It’s not my fault you’re an Atheist

I wish I had a nickel for every time I interacted with an Atheist who who seems to be desperate to latch on to the idea that atheism is best defined as a lack of belief .  It seems that they will relentlessly argue for that loose definition to no end.  Moreover, these same Atheists will rarely if ever offer reasons why they are Atheists.  Sure they will blame their condition on not enough evidence or some other vague repudiation of religious texts.  But those aren’t reasons to not believe in God, those are reasons to be neutral (which is what a lack of belief in something implies, neutrality).  I mean, when I don’t have enough evidence for something, I don’t therefore reject it, I remain neutral.

First, allow me a tangential observationary question: if atheism is just some lack of belief (which apparently permits one to sit with their arms folded repeating ‘nuh uh’ over and over like a skipping record) what exactly is the position ‘no gods exist’?

But more interestingly, what are the reasons you lack your belief?  Let me expand that a bit more.  Do you have a reason, or reasons why you don’t believe in God?  I assume there are reasons that you aren’t believers, right?  I suppose you could say you haven’t been presented with enough evidence, but that means your opinion of whether God exists is dependant on some theist and his reasons, that they, and not you, are responsible for your belief in God or lack thereof.  I would hope belief-lackers have their own reasons as to their own views, and that they aren’t relying on someone to help them form their beliefs.  If one arrives at atheism through some series of checks and balances, there’s something you could point to.

Think about it, how much credence would you give a Christian who claimed their belief in Christianity is based on an Atheist’s lack of compelling reasons to not believe?

Everyone who has a view on a particular subject ought to have their own reasons (and not simply pass the responsibility for your opinions onto someone else).  At this point, the Atheists reading this are preparing to comment with: But…but…you have the burden!  Having already addressed the issue of who bears the burden of proof HERE, I will simply respond with: ok, fine, we theists have a burden to show God exists, but for the sake of discourse, let’s hear your reasons for your own position.

If atheism is the voice of reason, why are Atheists so reluctant to offer a reason for their “lack of belief” other than to blame someone else who isn’t good at arguing for their view?  Why so hesitant to discuss your own view if it is based on actual reasons, and not just some theist’s failure to convince you?  Why is your belief or lack thereof my responsibility, and does that responsibility fall on you at some point?  Can I make it your job to convince me I’m wrong?

Comments

  1. My experience is that they trot out one line after another from the Big Book O’ Atheist Sound Bites but scurry when you ask them to lay out their worldview and their evidence for it (i.e., How did the universe come into existence? How did life come from non-life? If there is really nothing immaterial, then consciousness, morality, etc. must be illusions, so why do you make so many moral claims? If you “know” that atheism and Darwinian evolution are true, why do you get so upset that some of us “evolved” to believe in the “evidence” for the life, death and resurrection of Jesus? After all, if your worldview is true then Darwinian evolution is the only possible source for our Christian beliefs. We have no choice but to hold them. So why get down on your own worldview?

    • And conversely Neil, they have no choice but to believe atheism is true, its not an intellectual decision, just a chemical reaction making everyone believe what they do. There is nothing intellectually noble in skepticism if one cant help but to be a skeptic.

  2. Think about it, how much credence would you give a Christian who claimed their belief in Christianity is based on an Atheist’s lack of compelling reasons to not believe?

    Actually, I have encountered just such a person. And, no, no credence given whatsoever.

    If atheism is the voice of reason, why are Atheists so reluctant to offer a reason for their “lack of belief” other than to blame someone else who isn’t good at arguing for their view? Why so hesitant to discuss your own view if it is based on actual reasons, and not just some theist’s failure to convince you?

    Where are you encountering these atheists? I mean, yes, when you make a positive claim about your belief, and expect me to believe too, then there is some burden on your part to present some compelling evidence. It just depends, I suppose, on your conversation with these unbelievers. Are these conversations meant to be debate or simple discussion? That plays a large part in why some atheists might be hesitant to express their actual reasons.

    I have found that many theists tend to project reasons onto atheists. It usually boils down to either sin or emotional reasons because a theist cannot imagine not believing based on any tangible evidence.

    • Ruth, in the 4 or so years in doing this blog, I have yet to encounter a skeptic who is willing to tell me why they are an atheist. What they do is tell me they dont have to give me reasons because they have no burden of proof (even if that were true, why not offer your reasons anyway, even of just for the discussion?). or they say they are atheists because someone else (the Christian) hasnt given them any good reasons to believe. Or that they dont have to give reasons because they simply lack belief and have nothing to defend.

      You see, they dont give positive reasons…ever. The closest you might be able to find is “because science” or “because evolution”. But good luck getting an example. What scientific discovery proves God doesnt exist? What aspect of evolution shows God doesnt exist?

      • Well, I have seen this in action, but most of the atheists I know have blogs of their own where they’ve outlined their positive reasons for disbelief.

        And, too, there are varying degrees of atheism just as there are varying degrees of Christianity. For example, I’m an agnostic atheist. I do not know for certain that no gods exist, but I don’t believe that any of the currently proposed gods exist.

        For instance, the origins of the universe. Theists may argue that existence, itself, argues for a creator. But that’s a far leap from a particular creator. And what evidence to we have that that particular creator is a deity?

        Atheists and theists alike argue that there was a creator of sorts, it’s just a matter of what that creator is. Is it some physical law that has always existed? Is it materialism? Is it physicalism? These are things that are argued between atheists.

        As for my answer about “because evolution”: Pauline Christianity argues that there was no death prior to the fall of man. If man evolved, at what point was he culpable for his actions? And if man evolved then there was, by necessity, death before any fall.

        That sort of blows that whole ‘wages of sin’ is death thing, IMHO.

        • Well, to be a stickler, Paul says that the fall brought death to mankind. Not that there was no death prior.

          Romans 5:12 — Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men…

          But I often read atheist blogs. I scroll through planetatheism every day. I still dont see it. I’d love to read where someone argues proper in favor of atheism rather than just citing some deficiency in theist’s arguments.

          • Doesn’t that whole “through one man sin entered the world, and through sin death” imply that the reason there is death is because of sin?

            Furthermore, according to Genesis man was created and had access to the tree of life and the result of his sin was death, not only for him, but all mankind?

            As for your theory that atheist arguments should be citing some deficiency in theist’s arguments? I’m not sure what you’re looking for exactly. If you want to know why an atheist doesn’t believe what you believe they will be citing theist’s arguments. That would be their refutation of why they don’t believe that.

            The fact is atheism doesn’t disprove God. Each individual atheist has to come to their own conclusion as to the likelihood of none, one, or more than one gods existing.

            It is extremely hard, if not impossible, to “prove” a negative. If something doesn’t exist, it’s hard to prove it doesn’t exist. On the contrary if something definitely exists it should be provable, even if it is elusive. Example: the Higgs Boson.

            • Ruth, I agree it’s difficult to prove something doesn’t exist. It’s not impossible, but difficult to be sure. In this case then the atheist shouldn’t conclude God doesn’t exist but rather take an agnostic position instead.

              What I’m saying is I don’t think it’s justified to say theist arguments are deficient therefore atheism.

              For example, just because you couldn’t prove that you found $1000 doesn’t mean it’s justified in believing it’s stolen. You need good reasons to believe theft occurred, not just your lack of a good explanation.

              • Ah, well, I think that goes back to the varying degrees of atheism.

                My given position is that of agnostic atheist. The reason I use theist’s arguments is to show why I don’t believe that particular deity exists. I don’t say that a deity cannot exist. It’s not impossible. Perhaps there is a creator. But I don’t know anything about this creator [and don’t know how to find out anything about this creator] and so I live my life effectively as a atheist.

              • Ruth, I think in your case it’s reasonable to point to a theists view. You’re not making a hard claim.

  3. John – your inability to see the big picture prohibits you from understanding it.

    You keep insisting that the non-believer has to make a positive claim. They do not.

    Christianity is a claim and as such, bears the burden of proof to demonstrate that it is true.

    As we’ve just discussed, it doesn’t matter why you feel or believe it to be true, but for you to prove it to be true. We can prove that drinking bleach is harmful and we can prove that the sun is 93 million miles away, but you don’t seem inclined to prove that your deity exists yet you always assert it.

    If someone came to you with a different deity and asserted that your beliefs were flat out wrong and as a result you would suffer for eternity after you die here on earth until you accepted their deity, what would you do?

    • Z, that’s what you’re missing. The proposition: God does not exist is a positive claim. It’s a claim to kbowledge that needs to be justified…which is why most professional atheist philosophers don’t make the claim because it’s difficult to defend.

  4. There is a difference between “not believing in X” and “believing in not X”. Unfortunately, the term “atheism” is used by different people differently, which brings no end to confusion. I think Matt Dillahunty has the most consistent definition, but alas one can find others with a different one. In that definition, atheism is simply “not believing in X” where X is the proposition “some god exists”, anti-theism (which Matt espouses also) is the position “believing in not X”. I find the definition consistent, and I hold to both positions, although the minimal position is the atheist position. I prefer, when the argument comes down to definitions of labels, to just dispense with the labels.

    Now, as for the burden of proof, I think an analogy might work – and maybe you can address how this analogy fails. If the proposition is Y=”there are an even number of stars”, then is it very easy to see that not believing in Y is radically different than to believe in not Y, or in other words, believe there is an odd number of stars (there are only two choices here). One position clearly does not need the burden of proof, and the other does.

    For me, I don’t believe in any gods because no one has come even close to giving me convincing evidence. Further, the evidence and position of those making the positive claim are far more easily explained with other non-theistic explanations (culture, psychology, confirmation bias, etc…). Once you hear many many arguments, and each fails for similar reasons, you start feeling more comfortable that this is a general pattern, making the positive claim for disbelief more likely. I’d be happy to hear something that breaks this pattern, but so far haven’t heard anything.

    Does that clarify anything, or does it make it more murky?

    • Brian, if I may quibble about just one thing at first. Personally, I dont think one can hold ‘not beliefs’. For example, its not that I dont believe there’s a pig in my living room, I believe there’s no pig in my living room. I mention this because you made a distinction. But I dont think (pun intented) there’s a difference, it’s just a matter of conversational practice. Once a proposition is floated out there, we automatically begin forming beliefs, not non-beliefs.

      But to your example, let me lay out my view on the BOP as it relates to the stars. I think, firstly, the analogy fails because as far as I know, there’s no way to know how many stars there are let alone whether it’s an odd or even number. Stars being physical and physically measurable things, but they are ultimately immeasurable only due to our lack of ability to count them. Therefore it’s not able to be argued for one way or another.

      God is physically immeasurable, but can be philosophically argued for and against, and in a quite sophisticated fashion. I think it is possible to demonstrate logically and philosophically that God exists or He doesn’t even if some people remain unconvinced. After all, all men are mortal, Socrates is a man, therefore Socrates is mortal is sound and true all the way around even though anyone inclined to his skepticism can gainsay the conclusion.

      Back to your analogy and the BOP. The proposition left alone and unasserted bears no burden on anyone to argue for or against the evenness of the number of stars. BUT, when someone makes the claim that there are an even number of stars, if that assertion is challenged, the person making the claim bears the burden of demonstrating that there are an even number of stars. Once this person makes their case for an even amount of stars, person B can accept their argument and the discussion is over. Or person B can reject their argument, but upon rejecting the argument, person B now bears a burden as to why they reject the argument. They don’t get to just fold their arms and say ‘nope, I’m not convinced, keep going’. This is where Z has a problem. He has said multiple times in the past that he can just reject arguments for God all day and never actually give a rebuttal.

      Now, I realize demonstrating that there are an even number of stars is such a daunting task that one shouldn’t assert that as fact unless they are up for the challenge. One cant reasonably make the assertion then retreat to “its really hard to prove so I dont have to prove it, but it’s still true”. This is where I think the atheist sits. I agree it’s difficult to prove no gods exist. OK, then dont make the claim. Dont put it out there like it’s some brute fact then try to hide behind “its too hard to prove a negative”.

      Bottom line, go ahead and declare that you believe no gods exist, but dont pawn it off as a fact of nature and that “science” “logic” or other such thing has discovered it to be true. If you’re not up for the challenge, just say so. I believe no gods exist, but it’s not really something I can prove. But don’t try to blame it on theist apologists. Dont say youre an atheist because I havent convinced you to be otherwise. Thats just lazt and goes against all the platforming as holding the intellectual high ground.

      • John, you seem to be taking it personally that atheists are unconvinced of your reasons to believe a god exists. We are not assigning blame for our disbelief on theists. When we say you haven’t provided evidence of your claim sufficient to convince us it is not because we are relying solely on you per se. As I explained earlier, you are claiming positive knowledge of your chosen God, so yes, you will need to have evidence to back up that claim.

        Bottom line, go ahead and declare that you believe no gods exist, but dont pawn it off as a fact of nature and that “science” “logic” or other such thing has discovered it to be true. If you’re not up for the challenge, just say so. I believe no gods exist, but it’s not really something I can prove. But don’t try to blame it on theist apologists.

        A small quibble on my part: While it may not be a fact of nature that “science, logic or other such things has discovered it to be true” that there definitely is no god, it is a combination of those factors that builds a case for there being no god or gods. You cannot scientifically prove your God exists, yet you assert it to be a fact of nature that he does. You have interpreted the evidence to conclude that this is so. Just the same, an atheist has interpreted the available evidence to conclude that it is unlikely that a god exists.

        • Ruth,

          I dont take it personally. I couldn’t care less. I should care more, but I know you all have the info to do with what you will. Have you read even some of Ark’s comments. He says he doesnt believe because no one has convinced him or presented enough evidence to him. Essentially it’s my fault. Or everyone elses fault.

          I full well know that if I make the claim that God exists, I need to give reasons. However, “God does not exist/no gods exist” is also a claim to knowledge and requires evidence.

          My biggest quibble is that after a case has been made, skeptics like Z feel intellectually justified to say “nope, not good enough” but never actually offer his reasons or counter evidence.

          I don’t think proving God’s existence is a science question. It’s like trying to weigh a dump truck with a ruler. God is immaterial and not measurable physically which is the only realm science works in, the physical. Proving God exists is a meta-physical enterprise.

      • A number of things. “I dont think one can hold ‘not beliefs’. For example, its not that I dont believe there’s a pig in my living room, I believe there’s no pig in my living room. I mention this because you made a distinction” sure, you can’t “hold” not-beliefs (that’s just the wrong word) but you can not be convinced of something, yet also not hold to the belief in its opposite. In the case of the pig, you have positive evidence (from your senses) that there is no pig there. In the case of the stars you lack even that. As you say: “they are ultimately immeasurable only due to our lack of ability to count them” – that’s exactly my point. A strong conviction that they are even, and a strong conviction they are odd, are both irrational. Just because one is not convinced of the former does not mean that you embrace the latter. One can be unconvinced of a claim without believing the claim is itself false. Many times you have both – but not always. There is definitely a distinction, and that is the same distinction between atheism (as I understand it and use it) and anti-theism.

        “God is physically immeasurable, but can be philosophically argued for and against, and in a quite sophisticated fashion.” To a scientists ears this sounds silly. There is *no* philosophical argument possible to demonstrate the existence of a real thing…ever. On a slightly different matter, to say that God is physically immeasurable is to admit that God acts in no measurable way in the universe – an admission you probably don’t agree to.

        “person B can reject their argument, but upon rejecting the argument, person B now bears a burden as to why they reject the argument.” Sure, but they don’t have to make the counter case. They can simply point out what parts of the argument are unconvincing, and why, and I think the list violetwisp made earlier does that. They don’t have to explain a counter case, but perhaps that is not what you’re saying.

        “One cant reasonably make the assertion then retreat to “its really hard to prove so I dont have to prove it, but it’s still true”. This is where I think the atheist sits. I agree it’s difficult to prove no gods exist. OK, then dont make the claim.” The person making the claim for the even stars = theist claim for God. The person saying they are unconvinced by that argument = atheist. The person saying there is evidence for not even number of stars (i.e. odd number of stars) = antitheist. If you want to use these terms differently, then don’t ever use the terms at all because every discussion after that will be mired in confusion. Stick to, “here is a claim, what do you think about it?” rather than, “I’m a theist, you’re an atheist, let’s determine the burden of proof”. The former will sort out the burden of proof just fine.

  5. I also think that the insistence that atheism is simply a ‘lack of belief’ in gods/religions isn’t convincing in a lot of cases. Many of us have actively rejected the main religion of our culture along with the others we know something about. However, you’re wrong to suggest that this is the case for all atheists. Increasingly you’ll find that people brought up in non-religious households genuinely have nothing to reject, and that they simply lack belief in any religion/gods because they all seem like ludicrous propositions for the undereducated and superstitiously inclined. They don’t believe your god exists (I assume the Christian god God?), they don’t believe Pachamama exists, they don’t believe Shiva exists. And seriously, faced with a lack of indoctrination throughout their lives, why on earth would they think any one of those supernatural beings is more likely to exist than another?

    When it comes to specific reasons for rejection of religion generally, there are some obvious and complementary reasons – to give just a few:
    1. we can’t see, hear, sense, measure or test the existence of invisible creatures residing in another dimension
    2. every human society has invented invisible creatures in another dimension and every story is different, depending on the culture – suggesting these stories are man-made
    3. there’s evidence to suggest that if we’re susceptible to believing these stories we are more likely to be compliant and create ordered societies, so it has been evolutionarily in our favour to believe the binding superstitious story of our culture (or a stronger/more believable one that conquers us)
    4. and honestly, the stories in all the religions I know about are simply crazy, but for some reason that doesn’t convince the believers of any religion that their religion is wrong, only that the ones they’re not indoctrinated into are crazy. It’s kind of amusing.

    • I like your brief synopsis.

      • Thanks! I can’t tell if that’s sarcasm, hehe. I was going to add a point about fear and agency, and maybe something about Victoria’s studies on stressed and damaged brains being more susceptible to religious beliefs, but I thought it might get out of hand. There are just too many reasons to reject it all!

        • No, not sarcasm at all. These are some of the very basic reasons to discount theism.

          Like you said, there are many more complicated and nuanced reasons to reject it all, but the short list you gave was concise. That’s sort of “it in a nutshell”.

        • Violet, have you considered that God would have mercy on someone with a damaged brain, and therefore remove emotional walls to make it easier for them? I’m not saying this is the case, but I think you’d agree that correlation isnt the same as causation.

          • Well, yes, that would be a possibility of everyone in need was attracted to the same god concept. They’re not, are they? They’re attracted to whatever religion delusion lies closest to hand.

    • Hi Violetwisp, (can I call you Violet?)

      I totally understand what you mean. However, I dont think we’re talking about the same kind of person. The one you describe would be more akin to an apathetic agnostic/atheist. Someone like what I was. I wasn’t really sure if God existed and didnt much care growing up. I grew up in a very secular non-religious household. Who I’m referring to is the evangelical atheists, like Z and Ark. The one’s who make the definite claims about God’s existence, then retreat to “hey, I’m not gonna tell you why I believe it”.

      1. These things apply to many things, but isnt given the same kind of skepticism. For example, my thoughts. Thoughts/ideas are immaterial, cant be seen, heard, weighed, or anything. Yet we know thoughts exist, but only can know of our own thoughts. Same with emotion, and numbers.

      2. This demonstrates a bias. “invented” is a term already concluding that non-corporeal entities don’t exist. I could just as easily conclude that these non-corporeal, invisible, what have you things must exist if EVERY culture seems to know about them or have an experience with them! Only by assuming naturalism to be true can we begin with the conclusion that they’re invented.

      3. This suggests then that we only believe things that provide the best chance of survival. However, you don’t need to invent God for this. Brute force will accomplish this just fine. In fact, there are lots of people who don’t do bad things simply because they dont want to go to jail. But more to your point, this would mean that evolution doesnt necessarily select for truth, only what causes you to survive and pass on genes. Like Plantinga’s tiger thought exercise.

      4. I don’t see this as any defeater to anything. Like I tried explaining to Z, it doesn’t matter if something is crazy, if it’s true, then it’s true. This is the only thing I can defend other religions on. Many people think practices of other religions are crazy. But if they’re correct, then it doesn’t matter how crazy it is.

      • Listen, Dickhead, you cannot use the capital ‘G’ when referring to a god simply because it is not a pronoun. If you wish to address this particular god then use his name: Yahweh. That at least show a modicum of intellectual honesty on your part.
        As for ”definite claims” etc ….

        The only definite claim is this: You have never provided a scrap of verifiable evidence for your god the biblical character Jesus of Nazareth being the creator of the univese. So to keep saying ”God” is disingenuous unless you are referring to Yahweh.
        Are we clear?
        Super ….
        Carry on.

        • I’m not referring to God as an abstract object, or an entity one among many. I’m using it as a proper noun. That mom over there is different than when I’m referring to Mom.

          Are we clear? Or do I need to remind you that I can do anything I jolly well please on this website that I own?

        • Is that the only insult you know, “dickhead”?

          And though you’ve claimed on numerous occasions that Jesus of Nazareth is nothing but a mere myth, you’ve failed to support the claim.

          You aren’t intelligent enough to debate these issues, Ark. You’re way out of your league on this blog. Perhaps you should save a little face and leave.

          • Stupid dickhead, good-looking dickhead, suave & debonair dickhead, American dickhead, Shamrock Dickhead. I dunno, Terrence. You pick one?

            The biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth is a narrative construct. Please try to follow what I write, okay?
            You make the claim this character was real then provide the evidence to back it.

            There is no obligation for me to take your word for it that an Itinerant smelly eschatological Jewish Lake Tiberius pedestrian cum-preacher who rose from the dead and sent demons into swine thus flaunting numerous animal rights laws and causing untold economical hardship to a local pig farmer ever existed.
            And until you produce just one piece of evidence for this character you can stand on you head and whistle Dixie, Terrance because you ain’t got Jak-Shit, brother!
            Got it? Super!
            Now , off you go and find some evidence and please stop wasting everyone’s time.- you just ”look” silly..

            • The biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth is a narrative construct.

              And curiously you’ve yet to provide evidence for this belief.

              You make the claim this character was real then provide the evidence to back it.

              No. I choose to believe that the authors of the New Testament have no reason to lie. You claim they’re lying, therefore you have the obligation to support the claim. Are you following what I’m saying, dickhead?

              • And curiously you’ve yet to provide evidence for this belief.

                As I don’t feel it necessary to provide evidence that Harry Potter is not a fictional character; and he too is able to perform magic.

                No. I choose to believe that the authors of the New Testament have no reason to lie.

                But the entire corpus (Old & New) is literally riddled with lies, or at least erroneous accounts.

                Are you so credulous, Terrance? Truly?
                If this is the case then you really should be on medication or perhaps be regarded as slightly mentally unstable.
                This is a sign of severe indoctrination.
                I have demonstrated one perfect example time and again – that the writer of Matthew flagrantly ripped off Isiah for his pathetic virgin prophecy.
                I have previously offered links to serious scholars – and at least one Christian scholar sanctioned by the Catholic Church, showing the fallacious nature of this passage and yet you hand wave away each and every one. Why is that I wonder?
                Would you like to read Raymond Brown’s testimony on this issue (again), Terrance?
                It is a fiction.
                If you are not prepared to deal with it, that is not my concern.
                You might not believe in gravity either. This doesn’t alter the fact that we have gravity and no amount of hand-waving and pooh-poohing the facts will change this. I doubt you would jump out of double-storey window to prove the point, now would you? No of course not!
                It’s unfortunate you have been indoctrinated to this degree, really, it is quite sad.
                But in a world where religious fundamentalists and fanatics are killing people – going to war even- because of religion or falsely instilling myriad of lies into our children then I am sorry, but I feel it perfectly within my right to expose the willfully ignorant and the liars and treat them with equal disdain and scorn.

                Truly, you need to do some serious historical research into your religion.

              • Ark, you haven’t really given rebuttals, you’ve offered assertions. You say that assertions from us are unsatisfactory, yet you are nothing but “I’ve already said” with not actual argument.

              • So you don’t accept the testimony of Raymond Brown regarding the Virgin Birth farce? Why not?

              • Lmao! You just offered toads hopping farther as evidence that sludge turned into humans? Such a Tool.

              • No, this is not about abiogenesis, dickhead.
                You said evolution is not observable. I quoted you directly.
                Well, it is observable.

                Oh, and are you familiar with the Miller/Urey experiment?

              • The miller urey experiment that isn’t even taught anymore because it’s been debunked? Yeah. I know about how they used a controlled environment that wasn’t at all similar to the actual conditions of the earth, among other problems.

                What’s next, the moths? Or the horse hooves that seem to show a progression but in actuality many were contemporary species?

                Like I said. You’re a tool. And you think I have too much faith? A toad jumps a bit farther therefore algae to human. Wow.

              • You must learn to understand the difference,John
                I am only quoting you, after all. And you did say evolution is not observable. And it is.
                Now, back to the Virgin Birth.
                Do you accept Raymond Brown’s testimony?

              • Suggesting that a toad can jump farther is not evolution. You and those scientists read that narrative into the data.

                I asked you who ray brown is and what his testimony is.

              • Then you didn’t read the article. Figures…
                I suppose i am expecting just a tad too much hoping a fundamentalist will behave honestly.
                Nevertheless, we chip away at the stone.

                Go read for yourself.

                http://www.simpletoremember.com/vitals/Christian_Credibility.htm

              • I’m asking you to support your assertions. Just dropping links doesn’t do that. You have a history here of just name dropping then refusing to make any actual argument.

                I guess that’s all you have. Or perhaps that’s all people like you do and think is necessary.

              • What argument would you like, John?
                I don’t try to supersede experts in their respective fields. What would be the point? It is far better for all concerned to let these people ”speak for themselves” and follow the evidence where it leads. This is, after all, what these people do for a living. They are scientists, not theologians or theists.

                You have yet to make a pertinent argument for your belief that the character, Jesus of Nazareth is the creator of the universe. You have simply asserted it.
                Why should I give your assertion any credence whatsoever?
                If you are prepared to offer a valid reason then maybe I might well reconsider my position.

              • So then you’re cool with me just citing NT scholars then refuse to actually give an argument and tell you to look it up? Is that how discussions are conducted in your circles?

              • What argument would you like John?

                Ray Brown is quoting the official Catholic sanctioned point of view on the Virgin Birth.
                What more can I say on the issue?
                I can refer you to several sites that clearly demonstrate why the wording in Isiah & etc is not the same as what the writer of Matthew used.
                The argument for this particular Christian nonsense is simple.
                The word almah does not mean virgin.
                The writer of Matthew ripped the passage from Isaiah to include a virgin birth as part of the Christian Fiction.
                This has been attested by scholars across several religions but most importantly those who have an intimate understanding of the original language.
                That’s it, I am afraid.
                What other sort of argument are you looking for?

              • Then I have to ask: Why the hell are you citing a Catholic view? I’m not catholic and they don’t speak for all of Christianity.

              • Because he is a scholar and their outfit came before yours.
                And Ray Brown is being honest and his view is sanctioned by the church.
                They are admitting they made a mistake! They were wrong!
                It has never been shouted from the rooftops – this has never been the way with religion – but this is grassroots dogma. A foundational tenet that has been basically overturned.
                These are the ones originally responsible for the compilation of the bible.
                Do you actually realise how difficult this must have been for an organisation ( and its offshoots) that has so much blood on its hands?

                Isn’t it about time you acknowledged that you too have made the same mistake?

              • And what is the data to support that it was “ripped off” and not confirmation of prophesy?

              • Would you like another link to an expert in the Hebrew language regarding the use of the word almah and betulah?
                And why the greek translation made the word virgin?
                Or would you prefer the argument that this was merely a ”prophecy” for King Ahaz and nothing whatsoever to do with a future Jew born centuries later and the ensuing verses of the text clearly demonstrate this point?
                Which argument would you like John?

              • So, when you have picked you arse up… do you accept the testimony of Raymond Brown regarding the Virgin Birth?
                And if not, please explain why not.

              • Tell who ray brown is and what he said.

              • You are unaware who Raymond Brown is? Seriously?
                Why not JFGI.

              • Ark,

                Harry Potter is an obvious work of fiction, and billed as an obvious work of fiction. Are you claiming the
                New Testament Gospels were orginally intended as fictional stories? If so, please support this with some type of verifiable evidence.

                But the entire corpus (Old & New) is literally riddled with lies, or at least erroneous accounts.

                And yet you’ve been unable to point out even a single one. Hmmm.

                I have demonstrated one perfect example time and again – that the writer of Matthew flagrantly ripped off Isiah for his pathetic virgin prophecy.

                Or, ya know, the writer of Matthew merely told a story of a prophesy that came true.

                I have previously offered links to serious scholars – and at least one Christian scholar sanctioned by the Catholic Church, showing the fallacious
                nature of this passage and yet you hand wave away each and every one. Why is that I wonder?

                I’m not aware of any such links. Whatever debate you and John are having is not my concern. But since you brought it, let’s discuss it. Explain.

                And trust me, Ark, the only one in serious need of education is you. You are the most pathetic excuse for an atheist Sifting Reality has ever known.

              • Or, ya know, the writer of Matthew merely told a story of a prophesy that came true.

                Have you any evidence to demonstrate this assertion?

              • I’m not sure you understand the rules of debate. Or, do you automatically accuse people of lying when they tell a story? You have to demonstrate, or at least provide good reasons, why you think that person is lying. You don’t get to make wild accusations and then turn it around on the other person.

              • Oh, so you think this is all about point scoring , do you?
                What a plonker you truly are!
                Biblical experts have already declared that the Matthew passage is a ripoff. And I am not talking about scheming christian apologists either.
                I have already mentioned theologian, Raymond Brown on this blog – several times. His response to the question of the virgin birth was sanctioned/authorized by the Catholic Church.
                You remember them? They were the good folks who first brought you your religion and were partly responsible for compiling your bible,.
                Go check your history.
                Furthermore even a person of limited faculties such as yourself should be able to deduce that the Isaiah passage in question has sweet Fanny Adams to do with some smelly, hick-town escatological prophet in the future.

                The unknown writer of the gospel of Matthew ripped it off. Plain and simple.
                That is not a wild accusation – it is fact!
                Read the damn book, you half-wit.

      • Well, first of all, you needn’t use Ark as an example of how any rational person thinks – he’s just an atheist troll on an author’s character-writing kick. I can appreciate your frustration that all he wants to do is call people names and seldom comes up with any reasonable points. There’s something rather charming about him though.
        1. We can measure thoughts. Neuroimaging techniques are only starting to give us clues into what parts of our brains are active depending on what we’re thinking or doing. Besides which, we all directly experience thoughts. Numbers are concepts created by humans – there’s no number 3 in another dimension (sorry). Emotions are labels we attach to our shared experiences of basic states – no-one suggests that because we constructed this label and created a noise for it in our language that an independent being Anger exists somewhere we can’t see or touch. I’m disappointed you could even suggest there’s a comparison between these things and a being that is supposed to have invented our existence.
        2. I have conceded in the past that there is more of a chance that ALL the gods exist than that one of these stories is correct. I just think there’s a much bigger (by a million) chance that Joseph Smith made up the story about the angels and golden tablets, Hubbard invented the story about the aliens, and several generations invented the story that there was a man Jesus who was the son of the only creator god. I’m sure you think at least two of those stories are invented and wouldn’t accuse yourself of bias.
        3. I don’t understand this. Of course evolution doesn’t select for ‘truth’ (whatever that is).
        4. I agree that something seeming in crazy in no way means you can discount it. My point was that there is a pattern of crazy in all religious beliefs – everyone recognises that someone else’s crazy religion is crazy, but they can’t see it in their own. Odd.

        • Hello V. Got fed with lurking did you? Couldn’t resist getting you little footsies wet.
          Oh, thank you for the ringing compliments. I love you too.
          It won’t matter how reasonable and well thought our your comment, you know you will never get a truthful answer don’t you?
          Faith is where its at ‘sister’, ain’t no place for proper evidence here, y’all.

          • Well, he’s entitled to his opinion. And he does have a point about atheists babbling on about the burden of proof. Human history tells us that people have always accepted religions, so going against that does place the burden of proof with us. Besides, it’s not difficult. Unfortunately for the preprogrammed mind, it’s difficult to see and can take some time to move those neural pathways. It’s not about truth, it’s about perception.

            • Ah, bit this is not about deism but about his god, the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth, who he claims is the creator of the universe.
              No problem, say I, providing you show some verifiable evidence.
              So far ….nada. And that is why he, and the rest of them, are hypocrites.

              • Hypocrites? We all agree that our religion is a matter of faith. Still, we can offer good reasons to believe in Jesus of Nazareth, as we have on numerous occasions, but that isn’t enough for people such as yourself who already “know” that God does not exist.

                Second, you have claimed several times that Jesus of Nazareth is nothing but a myth – yet the claim remains unsupported. You simply don’t have the ability to debate this issue.

              • Terrance, the problem is that Ark defines faith as a blind leap without and contrary to evidence. In fact faith as used in the bible is better defined as a trust.

              • Well, Ark is a moron.

              • We all agree that our religion is a matter of faith

                Actually, after numerous times me saying that it is faith , not fact that is the basis of what you believe, you are
                the first one of your indoctrinated crowd to actually come out and admit the issue of faith. Congrats, Terrance.
                I am impressed. Maybe you are not so much a dickhead after all?

                Still, we can offer good reasons to believe in Jesus of Nazareth, as we have on numerous occasions, but that isn’t enough for people such as yourself who already “know” that God does not exist.

                A reason to believe is not evidence of what you claim to be fact.
                Don’t conflate the two.
                I have never said a creator does not exist. I have always stated that based on the evidence put forward to support this claim I can reject it out of hand, and especially your claim that the character Jesus of Nazareth is the creator of the universe. THAT is a crock of shit.

                Second, you have claimed several times that Jesus of Nazareth is nothing but a myth – yet the claim remains unsupported. You simply don’t have the ability to debate this issue.

                I have said the biblical character is a narrative construct. Get it right, please.

                Fine …you wish to debate it? Great. Explain to me how the character Jesus Nazareth walked on water?
                Aside for this, l’ll give you 7/10 for this comment, Terrance. The only one of you ”man enough” to admit that faith is the core of your belief.
                And so we progress. Well done. I mean it. It took a while, but we got there.

                Now …all you have to do to gain more credibility, is produce evidence to back this faith.

              • I’m sorry. Are any of us Christians actually shy about admitting that our beliefs require faith? It should be common sense. They certainly aren’t observable. It’s not as though I can go to YouTube and watch Jesus walk on water.

                So, I’m not quite sure what you’re talking about, Ark. Perhaps you simply misunderstand the things others say. And I believe I can support this. You just contradicted yourself. You praise me for saying that my beliefs require “faith,” but then say:

                A reason to believe is not evidence of what you claim to be fact.

                I’m sorry. I think you’re confused, Ark.

                Anyway. Yes, my beliefs require faith. But I don’t believe my faith is a blind one, because, as I said, I can provide good reasons to believe in Jesus of Nazareth.

                Are you following so far? Good.

                Now, you want me to explain how Jesus walked on water? Well, I imagine he put one foot in front of the other.

              • Not confused at all Terrance.
                As Mark Twain said, ”Faith is believing in what you know ain’t so.”
                That you believe something based on faith – especially when there is no ( apparent) verifiable evidence to support this faith – is no reason whatsoever to assume it is fact.

                But I don’t believe my faith is a blind one, because, as I said, I can provide good reasons to believe in Jesus of Nazareth.

                Then please supply the reason and the evidence to back them.

              • Ark,

                I’m not sure quoting a humorist makes your point. And I still think you’re confused, as I don’t assume my belief is fact. I didn’t say it was fact. I said I can provide good reasons why I believe in it – as I, John, and others have done numerous times on this blog.

              • Then please provide those reasons.

              • I have – many times. So has John. So has Marshal Art. So have others. You refuse to listen.

              • A personal reason to believe that is not backed by evidence clearly demonstrates what I have asserted all along. You believe due to indoctrination.
                This is the only relevant fact.
                And thus, you prove the point. You have absolutely no evidence whatsoever to back a single assertion for your faith.

                Why is it so difficult for you to admit this?

              • Well, if a few goats losing a couple pounds is evidence enough for you to believe in speciation by natural selection, then the written documentation contained in the collective body of the bible is plenty of evidence.

              • Once more, your asinine reasoning betrays not only your ignorance but also your indoctrination.
                It truly is not very clever , John and merely makes you look like the bloody idiot you are.
                Never mind non-believers, the average Christian reading your comments would surely cringe with embarrassment that you number yourself among them, and would distance themselves from such nonsense as you blab on about..

                If you have any integrity whatsoever then at least admit that your core beliefs are based solely on faith with no hard evidence to back any of it.

              • Do you have any evidence that the sun will rise tomorrow? No, you don’t. But you believe it will. Why? Are you indoctrinated? No. You simply have a good reason to believe the sun will rise tomorrow, i.e., it always has in the past.

                Similarly, I have good reasons to believe in Jesus of Nazareth, reasons I and others have laid out. But since I’m tired of going in circles with you, I’ll present a few of them.

                1). There is little dispute among academics that a man named Jesus taught in Palestine during the reign of Tiberus and was subsequently crucified by a Roman prefect. The Gospels confirm, and extra biblical sources support, this assertion.

                2). As William Lane Craig asks, “How often do urban legends concern actual individuals?” Almost never.

                3). To believe that Jesus’ followers merely embellished, and then continued to risk their lives practicing this embellishment, is to believe in perhaps the greatest example of mass psychosis in the history of the world.

                It is quite simply absurd to think that these people would embellish, risk their lives and the lives of their loved ones for what amounts to a practical joke.

                4). How could they get away with these embellishments, since many of the people who knew Jesus were still living when the Gospels were authored? Why didn’t they call B.S.?

                Now run along, child.

              • The Gospels confirm, and extra biblical sources support, this assertion.

                There is a single non-biblical reference to this event (crucifixion) found in Tacitus, and of the two extant copies there is doubt cast about the authenticity of the passage found in Book XV, sec. 44 of Annals.

                The passage in question is not quoted by any Christian writer prior to the fifteenth century including Tertullian, St. Clement of Alexandria, Origen, or Eusebius.
                Why not? it would have been the perfect foil for the skeptics. yet nothing. Not a peep.
                Tertullian is also known to have quoted Tacitus’ Histories.

                You need to ‘bone-up’ a bit more on your history, my friend.
                The biblical story is just that .. ..a story. The evidence is out there. All you have to do is exercise a little bit of common sense and critical thought.
                I realise that for you this is difficult; a major hurdle to surmount, but this is reality.

              • There is a single non-biblical reference to this event (crucifixion) found in Tacitus, and of the two extant copies there is doubt cast about the authenticity of the passage found in Book XV, sec. 44 of Annals.

                Fact is, the “Bible,” as you say it, is not one source. No matter how many times you say it. The Bible is comprised of many books and letters from many different sources, and I’ve yet to hear a single good reason why those sources aren’t credible. I’m waiting. We’re all waiting, Ark.

                The passage in question is not quoted by any Christian writer prior to the fifteenth century including Tertullian, St. Clement of Alexandria, Origen, or Eusebius.

                […]

                You need to ‘bone-up’ a bit more on your history, my friend.

                Don’t give me any of your pathetic B.S., Ark. Most scholars consider the writing to be authentic.

                Check out Robert E. Van Voorst, Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence, Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2000. p 39- 53 and Tradition and Incarnation: Foundations of Christian Theology by William L. Portier for proof of this assertion.

                You’re a waste of time, Ark. You have no idea what you’re talking about. You’re just quote-mining shit from atheist websites run by people as ignorant as you.

              • And you are simply demonstrating that when push come to shove you know nothing about the history of the compilation bible. You even sound upset!

                You certainly weren’t aware of this bit of info, now were you clever clogs! Lol…’

                As I have said time and again, it matters not how many little fundie tantrums you have – your religion is on the way out. And the stats quite clearly show that the more socially developed the country the less reliance there is on religion, and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it! And this makes me smile like you cannot imagine.

              • Ark,

                …compilation bible…

                I feel a Da Vinci Code argument coming…Why not resort to fiction? Nothing else has worked for you.

                Smile. I don’t care. Why would you think that bothers me even a little bit?

                And you’re right, Ark. You’re not at all biased, and you certainly don’t lump all of us together with the Pat Roberston types. I guess I’ll just go watch some “fundie” program and send some money to a “fundie” pastor whose jet is getting old.

              • Since I first came across Christian Fundamentalists ( I was unaware that this breed of animal was out there until I began writing – I shit you not) I have never ever had a discussion with a single one that has been able to present a reasonable argument /explanation for their innerant biblical views.
                I was at first completely amazed that there were still people who actually believed in such things as The Flood and Adam and Eve and when I came across Christians who believed that dinosaurs actually existed with humans and believed the Earth was only 6000 years old I honestly thought it was some sort of internet hoax. I tell you no lie. I even Googled it to be sure!
                As you can imagine, I was brought up in a very different environment altogether, even though it would have been labelled Christian and I believed that Jesus of Nazareth was a real person.
                One things has become clear: the power of indoctrination far surpasses anything someone like George Orwell ( 1984) could have imagined.
                And you and those Christians that frequent John’s blog ( and others like it) are living proof.
                I truly do not know how to react to such intransigent ignorance.
                You exceed even my very broad definitions of the term idiot.
                It really is quite sad.

              • Ark, you’ve never been given reasonable viable evidence because YOU don’t consider anything reasonable or viable. You reject everything. You are literally the most biased and unreasonable atheist I’ve ever come across.

              • Nonsense! Unreasonable! lol….
                There isn’t a modern secular historian that would countenance any supernatural nonsense for the characer Jesus of Nazareth, and few would be willing to state that there truly was such a character. You would not countenance it from other religions so why the hell should I?
                Stop trying to fool yourself, John.
                If you want to get your message across then step up to the plate and produce verifiable evidence for the claims you make.
                Otherwise, simply state that what you believe is based solely on faith.
                That I will accept.

              • You’re so blind to it you don’t even realize. Of course there isn’t a secular scholar who accepts the supernatural events in the bible, if the did THEY WOULDNT BE SECULAR. You claim to be open, yet you up front say there are lodes of offerings you wouldn’t even countenance. “Give me anything, anything at all. But just don’t give me abcdefgh….”. The only scholarship you’ll consider are those who already share your own view. Dude, you’re not wearing rose colored glasses. You’re wearing blinders and earplugs.

              • Supernatural claims are made by every religion yet you don’t countenance these do you?
                Why not? Are you a hypocrite?

                You’re so blind to it you don’t even realize. Of course there isn’t a secular scholar who accepts the supernatural events in the bible, if the did THEY WOULDNT BE SECULAR

                Exactly! And this means you cannot produce any verifiable evidence, and this means what you believe in is based solely on faith.
                Now the next step is for you to acknowledge that the bible is an erroneous collection of books with little or no basis in historical fact.
                Donkeys and snakes don’t talk. The wold was not drowned in a global flood, dinosaurs did not coexist with humans and women don’t get pregnant from a spirit and men don’t walk on water.
                Then once you accept this you will be able to accept that it was the church that bestowed godhood on the character Jesus of Nazareth.
                And then you will become enlightened.

                Maybe there was , a 1st century prophet called Yeshua, Who knows? Who cares?
                But there is NO EVIDENCE for the biblical man-god character Jesus of Nazareth because he is a narrative construct.

                Do you understand now?

              • The New Testament authors were complicit in the fraud, you half wit! What are you not understanding?
                The biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth is a narrative construct, this is why there is no contemporary evidence anywhere.
                Let me state that one more time.
                There is NO EVIDENCE for the biblical character Jesus of Nazareth.

              • I understand that you believe that. But you haven’t given us one damn good reason why they would do it, you moron.

                There is plenty of evidence for the biblical character Jesus of Nazareth.

              • Verifiable evidence? Then please, I am begging you, produce some …. anything.

              • I have. There is simply no good reason to believe that the New Testament authors lied or embellished.

              • Then you are a blithering ignorant idiot.
                There are a multitude of reasons and the gospels themselves are their own indictment.

                If you adhere to the belief that Mark was the first gospel then it is obvious Matthew ripped it off. The writer used appro. 600 verses, some almost verbatim.

                Luke’s description of ”Nazareth” is so inept he wouldn’t make the inside back page of the cheapest Middle Eastern Tourist guide.

                Again ….you have yet to produce a single piece of verifiable evidence for the man god Jesus of Nazareth.

              • When documenting identical events, if Matthew knows Marks account is accurate, why would he need to reword it? Also, you’re putting this out there as though if Matthew used different wording you’d accept it. But you’d find some other reason because you won’t accept it no matter what.

                Of all the Atheists who have ever graced this site, Ark, you’re easily the most puerile.

              • Lol… At least i am on top of the pile.

                What you truly know about the gospels could be written on the back of a postage stamp.
                That you continue to trot out apologetic diatribe is evidence that you have never researched the synoptic history, or if you have you have rejected it as soon as it jarred with your apologetic fundamentalist clap trap indoctrination.

                Read a decent biblical scholar. Maybe Maurice Casey if you can’t handle Ehrman.
                Casey believed Matthew had a Hebraic core. That should keep you busy for a while.

                Why do you think people like Norman Geisler came down like a ton of bricks on Mike Licona for having the temerity to even suggest that the resurrection of the saints was not an actual event?

                Because if the innerantists let such stuff fly then pretty soon they would all be out of a job and people like you would have to face reality and would be pissing in their pants.

                Let’s hear the story (evidence) of your conversion then.
                What was it? Sex, drugs, booze?, Emotional collapse?
                I have heard them all.

                Or are you so ashamed of your religion that you can’t face a bit of scrutiny from a ”puerile” atheist?

              • It is quite simply absurd to think that these people would embellish, risk their lives and the lives of their loved ones for what amounts to a practical joke.

                Why? Not too long ago several other religious fanatics flew some jetliners into some very tall buildings because of their faith in a god.

                Are you saying they are liars? That their belief is any less absurd than yours?

                ”How could they get away with it? ”

                Smile, you really are naive, aren’t you?

              • Ark,

                Are you really that stupid? The New Testament authors were in a position to KNOW IT WAS ALL A BUNCH OF B.S. they were writing. The fanatics who flew planes into the World Trade Center were die-hard believers.

                Smile. You’re a moron.

  6. Nope, Brian – John rejects your statement and insists it is you, the non-believer, that is making the claim that x does NOT exist and MUST defend it. You must defend the argument he thinks you’re making!

    He’ll refuse to make any solid argument for his belief.

  7. Thanks for the reply, zqtx, but I’d rather hear John directly on this. You certainly wouldn’t want him to accuse you of putting words in his mouth, as you are stating he is doing to others, right?

  8. Your post John, reeks of arrogance and presumption.

    Our “condition”? Suggesting that there are no gods, is not a condition.

  9. God is immaterial and not measurable physically which is the only realm science works in, the physical. Proving God exists is a meta-physical enterprise.

    See John – there you go again.
    Please explain how you have knowledge of this claim.

    … This is where Z has a problem. He has said multiple times in the past that he can just reject arguments for God all day and never actually give a rebuttal.

    That which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.
    You keep trying to present the bible text as evidence when it just ain’t so.

    …who make the definite claims about God’s existence, then retreat to “hey, I’m not gonna tell you why I believe it”.

    I’ve told you repeatedly – I don’t find any evidence to support the claim that a god exists.
    There is certainly no evidence to support the belief in the god of the bible. The problem is that followers like you are unwilling to see that. The ONLY way the bible is true is by faith – not facts.

  10. let’s hear your reasons for your own position.

    Simply because a choice between such absurd nonsense as found within the myriad dogmas of christian theism, not least the notion of me being a sinner, morals inherited from a deity, doomed to torture in an eternal Hell for not believing or the simple rejection of all gods based upon absolutely no evidence whatsoever is a no brainer.

    • No evidence whatsoever is entirely different from the strength of evidence. And add to that, just because you aren’t convinced doesn’t mean it’s not evidence either.

      • No, it is not just that I am nt cinvinced there is no evidence, merely hearsay.
        You have yet to produce a single scrap of evidence for any of the Christian claims you continually assert.
        As you feel so strongly about how right you are then offer evidence to back theses claims
        Let me make it easy for you, okay?
        Let’s try a simple one.
        How do you know that non-believers will be going to hell?

        • your last comment is incoherent. Try again.

          • How do you know that non-believers are going to Hell? Coherent now?

            • It’s documented in a source I have determined to be credible that people who commit moral crimes are punished for them, unless they are willing to accept an offered conditional pardon.

              • Where does it say they are going to Hell?

              • Are you asking where it says that people who do not accept the conditional pardon are punished and on their own, or are you asking if there’s a ver batum sentence that says “they are going to hell”?

              • Where in the bible does it state that those who do not accept Jesus of Nazareth will spend eternity in Hell.

              • It’s littered throughout the NT. Being the veritable new testament scholar, did you miss it…somehow?

              • Maybe I did miss it? Please mention the one you generally refer to.

              • The one? There are multiple passages. Instead of beating around the bush, and wasting my time, why not just make your point.

              • I have made my point – you have no evidence for this or any other claim. There is nowhere in the bible that makes the claim that a non -believer is going to hell as you understand it.
                You are ignorant of the bible and what it really says, or a fraud.

              • Are you serious? There’s nowhere in the bible that says unbelievers will be eternally punished for their sins?

              • Nowhere that says anyone will go to hell. If you say there is , then please identify the passage

              • So we’re clear, you’re asserting that no where does it say that the unsaved will suffer an eternal punishment for their sins?

              • Nowhere does it say that anyone will go to hell as per christian doctrine. Nowhere.

              • paynehollow says:

                Ask the question again and answer it again, John/Ark… build up the drama a bit more!

                [Will John finally answer a simple, direct, pertinent question? Is there a verse that says what he claims?? Will it be forthcoming????? AAAGGGGHHHH!! The suspense is too much!!!!]

                hehehe…

                ~Dan

              • paynehollow says:

                Oh, heck (hell?) I’ll answer the question: The Bible points to the “lost” – those who refuse to “accept Jesus” – going to hell in Luke 16 where it says…

                There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments

                ….

                …oh, wait, in that story, it doesn’t even say he was a sinner (much less, refused to “accept Jesus”), it just says that he was a rich man who lived high on the hog and when he died, was sent to hell and torment… it doesn’t say he refused to “accept Jesus…”

                Well, dang.

                ~Dan

              • @Dan
                The problem is, of course, that there were several words for ”hell;’ as I am sure you are aware, yet when the bible NT was written/translated they said, “Ah, what the hell” and called all these words ….well, hell.
                And these days, the church , the Original Brand , not the knock-off version John belongs to obviously, have admitted there was likely an almighty cock-up in this area and that we aren’t actually going to a fiery, eternal torture pit etc and said sorry. Oops, so I wonder where my miserable, atheist grandfather is then?
                Rather puts the mockers on John’s claim doesn’t it?

                So that’s one piece of fallacious dogma shot down to …er..hell?

                Next…

  11. There’s No Such Thing as a Naturalist

    A failure to provide believable (observable) evidence does indeed belong to the very people who claim unobservable evidence as their reason for not believing in the God of the Bible.

    At the end of the day it takes the same thing to be an evolutionary atheist as it does to be a theist who believes in the Creator set forth in the Bible. While the theist has no problem resting on faith, it is the atheist who willfully fails to admit their need and dependence upon the very thing that theists are castigated for…a belief in evidence that has never been personally witnessed.

    Hope that link worked.

    • Really, Eugene?

      You think there’s no difference between literally mountains of evidence to support the evolutionary model and the assembled allegedly inerrant text of two thousand years ago?

      It doesn’t take faith to understand why evolution is true – just a brain.

      • Z

        I think his point is evolution is not observable, it must be extrapolated from existing fossils. The fact that it’s not repeatable actually by definition makes it not science.

      • Z,

        So you’ve witnessed life begin from non-life then huh? You’re going to need more than brains for that. What does science call it again? Oh yeah, observable evidence. And why does everything have to come down to name calling?

        Abiogenesis has never been observed, but yet many atheists act as if they have the “higher intellectual” and “faith absent” ground to stand upon by only believing in “what has been observed”, and yet…well, there’s that ole’ tricky unobserved abiogenesis thing. Not the origin of species mind you, but the origin of life.

        That’s why atheists do indeed have faith in a book; the whole belief system of atheism relies upon it whether one acknowledges it or not; it’s just that the atheist’s book of faith is called a science book that teaches “scientific” things even though they have never actually been observed, things such as abiogenesis. You’re really not going to deny that abiogenesis has never been observed are you?

        I’m not going to get into a debate because the debate is already settled. John gave a reply that says enough. I’ll just say I’m not a “naturalist” because naturalists have failed to provide me with enough evidence as to why I should be one.

        • Typical response.

          Another theist who equates evolution and abiogenesis – what a surprise…

          • Do you have a response to his assertion that abiogensis has never been observed?

          • Z

            You’ve missed the point for at least the second time.

            The point…again…is that you disparage theists for believing in something they can’t witness. Yet you accept many things, in the name of all knowing, all powerful science that you can’t witness, that you can only infer. The point further is that you’re willing to overlook the fact that you believe many things based on the testimony of scientists because you deem them credible. We believe many things based on the testimony of the apostles and others because we deem them credible. In this respect our methodology is very similar yet you look down on us for it. Get it?

            • “The point further is that you’re willing to overlook the fact that you believe many things based on the testimony of scientists because you deem them credible. We believe many things based on the testimony of the apostles and others because we deem them credible. In this respect our methodology is very similar yet you look down on us for it.”

              The methodology may look superficially similar, but they are quite a bit different. For example, I don’t believe the testimony Isaac Newton because I find him credible. I believe his testimony because I find the *process* of scientific and skeptical inquiry credible, as I have witnessed the fruits of it myself. The process involves not trusting testimony, but testing predictions. Knowing that if Scientist A claims something ridiculous that Scientist B will throw it open for everyone to see, makes be trust Scientist A’s claims more when Scientist B doesn’t do this. What we trust in science has been through a rigorous process of skepticism. That doesn’t guarantee it correct, but it is highly likely.

              There is nothing even remotely like that for the testimony of apostles – quite the opposite. There are known processes where bad ideas in religion are shielded from criticism. Thus their testimony is not taken seriously because the *process* is unreliable.

              • Excellent comment, Brian.
                It is oft forgotten that merely questioning certain aspects of church/biblical dogma was once punishable by death in the not too distant past.

              • There are numerous “Scientist B’s” that disagree with “Scientist A’s” conclusion of abiogenesis because “Scientist A” has yet to observe or prove it in any manner to “Scientist B”…yet abiogenesis is taught in science books to children as if it were a fact in the same way that it exists in “Scientist A’s” head: not by any witnessed fruits, repetitive action or observation. And yet “Scientist A” is held up as the “truth teller” while “Scientist B” is castigated because it’s not what the atheistic branch of the scientific community wants to believe. That’s why I provided the link in my original comment.

                When it comes to “naturalism”, biogenesis is the only fruitful, repetitively observed and witnessed form of “procreation” yet the hope of the atheist rests firmly upon that which has none of the same supporting evidences – namely abiogenesis.

                Z replied to what I said but he tried to do a sidestepping debate which completely ignored the point; which is why I said I didn’t want to debate. The discussion, in this case, is about how abiogenesis is a form of science that bases its conclusion on what is desired to be seen and not on what has actually been seen at all.

                Why is this so hard for the vast majority of atheists or scientists, or whatever identity a person wants to go by, so hard to admit?

            • “Testimony of scientists”? That’s hilarious!

              If you are trying to equate scientific method to just believing something some guy(s) wrote two thousand years ago, you are sadly mistaken. The methodology isn’t even close to similar.

              I don’t disparage theists for believing in something they can’t witness. I disparage theists for believing in something they cannot prove to be true.

              The difference between religious beliefs and scientific conclusions is that science can change its conclusion with the introduction of new information. Religion, on the other hand, is rigid and doesn’t allow dissent. Your holy book was finalized a long time ago and doesn’t allow the introduction of new information, let alone for anyone to point out its obvious flaws.

              • @Z
                Ah, small point. Many don’t believe in hell or purgatory these days …

              • Maybe, but John believes in a definitive eternity in heaven or hell.

                People are free to believe any bullshit they want, but religious folks are constantly imposing their beliefs on others. I’m only outspoken about this to stop its constant encroachment into government policy that affects my life. Keep this crap out of our school science curricula and stop the child abusing indoctrination of children.

              • Oh, I agree 100%, Z.
                My comment was more to demonstrate how their ”infallible book” has undergone some re-interpretation over the years and will undergo more in the face of archaeology, etymology and various other branches of science.
                Who knows how it will be regarded in 50 or 100 years time, especially when we consider how rapidly society is changing under the technological whirlwind?
                As it is, the world is moving away from religion. Albeit slowly, but it is forever gaining momentum. Look at the Scandinavian countries.
                Also: so called ”Jesus Mythers” were considered deviants and loony without question. These days, this attitude is not quite so hardcore.
                Bit by bit ….
                One cannot fool all of the people all of the time. Religious Fundamentalists really have no where to hide. Consider organisations such as the Clergy Project.
                Fundamentalists such as found here and on many other blogs and websites are already screwed.
                It really is only a matter of time.

        • @Eugene

          The discussion, in this case, is about how abiogenesis is a form of science that bases its conclusion on what is desired to be seen and not on what has actually been seen at all.

          Z stated the case quite succinctly. You appear to have misunderstood.
          Sadly, your comment echoes more of what the theist believes rather than those who lean toward science, Eugene.
          In your world, faith rules supreme, even when evidence clearly contradicts that faith/beleif.
          Be honest, if you had no need for faith, you would not be religious, now would you?

          • You expect me to make the mistake of approving your comments (3 different ones on 3 different posts already) on my blog? After the way you talk on John’s, and after the way you have proven yourself time and time again to lack the ability to have a rational conversation? It would never end. So thanks but no thanks, Ark.

            • I react to a right-wing fundamental theist who believes in creation, has little integrity, no evidence for his claims and considers I am gong to burn for eternity in ”hell”.
              Hmmm ….and you think I ”talk dirty”.
              What’s the matter, Eugene, you just another biblically ignorant scaredy-cat indoctrinated theist that likes to impart their wackadoodle beliefs onto children as well?
              Or maybe, just ?maybe you are a bit different: one who has evidence for his claims, rather than simply piddling in the wind?
              10 will get you 1 you are the former.

              Rational? You believe in the supernatural. What’s is rational about that, Eugene?

      • As Ken Ham is wont to say when questioned about dinosaurs coexisting with humans.
        ”Were you there (Z)?”
        No! So you have no case then do you? Now shut up and simply accept that T-Rex was once upon a time a vegesaurus.
        Are we clear? Damn liberal atheists! Sheesh!

    • That convinces you huh. Listen, if any African princes contact you, don’t send them any money.

      • Convinces? Good grief!
        They are all examples, John. What is the matter with you? Are you being imbecilic on purpose?

        • No one disputes adaptation. But you extrapolate a goat being able to, on agerage, get smaller to complete reconstructive speciation. No sir.

          • Ah.so this is pick your brand of evolution is it?
            Well, cherry picking is the Christian specialty, so why am I not surprised?rip off of Isaiah
            Now, back to Raymond Brown.
            What is it that you are not happy with and what have you got to justify the flagrant rip-off regarding the virgin birth?

  12. My childhood bible said that there was a big flood coming so two of each type of animals joined Noah’s Ark. It also showed me a wonderful picture of Jacob’s ladder (I saw a film of that name which was a different matter). The ladder went to heaven in the clouds and lots of pretty angels helped Jacob. Much later, a virgin gave birth. And then a crucified man became alive after he’d been dead for three days (vampire?).

    Try as I might none of that rings true. Nor does transubstantiation. So put all that together, without all the academic rhetoric and it just sounds plain silly to me :)

    Extremely silly. And rather insidious if someone wants to tell me it is true and insist I believe in fairy stories.

    • My childhood bible was a Good News translation, which is essentially summaries of verses with pictures and everything. It was pretty much designed to look like and read like makebelieve.

  13. Ark. I want to congratulate you on your very impressive performance. You never gave up in spite of the belligerence shown to you by the religious brethren.
    Unfortunately, this is only too common throughout the religious community and, there is no breaking through to any of them. Well done Ark. Keep up the good work.
    Now for a follow up John. Can you answer any of the following?

    Why would the Abrahamic God, all-loving and all-powerful, allow natural evils to torment and kill people? Why can’t he keep kids from getting cancer, or stay the waves of tsunamis?

    Why, if God so ardently wants us to know and accept him, does he hide himself from humanity? And, since modern humans originated over 100,000 years ago, why did God wait 98,000 years before sending his son to redress our sins—and then to only a small portion of humanity within a hundred miles of Jerusalem? Or, if you’re sufficiently sophisticated to see God not as a bearded spirit but as The Ground of All Being, why isn’t that Ground obvious to everyone?

    Why would an omnibenevolent God consign sinners to an eternity of horrible torment for crimes that don’t warrant such punishment? Official Catholic doctrine, for instance, is that unconfessed homosexual acts doom you eternal immolation in molten sulfur. That’s unconscionable. And would a loving God really let someone burn forever because they were Jews, or didn’t get baptized?

    Why is God in the Old Testament such a narcissistic bully, toying with people for his amusement, ordering genocides in which innocent women and children are killed en masse, and demanding the death of those who work on the Sabbath? How does that comport with the God that Christians and Jews worship today?

    Why didn’t Jesus return during his followers’ lifetime, as he promised?

    How do any believers know for sure that their faith is the right one, especially given the presumed penalty for guessing wrong?

    • Cancer is a disease whose ultimate origin can be found in the fall. That is man’s problem. People inherently live near places, by choice, where it places them in harms way. They choose to live near the shore, in tornado alley, on the San Andreas fault. Do you have kids? Do you follow them around making sure they never skin their knee, sprain their ankle? Don’t you love them?

      Lastly, is God hidden? Plenty of people don’t think so. The fact that we are discussing Him shows all here in this thread know about him. Your obstinacy and stubbornness is on you, not God.

      • ” The fact that we are discussing Him shows all here in this thread know about him. Your obstinacy and stubbornness is on you, not God.” Haha! That means that, because you’ve written on the topic of Allah, you must know that Allah exists – and your fervent denials are just obstinacy and stubbornness. Come on, John, that was a pretty lame reply.

        “Cancer is a disease whose ultimate origin can be found in the fall”. Have you confirmed this? How?

        “Do you have kids? Do you follow them around making sure they never skin their knee, sprain their ankle? Don’t you love them?” I have kids, and I don’t follow them around as you suggest. However, I *can’t* follow them around because I’m not everywhere – but God is. I *can’t* help them in all these ways, because I don’t know all of the consequences of my choices or theirs – but God does. Again, a pretty weak reply, because the analogy simply fails at every crucial point.

        • The point is that God is only hidden to those who refuse to see Him. I don’t think He’s hidden at all, and neither do millions of others. The fact that you, or others seem to think he is doesn’t factor in as much as you’d like to think.

          Aslo, you could follow your kids around. For plenty of reasons you dont, but you could. Their freedom and growth probably being at the top of the list.

    • “You never gave up in spite of the belligerence shown to you by the religious brethren.”

      You sound like a homosexual, Jason…accusing opponents of hatred and bigotry merely for opposing. Well done.

  14. Got to say John. Your answer, albeit predictable is very lame. Here’s another for you. Why does the Bible contain so much anti-scientific nonsense? Genesis begins with a flawed view of cosmology picked up from the Sumerians. There was no Flood and no Garden of Eden. Man came from evolution, not from dust. The Bible has no recipe for soap or basic medical advice.

    Of course the answer is logically, because it is a product of an Iron Age culture and has no more knowledge than people of Mesopotamia had at that time.

    Lets see what nonsence and illogical answer you come up with John.

    • I’m guessing from the depth of your objections that you’re a big boy of at least 15 or 16, and I appreciate your interest. Perhaps after some time you’ll have some objections of substance. When you do you should come back and offer them. As it is, your “observations” are juvenile.

  15. Hell that was easy. Thought you would come up with something.

    • But given your objections, you’re very easily convinced by anything that confirms your already held belief that the bible is false and God doesn’t exist. I don’t mean it as an insult, but your objections are juvenile, they aren’t sophisticated in any way. There are good objections, I hear them all the time in debates, lectures, and other conversations that I have. You just aren’t offering any.

  16. Thought l would start out easy with you and see where you end up going. So just give me the expected answer.

  17. Well l will answer it for you, since you won’t. Christians will say that the Bible has no intention of being a science textbook. It simply worked through the flawed worldview of the times. The Bible had no goal to improve the condition of our lives; it taught god’s rules, not health rules.

    My point being is, god could have done a whole lot better than what we find in the Bible. Which was where my point was leading to. What would you expect to find if there was a god, and what would you expect to find if there wasn’t a god, in the Bible.
    For a start, and most logically, you would expect to find and have a book, just like the Bible because it is from an Iron Age culture, that has no more knowledge than people of Mesopotamia had at that time, and very unsophisticated. If however, there is a god, you would expect the bible to be flawless, error free, and awe inspiring rather than the copy is it. In fact John ask yourself this simple question: Why, when you read the Bible, are you not left in awe? Why doesn’t a book written by an omnipotent and omniscient being leave you with a sense of wonder and amazement? If infact, you are reading a book written by the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving creator of the universe, {which you aren’t} wouldn’t you expect to be stunned by the brilliance, the clarity and the pure wisdom of the author? Would you not expect each new page to intoxicate you with its incredible prose and its spectacular insight? Wouldn’t you expect the author to tell us things that scientists have not been able to discover yet?

  18. Are you not left in awe John? The reason why it is a
    No and a big fat No. Nothing, infact, is because I have never seen people standing around or scientists showing each other passages in the Bible and saying this is amazing, let’s use this formula in our next experiment. Have you John? Even, true believers don’t bother to open the book and turn to page after page of intoxicting awe. Do you John? Doesn’t even happen in church apart from wailing en masse and half a dozen hallelujahs. I digress.

    The reason why the reader isn’t left in awe of the Bible is because it contains so much nonsense. Another reason the reader isn’t left in awe when reading the Bible is that, the Bible is a book written thousands of years ago by primitive men. Also, the truth in the Bible is like pearls mixed in with lots of worthless pebbles and hard to find. You have to sift through a lot of stuff that was meant just for people that lived a long time ago. In this case, converting Jews to Christanity.

    Example: Jews, Christians and Muslims all believe in the old testament of the Bible. It says that God gets mad when we misbehave and does very nasty things. It says one time he threw down fire and burned up every man, woman and child in a city (Sodom). The Bible says he did it because people had become too sexually perverted, but the one family he let escape because they were the only righteous people were incestuous. And if that is not perverted, enough. After Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt for looking back at the city being destroyed, it says Lot had sex and children with his own daughters.

    This story along with every other story in the Bible is simply nonesence. Just like the great flood. God could have snapped his fingers and made everything a fresh. Started back over, just like a scientist when their experience fails. Instead, we are left with genocidal drama and a maniac as a creator desperate for our love.

    Any wonder readers are left scratching theirs heads and deprived of the sensational feeling of awe. Furthermore, any book full of nonesence {in this case the Bible} that advocates senseless murder, slavery, incest, the oppression of women, minorities, discourages free speech, free thinking and, is grossly intolerant, has no place in our society today.

  19. Like any religion; A truth’s initial commotion is directly proportional to how deeply the lie was believed. It wasn’t the world being round that agitated people but that the world wasn’t flat. When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.-Dresden James

  20. Christianity was INVENTED and a full blown lie. Eusebius (Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine “Father of Church History“) attended the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. and was a friend of Emperor Constantine, who also attended and made the keynote speech. Constantine instructed Eusebius to organize the compilation of a uniform collection of new writings developed from primary aspects of the religious texts submitted at the council. Eusebius has been described as follows: Jacob Burckhardt (19th century cultural historian) dismissed Eusebius as “the first thoroughly dishonest historian of antiquity”. He has been also described as “a political theologian”. He favored doctoring his history in his own words to “be useful first to ourselves and afterwards to posterity”. Edward Gibbon (18th century historian –“The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”) dismissed his testimony on the number of martyrs and impugned his honesty At first, there was controversy about the new religion at the Council of Nicaea. Some claimed it was a fiction and Christ was a fiction, but they did not prevail. http://www.mountainman.com.au/essenes/Council%20of%20Nicaea.htm .

    Eusebius makes reference to the “books or writings that were accepted by the people, which were currently being utilized”, such as the four gospels, the Acts of the Apostles and Paul’s letter. He also mentions what he called “disputed books” some of which we currently have in the canon such as 2nd & 3rd John, James and Jude.

    Eusebius also insisted that the epistles of John and Peter must be included, although being very aware that many of his fellow Bishops struggled with the thought of including the revelation of John. They thought that his apocalypse of violent metaphors directly conflicted with Christ’s message of peace.
    The council would adjourn without reaching a resolution on which books would make up the canon. However in 331 A.D., six years after the Nicean council, the Emperor Constantine would send a letter to Eusebius, granting him the responsibility of creating the official Christian Bible, and to produce 50 copies for the churches in Constantinople. Eusebius would simply take the 18 books that he believed worthy of inclusion, from the church history he had written in 325. In addition, he included the Hebrew Bible, creating both an Old, and a New Testament

    (To be clear on this matter, I say don’t trust Eusebius’s reports of the Apostles or how the Apostles died, and be suspicious of all of his writings.) – Author Samuel Butler

    Eusebius then arranged for scribes to produce fifty sumptuous copies to be written on parchment in a legible manner, and in a convenient portable form, by professional scribes thoroughly accomplished in their art.

    These orders, said Eusebius, were followed by the immediate execution of the work itself we sent him [Constantine] magnificently and elaborately bound volumes of three-fold and four-fold forms (Life of Constantine, vol. iv, p.36). They were the New Testimonies, and this is the first mention (c. 331) of the New Testament in the historical record. With his instructions fulfilled, Constantine then decreed that the New Testimonies would thereafter be called the word of the Roman Saviour God (Life of Constantine, vol. iii, p. 29) and official to all presbyters sermonising in the Roman Empire.

    He then ordered earlier presbyterial manuscripts and the records of the council burnt and declared that any man found concealing writings should be stricken off from his shoulders (beheaded).

    Unfortunately, this Bible commissioned by Constantine, and thus the list of books that it contained, was lost with time. And even though Constantine’s Bible, created by Eusebius was sent to each of the churches in Constantinople, 40 more years would pass before the church would officially canonize an ultimate list of 27 New Testament books.

    Christianity through Eusebius plagiarized older myths and legends historicized to suit the Roman Catholic Church while combining the numerous religions existing at the time (Krishna, Horus, Mithraism, Osirian, Isis, and many other mystery religions). For unity and to stop all the conflicts between the numerous religions. It’s a ‘LIE’ a flat out LIE and one of the biggest deceptions of all time.

  21. Apart from the citations littered throughout the post. Here’s another one for you to scoff at. Sure you will find some reason to disregard it. You can always google it yourself. Wasn’t that what l was meant to do a couple of posts ago, or is that beneath you and l am to petty to communicate with?
    http://www.christianity-revealed.com/cr/files/fathereusebiustheforger.html

    • You didn’t offer citation, you made assertions. And this link isn’t a citation, it’s some asswagon’s opinion site. Do you consider my posts here viable citation?

      Dude, I know you think you’re really smart, and you got me, and it’s all great. But copying and pasting from some atheist’s website doesn’t make you as awesome as you think.

      So, have a good day.

  22. John, l think that is an indictment in of itself. If someone can copy and paste his way to victory over you, I suggest you down your site and throw in the towel. Also, l don’t think l have seen a single reference from you on any of your comments or on your original post for that matter, let alone a citation. Wasn’t it just an opinion peice anyway? Bit like Rush Limbaugh, but in written form.

  23. I am not big on quoting scripture, but this seems appropriate for you John“…they may eat their own dung and drink their own piss with you” (2 Kings 18:27)

  24. Thank you John for the free past and confirming my place in heaven.
    ” He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. ”

    Matthew 18:2-5

  25. Thank you John for the free pass and confirming my place in heaven.
    ” He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. ”

    Matthew 18:2-5

  26. “At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.

    “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

    Luke 10:21-22

    God is not impressed with your supposed intelligence John.
    You have to get down to my imature level to get through those pearly gates.

  27. Jason is trying really hard to convince himself of what he wants to believe. Let us pray for this poor, pathetic individual. May God grant him the epiphany he so desperately needs. In Christ’s name I so pray.

    • I always wonder what is going on in someone’s head and soul that they are convinced by such flippant “arguments”. They would never accept those shallow objections in any other context.

      What he offers is the “then why are there still monkeys” of religious objections.

  28. That’s all right John. The world holds two classes of men – intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence.

  29. Keep believing in your myths even though it’s a horrible idea that God, this paragon of wisdom and knowledge, power, couldn’t think of a better way to forgive us our sins than to come down to Earth in his alter ego as his son and have himself hideously tortured and executed so that he could forgive himself.

  30. Also, can you clear a couple of things up for me John regarding God’s Law? For example; when someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, Christians simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate, right?

    I do need some advice from you, because l know you have a deep understanding of Christian theology, and an expert in this field. So, regarding some of the specific laws, how would it be best to follow them.

    a) When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
    b) I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
    c) I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
    d) Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?
    e) I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?
    f) A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an Abomination (Lev 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this?
    g) Lev 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?
    h) Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev 19:27. How should they die?
    i) I know from Lev 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
    j) My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev 24:10-16) Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
    I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help.
    Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.
    Thanks John. I await for in-depth reply.

  31. Lame John. That reply, is just another bullshit scapegoat that you Christians use to ignore the atrocities and bizarre laws commanded by your tyrannical god. Your preachers too spoon feed you, that the Old Testament is no longer binding so that you can excuse the majority of evil that the bible promotes.
    I am so tired of Christians manipulating the scriptures so that they can assign a kinder nature to their God.

  32. Even this guy gets it John.

    Not everyone is self deluded.
    OK?

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