe exists.
10) You can't prove that God doesn't exist.
I don't have to. That is Shifting the Burden of Proof. You have to prove he does exist. You may claim that there is a teacup in orbit around the planet Neptune... I cannot disprove it. But, more importantly, I don't have to prove it isn't there-- you have to prove that it is there, if you believe it is. I respond to positive proof, not to the inability to disprove.
I may not be able to prove that a god of some sort exists. A "god" of sorts might be hiding out there in deep space, behind the Horsehead Nebula. I cannot disprove that. But I can show logically why an ALL-GOOD, ALL-POWERFUL and ALL-KNOWING god, like the Judeo-Christian God Jehovah of the Bible, is impossible. Specific deities CAN be disproven if it can be shown that there are logical inconsistencies in their descriptions. In other words, I can logically prove that there are no such things as "square circles". Go Here for my essay.
I may not be able to fully comprehend all the biological processes involved in human reproduction, but I surely know that we don't come from the stork. I may not fully understand all the processes of cosmology, biology and geology, but I can certainly spot an ancient fable when I see one.
11) Why are you leading people away from God?
I'm working hard to free people from the illogical and irrational-- whether that be Christianity, psychics, aliens, satanism, or whatever. If this upsets you, then you need to re-evaluate your concept of personal freedom.
I think I've personally "saved" over 3 dozen people so far that I know of. I realize I have to pick up the pace. Freethought, as a philosophy, has lost ground since the Golden Age of Freethought ended in the 1920's, and we are only now picking back up.
I think that good people are good no matter what religion they believe, or if they believe none of them. They are good anyway, because that's just the way they are. And bad people are the same. People are good or bad in spite of their religion.
If logic is a sin, then I'm a sinner. If good works are saintly, then I'm a saint. In any case, I'm not going to believe something irrational to make myself feel good. I am too obsessed with reality. And the reality is, like it or not, that you will die and be put into a box. Your conciousness will cease, and your body will rot. There is no heaven, no hell, no god, no devils, no angels or demons. There is only the natural world.
"There is something feeble and a little contemptible about a man who cannot face the perils of life without the help of comfortable myths. Almost inevitably, some part of him is aware that they are myths and that he believes them only because they are comforting. But he does not dare face this thought! Moreover, since he is aware, however dimly, that his opinions are not real, he becomes furious when they are disputed."
Bertrand Russell, Human Society in Ethics and Politics
"Better the hard truth, than a comforting fable." -Carl Sagan
12) To be an atheist, you have had to search the whole universe to be sure that there is no God, and you couldn't have done that! You are stupid and brainwashed.
No, that is wrong. To be an atheist I do not have had to search the universe and found no god. If it does not make sense to me, I cannot accept it anyway. I find it unsettling that anyone would.
A-theism, means literally, "without theism". It is a lack of belief in a deity. It is the state of being unconvinced. That's all it is. I do not accept things that are irrational, without any evidence, and that go against reason and experience. Why should I? Why do you?
I am stupid and brainwashed for NOT believing in talking snakes and talking donkeys? I am stupid and brainwashed for NOT believing that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego survived inside a furnace? I am stupid and brainwashed for NOT believing that men tried to build a tower to reach into heaven, and that god was upset and worried about it? How can anyone believe that God literally had to 'come down' because he was angered at a bunch of bricklayers who wanted to build a tower that couldn't possibly 'reach unto heaven?' And how tall was that tower, anyway? It must have been taller than the Twin Towers in Manhattan, and reached further to heaven than our deepest space probes, because God allowed THEM be built. I am stupid and brainwashed because I DO NOT believe the silly, childish story of Noah's Ark?
Of course... it's only the brilliant and rational people that believe these things, weighing each story carefully with logical, critical thinking before accepting them, right?
13) The complexity of life requires a designer. The human eye, for example, could never have gotten here by chance.
Here is my response to that. This statement is based purely on ignorance of the current state of science.
14) Don't the fulfilled prophecies in the bible prove it's true?
There aren't any fulfilled prophecies of the bible, and the prophecies of the Old Testament that have been claimed to be fulfilled with the birth of Jesus fall far short. How can you be sure that what you call fulfilled prophecies were not written into the bible in later years? What we have come to know as the bible was not in a solid form until the Gutenberg printing press was invented in the 15th century. Before that, the bible was copied by hand, onto scrolls and parchments, which could be easily altered to fit the needs of those in power. It was malleable, easily altered-- no one could hinder the early Church from adding or subtracting verses at their will. Volumes have been written about the so-called prophecies of the bible, beginning with Thomas Paine. It has been clearly shown that the claim of biblical prophecy cannot be substantiated.
Here are some failed prophecies of the bible.
1) Jeremiah incorrectly predicts 70 years for the Babylonian exiles but they only lasted 59 years. The 1st exile started in 597 BCE when Nebuchadnezzar first takes Jerusalem and appoints Zedekiah king (Judah's last king). The start of the 2nd exile was in 586 BCE when Nebuchadnezzar takes Jerusalem a second time putting down a rebellion and destroys the temple. The end comes in 538 BCE when Cyrus takes Babylon and ends the Babylonian kingdom. Jews are then allowed to return to Judah.
(Jer 29:10 NRSV) For thus says the LORD: Only when Babylon's seventy years are completed will I visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place.
2) Micah predicts the destruction of Jerusalem (which at the time was about to be invaded by Sennacherib and seemed inevitable) blaming the destruction on the corruption of the priesthood of Judah. Jerusalem was sieged, but the destruction didn't happen. A century later Jeremiah quotes Micah and tries to excuse the failed prophecy by saying that "the Lord changed his mind" about that destruction.
(Micah 3:12 NRSV) Therefore because of you Zion shall be plowed as a field; Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins, and the mountain of the house a wooded height.
(~100 years and no destruction later...)
(Jer 26:18 NRSV) "Micah of Moresheth, who prophesied during the days of King Hezekiah of Judah, said to all the people of Judah: 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, Zion shall be plowed as a field; Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins, and the mountain of the house a wooded height.'
(Jer 26:19 NRSV) Did King Hezekiah of Judah and all Judah actually put him to death? Did he not fear the LORD and entreat the favor of the LORD, and did not the LORD change his mind about the disaster that he had pronounced against them? ...
3) Ezekiel predicted Babylon would conquer Egypt and was wrong. Ezekiel predicts that Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon will conquer Egypt utterly destroying it, slaying and scattering it's people, and that it will stay uninhabited for 40 years. In 568 BCE Nebuchadrezzar tried to conquer Egypt and Egypt survived with no apparent damage. Aahmes ruled for another generation over a prosperous Egypt and lived to see Nebuchadrezzar die. No Egyptians were scattered or dispersed.
(Ezek 29:10 NRSV) therefore, I am against you, and against your channels, and I will make the land of Egypt an utter waste and desolation, from Migdol to Syene, as far as the border of Ethiopia.
(Ezek 29:11 NRSV) No human foot shall pass through it, and no animal foot shall pass through it; it shall be uninhabited forty years.
(Ezek 29:12 NRSV) I will make the land of Egypt a desolation among desolated countries; and her cities shall be a desolation forty years among cities that are laid waste. I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and disperse them among the countries.
(Ezek 30:10 NRSV) Thus says the Lord GOD: I will put an end to the hordes of Egypt, by the hand of King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon.
(Ezek 30:11 NRSV) He and his people with him, the most terrible of the nations, shall be brought in to destroy the land; and they shall draw their swords against Egypt, and fill the land with the slain.
4) Ezekiel predicts the destruction of Tyre (Tyrus) by Nebuchadrezzar and is wrong again.
Ezekiel incorrectly predicts that the island of Tyre (Tyrus) will be utterly destroyed and "made a bare rock" which will "never be rebuilt". At the time of the prediction, it seemed like to be a sure thing, but 13 years of seige later Nebuchadrezzar gives up. The Island of Tyre is not destroyed or even conquered. It is not made "a bare rock" that will "never be rebuilt". Ezekiel admits his error in Ezek 29:17
(Here the conquest of Trye looks like a sure thing so Ezekiel makes his prediction)
(Ezek 26:1 NRSV) In the eleventh year, on the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me:
(Ezek 26:7 NRSV) For thus says the Lord GOD: I will bring against Tyre from the north King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon, king of kings, together with horses, chariots, cavalry, and a great and powerful army.
(Ezek 26:14 NRSV) I will make you a bare rock; you shall be a place for spreading nets. You shall never again be rebuilt, for I the LORD have spoken, says the Lord GOD.
(Ezek 27:32 NRSV) In their wailing they raise a lamentation for you, and lament over you: "Who was ever destroyed like Tyre in the midst of the sea?
(13 years of futile effort by Nebuchadrezzar later...)
(Ezek 29:17 NRSV) In the twenty-seventh year, in the first month, on the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me:
(Here Ezekiel admits he was wrong)
(Ezek 29:18 NRSV) Mortal, King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon made his army labor hard against Tyre; every head was made bald and every shoulder was rubbed bare; yet neither he nor his army got anything from Tyre to pay for the labor that he had expended against it.
(So he then predicts that God decides to give Egypt to him instead, another Ezekiel prophecy that completely failed)
Also, the author of the Gospel of Matthew (whoever that was) tries to establish Jesus as the Messiah forcasted by the Old Testament by taking verses out of their context from the Old Testament (some which are not even prophecies) and contrive them to "fit" a future Jesus.
These are among the most glaring errors in the bible. Anyone who reads the context of these Old Testament verses will find that they very obviously have nothing to do with a future Jesus.
(Matthew 1:21-23 NRSV) "She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: "Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means, "God is with us."
(In the Old Testament verse, Isaiah is trying to give King Ahaz a sign that was to happen during their time period (seven centuries before Jesus) that Judah will not be invaded, this has nothing to do with a future Jesus whatsoever.
Matthew pulls this verse completely out of context to try to make his Jesus birth story look forcasted by the Old Testament. The "virgin" part is also misquoted. The word in the Isaiah verse means a young woman who was not necessarily a virgin. There is a specific hebrew word for virgin which is not used here.
(Isa 7:14-16 NRSV) Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. He shall eat curds and honey by the time he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the child knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land before whose two kings you are in dread will be deserted.
Here is another-- Isaiah 53 is not about Jesus!
(Mat 8:16-17 NRSV) That evening they brought to him many who were possessed with demons; and he cast out the spirits with a word, and cured all who were sick. This was to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah, "He took our infirmities and bore our diseases."
(The verse Matthew is misquoting from:)
(Isa 53:4 NRSV) Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted.
This is the famous Isaiah 53 of which the christians and the Jewish people have completely different interpretations for obvious reasons. The christian interpretation is wrong. This is not talking about Jesus. This is talking about the "Suffering Servant" which could possibly be Israel personified, a friend of Isaiah's, Isaiah himself, or an example of or a model of a good "Suffering Servant". Whoever it is, it is not Jesus who had no children, no riches, and was crucified. The "Suffering Servant" in this chapter is someone who will see his offspring, live a long life, and divide the riches with the strong as a reward for his suffering. This doesn't sound like Jesus.
HERE is another misquote by the author of Matthew:
(Mat 2:23 NRSV) There he (Joseph) made his home in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, "He will be called a Nazorean."
This "quoted verse" is nowhere to be found in the canonized Old Testament.
There are a few verses in the OT that some apologetics will try, unsuccessfully, to contrive to fit it.
(Judg 13:5 NRSV) for you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor is to come on his head, for the boy shall be a *nazirite* to God from birth. It is he who shall begin to deliver Israel from the hand of the Philistines."
(This is a prophecy of Samson describing him as a nazirite meaning "one consecrated" or "separated". Notice it has nothing to do with one's geographical location or residence.
(Isa 11:1 NRSV) A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a *branch* shall grow out of his roots.
(Zec 6:12 NRSV) say to him: Thus says the LORD of hosts: Here is a man whose name is *Branch*: for he shall branch out in his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD.
(Some fundamentalists will try to say that Nazareth is really "netzer" or branch. Jesus referred to himself *retroactively* as "the vine", not branch. While these are Messianic prophecies, they were Jews did not believe that they were going to be sent a crucified Messiah, but one that will conquer Israel's enemies and rule. The Old Testament prophecied Messiah never came. Unfortunately, even if you jump through this hoop to mistranslate netzer to Nazareth, these verses are still not talking about a geographical location as Matthew was).
15) Historians have verified the life of Jesus.
This statement is often made by people who have done no research of their own.
NO first century historian confirms the existence of Jesus. There were historians (Philo-Judaeus and Justus of Tiberius, for example) living in or near Jerusalem during Christ's alleged lifetime, but wrote not one word about him. Then there is Flavius Josephus, who was born in 37 CE, and has two mentions of Jesus. But most scholars, including many Christian ones, agree that Josephus's accounts are third century forgeries-- earlier versions of his work dating from before the second century do not mention Jesus at all. The flowery and worshipful paragraph on Jesus was probably added to Josephus's work at the beginning of the 3th century CE, during Constantine's reign, by Bishop Eusebius (who said that it was permissible for Christians to lie in order to further the kingdom of god).
The following passage is from The Jesus Problem, pages 121-122, by historian J. M. Robertson, published in 1917:
"If the defenders of the historicity of the gospel Jesus would really stand by Josephus as a historian of Jewry in the first Christian century, they would have to admit that he is the most destructive of all the witnesses against them. It is not merely that the famous interpolated passage is flagrantly spurious in every aspect -- in its impossible context; its impossible language of semi-worship; its "He was (the) Christ"; its assertion of the resurrection; and its allusion to "ten thousand other wonderful things" of which the historian gives no other hint-- but that the flagrant interpolation brings into deadly relief the absence of all mention of the crucified Jesus and his sect where mention must have been made by the historian if they had existed. If, to say nothing of "ten thousand wonderful things," there was any movement of a Jesus of Nazareth with twelve disciples in the period of Pilate, how came the historian to ignore it utterly? If, to say nothing of the resurrection story, Jesus had been crucified by Pilate, how came it that there is no hint of such an episode in connection with Josephus' account of the Samaritan tumult in the next chapter? And if a belief in Jesus as a slain and returning Messiah had been long on foot before the fall of the Temple, how comes it that Josephus says nothing of it in connection with his full account of the expectation of a coming Messiah at that point. By every test of loyal historiography, we are not merely forced to reject the spurious passage as the most obvious interpolation in all literature: we are bound to confess that the "Silence of Josephus," as is insisted by Professor Smith, is an insurmountable negation of the gospel story. For that silence, no tenable reason can be given, on the assumption of the general historicity of the gospels and Acts."
The existence of an actual Jesus is very much in doubt. The famous humanitarian Albert Schweitzer studied the problem of Jesus and concluded that he did not exist. Most of the Founding Fathers of America, including Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, James Madison and George Washington, denied the divinity of Jesus.
The New Testament gospels were written 80-100 CE, and the names Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were attached later by the early church. Matthew and Luke were constructed from Mark, and John is thought to be written even later by early church leaders. There is no evidence that these people lived at all. The messiah construct was very common 2000+ years ago. Consider Mithra, a messianic figure who pre-dated Christ by several hundred years, and who also was born of a virgin, had a last supper and was crucified. And he had 12 apostles. Other messiah figures also had 12 followers-- representing the 12 mystical signs of the zodiac.
Here is a great essay: "Did an Historical Jesus Exist?"
16) Many people, including the Apostles, were willing to die for their belief in Jesus. They would not recant their beliefs. Why would they die for something they did not believe?
Why did they all desert Jesus when the Romans came to arrest him? Why did Peter deny that he even knew Jesus-- not once, but three times?
The truth is that not only can you not prove that these people were martyred for their faith, but you cannot prove that they ever lived in the first place. First prove conclusively that these Apostles lived, and then prove that they were martyred.
And, just as importantly, just because someone died for a reason, does not mean that reason was correct. The famous humanitarian Albert Schweitzer said "Martyrdom has always been a proof of the intensity, never the correctness, of a belief."
Maybe the Apostles really did believe in Jesus. So what? Does that prove his divinity? Charles Manson's followers really believed in him. The Reverend Jim Jones' followers all believed in him, so much so that 900 of them killed themselves in Jonestown. "Saints fly only in the eyes of their disciples." --Hindu Proverb
17) God often instructed the Israelites to kill the children of their enemies to prevent mass vengeance when they all grew up.
That is irrational and inconsistent with the commands that God gave to the Isreallites throughout the Old Testament. What about all the times when they spared young virgin girls? There was one occurrence, after killing every man, woman and male child among the Midianites, that the Jews, at the command of Moses, took 32,000 young virgin girls as prisoners, then distributed them among the priests and soldiers to rape. Don't you think, that after seeing their families butchered right before their eyes, then being handed over to be raped by the people who did the butchering, that these 32,000 virgins would teach their children to hate the jews and take vengeance on them when they grew up?
18) We are relieved of the Old Testament laws by the sacrifice of Jesus. We should not condemn the violence of the Old Testament, because that has all been washed away by the Blood of Christ.
Christians always use this excuse.
Yes, there are two halves of the bible, and 90% of it is the Old Testament. Christians sure are quick to disown 90% of their perfect, inerrant book.
If we were released from the laws of the Old Testament by the blood of Jesus Christ when He died on the cross, as many Christians assert, then why do so many Christians still use Old Testament laws on the rest of us? Consider Leviticus 20:13, where we are told that homosexuality is an abomination, and that they "shall surely be put to death". How come we hear about that, and other Old Testament laws so much? They are sure quick to whip out Old Testament laws when it is convenient for them to do so.
Christians say "Well, it was different in those days..." Alright then-- how? How was it different, so that cruel wars of extermination and the slaughter of innocent children were perfectly acceptable to Christians?
I can understand why you, and other Christians, would want to divorce the New Testament from the bloody Old Testament. You would HAVE TO, to be able to maintain any kind of moral rectitude. But honestly, it cannot be done.
The very first chapter of the very first book of the New Testament lists the geneaology of Jesus back to Abraham.
In Matthew Chapter 17, Jesus speaks to Old Testament figures Moses and Elijah, who's figures appeared before him.
Matthew 24:37 is an undeniable link to the brutality of the Old Testament, where Jesus compares his second coming to the destruction of the Great Flood that killed the world's population.
In the New Testament Jesus makes constant refrerences to "scripture". In Matthew 22:29 Jesus says: "You are in error, because you do not know the scriptures, or the power of God." Now, just what WERE these scriptures that Jesus was making reference to? The New Testament? I don't think so. At the time there was no such thing as a New Testament! There were only the scriptures of bloodthirsty villians like Moses. Every reference to "scripture" in the New Testament establishes one more link to the Old Testament. How many times does the New Testament refer to Old Testament "scriptures"? 52 times.
In the New Testament, Abraham is referred to 68 times, the ancient Israelites are mentioned 73 times, Jacob 26 times, Issac 20 times, Elijah 29 times, Isiah 22 times, Noah 8 times, King David is mentioned 58 times. How about this-- the name Mary (not just the Virgin Mary, but ALL Marys) is mentioned 54 times in the New Testament. The name Moses, on the other hand, appears 80 times! You think these numbers don't establish an important connection? You don't think that Jesus held that the teachings of Moses were important?
How about this. Jesus gives an absolute endorsement of the teachings and laws of Moses. "If you believe Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?" John 5:45
Are you going to sit there and tell me that the New Testament is not inexorably linked in the deepest ways to the Old Testament?
Do you deny that, according to your bible, Jesus is the one and only same personage as the God of the Old Testament? Did Jesus condemm ANY of his father's massacres? No. In Matt 5:48 he says "Be ye therefore perfect, even as I or your Father in Heaven is perfect."
Do you think Jesus would have questioned any of his father's actions, like the many acts of genocide that litter the pages of the Old Testament? No. Remember what Jesus said when he gave the Lord's Prayer to his followers- "Our Father who art in heaven... thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."
Do you think Jesus would have ever disobeyed his father's commands, like when he ordered that his servants should "kill everyone that breathes" upon their entry to the Promised Land? No. In John chapter 10 verse 30, Jesus said: "I and the Father are one." Jesus would have been swinging a sword, hacking nonviolent men, women and children to death, right along side of Joshua and his armies of Israelites! Imagine that. Jesus, the Prince of Peace, splitting a child in two with his blood-drenched sword.
In John 1:1, we read "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." In verse 14, we read: "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us." We are told explicitly that Jesus Christ IS THE GOD OF THE OLD TESTAMENT! You probably already accept this. But, logical extension, you must also accept therefore that it was Jesus Christ who ordered the Israelites to slaughter millions of defenseless men, women and children in the conquest of Canaan, it was Jesus Christ who killed every firstborn child in Egypt, it was Jesus Christ who ordered king Saul to butcher thousands of children and babies in the genocide of the Amalakites, it was Jesus Christ who ordered the Israellites to capture and mass-rape 32,000 young girls of the Midianite tribe, after killing their families, it was Jesus Christ who struck dead 50,000 innocent people at Beshemish for merely LOOKING at the ark of the covenant, it was Jesus Christ who caused the painful asphixiation of every man, woman, child and animal on the face of the earth during the flood of Noah, and it was Jesus Christ who condemmed every person ever born to a state of eternal suffering, all because 6000 years ago a curious and naive woman ate a piece of fruit.
19) All the evil in the world is a result of the absence of God's goodness.
What a naive way of looking at things. Evil is the result of a lack of compassion. It results when you stop looking at other people as human beings like yourself. The Nazis did that to the Jews. The early Americans did it to the Native Americans. The slave owners did it to their slaves. Murderers do it to their victims.
Evil is not the absence of goodness. Is Macintosh the absence of IBM? Of course not. They are both operating systems. Good and evil are ALSO both operating systems for the human brain. It seems that much of the evil in today's world is the result of a belief in a god.
20) God did not create evil.
Yes he did, because he said so himself.
Isaiah 45:7 "I make peace and create evil. I the Lord do all these things."
Lamentations 3:38 "Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?"
Jeremiah 18:11 "Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you."
I Kings 22:23 "The Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil concerning thee."
Ezekiel 20:25,26 "I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live. And I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the Lord."
21) It doesn't matter how good you are, you are only saved by accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savior.
The doctrine of salvation through faith alone is the most disgusting, immoral and unphilosophical of all the world's doctrine's. Fortunately, the bible clearly states throughout the New Testament that belief is not the requirement for salvation. It's whether or not you were a good person.
(John 5:28-29 NRSV) "Do not be astonished at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and will come out--those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. "
Jesus, from Luke:
Jesus, from Matthew:
- "Judge not and ye shall not be Judged: condemn not and ye shall not be condemned: forgive and ye shall be forgiven."
- "For with the same measure that ye mete withal, it shall be measured to you again."
- "And Zaccheus stood and said unto the Lord, 'Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor, and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him four fold.' And Jesus said unto him, 'this day is salvation come to this house." Jesus did not ask Zaccheus what he believed. He did not ask him, "Do you believe in the Bible? Do you believe in the five points? Have you ever been baptized -- sprinkled? Immersed? No, he did not.
Could it be more clear than that?? In the nineteenth chapter: "And behold, one came and said unto him: 'Good master, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?' And he said unto him, 'Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.' He saith unto him, 'which?'"
- "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy." Whether they belonged to any church or not; whether they believed the Bible or not?
- "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy."
- "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
- "For I say unto you that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven."
- "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your father forgive your trespasses."
- "For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again."
- "For whosoever shall do the will of my Father that is in heaven, the same is my brother and sister and mother. For the son of man shall come in the glory of his father with his angels, and then he shall reward every man according ..." To the church he belongs to? No. To the manner in which he was baptized? No. According to his creed? No. "Then he shall reward every man according to HIS WORKS."
Now, HERE IT COMES.
Here is a child of God asking God what is necessary for him to do in order to inherit eternal life. And God said to him: Keep the commandments. And the child said to the Almighty: "Which?" Now, if there ever has been an opportunity given to the Almighty to furnish a man of an inquiring mind with the necessary information upon that subject, here was the opportunity. "He said unto him, which? And Jesus said: Thou shalt do no murder; thou shalt not commit adultery; thou shalt not steal; thou shalt not bear false witness; honor thy father and mother; and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."
He did not say to him: "You must believe in me -- that I am the only begotten son of the living God." He did not say: "You must be born again." He did not say: "You must believe the Bible." He did not say: "You must remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." He simply said: "Thou shalt do no murder. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness. Honor thy father and thy mother; and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."
Again, can it be more clear than that?? Why would Jesus lie to this person and tell him something OTHER than what he needed for salvation? Does this make ANY impact on you?
Where is Jeffery Dahmer right now? If you believe that salvation is by faith alone, he is in Heaven, because on May 10th, 1994 he was baptized and accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior. Can you imagine anyone who deserves to be in Hell more than Jeffery Dahmer? But he believed and was baptized, so to heaven he goes, to sit at the right hand of God. But what about the non-christian victims of Jeffery Dahmer? They go to hell to burn forever because they were "heathens".
What about the Son of Sam (serial killer David Berkowitz)? He is born again, and will go sit with Jesus. What about Adolf Hitler? He was a fanatical Christian. But Albert Einstein, Andrew Carnegie, Albert Schweitzer, Carl Sagan, Thomas Edison, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Mark Twain, and countless other humanitarians will burn and suffer agonizing and eternal torture (by a God who loves us), not just for a long time, but forever. I was taught, when I was a Christian, that good people go to heaven, and bad people are punished and they go to hell. That's just not what the bible says. We are doomed to hell and eternal torture because of the Fall From Grace- the eating of a piece of fruit, not Sin.
So much for Christian justice.
22) There is no predestination in Christianity.
That is a point of contention among many people. There are in fact many Christians who believe in the doctrine of predestination.
This is from Ephesians, chapter 1 (NIV):
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
4 For he CHOSE US in him BEFORE the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love
5 he PREDESTINED us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with HIS pleasure and will.
Adoption into God's family is a function of His will, not ours.
Predestination is explicitly supported by Paul in Romans, Chapter 9:15-23, when he relates how God told Pharoah that He created him for the specific purpose of showing His power to the world.
Predestination is one of the Five Points of John Calvin, the founder of Presbyterianism. To deny Predestination in his day was to be hunted down and hanged.
If god created every atom of you, and all of the influences that ever affected you, PLUS he knows the future, how then can you believe that you have a free will? Can you EVER do something that God has no foreknowledge of? Of course not. HOW, then, do you have any free will?
IF there is an omnipotent god, then he knew before I was born that I would not believe in him. Therefore he created me with the full knowledge that he would have to burn me forever in infinite agony. Is that GOOD? He then has created the vast majority of all the humans who have ever lived for the sole purpose of damning them to eternal torture... haven't you ever thought about that? THAT'S what Christianity means.
If god predestined your fate from before the creation of the universe, is there ANY way you could alter it? Therefore, if you simply sit and do nothing, then you are fulfilling your destiny. If I continue my atheistic writings, and die and atheist, how can the Christian criticize me? Am I not fulfilling the role for which I was created? How could I have altered it? If I was converted, then that would have been my predestined fate also, and I could not have avoided that either.
23) It doesn't matter if you believe in Christ per se, as long as you are a good and honorable person, you will be saved.
Jesus. "There is no other name by which we may be saved." So says the bible. Jesus himself said there is no other way into heaven except through him. Remember the famous John 3:16... "whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Then continued on in verse 18: "He that believeth on him is not condemned; but he believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
Christian doctrine has nothing to do with doing good. You are damned not for what you do, but for what you believe, what you THINK. My thoughts are the worst crime against your god. All else can be forgiven... kill your parents, strangle a baby on its mother's lap, blow up an abortion clinic with 200 sinners inside, for all this you may be forgiven, if before your last breath, you but repent and accept Jesus. This is immorality at its height. No doctrine can be more vile than salvation through faith. It is the most savage of all religions. Kill all you want, in the name of the lord, and as long as you believe the unbelievable, you are saved. It is barbaric.
24) God judges you on your choice of freewill, on whether or not you believe. It is by freewill that you are saved or damned.
You really need to read the bible. God knows all things from beginning to end. There was no probably. Are you saying that there are things that god does not know? Could I ever act in a way that god did not know in advance? Could I ever surprise him with my choice? Of course not. So, if you are a believer in the Christian god, then you must admit that you have no freewill.
In Exodus, when Moses attempted to free the Israelites from captivity, who stood in the way of their freedom? Who was the one who denied Moses' request? Who was the one who was responsible for the plagues brought upon Egypt, the suffering, the death? Even the people of Egypt were willing and eager to let the Israelites go, but it was Pharaoh who would not release them. And in answer, God unleashed the 10th plague, and every firstborn child in Egypt, from the child of Pharaoh to the child of the prisoner in the dungeons, was killed. Why did god, in his wisdom, desire to kill every baby in Egypt, instead of taking out his wrath on Pharaoh himself, the one person who stood in the way? Was it not Pharaoh's freewill that caused all the trouble?
Hold on... forget that. Why do you think Pharaoh refused to release the Israelites? Why would he let his people suffer through these awful plagues? Why would he let all the children die (one in every household, according to the bible)? Someone was pulling Pharaoh's strings. Who was it? Was it... Satan? No. It was God Himself. Let Him confess it to you. He said to Moses: (Ex. 4:21) "When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have given you the power to do; but I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go."
Just so there was no confusion, God repeats his confession in Exodus 7:3, 9:12, 10:20, 10:27, 11:10, and 14:4.
God wanted to perform all ten plagues- he wanted to rain down unbelievable suffering on innocent people- he wanted to kill thousands of innocent children- and he would not let anything get in his way! Some Christians claim that some peoples' hearts harden in the presence of god, just like mud hardens in the strong sunlight. BUT, this attempt at rationalization does not agree with scripture. Here, let god himself tell you:
He had no intention of letting Pharaoh release the Israelites. (9:15-16) "But I have raised you up for this very purpose; that I might show you My power, and that My name might be proclaimed in all the earth."
There you go! God created some human beings for the sole purpose of destroying those human beings, in order for the purpose of impressing other human beings with his awesome power to destroy... Paul supports this notion. God is altogether kind, just and loving? Or a bloodthirsty monster? Would you teach this story to your kids?
25) The bible, and the 10 Commandments, are the basis of the U.S. Constitution. This is a Christian Nation, Under God.
This has to be the most irritating of the fallacious statements that christians make. This is not a christian nation. It has never been a christian nation. It is a secular nation, with a secular constitution. Go here to find out what I have to say about our Founding Fathers.
Then Ten Commandments are poorly worded, incomplete, vague, and offensive in some cases. Go HERE to find out what I have to say about the 10 commandments.
26) The presence of Evil does not contradict a good God.
If you take the time to think about it, it really does. Do you have children? Would you lock a two year old in a room full of sharp knives and say: "Now don't touch..." Would you create a world, specifically for your children, that was full of harm, evil and danger?
27) There is an absolute moral standard, and it comes from God.
There is no such thing as an absolute moral standard. It does not, and has never, existed. The concept of Human Rights, something that we cherish and protect in our time, is a very modern idea- embraced only in this century. Even today, in many countries the idea of Human Rights is still being resisted.
Here is what I have to say in detail about morality.
28) If you would only open your heart to Jesus, and you really, sincerely ask Him to reveal himself to you, you will come to know him personally.
What makes you think I have not done that???? I did. For years. Nothing happened. Then I discovered logic, and science, and I learned that the existence of the world can be explained naturally, without magic. Then I learned that the bible was so unreliable, so full of contradictions, so full of really awful stuff. Then I learned the hatred that christians will bear towards someone like me, who denies the existence of their ghosts... And then I learned that the world is filled with people like me.
TRY THIS. Really really look for Santa Claus. Dare him to reveal himself to you. THIS IS NOT A JOKE. This is a real analogy. Ask Santa to reveal himself and do it persistently, and you will be convinced. If you open your heart to him, you will come to know him personally. The choice is yours.
Do you see the futility of this? You could no more believe in Santa than I could believe in a god. Could you really and earnestly ask Santa to reveal himself to you? Or Zeus? Or Isis? Or Shiva? Or Brahma? You are an ATHEIST in respect to these other gods, just like me. I just believe in one less god than you do.
I constantly get told to "Open up your heart to Jesus", which I take to mean "Emotionally accept god-belief, because it will make you feel better. Ignore your rational thinking process. Plug up your reasoning ability. Base your opinion on your emotions, not your logic."
Well, sorry, I don't work that way. I can't be bribed to suspend critical thinking by the promise of eternal life, nor with the threats of eternal pain.
29) We know God is here because we can see the effects. We see God in the beauty of Nature.
I don't see the effects. I enjoy the beauty of nature, but see no supernatural basis for any of it. Looking at the trees, weeds, rocks, bugs, and birds that do not care if ever a human walked on the planet, I see no grand design behind it all. I find nature chaotic and disordered.
30) Science can't give you a meaning to life.
Neither can mathematics. It astounds me that people will complain that chemistry, biology, geology and astronomy cannot provide people with a meaning to life. That is the task of philosophy, not science. That's what humanism is for.
31) The bible is in accordance with the facts of science.
No, it isn't. The bible is just plain wrong. The bible IS unscientific.
It is ignorant of astronomy. It says that the stars are there to provide signs for man. The writers of a the bible thought the sky was a dome, on which the stars, like little lights, are only a few miles up, and will "fall to earth like figs shaken from a tree" at the end of the world.
It is ignorant of geology. It speaks of a flat earth drawn like a circle on the face of the waters, (although other places it speaks of a square surface) supported on pillars and a foundation, above which is a firmament, the dome of the sky.
It is ignorant about biology, claiming there are winged animals with six legs, unicorns, giants, and it says rabbits chew their cud.
It is ignorant of linguistics. It says that all languages were created at the Tower of Babel, after men tried to construct a tower to reach heaven. It's all ignorant mythology, and nothing more.
From the value of pi to the great flood to the tower of Babel. From rabbits chewing cud to 6 legged winged animals, from unicorns to giants... Jonah and the whale to 3 men living in a furnace, from Moses making a stick turn into a snake that was larger than the snake made from a stick by Pharoah's priests and eating it... (I say it is just as hard to make a small snake from a stick as a large one...) Why should anyone believe any of that stuff? I guess that if believing in the stories of Mother Goose were a condition for salvation, then you'd believe in Mother Goose.
32) What would convince you that God is real?
To me, there are only about 2 things that would convince me of the existence of a god.
#1) A miracle.A real, live, testable, honest suspension of natural law. Here is a bottle of water. Turn it into wine. Walk across my swimming pool. Turn this stick into a real live snake.
Accounts of these things happening in the bible are not good enough. They're hearsay. Words on paper carry no force. It's absolutely no good to tell me about all those things-- Jonah and Moses and Jesus... the bible is not evidence. If it were, then all holy books, like the Koran and the Egyptian Book of the Dead, would be equally valid. Why are their holy books wrong, and your holy book right? Just because someone says something or wrote something does not make it true. Especially- the more outrageous the claim, the more important it is to have strong evidence.
Someone putting blood on the hands of a statue of Jesus in Spain when no one is looking just doesn't cut it.
Anyone is free to say anything, with no supporting evidence... are all claims to be taken at face value, and given equal weight? The person who says he saw Elvis at the supermarket, or the person who says he was abducted by an alien spacecraft, or the person who says salvation is waiting in the tail of a comet... is all anecdotal evidence valid? The burden of proof is on the person making the claim that God exists, or the defendant.
The Argument from Personal Experience is a circular argument. In other words: "The proof of God is that I believe in Him." The conclusion is assumed in the premise. These kinds of statements are absolutely worthless in establishing the truth. Another very common circular argument is as follows: "God is real because the bible says so, and the bible is true because it is the inspired word of God." Another is: "The proof of the miracles contained in the bible is that God can do anything he wants."
#2) A personal appearance by god, to me. Someone saying they saw the face of Jesus on a tortilla in Mexico, or the figure of the Virgin Mary on the back of a road sign, is just not good enough.
A personal, physical appearance by god would DEFINITELY convince me. No question.
Now, I have told you quite plainly what would convince me that there is a god. Now, what about you? What would make you doubt the existence of god and the truth of the bible? Anything? Or are you close minded?
I think religious belief reflects the human frailty. It has more to do with the fear of a final death, the notion that you will never see your loved ones after you die, than anything else. I wish it were otherwise. I wish we did live forever. But wanting something does not make it so. If there is a heaven, why don't we just go there right away to spend eternity, and skip this little blink of time on earth? Why doesn't everybody go there? If it has to do with belief, then the vast majority of humans who have ever lived don't get to go. It just doesn't make sense. And to me, it HAS to. That's the way I am.
What I'm wondering is... what convinced you?
33) How can you believe everything came from nothing?
I don't believe everything came from nothing. If you think so, you are ignorant of science. As far as we know, energy/matter is eternal. It may be that space is infinite. It may be that energy is eternal. But does that imply the possibility of a god that is also eternal? I think not. It is is a far cry from matter and energy to a sentient, omnipotent, omnicient, omnibenevolent, male-gender, nonphysical, non-aging, non-ingesting being who is interested in the personal lives of 6 billion human beings on a small planet orbiting one star out of billions of trillions of other stars in the vast emptiness of space, who delights in the smell of burning goat flesh, who specified that entering the holy place without wearing bells can result in death (EX 28:34-35), and who killed 50,000 people for merely looking at the box that contained the tablets of the 10 commandments.
People keep talking about a supernatural god, yet no one has ever seen him, there's just someone's diary, allegedly from 2000 years ago, and we don't know if it's real, because it's full of silly miracles that no one on earth can verify. It sounds just like every other primitive god story from a hundred other cultures. The people who believe in this god deny the existence of all the other gods, yet can produce no good evidence that their god is any more real than any other.
In the name of this god, his followers have tortured and killed those who did not believe in the existence of gods, or thought his hair was brown instead of black, or believed in a different god, all the while claiming moral superiority for themselves. They don't even read the bible to realize it is the farthest thing from a moral ideal as can be imagined. God's own book paints him as a bloodthirsty monster with neither compassion nor mercy, yet his followers rationalize and ignore the obvious, still claiming a monopoly on morality, and think that no one else can be moral without believing, and go around telling nonbelievers of their future damnation.
The believers to this day still persecute those who don't believe, both physically and nonphysically. They claim they are the ones who don't get religious freedom, yet they attempt to force their belief into the lives of everyone else, through legislature and constant indoctrination.
I have a higher standard of evidence than you. I don't believe. None of it makes sense to me, and to me, it HAS TO.
34) Just say, what if you're right, and I am wrong, nothing happens after death. Now, lets say I am right and you are wrong, you have a one way ticket to Hell, and I go to Heaven.
Ah, the old Pascal's Wager...
What if the Muslims are right? What if the Buddhists are right? What if the Shintoists are right? What if the Hindus are right? You might get reincarnated into a worm! What about the Jews, or the Catholics? If ANY one of them are right, what happens to you? Think of the risks you are taking! The VAST MAJORITY of the world do not believe the same as you. How can billions of Muslims and Hindus and Buddhists all be wrong? They all think you're the one going to hell.
Do you think you have lost nothing in this wager? I say you have bet and lost your intellect. You have sacrificed your reason on the altar of your god, in hopes of future reward. The bribery
of eternal life can make you believe anything...
What if my understanding of the world is wrong? What if all the evidence for a natural origin of life and humanity has been misinterpreted by all the scientific and educational institutions of the world, and my godless view of the universe is invalid? Well, to quote Robert Green Ingersoll:
"Why," they say to me, "suppose all this should turn out to be true, and you should come to the day of Judgment and find all these things to be true. What would you do then?"
I would walk up like a man, and say, "I was mistaken."
"And suppose God was about to pass judgment upon you, what would you say?"
I would say to him: "Do unto others as you would that others should do unto you." Why not? I am told that I must render good for evil. I am told that if smitten on one cheek I must turn the other. I am told that I must overcome evil with good. I am told that I must love my enemies; and will it do for this God who tells me to love my enemies to damn his? No, it will not do. It will not do."
But I don't think this is a situation which is going to occur. I don't accept it, because there is no reason, no evidence, to do so. I am unconvinced.
Some have answered this argument saying that it is not for God to do as He would have done to Him, for he is the lawgiver. Is this a classic case of "Do as I say, not as I do"? Would you tell your five year old son not to strike other children, and yet as soon as he talks back to you, you slap him in the mouth? That would make you a hypocrite. Just like your god is a hypocrite.
35) Read the bible yourself, not only will you blessed, if you got saved, but it will also be a REVELATION to you!
I have read it. Have you? ALL of it? Or only the parts that your priest or minister or bible study group recommend that you read? By leading and guiding people to read only the "feel-good" parts, Christian leaders keep their followers from realizing the bible in all its gory, immoral and unjust splendor. It is ALL irrational. If god wanted perfect people, why didn't he create perfect people? He made imperfect people instead, and then punishes them because they are imperfect. It makes no sense.
36) The Bible says goods works will be evidence of your faith, so they go hand in hand.
Then what does that say of me? I do good works, and have no faith at all. I know I harm no one, and do good. If everyone in the world did like I do, what would the world be like? I have never killed, I do not steal, I do not harm my fellow humans. But I reject godism. Are you telling me, therefore, that I am evil, and a Christian who steals, maybe even kills, is more good than me? If an atheist firefighter dies pulling a christian arsonist out of a fire, are you telling me that the christian arsonist goes to heaven and the atheist firefighter goes to hell?
37) The Bible says if you believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God and accept his death on the cross as atonement for your sins, you will be saved. If you don't you are bound for Hell. The choice is yours.
This is not how I see it. First, the choice is whether or not to believe the unbelievable, unprovable stories in the bible, which are offered as the only real evidence of the existence of this person called Jesus. Once I have made that first choice, and accept that this person Jesus did in fact live, then I have to make a second choice. Was he God? Again, my only evidence is what is written in an obviously flawed book written by ancient savages. Once I have made that second choice, and have accepted that Jesus was in fact God (assuming that I believe it is possible for a god of any kind to exist), THEN, and only then, can I make the choice of which you speak.
I can't get past choice number two. On choice one, I could go either way. It is possible that a person named Jesus could have lived in Palestine 2000 years ago, and walked around saying some things. Or not... it could completely be an invention of human imagination. If he did exist, he was only a man like any other.
I'll choose to be with Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Albert Schweitzer, John Adams, Thomas Paine, Mark Twain, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Carnegie, Clarence Darrow, Albert Einstein, and Carl Sagan, and other great minds. How come all the geniuses are in hell??
No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says; he is always convinced that it says what he means.
-- George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
Faith is believing what you know ain't so. [The Bible] has noble poetry in it... and some good morals and a wealth of obscenity, and upwards of a thousand lies. --Mark Twain (1835-1910)
Science is the record of dead religions. --Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
"The Church says that the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the Church."
--Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521) Portuguese explorer, first person to sail around the world
Theology is not what we know about God, but what we do not know about Nature. -- Robert Ingersoll (1833-1899)
"So long as the universe had a beginning, we could suppose it had a creator. But if the universe is completely self-contained, having no boundary or edge, it would neither be created nor destroyed. it would simply be. What place, then, for a creator?"
--Cosmologist Stephen Hawking, who supports the no-boundary, self-contained model of the universe
Doubt grows with knowledge. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)
"God found out about the Trinity in 325 A.D." --Rocco A. Errico, Ph.D. Bible scholar, ordained minister
"I do not believe in the immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no supernatural human authority behind it. A man's ethical behavior should be based on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death. --Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
"I have never seen the slightest scientific proof of the religious theories of heaven and hell, of future life for individuals, or of a personal God. Religion is all bunk." --Thomas Edison (1847-1931) U.S. inventor
38)What an extremely cynical way of looking at things! What's it like looking at life in such a miserable way?
Neither am I cynical nor miserable... that's what believers always say about atheists. But I'm as happy as anyone I know. Sorry to disappoint you. I just find joy in other things than you. You just can't conceive that anyone could be happy if they don't believe like you. I have a wonderful wife that I've been married to for 13 years, 3 terrific little boys, I'm self-employed, I own a thriving business, I have many friends, and I have the freedom to exercise my brain. I'm a lot better off than most believers. Why would I have prosperity, and many believers are in misery and poverty? IF there is a Christian God, why should I be rewarded for my unbelief, and believers be punished for their piety?
It is an assumption perpetuated throughout Christian circles that nonbelievers are miserable, angry people. Well, that is just not the case.
Tell me, what's it like thinking you have an eavesdropper in your head, listening to your thoughts? How can you even have a doubt, knowing God listens inside your head? Talk about the ultimate Big Brother...
39) What about electricity? You can't see it, but you know it's there. You don't know how a TV works, you have faith that it does.
This is ridiculous. A true idea has no need of any faith. But believers always say- "What about electricity? You can't see it, but you know it's there. You don't know how a TV works, you have faith that it does", or some such nonsense. You can put a meter on an electric circuit and measure the electricity. You can research and learn how TVs work, and even take it apart and put it back together. That is not faith. You cannot measure god, nor verify his existence in any way. THAT is faith, and I don't have any. I take nothing on faith. Why should I? If a thing is real, then it leaves traces, clues, evidence of itself-- all things that can be examined independently by more than one person. A true idea has no need of any faith. To quote Benjamin Franklin: "To see by faith is to shut the eye of reason."
40) You have faith that the sun will rise tomorrow, don't you? You have faith that your spouse will stay faithful. You have FAITH.
I do NOT have faith that the sun will rise tomorrow. I have a reasonable expectation based on past experience that it will. That isn't faith.
Or they say "You have faith in your wife's fidelity." Well, I trust what she has told me. I have a reason to, based on past performance. But if she constantly lies to me, I probably wouldn't trust her at all. That is completely different than having faith that there is some invisible man living in the sky, watching over everything you do every moment of every day, with a list of do's and don'ts. That takes faith... a belief in something that you can never see, verify, or test.
41) God created man and woman as equals.
Then why is your god such a woman hater? Women are never treated as equals in the bible. How many female disciples did Jesus have? How many women were invited to the Last Supper?
"But if the thing is true, that the tokens of virginity were not found in the young woman, then you shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones..." ..........Deuteronomy 22:20
"...they have rejected the word of the Lord, and what wisdom is in them? Therefore I will give their wives to others..." ..........Jeremiah 8:9
"...I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the light of this sun." ..........2 Samuel 12:11
"I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire will be for your husband." ..........Genesis 3:16
"For the wife does not rule over her own body, but the husband does..." ..........1 Corinthians 7:4
"Likewise, you wives, be submissive to your husbands..."..........1 Peter 3:1
"And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck..." (Jesus speaking) ....Matthew 24:19
"For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman but woman for man." ..........1 Corinthians, 11:8
"As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silence in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says. If there is anything they desire to know, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church." ..........1 Corinthians 14:34
"Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord." ..........Ephesians 5:22
"Let a woman learn in silence with all submissiveness. I permit no woman to teach or have authority over men; she is to keep silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor." ..........Timothy 2:11
42) You spent a lifetime trying to debunk the Bible, and in doing so, probably swaying a lot of people. If you chose not to believe, you could have done it quietly.
HEY, the same thing goes for you. If you choose TO believe, you could have done so quietly. The fact that YOU emailed ME, is evidence that you do not do so. I constantly get people knocking on my door trying to force their beliefs on me. Christians are CONSTANTLY trying to get their religion passed through legislature, forcing their beliefs on the whole country... as long as this persists, I will be LOUD. In fact, I feel I am not nearly vocal enough. I plan to get a lot louder in the future. And yes, I have swayed people... quite a few. My wife, for one. I swayed her away from the southern baptists.
43) It is rational to believe in the bible. It takes more faith to not believe.
There are passages in the bible that defy rational thought. Miracles, absurdities, moral inconsistencies.
Some things just don't make sense... "My god, my god, why hast thou forsaken me." I have never seen a good explanation of that. And when Jesus tries to weasel out of the crucifixion, by saying in the Garden of Gethsemane: "Father, if it be possible to let this cup pass from me..." If he was god, and he knew everything, this just does not make sense. And in the nineteenth chapter of Matthew: "And behold, one came and said unto him: 'Good master, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?' And he said unto him, 'Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is God." No one has EVER explained that one. You want to take a stab at it??
This, from Matthew, defies all common sense and rationality: "Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when the tempter came to him, he said: 'If thou be the son of God, command that these stones be made bread.' But he answered, and said: 'It is written: man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city and setteth him upon a pinnacle of the temple and saith unto him: "If thou be the son of God, cast thyself down; for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee, lest at any time thou shalt dash thy foot against a stone.' Jesus said unto him: 'It is written again, thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.' Again the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them, and saith unto him: 'All these will I give thee if thou wilt fall down and worship me."
The Christians claim that Jesus is God. If he was God, of course the devil knew that, and yet, according to this account, the devil took the omnipotent God and placed him upon a pinnacle of the temple, and tried to convince god to throw himself against the earth. Failing in that, he took the creator, owner and governor of the universe up into an exceeding high mountain and offered him this world -- this grain of sand -- if He, the God of all the worlds, would fall down and worship him, a poor devil, without even a tax title to one foot of dirt! Is it possible the devil was such an idiot? Should any great credit be given to this god for not being caught with such cheap trick? Think of it! The devil -- the prince of deceivers-- the king of cunning - the master of finesse, trying to bribe God with a grain of sand that already belonged to God!
Is there in all the religious literature of the world anything more utterly absurd than this? Think about it.
I have chosen to reject the god-belief BECAUSE it is irrational. There is no evidence to support such an idea. Many gods have been worshipped since the dawn of civilization, and most of them are now forgotten. You might conclude that they were invented. But if one god was invented, then why not all? Invented to explain our origins, when we had no other knowledge. Invented to make us feel safe in an unpredictable world, watched over by a loving father figure. Invented to explain lightning, earthquakes, floods and eclipses, things we could not understand. Invented to give us the comfort of believing we have an existence that never ends.
44) The children killed in the Old Testament were killed to allow them into heaven. If God were to take them now, they would all be saved, otherwise they would grow up and all be lost.
That's sick and twisted. It's an unphilosophic attempt to rationalize the butchery of thousands of children at the hands of God's Chosen People. It only works if you are willing to abandon reason and every last shred of your humanity. Rather an odd thing, for people who go into a moral frenzy at the thought of abortion. Why, then, should you oppose abortion? Maybe God is allowing them up into heaven! Instead of blowing up abortion clinics, maybe you should be building more of them.
"Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child cannot be a true system." --Thomas Paine, American patriot and Revolutionary, in The Age of Reason
45) Faith in God is not unreasonable. I have a reasonable faith that my Dad will help me out if I'm in trouble.. is that unreasonable?
No. But if you never saw him in your life, didn't have his phone number, didn't know where to reach him, didn't know his name, didn't even know what state or country he lived in... THEN if you had faith that he would help you, you would be completely unreasonable. That is the proper analogy.
In reality, if you know who your dad is and where to reach him, and have experience that he has helped you out in the past, and he has stated that he will help you, then you are perfectly within reason to expect his assistance. You can verify his existence. But with god, you cannot. Therefore, it is just another false analogy. People who use this argument really haven't exersized their reasoning ability very much.
46) Faith is simply believing in something yet to happen. I have faith that I am going to receive my paycheck next month.
As in the above example, that is a false analogy. You expect a paycheck this month because you have a reasonable expectation based on past experience... you have gotten one in the past, based on the work you've done. BUT if you never received a paycheck, for years, and think that someday you'll get one because your boss tells you so, and you still go on working for years in the hope that you'll be paid someday... now THAT is faith.
Faith is not merely the belief in something yet to happen. It is the belief in the unseen. Belief in that which has no proof. Belief in the unknowable. Belief in the unverifiable.
47) Clocks, gasoline powered engines, refrigerators, etc., are all machines. And the sum total of science and engineering knowledge confirms that all machines are the result of purposeful design by an intelligent source.
NON-BIOLOGICAL machines are the result of an intelligent source... the human mind. But clocks, engines and refrigerators do not self assemble. They do not reproduce. They do not have DNA. They are not subject to selective environmental pressures. They have no method by which to pass on traits. Left on their own on an island, a group of refrigerators isn't going to change much in a million years (except into a rusted heap).
But a species of animal WILL change over a million years. Even the most die-hard creationist will admit the truth of "micro-evolution", that variations can arise within species and bring about physical change. The "clock" argument ignores all of biological reproduction and genetics. It is, to be blunt, childish and ignorant. I'm not trying to be insulting here, that's just the truth. You HAVE to see that the "clock" argument is a FALSE ANALOGY.
Evolution states that:
1. More organisms are born than can possibly survive. This provides potential for survival.
2. Offspring are similar, but not identical to their parents. Every batch of offspring contains a natural range of genetic variation. There are a variety of reasons for that variation.
3. Genetic mutations, most of the time, are either harmful to an organism or neutral to it. However, there are instances of genetic mutation that can be beneficial to the survival of an organism.
4. Natural selective pressures (predators, competition for resources, climate changes, etc.) cause the disproportionately high number of deaths of organisms that are less-well-adapted to their environment than other, better-adapted organisms. In this way, beneficial traits are passed on. Those traits are 'selected' by nature as being more effective for the conditions. Over millions of years, successive generations of genetic variations (which give survival enhancements) bring about new species.
5. Even in the absence of selective pressures, genetic sampling errors in small populations can bring about physical change.
Note: Species evolve- individual organisms do not. Creatures don't "change" from one thing into another... they remain as they are born. Evolution is 'descent with modification'. Organisms do not choose to evolve-- favorable traits are chosen by the survival of the creature; less efficient characteristics are eliminated by the deaths of organisms.
Three things are needed, at a minimum, for evolution to happen.
1) BIRTH. We know this happens.
2) DEATH. We know this happens too.
3) GENETIC VARIATION. And we know this happens.
Now, what has any of this got to do with clocks and gasoline engines?
Visit my evolution site.
48) You believe that all life got like it is purely by chance. I just can't believe that!
You shouldn't believe that, because it's not true. That is a gross understatement of the process. That statement indicates that the writer has no knowledge of the process he's criticizing. As you stated it above, no one SHOULD accept evolution-- but you stated wrongly. That is called a Straw Man Argument, which means that if you want to more easily attack an opposing position, you make a silly caricature of that position (one that no one would believe), then knock down the caricature, and claim that you have demolished the original argument.
In fact, evolution does NOT state that things evolved purely by chance. That Straw Man urban myth has been, and continues to be, spread by anti-evolutionists to cause doubt and confusion. The idea that chance is the sole engine of evolution is a misunderstanding. Chance is only one factor involved in evolution. Non-random natural selection another. If evolution was random, it wouldn't work! Sometimes people say that it's too improbable that we evolved from single-celled organisms, but such calculations are only meaningful if you assume that humans are the goal of the evolutionary process, and not merely a result of that process.
The process of evolution is not entirely random. Natural selective pressures are very specific. As an example, bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotic drugs isn't a random thing, is it? Certain bacteria that have developed a resistance (due to mutations) are selected for survival by a SPECIFIC external pressure (the application of antibiotic drugs), which causes the death of the bacteria that do not possess the resistant trait, allowing the increased reproduction of the more resistant bacteria. Here we see a non-random, recognizable pattern.
If you think evolution says we all got here purely by chance, you need to read up on it.
49) You're going to Hell whether you believe it exist or not. You're on a sinking ship, and I hope you reconsider your position.
Why? Because you care so much for me??? How about-- that you just can't stand anyone having a different religious opinion from yours? Or, because I challenge your beliefs, and ask difficult questions, and get you to think of your religion in ways that are uncomfortable? If no one thinks differently than you, then no one can challenge your beliefs, right? I'm not scared by your words. Are you afraid of lightning bolts coming out of Zeus' fingertips? Why not? Because you cannot fear what you do not believe in.
50) The time to be forgiven is now, when you are in a position to be forgiven. After you die, the decision will have been made. You will have made it.
Are you saying that your all-powerful god is INCAPABLE of forgiveness after you die? That the gates of Hell are one way, and Jesus is the eternal jailer? Am I to be sentenced, for all eternity, to god's infinite revenge for the crime of using my brain, and expressing my honest thoughts? WHY are am I not in a position to be forgiven after I die? If my decision will have been made AFTER I die, that seems like the perfect time, really the ONLY time, to be forgiven. How can you be forgiven BEFORE you have made your decision??? THINK ABOUT THAT...
51) The bible is misinterpreted, no doubt, has been and will be.
Why would a perfect god let his inspired, perfect word be written in a way that it could be misintrepreted? Didn't Jesus know beforehand that His Word would be used to justify every horror, every injustice, every crime? Why didn't He warn people not to kill in his name? You would think that he would have.
52) This nation is more hostile to believers than non-believers.
Is there something wrong with people holding contrary opinions and doubts?? Should they be supressed? By theocratic torture and imprisionment? Burning at the stake maybe? Or should the religious majority just ostracize and humiliate the doubters? Not shop at their stores, not vote for them, not help them in times of need?
Everywhere Christians have taken over this country. We are told "It's a Christian Nation", even though the first 6 presidents weren't christians, and the constitution doesn't mention god at all. George Bush said that atheists were not patriotic and should not be considered citizens. Even Bill Clinton said that freedom of religion does not include freedom from religion. We had religious mottos put on our paper money after 1953, and the phrase "under God" added to our pledge of allegiance in 1954 (under McCarthyism). We have Christian prayers and the 10 commandments being forced in our secular schools. We see dozens of religious channels on TV, 24 hours per day. There are over 360,000 churches in this country, but that isn't enough... they're trying to take over the schools too. They don't have to pay taxes like every one else, therefore are subsidized by the rest of us. They take in billions of dollars a year, and the world gets no better because of it.
If a man stands up and says he's a christian, he gets applauded. If he stands up and says he's an atheist, he gets only scorn. This is a nation for everyone. Christians and non-christians alike. Christians should not have more rights that other people, nor should they be preferred by the government, or get special treatment.
See: How Tough it is for Believers in America
53) You ask in several articles, "Why did God create us if he knew we would choose to disobey Him?" Say that your wife was completely loyal to you. She does everything you command, and she sits around and worships you all day. She would basically be a robot. What fun would it be to be married to a robot?
Okay, let's extend your analogy. I tell my wife that I DEMAND her worship and loyalty, because if she doesn't, I'll blow her brains out for starters, then torture her for all eternity in hell. Is that what you would call a free choice? Are all options equally open to her?
Your analogy fails completely for the following reason. You are looking at the question emotionally, asking what "fun" would it be being married to a robot. I was formulating a logical argument based upon the conditions 1) God knows everything that will happen in the future, and 2) God has the power to do all things. Here's why your analogy fails-- it fails because I don't KNOW BEFOREHAND if my wife will be completely loyal to me. If I knew absolutely that a woman wouldn't be loyal to me, I wouldn't marry her, because if I did, I know that I would be forced to blow her brains out and torture her for all eternity in hell. I would find a different woman who would be loyal, and that way I wouldn't needlessly kill and torture a woman. Can't you see it?
God knows all things from beginning to end. Are you saying that there are things that god does not know? Could I ever act in a way that god did not know in advance? Could I ever surprise him with my choice? Of course not. So, if you are a believer in the Christian god, then you must admit that you have no "real" freewill.
54) A Blind person can not see the sky. They must trust me when I say "It is blue." They do not know what blue is. Are they in a position to say the sky is not blue? Are they in a position to say the sky does not exist?
True, but a scientist can tell him why the sky is blue. (Do you know?) And not just one scientist, but the whole scientific community. That's something I would trust. Furthermore, it would be foolish of a blind person to deny the sky, because if he asked every single person he met-- every single person would admit to the sky's existence, because the evidence of it is equally available to all. The god-concept does not share such universality.
55) If I made the statement "there is gold in China" it would not be hard to prove. I could just go into a jewelry store and show you some, case closed. But if I said "there is no gold in China" it would be a little harder to prove. I would have to search every inch of the country making sure there was no piece of gold jewelry in the country. Therefore you cannot prove there is no God.
Let's use your argument further. In fact, I use it all the time. Let's substitute the words "god" for "gold" and "heaven" for "china". So, you make the statement "There is god in heaven." Do you think that this "would not be hard to prove", just like "There is gold in china"? Just go to heaven and look at god, right? But, if you told me to prove that there is no god in heaven, how could I prove that? Physically impossible. (Theoretically, however, I think I have done it.)
But, to say that there is no gold in China would be silly, because there is no cause to think that, and obvious reasons to think that there is. That claim is easily testable. It is also potentially falsifiable. If we went there, we could find out. If I said there was a toyota on Neptune, that would be different. It is essentially "unfalsifiable". I can make the claim and be assured that you can't prove me wrong. How can you search the whole planet and claim it's not there? So, you can just say that you don't believe me, if I don't give you any real evidence. God is in the same category. I can either be convinced or unconvinced at the "evidence" for the belief of a god. I grew up believing, simply because I was forced to as a child. When I got old enough to think for myself, I became unconvinced. If you said you had a ton of gold in your bedroom, but wouldn't open the door, why should I believe you? Such a claim requires evidence before I could believe it. You could say that if I believe you, you would give me a few pounds of it. Or you could threaten to shoot me if I didn't believe you. But neither of these would count as evidence. I could not PROVE you don't have a ton of gold in your bedroom. But I don't have to. You have to prove that it's there. I can remain unconvinced until you do.